Perseverance Rover will peer beneath Mars’ surface

Perseverance Rover Will Peer Beneath Mars' Surface
Perseverance’s Radar Imager for Mars’ Subsurface Experiment (RIMFAX) uses radar waves to probe the ground, revealing the unexplored world that lies beneath the Martian surface. The first ground-penetrating radar set on the surface of Mars, RIMFAX can provide a highly detailed view of subsurface structures down to at least 30 feet (10 meters) underground. In doing so, the instrument will reveal hidden layers of geology and help find clues to past environments on Mars, especially those with conditions necessary for supporting life. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/FFI

After touching down on the Red Planet Feb. 18, 2021, NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will scour Jezero Crater to help us understand its geologic history and search for signs of past microbial life. But the six-wheeled robot won’t be looking just at the surface of Mars: The rover will peer deep below it with a ground-penetrating radar called RIMFAX.


Unlike similar instruments aboard Mars orbiters,

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Hidden Beneath the Ocean’s Surface, Nearly 16 Million Tons of Microplastic

Our plastic bags seem to end up floating like waterlogged jellyfish in the sea.

Discarded bottles spoil pristine beaches around the world.

Now, scientists have a glimpse of what happens when tiny fragments of plastic break off and end up on the ocean floor.

In what researchers called the first such global estimate, Australia’s national science agency says that 9.25 million to 15.87 million tons of microplastics — fragments measuring between five millimeters and one micrometer — are embedded on the sea floor.

That is far more than on the ocean’s surface.

It is the equivalent of 18 to 24 shopping bags full of small plastic fragments for every foot of coastline on every continent except for Antarctica.

It is an issue that activists have long warned about even as the fight to clean up the ocean has focused largely on the eradication of single-use plastic products like shopping bags.

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Salty lake, ponds may be gurgling beneath South Pole on Mars

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A network of salty ponds may be gurgling beneath Mars’ South Pole alongside a large underground lake, raising the prospect of tiny, swimming Martian life.

Italian scientists reported their findings Monday, two years after identifying what they believed to be a large buried lake. They widened their coverage area by a couple hundred miles, using even more data from a radar sounder on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter.

In the latest study appearing in the journal Nature Astronomy, the scientists provide further evidence of this salty underground lake, estimated to be 12 miles to 18 miles (20 kilometers to 30 kilometers) across and buried 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) beneath the icy surface.

Even more tantalizing, they’ve also identified three smaller bodies of water surrounding the lake. These ponds appear to be of various sizes and are separate from the main lake.

Roughly 4

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Quieter wind beneath the wings

Quieter wind beneath the wings
KAUST researchers are using simulations to better understand how airborne vehicles generate noise with the aim of reducing it. Credit: KAUST

Efficiently simulating the noise generated by wings and propellers promises to accelerate the development of quieter aircraft and turbines.


A new simulation approach has enabled a first practical, and highly accurate, computation of the noise characteristics of complex three-dimensional airfoil designs under extreme operating conditions. By shortening simulations that would have taken months or weeks to run to just days or hours, the new approach could accelerate the development of quieter airfoil designs to enable the next generation of aircraft and urban airborne vehicles.

“Aircraft noise is already a problem for many communities located near major airports, and this will only get worse with the expanded use of drones and, in the future, air taxis and private airborne vehicles,” says Radouan Boukharfane, a postdoc at KAUST.

Airfoils—wings, propellers and

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Seismic data explains continental collision beneath Tibet — ScienceDaily

In addition to being the last horizon for adventurers and spiritual seekers, the Himalaya region is a prime location for understanding geological processes. It hosts world-class mineral deposits of copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver, as well as rarer elements like lithium, antimony and chrome, that are essential to modern technology. The uplift of the Tibetan plateau even affects global climate by influencing atmospheric circulation and the development of seasonal monsoons.

Yet despite its importance, scientists still don’t fully understand the geological processes contributing to the region’s formation. “The physical and political inaccessibility of Tibet has limited scientific study, so most field experiments have either been too localized to understand the big picture or they’ve lacked sufficient resolution at depths to properly understand the processes,” said Simon Klemperer, a geophysics professor at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth).

Now, new seismic data gathered by Klemperer and

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