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Keyword: science

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Blue Blood Moon

    10/02/2015 10:54:58 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | October 03, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This sharp telescopic snapshot caught late September's Harvest Moon completely immersed in Earth's dark umbral shadow, at the beginning of a total lunar eclipse. It was the final eclipse in a tetrad, a string of four consecutive total lunar eclipses. A dark apparition of the Full Moon near perigee, this total eclipse's color was a deep blood red, the lunar surface reflecting light within Earth's shadow filtered through the lower atmosphere. Seen from a lunar perspective, the reddened light comes from all the sunsets and sunrises around the edges of a silhouetted Earth. But close to the shadow's edge,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Charon: Moon of Pluto

    10/01/2015 9:50:07 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | October 02, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A darkened and mysterious north polar region informally known as Mordor Macula caps this premier high-resolution portrait of Charon, Pluto's largest moon. Captured by New Horizons near its closest approach on July 14, the image data was transmitted to Earth on September 21. The combined blue, red, and infrared data is processed to enhance colors, following variations in surface properties with a resolution of about 2.9 kilometers (1.8 miles). In fact, Charon is 1,214 kilometers (754 miles) across, about 1/10th the size of planet Earth but a whopping 1/2 the diameter of Pluto itself. That makes it the largest...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Eclipsed in Southern Skies

    10/01/2015 1:05:36 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | October 01, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This stunning panorama in southern skies was recorded on the colorful night of September 27/28 from Carngegie Las Campanas Observatory. A diffuse glow and dark rifts of the central Milky Way hang over domes of the twin 6.5 meter Magellan telescopes. But most eye-catching is the deep red glow of the Moon. Immersed in Earth's shadow during the much anticipated perigee-total-lunar eclipse, the Moon's surface reflects the light of sunsets and sunrises scattered and refracted into the planet's cone-shaped umbra. Along with the dramatic hue of the eclipsed Moon, other colors of that night captured by the sensitive digital...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Seasonal Streaks Point to Recent Flowing Water on Mars

    09/30/2015 1:04:20 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | September 30, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What creates these changing streaks on Mars? Called Recurring Slope Linea (RSL), these dark features start on the slopes of hills and craters but don't usually extend to the bottom. What's even more unusual is that these streaks appear to change with the season, appearing fresh and growing during warm weather and disappearing during the winter. After much study, including a recent chemical analyses, a leading hypothesis has emerged that these streaks are likely created by new occurrences of liquid salty water that evaporates as it flows. The source for the briny water is still unclear, with two possibilities...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Supermoon Total Lunar Eclipse and Lightning Storm

    09/29/2015 7:36:39 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | September 29, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's more rare than a supermoon total lunar eclipse? How about a supermoon total lunar eclipse over a lightning storm. Such an electrifying sequence was captured yesterday from Ibiza, an island in southeastern Spain. After planning the location for beauty, and the timing to capture the entire eclipse sequence, the only thing that had to cooperate for this astrophotographer to capture a memorable eclipse sequence was the weather. What looked to be a bother on the horizon, though, turned out to be a blessing. The composite picture features over 200 digitally combined images from the same location over the...
  • Back to Science Class for the Science Guy: Bill Nye tells us what Science says about abortion

    09/29/2015 7:06:42 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 31 replies
    National Review ^ | 09/29/2015 | by ROBERT P. GEORGE & PATRICK LEE
    Bill Nye is supposed to be “the science guy.” Recently he published a video on YouTube purporting to inform viewers of what science tells us about abortion. Nye claims that laws against abortion reflect “a deep scientific lack of understanding.” But it turns out that it is Nye himself who doesn’t understand the science. “I really encourage you to look at the facts,” he says. But then he misrepresents the facts from top to bottom in an embarrassingly transparent effort to hijack science in the cause of pro-abortion ideology. Nye’s video is so breathtakingly arrogant and incompetently argued that...
  • Big NASA “Mars mystery” announcement gets watered down

    09/28/2015 5:23:47 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 38 replies
    Hot ^ | September 28, 2015 | JAZZ SHAW
    I was seeing tease lines in the news over the weekend and on the NASA twitter feed hinting at a major announcement which would come out today. That spurred the usual rounds of speculation with the most popular candidate being that they turned up some form of life or perhaps a fossil or something along those lines. (Personally I was pitching for a large black obelisk of some sort full of stars, but you can only ask for so much.) I honestly wasn’t getting my hopes up too far because they’ve played these games before. Rather than just announcing what...
  • Evidence found of "flowing liquid water" on Mars: NASA

    09/28/2015 8:57:31 AM PDT · by Biggirl · 38 replies ^ | September 28, 2015 | Robert Ferris
    Scientists have discovered the strongest evidence yet that "flowing liquid water" exists on Mars, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said Monday morning.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Total Lunar Eclipse over Waterton Lake [reprised from April 2014]

    09/27/2015 9:21:40 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | September 28, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Recorded in 2014 April, 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...
  • How to watch a total eclipse of the moon (Tonight's Blood Moon, and in a few minutes, it starts )

    09/27/2015 6:08:26 PM PDT · by Yosemitest · 165 replies
    Be sure you know the right date and time of the eclipse. For example, the eclipse of September 27-28, 2015 begins at 1:07 UTC. For us in North America, that is 9:07 p.m.. EDT on September 27, 2015. Be careful. Watch the times. Note that the times are often given in what is called Universal Time, or UTC. Here’s how to translate Universal Time to your local time zone. ...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Tonight: A Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

    09/27/2015 8:23:34 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | September 27, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Tonight a bright full Moon will fade to red. Tonight's moon will be particularly bright because it is reaching its fully lit phase when it is relatively close to the Earth in its elliptical orbit. In fact, by some measures of size and brightness, tonight's full Moon is designated a supermoon, although perhaps the "super" is overstated because it will be only a few percent larger and brighter than the average full Moon. However, our Moon will fade to a dim red because it will also undergo a total lunar eclipse -- an episode when the Moon becomes completely...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M31 versus M33

    09/26/2015 2:39:28 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | September 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Separated by about 14 degrees (28 Full Moons) in planet Earth's sky, spiral galaxies M31 at left, and M33 are both large members of the Local Group, along with our own Milky Way galaxy. This narrow- and wide-angle, multi-camera composite finds details of spiral structure in both, while the massive neighboring galaxies seem to be balanced in starry fields either side of bright Mirach, beta star in the constellation Andromeda. Mirach is just 200 light-years from the Sun. But M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, is really 2.5 million light-years distant and M33, the Triangulum Galaxy, is also about 3 million...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pluto's Snakeskin Terrain

    09/25/2015 12:15:25 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 38 replies
    NASA ^ | September 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Image Credit: Explanation: A mountainous region informally known as Tartarus Dorsa sprawls some 530 kilometers (330 miles) across this Plutonian landscape. Recently downloaded from New Horizons, it combines blue, red, and infrared image data in an extended color view captured near the spacecraft's close approach to Pluto on July 14. Shadows near the terminator, the line between Pluto's dim day and night, emphasize a rough, scaly texture. The stunning image resolves details on the distant world about 1.3 kilometers (0.8 miles) across. Refering to a part of Hades in ancient Greek mythology, Tartarus Dorsa borders Tombaugh Regio to the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- LDN 988 and Friends

    09/25/2015 12:13:35 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | September 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Stars are forming in dark, dusty molecular cloud LDN 988. Seen near picture center some 2,000 light-years distant, LDN 988 and other nearby dark nebulae were cataloged by Beverly T. Lynds in 1962 using Palomar Observatory Sky Survey plates. Narrowband and near-infrared explorations of the dark nebula reveal energetic shocks and outflows light-years across associated with dozens of newborn stars. But in this sharp optical telescopic view, the irregular outlines of LDN 988 and friends look like dancing stick figures eclipsing the rich starfields of the constellation Cygnus. From dark sky sites the region can be identified by eye...
  • Finally, Pluto In Real Color View

    09/24/2015 2:52:42 PM PDT · by lbryce · 64 replies
    Friends of NASA ^ | September 22m 2015 | Staff
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Antarctic Analemma

    09/23/2015 3:56:31 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | September 23, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Does the Sun return to the same spot on the sky every day? No. A better and more visual answer to that question is an analemma, a composite image taken from the same spot at the same time over the course of a year. The featured weekly analemma was taken despite cold temperatures and high winds near the Concordia Station in Antarctica. The position of the Sun at 4 pm was captured on multiple days in the digital composite image, believed to be the first analemma constructed from Antarctica. The reason the image only shows the Sun from September...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way over Bosque Alegre Station in Argentina

    09/22/2015 3:18:47 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | September 22, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What are those streaks of light in the sky? First and foremost, the arching structure is the central band of our Milky Way galaxy. Visible in this galactic band are millions of distant stars mixed with numerous lanes of dark dust. Harder to discern is a nearly vertical beam of light rising from the horizon, just to the right of the image center. This beam is zodiacal light, sunlight scattered by dust in our Solar System that may be surprisingly prominent just after sunset or just before sunrise. In the foreground are several telescopes of the Bosque Alegre Astrophysical...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Spiral Galaxy M96 from Hubble

    09/22/2015 3:16:30 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | September 21, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Dust lanes seem to swirl around the core of Messier 96 in this colorful, detailed portrait of the center of a beautiful island universe. Of course M96 is a spiral galaxy, and counting the faint arms extending beyond the brighter central region, it spans 100 thousand light-years or so, making it about the size of our own Milky Way. M96, also known as NGC 3368, is known to be about 35 million light-years distant and a dominant member of the Leo I galaxy group. The featured image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The reason for M96's asymmetry...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Global Ocean Suspected on Saturn's Enceladus

    09/22/2015 3:14:18 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | September 20, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Do some surface features on Enceladus roll like a conveyor belt? A leading interpretation of images taken of Saturn's most explosive moon indicate that they do. This form of asymmetric tectonic activity, very unusual on Earth, likely holds clues to the internal structure of Enceladus, which may contain subsurface seas where life might be able to develop. Pictured above is a composite of 28 images taken by the robotic Cassini spacecraft in 2008 just after swooping by the ice-spewing orb. Inspection of these images show clear tectonic displacements where large portions of the surface all appear to move all...
  • Myth of the ‘Missing Link’ in evolution does science no favors

    09/22/2015 2:17:24 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 7 replies
    The Conversation ^ | 09/16/2015 | Sean Nee Research Professor of Ecosystem Science and Management at Pennsylvania State University
    This spring, the world learned of a newly discovered missing link between microbes and humans called Lokiarchaeota. The actual story is that the microbe Lokiarchaeota, discovered on the deep sea floor by a hydrothermal vent called Loki’s Castle, shares features with both bacteria and us. The spin is that this makes it a missing link between the two. Microbiologists have been discreetly quiet about this narrative fiction; although the microbe is fascinating, and so deserves the spotlight, it is no more a missing link than the platypus is a missing link between ducks and humans. This missing link imagery,...
  • Scientist awarded for unboiling an egg

    09/21/2015 6:19:35 AM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 30 replies
    AOL ^ | Sep 18th 2015 5:40PM | Huffington Post
    Improbably Research, a comical science mag, awards the Ig Nobel Prize to honor "achievements that make people laugh, then make them think" -- sort of like a quirky Nobel Prize. SEE ALSO: You may be able to order Dunkin' Donuts delivery from your phone Among the winners this year is Professor Colin Raston -- who figured out how to unboil an egg. Boiling or cooking an egg is normally considered a chemical change, which is any change that results in the formation of new chemical substances -- and it's usually pretty irreversible. Professor Raston pretty much just blew our minds...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Prominence on the Sun

    09/19/2015 1:39:25 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    NASA ^ | September 19, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This eerie landscape of incandescent plasma suspended in looping and twisted magnetic fields stretched toward the Sun's eastern horizon on September 16. Captured through a backyard telescope and narrowband filter in light from ionized hydrogen, the scene reveals a gigantic prominence lofted above the solar limb. Some 600,000 kilometers across, the magnetized plasma wall would dwarf worlds of the Solar System. Ruling gas giant Jupiter can only boast a diameter of 143,000 kilometers or so, while planet Earth's diameter is less than 13,000 kilometers. Known as a hedgerow prominence for its appearance, the enormous structure is far from stable...
  • VIDEO: The Future of Fracking

    09/18/2015 2:56:57 PM PDT · by RaceBannon · 7 replies
    The Jacki Daily Show ^ | 2/9/15 | Jacki Daily
    Texas Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick Discusses the Future of Fracking in Texas
  • How to gain control of Washington, even the EPA

    09/18/2015 2:42:26 PM PDT · by RaceBannon · 16 replies
    The Jacki Daily Show ^ | 08/31/15 | Jacki Daily
    How to Regain Control of Washington – even the EPA Roman Buhler, former counsel to Newt Gingrich, unveils the plan to take back Washington from the bureaucrats. In addition to the REINS Act, this is the best plan we have seen for bringing the EPA under control.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Plutonian Landscape

    09/18/2015 3:40:49 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | September 18, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This shadowy landscape of majestic mountains and icy plains stretches toward the horizon of a small, distant world. It was captured from a range of about 18,000 kilometers when New Horizons looked back toward Pluto, 15 minutes after the spacecraft's closest approach on July 14. The dramatic, low-angle, near-twilight scene follows rugged mountains still popularly known as Norgay Montes from foreground left, and Hillary Montes along the horizon, giving way to smooth Sputnik Planum at right. Layers of Pluto's tenuous atmosphere are also revealed in the backlit view. With a strangely familiar appearance, the frigid terrain likely includes ices...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pickering's Triangle in the Veil

    09/16/2015 11:18:14 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | September 17, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Chaotic in appearance, these filaments of shocked, glowing gas break across planet Earth's sky toward the constellation of Cygnus, as 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 waves plow 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 separated into the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Bright Spots Resolved in Occator Crater on Ceres

    09/16/2015 1:44:15 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | September 16, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What created these bright spots on Ceres? The spots were first noted as the robotic Dawn spacecraft approached Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt, in February, with the expectation that the mystery would soon be solved in higher resolution images. However, even after Dawn arrived at Ceres in March, the riddle remained. Surprisingly, although images including the featured composite taken in the last month do resolve many details inside Occator crater, they do not resolve the mystery. Another recent clue is that a faint haze develops over the crater's bright spots. Dawn is scheduled to continue to...
  • Neanderthals are almost TWICE as old as first thought: DNA suggests emerged 700,000 years ago

    09/14/2015 5:01:42 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 37 replies
    The London Daily Mail ^ | September 14, 2015 | Richard Gray
    They are one of our closest human relatives and dominated Europe and much of Asia for hundreds of thousands of years, but Neanderthals may be far older than previously thought. A new study by geneticists has revealed a collection of fossilised bones discovered in a cave in northern Spain belonged to an early member of the Neanderthal family. It is the oldest partial genome from early human fossils ever to be sequenced and pushes back the date for the origins of the Neanderthal branch of our evolutionary tree by up to 300,000 years....
  • Archaeological team prepares 4,000-year-old Hittite meals

    09/14/2015 5:20:19 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 36 replies
    The Daily Sabah Food ^ | September 8, 2015 | Daily Sabah with Anadolu Agency
    An archaeological team excavating the ancient site of Alacahöyük, one of the most significant centers of the ancient Hittite civilization, cooked pastries belonging to Hittite cuisine that dates back 4,000 years. The foods found on Hittite tablets were cooked without modern technology or equipment. The 4,000-year-old Hittite cuisine was cooked in Alacahöyük, an important Neolithic settlement and Turkey's first nationally excavated area. Aykut Çınaroğlu, the head of the excavations and professor of archaeology at Ankara University, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Chef Ömür Akkor, an excavation team member, prepared a special Hittite menu in light of the available archaeological findings....
  • Latest Images from Pluto: 'It's Complicated,' Says NASA

    09/15/2015 7:38:43 AM PDT · by Enlightened1 · 17 replies ^ | September 11, 2015 | Jen Pikowski
    The New Horizons probe has sent back the latest images from its historic July 14 flyby of Pluto. While the first close-up photos of the dwarf planet, taken from 7800 miles above the surface, had the New Horizons team—and people around the world—giddy with excitement about intriguing features like 11,000-foot-tall ice mountains, the latest, downlinked over Labor Day weekend, have left them scratching their heads. "If an artist had painted this Pluto before our flyby, I probably would have called it over the top—but that’s what is actually there," said New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research...
  • Alabama will require students to learn about evolution, climate change

    09/15/2015 9:17:21 AM PDT · by Enlightened1 · 30 replies
    AP via ^ | 09/13/15
    Alabama is updating its decade-old science standards to require that students understand evolution and learn about climate change, topics that can still be controversial in the Bible Belt state. Educators say the new rules — part of a major change that includes more experimentation and hands-on instruction and less lecturing — don't require that students believe in evolution or accept the idea that climate is changing globally. But public school students will be required for the first time to understand the theory of evolution. And teachers will be required to address climate change, which wasn't a focus the last time...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Spiral Aurora over Iceland

    09/15/2015 8:16:11 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | September 15, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happened to the sky? Aurora! Captured late last month, this aurora was noted by Icelanders for its great brightness and quick development. The aurora resulted from a solar storm, with high energy particles bursting out from the Sun and through a crack in Earth's protective magnetosphere a few days later. Although a spiral pattern can be discerned, creative humans might imagine the complex glow as an atmospheric apparition of any number of common icons. In the foreground of the featured image is the Ölfusá River, while the lights illuminate a bridge in Selfoss City. Just beyond the low...
  • Homo Naledi—Kind of Shady? (latest "man-ape" story)

    09/15/2015 5:14:18 AM PDT · by kimtom · 9 replies ^ | Sep 2015 | by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.
    On September 10th the media began highlighting the latest fossil find which is argued, once again, to be representative of an ancient ancestor of humans—Homo naledi. We are wary about how we respond to brand new discoveries, since always the “jury is still out” when these stories are first splashed in the media and portrayed as conclusive proof of various claims. We have documented their rashness time and again (e.g., Miller, 2015a; Miller, 2015b; Miller, 2015c), and this story is no exception. Fox News highlighted South African deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement that “history books will have to be rewritten”...
  • Sarcastic Definition of the Day: Science

    09/14/2015 11:08:58 AM PDT · by The Looking Spoon · 10 replies
    American Irony ^ | 9-14-15 | The Looking Spoon
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pluto from above Cthulhu Regio

    09/14/2015 3:42:08 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | September 14, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: New high resolution images of Pluto are starting to arrive from the outer Solar System. The robotic New Horizons spacecraft, which zoomed by Pluto in July, has finished sending back some needed engineering data and is now transmitting selections from its tremendous storehouse of images of Pluto and its moons. The featured image, a digital composite, details a surprising terrain filled with craters, plains, landscape of unknown character, and landforms that resemble something on Earth but are quite unexpected on Pluto. The light area sprawling across the upper right has been dubbed Sputnik Planum and is being studied for...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Partial Solar Eclipse over Texas

    09/13/2015 4:59:04 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | September 13, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It was a typical Texas sunset except that most of the Sun was missing. The location of the missing piece of the Sun was not a mystery -- it was behind the Moon. Featured here is one of the more interesting images taken of a partial solar eclipse that occurred in 2012, capturing a temporarily crescent Sun setting in a reddened sky behind brush and a windmill. The image was taken about 20 miles west of Sundown, Texas, USA, just after the ring of fire effect was broken by the Moon moving away from the center of the Sun....
  • Lost weather balloon turns up two years later with stunning views of Grand Canyon

    09/12/2015 5:42:44 AM PDT · by Islander7 · 23 replies
    Palm Beach Post ^ | Sept 11, 2015 | Cox Media Group National Content Desk
    In June 2013, a group of friends launched a weather balloon a few miles from Tuba City, Arizona. Enjoy the video of our launch preparations, video footage, and some data analysis of the flight," Bryan Chan writes in the description section of the video sharing site. --- snip --- The balloon soars thousands of feet in minutes and keeps going. It eventually captures breathtaking views of the earth and Grand Canyon from space. The group used a "GoPro Hero3, Sony Camcorder, Samsung Galaxy Note II phone," Chan writes. "The GoPro and camcorder were recording video footage, while the phone was...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- ISS Double Transit

    09/11/2015 9:04:48 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | September 12, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Not once, but twice the International Space Station transits the Sun on consecutive orbits of planet Earth in this video frame composite. The scene was captured on August 22 from a single well-chosen location in Schmalenbeck, Germany where the ISS created intersecting shadow paths only around 7 kilometers wide. Crossing the solar disk in a second or less, the transits themselves were separated in time by about 90 minutes, corresponding to the space station's orbital period. while the large, flare-producing sunspot group below center, AR 2043, remained a comfortable 150 million kilometers away, the distance between camera and orbiting...
  • A Look at What the Public Knows and Does Not Know About Science - Pew Study

    09/11/2015 8:00:20 AM PDT · by SES1066 · 63 replies
    Pew Research Center ^ | 09/10/15 | CARY FUNK & SARA KEHAULANI GOO
    A new Pew Research Center survey finds that most Americans can answer basic questions about several scientific terms and concepts, such as the layers of the Earth and the elements needed to make nuclear energy. But other science-related terms and applications, such as what property of a sound wave determines loudness and the effect of higher altitudes on cooking time, are not as well understood.
  • Rupert Murdoch just bought National Geographic [media up in arms]

    09/10/2015 11:38:18 PM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 59 replies
    Salon ^ | September 10, 2015 | Jack Mirkinson
    Rupert Murdoch just bought National Geographic. Here’s the problem everybody should be talking about. The media was up in arms yesterday at news of Murdoch's high-profile acquisition. Here's what you should know. The news that National Geographic has now been placed in the hands of Rupert Murdoch prompted a predictable outcry, roughly akin to what happens in the movies when the clearly evil tycoon takes the orphans away. A bastion of popular science is now controlled by a very prominent climate change denier who, despite his company’s assurances of editorial integrity, has spent decades interfering with the independence of his...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Giant Squid in the Flying Bat

    09/10/2015 10:23:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | September 11, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Very faint but also very large on planet Earth's sky, a giant Squid Nebula cataloged as Ou4, and Sh2-129 also known as the Flying Bat Nebula, are both caught in this scene toward the royal constellation Cepheus. Composed with a total of 20 hours of broadband and narrowband data, the telescopic field of view is almost 4 degrees or 8 Full Moons across. Discovered in 2011 by French astro-imager Nicolas Outters, the Squid Nebula's alluring bipolar shape is distinguished here by the telltale blue-green emission from doubly ionized oxygen atoms. Though apparently completely surrounded by the reddish hydrogen emission...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 4372 and the Dark Doodad

    09/09/2015 10:30:35 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | September 10, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The delightful Dark Doodad Nebula drifts through southern skies, a tantalizing target for binoculars in the constellation Musca, The Fly. The dusty cosmic cloud is seen against rich starfields just south of the prominent Coalsack Nebula and the Southern Cross. Stretching for about 3 degrees across this scene the Dark Doodad is punctuated at its southern tip (lower left) by globular star cluster NGC 4372. Of course NGC 4372 roams the halo of our Milky Way Galaxy, a background object some 20,000 light-years away and only by chance along our line-of-sight to the Dark Doodad. The Dark Doodad's well...
  • Students' flow to US rises by 32%

    09/09/2015 9:17:40 AM PDT · by Jyotishi · 13 replies
    The Pioneer ^ | Saturday, September 5, 2015 | S. Rajagopalan
    Washington - There has been an astounding 32 per cent increase this year in the number of students flocking to American universities for higher studies. It is the biggest increase from any single country for the year, although in overall terms, China still tops the table in a big way. Figures just released by the US Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP) indicate that 149,987 Indian students are currently enrolled in American universities of a total of 1.05 million. Chinese students number 301,532. When it comes to the highly-coveted STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) stream, it is Indian students...
  • New Horizons: River of Data Commences (95% of Pluto data still to come)

    09/08/2015 4:16:42 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 5 replies
    Centauri Dreams ^ | 9/8/15 | Paul Gilster
    New Horizons: River of Data Commences by Paul Gilster on September 8, 2015 Hard to believe it’s been 55 days since the New Horizons flyby. When the event occurred, I was in my daughter’s comfortable beach house working at a table in the living room, a laptop in front of me monitoring numerous feeds. My grandson, sitting to my right with his machine, was tracking social media on the event and downloading images. When I was Buzzy’s age that day, Scott Carpenter’s Mercury flight was in the works, and with all of Gemini and Apollo ahead, I remember the raw...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Distorted Green Flash Sunset over Italy

    09/08/2015 9:19:47 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | September 08, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This was one strange sunset. For one thing, the typically round Sun appeared distorted, geometrically, and multiply layered. For another, some of these layers appeared unusually green. The Sun, of course, was just fine -- its odd appearance was caused entirely by its light refracting in the Earth's atmosphere. When layers of the Earth's atmosphere are unusually warm, layers of the Sun may appear distorted or even seen multiple times. The effect is most strong nearest sunrise and sunset when terrestrial inversion layers occupy distinct altitudes above the horizon. Different colors of the Sun may also become deflected by...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Shark Nebula

    09/07/2015 9:26:47 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | September 07, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: There is no sea on Earth large enough to contain the Shark nebula. This predator apparition poses us no danger, though, as it is composed only of interstellar gas and dust. Dark dust like that featured here is somewhat like cigarette smoke and created in the cool atmospheres of giant stars. After being expelled with gas and gravitationally recondensing, massive stars may carve intricate structures into their birth cloud using their high energy light and fast stellar winds as sculpting tools. The heat they generate evaporates the murky molecular cloud as well as causing ambient hydrogen gas to disperse...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Earthrise

    09/06/2015 12:15:06 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | September 06, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that rising over the edge of the Moon? Earth. About 47 years ago, in December of 1968, the Apollo 8 crew flew from the Earth to the Moon and back again. Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders were launched atop a Saturn V rocket on December 21, circled the Moon ten times in their command module, and returned to Earth on December 27. The Apollo 8 mission's impressive list of firsts includes: the first humans to journey to the Earth's Moon, the first to fly using the Saturn V rocket, and the first to photograph the Earth...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Atlas V Rising

    09/05/2015 2:25:04 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | September 05, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Early morning risers along Florida's Space Coast, planet Earth, were treated to a launch spectacle on September 2nd. Before dawn an Atlas V rocket rose into still dark skies carrying a US Navy communications satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station into Earth orbit. This minutes long exposure follows the rocket's arc climbing eastward over the Atlantic. As the rocket rises above Earth's shadow, its fiery trail becomes an eerie, noctilucent exhaust plume glinting in sunlight. Of course, the short, bright startrail just above the cloud bank is Venus rising, now appearing in planet Earth's skies as the brilliant...
  • Ceres Mystery Gets MORE Mysterious

    09/04/2015 4:19:15 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 27 replies ^ | Friday, September 4, 2015
    Christopher Russell, Professor of Geophysics and Space Physics at UCLA cannot discuss the new high resolution images from Ceres because they have been embargoed by the science journal Nature. ... Russell was able to discuss the issue of Ceres' strange bright spots, appearing prominently in both the large crater known as 'Occator', of which is 60 miles (90 km) across and 2 miles (4 km) deep, and on the slopes of an extremely strange, pyramid-shaped mountain that is 4 miles (6 km) tall. These spots, as described by professor Russell, appear to be a powdery substance that is deposited on...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way with Airglow Australis

    09/04/2015 2:02:50 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | September 04, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: After sunset on September 1, an exceptionally intense, reddish airglow flooded this Chilean winter night skyscape. Above a sea of clouds and flanking the celestial Milky Way, the airglow seems to ripple and flow across the northern horizon in atmospheric waves. Originating at an altitude similar to aurorae, the luminous airglow is instead due to chemiluminescence, the production of light through chemical excitation. Commonly captured with a greenish tinge by sensitive digital cameras, this reddish airglow emission is from OH molecules and oxygen atoms at extremely low densities and has often been present in southern hemisphere nights during the...