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20 July 2016

Predicting the export and fate of global ocean net primary production: The EXPORTS

Earth’s carbon cycle is heavily influenced by ecological processes in the ocean. The quantification and understanding of the intricate relationships between carbon dioxide and ocean ecosystems, EXPORTS and what effects these have on the present and future conditions on Earth, is one of the greatest challenges in oceanography. One of the most important aspects that preclude the full understanding of the ocean carbon cycle is the lack of parallel measurements at a global scale; this also hinders our ability to make robust predictions in an uncertain future. The EXport Processes in the Ocean from RemoTe Sensing (EXPORTS) Science Plan was proposed to NASA in order address this knowledge gap. It aims at developing a predictive understanding of the export and fate of global ocean net primary production (NPP) and its implications to the ocean carbon cycle for present and future climates. The goal of this project is to quantify of the mechanisms that control the export of carbon from the euphotic zone as well as its fate in the underlying “twilight zone”.

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19 July 2016

NASA- June 2016 is 6th Month in A Row That’s Hottest On Record.

The NASA global temp. data came out today, and for the 6th month in a row the planet broke a heat record. Here is more from NASA: 2016 Climate Trends Continue to Break Records Two key climate change indicators — global surface temperatures and Arctic sea ice extent — have broken numerous records through the first half of 2016, according to NASA analyses of ground-based observations and satellite data. Each …

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6 July 2016

Curiosity Update: Safe Mode

The Curiosity rover activities planned for Sols 1387 and 1388 completed successfully, and lots of good data were returned including a stunning Right Mastcam panorama of the “Murray Buttes” toward the southwest.  One of the images in this panorama shows a boulder that appears to be precariously balanced.  No, we don’t plan to drive right up next to it, but we’ll probably get closer looks as the rover proceeds toward …

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4 July 2016

Sol 1389-1391: Holiday Weekend, Good Luck Juno!

Today we put together a three sol plan to take us through the holiday weekend. On Sol 1389 we do contact science with APXS and MAHLI on the target “Outjo.” SAM also will begin an analysis of some of the “Mojave2” sample that was collected a while ago. Sol 1390 starts off with a long science block. This was originally split into two blocks, but during planning we decided it …

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30 June 2016

Sol 1387-1388: Curiosity Rover’s Limited Targeting Data

In the lead up to the long 4th of July weekend, we are planning two sols today and three sols tomorrow. We only had a couple of Navcam images on the ground this morning to help us choose targets, but we still managed to find two targets for ChemCam to analyze on Sol 1387: a rock named “Noordoewer” and a soil named “Savates”. Mastcam will document those targets and take …

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28 June 2016

Sol 1385: Drive Curiosity rover, then drive some more

Not a lot to report today: these one-sol drive plans are pretty simple! (Well, as simple as driving a giant robot on another planet can be…) Yesterday’s Curiosity rover drive took us a little over 60m and we’re planning another drive in the sol 1385 plan. Before the drive, we have a short science block with a ChemCam observation of the target “Epembe” and a Mastcam mosaic of “Baynes Mountain” …

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1 June 2016

Sol 1359: Cleaning CHIMRA (Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis device)

The remaining Okoruso drill sample was successfully dumped onto the ground on Sol 1358, so MSL is ready for a new drill sample.  In preparation, the Sol 1359 plan includes an arm preload test on “Oudam,” the next drill target, and cleaning out CHIMRA with imaging to verify that everything is clean. Before all the arm activities, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe the Okoruso dump pile and a bedrock target …

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25 April 2016

Have You Seen These Ultra HD Videos of Earth from the ISS?

NASA has released some incredible video in ultra high-definition of Earth. The video was taken from the ISS and it’s as close as you can get to seeing what the crew on the ISS sees. Go to YouTube directly, and look at the video full screen at highest resolution. Here is another:

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13 April 2016

GOES R Launch Date Set: Will Revolutionize Weather Forecasting

    I have mentioned the new GOES R frequently, and we are now down to 6 months from the launch. I wrote a post last year about how it will revolutionize forecasting. I also did this on air report on WBOC TV in February, discussing how the launch will mark the beginning of a new era in forecasting and Earth observation. From NASA today: The GOES-R satellite is set to …

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15 March 2016

Geology and NASA: An Interview with Dr. Ellen Stofan, NASA Chief Scientist

Dr. Ellen Stofan is a planetary scientist, STEM advocate and Chief Scientist at NASA. Her research interests include the geology of Venus, Mars, Titan and Earth and she’s been involved in several planetary missions including Cassini (Radar Team), the proposed Titan Mare Explorer mission, and the Magellan mission to Venus.

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4 March 2016

Looking Back Toward The Beginning of Time Itself

  NASA released a video today that shows the most distant object ever photographed. A galaxy that is 13.4 billion light years away. The Universe was 3% of its present age then and the red shift is an incredible 11.1. This object is now much farther away than 13.4 billion light years, because the Universe is expanding and remember we are seeing this forming galaxy as it looked 13,400 million …

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24 January 2016

A Storm That Will Be Remembered for Generations

Some are calling it Snowzilla, and having experienced it, the name fits! From DC to Baltimore, and up to New York have over 2 feet. Here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, it varies but a foot is common in Central and Northern Delaware and near Denton in Maryland. On the coast, major coastal flooding has caused significant damage. I shot the image above (from the WBOC Ocean City Maryland …

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17 January 2016

No, The Planet Did Not Stop Getting Warmer. Here’s the Proof.

Depending on how you interpret the data, the warming of the air may have slowed somewhat (This is very unlikely though) for a few years in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, but the planet as a whole is still warming steadily. We know this, because the oceans hold almost all the heat, and they are continuing to warm. The graph below is proof, and you might want to study …

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14 January 2016

January Tropical Cyclones in The Atlantic & Pacific. At The Same Time!

This hasn’t happened before. Alex is the earliest tropical cyclone on record in the Atlantic. Pali, in the Central Pacific, became the earliest hurricane there this week, only weakening to a tropical storm tonight. What’s going on you ask? Answer: The atmosphere and the oceans are on steroids. The world’s oceans are the warmest ever measured, and the strongest El Nino on record is underway in the Pacific. 2015 was …

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19 December 2015

NASA Releases Stunning Image of our Fragile Blue Ball

It was just after Christmas in 1968, when the famous image of Earth-rise taken by Apollo 8 was seen for the first time. Many believe that single image changed the way we humans look at our planet in a profound way, and there is a lot of evidence to support the claim. We have had some incredible images from NASA since but the image above has to rank among the greatest. This was not …

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15 December 2015

Space Engineers

Stanford University’s Miles Traer, once again, is cartooning from the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

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7 December 2015

Sols 1184-1187: Busy weekend at High Dune

The rover has arrived at the edge of “High Dune” and we have a very busy weekend plan studying the dune and then continuing to drive. On sol 1184 we will continue testing the AEGIS software that allows the rover to fine-tune its targeting for ChemCam. After that, ChemCam will analyze two targets “Barby” and “Kibnas” and Mastcam will take a 7×8 mosaic of a sand ripple. In the afternoon, …

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10 November 2015

Sol 1160-1161: Brandberg

The 68-meter drive planned for Sol 1158 completed as planned, placing the rover near a dark, circular feature named “Brandberg.”  The tactical operations team studied the images of Brandberg and discussed the value of contact science observations in this area, ultimately deciding to drive on toward the Bagnold Dunes.  But before leaving, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe targets “Hoba” and “Gibeon” on the Brandberg feature, which appears to be a …

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31 October 2015

Sols 1148-1152: Driving and Contact Science

Apologies for the lack of an update on Wednesday this week! Lauren and I were both in a training class, and Ken was traveling so none of us were able to post here. That means that today’s post covers five sols of planning!  The sol 1148 plan started off with a Mastcam observation of the target McLeod and a 10×1 mosaic to patch a gap in the mosaic from sol …

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29 October 2015

The amazing Tonzang landslides in Burma – NASA images

NASA EO-1 images have revealed the extent of the amazing Tonzang landslides in Burma, which occurred earlier this year. The largest landslide is 5.9 km long

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