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NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  1. The Curiosity Rover is [Sort Of] Marching in the Inauguration Parade

    The real Curiosity rover may be millions of miles away on the surface of Mars, but that won't stop NASA from sending in a look-alike to march in today's Inauguration Parade to ring in President Barack Obama's second term. Curiosity just tweeted this picture of its twin getting ready to join the festivities.

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  2. The Curiosity Landing, From A NASA Engineer’s Perspective

    Even as a mere spectator, watching Curiosity land on Mars sent tingles up my spine. I was witness to one of the greatest achievements of my time, a culmination of humanity's Curiosity. What then, must it have been like for the people who were part of it? NASA's Mark Rober shares his experience in a heartfelt video. Can you feel it? Can you feel the chills?

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  3. Greenland Surface Ice Melts at Levels Not Seen in 123 Years

    Greenland's huge sheet of ice always experiences some surface melt during the summer. Not all the way, mind; the about 50 percent of the surface see some melting naturally. This melting refreezes almost immediately or is lost to the ocean and is normal. But NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has discovered that by July 12th of this month, 97 percent of the ice sheet's surface had seen some amount of melting. The last time surface melts occurred at similar levels was 1889.

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  4. Japan Earthquake Shortened Length of 24-Hour Day

    The 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan last week caused a lot of destruction, spawned many rumors of celebrity deaths, and now, it turns out, has actually shortened the length of the 24-hour day. According to Richard Gross, a geophysicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the earthquake actually accelerated Earth's spin (by rearranging enough mass), which shortened the length of the day by 1.8 microseconds. To put that into perspective a bit, a microsecond is one millionth of a second, so we won't have to reinvent the clock anytime soon.

    The initial data regarding the earthquake Friday suggests that on top of shortening the length of the 24-hour day, the earthquake also moved the island of Japan by about eight feet. This earthquake isn't one of the first to have a (relatively) noticeable impact on the length of the day, as an 8.8 earthquake in Chile last year shortened the day by around 1.26 microseconds, and a 9.1 earthquake that hit Sumatra in 2004 shortened the day by 6.8 microseconds.

    (via The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online)

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