It has been a busy week in our little solar system. The #superharvestbloodmoon brought us outside to gaze upon an eclipse, NASA announced the detection of flowing briny water on the surface of Mars, and released new images of Pluto and its moon, Charon.
This weekend, learn about interplanetary biological contamination, explore the legacy of the "peace walls" of Belfast, and find out why digging up a fossil is just the beginning of the work.
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One of the fundamental tasks of finding life in another biosphere is to make sure you didn't bring hitchhikers from Earth, a task that will keep the Curiosity Rover away from the newly confirmed Martian waters. The Planetary Protection Office is one of the organizations that works to prevent contamination. via The Guardian
Fun Curiosity Rover fact: Curiosity monitors sunspots on the far side of the sun when no other sensors are available.
Permanent walls were built to separate Catholic and Protestant districts of Belfast in the 1970s, and the city is still carved up by almost 100 of them. Defensive architecture, it turns out, is easier to build than tear down via The Guardian
Recently, a group called Club Concorde announced their goal of purchasing a mothballed Concorde and return it to flying condition. But just how feasible is it to return a retired plane back into service? via BBC
Just like Mars, we have briny water, but we already know ours has life in it. via National Geographic
The most recent image of Pluto and its moon, Charon, taken in July, highlights the striking differences between the two bodies.
The color and brightness of both Pluto and Charon in the photo were processed identically to allow direct comparison of their surface properties, and to highlight the similarity between Charon's polar red terrain and Pluto's equatorial red terrain.
Pluto and Charon are shown in the photo with approximately correct relative sizes, but their true separation is not to scale. The image combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the spacecraft's Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera. via NASA, The Verge
Discovering a dinosaur is just the first step. Paleontologists Sterling Nesbitt, Mark Norell, and Danny Barta tell the story behind the American Museum of Natural History's treasure trove of Triassic fossils from Ghost Ranch, N.M. via American Museum of Natural History
At the Aspen Ideas Festival, scientists, activists and filmmakers were asked to name the largest environmental issue that is below the public's radar. via The Atlantic