Noelle Napovanic Kearney

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Solar Chimneys Can Convert Hot Air to Energy, But Is Funding a Mirage?

Veteran balloonist is among those eyeing solar updraft towers as an alternative to traditional panels.<p><b>Chile's Atacama Desert is as eerily beautiful as it is barren, hot, and dry. Yet this seemingly inhospitable patch of Earth might be the perfect host for a different kind of solar energy, one that</b> …

Renewable Energy

Did Iapetus's Mountains Fall From Space?

Where peaks come from<p>If you could hike to the equator of Saturn's moon Iapetus, you would find a strange sight: a sudden mountain range jutting out of the ground, more than 12 miles high. Images from the Cassini spacecraft show that the ridge is a narrow 12 miles in width, and extends for more than …

The Incredible Early Digital Camera Backs That NASA Sent Into Space

In the early days of the 90s, most people had never even heard of a digital camera, let alone used one. But the folks at NASA were already sending …

New Fossil Takes A Bite Out Of Theory That Sharks Barely Evolved

Sharks have looked more or less the same for hundreds of millions of years. But a newly discovered fossil suggests that under the hood, a modern shark is very different from its ancient ancestors.<p>The finding, published in the journal Nature, strongly implies that sharks are not the "living fossils" …

Our Mars Orbiter Looked Down and Saw Our Mars Rover

From space, the U.S. Curiosity rover looks scarab-like.<p>Right now, five human spacecrafts study Mars by hanging out near it. Two do it from the Martian surface—the Curiosity rover, which began its mission in 2012, and the more-than-a-decade-old Opportunity rover—and three do it while orbiting around …

Meet Kepler-186f, the most 'Earth-like' planet ever found

Sifting through observations from tens of thousands of distant stars, astronomers say they have discovered the first definitive Earth-sized planet that orbits in a habitable zone where water could exist in liquid form — a necessary condition for life as we know it.<p>Experts don’t know if the planet, …

Universe