Tag Archives | Environment

Titan’s Nile River Valley

Cassini Titan River Valley sideways

Fascinating image from Nasa’s Cassini probe at Saturn, where we’ve previously watched the weather on Titan.  [Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI.]  North is to the right in this view. From the JPLnews press release “Titan is the only place we’ve found besides Earth that has a liquid in continuous movement on its surface,” said Steve Wall, the more…

Black Marble Earth

Nasa: Black Marble Earth

As the BBC’s Spaceman, Jonathan Amos, notes This [above] spectacular night-time view of Earth is called Black Marble. It has been assembled from a series of cloud-free images acquired by one of the most capable satellites in the sky today – the Suomi spacecraft. Here is the associated, wondrous, video from Nasa Explorer This view of Earth more…

“The new A32 Cherrymount link road near Enniskillen will eventually be built on top of the crannog…”

Fermanagh Crannog 2012: bone comb with incised decoration

The BBC reports, as do other news outlets, the Northern Ireland Environment Minister’s press release on “the first substantial, scientific excavation of a crannog in Northern Ireland”.  A “huge treasure trove of artefacts” was uncovered – potentially of “international importance” – and the crannog was occupied from at least AD 900 to AD 1600.  The ministerial press release also more…

National Trust: “However, not everyone agrees with the scientific view…”


The BBC report that the National Trust have amended the controversial exhibition at the new Giants’ Causeway interpretive centre following their announced review of the materials in the display.  But have they fully addressed the problem?  Not quite. Here’s how the revised controversial section of the transcript now reads Today there is a clear understanding among scientists that more…

“We stared at this patch of sky for about 22 days…”

Hubble 2012 eXtreme Deep Field

As the BBC’s spaceman, Jonathan Amos, notes, the Hubble Space Telescope team have released an updated version of their stunning Ultra Deep Field image – the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) – and they have seen further than ever.  [Image credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch (University of California, Santa Cruz), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), and the more…

Jupiter swallows an asteroid – redux


As Space Weather notes Around the world, amateur astronomers have been scanning the cloudtops of Jupiter for signs of debris from an explosion witnessed by Dan Peterson and George Hall on Sept. 10th. So far the cloud layer is blank. “Several observers have now obtained excellent images on the second and third rotations after the more…

“Thrust is engaged, and we are now climbing away from Vesta atop a blue-green pillar of xenon ions”

Dawn image of Vesta 17 July 2011

Having arrived at the 530km-wide giant asteroid Vesta in July 2011, in May this year Nasa’s Dawn Mission scientists published some of their findings.  Now Dawn’s ready to head out on the next leg of its journey – Destination [the even larger protoplanet (dwarf planet)] Ceres, ETA 2015. From the JPL press release “Thrust is engaged, and we are now more…

“This is an area on Mount Sharp where Curiosity will go”

Curiosity on Mars: Mount Sharp geology

More wondrous images from Nasa’s mobile Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the 900kg rover Curiosity, now safely on the Martian surface in Gale Crater.  And it’s only warming up its instruments.  Here’s a panaroma of the landing site and the prime mission target, Mount Sharp. Focusing in on Mount Sharp… [Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS] But the images that have more…

Curiosity drops in on Mars – in Hi-res


Nasa’s mobile Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the 900kg rover Curiosity, may have started roving on the surface of Mars, but there’s still room for more stunning video of its descent. In high-resolution.  Audio from mission control can also be heard, counting down the critical events.  Video from JPL News This movie from NASA’s Curiosity rover more…

“Curiosity will soon have a different patch of ground beneath it.”

Curiosity wheel tracks at Bradbury Landing

Nasa’s mobile Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the 900kg rover Curiosity, may have damaged one of two sets of wind sensors in its Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) during its dramatic landing on Mars, but it will still be providing daily weather reports from the Red Planet. And, as a JPL/Nasa press release noted yesterday – with moving images more…

Curiosity: “This is a very low-resolution panorama”

Curiosity 360 Colour Panorama Gale Crater

Having survived the seven minutes of terror, and landed successfully at Gale Crater, earlier this week Nasa’s mobile Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the 900kg rover Curiosity, lifted its 2m high camera mast.  And took a look at itself.  [Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech] Then it took a look at its new surroundings.  In colour. [Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS] JPL have more…

“Guess you could consider us the closest thing to paparazzi on Mars”

MSL Curiosity Descent to Mars

Another wondrous image from Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).  This time the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard snapped the Red Planet’s “newest celebrity” – the Curiosity rover and its 51-foot-wide (almost 16 metre) parachute descending towards Gale Crater. [Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona] From the Nasa/JPL press release “If HiRISE took the image one second more…

Curiosity: “I’m safely on the surface of Mars”


If you didn’t manage to catch those ‘seven minutes of terror’ earlier this morning for Nasa’s mobile Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the massive 900kg rover Curiosity, here’s how it worked out. From NasaTelevision As the Curiosity Rover said on Twitter I’m safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!! #MSL — Curiosity more…

Curiosity: “It’s like the Olympics for nerds!”

MSL landing site - Gale Crater

Just a quick reminder that, if everything goes to plan, Nasa’s mobile Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the massive 900kg rover Curiosity, is scheduled to land on the red planet at 6.30am [BST] tomorrow morning.  As the Curiosity Rover says itself It’s landing day & I’m hours from Mars! Watch my final @nasa prelanding briefing, Aug more…

Curiosity: “We’re doing something completely novel, hanging it way out there”

MSL landing site - Gale Crater

Launched back in November 2011, Nasa’s mobile Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), the massive 900kg rover Curiosity, is scheduled to land on the red planet at 6.30am [BST] on Monday 6 August. [Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/MSSS] They’ve successfully repositioned the orbiting Mars Odyssey spacecraft to keep in touch with Curiosity as it descends into Gale Crater [pictured more…

“Odyssey is conducting the Gairsoppa project under contract with the UK Department for Transport”


As the Guardian reports, US company Odyssey Marine Eploration have announced the recovery of “approximately 48 tons of silver bullion from a depth of approximately three miles” from the SS Gairsoppa, 300 miles off the Irish coast. According to Odyssey Marine This initial recovery of bullion from the SS Gairsoppa, a 412-foot steel-hulled British cargo ship more…

National Trust: “To ensure that no further misunderstanding or misrepresentation of this exhibit can occur, we have decided to review the interpretive materials in this section.”


As the BBC report, after a fortnight of stonewalling and denials, and temporarily closing comments at their press blog, the National Trust has announced that they intend “to review the interpretive materials” in the controversial section of their Giants’ Causeway Interpretive Centre.  [Have the Geological Society had a word in their shell-like? - Ed] They’re still more…

Dwarf Planet Gains Fifth Moon…

Hubble image of Plutonian system

Not that it didn’t already have five moons.  At least.  ANYhoo…  As I was saying this time last year, when Hubble spotted a fourth moon orbiting Pluto.  The Hubble Space Telescope has been looking at the twin dwarf planet system of Pluto and Charon ahead of Nasa’s New Horizons mission expected arrival in the neighbourhood more…

Bovine TB and badgers: “This approach has not been tried anywhere else…”


The different approaches of the various administrations in the UK and Ireland to attempting to eradicate bovine tuberculosis [TB] in wild animals, specifically badgers, are worth noting.  They are all in response to the EU Directive 64/432/EEC which, as the Welsh adminstration’s website notes, “requires Member States to provide plans showing how they will eradicate bovine TB in cattle.” more…