Old water found in the New World?
Have we embarked on a new era in astronomy?
Curiosity is experiencing a short shutdown.
And who or what is watching you? Coming up today On Science!
Hello and welcome to On Science. I’m Emerald Robinson.
Hydrologists drilling in the largest crater in the country have found the oldest body of seawater ever unearthed. The water, which is at least 100 million years old, was found one kilometer beneath Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. What distinguishes the old water from the new water? The helium content indicated that is from the Early Cretaceous Period. Older water has been discovered in Canada, but this is the oldest body of water. Let’s not confuse the two. The impact actually helped to preserve the water as it trapped it beneath the ground in a region approximately the size of a large lake. That water is as old as dirt.
And astronomers have embarked upon a new era—the era of neutrino astronomy. Astronomers at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica announced that they have, for the first time, observed 28 very high-energy particle events – or cosmic neutrinos. The new IceCube detector can capture the astrophysical particles that are nearly massless and stream to Earth at the speed of light from outside of our solar system. From where these neutrinos originate is a mystery. Are they from supernovae? Did they emanate from gamma ray bursts? Or were they accelerated from an accreting black hole? Scientists say they just don’t know yet. They did say, however, that, “this is an important observation because it means that somewhere in the universe, there are high-intensity sources near a “central engine” and lots of collisions are occurring to produce the neutrinos.” I love mysteries.
And hold up! Curiosity’s shut down. But just for a short check-up. Literally. NASA suspended operations of the Curiosity rover due to a “soft” short, which is a leak through a material that is partially conductive of electricity—as opposed to a hard short, such as one electrical wire contacting another. Not to worry too much, NASA assures us that the vehicle is safe and stable and fully capable of operating in its present condition. They’re just being cautious. They said soft shorts can reduce the strength of the system to tolerate other shorts in the future and they can indicate problems with the component in which the short occurred. Well we don’t want none of that!
Think you’re simply at home, alone, watching your TV? What if your TV’s watching you? A blogger known as DoctorBeet claims that LG’s SMART TVs are spying on viewers, despite privacy settings being activated. The blogger reported that the new LG Smart TV was sending out information to LG about him, whether or not his privacy settings were on. Supposedly the option records a user’s behavior in order to offer up more relevant advertisements. DoctorBeet performed a traffic analysis and found the his TV was sending back unencrypted data to LG every time he turned the channel, and even transmitting filenames from an external USB hard drive he had plugged in. LG’s response—hey that’s what you signed up for when you bought it. But they have since announced that a firmware update is being prepared to correct for the problem. Now I’m going to be a little paranoid watching TV.
We think of T. Rex as the ultimate dinosaur predator, but there was one bad beast before him that kept the tyrannosaurs in check! Paleontologists have discovered a new species of carnivorous dinosaur buried in the Utah mountains. This species is one of the three largest ever found and lived and competed alongside tyrannosaurs back 98 millions of years ago. Named Siats meekerorum, the dino came in at 30 feet long and weighed at least 4 tons. And if you’re like me and love new dinosaur discoveries, here’s good news. Paleontologists say “stay tuned—there are a lot more cool critters where Siats came from.” Yes!
And that’s all for today On Science. Catch you next week!