What We Read Today 07 August 2014

August 7th, 2014
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

Follow up:

  • 'Dead zone' in the Gulf of Mexico is the size of Connecticut (Barbara Liston, Reuters) Fed primarily by nutrient run-off from U.S. farmland, a large area in the Gulf of Mexico is deoxygenated by "fertilized" algae growth to the extent that marine life is suffocated and cannot survive. The current dead zone has been larger at times than now, at one point reaching the size of Massachusetts, 60% larger than Connecticut. A similar effect is occurring on other parts of the world. The Baltic Sea off Finland is mentioned in the article as the only such area larger than the Gulf.
  • First Comet Close-Ups from Rosetta Spacecraft Reveal a 'Scientific Disneyland' (Photos) (Miriam Kramer, Space.com) The European Space Agency (ESA) has published the first ever close-up surface images of a comet. The images were taken by a ten-year old exploratory space craft, Rosetta, from a distance of 81 miles above the comet's surface. The comet, named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is 251 million miles from earth, about mid-way between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. But the spacecraft didn't get there in anything like a straight line, having traveled more than 6 billion miles, about 15 times the current separation distance from earth. Comets are reported to be "composed of loose collections of ice, dust, and small rocky particles". We may soon know a lot more because Rosetta carries a small landing craft which has a planned visit to the 2.5-mile-wide comet surface to collect and analyze samples, then return data to earth. Planetary Resources called this the most interesting thing to happen in 4.6 Billion years. See Planetary Resources video following the picture.

Surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken by Rosetta spacecraft's OSIRIS camera

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