Utah

Showing 6 posts tagged Utah

If you’ve ever pretended to be on the Red Planet, you’re not alone. This is Crew 138 of the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), a team of scientists who are researching what it would be like to live on Mars by pretending. From Wikipedia:

The crews usually consist of a mix of astronomers, physicists, biologists, geologists, engineers and the occasional journalist. Each crew member is usually assigned a role: Commander, Executive Officer (ExO), Health and Safety Officer (HSO), Crew Biologist, Crew Geologist or Chief Engineer.

In addition to cooking, cleaning, exercise, HAB maintenance, GreenHab gardening, etc, the crew has mission objectives to complete. A final mission report is written from their notes, analysis, and experiences so that future Mars astronauts and explorers can be well prepared. From National Geographic:

On the mission, the international team is working on in-the-field mapping, collecting and analyzing rock samples, measuring the payoff from exercise, and taking blood samples to monitor crew health. The team is working in mock space suits and testing work protocols indoors and outside.

The first days were largely spent learning to live and work in the Habitat, which is a round two-story structure that measures about 25 feet across.

After the crew enters full simulation, the Habitat contains all the food and water we need, as well as work and sleep quarters.

This team was based in the Utah desert, but there have been other “extraterrestrial” sites: Haughton Crater on Devon Island, and next to the Krafla Rift Volcano in Iceland. There’s also one in the works 324 miles (521 km) north of Adelaide, South Australia. For more information about the project, including volunteer requirements, check out desert.marssociety.org, and read more at National Geographic.

Watch more Mars videos, including a topographically accurate landscapes of Mars and everything Mars Curiosity.

via Devour.

Meet Siats (pronounced SEE-otts) Meekerorum, the first giant mega-predator to be discovered in North America — specifically in the Utah desert — in over 60 years. In this Untamed Science video, we hear from Dr. Lindsay Zanno, Director of the Paleontology & Geology Research Laboratory at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, who explains how this 30 foot long, 4-ton, carnivorous creature flourished in the tens of millions of years before T-Rex ruled.

Untamed Science has visited Dr. Zanno before: Paleontology 101, a must-watch for anyone who loves dinosaurs.

via Scientific American.

From Untamed Science, a tour with Dr. Lindsay Zanno, Director of the Paleontology & Geology Research Laboratory at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. 

The key things she emphasized were that a) it’s a lot of work b) it’s not glamorous c) rarely to they find complete skeletons d) they don’t excavate it with little brushes out in the field and e) they spend close to 50 times the effort on a skeleton, in the lab, once it’s been pulled out of the earth.

There’s also a field trip to Crystal Geyser Quarry, “the largest feathered dinosaur graveyard” in the world… so far, at least! From the team’s site

We are living through the most exciting period in the history of dinosaur paleontology.  More than half of all known dinosaur species were discovered within the past 25 years, including nearly all of the remarkable feathered dinosaur specimens.  One of the hottest areas for dinosaur discovery in North America is the Cedar Mountain Formation of eastern Utah, where new dinosaurs are being discovered and described at a phenomenal rate.  These fossil beds span the last 25-30 million years of the Early Cretaceous, a time when North America was undergoing a period of climate change that resulted in localized extinction events and invasive dinosaur species.

Our team returns to Utah every year to hunt for new dinosaurs. This year we began excavations at an unprecedented dinosaur burial ground in the Cedar Mountain Formation known as the Crystal Geyser Quarry (CGQ).  The CGQ is a mass mortality site entombing a rare and remarkable dinosaur dubbed Falcarius utahensis. One hundred and twenty-five million years ago an estimated 300 Falcarius individuals ranging in age from hatchlings to 4-meter long adults died and were buried here under mysterious conditions.

Shot in slow motion at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah, Brian Thomson documents the local Holi Festival of Colors from 2011.

Every year, Hindus greet the turn of winter into spring with a splash of color — in some areas, a geyser of color. They call their celebration the festival of Holi, and Hindus across India and throughout the world share prayer, camaraderie, special food, and a general sense of mischief as they douse each other in dyes and colored water. The large festival has roots to many Hindu legends associated with the triumph of good over evil. 

via This is Colossal