The most anticipated eclipse in American history is coming this summer. At the heart of it is Hopkinsville, Kentucky, which anticipates 100,000 visitors. Mental Floss takes a look behind the small town's preparations - and a deep dive into the passionate subculture of people who chase eclipses for a living.
NASA's Kepler space telescope team has released a mission catalog of planet candidates that introduces 219 new candidates, 10 of which are near-Earth size and orbiting in their star's habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of a rocky planet.
Tuesday, Jun 20th 2017 (12:29am)
Art and science come together when Robert Hurt and Tim Pyle visualize scientific data into photorealistic works of art.
The human mind can get a very scientific explanation of what a discovery was but it takes a visual to get the point across. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Monday, Jun 12th 2017 (12:01am)
NASA’s Juno Spacecraft is investigating Jupiter in a series of 37 orbits, and though images, data, and samples, these remarkable flybys have revealed some very cool things: 900 mile wide cyclones at the planet’s poles, an interior core that “appears bigger than expected“, and a magnetic field that’s ten times stronger than Earth’s… that’s two times more powerful than predicted. Plus, there’s more data to come. From The New York Times:
Juno takes 53 days to loop around Jupiter in a highly elliptical orbit, but most of the data gathering occurs in two-hour bursts when it accelerates to 129,000 miles an hour and dives to within about 2,600 miles of the cloud tops. The spacecraft’s instruments peer far beneath, giving glimpses of the inside of the planet, the solar system’s largest.
Saturday, Jun 3rd 2017 (12:00am)
Over the next few months, Cassini will dive into the space between Saturn and its rings, moving closer and closer to the planet until it eventually disintegrates in its atmosphere in September. Cassini is one of the most successful missions to the solar system. It delivered a probe to the surface of Titan, and discovered its lakes of liquid methane. It observed plumes of water vapor shooting out of Enceladus. And, of course, it captured stunning photos of Saturn and its rings. Its demise will elicit sadness among scientists, engineers, and space enthusiasts alike.
Some 230 years ago, three curious London gentlemen walked into a room with a few eggs, a steak and a dog with exactly that question. NPR's Robert Krulwich and animator Lev Yilmaz recreated the science experiment (and added a bit of modern science knowledge!) in this animation.
Check out the rest of the story.
Monday, Mar 6th 2017 (12:00am) | Thanks: Jaxon
People have wondered for perhaps as long as life itself whether people's spirits can live on in the world once their body dies. But the TV professor says that they definitely don't, since CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) would have stumbled across one.
Monday, Feb 27th 2017 (12:00am)
On the face of things, a hot waffle iron wouldn't seem to have all that much in common with a block of ice. But the two objects share the same capacity to inflict pain. Extreme heat and extreme cold are both able to deliver a nasty blow to human skin, and it turns out that the brain monitors these thermal extremes in similar ways.
Thursday, Feb 23rd 2017 (8:52am) | Thanks: Cora
... in stunning act of alchemy that could revolutionize technology and spaceflight
"It's the first-ever sample of metallic hydrogen on Earth, so when you're looking at it, you're looking at something that's never existed before"
Thursday, Jan 26th 2017 (8:15pm)
NASA Cassini is still taking photographs of Saturn, its rings, and moons. Recently, the agency released some images of Saturn's moon Daphnis, a popular one due to the waves it creates on the planet's ring.
Cassini just flew near Daphnis, also called the "wavemaker" moon. The close approach allowed scientists to further examine the moon with unprecedented detail.
The small Saturn satellite is only about five miles (8 kilometers) in diameter, according to a report. The moon orbits the sun in the gap called Keeler Gap inside Saturn's A ring.
In the embedded video, the moon's gravity causes some waves to appear on the edges of the ring. Cassini took the latest image last Jan. 16. This is monumental for NASA since it is the most detailed photograph of the moon yet.
Tuesday, Jan 24th 2017 (3:44pm)
In this ten minute clip, Dr. Tyson enumerates a list and then elaborates on each item in a very amusing manner.
Skip between 1:15 and about 2:00 when there are some audio problems and nothing of interest occurs.
Saturday, Jan 21st 2017 (12:00am)
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Have you heard of a Prince Rupert's Drop? No, it's not the latest dance craze, nor is it the next evolution of an infamous piercing.
Drop a blob of molten glass into a bucket of cold water and it forms into the shape of a tadpole as it cools. This formation is called a Prince Rupert's Drop or "Dutch tear."
If you hit a Prince Rupert's Drop as hard as you can, it will not break. In fact, even if the strongest man in the world had a good bash at it, this glass shape will remain intact. However, chip even the smallest part of the tail off and the whole thing will shatter into tiny pieces.
This is because the bucket of cold water cools the surface of the drop so quickly that the inside is still molten when the outside is solid. When the inside begins to cool, it pulls in and contracts the outside surrounding it, which strengthens the whole structure. Well, all except for the tail, which is too thin to have layers and becomes the structure's weakest point.
The sudden explosion of glass happens so quickly that the only way to capture it for human eyes to see is to play it in slow motion at 130,000 frames per second. That's exactly what this video below from the YouTube channel SmarterEveryDay shows.
Sunday, Jan 1st 2017 (12:00am)
Physicsfun is a nifty instagram account which demonstrates with video little doodads and whatsits that illustrate or utilize physics of an interesting nature. As a bonus, they also run a side blog that offers purchase links for most of the gizmos featured. Free up some time on your calendar today, you'll need it.
Monday, Nov 21st 2016 (12:02am)
Novae is a movie about an astronomical event that occurs during the last evolutionary stages of a massive star's life, whose dramatic and catastrophic death is marked by one final titanic explosion called supernova.
By only using an aquarium, ink and water, this film is also an attempt to represent the giant with the small without any computed generated imagery.
As a tribute to Kubrick or Nolan's filmography, Novae is a cosmic poem that want to introduce the viewer to the nebulae's infinite beauty.
Saturday, Nov 12th 2016 (12:02am)
While we just had one in October and there's another one in December, the supermoon coming this month is extra special because it "becomes full within about two hours of perigee - arguably making it an extra-super moon," NASA said.
Sunday, Nov 6th 2016 (3:41am)
Your most productive day of the week?
Nothing! Player's off!
Patriots Day (2016)
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