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Friday fold: Opal Range, Alberta

Fri, 07/03/2015 - 8:23am
Howard Allen is the Friday folder who keeps on giving… Here’s his latest: Multiple folds at top of ridge, Opal Range, Alberta. Photographed from Kananaskis Highway 40, looking SE. Beds are Carboniferous carbonates, probably Mount Head and/or Etherington formations. There are lots of great folds to be seen along that road. The Kananaskis Trail is in the “tourist shadow” of the nearby Trans-Canada Highway, which means it’s well worth your …

Physics Girl Talks Quarks

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 10:18pm
THIS is cool science communication! I didn’t know that strange and charm quarks could be inside a Proton/Neutron. Neat!

Darjeeling: 38 killed and 23 missing in landslides

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 3:11am
Yesterday heavy monsoon rainfall triggered at least 25 landslides in Darjeeling, northern India, killing at least 38 people.

Sol 1032: Lots of Contact Science!

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 12:00am
Phew! Today was a busy day on Mars! Ken and I were both on operations today, picking up where Lauren left off yesterday. Ken was helping with ChemCam science in the geology and mineralogy (GeoMin) theme group, and I was the GeoMin Keeper of the Plan (KOP). We started off the day admiring the beautiful images from the sol 1031 “dog’s-eye view” mosaic of the ledge near the target “Missoula”. …

CUR Quarterly – a journal for undergraduate research mentors

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 8:42am
"Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly [CUR Quarterly]... provides useful and inspiring information about student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship from all types of institutions."

An updated landslide density map from the Nepal earthquakes from the EWF project

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 2:32am
The EWF project has published a revised map showing landslide density for the Nepal earthquakes in April and May.

This Looks like A Hoax, but It’s Not. It’s a Crown Flash

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 10:51pm
This must be the season for them because I saw one myself last weekend (here in Maryland) for a few seconds. I was unsure of what it was, but assumed that cirrus clouds were reflecting the sunlight in a strange way, much like a sundog. The one I saw did not move as much as this one though, and it is rather amazing. Language warning on the video, but I’d …

Sol 1031: A Dog’s Eye View at Missoula

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 10:00pm
  By Lauren Edgar  Today we planned some MAHLI imaging along the contact near the “Missoula” target (the ledge in the upper left portion of this Navcam image).  We refer to it as a dog’s eye mosaic, meaning that we use the MAHLI camera to take a series of images along a vertical face – essentially sticking our nose in there to get a good view.  Hopefully it will provide …

Disintegration of Pramecou Glacier, France

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 3:23am
Pramecou Glacier is on the Dome de Pramecou above the Grande Motte Glacier, which is a key portion of the Tignes Ski area in France. The Grande Motte area is open for summer skiing this year from June 27th to Aug. 9th. The glaciated landscape in this area is changing dramatically, Gardent and Deline, (2011) noted a 33% loss in glacier area since the 1960’s. The Tignes Ski area has responded by …

Araniko Highway in Nepal: landslide problems in the monsoon

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 3:12am
The Araniko Highway is the main route that links Nepal with Tibet. In the wake of the recent earthquake it is facing major landslide problems in the monsoon

Sol 1030: Bumping to Missoula

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 12:00am
  By Lauren Edgar Curiosity is still investigating the contact between the Pahrump and Stimson units.  Over the weekend, Curiosity acquired MAHLI images on a coarse-grained rock named “Big Arm” (above).  The goal today is to characterize some of the veins that occur above and below the contact, and then bump towards a target named “Missoula” to assess the contact at that location.  The plan today includes ChemCam observations of …

The Great Derecho Was Three Years Ago Today

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 6:52pm
  Three years ago tonight I was introducing the viewers of my evening weather broadcast to a new weather term: The Derecho. Here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, I first mentioned it on air around 5 PM. Through the early evening, I watched it get closer and closer, and by mid evening it was likely that we would be affected. When it arrived at our studios in Salisbury, the …

Smoke From Canada Fires Turns Skies Orange Across the Plains

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 5:58pm
Raging wildfires in Western Canada have spread smoke over much of the northern/central U.S. this evening. The plume of smoke now extends over 2000 km, and it will likely move into the Eastern U.S. over the next few days, with the summer blue skies turning a milky white. You can see what the smoke looks like from Fargo, ND here. Very dry conditions coupled with recent extreme heat have caused …

Monday Geology Picture: The Three Sisters, Blue Mountains, Australia

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 5:35pm
This week’s Monday Geology Picture was taken during my recent vacation in Australia. One day my husband and I drove outside of Sydney to spend some time exploring the Blue Mountains. One of the tourist attractions that we visited is a lovely rock formation known as The Three Sisters. This rock formation was carved (by erosion) out of ~250 million year old sandstone.

FAQ – Working with the Media: Part III – Avoiding missteps and pitfalls

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 3:19pm
This is the third in a three-part series answering scientists’ frequently-asked questions about working with the media. This FAQ series accompanies the Working with the Media webinar, offered by AGU’s Sharing Science program on May 29. Read part one and part two. 1. What are some common pitfalls when working with the media and how can I avoid them? Common Pitfall #1: Getting into the weeds. Focus on the bigger picture. Prepare your top three key messages ahead of time and practice delivering them to a mirror, to a friend, over the phone, etc. During the interview, bring the conversation back to your key messages. Then, keep coming back to them. Communicating in simple, repeated messages is not a natural skill for many scientists, but it is a critical skill for any speaker. Often, audiences need to hear ideas repeated before they will remember them. For more on this, read “How much detail should I go into when talking with reporters” in Part II of the FAQ.

Beijing quadrupled in size in a decade, new study finds

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 10:50am
A new study shows that Beijing quadrupled in physical extent between 2000 and 2009. The new buildings alone -- not including the impacts of additional city dwellers and their cars -- increased heat and changed wind and pollution patterns in a ring around Beijing.

Daning River landslide: a video that is purported to show the failure event

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 3:19am
CCTV has uploaded a video onto Youtube that reportedly shows the Daning River landslide in China last week as failure occurred

The World’s Beaches (Book Review)

Sun, 06/28/2015 - 7:58pm
For your summer reading edification, this is a wonderful book to take to the beach. Or, if you can’t make the trip, it’s a vicarious journey to beaches around the globe, and an invitation to appreciate their beauty, idiosyncracies, and vulnerability. The full title is The World’s Beaches: A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline by Orrin H. Pilkey, William J. Neal, Joseph T. Kelley, and J. Andrew …

Sols 1027-1029: Resuming tactical operations

Sun, 06/28/2015 - 3:00pm
  Mars has passed through solar conjunction, and reliable communication with the spacecraft at Mars is possible again.  As planning started this morning, we were still waiting for more data to be relayed by the orbiters to confirm that MSL is ready to resume science planning, but proceeded with tactical planning so that we would be ready when the data arrived.  The Sol 1027 plan starts with Mastcam observations of …

We Are Rapidly Approaching A World Where A Minor Cut Can Be Fatal

Sun, 06/28/2015 - 4:42am
We hear so much these days about cancer and Alzheimer’s, but these diseases have been around for most if not all of human history, it’s just they were the minor killers of people who had a long life of 50 or 60 years. The lucky ones got cancer or senility, the rest died from such things as a scratch in the garden, or a bad cold that turned into pneumonia. …