geology, meteorology, climate change, astronomy

The strange shape of the Earth

2022-04-22T11:55:17+02:0022 April 2022|Categories: Earth and Sky|Tags: , , , |

What is the shape of Earth? Sounds like an easy question but it's not at all. The dispute over the shape of the Earth has been going on for millennia, perché si tratta di un problema tutt'altro che banale. Despite what the flat-earthers say, l’ipotesi della “Terra sferica” era nota già nell'Antichità: using a very ingenious geometric method, il matematico Eratostene calcolò con sorprendente precisione le dimensioni della Terra [1], wrong a few hundred kilometers only. A trifle, considering the method. Tutto questo in barba a Cristoforo Colombo, who several centuries later blatantly misjudged his estimates, tentò di raggiungere le Indie via mare e fu [...]

Winter Olimpics Games, on the brink of extinction

2022-02-10T18:20:27+01:0010 February 2022|Categories: Earth and Sky|Tags: , , , |

The 2022 Winter Olympic Games are currently ongoing in Beijing. Other than in the China capital city, competitions are also held in the nearby mountainous areas of Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, which are usually too dry to have a good snow cover, needed for running the competitions. The lack of snow is the main concern of the organizers. Artificial snow is one of the potential solutions [1], which is more and more employed all over the world, to make up for the lack of natural snow. That leads to sustainability issues, of course (we'll covered that later), ma [...]

The climate has changed

2021-11-02T23:59:20+01:002 November 2021|Categories: Earth and Sky|Tags: , , , , , |

The climate has changed, Time is up. The twenty-sixth edition of the annual Conference of Parties (COP26), literally "Conference of the Parties", starts this week in Glasgow (Scotland), in collaboration between the UK and Italy. The conference is held one year after the originally scheduled date, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, e si prefigge obiettivi a dir poco ambiziosi. Della COP abbiamo già parlato qualche mese fa in occasione del rientro degli USA nell'Accordo di Parigi, but perhaps it is appropriate to refresh the subject. In summary, the COP has been organized every year since 1995 dalle Nazioni Unite, nell’ambito della [...]

Pebbles on Mars

2021-07-14T13:02:55+02:0014 July 2021|Categories: Earth and Sky|Tags: , , , , |

The recent Martian Perseverance mission has rekindled interest in the search for traces of the presence of water on Mars. However already with the Curiosity mission, landed on the red planet il 6 August 2012, Interesting discoveries have been made on the possible presence of ancient waterways that, more than 3 billions of years ago, they would have plowed the surface of the planet. Along the exploratory journey made in the Gale crater, located below the Martian equator and originated around 3,6 billions of years ago, the Curiosity rover has identified and photographed several rocks with an interesting structure. These are sedimentary rocks composed of [...]

The origin of gold

2021-07-02T16:35:51+02:009 June 2021|Categories: Earth and Sky|

This fascinating metal has always influenced the life of human civilizations, symbol of wealth and considered by some ancient peoples as an element with magical and divine properties; its origin goes back a long time, very far, even from the stars!

Welcome back, USA!

2021-07-03T17:43:04+02:0021 February 2021|Categories: Earth and Sky|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The United States is finally part of the Paris climate agreement. Ready, to the posts, via. Just established, la nuova amministrazione a stelle e strisce di Joe Biden ha fatto rientrare gli USA nell'accordo sul clima di Parigi. This is a nice change of pace from Donald Trump's previous administration, who had decided to leave that agreement. For the occasion, climate expert Ed Hawkins has produced a special version of his famous warming stripes. Despite what some people think, the Paris Agreement does not only concern the citizens of the French capital, but all of us. But one question is legitimate: what's this [...]

The Amazon is burning?

2021-06-28T22:06:15+02:0028 August 2019|Categories: Earth and Sky|Tags: , , , |

by Stefano M. The images and information of the devastation taking place in the Amazon rainforest by various arson are going around the web. Let's try to deepen the question! the Amazon is the largest rainforest on our planet, extends over an area of 5,5 million square km between Brazil (of which it occupies over 40% of the surface), and other neighboring countries. This forest, like others of the rain type, it is an incredible biodiversity hotspot and is home to a huge number of species, thanks to the particular climatic conditions. It is estimated that they live in it 2,5 [...]

How strong can an earthquake be in my house? 

2021-03-14T13:11:15+01:0014 April 2019|Categories: Earth and Sky|

By Francesco Munì All of us will have asked ourselves this question at least once, especially following calamitous events such as those which recently occurred in the Central Apennines. In order to know the seismic phenomena that your municipality has faced over the years there is a database produced by the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), called DBMI15 (Database Macrosismico Italiano 2015), update to 2015 of previous versions. Mappa dei terremoti di massima intensità storicamente rilevati scala standard AHEAD Questo database fornisce una serie di dati costituiti dall'intensità macrosismica, or the effects produced on people, artifacts and land, registrati dai vari comuni [...]

The new continent “Zealandia”

2021-03-14T12:59:22+01:002 January 2018|Categories: Earth and Sky|Tags: , , , |

In recent days the news of the discovery of a new continent submerged in the ocean around New Zealand has bounced on the news media. Let's face it straight away: has not been "discovered" no new continent. It was simply proposed, by some geologists and geophysicists, recognition as such, in light of the connection of various characteristics that have been in part known for a long time but which have finally been able to combine into a more complete and coherent. Topografia del continente di Zealandia (Di World Data Center for Geophysics & Marine Geology (Boulder, CO), National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA [...]

The golden age for astronomy. Literally!

2021-03-14T13:00:18+01:0020 October 2017|Categories: Earth and Sky|Tags: , |

Ever since the LIGO / Virgo project on gravitational wave detection started working, it has never ceased to amaze astronomers with continuous discoveries of great importance. The latter though, announced on 16 October 2017, really surpasses them all. < p class="_1mf _1mj" data-offset-key="ftq84-0-0">Alessandra Corsi, radio astronomer at Texas Tech University in Lubbock and co-signer of the first official document issued by the LIGO / Virgo team, defined this event as a "great gift from nature [...] A life changing event." Let's see what happened. La rilevazione dell'evento Il 17 August at 12:41 universal time, the two detectors [...]

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