A selfie of the Earth and Saturn

It’s time for some more pictures. First, you can never go wrong with Saturn (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute):

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And here’s a nice picture taken over the Grand Canyon, sorry about my thumb (Credit: NASA astronaut Terry Virts):

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Scanning for life

This is pretty impressive:

Four men trapped under as much as 10 feet of bricks, mud and other debris have been rescued in Nepal thanks to a new search-and-rescue technology developed in partnership by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The device called FINDER (Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response) uses microwave-radar technology to detect heartbeats of victims trapped in wreckage.

By the way, it’s still a good time to donate to help in Nepal.

Small star doesn’t like planets attitude

This looks like a nice picture (Credit: NASA):

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but then you realize this is what happens when a planet gets too close to a star (in this case a white dwarf). Or something.

Ceres

So, it seems that NASA has a spacecraft that is getting close to Ceres, a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt (I’m said to hear that this doesn’t mean it’s a planet with dwarves). Anyway, here it is (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA):

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The Dawn spacecraft will enter orbit on March 6, so better pictures should be coming shortly.

Sun sun sun

Given that the area is supposed to get another 8-10 inches of snow tonight and tomorrow, this is looking really good (Credit: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory):

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Goodbye ice

The amount of ice in the Antarctic has actually been increasing so everything’s cool right? Well:

Sea ice increases in Antarctica do not make up for the accelerated Arctic sea ice loss of the last decades, a new NASA study finds. As a whole, the planet has been shedding sea ice at an average annual rate of 13,500 square miles (35,000 square kilometers) since 1979, the equivalent of losing an area of sea ice larger than the state of Maryland every year.

At least it’s not getting worse. Oh:

Furthermore, the global ice decrease has accelerated: in the first half of the record (1979-96), the sea ice loss was about 8,300 square miles (21,500 square kilometers) per year. This rate more than doubled for the second half of the period (1996 to 2013), when there was an average loss of 19,500 square miles (50,500 square kilometers) per year – an average yearly loss larger than the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.

But there’s been a lot of snow in Boston

The third major storm in the past two weeks shattered a longstanding snowfall record in Boston, bringing the staggering total over a 30-day span to about 6 feet. That topped the old mark, 58.8 inches, set in 1978. Since the latest storm began Saturday, Boston has received almost 22 inches.

Jupiter’s moons

It seems the space around Jupiter can get crowded. This image (from here; Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)) by the Hubble telescope captures three of Jupiter’s moons in orbit (Europa, Callista, and Io):

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