Editor's Note: These news briefs are part of a new column, "Earth Science in the News," by esteemed Rock & Gem contributor, Jim Brace-Thompson.
By Jim Brace-Thompson
Scientists believe they’ve detected an underground lake of salty liquid water some 12 miles wide a mile beneath the south polar ice cap of Mars.
While the presence of water on Mars has long been hypothesized, an article in the journal Science seems to confirm it. This, in turn, raises the possibility of life on our neighboring planet! In drawing their conclusions about the lake, scientists have used radar data from the European spacecraft Mars Express.
Said lead author Roberto Orosei, “It is an exciting prospect to think there could be more of these underground pockets of water elsewhere yet to be discovered.”
Enjoying Flashy Visitors from Space
Earth is not alone in this galaxy of ours. Now and again spectacular meteor showers provide us with flashy reminders, as did the Perseids during a darkened period of a crescent moon.
An article in USA Today called it “the best summertime meteor shower…coming to a sky near you”. This year, the Perseids peaked August 11-13 with as many as 70 meteors visible per hour for those in prime viewing locations.
I enjoyed watching while flat on my back with a blanket and pillow spread out on the lawn. If you missed it, you can don a jacket or coat, spread out a heated comforter, and brave more the more frigid arrivals of the Leonids in November and the Geminids in December.
Author: Jim Brace-Thompson
Founder and overseer of the AFMS Badge Program for kids.
An inductee of the National Rockhound & Lapidary Hall of Fame within their Education Category.
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