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Old 05-21-2012, 09:43 PM  
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Science is Cool....

This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

This is in support of the Penny 4 NASA project. If you enjoy anything you learned from this thread, consider making a donation and signing the petition.

http://www.penny4nasa.org/

Why should I care?:


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Old 06-10-2014, 04:23 PM   #1861
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Who gives a shit?
Something else eats those things and something else eats those things and then we eat that thing.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:30 PM   #1862
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Something I've always suspected. I never had allergies until I moved away from the farm.

Newborns exposed to dirt, dander, germs may have lower allergy, asthma risk
We've had A LOT of recent studies over the last few years confirming this. Being too clean is very bad for children.

In a typical healthy child when the immune system is learning how to protect the body its constantly getting bombarded with new crap doing damage that its never seen before, so when peanut dust or pet dander comes by the immune system goes "pfft, whatever, I have real shit to worry about right now"

In a child that lives in a sterilized world, its not that the immune system gets "bored", its more like the immune system is programmed with the absolute knowledge that THEY WILL find stuff they need to defend against, and if they don't, then that just means they failed to detect it and need to work harder. So the immune system starts overreacting to stupid shit, and they grow up being allergic to peanut butter, cats, pollen, etc.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:18 AM   #1863
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Wow!



Explanation: What caused this outburst of V838 Mon? For reasons unknown, star V838 Mon suddenly became one of the brightest stars in the entire Milky Way Galaxy. Then, just a few months later, it faded. A stellar flash like this has never been seen before -- supernovas and novas expel a tremendous amount of matter out into space. Although the V838 Mon flash appeared to expel some material into space, what is seen in the above eight-frame movie, interpolated for smoothness, is actually an outwardly moving light echo of the flash. The actual time-span of the above movie is from 2002, when the flash was first recorded, to 2006. In a light echo, light from the flash is reflected by successively more distant ellipsoids in the complex array of ambient interstellar dust that already surrounded the star. Currently, the leading model for V838's outburst was the orbital decay and subsequent merging of two relatively normal stars. V838 Mon lies about 20,000 light years away toward the constellation of Monoceros, while the largest light echo above spans about six light years in diameter.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:19 AM   #1864
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:20 AM   #1865
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:22 AM   #1866
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:26 AM   #1867
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Top 10 things you might not know about stars



1. Every star you see in the night sky is bigger and brighter than our sun. Of the 5,000 or so stars brighter than magnitude 6, only a handful of very faint stars are approximately the same size and brightness of our sun and the rest are all bigger and brighter. Of the 500 or so that are brighter than 4th magnitude (which includes essentially every star visible to the unaided eye from a urban location), all are intrinsically bigger and brighter than our sun, many by a large percentage. Of the brightest 50 stars visible to the human eye from Earth, the least intrinsically bright is Alpha Centauri, which is still more than 1.5 times more luminous than our sun, and cannot be easily seen from most of the Northern Hemisphere.

2. You can’t see millions of stars on a dark night. Despite what you may hear in TV commercials, poems and songs, you cannot see a million stars … anywhere. There simply are not enough close enough and bright enough. On a really exceptional night, with no Moon and far from any source of lights, a person with very good eyesight may be able to see 2000-2500 stars at any one time. (Counting even this small number still would be difficult.). So the next time you hear someone claim to have seen a million stars in the sky, just appreciate it as artistic license or exuberant exaggeration – because it isn’t true!

3. Red hot and cool ice blue – NOT! We are accustomed to referring to things that are red as hot and those that are blue as cool. This is not entirely unreasonable, since a red, glowing fireplace poker is hot and ice, especially in glaciers and polar regions, can have a bluish cast. But we say that only because our everyday experience is limited. In fact, heated objects change color as their temperature changes, and red represents the lowest temperature at which a heated object can glow in visible light. As it gets hotter, the color changes to white and ultimately to blue. So the red stars you see in the sky are the “coolest” (least hot), and the blue stars are the hottest!

4. Stars are black bodies. A black body is an object that absorbs 100 percent of all electromagnetic radiation (that is, light, radio waves and so on) that falls on it. A common image here is that of a brick oven with the interior painted black and the only opening a small window. All light that shines through the window is absorbed by the interior of the oven and none is reflected outside the oven. It is a perfect absorber. As it turns out, this definition of being perfect absorbers suits stars very well! However, this just says that a blackbody absorbs all the radiant energy that hits it, but does not forbid it from re-emitting the energy. In the case of a star, it absorbs all radiation that falls on it, but it also radiates back into space much more than it absorbs. Thus a star is a black body that glows with great brilliance! (An even more perfect black body is a black hole, but of course, it appears truly black, and radiates no light.)

5. There are no green stars. Although there are scattered claims for stars that appear green, including Beta Librae (Zuben Eschamali), most observers do not see green in any stars except as an optical effect from their telescopes, or else an idiosyncratic quirk of personal vision and contrast. Stars emit a spectrum (“rainbow”) of colors, including green, but the human eye-brain connection mixes the colors together in a manner that rarely if ever comes out green. One color can dominate the radiation, but within the range of wavelengths and intensities found in stars, greens get mixed with other colors, and the star appears white. For stars, the general colors are, from lower to higher temperatures, red, orange, yellow, white and blue. So as far as the human eye can tell, there are no green stars.

6. Our sun is a green star. That being said, the sun is a “green” star, or more specifically, a green-blue star, whose peak wavelength lies clearly in the transition area on the spectrum between blue and green. This is not just an idle fact, but is important because the temperature of a star is related to the color of its most predominate wavelength of emission. (Whew!) In the sun’s case, the surface temperature is about 5,800 K, or 500 nanometers, a green-blue. However, as indicated above, when the human eye factors in the other colors around it, the sun’s apparent color comes out a white or even a yellowish white.

7. Our sun is a dwarf star. We are accustomed to think of the sun as a “normal” star, and in many respects, it is. But did you know that it is a “dwarf” star? You may have heard of a “white dwarf,” but that is not a regular star at all, but the corpse of a dead star. Technically, as far as “normal” stars go (that is, astronomical objects that produce their own energy through sustained and stable hydrogen fusion), there are only “dwarfs,” “giants” and “supergiants.” The giants and supergiants represent the terminal (old age) stages of stars, but the vast majority of stars, those in the long, mature stage of evolution (Main Sequence) are all called “dwarfs.” There is quite a bit of range in size here, but they are all much smaller than the giants and supergiants. So technically, the sun is a dwarf star, sometimes called “Yellow Dwarf” in contradiction to the entry above!

8. Stars don’t twinkle. Stars appear to twinkle (“scintillate”), especially when they are near the horizon. One star, Sirius, twinkles, sparkles and flashes so much some times that people actually report it as a UFO. But in fact, the twinkling is not a property of the stars, but of Earth’s turbulent atmosphere. As the light from a star passes through the atmosphere, especially when the star appears near the horizon, it must pass through many layers of often rapidly differing density. This has the effect of deflecting the light slightly as it were a ball in a pinball machine. The light eventually gets to your eyes, but every deflection causes it to change slightly in color and intensity. The result is “twinkling.” Above the Earth’s atmosphere, stars do not twinkle.

9. You can see 20 quadrillion miles, at least. On a good night, you can see about 19,000,000,000,000,000 miles, easily. That’s 19 quadrillion miles, the approximate distance to the bright star Deneb in Cygnus. which is prominent in the evening skies of Fall and Winter. Deneb is bright enough to be seen virtually anywhere in the Northern hemisphere, and in fact from almost anywhere in the inhabited world. There is another star, Eta Carina, that is a little more than twice as far away, or about 44 quadrillion miles. But Eta Carina is faint, and not well placed for observers in most of the Northern hemisphere. Those are stars, but both the Andromeda Galaxy and the Triangulum Galaxy are also visible under certain conditions, and are roughly 15 and 18 quintillion miles away! (One quintillion is 10^18!)

10. Black holes don’t suck. Many writers frequently describe black holes as “sucking” in everything around them. And it is a common worry among the ill-informed that the so-far hypothetical “mini” black holes that may be produced by the Large Hadron Collider would suck in everything around them in an ever increasing vortex that would consume the Earth! “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” Well, I am not Shoeless Joe Jackson, but it ain’t so. In the case of the LHC, it isn’t true for a number of reasons, but black holes in general do not “suck.”

This not just a semantic distinction, but one of process and consequence as well. The word “suck” via suction, as in the way vacuum cleaners work, is not how black holes attract matter. In a vacuum cleaner, the fan produces a partial vacuum (really, just a slightly lower pressure) at the floor end of the vacuum, and regular air pressure outside, being greater, pushes the air into it, carrying along loose dirt and dust.

In the case of black holes, there is no suction involved. Instead, matter is pulled into the black hole by a very strong gravitational attraction. In one way of visualizing it, it really is a bit like falling into a hole, but not like being hoovered into it. Gravity is a fundamental force of Nature, and all matter has it. When something is pulled into a black hole, the process is more like being pulled into like a fish being reeled in by an angler, rather than being pushed along like a rafter inexorably being dragged over a waterfall.

The difference may seem trivial, but from a physical standpoint it is fundamental.

So black holes don’t suck, but they are very cool. Actually, they are cold. Very, very cold. But that’s a story for another time.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:38 AM   #1868
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Freakin sweet.....

NASA's real life Enterprise may take us to other star systems one day



Dr. Harold "Sonny" White is still working on a warp drive at NASA's Johnson Space Center. His work is still in the experimental stage but that doesn't mean he can't imagine what the real life Enterprise ship would look like according to his math.

You're looking at it right now.



This is the starship that may take us where no human has gone before. And it has me screaming like a little Klingon girl.



Concept 3D artist Mark Rademaker told io9 that "he worked with White to create the updated model, which includes a sleek ship nestled at the center of two enormous rings, which create the warp bubble."

The updated model is the one you can see above, a variation of the original concept which, according to Dr. White, was rendered by Rademaker based on an idea by Matthew Jeffries, the guy who came with "the familiar Star Trek look." This is the original warp drive spaceship concept:



Dr. White—whose daily life is working in future propulsion solutions for interplanetary travel in the near future, like ion and plasma thrusters—developed new theoretical work that solved the problems of the Alcubierre Drive concept, a theory that allowed faster-than-light travel based on Einstein's field equations in general relativity, developed by theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre.

A spaceship equipped with a warp drive would allow faster-than-light travel by bending the space around it, making distances shorter. At the local level, however, the spaceship wouldn't be moving faster than light. Therefore, warp drive travel doesn't violate the first Einstein commandment: Thou shall not travel faster than light.

Here's more views of the IXS Enterprise during its construction phase, the concept that Dr. White developed with Rademaker:





You can watch the fascinating talk that Dr. White gave at the SpaceVision 2013 conference here:



The spacecraft reminds me a bit to the spaceship in Chris Nolan's Interstellar, a film that—in theory—will portrait realistic faster-than-light travel. This is partial view of the ship in the movie, which also has a ring of some sort around it.

Not a fantasy, but real science

But Interstellar is just science fiction. Dr. White's work at the Advanced Propulsion Theme Lead for the NASA Engineering Directorate is science. And while his department only gets peanuts compared to NASA's budget (not to talk about the Pentagon's) I find his words comforting:

Perhaps a Star Trek experience within our lifetime is not such a remote possibility.
See, Dr. White and his colleagues aren't making a movie or coming up with 3D renders for the sake of it. They just don't just believe a real life warp drive is theoretically possible; they've already started the work to create one:

Working at NASA Eagleworks—a skunkworks operation deep at NASA's Johnson Space Center—Dr. White's team is trying to find proof of those loopholes. They have "initiated an interferometer test bed that will try to generate and detect a microscopic instance of a little warp bubble" using an instrument called the White-Juday Warp Field Interferometer.
It may sound like a small thing now, but the implications of the research huge. In his own words:

Although this is just a tiny instance of the phenomena, it will be existence proof for the idea of perturbing space time-a "Chicago pile" moment, as it were. Recall that December of 1942 saw the first demonstration of a controlled nuclear reaction that generated a whopping half watt. This existence proof was followed by the activation of a ~ four megawatt reactor in November of 1943. Existence proof for the practical application of a scientific idea can be a tipping point for technology development.

The roadmap to the warp drive

According to Dr. White, this is a roadmap that they need to follow to achieve that final objective of rapid interstellar travel. He explains this roadmap in the video above.

If his work is successful, he says that we would be able to create an engine that will get us to Alpha Centauri "in two weeks as measured by clocks here on Earth." The time will be the same in the spaceship and on Earth, he claims, and there will not be "tidal forces inside the bubble, no undue issues, and the proper acceleration is zero. When you turn the field on, everybody doesn't go slamming against the bulkhead, which would be a very short and sad trip."

Every time I read that paragraph I smile—and these renders just make my smile so wide it looks stupid.

OK, Dr. White, you got our attention. Make it so.

More pics at the link.....
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:49 AM   #1869
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The Earth has a hidden subterranean ocean...

Hidden ocean 400 miles below the planet surface



An analysis of seismic waves passing through the deep earth appears to confirm what laboratory experiments have suggested was possible: that an ocean of water is tied up in the mantle, 400 miles below the surface.

Any voyager to the center of the earth could leave the wet suit behind, however. The water is not liquid, but rather bound in minerals that exist at the extreme pressures found at such depths.

The finding suggests that processes that occur in the shallower mantle and that cause volcanoes and related activity at the surface are also occurring farther down.

“It’s a new view of the structure of this part of the earth,” said Brandon Schmandt, a geophysicist at the University of New Mexico and an author of a recent paper in the journal Science describing the research.

The work also adds credence to the idea that the earth’s water accumulated in the interior during the planet’s formation, rather than arriving later through the bombardment of icy comets. In this view, water bound up in minerals in the mantle, the 1,800-mile-thick layer between the thin crust and the hot metallic core, degassed over time and reached the surface.

The scientists studied a part of the mantle called the transition zone, from about 300 to 440 miles deep. The ability of this zone to contain water — and apparently to retain a lot of it — “may have something to do with stabilizing or buffering the size of the oceans,” said Steven D. Jacobsen, a mineralogist at Northwestern University and another author of the paper. “It may be fortunate that the earth’s interior can act like a sponge.”

Jacobsen synthesizes deep-earth minerals by replicating the extreme pressures that exist hundreds of miles below the surface. Over the years when he has made a blue mineral called ringwoodite, which is ubiquitous in the transition zone, it has formed with water. But that was just lab work, Jacobsen said, adding, “We haven’t known whether it could happen down there.”

Schmandt analyzed seismic data from the USArray project, in which 400 mobile seismometers have been deployed across the United States to create high-resolution images of the mantle. The analysis showed signs of melting in the transition zone, in areas where convection was causing the mantle to flow downward.

Melting of the mantle occurs close to the surface, creating the magma that is responsible for volcanic hot spots around the world. The process is called dehydration melting, because as parts of the mantle slide deeper at places where the earth’s tectonic plates meet, the increasing pressure causes minerals in the mantle to release their water, lowering the melting temperature.

But finding evidence of melting much farther down, as Schmandt did, was difficult to explain “unless you invoke water,” Jacobsen said.

Their work suggests that what happens deep in the mantle is similar to what happens close to the surface, the researchers said. Ringwoodite and other minerals in the transition zone must contain water, which they release as they move deeper and the pressure increases. This leads to the melting that Schmandt found.

But it’s not as if there are huge chambers of magma hundreds of miles below the surface, Jacobsen said. The melting occurs on the boundaries of the mineral grains. “You end up having a mushy rock,” he said.

The work is all part of trying to understand how the dynamics of the deep earth affect what happens at the surface.

“We’re trying to connect the rock cycles — i.e., plate tectonics — with water cycles,” Jacobsen said. “The more we look, the deeper it goes.”
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:37 PM   #1870
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:39 PM   #1871
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12 years. Mars.



SpaceX Want To Put Humans on Mars Within 12 Years

Technological guru and all-around badass Elon Musk revealed in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday that SpaceX is planning to put humans on the surface of Mars by 2026; nearly a decade before NASA.

"I'm hopeful that the first people could be taken to Mars in 10 to 12 years, I think it's certainly possible for that to occur," he said on the show Closing Bell. "But the thing that matters long term is to have a self-sustaining city on Mars, to make life multi-planetary.”

SpaceX is currently vying for government contracts, in hopes that NASA will select the Dragon V2 spacecraft to bring up to seven astronauts at a time to the ISS. Though the Dragon V2 vessel is highly innovative and will be much more cost-effective than spacecraft currently in use, the fact that SpaceX is a relative newcomer is a disadvantage. SpaceX is competing against companies like Boeing, who have established reputations and much more experience.

Though gaining the NASA contract would be great for the company’s financial security, getting passed up would slow SpaceX’s developments, not stop them. "It's possible that we may not win the commercial crew contract,” Musk acknowledges. “We'll do our best to continue on our own, with our own money.” He also adds that there are no hard feelings toward NASA if SpaceX doesn’t get the contract. "We would not be where we are today without the help of NASA,” he said.

Back in 2012, Musk began talking about the possibility of commercial round-trip tickets to Mars for $500,000 each. Quite a bargain, compared to the $150 million Space Adventures will charge to go circle the moon. Before price per ticket to the red planet is worked out, SpaceX will first need to finish the equipment that is capable of making the trip.

Currently, SpaceX is developing the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle, which is similar to their Falcon 9, with the addition of twin booster rockets which make it capable of bringing an incredible payload to space, making a Mars mission more feasible. The Falcon Heavy will begin test launches in 2015. While getting there and back seems doable enough, SpaceX doesn’t currently have a craft that is able to land and relaunch from the Martian surface, as NASA did on the lunar surface during the Apollo missions. It may very well turn out that the earliest SpaceX missions to Mars will orbit the red planet and not land on the surface.

In the interview, Musk also teased the idea of SpaceX becoming a publicly traded company, though not in the immediate future. "We need to get where things a steady and predictable,” he said. "Maybe [when] we’re close to developing the Mars vehicle, or ideally [after] we've flown it a few times, then I think going public would make more sense.” Let us know when you have those ducks in a row, Mr. Musk. We’ll be eagerly waiting.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:20 PM   #1872
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:50 PM   #1873
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:06 PM   #1874
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:54 PM   #1875
Gadzooks Gadzooks is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notorious View Post
Okay, why does the colored picture disappear?
Cause you're color blind.
Ask Bugeater. He's definitely color blind.
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