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Posts tagged Science

104 notes &

the-star-stuff:

MERCURY - Facts and Information
Histroy and Naming
Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. As such, it circles the sun faster than all the other planets, which is why Romans named it after the swift-footed messenger god Mercury.
Mercury was also given separate names for its appearance as both a morning star and as an evening star. Greek astronomers knew, however, that the two names referred to the same body. Heraclitus believed that both Mercury and Venus orbited the Sun, not the Earth. 
Physical Characteristics
The surface of Mercury can reach a scorching 840 degrees F (450 degrees C). However, since this world doesn’t have a real atmosphere to entrap any heat, at night temperatures can plummet to minus 275 degrees F (minus 170 degrees C), a more than 1,100 degrees F (600 degree C) temperature swing that is the greatest in the solar system.
 Since it has no significant atmosphere to stop impacts, the planet is pockmarked with craters. 
Amazing, as close to the sun as Mercury is, ice may exist in its craters. 
Mercury is the second densest planet after Earth, with a huge metallic core roughly 2,200 to 2,400 miles (3,600 to 3,800 kilometers) wide, or about 75 percent of the planet’s diameter. In comparison, Mercury’s outer shell is only 300 to 400 miles (500 to 600 kilometers) thick. 
Mercury possessed a magnetic field. 
Composition & Structure
Atmospheric composition (by volume). No atmosphere: Mercury possesses an exosphere containing 42 percent oxygen, 29 percent sodium, 22 percent hydrogen, 6 percent helium, 0.5 percent potassium, with possible trace amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen, xenon, krypton, neon. 
Magnetic Field. Roughly 1 percent the strength of Earth’s.
Internal structure. Iron core roughly 2,200 to 2,400 miles (3,600 to 3,800 kilometers) wide. Outer silicate shell about 300 to 400 miles (500 to 600 kilometers) thick.

the-star-stuff:

MERCURY - Facts and Information

Histroy and Naming

  • Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. As such, it circles the sun faster than all the other planets, which is why Romans named it after the swift-footed messenger god Mercury.
  • Mercury was also given separate names for its appearance as both a morning star and as an evening star. Greek astronomers knew, however, that the two names referred to the same body. Heraclitus believed that both Mercury and Venus orbited the Sun, not the Earth. 

Physical Characteristics

  • The surface of Mercury can reach a scorching 840 degrees F (450 degrees C). However, since this world doesn’t have a real atmosphere to entrap any heat, at night temperatures can plummet to minus 275 degrees F (minus 170 degrees C), a more than 1,100 degrees F (600 degree C) temperature swing that is the greatest in the solar system.
  •  Since it has no significant atmosphere to stop impacts, the planet is pockmarked with craters.
  • Amazing, as close to the sun as Mercury is, ice may exist in its craters.
  • Mercury is the second densest planet after Earth, with a huge metallic core roughly 2,200 to 2,400 miles (3,600 to 3,800 kilometers) wide, or about 75 percent of the planet’s diameter. In comparison, Mercury’s outer shell is only 300 to 400 miles (500 to 600 kilometers) thick.
  • Mercury possessed a magnetic field.

Composition & Structure

  • Atmospheric composition (by volume). No atmosphere: Mercury possesses an exosphere containing 42 percent oxygen, 29 percent sodium, 22 percent hydrogen, 6 percent helium, 0.5 percent potassium, with possible trace amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen, xenon, krypton, neon. 
  • Internal structure. Iron core roughly 2,200 to 2,400 miles (3,600 to 3,800 kilometers) wide. Outer silicate shell about 300 to 400 miles (500 to 600 kilometers) thick.

Filed under science space astronomy universe cosmos mercury planet education

6 notes &

hikergirl:

This 2 hour special about the periodic table and the elements is airing tonight on PBS (9 p.m EDT).
A SHOUT OUT TO -periodic-meltdowns- ESPECIALLY!


Where do nature’s building blocks, called the elements, come from? They’re the hidden ingredients of everything in our world, from the carbon in our bodies to the metals in our smartphones. To unlock their secrets, David Pogue, the lively host of NOVA’s popular “Making Stuff” series and technology correspondent ofThe New York Times, spins viewers through the world of weird, extreme chemistry: the strongest acids, the deadliest poisons, the universe’s most abundant elements, and the rarest of the rare—substances cooked up in atom smashers that flicker into existence for only fractions of a second.
Why are some elements like platinum or gold inert while others like phosphorus or potassium violently explosive? Why are some vital to every breath we take while others are lethal toxins that killed off their discoverers such as Marie Curie? As he digs for answers, Pogue reveals the story of the elements to be a rich stew simmering with passion, madness, and obsessive scientific rivalry. Punctuated by surprising and often alarming experiments, this program takes NOVA on a roller-coaster ride through nature’s hidden lab and the compelling stories of discovery that revealed its secrets.



(via NOVA | Hunting the Elements)

hikergirl:

This 2 hour special about the periodic table and the elements is airing tonight on PBS (9 p.m EDT).

A SHOUT OUT TO -periodic-meltdowns- ESPECIALLY!

Where do nature’s building blocks, called the elements, come from? They’re the hidden ingredients of everything in our world, from the carbon in our bodies to the metals in our smartphones. To unlock their secrets, David Pogue, the lively host of NOVA’s popular “Making Stuff” series and technology correspondent ofThe New York Times, spins viewers through the world of weird, extreme chemistry: the strongest acids, the deadliest poisons, the universe’s most abundant elements, and the rarest of the rare—substances cooked up in atom smashers that flicker into existence for only fractions of a second.

Why are some elements like platinum or gold inert while others like phosphorus or potassium violently explosive? Why are some vital to every breath we take while others are lethal toxins that killed off their discoverers such as Marie Curie? As he digs for answers, Pogue reveals the story of the elements to be a rich stew simmering with passion, madness, and obsessive scientific rivalry. Punctuated by surprising and often alarming experiments, this program takes NOVA on a roller-coaster ride through nature’s hidden lab and the compelling stories of discovery that revealed its secrets.

(via NOVA | Hunting the Elements)

Filed under science elements periodic table

12 notes &

100 EARTH-LIKE PLANETS orbit stars WITHIN 30 LIGHT-YEARS!

gallen:

Billions more across the galaxy - stand by for aliens

By Lewis Page

Posted in Space, (The Register) 28th March 2012 14:58 GMT

In an announcement with massive consequences for the human race, astronomers say there are “probably about one hundred” planets within just 30 light-years of our solar system which could support life along Earthly lines. By their calculations, there are tens of billions of such worlds in our galaxy, suggesting that even if life is very rare it is bound to have arisen elsewhere.

The new astroboffinry involves examination of red dwarf stars - the most common type of star found in the galaxy - using the HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in the mountains of Chile. The HARPS team surveyed 102 red dwarfs over a six-year period, discovering nine “super-Earths” (planets with masses between one and ten times that of Earth, thus probably rocky planets as opposed to gaseous ones). They were able to measure planetary mass and orbital distance from the parent stars.

The methods used could discern only a proportion of planets which exist, and the team’s calculations applied to the results indicate that in general approximately 40 per cent of the red dwarfs in the Milky Way should possess an Earthlike, rocky planet lying within their “habitable zone” - that is orbiting at such a distance as to permit the existence of liquid water on the planet’s surface.

“Because red dwarfs are so common — there are about 160 billion of them in the Milky Way — this leads us to the astonishing result that there are tens of billions of these planets in our galaxy alone,” enthuses Xavier Bonfils, lead boffin on the investigation.

According to a statement issued by the European Southern Observatory announcing the research:

As there are many red dwarf stars close to the Sun the new estimate means that there are probably about one hundred super-Earth planets in the habitable zones around stars in the neighbourhood of the Sun at distances less than about 30 light-years [ten parsecs].

FROM

Nw Astroboffinry is now my band name.

Filed under science space Astronomy aliens The Register

89 notes &

the-star-stuff:

Haunting Photos of Saturn Moons Snapped by Cassini Spacecraft

NASA’s workhorse Saturn orbiter Cassini has just beamed back stunning new views of the ringed planet’s dazzling moons, including the probe’s closest-ever pass over the ice geysers of Enceladus.

The new photos reveal the plume of water ice and vapor that springs from the south pole of Enceladus — Saturn’s sixth largest moon — as well as the pockmarked surface of Dione and the tiny oblong shape of Janus.

Cassini made a close flyby of Enceladus on Tuesday (March 27), swooping within about 46 miles (74 kilometers) of the moon’s surface. This moon is one of the few known geologically active places outside Earth in the solar system.

CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Filed under Science cassini tech space astronomy universe cosmos saturn moon dione enceladus

95 notes &

the-star-stuff:

The ships of Battlestar Galactica, immortalized in thousands of LEGO bricks

LEGO enthusiasts Garry King has a simple mission — to build the spacecraft ofBattlestar Galactica out of thousands upon thousands of tiny plastic bricks. So far, he’s constructed a sizable fleet of Colonial and Cylon craft.

Let’s start with his most recent craft, William Adama’s Battlestar Valkyrie from Battlestar Galactica: The Plan. This ship is 10 feet long, weighs 110 pounds, and is built out of 42,341 LEGO bricks.

[Garry King via Brothers Brick]

Filed under science battlestar galactica toys toy tech lego design illustration art

760 notes &

the-star-stuff:

Kepler’s Transiting Multiple-Planet Systems

This video provides an overhead view of the multi-planet star systems discovered by the Kepler mission. According to NASA, all the planets — with the exception of the ones labeled in grey — have been officially confirmed.

This video also serves as an good introduction to an exoplanet-hunting technique you may not be familiar with. First, check out the incredible variation in the planets’ orbital periods (how long it takes each planet to make one complete trip around its sun). Since Kepler detects candidate planets by measuring dips in detectable light as one passes in front of — or “transits” — a distant star, having more than one planet in any given star system can give rise to some pretty crazy measurements. 

Planetary Systems video by Dan Fabrycky via NASA

Filed under science space exoplanets kepler nasa astronomy astrophysics universe cosmos GIF planets

140 notes &

the-star-stuff:

Hypervelocity planets are zooming out of our galaxy at warp speed

The wildest ride in the galaxy is found on hypervelocity planets. These worlds got too close to the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, and have been flung away at a twentieth of the speed of light.
While rogue planets are common enough, these hypervelocity planets represent a much rarer case and can only be formed by a star system - specifically, a double star system - coming into contact with Sagittarius-A*, our galaxy’s central supermassive black hole. Previous research has indicated that when a binary star system gets too close to Sagittarius-A*, it’s possible the system to be ripped apart, with one star entering orbit around the black hole while the other is ejected at enormous speeds.
[continue reading…]
Via Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Artist’s conception by David A. Aguilar (CfA).

the-star-stuff:

Hypervelocity planets are zooming out of our galaxy at warp speed

The wildest ride in the galaxy is found on hypervelocity planets. These worlds got too close to the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, and have been flung away at a twentieth of the speed of light.

While rogue planets are common enough, these hypervelocity planets represent a much rarer case and can only be formed by a star system - specifically, a double star system - coming into contact with Sagittarius-A*, our galaxy’s central supermassive black hole. Previous research has indicated that when a binary star system gets too close to Sagittarius-A*, it’s possible the system to be ripped apart, with one star entering orbit around the black hole while the other is ejected at enormous speeds.

[continue reading…]

Via Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Artist’s conception by David A. Aguilar (CfA).

Filed under science astronomy space planet planets hypervelocity planets rogue planets runaway planets star black hole

3,703 notes &

the-star-stuff:

The Filipina who proved Einstein right
Meet  Reinabelle Reyes, a 28-year-old astrophysicist who astounded scientists all over the world when she proved Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity on a cosmic scale. That was when she was only 26.
Einstein’s theories have been verified many times, but it took Reyes and her Princeton University collaborators to verify his Theory of General Relativity, beyond the confines of our solar system.
Led by Reyes, the research team made headlines back in 2010 when they showed how galaxies up to 3.5 billion light years away are clustered together in exactly the way General Relativity predicts. They came up with a new astronomical measurement, which indicates how galaxies are pulled together by gravity, just as Einstein theorized.
Her findings also support the existence of Dark Energy—a force greater than gravity once merely imagined by scientists. This is a big deal, because, even NASA tells us, pinning down the exact properties of Dark Energy is among the most significant problems facing science today. According to the NASA website, Dark Energy “is the deepest mystery in physics, and its resolution is likely to greatly advance our understanding of matter, space, and time.”
Reinabelle Reyes is among the scientists involved in unraveling this profound mystery.
READ MORE!!!!

the-star-stuff:

The Filipina who proved Einstein right

Meet  Reinabelle Reyes, a 28-year-old astrophysicist who astounded scientists all over the world when she proved Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity on a cosmic scale. That was when she was only 26.

Einstein’s theories have been verified many times, but it took Reyes and her Princeton University collaborators to verify his Theory of General Relativity, beyond the confines of our solar system.

Led by Reyes, the research team made headlines back in 2010 when they showed how galaxies up to 3.5 billion light years away are clustered together in exactly the way General Relativity predicts. They came up with a new astronomical measurement, which indicates how galaxies are pulled together by gravity, just as Einstein theorized.

Her findings also support the existence of Dark Energy—a force greater than gravity once merely imagined by scientists. This is a big deal, because, even NASA tells us, pinning down the exact properties of Dark Energy is among the most significant problems facing science today. According to the NASA website, Dark Energy “is the deepest mystery in physics, and its resolution is likely to greatly advance our understanding of matter, space, and time.”

Reinabelle Reyes is among the scientists involved in unraveling this profound mystery.

READ MORE!!!!

Filed under science scientist astrophysicist Reina Reyes

312 notes &

the-star-stuff:

All These Stars Will Explode Together Like a String of Firecrackers

This is one of the most impressive Hubble Space Telescope’s images. It shows a massive group of young stars called R136, in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way. But that’s not what makes them so special:

Many of the diamond-like icy blue stars are among the most massive stars known. Several of them are 100 times more massive than our sun. These hefty stars are destined to pop off, like a string of firecrackers, as supernovas in a few million years.

In a few million years, someone—perhaps a bunch of space cats—will witness what will become of the most amazing firework shows in the history of the Universe. [NASA]

the-star-stuff:

All These Stars Will Explode Together Like a String of Firecrackers

This is one of the most impressive Hubble Space Telescope’s images. It shows a massive group of young stars called R136, in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way. But that’s not what makes them so special:

Many of the diamond-like icy blue stars are among the most massive stars known. Several of them are 100 times more massive than our sun. These hefty stars are destined to pop off, like a string of firecrackers, as supernovas in a few million years.

In a few million years, someone—perhaps a bunch of space cats—will witness what will become of the most amazing firework shows in the history of the Universe. [NASA]

Filed under science space astronomy stars universe cosmos star formation NASA

588 notes &

the-star-stuff:

Artist suspends real clouds in the middle of the room

That’s not photoshop; that’s an actual cloud hovering inside an actual room. Artist Berndnaut Smilde merges art and science to create small man-made clouds that exist — albeit for just a moment — indoors.

Smilde uses a fog machine to make the actual clouds, but also carefully regulates the humidity and temperature. Even so, these installations exists for a mere moment before dissipating inside the room. If you’re not there in the moment, then you only get to experience these brief scientific sculptures as photographs.

Berndnaut Smilde [via Neatorama]

Or look outside. New Mexico has the most amazing clouds.

Filed under science art science art photography landscape landscapes clouds cloud weather