New NASA Technology --"One of Earth's Largest Volcanoes Helps Set the Stage for Human Exploration of Other Worlds" (VIDEO)

 

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On the rust-colored north flank of one of Earth's largest volcanoes, a backpack-sized instrument monitors our atmosphere and, at the same time, helps set the stage for possible human exploration of other worlds. Designed and built at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the instrument tracks levels of methane and carbon dioxide, two gases crucial for studying the chemistry of Earth's atmosphere. Portable and nearly self-contained, the unit could represent the start of a low-cost global network to provide atmospheric monitoring even in hard-to-reach locations.

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NASA Alert: Cassini Takes 1st Dive Through Narrow Gap Between Saturn & its Rings Today --"A Region No Spacecraft has Ever Explored"

 

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NASA's Cassini spacecraft is set to make its first dive through the narrow gap between Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017. Because that gap is a region no spacecraft has ever explored, Cassini will use its dish-shaped high-gain antenna (13 feet or 4 meters across) as a protective shield while passing through the ring plane. No particles larger than smoke particles are expected, but the precautionary measure is being taken on the first dive.

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NASA Out of Cassini Spacecraft Radio Contact Before Final Ring Dives and Death Plunge --"Will Gather Amazing New Data About This Huge World" (VIDEO)

 

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Controllers and scientists must wait until Thursday to hear from the Cassini spacecraft that was due early on Wednesday to make the first of 22 dives in between Saturn's cloud tops and the inner edge of its spectacular rings designed to gather pictures and other science data of unprecedented resolution and science data that finally unlocks puzzles about the make-up and history of this huge world.

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"Mystery of Instant Life" Microbes Appear Out of Nowhere To Colonize a Volcano Eruption

 

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Researchers have discovered just that, identifying a new species of furry white bacteria covering a submerged volcano 130 meters (426 feet) below sea level in the Canary Islands that appeared to have started colonizing the volcano as soon as the temperature dropped.

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'Cold Spot' Anomaly Billions of Light Years Across --"Caused By a Collision With Another Universe"



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"This means we can't entirely rule out that the Spot is caused by an unlikely fluctuation explained by the standard model. But if that isn't the answer, then there are more exotic explanations. Perhaps the most exciting of these is that the Cold Spot was caused by a collision between our universe and another bubble universe. If further, more detailed, analysis of CMB data proves this to be the case then the Cold Spot might be taken as the first evidence for the multiverse - and billions of other universes may exist like our own."

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"Journey's End" --NASA's Cassini Spacecraft Heading Towards Its "End-of-Mission" Death Plunge Through Saturn's Rings (WATCH Today's 'Galaxy' Stream)

 

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On April 21, the spacecraft made its final close approach to Saturn’s moon Titan and will now begin its last set of 22 orbits around Saturn until it takes its death plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere right on September 15. After the close approach that gave us Cassini’s last image of Earth, the craft sent images and data back to earth for scientists to study the hydrocarbon seas and lakes on Titan’s north polar region.

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New NASA Discovery --"Our Sun and Planets Surrounded by a Gigantic Round Magnetic Field That Fills the Solar System"

 

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New data from NASA's Cassini mission, combined with measurements from the two Voyager spacecraft and NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, suggests that our sun and planets are surrounded by a giant, rounded system of magnetic field from the sun—calling into question the alternate view of the solar magnetic fields trailing behind the sun in the shape of a long comet tail.

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Rocky Super-Earth Found in Habitable Zone of a Cool Star --"Most Exciting Exoplanet We've Seen in the Last 10 Years"

 

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"This is the most exciting exoplanet which I have seen in the last ten years" comments Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics (CfA), the first author of the article in Nature. "It would be difficult to find a better objective for carrying out one of the most important searches in science: for evidence of life beyond the Earth".

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Scientists Search for Amino Acids That Might Form the Basis of Extraterrestrial Life --"May Be Different Than Those On Earth"

 
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"In a different extraterrestrial locale, the proteins in an organism would not necessarily be the same as that of an organism on Earth, so they might use amino acids that are known to us but not used to make proteins on Earth," said Claire Mammoser, a research assistant in the laboratory of Laura Rowe at Valparaiso University. "Our main goal with this research is to see if there are structural characteristics of some amino acids that lead to a higher stability in extraterrestrial conditions and then to see what those characteristics might be."

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China's Climate-Change Scientists Find Links to Solar Winds

 

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The solar flux is considered the fundamental energy source of earth's climate system on long time scales. In recent decades, some studies have noted that the tiny variations in solar activity could be amplified by the nonlinear process in climate system. But the astronomy factors, such as solar activity, presented intriguing and cutting-edge questions to better understand climate change.

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