<span class=”glossaryLink” aria-describedby=”tt” data-cmtooltip=”
” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”]”>Venus may have been transformed from a temperate and wet world to the acidic hothouse it is today with help from vast volcanic activity lasting hundreds to thousands of centuries and erupting massive amounts of material. This is according to a scientific paper authored by <span class=”glossaryLink” aria-describedby=”tt” data-cmtooltip=”
” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”]”>NASA researchers, which was published earlier this year in The Planetary Science Journal.
These “large igneous provinces” in Earth’s history, which caused several mass extinctions on our own planet millions of years ago, are also discussed in the paper.
“By understanding the record of large igneous provinces on Earth and Venus, we can determine if these events may have caused Venus’ present condition,” said Dr. Michael J. Way, of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. Way is lead author on the Planetary Science Journal paper.
Large igneous provinces are the results of long periods of large-scale volcanism lasting tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of years. They can deposit more than 100,000 cubic miles of volcanic rock onto the surface. At the upper end, this would be enough to bury the entire state of Texas in molten rock half a mile deep.
Today, Venus boasts surface temperatures of around 864 °F (462 °C) on average, and an atmosphere 90 times the surface pressure of Earth’s. According to the study, these massive volcanic outpourings may have initiated these conditions sometime in Venus’ ancient history. In particular, the occurrence of several such eruptions in a short span of geologic time (within a million years) could have led to a runaway greenhouse effect which kicked off the planet’s transition from wet and temperate to hot and dry.
In total, 80% of Venus’ surface is coved by large fields of solidified volcanic rock, Way said. “While we’re not yet sure how often the events which created these fields occurred, we should be able to narrow it down by studying Earth’s own history.”
Since the origin of multicellular life about 540 million years ago, life on Earth has endured at least five major mass extinction events. Each of these wiped out more than 50% of animal life across the planet. According to this study and others before it, the majority of these extinction events were caused or exacerbated by the kinds of eruptions that produce large igneous provinces. In Earth’s case, the climate disruptions from these events were not sufficient to cause a runaway greenhouse effect as they were on Venus, for reasons that Way and other scientists are still working to determine.
NASA’s next missions to Venus, scheduled for launch in the late 2020s – the Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI) mission and the Venus Emissivity, Radio science, InSAR, Topography, And Spectroscopy (VERITAS) mission – aim to study the origin, history, and present state of Venus in unprecedented detail.
“A primary goal of DAVINCI is to narrow down the history of water on Venus and when it may have disappeared, providing more insight into how Venus’ climate has changed over time,” Way said.
The DAVINCI mission will precede VERITAS, an orbiter designed to investigate the surface and interior of Venus from high above, to better understand its volcanic and volatile history and thus Venus’ path to its current state. The data from both missions could help scientists to narrow down the exact record of how Venus may have transitioned from wet and temperate to dry and sweltering. It may also help us to better understand how volcanism here on Earth has affected life in the past, and how it may continue to do so in the future.
Reference: “Large-scale Volcanism and the Heat Death of Terrestrial Worlds” by M. J. Way, Richard E. Erns and Jeffrey D. Scargle, 26 April 2022, The Planetary Science Journal.
This study was supported by Goddard Space Flight Center’s Sellers Exoplanet Environments Collaboration (SEEC) and was part of NASA’s Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) RCN.
See the Far Side of the Moon: Incredibly Detailed Pictures From Artemis I Orion Close Lunar Flyby – SciTechDaily
The Earth is seen setting from the far side of the Moon just beyond the Orion spacecraft in this video taken on the sixth day of the Artemis I mission by a camera on the tip of one of Orion’s solar arrays. The spacecraft was preparing for the Outbound Powered Flyby maneuver which would bring it within 80 miles of the lunar surface, the closest approach of the uncrewed Artemis I mission, before moving into a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon. The spacecraft entered the lunar sphere of influence on Sunday, November 20, making the Moon, instead of Earth, the main gravitational force acting on the spacecraft. Credit: <span class="glossaryLink" aria-describedby="tt" data-cmtooltip="
” data-gt-translate-attributes=”["attribute":"data-cmtooltip", "format":"html"]”>NASA
On the sixth day of the Artemis I mission, Orion made a close flyby of the Moon, passing about 81 miles (130 km) above the surface. During the close flyby, Orion’s optical navigation camera captured black-and-white images of craters on the Moon below. Orion uses the optical navigation camera to capture imagery of the Earth and the Moon at different phases and distances, providing an enhanced body of data to certify its effectiveness under different lighting conditions as a way to help orient the spacecraft on future missions with crew.
The Earth and Moon are tidally locked, which means that the Moon spins on its axis exactly once each time it orbits our planet. Because of this, people on Earth only ever see one side of the Moon. In fact, humans didn’t see the lunar far side until a Soviet spacecraft flew past in 1959. This side we never see is known as the “far side of the Moon.” Sometimes it is called the “dark side of the Moon,” which some people consider a misnomer because it gets just as much sunlight as the near side of the Moon. However, “dark” in this case is referring to unknown, rather than a lack of light.
Here are the detailed images of the Moon captured by Orion’s optical navigation camera:
NASA’s live coverage of the Artemis I Close Flyby of the Moon.
Mission Accomplished: UVic Satellite Reaches International Space Station – Abbotsford News
While the International Space Station was travelling over the Pacific Ocean early Sunday (Nov. 27) morning, a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft carrying a miniature satellite built by University of Victoria students autonomously docked to the space-facing port of the station’s Harmony module.
UVic’s optical reference calibration satellite, known as ORCASat, embarked on its journey into space at 11:20 a.m. on Saturday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Witnessing the launch was a major relief for ORCASat project manager Alex Doknjas, who nervously watched from his family’s living room in Campbell River on Saturday morning.
“It was pretty awesome,” Doknjas, a recent graduate of UVic’s engineering program, told Black Press Media. The initial launch scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 22 was scrapped due to poor weather.
UVic’s ORCASat won a national competition funded by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the Canadian CubeSat Project, which saw 15 teams of students from each province and territory design and build their own CubeSat with the guidance of CSA experts and representatives from the Canadian space industry.
As a result, UVic’s satellite was one of two post-secondary projects from Canada chosen to be part of Saturday’s launch, alongside a satellite built by students at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S.
“It’s pretty remarkable, especially because UVic isn’t a huge school,” Doknjas said. “I think that’s pretty impressive.”
More than 100 full-time researchers, co-op and volunteer students from UVic Satellite Design, UBC Orbit and Simon Fraser University Satellite Design have all contributed to the project which began in 2018.
ORCASat is comparable to the size of a two litre carton of milk or tissue box, and only weighs about two-and-a-half kilograms. Once sent out into earth’s orbit the satellite will act as an artificial star, serving as a reference light source in orbit that can be viewed by telescopes back down on earth, said Doknjas.
“What we’re trying to do is demonstrate this concept of calibrating telescopes,” he said. “If you’re a telescope on the ground observing a star, you’re observing the light that the star emits and that light travels through earth’s atmosphere. The atmosphere is constantly changing and as light passes through it, the light gets scattered, and that effect of how light reacts in the atmosphere is not well understood.”
The difference between ORCASat and an actual star, however, is that scientists on earth can communicate with ORCASat, allowing them to know exactly how bright the satellite is, in addition to how bright it appears through a telescope.
“Now you have two separate measurements. You know exactly how bright it actually is, and you know bright it appeared to you. From those two measurements you can calculate the difference, which is how much of that light is lost in the atmosphere,” explained Doknjas.
Doknjas said that although the concept isn’t new, it’s the first time that a light source capable of performing an experiment like this has been carried on a satellite into space. He added that the technology could be used in the future for earth observation, or even methane detection for climate change.
ORCASat will remain at the International Space Station before being released into earth’s orbit to collect data for approximately one year, but that depends on factors like sun flares and solar radiation that impact the life of the satellite.
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Crack or Survive? YouTuber Mark Rober Just Dropped an Egg from Space for Humanity – News18
YouTuber Mark Rober Dropped Egg from Space. (Image: Youtube/@MarkRober)
YouTuber Mark Rober, best known for his gadgets and fun science videos has now dropped a couple of eggs from space.
Popular YouTuber Mark Rober, best known for his gadgets and fun science videos has done another experiment. In his recent YouTube video, he dropped a couple of eggs from space that fell in the Victor Valley. This was done earlier this year, however, the “Egg Drop From Space” video was uploaded to YouTube on Black Friday. In the video, the team could be seen driving on Bear Valley Road toward Deadman’s Point in Apple Valley. A shot from the weather balloon in space showed the Victor Valley, including landmarks such as Spring Valley Lake and the Mojave River.
The video, since uploaded, has garnered 9.9 million views. The team included rocket and propulsion specialist Joe Barnard, of BPS Systems. He majorly helped with the rocket’s guidance system and design. Have a look:
His original plan was to fix an egg on a rocket that would be lifted by a giant weather balloon.
Meanwhile, earlier, the YouTuber talked about his son. He revealed that his son has special needs. This was the first time Mark talked about his son’s condition and explained how children with autism view the world differently. In the video, which is around 10 minutes, Mark shared some intimate moments that showed him and his son engaged in heartwarming conversations. Mark explained that he felt protective about his son, which is why he never shared anything about him.
He had launched a fundraiser in collaboration with Next for Autism organisation where several celebrities will join him to raise funds for autistic adults. Mark explained that there are several organisations that help kids with autism but as they grow up and step into the real world not much support is extended to them. Autistic adults also need special support to get them through education and jobs, and hence with this upcoming fundraiser Mark and several celebrities hope to generate that awareness and money.
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