Tuesday, 10 November 2015

November 10 is World Science Day

Established by UNESCO in 2001, World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated on 10 November each year.

This year's theme is Science for a Sustainable Future; celebrating the UNESCO Science Report

Read more about this on http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/world-science-day-for-peace-and-development/

Friday, 17 April 2015

Is the solar system unique in the cosmos?

Solar system works by very simple principles. Small rocky planets are closer to the Sun, gaseous giants are far and between is asteroid belt.

On a broader level, it makes sense. When the sun is "born" enormous energy of young star pushed the lighter elements like hydrogen and helium to the outer edge of the solar system, close yourself leaving only solid materials.

Therefore, one might expect that a similar arrangement of planets can be seen in other systems throughout the universe. However, as we have already discovered many exoplanets, it turned out that this is not the case. Moreover, the arrangement of the planets in the solar system is more the exception than the rule.

Gaseous planets that are far from its parent star are very uncommon. One way to categorize them is to measure the energy they get from their stars.

Hot planets like Mercury and Venus, warm (which may be suitable for life) such as Earth and Mars and cold like Jupiter and distant planets.

In our system, all gaseous planets are "cold", while the case for less than 20 percent of the systems in the universe.

Why is
then Jupiter so far from the Sun? To tell the truth - it's not. 

According to some theories, Jupiter is most likely originated in the distance from the Sun at which the current Mars. Because of the forces that are drawn to, approaching the sun to a distance that is now Venus.
If not for the gravitational interaction with Saturn, probably would be "hot Jupiter", but gradually began to move away from the sun.

Jupiter's journey through the inner solar system explains why we do not have hot gaseous giants in the "neighborhood", but also why we do not have "super-Earth", the planet with a solid core, but much smaller atmospheres, such as the Neptune and many other planets in other systems.

Monday, 13 April 2015

With NASA rocket to Mars in 39 days!

The US space agency NASA is building a new type of rocket propulsion which make people to be able to reach Mars in just 39 days instead of six months, as it has judged!

As a partner in this project, NASA has selected a Texas company, "Ad Astra Rocket Company", which is to develop a drive VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket). This engine with the help of electromagnetic waves, ionizes and heats fuel gases such as argon or xenon, and turns them into a plasma which are then accelerated by the magnetic field.

Gas is first inserted into the hollow cylinder, in which
using antenna "bomb" with electromagnetic waves which then ejected electrons from atoms and forms a cold plasma consisting of ions and free electrons.

In the second phase, the electromagnet compresses ionized plasma as nozzles compressed gases in conventional rocket engines. The part of the engine known as the ICH, plasma is heated to million degrees Kelvin, which is 173 times higher than the temperature on the surface of the Sun, which is 5,778 Kelvin.

The last part of the engine directs the electrons and ions in the opposite direction of movement of the rocket speed of about 50,000 meters per second!

The new drive can not be used for take-off, or to exit the gravitational "embrace" and the Earth's atmosphere, but the acceleration in interplanetary travel.

- It's a rocket different from all previous - Plasma Rocket - explains Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz, a former astronaut on "shuttles" and director of "Ad Astra".

New missions in areas closer to the Earth and the Sun will be able to use solar energy, and away from the Sun to Mars to use some more powerful drive, probably nuclear.
In optimal conditions designed rocket to Mars could come for only 39 days. This would significantly reduce the stress and dangers of travel, or exposure to radiation
of Human crew.
NASA has signed a contract with the company of ten million dollars, which envisages the construction of a prototype engine that could run at full power for at least 100 hours. Engine parts have already undergone numerous tests and the first experimental launch is expected in 2016.

Friday, 3 April 2015

How Much Earth Has Changed In 200 Million Years?

Our planet has not always had the seven continents. In the distant geological past there was only one continent - Pangaea, which was divided about 200 million years ago.

Scientists have now reconstructed in detail the transformation of our planet's surface thanks to a new computer model.

On the attached video, you can see a simulation of the movement of Earth's tectonic plates, and each frame is a period of a million years.

"Tectonic plates are changing the speed and direction of movement in a relatively short period of time of about a million years," says Sabin Zahirović,
geo-dynamicist at the University of Sydney, who led the research.

Zahirović and his colleagues are planning to reconstruct the movement of plates before the breakup of Pangaea.

The paper describing this research was published in the journal "Earth and Planetary Science Letters".

Monday, 30 March 2015

Americans secretly modified human DNA

Leading US scientists have secretly carried out extensive work by altering the DNA of human embryos, which could lead to the creation of "designer babies". Proponents of these games with the human species considered that the technique could bring a revolution in medicine, allowing scientists to prevent genetic hereditary diseases and significantly reduce the chances of transmission.

However, the treatment has caused controversy, and critics say tampering with human code is dangerous and unacceptable.

It is believed that American scientists have conducted research on the egg cells taken from a woman who suffers from a hereditary disease - ovarian cancer - to explore the possibility of eventual changes in gene expression and thus create an embryo that does not have this hereditary disease. The work was published last year by Luan Yang, a scientist who works in the laboratory of the famous geneticist George Church.

Professor Church is insisted that everything is in the experimental stage and added that the experiments didn't carried out on people. It is believed that a several laboratories working on changing the DNA of human embryos, which means that scientists can attempt to change the personality of people like improving physical predisposition and intellectual abilities.

Professor John Parrington, from Oxford University said that this discovery he had expected, but not so early and it's very effective and beneficial treatment.

However, there are those who warn of the potential dangers of altering the genome of human embryos. It may have unforeseen consequences for future generations and that makes him dangerous and unacceptable.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Scientists solve the mystery of origin of cells!?

Chemists have experimentally demonstrated just how the building blocks of life ingredients can be created in just a chemical reaction using two ingredients and sunlight.

At its core cell consists of three subsystems: the system for creating sections, which with the help of the lipid content is kept in one place, the metabolic system with catalysts and enzymes and system for copying DNA and RNA.

DNA molecule contains the instructions for making proteins, one of the most important parts of all living organisms. However, the cells may not be copied without a pre-existing DNA and proteins can not be synthesized lipids without enzymes that are based on the proteins.

Problem reminiscent of the story of what is older - the chicken or the egg, now may be solved thanks to the effort of experts.

One of the biggest issues in the study of the origins of life is did the mentioned subsystems formed together and at once or one after the other. A team of Cambridge who runs John Sutherland found it to be a precursor of DNA, RNA, amino acids and lipids can be created from hydrogen cyanide or hydrocyanic acid.

All subsystems could be created spontaneously through chemical reactions driven by the
influence of ultraviolet light. The only thing missing is hydrogen sulfide actually to donate its electron so that it is possible that some minerals containing metals as catalysts part of the process, experts say.  

- The young Earth was a perfect place for such a reactionhydrogen cyanide and hydrogen sulfide in this period were plentiful, as were in meteorites and comets, that bombed our planet in the first few hundred million years - said Sutherland.

It is possible that when these processes were changes that created amino acids and lipids, but in other places.

- It is quite likely that these ingredients separately created "met" after rains united them in the same place - concluded Sutherland.

Friday, 20 March 2015

What to expect from science in next 50 years

If you were 50 years ago someone said that 2015 will be quite normal owning a 3D printer, the person you're talking to not only looked pale, but wondered what it is a printer, what is 3D and what all it serves. However, this is only one thing we can be grateful to science. And what we are still expected in the future...

1. Teleportation

Although today it sounds unbelievable, scientists have been able to teleport particles from point A to point B, and the distance of exactly 10 meters. Who knows how far will teleport that for 50 years ...

2. Light which is operated

This is hard to describe, but believe it or not, the light can tie a knot. This can be achieved with the help of holograms which direct the light in a certain path and thereby give the impression that the light was detached in space, but in fact when it creates an optical illusion, for which is again responsible science.

3. Objects that evolve by themselves

By this does not mean the Darwinian evolution, but the one that is yet to come. Today, there are 3D printers, and we all know what they are. But did you know that there is a 4D printer? It "print" objects that can  developed independently. For example, draw the ball, which eventually evolved into

4. Black holes in the laboratory

Today it is difficult to know exactly how black holes work, how they look or what properties they have. However, the scientists were able to replicate the conditions necessary for the formation of black holes and thus produce a true black hole, of course - under controlled conditions.

5. Stop the light
Einstein was the first scientist to realize that nothing can travel faster than light, but also never said that light can not slow down! Scientists at Harvard University have managed to reduce the speed of light at only 20 miles per hour. To make things even more dramatic, and even managed to stop light at a single point.
6. Production of antimatter
Matter and antimatter can not exist side by side. When they get together - offset each other (annihilation), with the release of large amounts of energy in the form of gamma rays or other particles. Despite the many controversies whether antimatter will "swallow" the earth - scientists have managed to create antimatter.
7. Telepathy
If you follow the SciFi movies know that telepathy is a science that is still not well understood, to be able to confirm or deny the facts. However, telepathy is possible, and this is proven by scientists when they operated on the brain of rats, and manage it successfully.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Moon has at least nine layers beneath the surface

Moon has far more complex geologic history than previously thought, until recently, the researchers believe that the layers formed under the influence of ancient lava flows that interfere with lunar soil, regolith, loose material arising from the rocks.

There are at least nine layers beneath the moon's surface, reveal radar for detection of underground infrastructure, the first Chinese lunar rover Yutu.

In fact, there are at least nine layers below the surface of the moon, and the researchers believe that they occur under the influence of ancient lava flows that interfere with lunar soil, regolith, loose material arising from the rocks.

Chinese spacecraft Chang-3 landed on the moon in December 2013, together with a small lunar lander Yutu, or "
Jade rabbit", whose task is to study the lunar soil.

After a walk of 114 meters on the surface of the moon, Yutu stopped near a crater in the field called Mare Imbrium.

In contrast to the places where from 1969 to 1972, NASA landed the Apollo missions, and other locations that are frequented landers from the Soviet era, this area is younger and has a complex surface structure, said Siao Long, a researcher with the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, in an article published in the journal Science.

"Moon's geological history is far more complex than we anticipated," said a Chinese scientist.

The first data indicate that the eruptions of lava at least five times overlapped Imbrium valley, forming layers of basaltic rocks at a depth of about one kilometer.

Yutu radar detected five layers of lava in the upper 400 meters of the lunar soil.

"It is likely that there were several volcanic eruptions whose lava covered the valley at greater depths," said Siao, adding that the results are the first detailed data on the moon's surface.

"During the Apollo missions, the regolith is punctured only three feet deep," recalled Siao.

"Layered structure tells us that later volcanic activities were of a different type. It also means that the variable elements significantly influenced the final phase to history of our Moon," concluded the Chinese researcher.

Friday, 6 March 2015

If You Think Our Weather Is Crazy, Wait Until You See Storms On Other Planets

Warming of our planet one is of the biggest debates in years. The evidence for global climate change is in the news almost daily. Our weather is becoming crazier every year, from the polar vortekes to super hurricanes. We are all lucky to still be live.

While Mother Nature is not the kindest to
creatures of Earth, look at what happens on the surfaces of other planets. You can consider us lucky.

Mars has no atmosphere, which makes it extremely difficult to sustain human life as we know it. Mars lacks atmosphere is a mystery, but there is still a lot of bizarre weather going on on the planet. The pols are covered with ice caps, there are intense snowstorms. While our snow is frozen water, Mars snow is actually made of frozen carbon dioxide, or "dry ice". There are also tons of dust cyclone, which violently tear the planet.

What you are watching is Jupiter's most famous hurricane, the Great Red Spot. He raged for more than 400 years. This storm is so massive, up to the point where the 3 Earths can easily fit into it. There is another spot, known as Oval BA, which was discovered about seven years ago, and is now moving as fast as their larger counterparts. It seems that the increase in size. 

As the closest planet to the sun and almost completely devoid of atmosphere, it's easy to see why Mercury becomes extremely hot. However, since there is little atmosphere, it is difficult for the planet to retain heat, which leads to intense temperature changes. Since lacks an axial tilt, no seasonal weather changes. It also incredibly slowly rotates, as it only completes about three “days” every two years. When Mercury is closest to the sun, the surface temperature can reach over 800º F. During the night, the temperature can drop to -290º F.

Neptune has a storm big enough to swallow the whole Earth and bands of weather that mark its latitude. Planet has most violent winds in the solar system, which can reach a staggering 1,500 miles per hour. Since there is little talk in terms of topography, there is nothing to slow this down gusts of wind. It also has the ability to rain diamonds, so that's pretty radical.

Saturn's atmosphere mainly consists of hydrogen, which led to an incredibly strong winds storms. Speeds can reach up to 1,000 kilometers per hour. For comparison, the strongest wind gust ever recorded on Earth was in 1996, at about 253 kilometers per hour.

Uranus is the coldest planet in our solar system, with temperatures hitting -371ºF. Uranus is very strange, because as it is tipped entirely on his side. Its north pole faces the sun. This may be due to the great crash, as its magnetic field does not align with its poles. Because planet is so far away, it is difficult to obtain accurate read what happens on the surface. However, the massive hurricanes are studied through infrared telescopes, and it is also known to rain diamonds.

With a super-thick atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide, Venus is able to trap more of the sun's radiation than Mercury, which allows it to reach (and keep) a higher temperature. The surface temperature remains relatively consistent throughout the year, to 900º F. rain on Venus is almost exclusively sulfuric acid, which is highly corrosive. Sulfuric acid can damage clothing immediately and cause severe burns on body. However, the surface temperature of Venus is so hot, the rain evaporates before hitting the ground.
I do not know if I wanted to go to any of these planets with our current technology. In fact, I am 100% sure that you never want to leave the Earth at this point in time. Let us take care of our planet before we end up like Venus. 

Monday, 2 March 2015

This Is What The World Would Look Like If Different Stars Replaced Our Sun

Have you ever wondered how would our world look like if the Earth is near the star that is not Sun? Neither do we, but now that we know the possibilities, we just can not stop wondering how things would be different. We always thought that life would be unfathomable-without our Sun, but now we are not so sure.

Here is some information about the stars featured in the video:

Alpha Centauri: the brightest star in the southern constellation Centaurus and the third brightest star in the night sky. It is also the closest star to our Sun.

Sirius: although it was thought that it is one star, is actually a binary star system. It is about 8.6 light-years away from our planet.

Arcturus: visual magnitude a'0.04, making it the brightest star north of the equator, and the fourth brightest star in the night sky.

Vega: has been extensively studied by astronomers, leading it to be termed "arguably the next most important star in the sky after the Sun" by The Astrophysical Journal.

Polaris: also known as the North Star, it is the 45th brightest star in the night sky.

We knew we took a lot of things for granted. Now we have a newfound appreciation for our Sun and astronomy has as a whole. This really things from a different angle.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Europa: Water World infographic

Europa: Is it Inhabited?

In our solar system there is an ocean twice the size of all Earth’s oceans combined. Is it inhabited?

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Huge Asteroid 2004 BL86 to Fly by Earth

Asteroid 2004 BL86, slated to swoosh by Earth on Jan. 26, is the largest known body to pass near our home planet until 2027. But there’s no need to panic as the astronomers estimate that the 500 meters-wide space rock will pass by Earth at a safe distance of about three LD (lunar distances) - that’s 1.2 million km from us. “We can indeed safely say that there is no chance - in the next 100 years - that this object will hit [Earth],” Detlef Koschny, head of the Near-Earth Object (NEO) Segment in the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme office at ESA, told astrowatch.net. The upcoming fly-by will also be a great opportunity for scientists and amateur astronomers to observe the rocky visitor from outer space allowing them to gather valuable scientific data and to obtain detailed images.

Friday, 23 January 2015

The three suns in the sky over Mongolia

Residents of Mongolia on January 13 was attended to an unusual spectacle: the sky glowed three suns, an event worthy of science fiction.

In fact this is a phenomenon well known to meteorologists, optical phenomenon, called "parhelion" or "false sun", when two bright spots seen on both sides of the sun at the same height above the horizon. The observer then has the impression to see two or three suns.

This phenomenon is refraction of light through the hexagonal ice crystals in rare clouds.

Parhelion are usually heralds the rain, according to the electronic media.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Artificial sperm and egg cells made of skin!

Scientists from Cambridge made a revolution and from skin create artificial sperm and egg cells.

This process scientists have previously been able to carry out on laboratory rats, but this is the first time that they managed to do that with people.

"Researchers would in the future be able to produce sex cells, genetically identical cells prospective parents," says psychology professor and reproduction at Cambridge, Azim Surani.

Scientists have for making sperm and egg cells used skin cells of a man, because the Y chromosome is necessary for sperm production.

However, experts say that men and women will be able to donate any cells rather than sperm or egg when they visit a fertility clinic, but are hoping that this will open up new fields when it comes to human genetics.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft on Its Way to Unveil Jupiter’s Mysteries

The gas giant Jupiter safeguards many secrets crucial to our understanding of the evolution of our solar system. It could also provide insights on how giant planets form and the role these titans played in putting together the rest of the solar neighborhood. NASA’s Juno spacecraft is on its way to reveal those mysteries as the probe is on course for its planned arrival at Jupiter on July 4, 2016. “On that date, Juno will make its first dive over the planet's poles, firing its rocket engine to slow down just enough for the giant planet's gravity to capture the spacecraft into orbit,” Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, Juno’s principal investigator told astrowatch.net. “All of Juno's instruments are healthy and working well. The Juno team anticipates some truly wonderful results when their experiments reach Jupiter.”

Friday, 2 January 2015

2014 in Science

Retrospective science in 2014. West Africa’s Ebola epidemic captured the attention of both the scientific world and the world at large in 2014, placing it first among the Top 25 stories of the year. Other big news included the rise and fall of a claimed detection of gravitational waves, new findings about the history of early humans from analyses of DNA and the spectacular landing of the Rosetta spacecraft’s robotic explorer Philae on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

Click on image to enlarge.