Written by Alan Buis
Pasadena, CA – A new multi-institutional study of the temporary slowdown in the global average surface temperature warming trend observed between 1998 and 2013 concludes the phenomenon represented a redistribution of energy within the Earth system, with Earth’s ocean absorbing the extra heat.
The phenomenon was referred to by some as the “global warming hiatus.” Global average surface temperature, measured by satellites and direct observations, is considered a key indicator of climate change.
Written by Naomi Seck
Greenbelt, MD – Some 10,500 years ago, hunters gathered each year near the Beaver River in what is now western Oklahoma. There, they funneled bison into narrow, dead-end arroyos — steep gullies cut into the hillside by the river — where they killed them en masse, sliced off the choicest meat and left behind piles of skeletons.
Walk through western Oklahoma today and there is little visible evidence of that ancient landscape, much less the hunting expeditions it hosted. Few bison remain, and dirt and rocks have filled in many of the arroyos.
Written by Preston Dyches
Pasadena, CA – A thrilling ride is about to begin for NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Engineers have been pumping up the spacecraft’s orbit around Saturn this year to increase its tilt with respect to the planet’s equator and rings. And on November 30th, following a gravitational nudge from Saturn’s moon Titan, Cassini will enter the first phase of the mission’s dramatic endgame.
Launched in 1997, Cassini has been touring the Saturn system since arriving there in 2004 for an up-close study of the planet, its rings and moons. During its journey, Cassini has made numerous dramatic discoveries, including a global ocean within Enceladus and liquid methane seas on Titan.
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data reveals Ice Deposit on Mars has more water than Lake Superior
Written by Dwayne Brown / Laurie Cantillo
Washington, D.C. – Frozen beneath a region of cracked and pitted plains on Mars lies about as much water as what’s in Lake Superior, largest of the Great Lakes, researchers using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have determined.
Scientists examined part of Mars’ Utopia Planitia region, in the mid-northern latitudes, with the orbiter’s ground-penetrating Shallow Radar (SHARAD) instrument.
Analyses of data from more than 600 overhead passes with the onboard radar instrument reveal a deposit more extensive in area than the state of New Mexico.
Written by Molly Porter
Huntsville, AL – A snapshot of the stellar life cycle has been captured in a new portrait from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Smithsonian’s Submillimeter Array (SMA).
A cloud that is giving birth to stars has been observed to reflect X-rays from Cygnus X-3, a source of X-rays produced by a system where a massive star is slowly being eaten by its companion black hole or neutron star. This discovery provides a new way to study how stars form.
Written by Sean Potter
Washington, D.C. – NASA successfully launched for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the first in a series of highly advanced geostationary weather satellites Saturday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) lifted off at 5:42pm CST on its way to boost the nation’s weather observation capabilities, leading to more accurate and timely forecasts, watches and warnings.
Written by Alan Buis
Pasadena, CA – Dramatic, widespread shoreline loss is revealed in new NASA/U.S. Geological Survey annual maps of the Louisiana marshlands where the coastline was most heavily coated with oil during the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Following the spill, the length of shoreline that receded more than 13 feet (4 meters) a year quadrupled compared to the year before the spill. The land losses occurred mainly in areas where oil had washed ashore during the spill.
Written by Elizabeth Landau
Pasadena, CA – The brightest area on Ceres stands out amid shadowy, cratered terrain in a dramatic new view from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, taken as it looked off to the side of the dwarf planet.
Dawn snapped this image on October 16th, from its fifth science orbit, in which the angle of the sun was different from that in previous orbits. Dawn was about 920 miles (1,480 kilometers) above Ceres when this image was taken — an altitude the spacecraft had reached in early October.
Written by Michael Cabbage
New York, NY – October 2016 was the second warmest October in 136 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.
October 2016’s temperature was 0.18 degrees Celsius cooler than the warmest October in 2015. Last month was 0.89 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean October temperature from 1951-1980.
Washington, D.C. – A newly discovered “great valley” in the southern hemisphere of Mercury provides more evidence that the small planet closest to the sun is shrinking.
Scientists used stereo images from NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft to create a high-resolution topo map that revealed the broad valley — more than 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) long — extending into the Rembrandt basin, one of the largest and youngest impact basins on Mercury. About 250 miles (400 kilometers) wide and 2 miles (3 kilometers) deep, Mercury’s great valley is smaller than Mars’ Valles Marineris, but larger than North America’s Grand Canyon and wider and deeper than the Great Rift Valley in East Africa.
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