Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Evidence for Supernovas Near Earth


Source - NASA Science News for August 26, 2014

A NASA sounding rocket has confirmed that the solar system is inside an ancient supernova remnant. Life on Earth survived despite the nearby blasts.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/26aug_localbubble/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPxgBPKwYc0&feature=youtu.be



License: Standard YouTube License

Candidate Comet Landing Sites Identified


Source - NASA Science News for August 26, 2014

The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission has chosen five candidate landing sites on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for its Philae lander. Philae's descent to the comet's nucleus, scheduled for this November, will be the first such landing ever attempted.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/26aug_rosetta/

Monday, August 25, 2014

New Horizons Crosses the Orbit of Neptune


Source - NASA Science News for August 25, 2014

NASA’s Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft has traversed the orbit of Neptune. This is its last major crossing en route to becoming the first probe to make a close encounter with distant Pluto on July 14, 2015.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/25aug_newhorizons/

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Big Picture Science for 08/25/14 - ZZZZZs Please

Image for Big Picture Science weekly radio show
Big Picture Science - ZZZZZs Please

ENCORE: We’ve all hit the snooze button when the alarm goes off, but why do we crave sleep in the first place? We explore the evolutionary origins of sleep … the study of narcolepsy in dogs … and could novel drugs and technologies cut down on our need for those zzzzs.

Plus, ditch your dream journal: a brain scanner may let you record – and play back – your dreams.

And, branch out with the latest development in artificial light: bioluminescent trees. How gene tinkering may make your houseplants both grow and glow.

Guests:
  • Emmanuel Mignot – Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and director of the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, Stanford University
  • Kyle Taylor – Molecular biologist at Glowing Plant
  • Jerry Siegel – Neuroscientist and professor of psychiatry, the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Jack Gallant – Professor of psychology and neuroscience, University of California, Berkeley

This encore podcast was first released on May 27, 2013

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/ZZZZZs_Please

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Magnificent M-class Eruption on Aug. 24th


Source - Space Weather News for August 24, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

MAGNIFICENT SOLAR FLARE: A visually beautiful solar flare erupted from the east limb of the sun today.  Extreme UV radiation briefly ionized the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere; otherwise, our planet was not in the line of fire.  The responsible sunspot will turn toward Earth in the days ahead, boosting chances for geoeffective solar activity as the week unfolds. 

Visit http://spaceweather.com for photos and more information.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Solar Activity Picks Up


Source - Space Weather News for August 22, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

SOLAR ACTIVITY: Solar activity has been low for weeks. A new sunspot turning toward Earth could change that. AR2149 announced itself on August 21st with a M3-class solar flare that sent waves of ionization coursing through Earth's upper atmosphere.  The active region appears capable of more eruptions in the days ahead.  Visit http://spaceweather.com for updates.

MORNING SKY SHOW:  Set your alarm for dawn--again.  The crescent Moon is joining Jupiter and Venus to form a bright triangle in the early morning sky. The best time to look is August 23rd about 30 to 45 minutes before local sunrise. Photos of the encounter may be found at http://spaceweathergallery.com

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

CME Strike Produces Auroras Seen from Space


Source - Space Weather News for August 20, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

A minor CME hit Earth's magnetic field during the early hours of August 19th.  At first, the weak impact did little to stir geomagnetic activity, but a geomagnetic storm has since developed as Earth passes through the wake of the solar storm cloud.  Astronauts on the ISS report a gorgeous display of auroras seen from Earth orbit.  Updates and photos may be found on http://spaceweather.com

AURORA ALERTS are available from http://spaceweathertext.com (text) and http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).

Exoplanet Measured with Remarkable Precision


Source - NASA Science News for August 18, 2014

Astronomers are not only discovering planets around distant suns, they are also starting to measure those worlds with astonishing precision. The diameter of a super-Earth named "Kepler 93 b" is now known to within an accuracy of 1%.
  
The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/18aug_sizeup/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA6MJkHJXVk&feature=youtu.be



License: Standard YouTube License

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Big Picture Science for 08/18/14 - Moving Right Along

Image for Big Picture Science weekly radio show
Big Picture Science - Moving Right Along

You think your life is fast-paced, but have you ever seen a bacterium swim across your countertop? You’d be surprised how fast they can move.

Find out why modeling the swirl of hurricanes takes a roomful of mathematicians and supercomputers, and how galaxies can move away from us faster than the speed of light.

Also, what happens when we try to stop the dance of atoms, cooling things down to the rock bottom temperature known as absolute zero.

And why your watch doesn’t keep the same time when you’re in a jet as when you’re at the airport. It’s all due to the fact that motion is relative, says Al Einstein.

Guests:

Permalink:  http://radio.seti.org/episodes/Moving_Right_Along

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Bright Planet Conjunction


Source - Space Weather News for August 17, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

WOW! MORNING CONJUNCTION:  Jupiter and Venus are converging in the eastern sky for a spectacular pre-dawn conjunction.  Closest approach is Monday morning, August 18th.  The event is highlighted on today's edition of http://spaceweather.com

MINOR STORM WARNING:   Minor geomagnetic storms are possible during the late hours of August 18th when a faint CME is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field head-on. 

Aurora alerts are available from http://spaceweathertext.com (text) and http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Beautiful Morning Conjunction


Source - NASA Science News for August 15, 2014

Set your alarm for dawn! Venus and Jupiter are converging for a spectacular conjunction in the early morning sky.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/15aug_conjunction/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK57BMj2Vj4&feature=youtu.beVIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK57BMj2Vj4&feature=youtu.be 



License: Standard YouTube License

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Colliding Atmospheres: Mars vs Comet Siding Spring


Source - NASA Science News for August 12, 2014

Comet Siding Spring is about to fly historically close to Mars. The encounter could spark Martian auroras, a meteor shower, and other unpredictable effects. Whatever happens, NASA's fleet of Mars satellites will have a ringside seat.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/12aug_marscomet/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2R4yj7DtQbM&feature=youtu.be



License: Standard YouTube License

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Big Picture Science for 08/11/14 - De-Extinction Show

Image for Big Picture Science weekly radio show
Big Picture Science - De-Extinction Show

ENCORE: Maybe goodbye isn’t forever. Get ready to mingle with mammoths and gaze upon a ground sloth. Scientists want to give some animals a round-trip ticket back from oblivion. Learn how we might go from scraps of extinct DNA to creating live previously-extinct animals, and the man who claims it’s his mission to repopulate the skies with passenger pigeons.

But even if we have the tools to bring vanished animals back, should we?

Plus, the extinction of our own species: are we engineering the end of humans via our technology?

Guests:
  • Beth Shapiro – Associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Ben Novak – Biologist, Revive and Restore project at the Long Now Foundation, visiting biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Hank Greely – Lawyer working in bioethics, director of the Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford University
  • Melanie Challenger – Poet, writer, author of On Extinction: How We Became Estranged from Nature
  • Nick Bostrom – Director of the Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University

This encore podcast was first released on  April 29, 2013

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/De_Extinction_Show

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rosetta Arrives at Target Comet


Source - NASA Science News for August 6, 2014

Today, after a decade-long journey chasing its target, the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe became the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/06aug_rosetta6/

Historic Comet Rendezvous Today


Source - Space Weather News for August 6, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

ROSETTA COMET: The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe has reached 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and is maneuvering to go into orbit around the comet's core. This is an historic event. After Rosetta goes into orbit, it will follow the comet around the sun, observing its activity from point-blank range. Moreover, in November, Rosetta will drop a lander onto the comet's strange surface.

Check http://spaceweather.com for more information and links to a live webcast of today's rendezvous.