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NASA will host a media teleconference at 4 p.m. EST today during which agency officials will discuss and answer questions on the selection of an Asteroid Redirect Mission concept.

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The observed increase in solar radiation absorbed in the Arctic since 2000 aligns with the steady decrease in Arctic sea ice during the same period.

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City lights shine brighter during the holidays when compared with the rest of the year, as shown using a new analysis of daily data from the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite. Dark green pixels are areas where lights are 50 percent brighter, or more, during December.

This new analysis of holiday lights uses an advanced algorithm, developed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, that filters out moonlight, clouds and airborne particles in order to isolate city lights on a daily basis. The data from this algorithm provide high-quality satellite information on light output across the globe, allowing scientists to track when – and how brightly – people illuminate the night. A daily global dynamic dataset of nighttime lights is a new way for researchers to understand the broad societal forces impacting energy decisions and to look at how people use cities, from an energy perspective.

> Full Story: NOAA/NASA Satellite Sees Holiday Lights Brighten Cities

Image Credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen

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NASA has selected SpaceX to provide launch services for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. TESS will launch aboard a Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle, with liftoff targeted for August 2017 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill.

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It will take about 11 trillion gallons of water (42 cubic kilometers) — around 1.5 times the maximum volume of the largest U.S. reservoir — to recover from California’s continuing drought, according to a new analysis of NASA satellite data.

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From the International Space Station, Expedition 42 Flight Engineer Terry W. Virts took this photograph of the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. Gulf Coast at sunset and posted it to social media on Dec. 14, 2014.

The space station and its crew orbit Earth from an altitude of 220 miles, traveling at a speed of approximately 17,500 miles per hour. Because the station completes each trip around the globe in about 92 minutes, the crew experiences 16 sunrises and sunsets each day.

Image Credit: NASA/Terry Virts

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The AAS has announced the awarding of its inaugural Laboratory Astrophysics Prize to Louis Allamandola of NASA’s Ames Research Center.

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Arianespace’s next medium-lift Soyuz to be launched from French Guiana is now complete following the integration of its “upper composite,” which consists of four O3b Networks connectivity satellites, their protective payload fairing and the Fregat upper stage.

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The observations from the Mars-orbiting mission reveal a new process by which the solar wind can penetrate deep into a planetary atmosphere.

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