An ExoMars Landing SiteHiRISE plays an important role in finding…

An ExoMars Landing Site

HiRISE plays an important role in finding suitable landing sites for future rover missions. Scientists have narrowed down the candidate landing sites for the upcoming European ExoMars rover mission to two regions: the plains of Oxia and Mawrth Vallis.

Images covering these areas aid scientists in picking a location that will be both scientifically interesting and a safe place to land and operate. HiRISE pictures help to assess the risk for each particular location so that a final landing site can be selected.

If you look very closely, the image may appear hazy. This is due to additional dust lingering in the atmosphere from the massive summer global dust storm at the time we acquired this observation. ExoMars is due to launch to Mars in 2020.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Ancient Karpas mosaics restored

Greek and Turkish Cypriot archaeologists have finished cleaning and stabilising the ancient mosaics adorning the floor of the ancient Ayia Triada Basilica in the Karpas peninsula in northern Cyprus, it emerged on Tuesday.

Ancient Karpas mosaics restored
Credit: Ali Tuncay

The announcement was made by the co-chairmen of the technical committee on cultural heritage Ali Tuncay and Takis Hadjidemetriou on social media.

Ancient Karpas mosaics restored
Credit: Ali Tuncay

“The Ayia Triada 5th and 6th AD mosaics shine in the beautiful nature of Karpasia,” Hadjidemetriou said.

Ancient Karpas mosaics restored
Credit: Ali Tuncay

“It is a miracle of cooperation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. A miracle which can spread everywhere, for everyone and everything,” Hadjidemetriou said.

Source: Cyprus Mail [October 30, 2018]

TANN

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Ol’ Blue Eyes Increased availability of DNA testing isn’t…

Ol’ Blue Eyes

Increased availability of DNA testing isn’t just helping humankind, it’s also shedding light on the genetic secrets of our canine best friends. A company carrying out consumer DNA testing on more than 6,000 dogs has discovered the genetic variation responsible for giving Siberian Huskies their piercing blue eyes. Intriguingly, the Husky’s blue peepers aren’t due to genetic alterations that have been found in other blue-eyed breeds. Instead, they’re caused by a small duplicated section of DNA close to a gene called ALX4, which plays an important role in eye development in many mammalian species. Carrying just one copy of the duplicated version is enough to cause completely blue eyes or heterochromia (a blue and a brown eye). Although you don’t need a gene test to reveal what colour your pup’s eyes are, the discovery helps to explain the underlying processes of eye development in dogs and maybe their owners as well.

Written by Kat Arney

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