Wind Map An invisible, ancient source of energy surrounds us—energy that powered the first explorations of the world, and that may be a key to the future. This map shows you the delicate tracery of wind flowing over the US. The wind map is a personal art project, not associated with any company. We've done our best to make this as accurate as possible, but can't make any guarantees about the correctness of the data or our software. If the map is missing or seems slow, we recommend the latest Chrome browser. Surface wind data comes from the National Digital Forecast Database. If you're looking for a weather map, or just want more detail on the weather today, see these more traditional maps of temperature and wind.
Virtual Star Party Giant asteroid to hurtle past Earth An asteroid with a diameter of 400m will make its closest approach to Earth later this year. Known as YU55, the asteroid would fly within the moon's orbit narrowly missing Earth, according to reports. "The space rock will hurtle past our planet at a distance of just 201,700 miles (324,600km) during its closest approach on November 8," The Daily Mail has reported. "That is closer to Earth than the moon, which orbits 238,857 miles (384,400km) away on average. "With a width of some 400m and weighing 55 million tons, YU55 will be the largest object to ever approach Earth." But US space agency NASA said there was no cause for concern. "Although classified as a potentially hazardous object, 2005 YU55 poses no threat of an Earth collision over at least the next 100 years," NASA said. "However, this will be the closest approach to date by an object this large that we know about in advance and an event of this type will not happen again until 2028."
Planetary Resources shows off full-scale asteroid mining prototype Chris Lewicki and the Arkyd-100 prototype Image Gallery (7 images) Last year, we took an in-depth look at Planetary Resources’ asteroid mining plans. Now the Bellevue, Washington-based company has revealed a full-scale prototype of its Arkyd-100 Low Earth Orbit spacecraft that will search for promising mining candidates. In a video update, Planetary Resources President and “Chief Asteroid Miner,” Chris Lewicki gave a tour of the 11 kilogram (24.2 lb) spacecraft’s features and outlined the company’s immediate goals. View all The Arkyd-100 is the first in a series of different spacecraft that Planetary Resources is developing for asteroid mining. The propulsion-less Arkyd-100 is small, with a fold-up telescope tube, deployable solar arrays, an integrated avionics bay, and instrument and sensor package at the back of large optical assembly that takes up most of the craft’s volume. Planetary Resources sees the first launch of several Arkyd-100s in 2014 or 2015. Source: Planetary Resources
Awareness GEO - Group on Earth Observations Global geospatial community to convene in Geneva on May 5-9 Geospatial Media and Communications, in partnership with the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and SwissTopo, will host the Geospatial World Forum on 5-9 May 2014 in Geneva. The conference will convene representatives of the geospatial commercial sector and government/policy end users. First Copernicus satellite, Sentinel 1A was launched successfully! The ability of European citizens, policymakers and service providers to access key environmental data on a routine basis will take a major step forward following the launch of ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite. The launch can be viewed here 10th GEO IGWCO COP Meeting Registration is now open for the Tenth Annual GEO Integrated Global Water Cycle Observations (IGWCO) Community of Practice (CoP) which will take place on Thursday, 29 May and Friday, 30 May in Tokyo, Japan. Global Agriculture Ministers Recognize Value of GEOGLAM GEO Issues GEOSS AIP Call for Participation
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011 9 September 2011Last updated at 09:44 From giant oval storms on the surface of Jupiter to colourful wispy remnants from a supernova explosion and the dazzling green curtain of the Northern Lights - nearly 800 images were submitted for the latest Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Take a look at some of the winning photos with two of the judges from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, public astronomer Marek Kukula and astronomy programmes manager Olivia Johnson. Continue reading the main story Click the bottom right of the slideshow for detailed captions. The judges' choice of the best images can be seen in a free exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, London, until February 2012. Astronomy Photographer of the Year is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich and Sky at Night Magazine. Music courtesy KPM Music. Related: National Maritime Museum - Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011 Royal Observatory Greenwich Sky at Night Magazine More audio slideshows: Probing plasma
Asteroid 2011 MD to Pass Extremely Close By Earth on Monday | Near-Earth Asteroids & Potentially Dangerous Asteroids UPDATE for 5:35 p.m. ET: NASA has recalculated the time of closest approach for this event to be about 3 1/2 hours later than initially reported. The change is reflected below. Here's something to dwell on as you head to work next week: A small asteroid the size of a tour bus will make an extremely close pass by the Earth on Monday, but it poses no threat to the planet The asteroid will make its closest approach at 1:14 p.m. Asteroid 2011 MD was discovered Wednesday (June 22) by LINEAR, a pair of robotic telescopes in New Mexico that scan the skies for near-Earth asteroids. According to NASA's Near-Earth Object Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., an object of this size can be expected to come this close to Earth about every 6 years or so, on average. Even if the asteroid were to enter Earth's atmosphere, it likely wouldn't reach the surface, they added. "Asteroid 2011 MD measures about 10 meters. A tricky skywatching target History of near-Earth asteroids
Information Found Inside Meteorite Gives Insight To Earth's Freezing Core Researchers have captured information stored inside tiny magnetic regions in meteorite samples using a detailed imaging technique at the BESSY II synchrotron in Berlin. Meteorites are fragments of asteroids formed in the early solar system. The asteroids were heated up by radioactive decay, causing them to melt and segregate into a liquid metal core surrounded by a solid rocky mantle. The convection of the liquid metal generates a magnetic field similar to how the Earth's magnetic field is created. The information found by the team relays the magnetic field of the meteorite during core solidification on its parent body. The meteorites used are called Pallasite Meteorites which are made up of iron and nickel. The data shows that the magnetic fields generated by the asteroids lasted longer than expected; about several hundred million years after the it formed. Video: Identifying Meteorites "It's funny that we study other bodies in order to learn more about the Earth," said Bryson.
Closest Sun-Like Star May Have Livable Planet What's the Latest Development? Astronomers at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, have discovered that the closest single star like our Sun may have an habitable planet in its orbit. The star, called Tau Ceti, is just twelve light years from Earth and is believed to have five planets surrounding it, all between two and six times the mass of planet Earth. What's the Big Idea? Using new planet-hunting techniques, more than 800 foreign world have been discovered but those discoveries close to home are the most important, says Steve Vogt from University of California Santa Cruz: "This discovery is in keeping with our emerging view that virtually every star has planets, and that the galaxy must have many such potentially habitable Earth-sized planets. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
New "Super Earth" Found at Right Distance for Life A new planet—probably a rocky super-Earth—has been found squarely within its star's habitable zone, making it one of the best candidates yet to support life, its discoverers say. The planet, dubbed GJ 667Cc, orbits a red dwarf star 22 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Scorpio. A binary pair of orange dwarf stars are part of the same system. (Related: "'Tatooine' Planet With Two Suns Could Host Habitable Moon?") The new planet has a mass 4.5 times that of Earth and orbits its host star every 28 days. The red dwarf is relatively dim, so the planet receives slightly less light from its star than Earth does from the sun. That means if the planet has a rocky surface—which is predicted for planets less than ten times Earth's mass—and an atmosphere, it could support liquid water and maybe life, said co-discoverer Guillem Anglada-Escudé, who conducted the work while at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. Rocky Planet Around Unexpected Star
Chappel Astro Plan to Capture an Asteroid Runs Into Politics But the space agency has encountered a stubborn technical problem: Congressional Republicans. Normally, there is bipartisan support (or disapproval) in Congress for NASA’s bolder plans, particularly when they involve human spaceflight. What squabbling does take place tends to pit lawmakers from states with big NASA presences, like Florida and Texas, against those with fewer vested interests. This month, however, the science committee in the Republican-controlled House voted to bar NASA from pursuing that faraway rock. In a straight party vote — 22 Republicans for, 17 Democrats against — the committee laid out a road map for NASA for the next three years that brushed aside the asteroid capture plan, the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s agenda for space exploration. The plan, instead, included new marching orders, telling NASA to send astronauts back to the , set up a base there and then aim for (and to do so with less money than requested). Mr.