Posts

December 20, 2014

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12:30 PM | Detecting an Exoplanet… Without a Telescope
Years ago, when the first transiting exoplanet (HD 209458b) was found, I was startled to realize that it could be easily detected using a small, inexpensive telescope. Transiting exoplanets are planets that orbit other stars, and from Earth we just so happen to see their orbit edge-on. That means it passes in front of their parent star (that’s the transit bit), blocking a fraction of its light. A tiny fraction, usually far less than 1%. But if the star is bright this dip in brightness can […]
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12:27 PM | Aiuto, mio figlio non cresce
E’ una delle paure più frequenti dei genitori, preoccupati che i loro figli non mangino a sufficienza o non siano alti abbastanza. Per questo si rivolgono spesso al pediatra. Ma quando ci si deve davvero preoccupare? Lo chiediamo a Laura Perrone, direttore della clinica pediatrica della II università di Napoli, e insieme a lei capiamo [...]
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11:38 AM | Salici per purificare il suolo
La scoperta di un'università finlandese: piantare i salici favorisce la fitodepurazione di terreni acidi o contaminati da metalli pesanti
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9:00 AM | The Last Word
December 14-19, 2014 In the second half of Ann’s reflections on Marvin “Murph” Goldberger, the subject turns from academic life to Jason, the group of physicists who advised the US government on science, including tactics to be used in the Vietnam War. As before, she lets Murph do the talking. Press release-driven science journalism is […]

December 19, 2014

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11:53 PM | Video: Ride along with Orion as It Plummets Back to Earth
A new NASA video provides an astronaut's-eye video of the final ten minutes of Orion's test flight.
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11:00 PM | Crowdsourcing Written Comment Period Extended.
The USPTO has used crowdsourcing to identify relevant prior art and is conducting a roundtable to discuss the program. Written comments regarding the roundtable has extended the time to submit comments to January 13, 2015. Additional information on both the roundtable event and the submission of written comments is available on the USPTO Web site … Continue reading →
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10:33 PM | New Zealand watersheds show the dirt on logging and grazing
Grazing animals and logging trees in New Zealand could affect water quality there, according to scientists working to determine how water quality problems in the country relate to land use. The results could help guide water-friendly policy in New Zealand and other parts of the world, according to Jason Julian, a geographer at Texas State University.
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10:24 PM | Random Space Fact Videos
Enjoy Random Space Fact Videos this holiday season. Each is designed in to give you at least one space fact and one laugh in about one minute. Here are the videos and the background on the concept.
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8:28 PM | Ask Ethan #67: Dark Matter vs. Dark Energy (Synopsis)
“We are incredibly heedless in the formation of our beliefs, but find ourselves filled with an illicit passion for them when anyone proposed to rob us of their companionship.” -James Harvey Robinson The Universe seems to be full of contradictions. On one hand, everywhere we look — in all directions and at all locations —…
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8:28 PM | Ask Ethan #67: Dark Matter vs. Dark Energy
The Universe looks bizarre: a plethora of galaxies, many clusters, but very little bigger than that. What made it so?Continue reading on Medium »
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8:25 PM | A new Chang'e 3 and Yutu image archive
A treasure trove of newly released images from the Chang'e 3 program includes a photo sequence of a waxing Earth and lots of high-resolution views of rover and lander on the Moon.
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8:21 PM | THIS is What it's Like to Reenter the Earth's Atmosphere: Video
In a mesmerizing new video released by NASA, the full reentry of the Orion test space vehicle is chronicled -- and it's a phenomenal 10-minute ride from fiery reentry to sudden splashdown into the Pacific Ocean.
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7:15 PM | The Horsehead and the Flame
Well folks, looks like I have your next desktop wallpaper for you: a Spitzer Space Telescope image of the incredible Flame Nebula, a star-forming gas cloud hanging off Orion’s belt: Holy. Wow. Spitzer is an infrared telescope, sensitive to light well beyond what our eyes can see. When it comes to astronomical objects, this part of the spectrum is dominated by the glow of dust—long, carbon-based molecules created when stars are born and when they die. Chemically, the dust is a […]
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7:10 PM | The Flame Nebula Smolders in New Space Telescope Photo
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which views the cosmos in infrared light, has taken a fresh look at the beautiful Flame Nebula, revealing some fascinating features that would otherwise remain invisible.
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6:54 PM | Here's How Planetary Science Will Spend Its $1.44 Billion in 2015
The story of NASA's 2015 budget ended on December 16th, when President Barack Obama signed the massive omnibus spending bill into law. NASA's increased budget is locked in, as is the increase to Planetary Science. Here's how Planetary spends its additional money.
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6:26 PM | Electromagnetic imaging helps scientists locate underwater methane
A simple compound found in underwater structures could generate warmth below the ocean, inside homes, and in the atmosphere. The location of the compound, methane, determines whether it’s dangerous, welcome, or world-changing. Now, a team from GEOMAR in Kiel, Germany and the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom has used electromagnetic images to more accurately identify and characterize a source of methane beneath the ocean floor.
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5:56 PM | This Is the Most Massive Young Galaxy Cluster Ever Discovered
This image, a composite of x-ray, infrared, and optical data, shows the most massive galaxy cluster ever discovered at its distance: a staggering 9.6 billion light-years away, altogether containing the equivalent mass of 400 trillion suns. Continue reading →
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5:42 PM | Lightning strikes Venus
Scientists have detected electromagnetic signals emanating from Venus’s thick cloud layer, bolstering the case for lightning on the planet. The Venus Express spacecraft, which recently ended its mission after eight years, recorded electromagnetic pulses about 217 miles (300 kilometers) above the planet’s surface, said Richard Hart, a graduate student at the Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California at Los Angeles.
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5:00 PM | A Feel Good Nobel Prize Story.
Russia’s richest man Alisher Usmanov (estimated to be worth $15.8bn) bought US scientist James Watson’s Nobel Prize gold medal, and intends to return it to him. Usmanov said Mr Watson “deserved” the medal, and that he was “distressed” the scientist had felt forced to sell it. Watson won the Nobel Prize in 1962 for the … Continue reading →
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4:49 PM | Data from space illuminates Calaveras creep
Scientists have used satellites to more accurately measure the slow creep of land along the Calaveras and Hayward faults east of the San Francisco Bay, a finding that helped the researchers estimate the magnitude of future earthquakes. Both the Calaveras and Hayward faults are part of the San Andreas system, which sits at the boundary of two massive slabs of the Earth’s crust called the North American and Pacific plates. The plates slide slowly past one another, sometimes getting stuck […]
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4:34 PM | DNews: Reasons for Methane on Mars that Aren't Biological
Methane is such a promising sign for the existence of biological life that it's hard not to get excited when it's detected on Mars. But Amy Shira-Teitel runs down some other ways the gas could be observed on the Red Planet without their being life.
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4:16 PM | Computer models simulate asteroid impacts
An asteroid impact 100 miles (170 kilometers) off the coast of Maryland would send waves up to 50 feet (15 meters) high onto the shore an hour later and massive flooding would occur three hours after impact, according to a new computer simulation of hypothetical asteroid impacts. The model is the first of its kind and federal agencies have used it to assess potential hazards arising from such impacts in an effort to increase U.S. emergency preparedness, planning and management, the scientists […]
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3:14 PM | L’ibuprofene allunga la vita?
Dosi controllate di ibuprofene potrebbero aumentare la durata della vita. Questa la scoperta del Texas A&M AgriLife Research, pubblicata su Plos Genetics
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2:38 PM | 500!
The Best of ESA’s Space In Images – 2014 Each Friday for the past 10 years the European Space Agency (ESA) has been releasing a new satellite image of the Earth, titled Earth Observation Image Of The Week. The images illustrate both the beauty and fragility of our planet. Along with the image is a […]
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2:00 PM | Un gene che aumenta il rischio di Sla
I ricercatori della Thomas Jefferson University hanno scoperto una mutazione genetica che, nei portatori di Sla, favorisce la produzione di una proteina che causa danni ai neuroni motori
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12:15 PM | Science, Celebrities, and the Perils of Promotion
Promoting science can be tricky. In general it’s fun and rewarding. I have a passion for science, and I wear it happily for all to see. But there are minefields afoot. Of course there are people who deny science, and they will let the vitriol flow if you happen to stick a toe into their territory. There’s also the issue of diversity, including topics like women in science as well as people of different backgrounds, color, beliefs, and so on. I’m all for promoting more […]
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11:41 AM | Ecco il microscopio senza lenti
Lo hanno messo a punto gli scienziati della University of California, Los Angeles: ha prestazioni fino a cento volte migliori rispetto ai microscopi “tradizionali”. Ed è molto più economico
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9:00 AM | The Long Legacy of a Good Deed
Two years ago this week, a well-known environmental organizer named Sombath Somphone was detained at a traffic stop in downtown Vientiane, Laos, and driven away in a white pickup. He has not been seen or heard from since. You can read a lot more about Somphone, his work in Laos, and his wife’s remarkable efforts to […]
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7:46 AM | La migliore scienza del 2014
Come Nature anche Science riconosce in cima alla classifica i traguardi raggiunti dalla missione Rosetta. Ma c’è spazio anche per dinosauri, batteri alieni e robot nella top ten della rivista
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4:00 AM | Quando due galassie collidono
Durante il periodo natalizio, sappiamo che le luci sono le protagoniste assolute che allietano le serate notturne. Ma anche nel cosmo, da qualche parte a circa 130 milioni di anni-luce dalla Terra nella direzione della costellazione del Cane Maggiore, possiamo assistere ad uno spettacolo simile: stiamo parlando di una coppia di galassie a spirale interagenti … Continue reading Quando due galassie collidono →
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