How Humans In Antarctica Are Preparing For Life On Mars

Where do you go to prepare for life on Mars? One option is Antarctica.

Concordia Station is a small research base in Antarctica that houses around a dozen scientists. Its handful of buildings rests atop a 10,000-foot mountain of ice in the middle of Antarctica, which due to its dry climate is the largest desert in the world. This is the perfect location for learning about Earth’s seismology and the character of glaciers. With its cloudless, sometimes sunless skies, it is also the perfect place for contemplating life beyond our planet.

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Diving With Millions Of Jellyfish

Diving with jellyfish in Palau, an island in Micronesia.

One particular quirk about isolated islands is that the animals that live there often don’t have any natural predators. That’s what makes the island of Palau in the western Pacific so intriguing, and what makes this video possible– the swarms of jellyfish surrounding this diver are completely harmless. They do have stingers, but the poison, never having been tested by natural predation, is too weak to cause any pain or damage.

The Super Cold (And Awesome) Clouds Of Saturn

Clouds Of Saturn

In the early 1980s, a Voyager mission discovered a curious hexagon on Saturn’s north pole. Incredibly enough, just one side of the hexagon is 8,600 miles long, or more than Earth’s diameter. The jury is still out as to why such a shape appears on the planet, but most astronomers believe it is due to a standing-wave pattern within Saturn’s atmosphere.

It was also Voyager that discovered Saturn’s finer clouds patterns. In the upper cloud layers, temperatures are around 100-160 Kelvin, or really, really cold.

For more fascinating space finds, check out space facts and the most astonishing nebulae photography!

What We Love This Week, Volume CXXVI

Sun Rays Field Fog

Sunrise over the small mountain hamlet of Cemoro Lawang, Indonesia. Source: Twisted Sifter

Dazzling Aerial Photography From Around The World

Aerial Elephants Grass

Elephants in Botswana’s Okavango flood plain. Source: Twisted Sifter

The view from on high can be at once elegant and cluttered, clarifying and overwhelming. But, most often, the view from above is absolutely gorgeous. The annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, ending June 30, attracts reams of striking images taken from vantage points you and I will probably never occupy. Perhaps chief among those images–both in terms of beauty and uniqueness–are those taken from the sky. Yes, you and I may never hover above the plains of Africa or the mountains of Indonesia, but the arresting photographs at Twisted Sifter come quite close to bringing us there.

Great Barrier Reef Aerial

The Great Barrier Reef near Hamilton Island. Source: Twisted Sifter

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