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Science (General/Chat)

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Wizard Nebula

    08/28/2014 10:03:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | August 29, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Open star cluster NGC 7380 is still embedded in its natal cloud of interstellar gas and dust popularly known as the Wizard Nebula. Seen with foreground and background stars along the plane of our Milky Way galaxy it lies some 8,000 light-years distant, toward the constellation Cepheus. A full moon would easily fit inside this telescopic view of the 4 million year young cluster and associated nebula, normally much too faint to be seen by eye. Made with telescope and camera firmly planted on Earth, the image reveals multi light-year sized shapes and structures within the Wizard in a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Messier 20 and 21

    08/28/2014 7:32:17 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | August 28, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The beautiful Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20, is easy to find with a small telescope in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. About 5,000 light-years away, the colorful study in cosmic contrasts shares this well-composed, nearly 1 degree wide field with open star cluster Messier 21 (top right). Trisected by dust lanes the Trifid itself is about 40 light-years across and a mere 300,000 years old. That makes it one of the youngest star forming regions in our sky, with newborn and embryonic stars embedded in its natal dust and gas clouds. Estimates of the distance to open...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way over Yellowstone

    08/28/2014 7:20:51 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | August 27, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Milky Way was not created by an evaporating lake. The colorful pool of water, about 10 meters across, is known as Silex Spring and is located in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA. Illuminated artificially, the colors are caused by layers of bacteria that grow in the hot spring. Steam rises off the spring, heated by a magma chamber deep underneath known as the Yellowstone hotspot. Unrelated and far in the distance, the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy arches high overhead, a band lit by billions of stars. The above picture is a 16-image panorama taken...
  • New Technology Could End The Debate Over Pipeline Safety

    08/28/2014 7:03:58 PM PDT · by bananaman22 · 2 replies
    Oilprice.com ^ | 28/08/2014 | James Stafford
    Who could have ever imagined that North America would surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids? A decade ago, that would have seemed laughable. Yet that’s exactly what has happened; and it’s not just Saudi Arabia that has been left in North America’s dust -- Russia has, too.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Flying Past Neptune's Moon Triton

    08/28/2014 6:55:04 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | August 26, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What would it look like to fly past Triton, the largest moon of planet Neptune? Only one spacecraft has ever done this -- and now, for the first time, images of this dramatic encounter have been gathered into a movie. On 1989 August 25, the Voyager 2 spacecraft shot through the Neptune system with cameras blazing. Triton is slightly smaller than Earth's Moon but has ice volcanoes and a surface rich in frozen nitrogen. The first sequence in the video shows Voyager's approach to Triton, which, despite its unusual green tint, appears in approximately true color. The mysterious terrain...
  • Scientists Reveal the Genetic Prehistory of the New World Arctic Peoples

    08/28/2014 6:29:44 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Thursday, August 28, 2014 | unattributed
    Paleo-Eskimo people occupied the Arctic for more than 4,000 years, say researchers... Maanasa Raghaven of the University of Copenhagen and colleagues have tested this scenario by conducting genomic sequencing on extractions of 169 ancient human bone, teeth and hair samples from Arctic Siberia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. They compared them to the same from two present-day Greenlandic Inuit, two Nivkhs, one Aleutian Islander, and two Athabascans. What they found provides a new picture of the population history of the North American Arctic. Their analyses supports the model of the arrival of Paleo-Eskimos into North America as a separate migration from...
  • American Indian Oral Traditions and Ohio's Earthworks

    08/28/2014 6:21:33 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    Ohio History Connection Archaeology Blog ^ | August 25, 2014 | Brad Lepper
    ...So, while my Journal of Ohio Archaeology paper concludes rather pessimistically that there are no documented early American Indian traditions that speak reliably to the original purpose and meaning of the ancient earthworks, there is no reason to believe that traditional stories of contemporary tribes with historic roots in the eastern Woodlands could not include themes and elements that echo, if faintly, traditions of the Hopewell culture. And if that’s conceivable, and I think it is, then it would be worthwhile to look for them... One reason why it’s important to take seriously what American Indians have had to say...
  • Utah's Great Gallery rock art younger than expected, say scientists [1K-2K]

    08/28/2014 6:13:16 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | August 25, 2014 | Mary-Ann Muffoletto
    "The most accepted hypotheses pointed to the age of these paintings as 2,000 to 4,000 years old or perhaps even 7,000 to 8,000 years old," says Pederson, associate professor in USU's Department of Geology and lead author on the paper. "Our findings reveal these paintings were likely made between 1,000 to 2,000 years ago." The USU-led team's findings strike a key point about the art's creators: They may have co-existed with the Fremont people, who are credited with carving distinctly different pictographs found in the same region. "Previous ideas suggested a people different from the Fremont created the paintings because...
  • Mystery of Death Valley's moving rocks solved

    08/28/2014 6:11:20 PM PDT · by rjbemsha · 9 replies
    AP ^ | 29 August 2014 | Anonymous
    For years scientists have theorized about how large rocks — some weighing hundreds of pounds — zigzag across Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park, leaving long trails etched in the earth. Now two researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, have photographed these "sailing rocks" being blown by light winds across the former lake bed. Richard Norris and James Norris said the movement is made possible when ice sheets that form after rare overnight rains melt in the rising sun, making the hard ground muddy and slick. On Dec. 20, 2013, the...
  • Hadrian's Wall dig unearths 2,000-year-old toilet seat

    08/28/2014 6:07:54 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies
    BBC News ^ | August 27, 2014 | unattributed
    Archaeologists have unearthed a 2,000-year-old, perfectly preserved wooden toilet seat at a Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland. Experts at Vindolanda believe it is the only find of its kind and dates from the 2nd Century. The site, near Hexham, has previously revealed gold and silver coins and other artefacts of the Roman army. The seat was discovered in a muddy trench, which was previously filled with rubbish. Dr Andrew Birley, director of excavations at Vindolanda, said: "We know a lot about Roman toilets from previous excavations at the site and from the wider Roman world, which have included...
  • 2,800-Year-Old Zigzag Art Found in Greek Tomb

    08/28/2014 6:00:48 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    LiveScience ^ | Wednesday, August 20, 2014 | Owen Jarus
    The tomb was built sometime between 800 B.C. and 760 B.C., a time when Corinth was emerging as a major power and Greeks were colonizing the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. The tomb itself consists of a shaft and burial pit, the pit having a limestone sarcophagus that is about 5.8 feet (1.76 meters) long, 2.8 feet (0.86 m) wide and 2.1 feet (0.63 m) high. When researchers opened the sarcophagus, they found a single individual had been buried inside, with only fragments of bones surviving. The scientists found several pottery vessels beside the sarcophagus, and the tomb also contained...
  • Ancient DNA Sheds New Light on Arctic's Earliest People

    08/28/2014 4:40:35 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 17 replies
    National Geographic ^ | 8-28-14 | Heather Pringle
    The earliest people in the North American Arctic remained isolated from others in the region for millennia before vanishing around 700 years ago, a new genetic analysis shows. The study, published online Thursday, also reveals that today's Inuit and Native Americans of the Arctic are genetically distinct from the region's first settlers. Inuit hunters in the Canadian Arctic have long told stories about a mysterious ancient people known as the Tunit, who once inhabited the far north. Tunit men, they recalled, possessed powerful magic and were strong enough to crush the neck of a walrus and singlehandedly haul the massive...
  • Phoenician Artifacts Recovered Off Coast of Malta

    08/28/2014 4:25:13 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    Archaeology mag ^ | Monday, August 25, 2014 | unattributed
    Scientists from the French National Research Agency and Texas A&M University are part of a team that has recovered 20 Phoenician grinding stones and 50 amphorae about one mile off the coast of Malta’s Gozo Island. Timothy Gambin of the University of Malta told the Associated Press that the ship was probably traveling between Sicily and Malta when it sank ca. 700 B.C. The team will continue to look for other artifacts and parts of the vessel, which sits at a depth of almost 400 feet and is one of the oldest shipwrecks to be discovered in the central Mediterranean....
  • "Slaves' Hill" Was Home to High-Status Craftsmen

    08/28/2014 3:44:40 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    Archaeology Magazine ^ | Thursday, August 28, 2014
    New information from excavations in southern Israel’s Timna Valley by Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen of Tel Aviv University suggests that the laborers who smelted copper at the site 3,000 years ago were skilled craftsmen of high social status. Since the 1930s, it has been thought that the Iron Age camp was inhabited by slaves because of the massive barrier that had been unearthed and the harsh conditions created by the furnaces and desert conditions. The well-preserved bones, seeds, fruits, and fabric that have been recently recovered tell a different story, however. “The copper smelters were given the better cuts...
  • The most complete Ebola genome yet: What it can tell us

    08/28/2014 3:27:01 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    L.A. Times ^ | August 28, 2014, 3:04 PM | Deborah Netburn
    An international team of team of scientists has sequenced the RNA of 99 Ebola virus samples collected during the early weeks of the outbreak in Sierra Leone. The feat, described Thursday in the journal Science, gives researchers a powerful new tool in their effort to contain the deadly virus. ... Scientists are already scouring that sequence for clues to help them design effective drugs and vaccines. It could take years to find them all, said Sabeti, who studies infectious diseases at Harvard and at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass. For now, evidence embedded in the RNA reveals that the...
  • New Technology Could End The Debate Over Pipeline Safety

    08/28/2014 2:21:07 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 8 replies
    OIL PRICE ^ | 08/28/2014 | James Stafford
    Who could have ever imagined that North America would surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids? A decade ago, that would have seemed laughable.Yet that’s exactly what has happened; and it’s not just Saudi Arabia that has been left in North America’s dust -- Russia has, too. The surge in North American oil and gas production is arguably the most important development in energy over the last decade. That’s the good news. The not so good news is that North America doesn’t have nearly enough oil and gas pipelines to accommodate its 11-million-barrel-a-day...
  • Mystery of California's 'Wandering Stones' solved

    08/28/2014 10:20:39 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 32 replies
    www.telegraph.co.uk ^ | 4:07PM BST 28 Aug 2014 | By Hannah Marsh
    It's a geological enigma that's had scientists speculating for half a century. But the mystery behind Death Valley's 'Wandering Stones' has finally been uncovered. It was previously unknown what caused the rocks to move across Racetrack Playa, a desert lake bed in the mountains above California's Death Valley, leaving their distinctive trails behind them. But researchers have witnessed a thin layer of water freezing over the lake, before breaking into sheets the thickness of a window pane and nudging the rocks as they were blown by the breeze. “It’s a delight to be involved in sorting out this kind of...
  • Great news: You’re paying for a 1 year experiment to find out if the universe is a hologram

    08/28/2014 8:57:00 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 50 replies
    Hotair ^ | 08/28/2014 | Jazz Shaw
    Remember that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Professor Moriarty tried to escape from the holodeck? Well, the folks at Fermilab probably saw it, since they are currently launching a one year series of tests to find out if our entire universe is a hologram. Do we live in a 2D hologram? There’s no short answer, but physicists believe it may be possible. The holographic principle — a property of particle physics’ string theory — proposes that information about a region of space can be ascertained by the information on the surface that surrounds it — much...
  • Constitutional chutzpah

    08/28/2014 6:26:15 AM PDT · by right-wing agnostic · 1 replies
    New York Post ^ | August 27, 2014 | Seth Lipsky
    There are three ways something can become what the US Constitution calls the “supreme law of the land.” It can be made part of the Constitution by amendment, it can be passed by Congress as a law or it can be ratified by the Senate as a treaty. President Obama can’t get his climate-change agreement made supreme law of the land by any of those constitutional routes. Not even close. The Republican House doesn’t want it. The Democratic Senate won’t act. That’s because the people don’t want it. They’re no dummies. Even in drought-stricken California, the Hill newspaper reports, Democratic...
  • Eye Problems From Space Affect At Least 21 NASA Astronauts: Study

    08/27/2014 4:22:00 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | August 27, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell on
    How does microgravity affect your health? One of the chief concerns of NASA astronauts these days is changes to eyesight. Some people come back from long-duration stays in space with what appears to be permanent changes, such as requiring glasses when previously they did not. And the numbers are interesting. A few months after NASA told Universe Today that 20% of astronauts may face this problem, a new study points out that 21 U.S. astronauts that have flown on the International Space Station for long flights (which tend to be five to six months) face visual problems. These include “hyperopic...
  • Scientists raised these fish to walk on land

    08/27/2014 3:03:48 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 25 replies
    The Verge ^ | August 27, 2014 | Arielle Duhaime-Ross
    Raising fish on land seems like the sort of idea you’d get while recovering from general anesthesia. But for three McGill University researchers, it made perfect sense. How else would you find out what behavioral and physiological changes might have taken place when fish first made the move from sea to land over 400 million years ago? "I used to look at fins and their motion, and I always thought it was so interesting and complex," says Emily Standen, lead author of a study published in Nature today, and an evolutionary biomechanics researcher who now works at the University of...
  • Where's the Intelligent Design in Ohio House Bill 597?

    08/27/2014 7:41:49 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 5 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | August 27, 2014 | Casey Luskin
    Where's the Intelligent Design in Ohio House Bill 597? Casey Luskin August 27, 2014 5:56 AM | Permalink Just as they did back in 2006, the Darwin Lobby and the media have concocted a story that intelligent design is going to be taught in Ohio. According to a recent article in the Columbus Dispatch, "Intelligent design could be taught with Common Core's repeal," Ohio House Bill 597 "would allow intelligent design and creationism to be taught alongside evolution in science classes." You might expect that a bill to "allow intelligent design and creationism to be taught alongside evolution" would say...
  • Japan lab unable to replicate stem cell results

    08/27/2014 7:33:48 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Aug 27, 2014 10:12 AM EDT | Elaine Kurtenbach
    The Japanese laboratory that retracted a paper reporting a potentially major breakthrough in stem cell research said Wednesday its researchers have not managed to replicate the results. Scientists at the government-affiliated Riken Center for Developmental Biology said they are still trying to match results reported in two papers published by the journal Nature in January and then retracted in July. […] (Riken scientist Haruko) Obokata and other researchers in Boston and Japan participating in the project said they used a simple procedure to turn ordinary cells from mice into stem cells. They exposed cells from spleens of newborn mice to...
  • Why Government Researchers Think We May Be Living in a 2D Hologram

    08/27/2014 7:06:43 AM PDT · by Ghost of SVR4 · 39 replies
    http://motherboard.vice.com/ ^ | 4-26-2014 | JASON KOEBLER
    Operating with cutting-edge technology out of a trailer in rural Illinois, government researchers started today on a set of experiments that they say will help them determine whether or not you and me and everything that exists are living in a two-dimensional holographic universe. It sounds completely off-the-walls insane, but the incongruities between Albert Einstein's theory of relativity and some of Max Planck's discoveries about the nature of matter can only be explained if we're living in a Matrix-style holographic illusion, according to Craig Hogan, director of the Department of Energy's Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics. ..... If so, that...
  • Report: Response to climate-change survey led to CEO's departure from PR Giant, Edelman

    08/26/2014 2:48:29 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 7 replies
    PR Week ^ | 08/2014 | Lindsay Stein and Frank Washkuch ,
    Edelman global CEO Richard Edelman said in a conversation with an editor of Vice’s Motherboard blog that former US CEO Mark Hass was fired from the agency in part because of the way he responded to an investigation into PR agencies’ work with climate-change deniers. Quoted by Motherboard senior editor Brian Merchant, the chief executive of the world’s largest PR agency said, "We fired the head of our US [division] in part because of that stupid note he wrote, about, you know, how we don’t answer these kinds of things." In response to inquiries from the Climate Investigations Center that...
  • N.C. State students develop nail polish to detect date rape drugs

    08/26/2014 12:31:37 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 30 replies
    Washington Times ^ | 8-25-14 | Jessica Chasmer
    Four male students at North Carolina State University have developed a prototype for a new nail polish line that changes color when it comes into contact with date rape drugs. Ankesh Madan, Tasso Von Windheim, Tyler Confrey-Maloney, and Stephan Gray founded Undercover Colors, coined as “the first fashion company working to prevent sexual assault,” The Mary Sue reported. A woman paints her nails with the polish, and when her nails come into contact with a liquid, the color will change if drugs like Rohypnol, Xanax, or GHB are present. “In the U.S., 18% of women will be sexually assaulted in...
  • Historian Claims The Louvre Museum Holds Ancient Amphipolis Tomb Treasures

    08/26/2014 10:56:38 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 9 replies
    greece.greekreporter.com ^ | Aug 26, 2014 | by Daphne Tsagari
    A prominent Greek historian claims that it is possible for the Louvre Museum in Paris to possess artifacts from the ancient Greek tomb currently being excavated by archaeologists in Amphipolis, Greece. The fame of the ancient Greek treasures allegedly hidden in the Amphipolis tomb has recently raised concerns whether the monument will be found intact, or if it had been looted in the past. Historian, Sarantis Kargakos, speaking to Antenna TV, said that the tomb has been looted in the past and that the monument’s interior won’t be intact. “At the spot where Ancient Amphipolis is found, a village named...
  • Greek archaeologists enter large underground tomb [Amphipolis update]

    08/26/2014 10:13:43 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 13 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 08/25/2014 | Staff
    Archaeologists excavating an ancient tomb under a massive burial mound in northern Greece have entered the underground structure, which appears to have been looted in antiquity. The Culture Ministry said Monday that archaeologists have partially investigated the antechamber of the tomb at Amphipolis and uncovered a marble wall concealing one or more inner chambers. However, a hole in the decorated wall and signs of forced entry outside the huge barrel-vaulted structure indicate the tomb was plundered long ago. The excavation will continue for weeks. The tomb dates between 325 B.C.—two years after the death of ancient Greek warrior-king Alexander the...
  • How Long Do CDs Last? It Depends, But Definitely Not Forever

    08/26/2014 9:52:12 AM PDT · by a fool in paradise · 57 replies
    NPR ^ | August 18, 2014 5:21 PM ET | Laura Sydell
    Many institutions have their archives stored on CDs — but the discs aren't as stable as once thought. There is no average life span for a CD, says preservationist Michele Youket, "because there is no average disc." --- Back in the 1990s, historical societies, museums and symphonies across the country began transferring all kinds of information onto what was thought to be a very durable medium: the compact disc. Now, preservationists are worried that a lot of key information stored on CDs — from sound recordings to public records — is going to disappear. Some of those little silver discs...
  • RoboBrain marks the dawn of cloud robotics

    08/26/2014 5:56:19 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 9 replies
    Load The Game ^ | August 25, 2014 | Emily Smith
    RoboBrain marks the dawn of cloud robotics Posted by: Emily Smith August 25, 2014 in Tech RoboBrain is the new attempt of artificial intelligence researchers to create a cloud-based database that would help out existing and future robots. In theory, RoboBrain is supposed to be a massive database of all the information robots have been taught so far and offers the possibility of increasing that knowledge as well. The main idea behind RoboBrain is that the cumulative knowledge robots have been able to gather should be collected in the same place, namely cloud storage, and made available to every robot...
  • The story of the A-10 and why the F-35 cannot replace it. (video)

    08/26/2014 4:58:24 AM PDT · by servo1969 · 46 replies
    wimp.com ^ | 8-26-2014 | wimp.com
    Pierre Sprey is one of the original designers of the A-10 Warthog during the 1970s. He provides insight into why the aircraft is so loved by ground troops in the military, and why its recent retirement from Air Force operations is so hotly debated.
  • 5 Landing Site Candidates Selected for Rosetta’s Historic Philae Comet Lander

    08/25/2014 3:43:19 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 1 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | August 25, 2014 | Ken Kremer on
    The ‘Top 5’ landing site candidates have been chosen for the Rosetta orbiters piggybacked Philae lander for humankind’s first attempt to land on a comet. See graphics above and below. The potential touchdown sites were announce today, Aug. 25, based on high resolution measurements collected by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft over the past two weeks since arriving at the bizarre and pockmarked Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Aug. 6, 2014. ... Their goal was to find a ‘technically feasible’ touchdown site that was both safe and scientifically interesting. “The site must balance the technical needs of the orbiter and lander during all phases...
  • Army Hypersonic Missile Fails in Second Test

    08/25/2014 12:43:28 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 13 replies
    Washington Free Beacon ^ | 08/25/2014 | Bill Gertz
    The Army’s test of an advanced hypersonic weapon failed shortly after takeoff early Monday, the Pentagon said in a statement. The failure is a setback for a key part of the Pentagon’s strategic weapon program of building arms that can attack any point on earth in 30 minutes. The missile carrying the weapon was intentionally blown up shortly after launch, the Pentagon said. “Due to an anomaly, the test was terminated near the launch pad shortly after liftoff to ensure public safety,” the Pentagon said in a brief statement. “There were no injuries to any personnel.” “Program officials are conducting...
  • How long to go 80 miles at 80MPH?

    08/25/2014 11:19:44 AM PDT · by econjack · 164 replies
    Facebook ^ | Augusts 5, 2014 | unknown
    A difficult math question. One would hope that these two did not finish high school. If they did, public education needs to refund our money. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202517290999274
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Arp 188 and the Tadpole's Tail

    08/24/2014 9:23:44 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | August 25, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why does this galaxy have such a long tail? In this stunning vista, based on image data from the Hubble Legacy Archive, distant galaxies form a dramatic backdrop for disrupted spiral galaxy Arp 188, the Tadpole Galaxy. The cosmic tadpole is a mere 420 million light-years distant toward the northern constellation Draco. Its eye-catching tail is about 280 thousand light-years long and features massive, bright blue star clusters. One story goes that a more compact intruder galaxy crossed in front of Arp 188 - from right to left in this view - and was slung around behind the Tadpole...
  • Fire Stone: First Fire-Scorched Petrified Wood Found

    08/24/2014 6:27:23 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies
    LiveScience ^ | August 12, 2014 | Becky Oskin
    After serving nearly 30 years as a doorstop for a nuclear physicist, a hunk of petrified wood from Arizona has finally been recognized as a one-of-a-kind find. The 210-million-year-old piece of wood contains the first fossilized fire scar ever discovered... Evidence for ancient forest fires predates the dinosaurs, but the clues come from charcoal, not from marks on fossilized trees. Charcoal remains of Earth's oldest fires date back more than 400 million years. No one has ever spotted a fire scar on petrified wood before, said lead study author Bruce Byers, a natural resources consultant from Falls Church, Virginia. That's...
  • The heat is on. Bureau of Meteorology ‘altering climate figures’ — The Australian

    08/24/2014 3:09:59 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 28 replies
    joannenova.com.au ^ | August 23rd, 2014 | Joanne
    Congratulations to The Australian again for taking the hard road and reporting controversial, hot, documented problems, that few in the Australian media dare to investigate. How accurate are our national climate datasets when some adjustments turn entire long stable records from cooling trends to warming ones (or visa versa)? Do the headlines of “hottest ever record” (reported to a tenth of a degree) mean much if thermometer data sometimes needs to be dramatically changed 60 years after being recorded?One of the most extreme examples is a thermometer station in Amberley, Queensland where a cooling trend in minima of 1C per...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Mercury's Transit: An Unusual Spot on the Sun

    08/24/2014 1:39:14 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | August 24, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that dot on the Sun? If you look closely, it is almost perfectly round. The dot is the result of an unusual type of solar eclipse that occurred in 2006. Usually it is the Earth's Moon that eclipses the Sun. This time, the planet Mercury took a turn. Like the approach to New Moon before a solar eclipse, the phase of Mercury became a continually thinner crescent as the planet progressed toward an alignment with the Sun. Eventually the phase of Mercury dropped to zero and the dark spot of Mercury crossed our parent star. The situation could...
  • Before He Died, Richard III Lived Large

    08/24/2014 10:48:27 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 35 replies
    The Smithsonian ^ | 8-19-14 | Rachel Nuwer
    Bone chemistry sheds light on the monarch's shifting diet throughout his brief life Richard III was only 32 years old when he was struck down at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. But according to new research, the King of England at least enjoyed some good eating throughout his life—especially in the few years leading up to his death. Scientists from the British Geological Survey and the University of Leicester analyzed Richard III's teeth, his femur and his ribs to see what they could reveal about the monarch's diet, Phys.org reports. They used isotope analysis to identify chemical signatures...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Spectre of Veszprem

    08/23/2014 8:24:37 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | August 23, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The city of Veszprem, Hungary was only briefly haunted by this mysterious spectre. On the morning of August 11, its monstrous form hovered in the mist above municipal buildings near the town center. A clue to its true identity is offered by the photographer, though, who reports he took the picture from the top of a twenty story building with the rising Sun directly at his back. That special geometry suggests this is an example of an atmospheric phenomenon called the Glory or sometimes "the Spectre of the Brocken". Also seen from mountain tops and airplanes when looking opposite...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Jacques, Heart and Soul

    08/23/2014 8:13:44 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | August 22, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On July 13th, a good place to watch Comet Jacques was from Venus. Then, the recently discovered visitor (C/2014 E2) to the inner solar system passed within about 14.5 million kilometers of our sister planet. But the outbound comet will pass only 84 million kilometers from our fair planet on August 28 and is already a fine target for telescopes and binoculars. Two days ago Jacques' greenish coma and straight and narrow ion tail were captured in this telescopic snapshot, a single 2 minute long exposure with a modified digital camera. The comet is flanked by IC 1805 and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus and Jupiter at Dawn

    08/23/2014 8:06:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | August 21, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On Monday morning, Venus and Jupiter gathered close in dawn skies, for some separated by about half the width of a full moon. It was their closest conjunction since 2000, captured here above the eastern horizon before sunrise. The serene and colorful view is from Istia beach near the city of Capoliveri on the island of Elba. Distant lights and rolling hills are along Italy's Tuscan coast. Of course, the celestial pair soon wandered apart. Brighter Venus headed lower, toward the eastern horizon and the glare of the Sun, while Jupiter continues to rise a little higher now in...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- In the Center of the Lagoon Nebula

    08/23/2014 8:02:31 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    NASA ^ | August 20, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The center of the Lagoon Nebula is a whirlwind of spectacular star formation. Visible near the image center, at least two long funnel-shaped clouds, each roughly half a light-year long, have been formed by extreme stellar winds and intense energetic starlight. The tremendously bright nearby star, Herschel 36, lights the area. Walls of dust hide and redden other hot young stars. As energy from these stars pours into the cool dust and gas, large temperature differences in adjoining regions can be created generating shearing winds which may cause the funnels. This picture, spanning about 5 light years, combines images...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Contrasting Terrains on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    08/23/2014 7:58:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | August 19, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Where should Philae land? As ESA's robotic spacecraft Rosetta circles toward Comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a decision must eventually be made as to where its mechanical lander should attempt to touch-down. Reaching the comet earlier this month, Rosetta is sending back detailed pictures of the comet's unusual nucleus from which a smooth landing site will be selected. Pictured above, near the image top, the head of the comet's nucleus shows rugged grooves, while near the image bottom, the body shows a patch-work of areas sometimes separated by jagged hills. Some of the patch-work areas apparent on both the head and...
  • The Space Shuttle On Rails

    08/23/2014 4:25:33 AM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 11 replies
    Txchnologist ^ | July 14th, 2014 | Txchnologist staff
    On a clear July day in 1966, New York Central Railroad engineer Don Wetzel and his team boarded a specially modified Buddliner railcar. Bolted to the roof above them were two GE J47-19 jet engines. Wetzel throttled the engines up and tore down a length of track from Butler, Indiana, to Stryker, Ohio, at almost 184 mph, piloting the experimental vehicle into the record books as the world’s fastest jet-powered train.
  • Pomegranate peel may cure deadly brain disorders (Alzheimer's and Parkinson's)

    08/23/2014 3:43:03 AM PDT · by Innovative · 20 replies
    Business Standard ^ | Aug 23, 2014 | IANS
    Two years of research by a Nigerian scientist has shown that sufferers of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease could be helped by punicalagin, a compound extracted from pomegranates. Olumayokun Olajide from the University of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire showed how punicalagin could inhibit inflammation in specialised brain cells known as micrologia. He also found the painful inflammation that accompanies illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson's disease could be reduced using the same drug. "We do know that regular consumption of pomegranate has a lot of health benefits, including prevention of neuro-inflammation related to dementia," Olajide added.
  • Oldest Yet Known Metal Object Discovered in the Middle East

    08/22/2014 8:00:53 PM PDT · by fatez · 70 replies
    Live Scient ^ | August 22, 2104 | Charles Q. Choi
    A copper awl is the oldest metal object unearthed to date in the Middle East. The discovery reveals that metals were exchanged across hundreds of miles in this region more than 6,000 years ago, centuries earlier than previously thought, researchers say.
  • NASA to send rats to space to test micro-gravity

    08/22/2014 3:29:20 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    indianexpress.com ^ | August 22, 2014 4:49 pm
    NASA is planning to send rats to the International Space Station (ISS) for a longer duration of up to three months to better understand the long-term effects of micro-gravity on living organisms. While rodents have flown on space shuttle flights in the past, those missions have only lasted a week or two. The new mission, however, could range between 30 and 90 days, depending on the availability of spacecraft to ferry them on the round-trip, ‘Space.com’ reported. “This will allow animals to be studied for longer period of time on space station missions,” said Julie Robinson, NASA’s chief scientist for...
  • Stolen Meteorite Found at a Tennis Court

    08/22/2014 1:48:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 4 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | August 22, 2014 | Jason Major on
    Here’s a bit of good news: the Serooskerken meteorite, which was stolen from the Sonnenborgh Museum and Observatory in Utrecht, Netherlands on Monday night, has been recovered. It was found in a bag left in some bushes alongside a tennis court and turned in to the police. It’s not quite “game, set, match” though; unfortunately the meteorite was broken during the theft. (See a photo here via Twitter follower Marieke Baan.) Still, the Sonnenborgh Museum director is glad to have the pieces back, which he said will remain useful for research and can still be exhibited.
  • Scientists develop a water splitter that runs on an ordinary AAA battery

    08/22/2014 10:51:36 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 95 replies
    Phys.org ^ | 08-22-2014 | Provided by Stanford University
    In 2015, American consumers will finally be able to purchase fuel cell cars from Toyota and other manufacturers. Although touted as zero-emissions vehicles, most of the cars will run on hydrogen made from natural gas, a fossil fuel that contributes to global warming. Now scientists at Stanford University have developed a low-cost, emissions-free device that uses an ordinary AAA battery to produce hydrogen by water electrolysis. The battery sends an electric current through two electrodes that split liquid water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Unlike other water splitters that use precious-metal catalysts, the electrodes in the Stanford device are made...