15 Photos Mars oddities NASA, the Rolling Stones and Robert Downey Jr. are up to something NASA Curiosity rover did not find a damn robot leg on Mars NASA spots odd heart-shaped objects on Mars and beyond Sci-Tech Comment The Rolling Stones Rock name is informal, but NASA says it will appear on working maps of the planet.Perhaps this will inspire Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to rework some of their classic songs, like If You Can’t Mars Rock Me, Street Fighting Martian or Paint It Red (Planet). “I’ve seen a lot of Mars rocks over my career,” said NASA geologist Matt Golombek. “This one probably won’t be in a lot of scientific papers, but it’s definitely one of the coolest.”Downey agrees. “Sometimes the world does seriously cool stuff,” he tweeted after the reveal.NASA shared a hype video showing an animation of InSight landing on Mars set to the tune of the Stones’ It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It). NASA Space Hello “@RollingStones Rock” Who could hang a name on you? Um… us!When @NASAInsight touched down on the Red Planet, its engines sent a rock rolling across Mars’ surface. We named it for the band. Take a closer look and learn how #MarsRocks get named: https://t.co/xY0TfoksJP pic.twitter.com/BZlABAMaZJ— NASA (@NASA) August 23, 2019 1 Tags Share your voice This NASA animation shows the InSight lander pushing Rolling Stones Rock. NASA/JPL-Caltech Some day a long time from now, an astronaut tour guide may step out onto the dusty surface of the Red Planet, point to a small stone just beyond NASA’s silent InSight lander and announce, “And that, my friends, is Rolling Stones Rock.”Let’s just let that sink in. There is now a rock on Mars that’s known as “Rolling Stones Rock.” Enlarge ImageForget Tumbling Dice. We’ve got a tumbling Mars rock. NASA/JPL-Caltech The Stones took to the stage in Pasedena, California on Thursday night for the band’s No Filter tour. The Rose Bowl venue is close to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Somehow Robert Downey Jr. got entangled in all of this. The Iron Man actor made the Mars rock announcement before the band played.It all started with a mysterious teaser video from Downey earlier on Thursday. “This may be the most exciting thing I’ve ever done,” Downey said, which may be the overstatement of the year. It’s not just any old Mars rock. NASA’s InSight lander touched down on the planet in November 2018. The machine’s thrusters disturbed the golf ball-sized rock, sending it rolling 3 feet (1 meter) across the ground.”It’s the farthest NASA has seen a rock roll while landing a spacecraft on another planet,” the space agency said in a release on Thursday. An image of the rock shows the trail it left behind on the dusty ground.
The ozone layer of the lower stratosphere is an extremely diffuse abundance of O3 that absorbs up to 99 percent of incoming ultraviolet solar radiation, thereby creating the conditions that make known life possible. In the 1970s and 1980s, as scientists reported the dramatic thinning of stratospheric ozone, a regulatory push by governments around the world led to a reduction in the use of chlorofluorocarbons by industry. Nonetheless, other compounds released into the atmosphere have the effect of depleting ozone, though the dynamics are still the subject of study. More information: Maria A. Navarro et al, Airborne measurements of organic bromine compounds in the Pacific tropical tropopause layer, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2015). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1511463112 © 2015 Phys.org NASA study shows that common coolants contribute to ozone depletion Until recently, scientists believed that only long-lived compounds like halons, chlorofluorocarbons or bromomethane contributed to global ozone depletion. Inconsistencies in stratospheric observations led researchers to look for another contributor, very short-lived brominated substances (VSLorg). These are generated by ocean biogenic sources with cyclic variabilities that are not well understood. However, activity that increases the production of VSLorg will also tend to accelerate the depletion of atmospheric ozone.Now, a cross-disciplinary collaborative of chemists and atmospheric researchers has reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on their analysis of data collected by NASA’s Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX) over the tropical Pacific region during 2013 and 2014. The experiment included measurements of organic bromine substances conducted with the Global Hawk Whole Air Sampler (GWAS). The researchers combined the aircraft observations with a chemistry-climate model in an attempt to quantify the total bromine load in the atmosphere.One surprising finding was the similarity of the amounts of bromine between the Eastern and Western Pacific Ocean, despite their different vertical transport mechanisms into the atmosphere. The study found ~6 parts per thousand to the stratospheric input at the tropical tropopause, the boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere. The differences between the two regions were considered to be scientifically negligible. The authors write, “Based on the CAM-chem simulation results, the overall contribution of VSL substances to total stratospheric bromine, quantified at ~17 km, show 5.81 ppt over the Western Pacific and 6.20 ppt over the Eastern Pacific. These results point out that although the production of Bry seems to be slightly different between the Eastern and Western Pacific, the overall contribution of very short-lived substances to stratospheric bromine is similar in both regions.” They note that uncertainties remain in the characterization of the overall contribution of VSL substances to total stratospheric bromine because all of the results described by the study are derived from model calculations. However, comparing the results of the NASA sampling activities in 2013 and 2014 to other studies conducted in 1996 and 2006 reveals a global decline in the level of atmospheric methyl bromide; over the same period, halons increased, reaching a maximum between 2004 and 2008, with an ensuing slow decline. The researchers do not believe that this is a long-term trend, though, because patterns of variability have not been established for such compounds in the atmosphere. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Organic bromine compounds—another threat to the ozone layer (2015, November 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-11-bromine-compoundsanother-threat-ozone-layer.html Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Are Rossby waves to blame for Earth’s magnetic field drifting westward? Scientists have long been curious about the development of the Earth’s magnetic field—it is believed to be part of the process that made life possible on the planet because it shields the atmosphere from the solar wind. But it is not known when it first appeared. Scientists believe that the field exists due to the spin of the Earth’s metal core, but that theory was tested when researchers found something intriguing when studying zircon crystals from Jack Hills in Western Australia. The crystals were found to be between 3.3 and 4.2 billion years old, suggesting they could offer evidence of conditions when the planet was still forming. They noted that the crystals were magnetic, suggesting that they had been magnetized by a planetary magnetic field. But prior research has suggested the Earth’s core did not harden until much later—thus, the magnetic field would have been created by a liquid core. In this new effort, the researchers claim to have found evidence that suggests the crystals could have become magnetized much later than their creation date, casting doubt on their use as evidence of a liquid core-generated magnetic field.The researchers found nano-sized holes in the crystals that appeared to have resulted from radiation damage. That allowed magnetite to accumulate within the tiny holes long after the crystals had developed. The researchers note that magnetite is very easily magnetized (hence its name) and will retain magnetism for very long periods of time, as long as it is not exposed to temperatures above 550°C. This finding suggests that the magnetism in the crystals could have developed long after the crystals formed—and it prevents them from being used as evidence for the existence of a planetary magnetic field during its creation stages. More information: Fengzai Tang et al. Secondary magnetite in ancient zircon precludes analysis of a Hadean geodynamo, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1811074116 © 2019 Science X Network Citation: Study of zircon crystals casts doubt on evidence for early development of magnetic field (2019, January 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-zircon-crystals-evidence-early-magnetic.html A combined team of researchers from the University of Cambridge and the University of California has found evidence that casts doubt on the use of zircon crystals as evidence of early development of the Earth’s magnetic field. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes testing they conducted on the crystals and what they found.