By Jim Mesko, Joe Sewell, Don Greer
Constructed out of the DB-7 sequence of sunshine bombers. A-20s, Havocs & DB-7s observed motion in virtually each significant theatre of operation in the course of WWII. Used as a gentle bomber, floor strafer & nightfighter. Over a hundred pictures, forty element drawings, three pages of scale drawings, thirteen colour work, 50 pages.
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Finally we move to Pilbara, in western Australia, where we find extraordinary fossil structures called stromatolites. Stromatolites are rocky formations generated by the action of cyanobacteria, in some sense analogous to coral reefs. The remains of bacteria are deposited layer after layer, creating a rock-like structure that grows with time. Today there are still living stromatolites (also in Australia), thanks to which it is possible to recognize in Pilbara what these formations, 3,500 million years old, are.
There are researchers who maintain that the primitive atmosphere of Earth was not reductive but rather neutral. In the beginning the composition of the terrestrial atmosphere had to be mostly formed by internal gases emitted by our planet during the numerous early volcanic eruptions on Earth. These gases were, mainly, water steam, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. Therefore carbon would mostly be in the form of carbon dioxide rather than methane, so that the primary atmosphere of our planet did not in its beginnings have to be especially reductive.
35 But this cycle is not possible on rocky worlds such as Earth or Titan. So where does methane come from? In the case of Earth, methane exists due to the action of living beings; it is a product of bacterial digestion. Without life, there would be no methane remaining in the terrestrial atmosphere. And in Titan? It is almost inevitable to think that in such a reductive atmosphere, exotic organisms have been formed that, as on Earth, are the cause of the atmospheric methane. But with such low surface temperatures it is impossible to have liquid water.
A-20 Havoc in action No 144 by Jim Mesko, Joe Sewell, Don Greer