Archives for category: sciencenews

The meteor visuals are oversaturatingly awesome— in a tsunami, wrath-of-God sense.

But the best for me still are the sounds— the main report and the lonnnnnng rolling thunder after. The first time I heard it, I thought stuff must be exploding near the videographer. It’s been all the videos I’ve seen since; I think the individual chunks of airburst must be popping off like corn.

I haven’t seen any great stills of 2012 DA14 yet, but here’s a pretty nice video from amateur Italian astronomers:

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Mindlessly scrolling the BBC News page, I noticed this little gem of a headline mere pixels above the page’s distant lower end:

Earth-sized planets ‘very common’

Here’s an article on Wired’s Science blog about it. I hope everybody kept their Drake equations in pencil.

Did you know that they’ve directly imaged exoplanets already?

55 Astronomical Units is farther out than Pluto— and 70 parsecs is about half the distance from here to the North Star. Lame analogy on the distance, I know, but I came up empty trawling the Internet for a better one and got far too distracted when I found this website with a table of “50 exoplanetary systems within 65 light years (20 parsecs):”

Meanwhile, back on Original Style Earth, Sam’s new phone just made a foreign sound that filled her with terror. I hope she didn’t let slip a “Code zero zero zero. Destruct. Zero.”

I just saw Sam’s video from below and obnoxiously au courant-adly thought of the German satellites making their intricate orbital maneuvers to use radars to capture a “most detailed ever 3D map” of the Earth’s topography. I did some back of the envelope calculations and think the close distances these satellites are approaching each other— within 200 meters at an orbit 514 kilometers up— is equivalent to a precision of 1 in 217000 at that orbit. Did I mention they were launched 3 years apart?

Dr. Manfred Zink is a project manager (for the TanDEM-X side). This, obviously, is Manfred Mann:

This was the top comment when I saw that page today:

great song by a proper band i.e. people who could play instruments and perform live not like the manufactured crap of today (i guess i’m getting old a ) still who cares we all get old sometime i suppose
I hope that guy didn’t realize that for the first time during his YouTube comment.

Sam and I tuned in to about thirty-five seconds of Fox Radio News online today and heard, I believe, the Tennessee “home burns down because of unpaid fine” story spun into a “that’s what happens when you have government-run fire departments! If that was a private corporation, they’d have done it— and just left you a bill!”

I can’t wait until they spin the “dinosaurs emerged from the Permian-Triassic extinction!” story into a pro-climate change talking point. “They were the dominant lifeforms for over 150 million years! If humanity can survive the crucible of catastrophic ecological upheaval, the planet is ours for eons! It’s our trial by fire.”

Maybe these new earliest dinosaurs— from only two years after the Permian-Triassic extinction event (“informally known as the Great Dying”)— were also the cause of the big Snuff It party. What if those little hands developed a monkey-like curiosity for the Carboniferous material just scarcely buried yet? We think we’re so creative and cutting edge with our fossilfuel-icide but we’re just the latest technological society eager for a quick energy intensive fix…

At least we’ll leave a beguiling thin smear of plastic.

A quick note in treehugger news— a coworker said something about genetically engineered salmon this morning, and I just looked it up. Sure enough, the FDA is holding hearings on both the permissibility of and potential labeling for genetically engineered salmon.

I went looking for some more and found this:

Unlike ordinary salmon, AquaBounty’s genetically modified fish grows during the winter as well as the summer, so it reaches an 8-pound market weight in 18 months instead of 36. That’s accomplished by inserting part of a gene from an eel-like creature called the ocean pout into the growth gene of a Chinook salmon, then injecting the blended genetic material into the fertilized eggs of a North Atlantic salmon.

Here’s an ocean pout for reference.

Sam and I have a joke where I start shouting that before any trip over the mountains. I explained what it is to Levin and Rachel just this weekend as we drove I-90 over to Ephrata.

That’s a spectrogram of seismic activity near Hoodsport on the Olympic Peninsula from yesterday. Don’t worry too much about how to read it but do notice there’s a whole lot of shaking going down— hundreds of events in the last few days. Check out this great web gadget from the UW where you can plot realtime tremor data on a Google Maps API. I’ll write up a proper ETS post later this week.

You’ll almost certainly feel none of this shaking… unless the Cascadia Subduction Zone uses the minor oomph imparted from this long rumble to trigger the dread megathrust earthquake. But, hey, at least the Northwest will have had a pretty last few weeks of life.

Here’s another cool movie of the recent complex solar eruption.

For the post I put up the other day about it, I uploaded a video from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory that I couldn’t find on YouTube yet. This morning, I got this email from everyones’ friends in Mountain View:

Your video August 1 Coronal Mass Ejection might be eligible for the YouTube Partnership Program, which allows you to make money from playbacks of your video.

Making money from your video is easy. Here’s how it works: First sign into your YouTube account. Then, review and complete the steps outlined here…

…If your video is approved, we’ll start placing ads next to the video and pay you a share of the revenue as long as you meet the program requirements.

We look forward to adding your video to the YouTube Partnership Program.

Thanks and good luck!

The YouTube Team

First time I’ve had something get enough hits to trigger their automatic moneygrubber— it’s an odd feeling. Kind of makes me feel like I need a shower. Video’s ineligible anyway, I think, since it’s publicly (i.e., government) produced footage.

Keep your eyes peeled tonight and tomorrow for more aurora! The second, slower coronal mass ejection is still arriving and I noticed earlier tonight that the Space Weather Prediction Center has extended its geomagnetic storm watch through Friday. I’m heading to Eastern Washington this weekend and am hoping against hope the ionosphere is still willing to put on a show that far out.

Oh and, here’s what Monetitizing looks like, if you were wondering: