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Keyword: science

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Rosetta and Comet Outbound

    11/28/2015 8:21:10 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    NASA ^ | November 28, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Not a bright comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko now sweeps slowly through planet Earth's predawn skies near the line-up of planets along the ecliptic. Still, this composite of telescopic images follows the comet's progress as it moves away from the Sun beyond the orbit of Mars, from late September (left) through late November (far right). Its faint but extensive coma and tails are viewed against the colorful background of stars near the eastern edge of the constellation Leo. A year ago, before its perihelion passage, the comet was less active, though. Then the Rosetta mission's lander Philae made it's historic landing, touching...
  • #Black Holes Matter: First Principle

    11/28/2015 8:29:40 AM PST · by NOBO2012 · 16 replies
    Michelle Obama's Mirror ^ | 11-28-2015 | MOTUS
    As I recall, “scientists” told us for years that black holes existed at the center of galaxies and possessed a gravitational force so strong that nothing – NOTHING - could escape; not even light. Next, they told us that black holes don’t actually exist.Now they tell us that black holes really DO exist, butt that light - along with other stellar, uh, vomit - can escape after all.The NASA fantasists even created a CGI to persuade us that this time they’re correct:That’s as impressive as global warming! And possibly as real.In fact, they claim they have actually witnessed (from 300...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Gravity's Grin

    11/26/2015 9:28:08 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | November 27, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, published 100 years ago this month, predicted the phenomenon of gravitational lensing. And that's what gives these distant galaxies such a whimsical appearance, seen through the looking glass of X-ray and optical image data from the Chandra and Hubble space telescopes. Nicknamed the Cheshire Cat galaxy group, the group's two large elliptical galaxies are suggestively framed by arcs. The arcs are optical images of distant background galaxies lensed by the foreground group's total distribution of gravitational mass dominated by dark matter. In fact the two large elliptical "eye" galaxies represent the brightest members...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Planets of the Morning

    11/26/2015 9:20:51 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | November 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Planet Earth's horizon stretches across this recent Solar System group portrait, seen from the southern hemisphere's Las Campanas Observatory. Taken before dawn it traces the ecliptic with a line-up familiar to November's early morning risers. Toward the east are bright planets Venus, Mars, and Jupiter as well as Regulus, alpha star of the constellation Leo. Of course the planets are immersed in the faint glow of zodiacal light, visible from the dark site rising at an angle from the horizon. Sometimes known as the false dawn, it's no accident the zodiacal light and planets both lie along the ecliptic....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Unusual Pits Discovered on Pluto

    11/26/2015 9:18:56 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 34 replies
    NASA ^ | November 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why are there unusual pits on Pluto? The indentations were discovered during the New Horizons spacecraft's flyby of the dwarf planet in July. The largest pits span a kilometer across and dip tens of meters into a lake of frozen nitrogen, a lake that sprawls across Sputnik Planum, part of the famous light-colored heart-shaped region named Tombaugh Regio. Although most pits in the Solar System are created by impact craters, these depressions look different -- many are similarly sized, densely packed, and aligned. Rather, it is thought that something has caused these specific areas of ice to sublimate and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Aurora over Clouds

    11/23/2015 9:57:24 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | November 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Auroras usually occur high above the clouds. The auroral glow is created when fast-moving particles ejected from the Sun impact the Earth's magnetosphere, from which charged particles spiral along the Earth's magnetic field to strike atoms and molecules high in the Earth's atmosphere. An oxygen atom, for example, will glow in the green light commonly emitted by an aurora after being energized by such a collision. The lowest part of an aurora will typically occur at 100 kilometers up, while most clouds usually exist only below about 10 kilometers. The relative heights of clouds and auroras are shown clearly...
  • Mars Will Become a Ringed Planet When Phobos Dies

    11/23/2015 7:09:44 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 27 replies
    Discovery News ^ | 23 Nov, 2015 | IRENE KLOTZ
    Phobos survived a giant impact early in its history, but damage from the crash left the moon weak, say Benjamin Black and Tushar Mittal, planetary scientists with University of California at Berkeley. Their study shows that in 20 million to 40 million years, Phobos will break apart, leaving a cloud of debris that will relatively quickly assembly into a ring around Mars. Initially, the ring will be as dense as Saturn's rings today, and it will last for up to 100 million years, the study shows.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A 212-Hour Exposure of Orion

    11/22/2015 11:03:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | November 23, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The constellation of Orion is much more than three stars in a row. It is a direction in space that is rich with impressive nebulas. To better appreciate this well-known swath of sky, an extremely long exposure was taken over many clear nights in 2013 and 2014. After 212 hours of camera time and an additional year of processing, the featured 1400-exposure collage spanning over 40 times the angular diameter of the Moon emerged. Of the many interesting details that have become visible, one that particularly draws the eye is Barnard's Loop, the bright red circular filament arcing down...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Phobos: Doomed Moon of Mars

    11/22/2015 6:33:53 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 42 replies
    NASA ^ | November 22, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This moon is doomed. Mars, the red planet named for the Roman god of war, has two tiny moons, Phobos and Deimos, whose names are derived from the Greek for Fear and Panic. These martian moons may well be captured asteroids originating in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter or perhaps from even more distant reaches of the Solar System. The larger moon, Phobos, is indeed seen to be a cratered, asteroid-like object in this stunning color image from the robotic Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, recorded at a resolution of about seven meters per pixel. But Phobos orbits...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Recycling NGC 5291

    11/21/2015 10:45:19 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | November 21, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Following an ancient galaxy-galaxy collision 200 million light-years from Earth, debris from a gas-rich galaxy, NGC 5291, was flung far into intergalactic space. NGC 5291 and the likely interloper, also known as the "Seashell" galaxy, are captured near the center of this spectacular scene. The sharp, ground-based telescopic image looks toward the galaxy cluster Abell 3574 in the southern constellation Centaurus. Stretched along the 100,000 light-year long tidal tails, are clumps resembling dwarf galaxies, but lacking old stars, apparently dominated by young stars and active star forming regions. Found to be unusually rich in elements heavier than hydrogen and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Leonids and Friends

    11/21/2015 10:43:22 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | November 20, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Leonid meteors rained down on planet Earth this week, the annual shower of dusty debris from the orbit of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. Leonids streak through this composite night skyview from a backyard observatory in southern Ontario. Recorded with camera fixed to a tripod, the individual frames capture the bright meteor activity throughout the night of November 16/17, about a day before the shower's very modest peak. The frames are registered to the fixed field of view, so the meteor trails are not all aligned to the background star field recorded that same evening when nebula-rich Orion stood above the southern...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Centaurus A

    11/19/2015 3:42:37 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | November 19, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's the closest active galaxy to planet Earth? That would be Centaurus A, only 11 million light-years distant. Spanning over 60,000 light-years, the peculiar elliptical galaxy is also known as NGC 5128. Forged in a collision of two otherwise normal galaxies, Centaurus A's fantastic jumble of young blue star clusters, pinkish star forming regions, and imposing dark dust lanes are seen here in remarkable detail. The colorful galaxy portrait is a composite of image data from space- and ground-based telescopes large and small. Near the galaxy's center, left over cosmic debris is steadily being consumed by a central black...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Sudden Jet on Comet 67P

    11/18/2015 1:29:55 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | November 18, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: There she blows! A dramatic demonstration of how short-lived some comet jets can be was documented in late July by the robotic Rosetta spacecraft orbiting the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The featured animation depicts changes in the rotating comet with three illuminating stills. Although the first frame shows nothing unusual, the second frame shows a sudden strong jet shooting off the 67P's surface only 20 minutes later, while the third frame -- taken 20 minutes after that -- shows but a slight remnant of the once-active jet. As comets near the Sun, they can produce long and beautiful tails...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Pelican Nebula in Gas, Dust, and Stars

    11/17/2015 10:28:45 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | November 17, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Pelican Nebula is slowly being transformed. IC 5070, the official designation, is divided from the larger North America Nebula by a molecular cloud filled with dark dust. The Pelican, however, receives much study because it is a particularly active mix of star formation and evolving gas clouds. The featured picture was produced in three specific colors -- light emitted by sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen -- that can help us to better understand these interactions. The light from young energetic stars is slowly transforming the cold gas to hot gas, with the advancing boundary between the two, known as...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Blazing Fireball between the Orion Nebula and Rigel

    11/15/2015 10:46:55 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | November 16, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening to that meteor? A few days ago, a bright fireball was photographed from the Alps mountain range in Switzerland as it blazed across the sky. The fireball, likely from the Taurids meteor shower, was notable not only for how bright it was, but for the rare orange light it created that lingered for several minutes. Initially, the orange glow made it seem like the meteor trail was on fire. However, the orange glow, known as a persistent train, originated neither from fire nor sunlight-reflecting smoke. Rather, the persistent train's glow emanated from atoms in the Earth's atmosphere...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Leonids Over Monument Valley

    11/15/2015 10:45:26 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | November 15, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: There was a shower over Monument Valley -- but not water. Meteors. The featured image -- actually a composite of six exposures of about 30 seconds each -- was taken in 2001, a year when there was a very active Leonids shower. At that time, Earth was moving through a particularly dense swarm of sand-sized debris from Comet Tempel-Tuttle, so that meteor rates approached one visible streak per second. The meteors appear parallel because they all fall to Earth from the meteor shower radiant -- a point on the sky towards the constellation of the Lion (Leo). The yearly...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Gegenschein Lunar Eclipse

    11/14/2015 12:50:55 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | November 14, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is there anything interesting to see in the direction opposite the Sun? One night last month, there were quite a few things. First, the red-glowing orb on the lower right of the featured image is the full moon, darkened and reddened because it has entered Earth's shadow. Beyond Earth's cone of darkness are backscattering dust particles orbiting the Sun that standout with a diffuse glow called the gegenschein, visible as a faint band rising from the central horizon and passing behind the Moon. A nearly horizontal stripe of green airglow is also discernable just above the horizon, partly blocked...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Tadpoles of IC 410

    11/12/2015 11:49:42 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | November 13, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This telescopic close-up shows off the otherwise faint emission nebula IC 410. It also features two remarkable inhabitants of the cosmic pond of gas and dust below and right of center, the tadpoles of IC 410. Partly obscured by foreground dust, the nebula itself surrounds NGC 1893, a young galactic cluster of stars. Formed in the interstellar cloud a mere 4 million years ago, the intensely hot, bright cluster stars energize the glowing gas. Composed of denser cooler gas and dust, the tadpoles are around 10 light-years long and are likely sites of ongoing star formation. Sculpted by winds...
  • Bill Nye, the Anti-Science Guy, Demeans Science – Hopes to Silence Climate ‘Deniers’

    11/12/2015 7:16:05 PM PST · by markomalley · 26 replies
    CNS News ^ | 11/12/15 | H. Sterling Burnett
    In an interview in Salon touting his new book Unstoppable, which should be filed in the fiction category at your local library, the title of the interview proclaims, “Bill Nye demolishes climate deniers.” After reading the article, I was left asking: Who are these deniers, and where does this demolishing take place?Salon and Nye have evidently taken a page from the climate dogmatists’ playbook and decided to label any climate realists with the derogatory term “deniers,” linking them to holocaust deniers, an offensive smear the Associated Press requires its writers to avoid. For Nye, a climate denier is anyone who...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Kenya Morning Moon, Planets, and Taurid

    11/12/2015 4:32:17 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | November 12, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On November 8, a waning crescent Moon joined the continuing parade of planets in Earth's morning skies. Captured here from Amboseli National Park, Kenya, even the overexposed moonlight can't washout brilliant Venus though, lined up near the ecliptic plane with faint Mars and bright Jupiter above. As if Moon and planets aren't enough, a comparably bright Taurid meteor also streaks through the scene. In fact November's Taurid meteor showers have had a high proportion of bright fireballs. Apparently streaming from radiants in Taurus, the meteors are caused by our fair planet's annual passage through debris from Comet 2P/Encke. The...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- An Unexpected Rocket Plume over San Francisco

    11/11/2015 9:36:16 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | November 11, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What is that unusual light in the sky? A common question, this particular light was not only bright but moving and expanding. It appeared just as the astrophotographer and his friend were photographing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California against a more predictable night sky. They were not alone in seeing this unusual display -- at least hundreds of people in California reported a similar sight. The consensus of experienced sky observers was that the plume resulted from a rocket launch -- an explanation that was soon confirmed as an unpublicized test of a submarine-launched, unarmed, Trident...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula

    11/09/2015 10:01:43 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | November 10, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is star AE Aurigae on fire? No. Even though AE Aurigae is named the flaming star, the surrounding nebula IC 405 is named the Flaming Star Nebula, and the region appears to have the color of fire, there is no fire. Fire, typically defined as the rapid molecular acquisition of oxygen, happens only when sufficient oxygen is present and is not important in such high-energy, low-oxygen environments such as stars. The material that appears as smoke is mostly interstellar hydrogen, but does contain smoke-like dark filaments of carbon-rich dust grains. The bright star AE Aurigae, visible toward the right...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Assembly of The International Space Station

    11/09/2015 12:21:09 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | November 09, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It is the largest and most sophisticated object ever built off the Earth. It has taken numerous spaceflights and over a decade to construct. The International Space Station (ISS) is currently the premiere habitat for humans in Earth orbit, and an amalgamation of sophisticated orbiting laboratories that have examined everything from the formation of new materials and medicines created in microgravity -- to the limitations of the human body -- to the composition of the universe. This month, the ISS is celebrating 15 years of continuous human habitation. The ISS has been visited by astronauts from 15 countries, so...
  • Photographer Caught Stunning Meteor Instead of Spooky Asteroid

    11/08/2015 7:45:00 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | November 02, 2015 | Attila Nagy [Photo: Peter Komka/MTI]
    Hungarian photographer Pter Komka wanted to capture the Halloween asteroid that looked like a skull, as it made its closest approach to Earth. What he got instead was a striking image of a meteor streaking across the sky. Komka set up his camera gear on an equatorial mounted tripod near the medieval castle of Salg, and took several long exposure shot of the night sky, hoping to get some good enough image of the 2015 TB145 asteroid. Sadly the spooky space rock was too faint and did not appear in his photos. But what he finally captured in one photo...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Quadruple Sky Over Great Salt Lake

    11/08/2015 1:01:27 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | November 08, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This was a sky to show the kids. All in all, three children, three planets, the Moon, a star, an airplane and a mom were all captured in one image near Great Salt Lake in Utah, USA in early September of 2005. Minus the airplane and the quadruple on the ground, this busy quadruple coincidence sky was visible last week all over the world. The easiest object to spot is the crescent Moon, which is easily the brightest sky orb in the featured image. Venus is the highest planet in the sky, with Jupiter to its right. The bright...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Earth and Milky Way from Space

    11/07/2015 11:17:46 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | November 07, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Since November 2000, people have been living continuously on the International Space Station. To celebrate humanity's 15th anniversary off planet Earth, consider this snapshot from space of our galaxy and our home world posing together beyond the orbital outpost. The Milky Way stretches below the curve of Earth's limb in the scene that also records a faint red, extended airglow. The galaxy's central bulge appears with starfields cut by dark rifts of obscuring interstellar dust. The picture was taken by Astronaut Scott Kelly on August 9, 2015, the 135th day of his one-year mission in space.
  • The Errors of the Militant Atheist

    11/06/2015 7:01:19 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 54 replies
    The National Review ^ | October 6, 2015 | Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry
    The thought that most frequently pops into my head when I read diatribes by militant atheists is "Why won't you read a book?" Of course, put thus, the thought is implausible. The militant atheists who get interviewed in newspapers presumably have read books. Christopher Hitchens had certainly read a lot of books. But there are good books and there are bad books, and then there are necessary books. And, clearly, they haven't read any of the books that should, in a cultured society, be presumed necessary for participation in public debate. Take the theoretical physicist and public speaker Lawrence Krauss....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Unraveling NGC 3169

    11/06/2015 4:19:29 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | November 06, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Spiral galaxy NGC 3169 appears to be unraveling in this cosmic scene, played out some 70 million light-years away just below bright star Regulus toward the faint constellation Sextans. Its beautiful spiral arms are distorted into sweeping tidal tails as NGC 3169 (top) and neighboring NGC 3166 interact gravitationally, a common fate even for bright galaxies in the local universe. In fact, drawn out stellar arcs and plumes, indications of gravitational interactions, seem rampant in the deep and colorful galaxy group photo. The picture spans 20 arc minutes, or about 400,000 light-years at the group's estimated distance, and includes...
  • The Meaninglessness Of Ben Carson’s Views On Egyptian Pyramids [the money quote]

    11/05/2015 12:55:00 PM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 117 replies
    Red State ^ | October 5, 2015 | streiff
    ".... I certainly don't agree with Carson on this but neither do I think it is terribly material to anything. If you are trying to make a case that Carson is an idiot or against science, I think it takes more than a religious conviction to discredit an internationally prominent neurosurgeon with a string of articles published in scholarly medical journals. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton believes in man-induced global warming. Many of the same people criticizing Carson actually believe that gender has nothing to do with chromosomes or endocrinology or physiology. When it comes to GMOs, especially seeds...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 1333: Stellar Nursery in Perseus

    11/05/2015 5:10:13 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | October 05, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: NGC 1333 is seen in visible light as a reflection nebula, dominated by bluish hues characteristic of starlight reflected by interstellar dust. A mere 1,000 light-years distant toward the heroic constellation Perseus, it lies at the edge of a large, star-forming molecular cloud. This striking close-up spans about two full moons on the sky or just over 15 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 1333. It shows details of the dusty region along with hints of contrasting red emission from Herbig-Haro objects, jets and shocked glowing gas emanating from recently formed stars. In fact, NGC 1333 contains hundreds...
  • Can science prove Adam and Eve were real?

    11/05/2015 2:03:48 AM PST · by WhiskeyX · 65 replies
    Fox News ^ | Nov. 04, 2015 - 5:38 | Fox News
    Can science prove Adam and Eve were real? Spirited Debate: Dr. Fazal Rana and Dr. Hugh Ross believe religion and science can prove how life began
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Great Orion Nebula M42

    11/04/2015 11:49:43 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | November 04, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Great Nebula in Orion, also known as M42, is one of the most famous nebulas in the sky. The star forming region's glowing gas clouds and hot young stars are on the right in this sharp and colorful image that includes the bluish reflection nebulae NGC 1977 and friends on the left. Located at the edge of an otherwise invisible giant molecular cloud complex, these eye-catching nebulas represent only a small fraction of this galactic neighborhood's wealth of interstellar material. Within the well-studied stellar nursery, astronomers have also identified what appear to be numerous infant planetary systems. The...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Seeking Venus under the Spitzkoppe Arch

    11/03/2015 9:33:59 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | November 03, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that in the sky? Although there was much to see in this spectacular panorama taken during the early morning hours of a day in late September, the brightest object in the sky was clearly the planet Venus. In the featured image, Venus was captured actually through a natural rock bridge, itself picturesque, in Spitzkoppe, Namibia. The planet, on the left of the opening, was complemented by a silhouette of the astrophotographer on the right. Above and beyond the rock bridge were many famous icons of a dark night sky, including, from left to right, the Pleiades star cluster,...
  • Did Jupiter Bumped The Giant Planet From Our Solar System?

    11/02/2015 7:03:39 PM PST · by Beowulf9 · 65 replies
    http://www.starminenews.com ^ | NOV 1, 2015 | PTI
    Toronto– A close encounter with Jupiter about four billion years ago may have resulted in another planet’s ejection from the solar system altogether, scientists have found. The existence of a fifth giant gas planet at the time of the solar system’s formation — in addition to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune that we know of today — was first proposed in 2011, researchers said.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet ISON Being Destroyed by the Sun

    11/01/2015 10:24:46 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | November 02, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Most comets don't survive a close encounter with the Sun. Two years ago this month, though, Comet ISON was thought by some to be big enough to withstand its perilous sungrazing dive. The featured video shows the drama as it was recorded by NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) satellite. As many Earthlings watched in fascination, a bright area did emerge from closest approach, but it soon faded and dispersed. It is now assumed that no large fragments of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) survived. Besides the comet, the active Sun is seen to eject puffs of plasma known as...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Milky Way Over Monument Valley

    10/31/2015 9:14:38 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | November 01, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: You don't have to be at Monument Valley to see the Milky Way arch across the sky like this -- but it helps. Only at Monument Valley USA would you see a picturesque foreground that includes these iconic rock peaks called buttes. Buttes are composed of hard rock left behind after water has eroded away the surrounding soft rock. In the featured image taken in 2012, the closest butte on the left and the butte to its right are known as the Mittens, while Merrick Butte can be seen just further to the right. High overhead stretches a band...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Ghosts and Star Trails

    10/31/2015 1:15:25 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | October 31, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Don't be scared. Stars won't fall from the sky and ghosts won't really haunt your neighborhood tonight. But it looks like they might be doing just that in this eerie picture of an eccentric old abandoned house in moonlight. A treat for the eye the image is a trick of stacked multiple exposures, 60 frames exposed for 25 seconds each. While the digital frames were recorded with a camera fixed to a tripod stars traced concentric arcs about the north celestial pole, only a reflection of planet Earth's rotation on its axis. Conveniently marked by bright star Polaris, the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Witch Head Nebula

    10/31/2015 1:13:06 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | October 30, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble .... maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. A frighteningly shaped reflection nebula, this cosmic crone is about 800 light-years away though. Its malevolent visage seems to glare toward nearby bright star Rigel in Orion, just off the right edge of this frame. More formally known as IC 2118, the interstellar cloud of dust and gas is nearly 70 light-years across, its dust grains reflecting Rigel's starlight. In this composite portrait, the nebula's color is caused not only by the star's intense bluish light but because the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- IC 1871: Inside the Soul Nebula

    10/29/2015 2:31:38 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | October 29, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This cosmic close-up looks deep inside the Soul Nebula. The dark and brooding dust clouds outlined by bright ridges of glowing gas are cataloged as IC 1871. About 25 light-years across, the telescopic field of view spans only a small part of the much larger Heart and Soul nebulae. At an estimated distance of 6,500 light-years the star-forming complex lies within the Perseus spiral arm of the Milky Way, seen in planet Earth's skies toward the constellation Cassiopeia. An example of triggered star formation, the dense star-forming clouds of IC 1871 are themselves sculpted by the intense winds and...
  • Andromeda And The Milky Way Might Collide Sooner Than We Think

    05/16/2015 2:26:25 PM PDT · by ETL · 61 replies
    Universe Today via io9 ^ | May 16, 2015 | Bob King
    The merger of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy wont happen for another 4 billion years, but the recent discovery of a massive halo of hot gas around Andromeda may mean our galaxies are already touching. Andromedas halo is gargantuan. Extending for at least 2 million light years, if we could see in our night sky it would be 100 times the diameter of the Moon or 50 degrees across! [the entire sky, from horizon to horizon, is approx 180 deg -ETL] Credit: NASA University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Nicholas Lehner led a team of scientists using the Hubble Space...
  • Galaxy Grande: Milky Way May Be More Massive Than Thought

    12/03/2012 10:02:45 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 22 replies
    Scientific American ^ | 12/3/12 | Ken Croswell
    Hubble observations of a speedy galaxy weigh on the Milky Way and indicate that our galaxy is at least a trillion times as massive as the sunMilky Way GREAT GALAXY: The Milky Way maintains a fleet of some two dozen satellite galaxies whose motions help reveal its mass. Image: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team Although scientists know the masses of the sun and Earth, it's a different story for the galaxy. Mass estimates range widely: At the low end, some studies find that the galaxy is several hundred billion times as massive as the sun whereas the largest values exceed two trillion...
  • Deeply embedded stellar clusters found in Milky Way

    08/03/2003 5:43:34 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 1 replies · 213+ views
    Peering into a giant molecular cloud in the Milky Way galaxy - known as W49 - astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have discovered a whole new population of very massive newborn stars. This research was presented at the International Astronomical Union's 25th General Assembly held in Sydney, Australia, by ESO-scientist Joao Alves. With the help of infrared images obtained during a period of excellent observing conditions with the ESO 3.5-m New Technology Telescope (NTT) at the La Silla Observatory (Chile), the astronomers looked deep into this molecular cloud and discovered four massive stellar clusters, with hot and energetic...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Massive Black Hole Shreds Passing Star

    10/28/2015 5:14:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | October 28, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What happens when a star gets too close to a black hole? Recent observations from Earth-orbiting observatories of an event dubbed ASASSN-14li, in a distant galactic center, appears to be giving one star's harrowing story. Although angularly unresolved, variations in high energy light indicate that some of the star became shredded and reformed into a disk swirling around the dark abyss. In the hypothesized scenario envisioned, a jet formed on the spin axis of the black hole. The innermost part of the disk, colored white, glows most strongly in X-rays and may drive a periodic wind, shown in blue....
  • Daylight Slaying Time

    10/28/2015 7:07:43 AM PDT · by Lazamataz · 31 replies
    10/28/2015 | By Laz A. Mataz
  • "Scientists" & AlGore claim High Levels of CO2 Making People Dumber(But maybe not Dumb Enough)

    10/28/2015 7:17:06 AM PDT · by FiddlePig · 18 replies
    RedNeckoBlogger ^ | 10/28/2015 | RedNeckoblogger (kinda)
    A coupla links on the subject... observations to follow. http://dailycaller.com/2015/10/27/scientists-claim-high-co2-levels-are-making-people-dumber/ http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/09/climate-change-aliens-exoplanets The problem (IMHO) is its not making people dumb enough! Tons of Bee Ess ideology pretending to be science (Global Warming/Climate Change on cold days... or AGW/CC)) is dumped daily into our biosphere far more damaging to the people of Earth than CO2. For liberty and prosperity (to be replaced with a rationed subsistence) must be surrendered to central hyper-nanny-bureaucrat authority to save the planet! ("dear leaders" exempt... of course) But in spite of a media full court press, not enough people are dumb enough (yet?) to buy the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Bright from the Heart Nebula

    10/27/2015 3:46:27 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | October 27, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's that inside the Heart Nebula? First, the large emission nebula dubbed IC 1805 looks, in whole, like a human heart. The nebula glows brightly in red light emitted by its most prominent element: hydrogen. The red glow and the larger shape are all created by a small group of stars near the nebula's center. In the center of the Heart Nebula are young stars from the open star cluster Melotte 15 that are eroding away several picturesque dust pillars with their energetic light and winds. The open cluster of stars contains a few bright stars nearly 50 times...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Charon and the Small Moons of Pluto

    10/27/2015 3:43:51 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | October 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What do the moons of Pluto look like? Before a decade ago, only the largest moon Charon was known, but never imaged. As the robotic New Horizons spacecraft was prepared and launched, other moons were identified on Hubble images but remained only specks of light. Finally, this past summer, New Horizons swept right past Pluto, photographed Pluto and Charon in detail, and took the best images of Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra that it could. The featured image composite shows the results -- each moon is seen to have a distinct shape, while underlying complexity is only hinted. Even...
  • Boozy comet leaves '500 bottles of wine per second' trail in its wake

    10/26/2015 7:26:54 PM PDT · by Fred Nerks · 40 replies
    ninemsn ^ | 27/10/2015 | N/A
    A comet with the nickname Happy Hour leaves a boozy trail equivalent to "500 bottles of wine per second" in its wake as it shoots through space. Scientists studying the comet, known as Lovejoy, have found its glowing trail is made up of alcohol and sugar. A study published by a group of scientists from NASA and European agencies observed the unusual comet as it rocketed alongside the sun on January 30, NASA reports. "You have alcohol and sugar, so that can lead to a 'happy hour' name, but I would not recommend anyone drink this water," team researcher Darek...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Jupiter and Venus from Earth

    10/26/2015 8:12:40 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | October 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It was visible around the world. The sunset conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in 2012 was visible almost no matter where you lived on Earth. Anyone on the planet with a clear western horizon at sunset could see them. Pictured above in 2012, a creative photographer traveled away from the town lights of Szubin, Poland to image a near closest approach of the two planets. The bright planets were separated only by three degrees and his daughter striking a humorous pose. A faint red sunset still glowed in the background. Jupiter and Venus will be at it again this...
  • The Myth of Basic Science

    10/26/2015 5:51:46 AM PDT · by tlozo · 14 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | Oct. 23, 2015 | Matt Ridley
    Innovation is a mysteriously difficult thing to dictate. Technology seems to change by a sort of inexorable, evolutionary progress, which we probably cannot stopor speed up much either. And its not much the product of science. Most technological breakthroughs come from technologists tinkering, not from researchers chasing hypotheses. Heretical as it may sound, basic science isnt nearly as productive of new inventions as we tend to think When you examine the history of innovation, you find, again and again, that scientific breakthroughs are the effect, not the cause, of technological change. It is no accident that astronomy blossomed in the...