Images of craters on Yamal Peninsula, caused by collapsing permafrost, have become world famous. But did you know that this permafrost extends to the ocean floor? And it is thawing. —> Read More Here
Over the past 166 years, the average temperature in Finland has risen by more than two degrees. During the observation period, the average increase was 0.14 degrees per decade, which is nearly twice as much as the global average. —> Read More Here
In 2014, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences added 221 new plant and animal species to our family tree. The new species include 110 ants, 16 beetles, three spiders, 28 fishes, 24 sea slugs, two marine worms, 9 barnacles, two octocorals, 25 plants, one waterbear, and one tiny mammal. —> Read More Here
A court rules that the 29-year-old female is entitled to more desirable living conditions. —> Read More Here
A cultural agency in the United Kingdom says it has discovered the oldest living Christmas tree in all of Britain. —> Read More Here
Many archeologists in Britain are decrying plans by the government to build a tunnel to relieve traffic congestion near Stonehenge—a world heritage site, as doing so would like damage Blick Mead, a Mesolithic encampment found nearby just this past October. —> Read More Here
Antennae and sensors can be made invisible to remote inspection. —> Read More Here
Call it the comeback of the year.
Last year, equipment failure caused NASA to deem its $600-million Kepler space telescope irreparable. But since then, astronomers and engineers devised an ingenious way to repurpose Kepler, whose mission has been to scour the cosmos in search of Earthlike planets.
And now, the planet-hunting probe not only has been reborn, but also has discovered a massive exoplanet some 180 light-years away.
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Artist’s rendering of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft hunting for planets in its second mission, K2.
The planet, HIP 116454b, is a “super Earth” with a diameter 2.5 times the diameter of Earth. It orbits a star a little cooler and smaller than our sun, located in the Pisces constellation. The planet is too close to its star to support life as we know it, according to NASA.
Super Earths are in a class of planets that don’t exist in our solar system, and HIP 116454b’s average density suggests that it is either a watery world (three-fourths water and one-fourth rock) or a planet with a gaseous atmosphere, like a mini-Neptune.
“The Kepler mission showed us that planets larger in size than Earth and smaller than —> Read More Here
Sony could launch The Interview on YouTube: Firm is considering releasing the controversial film online
During an interview with CNN, the California firm’s boss Michael Lynton said the movie will be released. Sites such as YouTube and Crackle are among the options currently being discussed. —> Read More Here
An airship from the far-out High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) mission concept deploys above the planet in this artist’s conception. Credit: NASA Langley Research Center/YouTube (screenshot)
Venus presents a special challenge to space explorers. Yes, there is a surface but also, it has a tendency to crush spacecraft fairly quickly. Short of building a submarine-rated surface explorer, maybe there’s a better way to look at the hothouse planet? A newly released NASA concept making the rounds suggests using airships. Yes, airships with people in them.
But as you will see below, balloons and airships have been discussed extensively in the past decade by NASA and the Europeans as the best way of exploring Venus without needing to touch its hellish surface.
Read the rest of Exploring Venus By Airship: Cool Concept, But Certainly Not New (1,354 words)