Posts

September 17, 2014

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8:00 AM | Stepping Off the Multi-Tasking Treadmill
Yesterday in the Washington Post, I wrote about how I wanted to love my treadmill desk, but I just don’t. I had high hopes. I’ve been a standing desk user for more than 10 years, long before they were a “thing.” I’m an active, restless person who already spends more than 80 percent of my […]
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4:00 AM | La NASA fornisce le ‘linee guida’ per la ricerca di ET
Gli astrobiologi che esplorano le atmosfere planetarie alla ricerca di mondi alieni non si limitano alla ricerca di un solo tipo di gas, come l’ossigeno, l’ozono o il metano, poichè in certi casi questi gas possono essere prodotti in modo non-biologico. E’ quanto affermano i ricercatori della NASA che hanno condotto per lungo tempo una serie di […]

September 16, 2014

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7:58 PM | StarTalk SoundBite: What Can We Learn From A Black Hole?
Host Neil deGrasse Tyson considers the merits of sending a probe into a Black Hole with co-host Leighann Lord. Find out what would happen and how we know where these outwardly invisible Black Holes are located. If you appreciated this quick lesson and want to learn more about Astrophysics check out the full episode here: https://soundcloud.com/startalk/cosmic-queries-general-astrophysics-101
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6:12 PM | Mars Orbiter Mission prepares for Mars arrival
The countdown for the crucial and nerve-wracking Mars orbit insertion of India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) on September 24 has kicked off. At ISRO's telemetry, tracking and command network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore, the mood among the scientists is right now a mixture of optimism, excitement, and nervous apprehension.
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6:11 PM | Mars Orbiter Mission arrival timeline
Mars Orbiter Mission's fated arrival day is approaching fast! Here is the timeline of orbit insertion events, converted from India Standard Time to Universal, European, and Pacific time zones, and corrected for the 12.5 minutes it will take signals to reach Earth from Mars.
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4:00 PM | Robotic Hamster Sparks Sanctions In Trade Secret Case.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld sanctions in a trade secret case due to factual misrepresentations in a complaint. Toy designer, Jason Heller, filed the case against Cepia LLC alleging that Cepia designed a line of toys using trade secrets he had given two Hong Kong companies he hired to make prototypes of a … Continue reading →
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4:00 PM | Calling All Amateur Astronomoers…You Input Is Needed.
The Night Sky Network is conducting a new survey of amateur astronomers located in the United States. We wish to better understand the landscape of educational outreach performed by astronomy clubs and assess the needs of the amateur astronomy community for the next five years. You can take the survey here: http://bit.ly/2014astrosurvey   Your answers will … Continue reading →
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2:57 PM | Uomini più bravi in matematica: lo stereotipo che si avvera
Gli uomini sono più portati delle donne per la matematica: lo si sente dire spesso, eppure non esistono evidenze sperimentali forti a sostegno di questa tesi. Si tratterebbe infatti di uno stereotipo di genere fortemente radicato nella nostra società, che ha la capacità di influenzare negativamente le prestazioni delle bambine e delle ragazze, facendo sì che il pregiudizio si avveri. A dimostrarlo è una ricerca condotta dalle Università di Triste e […]
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2:40 PM | First results from Rosetta landing expected to be unveiled at AGU Fall Meeting
Scientists expect to present preliminary results from the first spacecraft to land on a comet at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting in December. That’s assuming, of course, that they first succeed at dropping a lander from thousands of meters away onto a tiny comet – a feat never tried before. The Rosetta mission is the first designed to orbit and land on a comet, according to the European Space Agency. The mission’s Philae lander will touch down at […]
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2:25 PM | Pressione alta, se lo zucchero è peggio del sale
Lo sappiamo, no? Contro ipertensione e rischio cardiovascolare meglio ridurre il consumo di sale. Eppure, secondo una nuova ricerca, pubblicata su The American Journal of Cardiology per la pressione alta sarebbe più pericoloso lo zucchero del sale (in parte, ve lo avevamo già raccontato). Perché? Il consumo di zucchero agirebbe sull’ipotalamo accelerando il battito cardiaco e facendo innalzare la pressione. […]
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1:57 PM | NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory Finds Planet That Makes Star Act Deceptively Old
A new study using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has shown that a planet is making the star that it orbits act much older than it actually is, as explained in our latest press release. The artist's illustration featured in the main part of this graphic depicts the star, WASP-18, and its planet, WASP-18b. WASP-18b is a "hot Jupiter," a giant exoplanet that orbits very close to its star, located about 330 light years from Earth. Specifically, the mass of WASP-18b is estimated to be […]
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1:35 PM | Il contraccetivo per lui? Nel 2017
Nel prossimo futuro (forse già dal 2017) il condom potrebbe perdere lo status di anticoncezionale per eccellenza a favore di un gel che emula, e migliora, gli effetti di una vasectomia senza necessità di ricorrere alla chirurgia. La ricerca su anticoncezionali maschili più pratici, e sicuri, va avanti ormai da anni puntando a soluzioni di tipo ormonale, come la pillola femminile. Tuttavia il Vasalgel, parente non troppo lontano dell’indiano “Reversible […]
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1:34 PM | Curiosity verso la vetta del monte Sharp
Si chiama Curiosity il lander marziano della Nasa arrivato il 6 agosto 2012 sul Pianeta rosso: da quel giorno, nomen omen, ha cominciato a curiosare su Marte, analizzando campioni e scattando foto del paesaggio (oltre 154 mila immagini), nel cratere in cui è atterrato. Ora però, oltre due anni dopo il suo atterraggio, la sonda ha completato il suo primo incarico ed è finalmente arrivata alle pendici del monte Sharp (5500m), da dove partirà la seconda fase […]
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12:00 PM | New Horizons Spies Pluto's Tiny Moon Hydra
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft may still be 10 months from its historic flyby with dwarf planet Pluto, but it is making good use of its interplanetary cruise to get familiar with its flyby target by imaging Pluto's outermost moon Hydra. Continue reading →
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11:30 AM | A Galaxy of Tatooines
Using an old-style observing technique, astronomers have come to a very interesting conclusion: About half of all exoplanets in the galaxy are in binary star systems. That’s astonishingly cool. Mind you, it’s not unexpected, but now we have some evidence for it. Here’s the deal. We know that roughly half the stars in the galaxy are in binary systems, with two stars physically orbiting each other. The circumstances that give rise to star formation make it pretty easy for two […]
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11:00 AM | Cosmic Archer: Seeking Out Sagittarius
On these late-summer evenings after the sun has set, look low in the southern sky for the classical Archer: the constellation Sagittarius.
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10:00 AM | NASA Defends Mars Rover Curiosity's Science Plan
NASA is staunchly defending the science plans for its flagship Mars rover Curiosity in the wake of a recent senior-level review that at times harshly criticized the mission's science operations.
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8:40 AM | Week 17: Crossing the Cascades
Trotting across Long Beach… (All photos by author). Coming to the U.S. Northwest was strangely like coming home. The past week of our travels saw us slow down a bit, as we crossed from the central part of Washington to its Pacific coast. You could almost smell the flannel in the air as we journeyed [...]
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8:32 AM | All'origine degli elementi chimici
Idrogeno, elio e un po’ di litio. Erano solo questi gli elementi presenti nell’Universo 14 miliardi di anni fa, subito dopo il Big Bang. Come si è arrivati quindi agli oltre cento elementi che si trovano oggi in natura? Per scoprirlo, alcuni dei più avanzati laboratori di fisica americani hanno deciso di unire le forze, in un nuovo progetto che ha già ricevuto oltre 11,4 milioni di dollari di fondi dalla National Science […]
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8:00 AM | More Energy, Less Freedom
The writer and filmmaker Swain Wolfe spent his earliest years at a tuberculosis sanatarium near Colorado Springs, Colorado, where his father was the director. After World War II, the sanatarium closed, his parents divorced, and his mother moved Wolfe and his sister to a ranch in western Colorado and then, when Wolfe was a teenager, to Montana. […]
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7:03 AM | Un terribile terremoto potrebbe colpire Istanbul
Per evitare spiacevoli equivoci, è bene ribadirlo dall’inizio. I terremoti, purtroppo, non si possono prevedere. Checché ne dicano i vari Raffaele Bendandi, Luke Thomas e Giampaolo Giuliani, la scienza è chiara in merito. Al momento – e forse per sempre – non è possibile costruire un modello attendibile in grado di stabilire con precisione dove e quando la Terra deciderà di svegliarsi. Quello che si […]
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5:20 AM | Week 17: Crossing the Cascades
Trotting across Long Beach… (All photos by author). Coming to the U.S. Northwest was strangely like coming home. The past week of our travels saw us slow down a bit, as we crossed from the central part of Washington to its Pacific coast. You could almost smell the flannel in the air as we journeyed [...]
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4:00 AM | Misurare l’intensità dell’elettromagnetismo analizzando la luce dei quasar
Grazie ad una serie di osservazioni realizzate mediante tre potenti telescopi ottici terrestri, e cioè il Very Large Telescope in Cile, i telescopi del Keck Observatory e il telescopio Subaru che sono situati nelle Hawaii, un gruppo di astronomi guidati dai ricercatori della Swinburne University of Technology hanno analizzato la luce di un singolo quasar ottenendo dati preziosi […]
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3:44 AM | Another “Planet” Debate
CFA Asks “What is a Planet?” It’s been a few years since the great “Define a Planet” vote took place at the International Astronomical Union meeting. That 2006 event touched off what still remains a firestorm of controversy about what is or isn’t a planet, and in particular, whether Pluto fits the definition set out […]
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12:20 AM | Messier Monday: A Miniature Marvel, M70 (Synopsis)
“I told my father that someday when I grow up and become an astronomer ‘I’m going to discover something.’” -Thomas Bopp But who ever would have imagined that a kid with an armchair interest in astronomy, one who as an adult didn’t even own a telescope, would stare into a friend’s one fateful night at…
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12:19 AM | Messier Monday: A Miniature Marvel, M70
At the bottom of the teapot in Sagittarius, the ancient giants burn for your pleasure.Continue reading on Medium »

September 15, 2014

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10:00 PM | Another “Software” Patent Found Invalid Under Alice.
The US District Court ‑ Middle District of Florida has invalidated a set of patents as lacking eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. 101 as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Alice Corp. (2014). Many people are rushing to conclude that the end of software patents is nigh.  However, this isn’t the case. Most of the “patents” that … Continue reading →
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9:53 PM | A landing site for Philae, but it's not going to be easy
This morning, the European Space Agency announced the selection of a landing site for little Philae on the head of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Although a primary site has been selected, landing Philae successfully is going to be tough, and the mission is now working to manage people's expectations.
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8:18 PM | The Weird Wind-Rippled Surface of Mars
In new observations beamed back from a NASA Mars orbiter, an example of transverse aeolian ridges has provided a clue as to how this strange wind-blown feature evolved. Continue reading →
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7:49 PM | Everything is different now (Synopsis)
“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring—it was peace.” -Milan Kundera Many of you have been along on this journey with me for years…
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