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Posts Tagged ‘Space’

Martian Anniversary Selfie (NASA)

Explanation: June 24th marked the first full Martian year of the Curiosity Rover’s exploration of the surface of the Red Planet. That’s 687 Earth days or 669 sols since its landing on August 5, 2012. To celebrate, consider this self-portrait of the car-sized robot posing next to a rocky outcrop dubbed Windjana, its recent drilling and sampling site.

curiosity-anniversary-selfie

The mosaicked selfie was constructed with frames taken this April and May using the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), intended for close-up work and mounted at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. The MAHLI frames used exclude sections that show the arm itself and so MAHLI and the robotic arm are not seen. Famous for panoramic views, the rover’s Mastcam is visible though, on top of the tall mast staring toward the left and down at the drill hole.

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Thanks, as always, to NASA and their amazing site, Astronomy Picture of the Day!

 

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Godzilla planets? 12 billion year old gamma rays? Evidence of the planet that crashed into Earth and caused our moon to form?

This is the kind of stuff scientists were doing last week!

08-06-14

Here are the links to the articles.  Please check them out!

Godzilla planet: http://bit.ly/RZCW46
Autism: http://bit.ly/1oTnkOb
Cancer: http://bit.ly/1i9qaqZ
Theia: http://bit.ly/1xfn7HB
Hybrid star: http://bit.ly/SbvliX
Hubble deep field: http://bit.ly/1pRBFbi
Gamma ray burst: http://bit.ly/1kD36oV
Plastic rocks: http://bit.ly/SdukXM

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Thanks once again to the gang over at IFLS.

Visit them on Facebook or at their website.

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This Week in Science: June 1, 2014

While the rest of us were gearing up for summer and firing up the barbecues and whatever it is we do in anticipation of summer, my lovely geeks and nerdlings in the world of science were coming up with stuff like this! 01-06-14

Broadband: http://bit.ly/1lZ3JFX
Virgin Galactic: http://bit.ly/1mEcfMa
Velociraptor robot: http://bit.ly/1kc1wvb
Robot skin: http://bit.ly/1hNPLFO
Driverless cars: http://bit.ly/1gBIqxC
Crowdsourcing: http://bit.ly/1kxU7AK
Dragon capsule: http://bit.ly/1hG7q1V
Aircrafts flown by thought: http://bit.ly/1kRZ4ZE

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Thanks, as always, to the ILFS Facebook page!

Check out the ILFS website.

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Well, the geeks and nerdlings out in science land have done it again.

While we were out doing… like… whatever… they were doing this!

04-04-14

 

DNA: http://bit.ly/1mfICVP
Sperm: http://bit.ly/1obvldN
Muscles: http://bit.ly/1iHZthN
Exoplanet: http://bit.ly/1mejhqV
Star cluster: http://bit.ly/1jlhbq0
Circuit board: http://bit.ly/S6XlW7
Element: http://bit.ly/1nQqH7K
Heart transplants: http://bit.ly/1u4ST8t

Well done, people. Very well done.

We owe you so much. Thank you for making the world a better place and enriching our lives!

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Thanks, as always, to the wonderful people over at IFLS!

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Equinox on a Spinning Earth 

Explanation: When does the line between day and night become vertical? Tomorrow. Tomorrow is an equinox on planet Earth, a time of year when day and night are most nearly equal. At an equinox, the Earth’s terminator — the dividing line between day and night — becomes vertical and connects the north and south poles. The above time-lapse video demonstrates this by displaying an entire year on planet Earth in twelve seconds. From geosynchronous orbit, the Meteosat satellite recorded these infrared images of the Earth every day at the same local time.

Image: NASAMeteosatRobert Simmon

The video started at the September 2010 equinox with the terminator line being vertical. As the Earth revolved around the Sun, the terminator was seen to tilt in a way that provides less daily sunlight to the northern hemisphere, causing winter in the north. As the year progressed, the March 2011 equinox arrived halfway through the video, followed by the terminator tilting the other way, causing winter in the southern hemisphere — and summer in the north. The captured year ends again with the September equinox, concluding another of billions of trips the Earth has taken — and will take — around the Sun.

Equinox-Earth-1

Thanks, as always, to NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day.

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Science geeks, nerds and wonks have been going at it hammer and test tube.

Cars that run on air! A new state of matter! Mass whale grave!

Here are their latest findings!

March-02-14

Smartly done, scientists!

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For details, read the following articles. They are well worth your time!

Exoplanets: http://bit.ly/1fuJlyp
New state of matter: http://bit.ly/1hA2IVk
PLOS ONE: http://bit.ly/1hqiP7N
Martian meteorite: http://bit.ly/1cxqr40
Car runs on air: http://bit.ly/1hrMpdH
Liver cells: http://bit.ly/1fXlIcP
Mass whale grave: http://bit.ly/1esobQ9
Water vapour: http://bit.ly/MIUyOY

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This Week in Science (January 24, 2014)

Yes, boys and girls, geeks and nerdlings… scientists the world over have come up with some pretty neato stuff this week!

jan-26-2014

Excellent stuff, for sure!

Read more at the links below!

Black holes: http://bit.ly/M1dPva
Mantis shrimps: http://bit.ly/1n2GT3N
Cancer genome: http://bit.ly/1ggGtGv
Dolphin: http://bit.ly/1e7ZB6l
Cosmic web: http://bit.ly/M1eeh9
Supernova: http://bit.ly/M1e610
Shark extinction: http://bit.ly/1cj0TLp
Ceres: http://bit.ly/1fghjF4

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Website: http://www.iflscience.com/

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The geeks and nerdlings over at ScienceDaily.com have once again failed to disappoint!

How Common Are Habitable Planets? One in Five Sun-Like Stars May Have Earth-Size, Potentially Habitable Planets

Yes, boys and girls, we may not be the ‘one of a kind’ world we once thought!

It seems there are a whole bunch of Earth-size planets out there. And by ‘a whole bunch,’ I mean several tens of billions. That’s getting up there, for sure.

The article begins, “NASA’s Kepler space telescope, now crippled and its four-year mission at an end, nevertheless provided enough data to answer its main research question: How many of the 200 billion stars in our galaxy have potentially habitable planets?”

The article continues, “Based on a statistical analysis of all the Kepler observations, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Hawaii, Manoa, astronomers now estimate that one in five stars like the sun have planets about the size of Earth and a surface temperature conducive to life. Given that about 20 percent of stars are sun-like, the researchers say, that amounts to several tens of billions of potentially habitable, Earth-size planets in the Milky Way Galaxy.”

Before we start jumping into our silver Flash Gordon outfits, let’s keep one thing in mind… Earth-size does not automatically mean habitable!!

habitable-planets(Credit: Petigura/UC Berkeley, Howard/UH-Manoa, Marcy/UC Berkeley)

The team cautioned that Earth-size planets in orbits about the size of Earth’s are not necessarily hospitable to life, even if they reside in the habitable zone around a star where the temperature is similar to that on our planet.

Yes, habitability is a fairly important factor when we’re talking about Earth-like planets. We have to take the Goldilocks Approach. Some are too hot, some are too cold… and some are just right!

“Some may have thick atmospheres, making it so hot at the surface that DNA-like molecules would not survive. Others may have rocky surfaces that could harbor liquid water suitable for living organisms,” Marcy said. “We don’t know what range of planet types and their environments are suitable for life.”

“The primary goal of the Kepler mission was to answer the question, ‘When you look up in the night sky, what fraction of the stars that you see have Earth-size planets at lukewarm temperatures so that water would not be frozen into ice or vaporized into steam, but remain a liquid, because liquid water is now understood to be the prerequisite for life?'” the researchers said. “Until now, no one knew exactly how common potentially habitable planets were around sun-like stars in the galaxy.”

A bit of a side-note here. Amazing scientists are usually lumped together and tagged with general labels like ‘scientists,’ ‘researchers,’ ‘the team’ or, my personal favourite, ‘the study says.’

Let’s take a minute to give credit where credit is most certainly due.

  • Erik Petigura, UC Berkeley graduate student  who led the analysis of the Kepler data.
  • Andrew Howard, a former UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellow who is now on the faculty of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii; and
  • Geoffrey Marcy, UC Berkeley professor of astronomy.

These really smart and hard-working men, will publish their analysis and findings this week in the online early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Well done, gentlemen. Well done.

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Journal Reference:
Erik A. Petigura, Andrew W. Howard, and Geoffrey W. Marcy.
Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars.
PNAS, November 4, 2013 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1319909110

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North Celestial Tree

Sometimes I run into a photograph where it is not so much the tree itself that is so awesome but the way the photographer uses the tree to create a spectacular image.

Such is the case with the photo below, taken from NASA’s wonderful site, Astronomy Picture of the Day.

NCTreeLosada(Image Credit: Jerónimo Losada)

Explanation: If you climbed this magnificent tree, it looks like you could reach out and touch the North Celestial Pole at the center of all the star trail arcs. The well-composed image was recorded over a period of nearly 2 hours as a series of 30 second long, consecutive exposures on the night of October 5. The exposures were made with a digital camera fixed to a tripod near Almaden de la Plata, province of Seville, in southern Spain, planet Earth. Of course, the graceful star trails reflect the Earth’s daily rotation around its axis. By extension, the axis of rotation leads to the center of the concentric arcs in the night sky. Convenient for northern hemisphere night sky photographers and celestial navigators alike, the bright star Polaris is very close to the North Celestial Pole and so makes the short bright trail in the central gap between the leafy branches.

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While the rest of us were off doing whatever the rest of us do…

Science geeks and nerdlings the world over have been discovering things that make the world an even more awesome place!

sept-in-science

Cancer: http://bit.ly/167lkrE
Whispering: http://bit.ly/1biP5Ke
New form of matter: http://bit.ly/18CYkz3
Climate change: http://bbc.in/19P6vax
Mars: http://bit.ly/1bkPA6A
Oxygen: http://bit.ly/1bUtZkO
Jaw & backbone: http://bit.ly/15Dv3HJ
Solar panels: http://bit.ly/167lCyT

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