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Posts Tagged "satellite"

Expeditions

Status Update: Day 3 at the Cyclonic Eddy

June 19th, 2012 We stopped at one of our target points — a place where the scientists thought there would be lots of phytoplankton — a few days ago. The weather is nice, and the ocean is surprisingly calm (knock on wood). I’m hoping it stays like this for the rest of the trip. Everyone [...]

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Observations

Watch the Milky Way Eat Its Neighbors [Video]

The Milky Way has a history of devouring its neighbors, the smaller satellite galaxies that orbit it. Over time our galaxy’s gravity will tug on the near sides of these satellites more strongly than their far sides, slowly stretching them out until they tear apart and their stars assimilate into the Milky Way. A relatively [...]

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Observations

Do Bright Lights Mean a Big (Economic) City?

Take a look at this map depicting the U.S. at night. What should be immediately obvious is that there are a lot of bright lights exactly where the richest people live: the East Coast megalopolis from Boston through Washington, D.C., Midwestern burgs such as Chicago, Southern cities such as Atlanta and the West Coast conurbation [...]

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Observations

Once more into the breach for Orbital Sciences and the carbon observatory

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory was meant to precisely measure carbon dioxide throughout Earth’s atmosphere. Instead, it wound up shattering on the Pacific Ocean* near Antarctica in 2009, a victim of a failed fairing—the aerodynamic nose cone shroud that keeps the satellite from burning up during launch. The loss of the satellite was a blow to [...]

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Observations

Combating climate change by observing Earth

As part of the U.S. charm offensive at the recent Copenhagen summit on climate change, a roughly one meter-diameter orb helped display a decade’s worth of climate data collected by NASA satellites. "This is the golden age," NASA’s Jack Kaye told me. As associate research director for the agency’s Earth Science Division, he’s "reaping the [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Octopus in Space: Why the Latest U.S. Spy Rocket Is More Appropriate Than the NRO Knows

octopus spy satellite

The new impressively oblivious (or riotously self-mocking) logo that adorned a rocket carrying U.S. spy satellites is actually not a bad choice, as metaphors go. The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) launched new secret spy—and scientific—satellites into orbit from California on Thursday via an Atlas 5 rocket [pdf]. All questionable enough given the ongoing revelations about the [...]

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Plugged In

Smog shuts down Harbin, China, as seen from space.

Harbin_smog_385

NASA’s Aqua satellite captured an image of smog that paralyzed the northeastern Chinese city of 10 million.

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Plugged In

China enveloped in smog, as seen from space. Again.

China_smog_Oct_2013_385

Heavy smog that paralyzed eastern China is visible from space in this satellite image from NASA.

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