NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA Can’t Explain What Made This Strange, Deep Hole on Mars

You’d think NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has seen everything there is to see on the Martian surface in the 11 years it’s orbited our nearest neighbour, but a snapshot taken over the planet’s South Pole has revealed something we can’t explain.

While the planet’s entire surface is pocked with various depressions and craters, a vast pit spotted among the “Swiss cheese terrain” of melting frozen carbon dioxide appears to be a bit deeper than your average hole, leaving astronomers to try and figure out what made it.

A lot of things can make holes in Mars’ rocky terrain: more than half a million meteorite impacts have left craters; collapsing lava tubes have created deep pits; ancient floods have gouged out giant chasms; and volcanic activity has melted ice to leave funnels.

Occasionally the MRO will come across an odd feature that poses a fun mystery to solve, such as this shallow, circular depression seen earlier this year.

But there’s nothing so shallow about this newly discovered pit. Just take a look at it:

PIA21636 hires NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Being summer for Mars’ South Pole, the Sun is low enough in the sky to accentuate shadows over the landscape, making subtle features pop right out. Yet there a glint of light is still able to reveal ice at the bottom of the hole.

Surrounding the pit are patches frozen carbon dioxide. The circles in the ice is thought to where the dry ice has sublimated into gas in the summer sunshine, leaving what astronomers call “Swiss Cheese terrain“.

The image was taken using the MRO’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE camera, which allows researchers to see objects on Mars that are larger than one metre (about 3 feet) in size from about 200 to 400 kilometres (about 125 to 250 miles) above.

That means the pit isn’t tiny – at 50 centimetres (19.7 inches) per pixel, we’re looking at a feature hundreds of metres across. Take a look on NASA’s website for a hi-res version of the image.

So the question is, did something punch its way through, or is it a collapse of some sort?

Without more information, it’s hard to tell, but no doubt NASA will be discussing all of the possibilities.

The MRO has been in Martian orbit since March, 2006, sending back detailed images of the Red Planet’s surface that reveal a dynamic environment where dust devils roam, sand dunes crawl, and occasional bits of Earthling tech are left to gather dust.

After completing all of its primary goals in the first two years, and two mission extensions, the orbiter is still going strong – we’ll almost certainly be seeing more odd holes like this in the future.

5 JUN 2017

Scientists have created the illusion of touch in VR

Today, the equipment that allows us to enter the world of VR, affects only two of our senses – sight and hearing. Perhaps, using such devices someday we will be able to feel the flavors and smells, but rather will not happen until the virtual reality does not begin to simulate touch. Finally, the simulation of this sense seems to be another logical step for the VR. The question is how will it be implemented?

Researchers at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam have developed a device that uses neuromuscular stimulation (EMS) to simulate the feel of touching walls and other objects in virtual reality. At the moment we are dealing with his rather crude version, because the device is a backpack containing 8-channel muscle stimulator from which the wires and electrodes are discharged.

The device sends small electric impulses to create the feel of touching the object. Of course, at the moment, the device is definitely not a “small amount of hardware”, so it is therefore not ready for commercial use. Let us hope, however, that this will soon…

LHC and new Five Particles

Five new particles in one go! @LHCbExperiment observed an exceptionally large group of particles in a single analysis:


Over the coming months and years, the LHC will use its amazing amount of energy to open up the “dark sector of physics,” revealing currently unknown particles and helping solve some of our greatest cosmic mysteries (such as dark matter, parallel dimensions, and what happened during the earliest moments of the Big Bang). With new updates coming to the LHC, the team promises “even more impressive” physics opportunities.

Fast Radio Burst

First discovered them in the form of one-off flares, suggesting that their source may be destroyed as a result of the events which gave rise to this strong emissions. An example is the star explosion known as a supernova – are extremely powerful cosmic explosions, which can be several times brighter than the light emitted by the galaxy. However, about a little complicated at a time when in 2012 the powerful radio telescope called Arecibo, first reported FRB, which is regularly repeated. The name you assigned to the flashes comes from the date of their discovery: FRB 121,102th Later, another radio telescopes took to watching this event and were able to determine the location of its source, which was very satisfactory achievement, tossing a little bit of light on the mystery. It turned out that regular bursts of radio emission comes from the dwarf galaxy away from us by about 3 billion light-years. Mankind is certainly not able to create such a facility, but Loeb and Lingam point out that their idea is still within the laws of physics, ie. With appropriate technological advancement of its implementation is not excluded. If someone wondered about the reason for building such things, the researchers report that this could be used as a power source for light sails, that allow you to conduct review of their spaceships.

Abandoned Engineering

Over the years, emerged interesting ideas, you might want to check out this series.

“These are some of the most spectacular examples of abandoned engineering the world has ever known. The series explores how and why they were built, consider the financial and social costs of their failure and examine the environmental and ecological impacts. The series also explores how experts came up with plans to make something beautiful or useful from the ruins.” – text from producers

Xiaomi processors

Soon the market will be released two processors from Xiaomi. The first processor Xiaomi is to be named Pinacone. The Chinese company will present the V670 system with eight Cortex-A53 cores and graphics chip Mali-T860 MP4, probably too V970 with four core Cortex-A73 and four A53, juxtaposed with graphics Mali-G71 MP12.

Working robots should pay taxes

I think it is no doubt that in the future, robots will form a growing part of the workforce. It’s an uncomfortable situation for the government bodies that derive a significant percentage of revenues from income taxes and compulsory insurance. The former head of Microsoft believes that the best solution would be to introduce an obligation to pay taxes by robots – and more specifically by their owners. With this idea come Bill Gates and hedoes not mean vision conscious androids alone responsible for the charges. The money would come from companies saving by not employing people, and from the manufacturers of robots. Tax automation could help people who lose their jobs to robots, by funding training for positions that require human understanding and feelings, such as care for the elderly or working with children with special educational needs. You may already be in the next few-dozen years or so we will know how in fact will operate tax on working machines. Of course, the introduction of new regulations will not be enthusiastically adopted by companies producing robots and use them for work previously performed by humans. Gates stresses that this should not stand in the way of innovation, and enthusiasm for robots should be greater than the fear of development. This idea is very cleaver, especially from person who contributed to the development of computers.

Red planet and CO2

Scientists actually agree to the opinion that in the distant past on the surface of Mars had flowing river, that there were a lake. The problem is that the then sun does not shine intensely enough to the surface of the Red Planet could have the appropriately high temperature. That’s why we formulated the theory of denser, rich in CO2 atmosphere, which, thanks to the greenhouse effect could keep the planet’s surface temperature above freezing. It is this theory stood now in question. The study of the rocks themselves, in which a probe Curiosity was once the settlement, which were explained by the presence there of an ancient lake, now showed that carbon dioxide was there not enough. Mars rover has not found there traces of carbonates, which in an atmosphere rich in CO2 would have to occur. The equipment allows him to detect even a few percent carbonate content. In any sample does not appear. It is on this basis the authors put the idea on the maximum CO2 content. In water, the carbon dioxide forms carbonate binds to the positively charged ions of magnesium and iron. Studies of other rocks lake bed indicate that the ions are available, and the environment has never been sufficiently acidic to be able to dissolve the carbonates. If there is no trace of carbonates, it must mean that carbon dioxide was not enough.

Kodak Super 8

The new Kodak camera appeared on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the production of the film Super 8. The prototype device can be viewed today at CES in Las Vegas. An interesting option is certainly to provide the manufacturer, in the case of buy film for the camera, the buyer receives the full service, which will consist of the call to the film lab and rip it to digital form. The camera used was mounting lenses C. The set will be able to get a lens with a focal length of 6 mm f / 1.2 or optional lens 8-48 mm. Sharpening and working aperture at the adjusted manually.

It features filmmaker will be a 3.5-inch LCD screen to view filmed material. Recorded while the sound is ripped on the SD memory card. You will also connect to the camera external microphones. Camera Kodak Super 8 is expected to be available in the spring of 2017 years. The expected price will be approx. $ 2,000.

Edit photos using your voice?

Adobe has made available on its YouTube channel a short video demonstrating the ability to edit photos using voice commands. All thanks to the mobile application installed on the tablet – which recognizes the speech. In the video you can see how using the voice of the user, among others, cropped image and provides them in a social network. Behind the project is the responsibility of a group of Adobe Research. The intelligent speech recognition works based on cloud solutions. It is worth noting that this is by far show the ideas and possibilities of the tool itself. Besides the presentation of the film, Adobe did not mention when this type of service could occur in mobile applications company.