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Keyword: science

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Massive Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 2841

    04/21/2014 7:43:44 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | April 21, 2014 | (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...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Ash and Lightning above an Icelandic Volcano

    04/20/2014 3:14:59 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 34 replies
    NASA ^ | April 20, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why did a picturesque 2010 volcanic eruption in Iceland create so much ash? Although the large ash plume was not unparalleled in its abundance, its location was particularly noticeable because it drifted across such well-populated areas. The Eyjafjallajökull volcano in southern Iceland began erupting on 2010 March 20, with a second eruption starting under the center of a small glacier on 2010 April 14. Neither eruption was unusually powerful. The second eruption, however, melted a large amount of glacial ice which then cooled and fragmented lava into gritty glass particles that were carried up with the rising volcanic plume....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Earth-size Kepler-186f

    04/20/2014 3:08:56 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies
    NASA ^ | April 19, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Planet Kepler-186f is the first known Earth-size planet to lie within the habitable zone of a star beyond the Sun. Discovered using data from the prolific planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft, the distant world orbits its parent star, a cool, dim, M dwarf star about half the size and mass of the Sun, some 500 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus. M dwarfs are common, making up about 70 percent of the stars in our Milky Way galaxy. To be within the habitable zone, where surface temperatures allowing liquid water are possible, Kepler-186f orbits close, within 53 million kilometers (about the...
  • Why climate deniers are winning: The twisted psychology that overwhelms scientific consensus

    04/19/2014 2:12:56 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 84 replies
    Salon ^ | April 19, 2014 | Paul Rosenberg
    There's a reason why overwhelming evidence hasn't spurred public action against global warming. In the run-up to Earth Day this year, two major reports were released by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the largest such body in the world. On March 31, Working Group II released its report, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, and on April 13, Working Group III released its report, Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Both reports cited substantially more evidence of substantially more global warming and related impacts than past reports have, and they did so more lucidly than in...
  • Need Help Identifying Two Different Science Fiction Books.

    04/19/2014 1:04:17 PM PDT · by chaosagent · 17 replies
    Looking for two Science Fiction Books. Thanks.
  • Q: If you could drill a tunnel through the whole planet and then jumped down this tunnel...

    04/19/2014 8:40:10 AM PDT · by doug from upland · 121 replies
    ask a mathematician dot com ^ | 4-2014 (orig 2012) | physicist
    Q: If you could drill a tunnel through the whole planet and then jumped down this tunnel, how would you fall? Posted on August 3, 2012 by The Physicist Physicist: This is a beautiful question, in a small part because itÂ’s an interesting thought experiment with some clever math, but mostly because of all the reasons it couldnÂ’t be done and wouldnÂ’t work. Right off the bat; clearly a hole canÂ’t be drilled through the Earth. By the time youÂ’ve gotten no more than 30 miles down (less than 0.4% of the way through) youÂ’ll find your tunnel filling will...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Red Moon, Green Beam

    04/18/2014 9:44:08 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | April 18, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This is not a scene from a sci-fi special effects movie. The green beam of light and red lunar disk are real enough, captured in the early morning hours of April 15. Of course, the reddened lunar disk is easy to explain as the image was taken during this week's total lunar eclipse. Immersed in shadow, the eclipsed Moon reflects the dimmed reddened light of all the sunsets and sunrises filtering around the edges of planet Earth, seen in silhouette from a lunar perspective. But the green beam of light really is a laser. Shot from the 3.5-meter telescope...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Waterton Lake Eclipse

    04/17/2014 11:31:51 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | April 17, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Recorded on April 15th, this total lunar eclipse sequence looks south down icy Waterton Lake from the Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada, planet Earth. The most distant horizon includes peaks in Glacier National Park, USA. An exposure every 10 minutes captured the Moon's position and eclipse phase, as it arced, left to right, above the rugged skyline and Waterton town lights. In fact, the sequence effectively measures the roughly 80 minute duration of the total phase of the eclipse. Around 270 BC, the Greek astronomer Aristarchus also measured the duration of lunar eclipses - though probably without...
  • Chicken Little 'Science'

    04/17/2014 7:54:09 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 6 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | April 17, 2014 | Cal Thomas
    The cult centered on "global warming" alarmism is getting hot under the collar. People seem to have stopped paying attention and polls show "climate change" barely registers on a list of voters' concerns. This can only mean, as losing politicians like to say, that their message isn't getting through. What to do? Why shout louder, of course. A recent story in The New York Times sought to help alarmists raise the decibel level: "The countries of the world have dragged their feet so long on global warming that the situation is now critical, experts appointed by the United Nations reported...
  • Could this particle rewrite modern physics? Discovery of 4-quark hadron...

    04/16/2014 7:00:40 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 26 replies
    The London Daily Mail ^ | April 16, 2014 | Jonathan O'Callaghan
    Scientists at CERN have confirmed the existence of a new 'exotic' particle International team used the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) detector The particle was first detected in 2007 but it has only now been confirmed Dubbed Z(4430), the discovery challenges existing models of physics It may also indicate that a new type of neutron star, a quark star, existsIn the early 1930s, scientists were fairly confident they understood subatomic physics. That was until dozens of new elementary particles were discovered in the 1950s, forcing scientists to rewrite their models. Now a new particle, first detected in 2007 but not...
  • Quiz Time! Today’s Problem: Chasing Daylight

    04/16/2014 7:57:14 AM PDT · by doug from upland · 31 replies
    ny times blog ^ | 4-2014 (orig 2008)
    Quiz Time! Today’s Problem: Chasing Daylight AUGUST 28, 2008, 12:38 PM My 11-year-old son came up with a good question the other day: Assuming a plane never had to stop to refuel, could it fly around the equator so fast that it never saw the sun set? To find out, I checked with one of my favorite online columnists: Patrick Smith, who writes “Ask the Pilot” for Salon.com. Before I reveal his reply, want to take a minute to answer the question in your head, so you can see how you did? I’ll wait right here. OK, here we go:
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Spica, Mars, and Eclipsed Moon

    04/15/2014 10:01:21 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | April 16, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A beautiful, reddened Moon slid through dark skies on April 15, completely immersed in Earth's shadow for well over an hour. It was the year's first total lunar eclipse and was widely enjoyed over the planet's Western Hemisphere. Seen from the Caribbean island of Barbados, the dimmed lunar disk is captured during totality in this colorful skyview. The dark Moon's red color contrasts nicely with bright bluish star Spica, alpha star of the constellation Virgo, posing only about two degrees away. Brighter than Spica and about 10 degrees from the Moon on the right, Mars is near opposition and...
  • Teacher removed for 'dangerous' science projects; supporters rally

    04/15/2014 2:09:42 PM PDT · by Timber Rattler · 30 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | April 9, 2014 | Howard Blume
    A popular Los Angeles high school science teacher has been suspended after students turned in projects that appeared dangerous to administrators, spurring a campaign calling for his return to the classroom. Students and parents have rallied around Greg Schiller after his suspension in February from the downtown Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts. Supporters have organized a rally on his behalf at the campus scheduled for Thursday, gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition calling for his reinstatement and set up a social media page. Schiller was ordered to report daily to a district administrative office pending an investigation...
  • The EPA’s Science Problem: Startling revelations about the agency’s misrepresentation of data.

    04/15/2014 12:09:14 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 21 replies
    Frontpage Mag ^ | 04/15/2014 | Arnold Ahlert
    In a stunning admission, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy revealed to House Science, Space and Technology Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) that the agency neither possesses, nor can produce, all of the scientific data used to justify the rules and regulations they have imposed on Americans via the Clean Air Act. In short, science has been trumped by the radical environmentalist agenda. The admission follows the issuance of a subpoena by the full Committee last August. It was engendered by two years of EPA stonewalling, apparently aimed at preventing the raw data cited by EPA as the scientific...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Mammatus Clouds over Nebraska

    04/15/2014 3:43:38 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    NASA ^ | April 15, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: When do cloud bottoms appear like bubbles? Normally, cloud bottoms are flat. This is because moist warm air that rises and cools will condense into water droplets at a specific temperature, which usually corresponds to a very specific height. As water droplets grow, an opaque cloud forms. Under some conditions, however, cloud pockets can develop that contain large droplets of water or ice that fall into clear air as they evaporate. Such pockets may occur in turbulent air near a thunderstorm. Resulting mammatus clouds can appear especially dramatic if sunlit from the side. The mammatus clouds pictured above were...
  • Book review: ‘Why Science Does Not Disprove God’ by Amir D. Aczel

    04/14/2014 3:39:00 PM PDT · by neverdem · 25 replies
    Washington Post ^ | April 10, 2014 | Alan Lightman
    In “Einstein, God, and the Big Bang,” a colorful chapter of his new book, Amir D. Aczel maintains that Albert Einstein truly believed in God. He points out that Einstein attended synagogue during his year in Prague (1913). He repeats several famous Einstein utterances mentioning the Deity: “Subtle is the Lord, but malicious he is not” and “I want to know God’s thoughts — the rest are details.” And he quotes from a letter the great physicist wrote to a little girl in January 1936: “Everyone who is seriously interested in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- An Unusual Globule in IC 1396

    04/14/2014 1:55:31 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | April 14, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is there a monster in IC 1396? Known to some as the Elephant's Trunk Nebula, parts of gas and dust clouds of this star formation region may appear to take on foreboding forms, some nearly human. The only real monster here, however, is a bright young star too far from Earth to hurt us. Energetic light from this star is eating away the dust of the dark cometary globule near the top of the above image. Jets and winds of particles emitted from this star are also pushing away ambient gas and dust. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the relatively...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Saturn in Blue and Gold

    04/12/2014 9:33:33 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    NASA ^ | April 13, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why is Saturn partly blue? The above picture of Saturn approximates what a human would see if hovering close to the giant ringed world. The above picture was taken in 2006 March by the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn. Here Saturn's majestic rings appear directly only as a thin vertical line. The rings show their complex structure in the dark shadows they create on the image left. Saturn's fountain moon Enceladus, only about 500 kilometers across, is seen as the bump in the plane of the rings. The northern hemisphere of Saturn can appear partly blue for the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Clouds and Crosses over Haleakala

    04/12/2014 3:18:00 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | April 12, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Aloha and welcome to a breathtaking skyscape. The dreamlike panoramic view from March 27 looks out over the 10,000 foot summit of Haleakala on Maui, Hawai'i. A cloud layer seeps over the volcanic caldera's edge with the Milky Way and starry night sky above. Head of the Northern Cross asterism, supergiant star Deneb lurks within the Milky Way's dust clouds and nebulae at the left. From there you can follow the arc of the Milky Way all the way to the stars of the more compact Southern Cross, just above the horizon at the far right. A yellowish Mars...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Mars near Opposition

    04/11/2014 9:44:30 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | April 11, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Tonight Mars is between opposition (April 8) and closest approach (April 14) looping through the constellation Virgo opposite the Sun in the night sky. That makes it prime season for telescopic views of the the Red Planet, like this one from April 3rd. The clear, sharp image was captured with a high-speed digital camera and 16-inch diameter telescope from Assis, Brazil, Planet Earth. Mars' north polar cap is at the top left. Also visible are whitish orographic clouds - water vapor clouds condensing in the cold atmosphere above the peaks of Mars' towering volcanos. The exact dates of closest...
  • The "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" Is Most Likely Not a Modern Fake

    04/11/2014 6:35:46 AM PDT · by Renfield · 87 replies
    Smithsonian Magazine ^ | 4-10-2014 | Colin Schultz
    In 2012, Harvard researcher Karen King revealed the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife." A small piece of papyrus, the lightly worn document was written in Coptic Egyptian, with parts missing and ink faded, and didn't say much. But what it did say, wrote Ariel Sabar in Smithsonian Magazine two years ago was enough to “send jolts through the world of biblical scholarship—and beyond.” The fragment’s 33 words, scattered across 14 incomplete lines, leave a good deal to interpretation. But in King’s analysis, and as she argues in a forthcoming article in the Harvard Theological Review, the “wife” Jesus refers to is probably Mary Magdalene, and Jesus...
  • The New Inquisition - The Left is trampling free speech for the sake of orthodoxy

    04/11/2014 3:06:12 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 6 replies
    National Review ^ | April 10, 2014 | Victor Davis Hanson
    "....Hounding out people with different views is seen by the Left as a necessary means to achieve its supposedly noble goals — just like the Spanish Inquisitioners who claimed God was on their side as they went after religiously “incorrect” Jews, Muslims, and heretics. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has been part of the problem, not part of the solution. Its appointees used the once-impartial IRS against conservatives. They monitored Associated Press reporters. They denied that the NSA was eavesdropping on average citizens. They arbitrarily chose not to enforce laws they didn’t like. The president bragged of using “a pen and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Mars, Ceres, Vesta

    04/10/2014 5:55:43 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    NASA ^ | April 10, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: That bright, ruddy star you've recently noticed rising just after sunset isn't a star at all. That's Mars, the Red Planet. Mars is now near its 2014 opposition (April 8) and closest approach (April 14), looping through the constellation Virgo opposite the Sun in planet Earth's sky. Clearly outshining bluish Spica, alpha star of Virgo, Mars is centered in this labeled skyview from early April, that includes two other solar system worlds approaching their opposition. On the left, small and faint asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres are seen near star Tau Virginis. But you'll just have to imagine...
  • New Book by Rabbi Moshe Meiselman on Torah, Chazal, and Science

    04/09/2014 11:04:21 AM PDT · by Zionist Conspirator · 4 replies
    The Jewish Press ^ | 11/27/'13 | Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
    “Toras Hashem temimah” – The Torah, in all aspects, is perfect and complete. It need not bend or comply with any other system. In fact, since the Torah is the blueprint according to which the universe was created, other systems should be judged by their agreement with the Torah. In recent years, however, Rabbi Moshe Meiselman notes that many unqualified authors have taken the liberty of challenging the classic mesorah of the Torah to accommodate the views of modern science. The authors are accused of relegating Chazal to a back seat in relation to modern-day scientific theories. Many of these...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Two Rings for Asteroid Chariklo

    04/09/2014 2:34:44 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | April 09, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Asteroids can have rings. In a surprising discovery announced two weeks ago, the distant asteroid 10199 Chariklo was found to have at least two orbiting rings. Chariklo's diameter of about 250 kilometers makes it the largest of the measured centaur asteroids, but now the smallest known object to have rings. The centaur-class minor planet orbits the Sun between Saturn and Uranus. The above video gives an artist's illustration of how the rings were discovered. As Chariklo passed in 2013 in front of a faint star, unexpected but symmetric dips in the brightness of the star revealed the rings. Planetary...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M42: Inside the Orion Nebula

    04/08/2014 10:38:50 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 45 replies
    NASA ^ | April 08, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Great Nebula in Orion, an immense, nearby starbirth region, is probably the most famous of all astronomical nebulas. Here, glowing gas surrounds hot young stars at the edge of an immense interstellar molecular cloud only 1500 light-years away. In the above deep image composite in assigned colors taken by the Hubble Space Telescope wisps and sheets of dust and gas are particularly evident. The Great Nebula in Orion can be found with the unaided eye near the easily identifiable belt of three stars in the popular constellation Orion. In addition to housing a bright open cluster of stars...
  • Science or Spin?: Assessing the Accuracy of Cable News Coverage of Climate Science

    04/07/2014 3:16:51 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 20 replies
    Accuracy varies significantly across major cable news outlets. All of them can take steps to improve their coverage of climate science. To gauge how accurately these networks inform their audiences about climate change, UCS analyzed the networks' climate science coverage in 2013 and found that each network treated climate science very differently. Fox News was the least accurate; 72 percent of its 2013 climate science-related segments contained misleading statements. CNN was in the middle, with about a third of segments featuring misleading statements. MSNBC was the most accurate, with only eight percent of segments containing misleading statements * Mutual acceptance...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Solar Eclipse from the Moon

    04/06/2014 9:15:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | April 07, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Has a solar eclipse ever been seen from the Moon? Yes, first in 1967 -- but it may happen again next week. The robotic Surveyor 3 mission took thousands of wide angle television images of the Earth in 1967, a few of which captured the Earth moving in front of the Sun. Several of these images have been retrieved from the NASA archives and compiled into the above time-lapse video. Although the images are grainy, the Earth's atmosphere clearly refracted sunlight around it and showed a beading effect when some paths were blocked by clouds. Two years later, in...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Fresh Tiger Stripes on Saturn's Enceladus

    04/06/2014 1:59:16 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    NASA ^ | April 06, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Do underground oceans vent through the tiger stripes on Saturn's moon Enceladus? Long features dubbed tiger stripes are known to be spewing ice from the moon's icy interior into space, creating a cloud of fine ice particles over the moon's South Pole and creating Saturn's mysterious E-ring. Evidence for this has come from the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn. Pictured above, a high resolution image of Enceladus is shown from a close flyby. The unusual surface features dubbed tiger stripes are visible in false-color blue. Why Enceladus is active remains a mystery, as the neighboring moon Mimas, approximately...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Lunar Farside

    04/05/2014 4:06:18 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    NASA ^ | April 05, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Tidally locked in synchronous rotation, the Moon always presents its familiar nearside to denizens of planet Earth. From lunar orbit, the Moon's farside can become familiar, though. In fact this sharp picture, a mosaic from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's wide angle camera, is centered on the lunar farside. Part of a global mosaic of over 15,000 images acquired between November 2009 and February 2011, the highest resolution version shows features at a scale of 100 meters per pixel. Surprisingly, the rough and battered surface of the farside looks very different from the nearside covered with smooth dark lunar maria....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Along the Western Veil

    04/04/2014 3:43:51 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | April 04, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Delicate in appearance, these filaments of shocked, glowing gas, draped in planet Earth's sky toward the constellation of Cygnus, make up the western part of the Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, an expanding cloud born of the death explosion of a massive star. Light from the original supernova explosion likely reached Earth over 5,000 years ago. Blasted out in the cataclysmic event, the interstellar shock wave plows through space sweeping up and exciting interstellar material. The glowing filaments are really more like long ripples in a sheet seen almost edge on, remarkably well...
  • The next frontier in 3-D printing: Human organs

    04/03/2014 8:45:27 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 9 replies
    CNN's Tech ^ | April 3, 2014 | Brandon Griggs
    The emerging process of 3-D printing, which uses computer-created digital models to create real-world objects, has produced everything from toys to jewelry to food. Soon, however, 3-D printers may be spitting out something far more complex, and controversial: human organs. For years now, medical researchers have been reproducing human cells in laboratories by hand to create blood vessels, urine tubes, skin tissue and other living body parts. But engineering full organs, with their complicated cell structures, is much more difficult. Enter 3-D printers, which because of their precise process can reproduce the vascular systems required to make organs viable. Scientists...
  • Groundbreaking new laser technology could be used to control lightning (Antichrist Alert)

    04/03/2014 7:17:44 PM PDT · by equalator · 55 replies
    Digital Trends ^ | 4-3-2014 | Drew Prindle
    Optical scientists at the University of Arizona and University of Central Florida have developed a new type of laser technology capable of sending high-intensity beams through the atmosphere much farther than what was previously possible. The research, which was recently published in the journal Nature Photonics, is still in the laboratory phase. However, with further development, this technology could be used to divert lightning bolts away from buildings in the future. Here’s how that works. When the laser is fired, the high intensity beam leaves a channel of plasma (ionized molecules stripped of their electrons) in its wake. This column...
  • Univ. of Leicester students: Noah’s Ark would've floated w/ two each of 35,000 species of animal

    04/03/2014 3:39:44 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 49 replies
    News Corp Australia ^ | April 4, 2014
    NOAH’S Ark would have floated — even with two of every animal on board, physicists have determined based on the weight of the beasts and the buoyancy of the boat. The students from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester who came to this conclusion used the dimensions for the boat that were given in the Bible. In the book of Genesis, Noah is commanded to build an ark which is 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high to house himself, his family and two of every species of animal. For the study,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- At the Edge of NGC 2174

    04/02/2014 9:41:19 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | April 03, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This fantastic skyscape lies near the edge of NGC 2174 a star forming region about 6,400 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation of Orion. It follows mountainous clouds of gas and dust carved by winds and radiation from the region's newborn stars, now found scattered in open star clusters embedded around the center of NGC 2174, off the top of the frame. Though star formation continues within these dusty cosmic clouds they will likely be dispersed by the energetic newborn stars within a few million years. Recorded at infrared wavelengths by the Hubble Space Telescope, the interstellar scene spans...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Mars Red and Spica Blue

    04/02/2014 8:14:52 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | April 02, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A bright pair of sky objects will be visible together during the next few months. Mars will shine brightly in its familiar rusty hue as it reaches its brightest of 2014 next week. The reason that Mars appears so bright is that Earth and Mars are close to each other in their long orbits around the Sun. Spica, on the other hand, shines constantly as one of the brightest blue stars in the night sky. Pronounced "spy-kah", the blue-hued star has been visible throughout human history and the sounds that identify it today date back to ancient times. Pictured...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Space Station Robot Forgets Key Again

    04/01/2014 5:46:17 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | April 01, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Space station robot AFJ013 has forgotten her space lock key again. The frustrated robot was reduced to tapping on a space station window and asking for a human to let her back in -- for the third time this week. "Yes, she did a great job adjusting the tolerances on the new science module, but why she can't remember to take her key is beyond me," said incredulous station commander Koichi Wakata (Japan). "We would keep the entry unlocked but we are afraid that space aliens will come in and raid our refrigerator", the astronaut lamented. Happy April Fools'...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- 2012 VP113: A New Furthest Known Orbit in the Solar System

    04/01/2014 5:37:49 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | March 31, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What object has the furthest known orbit in our Solar System? In terms of how close it will ever get to the Sun, the new answer is 2012 VP113, an object currently over twice the distance of Pluto from the Sun. Pictured above is a series of discovery images taken with the Dark Energy Camera attached to the NOAO's Blanco 4-meter Telescope in Chile in 2012 and released last week. The distant object, seen moving on the lower right, is thought to be a dwarf planet like Pluto. Previously, the furthest known dwarf planet was Sedna, discovered in 2003....
  • We may already know how we will cure death—but should we?

    03/31/2014 8:58:31 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 64 replies
    Quartz ^ | March 29, 2014 | Christopher Mims
    A pair of advocates—they do legitimate research too, but their ardor is so intense, it’s hard to call them scientists—believe that they will, within their lifetimes, make ours the first generation of humans to live forever. + Their quest is elegantly laid out in The Immortalists, a new documentary making its way around the film festival circuit. The Immortalists follows the triumphs and tragedies of three years in the lives of William H. Andrews and Aubrey de Grey, two men who prove just as interesting as the work they’re doing. The Immortalists is really a film about death, not life,...
  • The Next Age of Invention: Technology’s future is brighter than pessimists allow

    03/31/2014 8:46:44 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 25 replies
    City Journal ^ | Winter 2014 | Professor Joel Mokyr
    The statement “everything that could be invented has been invented” is frequently misattributed to the late-nineteenth-century American patent commissioner Charles Holland Duell. The Economist once credited him with the remark, and sites such as “kool kwotes” still reproduce it. In fact, Duell believed the opposite. “In my opinion,” he wrote at the turn of the century, “all previous advances in the various lines of invention will appear totally insignificant when compared with those which the present century will witness. I almost wish that I might live my life over again to see the wonders which are at the threshold.” While...
  • Science! (video - fluid simultaneously boils and freezes?)

    03/31/2014 12:13:14 AM PDT · by servo1969 · 18 replies
    YouTube.com ^ | 3-30-2014 | Tom Enstone
    Published on Mar 30, 2014 Evacuating a sample of unknown fluid (to vaporize for mass spectrometry). Pressure drop causes a decrease in temperature. The fluid simultaneously both boils and freezes? Would like some insight here...
  • Jewel Wasps Enslave Roaches with Targeted Sting

    03/30/2014 5:58:27 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 28 replies
    Science Today ^ | MARCH 3, 2014 | Molly Michelson
    Evolution is fricking amazing. Nowhere is this more evident than in parasites. They make use of and take over their hosts in remarkable ways—truly living up to “survival of the fittest.” For example, regard the beautiful emerald jewel wasp. The wasp paralyzes and zombifies cockroaches to lay an egg on the abdomen of the unsuspecting insects. When the egg hatches, the wasp larva emerges and eventually eats its way into the belly of the roach. The larva then pupates inside the cockroach, building a cocoon and eventually emerging as a grown wasp. Last year we described the unbelievable way the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Io in True Color

    03/29/2014 9:11:51 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    NASA ^ | March 30, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The strangest moon in the Solar System is bright yellow. This picture, an attempt to show how Io would appear in the "true colors" perceptible to the average human eye, was taken in 1999 July by the Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003. Io's colors derive from sulfur and molten silicate rock. The unusual surface of Io is kept very young by its system of active volcanoes. The intense tidal gravity of Jupiter stretches Io and damps wobbles caused by Jupiter's other Galilean moons. The resulting friction greatly heats Io's interior, causing molten rock to explode...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Milky Way Dawn

    03/29/2014 5:39:58 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | March 29, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: As dawn broke on March 27, the center of the Milky Way Galaxy stood almost directly above the European Southern Observatory's Paranal Observatory. In the dry, clear sky of Chile's Atacama desert, our galaxy's dusty central bulge is flanked by Paranal's four 8 meter Very Large Telescope units in this astronomical fisheye view. Along the top, Venus is close to the eastern horizon. The brilliant morning star shines very near a waning crescent Moon just at the edge of one of the telescope structures. Despite the bright pairing in the east, the Milky Way dominates the scene though. Cut...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Stripping ESO 137-001

    03/28/2014 7:20:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | March 28, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Explanation: Spiral galaxy ESO 137-001 hurtles through massive galaxy cluster Abell 3627 some 220 million light years away. The distant galaxy is seen in this colorful Hubble/Chandra composite image through a foreground of the Milky Way's stars toward the southern constellation Triangulum Australe. As the spiral speeds along at nearly 7 million kilometers per hour, its gas and dust are stripped away when ram pressure with the cluster's own hot, tenuous intracluster medium overcomes the galaxy's gravity. Evident in Hubble's near visible light data, bright star clusters have formed in the stripped material along the short, trailing blue streaks....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Stephan's Quintet Plus One

    03/26/2014 10:41:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 27, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The first identified compact galaxy group, Stephan's Quintet is featured in this remarkable image constructed with data drawn from Hubble Legacy Archive and the Subaru Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea. The galaxies of the quintet are gathered near the center of the field, but really only four of the five are locked in a cosmic dance of repeated close encounters taking place some 300 million light-years away. The odd man out is easy to spot, though. The interacting galaxies, NGC 7319, 7318A, 7318B, and 7317 have a more dominant yellowish cast. They also tend to have distorted...
  • New planet nicknamed after Biden

    03/26/2014 10:15:21 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 41 replies
    The Hill's Briefing Room ^ | March 26, 2014 | Justin Sink
    Astronomers have nicknamed a new dwarf planet circling the sun at the outer edges of the solar system after Vice President Joe Biden. According to Nature, a leading scientific journal, the object's official designation is 2012 VP113. But the team studying its orbit around the sun colloquially refer to the planet as just "VP" or "Biden," after the sitting vice president. The object won't carry an official title until scientists collect more data. After determining its orbit, they'll submit a formal name to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) for consideration. The Biden dwarf is the second such object to be...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M78 and Reflecting Dust Clouds

    03/26/2014 7:12:39 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | March 26, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: An eerie blue glow and ominous columns of dark dust highlight M78 and other bright reflection nebula in the constellation of Orion. The dark filamentary dust not only absorbs light, but also reflects the light of several bright blue stars that formed recently in the nebula. Of the two reflection nebulas pictured above, the more famous nebula is M78, in the image center, while NGC 2071 can be seen to its lower left. The same type of scattering that colors the daytime sky further enhances the blue color. M78 is about five light-years across and visible through a small...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Orion Nebula in Surrounding Dust

    03/25/2014 6:35:13 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | March 25, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What surrounds a hotbed of star formation? In the case of the Orion Nebula -- dust. The entire Orion field, located about 1600 light years away, is inundated with intricate and picturesque filaments of dust. Opaque to visible light, dust is created in the outer atmosphere of massive cool stars and expelled by a strong outer wind of particles. The Trapezium and other forming star clusters are embedded in the nebula. The intricate filaments of dust surrounding M42 and M43 appear gray in the above image, while central glowing gas is highlighted in brown and blue. Over the next...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Orion and Aurora over Iceland

    03/24/2014 6:44:18 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | March 24, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: If you see a sky like this -- photograph it. A month ago in Iceland, an adventurous photographer (pictured) chanced across a sky full of aurora and did just that. In the foreground lies the stratovolcano Örćfajökull. In the background, among other sky delights, lies the constellation of Orion, visible to the aurora's left. Auroras are sparked by energetic particles from the Sun impacting the magnetic environment around the Earth. Resultant energetic particles such as electrons and protons rain down near the Earth's poles and impact the air. The impacted air molecules obtain excited electrons, and when electrons in...