Breaking science news and multimedia, heavy on astronomy and physics (and heavy on citing) New vids, pics, articles, and the occasional research post for ResearchBlogging.org.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Science Pics in the News: Mars, Volcanoes, and Brimstone

-----
Fly's Eyes on Mars!  HiRISE captured the aftermath of an extremely rare occurance, long ago.  Two impacts on Mars that happened simultaneously.


Image Credit: NASA/HiRISE | Found via Discovery News: "OH MARS, WHAT STRANGE CRATERS YOU HAVE"




Speaking of Volcanoes, The Big Picture has a gallery today in their article "Nyiragongo Crater: Journey to the Center of the World" that is a must-see.  Here's one of the many pictures of this African volcano posted on the site:
"The view from the volcano’s rim, 11,380 feet above the ground. At 1,300 feet deep, the lava lake has created one of the wonders of the African continent."
Stunning!  This is my current computer wallpaper.

Image Credit: Olivier Grunewald




Today, a great top down image of "Pico de Orizaba, Mexico" from the Earth Observatory:
"The snow- and ice-clad peak of Pico de Orizaba (also known as Citlaltépetl) boasts a summit elevation of 5,675 meters (18,620 feet) above sea level, making it both the highest peak in Mexico and the tallest volcano in North America."

Image Credit: NASA/JSC/ISS





Sometimes Science Stinks!  To follow up fire, here's some brimstone: "New form of sulfur discovered in geological fluids" via PhysOrg.
"Artist's impression of the S3- molecule in a diamond anvil cell. This form of sulfur may well be one of the key factors in the formation of veins of gold and copper."

Image Credit: Pokrovski & Dubrovinsky



------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Science Goodies to Share: Shuttle Launch / RoboCheetah / Solar Flare / OS Updates

------
Allll over the web, but you HAVE to see it!  The Discovery launch as seen from an airplane window:



Video Credit: YouTube user NeilMonday



Boston Dynamics, the DARPA funded company behind BigDog, has new concept art for its design of a robotic cheetah that will be able to chase down and TAKE DOWN running humans.  
One step closer to RoboCop, uh oh!

Image Credit: Boston Dynamics | Found via Wired


From Space.com, an image captured by SDO, the Solar Flare that happened on my birthday, the 24th.
"NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this view of a powerful M3.6 Class solar flare on Feb. 24, 2011 during a 90-minute sun storm. NASA scientists called the display a "monster prominence" that kicked up a huge plasma wave"
Incredible!

Image Credit: NASA/SDO


Sticky Comics has a funny one today HERE.  Ahhh so true.  How I love linux!

Image Credit: Sticky Comics







------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Astronomy Pics in the News: Feb. 24th 2011 (my birthday!)

HiRISE recently released some new pictures of MARS.  Gotta love em!

"Martian Volcanic Vent with Elevated Rim"
"The two aligned pits are clearly volcanic vents, as they sit on top of small (for Mars) shield volcanoes and are the sources for many lava flows."

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

"Uplifted Bedrock in the Central Peak of an Impact Crater"
"A crater approximately 70 kilometers (43 miles) wide like this one can raise up and expose bedrock that was approximately 7 kilometers (4 miles) lower in elevation prior to the impact."

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona



The European Southern Observatory (ESO) sports this image (artist's impression) on their article today: 
"Planet Formation in Action?"
"Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope an international team of astronomers has been able to study the short-lived disc of material around a young star that is in the early stages of making a planetary system."
Click to embiggen.  This is my current computer wallpaper.

Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada


Today on Short Sharp Science, very nice eye candy!
"Ribbons of sea ice enrobe volcanic island"
"Ribbons of ice encircle the remote volcanic island of Ostrov Shikotan, which is part of the Kuril Island Archipelago that stretches between Japan and Russia."

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen/Robert Simmon



Universe Today's article "Students Will Attempt to Photograph Shuttle Discovery Flight At The Edge of Space" sports this awesome image:
"If all goes according to plan, a balloon with a student-oriented payload will photograph Space Shuttle Discovery as it climbs into space from an altitude of 100,000 feet."

Image Credit: Quest for Stars



------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SCI-BINGE Feed Your Brains: AAAS / TED / Learner.org / How the Universe Works: Supernovas

Occasionally I hop onto the interwebs and indulge in a science binge.  Here are the gems I saw/heard today:

AAAS: Science Magazine has an excellent podcast, available HERE on their site.  HERE's the iTunes html link, which you can use to subscribe easily (if you use iTunes)
Today I indulged in: AAAS SciMag Podcast: Stuttering

SciMag podcast - stuttering by SciBinge


Today I indulged in: AAAS SciMag Podcast: Bilingual Thinking

Scimag Podcast - bilingual thinking by SciBinge




TED Talks are some of the most intriguing lectures you can find online.  I'm a huge fan.  A video that I found especially emotionally moving: 


Brene Brown on Vulnerability:






Learner.org provides an amazing amount of college level/adult academic videos.  My friend is in a Geology class, and shared with me this amazing free resource for adult learners, involving many disciplines.
For example, Earth Revealed, a course under Science, one of 11 courses for college/adult learners, entails 26 different 30 minute videos for this course alone.  This is the type of "television viewing" I absolutely love, and being strictly academic, it's even more satisfying.
I watched Episode 1.  Make sure you enable popups so that the video comes up.  This new resource is very exciting for me.  There is so much to learn here, and all for FREE!






How the Universe Works is an incredible science mini-series made by the Discovery Channel.  
I've seen three episodes, which were all high quality, captivating.  Last night I saw the episode on Supernovas.  Here's a 15 minute clip from it embedded from YouTube:







------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Monday, February 21, 2011

Astronomy Pics in the News: Feb. 21, 2011

I always get super excited when the Issac Newton Group of Telescopes releases new images.  Today was one of those special occasions. 
 BEHOLD!  "The Cigar Galaxy"
"M82 is an irregular prototype starburst galaxy, whose centre is believed to be experiencing an episode of intense star formation. The red glow is from a superwind of ionised hydrogen gas, expanding out from the centre as a result of the combined winds of many individual stars."

Image Credit: Pablo Rodríguez-Gil (IAC) y Pablo Bonet (IAC)


The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Blog (LROC) just released a pretty awesome new photo of the moon in their post, "Nearside Spectacular"
"For two weeks in mid-December 2010, the LRO spacecraft remained nadir looking (straight down) so that the LROC Wide Angle Camera (WAC) could acquire ~1300 images, allowing the LROC team to construct this spectacular mosaic."

Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University



New image of Saturn via Cassini: "Thin Line, Broad Shadows"
"Saturn's rings appear as only a thin line seen edge-on in the middle of this Cassini view, but the rings cast broad shadows on the southern hemisphere of the planet in the lower left of the image.
This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from just below the ringplane."

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute



And finally, NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day for Feb. 21, 2001: "Milky Way Over Switzerland"
"...a beautiful land, cloud, and skyscape was captured earlier this month over Neuchâtel, Switzerland."


Image Credit: Stephane Vetter (Nuits sacrees)



------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Time Lapse of the Clear Night Sky

The ALMA Array Operations Site in Chile gave us this wonderful video that I MUST share!



To quote djxatlanta in his YouTube description:
"Time-lapse of a whole night at the ALMA Array Operations Site (AOS), located at 5000 meters altitude on the Chajnantor plateau, in the II Region of Chile. As the Moon sets at the beginning of the night, three of the first ALMA antennas start tests as part of the ongoing Commissioning and Science Verification process. Because they are pointing at the same target in the sky at any moment, their movements are perfectly synchronized. 


As the sky appears to rotate clockwise around the south celestial pole (roughly on the upper left edge of the video), the Milky Way goes down slowly, until it is lying almost horizontal before sunrise. The center of our galaxy becomes visible during the second half of the night as a yellowish bulge crossed by dark lanes in the center of the image, just above the antennas.


The flashes on the ground are the car lights of the guards patrolling at the AOS. ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array is the largest astronomical project in existence and is a truly global partnership between the scientific communities of East Asia, Europe and North America with Chile. ESO is the European partner in ALMA."

Found via Gizmodo


------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Saturday, February 19, 2011

How Our Valentines Day Solar Flare Helped Our Astronauts In Orbit

In light of the recent solar flare, here's a breakdown of the radiation we're exposed to, how we're shielded, and how solar flares can actually protect our astronauts.



Image: Photograph taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory of the solar flare mid-February, 2011

When solar activity flares up, a warning flag is raised.  The danger of a massive solar flare crippling our electronics and endangering our astronauts is a real threat, but with a low enough magnitude and if our orbit is close enough to Earth, our space crew can benefit.

In the case of our Valentine's Day Solar Flare in Mid February, 2011, counter-intuitively, our astronauts in orbit actually experienced a few days worth of decreased radiation due to the Forbush Effect.  
But first, a little bit about solar activity, cosmic radiation, and our natural shielding:

Cosmic rays are simply extraterrestrial particles that fly through space and happen to rudely elbow their way into our territory.  Taken from Macmillan Encyclopedia of Physics in 1996:
"Cosmic rays include essentially all of the elements in the periodic table; about 89% of the nuclei are hydrogen (protons), 10% helium, and about 1% heavier elements. The common heavier elements (such as carbon, oxygen, magnesium, silicon, and iron) are present in about the same relative abundances as in the solar system."

However, the elements higher on the periodic table can spike, as shown via experiment results published in June of 2009 (Cite 1 see bottom)
"We report abundances of elements from 26Fe to 34Se in the cosmic radiation measured during fifty days of exposure of the Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder (TIGER) balloon-borne instrument."


Shielding:

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Solar, galactic, and extra-galactic radiation is one of the biggest hurdles we will eventually face with interstellar travel, but in the present, the magnetic field, as shown above, surrounds the earth, deflecting the solar wind, and shielding us from harm fairly effectively.  If one were on the moon during this recent flare, the bombardment of protons from the sun could have had a potentially lethal effect.  This is because nuclei from the coronal mass ejection would slam into our bodies on the tiniest scale, and would seriously damage our cells and our DNA.  What happened just recently isn't so much a threat to our astronauts because the magnetic field of the earth extends far enough into their orbit.  To quote Space.com:
"The orbiting lab sits just 220 miles (354 kilometers) above Earth — still cocooned within the planet's protective magnetic field. And the station protects well against most solar storms, Cucinotta said. So as long as astronauts stay inside, they should be fine."

The actual DECREASE in radiation they benefit from is due to the phenomenon known as the Forbush Effect our flare effectively a wash of particles clearing out the more dangerous particles already there.  To quote concisely from wikipedia, this is "a rapid decrease in the observed galactic cosmic ray intensity following a coronal mass ejection (CME). It occurs due to the magnetic field of the plasma solar wind sweeping some of the galactic cosmic rays away from Earth."




Solar flares have a direct impact on our climate:


By measuring our clouds and cosmic rays, in correlation with solar activity and climate, we can see the Forbush Effect.
In Geophysical Research Letters(Cite 2 see bottom)
"Close passages of coronal mass ejections from the sun are signaled at the Earth's surface by Forbush decreases in cosmic ray counts. We find that low clouds contain less liquid water following Forbush decreases, and for the most influential events the liquid water in the oceanic atmosphere can diminish by as much as 7%. Cloud water content as gauged by the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I)"



Galactic Cosmic Rays may have a direct impact on our climate:

CERN' CLOUD project is producing some exciting data.


Greater or fewer galactic cosmic rays (GCR) seem to be associated with a warmer or cooler climates.
This seems to be still under debate, to my understanding due to the lack of understanding the physical mechanism occuring, but evidence is increasing and experiments are being conducted.
Climate over time and Galactic Cosmic Rays, data from CLOUD 
from a CERN slideshow:

This doesn't debunk our impact on global warming.  Don't misunderstand me, humans have had a verified effect on climate, a measurable impact, but on an extremely recent sliver of the Earth's history.




Continued close monitoring and study of extra-planetary particle bombardment will no doubt will lead to exciting new discoveries on how the rest of the universe impacts our tiny planet we call home.


Image Credit: NASA/GSFC


CITE 1:

B. F. Rauch, J. T. Link, K. Lodders, M. H. Israel, L. M. Barbier, W. R. Binns, E. R. Christian, J. R. Cummings, G. A. de Nolfo, S. Geier, R. A. Mewaldt, J. W. Mitchell, S. M. Schindler, L. M. Scott, E. C. Stone, R. E. Streitmatter, C. J. Waddington, M. E. (2009). Cosmic-ray origin in OB associations and preferential acceleration of refractory elements: Evidence from abundances of elements 26Fe through 34Se Astrophys.J.697:2083-2088,2009 : arXiv:0906.2021v1


CITE2:
Svensmark, H., Bondo, T., & Svensmark, J. (2009). Cosmic ray decreases affect atmospheric aerosols and clouds Geophysical Research Letters, 36 (15) DOI: 10.1029/2009GL038429


ResearchBlogging.org





------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Friday, February 18, 2011

How exactly is a composite Hubble image assembled?

HubbleSiteChannel on YouTube (to which I happily subscribe) has a new video posted, showing us behind the scenes the processing of a composite Hubble image!
"Hubble images are made, not born. Images must be woven together from the incoming data from the cameras, cleaned up and given colors that bring out features that eyes would otherwise miss. In this video from HubbleSite.org, online home of the Hubble Space Telescope, a Hubble-imaged galaxy comes together on the screen at super-fast speed"



Video Credit: NASA



------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Brand New Astronomy Pictures from HiRISE, ESA, Hubble, and Hinode

HiRISE released a batch of new photographs of the surface of Mars.
Always breathtaking, this project is one I follow closely.
"How Old are Rocks on Mars?"
"The purpose of this image was to view bedrock exposures at a deep level in Valles Marineris"

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
"True Gullies on Mars"
"This images shows many channels from 1 to 10 meters (approximately 3 to 33 feet) wide on a scarp in Hellas impact basin"

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
"Ancient Lava Flow"
"Ever wonder what a lava flow might look like after about 3 billion years of sitting on the windswept surface of Mars?"

Image Credit:  NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
"Color Coverage of Candidate Landing Site in Holden Crater"
"... an enhanced-color portion where some of the light-toned layered deposits are well-exposed beneath the dark windblown materials. The layers may have been deposited in ancient lakes. Catastrophic floods through this crater may have ripped apart and rearranged large blocks of the layered material"

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona


Today ESA released an image of the newly "calculated distribution of dark matter"
"This animation shows the distribution of the dark matter, obtained from a numerical simulation, at a redshift z~2, or when the Universe was about 3 billion years old."


Image Credit: The Virgo Consortium/Alexandre Amblard/ESA


This new Hubble image of galaxy NGC 2841 is catching the eyes of many across the interwebs today:
"NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals a majestic disk of stars and dust lanes in this view of the spiral galaxy NGC 2841, which lies 46 million light-years away in the constellation of Ursa Major (The Great Bear). This image was taken in 2010 through four different filters on Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3. Wavelengths range from ultraviolet light through visible light to near-infrared light."
Click to embiggen.  This is my current computer wallpaper.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration



From NASA's Lunar Science Institute: "IMAGES OF FIRST 2011 SOLAR ECLIPSE"
"The Japanese-American Hinode satellite captured the first solar eclipse of 2011"

Image Credit: Hinode/XRT



------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Astronomy Pics and Vids in the News: Feb 16, 2011

NASA has a truly inspiring video just posted on Universe Today.  It clearly explains the value of NASA's work, and how innovation in science, engineering, and resulting technology are vital to the continued global strength of America from the world's view.



Video Credit: NASA | Found via Universe Today's article "Fiscal Squeeze Could Freeze NASA Budget for Five Years"



A Space.com article today, "Solar System 'Nemesis': Nearby Stars Could Pose Threat" sports this beaut of a picture:
"Artist's concept of a red dwarf star named SO25300.5+165258. Though only 7.8 light-years away, the star is so dim it went undetected until 2003. Red dwarfs are thought to be the most common type of star."

Image Credit: NASA/GSFC


ESO released a BREATHTAKING photograph today of nebula Messier 78 in the article, "Reflected Glory"
"The nebula Messier 78 takes centre stage in this image taken with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, while the stars powering the bright display take a backseat."
Click to embiggen.  This is my current computer wallpaper.

Image Credit: ESO and Igor Chekalin



Discovery has a great new post today on black holes.  "GALAXY SMASH LEAVES BLACK HOLE RING"
"...a composite of Hubble (optical) and Chandra (x-ray) observations of the colliding galaxies that make up Arp 147"

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/S.Rappaport et al, Optical: NASA/STScI
Connected with this article is a 3 minute video of scientists explaining their work on studying the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.
Awe inspiring for sure



Video Credit: Discovery News

------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Solar Flare AR 1158 cont. / Physical Review Journals allows for release under Creative Commons License

New pictures in addition to yesterday's on the Solar Flare going on right now:
From Bad Astronomy,:
"The sunspot that erupted on the 13th, producing an M-class flare (medium to strong), has blown its top again: around 02:00 UT last night it produced a bigger, X-class flare!"

Image Credit: SDO

SDO is GO follows up with this image of Sunspot AR 1158
"Here is a blowup of the flaring region at 0153 UT (February 15, 2011) in AIA 335."

Image Credit: SDO

In other news, Physical Review Journals, a primary source for a large amount of our science news, is from now on allowing the authors of scientific papers the option to publish under the Creative Commons License.  This is great news to science buffs around the world!  arXiv already allows for free and full review of primary source papers to all.  Physical Review Journals requires a vigorous process in order to be published, thus having more credible papers.  Blogs and news sources all over will be following Physical Review Journals more closely from now on.
Found via Ars Technica annoucement


------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Sunday, February 13, 2011

CORKSCREW LIGHT: Measuring Orbital Angular Momentum Will Give Us Extra Information About Black Holes and Frame Dragging

Frame Dragging, an effect spinning black holes have on spacetime and on the light in its vicinity, is causing a measurable corkscrew effect on photons, newly discovered and published in this issue of Nature Physics.  "Twisting of light around rotating black holes"

Simplified, frame dragging occurs when massive objects such as a black hole drags spacetime around with it while moving.  Imagine gently stirring a tiny circle within a big bowl of elmers glue.  Translate that into a graph and overlay this information on top of your familiar image of curved spacetime, and you have a dynamic and realistic scenario of general relativity in motion. When you aim your telescope at a spinning black hole, the light you're receiving is distorted, and this requires scientists to dig deep into the meat of general relativity.  This effect is different than the smooth curvature of spacetime as seen in the picture below.


Image Credit: Rob's Astrophotography "A two-dimensional representation of the curvature of space-time due to a massive object. The orbiting body follows a line of least resistance (Freedman & Kaufmann 2008, 583)"


Photons are massless, but they can interact with matter by a quantitative effect measured as momentum.  The angular momentum of photons expressed as Spin has been studied at great lengths, but a new measurement of orbital angular momentum has just been discovered by Fabrizio Tamburini and his team at the University of Padua in Italy.  

In the current issue of Nature Physics, we measure photons exhibiting a corkscrew spin, a technique that Martin Bojowald of Pennsylvania State University says can be incorporated into our telescopic equipment in the future.


So what exactly is this corkscrew effect?  The orbital angular momentum is explained in Universe Today: "The authors suggest visualizing this as non-planar wavefronts of this twisted light like a cylindrical spiral staircase, centered around the light beam. The intensity pattern of twisted light transverse to the beam shows a dark spot in the middle — where no one would walk on the staircase — surrounded by concentric circles


This new information gives us another way to measure the size of black holes.  New Scientist explains, "Currently, astronomers infer the spin by measuring the distance between the black hole and the nearest matter around it, a technique that requires high-resolution observations. Using twisted light would require less spatial resolution and therefore "should make it possible to measure the spin of black holes farther away", Bojowald says."


Nature Physics requires an 18$ fee to read the entire article, but the abstract can be seen here, as posted below:

ABSTRACT: "Twisting of light around rotating black holes"
"Kerr black holes are among the most intriguing predictions of Einstein’s general relativity theory1, 2. These rotating massive astrophysical objects drag and intermix their surrounding space and time, deflecting and phase-modifying light emitted near them. We have found that this leads to a new relativistic effect that imprints orbital angular momentum on such light. Numerical experiments, based on the integration of the null geodesic equations of light from orbiting point-like sources in the Kerr black hole equatorial plane to an asymptotic observer3, indeed identify the phase change and wavefront warping and predict the associated light-beam orbital angular momentum spectra4. Setting up the best existing telescopes properly, it should be possible to detect and measure this twisted light, thus allowing a direct observational demonstration of the existence of rotating black holes. As non-rotating objects are more an exception than a rule in the Universe, our findings are of fundamental importance."

CITATION
Tamburini, F., Thidé, B., Molina-Terriza, G., & Anzolin, G. (2011). Twisting of light around rotating black holes Nature Physics DOI: 10.1038/nphys1907



------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love



ResearchBlogging.org

Solar Flare: Feb. 13, 2011

Hot off the press!  A solar flare just occurred, and was captured on camera by the Solar Dynamics Observatory.  On their blog, SDO is GO, "M6.6 Solar Flare - Largest of this solar cycle"
"A M6.6 solar flare has just occurred, peaking at 17:38 UT on Feb 13. This is the largest solar flare so fare from this solar cycle based on X-ray irradiance magnitude."
Click to embiggen.

Image Credit: SDO


------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Friday, February 11, 2011

Platypus Looking Cells, Nebulas, BLT's, Vacuums, and Female Meta-Faces

Short Sharp Science, on New Scientist, "Cells cut ties with a twist"
"Like the twist ties that seal off bags of bread, looping fibres may help animal cells complete the very last stages of cell division."
Honestly, I think it looks like a platypus.

Image Credit: Science/AAAS


Today on NASA/JPL, "A Nebula By Any Other Name"
"Nebulae are enormous clouds of dust and gas occupying the space between the stars. Some have pretty names to match their good looks, for example the Rose nebula, while others have much more utilitarian names. Such is the case with LBN 114.55+00.22, seen here in an image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE"
Click to embiggen, this is the large version. This is my current desktop wallpaper.  Stretching it still looks incredible for this one.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA


On Abstruse Goose: "The Tree of Life"
A hilarious mapping of the evolution of a BLT.

Image Credit: http://abstrusegoose.com/


An interesting article on New Scientist today, "Vacuum has friction after all"
"In quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle says we can never be sure that an apparent vacuum is truly empty. Instead, space is fizzing with photons that are constantly popping into and out of existence before they can be measured directly."
We've discovered that the vacuum of space is not empty, that nothing is no longer nothing, and it really blows my mind.

Image Credit: Ellinor Hall/Johner/Corbis

Geekologie of all places had quite an interesting post recently.  "Photos Overlayed To Produce The 'Average' Face Of A Woman From Various Countries"

Image Credit: at http://www.faceresearch.org/demos/average you can play around with the work they're doing and upload your own content to fool around with.


------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Astronomy Pics in the News: Feb 10, 2011

Today on Discovery News: "EUROPA HELPS SOLVE MYSTERY OF JUPITER'S MISSING BELT"
"Thermal infrared radiation (with a wavelength of 5 microns) was detected by Keck leaking from Jupiter's interior. When combining the thermal radiation data with near-infrared solar radiation being reflected by the upper clouds in the Jovian atmosphere, the churning detail in the cloaked SEB was revealed"

Image Credit: Mike Wong, Franck Marchis & W.M. Keck Observatory


Today on the Planetary Society Blog, "Snapshots from Space: Voyager views of the Great Red Spot, Björn Jónsson"
"...three views of Jupiter produced from Voyager photos by amateur image processor Björn Jónsson"
This poster is available for purchase.  Just click the link to see the article.

Image Credit: NASA / JPL / Björn Jónsson / The Planetary Society


NASA/JPL released three stunning new images today:
"North American Nebula in Different Lights"

"This new view of the North American nebula combines both visible and infrared light observations, taken by the Digitized Sky Survey and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, respectively, into a single vivid picture"

Absolutely beautiful! Click to embiggen.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

"An Extended Stellar Family"
"This swirling landscape of stars is known as the North American nebula. In visible light, the region resembles North America, but in this new infrared view from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the continent disappears."
Click to embiggen.

Image Credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech

"The Case of the Disappearing Continent"

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Life Imitating Art: The Army of Darkness Lobster

A new deep sea lobster has been Discovered by Rockefeller University's Jesse Ausubel.
In his honor, its technical name is Dinochelus ausubeli.  Is it me or is that nature's chainsaw attached to its lobster arm?


Dinochelus ausubeli has a striking resemblance to Bruce Campbell in Army of Darkness.  The lobster claw is not only a hand, but its weapon of destruction.  The wild disproportion of its appendages also bring to mind the weapon of another pop culture reference, Hellboy.


Dinochelus ausubeli.  I don't know why they felt they had to add an "i" on the end of his name.  It seems that addition is just to make it sound like Latin.  Does it have a purpose?  Am I wrong? Tell me if so.

Deep Sea creatures are always fascinating to me.  Such bizzare evolution of life down there, where we have observed so little.  A blog I frequent is Deep Sea News.   I recommend it!  They'll probably cover the story of this discovery soon.


------ Sharing via these buttons will share the current article page, unless your current url is the main page of Astronasty. Click the title of the article to go to an individual article page.
Share Spread the Love

Popular Posts This Month

Follow by Email