Now we can sample other planets without leaving home Published in Nature Communications
Five to ten million years ago an asteroid smashed into Mars. It created a massive crater and propelled a chunk of ancient Martian crust into space as a new meteorite, which eventually crashed into Africa.
We now know where on Mars that meteorite came from, thanks to a supercomputer-powered technology that allows us to explore the geology of planets without leaving home.
Remains of meteorite NWA 7034, known as Black Beauty, were discovered in Western Sahara in 2011. The story of its creation is told for the first time in Nature Communications by a global team led by researchers from Curtin University, supported by the Pawsey Supercomputer in Perth, Australia, and with colleagues in France, Côte d’Ivoire, and the United States.
Black Beauty is formed of Martian rocks formed nearly 4.5 billion years ago when the crusts of both Earth and Mars were still young. Now we know the source of Black Beauty, researchers can use it to compare the formation of Mars and Earth.
The technology behind the discovery will be used to identify the source of other Martian meteorites but also to identify billions of impact craters on the surface of Mercury and the Moon. More than 300 Martian meteorites have been found on Earth to date.
Aussie astronomers react to NASA Webb first images.
Nearly 40 researchers across Australia are eagerly awaiting data from Webb for their projects. Many of them are available to talk on Tuesday about what they hope to see with Webb and about their reaction to the first pictures
Aussie astronomers available for interviews in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra.
They’re using Webb to look for the first stars, the first galaxies, baby planets, massive black holes.
Over the past 30 years, Hubble has transformed science and culture, revealing a Universe of 200 billion galaxies. Webb will see further, solving today’s mysteries and creating new ones.
On Tuesday morning Joe Biden will release ‘the first picture’ then NASA will release a suite of images early Wednesday morning from the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to Hubble.
Nearly 40 researchers across Australia are eagerly awaiting data from web for their projects. Many of them are available to talk on Tuesday about what they hope to see with Webb and about their reaction to the first pictures.
Much of the Webb data is flowing back to Earth through Tidbinbilla, and some comes from an instrument designed by Peter Tuthill at the University of Sydney. He is relieved and excited. “This is a day I have been looking forward to for a big part of my career. Everything about the Webb is so over-the-top audacious – from the titanic articulated mirror down to its orbit out in the cold voids of interplanetary space.”
South Australian winemakers are looking to Europe as the climate—and what drinkers want—is changing.
Grapes don’t ripen the way they used to. As temperatures climb, they are getting sweeter faster.
Winemakers find that by the time the crop achieves the right colour or level of tannins, the grapes contain more sugar. More sugar means heavier, more alcoholic wine. At the same time, drinkers are preferring lighter wines Continue reading Making wine in a warming world→
A global adaptive clinical trial has established which treatments will save lives in intensive care wards across Europe and Australia.
In the first year of the pandemic they tested over 30 interventions in more than 300 hospitals with 6,000 COVID patients.
“The rapid rollout of REMAP-CAP has only been possible because of years of pre-pandemic preparation backed by the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada,” says Professor Allen Cheng from Monash University and a founder of the trial. Professor Cheng is also currently serving as Victoria’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer.
China and Australia are the world’s two largest producers of gold. So, it’s fitting that a device combining Australian and Chinese research, and capabilities in high-tech manufacturing, is set to shake up the industry.
Ore processors need to know how much gold is in their raw material to get the most out of it. The current industry standard for testing ore is the fire assay, an elaborate and time-consuming process that requires temperatures over 1000 degrees and toxic chemicals such as lead. It also takes at least 8 hours to complete.
New technologies are making natural gas a cheaper and greener fuel
Air quality in China’s cities is improving thanks to government initiatives to reduce urban coal burning. In Beijing, for example, homes, schools, hospitals and factories are switching from coal to gas for heating. As a result, demand for gas has quadrupled over the past decade. Now Australian researchers are partnering with Chinese industry to make gas production even cleaner and more efficient.
Both countries will benefit. China has large gas reserves but much of the gas is in unconventional sources such as coal seam gas and shale gas. The gases from these sources can contain less than 50 per cent methane so impurities such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen must be removed. For nitrogen that usually means cooling the gas to separate the valuable methane from the nitrogen in an energy-intensive process costing billions of dollars.