“What we are witnessing is major hydrologic change,” they said. Over 14 years, Earth’s wet land areas got wetter. Dry areas got drier. They also reported multiple hot spots resulting from groundwater depletion.
Satellite image of agricultural operations in Saudi Arabia's Wadi As-Sirhan Basin, January 17, 2012. Image via NASA.
Take 3 minutes to fly through the spectacular Orion Nebula, in this new 3D visualization from NASA.
They observed 2 intense regions of radiation on this rapidly spinning pulsar some 6,500 light-years away. “Like seeing a flea on the surface of Pluto,” they said.
This composite X-ray (red/white) and optical (green/blue) image reveals an elongated cloud, or cocoon, of high-energy particles flowing behind the rapidly rotating Black Widow pulsar (the white point-like source). The pulsar is also moving through the galaxy at a high speed which creates an outer bow shock wave visible to optical telescopes. The pressure behind this outer shock wave creates a second shock wave that sweeps the cloud of high-energy particles back from the pulsar to form the cocoon. The Black Widow pulsar is emitting intense high-energy radiation that appears to be destroying a companion star through evaporation. It is one of a class of extremely rapidly rotating, very old neutron stars called millisecond pulsars. Image via Chandra.
A rare natural laser beaming from the heart of the spectacular Ant Nebula suggests the presence of a double star system.
From ground-based telescopes, the so-called "ant nebula" (Menzel 3, or Mz 3) resembles the head and thorax of a garden-variety ant. Image via NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).