Connect with us

Ecology

A Rock Apollo 14 Astronauts Found on the Moon Actually Came From Earth

Editor

Published

on

[ad_1]

A lunar rock sample collected on the Apollo 14 mission. Credit: NASA

A moon rock sample collected from the lunar surface as part of the Apollo 14 mission. (Credit: NASA)

Earthly Moon Rocks

In 1971, astronauts aboard the Apollo 14 mission collected a moon rock that scientists have now found likely originated on Earth. During a new investigation, researchers found that the rock, officially named 14321, contains traces of minerals and has a chemical makeup that are both common to Earth and extremely strange for the moon. The research team thinks that, most likely, a rock that formed on Earth four billion years ago was launched to the moon’s surface by an asteroid impact.

Astronaut Alan Shepard hoisted the rock from the lunar surface near the edge of Cone Crater, where it had rested for millions of years, and brought it back to Earth for analysis. As the largest of the samples brought back by the mission it was christened with the nickname “Big Bertha”.

NASA loaned the lunar rock sample in question to Curtin University in Australia, where researchers studied the moon rock with help from researchers from the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Australian National University, and the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. According to research author Alexander Nemchin from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, the 1.8-gram moon rock had minerals similar to a granite. Different types of granite are fairly common on our home planet but extremely rare on the moon. “The sample also contains quartz, which is an even more unusual find on the moon,” Nemchin added in a statement.

alan shepard apollo 14

Apollo 14 Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. assembles equipment on the lunar surface in February 1971. (Credit: NASA)

To find the sample’s age, the team looked at bits of the mineral zircon embedded in its structure.”By determining the age of zircon found in the sample, we were able to pinpoint the age of the host rock at about four billion years old, making it similar to the oldest rocks on Earth,” Nemchin said, adding that “the chemistry of the zircon in this sample is very different from that of every other zircon grain ever analyzed in lunar samples, and remarkably similar to that of zircons found on Earth.”

Earth to Moon

In studying the sample closely, Nemchin and the research team concluded that the rock likely formed at a low temperature in the presence of water and oxygen — conditions commonly associated with Earth that would be extremely strange for the moon.

It is possible —though quite unlikely — that this lunar rock originated on the moon. Nemchin posited that perhaps 14321 formed under unusual conditions that appeared only briefly on the lunar surface. “However, a simpler explanation is that this piece was formed on the Earth and brought to the surface of the moon as a meteorite generated by an asteroid hitting Earth about four billion years ago, and throwing material into space and to the moon,” Nemchin said. “Further impacts on the moon at later times would have mixed the Earth rocks with lunar rocks, including at the future Apollo 14 landing site, where it was collected by astronauts and brought back home to the Earth.”

If that hypothesis is right, it means that there are likely little bits of Earth scattered all over the moon.

The findings were published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Ecology

Globe Climate: Canada’s resource reckoning is coming

Editor

Published

on

By

Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.

This afternoon, the Alberta government announced that it is restoring a coal mining policy it revoked last spring. At the time, the move provoked a widespread public backlash detailed by The Globe. The original decision, which opened up more than 1.4 million hectares to exploration, was made without public consultation. Premier Jason Kenney previously defended the changes.

Lots more on coal and Canada’s resources industry in this week’s newsletter edition.

Now, let’s catch you up on other news.

Continue Reading

Ecology

‘Incredibly destructive’: Canada’s Prairies to see devastating impact of climate change

Editor

Published

on

By

As the climate continues to warm at an alarming rate, experts warn if dramatic steps to mitigate global warming are not taken, the effects in Canada’s Prairie region will be devastating to the country’s agriculture sector.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the country is warming, on average, about double the global rate.

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. recently found 2020 was earth’s second-hottest year on record, with the average land and ocean surface temperature across the globe at 0.98 of a degree C above the 20th-century average.

However, the agency found the northern hemisphere saw its hottest year on record, at 1.28 degrees C above the average.

“(In Canada) we are looking at about 6.4C degrees of warming this century, which isn’t much less than one degree per decade, which is just a terrifying rate of warming,” Darrin Qualman, the director of climate crisis policy and action at the National Farmer’s Union said.

Qualman said there is “massive change coming” to Canada’s Prairies, which will be “incredibly destructive.”

“It’s not going too far to say that if we made that happen, parts of the Prairies wouldn’t be farmable anymore,” he said.

According to the federal government, in 2018 Canada’s agriculture and agri-food system generated $143 billion, accounting for 7.4 per cent of the country’s GDP.

The sector employed 2.3 million people in 2018. The majority of the 64.2 million hectares of farmland in Canada is concentrated in the Prairies and in southern Ontario.

The effects of climate change are already being felt on the ground in the Prairies, Qualman said, adding that the NFU has already heard from farmers complaining of “challenging weather.”

“People are sharing pictures of flattened crops and buildings, et cetera, that have been damaged,” he said. “And we’re still at the beginning of this.”

Continue Reading

Ecology

Insect-based dog food aims to cut your pet’s carbon pawprint

Editor

Published

on

By

Meat has an enormous carbon footprint, with livestock liable for about 15 per cent of worldwide emissions, as we have beforehand mentioned on this e-newsletter. That is prompted specialists to suggest consuming much less meat for sustainability (and well being) causes.

However what about your pet? One research discovered that the methane and nitrous oxide emissions generated by canine and cat meals within the U.S. alone had been equal to about 64 million tonnes of CO2, or roughly the quantity produced by 13.6 million automobiles. And it might be getting worse, with a development towards feeding pets “human-grade” meat.

That is prompted some pet meals makers to look to lower-carbon protein sources — together with bugs.

Research present that producing insect-based meals requires far much less feed, land and water and generates far fewer greenhouse fuel emissions per kilogram than meats comparable to beef, pork or rooster.

That is one of many causes increasingly more pet meals containing insect protein are hitting the market. Purina, a model owned by multinational Nestlé, launched a line of canine and cat meals containing black soldier fly larvae in Switzerland in November.

In Canada, Montreal-based Wilder Harrier began promoting canine treats made with cricket protein in 2015 and pet food made with black soldier fly larvae in 2019. It plans to broaden to launch a line of insect-based cat treats later this yr and cat meals in 2022 due to “a ton of demand,” mentioned firm co-founder Philippe Poirier.

Wilder Harrier initially labored with animal nutritionists on insect-based merchandise to unravel a unique downside — specifically, the founders’ canines had allergy symptoms to frequent meats utilized in canine meals. Poirier mentioned now about half its prospects hunt down the product due to their pets’ allergy symptoms and about half for environmental causes.

Dr. Cailin Heinze, a U.S.-based veterinary nutritionist licensed by the American School of Veterinary Vitamin, has written concerning the environmental influence of pet meals. She mentioned we’re typically “not as involved as we probably ought to [be]” concerning the environmental footprint of pets.

Alternatively, she famous that the longer-term influence of newer diets, comparable to vegan meals and people containing bugs, hasn’t been nicely examined in comparison with conventional pet meals.

Maria Cattai de Godoy, an assistant professor of animal sciences on the College of Illinois who research novel proteins for pet meals (together with bugs, yeast and plant-based substances), mentioned such substances are rigorously examined to find out their security and diet earlier than being added to pet meals. 

“This can be a very extremely regulated trade,” she mentioned, however admitted it is also evolving.

Relating to bugs, she mentioned constructive information “reveals promise in direction of utilizing them increasingly more in pet meals.” Insect-based proteins have additionally earned the endorsement of the British Veterinary Affiliation, which says some insect-based meals could also be higher for pets than prime steak.

However Godoy famous that there isn’t any one-size-fits-all resolution, and pet homeowners ought to take into consideration the wants of their very own particular person pet and analysis whether or not a specific weight loss plan can be appropriate.

She mentioned that other than the kind of protein, issues like packaging and manufacturing strategies may also make a distinction. For instance, utilizing meat byproducts that may in any other case turn into waste would not drive elevated meat manufacturing the identical approach as utilizing human-grade meat.

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending