A really cool interactive game where you can zoom in to look at quarks and zoom out to see the whole universe. Look out for the Oort Cloud and Gomez’s Hamburger!
An interview with Stephen Hawking printed in The Guardian. He makes some bold assertions and it’s interesting to read his rational. The possibility of an afterlife is a topic that divides so many scientists. Not necessarily the idea of a heaven, but question of where the energy in our bodies goes when we die.
In an article in the Daily Mail this week, British cosmologist Stephen Hawking outlined not one, but three, theoretically realistic ideas for traveling through time, one of which he says is even practical.
In the depths of the dark clouds of dust and molecular gas known as the Omega Nebula, stars continue to form.
The above image from the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys shows exquisite detail in the famous star-forming region.
The dark dust filaments that lace the center of Omega Nebula were created in the atmospheres of cool giant stars and in the debris from supernova explosions. The red and blue hues arise from glowing gas heated by the radiation of massive nearby stars.
The points of light are the young stars themselves, some brighter than 100 Suns. Dark globules mark even younger systems, clouds of gas and dust just now condensing to form stars and planets. The Omega Nebula lies about 5000 light years away toward the constellation of Sagittarius. The region shown spans about 3000 times the diameter of our Solar System.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A researcher has spotted lava flows shaped like coils of rope near the equator of Mars, the first time such geologic features have been discovered outside of Earth.
These twisty volcanic patterns can be found on Hawaii’s Big Island and in the Pacific seafloor on our planet. While evidence for lava flows is present in many places on Mars, none are shaped like this latest find.
“I was quite surprised and puzzled when I first saw the coils,” Andrew Ryan, a graduate student at Arizona State University, said in an email. He reported the discovery in Friday’s issue of the journal Science.
The biggest surprise? The largest Martian lava spiral measured 100 feet across — bigger than any on Earth. It is further evidence that Mars was volcanically active recently — geologically speaking within the past 20 million years.
For more than a decade, scientists debated whether this maze of valleys near the Martian equator was sculpted by ice or volcanic processes.
As part of a class project last year, Ryan analyzed about 100 high-resolution photos of the region snapped by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been photographing the Martian surface since 2006. One evening, while taking a second look at the images, Ryan zoomed in and noticed the lava coils. He counted 269 spirals ranging from 16 feet to 100 feet across.
Ryan said he was not surprised the features were overlooked in the past since they blended in with the terrain. The coils looked strikingly similar to Hawaiian lava flows, leading Ryan to conclude that lava — not ice — was the driving force.
Planetary scientist David Paige of the University of California, Los Angeles, said the new work provides convincing evidence that the curious patterns were forged from volcanic activity.
This “illustrates just how complicated Mars’ geologic history appears to really be,” Paige wrote in an email. He was not part of the research team.
It’s believed that rivers of molten lava flowed through the Martian valleys into a broad basin where they settled and formed the coil shapes. The spiral shapes were preserved as the lava cooled.
There are no clear signs that the region today is volcanically active. With more observations, Ryan said it is possible lava coils may exist elsewhere on the red planet.
~ Via USAToday.com
Galaxies are BIG
How asteroid mining could work
The new company Planetary Resources, Inc., is backed by a team of billionaire investors and luminaries like filmmaker/explorer James Cameron with a single goal: to mine near-Earth asteroids for precious resources like rare metals and water ice. The project is aimed at tapping into the resources of the solar system while furthering space exploration in an audacious way. See how asteroid mines like those envisioned by Planetary Resources could work in the SPACE.com infographic above.