Footage of an unusual marine animal covered in tentacles allowed oceanographers to identify it as a siphonophore. You can read more about the little guy here.
Tag Archives | Exploration
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Scientists have discovered the brightest quasar in the early universe, powered by the most massive black hole yet known at that time. The international team led by astronomers from Peking University in China and from the University of Arizona announce their findings in the scientific journal Nature on Feb. 26.
The discovery of this quasar, named SDSS J0100+2802, marks an important step in understanding how quasars, the most powerful objects in the universe, have evolved from the earliest epoch, only 900 million years after the Big Bang, which is thought to have happened 13.7 billion years ago. The quasar, with its central black hole mass of 12 billion solar masses and the luminosity of 420 trillion suns, is at a distance of 12.8 billion light-years from Earth.
via University of Dayton:
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Whether you believe the Philae probe’s landing on a speeding comet is a monumental advance or a colossal waste might depend on your religion, according to a University of Dayton researcher.
Many in the space community see the landing as a critical step in colonizing the solar system, such as NASA Planetary Science Division Director Jim Green who said, “I truly believe that a single-planet species will not survive long. It’s our destiny to move off this planet.” (see CNET article)
Yet Evangelical Protestants are much surer Jesus will return in the next 40 years than that humans will make significant strides in space exploration, according to research by University of Dayton political science assistant professor Joshua Ambrosius.
“Evangelicals have been hesitant to recognize the discoveries of modern science — from evolutionary origins to climate change,” Ambrosius said. “The data show that this overall attitude extends into space.”
Ambrosius used data from the General Social Survey and three Pew surveys to compare knowledge, interest and support for space exploration among Catholics, Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants, Jews, Eastern religions and those with no religion.
Could the improper discovery or killing of a Yeti in Nepal have provoked an international incident? Slate writes:
Titled “Regulations Governing Mountain Climbing Expeditions in Nepal—Relating to Yeti,” this Foreign Service memo was issued from the American Embassy in Kathmandu on November 30, 1959. Did the U.S. government believe in the Yeti, as some cryptozoologists took the memo to mean?
The memo came at the end of a decade of strenuous Yeti-hunting. In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbed Everest, and reported seeing large tracks. In 1954, the Daily Mail funded a sixteen-week “Snowman Expedition” to Everest to look for clues. And in the late 1950s, American oil millionaire Tom Slick bankrolled a number of Himalayan expeditions in search of the creature.
Mars gets the attention, but apparently a moon in the far reaches of our solar system is the spot with the greatest chance of harboring extraterrestrial beings. Via the Sydney Morning Herald:
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US astronomers looking for life in the solar system believe that Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter, which has an ocean, is much more promising than desert-covered Mars, which is currently the focus of the US government’s attention.
“Europa is the most likely place in our solar system beyond Earth to possess …. life,” said Robert Pappalardo, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). “Europa is the most promising in terms of habitability because of its relatively thin ice shelf and an ocean … And we know there are oxidants on the surface of Europa.”
The JPL and the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland developed a new exploration project named Clipper with a total coast of two billion US dollars minus the launch.
This may sound reminiscent of a certain famous novel by Jules Verne, or Hollywood movie if you prefer, but it’s really in progress reports Tom Levitt for CNN:
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Humans have reached the moon and are planning to return samples from Mars, but when it comes to exploring the land deep beneath our feet, we have only scratched the surface of our planet.
This may be about to change with a $1 billion mission to drill 6 km (3.7 miles) beneath the seafloor to reach the Earth’s mantle — a 3000 km-thick layer of slowly deforming rock between the crust and the core which makes up the majority of our planet — and bring back the first ever fresh samples.
It could help answer some of our biggest questions about the origins and evolution of Earth itself, with almost all of the sea floor and continents that make up the Earth´s surface originating from the mantle.
Happy Fourth of July! Native American Netroots provides some perspective on the meaning of ‘America’:
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America was named on April 25, 1507 after the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Vespucci made at least two voyages across the Atlantic… [the] first voyage was in 1499 when he sailed with Alonso de Hojeda.
While Columbus might be characterized as a religious fanatic who could hardly speak or write without invoking the Christian God and dwelling fervently on his personal relationship with this God, Vespucci almost never referred to God. Religion was never very high on the scale of values to which Vespucci had been exposed. While he undoubtedly learned a little about the Christian God as a child, he seems to have forgotten all of this by the time he was an adult.
Unlike Columbus, Vespucci never waged war on the natives, nor did he found any colonies. He never commanded a fleet or even led an expedition.
Carefully crafted plans and millions in funding have been secured for a journey to locate the passageway to Inner Earth. I certainly hope that the North Pole Inner Earth Expedition happens:
This $1.5 million pledge gets the ship charter in place by August of 2012. The Expedition launches in July of 2013. The science is real. The story is more than 5,000 years old. The legend says that at a certain place above the Arctic Circle, there exists an oceanic depression or an entrance into the Earth. It’s a place where the maritime legend claims sea level isn’t level anymore.
The discovery that the earth is hollow would forever shatter our long-held beliefs about how planets are formed. More importantly, however, discovering life beneath the earth’s crust could potentially provide us with new tools that would allow life on the surface to regain environmental balance, harmony, and possibly even peace.
The true adventure will begin soon when some brave souls attempt to enter Ciudad Blanca on foot, opening themselves up to deadly curses. The Los Angeles Times reports:
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Since Spanish explorer Herman Cortes first noted the existence of Ciudad Blanca, the White City, in 1526, archaeologists, explorers and treasure hunters have been searching for the site, reputed to contain vast wealth. Many have claimed to find it, including the CIA’s Theodore Morde, who based the bizarre travelogue “Lost City of the Monkey God” on it. None of those claims have held water, however, and contemporary archaeologists are not even sure the city ever existed.
But now a team, using laser-based light detection and ranging (LIDAR) from a survey plane, have found the ruins of an ancient city deep in Honduras’ Mosquito Coast region and hidden by centuries of jungle growth.
Ciudad Blanca plays a central role in many Central American stories and mythology.