Spaceship Earth

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    A new study is providing information about how radiation from space can damage life on Earth, and shows that a short gamma ray burst would be more significant than a longer gamma ray bust. If one of these bursts of energy occurred nearby, it could
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    A new report from the National Research Council says that the problem of space debris in orbit around the Earth is getting worse. Hazards posed by abandoned equipment, spent rocket bodies, and other debris is an increasing risk for future space missions.
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    If a rocky planet has no moon, could complex life still arise? New research looks at the effects a large moon can have on a planet´s orbital stability over time.
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    Long-term simulations show that close encounters between the minor planets Ceres and Vesta could affect the Earth's orbit.
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    A phenomenon known as 'magnetic reconnection' is responsible for much of the space weather that affects Earth. NASA is now preparing a new mission dedicated to studying this dynamic magnetic system and its influence on our planet.
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    Despite its magnetic field, Earth is losing its atmosphere to space at about the same rate as planets that lack this protective barrier against the solar wind. Scientists now are beginning to question whether magnetic fields really are vital to helping a planet hold
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    Special cameras on the IBEX spacecraft have snapped their first pictures of the complex interactions between space weather and Earth's magnetic field. The new data could help astrobiologists understand the links between the space environment and Earth's habitability.
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    Recent data from the Spitzer Space Telescope has helped scientist determine what the 'dust tail' of Earth looks like. The finding could help astrobiologists search for Earth-like planets because similar dust tails trailing behind extrasolar planets might actually be easier to spot than the planets
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    There are many factors influencing the Earth's greenhouse effect, but a new study indicates that global temperature ultimately depends on atmospheric level of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide may also hold secrets about the climate history of Mars.
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    When researchers found an unusual linkage between solar flares and the inner life of radioactive elements on Earth, it touched off a scientific detective investigation that could end up protecting the lives of space-walking astronauts and maybe rewriting some of the assumptions of physics.
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    "The thermosphere", the layer of Earth's atmosphere that meets space, recently collapsed and is now rebounding again...and we don't know why. The thermosphere is important because it shields us from the Sun's Extreme Ultraviolet Photons.
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    Water is essential for life as we know it, and some scientists believe that the water on Earth was delivered by comets after the planet's formation. Now, a new study of silver in meteorites and Earth rocks tells a different story.
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  • Attack of the Killer Electrons
    The European Cluster mission has provided new information about the energetic particles trapped in Earth's radiation belt. These dangerous electrons from solar storms can be harmful for satellites and astronauts in orbit. Understanding their properties will help make future missions more safe.
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    Scientists have discovered that the Earth's magnetic field 3.5 billion years ago was only half as strong as it is today. This could have had profound implications for the evolution of the biosphere, which would have been bathed in higher levels of intense solar radiation.
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    Life may have been significantly affected in the past by a cosmic ray blast, but researchers are still looking for the smoking gun.
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