X-ray laser to recreate conditions at the center of the Earth
The very center of the Earth has been described as the “last white spot” on our globe: a mysterious super-hot chamber that we know surprisingly little about. An X-ray beamline at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France will, hopefully, unlock some of its secrets.
The inner core of our planet, hiding 2,500 kilometers beneath the surface, endures about three and a half million times atmospheric pressure and a temperature thought to be roughly as hot as the surface of the sun.
The X-ray beam, called ID24, attempts to reproduce some of those extreme conditions in the lab. Diamond anvil cells squeeze a material to intense pressures, and laser pulses heat it to unimaginable temperatures. The samples may be no bigger than a speck of dust and the heat may only be applied for microseconds, but it’s the closest approximation of the Earth’s center that we can get.
This will allow scientists in various fields to discover what happens when you heat iron to 10,000 degrees C, what happens when materials undergo a fast chemical reaction or at what temperature a mineral will melt in the interior of a planet. It will hopefully answer some burning questions that keep geologists up at night.
Bugs that Break the Rules: The Madagascar Sunset Moth: Chrysiridia rhipheus
Not many bugs break as many of the rules as the Sunset Moth. Moths are usually easily differentiated from butterflies by their drabber appearance and moths tend to be nocturnal creatures. Neither of this can be said of the Sunset Moth, it is diurnal and rivals some of the most amazing looking butterflies in the looks department. It is easy to see why it is prized by collectors.
Lightning Strike & The Eiffel
oldbookillustrations: Sea anemones.
From The ocean world, by Louis Figuier, London, Paris, New York, 1872.
Synthetic blood created by British scientists could be used in transfusions in just two years
The ‘holy grail’ of blood research, the man-made blood would be free of infections that have blighted natural supplies and could be given to almost everyone regardless of blood group.
Full Story: Daily Mail (via Kurzweil)
William Shatner in the Twilight Zone episode “Nightmare at 20000 Feet.”