ARCTIC SEA ICE STUDY

Contrary to historical observations, sea ice in the high Arctic undergoes very small, back and forth movements twice a day, even in the dead of winter. It was once believed ice deformation at such a scale was almost non-existent

According to a recent NASA-funded study, the finding is significant. Such movements may substantially increase the production of new ice and should be factored into Arctic climate models. The phenomenon of short-period Arctic sea ice motion was investigated in detail in 1967 and has been the subject of numerous research studies since.
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SATELLITES ACT AS THERMOMETERS IN SPACE

Like thermometers in space satellites are taking the temperature of the Earth’s surface or skin. According to scientists, the satellite data confirms the Earth has had an increasing “fever” for decades. For the first time, satellites have been used to develop an 18-year record (1981-1998) of global land surface temperatures. The record provides additional proof Earth’s snow-free land surfaces have, on average, warmed during this time period, according to a NASA study appearing in the March issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The satellite record is more detailed and comprehensive than previously available ground measurements. The satellite data will be necessary to improve climate analyses and computer modeling.
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MARTIAN DUST DEVILS

Scientists have found clues dust devils on Mars might have high-voltage electric fields, based on observations of their terrestrial counterpart. This research supports the vision for space exploration by helping to understand challenges the martian environment presents to explorers, both robotic and, eventually, human.

NASA and university researchers discovered dust devils on Earth have unexpectedly large electric fields, in excess of 4,000 volts per meter, and can generate magnetic fields as well.
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Worms in Space

Worms launched into Space on April 19.

Studying the impact of space environment on the human body is crucial to develop ways to protect the health of astronauts.

CNES, the French Space Agency, with the support of ESA and the Space Research Organization of the Netherlands, has assembled a team of scientists from France, Canada, Japan and the United States to study reproduction and growth patterns of living organisms during space flight.
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SATELLITES RECORD WEAKENING NORTH ATLANTIC CURRENT

A North Atlantic Ocean circulation system weakened considerably in the late 1990s, compared to the 1970s and 1980s, according to a NASA study.

Sirpa Hakkinen, lead author and researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. and co-author Peter Rhines, an oceanographer at the University of Washington, Seattle, believe slowing of this ocean current is an indication of dramatic changes in the North Atlantic Ocean climate.
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COSMIC MAGNIFYING GLASS REVEALS PLANET

Like Sherlock Holmes holding a magnifying glass to unveil hidden clues, modern day astronomers used cosmic magnifying effects to reveal a planet orbiting a distant star.

This marks the first discovery of a planet around a star beyond Earth’s solar system using gravitational microlensing. A star or planet can act as a cosmic lens to magnify and brighten a more distant star lined up behind it. The gravitational field of the foreground star bends and focuses light, like a glass lens bending and focusing starlight in a telescope. Albert Einstein predicted this effect in his theory of general relativity and confirmed it with our sun.
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SEDNA MYSTERY DEEPENS WITH HUBBLE IMAGES OF FARTHEST PLANETOID

Astronomers studying 35 NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images of the solar system’s farthest known object, unofficially named Sedna, are surprised the object does not appear to have a companion moon of any substantial size.

This unexpected result might offer new clues to the origin and evolution of objects on the far edge of the solar system.

Sedna’s existence was announced on March 15. Its discoverer, Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., was so convinced it had a satellite, that an artist’s concept of Sedna released to the media included a hypothetical moon.
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