Sunday, October 15, 2017

Massive Lava Waves Detected on Jupiter’s Moon Io


Thanks to a rare orbital alignment between Europa and Io, an international team of researchers has identified and tracked a pair of lava waves as they coursed around Loki Patera, which is larger than Lake Ontario, and with a surface area of 8,300 square miles (21,500 square km). The most likely explanation for this apparently periodic wave action is an overturning circulation pattern, in which cool surface crust slowly thickens and sinks, pulling nearby crust along with it in a wave that spreads across the surface. 


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Massive Lava Waves Detected on Jupiter’s Moon Io






Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hottest-Ever Alien Planet Discovered

Hottest-Ever Alien Planet Discovered:

Astronomers have found the hottest known exoplanet, a world where temperatures exceed those on the surface of most stars.

The Jupiter-like planet, known as KELT-9b, zips around its hot host star once every 1.5 Earth days. Its orbit is so tight that the gas giant is tidally locked, always showing the same face to the star, just as the moon shows only one face to Earth.

Temperatures on KELT-9b's "day side" reach a blazing 7,800 degrees Fahrenheit (4,300 Celsius), the planet's discoverers said. That's hotter than the surface of the dwarf stars that dominate the Milky Way galaxy, and just 2,200 degrees F (1,200 degrees C) cooler than the surface of the sun. (However, temperatures in the sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, can reach about 3 million degrees F, or 1.67 million degrees C.)

Why did Russia seize oil off a Venezuelan cargo ship in the Caribbean? - CSMonitor.com

Why did Russia seize oil off a Venezuelan cargo ship in the Caribbean? - CSMonitor.com:



Venezuela's state-run oil company, PDVSA, sent a tanker in October to the Caribbean with the expectation that its cargo of crude would fetch about $20 million – money the crisis-stricken nation desperately needs.

Instead, the owner of the tanker, the Russian state-owned shipping conglomerate Sovcomflot, held the oil in hopes of collecting partial payment on $30 million that it says PDVSA owes for unpaid shipping fees.

Despite a longstanding alliance between Venezuela and Russia, Sovcomflot sued PDVSA in St. Maarten, a Dutch island on the northeast end of the Caribbean.

"The ship owners ... imposed garnishment on the aforementioned oil cargo," reads a March decision by the St. Maarten court.

Five months after crossing the Caribbean, the NS Columbus discharged its cargo of crude at a storage terminal on St. Eustatius, an island just south of St. Maarten, under a temporary decision by the court. Another tribunal in England will decide if Sovcomflot will ultimately take the oil.

1 week after black Saturday, 2 ships impounded, FIR filed | Chennai News - Times of India

1 week after black Saturday, 2 ships impounded, FIR filed | Chennai News - Times of India:

CHENNAI: As the extent of the oil spill caused by the collision of two ships off the Ennore Port in Chennai dawned on the authorities a week after the incident, multiple agencies stepped in to probe the accident. While the Chennai Port and police impounded both vessels, one of them registered abroad, the Madras high court said the government must take urgent action in this regard. The Chennai police have registered an FIR in connection with the collision and the oil spill, and issued a formal request to the port authorities not to allow the ships to sail away. The crew members too have been told not to leave without permission.


Newfound Alien Planet Is Best Place Yet to Search for Life

Newfound Alien Planet Is Best Place Yet to Search for Life:

The alien world known as LHS 1140b is rocky, like Earth. It is only 40 light-years away from our solar system (essentially, down-the-street in cosmic terms), and sits in the so-called habitable zone of its parent star, which means liquid water could potentially exist on the planet's surface. Several other planets also meet those criteria, but few of them are as prime for study as LHC 1140b according to the scientists who discovered it, because the type of star the planet orbits and the planet's orientation to Earth make it ripe for investigations into whether it’s the kind of place where life could thrive.

TRAPPIST-1: System with 7 Earth-Size Exoplanets

TRAPPIST-1: System with 7 Earth-Size Exoplanets:

Of the seven planets in TRAPPIST-1, three lie within the habitable zone, the region around a star where liquid water could form on a planet's surface, making them excellent contenders for the evolution of life. One world lies farther out, and is likely icy, while the three closest to the star are heated by its temperatures.

Why Are Martian Volcanoes So Different From Earth's?

Why Are Martian Volcanoes So Different From Earth's?:

Shield volcanoes on Earth are so big because they are fueled by mantle plumes for many millennia. The lava that erupts is basic, unevolved and extremely fluid, which means it spreads out over long distances. Give these shields enough time, and they grow to immense sizes.
Mars is no exception, but all its shield volcanoes are far more sizeable than our own. Why is that?
Well, on Earth, our tectonic plates gradually and continuously move around, but the mantle plumes underneath them stay still. So in 100,000 years or so, Hawaii’s Kilauea will be extinct, and the baby volcano growing off its shore, Loihi, will become the primary source of volcanism in the region.
Mars, as aforementioned, doesn’t have plate tectonics, which means that the underlying mantle plumes just kept on melting rock beneath the same spot for millions of years. The shield volcanoes there got so large that if they were any more massive, they’d break the Martian crust and sink back into the mantle.