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'NASA satellite to measure Earth's melting ice'

NASA is set to launch a satellite equipped with the most advanced laser instrument of its kind into space, to provide critical observations of how the Earth's ice sheets, glaciers, and sea ice are changing.

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Washington: NASA is set to launch a satellite equipped with the most advanced laser instrument of its kind into space, to provide critical observations of how the Earth's ice sheets, glaciers, and sea ice are changing.

Scheduled to launch on September 15, the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) will measure the average annual elevation change of land ice covering Greenland and Antarctica, capturing 60,000 measurements every second.

"The new observational technologies of ICESat-2, a top recommendation of the scientific community in NASA's first Earth science decadal survey will advance our knowledge of how the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica contribute to sea level rise," said Michael Freilich, from NASA's Science Mission Directorate in the US.

ICESat-2 represents a major technological leap in our ability to measure changes in ice height, NASA said in a statement.

Its Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) measures height by timing how long it takes individual light photons to travel from the spacecraft to Earth and back.

"ATLAS required us to develop new technologies to get the measurements needed by scientists to advance the research," said Doug McLennan, ICESat-2 project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

"That meant we had to engineer a satellite instrument that not only will collect incredibly precise data, but also will collect more than 250 times as many height measurements as its predecessor," McLennan said.

ATLAS will fire 10,000 times each second, sending hundreds of trillions of photons to the ground in six beams of green light.

The roundtrip of individual laser photons from ICESat-2 to Earth's surface and back is timed to the billionth of a second to precisely measure elevation.

As it circles Earth from pole to pole, ICESat-2 will measure ice heights along the same path in the polar regions four times a year, providing seasonal and annual monitoring of ice elevation changes, NASA said.

Beyond the poles, ICESat-2 will measure the height of ocean and land surfaces, including forests.

ATLAS is designed to measure both the tops of trees and the ground below, which combined with existing datasets on forest extent will help researchers estimate the amount of carbon stored in the world's forests.

Researchers also will investigate the height data collected on ocean waves, reservoir levels, and urban areas.

"Because ICESat-2 will provide measurements of unprecedented precision with global coverage, it will yield not only new insight into the polar regions but also unanticipated findings across the globe," said Thorsten Markus, an ICESat-2 project scientist at Goddard.



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All of us are concerned about feelings, mainly our own. Sad to say, we give little thought to other people and their feelings and, as I said, we are rather egregiously and absolutely concerned with our own typical human self-involvement and egotism. This little essay will concern itself with analyzing feelings.

The first thing that must be said is that feelings are very inexact indicators of truth. Our feelings may be affected when someone chooses not to talk to us, or declines, or is indifferent to that issue. In reality, that person may be simply living their life without reference to our feelings at all, or to ourselves at all. We interpret their indifference or lack of attention to us as a stab at our feelings and personhood, At times, our feelings are affected when someone speaks to us in what we perceive as an overly harsh, cutting, and mean spirited fashion. That may be the way that person speaks to everyone and that particular behavior may be and is not directed to us or our feelings.

Thus as we see by these examples our feelings interpret things and twist them, misleading us, and so it may be said that feelings are not very exact indicators of truth. Second, in the present state of society, feelings do not occupy a very great role. An example would be the ideal of romantic love, which governed western culture for some 1900 years up to the present time when lust has taken over. lf we chance to view the movies or listen to the Broadway shows of the 1930s and 1940s, we see romantic love featured men and women approach each other gingerly and barely touch.

At that time in society, love was paramount, not lust. The films of that era depicted men and women as falling in love and getting married. The films of today portray them as jumping into bed, to wit the James Bond films. The popular music of our day is crude and its lyrics at times offensive, featuring animal passion as opposed to the love songs of South Pacific, one of the great Broadway shows of the 1940s, including "Some Enchanted Evening". If we have not grown up from love, we perhaps have grown away from it and so feelings are nulled and hidden and not really featured.

The delicacy of romantic love and the love songs of the Broadway stage have been overcome by crude, loud, blaring cacophony, featuring grotesquely offensive lyrics.

One may speculate that the reason for this is the decline of the Christian worldview which promoted love leading to marriage. That worldview has been slowly eroded and in some cases eliminated depending on who you are talking to.

A final point in this little literary byway about feelings is that feelings and emotions differ between child and adult. The child is concerned, if not twisted and obsessed with, his own feelings and being loved or better put being the recipient of love from his parents, teachers and other adults that he or she looks up to. Adult feelings are different. Compassion, kindness, and charity are adult emotions and feelings. They

concern themselves not with the feelings of our persons in our self but concern consideration and humanity as respects others. Only a mature adult can realize and express these feelings. What then can we say of feelings? What with cell phones, emails, computers DVDs, television, and movies feelings and relationships are distant and removed and so love is distant and removed. This is another reason why feelings are on the decline in our present society. We are more and more separated by technology and electronics and the opportunity to form giving, concerned, compassionate humanitarian relationships is becoming and has become more and more difficult if not unreachable.

One may hope that human relationships will make a comeback from the forces of darkness that assault us men and women A world without feelings between persons is a gray, boring world and is unforgiving and without growth and dynamism. One may hope that there will be a return to the romantic humanitarian ideal, which is the only way to true growth.

Isn’t it time that we move beyond religion and rules and belief into honest spirituality which is based on personal experience? Religion offers community which feels comforting and guidelines for behavior which build character. But true spirituality requires an adult’s presence to her own experience. Thinking about what an authority tells us is, at best, a jumping off point for us to assume our own authority.

Developing your personal spirituality means that you choose to participate with Life as an adult. You own your responsibility not only for your behavior but for your thoughts and for conflicts lying just below your awareness. You know that at your core you are a spiritual being having a human experience. You accept that this lifetime is a gift for you to learn some truths and, wisely, you surrender. You know that change is constant and you release your hold on everything, appreciating in this moment what you have been given but not demanding that it continue.

The emphasis is on attending. What am I supposed to learn from this frustration? What is my lesson in losing what I had loved? How am I gifted by the obstacles that block my hoped-for path? We pay attention to the details of our lives in a non-proprietary way.

Through our surrender we see pattern in our experience. We learn to listen to Life and to trust its tugs. We notice that we are asked to submit and to receive. We practice presence. We experience everything, inside and outside, and we release it. We practice gratitude, especially for what we don’t like. ‘Thank you for the opportunity to learn patience while I sit at this red light.’ ‘Thank you for showing me the part of myself I hate in another whom I find irritating.’

A Spirituality of Your Own

And we notice that the details of the day lead us deeper within ourselves. When we pay attention to what happens to us, we are led to what happens within us. We learn more by observing than by attempting to direct.

When we appreciate the unity of the outside world and the inside world, then we truly experience our own spirituality. Spirituality is oneness. It isn’t light and joy and beauty and otherworldly music. It’s the baby crying and the cat messing on the new carpet and the car that stops on the freeway and the job that doesn’t materialize. And it’s saying, “Yes, thank you. Now show me the next step.”

When we embrace our spirituality we say “Yes” to everything that happens because we know that we are one with everything. Our lifetime is not an opportunity to run our will. We are not on earth to see what we can make of ourselves. When we accept Life as an adventure and know that we are the students, then we open to learn. Openness, attention, and surrender are the hallmarks of a mature spirituality.

About Author -

Ruth Cherry, PhD

Ruth is the author of Living in the Flow: Practicing Vibrational Alignment, Accepting Unconditional Love, Transformation Workbook, and Open Your Heart.

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