Showing posts from 2009

60 Stunning Satellite Photos of Earth

Source:   Compiled by Web Designer Depot, USGS National Center for the EROS and NASA Landsat Project Science Office

Our Atmosphere Came From Space Gases, Study Says

Source:   Ker Than, National Geographic News Excerpt: The gases that make up Earth's atmosphere came from a swarm of comets, not from bubbling volcanoes as long thought, a new study says. The new theory came about after scientists discovered that pristine samples of the elements krypton and xenon, recently collected from deep within the Earth, have the same chemical makeup as ancient meteorites. …It's still true that volcanoes spewed out some gases, "but [that] contribution was insignificant" for the creation of Earth's atmosphere," Ballentine said. …Based on their research, Ballentine and colleagues claim that our atmosphere likely formed when gas and water-rich comets bombarded Earth, shortly after its formation 4.54 billion years ago. …Scientists have already discovered that the comet barrage likely formed Earth's oceans….

NASA Instruments Reveal Water Molecules on Lunar Surface

Source:   NASA RELEASE: 09-222 Excerpt: NASA scientists have discovered water molecules in the polar regions of the moon. Instruments aboard three separate spacecraft revealed water molecules in amounts that are greater than predicted, but still relatively small. Hydroxyl, a molecule consisting of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom, also was found in the lunar soil. ... spacecraft imaging spectrometers made it possible to map lunar water more effectively than ever before.

Solar Cycle Driven by More than Sunspots

Source:   NSF Excerpt: Challenging conventional wisdom, new research finds that the number of sunspots provides an incomplete measure of changes in the Sun's impact on Earth over the course of the 11-year solar cycle. The study, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Michigan, finds that Earth was bombarded last year with high levels of solar energy at a time when the Sun was in an unusually quiet phase and sunspots had virtually disappeared....

Methane Clouds Observed Near Titan's Equator May Explain Presence of Riverbeds on the Surface

Source:   National Science Foundation Update (NSF) Excerpt: On Titan, Saturn's largest moon, methane clouds drift through a dense, nitrogen-rich atmosphere, clustering mainly in the polar regions. Methane lakes dot Titan's surface, also at high latitudes. …in January 2005, the Huygens probe … gave planetary scientists their first close-up view ... small channels and river beds at low latitudes, in regions that scientists had assumed to be devoid of flowing liquids that could carve such features. Now, astronomers working at Earth-based telescopes have for the first time observed, near Titan's equator, large and persistent clouds that might be capable of raining liquid methane onto the surface.

Two moons, circling

Source:   Christopher Go, Discover Magazine  Images of the shadow of the moon Io going right over the moon Ganymede, by amateur astronomer Christopher Go.

Statement from Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins

Source:   Michael Collins, NASA Excerpt: Q. Circling the lonely moon by yourself, the loneliest person in the universe, weren't you lonely? A. No. "Far from feeling lonely or abandoned, I feel very much a part of what is taking place on the lunar surface. I know that I would be a liar or a fool if I said that I have the best of the three Apollo 11 seats, but I can say with truth and equanimity that I am perfectly satisfied with the one I have. ... I don't mean to deny a feeling of solitude. It is there, reinforced by the fact that radio contact with the Earth abruptly cuts off at the instant I disappear behind the moon, I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life. I am it. ...."

Fly yourself to the Moon (Google Moon)

Source:  Google, NASA Explore the Moon in Google Earth.

Google Mars

Source:   NASA Explore Mars with a tool similar to Google Earth.