Some high-definition footage I shot in the Arctic will be part of an episode of the PBS series NOVA, to be aired nationally at 8pm on December 30th, two weeks from today. You can read more here:
You will also be able to watch the episode online anytime after it airs on December 30th.
One of the most interesting features on Axel Heiberg is the existence of perennial springs. They come in a variety of forms. Some look like little streams flowing down the side of the hill, others look like ponds bubbling up like tiny jacuzzis, still others look like seeps coming up from below. Some of them leave deposits that form shapes like pipes over the springs.
But don’t let the bubbling jacuzzi effect fool you–these springs are not hot. Not even close. Intriguingly, the temperatures vary from spring to spring, despite their proximity to one another. Most are around 4 degrees Celsius. The really neat thing is that these springs flow year round, despite a mean annual temperature of minus 15 degrees. And they come up at a constant temperature and flow rate, despite air temperatures which, over the seasons, change drastically from above freezing to 40 below.
The springs also reek of that delicious rotten egg smell, like a giant fart. Thank you, sulfur.
The grayish stuff you see in the pictures above is a film of sulfur-reducing bacteria. The white stuff is gypsum, a type of salt.
Margarita Marinova, a Caltech grad student and one of the awesome people here at Pavilion Lake, just got the cover of Nature for her research into the origins of the two distinctly different hemispheres of Mars! Way to go, girl. Read more about it here.