Editors' picks

Understanding our Bright Universe

Since the beginning of the 20th century we have witnessed the birth and growth of the biggest and most complicated pseudo physics theories in the history of science. David Harriman says, “A concept detached from reality can be like a runaway train, destroying

December 19, 2014

Satellites measure increase of Sun’s energy absorbed in the Arctic

NASA satellite instruments have observed a marked increase in solar radiation absorbed in the Arctic since the year 2000 – a trend that aligns with the steady decrease in Arctic sea ice during the same period.While sea ice is mostly white and reflects the sun&rsqu

December 17, 2014

NOAA and BGS update World Magnetic Model (WMM)

NOAA officials announced yesterday the World Magnetic Model (WMM), a representation of Earth’s large-scale magnetic field and an indispensable complement to GPS devices used by NATO, the United States and United Kingdom militaries, as well as civil applications ra

December 16, 2014

Scientists observe the Earth grow a new layer under an Icelandic volcano

New research into an Icelandic eruption has shed light on how the Earth's crust forms, according to a paper published today in Nature. When the Bárðarbunga volcano, which is buried beneath Iceland's Vatnajökull ice cap, reawakened in August

December 15, 2014

Geminids - the king of meteor showers peaks this weekend

Geminid meteor shower, the king of meteor showers, peaks during the night and early morning hours of December 13 and 14 as our planet passes through a debris field left by asteroid, or a possible "rock comet", named 3200 Phaethon.Geminids are considered by man

December 13, 2014

Oceans are laden with 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighning nearly 269 000 tons

After a six-year study of conditions across the globe, team of international researchers came upon shocking results that the world's ocean are laden with a minimum estimate of 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268 940 tons. Larger plastic debris around

December 11, 2014

Active volcanoes in the world: December 3 - 9, 2014

New activity/unrest was observed at 6 volcanoes from December 3 - December 9, 2014. Ongoing activity was observed at 14 volcanoes. New activity/unrest: Asosan, Kyushu (Japan) | Chirinkotan, Kuril Islands (Russia) | Fogo, Cape Verde | Sinarka, Shiashkotan Island (Russ

December 11, 2014

New Horizons wakes up for historic Pluto encounter

New Horizons woke up from hibernation on December 6, 2014 after a 4.8 billion km voyage (3 billion miles) and almost nine years after launch. The spacecraft is now preparing for a six-month encounter with Pluto that begins in January 2015. This mission will complete

December 08, 2014

Remarkably weak solar activity and intensifying cosmic rays preclude deep space human exploration?

Dr. Tony Phillips, author of SpaceWeather.com, brought our attention to a very interesting research article published recently in AGU's journal "Space Weather". The article is titled "Does the worsening galactic cosmic radiation environment observed b

December 07, 2014

NASA’s new Orion spacecraft completes first spaceflight test

NASA marked a major milestone today on its journey to Mars as the Orion spacecraft completed its first voyage to space, traveling farther than any spacecraft designed for astronauts has been in more than 40 years.“Today’s flight test of Orion is a huge step

December 05, 2014

Miami area nuclear plant in partial shutdown after steam leak

Perhaps the most dangerous nuclear reactor in the U.S. is in partial shutdown following the discovery of a steam leak. South Florida's ailing Turkey Point nuclear power station is in the news again, with Unit 4, one of its two reactors, taken offline Sunday due to

December 03, 2014

Satellites detect abundant sulfur dioxide emissions from erupting Fogo volcano, Cape Verde Islands

Eruption of Fogo volcano in the Cape Verde Islands that started around 11:00 UTC on Sunday, November 23, 2014, has so far destroyed at least 57 houses and more than 260 hectares of land.As of December 3 lava is still erupting from a vent near the base of Pico do Fogo co

December 03, 2014

More mysterious holes discovered under shifting Mount Baldy dune, Indiana

Six new mysterious holes have been discovered in the shifting sands of Mount Baldy since last summer when a big hole swallowed a 6-year old boy who remained buried under 3.3 meters (11 feet) of sediment for several hours until he was rescued. A year after, scientists st

December 02, 2014

Night sky guide for December 2014

The first half of December provides some of the best meteor activity of the year, however, the bright moon will block out all but the brightest meteors. Geminids, the king of the meteor showers, peak on December 13. They will be blocked out by waning gibbous moon to som

December 01, 2014

Tool kit for ocean health - Global change and the future ocean

The ocean is under significant impact by anthropogenic global pressures such as ocean acidification, warming, overfishing and pollution, resulting from the impact of human activity on major processes that regulate the functions of the planet, warns the head of The

November 30, 2014

A new canal through Central America could have devastating consequences

The ramifications of the proposed route have environmentalists worried, and for good reason... When construction crews begin digging a new canal this month across Nicaragua, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic, it’ll be a boon to global shipping and, the governmen

November 29, 2014

It is now illegal to share food with the homeless in Florida

If you're someone who believes in personal (not government-provided) charity and who likes to make sure that as many homeless people as possible get a decent meal each day, good for you. But you might want to avoid Fort Lauderdale, Florida, because you could wind up

November 27, 2014

Nearly 100 Indian women die after being 'forced' into government-run sterilization camps

The relatives of Indian women who died following a state-operated mass sterilization campaign went terribly awry have told local media they were forced by government health workers to attend.As reported by Britain's The Guardian newspaper, more than 80 women recentl

November 27, 2014

How carbon pollution spread across the Earth

New video released by scientists at NASA Goddard's Global Modeling and Assimilation Office reveals how the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe in a single year. The results focus on a period between May 2005 and June 2007. At the

November 26, 2014

California's dry, overpopulated situation resembles the collapse of the Assyrian Empire, experts warn

Researchers are pointing to overpopulation and drought - two issues which are very familiar in today's world, especially in California - as the reasons for the collapse of the Assyrian Empire, which used to be a flourishing hub in the 7th century BC. The fall of the

November 25, 2014

High-resolution geological map of asteroid Vesta published

Images from NASA's Dawn Mission have been used to create a series of high-resolution geological maps of the large asteroid Vesta, revealing the variety of surface features in unprecedented detail. These maps are included with a series of 11 scientific papers publish

November 18, 2014

Newly released map shows frequency of small asteroid impacts

A map released yesterday by NASA's Near Earth Object (NEO) Observation Program reveals that small asteroids frequently enter and disintegrate in the Earth's atmosphere with random distribution around the globe. Released to the scientific community, the map visua

November 15, 2014

Philae alive, sends first images from a comet 511 million km away from Earth

In a media briefing held at ESOC today, ESA confirmed "Philae" lander is alive and operational after three touchdowns on Comet 67/P, located some 511 million kilometers away from Earth. First analysis of the touchdown data suggests that the lander bounced twic

November 13, 2014

3D-printing a lunar base

In 2013 ESA, working with industrial partners, proved that 3D printing using lunar material was feasible in principle. Since then, work continues to investigate the technique. The shielding against radiation provided by a 3D-printed block of simulated lunar regolith was

November 11, 2014

Siding Spring's flyby effects on Martian atmosphere revealed

Two NASA and one European spacecraft that obtained the first up-close observations of a comet flyby of Mars on October 19, 2014 have gathered new information about the basic properties of the comet’s nucleus and directly detected the effects on the Martian atmosph

November 07, 2014

Rocket experiment redefines what scientists think of as galaxies

NASA's sounding rocket experiment has detected a surprising surplus of infrared light in the dark space between galaxies, a diffuse cosmic glow as bright as all known galaxies combined. The glow is thought to be from orphaned stars flung out of galaxies. The finding

November 07, 2014

Active volcanoes in the world: October 29 - November 4, 2014

New activity/unrest was observed at 4 volcanoes from October 29 - November 4, 2014. Ongoing activity was reported for 10 volcanoes.New activity/unrest: Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands (USA) | Popocatepetl, Mexico | Sinabung, Indonesia | Turrialba, Costa RicaOngoing activity:

November 06, 2014

Night sky guide for November 2014

It doesn't quite fit in a night sky guide, but this month might also be called "Rosetta's" month. After years of traveling through the solar system and finally reaching comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in August 2014, ESA will attempt humanity'

November 01, 2014

Scientists warn: Colossal volcanic eruption could destroy Japan

According to a new study by Kobe University earth scientists, Japan could be nearly destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption over the next century. The experts said they analyzed the scale and frequency of volcanic eruptions in the archipelago nation over the past 120

October 29, 2014

World is losing 2 000 hectares of farm soil daily to salt damage

Salt-spoiled soils worldwide: 20% of all irrigated lands — an area equal to size of France. Extensive costs include $27 billion+ in lost crop value/year. UNU study identifies ways to reverse damage, says every hectare needed to feed world’s fast-growing popu

October 28, 2014

Sao Paulo running out of water as intense drought continues in Brazil

Brazil’s Public Ministry acknowledged that the Sao Paulo water supply might only last another 100 days as drought conditions continue. The city with more than 20 million people is suffering its worst drought in at least 80 years. The most intense drought

October 27, 2014

Impossible "neutron star" shatters theory

What is a neutron star? Astronomers tell us that these tiny yet massively dense objects form by gravitational collapse from the remnants of a massive star that has exploded. The theoretical neutron star was invented to try to explain highly intense bursts of energy from

October 26, 2014

Partial solar eclipse on October 23, 2014

The final eclipse event of 2014 occurs at the Moon's ascending node in southern Virgo on Thursday, October 23, 2014. This will be a partial solar eclipse almost exclusively visible from Canada and the USA. Except for the far northeast, a sunset eclipse will be visib

October 22, 2014

Spacecraft status and observation reports after close encounter with Comet Siding Spring

Comet Siding Spring hurtled past Mars at about 56 km/s only 139 000 km away from its surface at 18:27 UTC on October 19, 2014. The period when dust from the comet was most likely to reach Mars and the orbits of spacecraft around Mars peaked about 100 minutes later. Acco

October 20, 2014

Observing Comet Siding Spring flyby Mars - Sunday, October 19, 2014

Comet Siding Spring will make its historic approach to Mars around 18:27 UTC on Sunday, October 19, 2014, and pass within 139 500 km (88 000 miles) away from planet's surface. That is less than half the distance between Earth and its moon and less than one-tenth

October 17, 2014