On December 21, 2020, Jupiter and Saturn will be only 1/5 of a moon-diameter apart! Guy Ottewell offers insights and charts showing a magnified (telescopic) view of their once-in-20-years great conjunction.
China’s robotic Chang’e 5 will be the 1st sample-return from the moon since the 1970s. It launched successfully last week atop a Chinese Long March 5 rocket. Now it’s reported to have entered orbit around the moon.
(Faculty of Science – University of Copenhagen) University of Copenhagen researchers have been following vegetation trends across the planet’s driest areas using satellite imagery from recent decades. They have identified a troubling trend: Too little vegetation is sprouting up from rainwater in developing nations, whereas things are headed in the opposite direction in wealthier ones. As a result, the future could see food shortages and growing numbers of climate refugees.
The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite will extend a nearly 30-year continuous dataset on sea level collected by an ongoing collaboration of U.S. and European satellites while enhancing weather forecasts and providing detailed information on large-scale ocean currents to support ship navigation near coastlines.
SpaceX’s satellites will populate the night sky, affecting how we observe the stars. And this is just the beginning of private satellite mega-constellations.
To get a sense of how much carbon the Earth can store, and how it changes over time, scientists would need to count a bewildering number of trees, and track their growth over time. Incredibly, the folks at NASA are now using supercomputers to do precisely that—via top-down imaging from space. Scientists from NASA’s Goddard […]
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A new observational study demonstrates that increasing air dryness does not reduce photosynthesis in certain very wet regions of the Amazon rainforest, contradicting Earth System Models that show the opposite.
(Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science) Is the Amazon rainforest as sensitive to water stress as what the current models have been showing? Columbia Engineering researchers found that the models have been largely over-estimating water stress in tropical forests. While models show that increases in air dryness greatly diminish photosynthesis rates in certain regions of the Amazon rainforest, observational data results show the opposite: in certain very wet regions, the forests instead even increase photosynthesis rates in response to drier air.
Tiny Spacecraft is âSolar Sailingâ in Orbit Using Only Sunlight, a Revolution in Space Exploration
An American astronomical society is proving that, like the Vikings of old, exploration of foreign shoresâin this case foreign planetsâis possible if you but master the use of the humble cloth sail. LightSail 2, designed and crowd-funded by the Planetary Society, is a small spacecraft that has been moving around at high-speeds in Earth’s orbit, […]