Connect with us

Science

B.C. researchers find evidence of ancient predatory sand worms that were two metres long – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Published

 on


Article content continued

The trace fossils showed feather-like structures around the upper parts of the burrows, which the researchers believe would have been caused by the worms dragging their struggling prey under the ocean floor to eat them.

The lower, horizontal part of the burrow. Photo by Yu-Yen Pan /Simon Frazer University

The study’s lead author, earth sciences student Yu-Yen Pan, said the giant burrows are much larger than other trace fossils of ocean worms found in the past.

“Compared to other trace fossils which are usually only a few tens of centimetres long, this one was huge; two-metres long and two to three centimetres in diameter,” she said in a press release. “The distinctive, feather-like structures around the upper burrow were also unique and no previously studied trace fossil has shown similar features.”

The researchers say that these worms likely would have fed similarly to the bobbit worm, often called the “sand striker.”

Bobbit worms wait in their burrow for unsuspecting prey, then explode upwards, grabbing the prey in their mouths and pulling them back down into the sediment.

Field excursion at Yehliu, Taiwan. Photo by Masakazu Nara /Simon Frazer University

The researchers also found evidence that led them to believe the worms secreted mucus after each feeding that rebuilt and reinforced their burrows, allowing them to lie in wait for their next victim without being seen.

Pan and an international team that studies the ancient sea floor has named the homes of these worms Pennichnus formosae.

According to the study, previous research on Eunicid polychaetes, the family that these ancient worms and bobbit worms belong to, was limited because they only stuck a small portion of their bodies out from the ocean floor.

These trace fossils have allowed researchers to better understand the activity and habits of the ancient species.

Predatory ocean worms have existed for over 400 million years, and while these ancient burrows are long when compared to others that had previously been studied, giant marine worms are not just creatures of the ancient past.

Bobbit worms can grow up to three metres long themselves, and lay in their burrows just beneath the ocean floor today.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

SEE IT: moon-sized fireball shot through sky over Chatham-Kent – Chatham Daily News

Published

 on


Article content

Stargazers were treated to quite the show on Friday night with a giant fireball spotted in Chatham-Kent.

Peter Brown, Western University professor in the astronomy and physics department, posted on Twitter on Saturday morning that the fireball ended at approximately 30 km in height just north of Lake St. Clair near Fair Haven, Mich.

Article content

According to the NASA website, observers in Ontario, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania reported the sighting at 10:07 p.m. EST.

“This event was captured by several all sky meteor cameras belonging to the NASA All Sky Fireball Network and the Southern Ontario Meteor Network operated by Western University,” it stated.

“A first analysis of the video data shows that the meteor appeared 90 km (56 miles) above Erieau on the northern shore of Lake Erie. It moved northwest at a speed of 105,800 kilometres per hour (65,800 miles per hour), crossing the U.S./Canada border before ablating 32 kilometres (20 miles) above Fair Haven, Mich.”

NASA stated the orbit of the object is “low inclination” and has an aphelion — defined as the point in the orbit of an object where it is farthest from the sun — near the orbit of Jupiter, and a perihelion — nearest to the sun — between the orbits of Mercury and Venus.

“It suggests that the meteor was caused by a fragment of a Jupiter family comet, though an asteroidal origin is also possible. At its brightest, the fireball rivalled the quarter moon in intensity. Combining this with the speed gives the fragment a mass of at least two kilograms and a diameter of approximately 12 centimetres (five inches).

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

B.C. company makes 'iconic' video of Mars touchdown possible – CTV News Vancouver

Published

 on


VANCOUVER —
Millions have viewed NASA’s video of Perseverance making its entry into the Martian atmosphere and the rover touching down on the red planet amidst a cloud of dust.

NASA’s said it’s the first time it’s ever been able to record such a landing on Mars.

And it wouldn’t have been possible without a Richmond, B.C., company, which designed those compact cameras.

“It is great to be part of a historic moment and see history in making,” said Sadiq Panjwani with FLIR Systems, Inc.

Panjwani said NASA approached the company more than five years because of their reputation of creating durable and reliable products.

But even though their cameras can withstand some of the toughest conditions on earth, it would be impossible to know if they would survive on another planet.

“We never had an opportunity to test these cameras in scenarios like no gravity and temperature near absolute zero, so we were thrilled to see NASA put them to the test,” Panjwani said.

The mission is to bring back some core samples to help scientists identify signs of ancient life.

Tim Haltigin, a senior mission scientist in planetary exploration at the Canadian Space Agency, is part of the international team that designed how scientists will study the soil samples once they are brought back to earth.

He said the mission of collecting the samples is an important one, but the video of the landing is just as critical.

“To me, this video is as historic as the Apollo landing. To me, this is some of the most iconic video footage that’s ever been filmed in space exploration. To think that it’s Canadian cameras that took the footage is very exciting,” Haltigin said.

Six of FLIR cameras were mounted on the rover but only four of them were used to record the landing.

Panjwani said it is up to NASA to decide what the other two will be used for and when.

Other Canadian companies have also contributed to the mission, including a Vancouver Island business that made the drill for the rover and a Manitoba company that provided cameras to help land the rover safely. 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Calgary-based EVANS ‘proud’ to be part of NASA’s Perseverance rover project – Global News

Published

 on


Calgarians working at a tech company are proud to see their work in action as NASA’s Perseverance rover gathers samples from a planet millions of kilometres away.

EVANS’ chief technology officer Matko Papic said the company, which was founded in Calgary in 1980, has been a global player in aviation, public safety and space operations and has focused on designing and equipping control rooms for decades.

He said the company gets involved with the early planning and detailed designs of the space and then designs the consoles specific to customer requirements, they do all the manufacturing and support their customers globally.

Their latest collaboration was on Perseverance, NASA’s rover that landed on Mars earlier this month.

Read more:
Take a look around Mars with Perseverance rover’s HD photo panorama

Story continues below advertisement

The rover specializes in travelling the planet Mars to look for signs of ancient life and pick up a wide range of core rock and soil samples and store them safely, so they can be returned to earth and studied.

EVANS supplied control room consoles to the company in Texas, and Papic said the employees we thrilled with being a part of the project.

“You know, we as a … Calgary-based company are very fortunate and very proud to … be able to be a part of this program.” Papic said

“It’s both a sense of pride and a little bit of a sense of relief. But I think it’s mainly … pride that’s just, you know, being involved even in such a small piece.”

Papic told Global News that there are lots of future opportunities and EVANS is excited to continue to be a part of projects like this.


Click to play video 'NASA releases 1st video of Perseverance rover landing on Mars'



3:29
NASA releases 1st video of Perseverance rover landing on Mars


NASA releases 1st video of Perseverance rover landing on Mars

He said that navigating a mission from northeast Calgary when all the equipment is in Houston is not an easy task, but it is very doable.

Story continues below advertisement

“I think a big part of that is we’ve been able to develop a very unique and value-added product offering, and I think the fact that we support our customers and every aspect of their operational needs and the fact that we can support our customers globally, Papic said.

“With these specific solutions its really made a difference and its helped evolve EVANS into a global player.”

EVANS involvement in Perseverance was primarily in the control room and all elements were designed and manufactured in Calgary.

“That’s usually where Evans does most of our work is within the control room environment, and it varies by the type of mission. But they’re all control rooms that require continuous monitoring.” Papic said

Papic mentioned that due to high-level requirements, these projects can take quite some time to complete.

“We want to make sure that we’re focusing on capturing all the requirements and making sure that the design is absolutely perfect because the last thing we want is, you know, something that Evans provided to be a hindrance in the overall mission and so we’re very, very diligent to making sure that everything is functioning perfectly before it actually gets commissioned and goes live.” Papic said

The company’s relationship with NASA began decades ago as they began supporting them on some of the space shuttle missions both from a mission and launch control standpoint. EVANS has been involved with some other well-known projects.

Story continues below advertisement

“We’ve done projects for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; we’ve done projects for the Hubble Space Telescope, so different programs within NASA,” Papic said.

“And we’ve been very fortunate as an organization that NASA continued to see us as a partner in helping them develop some of these solutions.”


Click to play video 'Saskatchewan scientist helps lead team in Mars mission'



6:57
Saskatchewan scientist helps lead team in Mars mission


Saskatchewan scientist helps lead team in Mars mission

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending