2014 will almost certainly be Earth’s warmest in 134 years

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This year is almost certain to be the warmest that our planet has seen since at least 1880, according to new data released Thursday. Earth had its warmest October on record and warmest January through October period, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

This new data confirms previously released information from NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency, but goes a step further by showing just how difficult it would be for 2014 to avoid setting an all-time temperature record.

In order for 2014 to come up short of the warmest year on record title, the months of November and December would each have to be colder than the 10th-warmest such months on record, according to Deke Arndt, chief of the climate monitoring division at the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina Read more…

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Earth’s Smallest Space Telescopes Launching Monday

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Two tiny satellites billed as the world’s smallest space telescopes will launch into orbit Monday (Feb. 25) on a mission to study the brightest stars in the night sky.

The Bright Target Explorer (BRITE) nanosatellites look like little cubes and will blast off atop an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) at 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT) on Monday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India.

While tiny nanosatellites have launched into space before, they have been mainly used to study Earth or test new spaceflight technologies. But the BRITE satellites will be the first spacecraft of their small stature to peer into the cosmos, their builders say.

The diminutive
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