Posts filed under “Science”

NASA Discovers ‘Tatooine’-Like Planet Orbiting Two Stars

In our galaxy, but far, far away:  A planet orbiting two stars at once.

If that sounds familiar, than you are a “Star Wars” fan:  Tatooine, Luke Skywalker’s desert homeworld in the first Star Wars movie (episode IV).


“This discovery provides confirmation of a new class of planetary systems that could harbor life. Given that most stars in our galaxy are part of a binary system, this means that the opportunities for life are much broader than if planets form only around single stars  This milestone discovery confirms a theory that scientists have had for decades but could not be proven until now.”

If you could stand on the planet, Kepler 16b, you would see a “dynamic range of sunsets,” according to Laurance Doyle, a participating scientist on the Kepler team and lead author at the SETI Institute. Scroll down for video of the miraculous planet.

“Sometimes the red star would set first, other times the orange star would, sometimes they’d set at the same time,” Doyle continued at a NASA briefing on Thursday at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. “To tell the time using a sundial you’d need calculus.”

-Kepler principal investigator William Borucki, NASA


NASA Discovers ‘Tatooine’
TPM, September 15, 2011

Category: Science, Weekend

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True by Richard Dawkins

What are things made of? What is the sun? Why is there night and day, winter and summer? Why do bad things happen? Are we alone? Throughout history people all over the world have invented stories to answer profound questions such as these. Have you heard the tale of how the sun hatched out of…Read More

Category: Science, Weekend

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Source: Astronomy Picture of the Day NASA, September 14, 2011

Category: Science, Weekend

Depth Perception

via XKCD

Category: Humor, Science, Weekend

Storm Tracker!

We’re hunkered down, but if you are anywhere else in the country (or world) you can track the coming blower via this site:

click for larger interactive map

Map via Crisis Landing

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Category: Science

The Known Universe

Prepare to be delighted for the next 6 minutes . . . (go full screen) The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world’s most…Read More

Category: Science, Weekend

Human Activity Can Cause Earthquakes

It’s Official: Human Activity Can Cause Earthquakes Human Activity Is Officially Acknowledged to Cause Earthquakes The United States Geological Survey is America’s official expert on earthquakes. It’s the Federal agency charged with monitoring, reporting on, researching and stressing preparedness for earthquakes. So I was surprised to read the following statement by the USGS: Earthquakes induced…Read More

Category: Science, Think Tank

Incredible Science Discoveries

It has been an amazing month for science. MIT researchers have succeeded in printing solar panels onto any piece of paper. Dutch company PlantLab has figured out how to triple the yield of plants using only 10% of the water typically needed: When grown outdoors plant photosynthesis is only about 9% efficient. With the correct…Read More

Category: Science, Weekend

Hubble Stares Deep into Dust-Choked Galaxy

11 million light-years away, deep inside the massive spiral galaxy Centaurus A (also known as NGC 5128), baby stars are bursting into existence. Although these enigmatic events appear to be choked by a thick shroud of dust, the Hubble Space Telescope has looked into the cosmic smog, revealing previously unseen intricacies of this well-known galaxy. Below:…Read More

Category: Science, Weekend

Space Shuttle Discovery – 360VR Images

I can confidently tell you this will be the most insane thing you will see today: > click for interactive 3d shuttle interior Hat tip Mike R!

Category: Science, Weekend