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“Invisible Shield” Discovered over Earth

  Scientists have discovered an “invisible shield” roughly 7,200 miles (11,500 kilometers) above Earth that blocks so-called “killer electrons” – highly charged electrons that can fry satellites, degrade space systems during intense solar storms, and pose serious health risks to astronauts. Researchers say that an “extremely sharp” boundary at the inner edge of the outer [...]

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Volunteers Wanted! Sunspot Research

Yes, the Sun has its spots! And now you can take part in research that can help with some of solar physics’ unanswered questions, such as: Are sunspots born complex or do they evolve to become complex? Do sunspot groups that are more complex produce more eruptions? There’s a new Zooniverse project now online called [...]

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Comet ISON Sprouts “Coma Wings”

Scientists are reporting that Comet ISON appears to have lost individual fragments in the past days. Images taken of the speedy object show two wing-shaped features in the comet’s atmosphere. The researchers’ analyses show two striking features within the comet’s atmosphere that protrude from the nucleus in a wing-like fashion. While these so-called coma wings [...]

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Sun Watching, Solar Sailing Spacecraft Prepped for 2015 Launch

Set for an early 2015 liftoff is the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), a satellite designed to monitor and warn of harmful solar activity that could impact Earth. DSCOVR is a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA and the U.S. Air Force. Last month, NOAA announced that DSCOVR cleared a major [...]

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Book Review: Red Rover – Inside the Story of Robotic Space Exploration, from Genesis to the Mars Rover Curiosity

Red Rover – Inside the Story of Robotic Space Exploration, from Genesis to the Mars Rover Curiosity by Roger Wiens; Basic Books; New York, New York; $25.99; 2013. This is a great read, and adds to the ambience and high-saluting given to NASA’s Curiosity rover that landed a year ago this month on the red [...]

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