Finding shapes in clouds
Anyone can cloud spot. There’s even a society dedicated to doing just that – and they have come up with some amazing images. “At the Cloud Appreciation Society, we love finding shapes in the clouds, and we think everyone should do more of it. Dinosaurs, dragons … you name it, we’ve got it – as long as it’s made of tiny water particles suspended in the lower atmosphere.”
Why you should care about the speed of light
A change in how scientists conceptualize relativity could alter how we think about causality and turn physics on its head.
It’s the long way of describing our love for seeing likenesses in the shapes of clouds. If you are bitten by this bug and find yourself with a solar telescope, watch out. The fantastic plumes of hydrogen plasma we call solar prominences seen at the edge of sun will tempt you to identify them in earthly forms. I once set out to classify a bunch and this was the result. A Yeti, a bonsai, Don Quixote, the angel that fell to earth… there’s even one that looks like me or did, when I wore a goatee. Click on the picture to see the big version from my website. Each image there is a hot link to a little bit of averted imagination. Enjoy!
This is me in chem. And this actually happened last week.
We might be inclined to believe that the weather on Earth is sometimes less than hospitable to the life that inhabits it.
But compared to other planets, stars and bodies in the cosmos, the weather on Earth is downright mild.
In fact, the storms on this tiny brown drawf located approximately 47 light-years away blow any earth storm away.
Here’s a look at the weather on planets and galaxies near and far.
If there was life on Mars, scientists may have found its final resting spot.
Newly-discovered exoplanet orbits around two stars
For the first time, astronomers have captured a planet that orbits around two stars instead of one.
“If you could visit there, you would see a sky with two suns, just like Luke Skywalker,” said Nick Gautier, an astronomer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. He was speaking at a NASA press conference to announce the discovery. The finding will appear in the Sept. 16 issue of Science. […]
Using the Kepler space telescope, astronomers spotted the Saturn-sized planet traveling around a pair of stars approximately 200 light-years away. The exoplanet takes about 229 days to orbit its dual parent stars.
Are you all just knowing this now? I knew about this LAST WEEK.
(They were actually firing a kind of “guide star” that is used to target and correct ground-based telescopes when this shot happened. Nature is still not impressed)
(via Short Sharp Science)
Image description: This photo of red blood cells was taken with a scanning electron micrograph.
Image courtesy of the Quantitative Light Imaging Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is part of a research project funded by a National Science Foundation grant to study quantitative phase imaging of cells and tissues.
Surrounded by technology and urbanity though we may be, the human brain remains profoundly hard-wired to respond to animals.
When people are shown pictures of animals, specific parts of the amygdala — a structure central to pleasure and pain, fear and reward — react almost instantly.
Put another way, glimpsing a bird at the feeder or a shark on Animal Planet, or even a plankitten, could invoke cognitive tricks inherited from ancestors who walked on four legs in shallow water.
The effect is large and consistent, and “may reflect the importance that animals held throughout our evolutionary past,” wrote researchers led by California Institute of Technology neurobiologist Florian Mormann in an Aug. 29 Nature Neuroscience paper.
The researchers had access to a unique group of research subjects: 41 people receiving surgery for drug-resistant epilepsy. Prior to surgery, doctors needed to map their minds, a task performed by inserting electrodes into different parts of their brains, then measuring neuron-by-neuron responses to stimuli.
This magnificent galaxy inspires us, again, to ask: does advanced life exist there? The fact that we have no proof of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe may simply mean that intelligent civilizations have all too finite lifetimes. NGC 3190 is a spiral galaxy of unbearable beauty in the constellation Leo. It was discovered by William Herschel in 1784. In 2002, astronomers uncovered one supernova in March in the southeastern part and then another team uncovered a second supernova on the other side two months later -sure destroyers of vicinity-based life.
The spectacular image below is the “Trio in Leo.” There is actually a fourth member of this group which not shown- but the group also goes by another catalogued name of “Hickson 44.” These galaxies are estimated to be 60 million light years away. The galaxy furthest to the left is an elliptical galaxy (NGC 3193) and is fairly devoid of detail. The top center of the image features NGC 3190.