Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Young Volcanoes on the Moon


NASA Science News for Nov. 24, 2014

The Moon might not be as dead as it looks. Researchers using NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have found signs of geologically-recent volcanic eruptions dotting the lunar landscape.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/24nov_imps/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53TGz30Z1sM&feature=youtu.be



License: Standard YouTube License

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Big Picture Science for Monday 24 November 2014 - This Land Is Island

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Big Picture Science - This Land Is Island

ENCORE: There are many kinds of islands. There’s your iconic sandy speck of land topped with a palm tree, but there’s also our home planet – an island in the vast seas of space. You might think of yourself as a biological island … until you tally the number of microbes living outside – and inside – your body.

We go island hopping, and consider the Scottish definition of an island – one man, one sheep – as well as the swelling threat of high water to island nations. Also, how species populate islands … and tricks for communicating with extraterrestrial islanders hanging out elsewhere in the cosmos.

Guests:

This encore podcast was first released on January 9, 2012

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

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.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Distro Astro - Linux for Astronomers


Softpedia recently published an article regarding Distro Astro which is a Linux distribution designed for those with an interest in astronomy.

Here is the URL for the article - http://news.softpedia.com/news/Distro-Astro-3-0-Is-an-OS-Designed-For-People-Fascinated-by-Astronomy-Screenshot-Tour-465174.shtml

Softpedia download site - http://linux.softpedia.com/get/System/Operating-Systems/Linux-Distributions/Distro-Astro-102498.shtml

And here is the URL for the Distro Astro site - http://www.distroastro.org/

I haven't tried Distro Astro Linux yet, and it will be some time before I get a chance. If you happen to be using it or eventually start using it, then feel free to share you experiences in the comments section.

Cheers ~ Jim Cox

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Resurgent old sunspot crackles with flares


Space Weather News for Nov. 16, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

Back for a second trip across the face of the Sun, old sunspot AR2192 is growing again and crackling with M-class solar flares.  The active region has an unstable magnetic field that harbors energy for even stronger X-flares. Future eruptions could affect Earth as the sunspot turns toward our planet in the days ahead. 

Check http://spaceweather.com for updates.

Big Picture Science for Monday 17 November 2014 - Surfeit of the Vitalest

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Big Picture Science - Surfeit of the Vitalest

In the century and a half since Charles Darwin wrote his seminal On the Origin of the Species, our understanding of evolution has changed quite a bit. For one, we have not only identified the inheritance molecule DNA, but have determined its sequence in many animals and planets.

Evolution has evolved, and we take a look at some of the recent developments.

A biologist describes the escalating horn-to-horn and tusk-to-tusk arms race between animals, and a paleoanthropologist explains why the lineage from chimp to human is no longer thought to be a straight line but, instead, a bush. Also, New York Times science writer Carl Zimmer on the diversity of bacteria living on you, and which evolutionary concepts he finds the trickiest to explain to the public.

Guests:

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

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, November 12, 2014

Rosetta, Philae, and xkcd


The Rosetta Mission's Philae probe has landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Up to date information can be found at: http://rosetta.esa.int/


xkcd: Landing


Check the following URL for updates to this xkcd strip: http://xkcd.com/1446/

Shared under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

Credit: Randall Munroe

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Big Picture Science for Monday 10 November 2014 - Skeptic Check: Are You Sure You're Sure?

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Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: Are You Sure You're Sure?

Nuclear fission powers the Sun. Or is it fusion? At any rate, helium is burned in the process, of that you are certain. After all, you read that article on astronomy last week*.

You know what you know. But you probably don’t know what you don’t know. Few of us do. Scientists say we’re spectacularly incompetent at recognizing our own incompetency, and that sometimes leads to trouble.

Find out why wrongness is the by-product of big brains and why even scientists – gasp! – are not immune. Plus, a peek into the trash bin of history: the biggest scientific blunders and the brighter-than-bright brains that made them. Including Einstein.

*Oh, and the Sun burns hydrogen to produce helium. But then, you knew that.

Guests:

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

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.

Friday, November 7, 2014

X-flare and Martian Meteor Shower


Source - Space Weather News for Nov. 7, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

MARTIAN METEOR SHOWER: NASA and European spacecraft have detected evidence of a "spectacular" meteor shower on Mars caused by the close approach of Comet Siding Spring last month.  If a human had been standing on the Red Planet at the time, they might have seen thousands of meteors per hour followed by a widespread yellow afterglow that lasted for days.  Visit http://spaceweather.com for more information.

X-FLARE!  Active sunspot AR2205 produced a potent X1-class solar flare on Nov. 7th, causing a strong HF radio blackout on the dayside of our planet. More X-flares are in the offing as the sunspot turns toward Earth this weekend.  Visit http://spaceweather.com for updates.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

NASA Rocket Redefines What Astronomers Think of as Galaxies


Source - NASA Science News for Nov. 6, 2014

Findings from a NASA rocket are redefining what scientists think of as galaxies. Galaxies may not have a set boundary of stars, but instead stretch out to great distances, forming a vast, interconnected sea of stars.

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

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Actve Sunspot AR2205


Source - Space Weather News for Nov. 4, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

Crackling with M-class solar flares, an active sunspot is emerging over the sun's northeastern limb.  The new region, numbered AR2205, has produced multiple CMEs in the past 48 hours.  So far Earth is outside the line of fire, and the solar storm clouds are sailing wide of our planet. This could change, however, as the sunspot turns toward Earth in the days ahead. 

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

Monday, November 3, 2014

How to Land on a Comet


Source NASA Science News for Nov. 3, 2014

The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft is about to attempt something "ridiculously difficult" - landing a probe on the surface of a speeding comet.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/03nov_rosettalanding/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5iyZTXiX78&feature=youtu.be



License: Standard YouTube License

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Big Picture Science for Monday 03 November 2014 - Sounds Abound

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Big Picture Science - Sounds Abound

ENCORE: The world is a noisy place. But now we have a better idea what the fuss is about. Not only can we record sound, but our computers allow us to analyze it.

Bird sonograms reveal that our feathery friends give each other nicknames and share details about their emotional state. Meanwhile, hydrophones capture the sounds of dying icebergs, and let scientists separate natural sound from man-made in the briny deep.

Plus, native Ohio speakers help decipher what Neil Armstrong really said on that famous day. And, think your collection of 45 rpm records is impressive? Try feasting your ears on sound recorded before the Civil War.

Guests:
  • Bob Dziak – Oceanographer, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University, Program Manager, Acoustics Program, NOAA
  • Michael Porter – Senior scientist of H.L.S. Research, La Jolla, California
  • Patrick Feaster – Sound media historian at Indiana University
  • Laura Dilley – Assistant professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, Michigan State University
  • Jenny Papka – Co-director of Native Bird Connections
  • Michael Webster – Professor of neurobiology and behavior, director of the Macaulay Library, Cornell University

This encore podcast was first released on August 5, 2103.

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

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.

Friday, October 31, 2014

2014 Ozone Hole Update


Source - NASA Science News for October 30, 2014

The Antarctic ozone hole reached its annual peak size on Sept. 11, according to scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The size of this year’s hole was 24.1 million square kilometers (9.3 million square miles) — an area roughly the size of North America.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/30oct_ozonehole/

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Big Picture Science for Monday 27 October 2014 - Skeptic Check: Friends Like These

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Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: Friends Like These

ENCORE: We love our family and friends, but sometimes their ideas about how the world works seem a little wacky. We asked BiPiSci listeners to share examples of what they can’t believe their loved-ones believe, no matter how much they hear rational explanations to the contrary. Then we asked some scientists about those beliefs, to get their take.

Discover whether newspaper ink causes cancer … if King Tut really did add a curse to his sarcophagus … the efficacy of examining your irises – iridology – to diagnose disease … and more!

Oh, and what about string theory? Is it falsifiable?

Guests:

This encore podcast was first released on March 25, 2013

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

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.

Rapid-fire X-flares from Giant Sunspot 2192


Space Weather News for Oct. 25, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

Solar activity continues to be at high levels this weekend as giant sunspot AR2192 crackles with strong flares, including two X-class explosions in less than 24 hours. The flares are causing intermittent HF radio blackouts around the dayside of Earth.  However, no major CMEs are yet heading in our direction. Visit http://spaceweather.com for more information and updates.

DID YOU MISS THE FLARES? Next time get a phone call. Real-time solar activity alerts are available from http://spaceweathertext.com (text) and http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).