Humans are looking towards Mars as the next spot to settle down on, but being a barren wasteland with minimal habitable options, the Red Planet is a bit of a fixer-upper.
VIEW GALLERY – 3 IMAGES
A new paper spotted by Universe Today on the pre-print server arXiv looks at how humans can achieve a sustained presence on the Red Planet that would include factors such as travel, research, visiting, tourism, etc. The paper states that for that level of colonization to take place, Mars would need a strong magnetic field capable of deflecting solar wind blasts from the Sun, which are deadly to humans. Earth’s magnetic field comes from its core, but Mars’ core is different from Earth’s and would require either its core to be started up (as its cooler) or an artificial magnetic field to be created around the planet’s surface.
Since the latter of the two options is more feasible, the team of scientists, including NASA’s own chief scientist James Lauer Green, proposes a ring of charged particles to be built around the planet. The study details using Mars’ moon Phobos to create a magnetic field by ionizing particles from the moon’s surface and then accelerating them to create a plasma torus, a doughnut-shaped region around the orbit that is filled with hot ionized gas (a plasma).
Phobos orbits Mars every eight hours, and researchers suspect that the magnetic field created by the plasma torus between a ring around Mars and Phobos would be enough to protect settlers on Mars from life-threatening blasts of radiation from the Sun.
Creating a ring the size the researchers proposed would be an incredible feat, and would involve a ridiculous amount of engineering to get it right, but as the authors of the study point out, this is just an idea and now is the time for ideas as the human race is in preparation mode to take the next dangerous step towards expanding.
Geminid Meteor Shower returns in December – country1053.ca
The best meteor shower of the year are the Geminids and they’ll return this month. They start December 3 and will peak on the evenings of December 13 and 14 at around 2 a.m. ET. What makes this meteor shower interesting is that most come from comets traveling trough the solar system, while this one stems from an asteroid. Hoping for a clear sky both nights and you could see blue and even green colors as the space rocks burn up while passing through Earth‘s atmosphere. More info on the Geminids from NASA. There was already a preview of what you can see on November 3 in Manitoba.
@geminidmeteors strikes over the sky of Victoria, Manitoba, CAN ❣☄#meteror #geminid #december #nightsky #nightphotography #meteorshower #night #canada#geminidmeteorshower #nationalpark pic.twitter.com/NiqTYX5oLo
— Geminid Meteor Shower (@geminidmeteors) November 3, 2021
This 130 million-year-old ichthyosaur was a 'hypercarnivore' with knife-like teeth – Livescience.com
You wouldn’t want to meet an ichthyosaur while taking a dip in the early Cretaceous seas. That goes double for Kyhytysuka sachicarum: This newly identified 130 million-year-old marine reptile, now known from fossils in central Colombia, had larger, more knife-like teeth than other ichthyosaur species, a new study finds — and that is saying something, as ichthyosaurs are famous for their long, toothy snouts.
These big teeth would have enabled K. sachicarum to attack large prey, such as fish and even other marine reptiles.
“Whereas other ichthyosaurs had small, equally sized teeth for feeding on small prey, this new species modified its tooth sizes and spacing to build an arsenal of teeth for dispatching large prey,” paleontologist Hans Larsson of McGill University’s Redpath Museum in Montreal, Canada, said in a statement.
One toothy family
Ichthyosaurs were a large group of marine predators that first evolved during the Triassic period around 250 million years ago from land-dwelling reptiles that returned to the sea. The last species went extinct about 90 million years ago during the late Cretaceous. With long snouts and large eyes, they looked a bit like swordfish. Most species had jaws lined with small, cone-shaped teeth that were good for snagging small prey.
The newly identified species was likely at least twice as long as an adult human, based on the size of the fossils that have been found (most of a skull and a few pieces of spine and ribs). Probable ichthyosaur fossils were first unearthed in Colombia in the 1960s, but researchers couldn’t agree on the species or precisely how ichthyosaurs from the region were related to others from the same time period.
For the new study, Larsson and his colleagues focused on a skull kept in the collections of Colombia’s Museo Geológico Nacional José Royo y Gómez, and also considered another partial skull and bones from the spine and ribcage kept at Colombia’s Centro de Investigaciones Paleontológicas. Larsson and his colleagues announced the discovery and name of the marine reptile Nov. 22 in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology.
“We compared this animal to other Jurassic and Cretaceous ichthyosaurs and were able to define a new type of ichthyosaurs,” Erin Maxwell of the State Natural History Museum of Stuttgart, Germany, said in the statement. “This shakes up the evolutionary tree of ichthyosaurs and lets us test new ideas of how they evolved.”
The researchers named the new ichthyosaur species Kyhytysuka, meaning “the one that cuts with something sharp” in the language of the Indigenous Muisca culture of Colombia.. There are other species of ichthyosaur with big teeth for catching large prey, the researchers wrote in the study, but those species are from the early Jurassic, at least 44 million years earlier than K. sachicarum.
The new species lived at a time when the supercontinent Pangea was breaking up into two landmasses — one southerly and one northerly — and when Earth was warming and sea levels were rising. At the end of the Jurassic, the seas underwent an extinction upheaval, and deep-feeding ichthyosaur species, marine crocodiles and short-necked plesiosaurs died out. These animals were replaced by sea turtles, long-necked plesiosaurs, marine reptiles called mososaurs that looked like a mix between a shark and a crocodile, and this huge new ichthyosaur, said study co author Dirley Cortés of McGill’s Redpath Museum.
“We are discovering many new species in the rocks this new ichthyosaur comes from,” Cortés said in the statement. “We are testing the idea that this region and time in Colombia was an ancient biodiversity hotspot and are using the fossils to better understand the evolution of marine ecosystems during this transitional time.”
Originally published on Live Science
Kyhytysuka: A pure carnivorous `fish lizard` from 130 million years ago discovered – WION
The 130-million-year-old hypercarnivore Kyhytysuka, often known as the “Fish Lizard,” has been unearthed.
A remarkable 130-million-year-old swordfish-shaped marine reptile fossil reveals the emergence of hypercarnivory in these last-surviving ichthyosaurs.
A group of multinational researchers from Canada, Colombia, and Germany have unearthed a new prehistoric marine reptile.
The specimen is a brilliantly preserved meter-long skull from one of the few remaining ichthyosaurs — prehistoric beasts that look alarmingly like live swordfish.
According to researchers, this new species reveals the entire picture of ichthyosaur evolution.
This species, according to experts, originates from a crucial transitional era in the Early Cretaceous.
The Earth had emerged from a comparatively cold phase, sea levels were increasing, and Pangea, the supercontinent, had been split into northern and southern territory.
There were additional worldwide extinction events near the end of the Jurassic, which altered marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
(With inputs from agencies)
Opinion: Ottawa must aim its fiscal powers at lagging business investment in the next phase of recovery – The Globe and Mail
Bitterness replaces business as lockout grinds Major League Baseball to a halt – Toronto Sun
Geminid Meteor Shower returns in December – country1053.ca
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
News19 hours ago
Middle Class are Under Siege in Canada
News19 hours ago
Super Powers Addiction to Opium
Science15 hours ago
Arctic could see more rain than snow in 30 years, study suggests – Eye on the Arctic
Media16 hours ago
Lush Is Selectively Quitting Social Media, Can You?
Health19 hours ago
How HIV research paved the way for the Covid mRNA vaccines – CNBC
Health22 hours ago
COVID-19 vaccine rolls out for children under 12 – Yahoo News Canada
Media20 hours ago
Facebook whistleblower Haugen urges lawmakers to avert impasse on social media laws – NBC News
Media22 hours ago
Which media were included in Trudeau's $10 million top-up fund – CANADALAND