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How can there be ice on Mercur ?


How can there be ice on Mercur y?

Images of water ice snapped by a Mercury-orbiting NASA probe suggests that ice lurking in the otherwise-scorching planet's frigid craters may have arrived there recently.

By , Senior Writer

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    Kandinsky crater lies near Mercury's north pole, and may have hosted water ice. MESSENGER spacecraft's Wide Angle Camera broadband image appears at left, outlined in yellow, and superimposed on an MDIS polar mosaic. The view on the right shows the same image but with the brightness and contrast adjusted to show details of the crater's shadowed floor. Image released Oct. 15, 2014.
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The first-ever photos of water ice near Mercury's north pole have come down to Earth, and they have quite a story to tell.
The images, taken by NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft (short for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging), suggest that the ice lurking within Mercury's polar craters was delivered recently, and may even be topped up by processes that continue today, researchers said.
More than 20 years ago, Earth-based radar imaging first spotted signs of water ice near Mercury's north and south poles — a surprise, perhaps, given that temperatures on the solar system's innermost planet can top 800 degrees Fahrenheit (427 degrees Celsius). [Water Ice On Mercury: How It Was Found (Video)]
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In late 2012, MESSENGER confirmed those observations from orbit around Mercury, discovering ice in permanently shadowed craters near the planet's north pole. MESSENGER scientists announced the find after integrating results from thermal modeling studies with data gathered by the probe's hydrogen-hunting neutron spectrometer and its laser altimeter, which measured the reflectance of the deposits.
And now the MESSENGER team has captured optical-light images of the ice for the first time, by taking advantage of small amounts of sunlight scattered off the craters' walls.
"There is a lot new to be learned by seeing the deposits," said study lead author Nancy Chabot, instrument scientist for MESSENGER’s Mercury Dual Imaging System and a researcher at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, in a statement.
For example, the texture of the ice at the bottom of Mercury's 70-mile-wide (113 kilometers) Prokofiev Crater suggests that the material was put in place relatively recently rather than billions of years ago, researchers said.
Images of other craters back up this notion. They show dark deposits, believed to be frozen organic-rich material, covering ice in some areas, with sharp boundaries between the two different types of material.
"This result was a little surprising, because sharp boundaries indicate that the volatile deposits at Mercury’s poles are geologically young, relative to the time scale for lateral mixing by impacts," Chabot said.
Earth's moon also harbors water ice inside permanently shadowed polar craters, but its deposits look different from those on Mercury, researchers said. This could be because Mercury's ice was delivered more recently.
"If you can understand why one body looks one way and another looks different, you gain insight into the process that's behind it, which in turn is tied to the age and distribution of water ice in the solar system," Chabot said. "This will be a very interesting line of inquiry going forward."
The new study was published online today (Oct. 15) in the journal Geology.
Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @SpacedotcomFacebook orGoogle+. Originally published on


Virtual Fashion is Here / The Loto Surprise / Understanding The Air Con With Ambi Climate / Kick, Scoot, Carry! / Screw It

This Fits Me is a collaborative project that combines fashion with generative design, a technique most often used in architecture to make structures not static, but dynamic to adjust to the environment. Similarly, this digital process allows garments to adjust to the wearer. After a 3D body scan, the wearer’s precise measurements are applied to an algorithm so material can be laser cut & stitched for fitting. In just a few clicks, complex designs can be created that would otherwise be too time consuming to measure & manufacture. Vid after the jump!
Designer: Leonie Tenthof van Noorden & Eunbi Kim
This Fits Me – The design process from Leonie Suzanne on Vimeo.

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(Virtual Fashion is Here was originally posted on Yanko Design)
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Posted: 07 Oct 2014 04:54 AM PDT
LOTO is a clever little mouse that goes from a flat disc to a conical device. It’s high on portability and compliments a laptop perfectly. Inspired by the leaf of a lotus flower, this wired mouse is impressive and should see the light of day!
Designers: ACE Group, iFace – Kim Jinseok, Jang Junyoung, Jeon Seyong, Koo Yoori, Park Jungjun & Shin Jungwon

Posted: 07 Oct 2014 02:46 AM PDT
Picture this – its a hot humid day, you come home and cool off with a chilled beer, switch on the air conditioner and relax on the sofa. Refreshing, as this seems, despite being technologically advanced, we still don’t make the most out of our ACs. The critical element missing in this perfect picture is a device that is intelligent enough to efficiently cool the room and save on energy bills while reducing our carbon footprint. The Ambi Climate is missing!

Make the change, and see the difference for yourself.
Ambi Climate is a small, sleek add-on device that works with your existing infrared remote-controlled air conditioner. The intelligence quotient is drawn from the fact that it features sensors for humidity, temperature, outdoor weather etc. and provides remote access via your Smartphone.

We have made so many tech advancements, however several common household appliances have remained jaded. According to Ambi Labs, “many user interfaces are outdated, based on design philosophies dating from the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s.” Hence the mission here is to “reinvent the usability of these appliances through add-on upgrades, giving consumers an easy and accessible path to attain the latest in smart functionality.”

Many of us do not realize this but almost half our energy bills stem from the use of air conditioners and heaters. And almost 30% of our carbon footprint too! We cannot stop using the appliances, but we sure can use them in a smarter way; the Ambi Climate way!
Why Ambi Climate?

Overruling any other choice currently available, the Ambi Climate is smartest of them all. The device automates your AC settings and takes care of it for future reference. In a very surreal way, the device is aware of your habits and environment at home; it takes into consideration several factors like – is it day or night; what temperature is it now outdoors, what will it be soon; what temperature and humidity do you have indoors; what temperature level do you like most; in essence it is all about you, your habits and adapting the settings accordingly. It will always find the right AC settings for you, so that you won’t have to fiddle with your remote.

As a result, the device prevents wasteful overcooling (saves energy), allow you to always have the right temperature setting (no freezing in the middle of night, cool home when you come back from work) and to have the convenience of not having to change your AC settings all the time.
Here are just a few ways Ambi Climate can help you to save time, money and energy:
Improved Energy Saving Awareness
Our well-insulated interiors may not showcase the weather changes outdoors, the Ambi Climate lets you know of these changes, urging you to open the windows and turn off your air con. The helpful app allows you to compare your favorite air con settings so you are aware of your AC consumption and can manage them for maximum energy savings.
Meaningful Insights
Understand your family’s air con consumption by placing several Ambi Climate devices in multiple rooms of your home. The app will record, compare and contrast your family’s overall usage and break down this information by room and family member.
Informed Decisions
Ambi Climate can estimate how your air con energy usage will impact your energy bill. This knowledge empowers you to make informed choices of your energy consumption levels. A number of other energy saving suggestions like asking you to close your curtains or install better insulation, help in energy savings.
To sum it up, Ambi Climate syncs your A/C with your smartphone, giving you complete access to monitor and control your air conditioner wherever you are.
To know more how you can optimize your comfort, and get your own device, support it on it’s Kickstarter venture.
Designer: Ambi Labs [ Buy it Here ]

Posted: 07 Oct 2014 12:01 AM PDT
A scooter with a built-in luggage… or luggage with a built-in scooter. Whichever way you look at it, OLAF is simply hybrid-awesomeness! The multifunctional design is available in two versions: a casual backpack for kicking around town, OR a more serious carry-on for business travel. Whether you’re a briefcase/suit kinda guy or hip, urban dweller, both models represent a unique vision of modern urban mobility that transforms in seconds! See em’ in action —>
Designer: Olaf

Posted: 07 Oct 2014 12:01 AM PDT
The fantastically simple Frida stool and side table are so sensibly designed they’ll make you say DUH! Each composed of just 4 flat-pack pieces, their clever construction is held together with just a single butterfly screw that locks the pieces in place and gives a touch of color. Easy to assemble and aesthetically adorable!
Designer: Zanocchi & Starke

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