Climate, News

Dustpocalypse: Huge dust swirl storms Iraq and Iran

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As if the area wasn’t tense enough socially and politically, Iran and Iraq are also facing major environmental concerns in the form of huge dust swirls. Iran’s capital city of Tehran is suffering most from an increasing amount of dust storms as winds at speeds of up to 80 kilometers broke trees and shattered the windows of houses, smashing power lines and filling up cities with dust.

News, Observations, Space

The Hubble Telescope Captures Image of Rare “Cosmic Butterfly”

Minkowski's butterfly - Hubble captures spectacular photo of a planetary nebula.

Hubble has recently captured a dazzling image of a “cosmic butterfly” – the planetary nebula (PN) M2-9. The star has not only ejected its outer layers, but exposed its inner core, which is now illuminating the layers in a spectacular and violent display.

News, Space

Buzz Aldrin joins Florida university to develop ‘master plan’ for settlement on Mars

Buzz Aldrin. Image via Huff Post.

Buzz Aldrin, the second man to ever set foot on the Moon and one of the most respected and vocal astronauts, will serve as a research professor for aeronautics and senior faculty adviser for the Florida Institute of Technology. He will be spearheading the “Buzz Aldrin Space Institute”, whose main purpose will be to create a plan for a permanent settlement on Mars by 2040.

Astrophysics, News

Biggest Planets Started out as Tiny Pebbles

Image via Planetary Hunters.

Gas giants like Saturn or Jupiter may have formed not from a planetary core, but rather from tiny pebbles that stuck together. This theory would solve one of the biggest problems about our understanding of planetary formation: the timeline. The previous model was called core accretion: you have a planetary core of rock and ice that starts to attract and keep

Astronomy, News, Observations

NASA’s Cassini Shuttle Takes Spectacular Photos of Saturn’s Moon Dione

This view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft looks toward Saturn’s icy moon Dione, with giant Saturn and its rings in the background, just prior to the mission’s final close approach to the moon on 17 August 2015. At lower right is the large, multi-ringed impact basin named Evander, which is about 220 miles (350 kilometres) wide. The canyons of Padua Chasma, features that form part of Dione’s bright, wispy terrain, reach into the darkness at left. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.

The Cassini shuttle, that has been in Saturn’s orbit since 2004, took some spectacular images of the rather elusive moon, along with geophysical measurements. A crater-riddled, icy landscape covers Saturn’s moon Dione, but that doesn’t take away anything from its charm. Though it’s nowhere near as famous as some of Saturn’s other moons – especially Titan – Dione is still significant. It’s the

News

Space Shuttle Endeavor’s tanks to be reused on the ISS

Image credits: NASA

The space shuttle Endeavor is currently retired, being displayed for everyone to see at the California Science Center. But that doesn’t mean that its contributions to NASA’s space program are over. NASA engineers will remove four tanks from the shuttle and use them for water storage aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Great Pics, Observations, Space

Indian Mars Orbiter Reveals Stunning 3D Images of Martian Canyon

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A while ago, we were telling you about the Indian Orbiter Mission to Mars – the cheapest Mars mission ever. The probe made history as it entered Martian orbit, and is still sending high quality data back to Earth, as well as amazing pictures. Now these photographs focus on the Ophir Chasma, a giant canyon on Mars that’s 62 km (38.5

News, Observations, Space

Baby Jupiter Discovered in Another Solar System

Image via Space.com

An exciting “infant Jupiter” rich in methane has been discovered using an Earth-bound telescope. The newly found planet might reveal how planets like Jupiter formed and developed during their early stages.

Biology, Geology, News

Did dinosaurs enjoy walking on the beach?

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Paleontologists have discovered a set of dinosaur footprints that seem to indicate social behavior in carnivorous dinosaurs. The footprints, found in northern Germany, belonged to two dinosaurs, one larger, and one smaller.

AstroPicture

AstroPicture of the Day: Moonless Meteors and the Milky Way

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All APODs are spectacular in their own way – but every once in a while, there’s one that’s just amazing. This is the case with Petr Horálek‘s picture of the Perseids. “The Perseid meteor shower last occurred near a New Moon in 2013. That’s when the exposures used to construct this image were made, under dark, moonless skies from Hvar Island