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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.

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...

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...

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...

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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.

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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.

Seahorse Scientific Workbench

Seahorse Scientific Workbench

February 10, 2015 12:07 pm | BSSN Software GmbH | Product Releases | Comments

Seahorse Scientific Workbench is a vendor-neutral software suite for capturing, analyzing and sharing analytical data. The software consolidates raw and result data from multiple experimental techniques in a single tool, based on the emerging ASTM AnIML Data Standard. It captures each step of the workflow and presents it in its entirety.

The World Wide Lightning Location Network Web site features “an amazing new visualization of global lightning.”

World Thunderstorm Map Provides Continuous Coverage of Thunderstorms All over the Planet

February 10, 2015 12:00 pm | by Tel Aviv University | News | Comments

New research will likely be crucial to measuring the impact of climate change on thunderstorms — one of the weather occurrences most problematic for human life on the planet. The varying frequency and intensity of thunderstorms have direct repercussions for the public, agriculture and industry.

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A payload containing many different sensors and small computers will be attached to a large balloon filled with helium. It will be sending live data and video down to a base station that will help track the balloon's journey, receiving as much useful data

Take a Live Trip to the Edge of Space

February 10, 2015 11:48 am | by Brunel University London | News | Comments

Anyone with a computer or a smartphone can register for free live video streaming of Brunel University London’s scientific expedition to the edge of space — more than 100,000 feet — three times higher than the cruise altitude of transatlantic passenger jets. The team is hopeful that the payload will break the 100,000-foot barrier so people will be able to see the curvature of the Earth and the blackness of space in real time.

An operator controls a robot that looks like an enlarged fiberscope during a demonstration for the media at a government facility in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo. The snake-like robot, developed by Japanese electronics giant Hitachi and

Japan Readies First Robot to Probe Melted Fukushima Reactor

February 9, 2015 11:17 am | by Miki Toda, Associated Press | News | Comments

A snake-like robot designed to examine the inside of one of three melted reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is ready to begin its expedition. Assessing the damage inside the reactors is a crucial step in the decommissioning of the plant, which was badly damaged by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Use of a remote-controlled robot is essential, because no humans can go close to the reactor chambers due to fatally high radiation.

The DSCOVR Mission's NISTAR — the  NIST Advanced Radiometer — will measure the Earth’s radiation budget, or whether our planet’s atmosphere is retaining more or less solar energy than it radiates back to space. Courtesy of NASA/DSCOVR

A Measurement Job That’s Truly Out of this World

February 9, 2015 10:23 am | by Chad Boutin, NIST | Articles | Comments

Quick, think of a four-letter name beginning with “N” for a federal agency involved in space science. Though NASA or NOAA would rightfully pop into mind first, crossword puzzle aficionados should know that NIST would be a correct answer as well — because the National Institute of Standards and Technology has been an integral part of readying technology for blastoff for decades.

The authors used real vessel track data to reproduce the voyages of ships in the ocean around New Zealand. The computer model was then used to calculate how often each would be detected from space, and how accurately the paths of these vessels would be fo

New Satellite Imaging Concept could Dramatically Reduce Search and Rescue Times

February 2, 2015 1:40 pm | by University of Leicester | News | Comments

A space scientist has been trialing a concept for using satellite imagery to significantly improve the chances of locating ships and planes, such as the missing Malaysian flight MH370, lost at sea. A preliminary study identified 54 satellites with 85 sensors, currently only taking images of land, which could be used to take images of the Earth’s oceans and inland waters.

Planck view of BICEP2 field Courtesy of ESA/Planck Collaboration. Acknowledgment: M.-A. Miville-Deschênes, CNRS – Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, Université Paris-XI, Orsay, France

Searching for Gravitational Waves

February 2, 2015 11:05 am | by ESA | News | Comments

This image shows a patch of the southern sky and is based on observations performed by ESA’s Planck satellite at microwave and sub-millimetre wavelengths. The color scale represents the emission from dust, a minor but crucial component of the interstellar medium that pervades our Milky Way galaxy. The texture, instead, indicates the orientation of the Galactic magnetic field. It is based on measurements of the direction of polarized light.

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WinWedge 3.5 Data Collection Software

WinWedge 3.5 Data Collection Software

January 30, 2015 11:57 am | Tal Technologies, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

WinWedge 3.5 collects data from laboratory instruments, balances, pH meters, moisture analyzers, micrometers, flow meters, temperature sensors, bar code scanners, GPS receivers, and other serial output devices. It is designed to easily input data in real time into MS Excel or any Windows application software and to be quick and easy to set up for any instrument.

SMAP's soil moisture measurements will help with forecasts of precipitation and temperature. Courtesy of UCAR

Building a Better Weather Forecast? Fine-scale Soil Moisture Data will Soon Help

January 29, 2015 12:50 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

If you were trying to forecast tomorrow's weather, you would probably look up at the sky rather than down at the ground. But if you live in the U.S. Midwest or someplace with a similar climate, one key to a better weather forecast may lie beneath your feet. Better soil moisture observations lead to better land-atmosphere interaction in weather forecasting models and ultimately to a better prediction of temperature and precipitation.

The Software Sustainability Institute, a collaboration between the Universities of Southampton, Oxford, Edinburgh and Manchester, is spreading the word about its work in promoting greater use of software in research with an Android phone app, which is ava

New App Helping to Share World-class Software-enabled Research

January 27, 2015 10:04 am | by University of Southampton | News | Comments

Electronics and computer science researchers have helped to develop a new app to share world-class research and to receive the latest research news through a phone or tablet. The Software Sustainability Institute, a collaboration between the Universities of Southampton, Oxford, Edinburgh and Manchester, aims to spread the word about its work in promoting greater use of software in research.

In April 2014, researchers flew over a site in southwest Greenland to find that a sub-glacial lake had drained away. This photo shows the crater left behind, as well as a deep crack in the ice. Photo by Stephen Price, Los Alamos National Lab, courtesy of

Two Mysterious Lakes beneath Greenland Ice Sheet Gone within Weeks

January 22, 2015 2:38 pm | by Pam Frost Gorder, The Ohio State University | News | Comments

Researchers who are building the highest-resolution map of the Greenland Ice Sheet to date have made a surprising discovery: two lakes of meltwater that pooled beneath the ice and rapidly drained away. One lake once held billions of gallons of water and emptied to form a mile-wide crater in just a few weeks. The other lake has filled and emptied twice in the last two years.

Illustration of one orbit of pulsar J1906 (on the right, with radio beams) around its companion (centered). In the space-time curvature caused by the companion (blue), the pulsar rotation axis slants throughout the orbit. For illustration the effect is ex

Vanishing Neutron Star used to Measure Space-time Warp with Extreme Precision

January 8, 2015 2:57 pm | by University of British Columbia | News | Comments

In an interstellar race against time, astronomers were able to measure the space-time warp in the gravity of a binary star and determine the mass of a neutron star — just before it vanished from view. The team measured the masses of both stars in binary pulsar system J1906. The pulsar spins and emits a lighthouse-like beam of radio waves every 144 milliseconds. It orbits its companion star in a little under four hours.

In this illustration, two protons collide at high energy, producing a Higgs boson that instantly decays, producing two tau particles. The rest of the energy from the collision sprays outward in two jets (pink cones). Measuring the angle between these jets

Is Higgs Boson a Piece of the Matter-Antimatter Puzzle?

December 17, 2014 3:00 pm | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | News | Comments

Several experiments, including the BaBar experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, have helped explain some — but not all — of the imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe. Now, a SLAC theorist and his colleagues have laid out a possible method for determining if the Higgs boson is involved.

This artist's concept shows NASA's Voyager spacecraft against a backdrop of stars. The Voyager spacecraft were built and continue to be operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Interstellar Space: NASA Voyager in Midst of Tsunami Wave

December 17, 2014 2:43 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

A "tsunami wave" that NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft began experiencing earlier this year is still propagating outward. It is the longest-lasting shock wave that researchers have seen in interstellar space. A tsunami wave occurs when the sun emits a coronal mass ejection, throwing out a magnetic cloud of plasma from its surface. This generates a wave of pressure. When the wave runs into the interstellar plasma, a shock wave results.

Professor Stephen Hawking using his Intel-powered communication system in his library at home.

Intel Provides Open Access to Hawking’s Advanced Communications Platform

December 10, 2014 4:09 pm | by Intel | News | Comments

Intel demonstrated for the first time with Professor Stephen Hawking a new Intel-created communications platform to replace his decades-old system, dramatically improving his ability to communicate with the world. The customizable platform will be available to research and technology communities by January of next year. It has the potential to become the backbone of a modern, customizable system other researchers and technologists can use.

Quantum physicist Andrei Derevianko, a professor in the College of Science, has contributed to the development of several novel classes of atomic clocks and now is proposing using networks of synchronized atomic clocks to detect dark matter. His paper on

Hiding in Plain Sight: Detecting Elusive Dark Matter with GPS

November 21, 2014 5:21 pm | by Mike Wolterbeek, University of Nevada, Reno | News | Comments

The everyday use of a GPS device might be to find your way around town or even navigate a hiking trail; but for two physicists, the Global Positioning System might be a tool in directly detecting and measuring dark matter, so far an elusive but ubiquitous form of matter responsible for the formation of galaxies.

This artist's concept shows the Comet Siding Spring approaching Mars with NASA’s orbiters preparing to make science observations of this unique encounter. A pristine distant comet created a once-in-eight-million-year fireworks show on Mars and no humans w

Comet Creates Once-in-8-million-year Fireworks Show above Mars

November 10, 2014 12:37 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

A pristine distant comet created a once-in-8-million-year fireworks show above Mars last month. But no one got to see it live. New NASA data from satellites circling Mars shows that when the comet named Siding Spring skimmed the red planet, tons of comet dust bombarded the Martian sky with thousands of fireballs an hour. It warped the Martian atmosphere leaving all sorts of metals and an eerie yellow afterglow.

A time-lapse photograph of the CIBER rocket launch, taken from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in 2013. This was the last of four launches of the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment (CIBER). Sub-orbital rockets are smaller than those that boo

Rocket Experiment Finds Surprising Cosmic Light

November 7, 2014 3:37 pm | by Kathy Svitil, Caltech | News | Comments

Using an experiment carried into space on a NASA suborbital rocket, astronomers have detected a diffuse cosmic glow that appears to represent more light than that produced by known galaxies in the universe. The researchers say the best explanation is that the cosmic light originates from stars that were stripped away from their parent galaxies and flung out into space as those galaxies collided and merged with other galaxies.

The world’s most advanced bionic hand was tested with the help of amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen who was able to grasp objects intuitively and identify what he was touching, while blindfolded. © LifeHand2

Neural Interface allows Natural Control of World’s Most Advanced Bionic Hand

November 7, 2014 3:27 pm | by European Commission | News | Comments

A prosthetic hand, which provides a sense of touch acute enough to handle an egg, has been completed and is now exploited by the NEBIAS project after 10 years of EU-funded research. The world’s most advanced bionic hand was tested with the help of amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen who was able to grasp objects intuitively and identify what he was touching, while blindfolded.

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