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Something Over Tea

It strikes me that if you look at anything close enough and for long enough, a pattern will emerge. Take this cauliflower for example:

I seldom get an opportunity to walk along the beach and when I do, apart from the waves, shells and seabirds, I am mesmerised by the patterns made by ripples in the shallow water:

I admire images of centuries old stone bridges as well as more modern concrete and steel bridges from abroad. Sometimes in this part of the world we have to make do with something more humble, like this flat wooden bridge:

For several years we had an angulate tortoise living in our garden – until he decided the time was right to seek a mate and he wandered off:

I also enjoy patterns seen in weathered rocks:

Lastly, this one may take you by surprise:

It was sent to me by a family…

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Marsquakes! For Science!

Fascinating subject.

Wickersham's Conscience

In principle, at least, the use of seismic – earthquake – waves to understand the interior of a planet is less complicated than it first seems. You’re probably familiar with bats’ use of echolocation to navigate the night skies: they emit high-pitched squeaks, and then use the reflections, the echoes, to navigate and find prey. Seismic reflection is much the same, except the equivalent of the bat “squeak” is a remote earthquake, and the reflections come for the differentiated layers of the planet’s structure.

Geologists and geophysicists have been using seismology to analyze the Earth’s structure for years. The same technique has been applied to Mars.

Stylized Model of Mars’ planetary structure

In February 2019, Mars Insight went on-line, a sophisticated seismometer placed on Elysium Planitia near the Martian equator. Since, Mars Insight has tracked Marsquakes and the pressure and shear waves those quakes generate as they reflect and refract…

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