Keyword: science

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Corona from Svalbard

    03/31/2015 3:48:23 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | March 31, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: During a total solar eclipse, the Sun's extensive outer atmosphere, or corona, is an inspirational sight. Streamers and shimmering features that engage the eye span a brightness range of over 10,000 to 1, making them notoriously difficult to capture in a single photograph. But this composite of 29 telescopic images covers a wide range of exposure times to reveal the crown of the Sun in all its glory. The aligned and stacked digital frames were recorded in the cold, clear skies above the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Norway during the Sun's total eclipse on March 20 and also show...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Flag Shaped Aurora over Sweden

    03/30/2015 7:23:46 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 30, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It appeared, momentarily, like a 50-km tall banded flag. In mid-March, an energetic Coronal Mass Ejection directed toward a clear magnetic channel to Earth led to one of the more intense geomagnetic storms of recent years. A visual result was wide spread auroras being seen over many countries near Earth's magnetic poles. Captured over Kiruna, Sweden, the image features an unusually straight auroral curtain with the green color emitted low in the Earth's atmosphere, and red many kilometers higher up. It is unclear where the rare purple aurora originates, but it might involve an unusual blue aurora at an...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Shadow of a Martian Robot

    03/28/2015 10:05:00 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | March 29, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What if you saw your shadow on Mars and it wasn't human? Then you might be the Opportunity rover currently exploring Mars. Opportunity has been exploring the red planet since early 2004, finding evidence of ancient water, and sending breathtaking images across the inner Solar System. Pictured above in 2004, Opportunity looks opposite the Sun into Endurance Crater and sees its own shadow. Two wheels are visible on the lower left and right, while the floor and walls of the unusual crater are visible in the background. Opportunity is continuing on its long trek exploring unusual terrain in Meridiani...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Diamond Rings and Baily's Beads

    03/28/2015 10:02:27 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | March 28, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Near the March 20 equinox the cold clear sky over Longyearbyen, Norway, planet Earth held an engaging sight, a total eclipse of the Sun. The New Moon's silhouette at stages just before and after the three minute long total phase seems to sprout glistening diamonds and bright beads in this time lapse composite of the geocentric celestial event. The last and first glimpses of the solar disk with the lunar limb surrounded by the glow of the Sun's inner corona give the impression of a diamond ring in the sky. At the boundaries of totality, sunlight streaming through valleys...
  • Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers amid wider fake peer-review scandal

    03/28/2015 11:18:53 AM PDT · by tje · 15 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | March 27 | Fred Barbash
    A major publisher of scholarly medical and science articles has retracted 43 papers because of “fabricated” peer reviews amid signs of a broader fake peer review racket affecting many more publications. The publisher is BioMed Central, based in the United Kingdom, which puts out 277 peer-reviewed journals. A partial list of the retracted articles suggests most of them were written by scholars at universities in China, including China Medical University, Sichuan University, Shandong University and Jiaotong University Medical School. But Jigisha Patel, associate editorial director for research integrity at BioMed Central, said it’s not “a China problem. We get a...
  • The Atheist and His Metal Detector

    03/27/2015 4:56:27 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 17 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | March 27, 2015 | Frank Turek
    I grew up on the Jersey shore. (No, it wasn’t like the TV show.) Every summer morning I’d see several men combing the beach with metal detectors looking for jewelry and change lost the day before. One lost diamond earring or ring could pay for the metal detector several times over. But as useful and successful as metal detectors are, they can’t be used to find everything. Metal detectors won’t help you find wood, plastic, rubber, or other nonmetallic objects. Now, suppose metal-detector man, after just combing the beach, says to you, “I know there’s no plastic or rubber on...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 2403 in Camelopardalis

    03/27/2015 10:22:22 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | March 27, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Magnificent island universe NGC 2403 stands within the boundaries of the long-necked constellation Camelopardalis. Some 10 million light-years distant and about 50,000 light-years across, the spiral galaxy also seems to have more than its fair share of giant star forming HII regions, marked by the telltale reddish glow of atomic hydrogen gas. The giant HII regions are energized by clusters of hot, massive stars that explode as bright supernovae at the end of their short and furious lives. A member of the M81 group of galaxies, NGC 2403 closely resembles another galaxy with an abundance of star forming regions...
  • Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers amid wider fake peer-review scandal

    03/27/2015 7:12:44 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 10 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 03/27/2015 | By Fred Barbash
    A major publisher of scholarly medical and science articles has retracted 43 papers because of “fabricated” peer reviews amid signs of a broader fake peer review racket affecting many more publications. The publisher is BioMed Central, based in the United Kingdom, which puts out 277 peer-reviewed journals. A partial list of the retracted articles suggests most of them were written by scholars at universities in China, including China Medical University, Sichuan University, Shandong University and Jiaotong University Medical School. But Jigisha Patel, associate editorial director for research integrity at BioMed Central, said it’s not “a China problem. We get a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Orion Spring

    03/26/2015 3:55:10 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | March 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: As spring comes to planet Earth's northern hemisphere, familiar winter constellation Orion sets in early evening skies and budding trees frame the Hunter's stars. The yellowish hue of cool red supergiant Alpha Orionis, the great star Betelgeuse, mingles with the branches at the top of this colorful skyscape. Orion's alpha star is joined on the far right by Alpha Tauri. Also known as Aldebaran and also a giant star cooler than the Sun, it shines with a yellow light at the head of Taurus, the Bull. Contrasting blue supergiant Rigel, Beta Orionis, is Orion's other dominant star though, and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Naked Eye Nova Sagittarii 2015 No. 2

    03/25/2015 3:30:29 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | March 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It quickly went from obscurity to one of the brighter stars in Sagittarius -- but it's fading. Named Nova Sagittarii 2015 No. 2, the stellar explosion is the brightest nova visible from Earth in over a year. The featured image was captured four days ago from Ranikhet in the Indian Himalayas. Several stars in western Sagittarius make an asterism known as the Teapot, and the nova, indicated by the arrow, now appears like a new emblem on the side of the pot. As of last night, Nova Sag has faded from brighter than visual magnitude 5 to the edge...
  • Magnets Can Control Heat And Sound? Shocking New Research Suggests They Can

    03/24/2015 9:10:14 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 18 replies
    The study is the first ever to prove that acoustic phonons (particles responsible for the transmission of both sound and heat) contain magnetic properties, The Ohio State University reported. The team of researchers demonstrated that a magnetic field about the size of an MRI was able to reduce the amount of heating flowing through a semiconductor by about 12 percent. "This adds a new dimension to our understanding of acoustic waves," said Joseph Heremans, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Nanotechnology and professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio State. "We've shown that we can steer heat magnetically. With a strong enough magnetic...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Powers of Ten

    03/24/2015 6:17:50 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | March 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How different does the universe look on small, medium, and large scales? The most famous short science film of its generation gives breathtaking comparisons. That film, Powers of Ten, originally created in the 1960s, has now been officially posted to YouTube and embedded above. Please click the above arrow to see the nine minute movie for yourself. From a picnic blanket near Chicago out past the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies, every ten seconds the film zooms out to show a square a factor of ten times larger on each side. The video then reverses, zooming back in a factor...
  • San Jose Student Shows Off Potentially Life-Saving Invention At White House Science Fair

    03/23/2015 11:55:13 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 3 replies
    CBS San Francisco ^ | March 23, 2015
    President Barack Obama hosted a science fair at the White House on Monday. The president saw 35 projects from student teams from across the country who won various competitions, and one of those students is from the Bay Area. Ruchi Pandya is a senior at Lynbrook High in San Jose. Using tiny carbon nanofibers, Ruchi created a thumbnail-sized sensor that may one day save a lot of lives. “I can actually, with one drop of blood, tell you what a certain protein concentration in your bloodstream is. That’s an indicator for cardiac arrest,” Ruchi told KPIX 5 via Skype. Which...
  • Science Museums Urged to Cut Ties With Kochs

    03/24/2015 2:12:14 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 20 replies
    New York Times ^ | March 24, 2015 | JOHN SCHWARTZ
    Dozens of climate scientists and environmental groups are calling for museums of science and natural history to “cut all ties” with fossil fuel companies and philanthropists like the Koch brothers. A letter released on Tuesday asserts that such money is tainted by these donors’ efforts to deny the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change. “When some of the biggest contributors to climate change and funders of misinformation on climate science sponsor exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, they undermine public confidence in the validity of the institutions responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge,” the letter states. “This corporate philanthropy...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Atlas V Launches MMS

    03/23/2015 4:17:58 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 23, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Birds don't fly this high. Airplanes don't go this fast. The Statue of Liberty weighs less. No species other than human can even comprehend what is going on, nor could any human just a millennium ago. The launch of a rocket bound for space is an event that inspires awe and challenges description. Pictured above, an Atlas V rocket lifts off carrying NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission into Earth orbit 10 days ago to study the workings of the magnetosphere that surrounds and protects the Earth. From a standing start, the 300,000 kilogram rocket ship left to circle the Earth...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Double Eclipse of the Sun

    03/22/2015 6:59:07 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 22, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Can the Sun be eclipsed twice at the same time? Last Friday was noteworthy because part of the Earth was treated to a rare total eclipse of the Sun. But also on Friday, from a part of the Earth that only saw part of the Sun eclipsed, a second object appeared simultaneously in front of the Sun: the Earth-orbiting International Space Station. Although space station eclipses are very quick -- in this case only 0.6 seconds, they are not so rare. Capturing this composite image took a lot of planning and a little luck, as the photographer had to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Northern Equinox Eclipse

    03/21/2015 3:39:47 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | March 21, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Snowy and cold is weather you might expect at the start of spring for Longyearbyen on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Norway. But that turned out to be good weather for watching the Moon's umbral shadow race across northern planet Earth. The region was plunged into darkness for 3 minutes during the March 20 total solar eclipse while insulated eclipse chasers witnessed the dark Sun in the cold clear sky. In this well-timed snapshot captured near the end of totality, the Moon's shadow sweeps away from the horizon and the solar corona fades as the lunar disk just begins...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sunshine, Earthshine

    03/20/2015 12:28:01 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | March 20, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Today's date marks an Equinox and a New Moon. Remarkably, while the exact timing of both geocentric events occur within a span of only 13 hours, the moon also reaches its new phase only 14 hours after perigee, the closest point in its orbit. That makes the Equinox New Moon the largest New Moon of 2015, though hard to see since that lunar phase presents the Moon's dark, night side to planet Earth. Still, in this well composed image of a young lunar phase from late January you can glimpse both night and day on the lunar surface, the...
  • National Geographic claims creationists are at war with science

    03/19/2015 7:32:13 AM PDT · by fishtank · 60 replies
    Creation Ministries International ^ | March 19, 2015 | Lita Cosner and Keaton Halley
    National Geographic claims creationists are at war with science by Lita Cosner and Keaton Halley Published: 19 March 2015 (GMT+10) National Geographic (NG) is a respected popular science magazine with millions of subscribers. So it is unfortunate when they use that platform to promote anti-creation propaganda under the guise of science. The cover of the March 2015 issue is “The War on Science”, and the featured article by science writer Joel Achenbach, “The age of disbelief”, intends to explain why so many people doubt the scientific establishment on a range of issues—from global warming to vaccines to the Apollo moon...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Aurora in the Backyard

    03/19/2015 4:32:59 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 19, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On the night of March 17/18 this umbrella of northern lights unfolded over backyards in Vallentuna, Sweden about 30 kilometers north of Stockholm. A result of the strongest geomagnetic storm of this solar cycle, auroral displays were captured on that night from back and front yards at even lower latitudes, including sightings in the midwestern United States. A boon for aurora hunting skywatchers, the space storm began building when a coronal mass ejection, launched by solar activity some two days earlier, struck planet Earth's magnetosphere. So what's the name of the backyard observatory on the right of the wide...
  • Ido Bachelet DNA nanobots summary with a couple of extra videos (for critically ill leukemia pt)

    03/18/2015 6:47:14 PM PDT · by Tired of Taxes · 9 replies
    Next Big Future ^ | March 15, 2015 | Next Big Future
    ORIGINAL TITLE: Ido Bachelet DNA nanobots summary with a couple of extra videos In a brief talk, Bachelet said DNA nanobots will soon be tried in a critically ill leukemia patient. The patient, who has been given roughly six months to live, will receive an injection of DNA nanobots designed to interact with and destroy leukemia cells—while causing virtually zero collateral damage in healthy tissue. According to Bachelet, his team have successfully tested their method in cell cultures and animals and written two papers on the subject, one in Science and one in Nature. Contemporary cancer therapies involving invasive surgery...
  • Scientists discover how to change human leukemia cells into harmless immune cells

    03/18/2015 6:33:55 PM PDT · by Tired of Taxes · 20 replies
    Stanford Medicine News Center ^ | March 16, 2015 | Christopher Vaughan
    After a chance observation in the lab, researchers found a method that can force dangerous leukemia cells in the lab to mature into harmless immune cells called macrophages. Mar 16 2015 Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that when a certain aggressive leukemia is causing havoc in the body, the solution may be to force the cancer cells to grow up and behave. After a chance observation in the lab, the researchers found a method that can cause dangerous leukemia cells to mature into harmless immune cells known as macrophages. The findings are described in a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Earth During a Total Eclipse of the Sun

    03/18/2015 2:42:57 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | March 18, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What does the Earth look like during a total solar eclipse? It appears dark in the region where people see the eclipse, because that's where the shadow of the Moon falls. The shadow spot actually shoots across the Earth at nearly 2,000 kilometers per hour, darkening locations in its path for only a few minutes before moving on. The featured image shows the Earth during the total solar eclipse of 2006 March, as seen from the International Space Station. On Friday the Moon will move in front of the Sun once again, casting another distorted circular shadow that, this...
  • Common Core Teaches a Big Fat Lie

    03/17/2015 2:25:43 PM PDT · by lifeofgrace · 21 replies
    Charting Course ^ | 3/17/15 | Steve Berman
    The Left has its own Da Vinci Code, a secret woven into the fabric of its power, shrouded by layers of intrigue, and defended to the death by secret societies pledged to its eternal preservation. Here it is, exposed: Science = TruthPhilosophy = Opinion And it’s as wrong today as it was in Plato’s day. If the fictional Robert Langdon stumbled onto the Church’s hidden legend in Dan Brown’s novel, then all-too-real associate professor of philosophy Justin McBrayer, has vitiated the Left’s Necronomicon in his New York Times piece, “Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts.” As a...
  • The melting of Antarctica just got worse, study finds.

    03/17/2015 12:27:53 PM PDT · by EagleUSA · 104 replies
    Washington ComPost ^ | 3/16/2015 | Chris Mooney
    A hundred years from now, humans may remember 2014 as the year that we first learned that we may have irreversibly destabilized the great ice sheet of West Antarctica, and thus set in motion more than 10 feet of sea level rise. Meanwhile, 2015 could be the year of the double whammy — when we learned the same about one gigantic glacier of East Antarctica, which could set in motion roughly the same amount all over again. Northern hemisphere residents and Americans in particular should take note — when the bottom of the world loses vast amounts of ice, those...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Big Dipper Enhanced

    03/17/2015 4:35:05 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | March 17, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Do you see it? This common question frequently precedes the rediscovery of one of the most commonly recognized configurations of stars on the northern sky: the Big Dipper. This grouping of stars is one of the few things that has likely been seen, and will be seen, by every human generation. In this featured image, however, the stars of the Big Dipper have been digitally enhanced -- they do not really appear this much brighter than nearby stars. The image was taken earlier this month from France. The Big Dipper is not by itself a constellation. Although part of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Clouds of Orion the Hunter

    03/16/2015 5:05:42 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | March 16, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Cradled in cosmic dust and glowing hydrogen, stellar nurseries in Orion the Hunter lie at the edge of giant molecular clouds some 1,500 light-years away. Spanning about 30 degrees, this breath-taking vista stretches across the well-known constellation from head to toe (left to right) and beyond. At 1,500 light years away, the Great Orion Nebula is the closest large star forming region, here visible just right and below center. To its left are the Horsehead Nebula, M78, and Orion's belt stars. Sliding your cursor over the picture will also find red giant Betelgeuse at the hunter's shoulder, bright blue...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Total Eclipse at the End of the World

    03/15/2015 9:08:26 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | March 15, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Would you go to the end of the world to see a total eclipse of the Sun? If you did, would you be surprised to find someone else there already? In 2003, the Sun, the Moon, Antarctica, and two photographers all lined up in Antarctica during an unusual total solar eclipse. Even given the extreme location, a group of enthusiastic eclipse chasers ventured near the bottom of the world to experience the surreal momentary disappearance of the Sun behind the Moon. One of the treasures collected was the above picture -- a composite of four separate images digitally combined...
  • Take a lesson, climate deniers and Fox News know-nothings [Fascinating]

    03/15/2015 3:21:08 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 61 replies
    Salon ^ | March 14, 2015 | Laura J. Snyder
    Take a lesson, climate deniers and Fox News know-nothings Here's a history of knowledge and science that far too many Tea Partyers need to grapple with now The origins of the Royal Society lie in a so-called invisible college of natural philosophers who began meeting in the mid-1640s for discussions of the new methods of seeking knowledge of the natural world through observation and experiment. On November 28, 1660, twelve men met at Gresham College after a lecture by Christopher Wren, then the Gresham Professor of Astronomy, and decided to found “a Colledge for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning.”...
  • Science is 'in decay' because there are too many studies, finds, er, new study

    03/14/2015 7:20:33 PM PDT · by Libloather · 19 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 3/13/15 | Mark Prigg
    Science could be in decay as there are simply too many new studies, a new study has found The research, dubbed 'Attention decay in science,' was recently published online by professors from universities in Finland and California. They concluded scholars can't keep pace with scientific literature.
  • Four episodes of 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' coming to TPT

    03/14/2015 7:35:35 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 26 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 3-14-15 | Amy Carlson Gustafson
    Way before people were making fun of TV shows via Twitter, the guys from "Mystery Science Theater 3000" were on TV making fun of movies. Really bad movies. Now the cult comedy favorite is returning to the small screen thanks to Twin Cities Public Television. That's right, the irreverent show is public TV fare. TPT will be airing four classic episodes of the beloved low-budget show starting on March 21 (10 p.m.) and for the three following Saturdays. Fans of the "MST3K," which started in the Twin Cities at KTMA in the late '80s before moving to Comedy Central (originally...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Return at Sunrise

    03/14/2015 6:29:02 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | March 14, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Thursday, shortly after local sunrise over central Asia, this Soyuz spacecraft floated over a sea of golden clouds during its descent by parachute through planet Earth's dense atmosphere. On board were Expedition 42 commander Barry Wilmore of NASA and Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). Touch down was at approximately 10:07 p.m. EDT (8:07 a.m. March 12, Kazakh time) southeast of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. The three were returning from low Earth orbit, after almost six months on the International Space Station as members of the Expedition 41 and Expedition 42 crews.
  • This Chemistry 3D Printer Can Synthesize Molecules From Scratch

    03/13/2015 5:55:35 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 11 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | March 12, 2015 | William Herkewitz
    Need an obscure medicinal compound found only in a jungle plant? Just print it.Say you're a medical researcher interested in a rare chemical produced in the roots of a little-known Peruvian flower. It's called ratanhine, and it's valuable because it has some fascinating anti-fungal properties that might make for great medicines. Getting your hands on the rare plant is hard, and no chemical supplier is or has ever sold it. But maybe, thanks to the work of University of Illinois chemist Martin Burke, you could print it right in the lab. In a new study published in the journal Science...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Great Wall by Moonlight

    03/13/2015 5:01:40 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | March 13, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Last Friday, an almost Full Moon rose as the Sun set, over this mountainous landscape north of Beijing, China. Also near apogee, the farthest point in its elliptical orbit around planet Earth, it was this year's smallest and faintest Full Moon. The Jiankou section of the Great Wall of China meanders through the scene, the ancient Great Wall itself the subject of an older-than-the-space-age myth that it would be visible to the eye when standing on the lunar surface. But even from low Earth orbit, the large scale artifact of human civilization is very difficult to identify. At its...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Along the Cygnus Wall

    03/12/2015 3:39:57 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | March 12, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The W-shaped ridge of emission featured in this vivid skyscape is known as the Cygnus Wall. Part of a larger emission nebula with a distinctive outline popularly called The North America Nebula, the cosmic ridge spans about 20 light-years. Constructed using narrowband data to highlight the telltale reddish glow from ionized hydrogen atoms recombining with electrons, the two frame mosaic image follows an ionization front with fine details of dark, dusty forms in silhouette. Sculpted by energetic radiation from the region's young, hot, massive stars, the dark shapes inhabiting the view are clouds of cool gas and dust with...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Volcano of Fire Erupts Under the Stars

    03/11/2015 12:51:18 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | March 11, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: First, there was an unusual smell. Then there was a loud bang. But what appeared to the eye was the most amazing of all. While waiting near midnight to see a possible eruption of Volcán de Fuego (Volcano of Fire) in Guatemala last month, a ready camera captured this extraordinary image. Lava is seen running down the side of the volcano, while ash rises up, and glowing magma bubbles explode out of the caldera. Lights near the town of Escuintla can be seen in the background, one of several nearby towns that have witnessed several spectacular eruptions previously. High...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Aurora over Icelandic Glacier

    03/10/2015 6:25:20 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | March 10, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Several key conditions came together to create this award-winning shot. These included a dark night, few clouds, an epic auroral display, and a body of water that was both calm enough and unfrozen enough to show reflected stars. The featured skyscape of activity and serenity appeared over Iceland's Vatnajökull Glacier a year ago January, with the Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon captured in the foreground. Aurora filled skies continue to be common near Earth's poles as our Sun, near Solar Maximum, continues to expel energetic clouds of plasma into the Solar System.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Galaxy and Cluster Create Four Images of Distant Supernova

    03/09/2015 3:04:25 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | March 09, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What are the unusual spots surrounding that galaxy? They are all images of the same supernova. For the first time, a single supernova explosion has been seen split into multiple images by the gravitational lens deflections of intervening masses. In this case the masses are a large galaxy and its home galaxy cluster. The featured image was captured last November by the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. The yellow-hued quadruply-imaged Supernova Refsdal occurred in the early universe far behind the cluster. Measuring the locations and time-delays between the supernova images should allow astrophysicists to recover the amount of dark matter...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Stars at the Galactic Center

    03/08/2015 7:09:22 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | March 08, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The center of our Milky Way Galaxy is hidden from the prying eyes of optical telescopes by clouds of obscuring dust and gas. But in this stunning vista, the Spitzer Space Telescope's infrared cameras, penetrate much of the dust revealing the stars of the crowded galactic center region. A mosaic of many smaller snapshots, the detailed, false-color image shows older, cool stars in bluish hues. Reddish glowing dust clouds are associated with young, hot stars in stellar nurseries. The very center of the Milky Way was only recently found capable of forming newborn stars. The galactic center lies some...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 602 in the Flying Lizard Nebula

    03/08/2015 7:04:57 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | March 07, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Near the outskirts of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy some 200 thousand light-years distant, lies 5 million year young star cluster NGC 602. Surrounded by natal gas and dust, NGC 602 is just below center in this telescopic field of view with the angular size of the Full Moon on the sky. The cluster itself is about 200 light-years in diameter. Glowing interior ridges and swept back shapes strongly suggest that energetic radiation and shock waves from NGC 602's massive young stars have eroded the dusty material and triggered a progression of star formation moving away from...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- An Aurora of Marbles

    03/07/2015 7:00:15 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | February 07, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It looks like a fine collection of aggies. But this grid of embedded swirls and streaks actually follows the dramatic development of planet Earth's auroral substorms. The sequence of over 600 horizon-to-horizon fisheye images was taken over a 2 hour period near the artic circle in March of 2012 from Lapland, northern Sweden. It begins at upper left in evening twilight and ends at lower right, covering two activity peaks with bright coronae forming overhead. While exploring space between Earth and Moon, NASA's fleet of THEMIS spacecraft discovered that these explosions of auroral activity are driven by sudden releases...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Jupiter Triple-Moon Conjunction

    03/07/2015 6:57:01 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | February 06, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Our solar system's ruling giant planet Jupiter and 3 of its 4 large Galilean moons are captured in this single Hubble snapshot from January 24. Crossing in front of Jupiter's banded cloud tops Europa, Callisto, and Io are framed from lower left to upper right in a rare triple-moon conjunction. Distinguishable by colors alone icy Europa is almost white, Callisto's ancient cratered surface looks dark brown, and volcanic Io appears yellowish. The transiting moons and moon shadows can be identified by sliding your cursor over the image, or following this link. Remarkably, two small, inner Jovian moons, Amalthea and...
  • Buckybomb shows potential power of nanoscale explosives

    03/06/2015 3:35:05 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 41 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | 3/5/15 | Lisa Zyga
    Buckybomb shows potential power of nanoscale explosives Mar 05, 2015 by Lisa Zyga Enlarge Molecular configuration of an exploding buckybomb. Credit: ACS (Phys.org)—Scientists have simulated the explosion of a modified buckminsterfullerene molecule (C60), better known as a buckyball, and shown that the reaction produces a tremendous increase in temperature and pressure within a fraction of a second. The nanoscale explosive, which the scientists nickname a "buckybomb," belongs to the emerging field of high-energy nanomaterials that could have a variety of military and industrial applications. The researchers, Vitaly V. Chaban, Eudes Eterno Fileti, and Oleg V. Prezhdo at the University of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Cometary Globule CG4

    03/06/2015 4:56:55 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | March 06, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The faint and somehow menacing cometary globule CG4 reaches through the center of this deep southern skyscape. About 1,300 light-years from Earth toward the constellation Puppis, its head is about 1.5 light-years in diameter and its tail about 8 light-years long. That's far larger than the Solar System's comets that it seems to resemble. In fact, the dusty cloud contains enough material to form several Sun-like stars and likely has ongoing star formation within. How its distinctive form came about is still debated, but its long tail trails away from the Vela Supernova remnant near the center of the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Enhanced Color Caloris

    03/05/2015 6:18:26 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | March 05, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The sprawling Caloris basin on Mercury is one of the solar system's largest impact basins, created during the early history of the solar system by the impact of a large asteroid-sized body. The multi-featured, fractured basin spans about 1,500 kilometers in this enhanced color mosaic based on image data from the Mercury-orbiting MESSENGER spacecraft. Mercury's youngest large impact basin, Caloris was subsequently filled in by lavas that appear orange in the mosaic. Craters made after the flooding have excavated material from beneath the surface lavas. Seen as contrasting blue hues, they likely offer a glimpse of the original basin...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pillars and Jets in the Pelican Nebula

    03/04/2015 3:02:06 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 04, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What dark structures arise from the Pelican Nebula? Visible as a bird-shaped nebula toward the constellation of a bird (Cygnus, the Swan), the Pelican Nebula is a place dotted with newly formed stars but fouled with dark dust. These smoke-sized dust grains formed in the cool atmospheres of young stars and were dispersed by stellar winds and explosions. Impressive Herbig-Haro jets are seen emitted by a star on the right that is helping to destroy the light year-long dust pillar that contains it. The featured image was scientifically-colored to emphasize light emitted by small amounts of ionized nitrogen, oxygen,...
  • The Cross in the Cosmos – A Meditation on a Teaching by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

    03/03/2015 8:39:45 AM PST · by Salvation · 10 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 03-03-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    The Cross in the Cosmos – A Meditation on a Teaching by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger By: Msgr. Charles PopeThe Wisdom Tradition of the Scriptures emphasizes that God speaks and is discerned in things He has made. Scripture says, The heavens declare the glory of God, the firmament (stars) shows forth his handiwork (Psalm 19:1). Indeed, when God spoke His Word, creation came forth.And the Word that God spoke was the Logos, Jesus. Scripture says, Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made (Jn 1:3). It also says, For by Him all things were created, both in...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Dust Devil on Mars

    03/03/2015 3:39:47 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | March 03, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It was late in the northern martian spring when the HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spied this local denizen. Tracking across the flat, dust-covered Amazonis Planitia in 2012, the core of this whirling dust devil is about 140 meters in diameter. Lofting dust into the thin martian atmosphere, its plume reaches about 20 kilometers above the surface. Common to this region of Mars, dust devils occur as the surface is heated by the Sun, generating warm, rising air currents that begin to rotate. Tangential wind speeds of up to 110 kilometers per hour are reported for dust...
  • Astronomers Find a Dusty Galaxy That Shouldn't Exist

    03/02/2015 10:11:37 AM PST · by Red Badger · 32 replies
    nationalgeographic.com ^ | Published March 2, 2015 | Michael D. Lemonick
    A object from the very early universe is bafflingly rich with dust that theory says shouldn't have formed yet. Photograph by NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), J. Blakeslee (NRC Herzberg Astrophysics Program, Dominion Astrophysical Observatory), and H. Ford (JHU) Astronomers have spotted a surprisingly dusty little galaxy within the cluster Abell 1689, shown here in an image by the Hubble telescope. Peering back in time to find the very earliest objects in the universe, an international team of astronomers has discovered a galaxy that shouldn't be there at all. The problem, the scientists report Monday in Nature, is...
  • Order! Order in the Universe! – A Meditation on the Wisdom That Creation Reflects

    03/02/2015 7:49:16 AM PST · by Salvation · 82 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 03-01-15 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Order! Order in the Universe! – A Meditation on the Wisdom That Creation Reflects By: Msgr. Charles PopeIn a courtroom, the judge can bring an unruly outburst to an end by shouting, “Order! Order in the court!” I often feel the same urge in the debates of our time about God’s existence and His role in the created universe. It is not so much that the debates can get unruly, but that I, with the  insistence of a town crier, want to shout, “Order! Order, there IS order the universe!” And I want to ask everyone to be quiet and listen to the universe herself...