When a coronal mass ejection (CME), the space weather equivalent of a hurricane, strikes Earth's magnetosphere, it can knock out satellites, overload the electrical grid, and endanger space-walking astronauts. Forecasters' ability to predict the effects a CME might have on Earth pales against their ability to predict terrestrial storms. Hughes hopes space weather forecasting might be on track to catch up, starting with the implementation of the first physics-based space weather model, which will go into operational use in fall 2011 and will be run out of NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) in Boulder, Colo.
NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft, illustrated in this artist's concept, has an appointment with comet Hartley 2. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
" We all woke up very early to see the first images coming back from the spacecraft. And all our efforts were rewarded by a fantastic set of images of comet Hartley 2.I hope you have all seen the images of the nucleus that show wonderful features on the surface and activity beyond our expectations. You also have seen a lot of the control room on NASA TV, but what about the science room? Well, we were looking at the screens that display the images and waiting, waiting, and waiting. Then the first image arrived and there was an explosion of cheers and astonishment. In a blink of an eye scientists were pointing to features on the nucleus and speculating (because scientists are good at that!!). " Sebastien Besse., a member of the EPOXI Science Team
The Space Museum of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre has been spruced up for the Space Week celebrations. The Museum features a wide range of exhibits on space exploration, including models of India’s space vehicles and special events, open to the general public during the week. Pictures: VSSC
Mars was once rich in carbon dioxide, suggesting life on the red planet.
Widespread deposits of carbonate rock are buried a few miles beneath the surface, according to new research.
If they are abundant it means the greenhouse gas could have helped make it a much wetter and warmer place hundreds of millions of years ago.
This revealed extensive deposits of the mineral almost four miles below the crust that were exposed by a massive meteorite impact, reports the journal Nature Geoscience.
The surface of Mars is now cold, dry, acidic and inhospitable to life, said Joseph Michalski of the Planetary Science Institute, Arizona, and Paul Niles of the NASA Johnson Space Centre, Houston.
One hint of habitable conditions at depth is the presence of atmospheric methane, which may have formed through hydrothermal processes in the crust, in the presence of carbon dioxide. Presence of Carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) gives hints for a warmer atmosphere in the past of the planet.
Source : http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/article828635.ece?sms_ss=twitter&at_xt=4cb9bd84b805ae54,0