Tens of thousands apply for one-way trip to Mars.
Mars One opened applications for their Astronaut Selection Program two weeks ago, with hopes to start sending humans one-way to Mars in 2023.
The company has revealed that 78,000 people from over 120 countries have already applied. Applications are still being accepted for another three months, here.
Have you ever noticed that almost every barn you have ever seen is red? There’s a reason for that, and it has to do with the chemistry of dying stars. Seriously.
Yonatan Zunger is a Google employee who decided to explain this phenomenon on Google+ recently. The simple answer to why barns are painted red is because red paint is cheap. The cheapest paint there is, in fact. But the reason it’s so cheap? Well, that’s the interesting part.
Red ochre—Fe2O3—is a simple compound of iron and oxygen that absorbs yellow, green and blue light and appears red. It’s what makes red paint red. It’s really cheap because it’s really plentiful. And it’s really plentiful because of nuclear fusion in dying stars. Zunger explains:
The only thing holding the star up was the energy of the fusion reactions, so as power levels go down, the star starts to shrink. And as it shrinks, the pressure goes up, and the temperature goes up, until suddenly it hits a temperature where a new reaction can get started. These new reactions give it a big burst of energy, but start to form heavier elements still, and so the cycle gradually repeats, with the star reacting further and further up the periodic table, producing more and more heavy elements as it goes. Until it hits 56. At that point, the reactions simply stop producing energy at all; the star shuts down and collapses without stopping.
As soon as the star hits the 56 nucleon (total number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus) cutoff, it falls apart. It doesn’t make anything heavier than 56. What does this have to do with red paint? Because the star stops at 56, it winds up making a ton of things with 56 neucleons. It makes more 56 nucleon containing things than anything else (aside from the super light stuff in the star that is too light to fuse).
The element that has 56 protons and neutrons in its nucleus in its stable state? Iron. The stuff that makes red paint.
And that, Zunger explains, is how the death of a star determines what color barns are painted.
Incredible photo of the Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft after plummetting through the atmosphere yesterday. 85 gigajoules of energy during re-entry is visible here as the heat converts water vapor in the air to steam.
This dramatic new image of cosmic clouds in the constellation of Orion reveals what seems to be a fiery ribbon in the sky. The orange glow represents faint light coming from grains of cold interstellar dust, at wavelengths too long for human eyes to see. It was observed by the ESO-operated Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) in Chile.
In this image, the submillimetre-wavelength glow of the dust clouds is overlaid on a view of the region in the more familiar visible light, from the Digitized Sky Survey 2. The large bright cloud in the upper right of the image is the well-known Orion Nebula, also called Messier 42.
Credit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2
“Does it look like me?”
- Chris Hadfield on the matryoshka doll gift given to him by the Kazakhstani people.
Welcome home Commander Chris Hadfield, Roman Romanenko,and Tom Marshburn. Expedition 35.
Snapshots via NASA Television.
The Soyuz landing @ 10:31pm (eastern time) in Kazakhstan.Snapshots taken from the live feed via NASA Television app.
Solar flare from sunday May 12. It is the most powerful solar flare of the 2013!!!
Noise, in analog video and television, is a random dot pattern of static displayed when no transmission signal is obtained by the antenna receiver of television set and other display devices. The random pattern superimposed on the picture, visible as a random flicker of “dots” or “snow”, is the result of electronic noise and radiated electromagnetic noise accidentally picked up by the antenna. This effect is most commonly seen with analog TV sets or blank VHS tapes.
There are many sources of electromagnetic noise which cause the characteristic display patterns of static. Atmospheric sources of noise are the most ubiquitous, and include electromagnetic signals prompted by cosmic microwave background radiation, or more localized radio wave noise from nearby electronic devices.
Microwaves are a low-energy form of radiation but higher in energy than radio waves. The cosmic microwave background blankets the universe and is responsible for a sizeable amount of static on your television set—well, before the days of cable. Turn your television to an “in between” channel, and part of the static you’ll see is the afterglow of the big bang.
Stars and Mars
Wandering through the evening sky, on May 4th 2008, planet Mars stood in line with Castor and Pollux, the two bright stars of the constellation Gemini. In this time exposure of the celestial alignment, Mars actually takes on a distinct yellowish hue, contrasting in color with Pollux; a giant star known to have a Jupiter-class planet, and Castor; itself a multiple star system. Though in mythology Pollux and Castor are twin brothers, the two stars are physically unrelated and are about 34 and 50 light-years distant respectively. Included in the skyview are Procyon, alpha star of Canis Minor, and famous star cluster M44 also known as the Beehive Cluster. Dust in our own solar system reflecting sunlight creates the faint band of Zodiacal light emerging from the lower right corner of the frame.
Image credit: Doug Zubenel (TWAN)
This time-lapse depicts a typical view from the northern hemisphere. The most dramatic monthly change is the moon’s phase, caused by the shifting angle of the sun as the moon orbits the Earth every 27 days. Also, due to the tilt and shape of the moon’s orbit, we see it from a slightly different angle over the course of a month generating a slight wobble or libration. Because of this we actually see more than half of the lunar surface over a month, about 59%.
The size differences you see are due to the orbit of the moon around the Earth being elliptical. The moon will appear larger when it reaches the closest point to Earth in its orbit or perigee, the opposite being apogee. The size differences are around 10% and when perigee also happens around a full moon, this creates a so called “Super-Moon”. Combine that sight with the Moon Illusion and you have - what seems like - an extremely large moon.
The effect shown in the gif is called gravitational lensing.
What is gravitational lensing?
Gravitational lensing is the effect seen when an object behind a massive object is in the line of sight with the earth. For example:
Earth ————>Massive Object—————->Far away object
When we try looking at the far away object, the massive object bends space-time around it, causing the light rays from the far away object to travel in a curved path around into our line of sight.
As a result of this, we can often see the far away object magnified which helps astronomers understand the early universe. The gif shows a far away galaxy being gravitationally lensed by a closer black hole.