Entries Tagged as 'Science'

Earth Day 2010

Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity – an unprecedented opportunity to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and for the future.

Earth Day 2010 can be a turning point to advance climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and green jobs. Earth Day Network is galvanizing millions who make personal commitments to sustainability. Earth Day 2010 is a pivotal opportunity for individuals, corporations and governments to join together and create a global green economy. Join the more than one billion people in 190 countries that are taking action for Earth Day.

EarthDay.org

Originally posted 2010-04-22 02:00:38.

Relativity

Einstein theorized that time wasn’t constant — that it was effected by both relativistic frames of motion (velocity) and gravity.

Now scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, US have measured variances in  with unprecedented accuracy.

I seriously doubt we’re any closer to The Time Machine HG Wells envisioned and certainly the proof probably won’t meet with as much skepticism as On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.

Originally posted 2010-09-28 02:00:50.

Earth 2

CNN’s Zain Verjee
September 30th, 2010

Gliese 581g may be the new Earth.

A team of astronomers from the University of California and the Carnegie Institute of Washington say they’ve found a planet like ours, 20 light years (120 trillion miles) from Earth, where the basic conditions for life are good.

“The chances for life on this planet are 100 percent,” Steven Vogt, a UC professor of astronomy and astrophysics says. “I have almost no doubt about it.”

The planet is three times the size of Earth, but the gravity is similar.

Dr. Elizabeth Cunningham, planetarium astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, says the discovery is a huge deal.

“It could have liquid water on the surface,” she said. “That’s the first step to find life.”

There are hundreds of known extrasolar planets that have been discovered in the Milky Way, but this is the first that could support life.

Earthlings won’t be traveling to Gliese 581g any time soon unfortunately. Scientists say a spaceship traveling close to the speed of light would take 20 years to make this journey.

But if we did – we’d find some other things familiar. The atmosphere and gravity are similar to Earth, and if you’re from the polar regions, you’d definitely feel right at home. Scientists say the highest average temperature is about -12 degrees Celcius (10 Fahrenheit), but they point out that the planet doesn’t have a night and day – one side continually faces the star and the other side faces the darkness of space. This means one side is blazing hot and the other freezing cold.

Gliese orbits a red dwarf star called Gliese 581. Cunningham says “it’s a Goldilocks planet.”

“It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold, it’s just right” for water to form, Cunningham said.

The area is called the “Goldilocks zone.”

Other planets near Gliese 581g have been discovered, but they are not habitable and are mainly comprised of gas. Gliese 581g, however, is a rocky planet.

It was discovered using the Keck telescope in Hawaii which has been observing the star Gliese 581 for 11 years.

“Keck’s long-term observations of the wobble of nearby stars enabled the detection of this multi-planetary system,” said Mario R. Perez, Keck program scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington.

Astronomers are excited this new planet was discovered so fast and relatively close by.

“I’m surprised we found one so fast,” Cunningham said. “The implication is either we were very lucky or these planets could be relatively common.”

Gliese 581g is in the constellation of Libra. While Earth takes 365 days to orbit our star, the sun, Gliese 581g orbits its star in 37 days.

Gliese 581

Original article on CNN.com

Originally posted 2010-11-10 02:00:03.

Eyjafjallajokull

Eyjafjallajokull is the name of the volcano in Iceland causing all the problems with travel in Europe.

The news media is filled with all kinds of stories centering around eruption.

Many of the articles are about the anger travelers have directed towards the EU for shutting down four of the five major airports (and most air travel) in Europe; as well as how much money the air lines are losing (and wanting the EU to compensate them for their loses).

I wonder what these same people and companies would do if the EU had done nothing and catastrophic loss of life had occurred.

I’m sorry for all the inconvenience and the financial loses — but perhaps erring on the side of caution is the right choice.

Originally posted 2010-04-20 02:00:59.

Big Moon

No not that kind of moon… a big full moon in the sky.

Today is the biggest moon since 1993; that’s the last time the perigee of the moon brought it closer than it is now.

The moon (like the Earth) has an elliptical orbit and it’s about 50,000 km (21,000 miles) closer to the Earth at it’s perigee (nearest point) than it’s apogee (farthest point).

NASA projected the perigee moon today to appear about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than a full moon at apogee.

Remember, just because the moon looks close, it’s a long way away at 356,577 km (211,600 miles).

Solstice – Lunar Eclipse – Full Moon

This morning truly a once in a life time event; a lunar eclipse of a full moon on the Winter Solstice… many cultures would have likely seen the eclipse of the symbol of rebirth as an omen of doom and destruction — but we can view it in slender and aw.

NASA reports that this is the first time an eclipse has coincided with a solstice since December 21, 1638, and the next one won’t come around again until 2094.

On NASA

50th Anniversary

Of humans in space that is.

Today is the 50th anniversary of  Yury Gagarin’s epic flight into space.

You can find more information on the Russian Federal Space Agency’s web site, comrade.

 

ROSCOSMOS

ROSCOSMOS (Wikipedia)


NASA NASA

NASA (Wikipedia)

Originally posted 2010-04-12 02:00:28.