Scientists Just Created a Type of Ice Found Nowhere Else on Earth
The water is amazing, I could never condense or evaporate. Of all the types of water in the world, my favorite is a connection between a blue ocean in the summer, cold and collapsing in on itself, or a perfectly sharp icicle hanging from my roof. A clear ice cube in a glass of whiskey isn’t too bad either (sorry neat whiskey lovers, I like mine on the rocks!). But now would be a bad time to declare my favorite – the world just gained a new kind of ice cream.
The good researchers at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas made this new ice with a high-pressure approach similar to that used to create diamonds. You can read about the process in today’s article Reverse Daily, which will also help you stay informed with news about humanity’s next lunar flight, a big comet, and the health effects of psilocybin. Thanks for being here today.
This is an adapted version of Reverse Daily newsletter of Thursday, April 14, 2022. Subscribe for free and learn something new every day.
Researchers at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas recently created a new ice cream: Ice VIIt. They were able to accomplish this using “a mixture of high pressure applied by diamond anvils and laser heating”, writes Sarah Wells.
Ice Vllt is not really a product of people. Unlike the ice you use for drinks and bruising, which forms in a hexagon shape, VIIt ice is tetragonal, like a large cube, and requires pressure to spawn. It’s denser than the familiar ice, like a rock, and it probably won’t occur anywhere naturally on Earth. “However, icy planets like Neptune and Uranus could be good candidates for discovering this ice in the future,” Wells writes.
But the water is also good for science, not just for human use (however, it’s your reminder to take a sip!). In addition to experiments on ice, scientists are working on forming “liquid glass,” which “will not be used to create liquid glass mirrors,” Wells writes, but “could help scientists better understand how to study ice.” other types of complex systems, ranging from the movement of cells in a body to matter in the universe.
The United States’ return to the Moon encountered another, albeit minimal, speed bump. Although NASA’s third dress rehearsal for its Space Launch System rocket is scheduled for today, April 14, its final rehearsal revealed a pressure vessel with a problematic check valve.
“So while this issue is worked out, the rest of the rocket will go through a dress rehearsal in wetsuits on Thursday to test the fuel loading systems that would provide enough power to send the rocket into space, around the moon and back,” writes Doris Elín Urrutia. The upper stage will not be part of today’s test due to its valve malfunction.
But that’s the beauty of these rehearsals in wet suits. They let NASA fix small unforeseen problems (literally; the check valves are about an inch and an eighth in diameter).
Since early April, wetsuit rehearsals have helped NASA teams “demonstrate their ability to address multiple issues, such as extreme weather conditions, delays in establishing a source of nitrogen gas provided by a commercial vendor and repair systems such as fans do not work as expected,” NASA writes. Eventually, all of these bumps and the time spent smoothing them out will help NASA move into the next phase of its mission. long-awaited Artemis-1 – a launch date.
“New observations by Hubble of the largest comet ever discovered confirm its status as a titan of icy space objects,” writes Nathaniel Scharping. “Comet C/2014 UN271 measures about 74 miles in diameter, according to updated data, and weighs about 500 trillion tons.”
500 trillion, if you weren’t sure, is a lot, especially when it comes to tons. But Comet C/2014’s leviathan body won’t impact us directly, literally or figuratively, really — it’s currently stationed 1.8 billion miles away and heading toward Saturn, not our backyards. Instead of worrying about a sudden mass extinction, we can enjoy its mesmerizing vastness from a safe distance.
“Like all comets that approach the Sun, C/2014 UN271 is surrounded by a coma, or a large cloud of gas that sublimates on the surface of the comet,” Scharping writes. “This cloud is what gives comets their tails, and they can be huge – the part of C/2014 UN271’s coma that astronomers could see in their images is over 150,000 miles long.” It’s amazing to imagine the comet bursting out of the Oort Cloud, its birthplace. And like us, it’s probably not the only one.
When traditional antidepressants don’t work, people diagnosed with major depressive disorder might be willing to explore unconventional channels, like psychedelic drugs. “In recent years, psychedelics like psilocybin, LSD, ketamine, and MDMA have all shown tremendous promise as treatments for people who have failed to respond to traditional antidepressants or other treatments,” writes Reverse health reporter Katie MacBride.
“What is less known, however, is exactly how these substances produce such dramatic changes.” A new study published this week in natural medicine hope to find out. By performing fMRI scans on participants who were blindly given psilocybin or the traditional antidepressant Lexapro, the researchers found that psilocybin could improve network desegregation.
Visually, on an fMRI snapshot, it looks like “blooming activity and increased connection in many different areas of the brain,” MacBride writes. Although this is exploratory research that requires replication, its findings could “help explain why so many people fail to respond to traditional antidepressants,” MacBride writes.
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- On this day in history: Going back to April 14, 1629, we come back to the birth of the Dutch polymath Christiaan Huygens. During his lifetime, Huygens made a number of contributions to the burgeoning fields of physics and astronomy, such as discovering the shape of Saturn’s rings.
- Song of the day: “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash.
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