NASA

Pluto looks to be a far cry from the dead body that many scientists had long presumed. As the New Horizons probe continues to report back from the fringes of the solar system, a word that Mr. Spock might have used sums up the reaction: fascinating.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

On February 18th, 1930, a 24-year-old Kansas farmhand-turned-astronomer made a discovery that forever changed our understanding of the Solar System. On that evening, Clyde Tombaugh, who had grown up on family farms in Illinois and Kansas, discovered Pluto. Tombaugh’s discovery nearly doubled the size of the known solar system overnight.

Saturn's moon Enceladus is a mystery. From Earth it looks tiny and cold, and yet it's not a dead hunk of rock. Passing spacecraft see trenches and ridges, similar to Earth's, and in 2005 NASA's Cassini mission spotted ice geysers streaming from its south pole.

This Sunday night, we headed back to Mars: NASA's MAVEN spacecraft fired its six main engines, slowing down enough so it could be captured by the gravity of the red planet and go into orbit.

MAVEN, which stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, is a distinctly un-sexy name for a project as cool as a sojourn to Mars. But whatever it's called, the probe is on a mission that should be of interest to everyone who likes living on Earth.

Earth is in the line of fire of a powerful solar flare that has already begun hitting us, but most of the energy from the Coronal Mass Ejection, or CME, will skirt safely by, scientists say, with major disruptions to the electric grid, satellites and communications unlikely.

But if you're lucky — and far enough north — you might see a nice display of aurora borealis.

Lake Mead
U.S. Geological Survey

The federal government and municipal water providers in four Western states have reached an agreement to fund Colorado River conservation projects. 

The $11 million deal was announced Thursday. Municipal water providers in Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado and the Bureau of Reclamation have agreed to fund projects to conserve Colorado River water.

Denver Water CEO Jim Lockhead said Denver is one of the four municipalities participating in the program.

Lockhead said half of Denver’s water supply comes from the Colorado River. 

The drought-stricken Colorado River Basin is drying up faster than was thought, according to a recent study. 

NASA and the University of California, Irvine used satellite data gathered over a nine year period to track changes in the mass of the Colorado River Basin that has been experiencing severe drought since 2000.    

The scientists looked at monthly measurements between December 2004 and November 2013. They found the basin lost nearly 53 million acre feet of freshwater, that's nearly double the volume of Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir, during that period. The study said about 41 million acre feet of that lost water was groundwater.  

The basin provides water to millions of people in seven Western states: Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. It also supplies water to roughly four million acres of farmland. 

Headlines:

  • Renewable Energy bills for rural electrical associations awaits governor’s signature
  • Small plane crash-lands on Highway 50 in North Delta
  • Williams cited for leak by state
  • NASA and CU invite you to send your name to Mars (find web link below)
  • Migratory Bird Day is May 11 (find web link below)
  • Legislature to end on a High Note
Andrea Lecos

Come find out what the iSeeChange online Almanac is all about!

Ty Segal // Twins

Oct 15, 2012

Released 10.9.12  Drag City

 

In the malevolence of Ty Segall's 2012 album onslaught (this is #4 if you include his tasty, old-time-high-fi collaboration with White Fence), Twins is the most organized- like a less-severe natural disaster. As the cover depicts, we're still in for a mind-bend, but it's as if some of the sheer fuzz was combed & suited by NASA in preparation for a space launch.

-DJ Jurassica

What happens when a family of ranchers and coal miners sit down for breakfast with a climate scientist from NASA, to talk about global warming and drought? For iSeeChange and KVNF, Julia Kumari Drapkin found out.