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Keyword: science

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  • Extreme extraction

    06/02/2013 11:18:21 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 28 May 2013 | Jon Evans
    The increasing price of precious metals has prompted mineral prospectors to consider unusual places. Jon Evans looks into the future of mining © Stocktrek Images/AlamyMining is already a reasonably extreme activity, moving and processing large quantities of material in often unpleasant and hazardous conditions. But imagine how much more extreme it would be to mine at the bottom of the ocean or on asteroids in the depths of space. That is exactly what a few pioneering companies are planning to do.The impetus for these extreme forms of mining is the recent dramatic rises in the price of many metals, driven...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Roll Cloud Over Uruguay

    06/02/2013 11:36:42 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | June 02, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What kind of cloud is this? A roll cloud. These rare long clouds may form near advancing cold fronts. In particular, a downdraft from an advancing storm front can cause moist warm air to rise, cool below its dew point, and so form a cloud. When this happens uniformly along an extended front, a roll cloud may form. Roll clouds may actually have air circulating along the long horizontal axis of the cloud. A roll cloud is not thought to be able to morph into a tornado. Unlike a similar shelf cloud, a roll cloud, a type of Arcus...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Milky Trail

    06/01/2013 9:05:25 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | June 01, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Have you ever hiked the Queen's Garden trail in Bryce Canyon, Utah, USA, planet Earth? Walking along that path in this dark night skyscape, you can almost imagine your journey continues along the pale, luminous Milky Way. Of course, the name for our galaxy, the Milky Way (in Latin, Via Lactea), does refer to its appearance as a milky band or path in the sky. In fact, the word galaxy itself derives from the Greek for milk. Visible on moonless nights from dark sky areas, though not so bright or quite so colorful as in this image, the glowing...
  • How the turtle got its unique hard shell (proven Theory/s)

    05/31/2013 8:19:58 AM PDT · by kimtom · 25 replies
    www.bbc.co.uk ^ | 31 May 2013 | Melissa Hogenboom
    (photo in article) How the turtle shell evolved has puzzled scientists for years, but new research sheds light on how their hard shells were formed. Scientists say the ancient fossil skeleton of an extinct South African reptile has helped bridge a 30 to 55-million-year gap. This ancestor of the modern turtle, Eunotosaurus, is thought to be around 260 million years old. It had significant differences to a recently found fossil relative. Eunotosaurus was discovered over a century ago but new research in the journal Current Biology has only now analysed its differences to other turtle fossils. Eunotosaurus africanus Skeleton...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Eagle and The Swan

    05/31/2013 3:24:17 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | May 31, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Eagle Nebula and the Swan Nebula span this broad starscape, a telescopic view of the Sagittarius spiral arm toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The Eagle, also known as M16, is left, above center, and the Swan, or M17 at the lower right. The deep, wide-field image shows the cosmic clouds as brighter regions of active star-formation. They lie along the spiral arm suffused with reddish emission charactistic of atomic hydrogen gas, and dusty dark nebulae. In fact, the center of both nebulae are locations of well-known close-up images of star formation from the Hubble Space...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- One-Armed Spiral Galaxy NGC 4725

    05/30/2013 2:48:35 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | May 30, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: While most spiral galaxies, including our own Milky Way, have two or more spiral arms, NGC 4725 has only one. In this sharp color composite image, the solo spira mirabilis seems to wind from a prominent ring of bluish, newborn star clusters and red tinted star forming regions. The odd galaxy also sports obscuring dust lanes a yellowish central bar structure composed of an older population of stars. NGC 4725 is over 100 thousand light-years across and lies 41 million light-years away in the well-groomed constellation Coma Berenices. Computer simulations of the formation of single spiral arms suggest that...
  • Georgia Tech, Udacity Shock Higher Ed With $7,000 Degree (Masters in Computer Science)

    05/29/2013 6:09:41 PM PDT · by servo1969 · 31 replies
    Forbes ^ | 5-15-2013 | Troy Onink
    Georgia Institute of Technology has announced a partnership with Udacity to offer an online Masters Degree in Computer Science for $7,000, down 80% from the existing cost of $40,000 for the on-campus, instructor led program. Suddenly, masters programs around the country will have to compete with Georgia Tech‘s $7,000 program, and that won’t be easy or fast in coming. The traditionally taught graduate degree in computer science at Georgia Tech is a very well regarded program that is in high demand and has very positive outcomes in terms of jobs and earnings. Georgia Tech graduates tend to do very well...
  • Japan plans to revitalize its science workforce

    05/29/2013 2:40:09 AM PDT · by rjbemsha · 1 replies
    Nature ^ | 29 May 2013 | David Cyranoski
    [Two weeks ago, Japan’s] leading science body, which PM Abe chairs, released the first draft of a Comprehensive Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy.... [The strategy] calls for 30% of new recruits at research institutes and universities to be female by 2016, up from 21.2% in 2010. And faced with fewer university graduates and a shrinking birth rate, Japan is looking to open itself up to foreigners. Under the plan, international researchers would occupy 20% of staff positions at leading research organizations by 2020, and 30% by 2030. That would be an ambitious jump from the 2010 figure of 3.9%.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 6960: The Witch's Broom Nebula

    05/28/2013 9:16:27 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | May 29, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Ten thousand years ago, before the dawn of recorded human history, a new light would have suddenly have appeared in the night sky and faded after a few weeks. Today we know this light was from a supernova, or exploding star, and record the expanding debris cloud as the Veil Nebula, a supernova remnant. This sharp telescopic view is centered on a western segment of the Veil Nebula cataloged as NGC 6960 but less formally known as the Witch's Broom Nebula. Blasted out in the cataclysmic explosion, the interstellar shock wave plows through space sweeping up and exciting interstellar...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Large Cloud of Magellan

    05/28/2013 10:51:23 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | May 28, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The 16th century Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his crew had plenty of time to study the southern sky during the first circumnavigation of planet Earth. As a result, two fuzzy cloud-like objects easily visible to southern hemisphere skygazers are known as the Clouds of Magellan, now understood to be satellite galaxies of our much larger, spiral Milky Way galaxy. About 160,000 light-years distant in the constellation Dorado, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is seen here in a remarkably deep, colorful, and annotated composite image. Spanning about 15,000 light-years or so, it is the most massive of the Milky...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Bird Sun Dog

    05/26/2013 9:34:42 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | May 27, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Have you ever seen a little rainbow off to the side of the Sun? Rare but rewarding to see, such spectacles are known as sundogs, mock suns or parhelia. Sundogs are just sunlight refracting through hexagonal falling ice crystals in the Earth's atmosphere. When thin ice crystals flitter down nearly horizontally, they best refract sunlight sideways and create sundogs. Alternatively, randomly oriented ice crystals may create a complete circular sun halo. Sundogs occur 22 degrees to each side of a setting or rising Sun, although sometimes nearby clouds can block one or both. The above image was taken through...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- PanSTARRS Anti-Tail Grows

    05/25/2013 9:18:54 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | May 26, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: As planet Earth approached the plane of the Comet PanSTARRS (C/2011 L4) orbit on May 23rd, comet watchers were treated to this view of its magnificent anti-tail. The long, narrow anti-tail stretches to the right across this frame for nearly 4 degrees or about 8 times the angular size of the full Moon. The tail trails along the comet's orbit as it leaves the inner solar system behind. An almost edge-on perspective from near the outbound comet's orbital plane enhances the view of the anti-tail and makes it seem to point in the sunward direction, only apparently contrary to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Lunar Corona over Cochem Castle

    05/24/2013 9:08:47 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | May 25, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This bat-like apparition does not shine on clouds passing over Gotham city. Instead, the cloud bank in silhouette against a colorful lunar corona was spotted on the evening of May 18 over Cochem, Germany from the banks of the river Mossele. The lunar corona is formed as bright moonlight is diffracted by water droplets in thin clouds drifting in front of the lunar disk. Below it lies the region's historic Cochem Castle dating from the 11th century, and not Wayne Manor. Still, regardless of your location on planet Earth it is well worth scanning the evening skies this weekend,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Caterpillar Moon

    05/24/2013 4:00:24 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | May 24, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A close series of consecutive exposures are combined in this intriguing composite of the Full Moon slowly crawling, across the sky. Beginning on the upper right at 19:42 UT and ending at 22:14 UT on April 25, the sequence follows the Moon from Germany as it passes through Earth's shadow in a partial lunar eclipse. Near the top, the Moon just grazes the southern edge of Earth's dark central shadow, or umbra. But the decreased brightness in the darker part of the outer shadow region, the penumbra, is also apparent on the lunar disk. In fact, the relative size...
  • One of the most abstract fields in math finds application in the 'real' world

    05/23/2013 11:23:14 AM PDT · by neverdem · 14 replies
    Science News ^ | May 20, 2013 | Julie Rehmeyer
    Every pure mathematician has experienced that awkward moment when asked, “So what’s your research good for?” There are standard responses: a proud “Nothing!”; an explanation that mathematical research is an art form like, say, Olympic gymnastics (with a much smaller audience); or a stammered response that so much of pure math has ended up finding application that maybe, perhaps, someday, it will turn out to be useful. That last possibility is now proving itself to be dramatically true in the case of category theory, perhaps the most abstract area in all of mathematics. Where math is an abstraction of the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Messier 109

    05/23/2013 3:51:36 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | May 23, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Beautiful barred spiral galaxy M109, 109th entry in Charles Messier's famous catalog of bright Nebulae and Star Clusters, is found just below the Big Dipper's bowl in the northern constellation Ursa Major. In telescopic views, its striking central bar gives the galaxy the appearance of the Greek letter "theta", θ, a common mathematical symbol representing an angle. Of course M109 spans a very small angle in planet Earth's sky, about 7 arcminutes or 0.12 degrees. But that small angle corresponds to an enormous 120,000 light-year diameter at the galaxy's estimated 60 million light-year distance. The brightest member of the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Red Sprite Lightning with Aurora

    05/22/2013 3:37:18 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | May 22, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that in the sky? It is a rarely seen form of lightning confirmed only about 25 years ago: a red sprite. Recent research has shown that following a powerful positive cloud-to-ground lightning strike, red sprites may start as 100-meter balls of ionized air that shoot down from about 80-km high at 10 percent the speed of light and are quickly followed by a group of upward streaking ionized balls. The above image, taken a few days ago above central South Dakota, USA, captured a bright red sprite, and is a candidate for the first color image ever recorded...
  • University Will Investigate Christian Professor’s Intelligent Design Class Following Atheist Furor

    05/21/2013 7:24:42 AM PDT · by kimtom · 15 replies
    www.theblaze.com ^ | May. 20, 2013 | Billy Hallowell
    Ball State University, a public institution in Muncie, Indiana, is purportedly looking into claims that a course centered around the subjects of creationism and intelligent design constitutes a violation of the separation of church and state. The college purportedly began its investigation after the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a church-state separatist group, sent a letter of complaint regarding physics and astronomy professor Eric Hedin. Hedin’s offense? He apparently encourages students to read books by scientists, journalists and proponents who embrace intelligent design. The description of his course, as reported by World on Campus, claims that students will “investigate physical...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Red Rectangle Nebula from Hubble

    05/21/2013 3:39:45 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | May 21, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How was the unusual Red Rectangle nebula created? At the nebula's center is an aging binary star system that surely powers the nebula but does not, as yet, explain its colors. The unusual shape of the Red Rectangle is likely due to a thick dust torus which pinches the otherwise spherical outflow into tip-touching cone shapes. Because we view the torus edge-on, the boundary edges of the cone shapes seem to form an X. The distinct rungs suggest the outflow occurs in fits and starts. The unusual colors of the nebula are less well understood, however, and speculation holds...
  • Missing parts? Salamander regeneration secret revealed

    05/20/2013 7:20:34 PM PDT · by Redcitizen · 53 replies
    Live science ^ | 5-20-2013 | Tanya Lewis
    Salamanders can regrow entire limbs and regenerate parts of major organs, an ability that relies on their immune systems, research now shows. A study of the axolotl, an aquatic salamander, reveals that immune cells called macrophages are critical in the early stages of regenerating lost limbs. Wiping out these cells permanently prevented regeneration and led to tissue scarring. The findings hint at possible strategies for tissue repair in humans.