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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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20 Powerful Quotes By Pope Francis On Climate Change And The Environment

Pope Francis Climate Change Quotes

Pope Francis meets with the crowd this week in Saint Peters Square. Source: Filippo Monteforte/Agence France-Presse

This Thursday Pope Francis released his much-anticipated (or dreaded, pending your politics) papal encyclical, which took on the topics of climate change, consumerism and environmental degradation through a moral lens.

In the 184-page document, he calls for what the New York Times describes as “a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles,” and one that pays particular attention to advancing the needs of the poor.

This is not a new cause for Pope Francis; the Pope has made a social-justice oriented approach to climate change mitigation a key component of his faith and papacy for years. You can read the encyclical, “Laudato Si,” here. If you don’t have the time to pore over papal documents, we’ve extracted some of the Pope’s most powerful quotes on climate change and the environment below–some from the encyclical, some not–for your reading pleasure:

Of course, Francis’ impassioned, unapologetic stance on human-induced climate change has brought forth a number of critics. Some Roman Catholics, according to the Times report, have interpreted the document as an attack on capitalism and as unwanted political meddling at a moment when climate change is high on the global agenda. Others suggest that existing systems have helped many become wealthy and thus healthy and prosperous, and that the Pope’s calling for a move away from intensified production and thus technological innovation will not do much to help developing countries become “less poor.” Still others are concerned about the relationship between Church doctrine and state policy.

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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!

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