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Keyword: science

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Titan's Land of Lakes

    12/21/2013 6:53:05 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | December 20, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Saturn's large moon Titan would be unique in our solar system, the only world with stable liquid lakes and seas on its surface ... except for planet Earth of course. Centered on the north pole, this colorized map shows Titan's bodies of methane and ethane in blue and black, still liquid at frigid surface temperatures of -180 degrees C (-292 degrees F). The map is based on data from the Cassini spacecraft's radar, taken during flybys between 2004 and 2013. Roughly heart-shaped, the lake above and right of the pole is Ligeia Mare, the second largest known body of...
  • The Mating Habits of Early Hominins

    12/19/2013 12:22:35 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 56 replies
    The Scientist ^ | December 18, 2013 | Ruth Williams
    A high-quality genome sequence obtained from a female Neanderthal toe bone reveals that the individual’s parents were close relatives and that such inbreeding was prevalent among her recent ancestors, according to a paper published today (December 18) in Nature. But the sequence also reveals that interbreeding occurred between Neanderthals and other hominin groups, including early modern humans. “Did humans evolve like a constantly branching tree? A lot of people think so,” said Milford Wolpoff, a professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan, who was not involved in the study. “But there’s also been this thread of thought, by some...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Colorful Moon

    12/19/2013 12:01:14 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | December 19, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Moon is normally seen in subtle shades of grey or yellow. But small, measurable color differences have been greatly exaggerated to make this telescopic, multicolored, moonscape captured during the Moon's full phase. The different colors are recognized to correspond to real differences in the chemical makeup of the lunar surface. Blue hues reveal titanium rich areas while orange and purple colors show regions relatively poor in titanium and iron. The familiar Sea of Tranquility, or Mare Tranquillitatis, is the blue area in the upper right corner of the frame. White lines radiate across the orange-hued southern lunar highlands...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Light Pillars over Finland

    12/18/2013 3:50:19 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | December 18, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening behind those houses? Pictured above are not aurora but nearby light pillars, a local phenomenon that can appear as a distant one. In most places on Earth, a lucky viewer can see a Sun-pillar, a column of light appearing to extend up from the Sun caused by flat fluttering ice-crystals reflecting sunlight from the upper atmosphere. Usually these ice crystals evaporate before reaching the ground. During freezing temperatures, however, flat fluttering ice crystals may form near the ground in a form of light snow, sometimes known as a crystal fog. These ice crystals may then reflect ground...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Geminid Meteors over Teide Volcano Image

    12/17/2013 6:03:45 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | December 17, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On some nights it rains meteors. Peaking two nights ago, asteroid dust streaked through the dark skies of Earth, showering down during the annual Geminids meteor shower. Astrophotographer Juan Carlos Casado captured the space weather event, as pictured above, in a series of exposures spanning about 2.3 hours using a wide angle lens. The snowcapped Teide volcano of the Canary Islands of Spain towers in the foreground, while the picturesque constellation of Orion highlights the background. The star appearing just near the top of the volcano is Rigel. Although the asteroid dust particles are traveling parallel to each other,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Yutu Rover Rolls onto the Moon

    12/16/2013 8:18:38 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | December 16, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A new desk-sized rover has begun exploring the Moon. Launched two weeks ago by the Chinese National Space Administration, the Chang'e 3 spacecraft landed on the Moon yesterday and deployed the robotic rover. Yutu, named for a folklore lunar Jade Rabbit, has a scheduled three-month mission to explore several kilometers inside the Sinus Iridum (Latin for "Bay of Rainbows") impact crater. Yutu's cameras and spectrometers will investigate surface features and composition while ground penetrating radar will investigate deep soil structure. Chang'e 3 achieved the first soft Moon landing since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976, and Yutu is...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Gibbous Europa

    12/15/2013 4:12:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | December 15, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Although the phase of this moon might appear familiar, the moon itself might not. In fact, this gibbous phase shows part of Jupiter's moon Europa. The robot spacecraft Galileo captured this image mosaic during its mission orbiting Jupiter from 1995 - 2003. Visible are plains of bright ice, cracks that run to the horizon, and dark patches that likely contain both ice and dirt. Raised terrain is particularly apparent near the terminator, where it casts shadows. Europa is nearly the same size as Earth's Moon, but much smoother, showing few highlands or large impact craters. Evidence and images from...
  • Forget Big Bang-'Rainbow Gravity' theory-universe has NO beginning & stretches out infinitely

    12/15/2013 1:55:43 AM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 30 replies
    The London Daily Mail ^ | December 11, 2013 | Ellie Zolfagharifard
    To think that our universe is 13.8 billion years old is incredible enough. But now researchers are proposing that the universe stretches back into time infinitely with no singular point where it started. The idea is one possible result of something known as ‘rainbow gravity’- a theory that is not widely accepted among physicists, though many say the idea is interesting. The theory’s name comes from a suggestion that gravity's effect on the cosmos is felt differently by varying wavelengths of light, which can be found in the colours of the rainbow. The theory was proposed 10 years ago in...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Bubble Nebula

    12/14/2013 5:52:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | December 14, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Blown by the wind from a massive star, this interstellar apparition has a surprisingly familiar shape. Cataloged as NGC 7635, it is also known simply as The Bubble Nebula. Although it looks delicate, the 10 light-year diameter bubble offers evidence of violent processes at work. Above and right of the Bubble's center is a hot, O star, several hundred thousand times more luminous and around 45 times more massive than the Sun. A fierce stellar wind and intense radiation from that star has blasted out the structure of glowing gas against denser material in a surrounding molecular cloud. The...
  • Scientists find second, 'hidden' language in human genetic code

    12/14/2013 12:28:54 AM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 63 replies
    U.S. geneticists say a second code hiding within DNA changes how scientists read its instructions and interpret mutations to make sense of health and disease. Since the genetic code was deciphered in the 1960s, scientists have assumed it was used exclusively to write information about proteins, but University of Washington scientists say they've discovered genomes use the genetic code to write two separate "languages." One, long understood, describes how proteins are made, while the other instructs the cell on how genes are controlled. One language is written on top of the other, which is why the second language remained hidden...
  • Men Surpass Women in Publishing Research

    12/13/2013 10:43:32 AM PST · by reaganaut1 · 22 replies
    New York Times ^ | December 13, 2013 | DOUGLAS QUENQUA
    Despite years of progress for women in science, men continue to dominate scientific publishing in nearly every country, according to new research in the journal Nature. Not only do men publish far more research than their female colleagues, but papers with men as the dominant author are more likely to be cited by other researchers. Analyzing the bylines on more than five million research papers published from 2008 to 2012, the researchers determined that more than 70 percent of the authors were men. Nearly the same percentage holds for lead authorship. Such a gender gap is not consistent with the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Geminid Meteor Shower over Dashanbao Wetlands

    12/13/2013 3:52:47 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | December 13, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The annual Geminid meteor shower is raining down on planet Earth this week. And despite the waxing gibbous moonlight, the reliable Geminids should be enjoyable tonight (night of December 13/14) near the shower's peak. Recorded near last year's peak in the early hours of December 14, 2012, this skyscape captures many of Gemini's lovely shooting stars. The careful composite of exposures was made during a three hour period overlooking the Dashanbao Wetlands in central China. Dark skies above are shared with bright Jupiter (right), Orion, (right of center) and the faint band of the Milky Way. The shower's radiant...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka

    12/12/2013 4:37:10 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | December 12, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka, are the bright bluish stars from east to west (lower right to upper left) along the diagonal in this gorgeous cosmic vista. Otherwise known as the Belt of Orion, these three blue supergiant stars are hotter and much more massive than the Sun. They lie about 1,500 light-years away, born of Orion's well-studied interstellar clouds. In fact, clouds of gas and dust adrift in this region have intriguing and some surprisingly familiar shapes, including the dark Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula near Alnitak at the lower right. The famous Orion Nebula itself is off the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Coldest Place on Earth

    12/11/2013 3:55:50 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 52 replies
    NASA ^ | December 11, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How cold can it get on Earth? In the interior of the Antarctica, a record low temperature of -93.2 °C (-135.8 °F) has been recorded. This is about 25 °C (45 °F) colder than the coldest lows noted for any place humans live permanently. The record temperature occurred in 2010 August -- winter in Antarctica -- and was found by scientists sifting through decades of climate data taken by Earth-orbiting satellites. The coldest spots were found near peaks because higher air is generally colder, although specifically in depressions near these peaks because relatively dense cold air settled there and...
  • Ray Kurzweil: This is your future

    12/11/2013 3:11:47 AM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 35 replies
    CNN ^ | December 10, 2013 | Futurist Ray Kurzweil, Special to CNN
    By the early 2020s, we will have the means to program our biology away from disease and aging. Up until recently, health and medicine was basically a hit or miss affair. We would discover interventions such as drugs that had benefits, but also many side effects. Until recently, we did not have the means to actually design interventions on computers. All of that has now changed, and will dramatically change clinical practice by the early 2020s. We now have the information code of the genome and are making exponential gains in modeling and simulating the information processes they give rise...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Seyfert's Sextet

    12/10/2013 7:45:27 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    NASA ^ | December 10, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What will survive this battle of the galaxies? Known as Seyfert's Sextet, this intriguing group of galaxies lies in the head portion of the split constellation of the Snake (Serpens). The sextet actually contains only four interacting galaxies, though. Near the center of this Hubble Space Telescope picture, the small face-on spiral galaxy lies in the distant background and appears only by chance aligned with the main group. Also, the prominent condensation on the upper left is likely not a separate galaxy at all, but a tidal tail of stars flung out by the galaxies' gravitational interactions. About 190...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy Over a Windmill

    12/09/2013 5:28:01 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | December 09, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Lovejoy continues to be an impressive camera comet. Pictured above, Comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) was imaged above the windmill in Saint-Michel-l'Observatoire in southern France with a six-second exposure. In the foreground is a field of lavender. Comet Lovejoy should remain available for photo opportunities for northern observers during much of December and during much of the night, although it will be fading as the month progresses and highest in the sky before sunrise. In person, the comet will be best viewed with binoculars. A giant dirty snowball, Comet Lovejoy last visited the inner Solar System about 7,000 years ago,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Everest Panorama from Mars

    12/08/2013 3:35:09 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | December 08, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: If you could stand on Mars -- what might you see? Scroll right to find out. The robotic Spirit rover that rolled around Mars from 2004 to 2009 Mars climbed to the top of a hill in 2005 and took a series of images over three days that were then digitally combined into a 360 degree panorama. Spirit was instructed to take images having the same resolution as a human with 20-20 eyesight. The full panoramic result can be found by clicking on the above image and has a level of detail unparalleled in the history of Martian surface...
  • Venetia Burney, the 11 year old girl who named Pluto

    12/07/2013 5:10:59 PM PST · by lee martell · 22 replies
    Dec. 7 2013 | Lee Martell
    This writing was inspired by a FR article from yesterday about a new planet that has been discovered, and has not been named yet. I started reading about the other planet name orgins and came across the story of Venetia Burney. You may already know of her. On March 14, 1930, 11 year old Venetia and her family were eating breakfast at their home in Oxford England, discussing the biggest news of the day; the discovery of a new planet. Venetia's grandfather, Falconer Madan, retired head an Oxford library read to her from the London Times;. "New Planet; Discovery by...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Naked Eye Nova Centauri 2013

    12/07/2013 5:42:43 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | December 07, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Brightest stellar beacons of the constellation Centaurus, Alpha and Beta Centauri are easy to spot from the southern hemisphere. For now, so is new naked eye Nova Centauri 2013. In this night skyscape recorded near Las Campanas Observatory in the Chilean southern Atacama desert on December 5, the new star joins the old in the expansive constellation, seen at early morning hours through a greenish airglow. Caught by nova hunter John Seach from Australia on December 2 as it approached near naked eye brightness, Nova Cen 2013 has been spectroscopically identified as a classical nova, an interacting binary star...