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New interactive map shows where your home was on Earth 500 million years ago – Yahoo Canada Sports

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London as it was in the Middle Triassic 220 million years ago (Ancient Earth)

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London as it was in the Middle Triassic 220 million years ago. (Ancient Earth)
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Over the course of Earth’s four billion-year history, things have moved around rather a lot – including the continents of today.” data-reactid=”32″>Over the course of Earth’s four billion-year history, things have moved around rather a lot – including the continents of today.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="An online interactive map shows exactly where your hometown has wandered over the course of hundreds of millions of years of continental drift.” data-reactid=”33″>An online interactive map shows exactly where your hometown has wandered over the course of hundreds of millions of years of continental drift.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Created by California palaeontologist Ian Webster in a web application, the map is based on geological models created by Christopher Stoese, CNN reported.” data-reactid=”34″>Created by California palaeontologist Ian Webster in a web application, the map is based on geological models created by Christopher Stoese, CNN reported.

It allows users to “travel back in time” by pre-set increments, such as to when the first vertebrates appeared, or the first green algae.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="You can try the map yourself at Ancient Earth.” data-reactid=”36″>You can try the map yourself at Ancient Earth.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more: Has dinosaur DNA been found?&nbsp;” data-reactid=”37″>Read more: Has dinosaur DNA been found? 

Users can rotate the globe to see the shape of all the continents, and get brief guides to what creatures were alive on Earth at that time (if any).

For instance, for the Middle Triassic, 220 million years ago, it says: “The Earth is recovering from the Permian-Triassic extinction. Small dinosaurs begin to appear. Therapsids and archosaurs emerge, along with the first flying vertebrates.”

London, for instance, has sat on unrecognisable continents and huge land masses, before splitting off into the island we recognise today.

It’s part of a natural cycle, scientists say, where the tectonic plates come together into a supercontinent that then breaks up again.

London when the first shells emerged 540 million years ago (Ancient Earth) London when the first shells emerged 540 million years ago (Ancient Earth)

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London when the first shells emerged 540 million years ago. (Ancient Earth)

The last time it happened, a supercontinent known as Pangaea formed about 310 million years ago, before breaking up about 180 million years ago.

In an interview this week, Webster told CNN: “It shows that our environment is dynamic and can change.

“The history of Earth is longer than we can conceive, and the current arrangement of plate tectonics and continents is an accident of time. It will be very different in the future, and Earth may outlast us all.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more: Dinosaur remains at Jurassic site ‘could help plan for climate change’” data-reactid=”65″>Read more: Dinosaur remains at Jurassic site ‘could help plan for climate change’

“My software ‘geocodes’ the user’s location and then uses (Scotese’s) models to run their location backwards in time.

“I built the interactive globe visualisation and the geocoding and GPates integration myself so that people could plug in their own locations.”

In about 250 million years time, another supercontinent will form, scientists believe.

The future continent could take several shapes: Novopangea, Pangaea Ultima, Aurica and Amasia.

In one scenario, America and Antarctica could collide, forming together into one ‘supercontinent’ along with the other continents of our planet.

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NASA Says Bus-Size Asteroid Narrowly Missed Earth Thursday – Voice of America

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Scientists at the U.S. space agency NASA say a small asteroid – roughly the size of a bus – passed close to Earth on Thursday, flying just 22,000 kilometers above the surface, within the orbit of geostationary satellites that ring the planet. 

While the proximity to Earth might raise alarm, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California said even if the asteroid had entered the earth’s atmosphere, it almost certainly would have broken up and become a bright meteor.

The asteroid, known as 2020 SW, is about five to ten meters wide and was first discovered on September 18 by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona. 

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NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) — part of the JPL — then did follow-up observations and confirmed its orbital trajectory, ruling out any chance of impact.

CNEOS director Paul Chodas says an object this size, this close to earth, is not uncommon. He says, “In fact, asteroids of this size impact our atmosphere at an average rate of about once every year or two.”

After passing the Earth, the asteroid will continue its journey around the Sun, not returning to Earth’s vicinity until 2041, when NASA says it will make a much more distant flyby.

The space agency says they believe there are over 100 million small asteroids like 2020 SW, but they are hard to discover unless they get very close to Earth.

In 2005, Congress assigned NASA the goal of finding 90 percent of the near-Earth asteroids that are about 140 meters or larger in size. These larger asteroids pose a much greater threat if they were to impact, and they can be detected much farther away from Earth, because they’re simply much brighter than the small ones. 

Chodas says NASA’s asteroid surveys are getting better all the time, and the agency now expects to find asteroids the size of 2020 SW a few days before they come near Earth.

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Bus-sized asteroid to pass close to the earth: NASA – Asia Times

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As interstellar traffic goes, this is a close one.

According to a report in The Independent, an asteroid the size of a mini-bus is set to fly past Earth in the coming hours.

The object, known as 2020 SW, will fly just 13,000 miles above the Earth’s surface on 24 September, NASA has said.

That is closer than the artificial objects that are in orbit around our planet, and power GPS, televisions and more — a close call, indeed.

The object was only discovered on the 18th of September by a NASA-funded project in Arizona, and further observations were able to track its trajectory and rule out any chance that it might collide with Earth, the report said.

After making its pass, it will then fly off to continue its trip around the solar system. It will not come back anywhere near Earth until 2041, when it will be at an even further distance.

The asteroid is thought to be about five to ten meters wide, roughly the size of a “small school bus,” the space agency said. The size is estimated from the brightness of the object, NASA said.

It is not expected to hit Earth — and if you’re reading this, it probably missed us.

This illustration shows a near-Earth asteroid like asteroid 2020 SW traveling through space. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

However, if it were to hit, it would explode into a fireball as it made its way through the atmosphere, becoming a bright meteor of the kind that is sometimes visible from Earth’s surface, the report said.

Despite repeated suggests that the world is under threat from such asteroids, their visits are fairly common and never pose any great risk to people on Earth.

“There are a large number of tiny asteroids like this one, and several of them approach our planet as close as this several times every year,” said Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

“In fact, asteroids of this size impact our atmosphere at an average rate of about once every year or two.”

Experts have repeatedly suggested that asteroids more generally could pose more of a threat, and space agencies including NASA conduct “planetary defence” work intended to improve the chances of spotting an asteroid and dealing with any that might possible lead to any danger, the report said.

NASA has been tasked with finding 90% of the near-Earth asteroids that are 140 meters or bigger.

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Such asteroids are far more dangerous than those akin to 2020 SW, since their larger size means they are able to make it through the atmosphere and potentially cause problems when they crash into Earth.

Their larger size also makes them easier to spot, however. There are many more smaller ones of sizes similar to 2020 SW, but their smaller size and lower brightness makes them difficult to see until they get close by.

“The detection capabilities of NASA’s asteroid surveys are continually improving, and we should now expect to find asteroids of this size a couple days before they come near our planet,” said Chodas.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world’s first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now. 

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Teenage British activist stages climate protest on Arctic ice floe – SaltWire Network

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By Natalie Thomas

ABOARD ‘ARCTIC SUNRISE’ (Reuters) – Like many of her generation, Mya-Rose Craig feels strongly that adults have failed to take the urgent action needed to tackle global warming and so she has headed to the Arctic Ocean to protest.

Armed with a placard reading ‘Youth Strike for Climate”, the 18-year-old British activist is staging the most northerly protest in a series of youth strikes worldwide.

The strikes, made famous by Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg, are resuming after a lull caused by the global coronavirus pandemic to draw public attention back to the threat posed by climate change.

“I’m here to… try and make a statement about how temporary this amazing landscape is and how our leaders have to make a decision now in order to save it,” she told Reuters Television as she stood with her placard on the edge of the Arctic sea ice.

“I absolutely think that my generation has always had to think about climate change… which is why as we’ve got older there’s been this massive wave of just this need for change, this demand for change when we realised the grown-ups aren’t going to solve this so we have to do it ourselves.”

Craig, from southwest England, is known as “Birdgirl” online, where her blog chronicling her bird-watching experiences has attracted thousands of followers.

She has travelled hundreds of miles above the Arctic Circle aboard a Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise.

Climate data shows the Arctic is one of the fastest changing ecosystems on the planet, with serious consequences for wildlife from polar bears and seals to plankton and algae, while the melting sea ice contributes to rising sea levels worldwide.

Warming in the Arctic shrank the ice covering the polar ocean this year to its second-lowest extent in four decades, scientists said on Monday.

For Craig, getting to the ice floe involved a two-week quarantine in Germany, followed by a three-week voyage to the edge of the sea ice.

Craig said those who dismiss the youth protests as just a rebellious phase by her generation are wrong, and she wants those in power to stop treating climate change as a low-priority issue, raised only to appease “the lefties in the corner”.

“It’s everything now and it has to be treated like that,” she said.  

(Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Gareth Jones; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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