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Keyword: science

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Halo of the Cat's Eye

    06/01/2014 12:08:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | June 01, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543) is one of the best known planetary nebulae in the sky. Its haunting symmetries are seen in the very central region of this stunning false-color picture, processed to reveal the enormous but extremely faint halo of gaseous material, over three light-years across, which surrounds the brighter, familiar planetary nebula. Made with data from the Nordic Optical Telescope in the Canary Islands, the composite picture shows extended emission from the nebula. Planetary nebulae have long been appreciated as a final phase in the life of a sun-like star. Only much more recently however, have...
  • Robot Designed to Run Like a Velociraptor; Korea's 'Raptor' Speed Rivals Usain Bolt's

    05/31/2014 7:11:00 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 23 replies
    Headlines and Global News ^ | 05/31/2014 | By John Nassivera |
    A team of researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have created a new sprinting robot inspired by a velociraptor. The robot, dubbed the Raptor, runs on two legs, and is capable of running 46 kilometers per hour (kph), or 28 miles per hour (mph), on a treadmill, according to CNET. Raptor can run faster than Usain Bolt, Olympic sprinter and the fastest known human, who has a recorded top speed of 44.7kph (27.44 mph). The robot is almost as fast as Boston Dynamics' Cheetah, which can run at 47kph (29.3 mph). Both Raptor and Cheetah...
  • Pedophiles: born that way?

    05/31/2014 5:36:36 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 61 replies
    Discover Magazine ^ | Razib Khan
    Gawker published a piece on the neurological problems which might result in pedophilia, and naturally a lot of shock and disgust was triggered. The piece is titled Born This Way: Sympathy and Science for Those Who Want to Have Sex with Children. This isn’t something you want to click through to lightly. So fair warning. The neurobiological material did pique my interest: “There was nothing significant in the frontal lobes or temporal lobes,” says Cantor. “It turned out the differences weren’t in the grey matter. The differences were in the white matter.”“The white matter” is the shorthand term for groupings...
  • Anatomy Of A Dance Hit: Why We Love To Boogie With Pharrell

    05/31/2014 5:38:06 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 39 replies
    NPR ^ | May 30, 2014 | Michaeleen Doucleff
    There's no doubt Pharrell's "Happy" is the biggest hit of the year so far. It spent 15 weeks at the top of the Billboard 100 and inspired hundreds of fan videos on YouTube. Just a few weeks ago, six Iranian teenagers got arrested for posting a video of themselves dancing to the catchy song. So what is it about "Happy" that triggers a nearly uncontrollable need to tap your foot, bob your head or move to the rhythm in some way? Pharrell Williams. The Record Pharrell Williams On Juxtaposition And Seeing Sounds Rick Blaine, the sentimental tough guy in Casablanca,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Satellite Station and Southern Skies

    05/31/2014 4:30:02 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | May 31, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This clear night skyscape captures the colorful glow of aurora australis, the southern lights, just outside the port city of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, planet Earth. As if staring into the dreamlike scene, the Tasmanian Earth Resources Satellite Station poses in the center, illuminated by nearby city lights. Used to receive data from spacebased Earth observing instruments, including NASA's MODIS and SeaWiFS, the station was decommissioned in 2011 and dismantled only recently, shortly after the picture was taken on April 30. Still shining in southern skies though, the central bulge of our Milky Way galaxy and two bright satellite galaxies...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Planetary Nebula Abell 36

    05/30/2014 6:49:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | May 30, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The gorgeous, gaseous shroud of a dying sunlike star, planetary nebula Abell 36 lies a mere 800 light-years away in the constellation of Virgo. At that distance it spans over 1.5 light-years in this sharp telescopic view. Shrugging off its outer layers, the nebula's central star is contracting and becoming hotter, evolving towards a final white dwarf phase. In fact, in Abell 36, the central star is estimated to have a surface temperature of over 73,000 K, compared to the Sun's present 6,000 K temperature. As a result, the intensely hot star is much brighter in ultraviolet light, compared...
  • Santa Cruz teen wins NASA video contest award

    05/30/2014 7:01:09 AM PDT · by ProtectOurFreedom · 7 replies
    Santa Cruz Sentinel ^ | 5/22/14 | Jessica A. York
    In March, while scouring through her math teacher's pile of projects, Anna Olson was attracted to the sciences section, and discovered NASA's 2014 educational "REEL Science Communications" video contest. In a two-week period, Olson pulled together two different contest entries, with a little help from dad and movie producer Gregory T. Olson's green screen, brother Geoffrey Olson's guitar-strumming skills and fact-checking by older brother Alec Olson, who works in a lab at UC Davis. The Pacific Collegiate School student reviewed her video entries, posted on YouTube during an interview at her school. She pointed out that her winning entry had...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Millions of Stars in Omega Centauri

    05/29/2014 4:13:47 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | May 29, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Globular star cluster Omega Centauri, also known as NGC 5139, is some 15,000 light-years away. The cluster is packed with about 10 million stars much older than the Sun within a volume about 150 light-years in diameter, the largest and brightest of 200 or so known globular clusters that roam the halo of our Milky Way galaxy. Though most star clusters consist of stars with the same age and composition, the enigmatic Omega Cen exhibits the presence of different stellar populations with a spread of ages and chemical abundances. In fact, Omega Cen may be the remnant core of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Cone Nebula from Hubble

    05/28/2014 5:06:42 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | May 28, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Stars are forming in the gigantic dust pillar called the Cone Nebula. Cones, pillars, and majestic flowing shapes abound in stellar nurseries where natal clouds of gas and dust are buffeted by energetic winds from newborn stars. The Cone Nebula, a well-known example, lies within the bright galactic star-forming region NGC 2264. The Cone was captured in unprecedented detail in this close-up composite of several observations from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. While the Cone Nebula, about 2,500 light-years away in Monoceros, is around 7 light-years long, the region pictured here surrounding the cone's blunted head is a mere...
  • The Science is Settled

    05/28/2014 4:55:14 AM PDT · by NOBO2012 · 12 replies
    Michelle Obama's Mirror ^ | 5-28-2014 | MOTUS
    Todays reflection: Obama Unleashes His Inner Geek (Again) at White House Science Fair."The last thing we can afford to do right now is play politics with our kids' health."The science is settled then: if you want to eat, youll eat what we tell you to eat. Posted from: Michelle Obamas Mirror
  • Obama Berates Reporter at Science Fair

    05/27/2014 8:40:10 PM PDT · by Nachum · 32 replies
    Washington Free Beacon ^ | 5/2/7/14 | Staff
    President Obama berated Real Clear Politics reporter Alexis Simendinger after she asked him about reports of the U.S. sending trainers to help the rebels in Syria. Moments after the president finished speaking with individual students and taking pictures with the press at the White Houses science fair exhibit, Simendinger asked him a question regarding these reports. Im sorry, were doing a science fair- cmon, cmon, Obama responded before rushing out of the room and avoiding comment on the breaking news.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Star Factory Messier 17

    05/26/2014 10:20:59 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | May 27, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening at the center of this nebula? Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, the star factory known as Messier 17 lies some 5,500 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation Sagittarius. At that distance, this degree wide field of view spans almost 100 light-years. The sharp, composite, color image utilizing data from space and ground based telescopes, follows faint details of the region's gas and dust clouds against a backdrop of central Milky Way stars. Stellar winds and energetic light from hot, massive stars formed from M17's stock of cosmic gas and dust have slowly carved away at the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- An ALMA Telescope Array Time-Lapse

    05/26/2014 10:17:43 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | May 26, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It is the most expensive and complex ground-based astronomy project ever -- what will it see tonight? The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) project consists of 66 dishes, many the size of a small house, situated in the high altitude Atacama Desert in Northern Chile. Together, ALMA observes the skies in high-frequency radio light, a band usually used only for local communication due to considerable absorption by humid air. The thin atmosphere and low humidity above ALMA, however, enable it to see deep into our universe in new and unique ways that allow, for example, explorations of the early...
  • Confirmed: Urine is not sterile

    05/26/2014 5:21:53 AM PDT · by equalator · 56 replies
    LiveScience via FoxNews ^ | 5-23-2014 | Stephanie Pappas
    The popular notion that urine is sterile is a myth, new research finds. Yes, the myth that comes up every time someone pees in a pool (or drinking water reservoir) is actually false. In fact, bacteria do live in urine, Loyola University researchers reported this week at the general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Boston. "We need to reassess everything we think we know about urine," study researcher Evann Hilt, a graduate student at Loyola, told Live Science.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Camelopardalids and ISS

    05/25/2014 1:29:44 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | May 25, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: From a camp on the northern shores of the Great Lake Erie, three short bright meteor streaks were captured in this composited night skyscape. Recorded over the early morning hours of May 24, the meteors are elusive Camelopardalids. Their trails point back to the meteor shower's radiant near Polaris, in the large but faint constellation Camelopardalis the camel leopard, or in modern terms the Giraffe. While a few meteors did appear, the shower was not an active one as the Earth crossed through the predicted debris trail of periodic comet 209P/LINEAR. Of course, the long bright streak in the...
  • Bionic particles self-assemble to capture light

    05/25/2014 11:23:26 AM PDT · by equalator · 6 replies
    University of Michigan ^ | 5-20-2014 | Kate McAlpine
    Inspired by fictional cyborgs like Terminator, a team of researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Pittsburgh has made the first bionic particles from semiconductors and proteins. "These design principles can be used to guide future designs for other bionic systems, starting from the primary building blocks of biological organisms and inorganic machines," Kotov said. "It is very possible that Terminator of the future would need to be constructed starting from such building blocks."
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Circumhorizontal Arc Over Ohio

    05/23/2014 9:51:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | May 24, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why would clouds appear to be different colors? The reason here is that ice crystals in distant cirrus clouds are acting like little floating prisms. Sometimes known as a fire rainbow for its flame-like appearance, a circumhorizon arc lies parallel to the horizon. For a circumhorizontal arc to be visible, the Sun must be at least 58 degrees high in a sky where cirrus clouds are present. Furthermore, the numerous, flat, hexagonal ice-crystals that compose the cirrus cloud must be aligned horizontally to properly refract sunlight in a collectively similar manner. Therefore, circumhorizontal arcs are quite unusual to see....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Rosetta's Target Comet

    05/23/2014 1:23:01 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | May 23, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Rosetta spacecraft captured this remarkable series of 9 frames between March 27 and May 4, as it closed from 5 million to 2 million kilometers of its target comet. Cruising along a 6.5 year orbit toward closest approach to the Sun next year, periodic comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is seen moving past a distant background of stars in Ophiuchus and globular star cluster M107. The comet's developing coma is actually visible by the end of the sequence, extending for some 1300 km into space. Rosetta is scheduled for an early August rendezvous with the comet's nucleus. Now clearly active, the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Halo for NGC 6164

    05/22/2014 3:36:16 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | May 22, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Beautiful emission nebula NGC 6164 was created by a rare, hot, luminous O-type star, some 40 times as massive as the Sun. Seen at the center of the cosmic cloud, the star is a mere 3 to 4 million years old. In another three to four million years the massive star will end its life in a supernova explosion. Spanning around 4 light-years, the nebula itself has a bipolar symmetry. That makes it similar in appearance to more common and familiar planetary nebulae - the gaseous shrouds surrounding dying sun-like stars. Also like many planetary nebulae, NGC 6164 has...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Supercell Storm Cloud Forming over Wyoming

    05/22/2014 3:32:49 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | May 21, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How do supercell storm clouds form? Pictured above is a time-lapse video taken last Sunday detailing the formation of one such violent supercell in eastern Wyoming, USA. Starting as part of a large and dark thunderstorm complex, the supercell comes together along with a large rotating updraft of air known as a mesocyclone. Mesocyclones form during rapid changes in wind speed and direction with height and can produce torrential rain, damaging hail, swirling winds, and sometimes tornadoes. Storm watchers are seen studying, imaging, and ultimately running from the developing storm cloud during the video. During the middle part of...
  • 'Junk' DNA Keeps Your Heart Beating

    05/21/2014 12:14:14 PM PDT · by fishtank · 21 replies
    Institute for Creation Research ^ | 5-21-2014 | Jeffrey Tomkins PhD
    'Junk' DNA Keeps Your Heart Beating by Jeffrey Tomkins, Ph.D. * A new research study has shown that large regions of the human genome, once thought to be useless junk, work to keep your heart functioning properly.1 When these areas of the genome malfunction, cardiovascular failure is often outcome, showing the importance of every piece of God's handiwork. The human genome is composed of more than just DNA sequences that produce proteins. In fact, only about 2% to 3% of the genome directly encodes information specifying the sequence of proteins. Despite this small percentage, about 80 to 90% of the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- In the Center of Spiral Galaxy M61

    05/20/2014 4:19:50 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | May 20, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: M61 is a barred spiral galaxy located in the nearby Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. Visible in M61 are a host of features common to spiral galaxies: bright spiral arms, a central bar, dust lanes, and bright knots of stars. M61, also known as NGC 4303, in similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy. M61 was discovered by telescope in 1779 twice on the same day, but one observer initially mistook the galaxy for a comet. Light from M61 takes about 55 million years to reach us. The above image of the central regions of M61 was taken with the...
  • The C.E.M Crown Extruder A 3D Printer Extruder Based on Concepts of a Microscope

    05/20/2014 3:58:53 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 1 replies
    3D Print.com ^ | May 20, 2014 | Timothy Bengtson
    Innovation in 3D printing is an ongoing process. There are always new ideas popping up, and new revelations taking place. However, one aspect of FDM 3D printers that hasn’t really changed all that much in the past couple of years, is that of the extruder mechanics. A German engineer, by the name of Cem Schnitzler, hopes to change this though. His innovative design of a 3D printer’s extruder could eventually allow for more variety in 3D printed objects. The idea is based off the concept of a microscope, and the way in which the microscope’s objective lenses may be rotated...
  • Think Yer Smart? Take the Pew Research Science Quiz...

    05/19/2014 10:58:03 AM PDT · by Reaganite Republican · 135 replies
    Reaganite Republican ^ | 19 May 2014 | Reaganite Republican
    This (online) one is quick and easy, yet only 7% of the US adult population get all 13 questions correct (I got 12). Take it yourself here, you only need a minute or two... good luck! ___________________________________________________ Pew Research The JR Experiment -h/t Kirby-
  • Science Standards Divide a State Built on Coal and Oil

    05/19/2014 9:52:27 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 12 replies
    New York Times ^ | MOTOKO RICH
    CHEYENNE, Wyo. Sitting in the headquarters of the Wyoming Liberty Group, Susan Gore, founder of the conservative think tank, said new national science standards for schools were a form of coercion, adding, I dont think government should have anything to do with education. Ms. Gore, a daughter of the founder of the company that makes Gore-Tex waterproof fabric, was speaking here weeks after the Republican-controlled Legislature made Wyoming, where coal and oil are king, the first state to reject the standards, which include lessons on human impact on global warming. The pushback came despite a unanimous vote by a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Meteors, Planes, and a Galaxy over Bryce Canyon

    05/19/2014 3:51:18 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | May 19, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sometimes land and sky are both busy and beautiful. The landscape pictured in the foreground encompasses Bryce Canyon in Utah, USA, famous for its many interesting rock structures eroded over millions of years. The skyscape above, photogenic in its own right, encompasses the arching central disk of our Milky Way Galaxy, streaks that include three passing airplanes and at least four Eta Aquariid meteors, and bright stars that include the Summer Triangle. The above image is a digital panorama created from 12 smaller images earlier this month on the night May 6. If you missed the recent Eta Aquariids...
  • Trick or truth! Can you even tell the difference?

    05/18/2014 3:08:34 PM PDT · by CutePuppy · 19 replies
    Daily Inter Lake ^ | 2014 May 17 | Frank Miele
    What if everything you know is fake? That is a premise that was repeatedly explored by author Philip K. Dick in his science fiction novels. Some of his stories have been made into popular films such as Total Recall, where a blue collar worker in the far future doesnt know whether he is really a secret agent or just pretending to be one as part of an implanted memory. In Dicks novel Time Out of Joint, protagonist Ragle Gumm gets confirmation that something is terribly wrong with the world around him when he attempts to buy a beer at an...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Jupiter's Great Red Spot from Voyager 1

    05/18/2014 10:06:01 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    NASA ^ | May 18, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What will become of Jupiter's Great Red Spot? Recorded as shrinking since the 1930s, the rate of the Great Red Spot's size appears to have accelerated just in the past few years. A hurricane larger than Earth, the Great Red Spot has been raging at least as long as telescopes could see it. Like most astronomical phenomena, the Great Red Spot was neither predicted nor immediately understood after its discovery. Although small eddies that feed into the storm system seem to play a role, a more full understanding of the gigantic storm cloud remains a topic of continued research,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Hubble's Jupiter and the Amazing Shrinking Great Red Spot

    05/17/2014 5:30:04 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | May 17, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Gas giant Jupiter is the solar system's largest world with about 320 times the mass of planet Earth. It's also known for a giant swirling storm system, the Great Red Spot, featured in this sharp Hubble image from April 21. Nestled between Jupiter-girdling cloud bands, the Great Red Spot itself could still easily swallow Earth, but lately it has been shrinking. The most recent Hubble observations measure the spot to be about 10,250 miles (16,500 kilometers) across. That's the smallest ever measured by Hubble and particularly dramatic when compared to 14,500 miles measured by the Voyager 1 and 2...
  • Harrison Ford 'is being asked to reprise his role as Rick Deckard' in sequel (Blade Runner)

    05/16/2014 5:48:43 AM PDT · by C19fan · 83 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | May 15, 2014 | Heidi Parker
    Harrison Ford may be reprising yet another beloved film character he made famous decades ago. In late April it was confirmed the 71-year-old actor would pick up a Lightsaber once more to play Han Solo in the JJ Abrams-directed reworking of Star Wars. Then on Thursday Deadline reported Ford was being asked to step back into his role as Rick Deckard in the sequel to his 1982 science fiction thriller Blade Runner.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Opportunity's Mars Analemma

    05/15/2014 9:34:33 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | May 16, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Staring up into the martian sky, the Opportunity rover captured an image at 11:02 AM local mean time nearly every 3rd sol, or martian day, for 1 martian year. Of course, the result is this martian analemma, a curve tracing the Sun's motion through the sky in the course of a year (668 sols) on the Red Planet. Spanning Earth dates from July, 16, 2006 to June 2, 2008 the images are shown composited in this zenith-centered, fisheye projection. North is at the top surrounded by a panoramic sky and landscape made in late 2007 from inside Victoria crater....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Voyager's Neptune

    05/15/2014 9:34:26 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | May 15, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Cruising through the outer solar system, the Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest approach to Neptune on August 25, 1989, the only spacecraft to visit the most distant gas giant. Based on the images recorded during its close encounter and in the following days, this inspired composited scene covers the dim outer planet, largest moon Triton, and faint system of rings. From just beyond Neptune's orbit, the interplanetary perspective looks back toward the Sun, capturing the planet and Triton as thin sunlit crescents. Cirrus clouds and a dark band circle Neptune's south polar region, with a cloudy vortex above...
  • Science as McCarthyism

    05/15/2014 4:14:37 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 24 replies
    National Review ^ | Rupert Darwall
    On Monday, Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson took a tilt at climate skeptics. The assumption that the vast majority in a scientific field is engaged in fraud or corruption is frankly conspiratorial, Gerson wrote. As a non-scientist, he decided that the answer to the question of whether humans had warmed the planet was to trust scientists. The articles timing was unfortunate. Three weeks ago, Lennart Bengtsson, a leading Swedish meteorologist approaching his 80s, announced that he was joining the avowedly skeptical Global Warming Policy Foundation think tank. In an interview with Speigel Online, Bengtsson spoke of the need for climate-model...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Live View from the International Space Station

    05/14/2014 7:04:17 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | May 14, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: If you were floating above the Earth right now, this is what you might see. Two weeks ago, the robotic SpaceX Dragon capsule that delivered supplies to the Earth-orbiting International Space Station (ISS) also delivered High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) cameras that take and transmit live views of Earth. Pictured above, when working, is the live video feed that switches between four cameras, each pointed differently. Watch white clouds, tan land, and blue oceans drift by. The above video will appear black when it is nighttime on the Earth below, but the space station's rapid 90-minute orbit compresses this...
  • Americans aversion to science carries a high price (Why are we doubting the AGW 'consensus?')

    05/13/2014 2:43:27 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 40 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | May 12, 2014 | Michael Gerson
    Americans have something of a science problem. They swallow, for example, about $28 billion worth of vitamins each year, even though the Annals of Internal Medicine recently concluded that “[m]ost supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided.” Americans often fear swallowing genetically modified plants (and Vermont recently required labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs), though GMOs have “been consumed by hundreds of millions of people across the world for more than 15 years, with no reported ill effects,” according to the Journal of the Royal Society...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- CG4: A Ruptured Cometary Globule

    05/12/2014 9:09:25 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | May 13, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Can a gas cloud grab a galaxy? It's not even close. The "claw" of this odd looking "creature" in the above photo is a gas cloud known as a cometary globule. This globule, however, has ruptured. Cometary globules are typically characterized by dusty heads and elongated tails. These features cause cometary globules to have visual similarities to comets, but in reality they are very much different. Globules are frequently the birthplaces of stars, and many show very young stars in their heads. The reason for the rupture in the head of this object is not completely known. The galaxy...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Illustris Simulation of the Universe

    05/12/2014 8:58:46 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | May 12, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How did we get here? Click play, sit back, and watch. A new computer simulation of the evolution of the universe -- the largest and most sophisticated yet produced -- provides new insight into how galaxies formed and new perspectives into humanity's place in the universe. The Illustris project -- the largest of its type yet -- exhausted 20 million CPU hours following 12 billion resolution elements spanning a cube 35 million light years on a side as it evolved over 13 billion years. The simulation is the first to track matter into the formation of a wide variety...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Valles Marineris: The Grand Canyon of Mars

    05/12/2014 8:54:54 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | May 11, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The largest canyon in the Solar System cuts a wide swath across the face of Mars. Named Valles Marineris, the grand valley extends over 3,000 kilometers long, spans as much as 600 kilometers across, and delves as much as 8 kilometers deep. By comparison, the Earth's Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA is 800 kilometers long, 30 kilometers across, and 1.8 kilometers deep. The origin of the Valles Marineris remains unknown, although a leading hypothesis holds that it started as a crack billions of years ago as the planet cooled. Several geologic processes have been identified in the canyon. The...
  • New species of metal-munching plant found in Philippines

    05/12/2014 6:06:42 PM PDT · by mandaladon · 25 replies
    RT.com ^ | 12 May 2014
    Scientists in the Philippines have discovered a plant that can absorb large amounts of metal without itself being poisoned, a species called the Rinorea niccolifera, that can be used to clean up polluted soils and harvest commercially viable metals. The plant is one of only 450 species, known as hyperaccumulator plants, of 300,000 known vascular plants that can absorb significant amounts of metal though their roots. The lead researcher and author of a new study on the plant, Professor Edwino Fernando, from the University of the Philippines, said the leaves of the Rinorea niccolifera can absorb up to 18,000 parts...
  • For the First Time, We Have a Detailed Model of the Universe

    05/11/2014 12:12:47 PM PDT · by lbryce · 100 replies
    Atlantic ^ | May 8 2014, | Megan Garber
    It is, if you except the powers of human memory, the closest thing we have to a time machine. Scientists have created the first realistic model of the universe, capable of recreating 13 billion years of cosmic evolution. The simulation is called Illustris, and it renders the universe as a cube (350 million light-years on each side) with, its creators say, unprecedented resolution: The virtual universe uses 12 billion 3-D pixels, or resolution elements, to create its rendering. And that rendering includes both normal matter and dark matter. The rendering, importantly, also includes elliptical and spiral galaxiesbodies that, because of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Inside the Flame Nebula

    05/10/2014 5:52:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | May 10, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Flame Nebula stands out in this optical image of the dusty, crowded star forming regions toward Orion's belt, a mere 1,400 light-years away. X-ray data from the Chandra Observatory and infrared images from the Spitzer Space Telescope can take you inside the glowing gas and obscuring dust clouds though. Swiping your cursor (or clicking the image) will reveal many stars of the recently formed, embedded cluster NGC 2024, ranging in age from 200,000 years to 1.5 million years young. The X-ray/infrared composite image overlay spans about 15 light-years across the Flame's center. The X-ray/infrared data also indicate that...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Halley Dust and Milky Way

    05/10/2014 5:49:02 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | May 09, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The early morning hours of May 6 were moonless when grains of cosmic dust streaked through dark skies. Swept up as planet Earth plows through dusty debris streams left behind periodic Comet Halley, the annual meteor shower is known as the Eta Aquarids. This inspired exposure captures a meteor streak moving left to right through the frame. Its trail points back across the arc of the Milky Way to the shower's radiant above the local horizon in the constellation Aquarius. Known for speed Eta Aquarid meteors move fast, entering the atmosphere at about 66 kilometers per second. Still waters...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Tail of the Hamburger Galaxy

    05/08/2014 4:10:53 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | May 08, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sharp telescopic views of NGC 3628 show a puffy galactic disk divided by dark dust lanes. Of course, this deep portrait of the magnificent, edge-on spiral galaxy puts some astronomers in mind of its popular moniker, the Hamburger Galaxy. It also reveals a small galaxy nearby, likely a satellite of NGC 3628, and a faint but extensive tidal tail. The tantalizing island universe itself is about 100,000 light-years across and 35 million light-years away in the northern springtime constellation Leo. Its drawn out tail stretches for about 300,000 light-years, even beyond the left edge of the wide frame. NGC...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity Inspects Mt. Remarkable on Mars

    05/07/2014 4:40:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 41 replies
    NASA ^ | May 07, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What has the Curiosity rover come across on Mars? Dubbed Mount Remarkable, the rolling robot has chanced upon this notable 5-meter tall mound during its continuing journey around and, eventually, up 5.5-kilometer high Mt. Sharp. Unsure of the density of the surrounding layered sandstone, the human team on Earth has instructed the car-sized rover on Mars to drill into a rock on the side of Mt. Remarkable to investigate. Quite possibly, water involved in creating the dense sandstone could have helped to support ancient life on the red planet. Mt. Sharp, the unusual central peak of Gale Crater, has...
  • Darwins unexploded bomb

    05/06/2014 5:19:14 PM PDT · by Altura Ct. · 86 replies
    This book is an attempt to understand the world as it is, not as it ought to be. So writes Nicholas Wade, the British-born science editor of The New York Times, in his new book A Troublesome Inheritance. For some time the post-War view of human nature as being largely culturally-formed has been under attack just as surely as the biblical explanation of mankinds creation began to face pressure in the early 19th century. What Steven Pinker called the blank slate view of our species, whereby humans are products of social conditions and therefore possible to mould and to perfect...
  • Could scientists soon detect alien 'plant' life on exoplanets? (Detecting Chlorophyll)

    05/06/2014 8:28:57 AM PDT · by equalator · 18 replies
    Fox News ^ | 5-6-2014 | Discovery
    In a new paper submitted to the arXiv preprint service, astrophysicists Timothy Brandt and David Spiegel of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, New Jersey, focused on the hunt for the chemical signature of oxygen, water and chlorophyll in the atmospheres of Earth-like exoplanetary atmospheres. Oxygen and water are essential for life as we know it, and chlorophyll is a biomolecule vital for photosynthesis on Earth. Photosynthesis is the extraction of energy from sunlight, a process employed by plants and some microbes, such as cyanobacteria.
  • Say 'No' to Bad Science

    05/06/2014 4:32:36 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 32 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | May 6, 2014 | Mona Charen
    The headline looks like a hoax-- saturated fat does not cause heart disease -- but it's real. This news is more than just another example of changing health guidelines; it's a cautionary tale about trusting the scientific consensus. For more than 50 years, the best scientific minds in America assured us that saturated fat was the enemy. Animal fat, we were instructed, was the chief culprit in causing obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Throughout my adult life, I have conscientiously followed the guidelines dispensed by the health arbiters of our age. Trusting utterly in the scientific research of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Orange Sun Sparking

    05/05/2014 9:06:14 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | May 06, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Our Sun has become quite a busy place. Taken only two weeks ago, the Sun was captured sporting numerous tumultuous regions including active sunspot regions AR 2036 near the image top and AR 2036 near the center. Only four years ago the Sun was emerging from an unusually quiet Solar Minimum that had lasted for years. The above image was recorded in a single color of light called Hydrogen Alpha, inverted, and false colored. Spicules cover much of the Sun's face like a carpet. The gradual brightening towards the Sun's edges is caused by increased absorption of relatively cool...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Galaxy Cluster Magnifies Distant Supernova

    05/05/2014 6:54:47 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | May 05, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How do you calibrate a huge gravitational lens? In this case the lens is the galaxy cluster Abell 383, a massive conglomeration of galaxies, hot gas, and dark matter that lies about 2.5 billion light years away (redshift z=0.187). What needs calibrating is the mass of the cluster, in particular the amount and distribution of dark matter. A new calibration technique has been tested recently that consists of waiting for supernovas of a very specific type to occur behind a galaxy cluster, and then figuring out how much the cluster must have magnified these supernovas through gravitational lensing. This...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Scorpius Sky Spectacular

    05/03/2014 9:48:13 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | May 04, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: If Scorpius looked this good to the unaided eye, humans might remember it better. Scorpius more typically appears as a few bright stars in a well-known but rarely pointed out zodiacal constellation. To get a spectacular image like this, though, one needs a good camera, color filters, and a digital image processor. To bring out detail, the above image not only involved long duration exposures taken in several colors, but one exposure in a very specific red color emitted by hydrogen. The resulting image shows many breathtaking features. Vertically across the image left is part of the plane of...