COULD NEWLY DISCOVERED SALTWATER PUDDLES OF MARS HAVE SUPPORTED LIFE?

An analysis of new rock samples taken from NASA’s Curiosity rover uncovered evidence of clay minerals on Mars, suggesting the presence of water from a large, ancient lake. While the presence of clay supports the notion Mars may have once had water, it doesn’t conclusively prove the planet harboured conditions for life.

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SECRETS OF ASTEROID RYUGU

Ryugu’s interaction with the sun changes what we know about asteroid history. In February and July of 2019, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft briefly touched down on the surface of near-Earth asteroid Ryugu. The readings it took with various instruments at those times have given researchers insight into the physical and chemical properties of the 1-kilometer-wide asteroid. These findings could help expla

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LASER LIGHT ACTS AS A MECHANICAL SPRING IN QUANTUM WORLD

Quantum technology is currently one of the most active fields of research worldwide. It takes advantage of the special properties of quantum mechanical states of atoms, light, or nanostructures to develop, for example, novel sensors for medicine and navigation, networks for information processing and powerful simulators for materials sciences. Generating these quantum states normally requires a strong interaction between the

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GEMINI GETS LUCKY AND TAKES A DEEP DIVE INTO JUPITER’S CLOUDS

Researchers using a technique known as “lucky imaging” with the Gemini North telescope on Hawaii’s Maunakea have collected some of the highest resolution images of Jupiter ever obtained from the ground. These images are part of a multi-year joint observing program with the Hubble Space Telescope in support of NASA’s Juno mission. The Gemini images, when combined with the Hubble and Juno observations, reveal that lightning strikes, and some of the largest storm systems that create them, are formed in and around large convective cells over deep clouds of water ice and liquid. The new observations also confirm that dark spots in the famous Great Red Spot are actually gaps in the cloud cover and not due to cloud colour variations.

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WHAT IS FRACKING? FACTS ABOUT FRACKING

Hydraulic fracturing, Also Known As Fracking, is a Well stimulation technique in which rock is fractured by a pressurized liquid. The process involves the high-pressure injection of ‘fracking fluid’ (primarily water, containing sand or other proppants suspended with the aid of thickening agents) into a wellbore to create cracks in the deep-rock formations through which natural gas, petroleum, and brine will flow more freely. When the hydraulic pressure is removed from the well, small grains of hydraulic fracturing proppants (either sand or aluminium oxide) hold the fractures op

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NASA’s NEIL GEHRELS SWIFT OBSERVATORY TRACKS WATER LOSS FROM INTERSTELLAR COMET 2I/BORISOV

Astronomers using NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory have tracked water loss from 2I/Borisov, the first known interstellar comet to visit our Solar System, as it approached and rounded the Sun. Their findings were published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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COULD A GIANT SPACE UMBRELLA HELP COOL DOWN OUR PLANET?

It’s a radical idea, and it just might just work. Reducing the amount of light reaching our planet could cool the Earth quickly, even with rising carbon dioxide levels. While the asteroid which helped wipe out the dinosaurs blocked out 90% of the Sun’s rays, we would need to divert just 2-4%, it’s believed, to take the Earth back to its pre-industrial climate.

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A NEW REPORT FINDS RENEWABLE POWER SOURCES HAVE MADE GAINS AS FOSSIL FUEL USE HAS DECLINED DURING THE PANDEMIC

The precipitous drop in energy use is unparalleled back to the Great Depression of the 1930s. But not all energy sources are suffering equally. Efforts to shift toward renewable energy could be hastened, as fossil fuels, particularly coal and oil, have borne the brunt of the decline. Use of renewable energy meanwhile has risen, thanks to new projects coming online, and the low cost of turning wind turbines or harvesting sunlight.

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New Kaleidoscopic Map Details the Geology of the Moon

This animation shows a rotating globe of the new Unified Geologic Map of the Moon with shaded topography from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). This geologic map is a synthesis of six Apollo-era regional geologic maps, updated based on data from recent satellite missions. It will serve as a reference for lunar science and future human missions to the Moon. Credit: NASA/GSFC/USGS.

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