Chemistry Nexus

by WebElements: the periodic table on the web

A huge find of #helium gas in Tanzania may alleviate critical helium gas resources for some time. Helium is required for cooling NMR magnets and associated imaging instruments in medicine (MRI)

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June 28th, 2016

Posted In: Atmospheric chemistry, Geological chemistry, Group 18 elements

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This Cassini-Huygens article addresses the abundance of methane on Titan. Titan’s atmosphere is mostly nitrogen but there are also methane and many other organic compounds. On Earth, life refreshes the methane supply as it is a by-product of metabolism. This is not likely to be the source of methane on Titan but if, as on Earth, sunlight is continuously destroying methane, how is methane getting into Titan’s atmosphere?

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December 9th, 2009

Posted In: Atmospheric chemistry, Chemistry

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The observation that soot makes global warming “worse” is well covered today. The BBC covers this – largely because it appears that soot is more important for global warming than realised earlier. Dr James Hansen and Larissa Nazarenko, (Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA, and Columbia University Earth Institute) suggest that trying to reduce the amount of soot produced would be easier than cutting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

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December 9th, 2009

Posted In: Atmospheric chemistry, Chemistry, Environmental chemistry

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The Hubble telescope has identified oxygen and carbon in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet for the first time. The oxygen and carbon are evaporating from a “hot jupiter” planet HD 209458b, orbiting a star lying 150 light-years from Earth. HD 209458b is only 4.3 million miles from its Sun-like star, completing an orbit in less than 4 days.

This is not a sign of life!

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December 9th, 2009

Posted In: Atmospheric chemistry, Chemistry

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gas-giant planet orbiting the yellow Sun-like star HD 209458. Credit: G. Bacon, STScI

gas-giant planet orbiting the yellow Sun-like star HD 209458. Credit: G. Bacon, STScI

Scientists crossed a new frontier in exo-planet research just last year when, using the Hubble Space Telescope, they detected sodium by its characteristic orange colour in the atmosphere of a large alien world orbiting the star HD 209458. Perhaps we are seeing ETs street lighting from a distance?

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December 8th, 2009

Posted In: Analytical chemistry, Atmospheric chemistry, Chemistry

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Mosaic_of_river_channel_and_ridge_area_on_Titan
Lands, rivers and methane springs: latest images of Titan. Titan’s atmosphere is mostly nitrogen but there is also methane and many other organic compounds.

This mosaic of three frames provides unprecedented detail of the high ridge area including the flow down into a major river channel from different sources.

Mosaic of river channel and ridge area on Titan. Credit: ESA/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona.

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December 8th, 2009

Posted In: Atmospheric chemistry, Chemistry, Environmental chemistry

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Here in the UK, Channel 4 just screened an interesting documentary. Good viewing and challenges what seems to have become the accepted view that global warming is caused by man-made CO2 emissions. Instead, the programme points out that climate change has always been with us (including a medieval warm period, even balmier than today, and a mini ice-age in the seventeenth century when the River Thames froze so solid that fairs were regularly held on the ice).

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March 12th, 2007

Posted In: Atmospheric chemistry, Chemistry, Environmental chemistry

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A NASA press release claims that the Opportunity rover “has demonstrated some rocks on Mars probably formed as deposits at the bottom of a body of gently flowing saltwater.”

“Bedding patterns in some finely layered rocks indicate the sand-sized grains of sediment that eventually bonded together were shaped into ripples by water at least five centimeters (two inches) deep, possibly much deeper, and flowing at a speed of 10 to 50 centimeters (four to 20 inches) per second,” said Dr.

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March 23rd, 2004

Posted In: Atmospheric chemistry, Chemistry

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Sequel to an Essay on the Constitution of the Atmosphere, Published in the Philosophical Transactions for 1826; With Some Account of the Sulphurets of Lime1.

This article was published in 1837 by John Dalton and is made available by The Royal Society because of its great historical significance. It makes interesting reading.

References

1. Dalton, J. “Sequel to an Essay on the Constitution of the Atmosphere“, Published in the Philosophical Transactions for 1826; With Some Account of the Sulphurets of Lime. 
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June 6th, 1837

Posted In: Atmospheric chemistry, Chemistry, History of chemistry

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This historical document “On the Constitution of the Atmosphere” by John Dalton was presented to the Royal Society in March 1826.1

This is an interesting read for anyone and thanks to the Royal Society for its service that makes these documents available to all.

References

1. Dalton, J. On the Constitution of the Atmosphere. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.
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February 24th, 1826

Posted In: Atmospheric chemistry, Chemistry, History of chemistry

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