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18 July 2018

Martian atmosphere behaves as one

New research using a decade of data from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express mission has found clear signs of the complex Martian atmosphere acting as a single, interconnected system, with processes occurring at low and mid levels significantly affecting those seen higher up.

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17 July 2018

New magnetic anomaly map helps unveil Antarctica

The most comprehensive magnetic map of Antarctica ever produced was published online this week in a new study in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

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10 July 2018

Scientists discover “ghost dunes” on Mars

A field of dune cast pits (panel b) was found at Noctis Labyrinthus, just west of Vallis Marinaris at the black star in panel (a). Close-ups of the pits in panels (c) and (d) show the pits in the crescent shapes of barchan dunes. The outlines of chains of calving dunes, dunes with elongating arms and the characteristic forms of collision with other dunes, much like the live dunes at Hellespontus, are preserved by the pits. Credit: Mackenzie Day and David Catling/ AGU

Scientists have discovered hundreds of crescent-shaped pits on Mars where sand dunes stood billions of years ago. The curves of these ancient dune impressions record the direction of prevailing winds on the Red Planet, providing potential clues to Mars’s past climate, and may hold evidence of ancient life.

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9 July 2018

Listen: The sound of electromagnetic energy moving between Saturn, Enceladus

New research from Cassini’s up-close Grand Finale orbits shows a surprisingly powerful and dynamic interaction of plasma waves moving from Saturn to its moon Enceladus and its rings.

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26 June 2018

New study offers new evidence for how the Adirondack Mountains formed

The formation mechanism of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York has long posed a geologic mystery. A few mechanisms have been proposed, but until recently tools for evaluating them were not in place. Now, using an advanced seismic imaging method and data available only in the past five years, researchers have constructed a detailed model of the tectonic plate – the crust and the uppermost rigid mantle of the lithosphere under the northeast United States – down to about 62 miles (100 kilometers), in which they discovered a “pillow” of low-density, relatively light rock material. They say a column of this lighter material appears to have squeezed up under the Adirondacks, possibly expanded by heat, to form the dome-shaped mountains.

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25 June 2018

Found: Missing Mexican Aurora

By Larry O’Hanlon A scientist and a historian have teamed up to fill in a conspicuous hole in the story of the most intense and famous geomagnetic storm in recent history. The Carrington Event struck on September 1, 1859, when a coronal mass ejection erupted from the Sun and struck Earth. The resulting geomagnetic storm set off a vast display of the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, on September 2 …

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12 June 2018

South Napa Earthquake linked to summer groundwater dip

A summertime expansion in the Earth’s crust caused by changes in groundwater may have triggered the magnitude-6.0 earthquake in California’s wine country in 2014, according to a new study.

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8 June 2018

New study examines impacts of fracking on water supplies worldwide

By Larry O’Hanlon Using hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and natural gas from shale is a common technique used worldwide. Because the technique requires large amounts of water, however, it raises the question of whether it could lead to water shortages or competition with other water uses, especially agriculture. In a new paper in the AGU journal Earth’s Future, Lorenzo Rosa and his colleagues evaluated the impacts of hydraulic fracturing …

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6 June 2018

Scientists solve lunar mystery with aid of missing Moon tapes

After eight years spent recovering lost Moon data from the Apollo missions, scientists report in a new study they’ve solved a decades-old mystery of why the Moon’s subsurface warmed slightly during the 1970s. Scientists have wondered about the cause of the warming since soon after the Apollo missions started, when astronauts deployed probes on the Moon to measure the heat coming from its interior. The lost data tapes recovered by the scientists filled in a record gap during the 1970s and helped the researchers pinpoint the source of the warming as the Apollo astronauts themselves.

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5 June 2018

Ocean warming, ‘junk-food’ prey cause of massive seabird die-off, study finds

In the fall of 2014, West Coast residents witnessed a strange, unprecedented ecological event. Tens of thousands of small seabird carcasses washed ashore on beaches from California to British Columbia, in what would become one of the largest bird die-offs ever recorded. A recent study provides the first definitive answer to what killed the seabirds: starvation brought on by shifts in ocean conditions linked to a changing climate.

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