Polar explosions: Carbon dioxide geysers on Mars

James Lewis, fellow PhD student at Imperial College, wrote something about exploding geezers..

Fourth rock from the Sun

Images sent back from the surface of Mars can make the planet look like the hot dry deserts of Earth. However, in reality Mars is incredibly cold. The average surface temperature is 210 kelvin (-63 °C or -82 °F) and the minimum temperature is 130 K (-143 °C or -226 °F). While many of the processes and landscapes we see on the planet have equivalents on Earth this extreme cold means that Mars also has some bizarre features that we have no direct comparison for. Dark spots and strange spider like channel networks are seen to form predominantly in the southern polar region of Mars year after year. They have been interpreted as the result of jets of carbon dioxide erupting out of the winter ice sheets as they start to defrost during the Martian spring. Such a dynamic and violent process is not something you would initially expect from…

View original post 766 more words

2012 in review – not bad I guess..

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 34,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 8 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Vicariance? Nah, just relocating!

The last post detailed (well, briefly alluded to) the fact that this blog would shortly be having a new home, and well now it has!

The European Geosciences Union have taken me under their wing along with two other bloggernauts, so I’ll be rambling on about Palaeontology over there from now on. I may nip back here on occasion for more generally non-science or off-topic bloggings.

The link? Oh, yeah, here it is: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/ (imaginative title eh?)

Would be great to see you all there!

As a finale, here’s a video called ‘Tyrannosaurus Sex‘, which weirdly is about sauropods getting it on.

Post for the Geological Society of London’s blog covering the antics of that li’l robot so far, and geological prospects!

Geological Society of London blog

Curiosity succesfully landed on Mars over three weeks ago (Earth time), and has since sent us back this HD video of its spectacular plummet – including a not so graceful landing of the jettisoned heat shield:

Now, the rover is on its way to its first region, Glenelg, 400 metres east of its landing spot. Curiosity has a lot to live up to, with its sister Opportunity still exploring, and Spirit having a successful stint for nearly seven years, before communication was lost in March 2010. But what has the inquisitive robot laboratory been up to since it parachuted down onto the red planet?

View original post 720 more words