A special type of aurora, draped east-west across the night sky like a glowing pearl necklace, is helping scientists better understand the science of auroras and their powerful drivers out in space. Known as auroral beads, these lights often show up just before large auroral displays, which are caused by electrical storms in space called substorms.
Until now, scientists weren’t sure if auroral beads are somehow connected to other auroral displays as a phenomenon in space that precedes substorms, or if they are caused by disturbances closer to Earth’s atmosphere. But powerful new computer models, combined with observations from NASA’s Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms – THEMIS – mission, have provided the first direct evidence of the events in space that lead to the appearance of these beads and demonstrated the important role they play in our local space environment.
“What if we built a bridge, between and above all nations, to jointly discover the galaxy’s great unknowns?” Join us this fall as we prepare to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the the International Space Station. As a global endeavor, 240 people from 19 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory, which has hosted more than 2,800 research investigations from scientists in over 100 nations.
The International Space Station is a modular space station in low Earth orbit. The ISS program is a multi-national collaborative project between five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. It is an international collaborative effort between multiple countries.
Coronavirus affects far more than just the lungs, and doctors and researchers in the midst of the pandemic are trying to catalog—and understand—the virus’ impact on our bodies. Staff Writer Meredith Wadman joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss what we know about how COVID-19 kills. See all of our News coverage of the pandemic here, and all of our Research and Editorials here.
Also this week, Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with Sarah about quantum diamond microscopes. These new devices are able to detect minute traces of magnetism, giving insight into the earliest movements of Earth’s tectonic plates and even ancient paleomagnetic events in space.
From a Rolling Stone Magazine Interview (April 22, 2020):
Well, in 1970, things were vastly more limited. We had three dominant television networks, and also public broadcasting. We had a handful of national newspapers and the wire services. News magazines were much more important than now. That was pretty much it.
Denis Hayes is the Mark Zuckerberg of the environmental movement, if you can imagine Mark Zuckerberg with a conscience and a lot less cash. Like Zuckerberg, Hayes dropped out of Harvard to start an eccentric and unpromising venture. Zuckerberg’s was called Facebook, which he launched in 2004; Hayes’ was called Earth Day, which he founded in 1970.
Hayes is a child of the Sixties. He grew up in a small town on the Columbia River in Washington state, where his father worked in a paper mill and Hayes saw firsthand the toxic consequences of the collision between industry and nature: dirty air, spoiled streams, dead fish. He drifted through college, bummed around in Asia and Africa, and thought deeply about the role of humans in the natural world.
It’s been five decades since Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders photographed Earth peaking over the Moon’s horizon. The iconic image, dubbed Earthrise, inspired a new appreciation of the fragility of our place in the universe. Two years later, Earth Day was born to honor our home planet. As the world prepares to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, NASA reflects on how the continued growth of its fleet of Earth-observing satellites has sharpened our view of the planet’s climate, atmosphere, land, polar regions and oceans.
Sir David Attenborough has warned that “human beings have overrun the world” in a trailer for his new film.
The feature-length documentary, titled David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, looks back on the defining moments of his life and the environmental devastation that has taken place during that time. As well as highlighting some of the issues that climate change poses, he also explores some of the potential solutions.
In the trailer, the veteran broadcaster, 93, said: “I’ve had the most extraordinary life. It is only now that I appreciate how extraordinary.”