Abundant water on Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede – underground


Click to enlargeNASA/JPL

Astronomers have found the most conclusive evidence yet that a large watery ocean lies beneath the surface of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede…With the discovery, Ganymede joins Enceladus and Europa as another moon in the solar system with a confirmed subterranean ocean.

“The solar system is now looking like a pretty soggy place,” said Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA. “The more we look at individual moons, the more we see that water is really in enormous abundance.”

And where there’s water, there’s a chance of life.

Scientists have suspected for decades that a subterranean ocean might slosh between the rocky mantle and icy crust of Ganymede, the largest moon in our solar system, but they had not been able to prove it definitively until now.

Using the Hubble Telescope, a team of researchers has detected slight fluctuations in two bands of glowing aurorae in Ganymede’s atmosphere that they say could occur only if the moon contained a salty body of water…

Saur figured that…regular shifts in Jupiter’s magnetic field would affect the position of the aurorae in Ganymede’s atmosphere differently depending on whether or not the moon has a subsurface ocean.

Computer models show that if Ganymede did not have a subsurface ocean, the changes in Jupiter’s magnetic field should cause the bands of hot, electrically charged gas to rock six degrees over a 10-hour period. However, if the moon contained a salty ocean, it would reduce the rocking of the auroras to just two degrees.

The reason for the difference is that a saltwater ocean is electrically conductive and creates a secondary magnetic field that would suppress the effects of Jupiter’s magnetic field.

Saur looked at measurements taken by the Hubble Telescope in 2010 and 2011 of auroras over both the north and south poles of Ganymede and saw that the auroras only moved two degrees over a seven-hour period…

As astronomers continue their search for life elsewhere, this technique could help them to identify what other bodies might harbor water and, perhaps, life forms beyond Earth.

Interesting stuff. Yes, I’d love to be in on the trip to Ganymede for a walkabout. See if we can find some subsurface beachfront property.

Dumb crook of the day

An ex-con who had just finished a 15-year robbery sentence has admitted he robbed the same New Jersey shoe store — and the same clerk was behind the counter.

Prosecutors say 41-year-old Christopher Miller robbed the Stride Rite store in Toms River in March 2014, a day after he was released from prison after finishing his jail term for the first robbery.

Police say Miller made off with $389 and fled on foot with the employees’ cellphones.

The clerk had been notified about Miller’s release and identified the suspect as the same person who had robbed the store in 1999.

Miller pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery on Monday. He faces a prison term of 10 to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced in May.

What is there to say?

Hang Son Doong

Take an otherworldly journey through Hang Son Doong, the world’s largest cave, by both ground and air.

Filmed near the entrance and the first and second dolines (skylights) which are 2.5 and 3.5 km inside the cave respectively.

Brits will join China-backed Asian Infrastructure Bank

The White House has issued a pointed statement declaring it hopes and expects the UK will use its influence to ensure that high standards of governance are upheld in a new Chinese-led investment bank that Britain is to join.

In a rare public breach in the special relationship, the White House signalled its unease at Britain’s decision to become a founder member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) by raising concerns about whether the new body would meet the standards of the World Bank.

Obama is so pissed off you can see his face turn red from here.

The $50 billion bank, which is designed to provide infrastructure funds to the Asia-Pacific region, is viewed with great suspicion by Washington officials, who see it as a rival to the World Bank. They believe Beijing will use the bank to extend its soft power in the region…

George Osborne – who has discussed the decision to become a founder member of the investment bank with his US counterpart, Jack Lew – has been the driving force behind developing closer economic ties between Britain and China. The chancellor has led the way in encouraging Chinese investment in the next generation of civil nuclear power plants in the UK and he ensured that the City of London would become the base for the first clearing house for the yuan outside Asia.

The US administration made clear in no uncertain terms its displeasure about Osborne’s decision to join the AIIB. A US official told the Financial Times: “We are wary about a trend toward constant accommodation of China, which is not the best way to engage a rising power…”

“…I think [the US] should have been more willing to engage in discussion with China and others about the institution. There’s a big infrastructure gap in Asia, existing institutions are not filling it and China has the wherewithal to contribute on the right terms,” said Matthew Goodman, senior adviser for Asian economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Some surmised that the US was responsible when Australia backed away from signing up to the bank at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing last autumn, after widespread speculation a deal was on the cards.

“The US did reach out to Australia, Koreans and others to consult about questions and concerns, and that’s been interpreted as leaning on allies not to join the bank,” said Goodman.

Uncle Sugar expected obedience and got it.

If you’ve spent time studying the interrelationship between the World Bank, the IMF, any number of subsidiary forms dedicated to “keeping folks in their place” – you know this is a real slap in the face to the policied of Imperial America. It’s directly counter to Obama’s version of the stock American policy of negotiating by shoving large chunks of military in your face, threatening to cut you off from access to foreign exchange and liquidity.

China now invests more abroad than foreign money invests inside China. For all the blather – well, lies – about the United States seeking commercial engagement with state or private investors from China, the White House blocks as many deals for phony reasons as do numbnut Congressional Republicans. Companies and jobs grown in the US through Chinese investment are policy only for election-speak. China ends up with three-quarters of their overseas investment going into Europe because they simply aren’t jerked around the way they are when trying to invest in the United States.

The United States talks about carrots and sticks but only relies on varying sizes of sticks. China has lots of carrots.

Pic of the Day

Ah, Paris
Click to enlargeAP Photo/Thibault Camus

A model wears a creation for Iris van Herpen’s ready to wear fall-winter 2015-2016 fashion collection during Paris fashion week, Paris…

Looks more like the alien hunter from PREDATOR is hiding in her blouse..