Rosetta’s Comet Springs Spectacular Leaks As It Gets Closer To The Sun

This Rosetta image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko shows spectacular jets erupting from the small body on Sept. 10, 2014. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

This Rosetta image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko shows spectacular jets erupting from the small body on Sept. 10, 2014. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Jet! The comet that the Rosetta spacecraft is visiting is shedding more dust as machine and Solar System body get closer to the Sun.

While activity was first seen at the “neck” of the rubber-duckie shaped comet a few weeks ago, now scientists are seeing jets spring from across the comet.

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© Elizabeth Howell for Universe Today, 2014. |
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Fusion Energy: Hope or Hype?

The IPCC Report’s Warning

The latest draft edition of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report bluntly warns that business-as-usual increases in greenhouse-gas emissions will cause “further warming and long-lasting changes” in the Earth’s climate system, with increasing likelihood of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.” Specific dangers include rising sea levels, more frequent extreme temperatures, flooding, drought, harm to marine life and violent conflicts among human societies in the wake of agricultural changes. Delays may have already cost the world society US$8 trillion.

So what can be done? As we argued in a previous blog post, arguably the most cost-effective single measure is simple conservation. One of the present bloggers (Bailey), by making a few modest changes to his home, was able to reduce his electrical consumption by a factor of three, and his bill by a factor of five. The other (Borwein) has a dozen solar panels on his roof in sunny New South Wales, Australia. This has halved his bill, as he sells power back to the grid. Both bloggers are fortunate enough to own Toyota Prius hybrid cars.

But conservation by itself is far from the whole solution. We must —> Read More Here

Rapa Expedition: Gone Fishin’ … With Rocks

Collecting rocks Jerome Petit

The Hanse Explorer has arrived at Rapa Iti, the site of the latest National Geographic Pristine Seas expedition. In order to understand fishing and food from a local perspective, Expedition Leader Paul Rose elected to go on a fishing trip with Rapa fisherman, and the experience was eye-opening.

Collecting rocks for fishing. (Photo by Jerome Petit)

Fishing in Rapa’s waters is quite a unique experience. Rapa’s clever, traditional techniques are totally unlike my typical routine. Before going fishing I normally sort out a large pile of stainless steel, carbon, Kevlar, low-friction, high-tech, light-weight and heavily expensive implements. Not here on Rapa; the first order of business is to search for a handy bay and sail in and collect rocks from the beach. As I collected armloads of rocks on our recent fishing trip, one of our local fishermen, Octave, made sure that we only collected those of a particular shape and size.

The Technique

Once back onboard the city-hall fishing boat and heading a few miles out to sea, Octave revealed the method we were to use: Flying fish chopped into good-sized chunks are used for bait and a small piece from each is folded around a fishing hook. The hooks are attached —> Read More Here

Ozone Focus of EPA’s Latest Rulemaking

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule that sets domestic production consumption limits for hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)—eventually phasing them out completely by 2020. The rule aims to reduce emissions from leakage and stockpiles of four HCFCs, a class of refrigerant linked to ozone depletion and climate change.

“This rule finalizes allowed amounts of HCFC production and import in 2015–2019 that protect human health and the environment, while also encouraging transition to non-ozone-depleting alternatives and greater recycling of existing HCFCs,” the EPA said, adding that the rule “should promote a smooth and stable transition, since without this rule, domestic production and consumption of these HCFCs is prohibited as of January 1, 2015.”

The final rule caps HCFC-22 at 10,000 megatons, down from the 13,700 megatons included in the EPA’s December proposal (subscription). It also creates an incentive for commercial consumers relying on outdated equipment that uses HCFCs to convert to energy-efficient models.

Meanwhile, the EPA is tasked—under court order—with proposing a change to the existing National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone by Dec. 1. Agency watchers speculate that the standards, currently at 75 parts per billion, will be made more stringent. Although some have argued —> Read More Here

Astronomy Cast Ep. 354: Mars vs Comet Siding Spring

Visit the Astronomy Cast Page to subscribe to the audio podcast!

We record Astronomy Cast as a live Google+ Hangout on Air every Monday at 12:00 pm Pacific / 3:00 pm Eastern. You can watch here on Universe Today or from the Astronomy Cast Google+ page.


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If You Don’t Already know What A Nudibranch Is, This Will Blow Your Mind

These nudibranchs are ready for their closeup.

Videographer Dustin Adamson of Oceanshutter.com filmed the marine mollusks in Papua New Guinea, capturing their vivid allure.

“The different shapes, colors, and sizes make each species of nudibranchs unique,” Adamson writes on Vimeo. “Hopefully with this video that is up close and personal with the nudis, you gain the appreciation for their beauty.”

There are more than 3,000 known species of nudibranchs, according to National Geographic. They get their trippy coloring from the food they eat, aiding their camouflage.

And these invertebrates can be as ravenous as they are ravishing: nudibranchs can consume all of a jellyfish besides the stingers, then use the stingers to attack predators.

H/T Laughing Squid —> Read More Here

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