A primordial world of minerals litters Atacama desert
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) May 25, 2020
The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over part of Chile's Atacama Desert, which is bound on the west by the Pacific and on the east by the Andes. The Atacama is considered one of the driest places on Earth - there are some parts of the desert where rainfall has never been recorded.
In this image, captured on 26 June 2019, a specific area in the Tarapaca Region, in northern Chile, is featured - where some of the largest caliche deposits can be found. It is here where nitrates, lithium, potassium and iodine are mined.
Iodine, for example, is extracted in a process called heap leaching - which is widely used in modern large-scale mining operations. Leach piles are visible as rectangular shapes dotted around the image, although the exact reason for the different shades of colour is uncertain. Some leach piles could appear lighter or darker owing to the varying water content or soil type concentration.
The geometric shapes in the right are large evaporation ponds. Brine is pumped to the surface through a network of wells into the shallow ponds. The dry and windy climate enhances the evaporation of the water and leaves concentrated salts behind for the extraction of lithium - which is used in the manufacturing of batteries.
The bright, turquoise colours of the evaporation ponds are in stark contrast with the surrounding desert landscape - making them easily identifiable from space. Distinctive black lines visible in the image are roads that connect to the various construction sites.
Copernicus Sentinel-2 is a two-satellite mission to supply the coverage and data delivery needed for Europe's Copernicus programme. This false-colour image was processed by selecting spectral bands that can be used for classifying geological features.
Scientists use pressure to make liquid magnetism breakthrough
Lemont IL (SPX) May 19, 2020
It sounds like a riddle: What do you get if you take two small diamonds, put a small magnetic crystal between them and squeeze them together very slowly? The answer is a magnetic liquid, which seems counterintuitive. Liquids become solids under pressure, but not generally the other way around. But this unusual pivotal discovery, unveiled by a team of researchers working at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at DOE's Argonne National ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.