RESEARCH

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  • Article: Why we explore space
    Human space exploration helps to address fundamental questions about our place in the Universe and the history of our solar system. Through addressing the challenges related to human space exploration we expand technology, create new industries, and help to foster a peaceful connection with other nations.
  • Article: A Group of Tardigrades Crashed Into the Moon in April. The Indestructable Critters Could Still Be Alive
    "A horde of microscopic critters called tardigrades were passengers aboard the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet, which crashed into the lunar surface nearly four months ago. But because tardigrates can survive in extreme environments, it's likely these tiny astronauts are still alive. The microscopic organisms can go without water and oxygen for long periods of time in a state of suspended animation called cryptobiosis, in which their bodies dry up and their metabolisms shut down."
  • Article: Is Mars' Soil Too Dry to Sustain Life?
    "Life as we know it needs water to thrive. Even so, we see life persist in the driest environments on Earth. But how dry is too dry? At what point is an environment too extreme for even microorganisms, the smallest and often most resilient of lifeforms, to survive? These questions are important to scientists searching for life beyond Earth, including on the planet Mars. To help answer this question, a research team from NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley traveled to the driest place on Earth: the Atacama Desert in Chile, a 1000 kilometer strip of land on South America’s west coast."
  • Article: Our Living Planet Shapes the Search for Life Beyond Earth
    "Life. It's the one thing that, so far, makes Earth unique among the thousands of other planets we've discovered. Since the fall of 1997, NASA satellites have continuously and globally observed all plant life at the surface of the land and ocean. During the week of Nov. 13-17, NASA is sharing stories and videos about how this view of life from space is furthering knowledge of our home planet and the search for life on other worlds."
  • Article: What Has Quantum Mechanics Ever Done For Us?
    Here's a quick look at some of the myriad everyday things that depend on quantum physics for their operation.
  • Article: What is Quantum Mechanics Good For?
    What could be weirder than quantum mechanics? This physics framework is responsible for any number of bizarre phenomena—theoretical cats that are simultaneously dead and alive, particles kilometers apart that can nonetheless communicate instantaneously, and indecisive photons that somehow go two directions at once.
  • Article: What is the Difference Between Electronic and Electrical Devices?
    So what exactly is the difference between electrical devices and electronic devices? The answer lies in how devices manipulate electricity to do their work.
  • Article: Why You Should Know About Electronics and Electricity
    Electronics is the branch of physics that deals with the emission and effects of electrons and the operation of electronic devices.
  • Citizen Science Game: NASA's Nemo-Net
    “NeMO-Net is a single player iPad game where players help NASA classify coral reefs by painting 3D and 2D images of coral...Data from the NeMO-Net game is fed to NASA NeMO-Net, the first neural multi-modal observation and training network for global coral reef assessment. NeMO-Net is an open source deep convolutional neural network (CNN) that leverages NASA’s Supercomputer, Pleiades, to use game data to classify and assess the health of coral reefs around the world. “
  • PDF: Biodiversity from Space
    Mapping and quantifying biodiversity is key to effective conservation planning, yet gathering the necessary data can be costly and time-consuming. Conservationists and land managers therefore place a premium on methods, such as remote sensing, that yield tolerable estimates of biodiversity in the absence of exhaustive ground surveys. Bawa et al. have tested a method of estimating tree diversity from space. Their study, conducted in the Biligiri Rangaswamy hills in the Western Ghats, India, shows a strong and positive correlation between species richness and an index of green biomass—the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)—which can be assessed accurately using satellite imagery. This technique shows promise for estimating broad patterns of tree species diversity at the landscape scale in tropical forests, which may be crucial to identifying areas most in need of protection and where rapid destruction is underway. — AMS
  • Resource: Artful Tools
    Artist Everest Pipkin’s “Open source, experimental, and tiny tools roundup” includes both “standards” and “artful tools and toys that are as fun to use as they are functional.”
  • Video: Earth Climate Models Bring Exoplanets to Life
    "In a generic brick building on the northwestern edge of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center campus in Greenbelt, Maryland, thousands of computers packed in racks the size of vending machines hum in a deafening chorus of data crunching. Day and night, they spit out five quadrillion calculations per second. Known collectively as the Discover supercomputer, these machines are tasked with running sophisticated climate models to predict Earth’s future climate. But now, they’re also sussing out something much farther away: whether any of the more than 4,000 curiously weird planets beyond our solar system — or exoplanets — discovered in the past two decades could have the ingredients necessary to support life."
  • Video: Gravity ( Scientific Version of John Mayer's Gravity)
    A song about Gravity set to the tune of John Mayer's Gravity.
  • Video: Gravity Compilation- Crash Course Kids
    "Maybe you'd like to just hear about one topic for a while. We understand. So today, let's just watch some videos about Gravity. We'll learn about why we don't fly off into space, what mass has to do with it, how does air resistance work, and why gravity is different on the moon. In this compilation, Sabrina helps us understand some of these things. "
  • Video: How We'll Find Life On Other Planets
    Astronomer Aomawa Shields searches for clues that life might exist elsewhere in the universe by examining the atmospheres of distant exoplanets. When she isn't exploring the heavens, the classically trained actor (and TED Fellow) looks for ways to engage young women in the sciences using theater, writing and visual art. "Maybe one day they'll join the ranks of astronomers who are full of contradictions," she says, "and use their backgrounds to discover, once and for all, that we are truly not alone in the universe."- TED 2015
  • Video: Is There Life On Other Planets?
    Could there be life on other planets? Did life come to Earth from space? Have we already found evidence that aliens exist?
  • Video: Life On Other Planets- Crash Course Kids #45.1
    "Have you ever wondered if there is anyone (or anything) else out there in the universe? Well, you're not alone. But what would alien life look like? And what would their food chains and food webs look like? In this episode of Crash Course Kids, Sabrina gives us some ideas about what we might find out there... some day."
  • Video: Meet the Tarigrade The Toughest Animal on Earth
    "Without water, a human can only survive for about 100 hours. But there’s a creature so resilient that it can go without it for decades. This 1-millimeter animal can survive both the hottest and coldest environments on earth, and can even withstand high levels of radiation. Thomas Boothby introduces us to the tardigrade, one of the toughest creatures on Earth."- TED-Ed
  • Video: Tardigrades Are the Toughest Animal on Earth That Can Survive Space and Volcanos
    "Tardigrades, also known as water bears or moss piglets, are the toughest and probably the weirdest animal species on Earth. Tardigrades are eight-legged micro-animals that can withstand just about anything, from mass extinctions to the vacuum of outer space, to the pressure of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on Earth, and radiation 1,000 times stronger than humans can handle"
  • Video: We Are Star Stuff- Cosmic Poetry
    From the History's Channel "The Universe" series, season one; "Beyond The Big Bang". Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the connections we all have, with Sagan-like poetry.
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Space Messengers is made possible in part by the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund for U.S. Alumni; an opportunity sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by Partners of the Americas. This project is supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts