Posts

September 23, 2014

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4:56 PM | MOM to Mars!
Mars is THE Place in Space This Week! Now that we’ve got the Mars MAVEN mission settled safely in orbit around Mars, the Indian Space Research Organization’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) Mangalyaan is about to enter its orbit. That will happen tomorrow (September 24). The mission’s main engine did a successful test fire on Monday, […]
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4:00 PM | Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014.
The Royal Observatory Greenwich recently announced their award for Astronomy Photographer of the year. With entries from 51 countries and 1700 entries to choose from, the committee had quite a task on their hands. Using his Canon 5D Mk III camera a 33mm f/3.2 lens at ISO 1000 and a 10-second exposure, James Woodend from … Continue reading →
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3:00 PM | Google Exec: Climate Change Deniers Are “Just Literally Lying”
Well, how about that? In an interview on NPR’s the Diane Rehm Show, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt comes right out and says that climate change deniers are “literally just lying.” You can listen for yourself (it starts at the 48:30 mark), and Forecast the Facts has the transcript. When asked why Google funds the American Legislative Exchange Council—a conservative/libertarian group that supports all sorts of horrid ideas, and in this case specifically climate […]
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2:18 PM | Einstein’s Greatest Legacy (Synopsis)
When it comes to Einstein, the first thought that comes to people’s mind is usually relativity — either special or general — or perhaps his famous E = mc^2. (Except for Anupam Garg; my old classical mechanics professor used to joke that Einstein’s greatest contribution to physics was his shortened summation notation.) But Einstein’s legacy…
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2:17 PM | Einstein’s Greatest Legacy
How the demons and angels of our greatest minds advanced science.Continue reading on Medium »
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11:00 AM | I Stand With Emma Watson
On Saturday, Sept. 20, U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson gave a stunning speech about women’s rights.* Stunning. In it, she talked about the inequality women face every day, everywhere in the world. She related her own personal experience (being sexualized at a young age, having male friends who couldn’t express their feelings for worry of being seen as unmasculine, and more) as well as giving the broader context of gender bias. Watch it. It’s well worth a few minutes […]
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11:00 AM | Gravitational Waves Could 'Pump Up' Star Brightness
Gravitational waves are hard to observe, but they could have a dramatic effect on stars that we could possibly detect. Continue reading →
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10:00 AM | It's Always a Windy Day Around This Baby Star
Some young sun-like stars generate an odd infrared signal that is likely caused by interactions with neighboring stars, producing powerful stellar winds. Continue reading →
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8:00 AM | Weapons-Grade Private Enterprise
Over the years, I’ve met a number of physicists who had direct or indirect connections with the Manhattan Project and who then spent the rest of their lives trying to get the nuclear weapons genie back into the bottle and the bottle corked.  I think of these physicists as the old arms-controllers. They’re impressive people. […]

September 22, 2014

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10:20 PM | Messier Monday: The First Extragalactic Globular, M54 (Synopsis)
“A hungry man can’t see right or wrong. He just sees food.” -Pearl S. Buck But what of a hungry galaxy? As it turns out, pretty much anywhere in space, it’s the biggest galaxies that are the hungriest, seeing all their smaller, neighboring galaxies as food. This was the case for the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical…
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10:20 PM | Messier Monday: The First Extragalactic Globular, M54
Beyond our own galaxy, this ancient relic holds a key to our cannibalistic past.Continue reading on Medium »
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10:00 PM | Who Owns The Photo? You Or Your Employee.
Copyright ownership is common for photographs.  The person who took the photo, owns the rights in the work. However, this can be trickier when the person that took the photo works for you.  The general rule of thumb is that unless the employee is hired to take photographs for you, or the job description states … Continue reading →
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4:53 PM | The Biggest Cosmological Problem Is…
…living in a place that makes doing cosmology hard. Let’s backtrack a little. Unless you’ve been living under a particularly thick and insulating rock you’ll know that in... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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4:00 PM | This Years Ig Nobel Prize Winners.
As a counterpart to its more famous cousin, and close kin to the Darwin Awards, the 24th annual Ig Nobel prize winners include: PHYSICS PRIZE [JAPAN]: Kiyoshi Mabuchi, Kensei Tanaka, Daichi Uchijima and Rina Sakai, for measuring the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin, and between a banana skin and the … Continue reading →
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3:55 PM | Why I am still unimpressed with the Space Station dark matter search
I want to find dark matter as much as anybody. But strong desires in science should always be coupled with patience, caution, and skepticism about your own wishes. That’s a hard thing, and scientists are no more immune to wishful thinking than anyone else, especially when they invest their lives in big projects. So, I’m […]
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3:23 PM | Two Impacts, One Landslide … on Mercury
When I was a kid, I used to love looking through my telescope at craters on the Moon. Their size, shape, and subtle (and not-so-subtle) differences fascinated me, and still do. Those differences still pull at me. Some craters are just odd, and that oddness is generally a clue to how they formed … or what happened after they formed. Mercury is Moon-like in many ways: It has a solid, rocky surface, and no atmosphere to speak of. That means it’s covered in craters, and that in turn […]
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2:41 PM | SHARAD: Delving Deep at Mars
Some of Mars' most important secrets are hiding beneath the surface.
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2:39 PM | Ep. 351: Asteroid Adventures
Astronomy Cast’s 2014/15 season begins! With Rosetta’s arrival at Comet 67/P, we’re about to see a comet up close and personal. What will it take to explore, exploit and enjoy the asteroids and comets hurtling around our Solar System. And how does science fiction have it all wrong?? Ep. 351: Asteroid Adventures Jump to Shownotes […]
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2:06 PM | Planck Reveals Dusty Problem for BICEP2s Gravitational Waves
The likelihood that a South Pole-based telescope detected elusive gravitational waves earlier this year has just taken another nosedive. Continue reading →
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2:00 PM | Mars Orbiter Mission test firing successful; all ready for orbit insertion
There was celebration in the Mars mission control room in Bangalore on Monday following the success of the crucial four-second test firing of the Mars Orbiter Mission’s (MOM) 440-Newton liquid apogee motor. MOM will now go ahead with the nominal plan for the Mars orbit insertion on September 24 at 07:30 IST (02:00 UT / September 23 19:00 PDT).
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1:52 PM | Planck ‘dice’ che il segnale di BICEP2 sarebbe un artefatto sperimentale
I dati del satellite Planck pubblicati di recente in merito ad una analisi preliminare della distribuzione delle polveri interstellari suggeriscono che le minuscole particelle di silicati e carbonati presenti nel mezzo interstellare potrebbero tener conto al 100 percento del segnale rivelato dall’esperimento BICEP2 (post). Dunque, le osservazioni del gruppo di Harvard che erano ritenute una “chiara evidenza del passaggio […]
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1:37 PM | Over The Weekend…
This past weekend saw a dragon lift off to resupply the ISS, and a craft enter the orbit of Mars…. In a beautiful nighttime launch, with 9 Merlin 1D rocket engines roaring to life on the Falcon launch vehicle, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft lifts off  from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 1:52am EDT […]
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12:15 PM | DNews: It's a Nice Universe We Inhabit, but What Is It?
Trace breaks down some of his favorite theories for what the universe is. Are we really just living in a computer simulation?
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11:58 AM | HeForShe
introducing HeForShe - a fantastic initiative launched by emma watson at the UN this week.  her speech is inspirational.   you can hear the nerves in her voice and the wisdom in her words. gender stereotypes and expectations placed on both men and women are harmful.   in her speech, watson says "I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness unable to ask for help for fear it would make them look less “macho”—in fact in the UK suicide is the […]
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11:46 AM | Stardust...
Credits: Planck CollaborationSo, here it is, the long-waited analysis of Planck data about the polarized dust emission from the Milky Way. The preprint was posted today on arXiv. ☞ Download the preprint from arXiv The main result -- that was already "in the air" -- is that the signal of the dust polarization is consistent with the revised BICEP2 paper. That is, nothing conclusive. The dust signal is stronger than the early estimates, making the significance of the B-mode […]
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11:20 AM | NASA's MAVEN Mission Arrives at Mars
Mars just acquired a new orbiting robot buddy. Continue reading →
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10:30 AM | Mercury to Wow Southern Skywatchers This Week
Even though Mercury is one of the brightest objects in the sky, very few observers have ever seen the planet in the night sky. That's because it never strays very far from the sun, and is usually lost in its glare.
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9:30 AM | MAVEN Arrives at Mars
Mars has acquired a new moon: the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft entered orbit around the planet at 02:26 UTC Monday morning. Man, I never get tired of writing a sentence like that. MAVEN spent just over 10 months plying the vacuum of interplanetary space after its launch in November of 2013. As it approached Mars, it fired its engines for a total of just over a half hour, changing velocity enough to transfer from a heliocentric orbit into one about Mars. The scale […]
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9:00 AM | Last Chance to Fly Your Name to Asteroid Bennu
You have just until September 30, 2014 at 23:59 Pacific time, to submit your name, and to tell your friends and family to submit their names, to fly to asteroid Bennu and back on board NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission.
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8:39 AM | Nuove conferme per le terapie con cellule staminali
Per molti specialisti, le cellule staminali rappresentano una concreta promessa per la cura di malattie gravi come la sclerosi multipla, gli ictus o le lesioni del midollo spinale. Una nuova importante conferma delle loro potenzialità terapeutiche arriva oggi da un nuovo studio pubblicato sulla rivista Molecular Cell da un team di ricercatori dell'Università di Cambridge, che svela un meccanismo precedentemente sconosciuto con cui le staminali possono aiutare l'organismo a […]
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