Saturday, October 23, 2010
Also, the ISS will have its 10 year Space Anniversary on Halloween oooOOOooooOOoooo SPOOKY! So when you are dressed up as Chilean Miners or Snooki or Twilight or whatever and drinking 100 beers and warding off dead spirits through pagan rituals, you will actually be partying FOR SCIENCE! 10 years without any aliens attacks or space dementia is a pretty good run, but they are so asking for something SyFy to happen by having their anniversary on this day. Please let it be space ghosts!!! Or space zombies would be cool too.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Screw you Peter Ward, the "Rare-Earth Hypothesis" is looking more and more like a great big pile of steaming crap. Now that Gliese 581g is on the map, it seems highly likely that plenty of earth-like planets are populating the heavens.
While the Kepler team is suffering from severe eye strain trying to analyze all their data, the Kasting brothers have utterly pwned those exoplanet hunting noobs by finding the first earth-like planet in a star's goldilocks zone. Even better, the star is relatively close by, only 20 light years (basically next door). And it is a red dwarf, the most common type of star in the galaxy, with 5 other known planets that all orbit in roughly circular shapes. No crazy elliptical orbits gumming up the works, or hot jupiters laying the smack down on other planet formation. And guess what, another one of those five planets, Gliese 581d is also within the habitable zone.
Gliese 581g is a few times bigger than earth, but almost certainly made of rock. It also sits in the dead center of its parent stars habitable zone, and without an atmospheric greenhouse effect factored in its average temperature is around -10C. Of course, earth's average temp is about the same without an atmosphere, so Gliese 581g could conceivably be sunny and tropical, with 5 star resorts, and beautiful beach condos at low prices.
Gliese 581d is much larger, and is probably more like Uranus or Neptune, but still has the possibility of holding liquid water, though the surfing is most likely not as good as its sister planets.
Let's not understate how much ass this discovery kicks. Gliese 581 is the 117th closest star to earth. So out of 117 stars we have at least 2 confirmed earth like planets, earth being 1. This is a small sample with a large return rate, astronomically speaking. We have also only studied a few of these stars in any detail, about 9 of them. So let's get cracking! I am looking at you Kepler. Oh, and before anyone else asks, yes I did claim the mining rights, and no I do not tolerate claim jumpers. I will defend my space property with planetary rail guns, as is my right as an American. It is in the Constitution people!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
But now, some scientists in the UK have published evidence suggesting that the dinosaurs were driven to extinction as the result of not one, but TWO meteor impacts! Another meteor impact crater was discovered in Boltysh, Ukraine in 2002. Geologic and fossil remains in the crater show that this meteor impacted a thousand or so years before the Chicxulub meteor and that it created similar extinction-scale conditions. Bummer, dinosaurs. That must have been pretty rough.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Science non-fiction: a badass lab at the, soon to be PAC 12 school, University of Utah just published a paper on discriminating between words from the part of the brain that controls face movement. This could allow locked in patients like the especially stylish one that wrote The Diving Bell and the Butterfly to communicate with the outside world using their thoughts alone. Here's a picture of the recording technology: The researchers tried to decode from the part of the brain that has been attributed with language comprehension, but it wasn't active while the patient was speaking, only while he was listening to the researcher's talk in between sessions:
Then when the patient started talking they could record the brain signals from the face motor area and discriminate between words the patient said based on the brain signals alone. Wow.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
No longer just an abstract Dungeons and Dragons concept, a recent medical discovery shows that humans do indeed have a subconscious spacial awareness system. In a situation where a subject had working eyes but no functioning visual cortex to actively interpret what they saw(rendering them clinically blind),emotional recognition and the navigation of an obstacle course still proved possible. While "blindsight" should prove to be no surprise to anyone who has thankfully awoken in their bed after an immemorable night of drinking, it does questions our pre-concieved exemptions of taste for the person that woke beside us.
Here is the full article.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Oh my Science, it's been a long time since we've all seen each other here on the
A lot of you suggested cool Science things for us to write about for our amazing comeback post, but shut up all of you, this thing I'm about to post is way better (j slash k we will totally write about the stuff you sent us, just not right now). So without further ado, please click this CLICKY and watch this awesome thing. MAKE SURE YOU WATCH IT WITH THE SOUND ON AND TURN DOWN/OFF THE SOUND ON THE LEFT CLIP. You will feel the Science so hard that you will probably cry (watch all the way until it finishes for a happy ending)!
This footage is from a camera/contact mic rig attached to the hull of the solid rocket booster (big white thing) used to launch the Space Shuttle during the STS-124 mission. The curvature of the earth that you see in the video is actually from the fisheye lens on the camera and not the natural curve, since the SS ditches its rocket boosters at a relatively low altitude.
p.s. Thanks for all your enthusiasm about bringing PS back from the dead. More posts are coming forthwith, really, we swear...