Daily Archives: 11 Sep 15

Scientists to awaken ancient ‘giant virus’

Via The Independent: ‘French scientists are preparing to wake up a 30,000-year-old ‘giant’ virus.

A team from the French National Centre for Scientific Research discovered the prehistoric virus, called Mollivirus sibericum, underground in north-eastern Siberian permafrost, reports CNET.

And now they plan to give it its first “wake-up call” since the last Ice Age…’

The High-Resolution Images of Pluto Begin to Arrive

Via NASA: ‘New close-up images of Pluto from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft reveal a bewildering variety of surface features that have scientists reeling because of their range and complexity.

“Pluto is showing us a diversity of landforms and complexity of processes that rival anything we’ve seen in the solar system,” said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado. “If an artist had painted this Pluto before our flyby, I probably would have called it over the top — but that’s what is actually there.”

New Horizons began its yearlong download of new images and other data over the Labor Day weekend. Images downlinked in the past few days have more than doubled the amount of Pluto’s surface seen at resolutions as good as 400 meters (440 yards) per pixel. They reveal new features as diverse as possible dunes, nitrogen ice flows that apparently oozed out of mountainous regions onto plains, and even networks of valleys that may have been carved by material flowing over Pluto’s surface. They also show large regions that display chaotically jumbled mountains reminiscent of disrupted terrains on Jupiter’s icy moon Europa…’