Month: February 2016

An Earthling’s Guide to Black Holes

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Welcome, earthlings, to the place of no return — a region in space where the gravitational pull is so strong, not even light can escape it. This is a black hole.

It’s ok to feel lost here. Even Einstein — whose Theory of General Relativity made it possible to conceive of such a place — thought the concept was too bizarre to exist. But Einstein was wrong, and here you are.

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Image: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a high energy blast, likely a black hole eating, at the center of a galaxy. Credit – NASA

The black hole is a hungry beast.

It swallows up everything too close, too slow or too small to fight its gravitational force — even light. With every planet, gas, star or bit of mass consumed, the black hole grows.

At the edge of a black hole, its event horizon, is the point of no return. Stay far away from the event horizon, because that’s where the hole pulls in light. And nothing is faster than light. At the event horizon, everything enters the black hole.

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Copernicus Global Land Service

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The Copernicus Global Land Service is the component of the Copernicus Land service which ensures a global systematic monitoring of the Earth’s land surface. It provides bio-geophysical variables in near real time describing the state of vegetation, the energy budget and the water cycle, including their changes and disturbances, derived from the imagery of low and medium resolution satellite sensors.

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The Global Land Service is a component of the Copernicus Land service that provides a series of bio-geophysical products on the status and evolution of land surface at global scale at mid and low spatial resolution. Products are mentioned below.

VEGETATION STATE products
Bio-geophysical variables to understand ecosystem dynamics, estimate crop yield, manage natural resources, assess global land carbon budget and to characterise environmental conditions and disturbances for climate modelling.

ENERGY BUDGET products
Surface radiation variables useful in a wide range of applications related to land surface processes, including (agro-)meteorology, hydrology and also environmental surveys and climate studies.

WATER CYCLE products
The water cycle plays a major role in land-atmosphere exchanges. These variables are useful for applications such as ecosystem health, crop and forest productivity, regional and global climate impact analysis.

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New Sentinels Data Hub for the Copernicus Services

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A new dedicated access point for the dissemination of the Sentinel products is in place for the Copernicus Service Project members: the Copernicus Services Data Hub. The copernicus Services Data Hub initially provides access to Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 products that have been acquired as of 1 December 2015. The Sentinel-1 historical dataset (which starts with acquisitions dated back to the 3 October 2014) will be gradually published.

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The Sentinel-1 data offer for the Scientific Data Hub consists of:

  • Level-0 and Level-1 user products for the following acquisition modes:
    • Strip Map (SM)
    • Interferometric Wide Swath (IW)
    • Extra Wide Swath (EW)
  • Level-2 user products for the following acquisition modes:
    • Wave (WV)
    • Interferometric Wide Swath (IW)
    • Extra Wide Swath (EW)

Anyone can register online via self-registration. The self-registration process is automatic and immediate. Registration grants access rights for searching and downloading Sentinel-1 products. Sentinel-1 products are available at no cost for anybody. The data available through the Data Hub is governed by the Terms and Conditions of the use and distribution of Sentinel data, which the User is deemed to have accepted by using the Sentinel data.

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Registration and Downloading

NHAI aims for conservation and protection of wildlife

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NHAI propose using space technology for planning and monitoring of conflict zones and putting in place mitigation measures for environmental protection and conservation along the highways. Conservation of wildlife is the focus of attention. Chairman NHAI has assured to undertake all necessary measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate any impact on wildlife that may result in the course of development of National Highways.

NHAI to develop GIS Maps of National Highway

NHAI would provide the coordinates of all NH projects to WII for developing a Geological Information System (GIS) enabled map of all National Highways passing through Protected Areas. Chairman, NHAI emphasized the necessity of scientific designing of mitigation measures, so that the project designs could be optimized, safeguarding wildlife while maintaining the cost-effectiveness of the projects on long term basis. With such a platform in place, NHAI expects to reduce the time factor in consultations, clearances and finalization of mitigation plans thereby saving huge costs to the society.

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MANIT Organising Two Days Workshop on Free and Open Source GIS

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Maps have an important role in the development and planning process. The decision- making process has become increasingly quantitative and mathematical models have become commonplace. Prior to the computerized map, most spatial analyses were severely limited by their manual processing procedures. The computer has provided the means for both efficient handling of voluminous data and effective spatial analysis capabilities.

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The three-geospatial technologies namely, Remote Sensing, GIS and GNSS in integration could provide an efficient and cost-effective tool in the development, monitoring and management of natural resources and infrastructure and these are nowadays known by a
single name Geoinformatics or Geomatics. Geoinformatics is one of the three “megatechnologies” of the 21st century namely Geoinformatics, Nanotechnology & Biotechnology. Geoinformatics has the capability to provide the backbone for the Digital India mission recently launched by the Govt. of India.

Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal, is organising two days national workshop on “Free & Open Source Solutions on Geoinformatics”. This workshop will provide an opportunity to the academicians, researchers, scientists, field engineers and administrators, for the theoretical and practical knowledge of Free and Open Source Solutions of Geoinformatics.

Information Brochure

Event Website

 

NASA’s Airborne Survey of Coral Reefs

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Anyone who has strapped on diving gear and glided past a healthy coral reef knows that few sights in nature are as breathtaking. From the intricately embroidered patchwork of the corals themselves to the myriad of multicolored creatures that live in the reefs’ crevices to the shimmering schools of fish that seem to move as one, every cubic inch of a thriving coral habitat appears to be alive and teaming with complexity. In truth, coral reef habitats represent some of the densest and most varied ecosystems on Earth. Though they cover only 0.2 percent of the ocean’s floor, scientists estimate that nearly one million species of fish, invertebrates, and algae can be found in and around the world’s reefs.If 33­50 percent of the world’s coral reefs have already been degraded or lost due to climate change and human impacts, most of the functioning reef ecosystems may well disappear by mid­century, say reef scientists.

If 33­50 percent of the world’s coral reefs have already been degraded or lost due to climate change and human impacts, most of the functioning reef ecosystems may well disappear by mid­century, say reef scientists.

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As a first step to estimate the extent of damage to coral reefs, NASA has embarked on an air­borne three­year field experiment called The COral Reef Airborne Laboratory (CORAL), which aims to survey the conditions of the major reefs of the world through remote­sensing.

A new three-year NASA field expedition gets underway this year that will use advanced instruments on airplanes and in the water to survey more of the world’s coral reefs, and in far greater detail, than ever before. The COral Reef Airborne Laboratory (CORAL) will measure the condition of these threatened ecosystems and create a unique database of uniform scale and quality.

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News Paper Article

Whoa!! ArcGIS Earth is Here. Download Your Free Copy Today

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Demand for 3D is growing. As more companies, governments, and nonprofits use 3D, it is becoming expected for communicating plans, analysis, and operational information, in fields as diverse as engineering, construction, and emergency response. Users benefit from the immersive and visually compelling experience only 3D can provide.

The ArcGIS platform’s 3D capabilities span a number of products that are built to meet the needs of our diverse user base. At one end of the spectrum, ArcGIS Pro enables users to do advanced 2D and 3D visualization, editing, analysis, and publishing. At the other end, the 3D Scene Viewer allows anyone with a web browser to easily view, create, and share location information in 3D.

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Users who need rapid access to KML and other open standard and proprietary GIS data will be able to quickly launch the app, explore data, and share information using a familiar workflow. They can follow links to external information, and double check important features on the map. ArcGIS Earth can be used to view 2D and 3D data, imagery, and other information in KML, Shapefiles, or CSV files.

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