MAJOR FIREBALL EVENT: Two nights ago, a ~100 lb meteoroid traveling
53,000 mph hit the atmosphere over the southeastern USA and exploded,
producing sonic booms and a fireball as bright as a full Moon.
Researchers are now scouring the countryside for fragments that could
reveal the nature and origin of the meteoroid. A movie, more
information, and updates are available on http://spaceweather.com.
WEEKEND AURORA WATCH: A solar wind stream is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field on August 30-31.
The impact could produce minor geomagnetic storms and auroras at high
latitudes. Geomagnetic storm alerts are available from http://spaceweathertext.com (text) and http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).
Those interested in exoplanets might be interested in taking this survey on Exoplanet Classification, organized as part of the *Exoplanets and Brown Dwarfs: Mind the Gap Conference* at U. Hertfordshire, 2013 September 2-5.
Proving that there is still much to discover about the landscape of
Earth, data from a NASA airborne science mission has revealed an immense
and previously unknown canyon hidden under a mile of Greenland ice.
Hi ho, hi ho … it’s out with work we go! As you relax this holiday
weekend, step into our labor-atory and imagine a world with no work
allowed. Soft robots help us with tasks at home and at the office,
while driverless cars allow us to catch ZZZZs in the front seat.
Plus, the Internet of Everything interconnects all your devices, from
your toaster to your roaster to … you. So there’s no need to ever get
off the couch. But is a machine-ruled world a true utopia?
And, the invention that got us into our 24/7 rat race: Edison’s electric light.
Barry Trimmer – Professor of biology, neuroscience, and biomedical engineering at Tufts University, and editor-in-chief, Soft Robotics
Comet ISON is heading for a Thanksgiving Day brush with the sun, but
first it's going to pay a visit to the Red Planet. Mars rovers and
satellites will have a ringside seat for the comet's close approach on Oct. 1st.
SUNDIVING COMET AND CME: A small comet plunged into the sun this
morning. Just before it arrived, the sun expelled a magnificent
full-halo CME. Did the comet survive? Find out what happened at http://spaceweather.com.
CHANCE OF STORMS: There is a slight chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Aug. 20-21
when Earth is expected to pass through the wake of a CME that left the
sun a few days ago. Geomagnetic storm alerts are available from http://spaceweathertext.com (text) and http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).
The sweet stuff is getting sour press. Some researchers say sugar
is toxic. A new study seems to support that idea: mice fed the human
equivalent of an extra three sodas a day become infertile or die. But
should cupcakes be regulated like alcohol?
Hear both sides of the debate. Another researcher says that animal
studies are misleading, and that for good health, you should count
calories, not candy and carbs.
Plus, an investigative reporter exposes the tricks that giant food companies employ to keep you hooked on sugar, salt, and fat.
It’s Skeptic Check … but don’t take our word for it!
What’s past is prologue. For centuries, researchers have studied
buried evidence – bones, teeth, or artifacts – to learn about murky
human history, or even to investigate vanished species. But today’s
hi-tech forensics allows us to analyze samples dug from the ground
faster and at a far more sophisticated level.
First, the discovery of an unknown species of dinosaur that changes
our understanding of the bizarre beasts that once roamed North America.
And then some history that’s more recent: two projects that use the
tools of modern chemistry and anthropology to deepen our understanding
of the slave trade.
Plus, an anthropologist on an evolutionary habit that is strange to
some, but nonetheless common all over the world: the urge to eat dirt.
PERSEID METEOR SHOWER: The Perseid meteor shower is intensifying as
Earth moves deeper into the debris stream of parent comet
109P/Swift-Tuttle. International observers are reporting as many as 30
Perseids per hour from dark sky sites, a rate which could triple on August 12-13 when the shower peaks. Check http://spaceweather.com for updates and observing tips.
GOT CLOUDS? You can listen to the Perseid meteor shower on Space
Weather Radio, which is monitoring signals from the USAF Space
Surveillance Radar. Every Perseid that flies over the radar makes an
audible ping. Hear the echoes at http://spaceweatherradio.com
The world is a noisy place. But now we have a better idea what
the fuss is about. Not only can we record sound, but our computers
allow us to analyze it.
Bird sonograms reveal that our feathery friends give each other
nicknames and share details about their emotional state. Meanwhile,
hydrophones capture the sounds of dying icebergs, and let scientists
separate natural sound from man-made in the briny deep.
Plus, native Ohio speakers help decipher what Neil Armstrong really
said on that famous day. And, think your collection of 45 rpm records
is impressive? Try feasting your ears on sound recorded before the
Bob Dziak – Oceanographer, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University, Program Manager, Acoustics Program, NOAA
Michael Porter – Senior scientist of H.L.S. Research, La Jolla, California
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected a new kind of stellar blast
called a kilonova, which happens when a pair of compact objects such as
neutron stars crash together. The observation solves a longstanding
mystery of gamma-ray bursts.
PERSEID METEOR SHOWER: Earth is entering a broad stream of debris from
comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower.
Although the shower won't peak until August 12-13, when Earth hits the densest part of the stream, the first Perseids are already arriving. Check http://spaceweather.com for images and updates.
QUIET SUN: Many readers are asking about a recent media report, which
stated that a Carrington-class solar storm narrowly missed Earth two
weeks ago. That report is inaccurate. Solar activity was low throughout
July and remains low as August begins. Details at http://spaceweather.com.