Thursday, July 10, 2008

water found on the moon

July 9, 2008 -- A new analysis of Apollo 15 moon rocks has for the first time uncovered water locked up inside.

It's just a miniscule amount of the wet stuff -- not enough to sustain even a lunar cactus or to power any hydrogen jetpacks -- but the discovery does bolster hopes that there has always been water in moon rocks and perhaps some locked away as ice in the dark crannies of polar craters.

The discovery also overturns 40 years of studies which had failed to find the water and which led to the conclusion, drawn by most planetary scientists, that moon rocks must be all dry.

"Folks said it was a waste of time," said lead researcher Alberto Saal of Brown University, regarding their proposal to look at the moon rocks one more time. "It took us three years to get it funded."

Still, using a refinement of a method called secondary mass spectrometry, Saal and his colleagues eventually were able to count molecules two orders of magnitude lower than in the past -- down to just four or five of water molecules per million. As it turned out, they found up to 46 parts per million in tiny volcanic glass balls brought back from the moon.

What really makes the case that this is truly old lunar water -- and not water made from hydrogen blasted from the sun into the moon rocks -- is the manner water is distributed inside the volcanic glass balls. Saal and his team found more water in the middle and less nearer the rims of the balls.

The only way for that to happen is if the water was in the rocks when they originally flowed out of lunar volcanoes and has been gradually diffusing away -- and perhaps some settling in cold dark craters -- over the billions of years since the rocks solidified.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mercury link to dolphin deaths

June 2008
Australian scientists have found that mercury poisoning could be leading local dolphins to beach themselves. Ross Thompson and Alissa Monk at Monash University in Melbourne suggest that the mercury's neurological effects would include confusion and disorientation, causing the dolphins to strand themselves on the shore.
While dolphins are known to accumulate mercury through the fish they eat, Thompson's study is the first to compare mercury levels in beached dolphins with live animals from the same population. Thompson sampled dolphins living in the shallow, enclosed waters of Port Phillip Bay and the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, Australia, finding that the beached dolphins averaged 3.45 milligrams of mercury per kilogram of body weight, over twice that of the live animals.
'The mercury levels we found in the dead dolphins were high enough to be causing quite severe neurological effects,' Thompson told Chemistry World. 'Even the levels in the apparently healthy population would be expected to cause immune deficits, at the very least,' he adds.
"The mercury levels we found in the dead dolphins were high enough to be causing quite severe neurological effects"- Ross Thompson The findings confirm earlier European studies on harbour porpoise populations, says marine ecotoxicology expert Krishna Das of Liege University in Belgium. But Das adds that it is very difficult to assess the effects of a single pollutant. 'Mercury could be a contributing factor to the dolphin deaths - but it is never acting alone as the animals have high levels of a lot of other pollutants,' she says.
Mining connection
Historical gold mining, which up until the 1930s used mercury in gold extraction, is the likely main source of the heavy metal in the waters, says Thompson. The mercury has gradually washed down the Yarra and other rivers, and accumulated in the sediments of the bay. Current dredging work could further increase mercury levels in the food chain, he adds. The mercury levels he measured were already higher than those found in dolphins in other populations in polluted waters around the world, from the Mediterranean to costal India.
As well as following the changing mercury levels as dredging continues, Thompson plans to examine how today's mercury levels compare with those of the past. 'We will test mercury levels in the teeth of museum specimens, which include dolphins from the late 19th century to the very recent, to see how mercury accumulation has changed over time,' he says.
As well as dolphins, Port Phillip Bay is also home to a colony of Fairy Penguins, but their mercury accumulation wasn't so high, probably because they feed lower in the food chain, and don't live as long. 'The penguins seem to be hit by zinc instead - the other main pollutant - but that's another story,' says Thompson.
James Mitchell Crow

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

snow leopards-will they be the next "DODO"?

i wonder how many of us care about biodiversity?? In our country, the tiger's situation is grim.. And in the far fringes of upper himalayas r the majestic nd rarely shot Snow leopards. A brief look at the snow leopaard:
These beautiful gray leopards live in the mountains of Central Asia. They are insulated by thick hair, and their wide, fur-covered feet act as natural snowshoes. These cats have powerful legs and are tremendous leapers, able to jump as far as 50 feet (15 meters). Snow leopards use their long tails for balance and as blankets to cover sensitive body parts against the severe mountain chill.Snow leopards prey upon the blue sheep (bharal) of Tibet and the Himalayas, and mountain ibex found over most of the rest of their range. Though these powerful predators can kill animals three times their weight, they also eat smaller fare, such as marmots, hares, and game birds.One Indian snow leopard, protected and observed in a national park, is reported to have consumed five blue sheep, nine Tibetan woolly hares, twenty-five marmots, five domestic goats, one domestic sheep, and fifteen birds in a single year.As these numbers indicate, snow leopards sometimes have a taste for domestic animals, which has led to many deaths of the big cats at the hands of herders.These endangered cats appear to be in dramatic decline because of such killings, and due to poaching driven by illegal trades in pelts and in body parts used for traditional Chinese medicine. Vanishing habitat and the decline of the cats' large mammal prey are also contributing factors.

Fast Facts:
Type: Mammal
Diet: Carnivore
Size: 4 to 5 ft (1.2 to 1.5 m); Tail, 36 in (91 cm)
Weight: 60 to 120 lbs (27 to 54 kg)
Protection status: Endangered
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m)

lets wake up to this grim reality nd try to conserve such beautiful species before it meets the fate of da 'DODO'

Communists in india-are they required??

well...friends. how many of us are well aware dat communist parties in india are actually Mao zedong's and Stalin supporters?? in a capitalist nd democratic country like ours they r surviving only because our constitution is liberal nd gives the right to expression. Crying out of their voices nd sayin "v r secular" doesn't make them so..Nandigram massacre amply proves dat they r like any other party in our country willing to even kill people for vote bank politics. wat do u think readers?? Our present govt should go ahead with da nuclear deal hopin SP supports it. then only will the communists come to their senses.

Our Indian Press-time for introspection

An independent press is one of the four pillars of democracy, a genuine one at that. The press in India is free, well largely, of government control. But is it free from prejudice?The Indian Express is largely anti-establishment while The Times of India is pro-whatever increases its bottom-line.
Even regional newspapers have their own axe to grind. Take for example, the Hyderabad-based Deccan Chronicle which is pro-Congress while the vernacular daily, Eenadu, is pro-TDP and vehemently anti-Congress.
Not that I care about these newspapers. Newspapers tell us what they want to tell us.When it comes to reflecting bias and a deep prejudice, one newspaper, which calls itself India’s only national newspaper, takes the cake. No marks for guessing the name of the newspaper. Yes, I am referring to The Hindu.The Hindu is owned, managed, and edited by hardcore communists. Run like a family enterprise, The Hindu is unabashedly pro-Communism, pro-China, anti-Hinduism, anti-BJP, anti-America, and anti-Capitalism.
Never mind, the “liberal and secular” intellectuals would have us believe otherwise.Let me cite a couple of examples. The Hindu advocates a tough line against the Indo-U.S. civil nuclear deal. The daily says that the government should not go ahead with the deal as it is loaded in favour of the U.S., the epitome of imperialism. It also says that the deal impinges on our national sovereignty.All the while the newspaper maintains an eerie silence on China’s nuclear deal with the U.S. To get the deal, China agreed to all terms dictated by the U.S. To propel its fast-growing economy, China needs energy. So it got the deal, whatever be the conditions.
So what about India? Well, the daily says that India should rely on indigenous technology to get energy and also import such resources from untrustworthy nations like Iran (I will reserve this for some other day). China should progress, India should not. Why? Because China is communist!!Just look at what’s happening in Tibet. While the unrest, riots, and consequent repressive measures unleashed by the Chinese authorities made headlines across the world, The Hindu didn’t carry any major news story on the explosive situation. The commie mouthpiece simply toed the Chinese government’s line, copied reports from the Chinese official media agency and published them in its pages.Like the Chinese government, The Hindu has called the Dalai Lama a liar and a subversive element. In fact, in an op-ed in the edition dated April 3, 2008, The Hindu had this to say about the Dalai Lama:"What those urging China to negotiate with the Dalai Lama fail to recognise is the fact that Beijing’s main constituency is not the international community but its own domestic public. For Beijing to appear ‘soft’ on the Dalai Lama would be as politically unpalatable domestically asit would be in the United States were Washington to decide to engage in dialogue with Osama bin Laden."
To read the article, click here.
Just look at the comparison: the Dalai Lama is like Osama bin Laden!! One of the greatest pacifists of our time is being equated with the most dangerous terrorist the world has ever seen. A bankrupt ideology (read Communism) has coloured the way The Hindu reports the truth.
-Courtesy "nocabbages"

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My first post

well, after a long time i am into blogging. though my friends told me to blog but i just couldn't some how.... now expect me to become a hardcore blogger guys and gals.........