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The Science of “Bennu’s Journey”

Planetary Society Weblog | 25 November, 2014
The OSIRIS-REx project released Bennu's Journey, a movie describing one possible history of our target asteroid - Bennu. The animation is among the most highly detailed productions created by Goddard's Conceptual Image Laboratory....
Categories: None

M3.5 quake near Sedona is felt locally; preceded by foreshocks

Arizona Geology | 25 November, 2014
Residents in the Sedona-Flagstaff area report feeling a magnitude 3.5 earthquake that hit about 6 miles north-northeast of Sedona at 2:19 a.m. local time this morning.  [Right, orange star marks epicenter.  Credit, USGS]
Categories: None

Fog Returns to the Great Valley! I hate it, but it's a good thing (tentatively)

Geotripper | 25 November, 2014
Buffalo has apocalyptic lake-effect snow, Minnesota has blizzards, Phoenix has horrific dust storms, Kansas has tornadoes, New Orleans has hurricanes. In the big picture, those of us who live in the Great Valley of California don't have much in the way of weather issues. I have yet this year to put on a jacket in the morning, and I only stopped wearing shorts a few weeks ago because I wore a hole in the pocket. It gets hot in the summer, but only occasionally drops below freezing. We've had two "snowstorms" in 25 years. No wonder so many arctic birds like to winter here.
Categories: Global warming; Great Valley; radiation fog; San Joaquin Valley; Tule Fog;

Is Jurassic World Violating CITES Protections?

Deep Sea News | 25 November, 2014
Have you seen the new Jurassic World trailer?  As if I even have to ask...  Of course you have.  And of course you are amazed by the scene featuring what appears to be either a short-necked species of pliosaur (maybe a Kronosaurus?) or a super-siz...
Categories: Biology; Conservation & Environment; Ecology; Fishing; Organisms; Paleobiology; Pictures and Movies; Sharks; Weird; Dinosaurs; Jurassic World; Silliness;

Geology Through Literature - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

The Geology P.A.G.E | 25 November, 2014
The next story up in the Geology Though Literature thread is A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain.This story is essentially a time travel story so there are several aspects of "historical geology" in play for the book. The fir...
Categories: Geology Through Literature; Twain;

Geo 730: November 25, Day 694: Alluvial Fan

Outside the Interzone | 25 November, 2014
There's a tendency to think of alluvial fans as an arid landscape landform, and they often are. But they can occur anywhere debris flows are a major component of sediment transport. (I almost called the phenomenon "erosion," which technically, debris flows aren't.) And volcanoes generally are highly vulnerable to debris flows; in that setting, they're called "lahars." Volcanoes are steep, catch a lot of precipitation as a result of orographic lift, and often have large amounts of unconsolidated to poorly consolidated rock. It's clearly a setting where saturated ground can fail, leading to a torrent of mud to boulder-sized sediment along with trees, houses, cars, and any furry creatures unfortunate enough to be in the way. I suspect most of what we're seeing in this mini-fan is the result of single rocks and boulders falling down the stream bed- not one or more lahars. As we'll see soon though, this whole area is composed of lahar deposits, young and old.
Categories: Earth; Geo 730; Geology; Oregon;

P.K. (Rana) Medhi

Arizona Geology | 25 November, 2014
The Arizona Geological Society reports that "Long-time AGS member P. K. (Rana) Medhi [photo credit, AGS] passed away Nov. 7, 2014 at his home in Casa Grande. Medhi, former chairman of the Board of Governors of the Arizona Dept. of Mines and Mineral Resources, former adjunct professor of geology at Central Arizona College, and former Governor of the Mining Foundation of the Southwest retired in 1994 after 28 years at Cyprus Amax Minerals Company. He had a M.S. degree from the University of Arizona and was a certified professional geologist and an Arizona - registered geologist; he worked as an independent mining and exploration geologist after his retirement."
Categories: None

ChemCam: Thanksgiving on Mars

Red Planet Report | 25 November, 2014
We just received our first data from ChemCam after a two-week break in the action for our instrument. Two weeks ago on Friday, data we received from the rover earlier in the week showed that the optical power on our ... Continue reading '...
Categories: Reports; Book Cliffs; ChemCam; Chemistry and Camera; Curiosity; Gale Crater; Mars Science Laboratory; MSL; Pahrump Hills;

Not quite News yet – Part IV

oncirculation | 25 November, 2014
In this series we present fictive "News Articles" which some of us wrote when participating in a Science Communication Workshop at ANU. If you want to know more about the Why and How, please see this post here.
Categories: Latest research; Anse Sainte Marguerite; ANU Science Communication Workshop; Caribbean; Hannah; isotopic signatures; slaves; teeth; Trans-Atlantic slave trade;

Opportunity: Microscopic Imager zooms in

Red Planet Report | 25 November, 2014
Sol 3850, November 22, 2014. The rover's Microscopic Imager surveys a shiny piece of an outcrop in this 2 x 2 array of separate images. Below, what the Hazcam recorded shortly after.           Opportunity raw images, ... Continue reading '...
Categories: Reports; Cape Tribulation; Endeavour Crater; Mars Exploration Rover; MER; NASA; Opportunity;

Lesser Known Yellowstone –Shoshone Geyser Basin

Watch for Rocks | 25 November, 2014
How many footsteps are in a mile? If I had a nickel for every step I have taken getting into and out of the geyser basins of Yellowstone over the past four summers, I would be a wealthy individual. Include the eighteen round trip miles involved in accessing Shoshone geyser basin and I could retire comfortably right now. I would spend my golden years driving across the geology of the continent while towing the glamping camper of my dreams.
Categories: backpacking; Osborne Russell; Shoshone Geyser Basin; Shoshone Lake; Yellowstone National Park;

HiRISE: Inverted channels on a valley floor

Red Planet Report | 25 November, 2014
Inverted channels on a valley floor. Beautiful Mars series....
Categories: Reports; Beautiful Mars; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; inverted channels; inverted topography; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; University of Arizona;

Silesaurid-Herrerasaurid-Neotheropod Assemblage from the Late Triassic of Poland

Chinleana | 25 November, 2014
This is currently free from the Palaeontology Online website.
Categories: Early Dinosaurs; Poland;

Fossil Beast Helps Fill The Backstory of Horses, Tapirs, and Rhinos

Laelaps | 25 November, 2014
There used to be rhinos in North America. In fact, they originated on the continent. The earliest ones didn't look like the large, thick-skinned beasts we know today. No, if you were to wander through the humid forests of Wyoming or Utah around 50 million years ago, the closest thing to a rhino that you'd see would be a slender, pony-sized mammal that paleontologists know as Hyrachyus. And speaking of ponies, some of the earliest horses wandered the same forests - Eohippus and other horses that stood on several hoofed toes and were the size of a small dog - as well as the first tapirs.
Categories: Anatomy; Evolution; Fossils; Mammals; Paleontology; Cambaytherium; Cenozoic; Eocene; horse; India; perissodactyl; rhino; tapir; transition;

Can penguins tell us how far the Cretaceous diving bird Hesperornis wandered?

Don't mess with Hesperornis. It was a flightless, aquatic Cretaceous bird that measured up to six feet long, had a beak lined with sharp teeth, and was partially responsible for the downfall of at least one scientific career*. It superficially resembled a loon or a penguin-unlike penguins, though, Hesperornis probably propelled itself using its feet rather than its stumpy wings. Hesperornis also had a wide range-fossils within North America are known from Arkansas up to the Arctic Circle. Even during the comparatively balmy Mesozoic, winters would have been cold in the far north. Today's birds (including many penguins) with this kind of geographic range are often migratory-so was Hesperornis migratory with the changing of the seasons, or did it stay put year-round?
Categories: Birds; Dinosaurs; Paleontology; Zoology; birds; bone; Hesperornis; migration; osteohistology; penguin;

Field Report from Mars: Sol 3848 — November 20, 2014

Planetary Society Weblog | 25 November, 2014
Larry Crumpler returns with an update on Opportunity's recent activities, and its road ahead....
Categories: None

Curiosity: Textures up close at Book Cliffs

Red Planet Report | 25 November, 2014
Sol 818, November 24, 2014. A mosaic of 34mm and 100mm images from the Mastcam shows the central part of Book Cliffs in detailed color. Click image to load larger version; note the differing textures and weathering patterns in the ... Continue readin...
Categories: Reports; Aeolis Mons; Book Cliffs; Curiosity; Gale Crater; Mars Science Laboratory; Mount Sharp; MSL; NASA; Pahrump Hills;

Seattle Map 7 – Bird’s Eye 1891

Stories in Stone | 25 November, 2014
Augustus Koch arrived in Seattle in the summer of 1890. Like many his age, 49 years old, he had fought in the Civil War, where he had been draughtsman making maps. He had come to Seattle to do the same but it would not be a typical map. For the past two decades Koch had traveled the country producing fantastic aerial views of cities from Jacksonville, Florida, to Los Angeles. One newspaper reporter gushed that Koch's maps depicted "every street, block, railroad track, switch and turn-table, every bridge, tree, and barn, in fact every object that would strike the eye of a man up a little ways in a balloon."
Categories: Street-Smart Naturalist Blog; augustus koch; bird's eye; seattle;

Stuff I wrote elsewhere: NM water policy tools poorly suited for the job

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 25 November, 2014
From this morning's newspaper, a look at the latest proposal to pump rural groundwater to New Mexico's populous middle (behind Google surveywall):
Categories: New Mexico; water;

HiRISE: We ♥︎ Arabia Terra

Red Planet Report | 25 November, 2014
We ♥︎ Arabia Terra. Beautiful Mars series....
Categories: Reports; Arabia Terra; Beautiful Mars; dunes; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; layers; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; sand dunes; University of Arizona;

Slope Fractures Before the Nile Landslide of 2009

DEM of Sanford Pasture Landslide A landslide on the Naches River west of Yakima in 2009 diverted the Naches River and closed a State Highway. That slide was a very small part of a much older ancient massive landslide, the Sanford Pasture Landslide. The part that failed was a small section on the northwest end of the larger ancient landslide complex.
Categories: geology; landslides;

Solite Excavation: Day 13

While I was out of town this past weekend, the VMNH excavation crew had an excellent day in the pit at Solite Quarry. Led by Ray Vodden, the VMNH crew (Jim, Joe, and Sydney) and a few students from Virginia Tech braved the cold to find some stellar ...
Categories: Uncategorized;

November Puzzler

Earth Matters | 25 November, 2014
Every month we offer a puzzling satellite image, and the November 2014 puzzler is above. Your challenge is to use the comments section to tell us what part of the world we are looking at, when the image was acquired, what the image shows, and why t...
Categories: EO's Satellite Puzzler;

Unwelcome Nor'easter Poised to Snarl Wednesday Travel

Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog | 25 November, 2014
After basking in record warm temperatures in the 60s and 70s on Monday, the Northeast U.S. is bracing for a Wednesday winter onslaught, as a significant Nor'easter will bring heavy snows to the roads at the same time that millions of people hit the r...
Categories: None

Geosonnet 20

Lounge of the Lab Lemming | 25 November, 2014
The cratered lunar face preserves the song Of bolide roller derbies eons past But while the cold dead moon remembers long The rains of Earth reshape the surface fast. Did impacts peak four billion years ago? Or taper off through geologic time? Archea...
Categories: Rheologic Rhymes;

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