Tag Archives: rock

Mars rover Curiosity test fires the laser – pulverizes a rock just for fun (and science)

Johnny Five, aka the Mars rover Curiosity, continues its scientific journey. The nuclear-powered laboratory in-a-box pulled out it’s laser to blast a rock that got in its way. From NASA:

The mission’s ChemCam instrument hit a fist-sized rock named “Coronation” with 30 pulses of its laser during a 10-second period. Each pulse delivers more than a million watts of power for about five one-billionths of a second.

The energy from the laser creates a puff of ionized, glowing plasma. ChemCam catches the light with a telescope and analyzes it with three spectrometers for information about what elements are in the rock.

 

NASA said the main function of this was target practice to calibrate the ChemCam.

You gotta love the sense of play NASA is bringing to this mission. Not only are they releasing these stories about test-firing lasers, but they are all over social medial, including fan art on Facebook, a first-person Twitter account, sharing stories on Google Plus, and posting articles on their much more user-friendly website.

A great idea for the much beleaguered space agency, that I assume is a bid to get them back into America’s good graces…and taxpayer dollars.

***

Continue reading

Siberian Free Soloing – crazy story of locals climbing en masse

Climbers Jonathan Thesenga and Brittany Griffith are the first Americans to climb at Stolby, a central Siberian nature reserve, where the locals free solo en masse.

Comment:

Good afternoon! I live in Krasnoyarsk and itself each days off I go there. I confirm, many (a lot of, much) person there goes, but is far from being all climbing. Basically people rise on the simple courses, not representing to serious danger. They do not demand rocky footwear and cords. Complex (difficult) courses many go with equipment – cords, обвязки, delays, carbines. The basic danger on Columns not absence of a cord, but insects, the spiders called “клещами”, carrying fatal chronic diseases.

Video of Sicily’s Mount Etna erupting with lava flows and steam sprays

April 13, 2012 – Europe’s highest active volcano, Italy’s Mount Etna, erupted again this week. The eruption, which spewed blood-red molten lava and grey and white ash into the air, is the 24th in a series that started in January 2011.

 

A decade ago the volcano was at it again, this time more serious. Several thousands residents were forced to evacuate. Tom Pfeiffer was there, 800 meters away in February 2000, during one of the eruptions and described it for us.

From Scientific American:

After a few minutes, the first red spots began dancing above the crater, rising and falling back into it. The explosions grew stronger, first slowly, then with breathtaking speed, throwing bombs more than 1,000 meters above the rim. Soon the volcanic cone surrounding the crater was covered with glowing rocks. At the same time, a fountain of lava started to rise from a fracture on the flank of the cone. Several other fountains rose from the crater and formed a roaring, golden curtain that illuminated the scene like daylight. Some larger lava bombs crashed into the snow not far from us, but we felt secure in our viewing position. The fountain was nearly vertical, and a strong wind carried the mass of glowing lapilli and ash gently away from us.

 

// Thx to Seth Goldstein

Sweden leads the world in Heavy Metal bands

In Flames

 

Sweden has most heavy metal bands per 100,000 inhabitants. According to Metal-archives.com, it’s Scandinavia in general and Sweden in particular that has the most heavy metal bands in the world. According to their study there are 53.2 metal bands per 100,000 inhabitants in Sweden.

Joacim Cans, singer in the metal band HammerFall, is not surprised. He points at death metal (death metal is an extreme subgenre of heave metal music) and its so-called “Gothenburg sound” as a possible explanation.

Cans believes that bands such as In Flames and Opeth have inspired younger generations of metal musicians to create their own bands. “When a music style becomes world leading, then young people listen and want to do the same thing themselves. It reverberates.”

Cans also believes that the prerequisites for musicians and bands are especially good in Sweden. “In the US it’s very expensive to rent a rehearsal studio. In Sweden we have the municipal school of music, where you can learn to play an instrument at no cost at all.”

via Nordstjernan

 

// Photo via Nirazilla