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Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Detecting Methane Before It Becomes a Disaster

Methane leaks and explosions are uncommon, but they can be fatal, as witnessed in the April 2017 Firestone, Colo., explosion that killed two men and seriously injured one woman. In May 2017, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission issued a Notice to Operators that requires systematic inspection of their inventory of flowlines—active as well

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Satellite Navigation Monitors Water Supplies

Water conservation is a growing concern globally, and particularly for farmers in the United States, where decades of irrigating huge fields has depleted vital resources of fresh surface water and groundwater. To help alleviate this problem, a European Space Agency (ESA) spin-off that hopes to help preserve water supplies while guaranteeing crop irrigation is now

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Satellite Manufacturing & Launch Market to Generate $258 Billion in Next Decade

The Satellite Manufacturing and Launch Services, 7th Edition (SMLS7) report from Northern Sky Research forecasts 2,356 satellites are expected to launch during the coming decade, with both GEO and non-GEO satellite operators turning to diverse solutions to remain competitive with space-based and terrestrial players. NSR identified a growing focus on leveraging advanced technologies and new

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Scientists, Satellites Monitor ‘Golden Tides’

The Atlantic Ocean’s Sargasso Sea is named for its floating masses of Sargassum algae that are essential to local marine life. However, these drifting “islands” may be shifting to new areas on both sides of the tropical Atlantic Ocean. If they reach land, the massive algal blooms can affect local fisheries and tourism. The authors

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Swarm Satellites Help Scientists Understand Earth’s Magnetic Field

Earth’s magnetic field is like a huge cocoon, protecting the planet from cosmic radiation and charged particles found in solar wind. European Space Agency (ESA) Swarm satellites are recording details about one of the most difficult to observe layers of Earth’s magnetic field—as well as the magnetic history imprinted on Earth’s crust. Most of Earth’s

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Nanosatellite Validates Aircraft Tracking, Prepares for Deorbit Demo

The CanX-7 nanosatellite built by Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies validated real-time detection and tracking of aircraft by a satellite in low-Earth orbit. The next mission phase will begin in early May 2017 with deployment of drag sails developed by SFL to accelerate the deorbiting of small

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Supersonic Plasma Jets Discovered

Information from the European Space Agency (ESA) magnetic field Swarm mission led to the discovery of supersonic plasma jets high up in Earth’s atmosphere that can push temperatures up to almost 10,000 degrees Celsius. Presenting these findings at the Swarm Science Meeting in Canada, scientists from the University of Calgary explained how they used measurements

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

SAGE III Installed on International Space Station

Just a little more than two weeks after its Feb. 19, 2017, launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon spacecraft, the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III (SAGE III) is now safely installed on the outside of the International Space Station, where it will monitor ozone and aerosols in Earth’s upper atmosphere. In a highly choreographed

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Flashy First Images Arrive From NOAA’s GOES-16 Lightning Mapper

Detecting and predicting lightning just got a lot easier. The first images from a new instrument onboard NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite are giving NOAA National Weather Service forecasters richer information about lightning that will help them alert the public to dangerous weather. The first lightning detector in a geostationary orbit, the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM), is

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

New USGS Maps Identify Potential Ground-Shaking Hazards in 2017

New U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) maps identify potential ground-shaking hazards in 2017 from human-induced and natural earthquakes in the central and eastern United States (CEUS). This is the second consecutive year both types of hazards are forecasted, as previous USGS maps only identified hazards from natural earthquakes. This research recently was published in Seismological Research

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