Geomagnetic and solar radiation storms hitting Earth after Tuesday's solar flares may not be as big as advertised, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.
Together, such storms can affect GPS systems, other satellite systems and power grids, but none of these problems has been reported, even as the leading edge of the sun's coronal mass ejections from Tuesday hit Earth on Thursday morning, scientists said.
The geomagnetic storm has reached only G1 intensity on a scale from G1 (weak) to G5 (extreme), and the solar radiation storm is an S3 (strong) on a similar 1-to-5 scale, NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center said. Earlier, NOAA had predicted a G3/S4 event.
Still, the solar radiation storm has prompted some airlines to divert planes from routes near the north pole, where radio communications may be affected and passengers at high altitudes may be at a higher than normal radiation risk.
The oldest and largest crater in the solar system - The South Pole-Aitken basin - sheds new light on understanding how the Earth-Moon system possibly formed and evolved, scientists say.
The first measurement of magnetic fields on the moon's surface was done in 1969 during the Apollo 12 mission. Since lunar rocks are not very magnetic, scientists say the discovery of the strong, localized magnetic fields did not correlate with any geologic structures or known processes.
For decades, scientists have scratched their heads trying to pinpoint the origin of the moon's magnetic fields. They quite literally became "moonstruck" with the idea.
The first complete gorilla genome has been mapped by scientists giving fresh insights into our own origins.
Gorilla are the last of the genus of living great apes (humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans) to have their DNA decoded, offering new perspectives on their evolution and biology.
"The gorilla genome is important because it sheds light on the time when our ancestors diverged from our closest evolutionary cousins around six to 10 million years ago," says Aylwyn Scally, postdoctoral fellow at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge and lead author of the report.
"This massive, young stellar grouping, called R136, is only a few million years old and resides in the 30 Doradus Nebula, a turbulent star-birth region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. There is no known star-forming region in the Milky Way Galaxy as large or as prolific as 30 Doradus.
Many of the diamond-like icy blue stars are among the most massive stars known. Several of them are 100 times more massive than our sun. These hefty stars are destined to pop off, like a string of firecrackers, as supernovas in a few million years.
The image, taken in ultraviolet, visible and red light by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3, spans about 100 light-years. The nebula is close enough to Earth that Hubble can resolve individual stars, giving astronomers important information about the stars' birth and evolution.
The brilliant stars are carving deep cavities in the surrounding material by unleashing a torrent of ultraviolet light, and hurricane-force stellar winds (streams of charged particles), which are etching away the enveloping hydrogen gas cloud in which the stars were born. The image reveals a fantasy landscape of pillars, ridges, and valleys, as well as a dark region in the center that roughly looks like the outline of a holiday tree. Besides sculpting the gaseous terrain, the brilliant stars can also help create a successive generation of offspring. When the winds hit dense walls of gas, they create shocks, which may be generating a new wave of star birth.
These observations were taken Oct. 20-27, 2009. The blue color is light from the hottest, most massive stars; the green from the glow of oxygen; the red from fluorescing hydrogen."Source: NASA
From CNN's Jason Carroll
Oscar-winning director James Cameron, known for breaking box office records, is now aiming for underwater dominance. The filmmaker, who's known for his blockbuster hits such as "Titanic" and “Avatar,” is taking the dive of his life into the deepest waters in the world.
He’s hoping to reach Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in the world's oceans, later this month. The site is part of the Mariana Trench near Guam in the western Pacific.