Frozen polygons on Mars


NASA/JPL-CALTECH/UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

The most powerful camera ever sent to another planet has snapped a mesmerizing picture of a bizarre springtime phenomenon on Mars, which paints the red planet with dramatic bright fans of dry ice that erupt from vents in its polar regions.

This patterned alien landscape was imaged in March by NASA’s High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HIRISE), onboard its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The terrain has been sculpted into these polygons by water ice that is frozen into the soil at the planet’s high latitudes. The borders of these shapes, which stretch like white stitches across the Martian surface, are further frayed during springtime by ice transforming directly from a solid to a gas, a process called sublimation, which produces blasts of dry ice…

HiRISE first arrived at Mars in 2006 and has taken many stunning images of these polygonal polar regions of Mars. In addition, the advanced camera has snapped pictures of other strange Martian features, including an avalanche, the planet’s “chaos” terrain, and even NASA’s rovers at the surface.

Next best thing to being there in person. IMHO.

Government Hits Reset on Student Loan Defaults

About a third of federal student loan borrowers have experienced default—typically defined as having gone at least 270 days without payment—at some point over the past two decades, according to a survey done for The Pew Charitable Trusts. And among this group of borrowers, nearly two-thirds defaulted multiple times.

The survey, conducted in 2021, focused on borrowers who took out their first federal undergraduate student loans between 1998 and 2018. But the finding on the prevalence of redefault takes on new relevance now as the Department of Education unveils plans to give borrowers a “fresh start” in repayment.

Under the initiative announced in early April, borrowers with defaulted federal loans will resume repayment at the end of the ongoing pandemic-related pause—which began in March 2020—with their loans in good standing. The new policy will provide borrowers a critical reprieve from the potentially severe penalties that can be imposed on them while in default. Still, the survey findings about the frequency of redefault indicate that a clean slate may be no guarantee that struggling borrowers will be able to keep their loans current in the long run.

Borrowers who receive a fresh start could still be vulnerable to serious repayment problems without other major changes to the current system because the challenges that borrowers cited as the cause of their initial default may persist after they get their loans back in good standing…

Same as it ever was. The reasons for original default, often repeating.