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Keyword: science

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Arp 159 and NGC 4725

    09/03/2015 2:38:10 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | September 03, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Pointy stars and peculiar galaxies span this cosmic snapshot, a telescopic view toward the well-groomed constellation Coma Berenices. Bright enough to show off diffraction spikes, the stars are in the foreground of the scene, well within our own Milky Way. But the two prominent galaxies lie far beyond our own, some 41 million light-years distant. Also known as NGC 4747, the smaller distorted galaxy at left is the 159th entry in the Arp Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, with extensive tidal tails indicative of strong gravitational interactions in its past. At about a 100,000 light-years across, its likely companion on...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Flare and the Galaxy

    09/02/2015 4:20:50 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | September 02, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is this person throwing a lightning bolt? No. Despite appearances, this person is actually pointing in the direction of a bright Iridium flare, a momentary reflection of sunlight off of a communications satellite in orbit around the Earth. As the Iridium satellite orbits, reflective antennas became aligned between the observer and the Sun to create a flash brighter than any star in the night sky. Iridium flares typically last several seconds, longer than most meteors. Also unlike meteors, the flares are symmetric and predictable. The featured flare involved Iridium satellite 15 and occurred over southern Estonia last week. In...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Distant Neutrinos Detected Below Antarctic Ice

    09/01/2015 4:19:10 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | September 01, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: From where do these neutrinos come? The IceCube Neutrino Observatory near the South Pole of the Earth has begun to detect nearly invisible particles of very high energy. Although these rarely-interacting neutrinos pass through much of the Earth just before being detected, where they started remains a mystery. Pictured here is IceCube's Antarctic lab accompanied by a cartoon depicting long strands of detectors frozen into the crystal clear ice below. Candidate origins for these cosmic neutrinos include the violent surroundings of supermassive black holes at the centers of distant galaxies, and tremendous stellar explosions culminating in gamma ray bursts...
  • Smells Like Common Core

    08/31/2015 11:46:22 AM PDT · by Academiadotorg · 6 replies
    Accuracy in Academia ^ | August 31, 2015 | Malcolm A. Kline
    Even when teachers don’t appear to be complaining about Common Core they actually are, because CC is so unpopular that bureaucrats and politicians try to camouflage it. Yet and still, like the spots on a leopard, C squared’s trademarks are becoming easy to spot. For example, on his personal blog, Bronx teacher Jamaal Bowman complained about the Tyranny of Standardized Testing but the CC standards are fairly simple to discern. I tried to make them even easier by italicizing: “As a classroom teacher, the state test jargon became part of the lexicon. We were told to focus more on “non...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pluto in Enhanced Color

    08/30/2015 9:58:29 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    NASA ^ | August 31, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Pluto is more colorful than we can see. Color data and images of our Solar System's most famous dwarf planet, taken by the robotic New Horizons spacecraft during its flyby in July, have been digitally combined to give an enhanced view of this ancient world sporting an unexpectedly young surface. The featured enhanced color image is not only esthetically pretty but scientifically useful, making surface regions of differing chemical composition visually distinct. For example, the light-colored heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio on the lower right is clearly shown here to be divisible into two regions that are geologically different, with the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M31: The Andromeda Galaxy

    08/30/2015 2:26:51 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | August 30, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy? Andromeda. In fact, our Galaxy is thought to look much like Andromeda. Together these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it. The several distinct stars that surround Andromeda's image are actually stars in our Galaxy that are well in front of the background object. Andromeda is frequently referred to as M31 since it is the 31st object on Messier's list of diffuse sky objects. M31 is so distant it...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Seagull Nebula

    08/29/2015 11:16:00 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | August 29, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A broad expanse of glowing gas and dust presents a bird-like visage to astronomers from planet Earth, suggesting its popular moniker - The Seagull Nebula. This portrait of the cosmic bird covers a 1.6 degree wide swath across the plane of the Milky Way, near the direction of Sirius, alpha star of the constellation Canis Major. Of course, the region includes objects with other catalog designations: notably NGC 2327, a compact, dusty emission region with an embedded massive star that forms the bird's head (aka the Parrot Nebula, above center). Dominated by the reddish glow of atomic hydrogen, the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Puppis A Supernova Remnant

    08/29/2015 11:13:33 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | August 28, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Driven by the explosion of a massive star, supernova remnant Puppis A is blasting into the surrounding interstellar medium about 7,000 light-years away. At that distance, this colorful telescopic field based on broadband and narrowband optical image data is about 60 light-years across. As the supernova remnant expands into its clumpy, non-uniform surroundings, shocked filaments of oxygen atoms glow in green-blue hues. Hydrogen and nitrogen are in red. Light from the initial supernova itself, triggered by the collapse of the massive star's core, would have reached Earth about 3,700 years ago. The Puppis A remnant is actually seen through...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Large Cloud of Magellan

    08/26/2015 11:33:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | August 27, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The 16th century Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his crew had plenty of time to study the southern sky during the first circumnavigation of planet Earth. As a result, two fuzzy cloud-like objects easily visible to southern hemisphere skygazers are known as the Clouds of Magellan, now understood to be satellite galaxies of our much larger, spiral Milky Way galaxy. About 160,000 light-years distant in the constellation Dorado, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is seen here in a remarkably deep, colorful, image. Spanning about 15,000 light-years or so, it is the most massive of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Collinder 399: The Coat Hanger

    08/26/2015 8:30:46 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | August 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is this coat hanger a star cluster or an asterism? This cosmic hang-up has been debated over much of last century, as astronomers wondered whether this binocular-visible object is really a physically associated open cluster or a chance projection. Chance star projections are known as asterisms, an example of which is the popular Big Dipper. Recent precise measurements from different vantage points in the Earth's orbit around the Sun have uncovered discrepant angular shifts indicating that the Coat Hanger is better described as an asterism. Known more formally as Collinder 399, this bright stellar grouping is wider than the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Meteors and Milky Way over Mount Rainier

    08/25/2015 8:49:10 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | August 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Despite appearances, the sky is not falling. Two weeks ago, however, tiny bits of comet dust were. Featured here is the Perseids meteor shower as captured over Mt. Rainier, Washington, USA. The image was created from a two-hour time lapse video, snaring over 20 meteors, including one that brightened dramatically on the image left. Although each meteor train typically lasts less than a second, the camera was able to capture their color progressions as they disintegrated in the Earth's atmosphere. Here an initial green tint may be indicative of small amounts of glowing magnesium atoms that were knocked off...
  • Naomi Klein admits global warming is not about science but destroying capitalism

    08/24/2015 9:04:08 PM PDT · by Beave Meister · 27 replies
    Green Jihad ^ | 8/19/2015
    The Heartland Institute published a very revealing article about Leftist shock jock Naomi Klein who just published a new anti-capitalst screed entitled This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. Essentially, Ms. Klein admits that the issue of climate change (formerly known as global warming) is not about science but really about overthrowing capitalism. “Our economic model is at war with the Earth,” writes Klein. “We cannot change the laws of nature. But we can change our economy. Climate change is our best chance to demand and build a better world.” The Heartland article goes on to say: For the author,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Dione, Rings, Shadows, Saturn

    08/24/2015 5:35:56 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | August 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening in this strange juxtaposition of moon and planet? First and foremost, Saturn's moon Dione was captured here in a dramatic panorama by the robotic Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting the giant planet. The bright and cratered moon itself spans about 1100-km, with the large multi-ringed crater Evander visible on the lower right. Since the rings of Saturn are seen here nearly edge-on, they are directly visible only as a thin horizontal line that passes behind Dione. Arcing across the bottom of the image, however, are shadows of Saturn's rings, showing some of the rich texture that could not...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Giant Cluster Bends, Breaks Images

    08/23/2015 3:29:52 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | August 23, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What are those strange blue objects? Many of the brightest blue images are of a single, unusual, beaded, blue, ring-like galaxy which just happens to line-up behind a giant cluster of galaxies. Cluster galaxies here typically appear yellow and -- together with the cluster's dark matter -- act as a gravitational lens. A gravitational lens can create several images of background galaxies, analogous to the many points of light one would see while looking through a wine glass at a distant street light. The distinctive shape of this background galaxy -- which is probably just forming -- has allowed...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Little Planet Curiosity

    08/22/2015 10:40:42 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | August 22, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A curious robot almost completely straddles this rocky little planet. Of course, the planet is really Mars and the robot is the car-sized Curiosity Rover, posing over its recent drilling target in the Marias Pass area of lower Mount Sharp. The 92 images used to assemble the little planet projection, a digitally warped and stitched mosaic covering 360x180 degrees, were taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the Curiosity mission sol (martian day) 1065. That corresponds to 2015 August 5, three Earth years since Curiosity landed on the surface of the Red Planet. The composite selfie...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sprites from Space

    08/20/2015 10:26:22 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | August 21, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: An old Moon and the stars of Orion rose above the eastern horizon on August 10. The Moon's waning crescent was still bright enough to be overexposed in this snapshot taken from another large satellite of planet Earth, the International Space Station. A greenish airglow traces the atmosphere above the limb of the planet's night. Below, city lights and lightning flashes from thunderstorms appear over southern Mexico. The snapshot also captures the startling apparition of a rare form of upper atmospheric lightning, a large red sprite caught above a lightning flash at the far right. While the space station's...
  • Fake but Accurate: Leading science publisher retracts dozens of papers for fake peer reviews

    08/20/2015 7:52:15 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 17 replies
    Hotair ^ | 08/20/2015 | Jazz Shaw
    Springer Publishing, one of the world’s leading publishers of Science, Technology and Medicine (STM) books and journals, issued an announcement this week that 64 different professional articles, primarily in the medical field, had been retracted. It turns out that the vaunted peer review process, designed to ensure that multiple sets of experts evaluate the quality of the work before it hits the presses, had fallen apart. The peer reviews in some cases were found to be “highly suspicious” with bogus email addresses and questionable credentials. Springer confirms that 64 articles are being retracted from 10 Springer subscription journals, after...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M27: Not a Comet

    08/19/2015 10:50:34 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | August 20, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: While hunting for comets in the skies above 18th century France, astronomer Charles Messier diligently kept a list of the things he encountered that were definitely not comets. This is number 27 on his now famous not-a-comet list. In fact, 21st century astronomers would identify it as a planetary nebula, but it's not a planet either, even though it may appear round and planet-like in a small telescope. Messier 27 (M27) is an excellent example of a gaseous emission nebula created as a sun-like star runs out of nuclear fuel in its core. The nebula forms as the star's...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Central Cygnus Skyscape

    08/18/2015 10:55:44 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | August 19, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In cosmic brush strokes of glowing hydrogen gas, this beautiful skyscape unfolds across the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy and the center of the northern constellation Cygnus the Swan. The featured image spans about six degrees. Bright supergiant star Gamma Cygni (Sadr) to the upper left of the image center lies in the foreground of the complex gas and dust clouds and crowded star fields. Left of Gamma Cygni, shaped like two luminous wings divided by a long dark dust lane is IC 1318, whose popular name is understandably the Butterfly Nebula. The more compact, bright nebula at...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Announcing Comet Catalina

    08/18/2015 1:24:48 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | August 18, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Will Comet Catalina become visible to the unaided eye? Given the unpredictability of comets, no one can say for sure, but it seems like a good bet. The comet was discovered in 2013 by observations of the Catalina Sky Survey. Since then, Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) has steadily brightened and is currently brighter than 8th magnitude, making it visible with binoculars and long-duration camera images. As the comet further approaches the inner Solar System it will surely continue to intensify, possibly becoming a naked eye object sometime in October and peaking sometime in late November. The comet will reside...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Andromeda Rising over the Alps

    08/16/2015 9:46:34 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | August 17, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Have you ever seen the Andromeda galaxy? Although M31 appears as a faint and fuzzy blob to the unaided eye, the light you see will be over two million years old, making it likely the oldest light you ever will see directly. Now rising near a few hours after sunset from mid-latitude northern locations, Andromeda is rising earlier each night and will be visible to northerners all night long starting in September. The featured image captured Andromeda rising above the Italian Alps last month. As cool as it may be to see this neighboring galaxy to our Milky Way...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M1: The Crab Nebula from Hubble

    08/16/2015 7:06:58 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | August 16, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This is the mess that is left when a star explodes. The Crab Nebula, the result of a supernova seen in mysterious filaments. The filaments are not only tremendously complex, but appear to have less mass than expelled in the original supernova and a higher speed than expected from a free explosion. The featured image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, is presented in three colors chosen for scientific interest. The Crab Nebula spans about 10 light-years. In the nebula's very center lies a pulsar: a neutron star as massive as the Sun but with only the size of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Perihelion Approaches

    08/15/2015 12:07:35 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | August 15, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This dramatic outburst from the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko occured on August 12, just hours before perihelion, its closest approach to the Sun. Completing an orbit of the Sun once every 6.45 years, perihelion distance for this periodic comet is about 1.3 astronomical units (AU), still outside the orbit of planet Earth (at 1 AU). The stark image of the 4 kilometer wide, double-lobed nucleus in bright sunlight and dark shadows was taken by the Rosetta spacecraft's science camera about 325 kilometers away. Too close to see the comet's growing tail, Rosetta maintains its ringside seat to watch the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Dust over Enchanted Rock

    08/14/2015 4:38:50 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | August 14, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Dusty debris from periodic Comet Swift-Tuttle was swept up by planet Earth this week. Vaporized by their passage through the dense atmosphere at 59 kilometers per second, the tiny grains produced a stream of Perseid meteors. A bright, colorful Perseid meteor flash was captured during this 20 second exposure. It made its ephemeral appearance after midnight on August 12, in the moonless skies over the broad granite dome of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, central Texas, USA. Below the Perseid meteor, trees stand in silhouette against scattered lights along the horizon and the faint Milky Way, itself cut by...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Moonless Meteors and the Milky Way

    08/13/2015 2:26:45 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | August 13, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Have you watched the Perseid meteor shower? Though the annual shower's predicted peak was last night, meteor activity should continue tonight (August 13/14), best enjoyed by just looking up in clear, dark skies after midnight. Of course, this year's Perseid shower has the advantage of being active near the August 14 New Moon. Since the nearly New Moon doesn't rise before the morning twilight many fainter meteors are easier to spot until then, with no interference from bright moonlight. The Perseid meteor shower last occurred near a New Moon in 2013. That's when the exposures used to construct this...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way and Exploding Meteor

    08/12/2015 3:49:57 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | August 12, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Tonight the Perseid Meteor Shower reaches its maximum. Grains of icy rock will streak across the sky as they evaporate during entry into Earth's atmosphere. These grains were shed from Comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids result from the annual crossing of the Earth through Comet Swift-Tuttle's orbit, and are typically the most active meteor shower of the year. Although it is hard to predict the level of activity in any meteor shower, in a clear dark sky an observer might see a meteor a minute. This year's Perseids occur just before a new Moon and so the relatively dark sky...
  • Meet the science teacher who lost 60 pounds eating nothing but McDonald's three meals a day

    08/11/2015 8:01:09 PM PDT · by boycott · 54 replies
    AL.com ^ | 8-11-15 | Bob Carlton
    Iowa high school science teacher John Cisna weighed 280 pounds and wore a size 51 pants. Then he started eating at McDonalds. Every meal. Every day. For 180 days. By the end of his experiment, Cisna was down to a relatively svelte 220 and could slip into a size 36. Cisna, who is Birmingham today and Wednesday to speak at a rally for area McDonald's managers, earned a new nickname, too. "In all those (previous) years, my nickname with my buddies was 'Snack Bar,''' Cisna said. "You know what they call me now? 'Snack Bar Jr.'" What turned out to...
  • Study Shows That Universe Is Dying [We Are All Doomed]

    08/11/2015 2:00:06 PM PDT · by Purdue77 · 69 replies
    LA Times ^ | 8/10/2015 | Amina Khan
    The Los Angeles Times (8/10, Khan) reports that an international study led by Simon Driver of the University of Western Australia and presented at the International Astronomical Union meeting on Monday found that the amount of light the 200,000 galaxies are outputting is half of what they did two billion years ago, meaning “the universe is dying.” The article notes that seven telescopes were used in the study, including NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer spacecraft. Driver said that the conclusion is consistent with each of the three indicators measured. However, the universe should continue to exist “far into the foreseeable...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Blue Moon Halo over Antarctica

    08/11/2015 2:59:22 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | August 11, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Have you ever seen a halo around the Moon? Such 22 degree rings around the Moon -- caused by ice crystals falling in the Earth's atmosphere -- are somewhat rare. OK, but have you ever seen a blue moon? Given the modern definition of blue moon -- the second full moon occurring in a calendar month -- these are also rare. What is featured above might therefore be considered doubly rare -- a halo surrounding a blue moon. The featured image was taken late last month near Zhongshan Station in Antarctica. Visible in the foreground are a power generating...
  • What is the Oort Cloud?

    08/10/2015 4:36:14 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 25 replies
    Universe Today ^ | Matt Williams
    The Oort Cloud is a theoretical spherical cloud of predominantly icy planetesimals that is believed to surround the Sun at a distance of up to around 100,000 AU (2 ly). This places it in interstellar space, beyond the Sun’s Heliosphere where it defines the cosmological boundary between the Solar System and the region of the Sun’s gravitational dominance. Like the Kuiper Belt and the Scattered Disc, the Oort Cloud is a reservoirs of trans-Neptunian objects, though it is over a thousands times more distant from our Sun as these other two. The idea of a cloud of icy infinitesimals was...
  • EPA De-Develops the US Through Nebulous Consensus Climate Change

    08/10/2015 4:02:57 PM PDT · by Sean_Anthony · 3 replies
    Canada Free Press ^ | 08/10/15 | Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh
    Real Science vs. government funded pseudo science: Several presentations at the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness in Ontario, California, dealt with the issues of anthropogenic global warming promoted by the climate change industry. Dr. S. Fred Singer, founder of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), and Ken Haapala, current president of SEPP, discussed the “National Environment Assessment: Peeling the Speculative Onion.” Haapala spoke of “climate fears and finance” and our government’s limitations on CO2 emissions as a “policy in search of a problem.” Because the global warming (climate change) predictions have proven inaccurate, the fear of non-existent anthropogenic global warming...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Sagittarius Triplet

    08/10/2015 8:00:42 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | August 10, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: These three bright nebulae are often featured in telescopic tours of the constellation Sagittarius and the crowded starfields of the central Milky Way. In fact, 18th century cosmic tourist Charles Messier cataloged two of them; M8, the large nebula left of center, and colorful M20 on the right. The third, NGC 6559, is above M8, separated from the larger nebula by a dark dust lane. All three are stellar nurseries about five thousand light-years or so distant. The expansive M8, over a hundred light-years across, is also known as the Lagoon Nebula. M20's popular moniker is the Trifid. Glowing...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- HCG 87: A Small Group of Galaxies

    08/09/2015 12:58:12 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | August 09, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sometimes galaxies form groups. For example, our own Milky Way Galaxy is part of the Local Group of Galaxies. Small, compact groups, like Hickson Compact Group 87 (HCG 87) shown above, are interesting partly because they slowly self-destruct. Indeed, the galaxies of HCG 87 are gravitationally stretching each other during their 100-million year orbits around a common center. The pulling creates colliding gas that causes bright bursts of star formation and feeds matter into their active galaxy centers. HCG 87 is composed of a large edge-on spiral galaxy visible near the image center, an elliptical galaxy visible to its...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity's View

    08/08/2015 4:23:39 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | August 08, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: By planet Earth's calendar, the Curiosity Mars Rover reached its 3rd anniversary on the surface of the Red Planet on August 6. To celebrate, gaze across this dramatic panoramic view of diverse terrain typical of the rover's journey to the layered slopes of Aeolis Mons, also known as Mount Sharp. Recorded with Curiosity's Mast Camera instrument, the scene looks south across gravel, sand ripples, and boulders toward rounded buttes. In the background, higher layers at left are toward the southeast, with southwest at panorama right. The individual images composing the view were taken on Curiosity's mission sols (martian days)...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Full Moon, Full Earth

    08/07/2015 3:36:49 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | August 07, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Moon was new on July 16. Its familiar nearside facing the surface of planet Earth was in shadow. But on that date a million miles away, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) spacecraft's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) captured this view of an apparently Full Moon crossing in front of a Full Earth. In fact, seen from the spacecraft's position beyond the Moon's orbit and between Earth and Sun, the fully illuminated lunar hemisphere is the less familiar farside. Only known since the dawn of the space age, the farside is mostly devoid of dark lunar maria that...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Stereo Pluto

    08/06/2015 3:51:27 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | August 06, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: These two detailed, true color images of Pluto were captured during the historic New Horizons flyby last month. With slightly different perspectives on the now recognizeable surface features they are presented in this first high quality stereo pair intended for viewing by denizens of planet Earth. The left hand image (left eye) is a mosaic recorded when the spacecraft was about 450,000 kilometers from Pluto. The right single image was acquired earlier, a last full look before the spacecraft's closest approach. Despite a difference in resolution, the pair combine for a stunning 3D perception of the distant, underworldly terrain....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- X-ray Echoes from Circinus X-1

    08/05/2015 6:21:24 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | August 05, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Circinus X-1 is an X-ray binary star known for its erratic variability. In the bizarre Circinus X-1 system, a dense neutron star, the collapsed remnant of a supernova explosion, orbits with a more ordinary stellar companion. Observations of the X-ray binary in months following an intense X-ray flare from the source in 2013 progressively revealed striking concentric rings - bright X-ray light echoes from four intervening clouds of interstellar dust. In this X-ray/optical composite, the swaths of Chandra Observatory X-ray image data showing partial outlines of the rings are in false colors. Remarkably, timing the X-ray echoes, along with...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Virgo Cluster Galaxies

    08/04/2015 4:33:37 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | August 04, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Well over a thousand galaxies are known members of the Virgo Cluster, the closest large cluster of galaxies to our own local group. In fact, the galaxy cluster is difficult to appreciate all at once because it covers such a large area on the sky. This careful wide-field mosaic of telescopic images clearly records the central region of the Virgo Cluster through faint foreground dust clouds lingering above the plane of our own Milky Way galaxy. The cluster's dominant giant elliptical galaxy M87, is just below and to the left of the frame center. To the right of M87...
  • Harvesting Fetal Tissue For Fun And Profit

    08/03/2015 9:17:53 AM PDT · by Oldpuppymax · 3 replies
    Coach is Right ^ | 8/3/15 | Michael D. Shaw
    A series of disturbing videos has brought this grisly practice to the forefront, even if it is nothing new. PhD chemist and theologian Stacy Trasancos dug into the scientific literature to discover some early references… Here’s one from 1972, entitled “Development of Mammalian Sulfur Metabolism: Absence of Cystathionase in Human Fetal Tissues,” published in Pediatric Research. According to the article’s introduction: “We have therefore examined the development of the transsulfuration pathway in 58 human fetuses, obtained at therapeutic abortion during approximately the 2nd-6th month of gestation and in liver from 5 full term and 3 prematurely born infants.” With this...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Proton Arc Over Lake Superior

    08/03/2015 8:51:02 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | August 03, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The setting had been picked out -- all that was needed was an aurora. And late last August, forecasts predicted that an otherwise beautiful night sky would be lit up with auroral green. Jumping into his truck, the astrophotographer approached his secret site -- but only after a five hour drive across the rural Upper Peninsula of Michigan. What he didn't know was that his luck was just beginning. While setting up for the image, a proton arc -- a rare type of aurora -- appeared. The red arc lasted only about 15 minutes, but that was long enough...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Apollo 17 at Shorty Crater

    08/02/2015 12:35:37 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | August 02, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On the Moon, it is easy to remember where you parked. In December of 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent about 75 hours on the Moon in the Taurus-Littrow valley, while colleague Ronald Evans orbited overhead. This sharp image was taken by Cernan as he and Schmitt roamed the valley floor. The image shows Schmitt on the left with the lunar rover at the edge of Shorty Crater, near the spot where geologist Schmitt discovered orange lunar soil. The Apollo 17 crew returned with 110 kilograms of rock and soil samples, more than was returned...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Stripping ESO 137-001

    08/01/2015 5:25:03 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | August 01, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Spiral galaxy ESO 137-001 hurtles through massive galaxy cluster Abell 3627 some 220 million light years away. The distant galaxy is seen in this colorful Hubble/Chandra composite image through a foreground of the Milky Way's stars toward the southern constellation Triangulum Australe. As the spiral speeds along at nearly 7 million kilometers per hour, its gas and dust are stripped away when ram pressure with the cluster's own hot, tenuous intracluster medium overcomes the galaxy's gravity. Evident in Hubble's near visible light data, bright star clusters have formed in the stripped material along the short, trailing blue streaks. Chandra's...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The ISS and a Colorful Moon

    07/31/2015 4:18:26 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | July 31, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Tonight's Full Moon, the second Full Moon in July, could be called a blue moon according to modern folklore. But this sharp and detailed mosaic, recorded with telescope and digital camera just before July's first Full Moon, actually does show a colorful lunar surface. The colors have been enhanced in the processed image but are real nonetheless, corresponding to real differences in the chemical makeup of the lunar surface. Also easy to see especially when the Moon is near full phase, bright rays from 85 kilometer wide Tycho crater at the upper right extend far across the lunar surface....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way over Uluru

    07/30/2015 1:16:33 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | July 30, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The central regions of our Milky Way Galaxy rise above Uluru/Ayers Rock in this striking night skyscape. Recorded on July 13, a faint airglow along the horizon shows off central Australia's most recognizable landform in silhouette. Of course the Milky Way's own cosmic dust clouds appear in silhouette too, dark rifts along the galaxy's faint congeries of stars. Above the central bulge, rivers of cosmic dust converge on a bright yellowish supergiant star Antares. Left of Antares, wandering Saturn shines in the night.
  • What Are These Strange Scarlet Streaks Spotted on Tethys?

    07/29/2015 11:40:55 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 26 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 29, 2015 | Jason Major
    They stretch for long distances across the moon’s surface following the rugged terrain, continuing unbroken over hills and down into craters… and their cause isn’t yet known. According to a NASA news release, “The origin of the features and their reddish color is currently a mystery to Cassini scientists. Possibilities being studied include ideas that the reddish material is exposed ice with chemical impurities, or the result of outgassing from inside Tethys. The streaks could also be associated with features like fractures that are below the resolution of the available images.” The images were taken by Cassini during a flyby...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Deep Lagoon

    07/29/2015 4:09:07 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | July 29, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Ridges of glowing interstellar gas and dark dust clouds inhabit the turbulent, cosmic depths of the Lagoon Nebula. Also known as M8, The bright star forming region is about 5,000 light-years distant. But it still makes for a popular stop on telescopic tours of the constellation Sagittarius, toward the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. Dominated by the telltale red emission of ionized hydrogen atoms recombining with stripped electrons, this stunning, deep view of the Lagoon's central reaches is about 40 light-years across. Near the center of the frame, the bright hourglass shape is gas ionized and sculpted by...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Rainbows and Rays over Bryce Canyon

    07/28/2015 5:55:29 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | July 28, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening over Bryce Canyon? Two different optical effects that were captured in one image taken earlier this month. Both effects needed to have the Sun situated directly behind the photographer. The nearest apparition was the common rainbow, created by sunlight streaming from the setting sun over the head of the photographer, and scattering from raindrops in front of the canyon. If you look closely, even a second rainbow appears above the first. More rare, and perhaps more striking, are the rays of light that emanate out from the horizon above the canyon. These are known as anticrepuscular rays...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Sombrero Galaxy from Hubble

    07/26/2015 8:36:07 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | July 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why does the Sombrero Galaxy look like a hat? Reasons include the Sombrero's unusually large and extended central bulge of stars, and dark prominent dust lanes that appear in a disk that we see nearly edge-on. Billions of old stars cause the diffuse glow of the extended central bulge. Close inspection of the bulge in the above photograph shows many points of light that are actually globular clusters. M104's spectacular dust rings harbor many younger and brighter stars, and show intricate details astronomers don't yet fully understand. The very center of the Sombrero glows across the electromagnetic spectrum, and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Infrared Trifid

    07/25/2015 1:58:13 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | July 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20, is easy to find with a small telescope, a well known stop in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. But where visible light pictures show the nebula divided into three parts by dark, obscuring dust lanes, this penetrating infrared image reveals filaments of glowing dust clouds and newborn stars. The spectacular false-color view is courtesy of the Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers have used the Spitzer infrared image data to count newborn and embryonic stars which otherwise can lie hidden in the natal dust and gas clouds of this intriguing stellar nursery. As...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Ultraviolet Rings of M31

    07/24/2015 5:01:17 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | July 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A mere 2.5 million light-years away the Andromeda Galaxy, also known as M31, really is just next door as large galaxies go. So close and spanning some 260,000 light-years, it took 11 different image fields from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) satellite's telescope to produce this gorgeous portrait of the spiral galaxy in ultraviolet light. While its spiral arms stand out in visible light images of Andromeda, the arms look more like rings in the GALEX ultraviolet view, a view dominated by the energetic light from hot, young, massive stars. As sites of intense star formation, the rings have...