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 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 “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.