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Science Wire | Nov 27, 2015

Satellite sensors for global fire coverage

A global fire alert from space, FireSat sensors would be able to detect a fire anywhere on Earth within 15 minutes of its start and notify area emergency responders.

Mars could gain a ring in 10-20 million years when its moon Phobos is torn to shreds by Mars gravity. Image of how Mars might look by Tushar Mittal using Celestia 2001-2010, Celestia Development Team.
Science Wire | Nov 26, 2015

Mars to lose a moon, gain a ring

Mars’ large moon Phobos is slowly falling toward the planet. In 20-40 million years, it’ll shatter, and its pieces will form a Saturn-like ring around Mars.

Science Wire | Nov 26, 2015

Does eating turkey really make you sleepy?

Many believe that turkey is high in tryptophan, which causes that drowsiness you feel after a big Thanksgiving meal. True?

Mira, from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer
Tonight | Nov 24, 2015

Star of the week: Mira the Wonderful

This star in the constellation Cetus varies in brightness like clockwork over 11 months.

Artist's impression of red dwarf star TVLM 513-46546. ALMA observations suggest that it has an amazingly powerful magnetic field (shown by the blue lines), potentially associated with a flurry of solar-flare-like eruptions. Image credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF; Dana Berry / SkyWorks
Science Wire | Nov 20, 2015

Tiny, ultracool star is super stormy

“If we lived around a star like this one, we wouldn’t have any satellite communications. In fact, it might be extremely difficult for life to evolve at all …” said Harvard astrophysicist.

Science Wire | Nov 20, 2015

What makes a halo around the sun or moon?

A ring or circle of light around the sun or moon is called a halo by scientists.

Tonight's moon is near on our sky's dome to the March equinox point, or First Point of Aries.
Tonight | Nov 20, 2015

November 20 moon near First Point of Aries

The November 20, 2015, moon is near the First Point of Aries on the sky’s dome. How to spot it, and what it means.

Kepler-438b: The planet Kepler-438b is shown here in front of its violent parent star. It is regularly irradiated by huge flares of radiation, which could render the planet uninhabitable. Here the planet’s atmosphere is shown being stripped away. Superflares have energies roughly equal to or greater than 10^33 erg, about 10 times greater than the most powerful solar flare on record. They have been observed with energies up to around 10^36 erg -- some 10,000 times the size of biggest solar flare.  Image credit: Mark A Garlick / University of Warwick
Science Wire | Nov 18, 2015

Most Earthlike exoplanet is uninhabitable

Kepler-438b – 470 light years from Earth – ranks highest on the Earth Similarity Index. But radiation from its violent parent star makes it uninhabitable.

Tonight | Nov 18, 2015

November is the month of the Pleiades

At this time of year, for all of us around the globe, the Pleiades cluster culminates – reaches its highest point in the sky – around midnight.

This map shows the route driven by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover from the location where it landed in August 2012 to its location in mid-November 2015, approaching examples of dunes in the "Bagnold Dunes" dune field. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
Science Wire | Nov 17, 2015

Mars rover heads for active dunes

No Mars rover has yet visited a sand dune, as opposed to smaller sand ripples or drifts. Curiosity will visit actual Mars dunes in the next few days.