Chemistry meets astronomy in today’s post, with a graphical guide to the atmospheres of our Solar System.
Read more about them here (there’s also a link to download the graphic, or to purchase it as a large poster): http://wp.me/p4aPLT-nV
I haven’t been stung by a bee or wasp since I was a little kid, but damn did I come close today. A wasp decided to fly directly into my bottom lip when I was walking the property. Seriously, wasp?! Important to know, it didn’t sting me. I felt it’s wings on my lip though, it bounced off and went about it’s way. Out of all places, that would not have been fun. Phew. :P
The team looking for missing flight MH370 has released detailed images of the seabed - revealing features such as extinct volcanoes and 1,400-metre depressions for the first time.
The collection of data from one of the most secret parts of the world is a by-product of the search.
Until now there were better maps of Mars than of this bit of the sea floor.
The Malaysian Airlines plane vanished without trace on 8 March with 239 people on board.
Twenty-six countries have helped look for the Boeing 777, but nothing has ever been found.
The aircraft was flying from the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, to Beijing.
The team at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is leading the hunt for the plane, is using sonar to map the new “priority” search area, at the bottom of the Southern Indian Ocean.
After that they will deploy two or three deep-sea vehicles to begin the painstaking, inch-by-inch seabed search for wreckage.
The “priority” area is based on the only piece of hard evidence investigators have, which is a series of brief, electronic “hellos” between the Boeing and a satellite.
It is the equivalent of your mobile phone buzzing next to a loud speaker because it is checking in with a ground station, even when you are not making a call.
But those “hellos” don’t give an exact location, just a very rough idea, so the smaller, “priority” area is still 60,000 sq km (23,200 sq miles) - an area roughly the size of Croatia.
However, the data is not designed to pick up the aircraft, as the resolution is too coarse. Simon Boxall from the National Oceanography Centre says that despite this, it does provide a detailed look at the seabed.
"Those ‘bumps’ on the sea floor in the flat, featureless plains to the south of Broken Ridge are each bigger than Ben Nevis.
"Five kilometres (3 miles) across and typically rising 1.5km (0.9 miles) from the sea floor. The terrain of the area around Broken Ridge makes the European Alps look like foothills," he said.
Making sonar maps is vital to ensure the team does not crash its deep-water vehicles into ridges and volcanoes. The equipment is pulled along the sea floor by a 10km armoured cable.
Snagging that cable could damage the kit, or even cut it free, so the maps help them avoid any obstructions.
The deep sea search vehicles have sonar that can pick out odd lumps, cameras that can double check if that lump is wreckage or just a rock and an electronic nose that can smell aviation fuel in the water, even if it is heavily diluted.
The operation to find flight MH370 is the most complex search in history. They may find clues within months. Or they may never find the aircraft.
Last picture as a 28 year old…time sure flies by doesn’t it?
A supermassive black hole has been spotted in the tiniest galaxy yet — an ultracompact dwarf galaxy — which suggests that black holes could be in places we haven’t even thought to look yet.
The galaxy, named M60-UCD1 and reported in a new Nature study, is 0.2 percent the size of the Milky Way, but contains a black hole with the mass of 21 million suns. That’s 15 percent of the galaxy’s total mass, which is pretty staggering compared to the less than .01 percent taken up by the Milky Way’s personal black hole.
Astronomers believe that the galaxy, which is a ball of about 100 million stars, used to be much bigger — with a more sensible star-to-black-hole ratio. But as M60-UCD1 orbited a much larger galaxy, the force of it stripped all of its outer parts away. The little dwarf with a big black hole was left behind, still orbiting its larger neighbor.
We already know that big galaxies, like our own, have black holes in their centers, and that there are probably millions of them out in the universe. But this discovery gives astronomers new targets to search in.
“This discovery could actually double the number of black holes in the universe,” said Anil Seth, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Utah and lead author of the study. “There are lots of ultra compact galaxies like this one, and it’s possible that many of them have black holes as well.”
It’s going to take more than one dwarf to prove that, but any opportunity to study black holes is a good one. “They’re part of the origin story of us, and our universe,” Seth said. “Every galaxy like ours has one of these, and we know that they affect how galaxies evolve and how stars form.” But we still don’t understand why black holes end up where they do. “If you want to understand how we got here, figuring out the role that black holes play is an important part of that,” Seth said.
via Science Alert/fb
So instead of buying a new phone this weekend, I bought a garden. I have a balcony with amazing sunlight, and I’ve wanted to grow my own vegetables and fruit for a while. I’ll take a picture later but this is what I got:
A dwarf orange tree, cilantro, oregano, sweet basil, mint, thyme, and parsley plants. I bought this pot of succulents that hangs from the wall outside, two jasmine plants, petunias, a tall shrub called Miami pink(lol) and a large pot full of these beautiful orange Mum flowers. That’s another funny one that I got for a reason. Oh and a purple orchid for inside. I have organic soil that im using too. I’ll be working on this for the rest of the day I think! I’ve never gardened before and I know I can just google, but if anyone has some gardening tips, throw them my way!
I’ve given this a lot of thought and I simply have to choose this image of the Carina Nebula for my new bedset. I just love it too damn much. It’s gonna look so amazing!! Some of you already know, but I got a free set for making someone money. As far as I know, people are still going to her etsy page because of my original post. It’s got over 65,000 notes now! Madness…I still can’t get over it. If you haven’t seen them yet, check them out. I would have bought one of these sets anyway, but this young woman is showing her gratitude by sending me one of my choice. You can submit your own image as well, so I’m choosing this one of the Carina :)
The otherworldly beauty of microscopic organisms
Marine diatoms are one of the smallest creatures on Earth. UK-based biologist Klaus Kemp and filmographer Matthew Killip teamed up to showcase these minuscule organisms’ diverse beauty.
Diatoms are single-celled organisms found in oceans all over the world. There are estimated to be 100,000 species of these micron-sized creatures in existence, and they play a crucial role as one of the main food sources for marine organisms, including fish, molluscs and tunicates, such as sea squirts.
Once you get them under the microscope, the diatoms will reveal the incredible glass shells that contain their tiny bodies. During the Victorian era - the second half of the 19th century - scientists would pop them under their microscopes and lay them out in complex and beautiful arrangements, and UK-based biologist Klaus Kemp is one of the last remaining scientists on Earth to keep the practice alive.
Filmographer Matthew Killip made a documentary about Kemp, as the master of diatom art, and these stunning images were the result. Killip explains how the film came to be over at Neatorama:
Read more/view video:
Read it again: EVERY. SINGLE. REPUBLICAN. Yes, that includes women.
In the dark of the ocean, some animals have evolved to use bioluminescence as a defense. In the animation above, an ostracod, one of the tiny crustaceans seen flitting near the top of the tank, has just been swallowed by a cardinal fish. When threatened, the ostracod ejects two chemicals, luciferin and luciferase, which, when combined, emit light. Because the glow would draw undesirable attention to the cardinal fish, it spits out the ostracod and the glowing liquid and flees. Check out the full video clip over at BBC News. Other crustaceans, including several species of shrimp, also spit out bioluminescent fluids defensively. (Image credit: BBC, source video; via @amyleerobinson)