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The Lounge>Science is Cool....
Fish 09:43 PM 05-21-2012
This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

This is in support of the Penny 4 NASA project. If you enjoy anything you learned from this thread, consider making a donation and signing the petition.

Why should I care?:

Fish 12:32 PM 08-24-2012
Neural control of tuneable skin iridescence in squid

Squids are one of many animals capable of changing color when they feel threatened, frightened, or just need to be a little dressier, but while many animals can change color, almost none can do it as quickly as squid. It’s long been a mystery to science just how squid send the instructions to the cells that change their pigmentation, called iridophores, and how those cells respond to the stimuli so quickly. In an effort to find out what stimulates those cells, the DIY bio-hackers at Backyard Brains teamed with resaerchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Using a technique they had already tested by making a cockroach dance, the team attached an electrode to the squid’s dorsal fin, allowing them to send electrical impulses into the animal. The electrical impulses they chose to deliver? The Cypress Hill classic “Insane in the Brain.”

Filmed under a microscope, the result is perhaps the coolest life-form based music video since Yo La Tengo took on Jean Painleve’s underwater ballets.

This Is What The Music of Cypress Hill Looks Like Played Through A Squid
Frankie 06:03 PM 08-24-2012
Originally Posted by KC Fish:

Please consider...
Frankie 11:46 AM 09-05-2012
This superbubble in the N44 nebula inside the Large Magellanic Cloud was carved out by exploding stars. The photo, released in August 2012, comes from the Chandra X-ray Space Telescope.
An artist's illustration of the alien solar system Kepler-47, a twin star system that is home to two planets. The planets have two suns like the fictional planet Tatooine in the "Star Wars" universe.

Fish 10:08 AM 09-08-2012
Massive sun fart....

This "long filament of solar material," as NASA calls it, was spotted tearing away from the Sun at upwards of 900 miles per second.

"It is hard to easily judge the size of this 3D event with a 2D image at this angle, but this filament is probably on the order of 30 Earths across, 300,000 kilometers or 186,000 miles," explained C. Alex Young, a solar physicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

ChiefRocka 10:14 AM 09-08-2012
One of the better non football threads on CP....Q!
Fish 11:11 AM 09-08-2012

Space Sugar Discovered Around Sun-Like Star

What a sweet cosmic find! Sugar molecules have been found in the gas surrounding a young sun-like star, suggesting that some of the building blocks of life may actually be present even as alien planets are still forming in the system.

The young star, called IRAS 16293-2422, is part of a binary (or two-star) system. It has a similar mass to the sun and is located about 400 light-years away in the constellation of Ophiuchus. The sugar molecules, known as glycolaldehyde, have previously been detected in interstellar space, but according to the researchers, this is the first time they have been spotted so close to a sun-like star.

In fact, the molecules are about the same distance away from the star as the planet Uranus is from our sun.
Fish 11:24 AM 09-08-2012
Why is the sky blue?

It is easy to see that the sky is blue. Have you ever wondered why? A lot of other smart people have, too. And it took a long time to figure it out!

The light from the Sun looks white. But it is really made up of all the colors of the rainbow.

A prism is a specially shaped crystal. When white light shines through a prism, the light is separated into all its colors.

If you visited The Land of the Magic Windows, you learned that the light you see is just one tiny bit of all the kinds of light energy beaming around the Universe--and around you!

Like energy passing through the ocean, light energy travels in waves, too. Some light travels in short, "choppy" waves. Other light travels in long, lazy waves. Blue light waves are shorter than red light waves.

All light travels in a straight line unless something gets in the way to—

reflect it (like a mirror)

bend it (like a prism)

or scatter it (like molecules of the gases in the atmosphere)

Sunlight reaches Earth's atmosphere and is scattered in all directions by all the gases and particles in the air. Blue light is scattered in all directions by the tiny molecules of air in Earth's atmosphere. Blue is scattered more than other colors because it travels as shorter, smaller waves. This is why we see a blue sky most of the time.

Closer to the horizon, the sky fades to a lighter blue or white. The sunlight reaching us from low in the sky has passed through even more air than the sunlight reaching us from overhead. As the sunlight has passed through all this air, the air molecules have scattered and rescattered the blue light many times in many directions. Also, the surface of Earth has reflected and scattered the light. All this scattering mixes the colors together again so we see more white and less blue.

What Makes a Red Sunset?

As the Sun gets lower in the sky, its light is passing through more of the atmosphere to reach you. Even more of the blue light is scattered, allowing the reds and yellows to pass straight through to your eyes.

Sometimes the whole western sky seems to glow. The sky appears red because larger particles of dust, pollution, and water vapor in the atmosphere reflect and scatter more of the reds and yellows.

Fish 11:26 AM 09-08-2012

The desk of Albert Einstein, photographed immediately after his death and featuring his unfinished manuscripts of the Unified Field Theory, a.k.a. The Theory of Everything, which aspired to summarize all the physical forces in the universe.
Frankie 10:48 AM 09-10-2012
AP IMPACT: Surprising methods heal wounded troops

Fish 02:05 PM 09-12-2012
Not a Sarlacc pit...

The mouth and esophagus of the leatherback turtle are a perfect example of how an animal can become adapted to its diet and habitat. When the turtle consumes jellyfish (and it must eat many, as jellyfish have low nutritional value), the esophagus stores both the jellyfish and the seawater that have been swallowed. However, to prevent the stomach filling with water, the seawater must be expelled. So how does this happen?

The answer lies in the backwards-pointing spikes you see in the mouth of the turtle, which continue down the esophagus and grow progressively larger. As the muscles of the esophagus squeeze the seawater out, the spines keep the jellyfish in place. Once all the water has been expelled the jellyfish are then passed into the stomach. This strange adaptation is one of many that have kept this magnificent species in existence for 90 million years.

PornChief 03:25 AM 09-13-2012

Groves 07:40 AM 09-13-2012
Originally Posted by KC Fish:
MOHillbilly at the dentist last week.

Look at them choppers!
Fish 05:25 PM 09-13-2012
Atomic bond types discernible in single-molecule images
By Jason Palmer
Science and technology reporter, BBC News

Look closely: the bonds at centre are shorter than those at the edges, involving two electrons each

A pioneering team from IBM in Zurich has published single-molecule images so detailed that the type of atomic bonds between their atoms can be discerned. The same team took the first-ever single-molecule image in 2009 and more recently published images of a molecule shaped like the Olympic rings. The new work opens up the prospect of studying imperfections in the "wonder material" graphene or plotting where electrons go during chemical reactions. The images are published in Science.

The team, which included French and Spanish collaborators, used a variant of a technique called atomic force microscopy, or AFM. AFM uses a tiny metal tip passed over a surface, whose even tinier deflections are measured as the tip is scanned to and fro over a sample. The IBM team's innovation to create the first single molecule picture, of a molecule called pentacene, was to use the tip to pick up a single, small molecule made up of a carbon and an oxygen atom. This carbon monoxide molecule effectively acts as a record needle, probing with unprecedented accuracy the very surfaces of atoms.

It is difficult to overstate what precision measurements these are.

The experiments must be isolated from any kind of vibration coming from within the laboratory or even its surroundings. They are carried out at a scale so small that room temperature induces wigglings of the AFM's constituent molecules that would blur the images, so the apparatus is kept at a cool -268C.

While some improvements have been made since that first image of pentacene, lead author of the Science study, Leo Gross, told BBC News that the new work was mostly down to a choice of subject. The new study examined fullerenes - such as the famous football-shaped "buckyball" - and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, which have linked rings of carbon atoms at their cores. The images show just how long the atomic bonds are, and the bright and dark spots correspond to higher and lower densities of electrons.

Together, this information reveals just what kind of bonds they are - how many electrons pairs of atoms share - and what is going on chemically within the molecules. "In the case of pentacene, we saw the bonds but we couldn't really differentiate them or see different properties of different bonds," Dr Gross said. "Now we can really prove that... we can see different physical properties of different bonds, and that's really exciting." The team will use the method to examine graphene, one-atom-thick sheets of pure carbon that hold much promise in electronics. But defects in graphene - where the perfect sheets of carbon are buckled or include other atoms - are currently poorly understood.

The team will also explore the use of different molecules for their "record needle", with the hope of yielding even more insight into the molecular world.

Tiny distortions to the regular hexagonal pattern of carbon bonds is what interests the researchers
Fish 05:43 PM 09-13-2012
This is gonna be so awesome.....

The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST) will be a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror. The project is working to a 2018 launch date.

The Webb will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

Webb was formerly known as the "Next Generation Space Telescope" (NGST); it was renamed in Sept. 2002 after a former NASA administrator, James Webb.

Webb is an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is managing the development effort. The main industrial partner is Northrop Grumman; the Space Telescope Science Institute will operate Webb after launch.

Several innovative technologies have been developed for Webb. These include a folding, segmented primary mirror, adjusted to shape after launch; ultra-lightweight beryllium optics; detectors able to record extremely weak signals, microshutters that enable programmable object selection for the spectrograph; and a cryocooler for cooling the mid-IR detectors to 7K. The long-lead items, such as the beryllium mirror segments and science instruments, are under construction. All mission enabling technologies were demonstrated by January 2007.

In July 2008 NASA confirmed the Webb project to proceed into its implementation phase, and the project conducted a major mission review in March 2010.
Here is a summary of the current mission status.

There will be four science instruments on Webb: the Near InfraRed Camera (NIRCam), the Near InfraRed Spectrograph (NIRSpec), the Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI), and the Fine Guidance Sensor/ Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS-NIRISS). Webb's instruments will be designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range. It will be sensitive to light from 0.6 to 28 micrometers in wavelength.

Webb has four main science themes: The End of the Dark Ages: First Light and Reionization, The Assembly of Galaxies, The Birth of Stars and Protoplanetary Systems, and Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life.

Gadzooks 09:19 PM 09-13-2012

September 13, 2012 — Scientists have discovered a new species of monkey in the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The monkey, called "lesula" by locals, was discovered in June 2007 in the Congo when field scientists spotted a female that had been adopted by a primary school director.

The species has been given the scientific distinction Cercopithecus lomamiensis. Researchers say it is closely related to the owl-faced monkey (Cercopithecus hamlyni), which is also indigenous to the region.

Since the initial find, wild lesula have been spotted in the Congo, usually in small groups.

The species is characterized as a "shy" and "quiet" herbivore that lives in remote forests.

Lesulas are well-known to local hunters, and researchers warn that uncontrolled hunting practices could quickly lead to the species' "catastrophic decline".
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