Archive

Posts Tagged ‘oceans’

NASA Image of the Day: Turbulent ocean

April 5, 2016 Leave a comment

NASA’s Image of the Day for April 5, 2016 shows the waters of the north Atlantic Ocean:

Atlantic Ocean, April 5, 2016

The Gulf Stream waters flow in somewhat parallel layers, slicing across what is otherwise a fairly turbulent western North Atlantic Ocean in this March 9, 2016 image collected by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite on NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite. The turbulence is made visible by the pigmented phytoplankton it entrains. Photo courtesy NASA.

NASA: Charon, Pluto’s moon, may once have had ocean

February 21, 2016 1 comment

In recent years humanity has learned that oceans are not unique to Earth. Discoveries of them on Saturn’s moons Enceladus and Titan and Jupiter’s moon Europa indicate that oceans may actually be ubiquitous in our solar system.

Now, it seems, it is possible that an ocean once existed on a satellite of the dwarf planet Pluto.

NASA said Friday that images obtained by the New Horizons probe suggest that Charon once had a subsurface sea that expanded outward as it froze, cracking the surface of the moon.

The photographs show tectonic faults, including some valleys more than 6.5 kilometers deep, that indicate an expansion of Charon sometime in the past.

Here’s how it likely happened:

The outer-most layer of Charon, including its surface, is now water ice. But the satellite’s internal heat would have caused that ice to melt deep under the surface, which would have resulted in a subsurface ocean. As the decay of radioactive elements that constitute Charon’s structure subsided, and as the rocky object cooled as the time since its formation passed, that ocean would have frozen. Just as the change of water’s state from liquid to solid on Earth causes an increase in the the compound’s volume, ice formation under the surface of Charon would have pushed the surface outward, resulting in the valleys and also numerous ridges and scarps.

Charon images, Feb. 2016

This image shows canyons on Charon. The blow-up photo at top right shows Serenity Chasma, one of many chasms near Charon’s equator. Those chasms constitute a system that is at least 1,800 kilometers long. The blow-up image at bottom right shows the topography of the same area and indicates that ice melted and re-froze there. Images courtesy NASA, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Southwest Research Institute.

coastal traveler

Trust, Faith and Change

Lewis Editorial

Bringing stories to life

Grey World Nomads

Around The World At A Slow Pace

The 70 at 70 Challenge

And so, I turned 70, and a new decade beckons....

The Last Ocean

Protecting the Ross Sea, Antarctica.

eoearthlive

Encyclopedia of Earth on WordPress

Evolutionary Biology

No foresight, no way back

Why? Because Science.

Combating Stupidity Since 2012

Empirical SCOTUS

Viewing the Supreme Court in an entirely new light

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.