Thursday, August 12, 2010
"7 Wonders of the Universe" on History Channel
The most interesting may be #7, the moon Enceladus, a small moon with likely water in the interior, spewing out geysers that freeze into snow. The water is heated possibly by radioactive elements, and gravitational friction.
Number 6 was the rings of Saturn, and #5 was the Great Red Spot of Jupiter, which is actually a high pressure system. #4 is the asteroid belt, with Ceres being a dwarf planet. One of the greatest dangers to civilization would be another crash of an asteroid on the Earth.
#3 was the 80000-foot Olympic Mons volcano on Mars, which grows so large partly because of Mars’s low gravity and lack of plate tectonics.
#2 was the surface of the Sun with its solar storms, the subject of “Magnetic Storms” later tonight on the History Channel.
#1 is, understandably, Earth itself.
YouTube video from European Space Agency: “Olympus Mons: Traces of Life on Mars”
Wikipedia attribution link for NASA photo from Enceladus.