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World's oldest known fossil forest found in quarry in upper New York state – CNN International



The fossilized roots– footprints of an ancient landscape– belonged to trees with wood and leaves, similar to what we see today, the study says.
This find was made in Cairo, about 40 miles south of Albany. Previously, scientists thought a fossilized forest in Gilboa, New York, was the earliest, but the one in Cairo is two or three million years older and dramatically different.
Scinetists stand on the edge of an Archaeopteris tree root system. They put the bucket where they think the tree's trunk was located.
A person from the New York State Museum was the first to spot the large, root-like structures in the bottom of the quarry.
Christopher Berry, study co-author and a paleobotanist at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, told CNN he was a bit skeptical the first time he visited the site. He thought a modern tree might have grown into the rock and been removed.
Upon closer inspection of the soil profile, researchers quickly confirmed they were looking at the footprint of something much, much older.
“The scale of the root systems were really striking,” said William Stein, lead author and emeritus professor of biological sciences at Binghamton University, located about two hours west of Cairo.
The team carefully swept away layer upon layer of dirt, meticulously mapping the extraordinary find.
Eospermatopteris root system in overwash sediment.  Eospermatopteris root system in overwash sediment.
The team hypothesizes a catastrophic flood killed most of the trees in the forest and preserved the root system as fossils. They even found fish fossils near the largest trees.

What an ancient forest teaches us

Local officials placed rocks to try to protect the fossils from fourwheelers.Local officials placed rocks to try to protect the fossils from fourwheelers.
The discovery provides a snapshot of one of the planet’s great transitional periods, between an earth with no forests and an earth that’s covered in forests, Berry said.
For context, the Cairo forest is about 140 million years older than the first dinosaurs that roamed the earth. The oldest known insect lived around 400 million years ago, and a few million years after that, the first four-legged animals conquered the land.
During the middle of the Devonian period (about 419 to 359 million years ago), Berry told CNN, the Cairo forest was actually located about 30 degrees south of the equator, in between a temperate and arid climate.
Researchers carefully clean and map the surface of the ancient forest discovered in Cairo, New York.Researchers carefully clean and map the surface of the ancient forest discovered in Cairo, New York.
Ultimately, they identified three types of trees, two of which were unique to the site, pointing to an ecology distinct from the nearby Gilboa site.
“With the advent of forests, we see a major shift in the kind of ecology that the earth has… both in the terrestrial and the marine realm,” Stein told CNN.
During the Devonian, scientists say a drastic drop in CO2 levels led to a cooling of the earth, which may have caused an extinction at the end of the period.
Overview of well-preserved Archaeopteris root system, left, and possible Stigmarian Isoetalean lycopsid.Overview of well-preserved Archaeopteris root system, left, and possible Stigmarian Isoetalean lycopsid.
“That’s sort of the opposite of what we’re experiencing today, with the possibility of an extinction as well,” Stein said. So in that sense, history matters. If we look at the origin of these forests and their effects, and particularly the plants themselves and what they’re doing, we may have an insight into processes that are going on today.”

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When the pee hit the fan: What SpaceX passengers didn't mention about their flight – National Post



Repeat incidents of loose toilet tubing leads engineers to check that capsules’ internal structure integrity is still intact

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is rolled out to the launch pad for the next trip to the ISS. NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer are scheduled to launch on Oct. 31. Photo by Joel KOWSKY / NASA / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO / NASA/Joel Kowsky” – NO MARKETING – NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS (Photo by JOEL KOWSKY/NASA/AFP via Getty Images

SpaceX is under two tight and important deadlines this week: Not only is it preparing the launch of another of its Dragon capsules on Sunday to take four astronauts to the International Space Station, it is also fixing the embarrassing problem of a loose hose on a toilet, which has a tendency to spring liquid leaks into the interior.

In mid-September, when five private guests were in the air on the first-ever passenger flight, glue on a toilet tube came unsealed, spilling urine onto a fan and leaking under the floor. The incident also happened on another capsule, which has been docked at the International Space Station since April.

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The design flaw has apparently been fixed in the new Endurance capsule by welding the urine-flushing tube to its attachment point. Study continues on the other capsules to test the integrity of the tube and to ensure the spill didn’t weaken the docked capsule in any way, said William Gerstenmaier, a SpaceX vice-president who used to work for NASA. Crew rotation will see astronauts come back to Earth in November.

In the Dragon capsule docked at the space station, less urine had leaked under the floor panels than in the one that carried a billionaire and three others on a three-day flight, Gerstenmaier told the Associated Press . That may simply be due to the NASA-led crew only being in the capsule a day before docking at the space station. The capsule repairs will be completed later this week.

The Oct. 31 launch will be SpaceX’s fourth of NASA astronauts, its fifth passenger flight and its 28th visit to the ISS. After NASA retired its shuttle fleet in 2011, it contracted SpaceX and Boeing to take crews to and from the space station. NASA astronauts piggybacked on Russian flights until SpaceX took over last year.

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Boeing has yet to launch anyone. A repeat test flight of its Starliner capsule, without a crew, has been postponed until next year over valve trouble.

Once he launches atop SpaceX’s Falcon rocket, NASA says German astronaut Matthias Maurer will become the 600th person in space and U.S. crewmate Kayla Barron will be the 601st.

But, he said, “she and I will be together like No. 600. I was the lucky one that got the round number, but we will all have fun in space.”

Spacecraft commander and NASA astronaut Raja Chari said Tuesday that he has “complete confidence” in the repairs.

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NASA's Perseverance rover beamed back striking images of Mars after 2 weeks cut off from Earth – Yahoo Movies Canada



NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover captured a picture of the landscape on Oct 21. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

  • NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover sent back new pictures after being offline for two weeks.

  • The rover was out of touch while Mars the other side of the sun, a period called “solar conjunction.”

  • During that time, messages from Earth can be garbled as they pass the sun’s charged particles.

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover sent back its first pictures after spending two weeks out of reach from Earth.

NASA scientists limited their communication with the rover during the “solar conjunction” between September 28 and October 17, when Mars and Earth are opposite sides of the sun.

An animation shows the principle of solar conjunction between Mars and the Earth.An animation shows the principle of solar conjunction between Mars and the Earth.

Solar conjunction Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

The rover was parked between a dune and a rocky outcrop, waiting to come back online, according to its Twitter feed. It used the downtime to monitor the weather and see how Martian dust moves in the wind.

During solar conjunction, which happens once every two years, Earth-bound scientists were asked not to try to communicate with the rover, with a strict moratorium on communications between October 2 and 16.

They worried that signals could be garbled as they pass the sun and interact with its charged particles, per NASA.

If data sent by the rover is lost along the way, that’s not such a big deal, according to NASA.

But the risk is that the other way around, commands sent from Earth are jumbled when they arrive on Mars, which could be misunderstood and cause the rover to damage itself, as shown in the clip below from a NASA video:

An animation illustrates how signal can be partially changed as it transits close to the Sun between Mars and EarthAn animation illustrates how signal can be partially changed as it transits close to the Sun between Mars and Earth

An animation shows the principle of loss a signal during the solar conjunction. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

During the solar conjunction the rover is put on autopilot. Some scientists took the chance to take some vacation, NASA said.

The rover was “back to work” on October 25, according to its Twitter feed. Below are a few pictures sent back since the end of the solar conjunction.

A picture of a boulder sent back by PerseverenceA picture of a boulder sent back by Perseverence

A picture sent by Perseverance on October 23, 2021. ASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

A picture taken by Perseverance on Mars shows its shadow and a landscape.A picture taken by Perseverance on Mars shows its shadow and a landscape.

A picture taken by Perseverance on October 22, 2021 NASA/JPL-Caltech

The rover has been on Mars since February. It is exploring the Jezero crater on Mars in the hopes of finding traces of life, Insider’s Morgan McFall-Johnsen previously reported.

Before going offline, the rover gathered two major successes for the mission.

After one failed attempt, a sample of Martian rock was successfully retrieved by the rover.

Images from the rover also revealed that an ancient river was sometimes overcome by flash floods that dragged heavy boulders at speeds as high as 20 mph.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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Earth's Inner Core Is Home To A 'New Hidden World,' Finds Study – India Times



Earth’s solid inner core may be home to a “hidden new world”, scientists have claimed. Within the scientific community, there is consensus about Earth’s inner core being a solid compressed ball of iron alloy, which is surrounded by the Earth’s outer core. A new study may change that understanding of the Earth’s insides.

Published on September 20, the new research suggests that Earth’s inner core may not be as solid as previously thought, and that it has certain semisoft characteristics where liquid metal is stored.


Earth’s core isn’t easy to study

The major problem with studying the Earth’s core is that it still remains inaccessible. In fact, for humans to ever get raw access to the Earth’s core, the planet must undergo some sort of disaster than rips it open.

With so much heat and pressure at the centre of Earth, it’s not ideal for humans to travel into or to even send remote probes.


Also read: Scientists Recreated The Death Of A Star Inside A Lab, First Time Ever On Earth

Most of what we know about the Earth’s centre is based on readings taken from the crust (the surface). Vibrations from seismic waves caused by earthquakes or movement of tectonic plates are scientists’ only window into the Earth’s centre.

Why Earth’s inner core may be semisolid

The new liquid characters of Earth’s inner core were discovered by Rhett Butler from the Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology. While trying to understand how seismic waves travel through different layers of Earth, Butler found that instead of going in a straight direction (as a solid metal ball would facilitate), the waves kept getting deflected in certain areas.

Also read: Earth’s Axis Tilted Dangerously 84 Million Years Ago, May Happen Again Says Study

World Atlas

Based on this, Butler ascertained that the Earth’s core isn’t as solid as previously assumed and that it has certain areas where liquids may be found. By comparing their readings, scientists involved in the study found that the Earth’s core has certain pockets of “mushy” liquid and semi-solid iron near the surface.

In conversation with Live Science, a seismologist from the University of Bristol, Jessica Irving said that this means we’re now “finding a whole new hidden world.” Irving did not contribute to the study.  

What are your thoughts on this startling new claim about Earth’s inner core? Share with us in the comments below.

For more in the world of science and technology, keep reading


Antipodal seismic reflections upon shear wave velocity structures within Earth’s inner core. (2021, December 1). ScienceDirect. 

Thompson, J. (2021, October 27). “New hidden world” discovered in Earth’s inner core. Livescience.Com. 

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