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Bizzare & Odd

Curiosity recorded an increase in oxygen concentration on Mars

For the first time in the history of space exploration, scientists have measured the seasonal changes in gases that fill the atmosphere directly above the surface of the Gale Crater on Mars. As a result, they noticed something extremely interesting: the oxygen, the gas that many earthly creatures breathe, “behaves” very strangely. In particular, an increase in its concentration in the atmosphere of the planet was recorded.

Mars rover Curiosity never ceases to amaze

Where does oxygen come from on Mars?

For three Martian years (or nearly six Earth years), a gas analyzer built into Mars rover Curiosity, passed through all the surrounding gases in the vicinity of Gale Crater and analyzed its composition. The results confirmed previous data that the composition of the Martian atmosphere by volume is 95% carbon dioxide (CO2), 2.6% molecular nitrogen (N2), 1.9% is argon (Ar), and 0 , 16% and 0.06% for molecular oxygen (O2) and carbon monoxide (CO), respectively. The remaining tenths and hundredths of a percent are distributed between other gases, which are present in very small concentrations.

Oxygen and methane variation in Gale Crater. They might be related somehow. Melissa Trainer/Dan Gallagher/NASA Goddard

Research also showed how molecules of Martian air mix and circulate in the planet’s atmosphere throughout the year. But then the interesting thing began: the analyzer of the composition of the atmosphere showed that the oxygen concentration increases by 30% in the spring, remains at this level until the fall, and then returns to normal values. The same strange process happens with methane – its usual concentration in the Gale Crater is 0.00000004% of the total volume, and in the summer months it increases dramatically by 60%.

It has been suggested that these changes are due to the fact that CO2 freezes over the poles in winter, thereby lowering the pressure on the entire planet. After this, the redistribution of gases in the atmosphere to maintain equilibrium. That is, with a decrease in CO2 level, the percentage of gases changes, but their volume remains the same. And when CO2 thaws, the reverse process occurs.

Curiosity at Gale Crater

Indeed, scientists have found that nitrogen and argon follow this seasonal pattern, increasing and decreasing their percentage concentration relative to how much CO2 is currently around. Researchers expected oxygen to do the same. But instead, the amount of gas in the air increased during the spring and summer by as much as 30%, and then fell to initial levels. This picture was repeated every spring, as if something produced it, and then took it away.

The first time we saw this, it was just overwhelming, ”said Melissa Trainer, a planetologist at NASA’s Space Flight Center. We are struggling to explain this phenomenon. The fact that the behavior of oxygen is completely repeated every season makes us think that this is not only about atmospheric dynamics. There must be some kind of chemical or biological source.

As soon as scientists discovered the “oxygen mystery”, they started work, trying to explain it. Researchers first tested accuracy three times with a gas measuring device. The tool was in perfect order. The experts then considered the possibility that CO2 molecules could release oxygen when they decompose in the atmosphere, which would lead to a short-term increase in the level of this gas. But it would take a lot of water to produce additional oxygen, and CO2 decays too slowly to generate oxygen in such a short time.

Scientists came to the conclusion that oxygen can be obtained both in biological (using microbes, for example), and non-biological way (from the chemical elements that make up the Gale crater). Currently, experts are considering both options, although they have no convincing evidence of biological activity on Mars. Curiosity simply does not have devices that could accurately capture the presence of organic matter. Now scientists are inclined to believe that non-biological explanations are more likely, but for final conclusions it is still far. So it is quite possible that this story will still be continued. And, who knows what we will find thanks to potential life on Mars.

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Bizzare & Odd

Nikola Tesla lied that he received messages from aliens from Mars

The Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943) completely changed the course of history thanks to his inventions. The AC system, which he championed and improved, remains the world standard for power transmission. Mankind is indebted to him.

Nikola Tesla

It is worth recognizing that many of his ideas and statements were still insane. Investors did not want to sponsor, and banks did not give out loans not for the reason that they were afraid of changes, but because they did not see prospects. For example, Tesla claimed that electricity can be transmitted through the air, but this is absurd.

Tesla loved the myths around him and helped them to spread, since it was the cheapest way to popularize his persona. Going too far, Nikola Tesla said that in 1899 he intercepted the message from intelligent creatures, living most likely, on Mars.

The inventor intrigued onlookers, telling how he repeatedly managed to receive signals from Mars, created by intelligent creatures. He seemed to be clearly aware of the presence of someone there, outside the Earth, but he did not have enough resources to establish bilateral contact.

In 1910, giving an interview to The New York Times, Tesla slowed down and admitted that he had not received messages from Mars (what a “surprise”). He explained that he recorded unusual radio signals from the moon, Venus, the sun, and probably from Mars. So, Tesla himself, destroyed his own myth about himself.

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Bizzare & Odd

China announces the completion of its Artificial Sun and expect it to become operational in 2020

One of the biggest problems facing the world today is the issue of energy. Finding a renewable energy source that does not destroy that planet is a complex task that has intrigued many countries for many years.

However, China may have found a solution. Chinese scientists are working on collecting energy from the Sun, but not in the traditional sense of solar energy, but in fusion energy. The “artificial sun” that has developed is actually a nuclear fusion device that is believed to be the future of clean energy.

Fusion reactor

On Tuesday, China announced the completion of its reactor device and declared that they expect it to come into operation as soon as 2020. The real name of China’s artificial sun is HL-2M, which doesn’t make it sound so special. The reactor is located in Leshan, Sichuan Province, where it was built to investigate fusion technology by the National Nuclear Corporation of China and the Institute of Physics of the Southwest. In reality, it has become much more and is potentially the future of the world’s energy.

% name China announces the completion of its artificial Sun and expect it to become operational in 2020

China announces the completion of its artificial Sun and expect it to become operational in 2020

How does it work?

This is essentially a giant nuclear fusion device, which basically forces atoms to bind, which releases heat, which can then be harvested for energy. While the device is known as an artificial sun, it can actually reach temperatures 13 times higher than the real star. The HL-2M can reach 200 million degrees Celsius (360 million degrees Fahrenheit, compared to just 15 million degrees Celsius (27 million degrees Fahrenheit) in the core of the Sun. The resulting energy is not only cheaper, but also much cleaner than current nuclear options, which means that the Earth would not be damaged.

That said, it is not as simple as it seems. Of course, there are a number of problems when dealing with such high temperatures, the main one being that they are difficult to achieve. Completing reactions like this can be complicated and must be done correctly so they don’t go wrong. The consequences could be dire. Therefore, there are a number of problems that must be resolved before this sun can get to work.

While it is not yet functional, it will be soon, and the artificial sun could possibly revolutionize the world’s energy sources and the way we use it.

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Bizzare & Odd

Encounters with giant squid

STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

In the late 19th century, there are several instances where near the rocky island of Newfoundland, in northeastern Canada, have seen huge squid.

Researcher Henry Lee has collected several similar reports. One of them was published in March 1875 in the journal American Journal of Science and Arts.

According to this information, Professor Veril personally reports that since 1870, several huge squid, measuring 30 to 52 feet (9-15 meters) in size, have been observed near Newfoundland.

In particular, one of the squid was found floating dead on the surface of the water near the Grand Bank. Captain Campbell, with schooner BD Hoskins, spotted it in October 1871.

This squid was raised aboard the schooner and parts of it’s body were used as bait for fish. It’s body was 15 feet (4.5 meters) plus tentacles 10 feet (3 meters) long. The beak was cut and sent for testing at the Smithsonian Institution.

Another squid described in the same article was found still alive but stuck in the shallow waters of Fortuna Bay in 1872. It was extracted ashore, and when the researchers began to make their measurements, the creature died.

The body of this squid was 10 feet (3 meters) long, and the tentacles had a colossal length of 42 feet (12 meters). The suction cups on the tentacles were firm and had “serrated” edges.

Another huge squid was also caught in Bonavista Bay. Its length is not stated, but it is reported that its large beak and a few tentacles have been sent for study at the Smithsonian.

On September 22, 1877, another giant squid was spotted in the shallow waters of Catalina, on the north shore of Trinity Bay, near Newfoundland. It was still alive when the fishermen saw it, but when the tide came, the squid found itself on the shore and died soon after.

Two fishermen dragged the squid into the village. All the inhabitants were amazed at its appearance and its enormous size. It was first decided to cut it into pieces and feed the dogs, but a man advised the fishermen to take the creature to the nearest town of St. John’s.

The fishermen did this and the squid’s body was covered with ice and brought into the city. At first, they wanted to sell it to the same Professor Veril, but the deal fell through. After all, squid was auctioned off at the New York Aquarium.

On October 7, 1877, the squid’s body was transferred to New York City and placed in a large glass tank filled with special liquid to preserve it from decomposing. There, it was finally measured for the first time: the squid’s body was 3 meters long, plus the length of the tentacles – 9 meters. One of the tentacles was counting 250 suction pumps.

Henry Lee was very excited about this unusual series of events when, for 7 years, these rare marine animals were caught several times in the same area of ​​Canada. He suggested that the squid may have been attracted by the remains of small fish caught in the nets of cod fishermen.

This version has not been confirmed. Lee realized that giant squid, during those same years, were often seen elsewhere on the planet. Including Japan, in 1873, a huge squid was caught and sold on the Edo fish market.

In 1874, a giant squid was dumped on a beach on St. Paul’s Island, Alaska. Together with the tentacles, it reached a length of 23 feet (7 meters).

In April 1875, a huge squid was seen in the water off the west coast of Ireland. The squid seemed dead and lying still, swaying in the waves. But when the fishermen swam to him and cut off one of his tentacles, the squid trembled and then quickly sailed out to sea.

The fishermen tried to catch it but had to chase it for sbout 5 miles before finally reaching it and killing it. The remains of it’s tentacles can be seen in the Dublin Museum.

Why in those years there were so many cases of giant squid in shallow waters or near the shore, no one has understood.

Nowadays, such large squids are extremely rare.

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