Catching a Snowflake
This is what snowflakes really look like.
Snow researchers (seriously, how cool of a job is that?) in Utah have developed a high-speed camera set-up that captures images of snowflakes as they fall from the sky. It gives us a nearly three-dimensional view of these tumbling crystals of frozen water vapor, and may help refine weather and storm predictions.
That’s not the coolest part, of course. What I find fascinating is that our image of a “snowflake” as a single hexagonal crystal, with infinitely-varied fractally frozen arms, is completely wrong. More often than not, they’re imperfect clumps of randomly branched ice.
The old rule of “no two snowflakes are alike” still holds, it just got a lot more complicated.
Jupiter Moon Conjunction
— January 21 @ 8 p.m. PT / 11 p.m. ET
A waxing gibbous moon (78% illuminated) will pass within less than a degree to the south of Jupiter high in the evening sky. For reference, your closed fist held out at arms length covers 10 degrees. These two won’t get that close again until 2026.
Those of you in South America will be able to see the occultation or Jupiter pass behind the moon completely.
Video from JPLnews
Every Detail Must Be Planned for Marsonauts’ Survival
When humans eventually travel to the Red Planet, the voyage will be long and difficult. The simulated Mars500 mission showed that every detail must be planned, including diet and sleep. The findings will also benefit those of us who stay behind.
Mars500 locked six “marsonauts” in a simulated spaceship near Moscow, Russia for 520 days, the time it would take to fly to Mars and back plus 30 days spent exploring its surface. During their simulated mission, the crew lived in isolation without fresh food, sunlight or fresh air.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/01/every-detail-must-be-planned-marsonauts-survival
The Mystery of Einstein’s Last Words
On April 17th, 1955, Albert Einstein experienced internal bleeding caused by the rupture of an aneurysm, which had previously been reinforced by surgery in 1948. Einstein refused surgery, saying: “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.” He died in Princeton Hospital early the next morning at the age of 76, having continued to work until near the end.
Before Einstein passed away in his sleep that night, Einstein uttered his final words to the nurse caring for him. In a tragic loss to history, he said these words in German - a language that the nurse did not speak. At the time of his death, the physicist was writing a piece, which ended abruptly mid-sentence, “Political passions, once they have been fanned into flame, exact their victims…”
At an average distance of 2.8 billion miles from the sun, Neptune generates more heat itself than it absorbs from sun. That heat creates massive storms and winds going up to 900 miles an hour.
A new human coronavirus (hCoV) has emerged recently in the Middle East. The disease it caused resembled that seen from SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) which was the source of a fatal epidemic in 2002/2003.
A study published today, Dec 11, has determined that this new hCoV has many potential hosts & could pass from animals to humans repeatedly. Researchers compared receptor sites used by this new coronavirus called hCoV-EMC and those used by the SARS-CoV to reach their conclusions.
The results implicate that the new virus might use a receptor that is conserved between bats, pigs and humans suggesting a low barrier against cross-host transmission. Read more on the study here: http://bit.ly/QTValu Access the journal article at mBio, an open access online journal published by the American Society for Microbiology: http://bit.ly/TNy1OF
A coronavirus is illustrated here. These RNA viruses have a pleomorphic viron 80-160 nm in diameter consisting of a lipid containing membrane with large peplomers surrounding a helical nucleocapsid. Source: Wellcome Images
For this multidisciplinary installation project infusing visual art with natural science, San Francisco-based artist Klari Reis used petri dishes and reflective epoxy polymer to capture electron microscopic images of the natural (and unnatural) cellular reactions that take place in nature.
Photo: Due to living conditions for earthquake survivors and the general population that help enable the spread of cholera in Haiti, the disease remains a lethal threat two years after the epidemic first appeared in the county. Haiti 2012 © Mathieu Fortoul/MSF
It’s been two years since a cholera epidemic first swept through Haiti, infecting hundreds of thousands of people who’d never before encountered the disease. It was clear that cholera was likely to be a recurring issue in Haiti, but even today, new patients cannot be certain that they will get the treatment they need, and little has been done to improve the environmental conditions that enable the continued spread of the disease.
MSF has treated 12,000 cholera patients in five cholera treatment centers since the beginning of the year. During the recent spike of new cases in May, MSF treated more than 70 percent of the total number of patients registered in Port-au-Prince.
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.Steve Jobs (via yourpalmal)
Color! Thread installation work of Gabriel Dawe.
Many of the most defining photographs ever taken were shot in black and white film, before color emulsions became commercially available in the 1960’s. While these images are moving in monochrome, inspired individuals dared to reimagine these shots by manually colorizing them, giving the visuals a vivid makeover.
The Week on Instagram | 48
- New Yorker: Landon Nordeman Instagrams Euro Dog 2012
- Surfing and Instagram Make for Incredible Photos
Around the Community