Alien Soup

Community forum for fans of Science-Fiction, horror, & fantasy!

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(click to view the full-size image) This oblique view of the lower mound in Gale Crater shows layers of rock that preserve a record of environments on Mars. Here, orbiting instruments have detected signatures of both clay minerals and sulfate salts, with more clay minerals apparent in the foreground of this image and fewer in higher layers. This change in mineralogy may reflect a change in the ancient environment in Gale Crater. Mars scientists have several important hypotheses about how these minerals may reflect changes in the amount of water on the surface of Mars. The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, will use its full suite of instruments to study these minerals to provide insights into these ancient Martian environments. These rocks are also a prime target in the search for organic molecules since these past environments may have been habitable -- able to support microbial life. Scientists will study how organic molecules, if present, vary with mineralogical variations in the layers to understand how they formed and what influences their preservation. The smaller hills in this view may provide clues to the modern water cycle on Mars. They contain sulfate salts that have water in them, and as temperatures warm into summer, some of that water may be released to the atmosphere. As temperatures cool, they may absorb water from the atmosphere. The Mars Science Laboratory team will investigate how water is exchanged between these minerals and the atmosphere, helping us understand Mars' modern climate. The hills are particularly useful for this investigation because different parts of the hills are exposed to different amounts of sunlight and thus to different temperatures. Curiosity will be able to compare the water in these contrasting areas as part of its investigations. This three-dimensional perspective view was created using visible-light imaging by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the High Resolution Stereo Camera on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. Three-dimensional information was derived by stereo analysis of image pairs. The vertical dimension is not exaggerated. Color information is derived from color imaging of portions of the scene by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera. The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft is being prepared for launch on Nov. 25, 2011. In a prime mission lasting one Martian year -- nearly two Earth years -- after landing, researchers will use the rover's tools to study whether the landing region has had environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life and for preserving clues about whether life existed. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona (More at NASA Picture Of The Day)
Calibre is a FREE & open-source suite of e-book software for multiple platforms (Windows, Mac/macOS, Linux). Calibre supports organizing existing e-books into virtual libraries, displaying, editing, creating and conversion of e-books, as well as syncing e-books with a variety of e-readers. Editing books is supported for EPUB and AZW3 formats. Books in other formats like MOBI must first be converted to those formats, if they are to be edited. Calibre is a vibrant open-source community with half a dozen developers and many, many testers and bug reporters. It is used in over 200 countries and has been translated into a dozen different languages by volunteers. Calibre has become a comprehensive tool for the management of digital texts, allowing you to do whatever you could possibly imagine with your e-book library. Homepage: calibre - E-book management
Hi, My two favourite sci-fi books are 'Roadside Picnic' by the Strugatsky brothers and 'Solaris' by Stanislaw Lem. Can anyone suggest more books like these please, with similar story lines? Many thanks! :)
There are times I look at our dog making a complete mess while eating a bone and ask him "Where did you learn to eat like that?!" only to remember that he came into our family when he was just 8 weeks old so in his little fuzzy brain I imagine his answer being "From you, Dad, OK, I learned it from watching you!". :X3: