Top Three GOP Candidates are All Non-Politicians

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A ballot box

September 1, 2015

The Polls in Iowa by Monmouth University have Ben Carson and Donald Trump tied with 23% each and Carly Fiorina with 10%, followed by Ted Cruz with 9% and Scott Walker with 7%, Bush 5%, Rubio 4%, Kasich 4%, Paul 3%, Huckabee 2%, Santorum 2%, Jindal 1%, Perry 1%, Christie 1%, Graham 0%.









Fountain Lake School District receives a bomb threat

August 31, 2015

At approximately 11:42 am today the Fountain Lake School District received a phone call in reference to a bomb threat. Fountain Lake School officials contacted the Garland County Sheriff’s Office and the school was placed on lock down. The Garland County Sheriff’s Department Tactical Response Team conducted a search of the campus and Fountain Lake School has been cleared. The incident is under investigation and have no further information to release at this time.

UPDATE: No Bomb was located.

NASA, USAID Open Environmental Information Hub for Southeast Asia

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (right) cuts the ceremonial ribbon celebrating the opening of the SERVIR-Mekong hub in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. Beth Paige (center), mission director for USAID Regional Mission for Asia, and Bhichit Rattakul, special advisor to the Asian Disaster Prepardness Center, joined Bolden.
Credits: USAID Asia

Aug. 31, 2015

NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Monday launched SERVIR-Mekong, a joint project to strengthen regional environmental monitoring in five countries in the lower Mekong region of Southeast Asia.

One of three SERVIR hubs now operating in developing regions of the world, the center is housed at the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in Bangkok, Thailand, and joins a growing global community of scientists and decision-makers using publicly available data from space assets to address critical regional issues.

“Today, NASA demonstrates the human impact of its science mission here on Earth and our commitment to protecting the resources, the environment and most of all the millions of people living, working and raising new generations of pioneers and innovators across the region,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who took part in the facility’s official opening along with NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan.

Researchers draw on a continuous stream of space-based climate, weather and other Earth observation data from NASA and its partners, sharing timely information with governments and researchers in Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam and addressing issues such as water management, land use planning, disaster risk reduction and management of natural resources.

The SERVIR program helps governments and development stakeholders incorporate Earth observations and geospatial technologies into natural disaster response, improve food security, safeguard human health, and manage water and natural resources. Hubs in each region focus on issues and needs most critical to local populations.

“Under SERVIR-Mekong, we are tapping into the best available science and technology to help protect this region’s vital ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society,” said Beth Paige, director of USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia. “Already, Asian scientists, NASA scientists and others are beginning to develop tools to build resilience and contribute to tackling some of the region’s most pressing challenges.”

Partnering with NASA and USAID, as part of the SERVIR-Mekong consortium, are the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center; Deltares, headquartered in Delft, The Netherlands; the Stockholm Environment Institute in Sweden; and, the Spatial Informatics Group of Pleasanton, California. SERVIR global demand support is provided by Development Alternatives Incorporated, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.

SERVIR was developed in coordination with the Group on Earth Observations, an alliance of more than 90 nations and organizations collaborating to build a global Earth-observing system to benefit society’s needs. Named for a Spanish term meaning “to serve,” the program was initiated in 2005 by researchers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, which continues to house the SERVIR Coordination Office. NASA, USAID and their partners operate SERVIR hubs in Kathmandu, Nepal, serving the Hindu-Kush-Himalaya region, and in Nairobi, Kenya, serving Eastern and Southern Africa. The first SERVIR hub, launched in 2005 in Panama City, Panama, served the Mesoamerican region and the Dominican Republic.

SERVIR is operated by the Earth Science Division’s Applied Sciences Program in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Marshall collaborates with four other NASA field centers on SERVIR: Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California; Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California; and, Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

Western Wildfire Smoke Has Drifted Over the Atlantic

photo: NASA

Aug. 31, 2015

Smoke from the treacherous western wildfires of both the U.S. and Canada has wafted across country and out to sea.  In this natural-color satellite image collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite on August 29, 2015, remnants of the smoke are swirling out above the Atlantic Ocean.  Prince Edward Island can be seen in this image as well as New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption: NASA/Goddard, Lynn Jenner

Last Updated: Aug. 31, 2015
Editor: Lynn Jenner

Hubble Sees a Youthful Cluster

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA,  Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt
Text credit: European Space Agency

Aug. 28, 2015

Shown here in a new image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is the globular cluster NGC 1783. This is one of the biggest globular clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, in the southern hemisphere constellation of Dorado.

First observed by John Herschel in 1835, NGC 1783 is nearly 160,000 light-years from Earth, and has a mass around 170,000 times that of the sun.

Globular clusters are dense collections of stars held together by their own gravity, which orbit around galaxies like satellites. The image clearly shows the symmetrical shape of NGC 1783 and the concentration of stars towards the center, both typical features of globular clusters.

By measuring the color and brightness of individual stars, astronomers can deduce an overall age for a cluster and a picture of its star formation history. NGC 1783 is thought to be less than one and a half billion years old — which is very young for globular clusters, which are typically several billion years old. During that time, it is thought to have undergone at least two periods of star formation, separated by 50 to 100 million years.

This ebb and flow of star-forming activity is an indicator of how much gas is available for star formation at any one time. When the most massive stars created in the first burst of formation explode as supernovae they blow away the gas needed to form further stars, but the gas reservoir can later be replenished by less massive stars which last longer and shed their gas less violently. After this gas flows to the dense central regions of the star cluster, a second phase of star formation can take place and once again the short-lived massive stars blow away any leftover gas. This cycle can continue a few times, at which time the remaining gas reservoir is thought to be too small to form any new stars.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA,  Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt
Text credit: European Space Agency

Last Updated: Aug. 28, 2015
Editor: Ashley Morrow