MELBOURNE: A compound commonly used in hair bleach , hydrogen peroxide , made the eventual emergence of life on Earth possible, a study has found. Hydrogen peroxide was the vital ingredient in rock pores around underwater heat vents that set in train a sequence of chemical reactions that led to the first forms of life, according to lead researcher Rowena Ball from the Australian National University (ANU). "The origin of life is one of the hardest problems in all of science, but it is also one of the most important," said Ball, from the ANU. Researchers made a model using hydrogen peroxide and porous rock that simulated the dynamic, messy environment that hosted the origin of life. "Hydrogen peroxide played multiple roles in the emergence of living systems, and this study investigated how it ensured the randomly fluctuating temperatures and pH levels necessary to energise the production of a chemical world that made life on Earth possible," she said. The study, published in the … [Read more...] about Hair bleach chemical triggered life on Earth: study
A football-field sized asteroid came close to hitting Earth in July, though NASA scientists spotted it 24 hours before the close call, according to internal agency documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. The asteroid, 2019 OK, was estimated 187-427 feet wide, according to NASA, and is the largest asteroid to pass this close to Earth in quite a number of years. It missed Earth by 45,000 miles, less than one-fifth the distance to the Moon. "Because there may be media coverage tomorrow, I'm alerting you that in about 30 [minutes] a 57-130 meter-sized asteroid will pass Earth at only 0.19 lunar distances (48,000 miles)," Lindley Johnson, NASA's planetary defense officer, wrote in a July 24 email. "2019 OK was spotted about 24 hours ago." The object, "slipped through a whole series of our capture nets," Paul Chodas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory wrote to his colleagues two days after the flyby in late July, describing what he called the "sneaky" space rock. "I wonder how many times … [Read more...] about NASA: Asteroid Spotted Just 24 Hours Before Close Call With Earth
Death and rebirth are the bookends of time. For over 4.5 billion years, each day on Earth has begun the same way: with the rising of the sun. But earth scientists look for greater changes, choosing great extinctions or periods of evolution to mark the passing of one geological period into another. Our destiny, some might argue, first began when fish climbed out of the primordial oceans and onto the shore some 400 million years ago during the Paleozoic Era. But it was during the Holocene Epoch, after the Pleistocene Ice Ages ended, that humans turned from hunting and gathering to organizing social groups, thus forming the civilizations of the world. Some say we are still in the Holocene. But others have begun to wonder if we may now be living in a new epoch, one defined by the environmental consequences of man. This new time period, dubbed the anthropocene in 2000 by biologist Eugene F. Stoermer and Nobel-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen, it marks the most recent interval of … [Read more...] about Has Earth entered the anthropocene epoch?
The asteroids are flying in Earth’s direction on trajectories dubbed by astronomers “Earth Close Approaches”. The asteroids will all come screaming by on Monday, September 30. NASA expects the first of the three tracked space rocks, Asteroid 2019 SH3, to appear around 2.37am BST (1.37am UTC) next week. On its closest approach, the rock will reach speeds of around 14.16km per second or 31,675mph (50,976kph). What do we know about the three asteroids flying past Earth? According to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), all three space rocks are classified as Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). NEOs are comets and asteroids trapped in the inner solar system that come very close to our planet. Occasionally, an asteroid will come close enough to Earth’s orbit for NASA to monitor its trajectory for the possibility of impact. The space agency said: “As they orbit the Sun, Near-Earth Objects occasionally approach close to Earth. FIND OUT MORE: How … [Read more...] about Asteroid alert: NASA tracks three space rocks heading past Earth at once – Will they hit?
Apple's new iPhones will use recycled rare earth elements in a key component, the company said on Wednesday. Apple said it will use recycled rare earths in its "Taptic Engine," a part that lets iPhones mimic a physical button click despite being a flat pane of glass. The part is about one-quarter of the rare earth elements inside the iPhone models. Rare earths, a group of 17 specialised minerals, have become a flashpoint in trade tensions between the United States and China. The elements are used in weapons, consumer electronics and other goods. China dominates the processing of the raw minerals, and has implied through its state-controlled media that it could restrict rare earths sales to the United States, just as it did to Japan after a diplomatic dispute in 2010. Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said Apple's use of recycled rare earths was "not related" to trade tensions but could help it maintain a steady supply. "This is one of … [Read more...] about Apple Taps Recycled Rare Earth Elements for iPhone Parts