The Pinocchio Paradox.
“You’re looking at the heart of the most powerful X-Ray laser machine ever created by humans, billions of times stronger than anything before it. It’s the Linac Coherent Light Source and it has made something that nobody has made before in this planet: the kind of matter that you can only find in the heart of stars and giant planets.
US Department of Energy’s scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory fired the LCLS at a small cube of aluminum only one-thousandth of a centimeter (0.00039 inches) on a side. As the X-Ray rapid-fire laser pulses converged on the aluminum, it created a superhot solid plasma burning at 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit (two million degrees Celsius).
In the image above you can see the Linac Coherent Light Source SXR experimental chamber. In the center there’s the container for the aluminum cube that gets converted into the solid plasma.”
The First Look at Mars’ Ocean
We knew there was water in abundance on Mars, but we never saw its ocean. This is it, as uncovered by strong new evidence found over the course of two years by the MARSIS radar on board ESA’s Mars Express.
Before this discovery, scientists suspected what could have been the shorelines of such ocean. However, this is the first time that this Mars’ ocean has been shown in all its magnitude. According to ESA, Mars Express “has detected sediments reminiscent of an ocean floor within the boundaries of previously identified, ancient shorelines on Mars.”
The sediments are low-density granular material that have been eroded away by water. They have low radar reflectivity, and were detected through all the ocean’s area, 60 to 80 meters (197 to 262 feet) under the surface of the Red Planet.
According to Jérémie Mouginot, from the Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG) and the University of California, Irvine, the sedimentary deposit they have discovered may be ice-rich. They are “a strong new indication that there was once an ocean here.”
Scientists now believe that there were two oceans on Mars. The first was there four billion years ago, when the weather was warm. The second one was formed three billion years ago, “when subsurface ice melted following a large impact, creating outflow channels that drained the water into areas of low elevation.” The team believes that this ocean didn’t exist long enough to serve as a environment to life formation.
According to ESA’s Mars Express Project Scientist Olivier Witasse, there’s little doubt now that there were oceans there now. But the biggest question of them all remains a mystery: “Where did all the water go?”
Neil deGrasse Tyson - America’s Scientific Decline
A gift for New York verse enthusiasts: Tumblr and Knopf Books are sponsoring “A Celebration of Poetry” at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe on Monday, April 23. Featured readers include Poet Laureate Philip Levine, 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith, and two poets from the Tumblr community, namely Saeed Jones and Karolina Manko. The event is open to the public and starts at 7pm. Meanwhile, check out more poetry on Tumblr.