1. (Source: gypsyology, via ghost-host)

  2. science-junkie:

    The Astro Alphabet
    By Ethan Siege

    A is for Aurora, the Earth’s polar lights,
    as the Sun’s hot electrons help color our nights.

    B is for Black Hole, a star’s collapsed heart,
    if you cross its horizon, you’ll never depart.

    C is for Comet, with tails, ice, and dust,
    a trip near the Sun makes skywatching a must!

    D is for Dark Matter, the great cosmic glue
    that holds clusters together, but not me and you!

    E is for Eclipse, where the Moon, Earth and Sun
    cast light-blocking shadows that can’t be outrun.

    F is for Fusion, that powers the stars,
    as nuclei join, their released light is ours!

    G is for Galaxies, in groups and alone,
    house billions of planets with lifeforms unknown.

    H is for Hubble, for whom Earth’s no place;
    a telescope like this belongs up in space.

    I is for Ions, making nebulae glow;
    as they find electrons, we capture the show.

    J is for Jets, from a galaxy’s core,
    if you feed them right, they’ll be active once more!

    K is for Kepler, whose great laws of motion
    keep planets on course in the great cosmic ocean.

    L is for Libration, which makes our Moon rock,
    it’s a trick of the orbit; it’s tidally locked!

    M is for Meteors, which come in a shower,
    if skies are just right, you’ll see hundreds an hour!

    N is for Nebula, what forms when stars die,
    this recycled fuel makes cosmic apple pie.

    O is for Opaque, why the Milky Way’s dark,
    these cosmic dust lanes make starlight appear stark!

    P is for Pulsar, a spinning neutron star,
    as the orbits tick by, we know just when we are.

    Q is for Quasar, a great radio source,
    accelerating matter with little remorse.

    R is for Rings, all gas giants possess them,
    even one found in another sun’s system!

    S is for Spacetime, which curves due to matter,
    this Universe-fabric can bend but won’t shatter!

    T is for Tides, caused by gravity’s tune,
    our oceans bulge out from the Sun and the Moon.

    U is the Universe, our goal’s understanding,
    with billions of galaxies, as spacetime’s expanding!

    V is for Virgo, our nearest great cluster,
    with thousands of galaxies, it’s a gut-buster!

    W is for Wavelength, the energies of light,
    that tell us what atoms are in stars just from sight!

    X is for X-rays, high-energy light,
    where bursts of new stars show an ionized might.

    Y is the Year, where we orbit our Sun,
    each planet’s is different; the Earth’s is just one.

    Z is for Zenith, so gaze up at the sky!
    The Universe is here; let’s learn what, how and why.

    Source: Starts With A Bang!
    Image credit: Galaxy Zoo’s writing tool

  3. ancientart:

    Palygorskite skull; information relating to its excavation is not known.

    Courtesy of & currently located at the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico. Photo taken by Travis S.

  4. fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

    Veritasium’s new video has an awesome demonstration featuring acoustics, standing waves, and combustion. It’s a two-dimensional take on the classic Rubens’ tube concept in which flammable gas is introduced into a chamber with a series of holes drilled across the top. Igniting the gas produces an array of flames, which is not especially interesting in itself, until a sound is added. When a note is played in the tube, the gas inside vibrates and, with the right geometry and frequency, can resonate, forming standing waves. The motion of the gas and the shape of the acoustic waves is visible in the flames. Extended into two-dimensions, this creates some very cool effects. (Video credit: Veritasium; via Ryan A.; submitted by jshoer)

    (via ghost-host)

  5. myfriendfromearth:

    Spirit Science 23 ~ The Sacred Geometry Movie" from the Spirit Science Youtube channel.  Knowledge of sacred geometry was a staple of many ancient cultures, mystery schools, and religions from cultures across the globe. This video from the Spirit Science series explains in great detail the shapes, patterns, and sequences that are responsible for the perfection of the natural world and the very foundation of our universe.  The information presented is enough to give anyone a deeper appreciation and understanding of the world we live in.  Can’t recommend enough.       

  6. Universe Grows Like a Giant Brain

    The universe may grow like a giant brain, according to a new computer simulation.

    Image: A fundamental law of nature may govern the growth of brain networks, social networks, and the expansion of the Universe, a new computer simulation suggests Credit: WGBH Educational Foundation

    The results, published Nov.16 in the journal Nature’s Scientific Reports, suggest that some undiscovered, fundamental laws may govern the growth of systems large and small, from the electrical firing between brain cells and growth of social networks to the expansion of galaxies.

    "Natural growth dynamics are the same for different real networks, like the Internet or the brain or social networks," said study co-author Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist at the University of California San Diego.

    The new study suggests a single fundamental law of nature may govern these networks, said physicist Kevin Bassler of the University of Houston, who was not involved in the study.

    "At first blush they seem to be quite different systems, the question is, is there some kind of controlling laws can describe them?".

    By raising this question, “their work really makes a pretty important contribution,” he said.

    Similar Networks

    Past studies showed brain circuits and the Internet look a lot alike. But despite finding this functional similarity, nobody had developed equations to perfectly predict how computer networks, brain circuits or social networks grow over time, Krioukov said.

    Using Einstein’s equations of relativity, which explain how matter warps the fabric of space-time, physicists can retrace the universe’s explosive birth in the Big Bang roughly 14 billion years ago and how it has expanded outward in the eons since.

    So Krioukov’s team wondered whether the universe’s accelerating growth could provide insight into the ways social networks or brain circuits expand.

    Brain cells and galaxies

    The team created a computer simulation that broke the early universe into the tiniest possible units — quanta of space-time more miniscule than subatomic particles. The simulation linked any quanta, or nodes in a massive celestial network, that were causally related. (Nothing travels faster than light, so if a person hits a baseball on Earth, the ripple effects of that event could never reach an alien in a distant galaxy in a reasonable amount of time, meaning those two regions of space-time aren’t causally related.)

    As the simulation progressed, it added more and more space-time to the history of the universe, and so its “network” connections between matter in galaxies, grew as well, Krioukov said.

    When the team compared the universe’s history with growth of social networks and brain circuits, they found all the networks expanded in similar ways: They balanced links between similar nodes with ones that already had many connections. For instance, a cat lover surfing the Internet may visit mega-sites such as Google or Yahoo, but will also browse cat fancier websites or YouTube kitten videos. In the same way, neighboring brain cells like to connect, but neurons also link to such “Google brain cells” that are hooked up to loads of other brain cells.

    The eerie similarity between networks large and small is unlikely to be a coincidence, Krioukov said.

    "For a physicist it’s an immediate signal that there is some missing understanding of how nature works," Krioukov said.

    It’s more likely that some unknown law governs the way networks grow and change, from the smallest brain cells to the growth of mega-galaxies, Krioukov said.

    "This result suggests that maybe we should start looking for it," Krioukov told LiveScience.

    (Source: kenobi-wan-obi, via kenobi-wan-obi)

  7. v886centauri:

    pythogoras tree

    (via geometric-aesthetic)

  8. neurosciencestuff:

    Eavesdropping on brain cell chatter

    Everything we do — all of our movements, thoughts and feelings – are the result of neurons talking with one another, and recent studies have suggested that some of the conversations might not be all that private. Brain cells known as astrocytes may be listening in on, or even participating in, some of those discussions. But a new mouse study suggests that astrocytes might only be tuning in part of the time — specifically, when the neurons get really excited about something. This research, published in Neuron, was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

    For a long time, researchers thought that the star-shaped astrocytes (the name comes from the Greek word for star) were simply support cells for the neurons.

    It turns out that these cells have a number of important jobs, including providing nutrients and signaling molecules to neurons, regulating blood flow, and removing brain chemicals called neurotransmitters from the synapse. The synapse is the point of information transfer between two neurons. At this connection point, neurotransmitters are released from one neuron to affect the electrical properties of the other. Long arms of astrocytes are located next to synapses, where they can keep tabs on the conversations going on between neurons.

    In recent years, it has been shown that astrocytes may also play a role in neuronal communication. When neurons release neurotransmitters, levels of calcium change within astrocytes. Calcium is critical for many processes, including release of molecules from the cell, and activation of a host of proteins within the cell. The role of this astrocytic calcium signaling for brain function remains a mystery.

    In this study, Baljit S. Khakh, Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles and his colleagues wanted to know when astrocytes responded to neuron activity with changes in their internal calcium levels. Using calcium indicator dyes, the researchers were able to image, for the first time, changes in calcium levels in the entire astrocyte. Previously, it was only possible to look at certain areas of the cell at one time, which provided an incomplete picture of what was happening.

    Dr. Khakh said one of the most important outcomes of this work was in the methods that were used. “What our use of these calcium indicators shows is that we can image calcium throughout the entire astrocyte. This provides a new set of tools for the research community to use and to extend these findings,” he said.

    “There has been intense interest in understanding how astrocytes facilitate communication between neurons, but it is only recently that studies with this level of precision have been possible,” said Edmund Talley, Ph.D., program director at NINDS. “Dr. Khakh’s study is an example of an exciting basic, or fundamental, research project that could have an important contribution to the shifting field of astrocyte biology,” he added.

    For these experiments, researchers focused on the mossy fiber pathway, which connects two areas of the hippocampus, the structure involved in learning and memory. “This pathway has a unique architecture and although it has been very well studied, the role of astrocytes in this circuit has not been previously explored. This study provides one of the first really detailed understandings of astrocytes within this particular circuit,” said Dr. Khakh.

    Dr. Khakh’s team activated neurons (getting them to release neurotransmitter by a variety of techniques) and then looked for a response in the neighboring astrocyte. As calcium levels rose, the astrocyte would light up quickly. They discovered that two neurotransmitters, glutamate and GABA, triggered the astrocytes to release calcium from their internal stores. Importantly, the researchers discovered that calcium levels increased through the entire astrocyte only if there was a large burst of neurotransmitter being released.

    “We found that astrocytes in the mossy fiber pathway do not listen to the constant, millisecond by millisecond synaptic chatter that neurons engage in. Instead, they listen when neurons get excessively excited during bursts of activation,” said Dr. Khakh.

    These findings suggest that astrocytes in the mossy fiber system may act as a switch that reacts to large amounts of neuronal activity by raising their levels of calcium. These calcium increases occur over multiple seconds, a relatively long time period compared to that seen in neurons. The spatial extent of the astrocyte calcium increases was also relatively large in comparison to the size of the synapse.

    “Astrocytes may be sitting there quietly and when there is excessive activation in the neuronal circuit, they immediately respond with an increase in calcium which we could detect. And the next big question becomes, what they do with that calcium?” said Dr. Khakh.

    Dr. Khakh’s results in the mossy fiber system differ from those others have described in other brain regions. This raises the intriguing possibility that astrocytes are not all the same and may serve various roles throughout the brain.

    “It would be really interesting and important to find that astrocytes function differently in different areas of the brain, in a circuit-specific manner. This study gives a hint that this might be true,” said Dr. Talley.

  9. fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

    A water droplet can rebound completely without spreading from a superhydrophobic surface. The photo above is a long exposure image showing the trajectory of such a droplet as it bounces. In the initial bounces, the droplet leaves the surface fully, following a parabolic path with each rebound. The droplet’s kinetic energy is sapped with each rebound by surface deformation and vibration, making each bounce smaller than the last. Viscosity damps the drop’s vibrations, and the droplet eventually comes to rest after twenty or so rebounds. (Image credit: D. Richard and D. Quere)

    (via science-junkie)

  10. Sirius: The Dog Star

    (Source: larissafinamore, via pleiadian-starseed)

  11. kenobi-wan-obi:

    First Earth-Size Planet That Could Support Life

    For the first time, scientists have discovered an Earth-size alien planet in the habitable zone of its host star, an “Earth cousin” that just might have liquid water and the right conditions for life.

    Image 1: This artist illustration shows what it might be like to stand on the surface of the planet Kepler-186f, the first-ever Earth-size planet to be found in the habitable zone of its star. Credit: Danielle Futselaa

    Image 2: This artist illustration shows the planet Kepler-186f, the first Earth-size alien planet discovered in the habitable zone of its star. Credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-CalTech

    The newfound planet, called Kepler-186f, was first spotted by NASA’s Kepler space telescope and circles a dim red dwarf star about 490 light-years from Earth. While the host star is dimmer than Earth’s sun and the planet is slightly bigger than Earth, the positioning of the alien world coupled with its size suggests that Kepler-186f could have water on its surface, scientists say. You can learn more about the amazing alien planet find in a video produced by Space.com.

    "One of the things we’ve been looking for is maybe an Earth twin, which is an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a sunlike star," Tom Barclay, Kepler scientist and co-author of the new exoplanet research, told Space.com. "This [Kepler-186f] is an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a cooler star. So, while it’s not an Earth twin, it is perhaps an Earth cousin. It has similar characteristics, but a different parent."

    Scientists think that Kepler-186f — the outermost of five planets found to be orbiting the star Kepler-186 — orbits at a distance of 32.5 million miles (52.4 million kilometers), theoretically within the habitable zone for a red dwarf.

    Earth orbits the sun from an average distance of about 93 million miles (150 million km), but the sun is larger and brighter than the Kepler-186 star, meaning that the sun’s habitable zone begins farther out from the star by comparison to Kepler-186.

    "This is the first definitive Earth-sized planet found in the habitable zone around another star," Elisa Quintana, of the SETI Institute and NASA’s Ames Research Center and the lead author of a new study detailing the findings, said in a statement.

    Other planets of various sizes have been found in the habitable zones of their stars. However, Kepler-186f is the first alien planet this close to Earth in size found orbiting in that potentially life-supporting area of an extrasolar system, according to exoplanet scientists.

  12. spaceexp:

    First Earth-size planet found in habitable zone around another star! Kepler186f is Earth-size and we understand this size very well. Previous discoveries have been at least 40% larger.

    *First officially discovered earth size habitable planet

    (via dreamfabricator)

  13. thenewenlightenmentage:

    "The Universe May be Permeated by an as Yet Unknown Field"

    "Perhaps empty space is not completely empty after all, but permeated by an unknown field, similar to the Higgs-field”, says Professor Hartmut Abele of the Vienna University of Technology, director of the Atominstitut. These theories are named after Aristotle’s “quintessence” – a hypothetical fifth element, in addition to the four classical elements of ancient Greek philosophy.

    All the particles we know to exist make up only about five per cent of the mass and energy of the universe. The rest – “Dark Matter” and “Dark Energy” – remains mysterious. A European collaboration lled by researchers from the Vienna University of Technology has now carried out extremely sensitive measurements of gravitational effects at very small distances at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble. These experiments provide limits for possible new particles or fundamental forces, which are a hundred thousand times more restrictive than previous estimations.

    Continue Reading