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NASA just redirected an asteroid by smashing a spacecraft into it

Live Science - Hace 2 horas 21 mins
The test will help scientists learn how to stop catastrophic asteroid impacts.

Oceans' Worth of Water Hidden Deep in Earth, Ultra Rare Diamond Suggests

Slashdot - Science - Hace 5 horas 49 mins
A beautiful blue flaw in a gem-quality diamond from Botswana is actually a tiny fragment of Earth's deep interior -- and it suggests our planet's mantle contains oceans' worth of water. Scientific American: The flaw, technically called an inclusion, looks like a fish eye: a deep blue center surrounded by a white haze. But it's really a pocket of the mineral ringwoodite from 660 kilometers down, at the boundary between the upper and lower mantle. This is just the second time scientists have found this mineral in a chunk of crystal from this zone, and the sample is the only one of its kind currently known to science. The last example was destroyed during an attempt to analyze its chemistry. [...] The discovery indicates that this very deep zone of Earth is soggy, with vast amounts of water locked up tight within the minerals there. Though this water is chemically bound to the minerals' structure and doesn't flow around like an actual ocean, it does likely play an important role in how the mantle melts. This in turn affects big-picture geology, such as plate tectonics and volcanic activity. For example, water could contribute to the development of areas of mantle upwelling known as plumes, which are hotspots for volcanoes. The stunning bit of diamond-encased mantle was discovered by Tingting Gu, a mineral physicist now at Purdue University, who was at the time doing research at the Gemological Institute of America. Her job was to study rare inclusions found in diamonds. Inclusions are undesirable for jewelry because they cloud a diamond's sparkle. But they're often interesting to scientists because they trap bits of the environment where the diamond formed millennia earlier. The vast majority of diamonds form between about 150 to 200 km below Earth's surface. But a handful come from much deeper. It is often difficult to pinpoint exactly how deep, but the new sample was remarkably accommodating on that front, Gu and her colleagues reported on Monday in a study published in Nature Geoscience. Ringwoodite can only form at incredibly high pressures. It is not found in Earth's crust, but it is sometimes seen trapped in meteorites that underwent major cosmic trauma. In Earth's mantle, ringwoodite exists at the pressures present down to 660 km.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NASA's Dart Probe To Smash Into Asteroid in First Earth Defence Test

Slashdot - Science - Hace 8 horas 32 mins
Most mission scientists would wince at the thought of their spacecraft being smashed to smithereens. But for those behind Nasa's Dart probe, anything short of total destruction will be chalked up as a failure. From a report: The $330m spacecraft is due to slam head-on into an asteroid about 11m kilometres above the Indian Ocean soon after midnight on Monday. The impact, at nearly seven kilometres a second, will obliterate the half-tonne probe, all in the name of planetary defence. Not that Dimorphos, the asteroid in question, poses any threat to humanity. The Dart, or double asteroid redirection test, is an experiment, the first mission ever to assess whether asteroids can be deflected should one ever be found on a collision course with Earth. A well-placed nudge could avert Armageddon, or so the thinking goes, and spare humans the same fate as the dinosaurs. "It's a very complicated game of cosmic billiards," said Prof Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer and member of the Nasa Dart investigation team at Queen's University Belfast. "What we want to do is use as much energy [as we can] from Dart to move the asteroid." With telescopes constantly scanning the skies, scientists hope to have some notice if an asteroid were ever to present a major threat. "If we are able to see far enough in advance and know that an asteroid might be a problem, pushing it out of the way will be much safer than the big Hollywood idea of blowing it up," said Catriona McDonald, a PhD student at Warwick University. The Dart mission launched from Vandenberg space force base in November last year. On Monday night, mission controllers will hand control to Dart's software and let the probe steer itself into oblivion.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Jupiter will be at its closest to Earth today (Sept. 26) in 59 years

Live Science - Hace 8 horas 48 mins
Skywatchers will get a rare opportunity to see Jupiter in its full glory when its opposition happens at the same time as its closest approach to Earth.

Hurricane Ian to reach Category 3 before hitting Cuba, turning toward West Florida

Live Science - Hace 9 horas 34 mins
Hurricane Ian is approaching Cuba and the western Florida coast.

Lab-grown meat: How it's made, sustainability and nutrition

Live Science - Hace 9 horas 53 mins
Lab-grown meat is a genetically engineered product that uses biotechnology. But is it healthier than meat reared from livestock?

NASA calls off Artemis 1 launch as Hurricane Ian threatens Florida

Live Science - Hace 9 horas 55 mins
The rocket has been plagued by technical and weather problems since its wet dress rehearsal in April.

World's first wolf clone born to surrogate dog, Chinese company reveals

Live Science - Hace 10 horas 22 mins
A Chinese pet-cloning company has successfully cloned an Arctic wolf for the first time. The adorable pup is proof that cloning could be used to help save endangered species.

Newfound 'snaky croc-face' sea monster unearthed in Wyoming

Live Science - Hace 10 horas 49 mins
Researchers in Wyoming have named a new species of plesiosaur defined by its long neck and snappy jaws.

Rare diamonds suggest water lurks much deeper in Earth's interior than scientists thought

Live Science - Hace 10 horas 53 mins
Clues about water in Earth's deep interior were recently extracted from rare diamonds.

10 foods to avoid during pregnancy

Live Science - Hace 11 horas 53 mins
From raw fish to caffeine, here are the foods to avoid during pregnancy so that you can protect yourself and your baby

Brazilian election will determine the future of the Amazon rainforest

New Scientist - Hace 12 horas 33 mins
The re-election of president Jair Bolsonaro would severely harm the Amazon rainforest, while his rival Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is promising to reverse much of the recent environmental damage and meet climate change targets

Which animal has the largest head?

Live Science - Hace 12 horas 42 mins
The largest head in the animal kingdom likely belongs to the blue whale, while the largest relative to body size comes from an unlikely source.

Guatemala’s rainforest is expanding thanks to community efforts

New Scientist - Hace 14 horas 4 mins
The forests of the Maya Biosphere Reserve are growing rather than shrinking, because of a community-led conservation programme

Selenium: Health benefits, risks & deficiency

Live Science - Hace 14 horas 18 mins
Selenium is a trace mineral that’s essential for immunity and thyroid health — here’s where to find it in your diet

Can VR fitness replace the gym?

Live Science - Hace 14 horas 24 mins
Is it time to ditch the gym membership and strap on a VR headset? We look at where VR can fit into your fitness regime.

Deadly stellar radiation blasts 'habitable' exoplanets every few days

New Scientist - Hace 14 horas 39 mins
Planets orbiting M-class red dwarf stars have been suggested as some of the most promising places to look for alien life, but now it seems powerful outbursts from the stars could render them uninhabitable

Amazon is offering up to 38% off these AmScope Microscopes for kids and students

Live Science - Hace 15 horas 42 mins
Save on these beginner microscope kits with Amazon’s Back-to-School Sale.

Why do people have phobias?

Live Science - Hace 16 horas 54 mins
Are some people more prone to developing phobias, and are these extreme aversions permanent?

Spoofing cyberattack can make cameras see things that aren’t there

New Scientist - Hace 18 horas 23 mins
A targeted transmission of radio waves can disrupt what a camera detects – and the technology has the potential to fool object-detection systems into seeing things that aren’t there


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