Daily Orbit – A River Runs Through It

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,114
    9-28-12: On this episode of the Daily Orbit, the Curiosity Rover has discovered evidence of a river on mars, the asteroid Vesta might actually be a small planet, and a new chemical treatment for your laundry could help clear air pollution.

    Emerald Robinson: What's that Curiosity Rover up to now? Cleaning up the air one laundry load at a time and to eat or not to eat, that is the question. All that and more on today's dailyOrbit.

    Hello and Welcome to the dailyOrbit. I'm Emerald Robinson. Curious about what Curiosity is up to lately? Well Orbiters, Curiosity has found evidence of an ancient stream on the Red Planet. The rover returned images of a series of stones cemented into a layer of conglomerate rock. Scientists could tell from these rocks that water in the stream was moving at about 3 feet per second and was between ankle and hip deep. It is the first time that scientists are actually seeing water-transported gravel on Mars. They say this is important because a long-flowing stream could indicate a once-habitable environment.

    And speaking of space rocks, new research reinforces the idea that the asteroid Vesta may really be a stunted planet. NASA's Dawn spacecraft found that enormous troughs that reach across the asteroid could be faults that formed when another asteroid rammed into Vesta's south pole, with the largest trough outdoing the Grand Canyon in size.

    What's interesting is that these types of troughs could not have formed unless Vesta has a core, mantle and crust like the planets and larger moons. Scientists say that Vesta was like a little planet trying to happen. That's kind of like "The Little Engine that Could.

    " I think I can, I think I can.

    And here's a great start to your weekend. The humanitarian organization, DARA, says that 100 million people will die before 2030 due to climate change. Now before you get totally depressed, it is just a wake up call for us to deal with it.

    DARA says that the rise in global temperature averages, already up nearly 1.

    5 degrees Fahrenheit, causes effects like melting ice caps, extreme weather, drought and rising sea levels. Developing countries are expected to be hit the hardest. The report claims that 5 million deaths occur already each year from air pollution and that number is likely to rise if temperatures continue to increase. Sorry to do that to you on a Friday.

    But here may be a way that you can help prevent the 2030 meltdown. A new laundry additive that contains microscopic pollution-eating particles may soon be on the market. The additive contains nano-particles of titanium dioxide that cling very tightly to the clothing fabric. When these particles come in contact with nitrogen oxides in the air, they oxidize the pollutants. Each person who wears treated clothing removes up to 5g of nitrogen oxides from the air over the course of one day. This is roughly the amount of pollution produced everyday by the average family car. The additive only needs to be applied to the clothes once and is unnoticeable to the wearer. That would make me feel sort of like a superhero.




    "Now, here's something that's makes me feel very NOT like a superhero: should I eat that whole bag of double stuffed Oreos? A new study says that the struggle to choose between healthy and unhealthy food items is based off of neural processes in the brain. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex focuses on the not wanting a particular food item, while the ventromedial prefrontal cortex focuses on desiring the snack.

    So what does this mean? Well, when you try to exercise self-control, it takes a few seconds for your dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to kick in and help you say no. So you may go for the unhealthy snack first, but if you wait a couple of seconds, you'll have a better shot at choosing something healthy.

    That's it for today's dailyOrbit. Apple, muffin, apple, muffin, Oh what the heck!