COMET ISON LIVES: Cancel the funeral. Comet ISON is back from the dead.
Yesterday, Nov. 28th, Comet ISON flew through the sun's atmosphere and
appeared to disintegrate before the cameras of several NASA and ESA
spacecraft. This prompted reports of the comet's demise. Today, the
comet has revived and is rapidly brightening.
RIP, Comet ISON?:Evidence is mounting that Comet ISON did not survive
its brush with the sun on Nov. 28th. SOHO coronagraph images show the
comet apparently disintegrating, while first-look images from the Solar
Dynamics Observatory did not detect the comet moving along its expected
path through the sun's atmosphere.
Researchers working with magnetic fluids on the International Space
Station are taking "smart materials" to the next level. With proper
coaxing, molecules in microgravity can assemble themselves into "genius
materials" with surprising properties. This is opening a new frontier in
COMETS IN THE SOLAR WIND: NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft is obtaining some
marvelous footage of Comet ISON and Comet Encke being buffeted by gusts
of solar wind. So far the two comets have avoided a direct strike by a
CME, but a solar storm in the days ahead could have dramatic effects.
On Nov. 28th,
Comet ISON will have a perilous close encounter with the sun. In
today's story from Science@NASA, experts discuss what might happen if
the comet gets hit by a solar storm at point-blank range.
ENCORE: We’ve all had an “oops” moment.
Scientists are no exception. Sometimes science stumbles in the steady
march of progress. Find out why cold fusion is a premier example why
you shouldn’t hold a press conference before publishing your results.
Also, how to separate fumbles from faux-science from fraud.
Plus, why ignorance is what really drives the scientific method.
And our Hollywood skeptic poses as a psychic for Dr. Phil, while our
Dr. Phil (Plait) investigates the authenticity of a life-bearing
AMAZING COMET PIX: Comet ISON is plunging toward the sun for a perilous close encounter on Nov. 28th.
Even experts aren't sure if the furiously vaporizing comet can survive
its passage through the solar atmosphere on Thanksgiving Day. Some of
the final pictures from Earth may be coming in now--and they are
amazing. The comet, sporting a green head and streaming tail, is
entering the rosy glow of dawn not far from the planet Mercury.
After the winds and water of Typhoon Haiyan abated, grief and hunger
swept though the Philippines, along with the outbreak of disease. Are
monster storms the new normal in a warmer world? Some scientists say
yes, and if so, climate change is already producing real effects on
human life and health.
A hotter planet will serve up casualties from natural disasters, but
also higher rates of asthma, allergies and an increase in mosquito-borne
diseases. It is, according to one researcher, the greatest challenge
of our time, straining health care efforts worldwide. But could a
“medical Marshall Plan” save us?
Also, why the conservative estimates from the U.N.‘s climate change
group don’t help people prepare for worst-case scenarios. And, a
controversial approach to saving our overburdened planet: a serious
limit on population growth.
COMET ISON UPDATE: Comet ISON is now ten times brighter than it was on
Nov. 13-14 when an unexpected outburst propelled the sundiver into the
realm of naked-eye visibility. Observers around the world confirm seeing
the comet as a faint smudge low in the eastern sky before sunrise.
Backyard telescopes reveal a riot of gaseous streamers trailing behind
the comet's brightening (and possibly fragmenting) core. With almost two
weeks to go before ISON plunges into the sun's atmosphere, it is
already one of the most beautiful and active comets in years.
Comet ISON is plunging toward the sun for a perilous pass through the solar atmosphere on Thanksgiving (Nov. 28th).
In today's story from Science@NASA, a leading expert lays out some
possible outcomes for the sundiving comet--from premature disintegration
to spectacular survival.
COMET ISON OUTBURST: Observers around the world are reporting a sharp
increase in the brightness of sundiving Comet ISON. Formerly dim, it is
now on the threshold of naked-eye visibility. Comet ISON is plunging
toward the sun for a perilous pass through the solar atmosphere on
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28th).
This could be the first of many brightening events as intensifying
solar heat erodes material away from the comet's nucleus.
Mars was once on track to become a thriving Earth-like planet, yet today
it is an apparently lifeless wasteland. A NASA spacecraft named MAVEN
will soon journey to Mars to find out what went wrong on the Red Planet.
A computer virus that bombards you with pop-up ads is one thing. A
computer virus that shuts down a city’s electric grid is another.
Welcome to the new generation of cybercrime. Discover what it will take
to protect our power, communication and transportation systems as
scientists try to stay ahead of hackers in an ever-escalating game of
cat and mouse.
The expert who helped decipher the centrifuge-destroying Stuxnet
virus tells us what he thinks is next. Also convenience vs.
vulnerability as we connect to the Internet of Everything. And, the
journalist who wrote that Google was “making us stupid,” says automation
is extracting an even higher toll: we’re losing basic skills. Such as
how to fly airplanes.
Ray Sims – Computer Technician, Computer Courage, Berkeley, California
Eric Chien – Technical Director of Security Technology and Response, Symantec
NEWS: Observers around the world report that Comet ISON is now visible
in binoculars. The comet is brightening as it plunges toward the sun
for a perilous pass through the solar atmosphere on Nov. 28th.
It is not, however, the brightest comet in the night sky. As November
unfolds, there is a rare gathering of four comets rising in the east
HIGH SOLAR ACTIVITY: This week, Jupiter-sized sunspot AR1890 unleashed
two brief but intense X-class solar flares and numerous M-class solar
flares. More eruptions are in the offing as the sunspot turns to
directly face Earth over the weekend.
ENCORE: Time keeps on ticking, ticking … and
as it does, evolution operates to produce remarkable changes in
species. Wings may appear, tails disappear. Sea creatures drag
themselves onto the shore and become landlubbers. But it’s not easy to
grasp the expansive time scales involved in these transformative feats.
Travel through millennia, back through mega and giga years, for a
sense of what can occur over deep time, from the Cambrian Explosion to
the age of the dinosaurs to the rise of Homo sapiens.
SOLAR ECLIPSE: Early Sunday morning, Nov. 3rd,
sky watchers along the east coast of North America might notice
something missing--a piece of the sun. A partial solar eclipse will be
underway at sunrise. In the United States, visibility stretches all the
way from Maine to the southern tip of Florida. Later, the Moon will
cover the entire sun producing a total eclipse over parts of the
Atlantic Ocean and Africa. Visit http://spaceweather.com for observing tips and more information.
As Voyager 1 recedes from the solar system, researchers are hoping the
spacecraft will beam back tones from plasma waves, a form of
"interstellar music" that reveals conditions in the realm of the stars.