Ceres’ bright spots get weirder — After months of rampant speculation, scientists announced late last year that the bright spots on dwarf planet Ceres are giant deposits of salt. Case closed, right? No. We’ve since managed a better look at the spots, and the craters they reside in, and Ceres is shaping up to be a much weirder place than we imagined. One theory says the bright material in Ceres’ craters is sodium carbonate, an ocean mineral best known for its use in household cleaning products. That would make Ceres the most carbonate-rich world aside from Earth
~ My theory is dance parties.
Nightmare sound of a spacecraft entering Jupiter’s magnetic field — As NASA’s Juno mission continues to hurl itself toward Jupiter, the terrifying reality of flying close to the biggest and baddest planet in our solar system is starting to set in. Now the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has posted recordings the spacecraft created based on data collected as it crossed Jupiter’s ‘bow shock’ and entered the magnetosphere.
~ Good band name: Upstream Plasma Oscillators.
Strange in the sands of Mars — Researchers looking at images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Curiosity rover spotted a strange combination of almost wave-like ripples forming in the sands of Mars. Over time, these formations often even solidified into rock, resulting in strange landscape photos you can view at Gizmodo.
~ Odder and odder in an odd place.
Entropy explains how life can come from randomness — Physicist David Kaplan explains how life came to be on Earth in the latest instalment of Quanta‘s In Theory video series, and it’s all because of increasing entropy. MIT professor named Jeremy England has come up with an actual mathematical formula for how this might happen.
~ Because compost …
New kind of filling nixes root canals — root canals, even the milder variety, are no fun, and it would be awesome if we never had to deal with them again. So three cheers for a team of scientists from Harvard and the University of Nottingham, who’ve come up with a new type of synthetic biomaterial for fillings that is regenerative.
~ Something we can all cheer about.
The day after tomorrow happened many yesterdays back — Toward the end of the last ice age, Earth’s climate was a turbulent beast, warming up and chilling out again every 1500 years. Research published in Science links these abrupt temperature swings to changes in ocean circulation, filling an important gap in our understanding of past climate change.
~ And even without human industry to make it worse.