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Keyword: catastrophism

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  • 'True polar wander' may have caused ice age

    11/20/2018 5:32:39 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 28 replies
    phys.org ^ | November 19, 2018, | Rice University
    Like any spinning object, Earth is subject to centrifugal force, which tugs on the planet's fluid interior. At the equator, where this force is strongest, Earth is more than 26 miles larger in diameter than at the poles. Gordon said true polar wander may occur when dense, highly viscous bumps of mantle build up at latitudes away from the equator. If the mantle anomalies are massive enough, they can unbalance the planet, and the equator will gradually shift to bring the excess mass closer to the equator. The planet still spins once every 24 hours and true polar wander does...
  • Star spinning so ‘extremely fast’ it risks ‘one of the most powerful explosions in the universe’

    11/20/2018 9:12:23 AM PST · by ETL · 71 replies
    Full title: Star spinning so ‘extremely fast’ it risks causing ‘one of the most powerful explosions in the universe’ It's one of a pair of stars that could be involved in one of the universe's biggest explosions, experts suggest. Scientists say the previously unknown star system is wrapped in an "elegant spiral dust cloud", making it look "spectacular".At its heart is a pair of massive Wolf-Rayet stars, according to an international team of researchers who published the findings in the Nature Astronomy journal. Wolf-Rayet stars are special in that they're among the hottest in the universe.They blast out powerful winds...
  • Are the Laws of the Universe Fine-Tuned for Life?

    11/15/2018 5:19:25 AM PST · by Heartlander · 73 replies
    Discover ^ | November 12, 2018 | Korey Haynes
    Are the Laws of the Universe Fine-Tuned for Life? By Korey Haynes | November 12, 2018 Humans have often looked at the night sky and wondered if there’s anyone else out there. But stare into that darkness long enough, and many wonder instead: how did we get here? What were the odds, in a universe so enormous and chaotic, that humans should have come to exist at all? Is life, let alone intelligent life, such a wildly improbable occurrence that we’re the only ones here? Or are we an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics?Life exists on Earth (assuming...
  • Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’

    11/16/2018 6:12:12 AM PST · by artichokegrower · 135 replies
    Science ^ | Nov. 15, 2018 | Ann Gibbons
    Ask medieval historian Michael McCormick what year was the worst to be alive, and he's got an answer: "536." Not 1349, when the Black Death wiped out half of Europe. Not 1918, when the flu killed 50 million to 100 million people, mostly young adults. But 536. In Europe, "It was the beginning of one of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year," says McCormick, a historian and archaeologist who chairs the Harvard University Initiative for the Science of the Human Past.
  • Rising sea levels may build, rather than destroy, coral reef islands

    11/15/2018 10:18:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | November 13, 2018 | Northumbria University
    Rising global sea levels may actually be beneficial to the long-term future of coral reef islands, such as the Maldives, according to new research published in Geophysical Research Letters. Low-lying coral reef islands are typically less than three metres above sea level, making them highly vulnerable to rising sea levels associated with climate change. However, research has found new evidence that the Maldives - the world's lowest country - formed when sea levels were higher than they are today... They found that large waves caused by distant storms off the coast of South Africa led to the formation of the...
  • The Earth Is Eating Its Own Oceans

    11/15/2018 1:49:49 PM PST · by ETL · 39 replies
    LiveScience.com ^ | Nov 14, 2018 | Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor
    As Earth's tectonic plates dive beneath one another, they drag three times as much water into the planet's interior as previously thought. Those are the results of a new paper published today (Nov. 14) in the journal Nature. Using the natural seismic rumblings of the earthquake-prone subduction zone at the Marianas trench, where the Pacific plate is sliding beneath the Philippine plate, researchers were able to estimate how much water gets incorporated into the rocks that dive deep below the surface. The find has major ramifications for understanding Earth's deep water cycle, wrote  marine geology and geophysics researcher Donna Shillington...
  • Geoscientists Find Large Impact Crater in Greenland

    11/15/2018 7:47:28 AM PST · by ETL · 17 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Nov 15, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    An international team of geoscientists from the United States, Canada and Europe has discovered a large impact crater beneath the Hiawatha Glacier in remote northwest Greenland. A paper on the discovery was published in the journal Science Advances. The Hiawatha impact crater is approximately 19.2 miles (31 km) wide and lies under an ice sheet that is 0.6 miles (1 km) thick.The scientists believe this crater was formed by a 0.6-mile wide iron asteroid that slammed into the Earth at the end of the Pleistocene epoch, perhaps as recently as 12,000 years ago. ..." “Researchers were looking at the map...
  • Massive crater under Greenland’s ice points to climate-altering impact in the time of humans

    11/14/2018 3:09:50 PM PST · by ETL · 51 replies
    ScienceMag.com ^ | Nov 14, 2018 | Paul Voosen
    On a bright July day 2 years ago, Kurt Kjær was in a helicopter flying over northwest Greenland—an expanse of ice, sheer white and sparkling. Soon, his target came into view: Hiawatha Glacier, a slow-moving sheet of ice more than a kilometer thick. It advances on the Arctic Ocean not in a straight wall, but in a conspicuous semicircle, as though spilling out of a basin. Kjær, a geologist at the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, suspected the glacier was hiding an explosive secret. The helicopter landed near the surging river that drains the glacier, sweeping out rocks...
  • Beneath Antarctica's Ice, Intriguing Evidence of Lost Continents

    11/13/2018 9:40:34 AM PST · by ETL · 45 replies
    LiveScience.com ^ | Nov 13, 2018 | Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor
    A new map reveals the remnants of ancient continents that lurk beneath Antarctica's ice. The map shows that East Antarctica is made up of multiple cratons, which are the cores of continents that came before, according to study leader Jörg Ebbing, a geoscientist at Kiel University in Germany. "This observation leads back to the break-up of the supercontinent Gondwana and the link of Antarctica to the surrounding continents," Ebbing told Live Science. The findings help reveal fundamental facts about Earth's tectonics and how Antarctica's land and ice sheets interact, he wrote in an email. Because the continent is so remote...
  • Lack of sunspots to bring record cold, warns NASA scientist

    11/13/2018 1:59:43 AM PST · by SMGFan · 91 replies
    Ice Age Now ^ | November 12, 2018
    “It could happen in a matter of months,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. ________________ “The sun is entering one of the deepest Solar Minima of the Space Age,” wrote Dr Tony Phillips just six weeks ago, on 27 Sep 2018. Sunspots have been absent for most of 2018 and Earth’s upper atmosphere is responding, says Phillips, editor of spaceweather.com. Data from NASA’s TIMED satellite show that the thermosphere (the uppermost layer of air around our planet) is cooling and shrinking, literally decreasing the radius of the atmosphere. To help track the latest developments, Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s...
  • Huge magnetic tail discovered behind Mars

    10/22/2017 10:43:53 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    Discovered by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) spacecraft, the unusual phenomenon is thought to have been caused by the effects of the solar winds and could help to shine more light on how the Martian atmosphere escaped in to space. "We found that Mars' magnetic tail, or magnetotail, is unique in the Solar System," said NASA scientist Gina DiBraccio. "It's not like the magnetotail found at Venus, a planet with no magnetic field of its own, nor is it like Earth's, which is surrounded by its own internally generated magnetic field." "Instead, it is a hybrid between...
  • New Japanese mission will be going to the Moons of Mars

    05/04/2017 4:35:35 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | 05/04/2017 | Matt WIlliams
    Known as the Martian Moons Exploration (MMX) mission, the plan is to have a robotic spacecraft fly to Phobos and Deimos to explore their surfaces and return samples to Earth for analysis. The spacecraft would be deployed sometime in the 2020s, and would be tasked with two main objectives. The first would be to help scientists determine the origins of Phobos and Deimos, which has been a subject of debate for some time. Whereas some believe that these moons are capture asteroids, others have argued that they were created when fragments ejected from Mars (due to giant impacts on the...
  • Syria: Scholar Composes Music from Archaeological Ugaritic Cuneiform Tablet

    07/09/2010 9:34:22 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies · 2+ views
    Global Arab Network ^ | Thursday, July 8, 2010 | H. Sabbagh
    Musical scholar Ziad Ajjan composed eight poetry and musical pieces from the musical archaeological cuneiform tablet known as "Hymn of Supplication" H6 discovered in Ugarit in the early 20th century. Ajjan composed three musical pieces based on the musical notes in the tablet which dates back to 1400 BC, naming the pieces "Sunrise," "Sunset" and "Holiday in Ugarit." This marks the recording of the oldest music notation in the history of the world. Ajjan said he is still working on the tablet based on information he reached after extensive study and previous experiment, making use of previous research by fellow...
  • Listen To The World's Oldest-Known Melody (1400 BC)

    09/27/2016 10:12:31 AM PDT · by blam · 64 replies
    Fox News Science - Newser ^ | 9-27-2016 | Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
    Elizabeth Armstrong Moore September 27, 2016 In 1950, a collection of 29 tablets was discovered in the ruins of Ugarit, an ancient city in the northern region of present-day Syria, but only one had survived the intervening centuries well enough to be deciphered. Known as H6, the 3,500-year-old clay tablet revealed a simple hymn specifying the use of nine lyre strings and the intervals between them, much like an "ancient guitar tab," reports ClassicFM, which has recently picked up the story. The resulting melody, it says, isn't just the oldest discovered in the world, but "utterly enchanting." Musician and composer...
  • How to Watch a Near-Earth Asteroid Zoom Closer to Earth than the Moon

    11/09/2018 6:56:14 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    Live Science ^ | November 9, 2018 06:14pm ET | Laura Geggel
    Three chunky asteroids will zoom by Earth this weekend, and one of them is getting closer to our planet than the moon itself. On Saturday (Nov. 10), the near-Earth asteroid 2018 VX1 will zip within about 236,100 miles (380,000 kilometers) of Earth. That's closer than the moon, which hangs out about 238,900 miles (384,400 km) away as it orbits Earth. Gianluca Masi, founder and director of the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy, which is live-streaming the celestial show online here starting at 1 p.m. EST (18:00 UTC) on Saturday. … People here on Earth will be able to see the...
  • 2002: Ice Ages Look Like Super El Niños

    11/05/2018 3:48:29 PM PST · by Openurmind · 32 replies
    Nature.com ^ | Published online 12 July 2002 | Philip Ball
    Climatologists find familiar fluctuations in Pacific's past - test. “During past ice ages the tropical Pacific Ocean behaved rather as it does today in an El Niño event, bringing downpours to some places and drought to others.” Thus began a 2002 article Nature magazine (12 Jul 2002) For example, it could explain the low atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, during the last ice age. It is not clear whether this was a cause or a consequence of the difference in global climate, but such decreases would have lowered global temperatures still further,...
  • SpaceX's 'Starman' and Its Tesla Roadster Are Now Beyond Mars

    11/05/2018 3:35:41 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 28 replies
    Space.com ^ | November 3, 2018 08:00am ET | Mike Wall,
    SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk is a big "Hitchhiker's Guide" fan, as Starman's Roadster shows. The car's entertainment display was programmed to read "Don't Panic!" — the phrase that adorns the cover of the eponymous electronic guidebook in Adams' beloved series. Musk has said that he launched the Roadster and Starman because the duo is a lot more fun than the typical inert-mass dummy payload... Launching a satellite or other valuable spacecraft wasn't an option, given the risks inherent in maiden flights. The Roadster and Starman will come within a few hundred thousand kilometers of our planet in 2091,...
  • We Finally Know How Much the Dino-Killing Asteroid Reshaped Earth

    03/22/2016 10:32:51 AM PDT · by JimSEA · 60 replies
    Smithsonian ^ | 2/25/2016 | Jane Palmer
    More than 65 million years ago, a six-mile wide asteroid smashed into Mexico's Yucatán peninsula, triggering earthquakes, tsunamis and an explosion of debris that blanketed the Earth in layers of dust and sediment. Now analysis of commercial oil drilling data—denied to the academic community until recently—offers the first detailed look at how the Chicxulub impact reshaped the Gulf of Mexico. Figuring out what happened after these types of impacts gives researchers a better idea of how they redistribute geological material around the world. It also gives scientists an idea of what to expect if another such impact were to occur...
  • Quake split a tectonic plate in two, and geologists are shaken

    10/29/2018 3:08:28 PM PDT · by ETL · 21 replies
    National Geographic ^ | Oct 24, 2018 | Robin George Andrews
    An intense temblor in Mexico was just the latest example of an enigmatic type of earthquake with highly destructive potential On September 7, 2017, a magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck southern Mexico, killing dozens and injuring hundreds. While earthquakes are common enough in the region, this powerful event wasn’t any run-of-the-mill tremor. That’s because part of the roughly 37-mile-thick tectonic plate responsible for the quake completely split apart, as revealed by a new study in Nature Geoscience. This event took place in a matter of tens of seconds, and it coincided with a gargantuan release of energy. “If you think of...
  • Here's What'll Happen When Plate Tectonics Grinds to a Halt

    10/29/2018 2:21:32 PM PDT · by ETL · 55 replies
    National Geographic ^ | August 29, 2018 | Robin George Andrews
    A new study says we may only have another 1.45 billion years to enjoy the dynamic action of Earth’s geologic engine There’s no geological artist quite like Earth’s plate tectonics. Thanks to this ongoing operation, we have mountains and oceans, terrifying earthquakes, incandescent volcanic eruptions, and new land being born every single second. But nothing lasts forever. Eventually, the mantle will cool to such an extent that this planetwide conveyor belt will grind to a halt. At that point, you can say farewell to the carbon cycle, as well as the constant reshaping and reshuffling of landmasses that have been...