05-12-2011 Asteroids, Mars and Drought...
Asteroids, Mars and Drought Among NASA News Highlights at American Geophysical Union Meeting
WASHINGTON -- NASA researchers will present new findings on a wide range of Earth and space science topics at the 2011 fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. The meeting takes place Dec. 5-9 at the Moscone Convention Center, 747 Howard St., in San Francisco. Media registration for the event is open.
Media briefings during the meeting will feature topics such as new results about the asteroid Vesta, the future risk of major droughts, new discoveries at the edge of our solar system, and the 2011 Japanese tsunami. In addition, NASA scientists and their colleagues who use NASA research capabilities will present noteworthy findings during scientific sessions that are open to registered journalists.
For a complete list of NASA-related news briefings at the meeting, visit:
05-12-2011 Solar Storms Could 'Sandblast' the Moon.
Solar storms and associated Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) can significantly erode the lunar surface according to a new set of computer simulations by NASA scientists. In addition to removing a surprisingly large amount of material from the lunar surface, this could be a major method of atmospheric loss for planets like Mars that are unprotected by a global magnetic field.
The research is being led by Rosemary Killen at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., as part of the Dynamic Response of the Environment At the Moon (DREAM) team within the NASA Lunar Science Institute.
CMEs are basically an intense gust of the normal solar wind, a diffuse stream of electrically conductive gas called plasma that's blown outward from the surface of the Sun into space. A strong CME may contain around a billion tons of plasma moving at up to a million miles per hour in a cloud many times the size of Earth.