Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way. - Christopher Hitchens
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Reblogged from nubbsgalore  1,985 notes

nubbsgalore:

palau’s jellyfish lake was once connected to the pacific ocean, but when the sea level dropped its population of jellyfish were left to thrive in the isolation of its algae rich waters. no longer needing to defend themselves from predators, the jellyfish lost their sting, allowing snorkelers to now swim with them as they make their daily 800 metre migration from one end of the lake to the other.

photos by (click pic) david kirkland, david doubilet, tomas kotoucjody macdonaldchean chong lim, eric changnadia aly and richard schneider  (see also: vancouver aquarium jellyfish)

Reblogged from ohstarstuff  516 notes

ohstarstuff:

Cassini Spacecraft Reveals 101 Geysers on Icy Saturn Moon


Scientists using mission data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have identified 101 distinct geysers erupting on Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus. Their analysis suggests it is possible for liquid water to reach from the moon’s underground sea all the way to its surface.

Over a period of almost seven years, Cassini’s cameras surveyed the south polar terrain of the small moon, a unique geological basin renowned for its four prominent “tiger stripe” fractures and the geysers of tiny icy particles and water vapor first sighted there nearly 10 years ago. The result of the survey is a map of 101 geysers, each erupting from one of the tiger stripe fractures, and the discovery that individual geysers are coincident with small hot spots. These relationships pointed the way to the geysers’ origin.

Thanks to recent analysis of Cassini gravity data, the researchers concluded the only plausible source of the material forming the geysers is the sea now known to exist beneath the ice shell. They also found that narrow pathways through the ice shell can remain open from the sea all the way to the surface, if filled with liquid water.

The fact that Enceladus’ sea is salty, laced with organic compounds, spouting into space, and maybe even rising up to the surface has raised this particular Saturnian moon as a major target for future exploration.


Cross-section of Ice Shell (Artist rendering)

Credit: NASA JPL