Midnight In The Desert — craters

The mystery of the missing craters on Ceres

Posted by K R on

The mystery of the missing craters on Ceres

When Nasa’s Dawn spacecraft arrived at Ceres last year the images it beamed back were puzzling. The nearest dwarf planet to Earth was missing the massive craters that astronomers thought would heavily scar the surface. As the Dawn probe swung around the body, the largest in the asteroid belt, its cameras recorded pictures of pockmarked terrain. But even though small craters dotted the Cerean surface, none were larger than the 175-mile-wide dent that is the Kerwan impact crater. This left scientists scratching their heads. Models of collisions in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter held that Ceres should...

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Trembling tundra - the latest weird phenomenon in Siberia's land of craters

Posted by K R on

Trembling tundra - the latest weird phenomenon in Siberia's land of craters

This extraordinary sight - in a video filmed of the tundra on remote Belyy Island in the Kara Sea off the Yamal Peninsula coastline - was witnessed by a scientific research expedition. Researchers Alexander Sokolov and Dorothee Ehrich spotted 15 patches of trembling or bubbling grass-covered ground. When punctured they emitted methane and carbon dioxide, according to measurements, although so far no details have been given. The reason is as yet unclear, but one possible explanation of the phenomenon is abnormal heat that caused permafrost to thaw, releasing gases. Alexander Sokolov said that this summer is unusually hot on the...

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Solved: how mystery craters were formed in northern Siberia

Posted by K R on

Solved: how mystery craters were formed in northern Siberia

A new expedition to the craters in Yamal, in northern Russia, shows how they have rapidly altered since they were first noticed last year, but also indicates the possibility that not all the craters were formed in identical ways. The holes - first noticed last year - intrigued and perplexed scientists from around the world, initially provoking a number of explanations as to their cause, the most outlandish of which was that they were caused by stray missiles or even aliens from outer space. Now the experts say the formation is something 'never observed' before, linked to warm weather in...

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Mysterious crater appears in Utah pond

Posted by K R on

Mysterious crater appears in Utah pond

This week folks in Circleville, Utah, were left wondering what might have created a huge round crater inside an irrigation pond owned by Gary Dalton, who jokingly described the phenomenon as “Martian art.” A few weeks ago, Dalton claimed to have spotted a bright-red meteor streaking across the sky, adding a touch more intrigue to this mystery. Experts from the Utah Geological Survey launched an investigation and lead scientist Bill Lund was left scratching his head, at least initially. “Well, yeah, we’ve got several theories,” he said. “ most of them have gone up in smoke.” He credits a geologic...

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