Tag Archives: rocks

China’s Yutu-2 Rover Spots Unexpectedly Young Rocks on the Far Side of the Moon

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China’s Chang’e-4 lander made history when it completed the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon in January 2019. After the landing, Chang’e-4 deployed the Yutu-2 rover to explore the surface in greater detail. Now, the team has spotted some very unusual rocks scattered around Von Kármán crater that appear to be much younger than surrounding formations. This could point to previously unknown elements of the moon’s geological history. 

The moon today is a static environment, but it was not always so. Most experts agree the moon formed after a large object collided with the primordial Earth. It took millions of years for the moon to cool after that, but the surface today is heavily eroded. That’s why the rocks (the “trail” to the right in the above photo) spotted last month were so perplexing. 

On the moon, most rock formations have been heavily eroded over millions of years by microscopic meteorite impacts and extreme temperature change. As a result, the surface has a largely uniform color and texture. The Von Kármán crater flooded with lava several times in its past, leaving most of the area smooth and dark (a basalt patch). These objects are different — they’re lighter in color and they poke up from the surface. The shapes are similar, so it’s reasonable to assume they share an origin. 

The Chang’e-4 lander.

Dan Moriarty from Goddard Space Flight Center speculates that the mysterious rocks have a higher content of light materials from the lunar highlands crust. They might be “regolith breccia” that were formed by an impact in the region after the one that formed Von Kármán crater. Alternatively, they could be primary crustal rock excavated from below the surface by an impact. They could be as young as 10 million years or as old as 2 billion — we need more data to know for sure. 

The Yutu-2 rover has reportedly approached the rocks to take more detailed images. It also used its Visible and Near-infrared Imaging Spectrometer (VNIS) instrument to scan the rocks. However, it completed this task on Lunar day 13, the data from which has not been released publicly yet. 

China designed the Yutu-2 rover to last about three months on the moon, but it’s already well past that. The next phase of China’s lunar exploration will kick off later this year with the launch of Chang’e-5. This lander will carry a sample return vehicle that will return lunar regolith to Earth. If successful, this will be the first sample of lunar material collected since The Soviet Luna 24 mission in 1976.

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Jennifer Lopez Rocks Iconic Green Versace Gown, Gushes Over Alex Rodriguez in Stylish ‘SNL’ Monologue

Jennifer Lopez Rocks Iconic Green Versace Gown, Gushes Over Alex Rodriguez in Stylish ‘SNL’ Monologue | Entertainment Tonight

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Ontario's Forget rocks it old school when it comes to throwing granite

Wes Forget's old-school backswing is part homage to his curling idols, but part practical too.

Swinging the 18-kg stone behind the body like a pendulum before sliding out of the hack may be circa 1980, but it hasn't completely gone out of fashion.

A few men still do a variation of the wind-up, but Ontario's second adds style to it.

Like the majority of curlers at the Canadian men's championship, Forget uses the modern no-lift delivery most of the time.

But Forget (pronounced FOUR-zhay) breaks out the backswing to peel guards from the front of the rings.

The 27-year-old from Kingston, Ont., tweeted on opening day of the Tim Hortons Brier "I throw with the backswing because of 4 people named Russ, Glenn, Wayne and Richard."

"When you come from Ontario, if you were to name the top 10 curlers in the world to have ever played, you're probably naming Wayne Middaugh, Glenn Howard, Russ Howard and Richard Hart, so why wouldn't I throw the backswing?" Forget told The Canadian Press.

WATCH | Defending champ Gushue defeats N.B.'s Oldishaw:

Defending champion Brad Gushue .downed New Brunswick's Terry Oldishaw 8-7 at the Brier. Gushue improves to 4-1, Oldishaw falls to 1-4. 1:13

"When you come from Ontario, if you were to name the top 10 curlers in the world to have ever played, you're probably naming Wayne Middaugh, Glenn Howard, Russ Howard and Richard Hart, so why wouldn't I throw the backswing?" Forget told The Canadian Press.

"It is old school. It is a bit of an homage to throw back to some of those older names and the way the game used to be played. Honestly, I think it's a little bit easier to make peels with it."

Canadian, world and Olympic champion Russ Howard did a double take in the broadcast booth in Brandon, Man., the first time he saw Forget getting air behind his backswing.

"It was just so elegant and smooth," the 63-year-old said. "He goes back farther than I ever did."

Ontario won a third straight game to get to 3-2 in Pool B and put Scott McDonald's foursome in better position to play in the championship round Thursday and Friday.

The top four teams in each pool at the conclusion of the round robin Wednesday night carry their records into the championship round, from which the four Page playoff teams emerge.

Northern Ontario's Brad Jacobs (6-0) and Brendan Bottcher's wild-card team from Edmonton (5-1) secured berths in the championship round from Pool A on Tuesday.

WATCH | Brad Jacobs stays perfect at Brier with win over Manitoba

Brad Jacobs and Northern Ontario took a 9-5 win over Manitoba to improve to 6-0 at the Brier. 1:16

Saskatchewan's Kirk Muyres (4-2) was assured at least a tiebreaker. Manitoba's Mike McEwen and Yukon's Jon Solberg (3-3) were jockeying for the final berth in the pool.

Alberta's Kevin Koe topped Pool B at 5-0 to secure a berth in the championship round.

Defending champion Brad Gushue was 4-1 followed by Ontario, Nova Scotia's Stuart Thompson and B.C.'s Jim Cotter all in the mix at 3-2.

Done properly, the backswing delivery requires less leg drive than the no-lift and more power is generated. Howard recommends the technique in his book "Curl To Win," which Forget owns.

"That kind of affirmed my reasoning. I'm doing it. Russ Howard said so," Forget said. "When Wayne Middaugh picked up on my tweet and re-tweeted it, I was like 'Yup."'

Timing and mechanics have to be smooth and in sync, lest pieces of curling ice go flying at the bottom of the swing or Forget gets pulled off target sliding out of the hack by momentum gone awry.

Manitoba skip Mike McEwen makes a shot during Tuesday morning's eighth draw against Newfoundland and Labrador's Andrew Symonds at the Brier in Brandon, Man. McEwen cruised to a 13-4 victory to raise his record to 3-2 following a pair of losses. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

"If you kick out before the rock gets there you're in trouble," Howard said. "If the rocks gets there before you get there you're in trouble. He's very seamless with it."

Said Forget: "I wouldn't say I wrecked any hacks, but you leave smaller and smaller divots in the ice as you practise it.

"When I was younger and trying to practise it, I would walk around and do this," he added, gently swinging his right arm.

The main reason the backswing is considered vintage is curlers are now taught the sport at a younger age and don't have the strength to heave 18 kg of granite behind them and control it, Howard pointed out.

"I recommended it because you can just throw it harder," he said.

Forget said he got the yips and parked the backswing for a time last year before Adam Kingsbury, who currently coaches the Brad Jacobs team, helped get it back.

"I just forgot, excuse the pun, how to do it," Forget quipped. "He found some things in my delivery and squared it up and evened it out and it fixed everything."

Forget's skip is fine with his second's wind-up as long as he makes the shot.

"I know it's been inspired by some great Ontario curlers that Wes idolized when he was young," McDonald said. "When Wes is throwing it well, it's pretty effortless.

"It just comes down the ice at you like an arrow."

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3 Minuscule Moon Rocks Just Sold for $855,000 at Auction

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The moon is huge, and it’s not very far away in the grand scheme of things. With with uncountable trillions of tons of “moon” out there, you wouldn’t think tiny pieces it would be so valuable, but humanity has only managed to bring a tiny bit of lunar material back to Earth. Almost all of that is considered the property of either the United States or Russian governments, but an extremely rare sample of the moon just sold at private auction. The price? A mere $ 855,000.

NASA used every Apollo mission in the 1960s and 70s to bring back a crate of moon rocks. Between the six manned landings, NASA collected 842 pounds (382 kg) of lunar material. The unmanned Soviet Luna landers sent back a further 10.6 ounces (310 grams). It’s clearly easier to collect rocks when you have a person who can pick up and heave them into a bin.

When moon rocks show up for private sale, they usually end up being fake or stolen. The US government is particularly strict about private ownership of lunar material. In 2011, a small sample of moon dust collected from a film canister and affixed to tape went up for sale. The Justice Department swooped in and asserted government ownership, and the seller relinquished it. So, from where does this ultra-rare legal sample come?

The newly auctioned moon fragments came to Earth aboard the Soviet Luna 16 return rocket, the first automated probe to return a sample from the lunar surface. The sample consists of three tiny fragments of feldspar crystals with a mass of just a few milligrams. They’re encased in a 5.1 x 5.1 cm block of metal with a small window. There’s also an integrated magnifying glass to offer a better look at the sample. Below the window, Russian text proclaims the fragments to be “SOIL PARTICLES FROM LUNA-16.”

This may be the only privately owned piece of the moon thanks to one Sergei Korolev. For years, Korolev was the chief designers for the Soviet space program. He’s credited with the first satellite launch, the first animal launched into space, and the first manned launch. However, the Soviet Union believed his contributions were so important, his existence had to be a closely guarded secret. Some of the Cosmonauts he worked with didn’t even know his last name.

Following Korolev’s unexpected death from cancer in 1966, the Soviet government gave his widow 200 mg of lunar soil in thanks for his service. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, the fragments were auctioned in 1993 by Sotheby’s in New York. Sotheby’s also handled the latest auction. At $ 855,000, it’s safe to say these are the most expensive rocks in the world by mass.

Now read: NASA Sets New Roadmap for Moon Base, Crewed Missions to MarsSpaceX Reveals First Lunar Passenger, and Scientists Confirm Water Ice on the Moon’s Surface

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3.7 Billion-Year-Old Fossils May Actually Be Just Rocks

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Several years ago, a group of researchers revealed a new fossil discovery suggesting that life on Earth started even earlier than we thought. The 3.7 billion-year-old structures found in Greenland certainly looked like they had a biological origin, but a new study casts doubt on the original claims. A different team says the structures identified in Greenland are most likely just rocks. Technically, fossils are rocks, but the question is whether they used to be alive.

The original team uncovered unusual cone-like structures in the Isua supracrustal belt in Greenland, dating to 3.7 billion years in the past. At the time, the researchers concluded that these shapes were most likely “stromatolites,” small clusters of single-cell organisms and biofilms that fossilized. If true, that would push back the earliest evidence for life on Earth by hundreds of millions of years. The next oldest fossils are from the Strelley Pool Formation in Australia, which date from 3.45 billion years ago.

With fossils this old, there’s not much you can do to differentiate them from surrounding rock on a chemical level — there’s no DNA or protein to confirm without a doubt that this structure used to be alive. However, the morphology of the fossils can tell you a lot. The Greenland find does look like newer fossils of single-celled organisms, and the rare-Earth element composition didn’t rule out life.

The new analysis led by NASA astrobiologist Abigail Allwood looked at the 3D shape of the rock features rather than just the exposed surface. Allwood was involved with the discovery of the Australian stromatolites that are the currently oldest accepted evidence of life, and she’s unconvinced by the Greenland find.

Samples identified in the original study as fossils. Via Nature.

On the end, they do look like biological stromatolites. However, the latest study says that’s just a cross section of elongated triangular tubes. In addition, some of the structures were upside down, which doesn’t make sense if they were growing upward from an ancient seabed, as the previous team had surmised. That is definitely not something we would expect from fossils in of this age. Allwood also ran the samples through a prototype instrument called PIXL that will go to Mars on the 2020 rover. This test showed the rocks don’t have the distinctive lamination layer pattern you’d expect from microorganism fossils.

The team puts forward a number of geological explanations for the structures that don’t involve living organisms. Essentially, sedimentary rocks could have been warped by extreme pressure to take on a tube shape. The original researchers strenuously object to the new analysis of their work, saying the analysis was conducted on the wrong samples. This is science. Someone is either going to confirm the original study or the new one. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Now read: The Oldest Rocks on Earth Could Contain Signs of LifeOldest Fossils Ever Found Dated to 3.5 Billion Years Ago, and Silurian Hypothesis: What If Humans Aren’t the First Civilization on Earth?

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Angela Bassett Rocks Eye-Popping Silver Jumpsuit Following Bikini-Clad 60th Birthday

Angela Bassett can’t stop looking regal!

The 60-year-old Queen Ramonda from Black Panther stepped out in a stunning silver jumpsuit on Wednesday night for the Michael Jackson Diamond Celebration at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

The sleeveless one-piece ensemble had a high neckline with a sweet bow at the top. Bassett was all smiles in the bold look, accessorizing with large gold hoop earrings. 

She attended the event alongside stars Vanessa Hudgens, Ashlee Simpson, Evan Ross, Usher, and the King of Pop’s own children, Paris and Prince Micheal Jackson, who were honoring their father on what would have been his 60th birthday.

Angela Bassett


Wednesday night’s event marks yet another fashion triumph for Bassett, who recently celebrated her own 60th birthday in a sexy bikini. 

“Happy Birthday to all my Leo brothers and sisters,” she captioned the pic. “Let’s eat cake!” 

As great as she looks, Bassett doesn’t define beauty based on outward appearance.

“Real joy and peace from the inside. I think that’s what’s meant by aging gracefully,” she told the Los Angeles Times back in 2016. “The wonder of life. The goodness of others. People who have a level head, a ready smile and are open to expression and creativity, things that are positive. I think that’s where it starts, as opposed to being obsessed with that which ultimately fades and diminishes.”

Here’s more with the acclaimed actress:


Angela Bassett Celebrates 60th Birthday With Jaw-Dropping Bikini Pic

How Paris Jackson and Brother Prince Are Honoring Late Father Michael Jackson On His 60th Birthday (Exclusive)

Vanessa Hudgens Recalls ‘Kind of Crazy’ Meeting With Michael Jackson (Exclusive)

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Buildings collapse as strong new quake rocks Indonesia's Lombok

A strong earthquake rocked Indonesia's Lombok on Thursday, with witnesses reporting collapsed buildings, the latest in a series of tremors on the tropical tourist island that have killed more than 150 people in the past two weeks.

Reuters witnesses reporting on the aftermath of last Sunday's quake in the north of the island said people ran out onto roads in panic and some buildings collapsed.

"Evacuees and people ran out of houses when they felt the strong shake of the 6.2 magnitude quake…. People are still traumatised. Some buildings were damaged further because of this quake," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesperson for Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency (BNPB), said on Twitter.

Officials said the quake's epicentre was on land and so there was no risk of a tsunami.

Humanitarian crisis looming

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recorded the latest quake at 5.9, with a depth of 10 km.

BNPB's official death toll from Sunday's quake stood at 131 on Wednesday, although some Indonesian officials put the number at 347.

Sutopo did not give an updated toll, telling Reuters only that there had been "a big increase".

A humanitarian crisis is also looming in Lombok, where thousands have been left homeless and in desperate need of clean water, food, medicine and shelter.

Officials said about three-quarters of Lombok's rural north had been without electricity since Sunday, although power had since been restored in most areas.

Aid workers have found some hamlets hard to reach because bridges and roads were torn up by the disaster.

Thousands of tourists have left Lombok since Sunday, fearing further earthquakes, some on extra flights provided by airlines and others on ferries to the neighbouring island of Bali.

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Selena Gomez Rocks Lace Dress and Wire-Framed Glasses in NYC — See Her Stylish Look

Selena Gomez makes the trends!

The 25-year-old “Same Old Love” singer showcased her fashion prowess at the Prada Resort 2019 fashion show in New York City on Friday. Dressed in head-to-toe Prada, Gomez arrived to the star-studded event wearing a navy floral silk frock that featured a revealing sheer lace neck and hemline. She accessorized the flirty look with black round-toe mules, a chestnut leather satchel and oversized silver wire-framed glasses that she’s rocked in the past.

Her brown locks were in a tousled updo and her makeup consisted of light eyeshadow, pink blush, bold brows and a perfectly rose-colored pout.

Selena Gomez at Prada Resort Show

Jared Siskin/Getty Images

While all eyes were on Gomez, Dianna Agron, Dakota Fanning, Lily Collins and Gabrielle Union all turned heads in bright and lively fashion-forward ensembles.

Dianna Agron and Dakota Fanning Prada Show

Sean Zanni/Getty Images

Lily Collins Prada Show

Jared Siskin/Getty Images

Gabrielle  Union Prada Show

Sean Zanni/Getty Images

Sarah Paulson, Claire Danes and Tracee Ellis Ross also gathered together during the event to take a pic.

Sarah Paulson Claire Danes Tracee Ellis Ross Prada Show

Jared Siskin/Getty Images

As designers begin to showcase their Resort collections, Gomez continues to spearhead her latest collections with Puma and Coach.

The “Fetish” singer is also getting ready to launch a new single, “Back to You,” and has been showing off her latest edgy haircuts on social media.

For more on Gomez’s new funky ‘do, watch the video below.


Selena Gomez Announces New Song ‘Back to You’

Selena Gomez’s Hairstylist Explains Her New Shaved ‘Do (Exclusive)

Selena Gomez Debuts New Shaved Hairdo — See the Pics!

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Kelly Clarkson Debuts Bangs and Rocks Cut-Out LBD at Benefit Gala

Get it, girl!

Kelly Clarkson looked fabulous at a benefit gala on Friday night.

The Voice coach performed in Beverly Hills at the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation’s 23rd Annual Taste for a Cure event, which honored Paul Telegdy, the President of Alternative and Reality Group for NBC Entertainment.

Clarkson stepped up her fashion game for the charitable gala, donning a sexy long-sleeved Elie Saab LBD that had a sweetheart neckline cut-out and lace detailing. She paired the frock with black stockings and alice + olivia shoes.

Though her blonde locks are normally styled with longer bangs and layers, the “Piece by Piece” singer debuted shorter eyebrow-grazing fringe, styling her hair up in a high bun to highlight the new chop. She finished off her look with peachy-gold makeup, though it was her massive engagement ring that was hard to take our eyes away from! (Clarkson has been married to Brandon Blackstock since 2013 and they share two children, daughter River and son Remington.)

Kelly Clarkson at cancer event

John Sciulli/Getty Images for UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation

Just ahead of the event, where the Texas native sang her hits like “Stronger” and “I Don’t Think About You,” she shared the details of her look on Instagram, writing, “I am overjoyed to be a part of honoring Paul Teledgy tonight at Taste for a Cure 2018.”

Clarkson has also been sharing tons of her #OOTDs on Instagram since joining The Voice.

Earlier this week, she celebrated her 36th birthday in a sweet silver Dolce&Gabbana dress, which she also styled with black tights and heels.

The day before, she looked like she was having too much fun in a black-and-white polka dot dress by Carolina Herrera.

And sparkles were the name of the game earlier this month in these Gucci and Michael Kors numbers, respectively:

Clarkson seems to be having a ton of fun playing with different styles, and we are here for it!

For even more on her Voice experience, watch the video below.


Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson Praise Carrie Underwood’s Comeback at ACM Awards (Exclusive)

Kelly Clarkson Reveals What Blake Shelton Has to Do If She Wins ‘The Voice’ (Exclusive)

Kim Kardashian Flaunts Curvaceous Figure in Sexy LBD While Partying With ‘Hot Mugshot Guy’ — See the Pics!

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Yolanda Hadid, 54, Rocks Same Bikini as Daughter Bella When She Was 19: Pics!

Age is only a number if you’re Yolanda Hadid!

The former supermodel and reality star is sizzling in a bikini at 54 and clearly living her best vacation life. Yolanda shared a series of photos from an “undisclosed location” this week, and while in her tropical paradise, she’s certainly taking in the rays.

In one shot, Yolanda is leaping in the air while flashing her toned, fit body in a knitted bikini.

“Not perfect but happy,” she captioned the photo.

Fans quickly noticed that the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star was wearing the same bikini as her younger daughter, Bella Hadid.

Bella, who is now 21, wore the suit in August 2016 at the tender age of 19. Of course, the two ladies rocked the look, and clearly it’s due to their very good genes.

Yolanda is, of course, the mother of three models, including Bella, Gigi, and Anwar Hadid.

“You’ve gotta be the first one on the job. You’ve gotta be the hardest working girl there. You have to be kind and polite to everyone,” Yolanda told ET of her advice to models this past January.

For more from the supermodel momager, watch the clip below!


The Weeknd and Bella Hadid Spotted Kissing at Coachella Party

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Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid Went Topless in Thong Bikini Bottoms for Epic Girls Trip: Pics!

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