Climate secrets of the world's most remote island

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Media captionThe world's loneliest island can help us better understand the winds blowing around Antarctica

"It's impressive, beautiful and scary as hell to work on."

Welcome to Bouvet Island, a small volcanic rock in the South Atlantic.

The Sub-Antarctic territory is thousands of kilometres from civilisation, and its high cliffs and ice-cap mean very few people have ever put a foot on it.

The weather doesn't help. Sticking out of the ocean the way it does means conditions can deteriorate very fast. One minute the skies are clear, the next you're surrounded by cloud.

No wonder sailors call Bouvet the world's most remote island; no wonder writers and science fiction movie-makers keep using it in their storylines.

Other stories from the AGU meeting you might like:

Read full article Climate secrets of the world's most remote island

Archaeopteryx: The day the fossil feathers flew

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Media captionModern scanning techniques show Archaeopteryx is no fake

There is no greater insult you can hurl at a museum than to suggest its prize fossil is a fake.

But that's what the esteemed astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle did in 1985 when he doubted the authenticity of arguably the most priceless possession in the collections of what is now London's Natural History Museum (NHM). All hell broke loose as the claim made headlines around the world.

Read full article Archaeopteryx: The day the fossil feathers flew

Marvels of the deep and their superpowers

Vent system Image copyright NOAA
Image caption A vent system belching hot water and surrounded by tubeworms

Maggie Georgieva is turning a jar of preservative around in her hands. "This is it," she says. "This is 'The Hoff' - the famous yeti crab with a hairy chest," referring to the object suspended in alcohol.

Most of us would be hard pressed to name a recently discovered creature from the deep, and this animal may even be the only one that triggers any sort of recognition.

Read full article Marvels of the deep and their superpowers

The 'monster' iceberg: What happened next?

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Media captionThe giant iceberg A-68 has shuffled northwards over the past 12 months

It was a wow! moment. The world's biggest berg, a block of ice a quarter the size of Wales, fell off the Antarctic exactly a year ago. But what then? We've gone back to find out.

Weighing a trillion tonnes and covering an area of nearly 6,000 sq km, the colossus dubbed A-68 has kind of spent the past 12 months shuffling on the spot - rather like a driver trying to get themselves out of a tight parking spot at the supermarket.

Read full article The 'monster' iceberg: What happened next?

Animals with 'night vision goggles'

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Media captionGeoff Boxshall: "The exhibition is about the senses you need to survive in Earth's dark environments"

A tarsier is known for its big, beady eyes, but it's only when you look at a skull of this diminutive South East Asian primate that you realise just how big they are.

Each one is the same size as its brain. They can't move their eyeballs; if they want to look to the right or left they have to turn their whole head. But the mere fact that tarsiers have these monster organs tells you one thing: vision is very important to them.

Read full article Animals with 'night vision goggles'

Aeolus: Wind satellite weathers technical storm

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Media captionAeolus wind satellite: Take a look inside the spacecraft

They say there is no gain without pain, but when the European Space Agency (Esa) set out in 2002 to develop its Aeolus satellite, no-one could have imagined the grief the project would bring.

Designed to make the most comprehensive maps of winds across the Earth, the mission missed deadline after deadline as engineers struggled to get its key technology - an ultraviolet laser system - working for long enough to make the venture worth flying.

Read full article Aeolus: Wind satellite weathers technical storm

Rats driven from South Georgia's wildlife paradise

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Media captionListen to the song of the South Georgia Pipit - free now from predation by rats

They have gone, or so it seems.

The biggest rat eradication programme ever undertaken appears to have rid South Georgia island in the South Atlantic of its pest problem.

Read full article Rats driven from South Georgia's wildlife paradise

Europe's Mars rover takes shape

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Media captionAirbus engineer Abbie Hutty gives a tour of the ExoMars rover test model

So, here it is. Europe's Mars rover. Or rather, a copy of it.

This is what they call the Structural Thermal Model, or STM. It is one of three rovers that will be built as part of the European Space Agency's ExoMars 2020 mission to search for life on the Red Planet. And, no, we're not sending all three to the Red Planet.

Read full article Europe's Mars rover takes shape

UK satellite makes HD colour movies of Earth

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Media captionMoving cars, lorries, boats and planes - seen from an altitude of 505km

A British spacecraft is now routinely making movies of the Earth’s surface.

Carbonite-2 was built by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in Guildford and launched in January.

Read full article UK satellite makes HD colour movies of Earth

XFEL: UK signs up to super X-ray laser machine

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Media captionAllen Orville: "An XFEL opens up a new frontier in structural biology"

The UK has formally joined the European XFEL, a super-bright X-ray laser.

The machine, which is sited in Germany, produces high-energy pulses that are focussed on a target at the end of a 3.4km-long tunnel complex.

Read full article XFEL: UK signs up to super X-ray laser machine