River blindness (onchocerciasis) is an affliction caused by a parasitic worm that is transmitted person-to-person by the bites of Simulium sp. black flies. The Carter Center targeted its river blindness eradication efforts in the Americas by using Landsat and Terra satellite data to find previously unknown populations at risk. This information can aid public health officials to identify specific health needs and expand the delivery of health services to isolated communities.
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Download our new poster to celebrate Earth Day 2018 on April 22. In Carl Sagan's words, "The Earth's surface is the shore of the cosmic ocean."
Ozone (O3) in the air we breathe can have detrimental effects on human health and the environment. The U.S. EPA utilized NASA Aura satellite data of North American background ozone levels to guide its updated National Ambient Air Quality Standards. These new standards will enhance public health for all citizens, including high-risk populations such as children and the elderly.
Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic disease transmitted to humans by the bites of Anopheles sp. mosquitoes. In the Peruvian Amazon, scientists are turning to satellite data from Landsat, the Global Precipitation Measurement mission, Terra, and Aqua to develop a system that can forecast malaria outbreaks at the household level. These data can provide additional tools for scientists and public health officials to mitigate disease risk and target resource distribution to at-risk communities.
The Moon, Mars and Saturn form a pretty triangle in early April, The Lyrid Meteors are visible in late April, peaking high overhead on the 22nd.
When NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren blasted off from Kazakhstan in July of 2015 for his first expedition aboard the International Space Station, he had some lofty expectations:
“I was eager to see Earth from space,” he says.
“And I couldn’t wait to float in microgravity,” he recalls.
And … he confessed… “I kind of expected the International Space Station to smell like a locker room.”
More than halfway across the universe, an enormous blue star nicknamed Icarus is the farthest individual star ever seen. Normally, it would be much too faint to view, even with the world’s largest telescopes. But through a quirk of nature that tremendously amplifies the star’s feeble glow, astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope were able to pinpoint this faraway star and set a new distance record. They also used Icarus to test one theory of dark matter, and to probe the make-up of a foreground galaxy cluster.
Up above the clouds, Earth’s atmosphere gives way to space. This interface is called the ionosphere. Changes in the ionosphere – in reaction to space weather above and Earth’s weather below -- can disrupt communications and GPS signals and could potentially harm astronauts. So it is important to understand the region fully.
Starting next year, scientists will get their first look deep below the surface of Mars. That's when NASA will send the first robotic lander dedicated to exploring the planet's subsurface. InSight, which stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, will study marsquakes to learn about the Martian crust, mantle and core.
Enveloping our planet and protecting us from the fury of the Sun is a giant bubble of magnetism called the magnetosphere. It deflects most of the solar material sweeping towards us from our star at 1 million miles per hour or more. Without the magnetosphere, the relentless action of these solar particles could strip the Earth of its protective layers, which shield us from the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation. It’s clear that this magnetic bubble was key to helping Earth develop into a habitable planet.