Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Photos Of Space Shuttle Docked At Space Station

ISS Shuttle Docking NASA

First-Ever Photos of Space Shuttle Docked At Space Station -- Popular Science

How the once-in-a-lifetime photo-op came to be.

After a 5-month stay at the International Space Station, Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli snapped one-of-a-kind photos of the Space Shuttle docked at the ISS, on his way back to Earth in a Soyuz craft. This is the very first time photos have captured an American orbiter docked to the International Space Station.

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Google Earth Goes Under the Sea

From Popular Science:

Google Earth broke new ground (new water?) when they took the world of virtual-earth-exploring into the oceans. Of course, the oceans are kind of big. They fill up nearly three-quarters of the earth's surface area, and most of that area hasn't been mapped out. But now you can tour roughly half of the known area without pulling on any SCUBA gear, thanks to Google's new underwater terrain explorer.

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Commentary On Europe's Organic Food Scare

Europe's Organic Food Scare -- Wall Street Journal

German Greens and their European Union acolytes have long fought scientific advances in food production and protection. After a spice manufacturer in Stuttgart employed the world's first commercial food irradiation in 1957, West Germany banned the practice in 1959 and has since allowed few exceptions. So it's no small scandal that the latest fatal E. coli outbreak has been linked to an organic German farm that shuns modern farming techniques.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

What Could A Solar Flare Do To Us?


When The Sun Unleashed Its Plasma Blast This Week, Earth Got Lucky -- Popular Science

What a predicted 2013 blast from the sun could mean for the U.S.

On Tuesday, the biggest solar flare in four years erupted from the sun, sending a mass of charged particles hurtling towards Earth. NASA announced that it was an M-2 (medium-sized) flare and an S1-class (minor) radiation storm. The electromagnetic pulse it induced created amazing auroras, but it could also damage satellites and radio communications. What would happen with an even stronger, larger flare? Something terrible...

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Ancient Language Dictionary Finished

Martha Roth, Editor in Charge of the Assyrian Dictionary at the University of Chicago, puts the final volume in the set of books. (Credit: University of Chicago)

Huge Ancient Language Dictionary Finished After 90 Years -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (June 9, 2011) — An ambitious project to identify, explain and provide citations for the words written in cuneiform on clay tablets and carved in stone by Babylonians, Assyrians and others in Mesopotamia between 2500 B.C. and A.D. 100 has been completed after 90 years of labor, the University of Chicago announced June 5.

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My Comment: I look forward to them putting it online.

New 'Subatomic Particle' Likely A Fluke

The CDF detector, about the size of a three-story house, weighs about 6,000 tons. It recrods the "debris" emerging from each high-energy proton-antiproton collision produced by the Tevatron. CREDIT: Fermilab

From Live Science:

A report in April suggesting a giant atom smasher may have detected a never-seen-before subatomic particle had physicists at the edge of their seats with hope, albeit with a healthy dose of skepticism. Now an independent test of the results suggests it was just a fluke.

The tantalizing signal came from the Tevatron particle accelerator at the Fermilab physics laboratory in Batavia, Ill. Inside the accelerator there, particles race around a 4-mile (6.3 km) ring at near light speed. When two particles collide, they disintegrate into other exotic particles in a powerful outpouring of energy. [Wacky Physics: The Coolest Little Particles in Nature]

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Astonishing Image Captures Night Sky

The image, taken in the remote town of Denial Bay, a fishing village on the edge of the Great Australian Bight, was taken using a special 'time lapse' process Photo: ANDREW BROOKS

Pictured: Astonishing Image Captures Night Sky In Dazzling Formation -- The Telegraph

Exclusive: Lit up in the night sky, this spectacular picture shows a galaxy of stars in a dazzling formation more akin to a large-scale spinning wheel.

The astonishing image, taken in the heart of the Australian outback, was used simply by taking advantage of the earth's rotation.

Andrew Brooks, an amateur photographer, took the image using his camera, a tripod, his neighbour's lounge room light and a little patience while letting gravity do the rest.

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My Comment: This is why I love astronomy.

Most Apples Have Pesticide Residues

Apples Top List For Pesticide Contamination -- CBS News

That shiny little apple you're eating has a dirty little surprise. At least, that's what a food safety watchdog claims in its annual examination of government produce tests.

The Environmental Working Group says apples top its "Dirty Dozen" list of fruits and vegetables with the highest amounts of pesticides. "We found that nearly every apple sampled, 98 per cent, had pesticide residues," says Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst. "This is an accumulation of 48 different pesticides."

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My Comment: One more reason to go organic