Saturday, September 15, 2012

Science Saturday - September 15, 2012

Amazing how these incredibly complicated NASA Mars missions seemingly come off  like "clockwork," innit?

It's been a a full six weeks since our last Science Saturday News Roundup. So just so our readers won't think we've completely "spaced out" on this intermittent WCF feature, here are a few science and technology stories (and one other item) which have fallen into our lap, more or less, in the interim since our last Science Saturday installment:

1) Now that European science geeks have "discovered the smallest particle that could ever exist, the team at Cern is now considering scaling up - with a brand new collider."
"The Geneva-based team which discovered what they believe to be the Higgs Boson particle this summer is now looking to the future, and are proposing a new underground accelerator with a circumference of 50miles (80kms) - three times the size of the current one under Geneva.
The collider will be used to solve a new batch of mysteries of the universe, such as how gravity interacts on a molecular level."

Cern's 20 member states have cooked up several "schemes" to replace the "old" ($4.6 billion) collider, which "has served its intended purpose." "Either scheme would cost billions of dollars, which would be shared" between the 20 Cern Members. the Mail Online article reports.
Apparently, for the European science community, money grows on trees.

2)  Via the Climate Central website we learn that "the record loss of Arctic sea ice this summer will echo throughout the weather patterns affecting the U.S. and Europe this winter, climate scientists said on Wednesday, since added heat in the Arctic influences the jet stream and may make extreme weather and climate events more likely." Our Republican Party "science denying" readers might wanna just skip this article entirely, we guess:
Sodden question: "How do you explain science to people who want to believe that the earth is 6,000 years old or that men rode dinosaurs?"

3) According to the website, "[a] new survey suggests that the chamber of molten rock beneath Santorini's volcano expanded 10-20 million cubic metres – up to 15 times the size of London's Olympic Stadium – between January 2011 and April 2012":
We'll be keeping a close eye on this one, inasmuch as the last time the Santorini super volcano (Thera) blew its top, it pretty much flattened the area around the mediterranean Sea, and arguably, drastically altered the course of world history.

4)  This fantastic video, sent to us by another alert and science-wonkish WCF reader, doesn't deal with the most recent Mars mission, but it's nevertheless pretty cool, wethink; so we'll embed it for our WCF readers' edification and viewing pleasure, nonetheless:

Amazing how these incredibly complicated NASA Mars missions seemingly come off  like routine  "clockwork," innit? Gotta admit we found ourselves cheering right along with the NASA technicians and scientists manning the JPL "ground control" center.

That's it for today, folks.  So who wants to throw in their own 2¢?

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