Scientists studying dwarf planet Ceres have found that a 13,000-foot volcano there arose not from silicic magma, but from muddy, salty ice that rose to the ~160 K surface and quick-froze like Smucker’s® Magic Shell.
Finding such a dramatic cryovolcanic process this close to the sun – in the inner asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter – is unusual, and bolsters the idea that Ceres might have originated in the outer solar system. It also lends credence to the notion that asteroids and comets might be more closely related than once thought.
In the real world, disasters aren’t just a matter of scale – they’re a question of preparedness and of a society’s capacity to handle the fallout. Vaccines, rapid-response teams and early-warning systems can move the needle from calamity toward recovery, while poverty, corruption and ignorance slide it toward catastrophe. So, cue announcer: “In a world … where real disasters aren’t single events that arise from simple problems that are solvable in 93 minutes …”