🔥 Enceladus, Titanic, Oldest Fire in Europe: Last Week in Science #6
Enceladus sprayed out a massive plume of water vapour, and researchers created a detailed 3D model of the Titanic shipwreck — here’s a brief review of last week’s science news.
Huge water plume in space
The James Webb Space Telescope has spotted Enceladus spraying out a massive plume of water vapour many times deeper into space than the size of Saturn’s icy moon itself. The salty ocean beneath Enceladus’s ice cover could harbour living organisms sustained by chemical energy at hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor.
Titanic’s digital twin
Magellan, a deepwater seabed mapping company, scanned the Titanic shipwreck off the coast of Canada to create its 3D model. The project, described by researchers as a “digital twin”, yielded more than 16 terabytes of data, 715,000 still images and a high-resolution video. The extraordinary detailing of the new model allows viewers to see the serial number on the propeller.
Oldest controlled fire in Europe
Archaeologists have found evidence of human ancestors’ controlled use of fire at a site in Spain dating to 250,000 years ago. According to scientists, ancient humans burned decaying pine at low temperatures of around 350℃ to cook red deer and aurochs, the wild ancestors of domestic cattle. This pushes the earliest evidence of fire control in Europe back by 50,000 years.
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Illustration: Elia Kabanov feat. MidJourney.