Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Ceres ... yet another ocean world

Yet another ocean world.

Ocean worlds are cropping up all over with Ceres joining Enceladus, Europa and Ganymede as entities containing the elements needed to harbor life as we know it.

Data from NASA's recent Dawn mission answers two long-unresolved questions: Is there liquid inside Ceres, and how long ago was the dwarf planet geologically active?
NASA's Dawn spacecraft gave scientists extraordinary close-up views of the dwarf planet Ceres, which lies in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. By the time the mission ended in October 2018, the orbiter had dipped to less than 22 miles (35 kilometers) above the surface, revealing crisp details of the mysterious bright regions Ceres had become known for.

Scientists had figured out that the bright areas were deposits made mostly of sodium carbonate - a compound of sodium, carbon, and oxygen. They likely came from liquid that percolated up to the surface and evaporated, leaving behind a highly reflective salt crust. But what they hadn't yet determined was where that liquid came from.

By analyzing data collected near the end of the mission, Dawn scientists have concluded that the liquid came from a deep reservoir of brine, or salt-enriched water. By studying Ceres' gravity, scientists learned more about the dwarf planet's internal structure and were able to determine that the brine reservoir is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) deep and hundreds of miles wide.

Ceres doesn't benefit from internal heating generated by gravitational interactions with a large planet, as is the case for some of the icy moons of the outer solar system. But the new research, which focuses on Ceres' 57-mile-wide (92-kilometer-wide) Occator Crater - home to the most extensive bright areas - confirms that Ceres is a water-rich world like these other icy bodies.

But she is closer to the sun than the ocean worlds listed in this piece. :)

Monday, August 10, 2020

Fragility/Rev XX

Fast-moving tropical storm Isaias visited the Northeast on Monday, August 3rd with relatively moderate winds and virtually no rain yet the power outages wrought by the storm far exceeded 2012's Cat 3 Hurricane Sandy by a long shot. Why may you ask ... because of trees because trees are really heavy and totally uncooperative when they fall and snap power lines with the greatest of ease. Imagine if Isaias was a Cat 3 or Cat 4 storm. The impact of the hurricane would close down the Northeast corridor for months or ... maybe forever due to the dire straits the US finds itself in as we move further into the year of our lord 2020. To this rube, it points out the irrevocable fact the foundation of modern civilization is comprised of sticks, where any given disruption can bring the system to its knees in an NYC second just as Isaias did 8 days ago. Something to consider, don't you think?

Any questions?

Isaias storm track 

The Great Unraveling/Rev III

BRT has waxed "poetic" about why America is in such dire trouble. From gross and inept malfeasance performed by W and Weapons of Mass Destruction to The Donald mishandling COVID-19 to the nth degree, this once great nation has been ravaged by the so-called owners of the country in ways boggling the mind and ... we haven't even discussed the bankrupting kleptocracy of the MIC or the acceleration of climate change, the existential gorilla threatening to end our sorry ass existence on planet earth. 

Read the rest of Wade Davis' excellent and detailed article as to why America is unraveling, a notion yours truly has been writing about for quite a long time.

Adding insult to injury comes from an insightful blurb from Australia titled We are witnessing the fall of a great power describing the rottenness of the US political system with passion and accuracy, a take yours truly concurs with without question. In reading both pieces, a connect to the French Revolution comes to mind due to the fact America cannot handle the truth of a flawed political system needing a complete reset if the nation is to survive as a viable entity as it moves further into the 21st century. 

Just look at US foreign policy for the past 60+ years to see why this take rings true.

Monday, August 03, 2020

Mid Summer

Beauty, stealth, survival and renewal, the four states of the cycle of life apply
to all living entities without exception. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Friday, July 31, 2020


Yours truly gets memorized by swifts hunting for insects in a meadow, endlessly flying in ways that seem to defy physics as we know it. Wonderful, never-ending, the common swift does something, save for raising chicks, no other bird does ... it stays in the air without landing, for years.

Read Helen Macdonald's extraordinary article in its entirety. Worthwhile to the max.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Delving into the small/Rev XX

Black Eyed Susan

A noontime snack

Holding Pattern

Strike a pose

In the grip of passion

Starting on a journey