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Dawn Journal: Staying at Ceres

Planetary Society Weblog | 30 July, 2016
The official end of Dawn's prime mission was June 30, but the valiant adventurer began its "extended mission" of performing more Ceres observations without missing a beat....
Categories: None

Nei, de er ikke geiter

I knew they were not ibex or ibis, so I assumed they were goats, high (at least it felt high) in the Tatra Mountains. Later I was asked if I had seen any chamois. No. But I I had seen... Wait, what does a chamois look like?
Categories: Uncategorized; Tatra Mountains;

What happens to local weather/climate when cities tear out lawns?

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 30 July, 2016
Climatic consequences of adopting drought tolerant vegetation over Los Angeles as a response to California drought, Vahmani and Ban-Weiss, GRL, July 2016 found that when you tear out lawns, it gets warmer during the day but that overnight cooling could more than balance things out:
Categories: water;

Have you been watching Okeanos explorer? If not, this week is your chance!

Deep Sea News | 30 July, 2016
Klaus Burgle, "City under the Sea"
Categories: Abyss; Benthic; Biology; Environmental Sciences; Gadgets & Gear; Hadal & Trench; Organisms; Seamount; Vessels and Equipment; NOAA; Okeanos Explorer; ROV;

Curiosity update: Approaching next drill target

Red Planet Report | 30 July, 2016
Sol 1416-17, July 29, 2016, update from USGS scientist Ken Herkenhoff: MSL drove another 44 meters on Sol 1414, into an area with larger blocks of bedrock.  This looks like a good area to drill into the Murray Formation, so ... Continue reading '...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Chibia; Curiosity; Dondo; Gale Crater; Mars Science Laboratory; Mount Sharp; MSL; Murray Buttes; Murray Formation; NASA; Naukluft Plateau; Stimson Formation;

Life Aboard a Research Cruise: 24-Hour Days, Amazing Discoveries

State of the Planet | 30 July, 2016
When scientists say "research cruise," they aren't talking about sunny afternoons of shuffleboard and margaritas on deck. Life aboard a research vessel means tight spaces, few amenities, and long workdays....
Categories: Earth Sciences; Lamont; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; mapping; ocean mapping; ocean science; seafloor; Technology;

New Ancestor Of Man And Other Rants About Media Reports

I am ashamed to admit this, but these days I just shrug away the various instances of poor science reporting I notice in the Indian media. But enough outrage has been building up over a couple of  particularly bad misrepresentations of scientific findings to prompt this rant.
Categories: history; human evolution; human migrations; media; science communication;

Notes from our Trip to Hades: Heat Wave in California

Geotripper | 30 July, 2016
There isn't a whole lot to say, other than to be aware of possibilities when one schedules trips in the southwest in July or August. We are on our way to Grand Canyon, and our route took us through the Mojave Desert during a particularly hot stretch of weather. I know that car thermometers are not at all the same as official weather stations, but mine has been accurate at lower temperatures. We encountered 100° temperatures before 11 AM in the Central Valley, and as we rolled past the town of Mojave, they reached 114°. Barstow was 116°. But that wasn't the end of it. An hour later we rolled into the village of Baker on the northern edge of the Mojave National Preserve, and we briefly tallied 122°. This was "confirmed" by the world's largest thermometer as we rolled past (I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the famous monument). The road began to climb, and we got to do a small experiment on what is called the environmental temperature lapse rate.
Categories: Baker; Barstow; dry adiabatic lapse rate; environmental temperature lapse rate; Heat wave in California;

Atlantic hurricanes: Is the calm before the storms ending?

ImaGeo | 30 July, 2016
High sea surface temperatures fuel hurricanes -- and right now, the tank is brimming. When will the season really get rolling? There are no Atlantic hurricanes on the eastern horizon just yet, but far across the sea from the United States, some...
Categories: None

In which Sandra Postel has some nice things to say about my book

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 30 July, 2016
I wanna tell you the story of the time I met Sandra Postel in a dry riverbed in the deserts of Mexico.
Categories: Colorado River; water;

The Big Thompson Disaster: Reverberations of a Flash Flood, 40 Years Later

What began as a celebratory Saturday in the mountains ended in tragedy 40 years ago this weekend, when a catastrophic flash flood ripped through the narrow Big Thompson Canyon of Colorado's Front Range. A total of 144 people were killed on that Sat...
Categories: None

Why The Tropical Atlantic is So Quiet

I used our new touch screen to show viewers why the Tropical Atlantic has been so quiet as we approach August. The answer is dust, and I showed some NASA satellite data that rarely gets shown on TV. Anchor Chris Weimer held my iPhone beside the camer...
Categories: Uncategorized; featured; NASA; Sahara dust; SAL; SAL layer; science education; tropics;

Mars gullies not carved by flowing water?

Red Planet Report | 29 July, 2016
New findings using data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show that gullies on modern Mars are likely not being formed by flowing liquid water. This new evidence will allow researchers to further narrow theories about how Martian gullies form...
Categories: Reports; Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars; gullies; liquid water; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; RISM;

2016 SIPN Sea Ice Outlook: July report

Arctic Sea Ice Blog | 29 July, 2016
The second Sea Ice Outlook of this year has been published. The SIO is organized by the Sea Ice Prediction Network (as part of the Arctic research program 'Study of Environmental Arctic Change', or SEARCH), and is a compilation of projections for the September 2015 Arctic sea ice extent, based on NSIDC monthly extent values. These projections are submitted by professionals as well as amateurs (public outlooks).
Categories: Ice extent and area; Minimum; Predictions; SIO; SIPN;

Roving the Abyss: It Takes a Team

State of the Planet | 29 July, 2016
Bridgit's first AUV mission was a rousing success, including locating a patch of seafloor where methane is bubbling up....
Categories: Earth Sciences; Lamont; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; methane; ocean science; seafloor; the future of deep science;

What's up in the solar system, August 2016 edition: Juno to get Jupiter close-ups, Rosetta descending, road-tripping rovers

Planetary Society Weblog | 29 July, 2016
This month we'll finally see JunoCam's first high-resolution images of Jupiter. We'll also see OSIRIS-REx making progress toward its September 8 launch. Both rovers are road-tripping at Mars, while ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has completed a major mid-...
Categories: None

Wenatchee Flash Floods

A look at the Wenatchee geology map shows that a fair bit of Wenatchee is underlain by alluvial fan deposits. I have not done any specific alluvial fan work in Wenatchee, but there is a history of flash floods coming out of the very steep drainages in Chelan County with terrible consequences (Flash flood in South Wenatchee kills 16 people on September 5, 1925). Pictures archived at the Washington State Historical Society show some of the devastation from Squilchuck Creek.
Categories: geology; policy;

Psectrosciara fossilis: A Dung Midge in amber from Chiapas State, Mexico.

Sciency Thoughts | 29 July, 2016
Dung Midges, Scatopsidae, are minute True Flies, Diptera with a global distribution. They are a smal group, with about 259 species divided into four subfamilies, which have a very poor fossil record, but which are thought to be very ancient for biogeographical reasons. The Subfamily Psectrosciarinae, for example, is thought to have originated at latest in the Early Jurassic, but to date has yielded not a single fossil anywhere in the world.
Categories: Amber; Biodiversity; Chiapas State; Diptera; Dung Midges; Entomology; Insects; Mexican Amber; Mexico; Miocene; Oligocene; Palaeobiodiversity; Palaeoentomology; Palaeontology; Scatopsidae; Taxonomy; True Flies;

Curiosity: Balanced Rock & Murray Buttes

Red Planet Report | 29 July, 2016
Sol 1414, July 29, 2016. As Curiosity profiles the nearby mesas among the Murray Buttes, it gets another look at Balanced Rock on the right side of the mesa above. (Balanced Rock was last seen here back on Sol 1387; ... Continue reading '...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Balanced Rock; Curiosity; Gale Crater; Mars Science Laboratory; Mount Sharp; MSL; Murray Buttes; Murray Formation; NASA; Naukluft Plateau; Stimson Formation;

Top Android apps: which apps are rising in the ranks

Olelog | 29 July, 2016
Already tried all the top Android apps out there and want more? Keep one step ahead by knowing the apps that are climbing the charts.
Categories: Uncategorized;

Twin Invests 96L and 97L Worth Watching in the Atlantic

There's a new threat area to discuss today in the Atlantic: a tropical wave midway between the Lesser Antilles Islands and the Cabo Verde Islands that is headed west to west-northwest at 25 mph. This disturbance was designated Invest 97L on Thursday ...
Categories: None

Opportunity: Rocks of Gibraltar II

Red Planet Report | 29 July, 2016
Sol 4446-47, July 27-28, 2016. The rover's Pancam is shooting a multi-color composite of an area on the north wall of Marathon Valley dubbed Gibraltar II. Below: the floor of Endeavour Crater, looking southeast about 10 in the morning; also ... Con...
Categories: Reports; Cape Tribulation; Endeavour Crater; ER; Gibraltar II; Marathon Valley; Mars Exploration Rover; NASA; Opportunity;

"No one actually studies sand" - misconceptions and science literacy

Through The Sandglass | 29 July, 2016
  For one reason or another (likely to be discussed in a future post), I have been working on an essay that attempts to address cross-cultural aspects of viewing and valuing the land and reviews the potential implications for learning geoscience th...
Categories: Earth; Environment; Sand and us; Science;

New Mexico’s long history of not building dams on the Gila

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 29 July, 2016
Laura Paskus writes: Almost 50 years ago, on June 14, 1967, four couples fired off a telegram from Las Cruces to Sen. Henry Jackson, a Democrat from Washington. Called "Scoop" by his pals, Jackson chaired the Senate committee looking at a bill to...
Categories: Colorado River; New Mexico; water;

Maps, Mary Anning, Meteorites and the Missing Link

Museum Lates have become a familiar feature in London - everyone from the Science Museum to the Tate Modern are opening up for evening visitors. Two weeks ago, we participated in our first Courtyard Lates event - the second of a three part serie...
Categories: Events; History; outreach; maps; history; activities; geology; geoscientist; palaeontology; Piltdown; William Smith; Mary Anning; meteorite; Courtyard Lates;

Latest: A week in the life of a scientist – Anne’s first week of summer

Latest: Unifying Theory of Geology Class

Latest: A sedimentologist’s guide to volcanic particle grain size (and foetal development)

Latest: Stirring tales from the deep past.



- The new timelapse timesink

- Are geologists mostly lefties?

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