Arapaima, the Largest Fish in the Amazon River Basin Are Disappearing

Shocking and disheartening it is, as stated by a new study, the arapaima fish which is 10 feet (3 meters) long and weighs more than 400 pounds (180 kilograms) and is only found in the Amazon River basin, is going missing day by day. This has been the largest fish in the river basin and its shockingly decreasing number is a serious matter to worry about. The study was published in a journal Aquatic Conservation: Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems.

The survey of the fishing communities in the state of Amazonas, Brazil has raised the alarm to take adequate step of preserving this huge fish as already it has gone extinct from some parts of the Amazon basin. The little number of it left in the other parts of Amazon needs special care and protection or else, they are to go extinct from this earth in no time. Of the five species of the fish, three are not seen for decades.

However, hope is still on with possibility of the fish being conserved. This is because the communities, who regulate the arapaima fishing, are thriving the species of the fish and this is a hopeful step, giving the researchers hope that conservation of the species is still possible.

The arapaima is the largest fresh water fish found in South America and are also known as the pirarucu. These use to be large in size and are also popular for its capacity to breathe air. For being able to breathe air, these use to have a primitive lung in conjunction with a gill system that allows them to breathe underwater. It is said that these fish have developed this capability for being found in the oxygen-poor waterways. But this is a disadvantage for the arapaima as for its ability to breathe air they gets prone to be easily caught by fisherman.

NASA reports sighting three volcanic eruptions in Jupiter’s moon

NASA has reported sighting three volcanic eruptions in lo, one of the moons on Jupiter’s planet. The US space agency made this revelation after it sighted volcanoes erupting and spewing forth hot lava just as is usually witnessed on planet Earth.

The moon lo is the only space that has been observed to spew forth volcanic eruptions and lava in the entire solar system apart from Earth, and while one or two are not unexpected in a few years apart, seeing three massive ones in a succession is quite rare and unusual.

According to Imke de Pater of the University of California in Berkeley, “we typically expect one huge outburst every one or two years and they are usually not this bright. Here, we had three extremely bright outbursts, which suggest that if we looked more frequently we might see many more of them on lo.” Sighting these phenomena excites NASA and it encourages the agency to further probe space for similar occurrences.

According to NASA, studying these volcanic eruptions in Jupiter’s moon lo helps space scientists to better understand what happens to make the surfaces of Earth and moon among other terrestrial planets what they are.

These sightings provide scientists with knowledge that gives insight into how surfaces of earth and moon are shaped into their present formations, and it also gives proofs into how lava heating and cooling processes occur in the Jupiter’s moon lo.

First woman to leads a NASA team to find life in Mars

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) agency has announced Abigail Allwood, an Australian geologist, as the first woman to lead a team of investigators to research for signs of life on Mars in its coming 2020 rover mission. Abigail Allwood who has a Ph.D Astrobiology from Macquarie University will be in the Planetary Instrument X-ray Lithochemistry or PIXL, an instrument that uses X-ray to analyze the composition of soil and rock samples for signs of earlier life.

Dr. Allwood had in her past researches in Pilbara discovered microbial sediments known as stromatolites, and these layered matters gave some proof of earlier life on Earth; her research work had then been published in 2006 in the journal Nature. Today a staff at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Allwood has proved her mettle and won herself a place on the coming NASA mission to Mars.

This Mars 2020 mission has been scheduled to utilize a special rover vehicle that can convert carbon-dioxide to oxygen, and it is also fitted with cameras and a weather station that helps it carry out its mission to specificity. According to Dr. Allwood, “the intention is that this rover will collect samples and cache them so that future missions can come and pick them up…if you want to be serious about finding evidence of life you have to bring samples back, and you can’t just snatch and grab samples, they have to be carefully documented.”

This underlines the team’s mission to find traces of life on Mars and bring back samples of those traces while leaving enough pointers for future missions to work upon on returning back to Mars. Allwood has expressed delight on her inclusion on the team, and according to her, “I’d like to pave the way for other women to do the same thing. It’s no longer an old boys club.” The success of this Mars 2020 will open the way for future manned explorations into space.

Tidal forces made Moon look like a lemon

A recent study explained the reason for the lemon-like shape of the earth’s companion Moon. It is not a perfect sphere, but has a bulge at one of the sides. British scientific journal Nature published a report on July 30 explaining the reason for the lemon shape of the moon. Ian Garrick-Bethell – an assistant professor of Earth and planetary sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz has tried to solve the mystery.

In the words of Garrick-Bethell, “If you imagine spinning a water balloon, it will start to flatten at the poles and bulge at the equator. On top of that you have tides due to the gravitational pull of the Earth, and that creates sort of a lemon shape with the long axis of the lemon pointing at the Earth.”

The Moon was created around four billion years ago. It was possibly very close to Earth. Probably, it spinned more than it does presently. With the passage of time the Moon cooled and solidified. Earth exerted tidal forces thereby freezing the surface into a rather elongated shape with a swelling pointing towards Earth and a bump on the opposite side. The crust of Moon is thinner at the poles and somewhat heavy at its equator.

Garrick-Bethell further explained, “The moon that faced us a long time ago has shifted, so we’re no longer looking at the primordial face of the moon. Changes in the mass distribution shifted the orientation of the moon. The craters removed some mass, and there were also internal changes, probably related to when the moon became volcanically active.

The new discovery may help us to understand the basics of lunar evolution.

Hubble Space Telescope discovers three dry Exoplanets

The three Jupiter exoplanets which were being examined by the astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope with the hope of finding water vapor are instead found as pretty dry. The trio, dubbed HD 189733b, HD 209458b and WASP-12b that are orbiting stars and are similar to the sun were point of great expectation for the scientists and astronomers with signs of possessing water vapor in its atmosphere but unfortunately, it is not so.

The standard planet-formation theories too went wrong in case of these three exoplanets as the amount of water found in these is very little than predicted by the theories. The prediction was made based on the temperature of the exoplanets that ranges between 1,500 degrees to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nikku Madhusudhan, the lead author of the study and a faculty at Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, England stated, “Our water measurement in one of the planets, HD 209458b is the highest-precision measurement of any chemical compound in a planet outside our solar system, and we can now say with much greater
certainty than ever before that we’ve found water in an exoplanet.

However, the low water abundance we have found so far is quite astonishing. We have to revisit planet formation and migration models of giant planets, especially ‘hot Jupiters,’ and investigate how they’re formed. We should be prepared for much lower water abundances than predicted when looking at super-Earths.”