The European Space Agency (ESA) announced today that it was releasing the first global gravitational field model of the Earth based upon its satellite called GOCE (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer). These data are important to scientists because they are “a crucial reference for accurately measuring ocean circulation, sea-level change and ice dynamics – all affected by climate change.” Learn more about this Earth observing satellite model online now here.
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) announced last week that it had detected an atmospheric storm on a gas giant exoplanet (about 60% the mass of Jupiter) orbiting a star in the constellation Pegasus. The planet is known as HD209458b and is about 150 light years distant from our own solar system. As noted by the team leader Dr. Ignas Snellen: “HD209458b is definitely not a place for the faint-hearted. By studying the poisonous carbon monoxide gas with great accuracy we found evidence for a super wind, blowing at a speed of 5000 to 10 000 km per hour.” Learn more about this gas giant exoplanet online now here.