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Latest and Breaking Space Science News

Fall in monsoon rains driven by rise in air pollution, study shows
(University of Edinburgh) Emissions produced by human activity have caused annual monsoon rainfall to decline over the past 50 years, a study suggests.

Wild ducks take flight in open cluster
(ESO) The Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile has taken this beautiful image, dappled with blue stars, of one of the most star-rich open clusters currently known -- Messier 11, also known as NGC 6705 or the Wild Duck Cluster.

NASA's HS3 looks Hurricane Edouard in the eye
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA and NOAA scientists participating in NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel mission used their expert skills, combined with a bit of serendipity on Sept. 17, 2014, to guide the remotely piloted Global Hawk over the eye of Hurricane Edouard and release a sonde that rotated within the eye as it descended and fell into the eyewall of the storm at low levels.

NASA's Swift mission observes mega flares from a mini star
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) On April 23, NASA's Swift satellite detected the strongest, hottest, and longest-lasting sequence of stellar flares ever seen from a nearby red dwarf star. The initial blast from this record-setting series of explosions was as much as 10,000 times more powerful than the largest solar flare ever recorded.

Are the world's religions ready for ET?
(Vanderbilt University) Astronomer David Weintraub's new book, Religions & Extraterrestrial Life, explores the question of what the world's various religions have to say about the existence of extraterrestrial life.

NASA's TRMM satellite sees Tropical Storm Phanfone fragmented
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) The bands of thunderstorms wrapping around Tropical Storm Phanfone in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean appeared fragmented to NASA's TRMM satellite.

Tropical Storm Rachel dwarfed by developing system 90E
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) Tropical Storm Rachel is spinning down west of Mexico's Baja California, and another tropical low pressure area developing off the coast of southwestern Mexico dwarfs the tropical storm. NOAA's GOES-West satellite showed the size difference between the two tropical low pressure areas.

The wake-up call that sent hearts racing
(Institute of Physics) 'But as the minutes ticked by, the relaxed attitude of many of us began to dissolve into apprehension. Our levels of adrenaline and worry began to rise. The room went silent, interspersed with only an occasional murmur, all faces fixed on a noisy, fuzzy line on our computer screens.'

Taking thin films to the extreme
(American Institute of Physics) Applying a well-known optical phenomenon called thin-film interference, a group of researchers at Harvard University has demonstrated the ability to 'paint' ultra-thin coatings onto a rough surface -- work that holds promise for making future, flexible electronic devices, creating advanced solar cells and detailing the sides of next-gen rocket ships and spacecraft with extremely lightweight decorative logos -- work described in work the journal Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing.

NASA-funded rocket has 6 minutes to study solar heating
(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) On Sept. 30, 2014, a sounding rocket will fly up into the sky -- past Earth's atmosphere that obscures certain wavelengths of light from the sun -- for a 15-minute journey to study what heats up the sun's atmosphere. This is the fourth flight for the Very high Angular Resolution Ultraviolet Telescope, or VAULT, will launch from the White Sands Missile Range near Las Cruces, New Mexico.

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