Taylor Energy Company, which owned the platform and a cluster of oil wells, has played down the extent and environmental impact of the leak. The company also maintains that nothing can be done to completely eliminate the chronic oil slicks that often stretch for miles off the coast of Louisiana.
"Dawn scientists can now conclude that the intense brightness of these spots is due to the reflection of sunlight by highly reflective material on the surface, possibly ice," Christopher Russell, lead scientist on the Dawn mission and a researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a press release.
While researchers' best guess is ice, it's unclear whether the images are showing a slick sheen, like the surface of a lake, or something more dynamic, like an ice geyser.
This advance makes it possible to "remove or regenerate enough of the 'oxide skin' with an applied voltage to make the liquid metal flow into or out of the capillary. We call this 'electrochemically controlled capillarity,' which is much like an electrochemical pump for the liquid metal," Adams noted.
- University of Colorado at Colorado SpringsBS, Computer Science
- University of Colorado at Colorado SpringsBS, Electronics Engineering
- University of Colorado at Colorado SpringsAA, Commercial Art
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