Friday Headlines: 10-31-14

Friday Headlines, October 31, 2014



Today’s round-up:

Lava set to engulf homes in Hawaii

Antares rocket explodes

Take a Magical Geology Mystery Tour


Hawaii volcano: National Guard moves in as lava nears homes

The islands of the Hawaiian chain are all volcanic, and as such, are always at risk of eruptions and earthquakes.

Currently, the town of Pahoa on the Big Island, is in the path of an advancing flow that is sure to destroy at least a dozen homes.

The good news is that the flow is pretty slow. The eruption began in June and the flows are only now making it to the town. They’re pressing forward at only about 30 feet a day.

Alas, the flows are unstoppable. Recent rains will not slow them, and there’s no way to build a man-made barrier to divert them (unlike what you might have seen in the movie Volcano).

Families in the path of the flow are being evacuated, and thankfully have time to pack up their belongings before they go. So even though they’ll lose their homes, they won’t lose everything.


The things it carried: Rocket explosion destroys numerous science experiments

A sad moment happened in space science when the Anteres rocket exploded right after liftoff on Tuesday. You can see some videos here.

A fair question to ask is, ‘What was lost?’ Luckily, it was an unmanned flight, so no human lives were lost. I think it would have been all over the press if that had happened.

Instead, lots of experiments and equipment were lost. Items destined for the International Space Station. Experiments that would help us better prepare for future explorations like manned missions to Mars.

Some were experiments planned by high school and college students.

This launch an attempt at sending experiments and supplies to space using a privately contracted space craft. It’s uncertain at this time what impact this will have on the space program in the United States.


Welcome to Magical Geology Mystery Tour

What do you get when you mix Google Street View with geology questions? This!

This is a game (which is still being developed) in which images from Google Street View are coupled with questions about geology. Images are selected by geologists as exemplars of geological phenomena, like faulting, folding, or lava flows. The player selects the answer that best describes what is seen in the image.

The game has a second part in which the player tries to guess where on Earth the photo was taken. This is a lot more challenging for novice geologists, but certainly does teach us that while geology is everywhere, certain phenomena are most common in particular places on Earth.

So check it out. Have a little fun. See if you can read the rocks!

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