Posts

September 21, 2014

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10:18 PM | University Open Days
NSB has been going to various University Open Days recently, with No1 Son and has been interested in many of the talks that the various departments are offering. Indeed, NSB wonders whether there might be some mileage in Universities offering similar events to the local communities, or explicitly inviting them along to the Open Days. To give just one example, here is some of the stuff that NSB picked up at a talk about a Computing course... A great 2012 infographic from Intel showing what […]
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9:54 PM | X-Prize - Beyond Space (Part 2)
In the conclusion of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s interview with Peter Diamandis, we explore how the X-Prize Foundation inspires out-of-the-box solutions to the world’s greatest problems. Read more and listen to the full show: http://www.startalkradio.net/show/x-prize-beyond-space/
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8:11 PM | How long is a packet of Spaghetti?
A couple of days ago, possibly as a result of cooking a packet of SuperNoodles, a question popped up in NSB's head :How long is a packet of Spaghetti? This is to say, if you put all the uncooked strands end to end, how long a line of would they make? Intrigued, NSB bought a packet of SmartPrice spaghetti and had a bash at finding out the answer to this question.A packet of Spaghetti As can be seen, there is some variability in the lengths of the strands, so to get an average length, NSB took […]
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5:55 PM | MAVEN orbit insertion timeline
Today's the day that MAVEN enters orbit at Mars, bringing the number of Mars orbiters up to four. So far everything looks good. The orbit insertion burn should begin tonight at 18:50 PDT / 01:50 UTC. I'll be on stage with Mat Kaplan and Rich Zurek at Planetary Radio Live, keeping up to date with the latest news from the spacecraft; here is a timeline in PDT, UTC, CEST, and IST to help you follow along.
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4:46 PM | Comments of the Week #28: The end of the Universe, world, and one wonderful dog
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” -Sylvia Plath It’s been two weeks since our last edition of our Comments of the Week, and from the heartbreaking to the mystifying, there’s a lot we’ve written about and explored together. If you missed…
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2:05 PM | SpaceX Launches Dragon Cargo Ship for NASA
Supplies, including the first 3-D printer in space and a troop of 20 mice, are on their way to the Space Station.
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12:00 PM | An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
I love astronaut photography of Earth, especially the dizzying and psychedelic time-lapse videos. I’ve wondered, though, why we don’t see more straight-up plain old video of the Earth as the International Space Station passes over? Well, here you go: I love this short tour of the Earth, narrated by astronauts Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio as they pass over some pretty familiar landmarks: It’s fun to see places I’ve visited (or even lived, like Houston and San […]

September 20, 2014

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7:00 PM | The many faces of compact stars
In this school, we want to give a broad overview of all the possible manifestations of compact objects in different astrophysical scenarios. For this purpose, a large list of topics will be addressed during the meeting by renowned international experts: accretion theory, binaries, neutron stars thermal emission, equation of states, microquasar jets, neutron star cooling, radio-pulsars, magnetospheres, compact stars as […]
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5:30 PM | Joint WISH + First galaxies International Workshop
WISH (Wide-field Infrared Surveyor for High-redshift) is a space science mission concept whose primary goal is to study the first galaxies in the early universe. WISH will be a Japan-led 1.5m telescope equipped with a 900 arcmin2 wide-field, Near-IR, 0.2-0.5arcsec FWHM, camera that would fly by ~2020 in order to conduct unique ultra-deep and wide-area […]
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3:00 PM | The Variable Sky: from Tiny Variations to Big Explosions
The Annual Meeting of the Astronomische Gesellschaft will be held from Sep. 22 through 26, 2014 at premises of the University of Bamberg. The meeting is organized by the Dr. Remeis Observatory Bamberg, Astronomical Institute & Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics (ECAP) of the University Erlangen-Nürnberg on behalf of the German Astronomical Society. The plenary sessions […]
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1:51 PM | The Last Word
September 14-18, 2014 The week kicked off with a guest post by Alexandra Witze, who used fonts I didn’t know WordPress supported to share some Icelandic mythology and make me very excited about her new book. Michelle introduced the complex morality of energy, caloric and otherwise, as the resurgence of an older idea. Christie tries […]
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12:30 PM | The Starmus Festival
Since the very first Homo Sapiens looked up at a star-filled sky we have been awestruck by the vastness of the cosmos. Even today we remain humbled by the sheer immensity of space, especially as through our progress in physics and astronomy, we are now aware of the tremendous distances involved – even to our […]
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11:00 AM | The Shaggy Sun
The Sun has been pretty active lately, popping off a series of fairly powerful X-class flares; they've been generating aurorae and other magnetic phenomena on Earth. But even before it started spouting off it was still busily doing Sunny things. Recently it was almost as if it was posing for photographers, and when you get someone like Alan Friedman—who knows his way around a solar photo—you get beauty and majesty. That shot was taken on Sept. 1, 2014, and shows a portion of the […]
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9:00 AM | Exoplanets with JWST – MIRI
The workshop is aimed on discussing the capabilities and techniques for characterising exoplanets with the James Webb Space Telescope, in particular with its MIRI instrument. The discussions will cover both transit spectroscopy and direct imaging, covering giant planets to rocky planets and their atmospheres. Poster of the workshopArchiviato in:Astroagenda, Astronomia, Scienze planetarie, Spazio Tagged: astronomy […]
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7:56 AM | Dieci falsi miti sull'Alzheimer
Ricorre il 21 settembre la Giornata Mondiale dell’Alzheimer, la più comune (e temuta) forma di demenza neurodegenerativa, che attualmente affligge circa 26 milioni di persone in tutto il mondo e quasi 500mila in Italia. Questa malattia è dovuta all’accumulo tra i neuroni di una proteina, la beta-amiloide, che forma delle placche e causa la distruzione delle cellule nervose, con conseguente perdita progressiva […]
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4:00 AM | Fundamental Issues of the Standard Cosmological Model
The Planck Satellite measurement have increased the accuracy of cosmological observations to a level which allows to constrain cosmological models with unprecedented precision. The aim of this workshop is to discuss the implications of these recent results combined with other (i.e. Planck, but also WMAP, galaxy surveys, SNIa data…) on models that aim at describing […]
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3:33 AM | Visiting a Dune Sea on Mars
Flipping through Curiosity’s Album Every once in a while I go wandering through the raw images from the Mars Curiosity Rover. And, every time I find jaw-droppingly beautiful views. Like this one. Wow!!!  It’s a sea of dunes stretching out toward a rock outcrop in the distance, and even farther away, a distant set of […]

September 19, 2014

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10:58 PM | Ask Ethan #54: What’s the Earliest Signal from the Universe? (Synopsis)
“From earliest times, humans — explorers and thinkers — have wanted to figure out the shape of their world. Forever, the way we’ve done that is through storytelling. It is difficult to let the truth get in the way of a good story.” -Adam Savage When we look back into the Universe, there’s a wonderful, remarkable story that it…
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10:58 PM | Ask Ethan #54: What’s the Earliest Signal from the Universe?
Is there a way to see past the barrier the Universe puts up before it became transparent to light?Continue reading on Medium »
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9:01 PM | Weekly Space Hangout - 19 Sept 2014
Missed this week's episode of the Weekly Space Hangout?  Then you missed out on hearing about possible new evidence of dark matter, the Rosetta mission's landing site, citizen science, and much more!
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6:17 PM | SpaceX Falcon Rocket Ready for Next Station Cargo Run
If the launch occurs on time, Dragon is expected to reach the station at 7:30 a.m. EDT Monday. Continue reading →
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6:07 PM | More jets from Rosetta's comet!
Another lovely view of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko contains jets. Bonus: Emily explains how to use a flat field to rid these glorious Rosetta NavCam images of faint stripes and specks.
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4:34 PM | NASA's plan to find asteroids is falling short
The orbits of all currently-known near-Earth asteroids larger than the 140-meter limit set by the US Congress.  (Image credit: NASA/JPL) Our solar system is chock full of asteroids - millions of them.  While most are contained within the asteroid belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter, these rocks can be found pretty much anywhere in the solar system.  Many scientists believe that the majority of asteroids are composed of material left over from the formation of […]
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4:00 PM | Big Boom On The Moon Is A Record Breaker.
A high-speed meteor impact on the surface of the moon on September 11th,  last year triggered the brightest lunar explosion ever seen, scientists say. Video of the impact shows a long flash that was almost as bright as Polaris. The meteorite’s lunar crash could be visible to anyone on Earth who happened to be staring … Continue reading →
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3:33 PM | The Curious Incident of the Supernova in the Nighttime
Detective Gregory: “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?” Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.” Holmes: “That was the curious incident.” — “Silver Blaze,” by Arthur Conan Doyle Sometimes, you learn more about something when it isn’t there. In January 2014, the light from a distant supernova reached Earth. It caused […]
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3:08 PM | Tutti in marcia per salvare il clima
“Per cambiare tutto abbiamo bisogno di tutti”. Questo è lo slogan che il 21 settembre 2014 accompagnerà la People's Climate March, giornata mondiale di mobilitazione organizzata dalla e-community Avaaz.org in vista del Summit ONU contro i cambiamenti climatici che si svolgerà a New York il 23 settembre prossimo. In Italia hanno aderito di più di 20 organizzazioni tra cuiil Coordinamento Power Shift Italia, […]
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2:35 PM | Pulling secrets from deep-sea, drillbit-eating rocks
Amy West is the science writer and outreach and education officer for the JOIDES Resolution, a drill ship operated by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) that is on a two-month expedition studying the Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc in the region where the Pacific Plate is descending under the Philippine Plate to form the Mariana Trench and the deepest point in the ocean–the Challenger Deep. This is her latest blog post about the expedition.
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2:28 PM | Nel 2015 la cannabis terapeutica prodotta in Italia
Finalmente c’è un accordo: entro il 2015, racconta l’Ansa, i malati italiani affetti da malattie neurodegenerative e che necessitano di terapia del dolore, potranno aver accesso a farmaci a base di cannabis terapeutica prodotti in Italia. Che quindi costeranno molto meno rispetto a quelli attualmente importati dall’estero, il cui prezzo è di circa 15 euro al grammo. Un bel risparmio, insomma. I termini della collaborazione siglata […]
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1:57 PM | Going on a rock cruise
A trio of two-month expeditions in 2014 will be in the region where the Pacific Plate is descending under the Philippine Plate to form the Mariana Trench and the deepest point in the ocean–the Challenger Deep. Scientists will get under the skin of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc, which stretches nearly the distance from Los Angeles to Chicago
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1:31 PM | Il mio Pianeta dallo Spazio
My Planet from Space: Fragility and Beauty A phytoplankton bloom swirls in the South Atlantic Ocean about 600 km east of the Falkland Islands in this image from the European Space Agency (ESA) Envisat satelllite. Image Credit: ESA Il mio Pianeta dallo Spazio: Fragilità e Bellezza, or My Planet from Space: Fragility and Beauty, is […]
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