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Inside Space (Apr 12th, 2018)

A 3-D infrared movie shared by NASA shows cyclones and anticyclones that permeate the Jupiter's North Pole. Scientists on Juno's mission shared the video April 11 at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna, Austria. The spacecraft's Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper shows light from deep into the planet and also collects weather data up to 45 miles below Jupiter's cloud tops. Researchers said the information will help them better understand the planet's poles. "Before Juno, we could only guess what Jupiter's poles would look like. Now, with Juno flying over the poles at a close distance it permits the collection of infrared imagery on Jupiter's polar weather patterns and its massive cyclones in unprecedented spatial resolution,"  Juno co-investigator Alberto Adriani said. — IBT

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It appears that it might be difficult for life to thrive on Earth's nearest exoplanet Proxima b due to superflares. At just 4.2 light-years away from Earth, Proxima b orbits dim star Proxima Centauri in what is considered a "habitable zone." While the exoplanet is in the right spot where liquid water could exist on its surface, superflares make it more difficult for life by reducing concentrations of UV-blocking ozone, stripping it from the air. It is not known if Proxima b has or had an Earth-like atmosphere. — SPACE

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Assembly and launch operations of NASA's Mars 2020 rover are underway. The rover is on track for a July 2020 launch and a mission of researching the Red Planet's environment, searching for signs of past life. It also will gather data to allow researchers to understand what risks exist for the possibility of humans on Mars. It's not yet known where on Mars the rover will land. Work on the rover is taking place at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Engineers will begin working on the actual rover in the fall. — NYDN

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Two subglacier salty lakes accidentally discovered under the Canadian Arctic could help researchers understand extraterrestrial life. Researchers said the ice is frozen to the ground and they were not expecting to find liquid water underneath. A lake under the Devon Ice Cap is less than a half mile below the ice. The salinity of the lake is similar to that of Jupiter's Europa moon, and is four to five times saltier than seawater. "The [Devon Ice Cap] lakes are situated within bedrock troughs in mountainous terrain, exist at temperatures well below the pressure-melting point, do not receive surface meltwater input, and likely consist of hypersaline water derived from dissolution of a surrounding salt-bearing geological formation," researchers said. — TECH TIMES

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A new app is designed to help citizens train to become astronauts, and promises to offer one user a chance to visit space. Space Nation Navigator was designed by Finland-based Space Nation and touts itself as the first astronaut training app. The program offers training in basic astronaut skills through activities and games. It was designed in partnership with NASA and Axiom Space — the company that trains astronauts. The app is part of a broader project called the Space Nation Astronaut Program, which would provide one trip to space for a civilian. The app currently is available to Android users only. — ITP

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A global space party will mark the first human space flight 57 years ago today.

Dubbed "Yuri's Night," the celebration honors Yuri Gagarin, who was the first human to enter space. The Soviet cosmonaut launched April 12, 1961, and reached a maximum altitude of 203 miles.

He was able to orbit Earth once, staying in space about 108 minutes. The Vostok 1 spacecraft was not designed to land safely, so Gagarin parachuted to a safe landing.

Events celebrating the anniversary are planned around the world and can be found at yurisnight.net.

April 12 also marks the first Columbia space shuttle back in 1981. The space shuttle had astronauts John Young and Bob Crippen on board.

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