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Ecosystems on the planet.


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Fragile and diverse ecosystems on the planet.
Fragile and diverse ecosystems on the planet.

Images of Wetlands from Space.

Nov 26, 2003 The Earth's wetlands are home to some of the most fragile and diverse ecosystems on the planet, and they're under constant threat from human agriculture, pollution, and settlement. This month the European Space Agency began a program to map 50 wetland areas around the Earth from space to help keep track of their health. ESA's Envisat is able to tell the difference between dry and waterlogged areas, and will be able to provide annual data about how various wetlands change throughout the seasons.

The Next Supernova?

Nov 26, 2003 The European Southern Observatory has released new images of a relatively nearby star, Eta Carina, which could be in the final stages of its life and could explode as a supernova in the near future (astronomically-speaking) - within the next 10-20,000 years or so. The star is 7,500 light years away, 100 times the mass of the Sun, and the most luminous object in the Milky Way. Since 1841, it has created a beautiful nebula around itself by continuously shedding outside layers while it spins quickly. By watching how Eta Carina changes, Astronomers will gain valuable insights into the final stages of a supermassive star's life.

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