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Windows to the Universe
An <a href="http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usc000905e.php">8.6 magnitude earthquake</a> struck on 11 April 2012 off of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia, followed by a strong aftershock.  Earthquake motion was primarily horizontal.  A tsunami warning was issued for the Indian Ocean, but was cancelled at 12:36 UTC.  A tsunami was observed at 1 meter or less. Find out more about <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/geology/quake_1.html&edu=high">earthquake</a> and <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/tsunami1.html&edu=high">tsunami</a> processes. Check out the resources <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/teacher_resources/2011_AGU-NESTA_GIFT_Workshop.html&edu=high">here</a>.<p><small><em>NOAA</em></small></p>Scientists at the University of Michigan have found that <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/polar/cryosphere_permafrost1.html&edu=high">permafrost</a> in the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/polar/polar_north.html&edu=high">Arctic</a> is extremely sensitive to sunlight.  Exposure to sunlight releases carbon gases trapped in the permafrost, including <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/climate/earth_greenhouse.html&edu=high">climate-warming</a> <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/physical_science/chemistry/carbon_dioxide.html&edu=high">carbon dioxide</a>, to the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/overview.html&edu=high">atmosphere</a> much faster than previously thought.<p><small><em>George Kling, The University of Michigan</em></small></p>According to <a href="http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-277">NASA scientists</a>, the Voyager 1 spacecraft entered interstellar space in August 2012, becoming the first spacecraft to leave the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/our_solar_system/solar_system.html&edu=high">solar system</a>. The space probe is about 19 billion km from the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/sun/sun.html&edu=high">Sun</a>.  <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/space_missions/voyager.html&edu=high">Voyager 1 and 2</a> were launched in 1977 on a <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/space_missions/voyager.html&edu=high">mission</a> that flew them both by <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/jupiter/jupiter.html&edu=high">Jupiter</a> and <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/saturn/saturn.html&edu=high">Saturn</a>, with Voyager 2 continuing to <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/uranus/uranus.html&edu=high">Uranus</a> and <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/neptune/neptune.html&edu=high">Neptune</a>. Voyager 2 is the longest continuously operated spacecraft. It is about 15 billion km away from the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/sun/sun.html&edu=high">Sun</a>.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of NASA</em></small></p>Greenlandís <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/polar/cryosphere_glacier1.html">ice sheet</a> saw a record <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/headline_universe/olpa/greenland_10dec07.html">melt</a> in July 2012.  Scientists studying this event have found that this melting event was triggered by an influx of unusually warm air and amplified by the presence of a blanket of thin low-level <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/cloud.html">clouds</a> which pushed temperatures up above freezing.  For more information see the <a href="http://www.news.wisc.edu/21638">press release</a> from the University of Wisconsin Madison.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Madison</em></small></p>Scientists are concerned that melting Arctic sea ice will increase the amount of fresh water in the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/polar/arctic_currents.html&edu=high">Beaufort Gyre</a>, which could spill out into the Atlantic and cause major climate shifts in North America and Western Europe. Watch the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/changing_planet/freshwater_arctic.html&edu=high">Changing Planet: Fresh Water in the Arctic video</a>.<p><small><em> Courtesy of Jack Cook, WHOI (<a href="http://www.whoi.edu">Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute</a>)</em></small></p>A new study has found that <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/airpollution_intro.html&edu=high">pollution</a> from <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/particulates.html&edu=high">fine particles</a> in the air - mainly the result of burning coal or <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/interior/eruptions.html&edu=high">volcanic eruptions</a> - can shade <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Life/cnidarian.html&edu=high">corals</a> from sunlight and cool the surrounding water resulting in reduced growth rates.  Coral growth rates in the Caribbean were affected by volcanic aerosol emissions in the early 20th century and by aerosol emissions caused by humans in the later 20th century.  For more information, see the <a href="http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_278202_en.html">press release</a>.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of Toby Hudson (Wikimedia Commons)</em></small></p>

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF