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Earth & Space News
Today's earth & space headlines from the sources selected by our team:

Signs of Europa plumes remain elusive in search of Cassini data
A fresh look at data collected by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during its 2001 flyby of Jupiter shows that Europa's tenuous atmosphere is even thinner than previously thought and also suggests that the thin, hot gas around the moon does not show evidence of plume activity occurring at the time of the flyby. The new research provides a snapshot of Europa's state of activity at that time, and suggests that if there is plume activity, it is likely intermittent.
Space & Time News -- ScienceDaily, Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:24:19 GMT

NASA's Kepler reborn, makes first exoplanet find of new mission
NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft makes a comeback with the discovery of the first exoplanet found using its new mission -- K2. The discovery was made when astronomers and engineers devised an ingenious way to repurpose Kepler for the K2 mission and continue its search of the cosmos for other worlds.
Space & Time News -- ScienceDaily, Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:24:19 GMT

Dust devil and the details: Spinning up a storm on Mars
Spinning up a dust devil in the thin air of Mars requires a stronger updraft than is needed to create a similar vortex on Earth, researchers show. β€œTo start a dust devil on Mars you need convection, a strong updraft,” said Bryce Williams, an atmospheric science graduate student at UAH. β€œWe looked at the ratio between convection and surface turbulence to find the sweet spot where there is enough updraft to overcome the low level wind and turbulence. And on Mars, where we think the process that creates a vortex is more easily disrupted by frictional dissipation – turbulence and wind at the surface – you need twice as much convective updraft as you do on Earth.”
Space & Time News -- ScienceDaily, Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:24:19 GMT

Mind-Blowing Earth From Space Time-Lapses Compiled | Video
European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst snapped some incredible imagery of the Earth during his tour aboard the ISS. 12,5000 images of auroras, lightning, landscapes and nightscapes were compiled to create this tour of Earth., Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:24:19 GMT

Could the Dwarf Planet Ceres Support Life?
In March 2015, NASA's Dawn spacecraft will arrive in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Ceres may be capable of supporting life as we know it, some researchers say., Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:24:19 GMT

Biggest Solar Flares of 2014: Sun Storm Photos
See photos and images of the biggest solar flares of 2014 in this gallery of photos by NASA spacecraft and solar astronomers., Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:24:19 GMT

Water fleas prepared for trip to space
Local 'Daphnia' waterfleas are currently being prepared by scientists at the University of Birmingham for their trip to the International Space Station (ISS), where they will be observed by astronauts. Astronomy & Space News, Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:24:20 GMT

NASA's first Orion crew module arrives safely back at Kennedy Space Center
After a history making journey of more than 66,000 miles through space, ocean splash down and over 2000 mile cross country journey through the back woods of America, NASA's pathfinding Orion crew capsule has returned to its home base at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Astronomy & Space News, Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:24:20 GMT

The worst trip around the world
As you celebrate the end of the year in the warmth of your home, spare a thought for the organisms riding with a third-class ticket on the International Space Station – bolted to the outside with no protection against open space. Astronomy & Space News, Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:24:20 GMT

Image: Multicoloured view of supernova remnant
Most celestial events unfold over thousands of years or more, making it impossible to follow their evolution on human timescales. Supernovas are notable exceptions, the powerful stellar explosions that make stars as bright as an entire galaxy for several days. Astronomy & Space News, Mon, 22 Dec 2014 15:24:20 GMT

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