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Keyword: science

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Fornax Cluster of Galaxies

    01/11/2013 3:10:10 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | January 11, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How do clusters of galaxies form and evolve? To help find out, astronomers continue to study the second closest cluster of galaxies to Earth: the Fornax cluster, named for the southern constellation toward which most of its galaxies can be found. Although almost 20 times more distant than our neighboring Andromeda galaxy, Fornax is only about 10 percent further that the better known and more populated Virgo cluster of galaxies. Fornax has a well-defined central region that contains many galaxies, but is still evolving. It has other galaxy groupings that appear distinct and have yet to merge. Seen here,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Orion Bullets

    01/10/2013 3:45:10 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | January 10, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Cosmic bullets pierce the outskirts of the Orion Nebula some 1500 light-years distant in this sharp infrared close-up. Blasted out by energetic massive star formation the bullets, relatively dense, hot gas clouds about ten times the size of Pluto's orbit, are blue in the false color image. Glowing with the light of ionized iron atoms they travel at speeds of hundreds of kilometers per second, their passage traced by yellowish trails of the nebula's shock-heated hydrogen gas. The cone-shaped wakes are up to a fifth of a light-year long. The detailed image was created using the 8.1 meter Gemini...
  • How to Destroy Science: Cast Self-Interest as Public Interest

    01/10/2013 12:38:08 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 7 replies
    The American Thinker ^ | January 13, 2013 | Norman Rogers
    ......................Organized science has become another special interest group lobbying for government favors. The temptation to present special-interest appeals as urgent public necessities has become not just irresistible, but commonplace. It is well-known that global warming skeptics are shut out...... ....The true believers in the threat of global warming use "education" and "communication" as euphemisms for suppressing and marginalizing dissenters. This crowd is strongly tempted by totalitarian solutions. The leading advocate of global warming fear, Dr. James Hansen, wants to put people who don't toe the line on trial for crimes against humanity. Peter Gleick, a scientist, a well-known advocate of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Elusive Jellyfish Nebula

    01/09/2013 4:51:54 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | January 09, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Normally faint and elusive, the Jellyfish Nebula is caught in this alluring telescopic view. Drifting near bright star Eta Geminorum, at the foot of a celestial twin, the Jellyfish Nebula is seen dangling tentacles from the bright arcing ridge of emission left of center. In fact, the cosmic jellyfish is part of bubble-shaped supernova remnant IC 443, the expanding debris cloud from a massive star that exploded. Light from the explosion first reached planet Earth over 30,000 years ago. Like its cousin in astrophysical waters the Crab Nebula supernova remnant, IC 443 is known to harbor a neutron star,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Grand Spiral Galaxy NGC 7424

    01/08/2013 6:47:16 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | January 08, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The grand, winding arms are almost mesmerizing in this face-on view of NGC 7424, a spiral galaxy with a prominent central bar. About 40 million light-years distant in the headlong constellation Grus, this island universe is also about 100,000 light-years across making it remarkably similar to our own Milky Way. Following along the winding arms, many bright clusters of massive young stars can be found. The star clusters themselves are several hundred light-years in diameter. And while massive stars are born in the arms of NGC 7424, they also die there. Notably, this galaxy was home to a powerful...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula

    01/07/2013 4:52:59 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | January 07, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: AE Aurigae is called the flaming star. The surrounding nebula IC 405 is named the Flaming Star Nebula and the region seems to harbor smoke, but there is no fire. Fire, typically defined as the rapid molecular acquisition of oxygen, happens only when sufficient oxygen is present and is not important in such high-energy, low-oxygen environments. The material that appears as smoke is mostly interstellar hydrogen, but does contain smoke-like dark filaments of carbon-rich dust grains. The bright star AE Aurigae, visible near the nebula center, is so hot it is blue, emitting light so energetic it knocks electrons...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Dark Tower in Scorpius

    01/05/2013 9:26:50 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | January 06, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In silhouette against a crowded star field toward the constellation Scorpius, this dusty cosmic cloud evokes for some the image of an ominous dark tower. In fact, clumps of dust and molecular gas collapsing to form stars may well lurk within the dark nebula, a structure that spans almost 40 light-years across this gorgeous telescopic portrait. Known as a cometary globule, the swept-back cloud, extending from the lower right to the head (top of the tower) left and above center, is shaped by intense ultraviolet radiation from the OB association of very hot stars in NGC 6231, off the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Stereo Helene

    01/04/2013 9:22:05 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | January 05, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Get out your red/blue glasses and float next to Helene, small, icy moon of Saturn. Appropriately named, Helene is one of four known Trojan moons, so called because it orbits at a Lagrange point. A Lagrange point is a gravitationally stable position near two massive bodies, in this case Saturn and larger moon Dione. In fact, irregularly shaped ( about 36 by 32 by 30 kilometers) Helene orbits at Dione's leading Lagrange point while brotherly ice moon Polydeuces follows at Dione's trailing Lagrange point. The sharp stereo anaglyph was constructed from two Cassini images (N00172886, N00172892) captured during a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sunrise at Tycho

    01/04/2013 6:23:45 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | January 04, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Tycho crater's central peak complex casts a long, dark shadow near local sunrise in this spectacular lunarscape. The dramatic oblique view was recorded on June 10, 2011 by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Shown in amazing detail, boulder strewn slopes and jagged shadows appear in the highest resolution version at 1.5 meters per pixel. The rugged complex is about 15 kilometers wide, formed in uplift by the giant impact that created the well-known ray crater 100 million years ago. The summit of its central peak reaches 2 kilometers above the Tycho crater floor.
  • Half the Facts You Know Are Probably Wrong

    01/03/2013 7:37:50 PM PST · by neverdem · 83 replies
    Reason ^ | January 2013 | Ronald Bailey
    Old truths decay and new ones are born at an astonishing rate.Dinosaurs were cold-blooded. Increased K-12 spending and lower pupil/teacher ratios boost public school student outcomes. Most of the DNA in the human genome is junk. Saccharin causes cancer and a high fiber diet prevents it. Stars cannot be bigger than 150 solar masses.In the past half-century, all of the foregoing facts have turned out to be wrong. In the modern world facts change all of the time, according to Samuel Arbesman, author of the new book The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date (Current). Fact-making...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Open Star Clusters M35 and NGC 2158

    01/03/2013 6:15:25 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    NASA ^ | January 03, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Open clusters of stars can be near or far, young or old, and diffuse or compact. Found near the plane of our Milky Way galaxy, they contain from 100 to 10,000 stars, all of which formed at nearly the same time. Bright blue stars frequently distinguish younger open clusters. M35, on the upper left, is relatively nearby at 2800 light years distant, relatively young at 150 million years old, and relatively diffuse, with about 2500 stars spread out over a volume 30 light years across. An older and more compact open cluster, NGC 2158, is at the lower right....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Einstein Cross Gravitational Lens

    01/02/2013 6:47:13 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | January 02, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Most galaxies have a single nucleus -- does this galaxy have four? The strange answer leads astronomers to conclude that the nucleus of the surrounding galaxy is not even visible in this image. The central cloverleaf is rather light emitted from a background quasar. The gravitational field of the visible foreground galaxy breaks light from this distant quasar into four distinct images. The quasar must be properly aligned behind the center of a massive galaxy for a mirage like this to be evident. The general effect is known as gravitational lensing, and this specific case is known as the...
  • Breakthrough of the Year, 2012

    01/01/2013 11:18:26 AM PST · by neverdem · 18 replies
    Science ^ | NA | NA
    Every year, crowning one scientific achievement as Breakthrough of the Year is no easy task, and 2012 was no exception. The year saw leaps and bounds in physics, along with significant advances in genetics, engineering, and many other areas. In keeping with tradition, Science’s editors and staff have selected a winner and nine runners-up, as well as highlighting the year’s top news stories and areas to watch in 2013
  • Nobel scientist Rita Levi-Montalcini dies in Rome

    01/01/2013 10:16:41 AM PST · by TurboZamboni · 4 replies
    pioneer press ^ | 12-31-12 | Frances D'emilio
    Rita Levi-Montalcini, a biologist who conducted underground research in defiance of Fascist persecution and went on to win a Nobel Prize for helping unlock the mysteries of the cell, died at her home in Rome on Sunday, Dec. 30. She was 103 and had worked well into her final years. Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno, announcing her death in a statement, called it a great loss "for all of humanity." He praised her as someone who represented "civic conscience, culture and the spirit of research of our time." Italy's so-called "Lady of the Cells," a Jew who lived through anti-Semitic discrimination...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Double Star Cluster

    01/01/2013 8:31:16 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | January 01, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Few star clusters are seen to be so close to each other. Some 7,000 light-years away, though, this pair of open or galactic star clusters is an easy binocular target, a lovely starfield in the northern constellation Perseus. Also visible to the unaided eye from dark sky areas, it was cataloged in 130 BC by Greek astronomer Hipparchus. Now known as h and chi Persei, or NGC 869 (above right) and NGC 884, the clusters themselves are separated by only a few hundred light-years and contain stars much younger and hotter than the Sun. In addition to being physically...
  • 366 days: 2012 in review

    12/31/2012 10:29:26 PM PST · by neverdem · 7 replies
    Nature News ^ | 19 December 2012 | Richard Van Noorden
    This epic year for science saw the discovery of the Higgs boson and Curiosity’s arrival on Mars, but researchers also felt the sting of austerity. Two of the biggest breakthroughs of this leap year relied on breathtaking amounts of data. The ENCODE project has generated 15 terabytes of data over the past five years to uncover the functions of human DNA sequences; CERN has stored 26 petabytes of data this year alone from its Large Hadron Collider, as physicists worked to prove the existence of the Higgs boson. But data were a source of controversy as well as discovery. Arguments...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Saturn's Rings from the Dark Side

    12/31/2012 6:36:46 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    NASA ^ | December 31, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What do Saturn's rings look like from the dark side? From Earth, we usually see Saturn's rings from the same side of the ring plane that the Sun illuminates them -- one might call this the bright side. Geometrically, in the above picture taken in August by the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn, the Sun is behind the camera but on the other side of the ring plane. Such a vantage point gives a breathtaking views of the most splendid ring system in the Solar System. Strangely, the rings have similarities to a photographic negative of a front...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Doomed Star Eta Carinae

    12/30/2012 8:19:01 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | December 30, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Eta Carinae may be about to explode. But no one knows when - it may be next year, it may be one million years from now. Eta Carinae's mass - about 100 times greater than our Sun - makes it an excellent candidate for a full blown supernova. Historical records do show that about 150 years ago Eta Carinae underwent an unusual outburst that made it one of the brightest stars in the southern sky. Eta Carinae, in the Keyhole Nebula, is the only star currently thought to emit natural LASER light. This image, taken in 1996, brought out...
  • Modern Science Writers Leave Science Behind

    12/29/2012 2:12:28 PM PST · by neverdem · 42 replies
    Pacific Standard ^ | December 28, 2012 | Alex B. Berezow
    The co-author of a book on partisan science recently examined by Pacific Standard argues that our reviewer was a little too partisan himself. Any book that touches upon politics almost automatically angers half of the American public, regardless of what is written inside of it. It takes a special person—an objective, open-minded and self-critical one—to read and learn from a science book that criticizes people with whom the reader likes and agrees with politically.Recently, Pacific Standard published a review (“Red Science, Blue Science,” January/February 2013) by Wray Herbert, a pop psychology writer,of political writer Chris Mooney’s book The Republican Brain...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Zeta Oph: Runaway Star

    12/29/2012 7:53:42 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | December 29, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Like a ship plowing through cosmic seas, runaway star Zeta Ophiuchi produces the arcing interstellar bow wave or bow shock seen in this stunning infrared portrait. In the false-color view, bluish Zeta Oph, a star about 20 times more massive than the Sun, lies near the center of the frame, moving toward the left at 24 kilometers per second. Its strong stellar wind precedes it, compressing and heating the dusty interstellar material and shaping the curved shock front. Around it are clouds of relatively undisturbed material. What set this star in motion? Zeta Oph was likely once a member...