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Iceland is a common place to see the aurora borealis. Courtesy of Moyan Brenn

Aurora-viewers Worldwide Compare Sightings, Provide Real-time Alerts

April 1, 2015 11:38 am | by NSF | News | Comments

The phenomenon called aurora borealis in the Northern Hemisphere, and aurora australis in the Southern Hemisphere, is a dance of particles and magnetism between the Sun and Earth. Scientists hope that, by amassing data from thousands of aurora-viewers, they'll learn more about the solar storms that can disrupt or destroy Earth's communications networks and affect the planet's navigation, pipeline, electrical and transportation systems.

U.S., Japan Bring Big Data and Data Analytics to Disaster Response

March 31, 2015 12:29 pm | by NSF | News | Comments

When disaster strikes, it is critical that experts, decision makers and emergency personnel have...

Citizen Scientists Map Global Forests with Unprecedented Accuracy

March 31, 2015 11:34 am | by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) | News | Comments

New global forest maps combine citizen science with multiple data sources, for an unprecedented...

Computer Vision, Machine Learning give New Perspective on Seabed Videos

March 30, 2015 2:02 pm | by Aberystwyth University | News | Comments

Scientists have been working with marine conservation group to develop better techniques for...

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LPW POWDERSOLVE Metal Powder Characterization Management System

LPW POWDERSOLVE Metal Powder Characterization Management System

March 24, 2015 2:08 pm | LPW Technology, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

LPW POWDERSOLVE software is designed to enable higher efficiency and better quality control in additive manufacturing (AM). It is a secure, online, fully searchable metal powder characterization management system that handles all the analytical data required to assess the performance of AM metal powders.

The desktop software application is free and can be used on any basic desktop or laptop computer. Amateur astronomers may take images from their telescopes and analyze them with the application. The application will tell the user whether a matching astero

Help NASA Explore the Universe with Free Asteroid Data Hunter App

March 23, 2015 11:35 am | by NASA | News | Comments

During a panel at the South by Southwest Festival, NASA representatives discussed how citizen scientists have made a difference in asteroid hunting and announced the release of a desktop software application developed by NASA. The application is based on an Asteroid Data Hunter-derived algorithm that analyzes images for potential asteroids. It’s a tool that can be used by amateur astronomers and citizen scientists.

Smart grids — power grids that adapt to changes in demand and reconfigure as needed to avoid overloads and other problems — can reduce energy costs, help avoid blackouts and deter cyber attacks. They also pose new challenges. A team led by researchers at

Developing Smarter Smart Grids

March 20, 2015 11:11 am | by NSF | News | Comments

Smart grids help avoid blackouts and deter cyber attacks. They also pose new challenges. As power generation — and the communication and information processing associated with it — shifts from centralized power stations to distributed, heterogeneous systems, massive amounts of sensor data from stations must be transmitted efficiently and effectively analyzed in real time.

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John Renick is Director of Partner Solutions at Meridium.

3 Key Function Areas for Improved Asset Management and Industrial Success

March 19, 2015 5:18 pm | by John Renick, Director of Partner Solutions, Meridium | Blogs | Comments

Having a strategy in place for effective asset performance management (APM) is critical in today’s zero downtime world. To guarantee that you are fully utilizing your assets, you should consider implementing the three “M” strategy: Measure, Monitor and Manage. This allows you to best gauge the state and quality of your assets, make changes where needed before a problem arises and strategically plan for future production.

Nano piano concept: Arrays of gold, pillar-supported bowtie nanoantennas (bottom left) can be used to record distinct musical notes, as shown in the experimentally obtained dark-field microscopy images (bottom right). These particular notes were used to c

Nano Piano's Lullaby could mean Nanotech Storage Breakthrough

March 18, 2015 11:39 am | by William Bowman | News | Comments

Researchers have demonstrated the first-ever recording of optically encoded audio onto a non-magnetic plasmonic nanostructure, opening the door to multiple uses in informational processing and archival storage.

The alliance, funded by UPMC, will see its work carried out by Pitt-led and CMU-led centers, with participation from all three institutions.

University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, UPMC Form Alliance to Transform Healthcare through Big Data

March 17, 2015 2:19 pm | by UPMC | News | Comments

Today’s health care system generates massive amounts of data — electronic health records, diagnostic imaging, prescriptions, genomic profiles, insurance records, even data from wearable devices. Information has always been essential for guiding care, but computer tools now make it possible to use that data to provide deeper insights. Leveraging big data to revolutionize healthcare is the focus of the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance.

Scientists studying Villarrica witnessed spectacular fire fountains. Courtesy of Jonathan Lewis

Infrasound Instruments Record Pulse of Erupting Volcano: Chile's Villarrica

March 16, 2015 12:13 pm | by NSF | News | Comments

All in Villarrica National Park is not as it seems. One of Chile's most active volcanos rises above a lake and town of the same name 470 miles south of Santiago. The scene is usually tranquil, allowing guided ascents to Villarrica's summit, magnets for tourists from around the world. However, at 3 a.m. on March 3, 2015, Villarrica blew its top in a spectacular fire fountain.

Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) observatories are processed for launch in a clean room at the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, FL. The spacecraft were launched into an oblong orbit stretching thousands of miles into the magnetosphere. (A

NASA Launches Four Spacecraft to Solve Magnetic Mystery

March 13, 2015 10:50 am | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

NASA launched four identical spacecraft March 12, 2015, on a billion-dollar mission to study the explosive give-and-take of the Earth and sun's magnetic fields. The unmanned Atlas rocket — and NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft — soared into a clear late-night sky, right on time. Within two hours, all four observatories were flying free.

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A view of the LHC (large hadron collider) in its tunnel at CERN (European particle physics laboratory) near Geneva, Switzerland. After a two-year shutdown and upgrade, Europe’s multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider is about to ramp up for its second

Far more Violent Crashes Promised in Run 2 of Large Hadron Collider

March 12, 2015 3:31 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Scientists will soon debut the blockbuster sequel to the so-called Big Bang Machine, which already found the elusive Higgs Boson. They're promising nearly twice the energy and far more violent particle crashes this time around.

The appearance of fractal patterns on the surface of cancer cells. Courtesy of M. Dokukin and I. Sokolov

Fractal Patterns Offer New Line of Attack on Cancer

March 11, 2015 2:19 pm | by Institute of Physics | News | Comments

Studying the intricate fractal patterns on the surface of cells could give researchers a new insight into the physical nature of cancer, and provide new ways of preventing the disease from developing. This is according to scientists who have, for the first time, shown how physical fractal patterns emerge on the surface of human cancer cells at a specific point of progression towards cancer.

Proba-V’s ability to see the unseeable is helping doctors to look deeper into human tissues and detect skin diseases earlier.

High-speed Space Camera helping to Save Lives

March 10, 2015 10:37 am | by ESA | News | Comments

A high-speed camera for monitoring vegetation from space and combating famine in Africa is being adapted to spot changes in human skin cells, invisible to the naked eye, to help diagnose skin diseases like cancer. In fact, the extraordinary digital infrared sensor from ESA’s Proba-V vegetation-scanning satellite is being adapted for several non-space applications.

Seahorse Mobile Edition

Seahorse Mobile Edition

March 10, 2015 9:31 am | BSSN Software GmbH | Product Releases | Comments

Seahorse Scientific Workbench is a vendor-neutral software suite for capturing, analyzing and sharing analytical data. It consolidates raw and result data from multiple experimental techniques in a single tool, based on the emerging ASTM AnIML Data Standard. Seahorse Mobile delivers scientific data to mobile devices and supports chromatography (HPLC, GC), mass spectrometry, NMR, optical spectroscopy, microplate reader, bioreactor and fermenter, medical imaging and process chromatography data types.

Some recent views of the Red Planet from the Visual Monitoring Camera, the "Mars Webcam" on board the Mars Express orbiter. Left: a clear view of the canyon, and all the way down to the south polar cap. Right: weather on the horizon. Courtesy of ESA/Mars

Mars Express Camera available for Public Imaging

March 9, 2015 3:53 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

Have you ever used a camera on board an interplanetary spacecraft? In May 2015, the ‘webcam’ on board Mars Express will be available for public imaging requests. ESA is inviting schools, science clubs and youth groups to submit proposals for one of eight opportunities to image another planet using the Visual Monitoring Camera on board Mars Express.

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A NASA spacecraft is about to reach the end of a nearly eight-year journey and make the first rendezvous with a dwarf planet.  The Dawn craft will slip into orbit around Ceres, a dwarf planet the size of Texas, on March 6, 2015. Unlike robotic landings or

NASA Spacecraft Making First Visit to Dwarf Planet Ceres

March 3, 2015 10:26 am | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

A NASA spacecraft is about to reach the end of a nearly eight-year journey and make the first rendezvous with a dwarf planet. The Dawn craft will slip into orbit around Ceres, a dwarf planet the size of Texas, on March 6, 2015. Unlike robotic landings or other orbit captures, the arrival won't be a nail-biter. Still, Dawn had to travel some three billion miles to reach the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Using a two-camera system, the researchers can capture images in stereo. That is, if you look at the center of the image and unfocus your eyes, the two images merge into one, creating the illusion of a three dimensional ice crystal. Courtesy of Cale Fallg

Incredible Snowflake Imaging Technology may Help Improve Road Safety

March 3, 2015 10:18 am | by National Science Foundation | News | Comments

The technology behind the camera that revealed the intricate, imperfect beauty of snowflakes is now able to expose their potential danger. About three years ago, a new high-speed camera captured free-falling ice crystals so well it might as well be yelling "freeze!" Now, a less expensive, hardier version with the same incredible capability has been designed for use by departments of transportation to anticipate road conditions.

Exploring the Colors of the Small Magellanic Cloud -- Courtesy of ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI – click to enlarge

Colors in the Cloud: Exploring the Colors of the Small Magellanic Cloud

February 27, 2015 3:02 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

Astronomical images often look like works of art. This picture of one of our nearest neighboring galaxies, the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), is certainly no exception! The scene is actually a collaboration between two cosmic artists — ESA’s Herschel space observatory and NASA’s Spitzer space telescope.

An artist's impression of a quasar with a supermassive black hole in the distant universe. Courtesy of Zhaoyu Li/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Misti Mountain Observatory

Supermassive Black Hole Discovered with Mass of 12 Billion Suns

February 27, 2015 11:46 am | by Christian Veillet and Daniel Stolte, Large Binocular Telescope Observatory, University of Arizona | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered the brightest quasar in the early universe, powered by the most massive black hole yet known at that time. The discovery of this quasar, named SDSS J0100+2802, marks an important step in understanding how quasars, the most powerful objects in the universe, have evolved from the earliest epoch, only 900 million years after the Big Bang, which is thought to have happened 13.7 billion years ago.

In this January 22, 2015, photo, Gentoo penguins stand on rocks near the Chilean station Bernardo O'Higgins, Antarctica. Here on the Antarctic peninsula, where the continent is warming the fastest because the land sticks out in the warmer ocean, 49 billio

The Big Melt: Antarctica's Retreating Ice May Re-shape Earth

February 27, 2015 10:48 am | by Luis Andres Henao and Seth Borenstein, Associated Press | News | Comments

From the ground in this extreme northern part of Antarctica, spectacularly white and blinding ice seems to extend forever. What can't be seen is the battle raging underfoot to re-shape Earth. Water is eating away at the Antarctic ice, melting it where it hits the oceans. As the ice sheets slowly thaw, water pours into the sea — 130 billion tons per year for the past decade. That's the weight of more than 356,000 Empire State Buildings.

As a flying laboratory, ESA's OPS-SAT will test and validate new techniques in mission control and on-board systems. It will be operated by ESA's European Space Operations Centre as a test and validation resource for over 100 European industrial partners

Flying Software Lab to Test Radically New Experimental Control Systems

February 26, 2015 8:35 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

ESA is developing a mini-satellite to test out radically new control systems and techniques and to demonstrate drastically improved mission control capabilities that will arise when satellites can fly more powerful on-board computers. Known as Ops-Sat, it is made up of three CubeSat units with deployable solar panels. Although only 30 cm high, it contains an experimental computer 10 times more powerful than any current spacecraft.

On two separate occasions in March and April 2012, amateur astronomers reported definite plume-like features developing on Mars.

Mystery Mars Plume: Highest Plume ever observed Baffles Scientists

February 25, 2015 2:15 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

Plumes seen reaching high above the surface of Mars have caused a stir among scientists studying the atmosphere on the Red Planet. On two separate occasions in March and April 2012, amateur astronomers reported definite plume-like features developing on the planet. The plumes were seen rising to altitudes of over 250 kilometers on both occasions. By comparison, similar features seen in the past have not exceeded 100 kilometers.

An artist concept of NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission. Courtesy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

MAVEN Completes First Deep Dip of Martian Atmosphere

February 23, 2015 3:46 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA’S Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution has completed the first of five deep-dip maneuvers designed to gather measurements closer to the lower end of the Martian upper atmosphere. The 16-mile altitude difference may not seem like much, but it allows scientists to make measurements down to the top of the lower atmosphere. At these lower altitudes, the atmospheric densities are more than 10 times what they are at 93 miles.

Earth’s magnetosphere is depicted with the high-energy particles of the Van Allen radiation belts (shown in red) and various processes responsible for accelerating these particles to relativistic energies indicated. The effects of an interplanetary shock

Solar Storm Produces Ultrarelativistic, Killer Electrons in Just Seconds

February 19, 2015 2:05 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

In October 2013, an explosion on the sun’s surface sent a supersonic blast wave of solar wind out into space. This shockwave tore past Mercury and Venus, blitzing by the moon before streaming toward Earth. The shockwave struck a massive blow to the Earth’s magnetic field, setting off a magnetized sound pulse around the planet.

What would a submarine to explore the liquid methane seas of Saturn's Moon Titan look like? This design concept was developed for the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program, by NASA Glenn's COMPASS Team, and technologists and scientists from the

Exploring the Depths of Kraken Mare — by Space Submarine!

February 18, 2015 3:23 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

Named after a legendary sea monster, Kraken Mare is believed to be the largest body of liquid on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. It extends nearly 150,000 square miles across the moon's north-polar region and is made of liquified hydrocarbons. According to a conference presentation given at the 2015 NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts Symposium, NASA hopes to send a submarine to explore the frigid methane sea by 2040.

Original Caption Released with Image: These six narrow-angle color images were made from the first ever 'portrait' of the solar system taken by Voyager 1, which was more than 4 billion miles from Earth and about 32 degrees above the ecliptic. The spacecra

Pale Blue Dot Images Turn 25

February 17, 2015 2:21 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Valentine's Day is special for NASA's Voyager mission. It was on February 14, 1990, that the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back at our solar system and snapped the first-ever pictures of the planets from its perch at that time beyond Neptune. This "family portrait" captures Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Earth and Venus from Voyager 1's unique vantage point.

Researchers are reporting a fascinating discovery that provides insight into how the brain makes sense of data from fingers.Courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski

Bringing Texture to Touchscreens: How the Brain Makes Sense of Data from Fingers

February 12, 2015 2:31 pm | by Megan Fellman, Northwestern University | News | Comments

What if the touchscreen of your smartphone or tablet could touch you back? What if touch was as integrated into our ubiquitous technology as sight and sound? Northwestern University and Carnegie Mellon University researchers now report a fascinating discovery that provides insight into how the brain makes sense of data from fingers.

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