Category Archives: Older News Archive

Age of the Earth

“So far scientists have not found a way to determine the exact age of the Earth directly from Earth rocks because Earth’s oldest rocks have been recycled and destroyed by the process of plate tectonics. If there are any of Earth’s primordial rocks left in their original state, they have not yet been found. Nevertheless, scientists have been able to determine the probable age of the Solar System and to calculate an age for the Earth by assuming that the Earth and the rest of the solid bodies in the Solar System formed at the same time and are, therefore, of the same age. The ages of Earth and Moon rocks and of meteorites are measured by the decay of long-lived radioactive isotopes of elements that occur naturally in rocks and minerals and that decay with half lives of 700 million to more than 100 billion years to stable isotopes.
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Raisin’ mountains on Saturn’s moon Titan

This mosaic, made from radar images obtained by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, shows mountainous terrain on Saturn’s moon Titan in the moon’s northern hemisphere, north of the Aaru region. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech   Saturn’s moon Titan ripples with mountains, and scientists have been trying to figure out how they form. The best explanation, it turns out, is that Titan is shrinking as it cools, wrinkling up the moon’s surface like a raisin. A new model developed by scientists working with radar data obtained by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows that differing densities in the outermost layers of Titan can account for the unusual surface behavior. Titan is slowly cooling because it is releasing heat from its original formation and radioactive isotopes are decaying in the interior. As this happens, parts of Titan’s subsurface ocean freeze over, the outermost ice crust thickens and folds, and the moon shrivels up. The model is described.
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Why Jupiter’s Red Spot Won’t Die

Jupiter’s signature Great Red Spot is sort of the Doctor Who of storms: It just won’t die — even when it has been proven that it must die.  And now, for the first time, some fluid dynamicists have finally hit on some of the secrets to the giant storm’s longevity. “It’s the largest, most enduring storm in the solar system,” said Philip Marcus of University of California, Berkeley, in a presentation at the meeting of the American Physical Society’s fluid dynamics division in Pittsburgh on Monday. The Red Spot is about 24,000 km across, east to west, 12,000 km from north to south, and a mere 40 km deep. Its wind are roaring around at about 225 miles per hour and this incredible monster has been observed from Earth almost continuously for at least 150 years, he said. But based on all the modeling that’s been done to try and.
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Mars volcanoes active recently

High-resolution images from the Mars Express spacecraft reveal the planet’s largest volcanoes may have seen activity; volcanic and glacial; in the past few million years. By Robert Burnham  |  Published: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 The caldera of Olympus Mons, 50 miles (80 kilometers) across, shows portions with different ages, based on the number of craters seen by the Mars Express spacecraft. A puzzling feature, however, is that older surfaces stand lower than younger ones, the opposite of what scientists expect. ESA / DLR / FU Berlin (G. Neukum) December 29, 2004 Lava erupted on the flanks of the large martian volcano Olympus Mons perhaps only 2.4 million years ago, says a team of planetary scientists who examined sharply detailed images of five martian volcanoes in Tharsis. The images were taken by the Mars Express spacecraft’s High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC).”These volcanoes are potentially still active today,” says Gerhard Neukum of.
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Blue Skies on Saturn

February 17, 2005: Fast forward 100 years: You’re an astronaut piloting an airplane in the upper atmosphere of Saturn. The gas giant has no solid surface to walk on and no seas to put a boat in. Exploring Saturn means flying, dipping in and out of strangely-colored clouds, racing through ring shadows. It’s a totally alien world. It’s so alien that you start to feel homesick. So you do what they taught you in astronaut training. Take a deep breath, look up at the sunny blue sky and pretend to be back on Earth. Works every time! Sunny blue skies … on Saturn? It’s true. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft discovered them in 2005. “We were surprised,” recalls JPL’s Bob West, a member of the Cassini imaging team. “Saturn is supposed to be yellow.” If you’ve ever looked at Saturn through a backyard telescope, you know it’s true: Yellow is the dominant.
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