NASA confirms: Liquid Water exists on Mars!

Water on Mars

Liquid water exists on the surface of Mars during the planet’s warmer seasons, according to new research published in Nature Geosciences. This revelation comes from new spectral data gathered by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), a spacecraft that studies the planet from orbit. The orbiter analyzed the chemistry of weird dark streaks that have been known to appear and disappear seasonally on the Martian surface. The analysis confirms that these streaks are formed by briny — or salty — water flowing downhill on Mars.

NASA has advertised these findings as the solution to a major Mars mystery: does the Red Planet truly have liquid water on its surface? Researchers have known that water exists in ice form on Mars, but it’s never been confirmed if water can remain in a liquid state. The space agency is claiming that we now have that answer.

This isn’t the first study to suggest liquid water is present in some form on Mars. Scientists have theorized for years that Mars was once home to a large ocean more than 4 billion years ago. And recent findings from the Mars Curiosity rover suggest that liquid water exists just underneath the Martian surface. The discovery of water on Mars has almost become a joke among planetary scientists. Alfred McEwen, a planetary geologist at Planetary Image Research Laboratory who also worked on this research, wrote in Scientific American that the studies have become extremely commonplace: “Congratulations — you’ve discovered water on Mars for the 1,000th time!” he joked.

Today’s findings seem to offer more direct evidence of liquid water than most, though the study only confirms what NASA has long suspected — that flowing liquid water forms the strange, dark streaks that have been observed on Mars. These streaks — called recurring slope lineae — were first observed by the MRO spacecraft in 2010. The lines are blackish and narrow at less than 16 feet across. During the warmer seasons, the streaks grow thicker and longer; they then fade and shrink at times when Mars is colder.


Apple sets new record, sells 13 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in opening weekend!

iPhone 6s Rose Gold

Apple has announced that it has set a new sales record for the new iPhone 6s and the 6s Plus during the opening weekend. The two phones combined have sold more than 13 million units in the first three days of launch in the 12 countries they were available in, including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK and the US.

To put the number into perspective, the previous iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold 10 million units combined, the the 5s and 5c before that sold 9 million units combined.

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Apple has reiterated that it will be bringing the 6s and 6s Plus to additional 40 additional countries worldwide.

Starting October 9, the phones will be available in Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.

Starting October 10, the phones will be available in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Starting October 16, the phones will be available in India, Malaysia and Turkey on Friday, October 16 and in over 130 countries by the end of the year.


The new “Top Gear” will be called “Gear Knobs” aired on Amazon Prime?

Top Gear in Australia

Speculation is mounting that Jeremy Clarkson’s new Amazon Prime show be called Gear Knobs, after BuzzFeed discovered a trademark application for the cheeky title by Clarkson’s lawyers, Olswang.

The application was made a fortnight before the former Top Gear presenter announced a deal worth a reported £160m to make a new series with Amazon. It was filed through a shell company, which has also registered the title “Gear Knobs”.

Top Gear in Canada

A third title – Speedbirds – was also registered by the lawyers. The Daily Mirror wonders if this name could be new moniker for “a Stig-like character in Clarkson, Hammond and May’s new show”. The filings mean the titles can be used for TV shows and merchandising.

The Top Gear brand was worth an estimated £150m a year in sales to the BBC through a lucrative combination of live shows, DVD sales, and all manner of branded merchandise, including Stig bubble bath and Top Gear birthday cakes.

Top Gear team

However, the risqué names may not be what Amazon has in mind. Although the applications were made in the middle of July, at the end of August the company’s boss Roy Price said the team were still struggling to find a name for the show.

When asked about the reported new title, an Amazon spokesman said: “Amazon does not comment on speculation.” Clarkson himself was unavailable for comment on the story.

Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson

Earlier this week, his sidekick James May tweeted a photograph of himself with the caption “Here I am again, looking like a nob.”

Before he begins work on his new show, Clarkson will return to the BBC as host of an episode of the satirical news quiz Have I Got News For You.


It will be his first appearance on the BBC since he was dropped from Top Gear after punching producer Oisin Tymon, says BBC News.

After a protracted investigation into the incident, BBC director-general Tony Hall decided not to renew the presenter’s contract, saying that “a line has been crossed” and “there cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another”.

Jeremy Clarkson and Chris Evans on TFI Friday

Clarkson’s appearance on Have I Got News For You will coincide with the start of the show’s 50th series.

The 55-year-old presenter had been due to host an episode of the show in April, but pulled out after the so-called ‘fracas’ that cost him his job at Top Gear.

At the time, a statement from production company Hat Trick said: “On reflection, Jeremy Clarkson has decided not to host Have I Got News For You. We fully expect him to resume his hosting duties later in the year.”

Jeremy Clarkson - Hovervan

Meanwhile, Sky has taken a much firmer line on the prospect of working with Clarkson in the future.

Stuart Murphy, the broadcaster’s entertainment chief, said that he had a ten-second conversation with his colleagues about whether they would like to employ Clarkson after he was dropped by the BBC. But “who nowadays is happy” working with someone who used the n-word, he asked an audience at the Royal Television Society convention last week, The Guardian reports.

Clarkson once mumbled the word while reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny, meeny, miny, moe during an episode of Top Gear.

Jeremy Clarkson - P45

“His view was it wasn’t transmitted,” said Murphy. “Come on. There’s no need to say that. For him to be so tentative about his apology and loving the fact that he’s a naughty schoolboy. Grow up. It’s a different age, grow up.”

The upshot of Murphy’s short conversation with his colleagues was that none of them were happy to employ Clarkson.

“We are a family brand,” said Murphy. “It would have been short-term gain for long-term mess. He’s not someone we want to work with.”

Clarkson is currently on holiday, but is expected to begin preliminary work on his Amazon show in the next few months.