Astronomers have discovered a young star undergoing a rare growth spurt -- giving a fascinating glimpse into the development of these distant stellar objects.
Understanding how plants respond to microgravity is critical to providing fresh food during space exploration initiatives. Researchers at the University of Florida Space Plants Lab compared two methods - RNA-Seq and microarray -- of analyzing which genes are expressed (the 'transcriptome') in plant tissue, specifically in the root tip. The results reveal how plants adapt to the microgravity space environment and can help guide research needed for the successful utilization of plants in future exploration initiatives.
New research shows Saturn's rings are dying at a worst-case-scenario rate.
Using the infrared satellite AKARI, a Japanese research team has detected the existence of water in the form of hydrated minerals in a number of asteroids for the first time. This discovery will contribute to our understanding of the distribution of water in our solar system, the evolution of asteroids, and the origin of water on Earth. The results were published on December 17 in the online Advanced Access edition of Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan.
New NASA research confirms that Saturn is losing its iconic rings at the maximum rate estimated from Voyager 1 and 2 observations made decades ago. The rings are being pulled into Saturn by gravity as a dusty rain of ice particles under the influence of Saturn's magnetic field.
Scientists at the University of Florida Space Plants Lab are using the single-image normalized difference vegetation index (SI-NDVI), a popular metric of plant health and photosynthetic rate originally developed for satellite-based monitoring of plant growth, to monitor crop health in indoor farming conditions. SI-NDVI allowed detection of stress signatures before stress was visible to the naked eye, proving the technique can be useful whether plants are grown in space or right here on Earth.
A terahertz laser designed by MIT researchers is the first to reach three key performance goals at once -- high constant power, tight beam pattern, and broad electric frequency tuning -- and could thus be valuable for a wide range of applications in chemical sensing and imaging.
Two new NASA research efforts delve into Hurricane Maria's far-reaching effects on the island's forests and on its residents' energy and electricity access.
A team led by Southwest Research Institute has concluded that the surface of dwarf planet Ceres is rich in organic matter. Data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft indicate that Ceres's surface may contain several times the concentration of carbon than is present in the most carbon-rich, primitive meteorites found on Earth.
A team led by Southwest Research Institute has developed a new technique for looking at historic solar data to distinguish trustworthy observations from those that should be used with care. This work is critical to understanding the sun's past and future as well as whether solar activity plays a role in climate change.