When rains fell on the arid Atacama Desert, it was reasonable to expect floral blooms to follow. Instead, the water brought death. An international team of planetary astrobiologists has found that after encountering never-before-seen rainfall three years ago at the arid core of Peru's Atacama Desert, the heavy precipitation wiped out most of the microbes that had lived there.
Large quantities dust from the deserts of the Middle East can settle on the Tibetan Plateau, darkening the region's snowpack and accelerating snow melt. A new atmospheric modeling study suggests that, in some years, heavy springtime dust deposition can set off a series of feedbacks that intensify the Indian summer monsoon. The findings could explain a correlation between Tibetan snowpack and the Indian monsoon first observed by British meteorologist Henry Blanford in 1884.
Tropical Cyclone Gaja continued to track toward a landfall in southeastern India when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite flew over the Bay of Bengal and provided a visible image of the storm.
For the first time astronomers have detected gravitational waves from a merged, hyper-massive neutron star. The scientists, Maurice van Putten of Sejong University in South Korea, and Massimo della Valle of the Osservatorio Astronomico de Capodimonte in Italy, publish their results in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters.
In 2011, researchers proposed that artificial guide stars could be used to measure the Earth's magnetic field in the mesosphere. An international group of scientists has recently managed to do this with a high degree of precision. The technique may also help to identify magnetic structures in the solid Earth's lithosphere, to monitor space weather, and to measure electrical currents in the part of the atmosphere called ionosphere.
Just six light-years away, Barnard's star moves in Earth's night sky faster than any other star. This red dwarf, smaller and older than our Sun, is among the least active red dwarfs known, so it represents an ideal target to search for exoplanets. Now, an international team led by researchers from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) has found a cold Super-Earth orbiting around the Barnard´s star, the second closest star system to Earth.
An international team including five Carnegie astronomers has discovered a frozen Super-Earth orbiting Barnard's star, the closest single star to our own Sun. The Planet Finding Spectrograph on Carnegie's Magellan II telescope was integral to the discovery. To find this cold Super-Earth, the team combined 20 years of data from seven different instruments, all of which were 'stitched' together to form one of the largest and most-extensive datasets ever used for this method of planet detection.
Astronomers have discovered a planet in orbit around one of the closest stars to the Sun, Barnard's star.
The nearest single star to the Sun hosts an exoplanet at least 3.2 times as massive as Earth -- a so-called super-Earth. One of the largest observing campaigns to date using data from a world-wide array of telescopes, including ESO's planet-hunting HARPS instrument, have revealed this frozen, dimly lit world. The newly discovered planet is the second-closest known exoplanet to the Earth. Barnard's star is the fastest moving star in the night sky.
A survey of ice in Greenland has uncovered evidence suggesting a kilometer-wide iron asteroid slammed into that island, perhaps as recently as 12,000 years ago during the end of the Pleistocene.