Weekly Science Picks

A happy Science Sunday to everyone!  As usual there’s been a lot happening in the world of science, so lets take a peek of the most interesting picks for the past week!

 Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) to launch!

At the end of this month, NASA will launch IRIS.  IRIS will watch the Sun and provide NASA with information on the Sun’s atmosphere and the interface region.  This will give scientists a better understanding of how the Sun’s energy powers the solar wind!

 NASA and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to explore Mercury

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Italian Space Agency (ASI) President Enrico Saggese signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation on the European Space Agency (ESA) led BepiColombo mission to Mercury

Earth’s plant life shown in Hi Res imaging

NASA’s Suomi NPP Satellite shows Earth’s vegetation mapped at a higher resolution than ever before.

A new three-dimensional map, aptly called BigBrain is the most detailed ever constructed!  Scientists hope it will lead to a more accurate picture of how the brain’s different regions function.

Can high energy y-ray astronomy be done from Earth?

Traditionally astronomers have relied on space telescopes to conduct high-energy y ray astronomy because Earth’s atmosphere is a very efficient shield for y rays.  However, in early July at the International Cosmic Ray Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, indicate that γ-ray astronomers are betting their future on an ambitious ground-based telescope.

What drives mammals to extinction?

Australian researchers say that it’s not bad luck that drives mammals to extinction over geological time, but their failure to keep pace with a deteriorating environment.