5 May 2016
Like other scientific communities, the Earth and space science community has an opportunity to improve.
4 May 2016
Thanks to the fast advances in technology, we have now the ability to take very high definition photos in the deep sea. The quality of these images is so high that it is possible to identify any organism big enough to be visible to the naked eye. Therefore, these images can be used identify species assemblages on hydrothermal vent and document changes in their composition over time.
3 May 2016
The southeastern United States should has seen some notable seismic events – most recently, the 2011 magnitude-5.8 earthquake near Mineral, Virginia that shook the nation’s capital. Now, scientists report in a new study a likely explanation for this unusual activity: pieces of the mantle under this region have been periodically breaking off and sinking down into the Earth.
29 April 2016
Three stories published during April describe the ways remotely sensed data and machine learning are changing how Earth is studied and understood; while a fourth shows the beauty of our planet through images captured by one of the satellites imaging the Earth.
There’s a reason why people are hesitant to walk over burning coals. Barring those who have congenital analgesia, everyone can feel heat, and unless you live above the Arctic Circle like me, it is not a feeling we often relish. In fact, heat sensitivity can invoke serious fear and has fueled mankind’s most sadistic tortures and punishments. Nonetheless, it is vital for survival. Because we can sense heat, we can avoid it and prevent harming our bodies.
28 April 2016
After 50 years, scientists think they may have cracked one of atmospheric science’s most persistent mysteries. Every day at dawn, an unknown phenomenon appears. Radar waves bounce off of it and return to radar receivers like an echo. Now, a pair of researchers at Boston University hypothesize that the sun could be causing the inexplicable echoes.
27 April 2016
Much like the deep sea hydrothermal vents we study, no light penetrates into the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) control room. Here, the ROPOS team operates the submersible, helping scientists collect samples and conduct analyses. Working 12-hour shifts, a ROPOS pilot may spend a full day in this room, lit only by glow of ~22 computer screens showing video feeds of all the cameras mounted on ROPOS used to navigate and observe the deep sea.
Over a decade ago, we established 19 long-term study sites in four different vent fields here on the Eastern Lau Spreading Center. We placed small, floating markers on each of these sites in the hope that one day we would return to see how they had (or had not) changed. And now, here I am again, floating over our long-term study sites and preparing to launch the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to visit one of my favorite environments on the planet: an active hydrothermal vent field.
26 April 2016
New research finds exhaust from idling diesel engines produces a significant amount of isocyanic acid when photons from sunlight help it react with other compounds in the atmosphere. The amount of this secondary photochemical isocyanic acid produced by non-road, idling diesel engines, like those in tractors, loaders, and other heavy construction and farm equipment, was 50 to 230 milligrams per kilogram of diesel burned.
22 April 2016
On the morning of the 19th, the R/V Falkor entered harbor in the country of Tonga after nearly 12 days at sea. As we stood on the deck watching the dockworkers heave lines to and fro, several scientists breathed a sigh of relief, for we had spent a number of days being tossed around by the sea.