September 20th, 2011
04:34 PM ET

Rare Arctic creatures in trouble

From narwhals to polar bears to even amphipods, arctic photographer Paul Nicklen has has been documenting artic wildlife for the last decade, exploring impacts they're facing from climate change. Nicklen says that with his photography, he wants people to understand that if we lose ice, we stand to lose an entire ecosystem.


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Filed under: CNN Ideas • Voices
September 20th, 2011
10:23 AM ET

NASA's Dawn mission flies over Vesta

Vesta, the second-most massive object in the asteroid belt, is revealing its secrets. New images and video taken by the Dawn mission's framing camera are helping scientists understand how many of the asteroid's interesting features were formed.

One of those features, a circular depression in Vesta's south pole region, is several hundred miles in diameter. Scientists have been eager to take a closer look at this region since the Hubble Space Telescope first indicated its existence, several years ago.

These new images were taken from an altitude of about 1,700 miles above the asteroid's surface, and were used to establish Vesta's rotational axis and a system of latitude and longitude coordinates on the surface.

This video, from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory team managing the Dawn mission, shows Vesta from the spacecraft's perspective. The JPL team notes that Vesta, like Earth, has seasons, which is why the asteroid is only partially lit in the video. It's currently winter at Vesta's north pole.

Read more about the Dawn mission.

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Filed under: Discoveries • In Space
Which rock killed the dinosaurs? The plot thickens
Scientists blame huge clashing asteroids for wiping out Earth's dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
September 20th, 2011
10:20 AM ET

Which rock killed the dinosaurs? The plot thickens

(CNN) - A 65-million-year-old murder mystery just got a bit more mysterious.

Which "family" of asteroids killed earth's dinosaurs?

New data from NASA's orbiting Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) throws doubt on a 2007 theory that blamed the death of the dinosaurs on fragments from an asteroid family called Baptistina, located between Mars and Jupiter.

Baptistina was a huge asteroid which crashed into another space rock millions of years ago, sending mountain-sized pieces flying in various directions.


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Filed under: Dinosaurs • Discoveries • Hardware in Orbit • In Space • News


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