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Monday, November 24, 2014

Saturn's Moon Titan Has Lakes... That Aren't Really Water... And One Is Named Kraken...

Titan's the name of a moon of Saturn, so it's pretty "titanic," if you get my drift.
It's also ice cold and would kill you, just like the boat.
BUT!! you'll have a great chance of enjoying watching THIS "titanic" video whether you're male OR female!

Video Credit: Cassini Radar Mapper, JPL, USGS, ESA, NASA
Explanation via NASA APOD: What would it look like to fly over Titan? Radar images from NASA's robotic Cassini satellite in orbit around Saturn have been digitally compiled to simulate such a flight. Cassini has swooped past Saturn's cloudiest moon several times since it arrived at the ringed planet in 2004. The virtual flight featured here shows numerous lakes colored black and mountainous terrain colored tan. Surface regions without detailed vertical information appear more flat, while sufficiently mapped regions have their heights digitally stretched. Among the basins visualized is Kraken Mare, Titan's largest lake which spans over 1,000 kilometers long.
Titan's lakes are different from Earth's lakes in that they are composed of hydrocarbons with similarities to liquid natural gas. How Titan's lakes were created and why they survive continues to be a topic of research.

Want to learn more about Titan? Let Me Google That For You :)



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The Fibonacci Spiral AKA The Golden Spiral In Sunflowers

My girlfriend and I took these pictures of gorgeous sunflowers near Lurray Caverns in VA.

Image Credits: my girlfriend and I.  And the sunflower gets a bit of credit too.  And math... gonna give math a bit of credit for once.

The Fibonacci Spiral, aka the "Golden Spiral," 
is a mirrored duplication rotated around the center to create the 
pattern found in sunflowers. 
Image:Wikimedia Commons-freely usable

Above, you see the Fibonacci Spiral: an approximation of the golden spiral created by drawing circular arcs connecting the opposite corners of squares in the Fibonacci tiling; this one uses squares of sizes 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and 34.


And to illustrate proportions within, here's a tiling with squares whose side lengths are successive Fibonacci numbers.
Image:Wikimedia Commons-freely usable



Fibonacci wasssss...?
...a math guru around 1200CE(AD) born right near the leaning tower of Pisa.  His efforts helped proved the Pythagorean Theorem (obviously pretty useful,) but he also offered the world some illumination on the topic of spiral patterns found in nature.[1] WHICH IS FASCINATING on top of being absolutely beautiful; and he's a lucky bugger to have his name forever connected to this.  Math found by nature... gotta love it.
[1 cite:http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/humanities/docs/curriculum/12%20Optical%20Illusions.pdf]


Want to learn more on Fibonacci Numbers?  Let Me Google That For You :)



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