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Keyword: science

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Like a Diamond in the Sky

    11/16/2012 9:40:40 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | November 17, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A dark Sun hung over Queensland, Australia on Wednesday morning during a much anticipated total solar eclipse. Storm clouds threatened to spoil the view along the northern coast, but minutes before totality the clouds parted. Streaming past the Moon's edge, the last direct rays of sunlight produced a gorgeous diamond ring effect in this scene from Ellis Beach between Cairns and Port Douglas. Winking out in a moment, the diamond didn't last forever though. The area was plunged into darkness for nearly 2 minutes as the Moon's shadow swept off shore toward Australia's Great Barrier Reef and out into...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Moon Shadow Sequence

    11/16/2012 3:17:24 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | November 16, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On the morning of November 14, the Moon's umbral shadow tracked across northern Australia before heading into the southern Pacific. Captured from a hilltop some 30 miles west of the outback town of Mount Carbine, Queensland, a series of exposures follows the progress of the total solar eclipse in this dramatic composite image. The sequence begins near the horizon. The Moon steadily encroaches on the on the reddened face of the Sun, rising as the eclipse progresses. At the total phase, lasting about 2 minutes for that location, an otherwise faint solar corona shimmers around the eclipsed disk. Recorded...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Solar Eclipse over Queensland

    11/15/2012 7:19:35 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | November 15, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This month's New Moon brought a total solar eclipse to parts of planet Earth on November 13 (UT). Most of the total eclipse track fell across the southern Pacific, but the Moon's dark umbral shadow began its journey in northern Australia on Wednesday morning, local time. From along the track, this telescopic snapshot captures the Moon's silhouette in skies over Queensland along the Mulligan highway west of Port Douglas. Almost completely covered, the Sun's disk is seen still surrounded by a hint of the faint solar corona. Planet-sized prominences stretch above the active Sun's edge. Sunlight streaming through gaps...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Our Story in One Minute

    11/14/2012 6:20:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | November 14, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Could you tell the story of human existence in a minute? This thrilling video culls together multiple teasing snippets in an attempt to do just that. And sets it to music. Briefly depicted, from start to finish, is an artistic animation of the Big Bang, a trip across the early universe, the formation of the Earth and Moon, the emergence of multi-celled life and plants, the rise of reptiles and dinosaurs, a devastating meteor strike, the rise of mammals and humans, and finally the rise of modern civilization. The minute movie ends with a flyover of the modern skyscraper...
  • Chris Matthews Claims GOP Ignorant of Science While Claiming Plants Absorb Carbon Monoxide

    11/14/2012 8:34:23 AM PST · by governsleastgovernsbest · 26 replies
    NewsBusters ^ | Mark Finkelstein
    Note to Chris Matthews: when seeking to slam Republicans for their supposed ignorance of science, try not to expose your own. On Tuesday's Hardball, Matthews—mocking the Republican congressmen vying for the chairmanship of the House Science Committee— committed this whopper: "As we all learned in grammar school—young people watching—trees absorb carbon monoxide." Uh, no, Chris. As even an MSNBC host might know, carbon monoxide is a toxic gas produced when there is insufficient oxygen to permit complete oxidation. Think running car in closed garage. Trees absorb carbon dioxide. Perhaps it was just a slip of the overworked Matthews' tongue, but...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Solar Eclipse Quilt

    11/13/2012 3:34:35 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | November 13, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Some people are so inspired by solar eclipses that they quilt. Pictured above is a resulting textile from one such inspiration. The 38x38 inch quilt offers impressions of a total annular eclipse, when the Moon is too far from the Earth to cover the entire Sun, witnessed in Spain in October of 2005. Today, however, a full total solar eclipse will occur, although it will only be visible to eclipse chasers and those who live in a thin swath of Australia. For a few minutes, those near the center of the eclipse path will see the entire Sun blocked...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Meteor and Moonbow over Wallaman Falls

    11/12/2012 7:49:07 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | November 12, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Which feature takes your breath away first in this encompassing panorama of land and sky? The competition is strong with a waterfall, meteor, starfield, and even a moonbow all vying for attention. It is interesting to first note, though, what can't be seen -- a rising moon on the other side of the camera. The bright moon not only illuminated this beautiful landscape in Queensland, Australia last June, but also created the beautiful moonbow seen in front of Wallaman Falls. Just above the ridge in the above image is the horizontal streak of an airplane. Toward the top of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Baily's Beads near Solar Eclipse Totality

    11/11/2012 4:47:17 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | November 11, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Just before the Sun blacks out, something strange occurs. As the Moon moves to completely cover the Sun in a total solar eclipse -- like the one set to occur over parts of Australia on Tuesday -- beads of bright sunlight stream around the edge of the Moon. This effect, known as Baily's beads, is named after Francis Baily who called attention to the phenomenon in 1836. Although, the number and brightness of Baily's beads used to be unpredictable, today the Moon is so well mapped that general features regarding Baily's beads are expected. When a single bead dominates,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 660

    11/10/2012 9:57:08 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | November 10, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: NGC 660 is featured in this cosmic snapshot, a sharp composite of broad and narrow band filter image data from the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea. Over 20 million light-years away and swimming within the boundaries of the constellation Pisces, NGC 660's peculiar appearance marks it as a polar ring galaxy. A rare galaxy type, polar ring galaxies have a substantial population of stars, gas, and dust orbiting in rings nearly perpendicular to the plane of the galactic disk. The bizarre-looking configuration could have been caused by the chance capture of material from a passing galaxy by a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Melotte 15 in the Heart

    11/10/2012 9:52:16 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | November 09, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Cosmic clouds seem to form fantastic shapes in the central regions of emission nebula IC 1805. Of course, the clouds are sculpted by stellar winds and radiation from massive hot stars in the nebula's newborn star cluster, Melotte 15. About 1.5 million years young, the cluster stars are toward the right in this colorful skyscape, along with dark dust clouds in silhouette against glowing atomic gas. A composite of narrow and broad band telescopic images, the view spans about 30 light-years and includes emission from hydrogen in green, sulfur in red, and oxygen in blue hues. Wider field images...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Arp 188 and the Tadpole's Tail

    11/10/2012 9:42:12 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | November 08, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In this stunning vista, based on image data from the Hubble Legacy Archive, distant galaxies form a dramatic backdrop for disrupted spiral galaxy Arp 188, the Tadpole Galaxy. The cosmic tadpole is a mere 420 million light-years distant toward the northern constellation Draco. Its eye-catching tail is about 280 thousand light-years long and features massive, bright blue star clusters. One story goes that a more compact intruder galaxy crossed in front of Arp 188 - from right to left in this view - and was slung around behind the Tadpole by their gravitational attraction. During the close encounter, tidal...
  • Junk DNA Myth Continues Its Demise (article)

    11/07/2012 12:26:44 PM PST · by fishtank · 7 replies
    Junk DNA Myth Continues Its Demise by Jeffrey Tomkins, Ph.D. * Secular biology, intelligent design, and creationist communities are abuzz with the recently reported data from 30 simultaneously published high-profile research papers in the field of human genomics, proclaiming that the human genome is irreducibly complex and intelligently designed.1 From an evolutionary perspective, this is a massive blow to the myth of “junk DNA.” A large-scale international research effort, ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements), began in 2003 as an outgrowth of the Human Genome Project. Although the human genome had been largely finished in its final draft form in 2004,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Superstorm Sandy From Formation to Landfall

    11/07/2012 3:24:19 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | November 07, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It was the largest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. The cost of its devastation is still unknown. Pictured above is a movie of Superstorm Sandy taken by the Earth-orbiting GOES-13 satellite over eight days in late October as the hurricane formed, gained strength, advanced across the Caribbean, moved up the Atlantic Ocean along the US east coast, made an unusual turn west, made landfall in New Jersey, turned back to the north over Pennsylvania, and then broke up moving north-east over the northern US and Canada. Although Sandy's winds were high and dangerous, perhaps even more damaging...
  • Previously unseen whale species washes up on New Zealand beach

    11/06/2012 11:46:52 AM PST · by blueplum · 30 replies
    LA Times ^ | 05 Nov 12 | Jon Bardin
    Not one but two specimens of the world’s rarest known species of whale have been discovered on a New Zealand beach, according to a report published Monday in the journal Current Biology. The species, called the spade-toothed beaked whale, is so rare that before the find researchers weren't even sure if it still existed. The two whales washed up on Opape Beach in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty. At first scientists thought they were examples of a much more pedestrian species, the Gray’s beaked whales, which are the most commonly beached whales in the region. But after undertaking a DNA...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Methone: Smooth Egg Moon of Saturn

    11/06/2012 1:46:47 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | November 06, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why is this moon shaped like a smooth egg? The robotic Cassini spacecraft completed the first flyby ever of Saturn's small moon Methone in May and discovered that the moon has no obvious craters. Craters, usually caused by impacts, have been seen on every moon, asteroid, and comet nucleus ever imaged in detail -- until now. Even the Earth and Titan have craters. The smoothness and egg-like shape of the 3-kilometer diameter moon might be caused by Methone's surface being able to shift -- something that might occur were the moon coated by a deep pile of sub-visual rubble....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Saturn's Moon Dione in Slight Color

    11/05/2012 6:28:13 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | November 05, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why does one half of Dione have more craters than the other? Start with the fact that Saturn's moon Dione has one side that always faces Saturn, and one side that always faces away. This is similar to Earth's Moon. This tidal locking means that one side of Dione always leads as the moon progresses in its orbit, while the other side always trails. Dione should therefore have undergone a significant number of impacts on its leading half. Strangely, the current leading half of Dione is less cratered than the trailing half. A leading explanation is that some crater-forming...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Lenticular Clouds Over Washington

    11/04/2012 3:37:09 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | November 04, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Are those UFOs near that mountain? No -- they are multilayered lenticular clouds. Moist air forced to flow upward around mountain tops can create lenticular clouds. Water droplets condense from moist air cooled below the dew point, and clouds are opaque groups of water droplets. Waves in the air that would normally be seen horizontally can then be seen vertically, by the different levels where clouds form. On some days the city of Seattle, Washington, USA, is treated to an unusual sky show when lenticular clouds form near Mt. Rainier, a large mountain that looms just under 100 kilometers...
  • Neuroscience reveals brain differences between Republicans and Democrats

    11/03/2012 8:30:57 AM PDT · by ConservativeMind · 46 replies
    Univ. of South Carolline via MedicalXpress.com ^ | Nov. 1, 2012 | Jeff Stensland
    With the U.S. presidential election just days away, new research from the University of South Carolina provides fresh evidence that choosing a candidate may depend more on our biological make-up than a careful analysis of issues. That's because the brains of self-identified Democrats and Republicans are hard-wired differently and may be naturally inclined to hold varying, if not opposing, perceptions and values. The USC study, which analyzed MRI scans of 24 USC students, builds on existing research in the emerging field of political neuroscience. "The differences are significant and real," said lead researcher Roger D. Newman-Norlund, an assistant professor of...
  • 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...