Strange Days In Science #9: Water On Mars & Cities On Water

Posted by on October 4, 2015 | Tags: , , ,

Lots of (belated) science news for you today, and the theme seems to be water. From water on other planets to floating cities and even glowing turtles…well, see for yourself.

Water Confirmed On Mars

Last week, NASA revealed the “strongest evidence yet” for the existence of liquid water on Mars. The briny water appears only intermittently, they say – but it’s there.

“Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO [Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter], researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time. They darken and appear to flow down steep slopes during warm seasons, and then fade in cooler seasons. They appear in several locations on Mars when temperatures are above minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius), and disappear at colder times.”

The find was made using images from the MRO’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment. According to NASA, the report’s lead author, Lujendra Ojha, first noticed the strange dark streaks back in 2010. What more will we find on Mars in the future?

Sealab 2050

In other water-related news, new plans have surfaced for a floating city on the ocean, designed by French architect Jacques Rougerie. According to Extreme Tech, Rougerie’s design would hold about 7,000 people (or “ocean scientists, as they put it), and be able to endure turbulent waves and nasty sea weather.

The entire “city” — named the City of Mériens, by the way — would also be able to travel.

Drones for Christmas?

This year’s hot Christmas item isn’t a Tickle Me Elmo. It’s not a Nintendo Wii. Not Pogs, either (if ever). No, this year the FAA is extremely worried about the vast number of drones that will likely be unwrapped this holiday season.

A Private Moon Landing

The private company Moon Express is hoping to land a commercial spacecraft on the moon. As reported by, they’re vying for the Google Lunar X Prize, “a $30 million competition to land a privately funded robotic spacecraft on the moon by the end of 2017.”

Biofluorescent turtles?!

Last I checked, turtles didn’t glow. But scientists have now discovered a biofluorescent sea turtle – a hawksbill. What’s more interesting, according to the Washington Post, is that the area where the turtle was found is “full of glowing sharks and coral,’ indicating that the biofluorescence may be a “camouflage adaptation.”

Science Is Everywhere

That’s all I have for you this week. Like Stranger Dimensions on Facebook, if you dare, or follow me on Twitter. Also subscribe to Stranger Dimensions by email, and check out these links and more with the Strange Days In Science Flipboard Magazine. I’ll see you in the future…

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Post by Rob Schwarz Rob Schwarz

Rob is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. He manages Stranger Dimensions in between changing aquarium filters and reading bad novels about mermaids.


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