Advertisements

Blog Archives

WATER on the RED PLANET: NASA rover cooker bakes ‘high percentage’

NASA scientists have reached a milestone in their quest to find life on the Red Planet after discovering significant traces of water in the Martian soil.

The Mars Curiosity Rover discovered water when investigating the very first scoop of soil it took from the surface of Mars.

The extraterrestial explorer analysed the dusty sample in its belly and found that about one part in every 50 of Mars’ soil is made up of H2O. Boffins said this could help future missions to Mars, as astronauts would (in theory) simply have to heat the Martian topsoil in order to produce drinkable water.

“One of the most exciting results from this very first solid sample ingested by Curiosity is the high percentage of water in the soil,” said Laurie Leshin, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Dean of Science and author of a report on the findings. “About 2 per cent of the soil on the surface of Mars is made up of water, which is a great resource, and interesting scientifically.”

Curiosity touched down in Gale Crater on August 6 last year and immediately set about trying to find life on the red planet. It is the first rover to have the ability to analyze rock and soil samples and is armed with a chromatograph, a mass spectrometer and a tunable laser spectrometer, which can be used to identify chemical compounds and work out which key element isotopes are present in a sample.  Read More

Advertisements

Net Ionic Equations

Write balanced net ionic equation for the following reaction:

LiOH(aq)+HI(aq)→?

Mass-to-Mass Conversions in Stoichiometry

The coefficients in a balanced chemical equation provide the mole-to-mole stoichiometry among the reactants and products. The molar mass (in g/mol) can be used as the conversion factor between moles and the mass of a substance.  Thus, the balanced equation and molar masses can be used in conjunction with one another to calculate the masses involved in a reaction.

When methane (CH4) burns, it reacts with oxygen gas to produce carbon dioxide and water. The unbalanced equation for this reaction is

CH4(g)+O2(g)→CO2(g)+H2O(g)

This type of reaction is referred to as a complete combustion reaction.

What coefficients are needed to balance the equation for the complete combustion of methane? Enter the coefficients in the order CH4, O2, CO2, and H2O, respectively.

What mass of carbon dioxide is produced from the complete combustion of 7.20×10−3g of methane?

What mass of water is produced from the complete combustion of 7.20×10−3g of methane?

What mass of oxygen is needed for the complete combustion of 7.20×10−3g of methane?

A NASA Weather ‘Eye in the Sky’ Marks 10 Years

Global Carbon Dioxide Transport from AIRS Data, July 2009This image was created with data acquired by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument (AIRS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite during July 2009. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

May 03, 2012

For 10 years, it has silently swooped through space in its orbital perch 438 miles (705 kilometers) above Earth, its nearly 2,400 spectral “eyes” peering into Earth’s atmosphere, watching. But there’s nothing alien about NASA’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, or AIRS, instrument, a “monster” of weather and climate research that celebrates its 10th birthday in orbit May 4.

AIRS, built by BAE Systems, Boston, under the direction of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., is one of six instruments flying on NASA’s Aqua spacecraft as part of NASA’s Earth Observing System. AIRS, along with its partner microwave instrument, the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A), has faithfully measured our planet’s atmospheric temperature, water vapor, clouds and greenhouse gases with unprecedented accuracy and stability. Over the past decade, AIRS and AMSU-A have improved our understanding of Earth’s global water and energy cycles, climate change and trends and how Earth’s climate system is responding to increased greenhouse gases.

Studies have shown AIRS has improved global weather prediction more than any other single satellite instrument in the past 10 years. In 2006, a group led by John Le Marshall of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration demonstrated that use of AIRS data in weather forecasting models significantly improved forecast “skill” — the name of the calculation meteorologists use to quantify how close a forecast is to actual observed weather conditions.

“AIRS has performed beyond expectation, exceeding its mission objectives,” said AIRS Project Manager Tom Pagano of JPL. “The knowledge we’ve gained through AIRS has advanced our understanding of weather and climate, and demonstrated an important measurement technology. While the team can be proud of what’s been accomplished, we continue to look forward to new discoveries as we explore the connection between extreme weather and climate change.”  Read More

%d bloggers like this: