Sci/tech

NASA, ESA Spacecraft Track Solar Storm Through Space
August 15, 2017 01:36 PM - NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

Our Sun is active: Not only does it release a constant stream of material, called the solar wind, but it also lets out occasional bursts of faster-moving material, known as coronal mass ejections, or CMEs. NASA researchers wish to improve our understanding of CMEs and how they move through space because they can interact with the magnetic field around Earth, affecting satellites, interfering with GPS signals, triggering auroras, and — in extreme cases — straining power grids.

NASA's GPM Found Gert Strengthening into a Hurricane
August 15, 2017 01:11 PM - NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA looked at the rainfall rates within Tropical Storm Gert as it continued to strengthen and found the most intense rainfall on the tropical cyclone's eastern side. Just over 12 hours later, Gert would strengthen into a hurricane. As Gert has strengthened, the storm began generating dangerous surf along the U.S. East coast.

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite passed above tropical storm Gert on August 14, 2017 at 9:36 a.m. EDT (1336 UTC) when winds had reached about 57.5 mph (50 knots). Data collected by GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) instruments were used to show the coverage and the intensity of rainfall around Tropical Storm Gert. The area covered by GPM's radar swath revealed that the most intense rainfall, measuring greater 3.5 inches (90 mm) per hour, was located in bands of rain on the eastern side of the storm.

NASA Sees Tropical Storm Jova Being Ripped Apart
August 14, 2017 05:28 PM - NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

Satellite imagery from NOAA's GOES-West satellite showed vertical wind shear was already tearing Tropical Storm Jova apart just two days after it formed. By August 14, the storm weakened into a post-tropical cyclone.

Tropical Storm Jova formed around 11 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 11. Now, wind shear it tearing the storm apart.

At 12:45 p.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Sunday, August 13, NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Depression Jova that showed wind shear was pushing most of the clouds southwest of the center of circulation. That wind shear is causing the demise of the depression.

NOAA manages the GOES series of satellites. NASA/NOAA's GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland uses the satellite data to create imagery.

Study Finds Drought Recoveries Taking Longer
August 14, 2017 05:19 PM - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

As global temperatures continue to rise, droughts are expected to become more frequent and severe in many regions during this century. A new study with NASA participation finds that land ecosystems took progressively longer to recover from droughts in the 20th century, and incomplete drought recovery may become the new normal in some areas, possibly leading to tree death and increased emissions of greenhouse gases.

In results published Aug. 10 in the journal Nature, a research team led by Christopher Schwalm of Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, Massachusetts, and including a scientist from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, measured recovery time following droughts in various regions of the world. They used projections from climate models verified by observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite and ground measurements. The researchers found that drought recovery was taking longer in all land areas. In two particularly vulnerable regions -- the tropics and northern high latitudes -- recovery took ever longer than in other regions.

Lights, camera, CRISPR: Biologists use gene editing to store movies in DNA
August 14, 2017 02:57 PM - Nature

Internet users have a variety of format options in which to store their movies, and biologists have now joined the party. Researchers have used the microbial immune system CRISPR–Cas to encode a movie into the genome of the bacterium Escherichia coli.

The technical achievement, reported on 12 July in Nature, is a step towards creating cellular recording systems that are capable of encoding a series of events, says Seth Shipman, a synthetic biologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. While studying brain development, Shipman became frustrated by the lack of a technique to capture how cells in the brain take on distinct identities. This inspired him to explore the possibility of making cellular recorders.

NASA's Sees a Tightly Wound Typhoon Banyan
August 14, 2017 02:35 PM - NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

Satellite imagery from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite showed powerful storms tightly would around Typhoon Banyan's center as it moved through the Pacific Ocean.

On Aug. 14 at 02:06 UTC (Aug. 13 at 10:06 p.m. EDT) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible look at Banyan. The visible image showed a tight concentration of strong thunderstorms around the center of circulation, but no eye was visible. However, microwave satellite imagery did reveal an eye.

Drone tech offers new ways to manage climate change
August 14, 2017 02:30 PM - Cornell University

An innovation providing key clues to how humans might manage forests and cities to cool the planet is taking flight. Cornell researchers are using drone technology to more accurately measure surface reflectivity on the landscape, a technological advance that could offer a new way to manage climate change.

“When making predictions about climate change, it’s critical that scientists understand how much energy the earth is absorbing and retaining,” said Charlotte Levy, a doctoral candidate who presented a talk on her research at the annual Ecological Society of America meeting, in Portland, Oregon, Aug. 8.

Drone tech offers new ways to manage climate change
August 14, 2017 02:30 PM - Cornell University

An innovation providing key clues to how humans might manage forests and cities to cool the planet is taking flight. Cornell researchers are using drone technology to more accurately measure surface reflectivity on the landscape, a technological advance that could offer a new way to manage climate change.

“When making predictions about climate change, it’s critical that scientists understand how much energy the earth is absorbing and retaining,” said Charlotte Levy, a doctoral candidate who presented a talk on her research at the annual Ecological Society of America meeting, in Portland, Oregon, Aug. 8.

Study Links Major Floods in North America and Europe to Multi-Decade Ocean Patterns
August 14, 2017 01:48 PM - USGS

The number of major floods in natural rivers across Europe and North America has not increased overall during the past 80 years, a recent study has concluded. Instead researchers found that the occurrence of major flooding in North America and Europe often varies with North Atlantic Ocean temperature patterns.

Prehistoric marine worm caught prey with spines deployed from head
August 14, 2017 01:48 PM - University of Toronto

A team of scientists has identified a small marine predator that once patrolled the ocean floor and grabbed its prey with 50 spines deployed from its head.

Named Capinatator praetermissus, this ancient creature is roughly 10 centimetres long and represents a new species within the group of animals known as chaetognaths – small, swimming marine carnivores also known as arrow worms.

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