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Keyword: science

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Twisted Solar Eruptive Prominence

    01/25/2015 1:20:36 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | January 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Ten Earths could easily fit in the "claw" of this seemingly solar monster. The monster, actually a huge eruptive prominence, is seen moving out from our Sun in this condensed half-hour time-lapse sequence. This large prominence, though, is significant not only for its size, but its shape. The twisted figure eight shape indicates that a complex magnetic field threads through the emerging solar particles. Differential rotation of gas just inside the surface of the Sun might help account for the surface explosion. The five frame sequence was taken in early 2000 by the Sun-orbiting SOHO satellite. Although large prominences...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Light from Cygnus A

    01/24/2015 12:59:30 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | January 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Celebrating astronomy in this International Year of Light, the detailed image reveals spectacular active galaxy Cygnus A in light across the electromagnetic spectrum. Incorporating X-ray data ( blue) from the orbiting Chandra Observatory, Cygnus A is seen to be a prodigious source of high energy x-rays. But it is actually more famous at the low energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum. One of the brightest celestial sources visible to radio telescopes, at 600 million light-years distant Cygnus A is the closest powerful radio galaxy. Radio emission ( red) extends to either side along the same axis for nearly 300,000...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Interior View [space station]

    01/23/2015 3:57:31 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | January 23, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Some prefer windows, and these are the best available on board the International Space Station. Taken on January 4, this snapshot from inside the station's large, seven-window Cupola module also shows off a workstation for controlling Canadarm2. Used to grapple visiting cargo vehicles and assist astronauts during spacewalks, the robotic arm is just outside the window at the right. The Cupola itself is attached to the Earth-facing or nadir port of the station's Tranquility module, offering dynamic panoramas of our fair planet. Seen from the station's 90 minute long, 400 kilometer high orbit, Earth's bright limb is in view...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Launch to Lovejoy

    01/22/2015 11:42:36 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | January 22, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Blasting skyward an Atlas V rocket carrying a U.S. Navy satellite pierces a cloud bank in this starry night scene captured on January 20. On its way to orbit from Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, planet Earth, the rocket streaks past brightest star Sirius, as seen from a dark beach at Canaveral National Seashore. Above the alpha star of Canis Major, Orion the Hunter strikes a pose familiar to northern winter skygazers. Above Orion is the V-shaped Hyades star cluster, head of Taurus the Bull, and farther still above Taurus it's easy to spot the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Complex Ion Tail of Comet Lovejoy

    01/21/2015 2:52:55 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | January 21, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What causes the structure in Comet Lovejoy's tail? Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), which is currently at naked-eye brightness and near its brightest, has been showing an exquisitely detailed ion tail. As the name implies, the ion tail is made of ionized gas -- gas energized by ultraviolet light from the Sun and pushed outward by the solar wind. The solar wind is quite structured and sculpted by the Sun's complex and ever changing magnetic field. The effect of the variable solar wind combined with different gas jets venting from the comet's nucleus accounts for the tail's complex structure. Following...
  • Galileo's notebooks may reveal secrets of new planet

    07/09/2009 7:04:30 AM PDT · by decimon · 4 replies · 382+ views
    University of Melbourne ^ | Jul 9, 2009 | Unknown
    Galileo knew he had discovered a new planet in 1613, 234 years before its official discovery date, according to a new theory by a University of Melbourne physicist. Professor David Jamieson, Head of the School of Physics, is investigating the notebooks of Galileo from 400 years ago and believes that buried in the notations is the evidence that he discovered a new planet that we now know as Neptune. A hypothesis of how to look for this evidence has been published in the journal Australian Physics and was presented at the first lecture in the 2009 July Lectures in Physics...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Approaching Asteroid Ceres

    01/20/2015 5:55:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | January 20, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It is the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt -- what secrets does it hold? To find out, NASA has sent the robotic Dawn spacecraft to explore and map this cryptic 1,000-kilometer wide world: Ceres. Orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, Ceres is officially categorized as a dwarf planet but has never been imaged in detail. Featured here is a 20-frame video taken a week ago of Dawn's approach that now rivals even the best images of Ceres ever taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The video shows enough surface definition to discern its 9-hour rotation period. On target to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Infrared Orion from WISE

    01/18/2015 11:53:07 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | January 19, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Great Nebula in Orion is an intriguing place. Visible to the unaided eye, it appears as a small fuzzy patch in the constellation of Orion. But this image, an illusory-color four-panel mosaic taken in different bands of infrared light with the Earth orbiting WISE observatory, shows the Orion Nebula to be a bustling neighborhood or recently formed stars, hot gas, and dark dust. The power behind much of the Orion Nebula (M42) is the stars of the Trapezium star cluster, seen near the center of the above wide field image. The orange glow surrounding the bright stars pictured...
  • Three New Earth-Size Planets Found "Nearby"

    01/18/2015 2:15:42 PM PST · by dila813 · 32 replies
    Forbes ^ | 1/18/2015 @ 12:00PM | Eric Mack
    The Kepler space telescope has spotted over 1,000 exoplanets beyond our solar system, and its latest finds are three almost Earth-sized planets, including one in the habitable zone circling the star EPIC 201367075, just 150 light years from Earth. In the cosmic sense, that’s right around the block, making it one of the 10 closest known stars with observed planets in its gravitational hold. Of course, such distances in the cosmic sense also would take many generations to traverse, so don’t invest in real estate there just yet. Still, the relative closeness of this “EPIC” star and its planets provides...
  • NASA Keeps Telling “Warmest” Lies

    01/18/2015 9:54:03 AM PST · by rktman · 13 replies
    canadafreepress.com ^ | 1/18/2015 | Alan Caruba
    On January 16 The New York Times reported the lies NASA keeps telling about global warming with an article titled “2014 Breaks Heat Record, Challenging Global Warming Skeptics.” We have reached the point where neither a famed government agency nor a famed daily newspaper can be believed simply because both are lying to advance the greatest hoax of the modern era. Remember that 2014 started off with something called a “polar vortex” to describe the incredibly cold weather being experienced and remember, too, that we were being told that it was evidence of global warming! That’s how stupid the “Warmists”...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Galactic Core in Infrared

    01/18/2015 3:24:38 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | January 18, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy? To help find out, the orbiting Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have combined their efforts to survey the region in unprecedented detail in infrared light. Milky Way's center because visible light is more greatly obscured by dust. The above image encompasses over 2,000 images from the Hubble Space Telescope's NICMOS taken in 2008. The image spans 300 by 115 light years with such high resolution that structures only 20 times the size of our own Solar System are discernable. Clouds of glowing gas and dark dust as well as...
  • Ocean 'calamities' oversold, say researchers

    01/17/2015 7:34:17 PM PST · by Lorianne · 4 replies
    Nature ^ | 14 January 2015 | Daniel Cressey
    Team calls for more scepticism in marine research.___ The state of the world's seas is often painted as verging on catastrophe. But although some challenges are very real, others have been vastly overstated, researchers claim in a review paper. The team writes that scientists, journals and the media have fallen into a mode of groupthink that can damage the credibility of the ocean sciences. The controversial study exposes fault lines in the marine-science community. Carlos Duarte, a marine biologist at the University of Western Australia in Perth, and his colleagues say that gloomy media reports about ocean issues such as...
  • Kerry: Climate science 'screaming at us'

    01/17/2015 12:53:39 PM PST · by Libloather · 50 replies
    The Hill ^ | 1/16/15 | Jesse Byrnes
    Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday called for "ambitious, concrete action" to combat climate change after a government agency released new data about global temperatures. "What’s surprising is that anyone is surprised that 2014 was the hottest year on record. The science has been screaming at us for a long, long time," Kerry said Friday in a statement released by the State Department. Kerry said historic temperatures, greenhouse gas emissions and extreme weathers events like torrential rain and droughts "are having devastating economic, security and health impacts across the planet." His comments were in response to a new report...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy's Tail

    01/17/2015 8:42:18 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | January 17, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sweeping north in planet Earth's sky, Comet Lovejoy's greenish coma and blue tinted ion tail stretched across this field of stars in the constellation Taurus on January 13. The inset at the upper left shows the 1/2 degree angular size of the full moon for scale. So Lovejoy's coma appears only a little smaller (but much fainter) than a full moon on the sky, and its tail is visible for over 4 degrees across the frame. That corresponds to over 5 million kilometers at the comet's estimated distance of 75 million kilometers from Earth. Blown by the solar wind,...
  • Beagle 2 found on surface of Mars after vanishing for 12 years [UK Spacecraft]

    01/16/2015 6:13:59 AM PST · by Red Badger · 21 replies
    Telegraph UK ^ | 10:00AM GMT 16 Jan 2015 | By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
    Britain's Beagle 2 lander has finally been spotted, 12 years after it went missing while trying to land on the surface of Mars History books will need to be rewritten after scientists announced today that Beagle 2 has been finally been found on Mars, 12 years after it vanished without trace. The beleaguered spacecraft, which has become a byword for mission failure, was spotted by scientists operating the HiRise camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It was discovered just 5km from its original touchdown site in the Isidis Planitia basin. And it appears that just one faulty motor was...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Huygens Lands on Titan [flashback]

    01/16/2015 5:24:30 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | January 16, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Delivered by Saturn-bound Cassini, ESA's Huygens probe touched down on the ringed planet's largest moon Titan, ten years ago on January 14, 2005. These panels show fisheye images made during its slow descent by parachute through Titan's dense atmosphere. Taken by the probe's descent imager/spectral radiometer instrument they range in altitude from 6 kilometers (upper left) to 0.2 kilometers (lower right) above the moon's surprisingly Earth-like surface of dark channels, floodplains, and bright ridges. But at temperatures near -290 degrees C, the liquids flowing across Titan's surface are methane and ethane, hydrocarbons rather than water. After making the most...
  • This Temporary Tattoo Can Monitor Diabetics' Glucose Levels as Accurately as a Finger Prick

    01/15/2015 2:25:51 PM PST · by Mellonkronos · 16 replies
    Science Alert ^ | January 15, 2015 | FIONA MACDONALD
    [I really think it is important to highlight all the great advances in technology and medicine, to show what is good in society and what we can accomplish if we put our minds to it! Even if you don’t have diabetes you should appreciate the advances that can be made—if government regulators and Obama don’t destroy the medical industry first.] This Temporary Tattoo Can Monitor Diabetics' Glucose Levels as Accurately as a Finger Prick “A flexible and easy-to-wear temporary tattoo could help diabetics manage their condition without daily finger pricks.” By FIONA MACDONALD January 15, 2015 Engineers from the University...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus and Mercury at Sunset

    01/15/2015 4:23:51 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | January 15, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Inner planets Venus and Mercury can never wander far from the Sun in Earth's sky. This week you've probably seen them both gathered near the western horizon just after sunset, a close conjunction of bright celestial beacons in the fading twilight. The pair are framed in this early evening skyview captured on January 13 from the ruins of Szarvasko Castle in northwestern Hungary. Above the silhouette of the landscape's prominent volcanic hill Venus is much the brighter, separated from Mercury by little more than the width of two Full Moons. On Friday, planet Earth's early morning risers will also...
  • Science, God, and the Improbability of Life, 'LIKE' IT OR NOT

    01/14/2015 10:01:30 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 39 replies
    Break Point ^ | 01/14/2015 | Eric Metaxas
    I’m not a scientist, and I don’t play one on TV. But I can examine scientific evidence and ask the question, “How is life possible?” This past Christmas, the Wall Street Journal ran an essay of mine entitled “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God.” The content will be familiar to those who have read my latest book, “Miracles,” or heard me talk about it here at BreakPoint. I noted that the initial euphoria over the possibility that there were a septillion -- that’s one followed by 24 zeros -- planets capable of supporting life in the universe was followed...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Hunter, the Bull, and Lovejoy

    01/14/2015 8:19:27 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | January 14, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Heading north, Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) is putting on its best show for comet watchers now, with moonlight absent from mid-January's early evening skies. An easy binocular target and just visible to the unaided eye from dark sites, the comet sweeps across the constellation Taurus the Bull in this deep night skyscape. The starry scene was captured just two days ago on January 12, from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, planet Earth. In fact, the head of Taurus formed by the V-shaped Hyades star cluster points toward Lovejoy at the right. The comet's greenish coma and tail streaming in the anti-sunward...
  • Lawmakers in charge of NASA and the environment don't understand science

    01/13/2015 3:24:02 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 19 replies
    Engadget ^ | January 13, 2015 | Timothy J. Seppala
    Well, this is more than a little depressing: The politician who tried reducing NASA funding (and successfully shut it down for over two weeks) is now in charge of the senate subcommittee that effectively controls NASA. More than that, one of the most vocal climate-change detractors is now in charge of the United States Senate's Environmental committee. Let's let that sink in for a minute, shall we? Despite all the progress we've made so far with things like unmanned, deep-space space-flight and our efforts toward limiting the negative effects that humans have had on the environment, any future plans are...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Soap Bubble Nebula

    01/13/2015 12:18:40 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | January 13, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Adrift in the rich star fields of the constellation Cygnus, this lovely, symmetric nebula was only recognized a few years ago and does not yet appear in some astronomical catalogs. In fact, amateur astronomer Dave Jurasevich identified it as a nebula on 2008 July 6 in his images of the complex Cygnus region that included the Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888). He subsequently notified the International Astronomical Union. Only eleven days later the same object was independently identified by Mel Helm at Sierra Remote Observatories, imaged by Keith Quattrocchi and Helm, and also submitted to the IAU as a potentially...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- SuperPlanetCrash [game]

    01/12/2015 1:00:16 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | January 12, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    SuperPlanetCrash Click on the type of body to add next: 1xEarth5xSuper-Earth15xIce giant300xGiant planet5,000xBrown dwarf30,000xDwarf star HelpEnd Game CloseNew game To beat Super Planet Crash, create a planetary system that can survive for 500 years. You can gain more points by adding more bodies (up to 10 bodies). Add bodies by clicking anywhere.The more massive the body, the more points! From 1 point for an Earth-mass planet, to 30,000 for a stellar companion. But remember, each planet attracts each other gravitationally and you don't want your system to go KABOOM!You will lose the game if two bodies crash with each...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Cataclysmic Dawn [art]

    01/11/2015 11:49:40 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | January 11, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Will this dawn bring another nova? Such dilemmas might be pondered one day by future humans living on a planet orbiting a cataclysmic variable binary star system. Cataclysmic variables involve gas falling from a large star onto an accretion disk surrounding a massive but compact white dwarf star. Explosive cataclysmic events such as a dwarf nova can occur when a clump of gas in the interior of the accretion disk heats up past a certain temperature. At that point, the clump will fall more quickly onto the white dwarf and land with a bright flash. Such dwarf novas will...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Windmill's Moon

    01/10/2015 6:22:29 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | January 10, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Seen from the Canary Island of Fuerteventura, this bright Full Moon rose at sunset. Reaching its full phase on the night of January 4/5, it was the first Full Moon of the new year and the first to follow December's solstice. Of course, in North America the first Full Moon of January has been known as the Wolf's Moon. But this Full Moon, posed in the twilight above an island of strong winds and traditional windmills, suggests another name. The telephoto image, taken at a distance from the foreground windmill, creates the dramatic comparison in apparent size for windmill...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- In the Arms of NGC 1097

    01/10/2015 6:20:58 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | January 09, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Spiral galaxy NGC 1097 shines in southern skies, about 45 million light-years away in the chemical constellation Fornax. Its blue spiral arms are mottled with pinkish star forming regions in this colorful galaxy portrait. They seem to have wrapped around a small companion galaxy below and left of center, about 40,000 light-years from the spiral's luminous core. That's not NGC 1097's only peculiar feature, though. The very deep exposure hints of faint, mysterious jets, most easily seen to extend well beyond the bluish arms toward the left. In fact, four faint jets are ultimately recognized in optical images of...
  • RETIRED PROFESSOR TURNS WHISTLEBLOWER ON CLIMATE CHANGE

    01/08/2015 2:18:49 PM PST · by DeweyCA · 47 replies
    The College Fix ^ | 1-8-15 | Andrew desiderio
    While much of the debate over climate change surrounds whether or not it is occurring, one glaciologist and retired professor says the real issue is that the topic is being used as a political pawn to siphon money and votes. Dr. Terry Hughes, in an interview with The College Fix, said researchers want to keep federal funding for climate change alive, and politicians want to earn environmentalist votes, and both predict global pandemonium to that end. Hughes, a professor emeritus of earth sciences and climate change at the University of Maine, said for years his colleagues urged him to be...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Stars and Dust in Corona Australis

    01/08/2015 5:16:18 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | January 08, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Cosmic dust clouds and young, energetic stars inhabit this telescopic vista, less than 500 light-years away toward the northern boundary of Corona Australis, the Southern Crown. The dust clouds effectively block light from more distant background stars in the Milky Way. But the striking complex of reflection nebulae cataloged as NGC 6726, 6727, and IC 4812 produce a characteristic blue color as light from the region's young hot stars is reflected by the cosmic dust. The dust also obscures from view stars still in the process of formation. At the left, smaller yellowish nebula NGC 6729 bends around young...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Hubble 25th Anniversary: Pillars of Creation

    01/07/2015 8:50:27 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | January 07, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: To celebrate 25 years (1990-2015) of exploring the Universe from low Earth orbit, the Hubble Space Telescope's cameras were used to revisit its most iconic image. The result is this sharper, wider view of the region dubbed the Pillars of Creation, first imaged by Hubble in 1995. Stars are forming deep inside the towering structures. The light-years long columns of cold gas and dust are some 6,500 light-years distant in M16, the Eagle Nebula, toward the constellation Serpens. Sculpted and eroded by the energetic ultraviolet light and powerful winds from M16's cluster of young, massive stars, the cosmic pillars...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- 100 Million Stars in the Andromeda Galaxy

    01/06/2015 4:47:39 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    NASA ^ | January 06, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What stars compose the Andromeda galaxy? To better understand, a group of researchers studied the nearby spiral by composing the largest image ever taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. The result, called the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT), involved thousands of observations, hundreds of fields, spanned about a third of the galaxy, and resolved over 100 million stars. In the featured composite image, the central part of the galaxy is seen on the far left, while a blue spiral arm is prominent on the right. The brightest stars, scattered over the frame, are actually Milky Way foreground stars. The...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Fox Fur, a Unicorn, and a Christmas Tree

    01/05/2015 7:57:10 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | January 05, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What do the following things have in common: a cone, the fur of a fox, and a Christmas tree? Answer: they all occur in the constellation of the unicorn (Monoceros). Pictured as a star forming region and cataloged as NGC 2264, the complex jumble of cosmic gas and dust is about 2,700 light-years distant and mixes reddish emission nebulae excited by energetic light from newborn stars with dark interstellar dust clouds. Where the otherwise obscuring dust clouds lie close to the hot, young stars they also reflect starlight, forming blue reflection nebulae. The image spans about the diameter of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Crescent Rhea Occults Crescent Saturn

    01/04/2015 7:50:02 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | January 04, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Soft hues, partially lit orbs, a thin trace of the ring, and slight shadows highlight this understated view of the majestic surroundings of the giant planet Saturn. Looking nearly back toward the Sun, the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn captured crescent phases of Saturn and its moon Rhea in color a few years ago. As striking as the above image is, it is but a single frame from a 60-frame silent movie where Rhea can be seen gliding in front of its parent world. Since Cassini was nearly in the plane of Saturn's rings, the normally impressive rings...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Apollo 17: A Stereo View from Lunar Orbit

    01/03/2015 6:30:15 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | January 03, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Get out your red/blue glasses and check out this awesome stereo view of another world. The scene was recorded by Apollo 17 mission commander Eugene Cernan on December 11, 1972, one orbit before descending to land on the Moon. The stereo anaglyph was assembled from two photographs (AS17-147-22465, AS17-147-22466) captured from his vantage point on board the Lunar Module Challenger as he and Dr. Harrison Schmitt flew over Apollo 17's landing site in the Taurus-Littrow Valley. The broad, sunlit face of the mountain dubbed South Massif rises near the center of the frame, above the dark floor of Taurus-Littrow...
  • Lab-Grown Vaginas Implanted Successfully In 4 Teenagers

    01/02/2015 8:25:02 AM PST · by Jack Hydrazine · 141 replies
    Collective-Evolution.com ^ | 29DEC2014 | Staff Writer
    Ever since scientists grew a human bladder in a laboratory in 1996, researchers have continued to develop more complex organs. Beating human hearts have also been grown in the lab and infected with disease to test various drugs. As a result of these medical advancements, people have had their lives changed for the better. For example, there have been multiple windpipe replacements, tear duct replacements, artery transplants, bladder transplants and more. The development of lab-built body parts is on the rise as a result of a shortage of organ donors, and many of these organs are built with the recipients...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- At the Heart of Orion

    01/02/2015 2:10:37 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | January 02, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Near the center of this sharp cosmic portrait, at the heart of the Orion Nebula, are four hot, massive stars known as the Trapezium. Tightly gathered within a region about 1.5 light-years in radius, they dominate the core of the dense Orion Nebula Star Cluster. Ultraviolet ionizing radiation from the Trapezium stars, mostly from the brightest star Theta-1 Orionis C powers the complex star forming region's entire visible glow. About three million years old, the Orion Nebula Cluster was even more compact in its younger years and a dynamical study indicates that runaway stellar collisions at an earlier age...
  • Popular Mechanics: 110 Predictions For the Next 110 Years

    01/01/2015 5:48:02 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 60 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | December 10, 2012 | The Editors
    It's never easy to predict the future. But as PM's 110th anniversary celebration draws to a close, we've decided to try. Here are 110 ambitious ideas for the decades ahead. (For more about PopMech's brain trust and methodology, read Editor-in-Chief Jim Meigs' introduction. And if you want to try your hand at predicting the future, take our Facebook survey, and see when other readers think the most important events of the next 110 years will happen.) 2012—2022 · People will be fluent in every language. With DARPA and Google racing to perfect instant translation, it won't be long until your...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Vela Supernova Remnant

    01/01/2015 2:53:17 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | January 01, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The plane of our Milky Way Galaxy runs through this complex and beautiful skyscape. At the northwestern edge of the constellation Vela (the Sails) the telescopic frame is over 10 degrees wide, centered on the brightest glowing filaments of the Vela Supernova Remnant, an expanding debris cloud from the death explosion of a massive star. Light from the supernova explosion that created the Vela remnant reached Earth about 11,000 years ago. In addition to the shocked filaments of glowing gas, the cosmic catastrophe also left behind an incredibly dense, rotating stellar core, the Vela Pulsar. Some 800 light-years distant,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy before a Globular Star Cluster

    12/31/2014 11:47:49 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | December 31, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Comet Lovejoy has become visible to the unaided eye. To see the comet, just go outside an hour or so after sunset and look for a fuzzy patch to the right of Orion's belt. Binoculars and a star chart may help. Pictured here, Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) was captured three days ago passing nearly in front of M79, the globular star cluster visible as the bright spot slightly above and to the left of the comet's green-hued coma. The nucleus of Comet Lovejoy is a giant dirty iceberg that is shedding gas into a long and intricate ion tail,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Observatory, Mountains, Universe

    12/30/2014 5:32:20 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | December 30, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The awesomeness in this image comes in layers. The closest layer, in the foreground, contains the Peak Terskol Observatory located in the northern Caucasus Mountains of Russia. The white dome over the 2-meter telescope is clearly visible. The observatory is located on a shoulder of Mt. Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe, with other peaks visible in a nearby background layer. Clouds are visible both in front of and behind the mountain peaks. The featured three-image composite panorama was taken in 2014 August. Far in the distance is the most distant layer: the stars and nebulas of the night...
  • Article Ponders the Rarity of Earth ... How Astronomical Are the Odds Against Life in/Universe!

    12/29/2014 7:55:13 AM PST · by Salvation · 88 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 12-25-14 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    A Recent Article Ponders the Rarity of Earth And How Astronomical Are the Odds Against Complex Life in the Universe! By: Msgr. Charles PopeWe have discussed on the blog before the potential flaws in the mere statistical presumption that because there are so many stars there must be billions of other Earth-like planets in the universe that likely support life similar to ours. Why? Because it is not just one or two things that make Earth what it is; it is many, many essential things that make Earth capable of sustaining life for long enough that our civilization has...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Sun in X-rays from NuSTAR

    12/29/2014 4:04:56 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | December 29, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why are the regions above sunspots so hot? Sunspots themselves are a bit cooler than the surrounding solar surface because the magnetic fields that create them reduce convective heating. It is therefore unusual that regions overhead -- even much higher up in the Sun's corona -- can be hundreds of times hotter. To help find the cause, NASA directed the Earth-orbiting Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) satellite to point its very sensitive X-ray telescope at the Sun. Featured above is the Sun in ultraviolet light, shown in a red hue as taken by the orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)....
  • Young people are 'lost generation' who can no longer fix gadgets, warns professor

    12/28/2014 12:12:37 PM PST · by familyop · 233 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 28DEC14 | Sarah Knapton
    Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering, at the University of Manchester, claims that the under 40s expect everything to ‘just work’ and have no idea what to do when things go wrong...This year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are entitled ‘Sparks will fly: How to hack your home’ she is hoping it will inspire people to think what else they can do with common household objects...Ideas include using a magnifying glass and shoe box to turn a mobile phone into a rudimentary projector; how to use tin foil to make too small batteries fit correctly and how to turn a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Unusual Light Pillars over Latvia

    12/28/2014 6:17:59 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | December 28, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening over that town? Close inspection shows these strange columns of light occur over bright lights, and so likely are light pillars that involve falling ice crystals reflecting back these lights. The above image and several similar images were taken with a standard digital camera in Sigulda, Latvia in late 2009. The reason why these pillars fan out at the top, however, remains a topic for speculation. The air was noted to be quite cold and indeed filled with small ice crystals, just the type known to create several awe-inspiring but well known sky phenomena such as light...
  • Astronomers find 'new' dwarf galaxy in Milky Way's neighborhood

    12/27/2014 4:18:14 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 37 replies
    latimes.com ^ | Amina Khan
    Astronomers searching the sky with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have discovered an odd little dwarf galaxy in our very own backyard -- a mere 7 million light years away.. ... Given that these isolated dwarf spheroidal galaxies are so hard to find, there could be many more of these fascinating galactic fossils just hanging out in the darkness of our own intergalactic neighborhood, just waiting to be found,
  • Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God

    12/27/2014 4:52:35 AM PST · by RoosterRedux · 146 replies
    wsj.com/ ^ | Eric Metaxas
    The fine-tuning necessary for life to exist on a planet is nothing compared with the fine-tuning required for the universe to exist at all. For example, astrophysicists now know that the values of the four fundamental forces—gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the “strong” and “weak” nuclear forces—were determined less than one millionth of a second after the big bang. Alter any one value and the universe could not exist. For instance, if the ratio between the nuclear strong force and the electromagnetic force had been off by the tiniest fraction of the tiniest fraction—by even one part in 100,000,000,000,000,000—then no...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Winter Shower

    12/27/2014 5:56:42 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | December 27, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Known in the north as a winter meteor shower, the 2014 Geminids rain down on this rugged, frozen landscape. The scene was recorded from the summit of Mt. Changbai along China's northeastern border with North Korea as a composite of digital frames capturing bright meteors near the shower's peak. Orion is near picture center above the volcanic cater lake. The shower's radiant in the constellation Gemini is to the upper left, at the apparent orgin of all the meteor streaks. Paying the price for such a dreamlike view of the celestial spectacle, photographer Jia Hao reports severe wind gusts...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Cetus Duo M77 and NGC 1055

    12/26/2014 1:39:39 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | December 26, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: At the top right, large spiral galaxy NGC 1055 joins spiral Messier 77 in this sharp cosmic view toward the aquatic constellation Cetus. The narrowed, dusty appearance of edge-on spiral NGC 1055 contrasts nicely with the face-on view of M77's bright nucleus and spiral arms. Both over 100,000 light-years across, the pair are dominant members of a small galaxy group about 60 million light-years away. At that estimated distance, M77 is one of the most remote objects in Charles Messier's catalog and is separated from fellow island universe NGC 1055 by at least 500,000 light-years. The field of view...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- This Comet Lovejoy

    12/25/2014 4:29:32 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | December 25, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Comet Lovejoy, C/2014 Q2, is framed like a cosmic Christmas tree with starry decorations in this colorful telescopic portrait, snapped on December 16th. Its lovely coma is tinted green by diatomic C2 gas fluorescing in sunlight. Discovered in August of this year, this Comet Lovejoy is currently sweeping north through the constellation Columba, heading for Lepus south of Orion and bright enough to offer good binocular views. Not its first time through the inner Solar System, this Comet Lovejoy will pass closest to planet Earth on January 7, while its perihelion (closest point to the Sun) will be on...
  • Is Barack Obama a closet geek? (+video) (BARF)

    12/24/2014 10:08:45 AM PST · by PROCON · 33 replies
    csmonitor.com ^ | Dec. 23, 2014 | Husna Haq
    From fusion energy to honeybee colony collapse, President Obama comes across as a serious science geek, says his chief advisor on science and technology. He's no secret Muslim. But President Obama is a secret science geek who "ponders honeybee colony collapse disorder, fusion energy, and climate change," when the cameras aren't rolling. That's according to John Holdren, Mr. Obama’s chief adviser on science and technology, who in an interview with NPR, revealed his boss's little-known secret obsession.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Cliffs of Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko

    12/24/2014 5:24:51 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | December 23, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: These high cliffs occur on the surface of a comet. They were discovered to be part of the dark nucleus of Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko (CG) by Rosetta, a robotic spacecraft launched by ESA which began orbiting the comet in early August. The ragged cliffs, as featured here, were imaged by Rosetta about two weeks ago. Although towering about one kilometer high, the low surface gravity of Comet CG would likely make a jump from the cliffs, by a human, survivable. At the foot of the cliffs is relatively smooth terrain dotted with boulders as large as 20 meters across. Data...