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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.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Blue Sun Bursting

    05/20/2013 3:40:03 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | May 20, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Our Sun is not a giant blueberry. Our Sun can be made to appear similar to the diminutive fruit, however, by imaging it in a specific color of extreme violet light called CaK that is emitted by the very slight abundance of ionized Calcium in the Sun's atmosphere, and then false color-inverting the image. This solar depiction is actually scientifically illuminating as a level of the Sun's chromosphere appears quite prominent, showing a crackly textured surface, cool sunspots appearing distinctly bright, and surrounding hot active regions appearing distinctly dark. The Sun is currently near the maximum activity level in...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Earth's Richat Structure

    05/19/2013 6:05:54 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies
    NASA ^ | May 19, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What on Earth is that? The Richat Structure in the Sahara Desert of Mauritania is easily visible from space because it is nearly 50 kilometers across. Once thought to be an impact crater, the Richat Structure's flat middle and lack of shock-altered rock indicates otherwise. The possibility that the Richat Structure was formed by a volcanic eruption also seems improbable because of the lack of a dome of igneous or volcanic rock. Rather, the layered sedimentary rock of the Richat structure is now thought by many to have been caused by uplifted rock sculpted by erosion. The above image...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet PanSTARRS Anti-Tail

    05/18/2013 6:07:35 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | May 18, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Once the famous sunset comet, PanSTARRS (C/2011 L4) is now visible all night from much of the northern hemisphere, bound for the outer solar system as it climbs high above the ecliptic plane. Dimmer and fading, the comet's broad dust tail is still growing, though. This widefield telescopic image was taken against the starry background of the constellation Cepheus on May 15. It shows the comet has developed an extensive anti-tail, dust trailing along the comet's orbit (to the left of the coma), stretching more than 3 degrees across the frame. Since the comet is just over 1.6 astronomical...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Waterfall and the World at Night

    05/17/2013 3:56:40 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | May 17, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Above this boreal landscape, the arc of the Milky Way and shimmering aurorae flow through the night. Like an echo, below them lies Iceland's spectacular Godafoss, the Waterfall of the Gods. Shining just below the Milky Way, bright Jupiter is included in the panoramic nightscape recorded on March 9. Faint and diffuse, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) appears immersed in the auroral glow. The digital stitch of four frames is a first place winner in the 2013 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest on Dark Skies Importance organized by The World at Night. An evocative record of the beauty of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Four X-class Flares

    05/16/2013 3:40:20 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | May 16, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Swinging around the Sun's eastern limb on Monday, a group of sunspots labeled active region AR1748 has produced the first four X-class solar flares of 2013 in less than 48 hours. In time sequence clockwise from the top left, flashes from the four were captured in extreme ultraviolet images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Ranked according to their peak brightness in X-rays, X-class flares are the most powerful class and are frequently accompanied by coronal mass ejections (CMEs), massive clouds of high energy plasma launched into space. But CMEs from the first three flares were not Earth-directed, while one...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Galaxy Collisions: Simulation vs Observations

    05/15/2013 4:07:29 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    NASA ^ | May 14, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What happens when two galaxies collide? Although it may take over a billion years, such titanic clashes are quite common. Since galaxies are mostly empty space, no internal stars are likely to themselves collide. Rather the gravitation of each galaxy will distort or destroy the other galaxy, and the galaxies may eventually merge to form a single larger galaxy. Expansive gas and dust clouds collide and trigger waves of star formation that complete even during the interaction process. Pictured above is a computer simulation of two large spiral galaxies colliding, interspersed with real still images taken by the Hubble...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Kepler's Supernova Remnant in X-Rays

    05/15/2013 3:48:18 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | May 15, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What caused this mess? Some type of star exploded to create the unusually shaped nebula known as Kepler's supernova remnant, but which type? Light from the stellar explosion that created this energized cosmic cloud was first seen on planet Earth in October 1604, a mere four hundred years ago. The supernova produced a bright new star in early 17th century skies within the constellation Ophiuchus. It was studied by astronomer Johannes Kepler and his contemporaries, without the benefit of a telescope, as they searched for an explanation of the heavenly apparition. Armed with a modern understanding of stellar evolution,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Partial Solar Eclipse with Airplane

    05/13/2013 4:02:47 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | May 13, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It was just eight minutes after sunrise, last week, and already there were four things in front of the Sun. The largest and most notable was Earth's Moon, obscuring a big chunk of the Sun's lower limb as it moved across the solar disk, as viewed from Fremantle, Australia. This was expected as the image was taken during a partial solar eclipse -- an eclipse that left sunlight streaming around all sides of the Moon from some locations. Next, a band of clouds divided the Sun horizontally while showing interesting internal structure vertically. The third intervening body might be...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Clouds, Birds, Moon, Venus

    05/12/2013 2:45:46 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | May 12, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sometimes the sky above can become quite a show. In early September of 2010, for example, the Moon and Venus converged, creating quite a sight by itself for sky enthusiasts around the globe. From some locations, though, the sky was even more picturesque. In the above image taken in Spain, a crescent Moon and the planet Venus, on the far right, were captured during sunset posing against a deep blue sky. In the foreground, dark storm clouds loom across the image bottom, while a white anvil cloud shape appears above. Black specks dot the frame, caused by a flock...
  • Ayn Rand Really, Really Hated C.S. Lewis

    05/11/2013 12:12:17 PM PDT · by JerseyanExile · 178 replies
    First Things ^ | March 27, 2013 | Matthew Schmitz
    Ayn Rand was no fan of C.S. Lewis. She called the famous apologist an “abysmal bastard,” a “monstrosity,” a “cheap, awful, miserable, touchy, social-meta­physical mediocrity,” a “pickpocket of concepts,” and a “God-damn, beaten mystic.” (I suspect Lewis would have particularly relished the last of these.) These insults and more can be found in her marginal notes on a copy of Lewis’ Abolition of Man, as printed in Ayn Rand’s Marginalia: Her critical comments on the writings of over 20 authors, edited by Robert Mayhew. Excerpts appear below, with Lewis’ writing (complete with Rand’s highlighting and underlining) on the left and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Cape York Annular Eclipse

    05/11/2013 7:56:12 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | May 11, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This week the shadow of the New Moon fell on planet Earth, crossing Queensland's Cape York in northern Australia ... for the second time in six months. On the morning of May 10, the Moon's apparent size was too small to completely cover the Sun though, revealing a "ring of fire" along the central path of the annular solar eclipse. Near mid-eclipse from Coen, Australia, a webcast team captured this telescopic snapshot of the annular phase. Taken with a hydrogen-alpha filter, the dramatic image finds the Moon's silhouette just within the solar disk, and the limb of the active...
  • Understanding defects in graphene

    05/10/2013 10:09:26 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 9 May 2013 | Emma Stoye
    The products of thermally exfoliating graphite oxide to make graphene are much more complex than previously thought, new research shows. The volatile compounds formed vary with reaction conditions, and may influence the graphene’s structure.The most common way to prepare graphene is by thermally reducing – or ‘exfoliating’ – graphite oxide. But the graphene produced often contains defects and lacks the perfect honeycomb structure. One explanation is that these defects may be the result of organic by-products forming and escaping as gases during the reaction.‘It has been commonly believed that the only gaseous products of graphite oxide exfoliation are water, carbon...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Messier 77

    05/10/2013 4:36:33 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | May 10, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Face-on spiral galaxy M77 lies a mere 47 million light-years away toward the aquatic constellation Cetus. At that estimated distance, the gorgeous island universe is about 100 thousand light-years across. Also known as NGC 1068, its compact and very bright core is well studied by astronomers exploring the mysteries of supermassive black holes in active Seyfert galaxies. M77 is also seen at x-ray, ultraviolet, infrared, and radio wavelengths. But this sharp visible light image based on Hubble data follows its winding spiral arms traced by obscuring dust clouds and red-tinted star forming regions close in to the galaxy's luminous...
  • "MU research chief wants 'cold fusion' puzzle solved"

    05/09/2013 11:37:28 AM PDT · by count-your-change · 44 replies
    The Columbia Daily Tribune ^ | December 3, 2011 | Janese Silvey
    "That’s the opinion of Rob Duncan, vice chancellor of research at the University of Missouri. He is in the early stages of pitching a plan to establish a national research program that would help scientists study tabletop energy....... “Without a nationally funded program, you’re going to be limited by the scope of what you can do,” he said....... Duncan is optimistic higher-ups might be willing to pay attention, even in tight budget times. At a conference in August, representatives from the Naval Research Laboratory presented findings from several experiments where excess heat was produced in a laboratory."....... (this article was...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Ring of Fire over Monument Valley

    05/09/2013 3:35:13 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | May 09, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: As the New Moon continues this season's celestial shadow play, an annular solar eclipse track begins in western Australia at 22:30 UT on May 9 -- near sunrise on May 10 local time. Because the eclipse occurs within a few days of lunar apogee, the Moon's silhouette does not quite cover the Sun during mid-eclipse, momentarily creating a spectacular ring of fire. While a larger region witnesses a partial eclipse, the annular mid-eclipse phase is visible along a shadow track only about 200 kilometers wide but 13,000 kilometers long, extending across the central Pacific. For given locations along it,...
  • Is Roy Spencer the world's most important scientist?

    05/08/2013 8:23:11 AM PDT · by neverdem · 21 replies
    American Thinker ^ | May 8, 2013 | Norman Rogers
    Roy Spencer is a climate scientist at the University of Alabama Huntsville who may be the world's most important scientist. He has discovered scientific insights and theories that cast great doubt on global warming doctrine... --snip-- The pressure that is building on climate doctrine is the failure of the Earth to warm, a trend that has now continued for 16 years. The longer warming is stalled, in the face of constantly increasing CO2, the harder it becomes for the believers to continue believing. Compounding the failure of the Earth to warm is the failure of the oceans to warm for...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Earth's Major Telescopes Investigate GRB 130427A

    05/08/2013 3:41:52 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | May 08, 2013 | (see photo credit)
  • Scientists and Relevance

    05/07/2013 12:10:08 PM PDT · by Shout Bits · 1 replies
    Shout Bits Blog ^ | 05/6/2013 | Shout Bits
    Children like dinosaurs. Actually, lots of people like dinosaurs; they are the epitome of exotic creatures with their size and diversity. Also, they died out some 65 million years ago, likely the victims of a large meteor that fell onto modern day Mexico. The Alvarez Hypothesis is an fascinating story, but altogether irrelevant to day to day life. If a planet-threatening meteor or comet has not hit Earth in 65 million years, mankind can take its chances. Most people dismiss the lessons of the past century, so nearly everyone dismisses lessons from the K-T Boundary. Do not tell that to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Galaxy Cove Vista

    05/07/2013 3:42:05 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | May 07, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: To see a vista like this takes patience, hiking, and a camera. Patience was needed in searching out just the right place and waiting for just the right time. A short hike was needed to reach this rugged perch above a secluded cove in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in California, USA. And a camera was needed for the long exposure required to bring out the faint light from stars and nebula in the background Milky Way galaxy. Moonlight and a brief artificial flash illuminated the hidden beach and inlet behind nearby trees in the above composite image taken...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Tails of Comet Lemmon

    05/06/2013 4:04:21 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | May 06, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What caused the interestingly intricate tails that Comet Lemmon displayed earlier this year? First of all, just about every comet that nears the Sun displays two tails: a dust tail and an ion tail. Comet Lemmon's dust tail, visible above and around the comet nucleus in off-white, is produced by sun-light reflecting dust shed by the comet's heated nucleus. Flowing and more sculptured, however, is C/2012 F6 (Lemmon)'s blue ion tail, created by the solar wind pushing ions expelled by the nucleus away from the Sun. Also of note is the coma seen surrounding Comet Lemmon's nucleus, tinted green...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Supercell Thunderstorm Cloud Over Montana

    05/05/2013 6:41:51 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | May 05, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is that a spaceship or a cloud? Although it may seem like an alien mothership, it's actually a impressive thunderstorm cloud called a supercell. Such colossal storm systems center on mesocyclones -- rotating updrafts that can span several kilometers and deliver torrential rain and high winds including tornadoes. Jagged sculptured clouds adorn the supercell's edge, while wind swept dust and rain dominate the center. A tree waits patiently in the foreground. The above supercell cloud was photographed in July west of Glasgow, Montana, USA, caused minor damage, and lasted several hours before moving on.
  • Brain measurements predict math progress with tutoring (Size Matters)

    05/05/2013 6:30:36 AM PDT · by equalator · 16 replies
    Science News ^ | 4-29-2013 | Meghan Rosen
    Certain measures of brain anatomy were even better at judging learning potential than traditional measures of ability such as IQ and standardized test results, says study author Kaustubh Supekar of Stanford University. These signatures include the size of the hippocampus — a string bean–shaped structure involved in making memories — and how connected the area was with other parts of the brain. The findings suggest that kids struggling with their math homework aren’t necessarily slacking off, says cognitive scientist David Geary of the University of Missouri in Columbia. “They just may not have as much brain region devoted to memory...
  • Medicaid’s Oregon Trail - The Left, science, and the inevitable failure of Obamacare

    05/04/2013 12:21:52 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    National Review Online ^ | May 3, 2013 | Daniel Foster
    Medicaid is already a $450-billion-per-year program, and a major chunk of the coverage expansion Obamacare promises comes by way of expanding it. So it would be nice to know if it worked, right? On Wednesday, a group of researchers released a new study on expanded Medicaid eligibity that suggests that it, sort of, well, doesn’t. Here’s what you need to know about it. What the Study Doesn’t ShowThe Oregon study compared health outcomes along several measurable indicators — including blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol level — between people enrolled in Medicaid and the uninsured. What’s nice about this study...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Hungarian Spring Eclipse

    05/03/2013 10:21:18 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | May 04, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Last week, as the Sun set a Full Moon rose over the springtime landscape of Tihany, Hungary on the northern shores of Lake Balaton. As it climbed into the clear sky, the Moon just grazed the dark, umbral shadow of planet Earth in the year's first partial lunar eclipse. The partial phase, seen near the top of this frame where the lunar disk is darkened along the upper limb, lasted for less than 27 minutes. Composited from consecutive exposures, the picture presents the scene's range of natural colors and subtle shading apparent to the eye. At next week's New...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Horsehead: A Wider View

    05/02/2013 9:12:19 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    NASA ^ | May 03, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Combined image data from the massive, ground-based VISTA telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope was used to create this wide perspective of the interstellar landscape surrounding the famous Horsehead Nebula. Captured at near-infrared wavelengths, the region's dusty molecular cloud sprawls across the scene that covers an angle about two-thirds the size of the Full Moon on the sky. Left to right the frame spans just over 10 light-years at the Horsehead's estimated distance of 1,600 light-years. Also known as Barnard 33, the still recognizable Horsehead Nebula stands at the upper right, the near-infrared glow of a dusty pillar topped...
  • The Rose: Spinning Vortex of Saturn Polar Storm

    05/02/2013 7:44:45 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    Scientific Computing ^ | Tuesday, April 30, 2013 | unattributed
  • (Florida) Teen Girl Expelled, Charged With a Felony After Science Experiment Goes Awry

    05/02/2013 9:48:34 AM PDT · by Zakeet · 66 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | May 2, 2013
    Science experiments don't always go the way they are intended. This, a 16-year-old Florida teenager knows all too well. This week, Kiera Wilmot went to school and mixed some household chemicals in a tiny 8-ounce water bottle. It looked like a simple chemistry project but then the top popped off when a small explosion occurred. Wilmot, who is in good standing as a student, said it was an accident. The Bartow High School principal told a local television station that the teen made a “bad choice” and called her a a good kid who has never previously been in trouble....
  • Florida Teen Girl Charged With Felony After Science Experiment Goes Bad

    05/01/2013 9:12:01 AM PDT · by Altariel · 56 replies
    Miami Times ^ | April 26, 2013 | Kyle Munzenrieder
    Kiera Wilmot got good grades and had a perfect behavior record. She wasn't the kind of kid you'd expect to find hauled away in handcuffs and expelled from school, but that's exactly what happened after an attempt at a science project went horribly wrong. On 7 a.m. on Monday, the 16 year-old mixed some common household chemicals in a small 8 oz water bottle on the grounds of Bartow High School in Bartow, Florida. The reaction caused a small explosion that caused the top to pop up and produced some smoke. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Omega Centauri: The Brightest Globular Cluster

    05/01/2013 3:47:21 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | May 01, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This huge ball of stars predates our Sun. Long before humankind evolved, before dinosaurs roamed, and even before our Earth existed, ancient globs of stars condensed and orbited a young Milky Way Galaxy. Of the 200 or so globular clusters that survive today, Omega Centauri is the largest, containing over ten million stars. Omega Centauri is also the brightest globular cluster, at apparent visual magnitude 3.9 it is visible to southern observers with the unaided eye. Cataloged as NGC 5139, Omega Centauri is about 18,000 light-years away and 150 light-years in diameter. Unlike many other globular clusters, the stars...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Humanity Explores the Solar System

    04/30/2013 5:10:54 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | April 30, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What spacecraft is humanity currently using to explore our Solar System? Presently, every inner planet has at least one robotic explorer, while several others are monitoring our Sun, some are mapping Earth's Moon, a few are chasing asteroids and comets, one is orbiting Saturn, and several are even heading out into deep space. The above illustration gives more details, with the inner Solar System depicted on the upper right and the outer Solar System on the lower left. Given the present armada, our current epoch might become known as the time when humanity first probed its own star system....