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  • May 9, 2017
  • 12:54 AM

Quick Look: The Thermal Structure of the Venus Atmosphere

by Paul Wren in Venus Dispatches

SummaryFor two years beginning in 2013, a large team led by Sanjay Limaye set out to combine and compare the following:Venusian atmospheric data collected by probes in the 1970s and 1980s (used to create the Venus International Reference Atmosphere, or VIRA)Venus Express data on the vertical and horizontal structure of the atmosphereEarth-based observations of the upper atmosphere temperature structure of Venus made since VIRAFigure 1a: Vertical coverage of post-VIRA atmospheric structure experi........ Read more »

  • April 27, 2017
  • 12:33 AM

Recently Active Lava Flows on Idunn Mons

by Paul Wren in Venus Dispatches

OverviewCombined VIRTIS emissivity and Magellan SAR image of Idunn MonsIn Idunn Mons on Venus: Location and extent of recently active lava flows, Piero D'Incecco and his colleagues looked closer at 1 µm thermal emissivity anomalies on the eastern flank of Idunn Mons, as observed by the VIRTIS instrument on Venus Express. Hypothesizing that recent lava flows were responsible, they overlayed the VIRTIS emissivity data with SAR images from the Magellan mission to look for lava flows that may have ........ Read more »

D'Incecco, P., Müller, N., Helbert, J., & D'Amore, M. (2017) Idunn Mons on Venus: Location and extent of recently active lava flows. Planetary and Space Science, 25-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2016.12.002  

  • April 21, 2017
  • 01:02 PM

Spectral Guide for Earth-based Observers to Complement Akatsuki Mission

by Paul Wren in Venus Dispatches

OverviewMeant as a guide for Earth-based observers of Venus (professional and amateur), Overview of useful spectral regions for Venus: An update to encourage observations complementary to the Akatsuki mission provides detailed information regarding the wavelengths at which observations should be made to complement the Akatsuki mission at Venus.Two tables (one for day side observing, the other for night side) provide opportunities across a "spectrum" of wavelengths, indicating what products are l........ Read more »

  • April 18, 2017
  • 01:43 PM

Bright highlands in equatorial Venus likely ferro-electric. What's up with the high-latitude highlands?

by Paul Wren in Venus Dispatches

OverviewA lot of papers have been written about the highly reflective highlands (in radar) on Venus, with several different hypotheses (e.g. high porosity, metal frost).  Allan Treiman, Elise Harrington, and Virgil Sharpton look specifically at high-latitude highlands in comparison to highlands in the equatorial regions.  Both areas feature high reflectivity, but the reflectance patterns are distinct, as they describe in Venus' radar-bright highlands: Different signatures and mate........ Read more »

  • October 5, 2016
  • 10:06 AM

Of microbes and men: Evolving as one and terraforming earth

by gdw in FictionalFieldwork

Me and my microbes In the past decade or so, the microbiota, the community of microbes that makes its home in the guts of humans and other animals, has become quite a popular research topic. Quite rightly so, since our little guests seem to affect aspects of our lives that we wouldn’t necessarily consider to […]... Read more »

Faria VG, Martins NE, Magalhães S, Paulo TF, Nolte V, Schlötterer C, Sucena É, & Teixeira L. (2016) Drosophila Adaptation to Viral Infection through Defensive Symbiont Evolution. PLoS genetics, 12(9). PMID: 27684942  

Solé RV, Montañez R, & Duran-Nebreda S. (2015) Synthetic circuit designs for earth terraformation. Biology direct, 37. PMID: 26187273  

  • March 7, 2015
  • 11:17 AM

How radiation from space affects the Earth's climate

by This Science is Crazy in This Science Is Crazy!

Convergent cross-mapping analysis finds 'modest causal effect' of cosmic rays on global temperatures over short timescales, but rules out effect on long-term global warming.... Read more »

Tsonis, A., Deyle, E., May, R., Sugihara, G., Swanson, K., Verbeten, J., & Wang, G. (2015) Dynamical evidence for causality between galactic cosmic rays and interannual variation in global temperature. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201420291. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1420291112  

  • December 10, 2014
  • 02:20 PM

DNA can survive atmosphere re-entry

by sedeer in Inspiring Science

On March 29, 2011, a TEXUS-49 rocket took off from northern Sweden for a short trip into space and back …Continue reading →... Read more »

  • December 8, 2014
  • 03:58 AM

Estimates of Anthropogenic Nitrogen in the Ocean May Be High

by Wiley Asia Blog in Wiley Asia Blog - Life Sciences

Inundation of nitrogen into the atmosphere and terrestrial environments, through fossil fuel combustion and extensive fertilization, has risen tenfold since preindustrial times according to research published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles. Excess nitrogen can infiltrate water tables and can trigger extensive algal blooms that deplete aquatic environments of oxygen, among other damaging effects.

Although scientists have extensively studied the effects of excess nitrogen in terrestrial habita........ Read more »

Altieri, K., Hastings, M., Peters, A., Oleynik, S., & Sigman, D. (2014) Isotopic evidence for a marine ammonium source in rainwater at Bermuda. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. DOI: 10.1002/2014GB004809  

  • November 11, 2014
  • 11:50 AM

A Four Billion Mile Road Trip to Grandma’s

by Mark Lasbury in The 'Scope

Mankind is about to take a huge step in understanding himself and his universe. The Rosetta orbiter has traveled 3.8 billion miles to catch comet 67P/C-G. Traveling at more than 24,000 miles per hour, the Philae Lander is now going to land on the comet. A visitor from deep space and from deep time, 67P/C-G contains clues about the solar system, water, and perhaps life itself.... Read more »

  • October 4, 2013
  • 01:16 PM

Climate Puzzle Over Origins of Life on Earth

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

The mystery of why life on Earth evolved when it did has deepened with the publication of a new study in the latest edition of the journal Science (citation below). Scientists at the CRPG-CNRS University of Lorraine, The University of Manchester and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris have ruled out a theory as … Read More →... Read more »

Bernard Marty, Laurent Zimmermann, Magali Pujol, Ray Burgess, & Pascal Philippot. (2013) Nitrogen Isotopic Composition and Density of the Archean Atmosphere. Science, 342(6154), 101-104. DOI: 10.1126/science.1240971  

  • June 20, 2013
  • 06:20 AM

Lunar Crater Discovery Helps Unlock Moon’s Secrets

by Sunanda Creagh and Francisca Gallardo in United Academics

In a new paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, the researchers described using a technique called “gravity mapping” which tracks the movement of satellites to make calculations about surface terrain. “As a satellite passes over a set of dense lunar rocks, it gets pulled toward the moon, so by tracking its orbit, scientists can deduce the gravity field of the moon. We also looked at the shape of topography and, together with the gravity, made our deduc........ Read more »

Featherstone, W., Hirt, C., & Kuhn, M. (2013) Band-limited Bouguer gravity identifies new basins on the Moon. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. DOI: 10.1002/jgre.20101  

  • April 27, 2013
  • 06:34 AM

The climate scientist whose world spun on through war

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Milutin Milanković calculated his way through imprisonment and bombings to show how Earth’s movement helped drive ice ages, revealing how far we’ve strayed from the path we should be following into the next global freeze. ... Read more »

  • February 9, 2013
  • 09:08 AM

The Subglacial Saga Continues…

by GDW in The Beast, the Bard and the Bot

Cold… Darkness… … And life. Sure, microbial life, but life nonetheless. Lake Whillans, part of the Whillans Ice Stream, to be found at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, has been reached and sampled a little less than two weeks ago. Now, researchers of the WISSARD team report the presence of microscopic life in the samples. [...]... Read more »

Priscu, J., Powell, R., & Tulaczyk, S. (2010) Probing Subglacial Environments Under the Whillans Ice Stream. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 91(29), 253-254. DOI: 10.1029/2010EO290002  

  • October 23, 2012
  • 08:31 AM

Convicted Scientists, Earthquakes and Communication

by GDW in The Beast, the Bard and the Bot

Yesterday, October 22nd, six scientists and one government official were sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter. A consequence of the events surrounding the earthquake (magnitude: 6.3) that hit the Italian city of L’Aquila on April 6th 2009, and … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 17, 2012
  • 04:34 PM

Ice Age on Mars: how it started and ended

by sedeer in Inspiring Science

One of the great things about working at a university is the opportunity to go to talks and learn about …Continue reading »... Read more »

Head, J., Mustard, J., Kreslavsky, M., Milliken, R., & Marchant, D. (2003) Recent ice ages on Mars. Nature, 426(6968), 797-802. DOI: 10.1038/nature02114  

  • September 27, 2012
  • 08:18 AM

Ancient Buddhist Statue Carved from Meteorite

by Jaime Menchén in United Academics

Scientists have found that the material used to create an ancient Buddhist statue actually comes from space, being part of a meteorite that may have fallen to earth about 15,000 years ago.... Read more »

Elmar BUCHNER, Martin SCHMIEDER, Gero KURAT, Franz BRANDSTÄTTER, Utz KRAMAR, Theo NTAFLOS, & Jörg KRÖCHERT. (2012) Buddha from space—An ancient object of art made of a Chinga iron meteorite fragment. Meteoritics . DOI: 10.1111/j.1945-5100.2012.01409.x  

  • June 17, 2012
  • 06:31 PM

Totally Tropical Titan

by Invader Xan in Supernova Condensate

Our solar system is full of mysteries, and it seems the more we look, the more we find, and the less we can explain. Most recently, the puzzles of the martian methane and the beautifully lethal venusian clouds have been … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 14, 2012
  • 08:33 PM

Seafloor spreading, magnetic reversals, and plate tectonics

by Daniel Garcia-Castellanos in Retos Terrícolas

Making science implies the formulation of refutable hypothesis, this is, the proposal of new ideas (based on former research) that lead to predictions that can be either confirmed or falsified (by future research).Timing of the last reversals of the Earth's magnetic field.The vertical axis is Time, in million years before present.Periods in black matched today's polarity. Source: Wikimedia Commons.A case history in Earth science is the confirmation of the plate tectonics theory during ........ Read more »

  • March 13, 2012
  • 03:00 PM

On March 15, 5 suborbital sounding rockets are scheduled to launch from the NASA Wallops Facility, VA

by Olga Vovk in Milchstraße

This is part of a study of the upper level jet stream located in the mesosphere.

These five rockets will release an aluminum based chemical into the upper layers of atmosphere (the mesosphere) that will form milky-white clouds that will trace winds in space. These clouds might be visible for public up to 20 minutes by East coast residents from southern parts of New Hampshire and Vermont till South Carolina.... Read more »

Larsen, M. F., and C. G. Fesen. (2009) Accuracy issues of the existing thermospheric wind models: Can we rely on them in seeking solutions to wind-driven problems?. Ann. Geophys., 27, 2277–2284. info:/

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