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Curiosity recorded an increase in oxygen concentration on Mars

Curiosity recorded an increase in oxygen concentration on Mars 90

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.

Curiosity recorded an increase in oxygen concentration on Mars 91

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.

Curiosity recorded an increase in oxygen concentration on Mars 92

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 recorded an increase in oxygen concentration on Mars 93

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

Tesla autopilot sensor recorded “ghost” in an empty cemetery

Tesla autopilot sensor recorded "ghost" in an empty cemetery 94

A Tesla electric car with an activated autopilot function recorded an invisible person who allegedly moved around the cemetery. Social network users jokingly noted in the comments that, most likely, this is some new function from Elon Musk, which allows you to see ghosts.

In the United States, a Tesla electric car with an activated autopilot function recorded an invisible person who allegedly moved through a cemetery.

The corresponding video was posted by Twitter user Ovidiu Maciuc.

The recording shows how a silhouette of a man appears on the monitor of an electric car, moving around the cemetery. After that, the driver raises the camera and starts filming the graveyard through the windshield, but there are no people there.

After some time, the “ghost” went in the opposite direction from Tesla and disappeared from the on-board computer screen.

Social network users jokingly noted in the comments that, most likely, this is some new function from Elon Musk, which allows you to see ghosts.

For many though, if you take into account the comments, the video seemed rather creepy. Some even tried to guess what the navigation system actually showed.

Some users thought the system could recognize ghosts. Others refuted this version and said that the reason for all this is an insufficiently accurate sensor, which was used for the equipment of the Tesla car.

Earlier it became known that Tesla electric cars in the near future may receive a new function with which they can talk with pedestrians. For this, American cars will be equipped with special external speakers. 

In addition, Tesla cars in the future will receive the option to change the horn and sound of movement at low speeds to warn pedestrians. According to Elon Musk, among the sounds of movement there will be the sound of the clatter of a horse’s hooves, and as a whistle – the bleating of a goat.

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Mysterious energy source melts Tel Aviv sidewalks, leading to the evacuation of several buildings in Israel

Mysterious energy source melts Tel Aviv sidewalks, leading to the evacuation of several buildings in Israel 95

About two weeks ago, Tel Aviv residents noticed that the concrete surface outside their homes was heating up and steam was coming out of the ground. Tests showed that steam that reached 60 ° C (140 ° F) was water based.

The witness explains: “I was afraid that there was a power line in the area and asked a worker to dig out the ground with a shovel. Steam suddenly came out. I imagined it was probably a geyser. It seemed to me that this was a geological incident – also because there were no problems with electricity in the building. “

Although the experts did not find any hazardous substances or any risk to the stability of buildings at the site, residents as well as kindergartens in the area were evacuated.

Officials described the heat source as “trapped energy” of unknown origin.

Work continues, steam is still rising and the ground is still hot. It is currently unclear what is causing the warming. Note the hole dug in the area. The area is still blocked.

Mysterious origins

City officials said they will “continue to monitor the temperature of the earth, which is expected to cool down for a long time, and will continue to investigate the causes of the unusual event.”

Israel Electric Corporation has not found a connection between heat and power in the area.

The Israel Geological Survey confirmed the rise in temperature after testing ground and water temperature levels, but said it has not yet found an explanation.

Despite their best efforts, municipal officials, the fire department, Israel Electric Corporation and the Ministry of the Environment have yet to find a source of heat.

Meanwhile, the Tel Aviv municipality has informed dozens of evacuees that they can return to their homes. However, residents are not going to return until they receive a detailed account of the source of the mysterious event.

“They evacuated us because they were concerned about our safety, and now they are urging us to return without any convincing explanation. How can you be sure that there is no more danger? “

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The night sky in southern Taiwan shows a weird red moon alarming netizens: 2021 disaster year omen?

The night sky in southern Taiwan shows a weird red moon alarming netizens: 2021 disaster year omen? 96
Photo by WILLIAM WEST - AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Some people in Chiayi, Taiwan took pictures of a large dark red moon hanging in the night sky on the first night of 2021 and uploaded them to Facebook. There are also people in Tainan who have photographed the rare “red moon”. The weird scene has aroused heated discussions among netizens. Some people worry that an earthquake may occur, while others suspect that this is a precursor to the year of disaster in 2021?

Yesterday, on January 1 at about 8:00 in the evening, Chiayi residents shared a photo of “2021’s first red moon” on Facebook. As you can see in the photo, the weather was quite good at that time. There was a clear big round moon in the night sky, but it was a dark red moon, which was very different from the usual moon.

Later, people in Kaohsiung and Tainan also posted photos of the red moon they had taken.

The weird and rare “big red moon” immediately attracted the attention of netizens. Some people think that such a sight is caused by air pollution, and some people think that the red moon is “extremely beautiful”, but many people worry about whether it is a harbinger before the disaster ? 

“Hope is not a harbinger of disaster~”, “A harbinger of disaster in 2021???”, “It looked uneasy”, “After seeing the red moon, I hope everyone will be safe”.

Some netizens worry that this is a pre- earthquake omen.

“Remember the red moon before the 921 earthquake (omen)”, “earthquake precursors”, “I feel that there will be an earthquake again recently”, and “It seems that 2021 will be another year of bloody disaster.”

The British clairvoyant Craig Hamilton-Parker published his prediction for 2021 on YouTube in December last year, stating that, as far as the world is concerned, 2021 will be a year full of social unrest, armed conflict and political changes. There will be difficult times right now until 2025.

He also predicted that the biggest worry is climate and earthquakes. A tsunami will occur near Japan. Large earthquakes will occur in the Himalayas, Iran and the Americas. There will also be problems such as floods, dams bursting, and huge icebergs obstructing shipping. Until 2025, the severity of environmental problems will gradually increase.

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