Keyword: science

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Earth and Moon from Saturn

    07/22/2013 3:28:02 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | July 22, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: You are here. Everyone you've ever known is here. Every human who has ever lived -- is here. Pictured above is the Earth-Moon system as captured by the Cassini mission orbiting Saturn in the outer Solar System. Earth is the brighter of the two spots near the center, while the Moon is visible to its lower left. The unprocessed image shows several streaks that are not stars but rather cosmic rays that struck the digital camera while it was taking the image. The image was snapped by Cassini on Friday and released on Saturday. At nearly the same time,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Seasons of Saturn

    07/21/2013 4:53:20 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | July 21, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Since Saturn's axis is tilted as it orbits the Sun, Saturn has seasons, like those of planet Earth ... but Saturn's seasons last for over seven years. So what season is it on Saturn now? Orbiting the equator, the tilt of the rings of Saturn provides quite a graphic seasonal display. Each year until 2016, Saturn's rings will be increasingly apparent after appearing nearly edge-on in 2009. The ringed planet is also well placed in evening skies providing a grand view as summer comes to Saturn's northern hemisphere and winter to the south. The Hubble Space Telescope took the...
  • Not Everything Is Due To Bias, Including All-Male Physics Departments

    07/21/2013 2:39:23 PM PDT · by neverdem · 31 replies
    Science 2.0 ^ | July 19th 2013 | News Staff
    If a physics department has no women, does that mean there is hiring discrimination? Only if your job in sociology is to find discrimination. Simple statistics shows that is not true or there would be claims of discrimination in psychology, where lots of departments have no men. Yet when it comes to gender equality advocates, physics is always mentioned and psychology never is. A new analysis by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Statistical Research Center debunks the claim that the existence of all-male departments is evidence of hiring bias. Labor statistics have backed that up; not only are women...
  • 3,000-year-old palace in Israel linked to biblical King David

    07/20/2013 10:54:27 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 18 replies
    NBC News ^ | 7-20-13 | Allen Boyle
    Israeli archaeologists say they have found the remains of a palace that they believe was a seat of power for the biblical King David — but other experts say that claim shouldn't be taken as the gospel truth. The discovery, announced on Thursday by the Israeli Antiquities Authority, revives a debate over one of the Bible's central stories as well as the origins of the ancient Jewish state. The debate focuses on an archaeological site known as Khirbet Qeiyafa, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of Jerusalem. Khirbet Qeiyafa has been associated with the ancient city of Sha'arayim, which is...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lemmon and the Deep Sky

    07/20/2013 3:12:16 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | July 20, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Now sweeping high above the ecliptic plane, Comet Lemmon has faded dramatically in planet Earth's night sky as it heads for the outer solar system. Some 16 light-minutes (2 AU) from the Sun, it still sports a greenish coma though, posing on the right in this 4 degree wide telescopic view from last Saturday with deep sky star clusters and nebulae in Cassiopeia. In fact, the rich background skyscape is typical within the boundaries of the boastful northern constellation that lie along the crowded starfields of the Milky Way. Included near center is open star cluster M52 about 5,000...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Take a Picture of Saturn

    07/19/2013 3:41:41 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | July 19, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Take a picture of Saturn in the sky tonight. You could capture a view like this one. Recorded just last month looking toward the south, planet Earth and ruins of the ancient temple of Athena at Assos, Turkey are in the foreground. The Moon rises at the far left of the frame and Saturn is the bright "star" at the upper right, near Virgo's alpha star Spica (picture with labels). If you do take a picture of Saturn or wave at Saturn and take a picture, you can share it online and submit it to the Saturn Mosaic Project....
  • Can Quantum Mechanics Produce a Universe from Nothing?

    07/18/2013 10:36:09 AM PDT · by kimtom · 170 replies ^ | 2/1/2013 | Jeff Miller, Ph.D.
    According to the First Law of Thermodynamics, nothing in the Universe (i.e., matter or energy) can pop into existence from nothing (see Miller, 2013). All of the scientific evidence points to that conclusion. So, the Universe could not have popped into existence before the alleged “big bang” (an event which we do not endorse). Therefore, God must have created the Universe. One of the popular rebuttals by the atheistic community is that quantum mechanics could have created the Universe. In 1905, Albert Einstein proposed the idea of mass-energy equivalence, resulting in the famous equation, E = mc2 (1905). We now...
  • 'Comet of the century' nears Earth

    07/18/2013 9:48:26 AM PDT · by Sopater · 81 replies
    Fox News ^ | July 18, 2013 | Megan Gannon
    About 10,000 years ago, Comet ISON left our solar system's distant shell, a region known as the Oort cloud, and began streaking toward the sun. This November, the icy wanderer will reach the climax of its journey, potentially providing a stunning skywatching show here on Earth. Comet ISON was discovered just last September by two Russian amateur astronomers. Scientists have since recognized ISON as a possible "comet of the century," but to live up to its promise, it will have to survive its dangerous perihelion, or closest approach to the sun. ISON is what's known as a sungrazing comet. These...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Hidden Galaxy IC 342

    07/18/2013 2:48:12 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | July 18, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Similar in size to large, bright spiral galaxies in our neighborhood, IC 342 is a mere 10 million light-years distant in the long-necked, northern constellation Camelopardalis. A sprawling island universe, IC 342 would otherwise be a prominent galaxy in our night sky, but it is hidden from clear view and only glimpsed through the veil of stars, gas and dust clouds along the plane of our own Milky Way galaxy. Even though IC 342's light is dimmed by intervening cosmic clouds, this deep telescopic image traces the galaxy's obscuring dust, blue star clusters, and glowing pink star forming regions...
  • Scientists Shut Down Chromosome Responsible for Down Syndrome

    07/17/2013 3:15:40 PM PDT · by NYer · 26 replies
    Life News ^ | July 17, 2013 | Steven Ertelt
    Scientists say they have been able to turn off the chromosome responsible for Down Syndrome. This stunning achievement raises the prospect that someday a therapy could be developed to prevent or reverse the disorder.Down Syndrome is a condition that subjects 90 percent of unborn children diagnosed with it to abortion. What if doctors could someday treat unborn children before birth with a drug or therapy that could reverse the disorder? What kind of impact would that have on the incidence of abortion? How would society look if the numbers of people with Down Syndrome took an even more drastic decline?The...
  • Our Faith in Science (If science proves Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change)

    07/17/2013 11:40:53 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 53 replies
    New York Times ^ | 11/12/2005 | TENZIN GYATSO, 14th Dalai Lama
    SCIENCE has always fascinated me. As a child in Tibet, I was keenly curious about how things worked. When I got a toy I would play with it a bit, then take it apart to see how it was put together. As I became older, I applied the same scrutiny to a movie projector and an antique automobile. At one point I became particularly intrigued by an old telescope, with which I would study the heavens. One night while looking at the moon I realized that there were shadows on its surface. I corralled my two main tutors to show...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Waterspout in Florida

    07/17/2013 12:05:07 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | July 17, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening over the water? Pictured above is one of the better images yet recorded of a waterspout, a type of tornado that occurs over water. Waterspouts are spinning columns of rising moist air that typically form over warm water. Waterspouts can be as dangerous as tornadoes and can feature wind speeds over 200 kilometers per hour. Some waterspouts form away from thunderstorms and even during relatively fair weather. Waterspouts may be relatively transparent and initially visible only by an unusual pattern they create on the water. The above image was taken earlier this month near Tampa Bay, Florida....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Sombrero Galaxy from Hale

    07/17/2013 12:01:16 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | July 15, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's going on in the center of this spiral galaxy? Named the Sombrero Galaxy for its hat-like resemblance, M104 features a prominent dust lane and a bright halo of stars and globular clusters. Reasons for the Sombrero's hat-like appearance include an unusually large and extended central bulge of stars, and dark prominent dust lanes that appear in a disk that we see nearly edge-on. Billions of old stars cause the diffuse glow of the extended central bulge visible in the above image from the 200-inch Hale Telescope. Close inspection of the central bulge shows many points of light that...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Moon from Zond 8

    07/16/2013 4:04:05 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | July 16, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Which moon is this? Earth's. Our Moon's unfamiliar appearance is due partly to an unfamiliar viewing angle as captured by a little-known spacecraft -- the Soviet Union's Zond 8 that circled the Moon in October of 1970. Pictured above, the dark-centered circular feature that stands out near the top of the image is Mare Orientale, a massive impact basin formed by an ancient collision with an asteroid. Mare Orientale is surrounded by light colored and highly textured highlands. Across the image bottom lies the dark and expansive Oceanus Procellarum, the largest of the dark (but dry) maria that dominate...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Pillars of Eagle Castle

    07/13/2013 10:04:36 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | July 14, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What lights up this castle of star formation? The familiar Eagle Nebula glows bright in many colors at once. The above image is a composite of three of these glowing gas colors. Pillars of dark dust nicely outline some of the denser towers of star formation. Energetic light from young massive stars causes the gas to glow and effectively boils away part of the dust and gas from its birth pillar. Many of these stars will explode after several million years, returning most of their elements back to the nebula which formed them. This process is forming an open...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sunspot at Sunset

    07/12/2013 9:54:50 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | July 13, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Reddened rays of the setting Sun flooded the skies over Cedar Creek Lake, southeast of Dallas, Texas, planet Earth on July 6th. And while sunsets may be the most watched celestial event, this one even offered something extra. A sunspot so large it was visible to the naked eye is captured in the serene sunset view, near the center of a solar disk dimmed and distorted by Earth's dense atomosphere. Telescopic views revealed the spot to be a complex of large solar active regions composed of sunspots, some larger than planet Earth itself.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Messier's Eleven

    07/12/2013 3:59:42 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | July 12, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This fifteen degree wide field of view stretches across the crowded starfields of Sagittarius toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy. In fact, the center of the galaxy lies near the right edge of the rich starscape and eleven bright star clusters and nebulae fall near the center of the frame. All eleven are numbered entries in the catalog compiled by 18th century cosmic tourist Charles Messier. Gaining celebrity status with skygazers, M8 (Lagoon), M16 (Eagle), M17 (Omega), and M20 (Trifid) show off the telltale reddish hues of emission nebulae associated with star forming regions. But also eye-catching...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Dusty Nebulae in Taurus

    07/11/2013 3:49:39 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | July 11, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This complex of dusty nebulae linger along the edge of the Taurus molecular cloud, a mere 450 light-years distant. Stars are forming on the cosmic scene, including extremely youthful star RY Tauri prominent toward the upper left of the 1.5 degree wide telescopic field. In fact RY Tauri is a pre-main sequence star, embedded in its natal cloud of gas and dust, also cataloged as reflection nebula vdB 27. Highly variable, the star is still relatively cool and in the late phases of gravitational collapse. It will soon become a stable, low mass, main sequence star, a stage of...
  • US Director Changes Film Title to Honour Nikola Tesla’s Birthday

    07/11/2013 1:56:40 PM PDT · by Ravnagora · 36 replies
    Wild Rooster ^ | July 10, 2013 | Marcus Agar
    The overwhelming reception for his forthcoming biopic about Nikola Tesla has led American director Michael Anton to deliver a new name to sum up the iconic nature of the man and his unique legacy. “Nikola Tesla does not need a controversial label,’ said Michael Anton. “The fact that his name is not as familiar as it should be is one of the issues we intend to address with this film, which has progressed from a strong script with a modest budget into a potential voice that will finally break the great silence that is the history of Nikola Tesla. “From...

    07/10/2013 9:10:14 PM PDT · by Ravnagora · 18 replies ^ | July 11, 2013 | Dr. Ljubo Vujovic
    "Were we to seize and eliminate from our industrial world the result of Mr. Tesla's work, the wheels of industry would cease to turn, our electric cars and trains would stop, our towns would be dark and our mills would be idle and dead. His name marks an epoch in the advance of electrical science."Vice President Behrend of the Institute of Electrical EngineersNikola Tesla symbolizes a unifying force and inspiration for all nations in the name of peace and science. He was a true visionary far ahead of his contemporaries in the field of scientific development. New York State and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Large Sunspots Now Crossing the Sun

    07/10/2013 3:18:29 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | July 10, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: One of the largest sunspot regions in recent years is now crossing the Sun. This region of convoluted magnetic fields may well produce a solar flare that releases a cloud of energetic particles into the Solar System. Were a very powerful cloud to impact the Earth's magnetosphere, it could be dangerous to Earth-orbiting astronauts and satellites. Conversely, the impact of even a less energetic cloud might create picturesque aurora. Pictured above is the sunspot region as it appeared two days ago. The rightmost part of this region has been cataloged as AR 11785, while the left part as AR...
  • The Science Behind Late-Term Abortion Bans

    07/09/2013 3:59:31 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 38 replies ^ | July 8, 2013 | Katie Pavlich
    As the debate about late-term abortion continues in Texas, it is important to point out why lawmakers want to approve legislation that bans abortions after five months. The key is in the science. Texas Right to Life released a video yesterday featuring Dr. Ingrid Skop, Dr. Greg Bonnen and Dr. Paul Liu. All three doctors confirmed babies do in fact feel pain as early as five months inside the womb. The Science Behind Preborn PainMeanwhile, a new study backs up these doctors and the science they discuss in the video above. LifeNews has more: A newly-published research study shows unborn...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Supergiant Star Gamma Cygni

    07/09/2013 2:31:21 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | July 09, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Supergiant star Gamma Cygni lies at the center of the Northern Cross, a famous asterism in the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus). Known by the proper name Sadr, the bright star also lies at the center of this gorgeous skyscape, featuring a complex of stars, dust clouds, and glowing nebulae along the plane of our Milky Way galaxy. The field of view spans over 3 degrees (six Full Moons) on the sky and includes emission nebula IC 1318 and open star cluster NGC 6910. Left of Gamma Cygni and shaped like two glowing cosmic wings divided by a long...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pluto's Newly Discovered Moons Receive Names

    07/08/2013 6:15:08 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    NASA ^ | July 08, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Pluto's newly discovered moons now have names. Known previously as P4 and P5, the International Astronomical Union has now given the fourth and fifth discovered moons of Pluto the names Kerberos and Styx. The small moons were discovered in 2011 and 2012 by the Hubble Space Telescope in preparation for the close passing of the New Horizons spacecraft by Pluto in 2015. Kerberos is named for the many headed dog in Greek mythology that guards the entrance to the underworld, while Styx is named for the goddess who overlooks the mythological river that runs between the Earth and the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 2170: Still Life with Reflecting Dust

    07/07/2013 5:52:49 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    NASA ^ | July 07, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In this beautiful celestial still life composed with a cosmic brush, dusty nebula NGC 2170 shines at the upper left. Reflecting the light of nearby hot stars, NGC 2170 is joined by other bluish reflection nebulae, a compact red emission region, and streamers of obscuring dust against a backdrop of stars. Like the common household items still life painters often choose for their subjects, the clouds of gas, dust, and hot stars pictured here are also commonly found in this setting - a massive, star-forming molecular cloud in the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros). The giant molecular cloud, Mon...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 6384: Spiral Beyond the Stars

    07/05/2013 9:20:59 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | July 06, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The universe is filled with galaxies. But to see them astronomers must look out beyond the stars of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. This colorful Hubble Space Telescopic portrait features spiral galaxy NGC 6384, about 80 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Ophiuchus. At that distance, NGC 6384 spans an estimated 150,000 light-years, while the Hubble close-up of the galaxy's central region is about 70,000 light-years wide. The sharp image shows details in the distant galaxy's blue star clusters and dust lanes along magnificent spiral arms, and a bright core dominated by yellowish starlight. Still,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Globular Star Cluster NGC 6752

    07/05/2013 5:24:13 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | July 05, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Some 13,000 light-years away toward the southern constellation Pavo, the globular star cluster NGC 6752 roams the halo of our Milky Way galaxy. Over 10 billion years old, NGC 6752 follows clusters Omega Centauri and 47 Tucanae as the third brightest globular in planet Earth's night sky. It holds over 100 thousand stars in a sphere about 100 light-years in diameter. Telescopic explorations of the NGC 6752 have found that a remarkable fraction of the stars near the cluster's core, are multiple star systems. They also reveal the presence of blue straggle stars, stars which appear to be too...
  • This Thorium Reactor Has the Power of a Norse God

    07/04/2013 12:17:13 PM PDT · by Innovative · 57 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | July 3, 2013 | Andrew Tarantola
    This stuff could very well revolutionize nuclear power. Thorium-MOX can be formed into rods and used in current generation (Gen II) nuclear reactor with minimal retrofitting. Thor Energy is currently testing the new technology on the small scale. A prototype reactor will power a paper mill in the town of Halden, Norway for the next five years. If the fuel proves to be commercially viable during that test, we could see a sea change in nuclear power by the end of the decade.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M82: Starburst Galaxy with a Superwind

    07/03/2013 9:12:20 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | July 04, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Also known as the Cigar Galaxy for its elongated visual appearance, M82 is a starburst galaxy with a superwind. In fact, through ensuing supernova explosions and powerful winds from massive stars, the burst of star formation in M82 is driving a prodigious outflow of material. Evidence for the superwind from the galaxy's central regions is clear in this sharp telescopic snapshot. The composite image highlights emission from long outflow filaments of atomic hydrogen gas in reddish hues. Some of the gas in the superwind, enriched in heavy elements forged in the massive stars, will eventually escape into intergalactic space....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Stars and Lightning Over Greece

    07/03/2013 5:37:25 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | July 03, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It may appear, at first, like the Galaxy is producing the lightning, but really it's the Earth. In the foreground of the above picturesque nighttime landscape is the Greek Island of Corfu, with town lights surrounding Lake Korrision. Visible farther in the distance are lights from the town of Preveza on the Greek mainland. In the more distant sky a thunderstorm is threatening, with two lightning strokes caught together during this 45 second wide-angle exposure taken in mid-May. The lightning branch on the left appears to be striking near Preveza, whereas the lightning strike on the right appears to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Circling a Black Hole at its Photon Sphere

    07/03/2013 5:34:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | July 02, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What would it look like to go right up to a black hole? One particularly interesting place near a black hole is its photon sphere, where photons can orbit in circles, a sphere 50 percent further out than the event horizon. Were you to look out from the photon sphere of a black hole, half of the sky would appear completely black, half of the sky would appear unusually bright, and the back of your head would appear across the middle. The above computer-animated video depicts this view from the photon sphere. The reason that the lower region, as...
  • Tiny Human Liver Built from a Cocktail of Cells

    07/03/2013 1:32:17 PM PDT · by mandaladon · 15 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 3 Jul 2013 | Bahar Gholipour,\
    Stem cells have been used by scientists in Japan to create tiny but working human livers, with complex networks of blood vessels. The human "liver buds" were transplanted into mice, where they grew blood vessels and produced proteins such as albumin that are specific to humans. They also metabolized some drugs that human liver breaks down but a mouse liver cannot. The researchers further confirmed the livers were working by showing that transplanting a liver into a mouse whose liver was lethally damaged allowed the animal to live longer then expected. "It's a human liver, functioning in a mouse," said...
  • Could an Italian Scientist Pave the Way for Human Head Transplants?

    07/02/2013 11:40:26 AM PDT · by mandaladon · 33 replies
    USNews ^ | 2 Jul 2013 | ALLIE BIDWELL
    In what sounds like a science-fiction novel come to life, one scientist says he is close to being able to affix one person's head to another human body. Italian scientist Sergio Canavero believes he has come up with an outline to successfully complete the first human head transplant in history, which could lead to solutions for those suffering from muscular dystrophy or tetraplegics with widespread organ failure. Head transplants have been attempted since the 1950s, when Russian scientist Vladimir Demikhov experimented with dogs. Twenty years later, American neurosurgeon Robert White conducted a successful head transplant by moving the head of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Orbiting a Black Hole

    07/01/2013 3:10:55 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | July 01, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What would it look like to orbit a black hole? Since the strong gravity of the black hole can significantly alter light paths, conditions would indeed look strange. For one thing, the entire sky would be visible, since even stars behind the black hole would have their light bent to the observer's eye. For another, the sky near the black hole would appear significantly distorted, with more and more images of the entire sky visible increasingly near the black hole. Most visually striking, perhaps, is the outermost sky image completely contained inside an easily discernible circle known as the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Saturn's Hyperion: A Moon with Odd Craters

    06/30/2013 9:00:49 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 31 replies
    NASA ^ | June 30, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What lies at the bottom of Hyperion's strange craters? Nobody's sure. To help find out, the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn swooped past the sponge-textured moon in 2005 and 2010 and took images of unprecedented detail. An image from the 2005 pass, shown above in false color, shows a remarkable world strewn with strange craters and a generally odd surface. The slight differences in color likely show differences in surface composition. At the bottom of most craters lies some type of unknown dark material. Inspection of the image shows bright features indicating that the dark material might be...
  • Archimedes: Separating Myth From Science

    06/30/2013 11:27:01 AM PDT · by neverdem · 12 replies
    NY Times ^ | June 24, 2013 | KENNETH CHANG
    For the last time: Archimedes did not invent a death ray. But more than 2,200 years after his death, his inventions are still driving technological innovations — so much so that experts from around the world gathered recently for a conference at New York University on his continuing influence. The death ray legend has Archimedes using mirrors to concentrate sunlight to incinerate Roman ships attacking his home of Syracuse,... --snip-- With his law of buoyancy, he was able to determine whether a paraboloid (a shape similar to the nose cone of a jetliner) would float upright or tip over, a...
  • The Record of Our “Scientist-in-Chief”

    06/29/2013 10:24:34 PM PDT · by neverdem · 15 replies
    The New Atlantis ^ | Winter/Spring 2013 | Adam Keiper and Brendan P. Foht
    Official White House photo by Pete Souza At a recent press conference proposing the launch of a federally funded brain-mapping initiative, President Barack Obama embraced the title of “scientist-in-chief” bestowed on him in an introduction by Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. “Given my grades in physics, I’m not sure [I’m] deserving,” said the president — before going on to note that “I hold science in proper esteem, so maybe that gives me a little credit.” This was an echo of his inaugural promise(PDF) to “restore science to its rightful place.” Four years into his administration, with...
  • Zodiacal Light Over ESO’s La Silla Observatory

    06/29/2013 2:12:10 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies ^ | June 29, 2013 | Jason Major on
    Created by sunlight reflected off fine particles of dust concentrated inside the plane of the Solar System, zodiacal light appears as a diffuse, hazy band of light visible in dark skies stretching away from a recently-set Sun (or before the Sun is about to rise). A band of zodiacal light glows in the sky over ESO’s La Silla Observatory. (Credit: Alan Fitzsimmons/ESO)
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- PanSTARRS: The Anti Tail Comet

    06/29/2013 7:51:12 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | June 29, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Once known as Earth's sunset comet, PanSTARRS (C/2011 L4) is up all night now, but only for northern hemisphere skygazers. Telescopes are required to track its progress as it fades and heads for the outer solar system. But because planet Earth passed through the comet's orbital plane in late May, PanSTARRS will also be remembered for its remarkably long anti-tail. That edge-on perspective looking along the broad, fanned-out dust tail as it trailed behind the comet created the appearance of an anti-tail pointing in the sunward direction, back toward the inner solar system. Recorded on the night of May...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Super Moon's Halo

    06/28/2013 4:11:24 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | June 28, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A Full Perigee Moon rose as the Sun set last Sunday. At its closest to Earth it was, by just a bit, the year's brightest and largest Full Moon also known as a Super Moon. Seen from Punta Piedras, Argentina and the mouth of the Rio de La Plata, near Buenos Aires, the Super Moon's light created this magnificent circular lunar halo. Still, the size of a lunar halo is determined by the geometry of six sided water ice crystals in planet Earth's high, thin clouds. The crystals deflect the rays of moonlight more strongly through a minimum angle...
  • A Science-Based Abortion Policy Is Impossible

    06/27/2013 7:42:02 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 8 replies
    RCS ^ | 06/27/2013 | Alex B. Berezow
    <p>Thanks to Kermit Gosnell and various pieces of legislation, the ever-simmering culture war over abortion has yet again taken center stage. But there’s something strikingly different about the debate this time: It’s actually focused on the science of embryology.</p> <p>But conservatives are making the case that an abortion after 20 weeks should not be allowed because some embryological evidence indicates the possibility that a fetus can experience pain at that point in development. In an article for Slate, William Saletan does an excellent job explaining that the science is complicated and debatable, but he still rejects the “pain standard” offered by conservatives. Why? Because he doesn’t trust them.</p>
  • Scientists Offer Explanation For Why Men Ogle Women

    06/26/2013 11:04:08 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 88 replies
    Metro UK ^ | Wednesday 26 Jun 2013
    Yes dear, I am eyeing her up… it’s in my genes: Scientists offer explanation for why men ogle womenIf you catch your man’s eyes wandering when a beautiful stranger walks past, don’t blame him – it’s all the fault of evolution. Chaps are naturally drawn to people they have never seen before while women prefer familiar male faces, a study reveals. Men were shown pairs of photographs of women and asked to rate their attractiveness for the research at Scotland’s Glasgow and Stirling universities. When photos were produced for a second time alongside previously unseen images, they were distracted by...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Noctilucent Clouds over Moscow

    06/27/2013 4:17:54 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | June 27, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This panoramic night scene from June 8 looks out across a Moscow skyline from atop the main building of Lomonosov Moscow State University. Shining in the darkened sky above are widespread noctilucent clouds. From the edge of space, about 80 kilometers above Earth's surface, the icy clouds can still reflect sunlight even though the Sun itself is below the horizon as seen from the ground. Usually spotted at high latitudes in summer months the diaphanous apparitions, also known as polar mesospheric clouds, have come early this season. The seasonal clouds are understood to form as water vapor driven into...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M31: The Andromeda Galaxy

    06/25/2013 9:10:35 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies
    NASA ^ | June 26, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Andromeda is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Our Galaxy is thought to look much like Andromeda. Together these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it. The several distinct stars that surround Andromeda's image are actually stars in our Galaxy that are well in front of the background object. Andromeda is frequently referred to as M31 since it is the 31st object on Messier's list of diffuse sky objects. M31 is so distant it takes about two...
  • New Fossil Book Won't Showcase Obvious Catastrophe (article)

    06/20/2013 6:51:51 AM PDT · by fishtank · 365 replies
    Institute for Creation Research ^ | June 17, 2013 | Brian Thomas
    New Fossil Book Won't Showcase Obvious Catastrophe by Brian Thomas, M.S. * Not just horses and fish, but—like a whole ancient zoo buried together—lizards, alligators, stingrays, snakes, squirrel varieties, bats, long-tailed turtles, lemur-like primates, birds, frogs, insects, and sycamore, palm, and fern leaves were all fossilized in Wyoming's Green River Formation. A new book showcasing some of the more spectacular fossils provides secularists another opportunity to reinforce their ideas about how these diverse creatures were encased in what became a giant rock formation. Commonsense observations refute their slow-and-gradual scenario, however, and point to a more violent explanation. Lance Grande collected...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Rock Nest Panorama from Curiosity on Mars

    06/25/2013 3:09:39 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | June 25, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This is Mars -- have a look around. More specifically, this is one area picked for its promise of holding clues to the habitability of Mars to ancient life. To better search for telling leads, the robotic Curiosity rover took a series of detailed images from a location called Rock Nest. Over 900 of these images were then composed into one of the highest resolution images ever created of the red planet -- a composite containing over one billion pixels. Shown above, toward the middle of this image mosaic, is Mt. Sharp, the central peak of the large crater...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Porpoise Galaxy from Hubble

    06/24/2013 8:58:11 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | June 24, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening to this spiral galaxy? Just a few hundred million years ago, NGC 2936, the upper of the two large galaxies shown, was likely a normal spiral galaxy -- spinning, creating stars -- and minding its own business. But then it got too close to the massive elliptical galaxy NGC 2937 below and took a dive. Dubbed the Porpoise Galaxy for its iconic shape, NGC 2936 is not only being deflected but also being distorted by the close gravitational interaction. A burst of young blue stars forms the nose of the porpoise toward the left of the upper...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Venus' Once Molten Surface

    06/23/2013 3:36:39 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | June 23, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: If you could look across Venus with radar eyes, what might you see? This computer reconstruction of the surface of Venus was created from data from the Magellan spacecraft. Magellan orbited Venus and used radar to map our neighboring planet's surface between 1990 and 1994. Magellan found many interesting surface features, including the large circular domes, typically 25-kilometers across, that are depicted above. Volcanism is thought to have created the domes, although the precise mechanism remains unknown. Venus' surface is so hot and hostile that no surface probe has lasted more than a few minutes.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Perigee's Full Moon

    06/21/2013 9:11:41 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | June 22, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A big, bright, beautiful Full Moon will rise at sunset on Sunday. Its exact full phase (June 23, 11:32 UT) will occur shortly before it reaches perigee, the closest point to Earth in the Moon's orbit, and make it the largest Full Moon of 2013. But such circumstances are not very rare. The full lunar phase falls near the Moon's orbit perigee about every 14 lunar months. That means the following Full Perigee Moon will be on August 10, 2014, the 14th Full Moon after June 23. On May 5, 2012, 14 Full Moons ago, this inspired telescopic night...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Solstice Sunset Self Portrait

    06/21/2013 3:55:57 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | June 21, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Today, the solstice is at 05:04 Universal Time, the Sun reaching the northernmost declination in its yearly journey through planet Earth's sky. A June solstice marks the astronomical beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the south. It also brings the north's longest day, the longest period between sunrise and sunset. This composite image follows the Sun's path toward the end of the June solstice day of 2012 as it approaches the western horizon in a colorful, clear sky. The scene looks north and west along the Tyrrhenian Sea coast from Santa Severa, Italy. Appearing in...