Posts

October 22, 2014

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4:00 PM | Name That Landing Site!
The ESA is asking the public to name the landing site on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko where the Philae robot probe will try to land on 12 November. Any name (except individual’s names) can be entered. The rules call for a maximum 200-word justification to be submitted in support of a proposal. (I’m voting for Osiris).  Entries have to … Continue reading →
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3:50 PM | Week 22: Back on the Road and into Arizona
Astro-sculpture sighting: Urania, the Muse of Astronomy in Salt Lake City (All photos by the author). They say that you can never go home again, but sometimes, you can still visit those old stomping grounds. This past week we’ve been heading in just such a direction as we crossed the border from Utah back in [...]
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3:39 PM | Ferroelectric Flurries: Dark Clues to Metal Snow on Venus
Heavy metal ferroelectric "snow" may cover Venus' highest mountain peaks, boosting the alien nature of Earth's weird 'twin.' Continue reading →
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2:42 PM | Il pericolo di giudicare gli altri dal loro aspetto
"Anche se ci piace pensare che i nostri giudizi e le nostre scelte siano razionali, imparziali, coerenti e basati unicamente su informazioni pertinenti, la verità è che sono spesso influenzati da fattori superficiali e irrilevanti", afferma Christopher Olivola della Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business di Pittsburgh, negli Stati Uniti, commentando la sua ultima ricerca. In […]
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2:30 PM | Monster Sunspot Will Make Thursday’s Eclipse That Much Cooler
Right now, a truly ginormous sunspot is turning its baleful eye toward Earth. The spot, called Active Region 2192, is a bit hard to wrap your brain around: Its dark core is easily big enough to swallow the Earth whole without it even coming close to touching the sides, and the whole region is several times larger than that, easily more than 100,000 kilometers across. It’s the biggest sunspot we’ve seen this solar cycle (bigger than one I reported on in January that was also […]
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2:17 PM | Wildlife Photography of the Year 2014: gli scatti vincenti
Si stringono gli uni agli altri per superare il freddo della notte i babbuini gelada ritratti in questa foto premiata come “Winning Images” dal Wildlife Photography of the Year2014. A realizzarla il fotografo italiano Simone Sbaraglia, arrampicatosi su un’altura dei monti Simien, sull’altipiano etiopico, a 4500 metri di altitudine, dove questa specie di primati erbivori ha trovato rifugio. Il vincitore della 50esima edizione del contest di fotografia naturalistica […]
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2:12 PM | Paralisi, primi passi dopo un trapianto di cellule
Diverse coltellate sferrate alla schiena nel 2010. Midollo spinale lacerato. Conseguenza: paralisi totale dal torace in giù. La vita di Darek Fidyka, quarantenne polacco, sembrava destinata a proseguire su una sedia a rotelle. Ma un’équipe di scienziati polacchi e britannici è riuscita, sorprendentemente, a ridargli speranza: come raccontano su Cell Transplantation, hanno eseguito un trapianto di cellule dalla cavità nasale di Fidyka al suo midollo […]
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12:43 PM | The Death Star moon has a weird interior
Saturn’s small moon Mimas is best known for the giant crater Herschel, which makes it look like the Death Star. However, a new study based on Cassini data shows that its interior is weird too. While Mimas presents the same face to Saturn due to tidal-locking (just like the Moon does with Earth), it rocks […]
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12:40 PM | Week 22: Back on the Road and into Arizona
Astro-sculpture sighting: Urania, the Muse of Astronomy in Salt Lake City (All photos by the author). They say that you can never go home again, but sometimes, you can still visit those old stomping grounds. This past week we’ve been heading in just such a direction as we crossed the border from Utah back in [...]
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11:30 AM | An Illusion That Makes Me Happy and Sad
I’m normally a pretty cheerful guy, though I do have my moods. I’m not very good at hiding them, either, I’ll admit. So when you look at the photo below, would you say my mood as depicted on the left is the same as on the right, when the picture is inverted? You might. But if you do, your brain has fooled you: You’ve become a victim of its wonky way of perceiving the world. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the same two pictures flipped upside for […]
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11:00 AM | Interstellar Earth: The Future We See In Our Stars
This Fall, interstellar aspirations seem to be in the air with the release of the movie Interstellar and game Civilization: Beyond Earth -- what does this tell us about society?
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10:44 AM | #ScienceBulletChallenge, la sfida per liberare la ricerca
Vi ricordate le secchiate d’acqua dell’Ice Bucket Challange? Bene, dopo la campagna per la raccolta fondi a favore della ricerca sullasclerosi laterale amiotrofica, è di nuovo tempo di sfide virali sul web. Stavolta lo scopo è quello di denunciare le condizioni precarie in cui versano i ricercatori pubblici italiani, attraverso la#ScienceBulletChallenge, iniziativa lanciata da tre scienziati (precari, neanche a dirlo) della Sapienza […]
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9:17 AM | Open access alla Royal Society
Per celebrare la Open Access Week, la Royal Society consente il libero accesso alle sue pubblicazioni. Per non perdere l'occasione, cliccate qui  
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9:17 AM | Viagra: un toccasana anche per il cuore?
La famosissima pillolina blu (il Sildenafil o meglio noto Viagra) utilizzata per risolvere problemi di impotenza, potrebbe rivelarsi utile non solo nell’intimità. Infatti, assumere questo farmaco giornalmente farebbe bene anche al cuore nelle persone che soffrono di ispessimento dei muscoli del ventricolo sinistro o di insufficienza cardiaca precoce. Quasi un ritorno alle origini potremmo dire, per il farmaco inizialmente pensato per il trattamento di problemi cardiovascolari […]
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8:46 AM | Al Gran Sasso il metro cubo più freddo dell'Universo
Ai Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso è record del mondo. L'esperimento Cuore dell'Infn ha infatti portato una struttura di rame di un metro cubo alla temperatura di 6 millikelvin, guadagnando il podio per la massa più grande e voluminosa mai portata ad una temperatura così prossima allo zero assoluto (0 Kelvin). La struttura di rame, del peso di circa 400 kg, è stata dunque per 15 giorni il metro cubo più freddo dell’Universo. Cuore (acronimo per […]
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8:00 AM | Guest Post: Bobby Gborgar Joe Speaks From His Bones
October 14, 2014:  At a heady, expert-packed Ebola forum assembled at Johns Hopkins University, a Liberian man said more in a minute and half than everyone else said in five hours. He summed up the United States tainted history with Liberia and begged for respect, this time around. The expert forum was the best, yet. […]
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4:00 AM | Simulare la radiazione di Hawking con un buco nero ‘artificiale’
Circa 40 anni fa, Stephen Hawking sbalordì i cosmologi quando annunciò che i buchi neri non sono completamente neri, dato che una piccola quantità di radiazione, detta radiazione di Hawking, sarebbe stata in grado di sfuggire all’intensa attrazione gravitazionale. Nel corso del tempo, questa conseguenza emersa nel tentativo di riconciliare la meccanica quantistica e la relatività generale […]
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2:23 AM | Look at This Comet Nucleus
No Really, Look at It! You haven’t ever seen anything quite like this in your life. This is one of a continuing series of very cool images taken by the Rosetta’s NavCam imager from a distance of 9.8 kilometers from the center of the comet. What you see here is a region on the “neck” […]

October 21, 2014

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10:00 PM | How Can You Protect A Website?
Websites have a variety of intellectual property protections available.  The basic protection for the website content is copyright. However, if there is a novel and non-obvious method associated with the website, it may be protectable with a utility patent application. One of the more interesting ways that may be available for protecting the “look and … Continue reading →
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9:21 PM | StarTalk SoundBite: Are Your Cats Making You Crazy?
Listen as Ig@ Nobel Prize founder Marc Abrahams tells Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-host Leighann Lord about research into the idea that your cat (or the parasites inside it) may be working against you! If you enjoyed this SoundBite be sure to check out the full episode about all the strange research that could land you an Ig Nobel Prize here: https://soundcloud.com/startalk/the-ig-nobel-prize
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8:40 PM | Partial Solar Eclipse to Dazzle US on Thursday
Mark Thursday (Oct. 23) on your calendar as Solar Eclipse Day, for if the weather cooperates, you should have no difficulty observing a partial eclipse of the sun.
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5:40 PM | When Massive Black Holes Snuff Out Star Birth
As galaxies mature, they stop forming stars -- but why? Now astronomers are hot on the trail of finding the culprit. Continue reading →
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4:42 PM | Come affrontare le malattie che si prendono a scuola
Il suono della campanella preannuncia, ogni anno, l’inizio della scuola. Per molti bambini però segna anche il principio di un lungo periodo di malanni respiratori, come tosse, raffreddore e respiro sibilante. Disturbi talmente comuni tra i più piccoli, spiegano gli esperti, da rappresentare quasi un'autentica patologia stagionale, che potremmo definire “sindrome della campanella”: ovvero tutto l'insieme delle malattie che colpiscono i bambini con il […]
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4:41 PM | 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Anthropic Principle (Synopsis)
“The anthropic principle – the idea that our universe has the properties it does because we are here to say so and that if it were any different, we wouldn’t be around commenting on it – infuriates many physicists, including [Marc Davis from UC Berkeley]. It smacks of defeatism, as if we were acknowledging that…
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4:41 PM | 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Anthropic Principle
And what it might — and might not — give us useful insights into.Continue reading on Medium »
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4:00 PM | Top Secret Space Plane Returns From 2 Year Mission.
After  NASA shut down the space shuttle program, the U.S. was left with no re-usable spacecraft.  We have plenty of rockets, but nothing quite as useful as the shuttles. Evidently, the military felt the same way.  The Air Force has been working on the X-37B un-manned spacecraft for almost a decade since it was turned … Continue reading →
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1:05 PM | Interview: The New Moon
Think you know about the Moon? I did, but then I started reading ‘The New Moon: Water, Exploration, and Future Habitation‘ (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and realized that my... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:10 PM | Our Universe in Color
Today we released six new images from Chandra’s vast data archive. Each one of these astronomical images combines X-rays from Chandra with data from telescopes that detect different types of light such as infrared, radio, and visible light. You may notice that the color maps in this new collection of images are not the same. For example, in the image of PSR B1509-58, X-rays from Chandra are colored blue, while in NGC 4736 the X-rays are gold. Why is this? The answer is that each […]
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12:05 PM | Chandra's Archives Come to Life
Every year, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory looks at hundreds of objects throughout space to help expand our understanding of the Universe. Ultimately, these data are stored in the Chandra Data Archive, an electronic repository that provides access to these unique X-ray findings for anyone who would like to explore them. With the passing of Chandra's 15th anniversary in operation on August 26, 1999, the archive continues to grow as each successive year adds to the enormous and invaluable […]
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11:00 AM | Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
On the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, the Moon will pass in front of the Sun. What we’ll see is a partial solar eclipse, where the Moon passes along a chord of the Sun’s face, never completely blocking it out. At maximum eclipse the Sun will look like a thick crescent, the dark disk of the Moon moving across it. This is a very cool event, and it favors Canada and the United States; it’ll be visible in nearly the entirety of both countries. The exception is the extreme […]
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