Daily Orbit – The Red Planet Goes Blue

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,725
    1-8-13: On this episode of the Daily Orbit, a software engineer shows what Mars would look like if it had Earth’s properties, scientists use a simulation to study astronaut sleep, and the kilogram is gaining weight.

    Emerald Robinson: Is the kilogram getting fat? What are babies not getting? And watch out for that giant squid! Plus Martian dreaming on today's Daily Orbit.

    Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit, I'm Emerald Robinson. I dream of a Martian world with lush forest, grassy fields, vast rolling oceans and a breathable atmosphere.

    Well dream on and one man did. Software engineer Kevin Gill was inspired to turn the Red Planet into a blue planet. Using data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter he created a living Mars with a lush, green landscape, deep blue oceans and white clouds.

    He said there was no scientific reasoning behind his work; he just tried to envision how the land would appear given certain features. Although Gill's creation bears a striking resemblance to Earth, experts say there it is highly unlikely that the Red Planet could have ever supported any alien flora or fauna as it lacks a magnetic field to support a biosphere. Gill said he was simply hoping at least to trigger the imagination, so please enjoy, well mission accomplished Mr. Gill.

    But here is a Martian dream that could come true. Another Martian simulation looked at the effect a mission to Mars would have on astronauts' sleep. In a 520 day simulation of a space mission to Mars, researchers attempted to pinpoint the crucial role that sleep-wake cycles will play in extended space missions.

    A team of volunteers have been locked up in a 550 cubic-meter spacecraft-like confinement facility in Russia. The research teams monitored rest-activity patterns and looked at the extent to which sleep loss, fatigue, stress, mood changes, and conflicts happened.

    Overall they saw increased sedentariness of crew members and inadequate circadian synchronization, which they say will have to be addressed before we send a real crew to the Red Planet.

    Put on a few pounds over the holidays, you're not the only one. Scientists say that the kilogram itself has packed on a few over the years. The kilogram known as the International Prototype Kilogram or IPK is a standard against which all other measurements of mass are set.

    Housed in Paris, 40 replicas were made and sent worldwide in order to standardize mass. But hydrocarbons from pollution have built up on the surface of the weights and all at different rates which affects the worldwide standard. To shed the added weight the researchers suggest a suntan. UV and ozone can remove the contamination and bring them back to their ideal weight. God, wish it was that simple for us!

    She got it from her mama or didn't get it from her mama is more like it. A new study says that modern parenting has taken a turn for the worse as far as nurturing and parenting practices.

    What are babies not getting anymore? Constant touch, multiple caregivers, responsiveness to crying and breastfeeding, instead modern American parenting tends toward formula, isolation in their rooms and a fear of spoiling the baby.

    Researchers say this shift in parental practices is preventing healthy brain and emotional development in children. But researchers say it's never too late. They say take your child to do some rough and tumble play, dance or freelance artistic creation. My mama was on point with all of those, so I did get it from my mama.

    OMG there's a jumbo squid coming right at us. Look's like the coast of Southern Cali is under attack from the Humboldt squid. Okay not really, but they are appearing in record numbers. Some speculate the huge numbers of squid may be in response to an increased quantity of their favorite dish krill.

    Also known as the jumbo flying squid they can grow to be about 5 feet long and are nicknamed Diablo Rojo or red devil because their skin flashes red while on the hunt. I'll have Diablo Rojo fried or just some fried calamari.

    That's all for today's Daily Orbit. That calamari rocks, oh I am sorry, sorry I won't eat anymore of your family, please don't eat me.