I'm Aaron, an environmental geology major from Houston. I do research in planetary geology and in my spare time I study sustainable development.
For fun, I dabble a bit in fiction writing, video game editing, multimedia programs, and following science news.
I love science because it provides me with a sense of wonder towards the world around me...it makes me feel alive!
This should be a warning siren to the Western World: a warning that Climate Change is not some future event that was predicted decades ago…Climate Change is a present-day catastrophe that is starting to gradually unfold across the world, just as predicted decades ago by much-maligned scientists.
We need a series of radical and bold actions from our world’s governments right now to start cutting carbon emissions, restoring ecosystems, investing in carbon capture technologies, and rolling out adaptation programs for those areas already being severely affected (and for those areas that will soon be severely affected). Coastal communities, low-lying islands, and peoples who depend on now-depleted resources like fisheries are among the first waves of victims. Large numbers of wildlife that are going extinct right now are the silent victims.
US Daily Highest Max Temperature Records set in June 2012
According to the National Climactic Data Center, the United States saw 2,284 record breaking temperatures in June. Another 998 temperatures tied daily records.
The National Climatic Data Center contains the world’s largest active archive of weather data, and has a handy interactive map that lets you see the record highs, lows, precipitation, and snowfall for various parts of the United States. In playing around with this application, NPR noted that so far this year has been heavier on the record highs than last year; 2012 so far has seen 23,283 record highs set while by this time in 2011, 13,582 records had been set. Head over the NPR for more weather record insights.
All of which makes this guy’s forecast particularly insightful.
Bonus: the National Climatic Data Center offers its data up in tab-delimited and XML formats.
Image: The NCDC maps record breaking temperatures across the country (edit: detail, of course, sorry Alaska and Hawaii).
Great stuff, esp. if you’re into data.
Houston-based private space company Excalibur Almaz, Inc., which plans to start taking tourists on space cruises around the Moon and back in a few years, is making serious progress in getting ramped up as a commercial space organization. Excalibur, which also hopes to help NASA ferry astronauts to Low Earth Orbit and back, has completed it’s Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program in accordance with the Space Act Agreement For Commercial Crew.
Story here on Excalibur’s website: http://moonandback.com/2012/07/07/excalibur-almaz-completes-space-act-agreement-for-commercial-crew/
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Photo courtesy of: Uwe George, National Geographic Society
Caption courtesy of: #The Earth Story
This is Mount Roraima in the Pacaraima Mountains. It lies on the border of three Countries; Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana. It is part of Venezuela’s Canaima National Park which is also home to the beautiful Angel Falls and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mount Roraima’s flat surface is surrounded by 400 metre high sheer cliff faces andits highest point is is Maverick Rock at 2,810 meters.
In many photos and satellite imagery, Mount Roraima is surrounded or engulfed by clouds. This is because the area is surrounded by thick rainforest. Tropical heat causes the moisture from the rainforest to rise and condense over and around the mountain as heavy clouds. As a result, Mount Roraima is almost always in clouds and it rains nearly every day.
For more photos see: http://beautifulplacestovisit.com/mountains/mount-roraima-venezuela/
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Here’s the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. This July 4th, I reflect on the wistful dream of the early United States of America.
Can we revive the noblest elements of that early dream while learning from the mistakes of our past?
I have faith and hope that our society can realize the untapped potential of the dream of freedom and justice for all…a society of both love and respect for all of it’s members.
Each and every one of us holds the true torch of change. Let this dream shine.
Saturn is the planet I most want to take a space-cruise around someday if that becomes an option. The atmospheric clouds, the rings, and those mysterious moons! Check out this amazing photo that Cassini snapped of Saturn recently.
Explanation: “Humanity’s robot orbiting Saturn has recorded yet another amazing view. That robot, of course, is the spacecraft Cassini, while the new amazing view includes a bright moon, thin rings, oddly broken clouds, and warped shadows. Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, appears above as a featureless tan as it is continually shrouded in thick clouds. The rings of Saturn are seen as a thin line because they are so flat and imaged nearly edge on. Details of Saturn’s rings are therefore best visible in the dark ring shadows seen across the giant planet’s cloud tops. Since the ring particles orbit in the same plane as Titan, they appear to skewer the foreground moon. In the upper hemisphere of Saturn, the clouds show many details, including dips in long bright bands indicating disturbances in a high altitude jet stream. Recent precise measurements of how much Titan flexes as it orbits Saturn hint that vast oceans of water might exist deep underground.”
Chilean Volcano Ash Cloud Contrasts Against Snow Covered Andes Mountains by NASA Goddard Photo and Video on Flickr
On July 17 at 18:35 UTC (2:35 p.m. EDT), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this visible image of the ash cloud from the eruption of Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano, Chile. The light brown ash cloud was drifting to the west-southwest over the eastern Pacific Ocean and contrasts with the snow covered Andes mountain range. Image
Credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team; Text: NASA, Rob Gutro
Attention, shoppers. IBM has unveiled an augmented reality mobile app that lets you pan store shelves with your smartphones to receive personalized product tips, recommendations, and coupons.
The app is one more example of a creative use of augmented reality, which blends digital data with real-world imagery. The app brings the benefits of digital commerce to traditional brick-and-mortar stores, where 92 percent of retail still takes place, according to market researcher Forrester Research.
According to Alan Boyle at MSNBC.com:
The sun is in the midst of an upswing in its 11-year activity cycle, heading toward an expected maximum in 2013. Right now there are five sunspot regions on the sun’s Earth-facing side, and two of them — 1513 and 1515 — are considered capable of sending out M-class flares. Such flares are generally associated with moderate disruption of radio communication and navigation systems. As for today’s CME, the most likely effect will be heightened displays of the northern and southern lights.
CME or not, it looks as if it’s a good week for auroras, judging from the pictures being sent in to SpaceWeather.com’s real-time image gallery. The prime time for auroras generally begins at just about the time of night that the fireworks shows are finishing up. And there’s more to see besides the fireworks: This happens to be a great week for seeing the full moon and Mars in sunset skies, or seeing Jupiter and Venus just before dawn. Sky and Telescope has the week’s rundown.
And if anyone gets any great images (of auroras or the moon or anything else, even fireworks), submit them here. We will publish them on this Tumblr and on our site.
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China’s first female astronaut, Liu Yang, has returned to Earth. She was a member of China’s now historic crew that performed the nation’s first-ever manual docking in space with a space station - their first space station, Tiangong 1 - and the crew that were the first Chinese astronauts to enter their new space station. Great day for STEM in China!
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