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Science (General/Chat)

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  • The most accurate clock ever made

    05/05/2015 7:10:27 AM PDT · by C19fan · 6 replies
    Cosmos Magazine ^ | May 4, 2015 | Cathal O'Connell
    Scientists have succeeded in making a clock so precise it could tick for 15 billion years – longer than the age of the Universe – without gaining or losing a second. The new research, described in Nature Communications in April, sets a world record for timekeeping and is a three-fold improvement over the previous record, set by the same clock in Boulder, Colorado, last year. On a practical level, the optical lattice atomic clock Jun Ye and his colleagues at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology are developing could replace the caesium atomic clocks used in GPS systems,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Gravitational Anomalies of Mercury

    05/05/2015 4:09:19 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | May 05, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that under the surface of Mercury? The robotic MESSENGER spacecraft that had been orbiting planet Mercury for the past four years had been transmitting its data back to Earth with radio waves of very precise energy. The planet's gravity, however, slightly changed this energy when measured on Earth, which enabled the reconstruction of a gravity map of unprecedented precision. Here gravitational anomalies are shown in false-color, superposed on an image of the planet's cratered surface. Red hues indicate areas of slightly higher gravity, which in turn indicates areas that must have unusually dense matter under the surface. The...
  • "Eco-Fads" by Todd Myers

    05/04/2015 7:51:19 PM PDT · by Jack Hydrazine · 5 replies
    Amazon.com ^ | 23AUG2011 | Todd Myers
    “Todd Myers is an eco-mythbuster. He exposes trends among modern environmentalists that are based more on ‘feel-good’ sentimentality than on scientific reality. If you truly care about the environment, then you should read this book.” Alex B. Berezow, Ph.D., Editor of RealClearScience.com Wherever we turn, politicians, businesses and activists are promoting the latest fashionable “green” policy or product. Green buildings, biofuels, electric cars, compact fluorescent lightbulbs and a variety of other technologies are touted as the next key step in protecting the environment and promoting a sustainable future. Increasingly, however, scientific and economic information regarding environmental problems takes a back...
  • Michigan earthquake not caused by fracking, scientists say

    05/04/2015 6:36:43 PM PDT · by cripplecreek · 23 replies
    Mlive.com ^ | May 04, 2015 | Julie Mack
    KALAMAZOO, MI -- The state official who oversees regulation of oil and gas wells says he is certain that Saturday's earthquake in Kalamazoo County is unrelated to fracking or other drilling in the area. "I am extremely confident there is no connection," said Hal Fitch, a geologist who is director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Office of Oil, Gas, and Minerals. That opinion is echoed by David Barnes, professor of geosciences at Western Michigan University. "I'm as certain as a scientist can be" that there is no connection, Barnes said. Hydraulic fracturing -- also known as fracking --...
  • Scientist: Humans Are Helping the Planet’s Ecology—Carbon Dioxide Is ‘Very Good’ for Plants, Animals

    05/04/2015 3:41:51 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 33 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | May 4, 2015 | 2:38 PM EDT | Penny Starr
    Freeman Dyson, an award-winning British scientist and retired professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, said that the science on climate change isn’t “at all clear,” and in fact, humans are actually helping the planet. […] “Well, what I would like to emphasize is that human actions have very large effects on the ecology which have nothing to do with climate. Carbon dioxide is what we’re producing in big quantities and putting into the atmosphere,” Dyson said. “It happens to be a very good fertilizer for all kinds of vegetation, good for wildlife, good for agricultural production. “So...
  • Size of the Milky Way Upgraded, Solving Galaxy Puzzle

    05/04/2015 2:19:04 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 17 replies
    Space.com ^ | 4/4/15 | Shannon Hall
    The Corrugated Galaxy The disk of the Milky Way Galaxy disk may actually be rippled. Two ringlike structures of stars wrapping around the Milky Way's outer disk now appear to belong to the disk itself. The results, outlined in a new study, show that the disk is about 60 percent larger than previously thought. Not only do the results extend the size of the Milky Way, they also reveal a rippling pattern, which raises intriguing questions about what sent wavelike fluctuations rippling through the disk. The researchers said the likely culprit was a dwarf galaxy. It might have plunged...
  • The Skinny On Skin -- What makes skin so tough?

    05/04/2015 2:02:29 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 12 replies
    Inside Science ^ | 5/4/15 | Lisa Marie Potter
    The Skinny On Skin Tweet Mon, 2015-05-04 11:56 -- llancaster Collagen in its twisted, curly form with no skin stress. Image credit:  The Jacob School of Engineering at UC SD What makes skin so tough? Originally published:  May 4 2015 - 11:45am By:  Lisa Marie Potter, Contributor (Inside Science) -- Skin has to be flexible enough to jump, crawl, and kick with us. It also has to be resilient enough to withstand our falls, scrapes, and cuts. Scientists have marveled at skin's strength for years without knowing why it's so durable.Now, scientists have identified the mechanical properties that give skin...
  • This High-Res Moon Photo Was Made by a Self-Taught Astrophotographer

    05/04/2015 11:40:20 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 45 replies
    PetaPixel ^ | May 4, 2015 | Michael Zhang
    This High-Res Moon Photo Was Made by a Self-Taught Astrophotographer May 04, 2015 · Michael Zhang     It’s amazing the kinds of space photos that amateur photographers can create from their own backyards these days. Case in point: the high-resolution moon photo above was captured last week by Polish photographer Bartosz Wojczyński. It was stitched together using 32000 separate photos. Wojczyński tells us that he used “advanced image acquisition and processing techniques,” mapping violet and infrared images of the moon to blue and red channels in the final shot. It took him about 28 minutes to shoot 32000 photos...
  • Last practitioner of Minoan rituals may have lived in Jerusalem's Old City till '48

    05/04/2015 7:48:22 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    Ha'aretz ^ | April 20, 2015 | Roy (Chicky) Arad
    Midwife Mercada Dasa lived in the Old City of Jerusalem until 1948. In her attic she raised an unusual pet -- a white female snake about a meter and a half long -- and fed it sugar cubes. Just before the entry of the Jordanian Legion she left the besieged city with her family and her pet remained behind. That a midwife, whose family lived in Jerusalem since the time of the Second Temple, carried on a tradition of feeding white female snakes was part of the family's lore, but not something anyone considered significant. Now Mercada's grandson, Benny Avigdory,...
  • The Egyptian army headquarters in Sinai during the New Kingdom discovered

    05/04/2015 7:28:48 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    Luxor Times Magazine 'blog ^ | May 3, 2015 | unattributed
    Dr. Mamdouh El Damaty announced the discovery of the remains of the eastern gate of Tharw fortres in Sinai which served as the Egyptian army headquarters in the New Kingdom. The discovery was made by the Egyptian team working at Tell Habwa in the east bank of the Suez Canal. The discovery also include mid brick royal warehouse belong to "Ramses II and Thotmoses III" and 26th Dynasty cemetery most of the graves are mud brick and group tombs of contains human remains showing battles injuries. The discovered part of the eastern gate of Tharw fortress are 3 fragments of...
  • For batteries, one material does it all

    05/04/2015 6:49:34 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 8 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 05/04/2015 | Provided by University of Maryland
    Engineers at the University of Maryland have created a battery that is made entirely out of one material, which can both move electricity and store it. "To my knowledge, there has never been any similar work reported," said Dr. Kang Xu of the Army Research Laboratory, a researcher only peripherally related to the study. "It could lead to revolutionary progress in area of solid state batteries." Envision an Oreo cookie. Most batteries have at either end a layer of material for the electrodes like the chocolate cookies to help move ions though the creamy frosting – the electrolyte. Chunsheng Wang,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- An Unexpected Aurora over Norway

    05/04/2015 5:49:42 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | May 04, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sometimes the sky lights up unexpectedly. A trip to northern Norway to photograph auroras was not going as well as hoped. It was now past midnight in Steinsvik, Troms, in northern Norway, and the date was 2014 February 8. Despite recent activity on the Sun, the skies were disappointing. Therefore, the astrophotographer began packing up to go. His brother began searching for a missing lens cap. When the sky suddenly exploded with spectacular aurora. Reacting quickly, a sequence detailing dramatic green curtains was captured, with the bright Moon near the image center, and the lens-cap seeking brother on the...
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson Says Space Ventures Will Spawn First Trillionaire

    05/03/2015 10:43:23 PM PDT · by Usagi_yo · 11 replies
    NBC ^ | 5/3/2015 | Neil deGrasse Tyson
    A passion for exploration is the fuel to an innovative economy, says astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. In an interview with CNBC's On the Money, the host of the new National Geographic Channel show StarTalk — based on Tyson's podcast and Sirius XM radio show of the same name — described the dynamic implications of scientific discovery. ....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Moonrise Through Mauna Kea's Shadow

    05/03/2015 4:12:45 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | May 03, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How can the Moon rise through a mountain? It cannot -- what was photographed here is a moonrise through the shadow of a large volcano. The volcano is Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, USA, a frequent spot for spectacular photographs since it is arguably the premier observing location on planet Earth. The Sun has just set in the opposite direction, behind the camera. Additionally, the Moon has just passed full phase -- were it precisely at full phase it would rise, possibly eclipsed, at the very peak of the shadow. The Moon is actually rising in the triangular shadow cone of...
  • Lake Michigan is So Clear Right Now its Shipwrecks Are Visible From the Air

    05/03/2015 12:59:34 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 82 replies
    Smithsonian Magazine ^ | 5-3-15 | Marissa Fessenden
    Though the past winter was the hottest on record, it was chilly enough on the East Coast to send seasonal sheets of ice creeping across the Great Lakes. Now that that ice has cleared with spring, Lake Michigan is clear enough that shipwrecks lying on the lake bottom can be seen from the air. The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City noted the crystal clear water conditions and the lost ships during a routine patrol. Last week, they posted a handful of pictures to their Facebook page. The images come from the area near Sleeping Bear Point known...
  • Scientists discover an enzyme that can change a person's blood type

    05/03/2015 11:01:11 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    ScienceAlert ^ | Friday, May 1, 2015 | Bec Crew
    Scientists have discovered that a particular type of enzyme can cut away antigens in blood types A and B, to make them more like Type O -- considered the 'universal' blood type, because it's the only type that can be donated to anyone without the risk of provoking a life-threatening immune response. The team, from the University of British Columbia of Canada, worked with a family of enzymes called 98 glycoside hydrolase, extracted from a strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Over many generations, they were able to engineer a super high-powered enzyme strain that can very effectively snip away blood antigens...
  • Doomed Russian Spaceship May Re-Enter Next Week

    05/01/2015 12:44:29 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    discovery.com ^ | Irene Klotz
    An out-of-control Russian Progress capsule, loaded with more than 3 tons of cargo for the International Space Station, may burn up in the atmosphere as early as next week, NASA said on Friday. Ground controllers lost contact with the ship shortly after its launch on Tuesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Engineers tried for more than a day to rescue the craft, to no avail ... An investigation in the botched mission is underway. Preliminary findings indicate a problem with the capsule’s separation from its Soyuz launcher. Among the evidence: debris orbiting near the tumbling Progress capsule, the Air...
  • The Thorium Powered Car

    05/02/2015 10:21:16 AM PDT · by all the best · 64 replies
    Eric Peters Autos ^ | May 1, 2015 | Eric Peters
    Here’s another, more recent one: The thorium-turbine powered car. Heat energy from the thorium – a weakly radioactive element (named after the Norse god Thor) that is estimated to be 3-4 times more naturally abundant than uranium and which contains 20 million times the energy as an equivalent lump of coal – is used to generate steam, which is then used to power a small turbine, which provides the motive force. The beauty of the system is that – like a nuclear submarine – the fuel lasts almost forever. Well, longer than you will last, probably. How’s 100 years sound?...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy

    05/02/2015 4:37:29 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | May 02, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Follow the handle of the Big Dipper away from the dipper's bowl until you get to the handle's last bright star. Then, just slide your telescope a little south and west and you might find this stunning pair of interacting galaxies, the 51st entry in Charles Messier famous catalog. Perhaps the original spiral nebula, the large galaxy with well defined spiral structure is also cataloged as NGC 5194. Its spiral arms and dust lanes clearly sweep in front of its companion galaxy (right), NGC 5195. The pair are about 31 million light-years distant and officially lie within the angular...
  • Scientists monitor undersea volcanic eruption off Oregon coast

    05/01/2015 5:31:59 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    dailymail.co.uk ^ | Courtney Sherwood
    An undersea volcano about 300 miles (480 km) off Oregon's coast has been spewing lava for the past seven days, confirming forecasts made last fall and giving researchers unique insight into a hidden ocean hot spot, a scientist said on Friday. Researchers know of two previous eruptions by the volcano, dubbed "Axial Seamount" for its location along the axis of an underwater mountain ridge, Oregon State University geologist Bill Chadwick said on Friday. But those 1998 and 2011 eruptions were detected months or years afterward, Chadwick added. Last year, researchers connected monitoring gear to an undersea cable that, for the...
  • Lenin's Body Improves with Age

    05/02/2015 1:08:04 AM PDT · by Citizen Zed · 41 replies
    Scientific American ^ | 4-22-2015 | Jeremy Hsu
    Russian scientists have developed experimental embalming methods to maintain the look, feel and flexibility of the Soviet Union's founderÂ’s body, which is 145 years old today. For thousands of years humans have used embalming methods to preserve dead bodies. But nothing compares with Russia's 90-year-old experiment to preserve the body of Vladimir Lenin, communist revolutionary and founder of the Soviet Union. Generations of Russian scientists have spent almost a century fine-tuning preservation techniques that have maintained the look, feel and flexibility of Lenin's body. This year Russian officials closed the Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow's Red Square so that scientists could...
  • Space radiation may harm astronauts' brains

    05/01/2015 4:42:44 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 35 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 5/1/15 | AFP
    Miami (AFP) - Flying people to deep space -- like Mars or an asteroid -- is high on NASA's wish list, but research on mice suggested Friday that extended radiation exposure permanently harms the brain. Central nervous system damage and cognitive impairments were observed in lab animals that were exposed to highly energetic charged particles -- similar to the galactic cosmic rays that astronauts would encounter during long space flights -- said researchers at the University of California, Irvine. "This is not positive news for astronauts deployed on a two- to three-year round trip to Mars," said lead author Charles...
  • Here's what the Pillars of Creation look like in three dimensions

    05/01/2015 4:09:45 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 7 replies
    CNet ^ | 5/1/15 | NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team
    Researchers have been able to map how the Eagle Nebula's Pillars of Creation are distributed in three-dimensional space for the first time, using new data from the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer instrument on the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile. Given the tremendous size of this section of the Eagle Nebula and its distance from Earth (around 7,000 light-years), researchers previously thought we were unlikely to ever see the shape of it in anything other than two flat dimensions, as in Hubble's famous photograph.
  • Swiss Weekly Calls Temperature Rise A “Propaganda Trick”

    05/01/2015 12:49:52 PM PDT · by SWAMPSNIPER · 8 replies
    notrickszone.com ^ | 05/01/15 | P Gosselin
    At the print edition of Swiss news weekly “Weltwoche”, science journalist Markus Schär writes that not only has the global temperature trend suspiciously been tampered with, but so have the datasets of the Swiss Meteorological Service:
  • Interactive: What Is Space? -- Imagine the fabric of space-time peeled back layer by layer.

    05/01/2015 10:20:09 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 8 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 4/30/15 | Thomas Lin
    Interactive: What Is Space? Imagine the fabric of space-time peeled back layer by layer. By: Thomas Lin April 30, 2015 In 1915, Albert Einstein’s field equations of gravitation revolutionized our understanding of space, time and gravity. Better known as general relativity, Einstein’s theory defined gravity as curves in the geometry of space-time, overturning Isaac Newton’s classic theory and correctly predicting the existence of black holes and gravity’s ability to bend light. But a century later, the fundamental nature of space-time remains shrouded in mystery: Where does its structure come from? What do space-time and gravity look like in the subatomic...
  • How Quantum Pairs Stitch Space-Time

    05/01/2015 10:10:32 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 11 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 4/28/15 | Jennifer Ouellette
    Hannes Hummel for Quanta MagazineTensor networks could connect space-time froth to quantum information. Next in the series Interactive: What Is Space? Chapter 2: Network Tapestry How Quantum Pairs Stitch Space-Time New tools may reveal how quantum information builds the structure of space. By: Jennifer OuelletteApril 28, 2015 Comments (8) Brian Swingle was a graduate student studying the physics of matter at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he decided to take a few classes in string theory to round out his education — “because, why not?” he recalled — although he initially paid little heed to the concepts he...
  • Researchers study how metal contamination makes gasoline production inefficient

    05/01/2015 9:44:37 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 11 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 05/01/2015 | Provided by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Utrecht University have identified key mechanisms of the aging process of catalyst particles that are used to refine crude oil into gasoline. This advance could lead to more efficient gasoline production. Their recent experiments studied so-called fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) particles that are used to break long-chain hydrocarbons in crude oil into smaller, more valuable hydrocarbons like gasoline. "A major problem is that these catalysts quickly age and lose their activity, so tons of fresh catalysts have to be added to a reactor system every day," said lead researcher...
  • The trillion-frame-per-second camera

    05/01/2015 9:40:59 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 28 replies
    Phys.org ^ | 4/29/15
    When a crystal lattice is excited by a laser pulse, waves of jostling atoms can travel through the material at close to one sixth the speed of light, or approximately 28,000 miles/second. Scientists now have a new tool to take movies of such superfast movement in a single shot. Researchers from Japan have developed a new high-speed camera that can record events at a rate of more than 1-trillion-frames-per-second. That speed is more than one thousand times faster than conventional high-speed cameras. Called STAMP, for Sequentially Timed All-optical Mapping Photography, the new camera technology "holds great promise for studying a...
  • New exoplanet too big for its stars

    05/01/2015 9:10:45 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 40 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 05/01/2015 | Provided by Australian National University
    The Australian discovery of a strange exoplanet orbiting a small cool star 500 light years away is challenging ideas about how planets form. "We have found a small star, with a giant planet the size of Jupiter, orbiting very closely," said researcher George Zhou from the Research School of Astrophysics and Astronomy. "It must have formed further out and migrated in, but our theories can't explain how this happened." In the past two decades more than 1,800 extrasolar planets (or exoplanets) have been discovered outside our solar system orbiting around other stars. The host star of the latest exoplanet, HATS-6,...
  • Fastest hydrogen battery ever stepping stone to hydrogen car?

    05/01/2015 8:58:35 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 26 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 05/01/2015 | Provided by Eindhoven University of Technology
    Can cars run on formic acid? They just might one day, after what physical chemist Georgy Filonenko discovered in his dissertation. He developed a catalyst in which hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) can form formic acid in no time, faster than had ever been measured before. And the reverse reaction is just as quick. It seems to be the start of a hydrogen battery for use in hydrogen cars of the future, for example. He received his PhD degree yesterday, cum laude. Hydrogen is one of the foremost candidates in the running towards becoming the energy carrier of the future....
  • Tesla CEO plugs into new market with home battery system

    05/01/2015 8:08:16 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 24 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 05/01/2015 | by By Michael Liedtke And Jonathan Fahey
    Never lacking daring ideas, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is determined to jolt the electricity market. The CEO of electric car maker Tesla Motors hopes to park hundreds of millions of large, solar panel-connected batteries in homes and businesses so the world can disconnect from power plants—and he can profit. On Thursday night, before an adoring crowd and a party-like atmosphere, Musk unveiled how he intends to do it. Musk took the stage at Tesla's design studio near Los Angeles International Airport, an audience of drink-toting enthusiasts cheering him on, in a scene fitting for an audacious dreamer renowned for pursuing...
  • Elusive new bird International discovered in China

    05/01/2015 7:07:46 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 5 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 05/01/2015 | Provided by Michigan State University
    A Michigan State University professor was part of an international team of scientists that has discovered a new bird in China. The new bird, the Sichuan bush warbler, resides in five mountainous provinces in central China. The discovery, shared in the current issue of Avian Research, notes that the bird shunned the limelight by hiding in grassy, scrubby vegetation over the years. However, its distinctive song eventually gave it away, said Pamela Rasmussen, MSU integrative biologist, assistant curator at the MSU Museum and co-author on the paper. "The Sichuan bush warbler is exceedingly secretive and difficult to spot as its...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- MESSENGER's Last Day on Mercury

    05/01/2015 4:58:04 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | May 01, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The first to orbit Mercury, the MESSENGER spacecraft came to rest on this region of Mercury's surface yesterday. Constructed from MESSENGER image and laser altimeter data, the scene looks north over the northeastern rim of the broad, lava filled Shakespeare basin. The large, 48 kilometer (30 mile) wide crater Janacek is near the upper left edge. Terrain height is color coded with red regions about 3 kilometers above blue ones. MESSENGER'S final orbit was predicted to end near the center, with the spacecraft impacting the surface at nearly 4 kilometers per second (over 87,000 miles per hour) and creating...
  • Soon, new cars in Europe will automatically call police in a crash

    04/30/2015 12:44:10 PM PDT · by bt_dooftlook · 25 replies
    Road & Track ^ | April 29, 2015 | Jordan Valinsky
    Beginning March 31, 2018, all new vehicles sold in the European Union will be required to carry an emergency call system that automatically dispatches assistance to the scene of a crash. The "auto SOS" system, dubbed eCall, was approved by European Parliament yesterday after two years of debate over privacy concerns, reports BBC News. In the event of a crash, the device calls the E.U.'s 911 equivalent (112) and transmits to authorities important information including location, time, and number of passengers in the vehicle. An in-car button will also be installed in all vehicles. The eCall requirement will add an...
  • Mysterious Lights Spotted South of Downtown San Diego

    04/30/2015 10:09:04 AM PDT · by Las Vegas Dave · 79 replies
    nbcsandiego.com ^ | 4/30/2015 | Laura McVicker
    This video was taken by our NBC 7 crew in San Ysidro. Several viewers also told us about the lights. Some said they appeared to be red, blue, and green and kept flashing and changing colors. Some who saw them say the lights didn't seem to move,like those on a plane or a drone. We put in calls to the military here to see if they could identify what these were. So far, no response. (Published Thursday, Apr 30, 2015) Source: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Mysterious-Lights-Spotted-Above-San-Diego-301729021.html#ixzz3YoUKeDVV
  • Ancient megadrought entombed dodos in poisonous fecal cocktail

    04/30/2015 7:13:19 AM PDT · by Utilizer · 55 replies
    AAAS ^ | 28 April 2015 5:15 pm | David Shultz
    Nine hundred kilometers off the east coast of Madagascar lies the tiny island paradise of Mauritius. The waters are pristine, the beaches bright white, and the average temperature hovers between 22°C and 28°C (72°F to 82°F) year-round. But conditions there may not have always been so idyllic. A new study suggests that about 4000 years ago, a prolonged drought on the island left many of the native species, such as dodo birds and giant tortoises, dead in a soup of poisonous algae and their own feces. The die-off happened in an area known as Mare aux Songes, which once held...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Across the Sun

    04/30/2015 4:05:05 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | April 30, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A long solar filament stretches across the relatively calm surface of the Sun in this telescopic snap shot from April 27. The negative or inverted narrowband image was made in the light of ionized hydrogen atoms. Seen at the upper left, the magnificent curtain of magnetized plasma towers above surface and actually reaches beyond the Sun's edge. How long is the solar filament? About as long as the distance from Earth to Moon, illustrated by the scale insert at the left. Tracking toward the right across the solar disk a day later the long filament erupted, lifting away from...
  • Latest images of Pluto may show a polar ice cap

    04/29/2015 2:41:30 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    washingtonpost.com ^ | April 29 at 4:40 PM | By Rachel Feltman
    you can see the best-ever images of Pluto, our solar system's most distant (dwarf) planet. The animation is made up of images taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft between April 12 and 18 from a distance of 69 to 64 million miles from Pluto. They capture one complete rotation of Pluto and its moon Charon... The images have already surpassed the Hubble's resolution, but there are plenty of features too subtle for the spacecraft to pick up. In fact, the images don't even show all of Pluto's known moons yet -- let alone any smaller ones we've yet to discover...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Churyumov Gerasimenko in Crescent

    04/29/2015 9:23:34 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | April 29, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko? As the 3-km wide comet moves closer to the Sun, heat causes the nucleus to expel gas and dust. The Rosetta spacecraft arrived at the comet's craggily double nucleus last July and now is co-orbiting the Sun with the giant dark iceberg. Recent analysis of data beamed back to Earth from the robotic Rosetta spacecraft has shown that water being expelled by 67P has a significant difference with water on Earth, indicating that Earth's water could not have originated from ancient collisions with comets like 67P. Additionally, neither Rosetta nor its Philae lander detected...
  • Russian Spacecraft Spinning Out of Control in Orbit, with Salvage Bid Underway

    04/28/2015 4:14:50 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    Space.com ^ | Tariq Malik,
    Video from the Progress 59 spacecraft showed it in a dizzying spin, with the Earth and sun rapidly coming into and then out of frame. Russian flight controllers abandoned plans to attempt to dock the cargo ship with the International Space Station on Thursday (April 30), NASA spokesman Rob Navias said in a NASA TV update. That docking — originally scheduled for this morning, then pushed to Thursday — is now "indefinitely postponed," Navias said. The problems began shortly after Progress 59 launched into space atop a Russian Soyuz rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Liftoff occurred at 3:09 a.m....
  • Space station docking with supply ship delayed by technical hitch [putting it mildly]

    04/28/2015 4:11:57 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    TASS news agency quoted an unnamed space official as saying the Progress, carrying supplies such as food and fuel, had missed its intended orbit and could be lost if it is not corrected. Other officials told Russian news agencies there had been a problem opening two antennae on the craft.
  • California next? US Geological Survey warns risk of magnitude 8 or larger 'Big One' earthquake has

    04/28/2015 10:09:40 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    Dailymail.com ^ | 22:43 EST, 27 April 2015 | Mark Prigg For
    A new report from the U.S. Geological Survey has warned the risk of 'the big one' hitting California has increased dramatically. Researchers analysed the latest data from the state's complex system of active geological faults, as well as new methods for translating these data into earthquake likelihoods. The estimate for the likelihood that California will experience a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake in the next 30 years has increased from about 4.7% to about 7.0%, they say. ... The Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, or UCERF3, improves upon previous models by incorporating the latest data on the state's complex...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Massive Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841

    04/28/2015 3:48:02 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | April 28, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It is one of the more massive galaxies known. A mere 46 million light-years distant, spiral galaxy NGC 2841 can be found in the northern constellation of Ursa Major. This sharp view of the gorgeous island universe shows off a striking yellow nucleus and galactic disk. Dust lanes, small, pink star-forming regions, and young blue star clusters are embedded in the patchy, tightly wound spiral arms. In contrast, many other spirals exhibit grand, sweeping arms with large star-forming regions. NGC 2841 has a diameter of over 150,000 light-years, even larger than our own Milky Way and captured by this...
  • Is Free Thinking A Mental Illness?

    04/28/2015 2:28:31 AM PDT · by Usagi_yo · 11 replies
    Off The Grid News ^ | Oct 2010 | Andrew
    Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest edition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. Defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.
  • Honda says its cars won’t crash after 2040

    04/27/2015 2:54:52 PM PDT · by rickmichaels · 32 replies
    driving.ca ^ | April 27, 2015 | Nick Tragianis
    Taking a page out of Volvo’s playbook, Honda has set a handful of lofty goals for the next 35 years – including eliminating the possibility of its cars crashing. Speaking to Car and Driver last week at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress, Honda Americas R&D president Frank Paluch dished detains on a new set of core goals the Japanese automaker hopes to achieve by 2040, but they won’t be happening all at once. The first step in Honda’s goal will come in 2020, where Paluch says Honda vehicles will be connected one another and to infrastructure, lending to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Space Station over Lunar Terminator

    04/27/2015 1:58:50 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | April 27, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that in front of the Moon? It's the International Space Station. Using precise timing, the Earth-orbiting space platform was photographed in front of a partially lit Moon last year. The featured image was taken from Madrid, Spain with an exposure time of only 1/1000 of a second. In contrast, the duration of the transit of the ISS across the entire Moon was about half a second. The sun-glinting station can be seen just to the dark side of the day / night line known as the terminator. Numerous circular craters are visible on the distant Moon, as well...
  • Police can now tell identical twins apart – just melt their DNA

    04/27/2015 7:10:20 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 1 replies
    newscientist.com ^ | Jessica Hamzelou
    Graham Williams at the University of Huddersfield, UK, has a different way – to look for modifications to the twins' DNA that have come about as a result of their lifestyles. Such epigenetic changes occur when a chemical group known as a methyl group attaches to a gene and modifies the way it is expressed. This happens as a body is influenced by a person's environment, lifestyle and disease. Williams's team took mouth swabs from five pairs of twins. After extracting the DNA from each sample, the group used a chemical to target parts of the DNA that did not...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Planetary Nebula Mz3: The Ant Nebula

    04/26/2015 10:39:08 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | April 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why isn't this ant a big sphere? Planetary nebula Mz3 is being cast off by a star similar to our Sun that is, surely, round. Why then would the gas that is streaming away create an ant-shaped nebula that is distinctly not round? Clues might include the high 1000-kilometer per second speed of the expelled gas, the light-year long length of the structure, and the magnetism of the star visible above at the nebula's center. One possible answer is that Mz3 is hiding a second, dimmer star that orbits close in to the bright star. A competing hypothesis holds...
  • Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

    04/26/2015 10:30:30 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 11 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 4/24/15 | K.C. Cole
    Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox A bold new idea aims to link two famously discordant descriptions of nature. In doing so, it may also reveal how space-time owes its existence to the spooky connections of quantum information. By: K.C. ColeApril 24, 2015 Comments (19) One hundred years after Albert Einstein developed his general theory of relativity, physicists are still stuck with perhaps the biggest incompatibility problem in the universe. The smoothly warped space-time landscape that Einstein described is like a painting by Salvador Dalí — seamless, unbroken, geometric. But the quantum particles that occupy this space are more like...
  • Shroud of Turin APP for iOS Devices

    04/25/2015 5:39:17 PM PDT · by Swordmaker · 16 replies
    Apple App Store ^ | April 24, 2015 | Swordmaker
    i have just run across something I had not known about . . . an official App for the Shroud of Turin. . . Shroud of Turin App for iPad and iTunes LINK for iOS Devices only. Free App with in App purchase of HD resolution ability for $3.99.