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Space/Planetary Science
Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 23-Apr-2014
NASA satellites show drought may take toll on Congo rainforest
A new analysis of NASA satellite data shows Africa's Congo rainforest, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, has undergone a large-scale decline in greenness over the past decade.

Contact: Kathryn Hansen
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 23-Apr-2014
NASA sees last vestiges of Tropical Depression Jack
Tropical Cyclone Jack had weakened to a tropical depression when NASA and JAXA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite passed above on April 22, 2014.

Contact: Rob Gutro
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 23-Apr-2014
Physical Review Letters
Liquid spacetime
If spacetime were a fluid, it would have very low viscosity, just like a 'superfluid.' A study carried out jointly by the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste and the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich shows how the 'atoms' making up the fluid of spacetime should behave, according to models of quantum gravity. The considerations suggested in this study impose very strong constraints on the occurrence of effects related to this possible 'fluid' nature of spacetime.

Contact: Federica Sgorbissa
International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

Public Release: 22-Apr-2014
Scientific Reports
Physicist demonstrates dictionary definition was dodgy
QUT Senior Lecturer in Physics, Dr. Stephen Hughes, sparked controversy over how a humble siphon worked when he noticed an incorrect definition in the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary. In 2010, eagle-eyed Dr. Hughes spotted the mistake, which went unnoticed for 99 years, which incorrectly described atmospheric pressure, rather than gravity, as the operating force in a siphon.

Contact: Rob Kidd
Queensland University of Technology

Public Release: 22-Apr-2014
American Journal of Human Biology
Remote surveillance may increase chance of survival for 'uncontacted' Brazilian tribes
Lowland South America, including the Amazon Basin, harbors most of the last indigenous societies that have limited contact with the outside world. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have used satellite images to assess the demographic health of one particular village of isolated people on the border between Brazil and Peru. Remote surveillance is the only method to safely track uncontacted indigenous societies and may offer information that can improve their chances for long-term survival.
National Geographic Society

Contact: Jeff Sossamon
University of Missouri-Columbia

Public Release: 22-Apr-2014
Physicists consider implications of recent revelations about the universe's first light
Recent evidence that the universe expanded from microscopic to cosmic size in a mere instant brings with it important implications. During a live Google Hangout, leading astrophysicists from the University of Chicago and Stanford University discussed what this potential 'crack in the cosmic egg' means for our understanding of the universe.

Contact: James Cohen
The Kavli Foundation

Public Release: 22-Apr-2014
NASA gets 2 last looks at Tropical Cyclone Jack
Tropical Cyclone Jack lost its credentials today, April 22, as it no longer qualified as a tropical cyclone. However, before it weakened, NASA's TRMM satellite took a 'second look' at the storm yesterday.

Contact: Rob Gutro
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 22-Apr-2014
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
NREL unlocking secrets of new solar material
A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have seen before -- and it is generating optimism that a less expensive way of using sunlight to generate electricity may be in our planet's future.
US Department of Energy

Contact: David Glickson
DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Public Release: 22-Apr-2014
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Mysteries of a nearby planetary system's dynamics now are solved
Mysteries of one of the most fascinating nearby planetary systems now have been solved, report authors of a scientific paper to be published by the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in its early online edition on April 22, 2014. The study presents the first viable model for the planetary system orbiting one the first stars discovered to have planets.
NASA, Penn State University

Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
Penn State

Public Release: 21-Apr-2014
'Upside-down planet' reveals new method for studying binary star systems
What looked at first like a sort of upside-down planet has instead revealed a new method for studying binary star systems, discovered by a University of Washington student astronomer.
National Science Foundation

Contact: Peter Kelley
University of Washington

Public Release: 21-Apr-2014
NASA sees wind shear affecting newborn Tropical Cyclone Jack
Tropical Cyclone Jack may have hurricane-force winds today, April 21, but strong vertical wind shear is expected to weaken the storm.

Contact: Rob Gutro
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 21-Apr-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
A new key to unlocking the mysteries of physics? Quantum turbulence
The recent discovery of the Higgs boson has confirmed theories about the origin of mass and, with it, offered the potential to explain other scientific mysteries. But, scientists are continually studying other, less-understood forces that may also shed light on matters not yet uncovered. Among these is quantum turbulence, writes New York University's Katepalli Sreenivasan in a special issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Contact: James Devitt
New York University

Public Release: 18-Apr-2014
Researchers find 3-million-year-old landscape beneath Greenland ice sheet
Glaciers and ice sheets are commonly thought to work like a belt sander. As they move over the land they scrape off everything -- vegetation, soil and even the top layer of bedrock. So a team of university scientists and a NASA colleague were greatly surprised to discover an ancient tundra landscape preserved under the Greenland ice sheet, below two miles of ice.
NASA, University of Vermont

Contact: Maria-Jose Vinas-Garcia
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 18-Apr-2014
Sun emits a mid-level solar flare
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

Contact: Susan Hendrix
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 18-Apr-2014
Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years
Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists exploring large fields of impact glass in Argentina suggest that what happened on Earth might well have happened on Mars millions of years ago. Martian impact glass could hold traces of organic compounds.

Contact: Mark Nickel
Brown University

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
First Earth-size planet is discovered in another star's habitable zone
A team of astronomers that includes Penn State scientists has discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star at a distance where liquid water might pool on the planet's surface. The discovery of this planet, named Kepler-186f, confirms for the first time that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun.
NASA Kepler Participating Scientist Program

Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
Penn State

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Astrophysical Journal Letters
Bright points in sun's atmosphere mark patterns deep in its interior
Like a balloon bobbing along in the air while tied to a child's hand, a tracer has been found in the sun's atmosphere to help track the flow of material coursing underneath the sun's surface.

Contact: Susan Hendrix
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Vitamin B3 might have been made in space, delivered to Earth by meteorites
Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis by NASA-funded researchers. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts.

Contact: Bill Steigerwald
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Astronomers discover Earth-sized planet in habitable zone
Notre Dame astrophysicist Justin R. Crepp and researchers from NASA working with the Kepler space mission have detected an Earth-like planet orbiting the habitable zone of a cool star. The planet which was found using the Kepler Space Telescope has been identified as Kepler-186f and is 1.11 times the radius of the Earth. Their research titled, 'An Earth-sized Planet in the Habitable Zone of a Cool Star' will be published in the journal Science today.

Contact: Justin Crepp
University of Notre Dame

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
First potentially habitable Earth-sized planet confirmed by Gemini and Keck observatories
The first Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting within the habitable zone of another star has been confirmed by observations with both the W. M. Keck Observatory and the Gemini Observatory. The initial discovery, made by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, is one of a handful of smaller planets found by Kepler and verified using large ground-based telescopes. It also confirms that Earth-sized planets do exist in the habitable zone of other stars.

Contact: Peter Michaud
Gemini Observatory

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Wireless power transfer achieved at 5-meter distance
Chun T. Rim, a professor of Nuclear & Quantum Engineering at KAIST, and his team showcased, on April 16, 2014 at the KAIST campus, Daejeon, Republic of Korea, a great improvement in the distance that electric power can travel wirelessly. They developed the 'Dipole Coil Resonant System' for an extended range of inductive power transfer, up to 5 meters between transmitter and receiver coils.

Contact: Lan Yoon
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Nature Geoscience
Methane climate change risk suggested by proof of redox cycling of humic substances
Disruption of natural methane-binding process may worsen climate change.

Contact: Press Office
European Association of Geochemistry

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
A cross-section of the universe
An image of a galaxy cluster taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope gives a remarkable cross-section of the universe, showing objects at different distances and stages in cosmic history. They range from cosmic near neighbors to objects seen in the early years of the universe. The 14-hour exposure shows objects around a billion times fainter than can be seen with the naked eye.

Contact: Georgia Bladon
ESA/Hubble Information Centre

Public Release: 17-Apr-2014
Kepler astronomers discover new rocky planet that may have liquid water
An international team of researchers including San Francisco State University astronomer Stephen Kane have announced the discovery of a rocky planet that could potentially have liquid water on its surface. The new planet, discovered using NASA's Kepler telescope, is the fifth and outermost planet found orbiting in the habitable zone around the dwarf star Kepler-186.

Contact: Jonathan Morales
San Francisco State University

Public Release: 16-Apr-2014
A study in scarlet
This new image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that causes the surrounding hydrogen to glow with a characteristic red hue.

Contact: Richard Hook