Saturday, November 14, 2009

Random Linkage 14/11/09

LCROSS Impact Data Indicates Water on Moon
'The argument that the moon is a dry, desolate place no longer holds water.
'Secrets the moon has been holding, for perhaps billions of years, are now being revealed to the delight of scientists and space enthusiasts alike.
'NASA today opened a new chapter in our understanding of the moon. Preliminary data from the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, indicates that the mission successfully uncovered water during the Oct. 9, 2009 impacts into the permanently shadowed region of Cabeus cater near the moon’s south pole.'
(When it starts to crack really bad puns, you can tell when the group mind of NASA is really excited, and quite right too. How long before some high-end Hollywood restaurant is selling Moon water at $1 million a bottle?)

Spirit Begins Extraction Process
On Monday, November 16, 2009, Mars Exploration Rover Spirit will begin the much-anticipated, weeks-long process of extricating itself from a patch of powdery soil that stopped it in its tracks six months ago. It will begin by driving forward to the north, following its tracks out, even though its right front wheel is broken and immobilized.
(The rover driving team have about four months to get their brave little toaster free of the sandpit before winter comes and its power levels drop.)

Ghostly 'Spokes' Puff Out From Saturn's Rings
Massive, bright clouds of tiny ice particles hover above the darkened rings of Saturn in an image captured by the Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 22, 2009, around the time of Saturn's equinox.

Bizarre Lives Of Bone-eating Worms
'It sounds like a classic horror story -- eyeless, mouthless worms lurk in the dark, settling onto dead animals and sending out green "roots" to devour their bones. In fact, such worms do exist in the deep sea. They were first discovered in 2002 by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), who were using a robot submarine to explore Monterey Canyon. But that wasn't the end of the story. After "planting" several dead whales on the seafloor, a team of biologists recently announced that as many as 15 different species of boneworms may live in Monterey Bay alone.'
(Now imagine them growing bigger, and crawling out of the sea...)

12 claustrophobic space capsules

A joyride through the nanoscale


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