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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 35,243

About Me

Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Plant Stress Paints Early Picture of Drought

In July 2012, farmers in the U.S. Midwest and Plains regions watched crops wilt and die after a stretch of unusually low precipitation and high temperatures. Before a lack of rain and record-breaking heat signaled a problem, however, scientists observed another indication of drought in data from NASA and NOAA satellites: plant stress.

Healthy vegetation requires a certain amount of water from the soil every day to stay alive, and when soil moisture falls below adequate levels, plants become stressed. Scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) have developed a way to use satellite data to map that plant stress. The maps could soon aid in drought forecasts, and prove useful for applications such as crop yield estimates or decisions about crop loss compensation.

"Crop drought monitoring is of high practical value, and any advance notice of drought conditions helps the farmer make practical decisions sooner," says Steve Running, an ecologist at University of Montana in Missoula.

A new animation of plant stress (top) shows how drought evolved across the United States from January 2010 through September 2012. In spring 2010, satellites measured cool leaf temperatures, indicating healthy plants and wetter-than-average conditions (green), over many areas across the country. By summer 2011, satellites saw the warming of stressed vegetation, indicating significantly lower-than-usual water availability (red) in many areas, most notably in Texas. Crops were either dead or would soon be dead.

more
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/plant-stress.html

NASA-NOAA Satellite Reveals New Views of Earth at Night

Scientists unveiled today an unprecedented new look at our planet at night. A global composite image, constructed using cloud-free night images from a new NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite, shows the glow of natural and human-built phenomena across the planet in greater detail than ever before.


This image of the continental United States at night is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. The image was made possible by the satellite's "day-night band" of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires and reflected moonlight.
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC
› Larger image

Many satellites are equipped to look at Earth during the day, when they can observe our planet fully illuminated by the sun. With a new sensor aboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite launched last year, scientists now can observe Earth's atmosphere and surface during nighttime hours.

The new sensor, the day-night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), is sensitive enough to detect the nocturnal glow produced by Earth's atmosphere and the light from a single ship in the sea. Satellites in the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program have been making observations with low-light sensors for 40 years. But the VIIRS day-night band can better detect and resolve Earth's night lights.

The new, higher resolution composite image of Earth at night was released at a news conference at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. This and other VIIRS day-night band images are providing researchers with valuable data for a wide variety of previously unseen or poorly seen events.
more
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/NPP/news/earth-at-night.html

Image of the Carina Nebula Marks Inauguration of VLT Survey Telescope (Big Space Pic)



A spectacular new image of the star-forming Carina Nebula has been captured by the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory and released on the occasion of the inauguration of the telescope in Naples today. This picture was taken with the help of Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile, during his visit to the observatory on 5 June 2012.

The latest telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile — the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) — was inaugurated today at the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) Observatory of Capodimonte, in Naples, Italy. The ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Naples, Luigi De Magistris, the INAF President, Giovanni Bignami, the ESO representatives Bruno Leibundgut and Roberto Tamai, and the main promoter of the telescope, Massimo Capaccioli of the University of Naples Federico II and INAF.

The VST is a state-of-the-art 2.6-metre telescope, with the huge 268-megapixel camera OmegaCAM at its heart. It is designed to map the sky both quickly and with very fine image quality. The VST is a joint venture between ESO and INAF and OmegaCam has been provided by the OmegaCam consortium . This new telescope is the largest telescope in the world exclusively dedicated to surveying the sky at visible wavelengths (eso1119). The occasion of the inauguration has been marked by the release of a dramatic picture of the Carina Nebula taken with the new telescope.

This star formation region is one of the most prominent and frequently imaged objects of the southern sky. It has been the subject of many earlier images with ESO telescopes (eso1208, eso1145, eso1031, eso0905). However, the glowing gas cloud is huge and it is difficult for most large telescopes to study more than a tiny part of it at once. This makes it an ideal target for the VLT Survey Telescope and its big camera, OmegaCAM. The VST delivers very sharp images because of its high quality optics and the excellent site. But, as it was designed for surveys of the sky, it also has a very wide field of view that can take in almost all of the Carina Nebula in a single picture.

http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1250/

Saturn Moon Enceladus Eyed for Sample-Return Mission

SAN FRANCISCO — Scientists are developing a mission concept that would snag icy particles from Saturn's moon Enceladus and return them to Earth, where they could be analyzed for signs of life.

The spacecraft would fly through the icy plume blasted into space by geysers near Enceladus' south pole, then send the collected particles back to our planet in a return capsule. Enceladus may be capable of supporting life, and the flyby sample-return mission would bring pieces from its depths to Earth at a reasonable price, researchers said.

"This is really the low-hanging fruit" of sample-return missions, said study leader Peter Tsou of Sample Exploration Systems in La Canada, Calif., who presented the idea here Wednesday (Dec. 5) at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. "It would be a shame not to pick it."

http://www.space.com/18792-enceladus-sample-return-mission.html

Ok, so is this the worst album cover ever?



from
https://plus.google.com/+MikeElgan/posts/eQgXjUJRDWL


However, I think this one beats it....

Thursday TOON Roundup 5- The Rest


Rmoney




Economy




Media








Drones




Pope








Thursday TOON Roundup 4- Middle East issues

Israel/Palestine


Egypt




Syria





Thursday TOON Roundup 3- Republican Bubble Boys
















Thursday TOON Roundup 2 -Who will win the budget battle?
















Thursday TOON Roundup 1 - RIP, Dave








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