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Topic: Sahara Desert

NASA, Qatar Partnership to look for Buried Water in Earth’s Deserts

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Earth’s driest ecosystems are a study in extremes: They can be blazingly hot stretches of sand like the Sahara Desert or shatteringly cold expanses of ice such as those in Greenland and Antarctica.

These arid regions receive very little annual precipitation, and the effects of climate change in these ecosystems are poorly understood. A joint effort between NASA and the Qatar Foundation aims to address that – and, in the process, help communities that are being impacted by those changes.

Deserts like the Sahara harbor fresh water aquifers that can be affected by Earth's changing climate. The OASIS study project seeks to a establish a mission that would find and examine those aquifers. (NASA)

Deserts like the Sahara harbor fresh water aquifers that can be affected by Earth’s changing climate. The OASIS study project seeks to a establish a mission that would find and examine those aquifers. (NASA)

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Nashville Zoo opens new Interactive Tortoise Experience tomorrow, July 4th

 

Nashville ZooNashville, TN – The Shell Station will soon be open for business. Nashville Zoo’s newest interactive exhibit featuring Sulcata tortoises opens to the public this Saturday, July 4th.

“Nashville Zoo is thrilled to add another immersive experience that engages our visitors and connects them to the wild in a hands-on way,” said Rick Schwartz, Zoo president. “We thank Scott and Tracie Hamilton for funding this exhibit and adding another great educational opportunity for our guests.”

The Shell Station features up to 24 Sulcata tortoises that range in age from three to five years old.

Starting tomorrow, Nashville Zoo’s newest interactive exhibit will open to the public. “The Shell Station” will feature up to 24 Sulcata tortoises and allow Zoo guests to enter the exhibit and experience these animals up close. (Samantha Curington)

Starting tomorrow, Nashville Zoo’s newest interactive exhibit will open to the public. “The Shell Station” will feature up to 24 Sulcata tortoises and allow Zoo guests to enter the exhibit and experience these animals up close. (Samantha Curington)

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NASA’s CALIPSO satellite helps scientists study link between Sahara Desert dust and Amazon Rainforest

 

Written by Rachel Molina
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The Sahara Desert is one of the least hospitable climates on Earth. Its barren plateaus, rocky peaks, and shifting sands envelop the northern third of Africa, which sees very little rain, vegetation, and life.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Ocean thrives the world’s largest rainforest. The lush, vibrant Amazon basin, located in northeast South America, supports a vast network of unparalleled ecological diversity.

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NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory completes test, produces First Global Maps

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – With its antenna now spinning at full speed, NASA’s new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory has successfully re-tested its science instruments and generated its first global maps, a key step to beginning routine science operations next month.

SMAP launched January 31st on a minimum three-year mission to map global soil moisture and detect whether soils are frozen or thawed. The mission will help scientists understand the links among Earth’s water, energy and carbon cycles; help reduce uncertainties in predicting weather and climate; and enhance our ability to monitor and predict natural hazards such as floods and droughts.

SMAP radar image acquired from data from March 31 to April 3, 2015. Weaker radar signals (blues) reflect low soil moisture or lack of vegetation, such as in deserts. Strong radar signals (reds) are seen in forests. SMAP's radar also takes data over the ocean and sea ice. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC)

SMAP radar image acquired from data from March 31 to April 3, 2015. Weaker radar signals (blues) reflect low soil moisture or lack of vegetation, such as in deserts. Strong radar signals (reds) are seen in forests. SMAP’s radar also takes data over the ocean and sea ice. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC)

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NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory completes instruments test

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Fresh off the recent successful deployment of its 20-foot (6-meter) reflector antenna and associated boom arm, NASA’s new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory has successfully completed a two-day test of its science instruments.

The observatory’s radar and radiometer instruments were successfully operated for the first time with SMAP’s antenna in a non-spinning mode on February 27th and 28th.

The test was a key step in preparation for the planned spin-up of SMAP’s antenna to approximately 15 revolutions per minute in late March.

First image from a test of the radar instrument on NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite Feb. 27-28, 2015. The test was performed with SMAP's antenna in a non-spinning mode, which limits measurement swath widths to 25 miles (40 kilometers). (NASA/JPL-Caltech; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

First image from a test of the radar instrument on NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite Feb. 27-28, 2015. The test was performed with SMAP’s antenna in a non-spinning mode, which limits measurement swath widths to 25 miles (40 kilometers). (NASA/JPL-Caltech; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

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