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Preview: EurekAlert! - Space and Planetary Science

EurekAlert! - Space and Planetary Science

The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Last Build Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2017 11:45:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.

Examining exploding stars through the atomic nucleus

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Michigan State University) Imagine being able to view microscopic aspects of a classical nova, a massive stellar explosion on the surface of a white dwarf star (about as big as Earth), in a laboratory rather than from afar via a telescope. Cosmic detonations of this scale and larger created many of the atoms in our bodies, says Michigan State University's Christopher Wrede. A safe way to study these events in laboratories on Earth is to investigate the exotic nuclei or 'rare isotopes' that influence them.

NASA examines Ex-Tropical Cyclone Dineo's rainfall

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA examined the heavy rainfall generated by Tropical Cyclone Dineo as it made landfall in Mozambique and NASA's Terra satellite spotted the storm's remnants over four countries.

Satellite views storm system affecting Southern California

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Satellite imagery captured the beginning of a chain of Eastern Pacific Ocean storms forecast to affect the US West Coast. A close-up satellite view show from Feb. 17 shows a large storm system affecting southern California, while a wider satellite view revealed a second storm system in the Central Pacific Ocean headed toward the east.

Hubble spotlights a celestial sidekick

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Technically, this picture is merely a sidekick of the actual object of interest -- but space is bursting with activity, and this field of bright celestial bodies offers plenty of interest on its own.

Minor planet named Bernard

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research) A minor planet in the Solar System will officially be known as Bernardbowen from today after Australian citizen science project theSkyNet won a competition to name the celestial body.

Particles from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on personal electronics

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Vanderbilt University) Alien subatomic particles raining down from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on your smartphones, computers and other personal electronic devices.

CWRU research team finds radial acceleration relation in all common types of galaxies

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Case Western Reserve University) The distribution of normal matter precisely determines gravitational acceleration in all common types of galaxies, a team led by Case Western Reserve University researchers reports. This provides further support that the relation is tantamount to a new natural law, the researchers say.

Researcher works with NASA to study using Martian soil to build human habitats

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Central Florida) Research will focus on perfecting molten regolith electrolysis to extract metals and oxygen from Martian soil, and feeding the metals into a 3-D printer to produce parts needed by astronauts.

NASA gets a night-time view ex-Tropical Cyclone Dineo

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite got a night-time view of former Tropical Cyclone Dineo over the southeastern coast of Mozambique. Warnings have already been posted in the northeastern region of South Africa as Dineo continues to track inland.

How much biomass grows in the savannah?

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Friedrich-Schiller-Universitaet Jena) The ability of the savannahs to store the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is ultimately determined by the amount of aboveground woody biomass. So far, though, it has been difficult to measure this important indicator, with current climate models relying on rough carbon estimates. But now, a research team at Jena University has succeeded in establishing a methodology that enables them to measure the above ground biomass of the savannahs and record even minor changes in the ecosystem.

SwRI scientist studies geology of Ceres to understand origin of organics

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Southwest Research Institute) NASA's Dawn spacecraft recently detected organic-rich areas on Ceres. Scientists evaluated the geology of the regions to conclude that the organics are most likely native to the dwarf planet. Data from the spacecraft suggest that the interior of Ceres is the source of these organic materials, as opposed to arriving via impacting asteroids or comets, according to a paper published in today's issue of Science.

First Israeli nanosatellite for academic research developed by Ben-Gurion U. is launched

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) BGUSAT is outfitted with visual and short wavelength infrared cameras. Hovering at 300 miles above the surface of the earth, the nanosatellite's orbital path will enable BGU researchers to study a broad range of environmental phenomena. For example, they will be able to track atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and study Earth's airglow layer, which provides crucial information about climate change.

Bringing satellites to users can improve public health and safety

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Wisconsin-Madison) The drumbeat calling scientists to share their work with the public is as loud as ever, and Tracey Holloway is happy to answer. It's just that education isn't exactly what she's offering. She's got satellites.

Ceres hosts organic compounds, and they formed on the asteroid, not beyond

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(American Association for the Advancement of Science) Aliphatic organic compounds -- carbon-based building blocks that may have a role in the chemistry that creates life -- have been detected for the first time on Ceres, an asteroid and dwarf planet, a new study reveals.

Crystal growth, earth science and tech demo research launching to orbiting laboratory

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Johnson Space Center) The tenth SpaceX cargo resupply launch to the International Space Station, targeted for launch Feb. 18, will deliver investigations that study human health, Earth science and weather patterns.

Does our solar system have an undiscovered planet? You can help astronomers find out

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Arizona State University) ASU's Adam Schneider and colleagues are hunting for runaway worlds in the space between stars, and citizen scientists can join the search with a new NASA-funded website.

NASA-funded website lets public search for new nearby worlds

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) You can help astronomers search for new worlds lurking in the outer reaches of our solar system and in neighboring interstellar space. NASA is inviting the public on the hunt through a new website, Backyard Worlds: Planet 9.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Dineo at Mozambique coast

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Dineo in the Mozambique Channel on Feb. 15, the storm was centered just off the coast of Mozambique and moving toward landfall.

NASA study identifies new pathway for Greenland meltwater to reach ocean

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Cracks in the Greenland Ice Sheet let one of its aquifers drain to the ocean, new NASA research finds. The aquifers, discovered only recently, are unusual in that they trap large amounts of liquid water within the ice sheet. Until now, scientists did not know what happened to the water stored away in this reservoir -- the discovery will help fine tune computer models of Greenland's contribution to sea level rise.

NASA's OSIRIS-REx takes closer image of Jupiter

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) During Earth-Trojan asteroid search operations, the PolyCam imager aboard NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft captured this image of Jupiter (center) and three of its moons, Callisto (left), Io, and Ganymede.

Intergalactic unions more devastating than we thought

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology) Russian scientists estimated the number of stars disrupted by solitary supermassive black holes in galactic centers formed due to mergers of galaxies containing supermassive black holes. The astrophysicists found out whether gravitational effects arising as two black holes draw closer to one another can explain why we observe fewer stars being captured by black holes than basic theoretical models predict.

Researchers pinpoint watery past on Mars

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Trinity College Dublin) An area on Mars that appears to have been flooded in the past offers a prime target to search for past life forms on the Red Planet.

Old rocks, biased data: Overcoming challenges studying the geodynamo

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Michigan Technological University) Bias introduced through analyzing the magnetism of old rocks may not be giving geophysicists an accurate idea of how Earth's magnetic dynamo has functioned. A team led by Michigan Technological University shows there is a way to improve the methodology to get a better understanding of the planet's geodynamo.

Ancient jars found in Judea reveal earth's magnetic field is fluctuating, not diminishing

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(American Friends of Tel Aviv University) Surprising new evidence derived from ancient ceramics proves that the Earth's geomagnetic force fluctuates -- not diminishes -- over time, Tel Aviv University researchers say.

Black hole is producing its own fuel for star-making

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Scientists from MIT, the University of Cambridge, and elsewhere may have an answer. In a paper published today in the Astrophysical Journal, the team reports observing jets of hot, 10-million-degree gas blasting out from the central galaxy's black hole and blowing large bubbles out into the surrounding plasma.