Infrared and visible imagery from NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-West) were combined to create an animation showing the smoke plume on May 3, 2013, from California's Springs Fire. The smoke plume is seen blowing west and out over the eastern Pacific Ocean.
As the Landsat Data Continuity Mission satellite flew over Indonesia's Flores Sea April 29, it captured an image of Paluweh volcano spewing ash into the air. The satellite's Operational Land Imager detected the white cloud of smoke and ash drifting northwest, over the green forests of the island and the blue waters of the tropical sea. The Thermal Infrared Sensor on LDCM picked up even more.
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 1:32 p.m. EDT on May 3, 2013. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. This flare is an M5.7-class flare, the weakest flares that can still cause some space weather effects on Earth.
A test version of NASA's Orion spacecraft landed safely during a simulation of two types of parachute failures. In the test, conducted in Yuma, Ariz. on May 1, a mock Orion capsule was traveling about 250 mph when the parachutes were deployed - the highest speed in the test series.
The first test of the parachutes after traveling in space will be during Exploration Flight Test-1 in 2014, when an uncrewed Orion will be returned from 3,600 miles above Earth's surface.
A record-setting blast of gamma rays from a dying star in a distant galaxy has wowed astronomers around the world. The eruption, which is classified as a gamma-ray burst, or GRB, and designated GRB 130427A, produced the highest-energy light ever detected from such an event.
A NASA-led modeling study provides new evidence that global warming may increase the risk for extreme rainfall and drought.
The study shows for the first time how rising carbon dioxide concentrations could affect the entire range of rainfall types on Earth.