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Keyword: science

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  • Science Reporting No Different Than Activists' Own Hype

    11/03/2012 5:56:05 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 4 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | November 3, 2012 | Lisa De Pasquale
    Following Hurricane Sandy’s massive devastation across the northeast, many were quick to tie it to “climate change” (you know, what “global warming” and the “new ice age” used to be.). In a blog post on Tuesday, former Vice President Al Gore wrote “Hurricane Sandy is a disturbing sign of things to come. We must heed this warning and act quickly to solve the climate crisis. Dirty energy makes dirty weather.” Meghan McCain sarcastically weighed in on Twitter, “So are we still going to go with climate change not being real fellow republicans?” As his city struggles in the Sandy aftermath,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Hunter's Moon over the Alps

    11/02/2012 9:16:50 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | November 03, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A Full Moonset can be a dramatic celestial sight, and Full Moons can have many names. Late October's Full Moon, the second Full Moon after the northern hemisphere autumnal equinox, has been traditionally called the Hunter's Moon. According to lore, the name is a fitting one because this Full Moon lights the night during a time for hunting in preparation for the coming winter months. In this scene, last week's Hunter's Moon shines with a rich yellow light, setting as dawn comes to the Italian Alps. Topping out at over 11,000 feet, the snowy peak known as Rochemelon glows,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Black Hole in the Milky Way

    11/02/2012 3:55:34 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | November 02, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: At the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, a mere 27,000 light-years away, lies a black hole with 4 million times the mass of the Sun. Fondly known as Sagittarius A* (pronounced A-star), the Milky Way's black hole is fortunately mild-mannered compared to the central black holes in distant active galaxies, much more calmly consuming material around it. From time to time it does flare-up, though. A recent outburst lasting several hours is captured in this series of premier X-ray images from the orbiting Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR). Launched last June 13, NuSTAR is the first to provide...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Rigel and the Witch Head Nebula

    11/01/2012 5:33:22 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | November 01, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble -- maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. The suggestively shaped reflection nebula is associated with the bright star Rigel in the constellation Orion. More formally known as IC 2118, the Witch Head Nebula spans about 50 light-years and is composed of interstellar dust grains reflecting Rigel's starlight. In this cosmic portrait, the blue color of the Witch Head Nebula and of the dust surrounding Rigel is caused not only by Rigel's intense blue starlight but because the dust grains scatter blue light more efficiently than red....
  • Is It Time to Stop Putting Food in Our Cars?

    10/31/2012 9:53:29 PM PDT · by neverdem · 23 replies
    The American ^ | October 31, 2012 | Kenneth P. Green and Elizabeth DeMeo
    The ethanol mandate continues to do more harm than good — inflicting environmental damage, raising food prices, and distorting energy markets. Two recent developments warrant a reexamination of the fuel ethanol issue.First, on August 20, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a call for comments on suspending the renewable fuel standard (RFS), sometimes known as the ethanol mandate:EPA is seeking comment on letters requesting a waiver of the renewable fuel standard and matters relevant to EPA’s consideration of those requests. Governors of the states of Arkansas and North Carolina submitted separate requests for a waiver. Section 211(o)(7)(A) of the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- VdB 152: A Ghost in Cepheus

    10/31/2012 2:52:49 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | October 31, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Described as a "dusty curtain" or "ghostly apparition", mysterious reflection nebula VdB 152 really is very faint. Far from your neighborhood on this Halloween Night, the cosmic phantom is nearly 1,400 light-years away. Also catalogued as Ced 201, it lies along the northern Milky Way in the royal constellation Cepheus. Near the edge of a large molecular cloud, pockets of interstellar dust in the region block light from background stars or scatter light from the embedded bright star giving parts of the nebula a characteristic blue color. Ultraviolet light from the star is also thought to cause a dim...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Planetary Nebula PK 164 +31.1

    10/30/2012 4:11:47 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | October 30, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is this what will become of our Sun? Quite possibly. The bubble of expanding gas pictured above is the planetary nebula PK 164 +31.1, the remnants of the atmosphere of a Sun-like star expelled as its supply of fusion-able core hydrogen became depleted. Visible near the center of the nebula is what remains of the core itself -- a blue-hot white dwarf star. This particularly photogenic planetary nebula shows intricate shells of gas likely expelled at different times toward the end the star's demise, and whose structure is not fully understood. This deep image of PK 164 +31.1 from...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Red Spider Planetary Nebula

    10/29/2012 12:33:23 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | October 29, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Oh what a tangled web a planetary nebula can weave. The Red Spider Planetary Nebula shows the complex structure that can result when a normal star ejects its outer gases and becomes a white dwarf star. Officially tagged NGC 6537, this two-lobed symmetric planetary nebula houses one of the hottest white dwarfs ever observed, probably as part of a binary star system. Internal winds emanating from the central stars, visible in the center, have been measured in excess of 1000 kilometers per second. These winds expand the nebula, flow along the nebula's walls, and cause waves of hot gas...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Phobos: Doomed Moon of Mars

    10/28/2012 11:59:25 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 54 replies
    NASA ^ | October 28, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This moon is doomed. Mars, the red planet named for the Roman god of war, has two tiny moons, Phobos and Deimos, whose names are derived from the Greek for Fear and Panic. These martian moons may well be captured asteroids originating in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter or perhaps from even more distant reaches of the Solar System. The larger moon, Phobos, is indeed seen to be a cratered, asteroid-like object in this stunning color image from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, recorded at a resolution of about seven meters per pixel. But Phobos orbits so...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Halo for NGC 6164

    10/27/2012 1:56:18 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | October 27, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Beautiful emission nebula NGC 6164 was created by a rare, hot, luminous O-type star, some 40 times as massive as the Sun. Seen at the center of the cosmic cloud, the star is a mere 3 to 4 million years old. In another three to four million years the massive star will end its life in a supernova explosion. Spanning around 4 light-years, the nebula itself has a bipolar symmetry. That makes it similar in appearance to more familiar planetary nebulae - the gaseous shrouds surrounding dying sun-like stars. Also like many planetary nebulae, NGC 6164 has been found...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Reflection Nebula vdB1

    10/26/2012 3:44:26 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | October 26, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Every book has a first page and every catalog a first entry. And so this lovely blue cosmic cloud begins the van den Bergh Catalog (vdB) of stars surrounded by reflection nebulae. Interstellar dust clouds reflecting the light of the nearby stars, the nebulae usually appear blue because scattering by the dust grains is more effective at shorter (bluer) wavelengths. The same type of scattering gives planet Earth its blue daytime skies. Van den Bergh's 1966 list contains a total of 158 entries more easily visible from the northern hemisphere, including bright Pleiades cluster stars and other popular targets...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Medusa Nebula

    10/25/2012 3:46:19 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | October 25, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Braided, serpentine filaments of glowing gas suggest this nebula's popular name, The Medusa Nebula. Also known as Abell 21, this Medusa is an old planetary nebula some 1,500 light-years away in the constellation Gemini. Like its mythological namesake, the nebula is associated with a dramatic transformation. The planetary nebula phase represents a final stage in the evolution of low mass stars like the sun, as they transform themselves from red giants to hot white dwarf stars and in the process shrug off their outer layers. Ultraviolet radiation from the hot star powers the nebular glow. The Medusa's transforming star...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 206 and the Star Clouds of Andromeda

    10/24/2012 3:44:36 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | October 24, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The large stellar association cataloged as NGC 206 is nestled within the dusty arms of neighboring spiral galaxy Andromeda (M31), 2.5 million light-years distant. Seen near the center of this gorgeous close-up of the southwestern extent of Andromeda's disk, the bright, blue stars of NGC 206 indicate its youth. Its youngest massive stars are less than 10 million years old. Much larger than the clusters of young stars in the disk of our Milky Way galaxy known as open or galactic clusters, NGC 206 spans about 4,000 light-years. That's comparable in size to the giant stellar nurseries NGC 604...
  • Earthquake predictions and a triumph of scientific illiteracy in an Italian court

    10/23/2012 1:08:38 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 17 replies
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | 10/23/2012 | Dan Murphy
    An Italian court sentenced scientists to jail time for not having a functioning crystal ball ahead of the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila. The arguments of science and reason fell on deaf ears. Rarely since a Catholic inquisition in Rome condemned Galileo Galilei to spend the remainder of his days under house arrest for the heresy of teaching that the Earth revolves around the sun, has an Italian court been so wrong about science. Today, a court in the central Italian city of L'Aquila, 380 years after that miscarriage of justice, sentenced six scientists and a government bureaucrat to six years...
  • New Images: Scientists Puzzled By Uranus Weather Patterns

    10/23/2012 9:39:04 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 29 replies
    www.redorbit.com ^ | 10-21-2012 | Staff
    New, exquisitely detailed, high-resolution images of Uranus show off its complex weather patterns and new features of the planet that scientists can’t explain yet. Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, is an ice giant composed mainly of frozen methane, water, ammonia and hydrocarbons. In 1986, Voyager 2 passed by Uranus and returned the iconic image that most associate with the planet. This image showed a smooth, blue-green featureless world. This newest image reveals something different, a world swept with intricate cloudy bands, much like Jupiter and Saturn. Uranus is at such a distance from Earth that most telescopes can’t...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Mammatus Clouds Over Saskatchewan

    10/23/2012 3:11:51 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    NASA ^ | October 23, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Normal 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. These mammatus clouds were photographed over Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada during the past summer....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Space Shuttle on the Streets of Los Angeles

    10/22/2012 3:08:19 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | October 22, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Was that the space shuttle that just went by? Garnering attention that could make even a movie star blush, thousands of people watched in awe as a quintessential icon of the space age was towed through the streets of Los Angeles. After landing at LAX airport late last month, the shuttle Endeavour was carefully loaded onto rolling trailers and maneuvered down roads and across bridges to the California Science Center, 20 kilometers away. To many, there was a majesty to the voyage that was beyond description, inspiring people to line the LA streets and wait at windows and balconies...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Horsehead Nebula

    10/22/2012 3:05:53 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | October 21, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, the Horsehead Nebula in Orion, is part of a large, dark, molecular cloud. Also known as Barnard 33, the unusual shape was first discovered on a photographic plate in the late 1800s. The red glow originates from hydrogen gas predominantly behind the nebula, ionized by the nearby bright star Sigma Orionis. The darkness of the Horsehead is caused mostly by thick dust, although the lower part of the Horsehead's neck casts a shadow to the left. Streams of gas leaving the nebula are funneled by a strong magnetic field. Bright...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Zodiacal Light and Milky Way

    10/21/2012 6:20:33 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | October 20, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Ghostly apparitions of two fundamental planes in planet Earth's sky span this October all-sky view. The scene was captured from a lakeside campsite under dark skies in northern Maine, USA. In it, the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy arcs above faint airglow along the horizon. Zodiacal light, a band of dust scattering sunlight along the solar system's ecliptic plane, stretches almost horizontally across the wide field and intersects the Milky way near a point marked by bright planet Jupiter. Right of Jupiter, past the Pleiades star cluster, is the brightening of the Zodiacal band known as the Gegenschein,...
  • Pioneering British firm produces 'petrol from air' in breakthrough that could solve energy crisis

    10/20/2012 1:31:35 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 62 replies
    The London Daily Mail ^ | October 20, 2012 | Damien Gayle
    A British firm has produced the first 'petrol from air', it emerged today - in a pioneering scientific breakthrough that could end mankind's reliance on declining fossil fuels. Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockton-on-Tees, Teesside, claims to have made five litres of petrol since August using a small refinery that synthesises the fuel from carbon dioxide and water vapour. Experts have hailed the incredible breakthrough as a potential 'game-changer' in the battle against climate change and solution to the globe's escalating energy crisis. While the company is still developing their process and still need to take electricity from the national grid,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Merging NGC 2623

    10/19/2012 5:29:22 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies
    NASA ^ | October 19, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: NGC 2623 is really two galaxies that are becoming one. Seen to be in the final stages of a titanic galaxy merger, the pair lies some 300 million light-years distant toward the constellation Cancer. The violent encounter between two galaxies that may have been similar to the Milky Way has produced widespread star formation near a luminous core and along eye-catching tidal tails. Filled with dust, gas, and young blue star clusters, the opposing tidal tails extend well over 50,000 light-years from the merged nucleus. Likely triggered by the merger, accretion by a supermassive black hole drives activity within...
  • New Private Rocket Arrives at Virginia Launch Pad for Tests

    10/18/2012 1:24:12 PM PDT · by Jack Hydrazine · 11 replies
    Space.com ^ | 1OCT2012 | Space.com staff
    A private rocket NASA is counting on to make robotic cargo flights to the International Space Station achieved a key milestone today (Oct. 1), as its first stage rolled out to its Virginia launchpad for the first time. The first stage of Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket arrived today at its pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), which is located at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia. The move marks the beginning of on-pad preparations for a series of important trials with Antares that will take place over the next few months, Orbital officials said. The company aims to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A View from Next Door

    10/18/2012 8:09:48 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | October 18, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Located just next door, Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to the Sun. A view from our interstellar neighbor a mere 4.3 light-years away is shown in this illustration. The Sun is at the upper right, a bright star against the background of the Milky Way. The crescent in the foreground is an artist's rendering of a planet now reported orbiting Alpha Centauri B, making it the closest known exoplanet. Discovered by astronomer Xavier Dumusque et al. using the planet hunting HARPS instrument to measure minute shifts in the star's spectrum for more than four years, the planet...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Aurora Over White Dome Geyser

    10/17/2012 3:36:39 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | October 17, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sometimes both heaven and Earth erupt. Colorful aurorae erupted unexpectedly earlier this month, with green aurora appearing near the horizon and brilliant bands of red aurora blooming high overhead. A bright Moon lit the foreground of this picturesque scene, while familiar stars could be seen far in the distance. With planning, the careful astrophotographer shot this image mosaic in the field of White Dome Geyser in Yellowstone National Park in the western USA. Sure enough, just after midnight, White Dome erupted -- spraying a stream of water and vapor many meters into the air. Geyser water is heated to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Spiral Nebula Surrounding Star R Sculptoris

    10/16/2012 2:34:08 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | October 16, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening around that star? An unusual spiral structure has been discovered around the Milky Way star R Sculptoris, a red giant star located about 1,500 light years away toward the constellation of the Sculptor (Sculptoris). The star was observed with the new Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the most powerful telescopic array observing near millimeter wavelengths, that part of the spectrum situated well beyond red light and between microwaves and radio waves. Data from ALMA observations was used to create a 3D visualization of the gas and dust immediately surrounding the star. A digital slice through this data...
  • Science is hard: Andrea Mitchell graphic says ‘Fearless Felix traveled faster than speed of light’

    10/15/2012 1:40:50 PM PDT · by Rummyfan · 50 replies
    Twitchy ^ | 15 Oct 2012 | Twitchy
    Oh, our aching sides! As Twitchy reported yesterday, daredevil and skydiver Felix Baumgartner made his space jump, in which he hoped to travel faster than the speed of sound. Science is hard, to lapdogs. Especially for the ones at MSNBC, evidently. Sound? Light? Same difference! No need to let pesky science get in the way.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Black Sun and Inverted Starfield

    10/15/2012 3:52:56 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | October 15, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Does this strange dark ball look somehow familiar? If so, that might be because it is our Sun. In the above image, a detailed solar view was captured originally in a very specific color of red light, then rendered in black and white, and then color inverted. Once complete, the resulting image was added to a starfield, then also color inverted. Visible in the above image of the Sun are long light filaments, dark active regions, prominences peaking around the edge, and a moving carpet of hot gas. The surface of our Sun has become a particularly busy place...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Hubble Extreme Deep Field

    10/14/2012 3:04:01 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 35 replies
    NASA ^ | October 14, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What did the first galaxies look like? To help answer this question, the Hubble Space Telescope has just finished taking the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF), the deepest image of the universe ever taken in visible light. Pictured above, the XDF shows a sampling of some of the oldest galaxies ever seen, galaxies that formed just after the dark ages, 13 billion years ago, when the universe was only a few percent of its present age. The Hubble Space Telescope's ACS camera and the infrared channel of the WFPC3 camera took the image. Combining efforts spread over 10 years, the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Galaxies, Stars, and Dust

    10/12/2012 9:40:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | October 13, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Spiky stars and spooky shapes abound in this deep cosmic skyscape. Its well-composed field of view covers about 2 Full Moons on the sky toward the constellation Pegasus. Of course the brighter stars show diffraction spikes, the commonly seen effect of internal supports in reflecting telescopes, and lie well within our own Milky Way galaxy. The faint but pervasive clouds of interstellar dust ride above the galactic plane and dimly reflect the Milky Way's combined starlight. Known as high latitude cirrus or integrated flux nebulae they are associated with molecular clouds. In this case, the diffuse cloud cataloged as...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pan-STARRS and Nebulae

    10/12/2012 3:08:20 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | October 12, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A single image from the world's most powerful survey instrument captured this spectacular skyview. Looking toward Sagittarius, the scene spans nearly 3 degrees or six times the width of the Full Moon. At bottom, upper right, and lower left it covers the Lagoon Nebula (M8), the Trifid Nebula (M20), and NGC 6559, in the crowded, dusty starfields of the central Milky Way. The adopted color scheme shows dust reddened starlight in red hues and normally red emission from hydrogen atoms in green. Built and operated by the Pan-STARRS project, the instrument features a 1.4 gigapixel (billion pixel) digital camera...
  • The State-Sponsored Fairy Tale

    10/11/2012 12:48:23 PM PDT · by Guido2012 · 35 replies
    Set Our Children Free ^ | 10/11/12 | Tony Caruso
    Evolution is the proverbial big lie. It is told over and over again by government bureaucrats, teachers, scientists, university professors, news anchors, and others who should know better. It remains unchallenged in the public arena because no dissent is permitted to this state religion. Like most government lies, particularly those it tells school children in order to perpetuate Marxism into the next generation, the theory of evolution enjoys near-sacred politically correct status. It is not to be questioned. Those who do so will be scorned by the establishment as uneducated zealots, marginalized as pariahs in the world of political discourse,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Aurorae over Planet Earth

    10/11/2012 4:14:24 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | October 11, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: North America at night is easy to recognize in this view of our fair planet from orbit, acquired by the Suomi-NPP satellite on October 8. The spectacular waves of visible light emission rolling above the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario in the upper half of the frame are the Aurora Borealis or northern lights. Encircling the poles and extending to lower latitudes, impressive aurorae seen during the past few days are due to strong geomagnetic storms. The storms were triggered by a solar coronal mass ejection on October 4/5, impacting Earth's magnetosphere some three days later. The curtains...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Nauset Light Star Trails

    10/10/2012 6:01:53 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | October 10, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In myth, Atlas holds up the heavens, but in this scene they seem to pivot around a lighthouse beacon. Photographed with a camera fixed to a tripod, the well-planned 30 minute exposure records star trails in the northern sky, reflecting the daily rotation of planet Earth. Hidden behind the top of the prominent Nauset Lighthouse on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA, the North Celestial Pole is at the center of all the star trail arcs. Making a complete circle, 360 degrees, in 24 hours, the star trail arcs cover 15 degrees each hour or 7.5 degrees in thirty minutes. Foreground...
  • Afterlife Exists Says Top Brain Surgeon

    10/10/2012 6:43:29 AM PDT · by Biggirl · 71 replies
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ ^ | October 10, 2012 | Mark Hughes
    Dr Eben Alexander, a Harvard-educated neurosurgeon, fell into a coma for seven days in 2008 after contracting meningitis. During his illness Dr Alexander says that the part of his brain which controls human thought and emotion "shut down" and that he then experienced "something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death." In an essay for American magazine Newsweek, which he wrote to promote his book Proof of Heaven, Dr Alexander says he was met by a beautiful blue-eyed woman in a "place of clouds, big fluffy pink-white ones" and "shimmering beings".
  • Mystery Behind Supernova SN 1006 Solved?

    10/09/2012 3:49:42 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    Discovery News ^ | Monday, October 8, 2012 | Jennifer Ouellette
    Historical accounts from all over the world describe a spectacularly bright "guest star" in the night sky during the spring of 1006 -- what we now know as a supernova (SN 1006). Now astronomers think they have pinpointed the probable cause of that massive explosion, one thousand years later: a merging of two white dwarf stars. SN 1006 made quite a splash on its debut around May 1, 1006, in the constellation Lupus (the Wolf) just south of Scorpio. The critics raved! Monks in a Benedictine abbey in Switzerland marveled at the star's brightness, and commented on the variability of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Simeis 147: Supernova Remnant

    10/09/2012 3:52:11 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | October 09, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It's easy to get lost following the intricate filaments in this detailed mosaic image of faint supernova remnant Simeis 147 (S147). Also cataloged as Sh2-240, it covers nearly 3 degrees or 6 full moons on the sky. That's about 150 light-years at the stellar debris cloud's estimated distance of 3,000 light-years. Anchoring the frame at the right, bright star Elnath (Beta Tauri) is seen towards the boundary of the constellations Taurus and Auriga, almost exactly opposite the galactic center in planet Earth's sky. This sharp composite includes image data taken through a narrow-band filter to highlight emission from hydrogen...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Spherical Planetary Nebula Abell 39

    10/08/2012 8:17:39 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | October 08, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Ghostly in appearance, Abell 39 is a remarkably simple, spherical nebula about five light-years across. Well within our own Milky Way galaxy, the cosmic sphere is roughly 7,000 light-years distant toward the constellation Hercules. Abell 39 is a planetary nebula, formed as a once sun-like star's outer atmosphere was expelled over a period of thousands of years. Still visible, the nebula's central star is evolving into a hot white dwarf. Although faint, the nebula's simple geometry has proven to be a boon to astronomers exploring the chemical abundances and life cycles of stars. In this deep image recorded under...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Same Color Illusion

    10/06/2012 9:43:54 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | October 07, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Are square A and B the same color? They are! To verify this, either run your cursor over the image or click here to see them connected. The above illusion, called the same color illusion, illustrates that purely human observations in science may be ambiguous or inaccurate. Even such a seemingly direct perception as relative color. Similar illusions exist on the sky, such as the size of the Moon near the horizon, or the apparent shapes of astronomical objects. The advent of automated, reproducible, measuring devices such as CCDs have made science in general and astronomy in particular less...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- At the Heart of Orion

    10/06/2012 1:07:39 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | October 06, 2012 | (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. 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 recent dynamical study indicates that runaway stellar collisions at an earlier...
  • European Food Safety Authority Finds Controversial GM Study Wanting

    10/05/2012 7:03:13 PM PDT · by neverdem · 12 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 4 October 2012 | Gretchen Vogel and Martin Enserink
    Enlarge Image Controversial kernels. The European Food Safety Authority is questioning the validity of a high-profile study that found an association between genetically modified corn and cancer in rats. Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says a recent study on the toxicity of genetically modified maize and a common herbicide is inconclusive. The study, published on 19 September, claimed to find that rats fed genetically modified maize developed tumors at a higher rate than control animals. The study received wide press attention, although it was criticized by many scientists for its design and its...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Aurora and Fireball Over Norway

    10/05/2012 4:40:53 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | October 05, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening behind that mountain? A convergence of variable sky spectacles. One night in mid-September near Tromsø, Norway, high red aurora could be seen shimmering through lower green aurora in a way that created a striking and somewhat unusual violet glow. Suddenly, though, the sky flashed with the brightest fireball the astrophotographer had ever seen, as a small pebble from outer space violently crashed into the Earth's atmosphere. The glow illuminated the distant mountain peak known as Otertinden of the Lyngen Alps. The bright meteor, which coincidently disappeared behind the same mountain, was also reflected in the foreground Signalelva...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 7293: The Helix Nebula

    10/05/2012 4:40:35 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | October 04, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A mere seven hundred light years from Earth, in the constellation Aquarius, a sun-like star is dying. Its last few thousand years have produced the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), a well studied and nearby example of a Planetary Nebula, typical of this final phase of stellar evolution. A total of 58 hours of exposure time have gone in to creating this deep view of the nebula. Accumulating narrow band data from emission lines of hydrogen atoms in red and oxygen atoms in blue-green hues, it shows remarkable details of the Helix's brighter inner region, about 3 light-years across, but...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Goat Aurora Over Greenland

    10/03/2012 3:19:15 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | October 03, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sometimes it's hard to believe what you see in the sky. During the Shelios Expedition to Greenland in late August, even veteran sky enthusiasts saw auroras so colorful, so fast changing, and so unusual in form that they could remember nothing like it. As the ever changing auroras evolved, huge shapes spread across the sky morphed from one familiar form into another, including what looked to be the head of a goat (shown above), the head of an elephant, a strange green-tailed comet, and fingers on a celestial hand. Even without the aurora, the sky would be notable for...
  • The Atlantic: Tin Foil Hats Actually Make it Easier for the Government to Track Your Thoughts

    10/02/2012 5:58:58 PM PDT · by a fool in paradise · 25 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | Sep 28 2012, 11:38 AM ET | Matt Soniak
    ...The scientific reasoning behind the foil helmet is that it acts as a Faraday cage, an enclosure made up of a conducting material that shields its interior from external electrostatic charges and electromagnetic radiation by distributing them around its exterior and dissipating them. While sometimes these enclosures are actual cages, they come in many forms, and most of us have probably dealt with one type or another. Elevators, the scan rooms that MRI machines sit in, "booster bags" that shoplifters sometimes use to circumvent electronic security tags, cables like USB or TV coaxial cables, and even the typical household microwave...
  • Political Non-Science [ and why you're called Nazis]

    10/02/2012 4:24:34 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 34 replies
    The American Spectator ^ | October 2, 2912 | Lars Walker
    ...It's a tragedy of history that Karl Marx chose to dress his theories in the clothing of scientific analysis. Ever since his time, Marxists have built systems on his theories in the settled faith that their daring new policies must bear fruit,because they're based on "irrefutable science." And yet, time and again, those policies have failed. Science isn't supposed to work that way. So the Marxists are forced to ask, "What can explain such an anomaly? How can science be wrong?" The answer is always the same–"Wreckers have been at work. Saboteurs, ungrateful for the blessings of socialism, are conspiring...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- An Ancient Stream Bank on Mars

    10/02/2012 3:33:37 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | October 02, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Fresh evidence of an ancient stream has been found on Mars. The robotic rover Curiosity has run across unusual surface features that carry a strong resemblance to stream banks on Earth. Visible in the above image, for example, is a small overhanging rock ledge that was quite possibly created by water erosion beneath. The texture of the ledge appears to be a sedimentary conglomerate, the dried remains of many smaller rocks stuck together. Beneath the ledge are numerous small pebbles, possibly made smooth by tumbling in and around the once-flowing stream. Pebbles in the streambed likely fell there as...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Introducing Comet ISON

    10/01/2012 3:46:01 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | October 01, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Could this dim spot brighten into one of the brightest comets ever? It's possible. Alternatively, the comet could break up when it gets closer to the Sun, or brighten much more modestly. Sky enthusiasts the world over are all abuzz, though, from the more optimistic speculations -- that the newly discovered C/2012 S1 (ISON) could develop a spectacular tail or briefly approach the brightness of the full Moon toward the end of 2013. Comet ISON currently is very faint but is just visible at magnitude 18 in the above image. The comet, discovered just over a week ago from...
  • Biblical-Type Floods Are Real, and They’re Absolutely Enormous

    09/30/2012 6:17:06 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 37 replies
    Discover Magazine ^ | August 29, 2012 | David R. Montgomery
    Geologists long rejected the notion that cataclysmic flood had ever occurred—until one of them found proof of a Noah-like catastrophe in the wildly eroded river valleys of Washington State. After teaching geology at the University of Washington for a decade, I had become embarrassed that I hadn’t yet seen the deep canyons where tremendous Ice Age floods scoured down into solid rock to sculpt the scablands. So I decided to help lead a field trip for students to see the giant erosion scars on the local landforms. We drove across the Columbia River and continued eastward, dropping into Moses Coulee,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Galaxy Collision in NGC 6745

    09/30/2012 4:03:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | September 30, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Galaxies don't normally look like this. NGC 6745 actually shows the results of two galaxies that have been colliding for only hundreds of millions of years. Just off the above digitally sharpened photograph to the lower right is the smaller galaxy, moving away. The larger galaxy, pictured above, used to be a spiral galaxy but now is damaged and appears peculiar. Gravity has distorted the shapes of the galaxies. Although it is likely that no stars in the two galaxies directly collided, the gas, dust, and ambient magnetic fields do interact directly. In fact, a knot of gas pulled...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 7023: The Iris Nebula

    09/29/2012 6:53:10 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | September 29, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Like delicate cosmic petals, these clouds of interstellar dust and gas have blossomed 1,300 light-years away in the fertile star fields of the constellation Cepheus. Sometimes called the Iris Nebula and dutifully cataloged as NGC 7023 this is not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery of flowers. Still, this remarkable image shows off the Iris Nebula's range of colors and symmetries in impressive detail. Within the Iris, dusty nebular material surrounds a hot, young star. The dominant color of the brighter reflection nebula is blue, characteristic of dust grains reflecting starlight. Central filaments of the...