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Keyword: science

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Looking Through Abell 68

    03/08/2013 2:45:07 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 08, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Want to use a cluster of galaxies as a telescope? It's easier than you might think as distant galaxy clusters naturally act as strong gravitional lenses. In accordance with Einstein's theory of general relativity, the cluster gravitational mass, dominated by dark matter, bends light and creates magnified, distorted images of even more distant background galaxies. This sharp infrared Hubble image illustrates the case for galaxy cluster Abell 68 as a gravitational telescope, explored by amateur astronomer Nick Rose during the ESA-Hubble Hidden Treasures image processing competition. Putting your cursor over the picture will label highlights in the scene. Labels...
  • Chinese Physicists Measure Speed of “Spooky Action At a Distance”

    03/07/2013 11:41:49 PM PST · by Bobalu · 48 replies
    Physics arXiv Blog ^ | March 7, 2013 | Physics arXiv Blog
    Einstein railed against the possibility of spooky action at a distance because it violates relativity. Now Chinese physicists have clocked it traveling more than four orders of magnitude faster than light
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Thor's Helmet

    03/07/2013 7:10:52 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | March 07, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This helmet-shaped cosmic cloud with wing-like appendages is popularly called Thor's Helmet. Heroically sized even for a Norse god, Thor's Helmet is about 30 light-years across. In fact, the helmet is actually more like an interstellar bubble, blown as a fast wind from the bright, massive star near the bubble's center sweeps through a surrounding molecular cloud. Known as a Wolf-Rayet star, the central star is an extremely hot giant thought to be in a brief, pre-supernova stage of evolution. Cataloged as NGC 2359, the nebula is located about 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Canis Major. The sharp...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Tardigrade in Moss

    03/06/2013 4:58:16 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 31 replies
    NASA ^ | March 06, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is this an alien? Probably not, but of all the animals on Earth, the tardigrade might be the best candidate. That's because tardigrades are known to be able to go for decades without food or water, to survive temperatures from near absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water, to survive pressures from near zero to well above that on ocean floors, and to survive direct exposure to dangerous radiations. The far-ranging survivability of these extremophiles was tested in 2011 outside an orbiting space shuttle. Tardigrades are so durable partly because they can repair their own DNA...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comets Lemmon and PanSTARRS Peaking

    03/05/2013 4:41:44 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 05, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Two impressive comets will both reach their peak brightness during the next two weeks. Taking advantage of a rare imaging opportunity, both of these comets were captured in the sky together last week over the Atacama desert in South America. Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon), visible on the upper left of the above image, is sporting a long tail dominated by glowing green ions. Comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS), visible near the horizon on the lower right, is showing a bright tail dominated by dust reflecting sunlight. The tails of both comets point approximately toward the recently set Sun. Comet Lemmon...
  • District's P.E. Teachers Average Tens of Thousands of Dollars More Than Math and Science Employees

    03/05/2013 12:27:58 PM PST · by MichCapCon · 27 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 3/2/2013 | Tom Gantert
    In the Wayne-Westland Community Schools, high school math teachers are the lowest paid as a group and make on average almost $25,000 less a year than the physical education teachers. The high school science teachers make $11,000 less than the district’s gym teachers on average. The salaries are set by a six-year teacher’s contract Wayne-Westland agreed to in 2008 and runs through 2014. The salary schedule determines pay solely by years of experience and education background. On average, physical education teachers were the highest paid group and made $78,675 a year. Teacher gross salaries can also include pay for extracurricular...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- IC 1805: The Heart Nebula

    03/04/2013 7:47:15 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | March 04, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sprawling across almost 200 light-years, emission nebula IC 1805 is a mix of glowing interstellar gas and dark dust clouds. Derived from its Valentine's-Day-approved shape, its nickname is the Heart Nebula. About 7,500 light-years away in the Perseus spiral arm of our galaxy, stars were born in IC 1805. In fact, near the cosmic heart's center are the massive hot stars of a newborn star cluster also known as Melotte 15, about 1.5 million years young. A little ironically, the Heart Nebula is located in the constellation of the mythical Queen of Aethiopia (Cassiopeia). This deep view of the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Grand Canyon Star Trails

    03/02/2013 10:25:49 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | March 03, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: One of the natural wonders of planet Earth, the Grand Canyon in the American southwest stretches across this early evening skyscape. The digitally stacked sequence reveals the canyon's layers of sedimentary rock in bright moonlight. Exposed sedimentary rock layers range in age from about 200 million to 2 billion years old, a window to history on a geological timescale. A recent study has found evidence that the canyon itself may have been carved by erosion as much as 70 million years ago. With the camera fixed to a tripod while Earth rotates, each star above carves a graceful arc...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Miass River Sunrise

    03/01/2013 9:21:37 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 02, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Each day on planet Earth can have a serene beginning at sunrise as the sky gently grows bright over a golden eastern horizon. This sunrise panorama seems to show such a moment on the winter morning of February 15. In the mist, a calm, mirror-like stretch of the Miass River flows through the foreground along a frosty landscape near Chelyabinsk, Russia. But the long cloud wafting through the blue sky above is the evolving persistent train of the Chelyabinsk Meteor. The vapor trail was left by the space rock that exploded over the city only 18 minutes earlier, causing...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Colors of Mercury

    03/01/2013 9:20:56 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | March 01, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The colors of the solar system's innermost planet are enhanced in this tantalizing view, based on global image data from the Mercury-orbiting MESSENGER spacecraft. Human eyes would not discern the clear color differences but they are real none the less, indicating distinct chemical, mineralogical, and physical regions across the cratered surface. Notable at the upper right, Mercury's large, circular, tan colored feature known as the Caloris basin was created by an impacting comet or asteroid during the solar system's early years. The ancient basin was subsequently flooded with lava from volcanic activity, analogous to the formation of the lunar...
  • Memories of Peak Oil

    02/28/2013 6:23:20 PM PST · by neverdem · 20 replies
    The American ^ | February 21, 2013 | Vaclav Smil
    Is it too much to hope that even some catastrophists and peak-oil cultists will find it impossible to ignore the latest numbers? When the final figures for the fourth quarter of 2012 are in, the world will have a new crude oil production record: the total for the first three quarters was about 1 percent ahead of the 2011 total. This is a remarkable achievement for a commodity with annual output that now surpasses, for the first time ever, 4 billion metric tons and which has been, for decades, the largest source of fossil energy and the most valuable item...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Snow Moon for a Snowy Planet

    02/28/2013 3:41:27 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | February 28, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The alarmingly tall inhabitants of this small, snowy planet cast long shadows in bright moonlight. Of course, the snowy planet is actually planet Earth and the wide-angle mosaic, shown as a little planet projection, was recorded on February 25 during the long northern night of the Full Snow Moon. The second brightest celestial beacon is Jupiter, on the right above the little planet's horizon. Lights near Östersund, Sweden glow along the horizon, surrounding the snow covered lake Storsjön. The photographer reports that the journey out onto the frozen lake by sled to capture the evocative Full Snow Moon scene...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Asperatus Clouds Over New Zealand

    02/27/2013 4:08:27 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | February 27, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What kind of clouds are these? Although their cause is presently unknown, such unusual atmospheric structures, as menacing as they might seem, do not appear to be harbingers of meteorological doom. Known informally as Undulatus asperatus clouds, they can be stunning in appearance, unusual in occurrence, are relatively unstudied, and have even been suggested as a new type of cloud. Whereas most low cloud decks are flat bottomed, asperatus clouds appear to have significant vertical structure underneath. Speculation therefore holds that asperatus clouds might be related to lenticular clouds that form near mountains, or mammatus clouds associated with thunderstorms,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Coronal Rain on the Sun

    02/26/2013 4:02:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | February 26, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Does it rain on the Sun? Yes, although what falls is not water but extremely hot plasma. An example occurred in mid-July 2012 after an eruption on the Sun that produced both a Coronal Mass Ejection and a moderate solar flare. What was more unusual, however, was what happened next. Plasma in the nearby solar corona was imaged cooling and falling back, a phenomenon known as coronal rain. Because they are electrically charged, electrons, protons, and ions in the rain were gracefully channeled along existing magnetic loops near the Sun's surface, making the scene appear as a surreal three-dimensional...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Fly Me to the Moons

    02/25/2013 8:24:40 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | February 25, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sometimes the Moon is a busy direction. Last week, for example, our very Moon passed in front of the planet Jupiter. While capturing this unusual spectacle from New South Wales, Australia, a quick-thinking astrophotographer realized that a nearby plane might itself pass in front of the Moon, and so quickly reset his camera to take a continuous series of short duration shots. As hoped, for a brief instant, that airplane, the Moon, and Jupiter were all visible in a single exposure, which is shown above. But the project was not complete -- a longer exposure was then taken to...
  • The Ph.D Bust: America's Awful Market for Young Scientists—in 7 Charts

    02/25/2013 7:05:40 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 22 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | 02/25/2013 | Jordan Weissmann
    Politicians and businessmen are fond of talking about America's scientist shortage -- the dearth of engineering and lab talent that will inevitably leave us sputtering in the global economy. But perhaps it's time they start talking about our scientist surplus instead. I am by no means the first person to make this point. But I was compelled to try and illustrate it after reading a report from Inside Higher Ed on this weekend's gloomy gathering of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In short, job prospects for young science Ph.D.'s haven't been looking so hot these last few...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy in Dust and Stars

    02/24/2013 3:59:38 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | February 24, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Whirlpool Galaxy is a classic spiral galaxy. At only 30 million light years distant and fully 60 thousand light years across, M51, also known as NGC 5194, is one of the brightest and most picturesque galaxies on the sky. The above image is a digital combination of a ground-based image from the 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory and a space-based image from the Hubble Space Telescope highlighting sharp features normally too red to be seen. Anyone with a good pair of binoculars, however, can see this Whirlpool toward the constellation of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Chelyabinsk Meteor Flash

    02/23/2013 10:16:24 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 49 replies
    NASA ^ | February 23, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A meteoroid fell to Earth on February 15, streaking some 20 to 30 kilometers above the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia at 9:20am local time. Initially traveling at about 20 kilometers per second, its explosive deceleration after impact with the lower atmosphere created a flash brighter than the Sun. This picture of the brilliant bolide (and others of its persistent trail) was captured by photographer Marat Ametvaleev, surprised during his morning sunrise session creating panoramic images of the nearby frosty landscape. An estimated 500 kilotons of energy was released by the explosion of the 17 meter wide space rock with...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity Self-Portrait Panorama

    02/23/2013 10:10:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | February 22, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This remarkable self-portrait of NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover includes a sweeping panoramic view of its current location in the Yellowknife Bay region of the Red Planet's Gale Crater. The rover's flat, rocky perch, known as "John Klein", served as the site for Curiosity's first rock drilling activity. At the foot of the proud looking rover, a shallow drill test hole and a sample collection hole are 1.6 centimeters in diameter. The impressive mosaic was constructed using frames from the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) and Mastcam. Used to take in the panoramic landscape frames, the Mastcam is standing...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Gravitational Tractor

    02/23/2013 10:02:55 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | February 21, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How would you change the course of an Earth-threatening asteroid? One possibility - a massive spacecraft that uses gravity as a towline - is illustrated in this artist's vision of a gravitational tractor in action. In the hypothetical scenario worked out in 2005 by Edward Lu and Stanley Love at NASA's Johnson Space Center, a 20 ton nuclear-electric spacecraft tows a 200 meter diameter asteroid by simply hovering near the asteroid. The spacecraft's ion drive thrusters are canted away from the surface. Their slight but steady thrust would gradually and predictably alter the course of the tug and asteroid,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Saturn's Hexagon and Rings

    02/23/2013 9:59:48 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | February 20, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why would clouds form a hexagon on Saturn? Nobody is sure. Originally discovered during the Voyager flybys of Saturn in the 1980s, nobody has ever seen anything like it anywhere else in the Solar System. If Saturn's South Pole wasn't strange enough with its rotating vortex, Saturn's North Pole might be considered even stranger. The bizarre cloud pattern is shown above in great detail by a recent image taken by the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft. This and similar images show the stability of the hexagon even 20+ years after Voyager. Movies of Saturn's North Pole show the cloud structure maintaining...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Mercury on the Horizon

    02/23/2013 9:51:02 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    NASA ^ | February 19, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Have you ever seen the planet Mercury? Because Mercury orbits so close to the Sun, it never wanders far from the Sun in Earth's sky. If trailing the Sun, Mercury will be visible low on the horizon for only a short while after sunset. If leading the Sun, Mercury will be visible only shortly before sunrise. So at certain times of the year an informed skygazer with a little determination can usually pick Mercury out from a site with an unobscured horizon. Above, a lot of determination has been combined with a little digital manipulation to show Mercury's successive...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Great Russian Meteor of 2013

    02/17/2013 11:18:37 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | February 18, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What in heaven's blazes is that? Thousands of people living near the Ural Mountains in Russia saw last Friday morning one of the more spectacular meteors of modern times streak across the sky. Forceful sound waves arrived at the ground minutes later, knocking people over and breaking windows for hundreds of kilometers. The above video is a compilation of several car dashcams and includes real time footage of the meteor rampaging, smoke trails drifting, shadows quickly shifting, and even the meteor's light reflecting off the back of a bus. The fireball is thought to have been caused by a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Asteroid 2012 DA14 Passes the Earth

    02/17/2013 11:06:56 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | February 17, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: There it goes. That small spot moving in front of background stars in the above video is a potentially dangerous asteroid passing above the Earth's atmosphere. This past Friday, the 50-meter wide asteroid 2012 DA14 just missed the Earth, passing not only inside the orbit of the Moon, which is unusually close for an asteroid of this size, but also inside the orbit of geosynchronous satellites. Unfortunately, asteroids this big or bigger strike the Earth every 1000 years or so. Were 2012 DA14 to have hit the Earth, it could have devastated a city-sized landscape, or stuck an ocean...
  • 17-year-old Rutvik Oza Solves Unsolved Problem in Maths

    02/17/2013 8:47:48 AM PST · by Pratap Singh · 41 replies
    Yahoo! ^ | 17/02/2013 | Pratap Singh
    An Indian teen has recently proposed a solution to an unsolved problem in mathematics. The 17-year-old young achiever, Rutvik Oza, a student of The H. B. Kapadia New High School, from Ahmedabad, Gujarat has now put a full stop to another open problem in the field of maths by providing a closed formula for the problem called Reve's Puzzle (also popularly known as the 4-peg Tower of Hanoi Problem). When asked about how was he feeling, "Thrilled! I really didn't realize at first that the problem that I had solved was an open problem in mathematics. It was only later...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sweeping Through Southern Skies

    02/16/2013 8:08:30 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | February 16, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: For now, Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6a), and Comet PanSTARRS (C/2011 L4) are sweeping through southern skies. Lemmon's lime green coma and thin tail are near the left edge of this telephoto scene, a single frame from a timelapse video (vimeo here) recorded on February 12, tracking its motion against the background stars. Comet Lemmon's path brought it close to the line-of-sight to prominent southern sky treasures the Small Magellanic Cloud and globular cluster 47 Tucanae (right). Sporting a broader, whitish tail, Comet PanSTARRS appears in later video frames moving through the faint constellation Microscopium. Visible in binoculars and small...
  • 'Young' black hole is nearby, NASA says; doorway to a new universe?

    02/16/2013 1:48:31 PM PST · by skinkinthegrass · 22 replies
    herocomplex.latimes.com ^ | Feb. 13, 2013 | 2:30 p.m. | Amy Hubbard
    ‘Young’ black hole is nearby, NASA says; doorway to a new universe? Feb. 13, 2013 | 2:30 p.m. A supernova remnant may contain the most recent black hole formed in the Milky Way galaxy, according to NASA. (X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/L.Lopez et al; Infrared: Palomar; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA ) A supernova remnant may contain the most recent black hole formed in the Milky Way galaxy, according to NASA. (X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/L.Lopez et al; Infrared: Palomar; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA )Asteroid 2012 DA14 is bearing down on Earth, rattling nerves and making sci-fi fans’ eyes light up. But the cool science news doesn’t stop there. Researchers believe...
  • Russian meteorite blast explained: Fireball explosion, not meteor shower (maps)

    02/16/2013 11:40:13 AM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 80 replies
    rt.com/news ^ | Edited: 16 February, 2013, 18:34
    A Russian policeman works near an ice hole, said by the Interior Ministry department for Chelyabinsk region to be the point of impact of a meteor seen earlier in the Urals region, at lake Chebarkul some 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Chelyabinsk February 15, 2013 (Reuters / Chelyabinsk region Interior Ministry) Russian scientists investigating the meteorite explosion in the Urals explained the nature of the event that caused havoc in the region. NASA said the shockwave force was equal to a 500-kiloton explosion – 30 times the Hiroshima blast.­The object was identified as a solitary 10-ton bolide by...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Shadows Across Jupiter

    02/15/2013 6:37:38 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | February 15, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Two dark shadows loom across the banded and mottled cloud tops of Jupiter in this sharp telescopic view. In fact, captured on January 3rd, about a month after the ruling gas giant appeared at opposition in planet Earth's sky, the scene includes the shadow casters. Visible in remarkable detail at the left are the large Galilean moons Ganymede (top) and Io. With the two moon shadows still in transit, Jupiter's rapid rotation has almost carried its famous Great Red Spot (GRS) around the planet's limb from the right. The pale GRS was preceded by the smaller but similar hued...
  • Meteorite crash in Russia: UFO fears spark panic in the Urals (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

    02/15/2013 12:34:43 AM PST · by Islander7 · 46 replies
    Kremlin Russia Today ^ | Feb 15, 2013 | Staff
    A series of explosions in the skies of Russia’s Urals region, reportedly caused by a meteorite shower, has sparked panic in three major cities. Witnesses said that houses shuddered, windows were blown out and cellphones have stopped working. According to unconfirmed reports, the meteorite was intercepted by an air defense unit at the Urzhumka settlement near Chelyabinsk. A missile salvo reportedly blew the meteorite to pieces at an altitude of 20 kilometers.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Solar System Portrait

    02/14/2013 6:02:01 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | February 14, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On another Valentine's Day (February 14, 1990), cruising four billion miles from the Sun, the Voyager 1 spacecraft looked back to make this first ever family portrait of our Solar System. The complete portrait is a 60 frame mosaic made from a vantage point 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane. In it, Voyager's wide angle camera frames sweep through the inner Solar System at the left, linking up with gas giant Neptune, at the time the Solar System's outermost planet, at the far right. Positions for Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are indicated by letters, while the...
  • `The God-Factor in Science` ~ Concepts (2-9-2013)

    02/14/2013 5:48:26 PM PST · by SeanG200 · 1 replies
    Religio-Political Talk ^ | 2-14-2013 | Papa Giorgio
    ////////“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition…. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity…. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.” Mussolini, Diuturna pp. 374-77, quoted in A Refutation of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Infrared Orion from WISE

    02/13/2013 4:12:21 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | February 13, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Great Nebula in Orion is a intriguing place. Visible to the unaided eye, it appears as a small fuzzy patch in the constellation of Orion. But this image, an illusory-color composite of four colors of infrared light taken with the Earth orbiting WISE observatory, shows the Orion Nebula to be a bustling neighborhood or recently formed stars, hot gas, and dark dust. The power behind much of the Orion Nebula (M42) is the stars of the Trapezium star cluster, seen near the center of the above wide field image. The eerie green glow surrounding the bright stars pictured...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Reflected Aurora Over Alaska

    02/12/2013 4:14:48 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | February 12, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Some auroras can only be seen with a camera. They are called subvisual and are too faint to be seen with the unaided eye. In the above image, the green aurora were easily visible to the eye, but the red aurora only became apparent after a 20-second camera exposure. The reason is that the human eye only accumulates light for a fraction of a second at a time, while a camera shutter can be left open much longer. When photographing an already picturesque scene near Anchorage, Alaska, USA, last autumn, a camera caught both the visual green and subvisual...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- N11: Star Clouds of the LMC

    02/11/2013 4:53:39 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | February 11, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Massive stars, abrasive winds, mountains of dust, and energetic light sculpt one of the largest and most picturesque regions of star formation in the Local Group of Galaxies. Known as N11, the region is visible on the upper right of many images of its home galaxy, the Milky Way neighbor known as the Large Magellanic Clouds (LMC). The above image was taken for scientific purposes by the Hubble Space Telescope and reprocessed for artistry by an amateur to win the Hubble's Hidden Treasures competition. Although the section imaged above is known as NGC 1763, the entire N11 emission nebula...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Asteroids in the Distance

    02/09/2013 9:56:44 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | February 10, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Rocks from space hit Earth every day. The larger the rock, though, the less often Earth is struck. Many kilograms of space dust pitter to Earth daily. Larger bits appear initially as a bright meteor. Baseball-sized rocks and ice-balls streak through our atmosphere daily, most evaporating quickly to nothing. Significant threats do exist for rocks near 100 meters in diameter, which strike the Earth roughly every 1000 years. An object this size could cause significant tsunamis were it to strike an ocean, potentially devastating even distant shores. A collision with a massive asteroid, over 1 km across, is more...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Great Meteor Procession of 1913

    02/09/2013 11:52:18 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | February 09, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: One hundred years ago today the Great Meteor Procession of 1913 occurred, a sky event described by some as "magnificent" and "entrancing" and which left people feeling "spellbound" and "privileged". Because one had to be in a right location, outside, and under clear skies, only about 1,000 people noted seeing the procession. Lucky sky gazers -- particularly those near Toronto, Canada -- had their eyes drawn to an amazing train of bright meteors streaming across the sky, in groups, over the course of a few minutes. A current leading progenitor hypothesis is that a single large meteor once grazed...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 6822: Barnard's Galaxy

    02/08/2013 3:57:57 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | February 08, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Grand spiral galaxies often seem to get all the glory, flaunting their young, bright, blue star clusters in beautiful, symmetric spiral arms. But small galaxies form stars too, like nearby NGC 6822, also known as Barnard's Galaxy. Beyond the rich starfields in the constellation Sagittarius, NGC 6822 is a mere 1.5 million light-years away, a member of our Local Group of galaxies. About 7,000 light-years across, the dwarf irregular galaxy is seen to be filled with young blue stars and mottled with the telltale pinkish hydrogen glow of star forming regions in the deep color composite image. Contributing to...
  • Bose-Einstein condensate created at room temperature

    02/07/2013 12:43:29 PM PST · by Kevmo · 106 replies
    Vortex-L ^ | Feb 6 2013 | Axil Axil
    RE: [Vo]:Bose-Einstein condensate created at room temperature Jones Beene Thu, 07 Feb 2013 11:13:22 -0800 Yes they can. In fact this could be important for LENR, should it be broad enough to include other boson quasiparticles, such as the magnon. The definitions are similar: polaritons are quasiparticles resulting from strong coupling of electromagnetic waves with an electric or magnetic dipole-carrying excitation. The magnon could be imagined to be the subset of that - where the coupling is only magnetic. However, it may be only a partial subset with other features included. Polaritons describe the dispersion of light (photons) with an...
  • Creation story isn't science but reveals God's love, pope says

    02/07/2013 6:26:00 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 134 replies
    US Catholic ^ | February 6, 2013 | Carol Glatz
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The biblical account of creation isn't a textbook for science, Pope Benedict XVI said. Instead, the first chapter of Genesis reveals the fundamental truth about reality: that the world is not the result of chaos, but is born of and continually supported by God's love, the pope said Feb. 6 at his weekly general audience. In a series of Year of Faith audience talks about the creed, Pope Benedict touched on the description of God as "creator of heaven and earth." In an age of science and advanced technology, how are Catholics supposed to understand the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lemmon near the South Celestial Pole

    02/07/2013 4:00:05 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | February 07, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Currently sweeping through southern skies, Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) was named for its discovery last year as part of the Mount Lemmon (Arizona) Survey. Brighter than expected but still just below naked-eye visibility, Comet Lemmon sports a stunning lime green coma and faint divided tail in this telescopic image from February 4. The greenish tint comes from the coma's diatomic C2 gas fluorescing in sunlight. Captured from an observatory near Sydney, Australia, the color composite is constructed from a series of individual exposures registered on the comet. Across the 1 degree wide field of view, the star trails are...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Arms of M106

    02/06/2013 8:04:41 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | February 06, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The spiral arms of bright galaxy M106 sprawl through this remarkable multiframe portrait, composed of data from ground- and space-based telescopes. Also known as NGC 4258, M106 can be found toward the northern constellation Canes Venatici. The well-measured distance to M106 is 23.5 million light-years, making this cosmic scene about 80,000 light-years across. Typical in grand spiral galaxies, dark dust lanes, youthful blue star clusters, and pinkish star forming regions trace spiral arms that converge on the bright nucleus of older yellowish stars. But this detailed composite reveals hints of two anomalous arms that don't align with the more...
  • The Rise and Fall of Nikola Tesla and his Tower

    02/06/2013 6:44:07 PM PST · by nickcarraway · 72 replies
    Smithsonian ^ | February 4, 2013
    By the end of his brilliant and tortured life, the Serbian physicist, engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla was penniless and living in a small New York City hotel room. He spent days in a park surrounded by the creatures that mattered most to him—pigeons—and his sleepless nights working over mathematical equations and scientific problems in his head. That habit would confound scientists and scholars for decades after he died, in 1943. His inventions were designed and perfected in his imagination. Tesla believed his mind to be without equal, and he wasn’t above chiding his contemporaries, such as Thomas Edison, who...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Mars: Shadow at Point Lake

    02/05/2013 5:05:14 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | February 05, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What if you saw your shadow on Mars and it wasn't human? Then you might be the robotic Curiosity rover currently exploring Mars. Curiosity landed in Gale Crater last August and has been busy looking for signs of ancient running water and clues that Mars could once have harbored life. Pictured above, Curiosity has taken a wide panorama that includes its own shadow in the direction opposite the Sun. The image was taken in November from a location dubbed Point Lake, although no water presently exists there. Curiosity has already discovered several indications of dried streambeds on Mars, and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Namibian Nights

    02/04/2013 6:16:25 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | February 04, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Namibia has some of the darkest nights visible from any continent. It is therefore home to some of the more spectacular skyscapes, a few of which have been captured in the above time-lapse video. Visible at the movie start are unusual quiver trees perched before a deep starfield highlighted by the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. This bright band of stars and gas appears to pivot around the celestial south pole as our Earth rotates. The remains of camel thorn trees are then seen against a sky that includes a fuzzy patch on the far right that...
  • Oregon State University Wins Contract to Build New Oceanographic Research Vessels

    02/02/2013 10:37:33 PM PST · by neverdem · 10 replies
    ScienceInsider ^ | 1 February 2013 | Carolyn Gramling
    Enlarge Image Credit: UNOLS As many as three new coastal research vessels are slated to join the United States' oceanographic research fleet—and Oregon State University will take the lead in designing and building them, OSU President Edward Ray announced yesterday. The National Science Foundation (NSF) will give OSU an initial $3 million to coordinate the concept design; the total expected cost will be $290 million, assuming the U.S. Congress comes up with the money for the new ships. The vessels are part of a long-term plan to replace some of the vessels in the rapidly aging U.S. scientific fleet....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- L Ori and the Orion Nebula

    02/02/2013 9:25:36 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies
    NASA ^ | February 03, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This esthetic close-up of cosmic clouds and stellar winds features LL Orionis, interacting with the Orion Nebula flow. Adrift in Orion's stellar nursery and still in its formative years, variable star LL Orionis produces a wind more energetic than the wind from our own middle-aged Sun. As the fast stellar wind runs into slow moving gas a shock front is formed, analogous to the bow wave of a boat moving through water or a plane traveling at supersonic speed. The small, arcing, graceful structure just above and left of center is LL Ori's cosmic bow shock, measuring about half...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Herschel's Andromeda

    02/02/2013 9:46:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | February 02, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This infrared view from the Herschel Space Observatory explores the Andromeda Galaxy, the closest large spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way. Only 2.5 million light-years distant, the famous island universe is also known to astronomers as M31. Andromeda spans over 200,000 light-years making it more the twice the size of the Milky Way. Shown in false color, the image data reveal the cool dust lanes and clouds that still shine in the infrared but are otherwise dark and opaque at visual wavelengths. Red hues near the galaxy's outskirts represent the glow of dust heated by starlight to a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Atlas V Launches TDRS-K

    02/01/2013 5:09:21 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | February 01, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Beyond a fertile field of satellite communication antennas at Kennedy Space Center, an Atlas V rocket streaks into orbit in this long exposure photograph. In the thoughtfully composed image recorded on the evening of January 30, the antennas in the foreground bring to mind the rocket's payload, a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS; sounds like TEE-dress). This TDRS-K is the first in a next-generation series adding to the constellation of NASA's communication satellites. Operating from geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles (36,000 kilometers) above planet Earth, the network of TDRS satellites relays communications, data, and commands between spacecraft and ground...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 4372 and the Dark Doodad

    01/31/2013 3:29:35 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | January 31, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The delightful Dark Doodad Nebula drifts through southern skies, a tantalizing target for binoculars in the constellation Musca, The Fly. The dusty cosmic cloud is seen against rich starfields just south of the prominent Coalsack Nebula and the Southern Cross. Stretching for about 3 degrees across this scene the Dark Doodad seems punctuated at its southern tip (lower left) by globular star cluster NGC 4372. Of course NGC 4372 roams the halo of our Milky Way Galaxy, a background object some 20,000 light-years away and only by chance along our line-of-sight to the Dark Doodad. The Dark Doodad's well...