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Help Track Down Illegal Fishing Boats in Cocos Island, Costa Rica From Your Computer

Turtle Island Restoration Network is proud to announce a new pilot program to find illegal fishing vessels within the Marine Protected Area surrounding Cocos Island, Costa Rica. Turtle Island teamed up with DigitalGlobe’s crowdsourcing platform, Tomnod.com, to create one of the first crowd sourced, digital patrols of the marine hot-spot using satellite imagery. Cocos Island…

Monster Sunspot Threatens Earth With Solar Storms

Mr. Sun is angry, and Earth better look out.

June 29, 2014: Refueling Satellites in Space, Sequencing the Koala Genome and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. This week, we walk in space to refuel a satellite, cure koalas of chlamydia, play soccer the Brazilian way, end elephant poaching in Tanzania, run out of air at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, pair scientists with adventurers, road trip through the American South, and “revisit the Golden Age of Exploration.”

Tenacious Whimbrels Can Handle Hurricanes, Not Habitat Loss

  Hurricane Isaac captured the country’s attention last month as it lumbered across Florida and raked over New Orleans, impacting millions of people. But before Isaac had even reached land, indeed while it was still not even a hurricane, many in the birding world were watching a single bird struggling against its high winds. I…

NASA’s O/OREOS Dunking Bacteria in Space Rays

Today NASA officials announced that a tiny satellite launched last week has started conducting astrobiology experiments in low-Earth orbit. —Image courtesy NASA No bigger than a bread box, the Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital Stresses, or O/OREOS, satellite lifted off from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska on November 19 aboard a U.S. Air Force rocket.…

Tiny Solar Sail Pitched to Clean Up Space Junk

From huge patches of plastic in remote corners of the ocean to piles of consumer electronics in rural Nigeria, trash has a way of accumulating even in places few of Earth’s 6.8 billion people have ever been. Space is no exception: Even though the first satellite went into low-Earth orbit a little over 50 years…

To Keep an Eye on the Weather, NOAA GOES P

—Image courtesy NOAA Next week NASA will launch the latest in a series of satellites run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration designed to track extreme weather events from space. Known as the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, or GOES, each craft carries a letter designation until it arrives in orbit, when it is renamed…

Someone to Watch Over You

Conservationist, marine biologist, and NatGeo Fellow Enric Sala and I drove to Dulles, Virginia on Friday to visit GeoEye headquarters. The company manages a fleet of Earth imaging satellites, including IKONOS and GeoEye-1, which traverse the globe from pole to pole every 90 minutes 423 miles (681 kilometers) overhead. Both IKONOS and GeoEye-1 can scan…

Martian “Weather Satellite” Has Dust in its Eye

Any allergy sufferer will tell you that dust can be a killer. But those dust bunnies under the couch have nothing on the planet-wide storms that periodically engulf Mars in late spring and early summer. —Image courtesy NASA, J. Ball (Cornell), M. Wolff (SSI), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) Such storms are kind of…