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Keyword: science

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Zodiacal Light Panorama

    04/05/2012 8:07:48 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | April 05, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sweeping from the eastern to western horizon, this 360 degree panorama follows the band of zodiacal light along the solar system's ecliptic plane. Dust scattering sunlight produces the faint zodiacal glow that spans this fundamental coordinate plane of the celestial sphere, corresponding to the apparent yearly path of the Sun through the sky and the plane of Earth's orbit. The fascinating panorama is a mosaic of images taken from dusk to dawn over the course of a single night at two different locations on Mauna Kea. The lights of Hilo, Hawaii are on the eastern (left) horizon, with the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Centaurus A

    04/05/2012 8:07:45 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | April 04, 2012 | (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 was recorded under clear Chilean skies at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Near the galaxy's center, left over cosmic debris is steadily being consumed by a central black hole with...
  • Warm and fuzzy T. rex? New evidence surprises

    04/04/2012 12:03:18 PM PDT · by SatinDoll · 37 replies
    Xfinity ^ | 04/04/2012 | Alicia Chang
    LOS ANGELES — The discovery of a giant meat-eating dinosaur sporting a downy coat has some scientists reimagining the look of Tyrannosaurus rex. With a killer jaw and sharp claws, T. rex has long been depicted in movies and popular culture as having scaly skin. But the discovery of an earlier relative suggests the king of dinosaurs may have had a softer side. The evidence comes from the unearthing of a new tyrannosaur species in northeastern China that lived 60 million years before T. rex. The fossil record preserved remains of fluffy down, making it the largest feathered dinosaur ever...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M46 & M47: Star Clusters Young and Old

    04/03/2012 8:15:12 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | April 03, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Many stars form in clusters. Galactic or open star clusters are relatively young swarms of bright stars born together near the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. Separated by about a degree on the sky, two nice examples are M46 (upper left) 5,400 light-years in the distance and M47 (lower right) only 1,600 light-years away toward the nautical constellation Puppis. Around 300 million years young M46 contains a few hundred stars in a region about 30 light-years across. Aged 80 million years, M47 is a smaller but looser cluster of about 50 stars spanning 10 light-years. But this portrait...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Tungurahua Erupts

    04/01/2012 9:39:26 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | April 02, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Volcano Tungurahua sometimes erupts spectacularly. Pictured above, molten rock so hot it glows visibly pours down the sides of the 5,000-meter high Tungurahua, while a cloud of dark ash is seen being ejected toward the left. Wispy white clouds flow around the lava-lit peak, while a star-lit sky shines in the distance. The above image was captured in 2006 as ash fell around the adventurous photographer. Located in Ecuador, Tungurahua has become active roughly every 90 years since for the last 1,300 years.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Dad Quiets Omicron Ceti

    03/31/2012 10:43:18 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | April 01, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Omicron Cetians have been silenced. After alien-like monsters were reported to disturb his daughter's sleep for four nights in a row, this father took action. When last questioned, the daughter seemed to indicate that the hullabaloo might have come from a planetary system possibly sounding like "Omicron Ceti". Getting to the root of the problem, the dad then took his daughter outside and used a powerful laser to blast the alien's home world. Humorously, the parent star Omicron Ceti now shows itself to be unstable and is dramatically increasing its brightness. Happy April Fool's Day from the folks...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Paris by Night

    03/31/2012 3:55:10 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | March 31, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Do you recognize the city lights of Paris in this picture? Taken on March 25 from the top of the 210 meter tall Montparnasse skyscraper, many will spot the looming Eiffel Tower, or the large domed structure of Les Invalides (right), or the colorfully lit elevated Metro train line gently curving toward picture center. You can even pick out the Arc de Triomphe close to the horizon on the right. But regardless of your location, the celestial lights near the western horizon should look very familiar. The lovely triple conjuntion of brilliant Venus (top), Jupiter, and a young crescent...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Grand Canyon in Moonlight

    03/31/2012 3:55:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | March 30, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In this alluring night skyscape recorded on March 26, a young Moon stands over the distant western horizon in conjunction with brilliant planet Venus. In the foreground, the Colorado River glistens in moonlight as it winds through the Grand Canyon, seen from the canyon's southern rim at Lipan Point. Of course, the Grand Canyon is known as one of the wonders of planet Earth. Carved by the river, the enormous fissure is about 270 miles (440 kilometers) long, up to 18 miles (30 kilometers) wide and approaches 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) deep. On this date, wonders of the night...
  • (FReep Poll) Which Science Fictional Scenario Is Most Likely to Happen in Your Lifetime?

    03/30/2012 7:45:41 PM PDT · by DogByte6RER · 70 replies
    IO9 ^ | Mar 28, 2012 | By Charlie Jane Anders
    Which Science Fictional Scenario Is Most Likely to Happen in Your Lifetime? Science fiction is full of fantastic and horrifying scenarios, many of which seem like they could come true any time. But which of them is really going to materialize — and which is most likely to happen in your lifetime? Vote in our poll for the science fictional scenario that you're most likely to live to witness for yourself: Which Science Fictional Scenario Is Most Likely to Happen in Your Lifetime? Global Pandemic Moonbase World War III/Nuclear Apocalypse Suspended Animation The Singularity Something Else (See Comments) Martian Colony...
  • German astronomers have discovered an ancient planetary system dating from 13 billion years ago

    03/30/2012 6:30:02 PM PDT · by U-238 · 37 replies
    Balkans.com ^ | 3/30/2012 | Balkans.com
    German astronomers have discovered an ancient planetary system thought to be a survivor of one of the earliest cosmic eras, from 13 billion years ago. The system consists of the star HIP 11952 and two planets. Such an old system will help shed light on planet formation in the early Universe, which occurred under conditions quite different from those of later planetary systems such as our own. Accepted planetary theory states that, generally speaking, a star that contains more 'metals', (i.e. chemical elements other than hydrogen and helium) is more likely to have planets; it is also widely accepted that...
  • Conservatives have lost faith in science, study shows (No bias here...)

    03/30/2012 8:57:04 AM PDT · by Qbert · 33 replies
    LA Times via Heraldnet.com ^ | 3/29/2012 | LA Times
    As the Republican presidential race has shown, the conservatives who dominate the primaries are deeply skeptical of science -- making Newt Gingrich, for one, regret he ever settled onto a couch with Nancy Pelosi to chat about global warming. A study released Thursday in the American Sociological Review concludes that trust in science among conservatives and frequent churchgoers has declined precipitously since 1974, when a national survey first asked people how much confidence they had in the scientific community. At that time, conservatives had the highest level of trust in scientists. Confidence in scientists has declined the most among the...
  • 2 Studies Point to Common Pesticide as a Culprit in Declining Bee Colonies

    03/29/2012 6:37:51 PM PDT · by neverdem · 38 replies
    NY Times ^ | March 29, 2012 | CARL ZIMMER
    Scientists have been alarmed and puzzled by declines in bee populations in the United States and other parts of the world. They have suspected that pesticides are playing a part, but to date their experiments have yielded conflicting, ambiguous results. In Thursday’s issue of the journal Science, two teams of researchers published studies suggesting that low levels of a common pesticide can have significant effects on bee colonies. One experiment, conducted by French researchers, indicates that the chemicals fog honeybee brains, making it harder for them to find their way home. The other study, by scientists in Britain, suggests that...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Rocket Trails in the Milky Way

    03/28/2012 9:12:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | March 29, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On March 27, five sounding rockets leapt into early morning skies from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Part of the Anomalous Transport Rocket EXperiment (ATREX), begining at 4:58 am EDT the rockets launched consecutively at 80 second intervals. Releasing a chemical tracer they created luminous white clouds within Earth's ionosphere at altitudes above 60 to 65 miles, swept along by the poorly understood high-altitude jet stream. (Not the same jet stream that airliners fly through at altitudes of 5 to 6 miles.) Seen along the mid-atlantic region of the United States, the clouds drifted through starry skies, captured...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Earthshine and Venus Over Sierra de Guadarrama

    03/28/2012 8:16:43 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 28, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What just above that ridge? The Moon. Specifically, the Earth's Moon was caught just above the horizon in a young crescent phase. The familiar Moon might look a bit odd as the exposure shows significant Earthshine -- the illumination of the part of the Moon hidden from direct sunlight by the sun-reflecting Earth. Also captured in the image is the bright planet Venus on the right. Venus and Jupiter passed only three degrees from each other last week during a photogenic planetary conjunction. The above image was taken two days ago near Madrid, Spain. The foreground horizon silhouette includes...
  • Recovering three-dimensional shape around a corner using ultrafast time-of-flight imaging

    03/20/2012 2:48:27 PM PDT · by Stoat · 4 replies · 2+ views
    Nature ^ | March 20, 2012 | Andreas Velten, et al
    The recovery of objects obscured by scattering is an important goal in imaging and has been approached by exploiting, for example, coherence properties, ballistic photons or penetrating wavelengths. Common methods use scattered light transmitted through an occluding material, although these fail if the occluder is opaque. Light is scattered not only by transmission through objects, but also by multiple reflection from diffuse surfaces in a scene. This reflected light contains information about the scene that becomes mixed by the diffuse reflections before reaching the image sensor. This mixing is difficult to decode using traditional cameras. Here we report the combination...
  • Elusive long-fingered frog found after 62 years

    03/27/2012 12:18:39 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 21 replies
    www.physorg.com ^ | 03-27-2012 | Provided by California Academy of Sciences
    Herpetologists from the California Academy of Sciences and University of Texas at El Paso discovered a single specimen of the Bururi long-fingered frog (Cardioglossa cyaneospila) during a research expedition to Burundi in December 2011. The frog was last seen by scientists in 1949 and was feared to be extinct after decades of turmoil in the tiny East African nation. For biologists studying the evolution and distribution of life in Africa, Burundi sits at an intriguing geographic crossroads since it borders the vast Congo River Basin, the Great Rift Valley, and the world's second largest freshwater lake, Lake Tanganyika. Many of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Unusual Hollows Discovered on Planet Mercury

    03/27/2012 4:33:25 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    NASA ^ | March 27, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What are those unusual features on planet Mercury? The slightly bluish tinge of features dubbed hollows has been exaggerated on the above image by the robotic MESSENGER spacecraft currently orbiting Mercury. The rounded depressions appear different than impact craters and nothing like them has been noted on Earth's Moon or anywhere else in the Solar System. The above image is a section of the floor of Raditladi impact basin about 40 kilometers wide that includes the mountains of the central peak. One progenitor hypothesis is that the hollows formed from the sublimation of material exposed and heated during the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M82: Galaxy with a Supergalactic Wind

    03/26/2012 6:10:48 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies · 17+ views
    NASA ^ | March 26, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's lighting up the Cigar Galaxy? M82, as this irregular galaxy is also known, was stirred up by a recent pass near large spiral galaxy M81. This doesn't fully explain the source of the red-glowing outwardly expanding gas, however. Recent evidence indicates that this gas is being driven out by the combined emerging particle winds of many stars, together creating a galactic superwind.. The above photographic mosaic highlights a specific color of red light strongly emitted by ionized hydrogen gas, showing detailed filaments of this gas. The filaments extend for over 10,000 light years. The 12-million light-year distant Cigar...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1300

    03/25/2012 11:05:15 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies · 1+ views
    NASA ^ | March 25, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Big, beautiful, barred spiral galaxy NGC 1300 lies some 70 million light-years away on the banks of the constellation Eridanus. This Hubble Space Telescope composite view of the gorgeous island universe is one of the largest Hubble images ever made of a complete galaxy. NGC 1300 spans over 100,000 light-years and the Hubble image reveals striking details of the galaxy's dominant central bar and majestic spiral arms. In fact, on close inspection the nucleus of this classic barred spiral itself shows a remarkable region of spiral structure about 3,000 light-years across. Unlike other spiral galaxies, including our own Milky...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The New Moon in the Old Moon's Arms

    03/23/2012 9:38:06 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies · 1+ views
    NASA ^ | March 24, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Also known as the Moon's ashen glow, Earthshine is Earthlight illuminating the Moon's night side. Taken on Nowruz, the March 20 equinox, from Esfahan, Iran, planet Earth, this telescopic image captures strong Earthshine from an old Moon. The darker earthlit disk is in the arms of a bright sunlit crescent. But the view from the Moon would have been enchanting too. When the Moon appears in Earth's sky as a slender crescent, a dazzlingly bright, nearly full Earth would be seen from the lunar surface. The Earth's brightness due to reflected sunlight is known to be strongly influenced by...