April 9, 2013
Curiosity Finds Evidence Of Atmospheric Thinning On Mars – The Daily Orbit
What celestial body is losing it?
Are you registered?
And Liquid robots? No, they’re not made of liquid.
We’re shaking it up on today’s Daily Orbit!
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
Looks like Mars is going bald! New evidence from Curiosity suggests that Mars’ atmosphere has thinned over time—maybe as much as 95%. In the same way that the rover took in rock for analysis, it can suck in atmosphere to be measured by its instruments. The presence of a heavier Argon isotope in the Martian air leads scientists to believe that the lighter Argon isotope had no place to go but up, up and away into space—the same had already been found for oxygen, carbon, and water vapor. Scientists say that the heavier Argon isotopes are held closer to the Martian surface because of gravity; forcing the lighter isotopes up and eventually out of the planet’s gravitational hold. They say a thicker atmosphere would have been stable enough to support water, which could have assisted life. Scientists say this is the kind of evidence they had been looking for. Well, seek and you shall find.
And if you’re seeking a specific domain name to register on the Internet, you might find it’s already been registered! A new report says that more than 6 million domain names were added to the Internet in the last three months of 2012 upping the total to 252 million worldwide. Annually, registered domains saw an 11.8% increase with .com’s leading the pack, followed by .net. And even country code domains rose 21.6% for the year. I had this great idea for a domain for my new blog, yeah, well someone else had already had that great idea.
And here’s another good idea from Liquid Robotics. After having set a world record with their PACX Wave Glider robot that traveled 9,000 miles autonomously across the Pacific Ocean, the company has introduced its next wave of nautical robot—the Wave Glider SV3. This unmanned robot is propelled by both wave and, now solar power! It will be able to scour portions of the ocean that were before too costly in order to track sea temperatures, monitor global climate change, give early warnings on hurricane and tsunamis and keep an eye on fishery management. But at a price—$300,000 to be exact. The original wave glider sells for $175,000 but developers say the extra dough-re-me is worth it for energy efficiency. I think they should name it after a famous explorer or more than one—The Marco Polo Columbus….
And gelada monkeys are speaking up, or at least now we’re hearing them. New research says that this primate which resides in the remote mountains of Ethiopia, makes a series of lip-smacking sounds that have a speech-like, undulating rhythm. Their vocalizations are known as “wobbles.” Scientists say they now believe it is the only non-human primate that communicates in a method similar to people, and some are saying it might have been the first step in human speech evolution. Oh, he’s trying to tell me something. I think he’s saying he loves the Daily Orbit!
Okay this next one makes me queasy just thinking about it. Let’s just say I’m not the best when it comes to flying and now scientists are saying that climate change will lead to bumpier flights. They say climate change is causing stronger jet streams, which is increasing mid-air turbulence. Models suggest turbulence on flights between Europe and North America to double by 2050. Ugh! Taking alternate routes to avoid turbulence raises carbon emissions and fuel costs—meaning higher ticket prices. Not cool. Turbulence leads to hundreds of injuries, delays, and plane damage every year. We have a rough ride ahead us! I feel sorry for people who have to sit beside me!
Well, that’s it for today’s show.