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UK team set for giant Antarctic iceberg expedition

UK team set for giant Antarctic iceberg expedition

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceScientists will set out in the next week to study an Antarctic realm that has been hidden for thousands of years.A British Antarctic Survey-led team will explore the seabed ecosystem exposed when a giant iceberg broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula in 2017. The organisation has also released the first video of the berg, which covers almost 6,000 sq km.Its true scale begins to emerge in a shot filmed from an aircraft flown along its edge. Urgent missionAn international team will spend three weeks, from February to March, on board the research ship RRS James Clark Ross, navigating ice-infested waters to reach the remote Larsen C ice shelf from which the berg calved.British Antarctic Survey marine biologist Dr Katrin Linse, who is leading the mi...
3D survey details dangerous megathrust fault off Costa Rican coast

3D survey details dangerous megathrust fault off Costa Rican coast

Science
Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Scientists have a better understanding of the dynamics of a dangerous megafault off the coast of Costa Rica, thanks to a new survey by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz.The survey yielded detailed 3D images of the Costa Rican subduction zone, where the Cocos plate sinks and slides under the Caribbean plate.Unlike similar megathrust faults, the Costa Rican fault features unusual earthquakes, patchy in their distribution. The ruptures rarely spread to shallow depths. Scientists believe the fault's odd behavior is explained by its varied textures -- corrugated patterns created by subduction activity."Our new imagery shows large variability in the conditions along the megathrust, which may be linked to a number of earthquake phenomena we observe in the re...
Asteroid set for 'close' 43,300 mile flight past Earth on Friday

Asteroid set for 'close' 43,300 mile flight past Earth on Friday

Science
An asteroid up to 40m in size and only discovered five days ago, is due to skim past the Earth on Friday.Asteroid 2018 CB will pass by at just less than one-fifth the distance between the Earth and the Moon.It was first spotted by the Catalina Sky Survey in Tucson, Arizona, a Nasa-funded project to record potentially hazardous asteroids.However, while the pass is relatively close in astronomical terms, it's nowhere near enough to be a threat.The 15-40m space rock is set to make its closest approach to Earth at 22:27 GMT."Although 2018 CB is quite small, it might well be larger than the asteroid that entered the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, almost exactly five years ago, in 2013," said Paul Chodas, manager of Nasa's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies. Media playback is unsupported...
'Oumuamua: 'space cigar's' tumble hints at violent past

'Oumuamua: 'space cigar's' tumble hints at violent past

Science
The space interloper 'Oumuamua is spinning chaotically and will carry on doing so for more than a billion years. That is the conclusion of new Belfast research that has examined in detail the light bouncing off the cigar-shaped asteroid from outside our Solar System. "At some point or another it's been in a collision," says Dr Wes Fraser from Queen's University. His team's latest study is featured in Sunday's Sky At Night episode on the BBC and published in Nature Astronomy. It is yet another intriguing finding about this strange object that has fascinated scientists since its discovery back in October. 'Oumuamua comes from a different star system. Its path across the sky confirms it does not originate in our solar neighbourhood. Initially, it was thought the object could be a comet, but i...
Oil spills expose indigenous communities to toxic metals

Oil spills expose indigenous communities to toxic metals

Science
Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Scientists have identified elevated levels of harmful metals in indigenous people living near oil spills.The findings -- published this week in the journal Environmental Health -- are only the latest to highlight the significant environmental hazards faced by already vulnerable communities.The study was carried out by a team of researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, ISGlobal, in Spain, and the Peruvian National Center for Occupational Health and Environmental Health Protection. Scientists measured levels of mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic in people living in San Pedro and Cuninico, two indigenous Kukama communities.The two communities were impacted by a pair of large oil spills resulting from ruptures in the North Peruvian pipeline."In spite of the f...