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Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Science
NASA's IMAGE and Cluster missions reveal origin of theta auroras
Auroras are the most visible manifestation of the sun's effect on Earth, but many aspects of these spectacular displays are still poorly understood. Thanks to the joint European Space Agency and NASA's Cluster mission combined with data from a past NASA mission called the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration, or IMAGE, a particular type of very high-latitude aurora has now been explained.
NASA, European Space Agency

Contact: Susan Hendrix
Susan.m.hendrix@nasa.gov
301-286-7745
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
2014 AGU Fall Meeting
NASA/USGS satellite sees green-up along Colorado River's Delta after experimental flow
A pulse of water released down the lower reaches of the Colorado River last spring resulted in more than a 40 percent increase in green vegetation where the water flowed, as seen by the Landsat 8 satellite.
NASA, US Geological Survey

Contact: Kate Ramsayer
kate.d.ramsayer@nasa.gov
831-247-2112
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Astrophysical Journal
Kepler proves it can still find planets
To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of the Kepler spacecraft's death was greatly exaggerated. Despite a malfunction that ended its primary mission in May 2013, Kepler is still alive and working. The evidence comes from the discovery of a new super-Earth using data collected during Kepler's 'second life.'

Contact: Christine Pulliam
cpulliam@cfa.harvard.edu
617-495-7463
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Science
Origin of long-standing space mystery revealed
A University of Southampton researcher has helped solve a long standing space mystery -- the origin of the 'theta aurora.'

Contact: Glenn Harris
G.Harris@soton.ac.uk
44-238-059-3212
University of Southampton

Public Release: 18-Dec-2014
Science
Science's top 10 breakthroughs of 2014
The Rosetta spacecraft caught up with the comet known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko beyond Mars this August, and its preliminary results--along with the studies it will allow in the near-future -- top this year's list of the most important scientific breakthroughs, according to the editors of Science. This annual list of groundbreaking scientific achievements, selected by Science and its international nonprofit publisher, AAAS, also includes groundbreaking advances in medicine, robotics, synthetic biology, and paleontology, to name a few.

Contact: Natasha Pinol
scipak@aaas.org
202-326-6440
American Association for the Advancement of Science

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
2014 AGU Fall Meeting
NASA satellites measure increase of Sun's energy absorbed in the Arctic
NASA satellite instruments have observed a marked increase in solar radiation absorbed in the Arctic since the year 2000 -- a trend that aligns with the steady decrease in Arctic sea ice during the same period.
NASA

Contact: Patrick Lynch
Patrick.lynch@nasa.gov
301-286-3854
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems launch creates new forum
Peer-reviewed research articles on developments in and applications of telescopes, instrumentation, techniques, and systems for astronomy are being published in the new SPIE Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems. The journal was launched in response to community interest, and articles will be freely available through 2015.

Contact: Amy Nelson
amy@spie.org
360-685-5478
SPIE--International Society for Optics and Photonics

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
Astrophysical Journal
'Perfect storm' quenching star formation around a supermassive black hole
Astronomers using ALMA have discovered that modest size black holes can quench star formation.

Contact: Charles Blue
cblue@nrao.edu
434-296-0314
National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
NASA's sun watching observatory sees mid-level solar flare on Dec. 16, 2014
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 11:50 p.m. EST on Dec. 16, 2014. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event.
NASA

Contact: Susan Hendrix
Susan.m.hendrix@nasa.gov
301-286-7745
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
2014 AGU Fall Meeting
NOAA/NASA satellite sees holiday lights brighten cities
Even from space, holidays shine bright. With a new look at daily data from the NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite, a NASA scientist and colleagues have identified how patterns in nighttime light intensity change during major holiday seasons -- Christmas and New Year's in the United States and the holy month of Ramadan in the Middle East.
NASA

Contact: Kate Ramsayer
kate.d.ramsayer@nasa.gov
831-247-2112
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
Nature
Surprising theorists, stars within middle-aged clusters are of similar age
An examination of middle-aged star clusters reveals an unexpectedly narrow age range among their stars, suggesting that large groups of stars evolve differently than previously understood.

Contact: James Cohen
cohen@kavlifoundation.org
The Kavli Foundation

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
2014 AGU Fall Meeting
Study hints that ancient Earth made its own water -- geologically
In a finding that meshes well with recent discoveries from the Rosetta mission, Ohio State University researchers have discovered a geochemical pathway by which Earth makes it own water through plate tectonics. This finding extends the planet's water cycle from millions to billions of years -- and suggests that enough water is buried in the deep earth right now to fill the Pacific Ocean.

Contact: Pam Frost Gorder
Gorder.1@osu.edu
614-292-9475
Ohio State University

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
Nature
Ancient, hydrogen-rich waters discovered deep underground at locations around the world
A team of scientists, led by the University of Toronto's Barbara Sherwood Lollar, has mapped the location of hydrogen-rich waters found trapped kilometers beneath Earth's surface in rock fractures in Canada, South Africa and Scandinavia. Common in Precambrian Shield rocks -- the oldest rocks on Earth -- the ancient waters have a chemistry similar to that found near deep sea vents, suggesting these waters can support microbes living in isolation from the surface.
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canada Research Chairs Program, Sloan Foundation Deep Carbon Observatory, Canadian Space Agency, National Science Foundation

Contact: Kim Luke
kim.luke@utoronto.ca
416-978-4352
University of Toronto

Public Release: 17-Dec-2014
The hot blue stars of Messier 47
This spectacular image of the star cluster Messier 47 was taken using the Wide Field Imager camera, installed on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. This young open cluster is dominated by a sprinkling of brilliant blue stars but also contains a few contrasting red giant stars.

Contact: Richard Hook
rhook@eso.org
49-893-200-6655
ESO

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
2014 AGU Fall Meeting
NASA Goddard instrument makes first detection of organic matter on Mars
The team responsible for the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on NASA's Curiosity rover has made the first definitive detection of organic molecules at Mars.
NASA

Contact: Bill Steigerwald
william.a.steigerwald@nasa.gov
301-286-5017
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 16-Dec-2014
NOAA-NASA's Suomi NPP satellite watching Cyclone Bakung's remnants
The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Bakung continue to linger in the Southern Indian Ocean, and NOAA-NASA's Suomi NPP satellite is one satellite keeping an eye on the storm for possible re-development.
NASA

Contact: Rob Gutro
robert.j.gutro@nasa.gov
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
2014 AGU Fall Meeting
NASA's Fermi Mission brings deeper focus to thunderstorm gamma-rays
Each day, thunderstorms around the world produce about a thousand quick bursts of gamma rays, some of the highest-energy light naturally found on Earth. By merging records of events seen by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope with data from ground-based radar and lightning detectors, scientists have completed the most detailed analysis to date of the types of thunderstorms involved.

Contact: Francis Reddy
francis.j.reddy@nasa.gov
301-286-4453
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
NASA catches Tropical Cyclone Bakung's remnants
Tropical Cyclone Bakung ran into adverse conditions in the Southern Indian Ocean that weakened it to a remnant low pressure system when NASA's Aqua satellite spotted it on Dec. 15.
NASA

Contact: Rob Gutro
robert.j.gutro@nasa.gov
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
2014 AGU Fall Meeting
NASA's MAVEN mission identifies links in chain leading to atmospheric loss
Early discoveries by NASA's newest Mars orbiter are starting to reveal key features about the loss of the planet's atmosphere to space over time.
NASA

Contact: Nancy Neal-Jones
nancy.n.jones@nasa.gov
301-286-0039
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
2014 AGU Fall Meeting
The Deep Carbon Observatory: Quantities, movements, forms and origins of Earth's carbon
The carbon in the atmosphere, ocean, surface life, and other shallow, near surface reservoirs accounts for only about 10 percent of Earth's carbon. Where is the other 90 percent? What is it doing? Does it matter? The Midterm Scientific Report of the Deep Carbon Observatory addresses progress towards answering these questions, as do more than 100 presentations at the 2014 AGU Fall Meeting.

Contact: Katie Pratt
katie_pratt@mail.uri.edu
Deep Carbon Observatory

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Nature Climate Change
Migrating 'supraglacial' lakes could trigger future Greenland ice loss
Predictions of Greenland ice loss and its impact on rising sea levels may have been greatly underestimated, according to scientists at the University of Leeds.
Natural Environment Research Council

Contact: Sarah Reed
pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk
01-133-434-031
University of Leeds

Public Release: 15-Dec-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Massive study provides first detailed look at how Greenland's ice is vanishing
Led by geophysicist Beata Csatho at the University at Buffalo, the research provides what the authors believe is the first comprehensive picture of how Greenland's ice is vanishing.It suggests that current ice sheet modeling studies are too simplistic to accurately predict the future contributions of the entire Greenland Ice Sheet to sea level rise, and that Greenland may lose ice more rapidly in the near future than previously thought.

Contact: Charlotte Hsu
chsu22@buffalo.edu
716-645-4655
University at Buffalo

Public Release: 12-Dec-2014
Satellite shows return of the Pineapple Express
The 'Pineapple Express' happens when warm air and lots of moisture are transported from the Central Pacific, near Hawaii, to the Eastern Pacific Ocean. An animation of satellite imagery from NOAA's GOES-West satellite showed the stream of clouds associated with that moisture from Dec. 9 to Dec. 12, 2014 and brought rain and snow to the western US.
NASA, NOAA

Contact: Rob Gutro
Robert.j.gutro@nasa.gov
301-286-4044
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 12-Dec-2014
NASA's watches Tropical Cyclone Bakung over open ocean
Tropical Cyclone Bakung is moving in a westerly direction over the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean and NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of the sea storm.
NASA

Contact: Rob Gutro
robert.j.gutro@nasa.gov
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 12-Dec-2014
NASA Sees Tropical Depression Hagupit Winding Down
Tropical Cyclone Bakung is moving in a westerly direction over the open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean and NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of the sea storm.
NASA

Contact: Rob Gutro
robert.j.gutro@nasa.gov
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center