Researchers have returned from the first detailed study of the Mariana Trench aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor. The expedition set many new records, including the deepest rock samples ever collected and the discovery of new fish species at the greatest depths ever recorded. —> Read More Here
New research indicates that lost memories can be restored, according to new research into a type of marine snail called Aplysia. The findings offer some hope for patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. —> Read More Here
Given the cascading disasters the ocean faces from industrial overfishing, pollution, coastal sprawl and climate change there’s been some surprisingly good news in the United States this year. Here are ten stories – both good and bad – that impacted the blue in our red, white and blue.
- Pacific Monument Expanded
President Obama expanded the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument established by his predecessor George W. Bush from 87,000 square miles to close to half a million square miles. This makes it the largest fully protected ocean wilderness park on our blue planet, about the size of California and Texas combined. While few of us may ever sail to Palmyra Atoll or Kingman Reef its nice to know America still has vast frontier seas full of sharks, turtles, whales and healthy coral reefs.
- Bristol Bay Salmon Protected
“In Alaska fish are the one thing that can trump oil,” offshore oil activist Richard Charter stated rather succinctly in describing President Obama’s end of year decision to prevent oil and gas drilling in Bristol Bay, the 52,000 square mile ocean zone off southwest Alaska that’s also the world’s biggest sockeye salmon fishery worth some $2 billion a year. The decision was seen as a —> Read More Here
A Mississippi State University archaeological team uncovered six official clay seals at a dig in southern Israel — offering some support for the reigns of King David and his wise son Solomon as found in the Hebrew Bible.
The seals, or bullae, were found at a site near Gaza called Khirbet Summeily and used to seal important documents. Ancient people would wrap a string around a rolled sheet of papyrus, then place a lump of clay on it and stamp it with the seal, according to James Hardin, an associate professor at MSU’s Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures. The only way to read the document was to break the clay.
Jimmy Hardin co-directed a team in Israel that found archaeological evidence from the time of kings David and Solomon. In his MSU laboratory, Hardin examines an Egyptian figurine dating to the 10th or 11th century BC.
Around 1200 B.C., Hardin says that the great states of the Bronze Age collapsed and left a vacuum of power. At the same time, there may have been a period of great climatological disasters, such as earthquakes and storms. The unrest and upheaval may have eventually led to —> Read More Here
WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (UPI) — Washington, D.C. and Annapolis, Md. are already past a ‘tipping point’ for frequent flooding caused by sea level rise, a new study finds. —> Read More Here
NASA’s Space to Ground is your weekly update on what’s happening aboard the International Space Station.
Permafrost in Alaska’s iconic Denali National Park and other areas could all but disappear by the end of this century, new research suggests. —> Read More Here
Impressions from ancient clay seals found at a small site in Israel east of Gaza are signs of government in an area thought to be entirely rural during the 10th century B.C., says Mississippi State University archaeologist James W. Hardin. —> Read More Here
Underwater structures of the Great Bahamas Bank are pictured in this image from the Landsat-8 satellite on 5 February. Sitting north of Cuba, the bank is made of limestone – mainly from the skeletal fragments of marine organisms – that has been accumulating for over 100 million years.
Homecoming view of NASA’s first Orion spacecraft after returning to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Dec. 19, 2014 after successful blastoff on Dec. 5, 2014. Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – After a history making journey of more than 60,000 miles through space, ocean splash down and over 2000 mile cross country journey through the back woods of America, NASA’s pathfinding Orion crew capsule has returned to its home base at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“The Orion mission was a spectacular success,” said Jules Schneider, Lockheed Martin Program manager for Orion at KSC, during a homecoming event attended by space journalists including Universe Today on Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. (…)
Read the rest of NASA’s First Orion Crew Module Arrives Safely back at Kennedy Space Center (720 words)
© Ken Kremer for Universe Today, 2014. |
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