Science is the poetry of Nature.







Contributing Authors

notyourexrotic:

This week, India became the first Asian nation to reach Mars when its orbiter entered the planet’s orbit on Wednesday — and this is the picture that was seen around the world to mark this historic event. It shows a group of female scientists at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) congratulating one another on the mission’s success. 

The picture was widely shared on Twitter where Egyptian journalist and women’s rights activist Mona El-Tahawy tweeted: “Love this pic so much. When was the last time u saw women scientists celebrate space mission?” 

In most mission room photos of historic space events or in films about space, women are rarely seen, making this photo both compelling and unique. Of course, ISRO, like many technical agencies, has far to go in terms of achieving gender balance in their workforce. As Rhitu Chatterjee of PRI’s The World observed in an op-ed, only 10 percent of ISRO’s engineers are female.

This fact, however, Chatterjee writes, is “why this new photograph of ISRO’s women scientists is invaluable. It shatters stereotypes about space research and Indian women. It forces society to acknowledge and appreciate the accomplishments of female scientists. And for little girls and young women seeing the picture, I hope it will broaden their horizons, giving them more options for what they can pursue and achieve.” 

To read Chatterjee’s op-ed on The World, visit http://bit.ly/1u3fvGZ

Photo credit: Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images

- A Mighty Girl

(via guniwfool)

explorationimages:

MAVEN: First images from Mars, taken with the IUVS instrument.

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has obtained its first observations of the extended upper atmosphere surrounding Mars.

The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument obtained these false-color images eight hours after the successful completion of Mars orbit insertion by the spacecraft at 10:24 p.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 21, after a 10-month journey.

The image shows the planet from an altitude of 36,500 km in three ultraviolet wavelength bands. Blue shows the ultraviolet light from the sun scattered from atomic hydrogen gas in an extended cloud that goes to thousands of kilometers above the planet’s surface. Green shows a different wavelength of ultraviolet light that is primarily sunlight reflected off of atomic oxygen, showing the smaller oxygen cloud. Red shows ultraviolet sunlight reflected from the planet’s surface; the bright spot in the lower right is light reflected either from polar ice or clouds.

The oxygen gas is held close to the planet by Mars’ gravity, while lighter hydrogen gas is present to higher altitudes and extends past the edges of the image. These gases derive from the breakdown of water and carbon dioxide in Mars’ atmosphere. Over the course of its one-Earth-year primary science mission, MAVEN observations like these will be used to determine the loss rate of hydrogen and oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. These observations will allow us to determine the amount of water that has escaped from the planet over time.

MAVEN is the first spacecraft dedicated to exploring the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars.
Credit: Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics /University of Colorado and NASA

(via astro-stoner)

amnhnyc:

It’s a fishy #FossilFriday!

Vinctifer comptoni lived around 110 million years ago in the Romualdo Formation, in what is now Brazil. Although most of its close relatives are sharp-toothed predators, Vinctifer comptoni was a filter feeder. One clue it was not a hunter is the lack of teeth, and instead had enlarged gill rakers. These long, comblike bones were apparently used to filter small animals from the water, which were then swallowed.

Want to feel this fish? It is on display in the current exhibition Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs, and the public is invited to touch it! 

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.
Aaron Levenstein (via aamukherjee)

archiemcphee:

Don’t worry, Cthulhu is still fast asleep and no one has heard from the Kraken for centuries. This nightmarish maw is the beak of a female colossal squid, one that weighed 770 lbs (350 kg), measured nearly 11.5 feet long ( 3.5 m) and was recently dissected by scientists during a live webcast from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, New Zealand. The squid was found by Captain John Bennett and his crew in Antarctic waters back in December 2013. She’s only the second intact colossal squid specimen ever recovered, providing an extraordinary opportunity for scientists to learn more about this mysterious species.

The squid’s eyes measured nearly 14 inches in diameter. The better to see you with, my dear. She also had three hearts, all the better to love you to tiny, bite-size pieces.

Click here for additional images, courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Learn more about the colossal squid here.

Click here to watch the entire dissection.

[via Business Insider Australia and The Huffington Post]

teded:

View the TED-Ed Lesson Where do genes come from?

When life emerged on Earth about 4 billion years ago, the earliest microbes had a set of basic genes that succeeded in keeping them alive. In the age of humans and other large organisms, there are a lot more genes to go around. Where did all of those new genes come from? Carl Zimmer examines the mutation and multiplication of genes.

pennyfornasa:

Congratulations to NASA! MAVEN is now in orbit around the Red Planet: http://www.penny4nasa.org/2014/09/19/nasas-maven-spacecraft-arrives-at-mars/

As we welcome MAVEN to Mars, it’s worth noting that Mars is populated entirely by robots. Share this if you think it’s time we sent humans to Mars. Write Congress today: http://www.penny4nasa.org/take-action/

smashedplantain:

MAVEN is entering Martian orbit - watch NASA coverage live here!

afro-dominicano:

showin my little cousins how to use the telescope :)

Diversity is not only about bringing different perspectives to the table. Simply adding social diversity to a group makes people believe that differences of perspective might exist among them and that belief makes people change their behavior. Members of a homogeneous group rest somewhat assured that they will agree with one another; that they will understand one another’s perspectives and beliefs; that they will be able to easily come to a consensus. But when members of a group notice that they are socially different from one another, they change their expectations. They anticipate differences of opinion and perspective. They assume they will need to work harder to come to a consensus. This logic helps to explain both the upside and the downside of social diversity: people work harder in diverse environments both cognitively and socially. They might not like it, but the hard work can lead to better outcomes.

Zodiacal Light

Pre dawn Zodical light (upper left) and Aurora (top) near Tensleep Wyoming on 8-27. - DakotaLapse

(via afro-dominicano)

amnhnyc:

Lonesome George, the last Pinta Island giant tortoise, was unveiled at the Museum this afternoon. He will be on public view for just over 3 months, through January 4, 2015. Museum scientists worked closely with taxidermy experts to preserve Lonesome George as he appeared in life. 

Learn more about Lonesome George

(via afro-dominicano)

theaatproject:

On today’s date, September 18th, Leon Foucault was born. Well-noted for his demonstration of the Foucault Pendulum, which was conceived as a simple experiment to show the rotation of the Earth, Foucault also devised an early measurement of the speed of light, discovered eddy currents, and is credited with naming the gyroscope.
Happy 195th birthday, Monsieur Foucault!
[wikipedia]

theaatproject:

On today’s date, September 18th, Leon Foucault was born. Well-noted for his demonstration of the Foucault Pendulum, which was conceived as a simple experiment to show the rotation of the Earth, Foucault also devised an early measurement of the speed of light, discovered eddy currents, and is credited with naming the gyroscope.

Happy 195th birthday, Monsieur Foucault!

[wikipedia]

(via afro-dominicano)

kqedscience:

USGS Releases a New Mapping Tool to Assist Tsunami Shelter Development

It may happen just once in your lifetime: a large tsunami is coming, big enough to make you run for your life. Where do you go? USGS has released a new tool to help planners plot out shelters in West Coast communities and other tsunami-hazard zones.

Learn more from geologist Andrew Alden at KQED Science.