We reported some time ago on the growing shortage of the second lightest element (helium, see http://bit.ly/29fpqG7), vital for multiple uses other than the more obvious party balloons. Being a light gas that forms by radioactive decay of elements like uranium in the planet’s crust, most helium ends up lost to space once it reaches the atmosphere (and hence is as non renewable as it gets), and extracting it has proved tricky over the decades.
This image shows a composite view of the Crab nebula, an iconic supernova remnant in our Milky Way galaxy, as viewed by the Herschel Space Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope. Herschel is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission with important NASA contributions, and Hubble is a NASA mission with important ESA contributions.
A wispy and filamentary cloud of gas and dust, the Crab nebula is the remnant of a supernova explosion that was observed by Chinese astronomers in the year 1054.
The image combines Hubble’s view of the nebula at visible wavelengths, obtained using three different filters sensitive to the emission from oxygen and sulphur ions and is shown here in blue. Herschel’s far-infrared image reveals the emission from dust in the nebula and is shown here in red.
While studying the dust content of the Crab nebula with Herschel, a team of astronomers have detected emission lines from argon hydride, a molecular ion containing the noble gas argon. This is the first detection of a noble-gas based compound in space.
The Herschel image is based on data taken with the Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) instrument at a wavelength of 70 microns; the Hubble image is based on archival data from the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2).
Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission, with science instruments provided by consortia of European institutes and with important participation by NASA. NASA’s Herschel Project Office is based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel’s three science instruments. The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, supports the United States astronomical community. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.
The last few yeas have been, to a large extent, the “Wild West” for the deployment of horizontally-drilled wells for hydraulic fracturing. Lots of exploring, not a lot of control on it.
The techniques of pumping fluids and sand into the ground to open up cracks that allow natural gas flow were first deployed over 10 years ago in Texas, using mostly vertically-drilled wells. But over the past ~5 years, the Marcellus Shale, which sits at depths of over a kilometer beneath western and central Pennsylvania, has become a major target for wells that turn horizontal and cover large areas underground from a single drilling location.
As we described in our last post (https://www.facebook.com/TheEarthStory/posts/751065708287809), there are probably ways to do this process well, and if it is done properly it does have the potential to produce significant environmental gains. However, much of the drilling efforts in this area have been done with limited regulation and limited review, setting up the opposite scenario.
Your atoms keep clumsily crashing into mine as if you were a lone Hydrogen atom looking for another to fill your outer shell of electrons to become Hydrogen in it’s diatomic state. A structure comparable to that of Helium, a noble gas.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that there’s a strong affinity between the two of us. That we will always be stronger, and more stable when we are together.
Aries: Basic Metal
Gemini: Transitional Metal
Cancer: Alkali Metal
Leo: Hydrogen. Top of the table.
Libra: Alkaline Earth
Aquarius: Noble Gas
Pisces: Oxygen. Can’t live without.