Archive for April 1, 2014

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Three Atmospheric ‘Dragons': Low Pressure Areas Around the U.S.

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There are three low pressure systems around the U.S. and they resemble dragons on satellite imagery. NOAA’s GOES-13 and GOES-15 satellite image from March 31, 2014 shows the low pressure systems in the eastern Pacific Ocean, over the nation’s Heartland, and in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. All three lows have the signature comma shape that make them appear to be curled up dragons.

According to the National Weather Service, the low pressure area approaching the northwestern U.S. is expected to bring rainfall to the coast and areas of snow that stretch from western Washington state south toward the four corners region. The low in the middle of the country is located over Nebraska and dropping snow to the north and west of it. That same low is bringing rain from southern Minnesota south to eastern Texas. Meanwhile, the third low pressure system is bringing rain and snow to parts of New England.

NOAA’s GOES-East satellite sits in a fixed orbit in space capturing visible and infrared imagery of all weather over the eastern U.S. and Atlantic Ocean.

The data to create this image was taken on March 31, 2014 at 17:45 UTC/1:45 p.m. EDT by NOAA’s GOES-East or GOES-13 satellite and made into an image by NASA/NOAA’s GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
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Image Credit: NASA/Caption: Rob Gutro

There are three low pressure systems around the U.S. and they resemble dragons on satellite imagery. NOAA’s GOES-13 and GOES-15 satellite image from March 31, 2014 shows the low pressure systems in the eastern Pacific Ocean, over the nation’s Heartland, and in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. All three lows have the signature comma shape that […]

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Mysteries of Gravitational Waves Star in New LIGO Documentary (Film Trailer)

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A new movie premiering April 15 documents the science and people behind an amazing astronomical tool designed to catch sight of violent cosmic events trillions of miles from Earth.

The new documentary by filmmaker Kai Staats, called “LIGO, A Passion for Understanding,” follows scientists working with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatories, or LIGO for short. The observatories use 2.5-mile (4 kilometers) laser beams to hunt for gravitational waves — ripples in space-time created by cataclysmic events in the cosmos.

LIGO’s enhanced run ended in 2010, but the Advanced LIGO project featuring newly upgraded instruments is set to begin its run sometime in 2014. Advanced LIGO will probe deeper into the universe in search of gravitational waves. You can watch the trailer for “LIGO, A Passion for Understanding” on Space.com or directly from filmmaker Kai Staats here.

“We’re literally creating a new branch of astrophysics right now,” one of the scientists interviewed for the film said in the trailer. “Gravitational waves are the sounds of the universe. Up until now, we’ve been deaf to what’s happening in the universe, and we’re about to turn on our ears.”

“LIGO, A Passion for Understanding,” will premiere live on April 15 on Space.com. The documentary project is funded by the California Institute of Technology. The LIGO Scientific Collaboration is funded the National Science Foundation, and overseen by Caltech and MIT. The LSC is an international collaboration with more than 900 members in 16 different countries.

Scientists think that gravitational waves can be produced by the collisions of two dense objects like a neutron star and a black hole. In theory, the violent clash between the two cosmic bodies actually causes the fabric of space to warp, sending out ripples in space-time throughout the universe.

In March, scientists working with an instrument in the South Pole announced that they detected primordial gravitational waves created a fraction of a fraction of a second after the universe began during a period of rapid growth known as inflation. 

For more on “LIGO, a Passion for Understanding,” visit: http://www.kaistaats.com/film/ligo/

Follow Miriam Kramer @mirikramer and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

A new movie premiering April 15 documents the science and people behind an amazing astronomical tool designed to catch sight of violent cosmic events trillions of miles from Earth. The new documentary by filmmaker Kai Staats, called “LIGO, A Passion for Understanding,” follows scientists working with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatories, or LIGO for short. […]

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