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Latest ITER Newsline

  • Real-time collaboration delivers for fusion computing

    A key computing system for ITER is now being trialled at the European tokamak JET, following collaboration betweenteams at the UK's Culham Centre for Fusion Ene [...]

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    It comes as no surprise that the French railway operator SNCF is the largest consumer of electricity in the country—it takes a lot of megawatts to power 500 sup [...]

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    As orange lights flash and machines softly hum, layer one of a 'dummy' pancake winding (the building block of a poloidal field coil) is taking shape on the wind [...]

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  • As big (and heavy) as a whale

    It was pouring when the two 35-metre-long quench tanks were delivered to the ITER site at 2:12 a.m. on Thursday 24 November. And it was still raining heavily on [...]

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  • A passage to India

    108 days, 10,200 kilometres, 16 countries, and only two flat tires. These are the remarkable statistics of a no-less-remarkable journey: a father and son who tr [...]

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Of Interest

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Deuterium provides clue to Mars's wet past

Another Blue Planet? Yes ... some four billion years ago. © ESO (Click to view larger version...)
Another Blue Planet? Yes ... some four billion years ago. © ESO
By comparing the ratio of "heavy water" (in which one hydrogen atom is replaced by its heavier isotope deuterium) to "normal water" in the atmosphere of Mars, scientists at NASA and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have come to the conclusion that the Red Planet was once home to a large ocean that covered a greater portion of the planet's surface than the Atlantic Ocean does on Earth.

The international team of scientists used ESO's Very Large Telescope, along with instruments at the W. M. Keck Observatory and the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, to monitor the atmosphere of the planet and map out the properties of the water in different parts of Mars's atmosphere over a six-year period.

"Our study provides a solid estimate of how much water Mars once had, by determining how much water was lost to space," said Geronimo Villanueva, a scientist working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA, and lead author of the new paper. "With this work, we can better understand the history of water on Mars."

Watch NASA's video and read more on the ESO website.


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