Posts

October 16, 2014

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1:24 PM | HD 97658b, una super-Terra identificata con la tecnica della spettroscopia
Gli studi effettuati sul nostro Sistema Solare non ci permettono di arrivare a conclusioni certe in merito alle caratteristiche che esso può avere in comune, o meno, con gli altri sistemi planetari. Tuttavia, da quando la NASA nel 2009 ha messo in orbita il satellite Kepler, le cose stanno cambiando e oggi abbiamo una lista di […]
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1:12 PM | The E-cat: cold fusion or scientific fraud? (Synopsis)
“There’s a mark born every minute, and one to trim ‘em and one to knock ‘em.” -David W. Maurer, The Big Con (1940) But how could you tell? There’s lots of amazing science going on out there, and none of us can be experts in it all. Moreover, even when we think we know how things…
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1:11 PM | What happened in the first instants after the Big Bang?
One of the biggest science stories of 2014 came out of the BICEP2 cosmic microwave background polarization experiment. Last spring, the BICEP2 researchers announced they had measured something known as B-mode or tensor-mode polarization, a particular twisting of light that is the hallmark of primordial gravitational waves. Those waves in turn would be a strong […]
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12:32 PM | Your Life On Earth
Have you ever wondered how far you’ve traveled through space in your lifetime? Or how many times your heart has beaten compared to that of a blue whale, or a hummingbird? Or maybe you’d like to know how many cups of coffee, or pints on beer, were available per person when you were born as […]
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12:14 PM | Dos Andes Peruanos às Galáxias e à origem do Universo
Há um século o nosso Universo era apenas a Via Láctea, mas hoje sabemos que existem bilhões de galáxias como a nossa espalhadas na imensidão do cosmos, e sabemos que o Universo está em expansão e que teve origem no Big Bang. Os Andes Peruanos tiveram um papel fundamental nessas descobertas.Edwin Hubble demostrou há menos de um século que certas "nebulosas" eram na verdade galáxias como a nossa Via Láctea. Ele […]
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11:30 AM | To Pluto … AND BEYOND!
In July of 2015, the New Horizons space probe will whiz past Pluto, traveling at 40,000 kilometers per hour. For several weeks before and after the close flyby—it’ll pass within 10,000 km above the tiny world’s surface—it will examine Pluto, its moons, and the environment around it. But this is not an orbiter, or a lander. Pluto is 5 billion kilometers from Earth, and the only way to get a probe there in any decent amount of time was to strip it down as light as possible […]
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11:02 AM | Medicina: arriva il sensore che si scioglie
Basterebbe scioglierli nell’acqua e di essi non rimarrebbe traccia. Sono i nuovi dispositivi elettronici studiati dai ricercatori dell’University of Illinois di Urbana-Champaign che oggi cercando di immaginare in che modo potrebbero essere utilizzati in medicina. I magici dispositivi appartengono a una classe più vasta di nuove tecnologie di cui John A. Rogers, del gruppo di ricerca, parlerà il prossimo novembre in occasione AVS 61st International Symposium & […]
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8:00 AM | Guest Post: I Have a Beaver I Am Going to Kill
I have a beaver, which I am going to kill, which is a complex thing to do.   The beaver moved into a small pond on my property a month after I moved from Brooklyn. I came 100 miles, the beaver had to move less than a mile, coming from wetlands that border part of my […]
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7:54 AM | Cellule staminali contro la degenerazione maculare?
Un nuovo studio pubblicato su Lancet potrebbe rappresentare un passo in avanti fondamentale nell’utilizzo terapeutico delle cellule staminali. La ricerca, realizzata da diverse università americane, analizza infatti per la prima volta efficacia e sicurezza a medio-lungo termine del trapianto di cellule staminali embrionali in pazienti affetti da degenerazione maculare, dimostrando che il trattamento risulterebbe privo di effetti collaterali fino a […]
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7:35 AM | Una cometa domenica sfiorerà Marte
Arriva dalla nube di Oort, non è mai passata dalle nostre parti (il Sistema solare interno) e domenica farà il suo debutto durante uno storico flyby sul Pianeta rosso. Stiamo parlando della cometa C/2013 A1 (o anche nota come Siding Spring) che nel fine settimana (domenica alle nostre 20:27) passerà a distanza ravvicinata di Marte, raggiungendo nel punto di massima vicinanza i 140mila chilometri circa dalla superficie (a una […]
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4:29 AM | From the Peruvian Andes to galaxies and the Big Bang
A century ago our universe was just a little village called the Milky Way. Today, we know that there are billions of galaxies in the cosmos, and that the universe is expanding due to the Big Bang. The Peruvian Andes played a fundamental role in those discoveries.Less than a century ago, Edwin Hubble showed that certain "nebulae" are actually galaxies like our Milky Way, by using the so-called period-luminosity relationship of variable stars known as cepheids, that allowed him to estimate […]
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2:49 AM | As Deadlines Loom, LightSail Bends but Doesn't Break
The Planetary Society's LightSail-A spacecraft is close to completing a final series of tests that pave the way for a possible 2015 test flight. But as deadlines loom, a new problem has sent the team scrambling to make a quick repair.
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2:36 AM | steve and the stars
i'm SO EXCITED to finally get to reveal this short film "steve and the stars" to everyone. i worked with the bluebottle group to produce it for the AAO. i think it captures the excitement and wonder, that cosmic vertigo that comes when thinking about our place in this unfathomably huge universe of ours. so lucky to be able to do this as my job! the official blurb and behind-the-scenes shots while filming in july 2014! Ever wonder what it's like to stay up all night using a world class 4-metre […]
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1:43 AM | The E-cat: cold fusion or scientific fraud?
What the “independent tests” really teach us, if we’re willing to look carefully.Continue reading on Medium »
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12:36 AM | A Comet Passes by Mars; An Eclipse of the Sun
 On Thursday afternoon, Oct. 23, there will be a partial eclipse of the Sun, visible from the U.S. Different amounts of the Sun's area will be covered by the Sun. (For example, 40% of the Sun will be covered from the San Francisco region.) I have put question-and-answer introductions to the eclipse at: http://www.astrosociety.org/society-news/2014-eclipse-fact-sheets/ You can consult the national sheet for the degree the Sun will be eclipsed in your area. Here's wishing everyone […]

October 15, 2014

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10:00 PM | The NFL, Copyrights and Tattoos Oh My.
Many players in the National Football League, most notably San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, are well known for their ink. The tattoos are so much a part of their persona that they are featured in images and likenesses of the players, including television advertisements and football video games. As a result, the NFL Players … Continue reading →
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9:28 PM | To Nearby Dwarf Galaxies, the Milky Way is a Big Bully
Like a bully running around the playground stealing smaller kids' lunch money, our Milky Way galaxy has been ransacking nearby dwarf galaxies, stealing their precious star-forming gases. Continue reading →
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6:02 PM | Finally! New Horizons has a second target
What a huge relief: there is finally a place for New Horizons to visit beyond Pluto. A team of researchers led by John Spencer has discovered three possible targets, all in the Cold Classical part of the Kuiper belt. One is particularly easy to reach. New Horizons would fly past the 30-45-kilometer object in January 2019.
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5:45 PM | 'Exo-Uranus' Discovered Around Distant Star
For the first time, astronomers have announced the discovery of an exoplanet that they believe could resemble our solar system's 'ice giant' Uranus or Neptune. Continue reading →
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4:30 PM | Lifting the Veil on the Early Universe
The Creation of a Galactic Metropolis From time to time astronomers give us a peek at the early universe and each time they do, they lift the veil on earlier and earlier time periods of our cosmic history. In recent years, they’ve shown us early “shreds” of galaxies and hints of the first stars to […]
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4:00 PM | JPL Open House, Part 2.
There is just too much good stuff at JPL.  I still haven’t gotten through everything and I have gone three times already. Another scale model spacecraft.  This is of Herschel a collaboration between JPL, NASA and the ESA and was and the largest infrared telescope ever launched.  Last year Herschel’s liquid helium (used to cool … Continue reading →
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3:35 PM | Evidence for Evolution, Stated Clearly
Here at BA Central, we’re* big supporters of evidence-based reality and using science as a way to collect and weigh that evidence. The problem is that a lot of science isn’t well understood by the public for a large number of reasons; some folks blame the education system, which certainly has issues, though perhaps a much larger and more endemic problem is ideology, which gets into your brain and acts like a bouncer at a bar, only letting through ideas that are on a preconceived […]
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3:22 PM | Field Report from Mars: Sol 3808 — October 10, 2014
Opportunity will become a comet flyby mission beginning in mid-October. The comet Siding Spring will zoom past Mars at a distance of about 135,000 km on October 19.
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3:16 PM | Rosetta’s Landing Site Confirmed!
European Space Agency Gives Thumbs-Up On Landing Site J A few days after releasing the above image taken by the Rosetta spacecraft’s Philae lander of target comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (Image Credit: Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA), the European Space Agency (ESA) today announced a confirmation of landing Site J in the first-ever attempt at a soft touchdown on a […]
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2:50 PM | Northern lights 14./15.10.2014
Last night there was a wonderful display of northern lights that was observed all over Finland! I was observing this natural display in Kuusamo, Northeastern Finland. It’s already winter here in Kuusamo, we have about 5 cm of snow on the ground and temperature was 10 degrees below zero! So the weathe was a bit […]
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2:40 PM | Week 21: Eclipse Chasing Across the Nevada Desert
Hanging with Astro-Lab at Cathedral Gorge! (All photos by author) You just never know where the next saros cycle will find you. We managed to wrap up the Nevada leg of our current journey over the past week and have since stopped briefly in Utah for a minor rest cycle. Of course, when travelling, this [...]
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2:32 PM | "Così produciamo il farmaco anti-ebola"
Assomigliano un po' agli spinaci, con le loro foglie verde scuro, e non hanno per il resto nulla di spettacolare. Ma la loro importanza per la ricerca scientifica non va sottovalutata. Le piante che ormai da anni vengono coltivate nel Dipartimento di Genetica Applicata e Biologia Cellulare dell'Universität für Bodenkultur di Vienna (Boku) apportano infatti un contributo cruciale alla produzione dello Zmapp, un farmaco di cui si è parlato molto negli ultimi mesi, e ché […]
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1:53 PM | Nanoparticelle contro l'Alzheimer
La ricerca sull'Alzheimer ha compiuto un nuovo passo avanti grazie alla creazione di nanoparticelle in grado di rimuovere - per il momento solo nel cervello dei topi - le placche amiloidi, ammassi proteici che caratterizzano la malattia. È questo il risultato, pubblicato su The Journal of Neuroscience, di uno studio degli scienziati dell'Università di Milano-Bicocca, gli stessi ad aver progettato e brevettato le particelle delle dimensioni di un miliardesimo di […]
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1:11 PM | Cloud-sculpting star cluster NGC 6823
Image credit and copyright: Donald P. Waid (Waid Observatory) courtesy Astronomy Picture of the Day Star cluster NGC 6823 is slowly turning gas clouds into stars. The center of the open cluster, visible on the upper left, formed only about two million years ago and is dominated in brightness by a host of bright young […]
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11:30 AM | I Got Shot in the Asteroid
Once again this year I have talked the talk and walked the walk: I got my annual flu shot. I was hoping you’d see more of my asteroid tattoo in this picture, but what the heck. It gets the job done. As usual, the shot was painless, inexpensive, and should help my immune system do what it’s meant to do. Flu shots are important. Everybody’s freaking out about Ebola right now, but every year the flu kills far more people! By getting my shot, I’m doing two things: teaching […]
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