Daily Orbit – The Scoop on Martian Water

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,370
    9-30-13: On this episode of the Daily Orbit, Curiosity finds 2% of the Martian surface contains water, Hubble’s accuracy is tested, and six satellites team up to study space weather.

    What’s the latest scoop on the Red Planet?

    NASA’s dawning a new view of one asteroid…

    We’ve got the low down on space weather…

    And we’re veggin’ out on the Daily Orbit!


    Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.


    Extra, extra read all about it!  We’ve got the scoop on Curiosity’s first scoop.  Scientists at NASA say that Curiosity’s first scoop taken from the Rocknest site contained water.  After putting the collection of dust, dirt and finely grained soil though the rover’s Sample Analysis at Mars instrument and heating it up, scientists found the Martian sample contained chlorine, oxygen, and carbonate materials that form in the presence of water.  They said this find suggests that about 2% of the Martian surface is made up of water and that it is likely globally distributed across the Red Planet.  And this is huge because it means that future human explorers will be able to use methods to extract water from the Martian surface and that it is abundant and easily accessible.  They can scoop it, heat it, and obtain water!


    And when NASA really wanted to get the scoop on a particular asteroid in the Solar System, it dawned on the agency to get up close and personal.  NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has provided a more detailed picture of the asteroid Vesta, the second largest in the asteroid belt, which scientists now say backs up the Hubble Telescope’s findings about the rock.  But Dawn has stepped in to answer questions Hubble couldn’t like what minerals make up the asteroid’s surface and why they seem to change color.  But NASA says most important is the fact that though information from Hubble was not as advanced as Dawn’s, the findings do align…which proves the accuracy of the Hubble Telescope.  Dawn is moving on to the dwarf planet Ceres because, as NASA said, most things are much more interesting close-up!

    And if you want to be around long enough to see all that NASA is finding out about our Solar System, eat your veggies!  A new epidemiological study from a team of European researchers showed that eating about 1.25 pounds of your fruits and veggies per day cuts your risk of mortality by 10% and gives you another 1.1 years of life, compared to eating less than a half of a pound of the good stuff.  And for every 7 ounces you add, cut another 6% off your overall mortality risk.  This healthy intake particularly cuts the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Researchers also found that raw veggies upped the positive impact with a 16% reduction in mortality.  The team found no significant risk reduction from fruit by itself and said that eating fruits and veggies could be particularly beneficial to drinkers and the obese as the antioxidants may counteract the oxidative stress linked to alcohol and obesity.  I guess you shoulda coulda had a V-8!


    And drinkers might not be eating enough fruits and veggies to counteract the extra ounces of vino their pouring.  A new study from Iowa State and Cornell Universities found glass size and shape impacts how much wine you pour.  Overall researchers said people have trouble with volume, and most participants overshot the 5-ounce serving by about 12 percent.  And people poured less wine in narrower glasses, since researchers say we focus more on the vertical measure than horizontal.  They also found people poured more white wine than red wine as it’s harder to see, and they poured more wine while holding the glass than if they set it on the counter.  So if you want to drink less wine, stick to narrower glasses and always place your glass on a table or counter before pouring.  It’s just hard to judge sometimes, you know!


    Today is going to be magnetic with a 30% chance of dropped calls, and that’s your space weather outlook.  A collaboration of researchers from UCLA, NASA, Japan and Austria used six different satellites to finally get the big picture on how solar storms, which can knock out communication systems, originate. Energy from the sun is stored in Earth’s magnetosphere, causing the layer to stretch out over a million miles like a tail. And similar to how a pebble thrown in a pond causes ripples, the release of this stored magnetic energy, called magnetic reconnection, converts the stored magnetic energy into particle energy that expands out and is converted into different kinds of energy, which is what powers auroras and the radiation belts.  The new positions of the 6 satellites allowed scientists to see the total energy conversion picture for the first time, which moves us closer to one-day predicting and forecasting space weather.

    And that’s your Daily Orbit!  Hey they weren’t calling for that.  They never get the space forecast right… geez