Posts filed under “Science”

Kepler Exoplanet Candidates

This is a visualization of the 1236 exoplanet candidates observed by Kepler.

As you can see, the vast majority of these planets orbit their stars at a distance less than Earth. This is likely due to the relatively short observation period – it is highly probable that many more planets will be found as the duration of study increases.

Two candidates are highlighed: KOI 326.01 and KOI 314.02. Out of all the candidates, those two may have the best chances of satisfying some of the “habitability” criteria astronomers tend to use.

Kepler Exoplanet Candidates from blprnt on Vimeo.

Built with Processing (processing.org)

hat tip boingboing

Category: Science, Travel, Weekend

North America: Winter Wonderland

via Wired:

Category: Science, Weekend

How Large is the Universe?

The mind-blowing answer comes from a theory describing the birth of the universe in the first instant of time. The universe has long captivated us with its immense scales of distance and time. How far does it stretch? Where does it end… and what lies beyond its star fields… and streams of galaxies extending as…Read More

Category: Science, Weekend

On the Origin of Venn Diagrams . . .

On the Diagrammatic and Mechanical Representation of Propositions and Reasonings (Google Books).

Category: Science, Weekend

Honey Bee Extinction

Given all of the interest in AG these days, perhaps we should look at something that might lead to some extreme scarcity: Honey Bees.

Or more specifically, the decreasing number of them. Daily Infographic has today’s digital delight: This monstrous graphic looks at the mystery of the Honeybee die offs:

This is the first 10% of it:

full graphic after the jump

Read More

Category: Digital Media, Science

NASA: The Frontier Is Everywhere

FULL CREDIT goes to Michael Marantz for his brilliant original:

http://michaelmarantz.com/

AND OF COURSE to Carl Sagan. I made an entire page of credits and forgot to cite The Pale Blue Dot. Total brain fart on my part. I miss the man dearly.

I got frustrated with NASA and made this video. NASA is the most fascinating, adventurous, epic institution ever devised by human beings, and their media sucks. Seriously. None of their brilliant scientists appear to know how to connect with the social media crowd, which is now more important than ever. In fact, NASA is an institution whose funding directly depends on how the public views them.

In all of their brilliance, NASA seems to have forgotten to share their hopes and dreams in a way the public can relate to, leaving one of humanity’s grandest projects with terrible PR and massive funding cuts. I have a lot of ideas for a NASA marketing campaign, but I doubt they’d pay me even minimum wage to work for them. I literally have an MSWord document entitled NASAideas.doc full of ideas waiting to share. I thought maybe, just maybe someone might be able to work their magic for me on that. But the primary point of this post is to vent my frustration with NASA. Sure, they’ve fallen victim to budget cuts but I honestly think cutting media will seal NASA’s own fate. Unless they can find a way to relate to the general public, support for their projects will always be minimal, and their funding will follow suit. A social media department would easily pay for itself in government grants because it could rekindle the public interest in the space program.

Edit: Another video I put together:

Category: Science, Video

Why Can’t Humans Walk in a Straight Line?

NPR: A Mystery: Why Can’t We Walk Straight? from NPR on Vimeo. Hat tip boing boing

Category: Science, Weekend

GE on Energy & Dynamic Braking

From GE.com:

Energy: you can’t destroy it, but you can certainly waste it. That’s what most motorized vehicles do, including trains. Usually, the energy generated when you stop a moving vehicle is dissipated as heat, and is lost to the atmosphere. With GE’s ecomagination we’ve discovered that you can capture and store that energy, then reuse it – that’s how our hybrid systems work. Watch the video to see a simple illustration of the physics behind dynamic braking. Keep in mind an object’s force is measured in Newtons, using the equation “force = mass * acceleration.”

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Hat tip Flowing Data

Category: Science, Video

History of Atmospheric Carbon Changes

Huge NYT article on Charles David Keeling, the scientist who first measured the increased carbon in the atmosphere. The Keeling curve, as its now known, shows a steady increase in CO2 concentrations in our air over the past century. Keeling also discovered the seasonal variations of CO2 in the atmosphere. I thought the biography of…Read More

Category: Data Analysis, Quantitative, Science

Lunar Eclipse + Winter Solstice = Awesome

According to NASA: “This lunar eclipse falls on the date of the northern winter solstice. How rare is that? Total lunar eclipses in northern winter are fairly common. There have been three of them in the past ten years alone. A lunar eclipse smack-dab on the date of the solstice, however, is unusual. Geoff Chester…Read More

Category: Science, Weekend