‘Meteoric Smoke': Comet Siding Spring Could Alter Mars Chemistry Permanently

Observations of Comet Siding Spring Oct. 19 by the Mars Orbiter Mission. Credit: Indian Space Research Organisation

Observations of Comet Siding Spring Oct. 19 by the Mars Orbiter Mission. Credit: Indian Space Research Organisation

Feeling lucky? Events such as the Comet Siding Spring approach by Mars in October only happen about once every eight million years, according to NASA.

And after we were treated to spectacular views from the agency’s spacecraft (see Curiosity and Opportunity and MAVEN, for example), we now have fresh pictures this month from an Indian mission. Also, NASA has released science results suggesting that the chemistry of Mars’ atmosphere could be changed forever from the close encounter.

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© Elizabeth Howell for Universe Today, 2014. |
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Pet Massage Is Sweeping The Nation

PHOENIX (AP) — Spa treatments don’t stop with people. You won’t see any aromatherapy candles around, but animals get massages, too, and it’s become a regular service that many pet owners value as more than just glorified petting.

“People call me because their dogs are having problems,” said Shelah Barr, a San Francisco dog massage therapist. “The work I do is important for animals so they have a high quality of life.”

Practitioners say massage can be a preventive measure for younger animals and rehabilitative for older ones by boosting flexibility, circulation and immunity. As its popularity continues to grow, primarily among dog and horse owners, so does the debate about regulation. Some veterinarians argue that pet massage is a form of veterinary medicine that requires a license, but whether therapists need one varies by state. The issue has sparked a lawsuit in Arizona, where three practitioners are suing the state veterinarian licensing board.

Pet owners spent $4.4 billion last year on “other services,” a category that includes grooming, training and services such as massage, according to the American Pet Products Association, which tracks national spending trends in the pet industry. That is a 6.1 percent jump from 2012.

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