New study maps spread of Fukushima fallout
Workers wait to enter the emergency operation center at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station on November 12.
November 14th, 2011
03:22 PM ET

New study maps spread of Fukushima fallout

It is likely that radioactive cesium from the disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant spread across much of northern and eastern Japan and could damage agriculture in several provinces, according to estimates released Monday.

The study by researchers based in the United States, Japan and Norway is the first Japan-wide estimate of the spread of contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns, said Teppei Yasunari, its lead author.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: On Earth
Celebrating the art of science
November 14th, 2011
02:09 PM ET

Celebrating the art of science

In the course of their work, scientists get to see some really cool things. Princeton University's Art of Science competition challenges researchers in the New Jersey school's community to capture some of that stunning beauty that is either natural or manufactured in the course of study.

Princeton released an online gallery for this year's contest today. Light Years is featuring some of them for your enjoyment.

The image above, by graduate student Yunlai Zha in the department of electrical engineering, shows arsenic sulphide dissolved in a solution, after being spin-coated and baked on a chrome-evaporated slide.

FULL POST

Solar flares won’t kill Earth, NASA says
The Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare on November 3.
November 14th, 2011
01:55 PM ET

Solar flares won’t kill Earth, NASA says

The year 2012 is almost here. And so is the end of the world, if you believe myths about the Mayan calendar and certain science fiction movies and books.

Solar flare activity is increasing and is expected to peak between 2012 and 2014 – around the time some believe the Mayan calendar ends. This has some people linking the flares to the End Times. But NASA scientists assure us that solar flares won’t destroy the Earth.

“We have a very long record that shows that even the strongest flares can’t blow out the atmosphere,” said Antti Pulkkinen, a research scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “There is really no way that even the largest disruption can end the world.”

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: News
Giant spot on the sun
November 14th, 2011
11:46 AM ET

Giant spot on the sun

It’s bigger than the Earth and may be the largest sunspot in years. Solar scientists say a giant sunspot has rotated into view in the middle of the sun. It is surrounded by several smaller spots.

The entire group is about 62,000 miles across. The sunspot group has blasted out several solar flares and is expected to stay active for awhile.

SDO shows us the Sun's spots

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory

Post by:
Filed under: News
November 14th, 2011
09:21 AM ET

Space station crew launches from Kazakhstan

(CNN) - A Russian rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday, with a crew of three bound for the International Space Station.

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft carrying Flight Engineers Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin took off at 11:14 a.m. Baikonur time Monday (11:14 p.m. ET Sunday).

The mission is Burbank's third visit to the space station, but the first for Shkaplerov and Ivanishin.

The trio will join their crewmates - Cmdr. Mike Fossum and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa and Sergei Volkov - when their spacecraft docks with the space station Wednesday.

Fossum, Furukawa and Volkov are scheduled to undock from the space station on November 21 and land in Kazakstan a day later.

The launch comes less than two weeks after an unmanned freighter docked with the station with three tons of food, fuel, water and spare parts.

Post by:
Filed under: In Space • News

Contributors

  • Elizabeth LandauElizabeth Landau
    Writer/Producer
  • Sophia DengoSophia Dengo
    Senior Designer