Io's Sulphur Dioxide
It snows every day on Io, one of Jupiter's moons, according to Southwest Research Institute findings.
(Summer on Io. No, winter. No, summer. Never mind.)
for two hours out of every day on Io, when Jupiter eclipses the Sun and its warmth, the moon’s surface temperature plummets from the positively summery -235F to a frigid -270F. The influx of solar energy stops. And Io’s atmosphere of sulfur dioxide falters, contracts, and then snows right out of its sky. When the solar eclipse ends, sublimation of all that SO2 snow pumps up the atmosphere again. It’s a “constant cycle of collapse and repair.”
Remember that old sci-fi story, “A Pail of Air” by Fritz Leiber, where the Earth got stolen away from Sol by a dead star whizzing through, and everything froze solid and the Earth’s whole atmosphere snowed out of the sky?
Yup, the only way to survive on the surface was to find a well-insulated spot and go outside every so often for a pail of air:
Pa had sent me out to get an extra pail of air. I'd just about scooped it full and most of the warmth had leaked from my fingers when I saw the thing.
You know, at first I thought it was a young lady. Yes, a beautiful young lady's face all glowing in the dark and looking at me from the fifth floor of the opposite apartment, which hereabouts is the floor just above the white blanket of frozen air.
(From "A Pail of Air" by Fritz Lieber)
Pa handled the pail of air in a twist of cloth. Now that it was inside the Nest, you could really feel its coldness. It just seemed to suck the heat out of everything. Even the flames cringed away from it as Pa put it down close by the fire.
Yet it's that glimmery white stuff in the pail that keeps us alive. It slowly melts and vanishes and refreshes the Nest and feeds the fire...
You see, when the Earth got cold, all the water in the air froze first and made a blanket ten feet thick or so everywhere, and then down on top of that dropped the crystals of frozen air, making another white blanket sixty or seventy feet thick maybe...
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/24/2016)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
NASA's Electric Motor Scooter
'...all the [lunar] prospectors took bicycles along as a matter of course'
Extremophile Microbe Loves Space Rocks
'... designed for rooting in the metal make-up of the asteroids for vital elements.' - F.E. Hardart, 1941.
Space Domes Over-rated? Science Fiction Authors Have Answers
'This was to be roofed over, sealed, and an atmosphere provided...' - Robert Heinlein, 1939.
NASA 'Broomstick' Recalls SciFi Ideas
'The appearance was enough like a giant witch's broom to justify the nickname.' - Robert Heinlein, 1942.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Via Virtual Reality, Mother Encounters Deceased Daughter
'But that barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'
Clothes That Do Photosynthesis
'Clothes are no longer made from dead fibers of fixed color and texture...'
Stratuscent Electronic Nose
'It's picking up diphenyl compounds and tetra hydrocarbons.'
CIMON Companion Robot For Space Station Astronauts
'... in some departments their power is absolute.'
Qbit Robot Bartender Also Makes Coffee
'...he sipped the cognac that the robot bartender handed him.'
Moving Desks Not SciFi After All
'Charged with hope, he zipped from stack to stack...'
Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour
Convincing video shows progress (and limitations).
Fast Charging A Bus In 20 Seconds
'... in almost every town and village.'
Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
'The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.'
Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.'
Out-Of-Work Blue Collar Robots Need Your Help
'His legs relaxed with a rattle as he cut off all power below his waist... and ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...'
The Dawn Of Orbiting Manufacturing In 2020?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories.'
Smart Contact Lenses Charges With 3D Printed Antenna
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.'
Segway S-Pod Fulfills Dire 1928 SciFi Prophecy
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'
Physicist Inspired By SciFi And Seeing Back In Time
'Here is the chronoscope... Scansion depends upon a special curved field...'
Airbnb Has AI Psychiatrist Looking At Your Facebook
'It's illegal to hold back information during a psyche test.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories