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Environment

Planetarium Feature Film This Weekend: Exoplanets

on January 8, 2016 - 8:09am

Exoplanets poster. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Pajarito Environmental Education Center is bringing Exoplanets back to the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9 and Sunday Jan. 10.

Exoplanets takes audiences on a journey to observeplanets beyond our solar systemand uncover the science and astronomy behind their discovery. This full-dome film was produced by Casper Planetarium.

Tickets may be purchased by phone or at the nature centerand are only $6 for adults and $4 for children. This movie is recommended for ages four and up.

January Night Sky Planetarium Show 7 p.m. Friday

on January 7, 2016 - 5:05pm

View of the night sky and our Milky Way galaxy. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Do you want to learn more about the stars and constellations of winter? Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is holding a star show in the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8. Paul Ardent will give a tour of celestial objects easily viewed through binoculars. Discover a neighboring galaxy, planets, star clusters, nebulae, and double stars visible in our winter sky.

The January Night Sky planetarium show is $6 for adults and $4 for children.

NWS Issues Winter Storm Warning Through Friday

on January 7, 2016 - 7:19am

NWS NEWS:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING. THE THIRD AND COLDEST SYSTEM OF THE WEEK WILL BEGIN IMPACTING THE AREA TODAY AND WILL CONTINUE INTO FRIDAY EVENING.

SNOW WILL BEGIN FLYING ACROSS WESTERN NEW MEXICO THIS MORNING. SNOW WILL GRADUALLY SPREAD NORTH AND EAST ACROSS THE AREA TONIGHT. SIGNIFICANT SNOW AMOUNTS ARE LIKELY ACROSS MUCH OF THE HIGHER TERRAIN.

THE EVENT WILL GRADUALLY DIMINISH FROM WEST TO EAST FRIDAY ... BUT MAY CONTINUE THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT ACROSS THE NORTHEAST DUE TO THE INTERACTION OF A BACKDOOR COLD FRONT AND AN EXITING UPPER LEVEL LOW.

FOR

Arctic Islands Film And Presentation Part 1 At Nature Center 7 p.m. Today

on January 5, 2016 - 8:00am

Stephen Becker of Los Alamos aboard the National Geographic/Lindblad Explorer. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Enjoy the beauty of the Arctic Islands, only recently opened to eco-tourism, from the comfort of the Los Alamos Nature Center, 2600 Canyon Road.

At 7 p.m., today in the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium, Stephen A. Becker will show a film and share stories from his three week National Geographic voyage to West Greenland and the North Canadian Islands. This is the first of two events revealing nature in this remote part of the globe.

Part 2 of this event is 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan.

Temporary Road and Area Closures Announced On Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District

on January 5, 2016 - 7:25am

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – The Santa Fe National Forest has issued a temporary closure order for many roads and areas on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District restricting the use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), two-wheel and four-wheel motorized vehicles. Snowmobiles are not prohibited by the order.

The closures have been implemented to protect natural resources and infrastructure, including wildlife, watershed and roads, and to ensure public health and safety during extreme soil moisture and heavy snowfall periods. 

The closure order is in effect until April 9, 2016, unless it is rescinded

Nature On Tap At UnQuarked Thursday Jan. 7

on January 4, 2016 - 5:33pm

COMMUNITY News:

Nature On Tap begins at 5:30 p.m. this Thursday, Jan. 7 at UnQuarked Wine Room, 145 Central Park Square in downtown Los Alamos.

The speaker is Park Ranger Jorge Moldonado who will be discussing the National Park Service anniversary. The National Park Service and one of its jewels in New Mexico, Bandelier National Monument, will be celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2016.

Join ranger Jorge Maldonado for a discussion on what it means to celebrate 100 years of preservation, how this major occasion will be commemorated, and how you can participate.

Sponsored by the Los

To Sustain Astronauts’ Mental Health, Dartmouth-Led Team Testing Virtual Reality Tech In Arctic Isolation

on January 4, 2016 - 9:10am
Professor Robert Stone
University of Birmingham

DARTMOUTH News:

HANOVER, N.H. – Dartmouth physician and former astronaut Jay Buckey is leading a team of international investigators testing new virtual reality technology in the remote Arctic this winter.

Their goal is to see whether simulated natural beauty can relieve the psychological challenges of living in the isolated confines of deep space travel.

The test site is the Canadian Forces Station Alert (CFS Alert), the most northerly, permanently inhabited location in the world, only 817 kilometers from the geographic North Pole.

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, No Politics

on January 2, 2016 - 11:54am

A New Years Day light display in the sky above Los Alamos taken with an iPhone near Ashley Pond Park. Photo by Sean Reilly

A New Years Day light display in the sky above Los Alamos taken with an iPhone from a porch in White Rock. Photo by Douglas Reilly

A light display visible across Los Alamos taken by a LANL photographer using a fish-eye lens in 1988 from the roof of the old Administration Building. Courtesy/Douglas Reilly

Staff Report

Douglas Reilly explains that the sun with sun dogs are so-called because they follow (dog) the sun.

Top LANL Sci-Tech & Spy Stories 2015

on January 1, 2016 - 10:09pm

Courtesy/FBI

VIDEO: Leonardo Mascheroni Of Los Alamos Offering Nuclear Weapons To Venezuela

FBI News:
Feb. 1, 2015

In FBI undercover video and audio recordings, Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni of Los Alamos explains to undercover agent Jimenez that he had a "top of the top" clearance and that he held a security clearance from the Department of Defense and from the Department of Energy.

Mascheroni, 79, a naturalized U.S.

2015 Top Stories Of The Year

on January 1, 2016 - 7:46pm

From left, Los Alamos County Council Chair Kristin Henderson, former Councilor Fran Berting, Los Alamos Historical Society Executive Director Heather McClenahan, Dr. Ben Neal, second from right, and at far right, Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott join U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and seated, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz at this morning's signing ceremony, in Washington, D.C., to officially establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Courtesy/NPS

MPNHP Field Team leader Arthur Knox wowed the crowd Tuesday

Sun Dogs Spotted Over White Rock Canyon

on January 1, 2016 - 6:28pm
Spectacular sun dogs spotted this morning over White Rock Canyon. Photo by Bob Drake

Unusual Snow Bow Or Sun Dogs Spotted In Los Alamos

on January 1, 2016 - 9:57am

This unusual and amazing snow bow or sun dog was spotted early this morning from Woodland Road in Los Alamos. Sun dogs, mock suns or phantom suns, scientific name parhelia (singular parhelion), are an atmospheric phenomenon that consists of a pair of bright spots on either side on the Sun, often co-occurring with a luminous ring known as a 22° halo. Sun dogs are a member of a large family of halos, created by light interacting with ice crystals in the atmosphere.

Board Upholds LANL Clean Air Operating Permit

on January 1, 2016 - 8:40am

Kathy Sanchez, the environmental health and justice program manager of Tewa Woman United, an intertribal women’s collective in Northern New Mexico, testified recently on behalf of additional clean air measures at LANL. Courtesy photo

 

By ROGER SNODGRASS
Los Alamos Daily Post

SANTA FE  Despite eloquent testimony by Kathy Sanchez, the great-granddaughter of world famous Pueblo de San Ildefonso pottery maker, Maria Antonia Martinez, the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board denied a permit appeal in which she and others sought additional air quality monitoring in a few designated

WIPP Emergency Operations Center Deactivated

on December 31, 2015 - 8:11am

WIPP News:

CARLSBAD The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been deactivated after successfully coordinating resources to improve driving conditions so that employees can possibly return to work at the WIPP site Thursday, Dec. 31.

The Level 1 EOC activation, which began at approximately 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 29, was ordered to support the coordination of necessary resources needed to safely restore normal operations at WIPP due to the recent severe winter storm that dumped 15 inches of snow on the area.

Icy and snow packed road conditions made it

Governor Issues Executive Order To Help Ensure Supply Of Propane After Massive Snowstorm

on December 31, 2015 - 7:05am
Gov. Susana Martinez
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez has issued an executive order  to help keep up the supply of propane throughout the state as a result of the massive snowstorm that has impacted communities throughout New Mexico. 
 
The governor's executive order suspends regulations on the number of hours that propane suppliers may drive in order to expedite its delivery into the state.

“We continue to coordinate storm response efforts through all state and local partners,” Martinez said.

Craig Martin: What PEEC Means To Me

on December 30, 2015 - 9:45am

Craig Martin

PEEC News:

My mentor told me I should always be connected to the place I live. PEEC understands that connecting who we are, where we are, and why we live in the place we do is so important to our basic happiness.

Our canyons, mesas, mountains, and skies are why I live here. I think many people feel the same--they love and understand that special connection to our landscape.

Donating to make the nature center building happen was amazing for me. I continue to give, because I know PEEC has the potential to do even more. Please join me.

Udall Provision Requiring Report On Burn Pits Will Help Advance Care For Veterans Of Iraq And Afghanistan

on December 29, 2015 - 1:00pm
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
 
SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Tom Udall announced that he secured a provision in the “omnibus” appropriations bill signed by the president last week requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to report on the status and findings of its burn pit registry.
 
The registry — which was created by Udall’s Burn Pits Registry Act — is the first step toward providing medical care and research for service members and veterans who were exposed to toxic chemicals and fumes from open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
Udall is working to ensure the VA and

I-40 Reopens In Stages Following Storm

on December 29, 2015 - 12:38pm
NMDOT News:
 
SANTA FE  The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) announced that Interstate 40 is reopening in the eastbound direction to the Texas state line.
 
The opening is occuring in phases so that traffic can be controlled and cleared in an orderly manner. Crews from NMDOT worked throughout the night in order to have I40 reopened.
 
Santa Rosa and Tucumcari have already been reopened to travelers. Moriarty will open at 9 a.m., and Albuquerque will open at 9:30 a.m.
 
NMDOT urges drivers to use caution when traveling on the roadways.

WIPP Emergency Operations Center Activated On Limited Basis

on December 29, 2015 - 10:57am

WIPP News:

CARLSBAD – At approximately, 9 a.m. today, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) announced a Level 1 activation to support coordination of resources needed to safely restore normal operations at WIPP due to the recent severe snow storm in southeast New Mexico.

The icy and snow packed road conditions have made road conditions difficult for the workforce to commute to the WIPP site.

NNSA’s Asset Management Program Completes Pilot

on December 27, 2015 - 9:57am

NNSA News:
  • New initiative accelerates infrastructure repairs while increasing buying power

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced completion of a $520,000 pilot to replace a roof, as well as heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system for the Core Library and Data Center at Mercury, Nev. (http://nevada.usgs.gov/mercury/). 

The library was established as a repository for geologic, hydrologic, and geophysical data and materials collected in support of the U.S.

U.S. Demonstrates Production Of Fuel For Missions To The Solar System And Beyond

on December 26, 2015 - 8:31am
DOE News:
 
The first U.S. production in nearly 30 years of a specialized fuel to power future deep space missions has been completed by researchers at the Department of Energy‘s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee.
 
The production of 50 grams of plutonium-238–roughly the mass of a golf ball–marks the first demonstration in the United States since the Savannah River Plant in South Carolina ceased production in the late 1980s.
 
Radioisotope power systems convert heat from the natural radioactive decay of the isotope plutonium-238 into electricity.
 
These systems have been used to

Three Planetarium Shows During Winter Break

on December 25, 2015 - 8:54am

'Christmas Eve Asteroid' 2003 SD220 Sleighs By Earth

on December 24, 2015 - 8:58am

Resembling a sweet potato, which is quite appropriate for the holiday season, a Delay-Doppler image of asteroid 2003 SD220,  the 'Christmas Eve asteroid' as observed Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 14-15 from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico using the NASA-funded planetary radar system. The asteroid will be 28 times farther away than our moon, measures more than 1.25 miles long and rotates very slowly, taking more than 11 days to complete one full rotation. Courtesy/Arecibo Observatory

The largest and most sensitive single dish radio telescope in the world is at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto

LANL’s Top 10 Science Stories Of The Year

on December 23, 2015 - 1:13pm

Scientists Aditya Mohite, left, and Wanyi Nie are perfecting a crystal production technique to improve perovskite crystal production for solar cells at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

Looking back on 2015 ... Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Top 10 Science Stories of the Year. From supercomputers and climate modeling, to cybersecurity and cancer treatments, Los Alamos National Laboratory worked hard in 2015 to advance science that helps address many of the most pressing challenges.

“Our commitment to delivering science and technology for the public good is

LANL Study Forecasts Disappearance Of Conifers

on December 23, 2015 - 10:53am
Los Alamos scientist Nate McDowell discusses how climate change is killing trees with PBS NewsHour reporter Miles O’Brien. Courtesy/LANL
 
LANL News:
 
A new study, led by Los Alamos National Laboratory, suggests that widespread loss of a major forest type, the pine-juniper woodlands of the Southwestern U.S., could be wiped out by the end of this century due to climate change, and that conifers throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere may be on a similar trajectory.
 
New results, reported in a paper released today in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggests that global models may

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