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Eyjafjallajökull, erupting in October 2010, in Iceland. This massive volcano is the little brother of another brooding subterranean monster lurking under deep glacial ice called Bárðarbunga. Click image for larger, gorgeous version at National Geographic's website.
Deep under a layer of ice and kilometers of rock and soil, an Icelandic monster may be waking from a long wintery nap:
Ice caps the volcano, which complicates the efforts at prediction, says Gudmundsson. If the magma erupts beneath the ice, the result would be sudden floods and a buildup of water vapor and pressure under the ice cap that could lead to a tremendous explosion, sending ash as high as the stratosphere. That's what happened in 2010.

Whether the eruption would exactly mimic the one in 2010 is hard to say, because the basaltic magma beneath Bárđarbunga is of a different variety, and the grain size of ash depends on complex interactions with water vapor. Smaller grains travel higher and pose more of a threat to jet engines.

  • Mars Curiosity has taken pics of a lot of cool and unexpected objects laying on the dusty, frozen surface. But I'd be willing to bet that that's not a Martian's thigh-bone!
  • In an encouraging sign for the possibility of life on worlds ranging from Mars to the water-rich moons of Jupiter and Saturn, scientists boring into an ancient Antarctic lake sealed under hundreds of meters of ancient ice find almost 4,000 species of tiny, exotic creatures:
    Antarctica, the coldest place on Earth, teems with microscopic life. Tiny organisms dwell on the ice and live inside glaciers, and now, researchers confirm, a rich microbial ecosystem persists underneath the thick ice sheet, where no sunlight has been felt for millions of years.
  • Tucked quietly in the night 20,000 light-years away lurks the biggest stellar nursery in the Milky Way, where massive stars are born.
  • Kids using less sunscreen? Bad Idea:

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech and Astro Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I can't wait for the flying saucer kooks to (4+ / 0-)

    take the "thigh bone" and run with it. Like they did with the "bases on the Moon" and the "Mars Face".

    Some people will swallow absolutely anything, as long as it tells them what they already want to hear.  (shrug)

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:05:43 AM PDT

  •  I'd like to use sunscreen but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SparkyGump, Aunt Pat, Pale Jenova, NonnyO

    it irritates my sensitive skin.

    I haven't left the house without foundation makeup and sunglasses in many years. That doesn't help my hands and arms, though.

    •  I don't like sunscreen becuase of the chemicals so (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sunspots, Aunt Pat, NonnyO

      I wear a hat and long sleeves when I know I'm going to be exposed to the sun for any length of time.

      •  I got terrible sunburns every summer as a kid (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat

        growing up in Southern CA, and the only sunscreen you could find was either "suntan lotion" (no help) or zinc oxide ointment that lifeguards wore.

        I wear sunscreen every day of my life. I am thankful for the options that became available at the end of the 1970s.

        There are a lot of different sunscreens available. These days you can get a lotion that has micro zinc oxide in it and not those other chemicals. That isn't to say that the vehicle (lotion itself) won't irritate skin, but there are options out there for folks who don't want the common sunscreens.

    •  My mom has driving gloves to help with sun (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat

      exposure in the car.

      You might explore other sunscreen options than the common ones. There are a lot of them that are fairly chemical-free.

    •  Slow exposure can build protection (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, FarWestGirl

      It's those intense mid-day hours that burn you fast and hard.

      Although if you have black skin . . . extra protection. (Not my case. I can become a redneck in twenty minutes flat.)

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:35:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sunscreen seems like damned if you do (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, FarWestGirl

      damned if you don't.

      If you don't, you could possibly get skin cancer.  If you do, you're potentially depriving yourself of Vitamin D, which could result in you developing a host of other ills.

      •  I heard a program on public radio (0+ / 0-)

        in which the guests were bully for sunscreen - they loved it so much they dismissed any concerns about getting enough vitamin D, asserting - you can always get that in a pill!

  •  My God, it's full of stars (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SparkyGump, Aunt Pat, FarWestGirl
  •  That pic of the lighting in a volcano eruption is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova

    beautiful. The Earth is truly an amazing place to look at.

    Regarding the Mars pic, I think we, as humans, tend to identify objects using our own context to explain them. I believe it's called "Matrixing".  I'm a believer in the "Ancient Alien" theory but have yet to see any obvious artificial objects on Mars. I have, however, seen some objects there that deserve a more thorough analysis. The Sumerians said their gods used Mars as a way station between their world, "Nibiru" and Earth. If it is true, we could be in for a quite the shock if we uncover evidence on Mars. It's good to keep an open but skeptical mind regarding this. Remember, we all used to think Earth was the only place for life in the universe.

    •  "keeping an open mind" is great. (5+ / 0-)

      Having it so open that one's brain falls out, is not so great.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:34:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ps--about the whole "ancient astronauts" thingie (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BelgianBastard, Aunt Pat

      I won't even bother. I prefer to save my ire for anti-science kooks who actually do damage to people, like the anti-vaxxers. The flying saucer kooks are basically harmless, so I don't really care what nonsense they choose to believe. (shrug)

      Though I can't resist posting this:

      tumblr_m97z6aLRpZ1r4sd0zo1_1280

      (snicker)

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:38:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Sumerians are a fascinating piece of history. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SparkyGump

      I find it funny that the people that dismiss the idea that the Sumerians were in contact with ET's are usually coming from a point of view that this couldn't be possible because their religion tells them so. And the idea that their prophets may have been doing the same thing the Sumerians were doing is heresy. Matrixing comes from the phenomenon that exists when creating the aural illusion of a three or four dimensional space from a two dimensional or stereo source.

      By keeping the assumptions in the peripheral and focusing attention on the source it is easier to put critical thinking to work. That being the possibility that the ancient prophets were, in fact, communicating with very intelligent beings. Possibly from the same beings the Sumerians encountered. Maybe even rogue ones that were a bit more enamored with themselves.

      Artifacts on Mars would be pretty sexy in terms of getting to the source of these mysteries, but it would really piss off the Phil Specter "Wall of Sound" folks.

      Just gabbing here.

      “...I'm glad I'm not afraid to be lazy!” ― Augustus Mc Crea, "Lonesome Dove"

      by nutherhumanbeing on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:32:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think some people have been watching (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BelgianBastard, Aunt Pat

        too much History Channel crapola.

        (sigh)

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:37:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, actually. I read. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SparkyGump

          Sumerians are the source of fascination to countless scientists and just normal everyday people who like talking about cool and mysterious things. They're easily as interesting as any sci-fi fiction available and sure, History Channel probably did a bit on them. I didn't see it, but I guarantee it was better than Duck Dyno or whatever.

          So, if you aren't interested in talking about what ifs and maybe's and would rather embrace what the old man told you about God or his prized WW2 gun collection, then by all means sigh and walk away. I won't begrudge you your interests either petty or passionate.

          Just don't bore me with your cheap little shots that really don't say anything but somehow manage to condescend.
          Surely you have better things to do than wander around making people feel lower than your superior self.
           

          “...I'm glad I'm not afraid to be lazy!” ― Augustus Mc Crea, "Lonesome Dove"

          by nutherhumanbeing on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:24:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome sunscreen video. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, NonnyO

    Yes, there are a lot of problematic chemicals in many common sunscreens. Yes, spray on is bad because it aerates those chemicals.

    There are a LOT of sunscreen options out there, though, made with significantly different components. There are clothes that can help block UV rays.  

  •  You missed your subtitle, DarkSyde. It should h... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, NonnyO

    You missed your subtitle, DarkSyde. It should have been "This week in science: A Song of Ice and Fire"

    :-D

  •  Thanks DarkSyde nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:17:49 AM PDT

  •  Burgess Shale Fossils Part II (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deben, Aunt Pat, LuvSet
    Scientists are continuing to explore a new Burgess Shale site on the Alberta-B.C. border that has already yielded thousands of discoveries, some of them never before seen.

    The site is just 40 kilometres from the 505-million-year-old Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park, one of the most important fossil fields in the world.

    In 2012, researchers did a major dig and found more than 3,000 specimens, including 55 species — 12 of them new to the science world.

    “You can see the last meal of this organism and what he ate and so you can start building this interaction that existed during the Cambrian more than 500 million years ago. This is exceptional,” he [Royal Ontario Museum curator Jean Bernard Caron] said.

    "This rock really tells us much more about our roots — the roots of modern biodiversity, including us."

    http://www.cbc.ca/...
  •  The thigh bone is connect to the . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BelgianBastard, Aunt Pat

    We humans are good at seeing patterns, no?

    :)

    It's all about survival. In particular, threats to survival.

    Now, if we could just steal some of Venus' atmosphere and give it to Mars . . .

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:37:57 AM PDT

  •  Looks like Iceland's Volcano just missed the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BelgianBastard

    August festival. Or is it the other way around? Kind of hard to separate the two events. Very explosive.

    Yes...that was a double entendre.  

    “...I'm glad I'm not afraid to be lazy!” ― Augustus Mc Crea, "Lonesome Dove"

    by nutherhumanbeing on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:40:28 AM PDT

  •  "is connect to"? Grammar fail --LOL (nt) (0+ / 0-)

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:40:57 AM PDT

  •  AP posted alert to red. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deben, Aunt Pat

    States some type of eruption is eminent under the ice.  Aviation is being re routed.  10:40 est. time  

    Change is a process, not an event. ~ Joellen Killion

    by sabathiel on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:57:06 AM PDT

  •  Eruption has begun in Iceland volcano (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deben, Aunt Pat

    FromIcelandic Met Office.

    Warning It is believed that a small subglacial lava-eruption has begun under the Dyngjujökull glacier. The aviation color code for the Bárðarbunga volcano has been changed from orange to red.
  •  Thar she blows (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deben, kerflooey, Aunt Pat

    Volcano eruption has begun.  Size and extent remain unknown.  While we await an update diary from Rei, you can monitor what is happening here and here

    Not from the infinite and not from the nothingness--but from where the infinite and nothingness meet.

    by YankInUK on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 08:01:15 AM PDT

  •  On the other hand... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, NonnyO

    ...sunscreen kills phytoplankton.  Tough choice.

  •  "Pyroclastic". "Rheomorphic". "Phreatomagmatic"... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    ...Volcanologists have the best glossary, hands down.

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 09:19:17 AM PDT

  •  I do have to say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LuvSet

    that I'm amused at how much the name Bárðarbunga sounds like a huge explosion.

    Being "pro-life" means believing that every child born has a right to food, education, and access to health care.

    by Jilly W on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 10:05:52 AM PDT

  •  plankton on the space station (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lenny Flank

    another sign of the hardiness of (some kinds of) life:

    some organisms can live on the surface of the International Space Station (ISS) for years amid factors of a space flight, such as zero gravity, temperature conditions and hard cosmic radiation. Several surveys proved that these organisms can even develop.
    source
    •  I recall when Apollo 12 brought back bacteria (0+ / 0-)

      that had been living on the Moon for three years on one of the old Surveyor unmanned probes.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 02:55:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  possibly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lenny Flank

        or possibly not:

        The Surveyor 3 camera-team thought they had detected a microbe that had lived on the moon for all those years, "but they only detected their own contamination," Rummel told SPACE.com.
        source
        •  I tend to doubt the "contamination" hypothesis (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LuvSet

          mostly because there was only one strain of one species found on the Surveyor camera--which would have occurred if it had been the only survivor of space conditions, but would NOT have occurred if it had been from ordinary terrestrial contamination. If it had been terrestrial contamination during study, we'd expect individuals of lots of different bacteria species to be present--indeed, we'd find a random sample of bacterial species present in the room. And that is not what was found.

          So my money is still on the "bacteria formed spores on the Moon" hypothesis.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:16:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it might be a worthwhile planned experiment (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lenny Flank

            - sending little probes carrying bacteria around the solar system then collecting them and seeing which (if any) retained life. Such an experiment would test the panspermia idea. I've read speculation that life originated on Mars, say, and traveled to Earth via a rock blasted off the surface of Mars in an impact event.

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