Science is the poetry of Nature.

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Posts tagged "Earth"


'Geologic Clock' Helped Determine Moon’s Age

An international team of planetary scientists determined that the Moon formed nearly 100 million years after the start of the solar system, according to a paper published today in Nature. This conclusion is based on measurements from the interior of the Earth combined with computer simulations of the protoplanetary disk from which the Earth and other terrestrial planets formed.

The team of researchers from France, Germany and the U.S. simulated the growth of the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) from a disk of thousands of planetary building blocks orbiting the Sun. By analyzing the growth history of the Earth-like planets from 259 simulations, the scientists discovered a relationship between the time the Earth was impacted by a Mars-sized object to create the Moon and the amount of material added to the Earth after that impact.

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Earthgazing: Bright ‘Evening Stars’ Seen from Mars are No Stars, But Earth and the Moon

This view of the twilight sky and Martian horizon taken by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover includes Earth as the brightest point of light in the night sky. Earth is a little left of center in the image, and our moon is just below Earth.

Image credit: [NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU](Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU )

Researchers used the left eye camera of Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) to capture this scene about 80 minutes after sunset on the 529th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s work on Mars (Jan. 31, 2014). The image has been processed to remove effects of cosmic rays.

A human observer with normal vision, if standing on Mars, could easily see Earth and the moon as two distinct, bright “evening stars.”

The distance between Earth and Mars when Curiosity took the photo was about 99 million miles (160 million kilometers).

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project’s Curiosity rover. Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates the rover’s Mastcam.

That’s it, that’s us.


Concept art of a cozy 3D-printed moon base, courtesy of the European Space Agency.

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This image shows the emission and transport of dust and other aerosols to the Southern Ocean on Dec. 30, 2006. Dust is represented with orange to red colors, sea salt with blue, organic and black carbon with green to yellow, and sulfates with brown to white.

Credit: William M. Putman and Arlindo M. da Silva (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)


Here is an interesting graphic representing the orbits of the over 1,000 known potentially hazardous asteroids that may one day affect life on Earth.

Learn more here :

Photo Credit: NASA

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Data from satellite images reveal that nearly three times more forest cover was lost than gained worldwide in the 21st century.
The maps were released by the journal Science.

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If you covered the earth in a mole of donuts, how thick would that layer be?

8 km!

From the TED-Ed Lesson How big is a mole? (Not the animal, the other one.) - Daniel Dulek

Animation by Augenblick Studios

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New GOCE geoid

ESA’s GOCE mission has delivered the most accurate model of the ‘geoid' ever produced, which will be used to further our understanding of how Earth works.

The colours in the image represent deviations in height (–100 m to +100 m) from an ideal geoid. The blue shades represent low values and the reds/yellows represent high values.

A precise model of Earth’s geoid is crucial for deriving accurate measurements of ocean circulation, sea-level change and terrestrial ice dynamics. The geoid is also used as a reference surface from which to map the topographical features on the planet. In addition, a better understanding of variations in the gravity field will lead to a deeper understanding of Earth’s interior, such as the physics and dynamics associated with volcanic activity and earthquakes.


Giant Moon-Forming Impact On Early Earth May Have Spawned Magma Ocean

Billions of years ago, the Earth’s atmosphere an opaque and the planet’s surface was a vast magma ocean devoid of life.

This scenario, says Stanford University professor of geophysics Norman Sleep, was what the early Earth looked like just after a cataclysmic impact by a planet-size object that smashed into the infant Earth 4.5 billion years ago andformed the moon. The moon, once fully formed, which would have appeared much larger in the sky at the time, since it was closer to Earth

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Tokyo, Japan

An image that reminds of the opening scene of the manga film classic Akira, this futuristic night-time shot of the capital of Japan was taken in 2012 from the International Space Station.

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Our globe spins away, sourced from a Google Earth-inspired video posted by Ed Parsons, a “Geospatial Technologist” for Google.


Our globe spins away, sourced from a Google Earth-inspired video posted by Ed Parsons, a “Geospatial Technologist” for Google.

(via humanoidhistory)


Evolution of a vapor trail and cloud created by the launch of a Russian Topol Missile, photographed from the International Space Station on October 10th, 2013.  Source images; ISS037-E-9211 to ISS037-E-9334.


Finding alien worlds on Earth

Have you ever wondered which places on Earth most resemble other planets? For some of us, imagining the landscape of other worlds might just be for fun, but scientists and engineers wonder about what the otherworldly places on Earth can tell us about neighbours like the Moon and Mars.

Working in the most unusual places on Earth can help us to prepare for human flights, robotic missions and the search for life beyond our own planet. These ‘analogues’ are chosen because they are similar in one way or another to particular planetary environments. They can be used for technical tests and research before the effort and expense of a launch into space.

The most hostile environments on Earth are home to unusual life forms. By studying these ‘extremophiles’ that can cope with extreme heat, cold, pressure or radiation on Earth, astrobiologists can consider whether certain environments in space might be home to similar tiny creatures. Needing unspoiled land, often without vegetation, means that astrobiologists and geologists often find themselves in very remote places.

Past research for ESA includes expeditions to Svalbard in conjunction with NASA. The teams visiting this remote island far to the north of Norway included geologists, biologists and engineers, and their tests included some of the instruments now working on Mars aboard the Curiosity rover.

Sites like the Atacama Desert, recently used to test a sampling rover for ESA’s ExoMars mission, are valuable. Trials can find out what sort of terrain a rover can cross, what kind of slopes it can go up and down, and whether it can sample the surface.

"We examined what kind of interesting areas there are on Mars and the Moon, and how to find something similar on Earth," says Oliver Angerer, Human Exploration Science Coordinator for ESA.

"For example, if you want to study lava tubes on Mars, what is the nearest equivalent on Earth? Depending on your mission requirements, you can choose Iceland, Hawaii or Tenerife."

And what about a Mars or Moon analogue as a holiday destination?

"There are a lot of places in this catalogue that I would like to visit," says Oliver. "So far, I haven’t been to the Dry Valleys in Antarctica, which is an amazing area for field activities. It’s the closest you can get to being on another planet while staying on Earth."

Image credit: ESA


Miniature Layers of the Earth Cake

Based off the cake here

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Beautiful Earth at Goddard Visitor Center by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Flickr

At the Beautiful Earth Program for school groups at the NASA Goddard Visitor Center on April 19, 2012, students were treated to a live performance of ” Bella Gaia” by Kenji William, A Science on a Sphere program presented by NASA scientist Thorsten Markus and Native American Jim Rock and hands-on workshop stations on the science of water and life.

Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Bill Hrybyk

NASA image use policy.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.