Record Melting in Greenland During 2010

2010 was an exceptional year for Greenland’s ice cap. Melting started early and stretched later in the year than usual. Little snow fell to replenish the losses. By the end of the season, much of southern Greenland had set a new record, with melting that lasted 50 days longer than average.

Above image was assembled from microwave data from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) of the Defense Meteorological Satellites Program.


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NASA badges hit Gowalla

NASA is teaming-up with location-based service Gowalla in an effort to “bring users one small step closer to the universe.” Under the deal, NASA-related information and virtual items will populate Gowalla — among the virtual items that will be included are moon rocks, a NASA patch, a spacesuit and a space shuttle.


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NASA Creates an Alien's Eye View of Solar System

Using the Discover supercomputer — which is capable of 67 trillion calculations per second — astronomers at NASA Goddard have created a series of images of what our solar system would look like to an alien astronomer at various points in time. Their simulations track the interactions of 75,000 dust grains in the Kuiper Belt, and show that while the planets would be too dim to detect directly, aliens could deduce the presence of Neptune from its effects on the icy region. Strikingly, the images resemble one taken by Hubble of the star Fomalhaut. NASA has put out a cute video to go with the announcement as well.

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New Map of Global Forest Heights

Scientists have released a global map of forest canopy heights based on NASA data. “Although there are other local- and regional-scale forest canopy maps, the new map is the first that spans the entire globe based on one uniform method,” says the NASA press release. “The work — based on data collected by NASA’s ICESat, Terra, and Aqua satellites — should help scientists build an inventory of how much carbon the world’s forests store and how fast that carbon cycles through ecosystems and back into the atmosphere.”


No Budget Space for Space

GOOD has a good timeline infogaraphic of NASA’s budget over the last 50 years.

The Obama administration announced a new budget for NASA, which despite a nominal increase, cuts future programs and the prospect of more space exploration. This is a look at NASA’s budget over time, and the major missions it accomplished with that budget.

A collaboration between GOOD and Karlssonwilker.