Posts filed under ‘Science’

Humans Are Trashing Space Too

Geezus, imagine the mathematical calculations that have to be made to launch a rocket into open space so as to miss all this junk:

Space Junk via stemdotorg

(Stemdotorg via the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute on Twitter)



January 11, 2015 at 4:08 PM Leave a comment

Ten Years, 3.98 Billion Miles

Philae via wikipedia

Philae (Image Wikipedia)

My brain is incapable of fathoming the mathematical calculation necessary to make it so a rocket that launched from Earth ten years ago and traveled 3.98 billion miles was able to rendezvou with a piece of rock the size of Lower Manhattan traveling at something like 47,000 miles an hour, and drop a probe (little ol’ Philae) the size of a washing machine on to it.
My mind is officially blown.

The Rosetta satellite and its probe payload arrived at the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Aug. 6 after 10 years, five months, and four days in space. Rosetta traveled 6.4 billion kilometers (3.98 billion miles) on its journey and orbited the sun five times.

The distance 510 million kilometers (317 million miles) between the comet and Earth means the ESA did not know for 28 minutes and 20 seconds whether or not the landing was successful.


Apparently the anchors that were supposed to fire and embed themselves in the comet did not fire so engineers are working on what to do about that but still, What.  An.  Amazing.  Feat.


November 12, 2014 at 3:13 PM Leave a comment

Spectacular Video of the Biggest Sunspot in 22 Years

I’m not a scientist, but I love science.

(Note the audio, the sound of the “heartbeat” of the Sun.)

The surface of the sun from October 14th to 30th, 2014, showing sunspot AR 2192, the largest sunspot of the last two solar cycles (22 years). During this time sunspot AR 2191 produced six X-class and four M-class solar flares. The animation shows the sun in the ultraviolet 304 ångström wavelength, and plays at a rate of 52.5 minutes per second. It is composed of more than 17,000 images, 72 GB of data produced by the solar dynamics observatory ( + ( This animation has be rendered in 4K, and resized to the Youtube maximum resolution of 3840×2160. The animation has been rotated 180 degrees so that south is ‘up’. The audio is the “heartbeat” of the sun, processed from SOHO HMI data by Alexander G. Kosovichev. Image processing and animation by James Tyrwhitt-Drake.


November 10, 2014 at 6:46 PM Leave a comment

The Oldest-Known Depiction of Space

So often lately I’ve been disgusted with human beings but in this case all I want to do is reach back in time and say yes!, we’re wondering what’s out there too, lo these thousands of years later.

2000–1600 B.C.

Excavated illegally in 1999 in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, the extraordinary Nebra Sky Disc is considered both the first known portable astronomical instrument and the oldest-known graphic depiction of celestial objects in human history.

Made of a blue-green copper inset with lustrous gold, the twelve-inch-wide disc contains an arrangement of seven stars probably representing the Pleiades. They’re in between a crescent moon on the right and either the full moon or sun in the center.

Oldest Map of Space via Discover magazine

(Image via


October 28, 2014 at 6:41 PM Leave a comment

Republicans Believe in Evolution Now!

Gawd I love this:

Tweet of hte Day 106014


October 6, 2014 at 11:09 AM Leave a comment

At Pre-Launch Presser, First Female Russian Cosmonaut to Visit the Int’l Space Station is Asked About Her Hair

yelena serova via wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia)

Will this kind of thing e-v-e-r end?

The first Russian female cosmonaut to visit the International Space Station criticised journalists for focusing on her hair and appearance during a pre-launch news conference.

Elena Serova became the fourth woman in Russia to enter space when she joined the mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday. She has spent seven years training for the flight.

But during a conference with two of her male colleagues ahead of the launch, the 38-year-old was forced to refocus questions from the press, who appeared more interested in how she would wash her hair in space and continue her relationship with her daughter while in space.

The BBC reports that after initially humouring reporters, she responded to one who asked her how she would maintain her hair style in space with: “Can I ask a question – aren’t you interested in the hair styles of my colleagues?”


Geezus.  Serova trains for seven years for the flight and at the pre-launch press conference she’s asked how she’ll wash her hair up there? Aye yie yie.  It’s enough to make me scream.

September 26, 2014 at 3:28 PM Leave a comment

Food That Will Kill Us: Obama’s USDA, in the Hands of the Corporatocracy, is Making Our Food Inedible and Our Planet Unlivable

Image via

(Image via

Ah yes, Obama’s USDA:

Despite the objections of hundreds of thousands of Americans and more than 50 members of Congress, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) granted final approval to a new generation of genetically engineered (GE) crops on Wednesday [September 17, 2014].

According to the agency’s own findings, the move could result in up to a sevenfold increase in the use of an older, more toxic herbicide known as 2,4-D, a compound used in Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The new GE crops, also known as GMOs, approved include Dow’s Enlist Duo corn and soy. These crops were developing to survived sprayings of both glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, and 2,4-D.

As an aside, to those who say Obama’s a great guy but his hands are tied because of the Republican-controlled House and the Republican do-nothings in the Senate, what say you about this?  This is his USDA.

“The USDA’s approval of these crops is proof that today’s destructive, industrial agriculture model, based on a system of GMO mono-crops, is a failure,” says Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association and its Mexico affiliate, Via Organica. “Farmers have been sold the lie that they can increase yields and prevent crop failure from weeds by buying Monsanto’s and Dow’s GMO seeds and dousing them in toxic poisons, also manufactured and sold by Monsanto and Dow. But just as scientists predicted, these ‘miracle’ crops are evolving to resist the poisons thrown on them, causing the USDA and the EPA to approve increasingly toxic poisons to fight increasingly resistant weeds. Where does the escalation end?”




September 20, 2014 at 7:12 PM 1 comment

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