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Science

Scientists have discovered three massive canyons in one of the last places to be explored on Earth – under the ice at the South Pole.

The deep canyons run for hundreds of kilometres, cutting through tall mountains. However, none are visible at the snowy surface of the continent as they are buried under hundreds of metres of ice.

Dr Kate Winter from Northumbria University, UK, and colleagues found the hidden features with radar.

The biggest of the canyons is called Foundation Trough. It is over 350km long and 35km wide.

The two other canyons are also big. The Patuxent Trough is more than 300km long and over 15km wide, while the Offset Rift Basin is 150km long and 30km wide.

The summer heatwave has massively affected New Zealand’s glaciers.
Glacier Snowline Survey found it was one of the largest glacier meltbacks since he began the survey in 1977.
Survey founder, Trevor Chin, said “A glacier is the best climate change indicator you can use.”
New Zealand glaciers have lost 30 percent of their ice, in the 40 years that the annual snowline survey has been running.

A city in the southern part of Pakistan soared to 50.2 Celsius. This might just be the highest temperature ever reliably measured on the planet during April.

The temperature was observed in the city of Nawabshah, which has a population of 1.1 million and is about 120 miles from the Indian Ocean.

Christopher Burt, an expert on global weather extremes said it was likely also the highest temperature “yet reliably observed on Earth in modern records.”

The previous hottest April temperature of 51.0 Celsius was set in Santa Rosa, Mexico, in April 2001.

Imagine someone having dinner and they’re eating and burping. Pretty gross, right?

Well, scientists have found that’s what black holes do – just like humans!

A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light cannot get out.

When cosmic gas passes nearby, it gets sucked in by the black hole and then some energy is released back out just like a burp!

And they don’t stop at one!

The dining galaxy is known by its abbreviated name, J1354, and is about 800 million light years from Earth. Scientists used observations from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope, as well as the ground-based optical telescopes to track both the behavior and diet of this monster-sized black hole.

Scientists think our Milky Way’s own black hole has experienced at least one similar burp of its own. By understanding how a black hole like J1354 feeds, astronomers are hoping to learn more about supermassive black holes and how they grow both near and far.

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake has struck Taiwan.

The powerful earthquake struck about 20km off the island’s east coast and was felt more than 160km away.

Authorities said they could not verify how many residents were still missing after the quake.

Children are being kept away from school and offices are closed in the city of Hualien.

About 40,000 homes there don’t have any water, and roads and bridges have been closed.

800 people have taken shelter in community buildings and people who live there have been told to stay away from their damaged homes.

The army has been called in to help firefighters and ambulance crews with emergency rescues.

Taiwan is regularly hit by earthquakes as it sits near where two tectonic plates meet.

Have you ever heard of a ‘Super Blue Blood Moon”?!
They are pretty rare and the last one happened around 150 years ago. It is when not one, but three events happen with the moon.
Firstly, “Super-moons” happen when a full Moon is closest to the Earth, appearing bigger and brighter than normal.
They are called ‘super’ because they are 15 percent brighter and 30 percent bigger than regular full moons!
Secondly, a “Blue Moon” is what you call the second full moon in one month. So the supermoon expected on January 31st will also be the second full Moon of that month, which means it’s a Blue Moon. They happen every two and a half years, on average.
Thirdly, a “Blood Moon” is the name given for a view of the Moon during a total lunar eclipse. Because of the way light passes through the Earth’s atmosphere during an eclipse, red light from the Sun is reflected onto it. The Moon’s reddish colour earns it the nickname… Blood Moon.
But will need to wake up at around 2am to see it!

Have you found the sea water hotter than usual this year?
A marine heatwave has led to New Zealand’s coastal waters jumping 2-4 degrees celcius warmer than a year ago.
The South Island has seen the most drastic change with some waters recording a jump of 6 degrees!
The December average was between 16-18 degrees, but even that is still a degree or two above normal.
However, the warmer seas have had an impact on storm systems which New Zealand caught a glimpse of in early January with wild weather across parts of the country.
Not only does the warmer temperature keep our air on land warmer but it contributes to the strengths of the storm.

GeoNet has issued a low-level volcano warning for Mt Ruapehu, which is emitting high levels of carbon dioxide.
For the past couple of months the crater lake temperature has also held steady at about 37°C , which is at the upper end of its scale.
While the alert level is one – the second-lowest possible – GNS said it was monitoring the mountain closely. The monitoring data suggest a slightly higher level of activity.
Fine weather allowed GeoNet to make airborne gas measurements and these recorded high levels of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide emissions from the crater lake (Te Wai Ā-Moe).
The CO2 emission rate on 23 November was 2290 tonnes/day, one of the largest values recorded in recent years.
The data are consistent with open vent degassing of Ruapehu. Higher than usual temperatures and high gas fluxes like we have now are common … Volcanic seismic tremor remains at moderate levels. The fine weather has also allowed the taking of water samples from Ruapehu Crater Lake and the analysis of these samples is underway.

Scientists are regrowing coral from larvae on damaged patches of the Great Barrier Reef in a project that could change the management of reef systems worldwide.

Professor Peter Harrison from Southern Cross University has been collecting coral spawn off Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef and maturing it in tanks.

“It’s really exciting, this essentially is the rebirth of the reef,” Professor Harrison said.

A team of scientists has deposited millions of coral larvae back onto damaged areas that may not regenerate naturally.

They created large enclosures around the coral using mesh curtains and special tiles to monitor growth.

Days later, photographs reveal coral polyps had survived, and were settling into their new home.

It is the first time this technique has been used in Australia, and it follows a successful trial in the Philippines that transformed reefs devastated by blast fishing.

“I think that this could be something that changes management of reefs worldwide. All of the reefs, everywhere in the world, are suffering at the moment,” Dr David Wackenfeld, Chief scientist at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said.

“In the past, the Marine Park Authority has had a philosophy of basically getting out of nature’s way.

“But climate change is really changing that. The reef is battered and bruised. It’s more impacted than it’s ever been before.”

Dr Wackenfeld said it had never been more urgent to tackle climate change.

An asteroid that visited us from interstellar space is one of the most elongated cosmic objects known to science.

Discovered on 19 October, the object’s speed and the path taken strongly suggested it originated in a planetary system around another star.

Astronomers have been scrambling to observe the unique space rock, known as ‘Oumuamua, before it fades from view.

Their results so far suggest it is at least 10 times longer than it is wide.

That ratio is more extreme than that of any asteroid or comet ever observed in our Solar System.

Astronomers have also discovered that ‘Oumuamua is dense, comprised of rock and possibly metals, and has no water or ice.

The asteroid’s name, ‘Oumuamua, means “a messenger from afar arriving first” in Hawaiian. It is pronounced oh MOO-uh MOO-uh.