Antarctica's ice melt to be measured by new NASA satellite

A NASA satellite designed to precisely measure changes in Earth's ice sheets, glaciers, sea ice and vegetation was launched into polar orbit from California overnight.

A Delta 2 rocket carrying the ICESat-2 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base and headed over the Pacific Ocean.

NASA Earth Science Division director Michael Freilich says that the mission in particular will advance knowledge of how the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica contribute to sea level rise.

The melt from those ice sheets alone has raised global sea level by more than 1 millimetre (0.04 inch) a year recently, according to NASA.

Antarctica (file picture).
Antarctica (file picture). Source:

The mission is a successor to the original Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite that operated from 2003 to 2009.

Measurements continued since then with airborne instruments in NASA's Operation IceBridge.

Built by Northrop Grumman, ICESat-2 carries a single instrument, a laser altimeter that measures height by determining how long it takes photons to travel from the spacecraft to Earth and back.

According to NASA, it will collect more than 250 times as many measurements as the first ICESat.

The launch was the last for a Delta 2 rocket, United Launch Alliance said.

The Delta 2 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Source: Associated Press

Chicago priest removed after burning rainbow flag, angering LGBT community

The archbishop of Chicago has removed a priest as head of a North Side church after he burned a rainbow banner, angering the LGBT community.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Cardinal Blase Cupich announced Rev Paul Kalchik's removal in a recent letter to parishioners and staff at the Resurrection Catholic Church.

Cupich said he acted "out of concern" for Kalchik and parishioners. He said the 56-year-old priest needed "time away from the parish to receive pastoral support."

Kalchik told the newspaper on Friday that he's not anti-gay and that he was "about as much of a gay basher as Mother Teresa."

An archdiocese spokeswoman told the paper Saturday that the priest's removal wasn't "directly due" to banner's destruction and had been "in the works."

Man in popes garment holding holy bible. Adobe RGB for better color reproduction.



'Wasn't at 3.30 this morning' - Jacinda Ardern cracks a joke in response to suggestion baby Neve was peaceful

Jacinda Ardern has responded with a quip after baby Neve was praised for being peaceful during a panel appearance in New York.

The prime minister couldn’t let the host’s comment that the newborn was peaceful and “amazing” go unchecked.

“Wasn’t at 3.30 this morning,” Ms Ardern said dryly as the panel and audience laughed.

Earlier, the prime minister had discussed the portrayal of her an inspiration to women everywhere at the Social Good Summit.

Later this week she will address the United Nations' General Assembly. 

The prime minister responded to compliments about how peaceful Neve was with a quip about her baby’s restlessness the previous night. Source: 1 NEWS



'It was very scary' - deadly snake found in daughter's cot by Gold Coast mum

A Gold Coast mum was shocked to find the world's second-deadliest snake lounging in her baby's cot.

Aleisha Mitchley told 9NEWS her four-month-old daughter Sophie had been sleeping in the cot just an hour earlier.

"It was up around the bassinet, in her cot, it was all over," Ms Mitchley said.

"It was petrifying, I was very scared, I didn't know what to do."

It was an eastern brown snake - a highly venomous snake found widely throughout the eastern half of Australia.

Ms Mitchley was also shocked and alarmed to see that the snake was quite able to climb vertical objects.

"I couldn't believe it can climb, so it was climbing on through the window," she said.

"I'm trying to reach for my phone and stop my son from trying to go see the snake.

"It was very scary."

Brown snake venom is one of the most potent known, causing paralysis or muscle weakness, excessive bleeding, and brown snakes are the leading cause of snakebite deaths in Australia.

Aleisha Mitchley’s four-month-old Sophie thankfully wasn’t in bed at the time, but the Gold Coast mum still got a major shock. Source: Nine

Meghan Markle reveals secret about her wedding dress

It's an old tradition that a bride should have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue on her wedding day, and the Duchess of Sussex followed at least part of that when she married Prince Harry.

The former Meghan Markle has revealed in a television documentary that she had a piece of blue fabric from the dress she wore on her first date with Harry sewn into her wedding dress.

She made the comments while discussing the dress in a documentary about Queen Elizabeth II called "Queen of the World." She didn't say whether she also embraced the rest of the tradition.

The clip was made public Sunday. The documentary will be broadcast at a later date. It deals with the queen's role as head of the Commonwealth.

The duchess described her May wedding on the grounds of Windsor Castle as a "magical day."

The American actress who starred in "Suits" married Harry on May 19 on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

The "Queen of the World" will air in the UK on Tuesday.

The former US actress wore a silk dress designed by Givenchy. Source: Breakfast