10_1 Science Broadcast (Mars Water, Neutrino and Tree Maps, and More)

Hello, and welcome to GeoSpatial Stream. I’m your host, Todd Danielson, and today’s Lead Sponsor is Trimble Geospatial Division.

Today’s Top Story is Mars. Yes, our main focus is on geo, a root word for earth, but many of the technologies we use here on Earth started as space technologies, and this story is just too interesting to pass up.

There is water on Mars. No more wondering or science-fiction stories. It’s briny and cold, but it’s water.

Using an imaging spectrometer on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where darkish streaks would ebb and flow down steep slopes during warm seasons (typically above minus 23 Celsius) and then fade in cooler seasons. These signatures were found at multiple locations.

The hydrated salts lower the freezing point of the liquids, just like how salt helps melt ice on pavement here on Earth.

These graphics and animations were put together on an Esri story map. The video you’re now watching was created by draping an orthorectified false-color image on a digital terrain model.

That was today’s Top Story. I’ll be back with more news after this Trimble interview clip from the 2015 Esri User Conference.

In more-terrestrial science, a map published in Nature Scientific Reports shows what the world would look like if we could see the trillions of neutrinos that emanate from the surface of the planet each second. If you’re not familiar with neutrinos, look them up, as trillions of them are effortlessly passing through you, and this entire planet, right now. Dark spots on the map indicate nuclear reactors and parts of Earth’s crust rich with radioactive uranium and thorium, which emit neutrinos when they decay.

And here’s a really interesting video from Nature that describes how scientists estimated the number of trees on the planet:

In industry headlines, exactEarth announced the successful launch on Sept. 28, 2015, of its exactView-9 automatic identification system satellite, expanding its global vessel-monitoring constellation to eight in-orbit satellites.

Recently released US Topo maps for Florida now feature more trails using data provided by the U.S. Forest Service as well as trail information from other federal, state and private sources.

Teledyne Optech introduced its Optech Lynx SG-S mobile survey system, featuring a LiDAR sensor combined with Optech LMS Pro software, an inertial navigation system and integrated Ladybug 5 camera.

And Intergraph Government Solutions won a contract from the U.S. Forest Service to provide image-processing software through Hexagon Geospatial’s Power Portfolio.

For today’s Final Thought, it’s back to Mars. My apologies if you just want to learn about technology used on Earth, but people have been fascinated about Mars for thousands of years, going back to the Egyptians and Babylonians.

And some of the greatest tales of science fiction relate to Mars, and some not-so-great as well. There’s even a well-timed blockbuster movie called The Martian coming out right now.

One of my favorite Martian tales was a movie called Total Recall, which proposed that Mars had abundant frozen water that could be converted to breathable air for colonizing humans. Could that be space scientists’ next discovery? And I can’t wait to see where the human imagination takes us next on the Red Planet. Maybe we’ll actually meet this most-famous Martian.

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I’m Todd Danielson, and this … was your GeoSpatial Stream.