Keyword: science

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Simeis 147: Supernova Remnant

    10/09/2012 3:52:11 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | October 09, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It's easy to get lost following the intricate filaments in this detailed mosaic image of faint supernova remnant Simeis 147 (S147). Also cataloged as Sh2-240, it covers nearly 3 degrees or 6 full moons on the sky. That's about 150 light-years at the stellar debris cloud's estimated distance of 3,000 light-years. Anchoring the frame at the right, bright star Elnath (Beta Tauri) is seen towards the boundary of the constellations Taurus and Auriga, almost exactly opposite the galactic center in planet Earth's sky. This sharp composite includes image data taken through a narrow-band filter to highlight emission from hydrogen...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Spherical Planetary Nebula Abell 39

    10/08/2012 8:17:39 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | October 08, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Ghostly in appearance, Abell 39 is a remarkably simple, spherical nebula about five light-years across. Well within our own Milky Way galaxy, the cosmic sphere is roughly 7,000 light-years distant toward the constellation Hercules. Abell 39 is a planetary nebula, formed as a once sun-like star's outer atmosphere was expelled over a period of thousands of years. Still visible, the nebula's central star is evolving into a hot white dwarf. Although faint, the nebula's simple geometry has proven to be a boon to astronomers exploring the chemical abundances and life cycles of stars. In this deep image recorded under...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Same Color Illusion

    10/06/2012 9:43:54 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | October 07, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Are square A and B the same color? They are! To verify this, either run your cursor over the image or click here to see them connected. The above illusion, called the same color illusion, illustrates that purely human observations in science may be ambiguous or inaccurate. Even such a seemingly direct perception as relative color. Similar illusions exist on the sky, such as the size of the Moon near the horizon, or the apparent shapes of astronomical objects. The advent of automated, reproducible, measuring devices such as CCDs have made science in general and astronomy in particular less...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- At the Heart of Orion

    10/06/2012 1:07:39 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | October 06, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Near the center of this sharp cosmic portrait, at the heart of the Orion Nebula, are four hot, massive stars known as the Trapezium. Gathered within a region about 1.5 light-years in radius, they dominate the core of the dense Orion Nebula Star Cluster. Ultraviolet ionizing radiation from the Trapezium stars, mostly from the brightest star Theta 1 Orionis C powers the complex star forming region's entire visible glow. About three million years old, the Orion Nebula Cluster was even more compact in its younger years and a recent dynamical study indicates that runaway stellar collisions at an earlier...
  • European Food Safety Authority Finds Controversial GM Study Wanting

    10/05/2012 7:03:13 PM PDT · by neverdem · 12 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 4 October 2012 | Gretchen Vogel and Martin Enserink
    Enlarge Image Controversial kernels. The European Food Safety Authority is questioning the validity of a high-profile study that found an association between genetically modified corn and cancer in rats. Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says a recent study on the toxicity of genetically modified maize and a common herbicide is inconclusive. The study, published on 19 September, claimed to find that rats fed genetically modified maize developed tumors at a higher rate than control animals. The study received wide press attention, although it was criticized by many scientists for its design and its...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Aurora and Fireball Over Norway

    10/05/2012 4:40:53 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | October 05, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happening behind that mountain? A convergence of variable sky spectacles. One night in mid-September near Tromsø, Norway, high red aurora could be seen shimmering through lower green aurora in a way that created a striking and somewhat unusual violet glow. Suddenly, though, the sky flashed with the brightest fireball the astrophotographer had ever seen, as a small pebble from outer space violently crashed into the Earth's atmosphere. The glow illuminated the distant mountain peak known as Otertinden of the Lyngen Alps. The bright meteor, which coincidently disappeared behind the same mountain, was also reflected in the foreground Signalelva...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 7293: The Helix Nebula

    10/05/2012 4:40:35 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | October 04, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A mere seven hundred light years from Earth, in the constellation Aquarius, a sun-like star is dying. Its last few thousand years have produced the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), a well studied and nearby example of a Planetary Nebula, typical of this final phase of stellar evolution. A total of 58 hours of exposure time have gone in to creating this deep view of the nebula. Accumulating narrow band data from emission lines of hydrogen atoms in red and oxygen atoms in blue-green hues, it shows remarkable details of the Helix's brighter inner region, about 3 light-years across, but...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Goat Aurora Over Greenland

    10/03/2012 3:19:15 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | October 03, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sometimes it's hard to believe what you see in the sky. During the Shelios Expedition to Greenland in late August, even veteran sky enthusiasts saw auroras so colorful, so fast changing, and so unusual in form that they could remember nothing like it. As the ever changing auroras evolved, huge shapes spread across the sky morphed from one familiar form into another, including what looked to be the head of a goat (shown above), the head of an elephant, a strange green-tailed comet, and fingers on a celestial hand. Even without the aurora, the sky would be notable for...
  • The Atlantic: Tin Foil Hats Actually Make it Easier for the Government to Track Your Thoughts

    10/02/2012 5:58:58 PM PDT · by a fool in paradise · 25 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | Sep 28 2012, 11:38 AM ET | Matt Soniak
    ...The scientific reasoning behind the foil helmet is that it acts as a Faraday cage, an enclosure made up of a conducting material that shields its interior from external electrostatic charges and electromagnetic radiation by distributing them around its exterior and dissipating them. While sometimes these enclosures are actual cages, they come in many forms, and most of us have probably dealt with one type or another. Elevators, the scan rooms that MRI machines sit in, "booster bags" that shoplifters sometimes use to circumvent electronic security tags, cables like USB or TV coaxial cables, and even the typical household microwave...
  • Political Non-Science [ and why you're called Nazis]

    10/02/2012 4:24:34 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 34 replies
    The American Spectator ^ | October 2, 2912 | Lars Walker
    ...It's a tragedy of history that Karl Marx chose to dress his theories in the clothing of scientific analysis. Ever since his time, Marxists have built systems on his theories in the settled faith that their daring new policies must bear fruit,because they're based on "irrefutable science." And yet, time and again, those policies have failed. Science isn't supposed to work that way. So the Marxists are forced to ask, "What can explain such an anomaly? How can science be wrong?" The answer is always the same–"Wreckers have been at work. Saboteurs, ungrateful for the blessings of socialism, are conspiring...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- An Ancient Stream Bank on Mars

    10/02/2012 3:33:37 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | October 02, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Fresh evidence of an ancient stream has been found on Mars. The robotic rover Curiosity has run across unusual surface features that carry a strong resemblance to stream banks on Earth. Visible in the above image, for example, is a small overhanging rock ledge that was quite possibly created by water erosion beneath. The texture of the ledge appears to be a sedimentary conglomerate, the dried remains of many smaller rocks stuck together. Beneath the ledge are numerous small pebbles, possibly made smooth by tumbling in and around the once-flowing stream. Pebbles in the streambed likely fell there as...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Introducing Comet ISON

    10/01/2012 3:46:01 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | October 01, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Could this dim spot brighten into one of the brightest comets ever? It's possible. Alternatively, the comet could break up when it gets closer to the Sun, or brighten much more modestly. Sky enthusiasts the world over are all abuzz, though, from the more optimistic speculations -- that the newly discovered C/2012 S1 (ISON) could develop a spectacular tail or briefly approach the brightness of the full Moon toward the end of 2013. Comet ISON currently is very faint but is just visible at magnitude 18 in the above image. The comet, discovered just over a week ago from...
  • Biblical-Type Floods Are Real, and They’re Absolutely Enormous

    09/30/2012 6:17:06 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 37 replies
    Discover Magazine ^ | August 29, 2012 | David R. Montgomery
    Geologists long rejected the notion that cataclysmic flood had ever occurred—until one of them found proof of a Noah-like catastrophe in the wildly eroded river valleys of Washington State. After teaching geology at the University of Washington for a decade, I had become embarrassed that I hadn’t yet seen the deep canyons where tremendous Ice Age floods scoured down into solid rock to sculpt the scablands. So I decided to help lead a field trip for students to see the giant erosion scars on the local landforms. We drove across the Columbia River and continued eastward, dropping into Moses Coulee,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Galaxy Collision in NGC 6745

    09/30/2012 4:03:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | September 30, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Galaxies don't normally look like this. NGC 6745 actually shows the results of two galaxies that have been colliding for only hundreds of millions of years. Just off the above digitally sharpened photograph to the lower right is the smaller galaxy, moving away. The larger galaxy, pictured above, used to be a spiral galaxy but now is damaged and appears peculiar. Gravity has distorted the shapes of the galaxies. Although it is likely that no stars in the two galaxies directly collided, the gas, dust, and ambient magnetic fields do interact directly. In fact, a knot of gas pulled...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 7023: The Iris Nebula

    09/29/2012 6:53:10 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | September 29, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Like delicate cosmic petals, these clouds of interstellar dust and gas have blossomed 1,300 light-years away in the fertile star fields of the constellation Cepheus. Sometimes called the Iris Nebula and dutifully cataloged as NGC 7023 this is not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery of flowers. Still, this remarkable image shows off the Iris Nebula's range of colors and symmetries in impressive detail. Within the Iris, dusty nebular material surrounds a hot, young star. The dominant color of the brighter reflection nebula is blue, characteristic of dust grains reflecting starlight. Central filaments of the...
  • Agenda Driven Polls (Saturbray)

    09/29/2012 7:51:08 AM PDT · by bray · 7 replies
    www.brayincandy.com ^ | 9/29/12 | bray
    As John was completing his Work, he said: “Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” Acts 13:25 The Obamamedia can fool some of the Republicans all of the time and all of the Republicans some of the time but the Press Corpse can’t fool all of us all of the time. It appears the poll scam has run its course and we will now begin to see more true results as the election nears. When everybody is seriously questioning why the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- APOD: 2012 September 28 - Stars in a Dusty Sky

    09/28/2012 4:06:50 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | September 28, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Bright star Markab anchors this dusty skyscape. At the top right corner of the frame, Markab itself marks a corner of an asterism known as the Great Square, found within the boundaries of the constellation Pegasus, the flying horse. The wide and deep telescopic view rides along for some 5 degrees or about 10 times the angular diameter of the Full Moon, with blue reflection nebulae scattered around the scene. And even though this line-of-sight looks away from the plane of our Milky Way galaxy, it covers a region known to be filled with nearby molecular clouds. The associated...
  • NASA's Rubber Ruler Scandal

    09/28/2012 2:15:28 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 29 replies
    The American Thinker ^ | September 28, 2012 | Randall Hoven
    It turns out that there is no way to reliably compare current global temperatures to historical data using NASA's database. It is a scientific scandal.I wrote recently about NASA changing its entire temperature record database, just from July to September. That is, in 2012, NASA changed temperatures going back to 1880. And it did that without telling anyone or explaining it. The net effect was to make the 130-year warming trend steeper, by lowering older (pre-1963) temperatures and slightly raising recent ones.I must confess, I was slightly apprehensive about writing that. It was just possible that I had grabbed the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Stars and Dust Across Corona Australis

    09/27/2012 7:50:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | September 27, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Cosmic dust clouds sprawl across a rich field of stars in this sweeping telescopic vista near the northern boundary of Corona Australis, the Southern Crown. Probably less than 500 light-years away and effectively blocking light from more distant, background stars in the Milky Way, the densest part of the dust cloud is about 8 light-years long. At its tip (upper right) is a group of lovely reflection nebulae cataloged as NGC 6726, 6727, 6729, and IC 4812. A characteristic blue color is produced as light from hot stars is reflected by the cosmic dust. The smaller yellowish nebula (NGC...
  • Men without testicles might live longer, study suggests [Obama must be Methusaleh]

    09/26/2012 2:16:30 AM PDT · by SoFloFreeper · 38 replies
    L.A. Times ^ | September 24, 2012 | Jon Bardin
    Want to live to 100? A new study suggests that, for men, your testicles might be holding you back. Korean eunuchs — men who had their testicles removed — outlived their contemporaries by as many as 14 to 19 years, suggesting that male sex hormones somehow act to shorten the male human lifespan, according to a new historical study of records spanning from the 14th century through the early 19th century. The finding, reported Monday in the journal Current Biology, argues for something called the "disposable soma theory.” The idea is that since animals have limited access to energy, there...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Space Shuttle Over Los Angeles

    09/25/2012 9:17:10 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | September 26, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It's not every day that a space shuttle lands at LAX. Although this was a first for the major Los Angeles airport hub, it was a last for the space shuttle Endeavour, as it completed its tour of California skies and landed, albeit atop a 747, for the last time. During its last flight the iconic shuttle and its chase planes were photographed near several of California's own icons including the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Hollywood Sign, and the skyline of Los Angeles. Previously, in May, the space shuttle Enterprise was captured passing behind several of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Unusual Spheres on Mars

    09/24/2012 9:14:37 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 40 replies
    NASA ^ | September 25, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why are these strange little spheres on Mars? The robotic rover Opportunity chanced across these unusually shaped beads earlier this month while exploring a place named Kirkwood near the rim of Mars' Endeavor Crater. The above image taken by Opportunity's Microscopic Imager shows that some ground near the rover is filled with these unusual spheres, each spanning only about 3 millimeters. At first glance, the sometimes-fractured balls appear similar to the small rocks dubbed blueberries seen by Opportunity eight years ago, but these spheres are densely compacted and have little iron content. Although it is thought that these orbs...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 2736: The Pencil Nebula

    09/24/2012 6:52:23 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | September 24, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This shock wave plows through space at over 500,000 kilometers per hour. Moving toward to bottom of this beautifully detailed color composite, the thin, braided filaments are actually long ripples in a sheet of glowing gas seen almost edge on. Cataloged as NGC 2736, its narrow appearance suggests its popular name, the Pencil Nebula. About 5 light-years long and a mere 800 light-years away, the Pencil Nebula is only a small part of the Vela supernova remnant. The Vela remnant itself is around 100 light-years in diameter and is the expanding debris cloud of a star that was seen...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Equinox: The Sun from Solstice to Solstice

    09/22/2012 9:16:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    NASA ^ | September 23, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Yesterday was an equinox, a date when day and night are equal. Today, and every day until the next equinox, the night will be longer than the day in Earth's northern hemisphere, and the day will be longer than the night in Earth's southern hemisphere. An equinox occurs midway between the two solstices, when the days and nights are the least equal. The picture is a composite of hourly images taken of the Sun above Bursa, Turkey on key days from solstice to equinox to solstice. The bottom Sun band was taken during the winter solstice in 2007 December,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Austrian Analemma

    09/22/2012 8:57:01 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | September 22, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Today, the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading south at 14:49 Universal Time. An equinox (equal night), this astronomical event marks the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the south. With the Sun on the celestial equator, Earth dwellers will experience nearly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. To celebrate, consider this careful record of the Sun's yearly journey through southern Austrian skies. The scene is composed of images made at the same time each day, capturing the Sun's position on dates from September 29, 2011 through September 9, 2012. The...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- September's Aurora

    09/21/2012 3:29:42 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | September 21, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: September's equinox arrives tomorrow as the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading south. The event marks the astronomical beginning of spring in the southern hemisphere and autumn in the north. And though the connection is still puzzling, the equinox seasons bring an increase in geomagnetic storms. So as northern nights grow longer, the equinox also heralds the arrival of a good season for aurora hunters. Recorded on September 20, these colorful northern lights were captured with camera and wide-angle lens near the Norwegian Sea coast outside Tromsø in Northern Norway. Shining at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so, the...
  • Monsanto's GM Corn And Cancer In Rats: Real Scientists Deeply Unimpressed.

    09/21/2012 5:47:59 AM PDT · by Aussiebabe · 9 replies
    Forbes ^ | 9/20/2012 | Tim Worstall
    Experts not involved in the study were skeptical, with one accusing the French scientists of going on a "statistical fishing trip" and others describing its methods as well below standard. The animals on the genetically modified (GM) diet suffered mammary tumors, as well as severe liver and kidney damage, according to the peer-reviewed study which was published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology and presented at a news conference in London. The researchers said 50 percent of male and 70 percent of female rats died prematurely, compared with only 30 percent and 20 percent in the control group.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sunrise Analemma (with a little extra)

    09/20/2012 3:46:22 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | September 20, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: An analemma is that figure-8 curve that you get when you mark the position of the Sun at the same time each day throughout planet Earth's year. In this case, 17 individual images taken at 0231 UT on dates between April 2 and September 16 follow half the analemma curve, looking east toward the rising sun and the Caspian sea from the boardwalk in the port city of Baku, Azerbaijan. With the sun nearest the horizon, those dates almost span the period between the 2012 equinoxes on March 20 and September 22. The northern summer Solstice on June 20...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Leaving Vesta

    09/19/2012 6:23:23 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | September 19, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Next stop: Ceres. Last week the robotic Dawn spacecraft ended its year-long mission to asteroid Vesta, becoming the first spacecraft ever to visit this far off world located between Mars and Jupiter, in the Solar System's main asteroid belt. Many of the best images taken by Dawn at Vesta have been compiled into the above encompassing view. Vesta shows evidence of being a leftover from the early years of our Solar System, a building block for rocky planets like Earth. Vesta's ancient surface shows heavy cratering and long troughs likely created by huge impacts. The minor planet's low gravity...
  • Authoress Suggests Very Religious Are Mental Cases

    09/19/2012 7:38:58 AM PDT · by CHRISTIAN DIARIST · 38 replies
    The Christian Diarist | September 19, 2012 | JP
    Erica Loberg doesn’t come right out and say it, but the author of “Inside the Insane” believes that those of us who are very religious – or “hyper religious,” as she describes us – are mentally ill. “Are there are lot of hyper religio(us) people walking around with schizophrenia or hypo mania and not even know it?,” she asks. “Can religion be a springboard to help discover a mental illness?” Loberg doesn’t answer her own questions, but it’s pretty obvious what she thinks: Religiosity is a marker for mental illness, if not insanity. When I checked Loberg’s biography, I discovred...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Orbiting Astronaut Self-Portrait

    09/18/2012 3:51:36 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | September 18, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is it art? Earlier this month, space station astronaut Aki Hoshide (Japan) recorded this striking image while helping to augment the capabilities of the Earth-orbiting International Space Station (ISS). Visible in this outworldly assemblage is the Sun, the Earth, two portions of a robotic arm, an astronaut's spacesuit, the deep darkness of space, and the unusual camera taking the picture. This image joins other historic -- and possibly artistic -- self-portraits taken previously in space. The Expedition 32 mission ended yesterday when an attached capsule undocked with the ISS and returned some of the crew to Earth.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Solar Filament Erupts [Wow!]

    09/17/2012 3:14:33 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | September 17, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happened to our Sun? Nothing very unusual -- it just threw a filament. At the end of last month, a long standing solar filament suddenly erupted into space producing an energetic Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). The filament had been held up for days by the Sun's ever changing magnetic field and the timing of the eruption was unexpected. Watched closely by the Sun-orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, the resulting explosion shot electrons and ions into the Solar System, some of which arrived at Earth three days later and impacted Earth's magnetosphere, causing visible aurorae. Loops of plasma surrounding an...
  • Faith and Science

    09/17/2012 12:30:05 PM PDT · by Chuckmorse · 3 replies
    Chuck Morse Speaks ^ | September 18, 2012 | Chuck Morse
    Today is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and I happened to get a synopsis of a sermon that was delivered by a Rabbi at a Reform synagogue in Seattle. The Rabbi presented what I would describe as a false conflict, a dialectical analysis, and that is the alleged conflicting views of faith and science. Operating on the premise that this conflict exists, the Rabbi suggested, as a solution, that his congregants re-introduce faith into their lives. There is, or course, no contradiction between faith and science as this is one of the great myths that has been promoted by...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Saturn: Bright Tethys and Ancient Rings

    09/16/2012 8:37:42 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | September 16, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How old are Saturn's rings? No one is quite sure. One possibility is that the rings formed relatively recently in our Solar System's history, perhaps only about 100 million years ago when a moon-sized object broke up near Saturn. Evidence for a young ring age includes a basic stability analysis for rings, and the fact that the rings are so bright and relatively unaffected by numerous small dark meteor impacts. More recent evidence, however, raises the possibility that some of Saturn's rings may be billions of years old and so almost as old as Saturn itself. Inspection of images...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Ring Nebula Drawn

    09/15/2012 10:55:01 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | September 15, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A planetary nebula with a simple symmetry familiar to telescopic sky gazers, the Ring Nebula (M57) is some 2,000 light-years away in the musical constellation Lyra. Hints of changing colors and subtle details are brought out in this remarkable sketch of the cosmic ring. The sketch was made with 800x magnification and excellent seeing conditions directly at the eyepiece of a 40 inch reflecting telescope. Colored pencils on white paper were used to create the original drawing, shown here digitally scanned with an inverted palette applied. About one light-year across, the nebula is composed of outer layers expelled from...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Elliptical M60, Spiral NGC 4647

    09/15/2012 10:53:41 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | September 14, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Giant elliptical galaxy M60 and spiral galaxy NGC 4647 do look like an odd couple in this sharp cosmic portrait from the Hubble Space Telescope. But they are found in a region of space where galaxies tend to gather, on the eastern side of the nearby Virgo Galaxy Cluster. About 54 million light-years distant, bright M60's simpler egg-like shape is created by its randomly swarming older stars, while NGC 4647's young blue stars, gas and dust are organized into winding arms rotating in a flattened disk. Spiral NGC 4647 is estimated to be more distant than M60, some 63...
  • Atomic bond types discernible in single-molecule images

    09/14/2012 7:55:26 PM PDT · by neverdem · 33 replies
    BBC News ^ | 13 September 2012 | Jason Palmer
    A pioneering team from IBM in Zurich has published single-molecule images so detailed that the type of atomic bonds between their atoms can be discerned. The same team took the first-ever single-molecule image in 2009 and more recently published images of a molecule shaped like the Olympic rings. The new work opens up the prospect of studying imperfections in the "wonder material" graphene or plotting where electrons go during chemical reactions. The images are published in Science. The team, which included French and Spanish collaborators, used a variant of a technique called atomic force microscopy, or AFM. AFM uses a...
  • Rural America Fatter Than Urban America

    09/14/2012 7:39:18 PM PDT · by La Lydia · 50 replies
    ABC News ^ | September 14, 2012 | DR. JULIELYNN WONG
    City slickers are slimmer than their country counterparts, according to a new study that suggests rural obesity is a bigger problem than we realized. A national study in the Journal of Rural Health of over 8,800 Americans showed that country folks were nearly one-fifth more likely to be obese compared to those living in cities. In other words, the findings suggest, where you live is important in obesity. "The rates of obesity were much higher than previously reported based on self-report, with 39 percent of rural Americans being obese compared to 33 percent of urban Americans," said study lead author...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Cocoon Nebula Wide Field

    09/12/2012 9:18:50 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | September 13, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In this crowded starfield covering over 2 degrees within the high flying constellation Cygnus, the eye is drawn to the Cocoon Nebula. A compact star forming region, the cosmic Cocoon punctuates a long trail of obscuring interstellar dust clouds. Cataloged as IC 5146, the nebula is nearly 15 light-years wide, located some 4,000 light years away. Like other star forming regions, it stands out in red, glowing, hydrogen gas excited by the young, hot stars and blue, dust-reflected starlight at the edge of an otherwise invisible molecular cloud. In fact, the bright star near the center of this nebula...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M7: Open Star Cluster in Scorpius

    09/12/2012 8:46:10 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | September 12, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: M7 is one of the most prominent open clusters of stars on the sky. The cluster, dominated by bright blue stars, can be seen with the naked eye in a dark sky in the tail of the constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius). M7 contains about 100 stars in total, is about 200 million years old, spans 25 light-years across, and lies about 1000 light-years away. The above deep exposure was taken from Hakos Farm in Namibia. The M7 star cluster has been known since ancient times, being noted by Ptolemy in the year 130 AD. Also visible are a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Milky Way Over the Bungle Bungles

    09/11/2012 4:21:41 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | September 11, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Which part of this picture do you find more interesting -- the land or the sky? Advocates for the land might cite the beauty of the ancient domes of the Bungle Bungle Range in Western Australia. These picturesque domes appear as huge layered beehives and are made of sandstones and conglomerates deposited over 350 million years ago. Advocates for the sky might laud the beauty of the Milky Way's central band shown arching from horizon to horizon. The photogenic Milky Way band formed over 10 billion years ago and now includes many well-known nebulae and bright stars. Fortunately, you...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Curiosity on the Move

    09/10/2012 2:31:54 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | September 10, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Curiosity is on the move across Mars -- but where is it going? The car-sized rover's path after 29 Martian days on the surface is shown on the above map. Curiosity is still almost 300 meters from its first major destination, though, a meeting of different types of terrain called Glenelg and visible on the image right. It may take Curiosity two months or so to get to Glenelg as it stops to inspect interesting rocks or landscape features along the way. The above image was taken about one week ago from high up by the HiRise camera onboard...
  • Are Democrats Really the "Pro-Science" Party?

    09/10/2012 2:29:35 PM PDT · by neverdem · 93 replies
    realclearpolitics.com ^ | September 10, 2012 | Alex Berezow and Hank Campbell
    A narrative has developed over the past several years that the Republican Party is anti-science. Recently, thanks to the ignorant remarks about rape made by Rep. Todd Akin, the Democrats have seized the opportunity to remind us that they are the true champions of science in America. But is it really true? No. As we thoroughly detail in our new book, "Science Left Behind," Democrats are willing to throw science under the bus for any number of pet ideological causes – including anything from genetic modification to vaccines. Consider California’s Proposition 37, which would require genetically modified food to carry...
  • It’s time to get serious about science

    09/09/2012 11:16:19 PM PDT · by neverdem · 15 replies
    Washington Post ^ | September 9, 2012 | Jim Cooper and Alan I. Leshner
    Some policymakers, including certain senators and members of Congress, cannot resist ridiculing any research project with an unusual title. Their press releases are perhaps already waiting in the drawer, with blanks for the name of the latest scientist being attacked. The hottest topics for ridicule involve sex, exotic animals and bugs. The champion of mocking science was the late William Proxmire, whose Golden Fleece Awards enlivened dull Senate floor proceedings from 1975 until 1988. His monthly awards became a staple of news coverage. He generated good laughs back home by talking about a “wacko” in a lab coat experimenting with...
  • The Town-Gown Connection (What makes American cities grow?)

    09/09/2012 2:57:41 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 5 replies
    What makes cities grow? This question is the subject of countless magazine articles peddling lists of “best cities” and is fodder for consulting firms looking to sell advice. But in reality, the most reliable measure of a city’s future health is whether employment is expanding or contracting. Declining cities are not home to growing businesses that need people. Only true believers in the come-back story would move to Detroit, Cleveland, or Buffalo right now — the three big cities with the highest unemployment rates in the nation. So what features of a city correlate with expanding employment? The index-making experts...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Wisps Surrounding the Horsehead Nebula

    09/08/2012 9:16:56 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | September 09, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The famous Horsehead Nebula in Orion is not alone. A deep exposure shows that the dark familiar shaped indentation, visible just below center, is part of a vast complex of absorbing dust and glowing gas. To bring out details of the Horsehead's pasture, amateur astronomers at the Star Shadow Remote Observatory in New Mexico, USA fixed a small telescope on the region for over seven hours filtering out all but a very specific color of red light emitted by hydrogen. They then added the image to a full color frame taken over three hours. The resulting spectacular picture details...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Cosmic Rays at Voyager 1

    09/08/2012 9:16:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | September 08, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Launched on a grand tour of the outer planets in 1977, by good fortune the twin Voyager spacecraft were also headed in the general direction of the Sun's motion relative to nearby stars. Thirty five years later, Voyager 1 appears to be nearing the boundary of the Sun's heliosphere and interstellar space. Of course the heliosphere is the realm of the Sun defined by the influence of the solar wind and the Sun's magnetic field. But how can you tell when your spacecraft crosses the boundary into interstellar space? One clue would be a sudden increase in the detection...
  • Inspiration for the 8-Track---Mad Man Muntz

    09/08/2012 8:38:13 PM PDT · by djone · 48 replies
    ^ The second main commercial application was in the field of auto sound. Earl "Madman" Muntz was a former Kaiser-Frazer automobile dealer who had earned his nickname through his loud, flamboyant television commercials. His motto was "I buy 'em retail and sell 'em wholesale. It's more fun that way!" Already a national celebrity by the 1950s, he soon jumped from auto sales to electronics, opening a chain of television retail outlets. ....Muntz had inexpensive Fidelipac players custom manufactured in Japan, and licensed the music of several record companies for duplication on carts. Even though the players were intended to be...
  • EPA urged to rethink chemical risk evaluation process

    09/08/2012 5:05:16 PM PDT · by neverdem · 15 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 7 September 2012 | Rebecca Trager
    The EPA's process for assessing chemical risk has come under fire for being inadequateThe US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) process for assessing the risk of human exposure to various chemicals is deeply flawed and actually threatens public health, according to two experts with inside experience. In fact, they are urging the agency to ‘fundamentally alter’ its approach to chemical risk evaluation.In a Nature commentary, George Gray, who directs George Washington University’s Center for Risk Science and Public Health, and Joshua Cohen, deputy director of Tufts Medical Center’s Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health, note that many...
  • Ready for a real star trek

    09/08/2012 1:00:03 PM PDT · by OldNavyVet · 25 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | 8 September 2012 | Eryn Brown
    "35 years after its launch, Voyager 1 is poised to 'leave' the bubble of the solar system and sail into the mystery of interstellar space"