ICE WORLD
extra extra newspaperArctic sea ice volume up from record low
Paris (ESA) Dec 17, 2013 – Measurements from ESA’s CryoSat satellite show that the volume of Arctic sea ice has significantly increased this autumn. The volume of ice measured this autumn is about 50% higher compared to last year. In October 2013, CryoSat measured about 9000 cubic km of sea ice – a notable increase compared to 6000 cubic km in October 2012. Over the last few decades, satellites have shown a downward … more

SPACE SCOPES
Surprise Picture for WISE’s Fourth Anniversary
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 19, 2013 – In an unexpected juxtaposition of cosmic objects that are actually quite far from each other, a newly released image from NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) shows a dying star, called the Helix nebula, surrounded by the tracks of asteroids. The nebula is far outside our solar system, while the asteroid tracks are inside our solar system. The portrait, discovered by chance in … more


STELLAR CHEMISTRY
SMA Reveals Giant Star Cluster in the Making
Cambridge MA (SPX) Dec 19, 2013 – W49A might be one of the best-kept secrets in our galaxy. This star-forming region shines 100 times brighter than the Orion nebula, but is so obscured by dust that very little visible or infrared light escapes. The Smithsonian’s Submillimeter Array (SMA) has peered through the dusty fog to provide the first clear view of this stellar nursery. The SMA revealed an active site of star formati … more

TECH SPACE
New system allows for high-accuracy, through-wall, 3-D motion tracking
Boston MA (SPX) Dec 19, 2013 – Imagine playing a video game like Call of Duty or Battlefield and having the ability to lead your virtual army unit while moving freely throughout your house. Gaming could become this realistic, thanks to new technology developed by Dina Katabi’s research group at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) that allows for highly accurate, 3-D motion tracking. The new … more

TIME AND SPACE
Ultrafast heating of water – This pot boils faster than you can watch it
Hamburg, Germany (SPX) Dec 19, 2013 – Scientists from the Hamburg Center for Free-Electron Laser Science have devised a novel way to boil water in less than a trillionth of a second. The theoretical concept, which has not yet been demonstrated in practice, could heat a small amount of water by as much as 600 degrees Celsius in just half a picosecond (a trillionth of a second). That is much less than the proverbial blink of an … more