Latest environments Stories

2008-12-16 10:04:35

CU-Boulder findings should help satellite tracking, communication forecasting A new University of Colorado at Boulder study shows the periodic "breathing" of Earth's upper atmosphere that has long puzzled scientists is due in part to cyclic solar wind disturbances, a finding that should help engineers track satellites more accurately and improve forecasts for electronic communication disruptions. Aerospace engineering sciences department Associate Professor Jeff Thayer said the outer, gaseous...

2008-01-07 11:45:51

Our universe is a mess — a colossal "cosmic web" of galaxies strung into filaments and tendrils that are millions or billions of light-years long. Although this web's basic structure is resolved, astronomers say understanding it in more detail requires new observatories, better computing and a lot of luck. "When you look into a large telescope, the reality of the cosmic web hits you in the face because you can see how galaxies are organized," said Rodrigo Ibata, an...

2006-12-12 00:10:00

SAN FRANCISCO -- Carbon dioxide emissions from global warming are cooling and shrinking the outermost atmosphere, keeping orbiting spacecraft airborne longer but also increasing the threat that space junk poses to satellites, scientists reported Monday. In a signal of the wide-ranging impacts of climate change, the thinning of the thermosphere, which begins about 60 miles above Earth and extends up to 400 miles, reduces the drag on orbiting spacecraft but also extends the lifespan of space...

2006-05-26 06:18:52

LOS ANGELES (AP) - NASA has extended the mission of a satellite probing the least-studied region of the Earth's atmosphere through 2010. The four-year extension, announced Thursday, allows the $195 million Timed spacecraft to further study how the sun influences the middle and upper atmosphere. That could help scientists better understand how the region affects satellite tracking and communication systems on Earth. "Timed's extended mission will bring insights into atmospheric evolution and...

2006-05-01 17:05:00

By Deborah Zabarenko WASHINGTON -- Greenhouse gases -- the heat-trapping chemicals linked to global warming -- continued to increase steadily in 2005, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on Monday. Carbon dioxide, emitted by coal-burning power plants and cars, increased last year, according to the federal climate agency's Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, or AGGI. So did nitrous oxide, a byproduct of farming and industry. But methane emissions leveled off and...

2006-05-01 16:55:00

WASHINGTON (AP) - The greenhouse gases widely blamed for raising the planet's temperature are still building up in the atmosphere. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday there was a continuing increase in carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide in the air last year, though methane leveled off. The agency said and there was a decline in two chlorofluorocarbons, gases blamed for the ozone hole over the Antarctic. Overall, NOAA said, its annual greenhouse gas index "shows a...

2005-04-13 18:50:14

Helsinki -- The concept of time is self-evident. An hour consists of a certain number of minutes, a day of hours and a year of days. But we rarely think about the fundamental nature of time. Time is passing non-stop, and we follow it with clocks and calendars. Yet we cannot study it with a microscope or experiment with it. And it still keeps passing. We just cannot say what exactly happens when time passes. Time is represented through change, such as the circular motion of the moon around...

Word of the Day
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'