Under the Moon’s Surface

Most of us have not studied the moon in great detail because we consider it as just a shiny white sphere that appears every night. However, we need to know that the moon is much more than that. It holds a lot under its surface. Recently, scientists discovered an enormous, metallic anomaly under the moon’s largest crater.

Interestingly, the pile of metal is considered to be five times larger than the Island of Hawaii. It weighs around 2.18 billion kilos and spreads across 300 kilometres. It is also considered to be millions of years old. Researchers identify two main reasons behind the existence of this huge pile of metal under the moon. Firstly, they assume that the metal that formed this crater is still set in the moon’s mantle. Secondly, they believe that the moon’s liquid magma surface turned into a solid which left heavy oxides of nickel and iron. However, both these reasons have not been confirmed yet.

Another study suggests that there is presence of water under the moon’s surface. Scientists say that there’s plenty of water beneath the moon, but it is slowly drying out. It was discovered that the existence of water is not new. It could have been there since the formation of the moon. However, it’s still uncertain how such large amounts of water ended up under the moon’s surface. According to researchers, the presence of water could be quite beneficial during future explorations. Transporting water from earth is a complex and expensive procedure which also requires a lot of time.

Both of these discoveries are quite impressive and have changed people’s perceptions about something as simple as the moon. Who would have thought that the moon could have so much going on beneath its surface, and who knows what else is yet to be uncovered?

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Space Mining

Gold mining, coal mining, salt mining, etc. are common terms which a layman can understand, but the concept of ‘space mining’ is not in the knowledge of many people. It basically involves the extraction of iron and other raw materials from the asteroid belt and other minor planets. These raw materials mainly include hard rock metal and precious metals.  It has a lot of advantages and disadvantages attached to it.

The asteroid belt is rich in assets. There are certain metals and other natural resources that are rare on earth, but not on the asteroids. These metals can be used in the production of many products. For example, electric vehicles, turbines, and many other types of electronics.

Extraction of raw materials from space could widen the resource bank within earth. Moreover, space mining opens up opportunities for space exploration. This eventually brings ideas for innovative creations beyond Earth like space colonies for humans. Moreover, it could relieve the environmental destruction currently caused by conventional mining industries on our planet.

On the flip side, it is believed that the process exploits all the resources mentioned above. For this reason, scientists do not consider the concept of space mining healthy at all. According to scientists, space mining is ruining the solar system and it needs to stop. Otherwise, it will force future generations to face an extreme crisis.

In addition to this, space mining has a huge potential for causing pollution. The preparation required for exploring outer space can be lethal for our planet. It requires the manufacturing of huge robots, machines and other mining-related equipment, as well as the rockets to launch these robots to outer space and bring them back too. This opens multiple doors for pollution which we already have enough on the planet.

Other than the environmental effects, the success of space mining can drastically affect the world’s economy. It may lead to huge job losses in the conventional mining industry. Obviously, who would consider mining on earth when they can find abundant resources in space? However, this could create jobs in the technology sector, but it may take time for people to adjust to the new changes.

Space mining seems to become easier with the advances in technology and research. Several companies have now started focusing on this version of mining. They are investing in technology and research to come up with workable ways to mine in space. However, things need to be done to consider the long term effect. Space mining does not seem like the best idea in the distant future. It can ruin the areas beyond Earth while trying to make survival easier on earth. Alternatively, it could turn out to be very beneficial for companies and the general public on Earth.

Florida Drones

In South Florida, rainy seasons can also be called mosquito season. For this purpose, Florida has come up with a new weapon to combat against insects and diseases. As per the latest updates, Florida is to battle mosquitoes through the Federal Drone’s Program. Federal approval has been granted to the Lee County Mosquito Control District to use the drone program for the purpose of managing pests by spending the summer spreading larvicide over salt marshes that are usually used as breeding grounds by infectious mosquitoes. This can be a high-tech and efficient attempt to control the pest population along with saving a huge deal of the state’s money. Drones are already being used by the mosquito control company for the purpose of searching for pools of standing water that are at distant places.

Interestingly, now these drones will be able to carry around enough larvicide that can be sprayed across more than 2 acres. This is a task that would normally be handled by helicopters that are very expensive. However, this technology will make it less costly and efficient to treat the remote pools and eradicate mosquitoes. Florida Keys Mosquito Control District wants to start with a precise location to test first.

Dealing with pests and finding a way to combat them can be a daunting task in some places. If not controlled, they could lead to the spread of various dangerous diseases. Therefore, this technology will be a good option to deal with such situations and controlling the spread of diseases, especially in remote areas.

A few days ago, residents in Key West woke up from the noise of a mosquito control helicopter that was there to spray larvicide to the Aedes aegypti mosquito after heavy rainfall. The Aedes aegypti mosquito carries diseases like dengue and Zika virus. These helicopters and drones will become a common sight during the summer as the plans are to spray larvicides on the saltmarsh mosquitoes in remote areas. The idea of using drones is a cost-effective and an efficient alternative compared to helicopters.

If everything goes as per the plan, Florida Keys Mosquito Control District will consider expanding the program next year. The exact details of when and how the unmanned drone will be used to spread larvicide and combat pests in Florida is unknown. The idea of this program is to expand and not be limited to the present regulations to see how this can be used to control other diseases. If it works, it could become a huge success for the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District.

Mars Water

A surprising discovery has been made that Mars consists of water that is leaking Hydrogen. A group of scientists have uncovered the strange way that water cycles on Mars. This could be a huge discovery in reasoning why Mars has turned into a dry planet from being a water-rich planet. Furthermore, this leakage of hydrogen could be making its way into space.

Evaporation is the only way that water can rise from the lower to the upper atmosphere and this is possible around every two years when Mars is nearest to the Sun and it’s summer in the southern hemisphere. In order to find out the weather dynamics of the Red Planet, a computer simulation was utilised by a team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

According to Paul Hartogh from MPS, during summers in the southern hemisphere, water vapour can rise up and reach the upper atmosphere along with warmer air. After this, the vapour can be carried to the North Pole where it will condense as a liquid, falling out of the sky. When all of this is taking place, some of the water particles might disintegrate and leak atoms of Hydrogen into the space. This discovery could be a significant insight as to why Mars has lost so much water, though it was once known to be covered with countless rivers and massive oceans.

In the distant past, many of the discoveries found that Mars was covered with huge rivers. The question is – where did it all go? Since that time, the planet has experienced a dramatic change. There is only a little amount of frozen water on the ground and small traces of vapour in the atmosphere. Scientists state that Mars has lost about 80% of its water. In the upper atmosphere, water vapour is separated into hydrogen and hydroxyl radicals by the radiation from the sun. This hydrogen then escapes to space. Many researches prove that even today, water is lost through the same process. But, how does the water vapour reach the upper atmosphere when the middle layer can cool it down and covert it to ice?

Scientists have calculated that during the dust storms in 2007, there was twice the amount of water vapour that reached the upper atmosphere than that during storm-less summers in the southern hemisphere. According to Hartogh, the Martian atmosphere is more permeable to the vapours, unlike that of the Earth. Also, this new discovery should be worrisome as if this continues to happen, Mars will continue to lose more and more water. Around most of the water that is on Mars, exists as ice or vapour in the atmosphere. The north polar ice cap is the only place where the water ice is visible. The Martian South Pole also consists of some of this water ice.

Hologram Campaigning

In 1977, a science fiction adventure called Star Wars was released. The epic was met with unprecedented anticipation and fanfare. The general populace and media alike were fascinated by the concepts depicted in the movie.

One of its most famous scenes involved a princess leading a rebellion who records a distress signal in the form of a holographic message. At the time, it felt like a distant and innovative concept. However, a few decades later, it has become a reality.

Even politicians are relying on holograms to contest elections. With the United States elections of 2020 only eighteen months away, candidates have already incorporated holograms into their campaigns.

Joko Widodo

One of the highest profile cases of a politician using holographic images to generate buzz is that of President Joko Widodo of Indonesia. Widodo has used a hologram to beam himself to areas and voters in key regions in anticipation of the election.

As Indonesia is the third largest democracy in the world and with elections fast approaching, Widodo and Ma’ruf, his vice presidential candidate, began projecting three dimensional images at campaign rallies. This allowed them to reach their followers in various hard to reach regions of the country and overcome stringent time constraints as well.

As more than 190 million voters were registered to participate in the elections, time was of the essence and through hologram campaigning, Widodo was able to deliver his message to more prospective followers.

The life size hologram was simply moved from one place to another across Indonesia as voting day grew closer. Widodo is not the only high profile example of a politician banking on the power of holographic images to reach his followers. Others include Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As Widodo shuttled around the archipelago, the 57-year-old tactics seemed to have paid dividends, since the latest polls have shown that Widodo and party held a lead over their rivals.

Narendra Modi

Modi, the incumbent Prime Minister of the largest democracy in the world, solved the conundrum of how to reach the maximum number of people all the way back in 2014. The BJP leader used holograms to address rallies across India and convey his message to the largest electorate on the planet.

Indian voting can typically last longer than a month which means that campaigning can become frantic at times. However, Modi successfully used the aid of holographic images to address various rallies simultaneously.

Once he emerged victorious in the aftermath of the elections, experts lauded Modi for pioneering the use of holograms in the country and using them to great effect. In a vast country such as India, embracing the technology meant that Modi was able to reach remote villages and garner greater support for his cause.

These two prominent examples show that hologram campaigning is no longer just a concept depicted in science fiction, but has become a reality.

Asteroids

Asteroids are basically small planets that may be found on the inner side of the solar system. Those which are larger in size are also referred to as planetoids.

Basics

Any astronomical object that orbits the sun, even if they do not always look similar to planetary discs, and do not have traits akin to comets, are categorised as asteroids by scientists. The most eminent example of asteroids are the co-orbital ones in proximity to the planet Jupiter.

In terms of substance, asteroids are rocky and airless in nature. The vast majority of these are the leftovers from the inception of the solar system and date back almost 4.6 billion years! Furthermore, there are approximately eight hundred thousand asteroids in the solar system.

A high number of these are located in the orbit of the sun and between the planets Mars and the aforementioned Jupiter. Asteroids also vary in terms of sizes. For instance, the largest known is called Vesta, which is comprised of a diameter of 329 miles. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some which are only a few feet in size as well. All in all, the complete mass of all asteroids in space in total is less than that of the moon.

As it stands, there are hundreds of thousands of asteroids that have been discovered by researchers and have been allocated tentative designations as well. In terms of further examination, agencies like NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) analyse thousands more on a yearly basis.

An interesting assessment that authorities have made is that there are also asteroids present in the solar system that are tiny enough that they cannot be observed from Earth. On the other hand, there are only 26 known asteroids in all which have a diameter that exceeds 200 kilometres.

Types

In terms of types, asteroids are categorised according to their spectra, chemical composition and albedo as well. The first kind is called the C-type. This classification includes more than 75% of discovered asteroids.

These are extremely dark in nature and are similar to carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. They have the same composition as the sun. However, the key difference is that they do not contain volatiles like hydrogen and helium.

The second form of asteroids is called the S-type. These make up roughly 17% of asteroids in the solar system. They are relatively brighter than the C-type and have a metallic nickel iron element that is mixed with magnesium silicates.

The third and final type is known as the M type. These make up the remainder of asteroids that we have not classified yet. They are extremely bright and have a pure mixture of nickel and iron. This only leaves the asteroids that have not been discovered yet or simply cannot be seen from our vantage point.