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Showing posts from 2018

Astronomy Picture of the Day: The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared

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The Sombrero Galaxy in Infrared
This floating ring is the size of a galaxy. In fact, it is a galaxy -- or at least part of one: the photogenic Sombrero Galaxy, one of the largest galaxies in the nearby Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. The dark band of dust that obscures the mid-section of the Sombrero Galaxy in optical light actually glows brightly in infrared light. The featured image, digitally sharpened, shows the infrared glow, recently recorded by the orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope, superposed in false-color on an existing image taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telesco pe in optical light. The Sombrero Galaxy, also known as M104, spans about 50,000 light years across and lies 28 million light years away. M104 can be seen with a small telescope in the direction of the constellation Virgo.

January 01, 2019
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Watch live as NASA spends New Year's Eve exploring the mysterious outer regions of our solar system

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Space It's time to meet 2014 MU69. Tonight, scientists around the world are spending the holiday waiting to hear news of a historic space event. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2CJBopT"

I built a sniffing machine to protect dogs

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Science Canines can detect poachers' contraband, but the job puts them in danger. To find illegal animal products, customs officials rely on trained dogs at ports. To keep the pooches out of harm's way, I built a smell-sucking machine so they can… via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2GRbKn9"

Why the sight of blood knocks us out

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Head Trip Do you pass out when you get your blood drawn? You're not the only one. Why some folks faint at the sight of blood and others don’t isn’t entirely clear, but prior fear of blood and needles often increases the chances of passing out. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2QXhDnz"

Astronomy Picture of the Day: The Witch Head Nebula

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The Witch Head Nebula
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble .... maybe Macbeth should have consulted the Witch Head Nebula. A frighteningly shaped reflection nebula, this cosmic crone is about 800 light-years away though. Its malevolent visage seems to glare toward nearby bright star Rigel in Orion, just off the right edge of this frame. More formally known as IC 2118, the interstellar cloud of dust and gas is nearly 70 light-years across, its dust grains reflecting Rigel's starlight. In this composite portrait, the nebula's color is caused not only by the star's intense bluish light but because the dust grains scatter blue light more efficiently than red. The same physical proc ess causes Earth's daytime sky to appear blue, although the scatterers in planet Earth's atmosphere are molecules of nitrogen and oxygen.

December 31, 2018
via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2EYholA Manage this Applet
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Astronomy Picture of the Day: The Galaxy Tree

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The Galaxy Tree
First came the trees. In the town of Salamanca, Spain, the photographer noticed how distinctive a grove of oak trees looked after being pruned. Next came the galaxy. The photographer stayed up until 2 am, waiting until the Milky Way Galaxy rose above the level of a majestic looking oak. From this carefully chosen perspective, dust lanes in the galaxy appear to be natural continuations to branches of the tree. Last came the light. A flashlight was used on the far side of the tree to project a silhouette. By coincidence, other trees also appeared as similar silhouettes across the relatively bright horizon. The featured image was captured as a single 30-second frame earlier this month and processed to digitally enhance the Milky Way.

December 30, 2018
via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2LLZcwp Manage this Applet
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Scientists think they've found a super-Earth exoplanet dripping with sapphires and rubies

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Space The right kind of chemistry can lead to some strange sorts of worlds. The right kind of chemistry can lead to some strange sorts of worlds. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2CEhCvT"

What happens in the minds of free climbers

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Science Studying the brains of daredevils like Alex Honnold. Neuroscientist Jane Joseph was using MRI scans to study thrill-seekers' brains. Then a journalist suggested she look at free-solo climber Alex Honnold. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2SslMMM"

Astronomy Picture of the Day: New Horizons at Ultima Thule

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New Horizons at Ultima Thule
When we celebrate the start of 2019, on January 1 the New Horizons spacecraft will flyby Ultima Thule. A world of the Kuiper belt 6.5 billion kilometers from the Sun, the nickname Ultima Thule (catalog designation 2014 MU69) fittingly means "beyond the known world". Following its 2015 flyby of Pluto, New Horizons was targeted for this journey, attempting the most distant flyby for a spacecraft from Earth by approaching Ultima Thule to within about 3500 kilometers. The tiny world itself is about 30 kilometers in size. This year, an observing campaign with Earth-based teles copes determined the shape of the object to be a contact binary or a close binary sytem as in this artist's illustration. New Horizons will image close up its unexplored surface in the dim light of the distant Sun.

December 29, 2018
via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2QbItTP Manage this Applet
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We've wasted so much plastic, it's almost impossible to picture—these charts will help

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Environment The most mind-boggling statistic of the year, visualized. Less than 10 percent of all the plastic we've made has been recycled, but the enormity of that quantity is hard to really grasp. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2Q9TDrS"

The mystery of the ISS hole just got even weirder

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Space The hole came from the inside. Earlier this week, a Russian cosmonaut who investigated the mysterious hole in the Soyuz capsule docked to the International Space Station revealed that the hole was… via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2EQAglO"

In 2018, Alaska's Bering Sea was all out of whack.

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Environment It was an extreme year. In some regions, this was the first time in 37 years of water surveys that there was no cold pool. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2BJem0F"

What is a super blood wolf moon?

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Space What a strawberry moon? What is a worm moon? What is going on with my moon? Blue moons, strawberry moons, supermoons. For some reason your news aggregation algorithm of choice thinks you really really really want to know all about these moons. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2rYJ69i"

Keep your home's temperature up and the heating bill down

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DIY Stop fighting over the thermostat. When the leaves turn, the battle over the thermostat begins. This year, skip the debate over the ideal temperature. Here's how to keep warm without blasting the heat. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2LEQNuu"

Last year in Tech 2018: Smartphone notches, data breaches, and sad CEOs

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Technology A look back at 2018's big tech stories. Bring on 2019. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2SnWlvZ"

You say you hate Instagram's changes, but your eyeballs say otherwise

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Technology It's 2018 and UX designers know us better than we know ourselves. Using Instagram feels increasingly terrible. But the numbers suggest the app is performing better than ever. What gives? via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2CBAlYT"

Here's how people jumped out of planes decades ago—and eject from them today

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Aviation Exiting a speeding jet is no small feat. From parachutes for the balloon corps to the latest generation of high-speed ejection seats, here’s how we learned to make a swift aerial exit. From parachutes for the balloon corps to the latest generation of high-speed ejector seats, here’s how we learned to make a swift aerial exit. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2Q8c4x5"

Astronomy Picture of the Day: NGC 1365: Majestic Island Universe

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NGC 1365: Majestic Island Universe
Barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is truly a majestic island universe some 200,000 light-years across. Located a mere 60 million light-years away toward the chemical constellation Fornax, NGC 1365 is a dominant member of the well-studied Fornax galaxy cluster. This impressively sharp color image shows intense star forming regions at the ends of the bar and along the spiral arms, and details of dust lanes cutting across the galaxy's bright core. At the core lies a supermassive black hole. Astronomers think NGC 1365's prominent bar plays a crucial role in the galaxy's evolution, drawing gas and dust into a star-forming maelstrom and ultimately feeding material into the central black hole.

December 28, 2018
via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2SlQAPi Manage this Applet
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Five rad and random pieces of indoor exercise gear I found this week

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Gadgets The end-of-week dispatch from PopSci's commerce editor. Vol. 59. My job is to find cool stuff. Throughout the week I spend hours scouring the web for things that are ingenious or clever or ridiculously cheap. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2CBErAv"

How to make customer service actually respond to you

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DIY Force them to pay attention. What happens when a company won’t refund your purchase—or worse, refuses to answer the phone in the first place? Here’s how to get a response from customer service. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2QQhodT"

NASA's New Horizons will spend New Year's Eve staring at a very mysterious space ball

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Space MU69 is far from your run-of-the-mill solar system object. Get ready to meet 2014 MU69 (unofficially known as Ultima Thule), an object a billion miles beyond Pluto and 4.1 billion from Earth itself. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2GIZ7KU"

Megapixels: NASA snapped a shot of a holiday 'wreath' in space

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Space It's actually more of a holiday yardstick. This season is full of stories about stars guiding travelers to far-off destinations, but new imagery from NASA shows off a stellar guide of a different sort. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2Rp74ZE"

A cheap set of LEDs is the best way to upgrade your fancy new TV

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Gadgets Bias lighting will enhance the picture of your screen in a dark room. Eye experts and home theater nerds recommend a little extra light in your home theater. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2TgXSUJ"

How scientists collect lava from an active volcano

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Science It takes the right gear. Volcano researcher Jessica Johnson explains how she scoops up 1800°F lava—and what scientists can learn from it. via Popular Science "http://bit.ly/2CBOGVk"