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NASA Sees Powerful Storms with Advancing Monsoon in Bay of Bengal

Storms associated with the advancing monsoon in the Northern Indian Ocean's Bay of Bengal were analyzed by NASA with the GPM or Global Precipitation Measurement mission core satellite.

The GPM core observatory satellite passed over the Bay of Bengal on May 23, 2017 at 0251 UTC (May 22 at 10:51 p.m. EDT). GPM is a joint satellite mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA.

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CAST project places new limitations on dark matter

Axions are particles whose hypothetical existence was introduced in 1977 by Roberto Peccei and Helen Quinn. The particles have been the talk of the town lately because their existence could largely explain so-called dark matter. In order to make a solid claim, researchers have been measuring the interaction between axions and photons. A team of international scientists from the project CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST) at the European research center CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, including Prof. Dr. Horst Fischer from the Institute of Physics at the University of Freiburg, have set strict limits to the probability that axions turn into photons. They have presented their findings in the latest issue of Nature Physics.

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Solar cells more efficient thanks to new material standing on edge

Researchers from Lund University in Sweden and from Fudan University in China have successfully designed a new structural organization using the promising solar cell material perovskite. The study shows that solar cells increase in efficiency thanks to the material’s ability to self-organise by standing on edge.

The current research study deals with perovskite, a new and promising material in the context of solar cells. However, in its regular form, the material is very sensitive to moisture. It simply dissolves in contact with water, and even normal humidity deteriorates the material within hours or minutes. Now the researchers appear to have overcome that problem.

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Researchers Model Differences in East Coast Sea Level Rise

For years, scientists have been warning of a so-called “hot spot” of accelerated sea-level rise along the northeastern U.S. coast. But accurately modeling this acceleration as well as variations in sea-level rise from one region to another has proven challenging.

Now an upcoming paper in Geophysical Research Letters offers the first comprehensive model for understanding differences in sea level rise along North America’s East Coast. That model incorporates data not just from atmospheric pressure and ocean dynamics—changing currents, rising ocean temperatures and salinity all influence sea level—but also, for the first time, ice mass change in Greenland and Antarctica. The researchers say their model supports a growing consensus that sea level rise began accelerating in 1990 and that what they found will improve estimates of future sea level rise at a local level.

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Weather Patterns' Influence on Frost Timing

Gardeners know the frustration of a false spring. Coaxed outside by warm weather, some people plant their gardens in the spring only to see a sudden late frost strike at the plants with a killer freezer burn. Grumbling green thumbs, along with farmers and water supply managers, would benefit from more accurate predictions of the first and last frosts of the season.

Such timing is in flux, however. The frost-free season in North America is approximately 10 days longer now than it was a century ago. In a new study, published today in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Utah and the U.S. Geological Survey parse the factors contributing to the timing of frost in the United States. Atmospheric circulation patterns, they found, were the dominant influence on frost timing, although the trend of globally warming temperatures played a part as well.

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NASA TV Coverage Set for May 23 Space Station Contingency Spacewalk

NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer are preparing for an unscheduled spacewalk outside the International Space Station Tuesday, May 23. Live coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Whitson, Expedition 51 commander, and Fischer, flight engineer, will replace a critical computer relay box that failed May 20. The relay box, known as a multiplexer-demultiplexer (MDM), is one of two units that regulate the operation of radiators, solar arrays and cooling loops. They also route commands to other vital station systems.

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NOAA names University of Michigan to host cooperative institute for Great Lakes region

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today announced it has selected the University of Michigan to continue hosting NOAA’s cooperative institute in the Great Lakes region. 

NOAA made the selection after an open, competitive evaluation to continue funding the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR), formerly called the Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research. 

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Luminous Bacteria Will Help to Measure Radioactivity

During the research, the scientists were to answer the following questions which are currently considered to be important in the realm of radiobiology:

What are the peculiarities of low-dose gamma radiation`s effect on living creatures?

What are the differences between gamma and alpha, beta radiation in terms of their effect on living creatures?

Photobacterium phosphoreum, which is quite suitable for a comprehensive analysis of a radiation effect, was used as a test organism. In the course of the experiment, the luminous bacteria were put into an experimental capsule where they were undergoing the effect of different radiation capacity and duration under the temperatures of +5 °C, +10 °C, +20 °C.

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Research suggests eating beans instead of beef would sharply reduce greenhouse gasses

A team of researchers from four American universities says the key to reducing harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) in the short term is more likely to be found on the dinner plate than at the gas pump.

The team, headed by Loma Linda University (LLU) researcher Helen Harwatt, PhD, suggests that one simple change in American eating habits would have a large impact on the environment: if Americans would eat beans instead of beef, the United States would immediately realize approximately 50 to 75 percent of its GHG reduction targets for the year 2020.

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High Levels of Prenatal Air Pollution Exposure and Stress Increase Childhood Asthma Risk

A new study has found that children, especially boys, whose mothers were exposed to higher levels of outdoor particulate air pollution at the same time that they were very stressed were most likely to develop asthma by age six. The study was presented at the 2017 American Thoracic Society International Conference. 

The team, led by senior investigator Rosalind Wright, MD, MPH, co-director of the Institute for Exposomics Research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, conducted this study because of their overarching interest in understanding how these and other environmental factors interact to produce respiratory health disparities.

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