The end

This is my last post on this blog.
As you surely have noticed, the blog has not been updated in a while, and now I have taken a decision and I will close it.
This blog has been a personal experiment. I read a lot of blogs, and I wanted to try to write on one myself. So I opened this blog, where I posted links to science news everyday. The blog has had its popularity, with a peek of 6000 visitors in one day. Many have linked to me, and I thank everyone who has read this blog in the past.
The reason I close this blog is that I don't manage to find the time to update it as I would. I could continue, but I would deliver a "product" that doesn't satisfy myself.

I would like to invite all my readers to keep reading the science articles written by a person who I consider the best astronomy journalist in the world, Nancy Atkinson from Universe Today, who has been linked by me hundreds of times.

And I would also like everyone to bookmark and read a fantastic culture source, the best blog I know: TYWKIWDBI, written by Minnesotastan. It's a must.

Thank you all, see you around.


1-Billionth Scale Model of USS Enterprise

Measuring just 8.8-micrometers long, this 1-billionth scale model of the USS Enterprise "was made with a 30 kV Ga+ focused-ion- beam CVD using phenanthrene gas by Takayuki Hoshino and Shinji Matsui of the Himeji Institute of Technology

source: Techeblog

Trove of shipwrecks found in the Baltic Sea

A dozen previously unknown shipwrecks have been found on the bed of the Baltic Sea; some of them are thought to up to 1,000 years old, the Swedish National Heritage Board said on Monday.
The underwater treasure trove of nautical antiquities was discovered during a probe of the sea bed to prepare for the installation of a large gas pipeline.

Full article on Discovery Online

The world's only immortal animal

The turritopsis nutricula species of jellyfish may be the only animal in the world to have truly discovered the fountain of youth.
Since it is capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage and back again, there may be no natural limit to its life span. Scientists say the hydrozoan jellyfish is the only known animal that can repeatedly turn back the hands of time and revert to its polyp state (its first stage of life).
The key lies in a process called transdifferentiation, where one type of cell is transformed into another type of cell. Some animals can undergo limited transdifferentiation and regenerate organs, such as salamanders, which can regrow limbs. Turritopsi nutricula, on the other hand, can regenerate its entire body over and over again. Researchers are studying the jellyfish to discover how it is able to reverse its aging process.

Full article on Yahoo!News

Fly over Mars

This is an animation flying over southwest Candor Chasma on Mars. It was created from NASA's HiRISE DTM and image data.

Google Street View: Giant floating pliers above the sky of West Bromwich

A curious resident in West Bromwich found a rather unusual aspect to his road when he logged on to Google Street View - a giant pair of floating pliers.
The oddity appears to be down to a mistake by a Google technician who was making adjustments to the car-mounted camera at the junction of Whitehall Road and Compton Road.

Full story on The Telegraph

White Death: the Sniper Who Killed 700 Soviets in 100 Days

Ensconced in the snow, his white camouflage suit rendering him invisible to the invading Soviet soldiers he stalked, Simo Häyhä steadied himself to fire. During the 1939–1940 Winter War, in temperatures as low as –40 °C, the Finnish sniper undertook a killing spree that saw him single-handedly take the lives of at least 700 men in less than 100 days. Over 500 of these he shot using a standard, bolt-action rifle with non-telescopic sights. Is it any wonder he earned the nickname The White Death among his enemies? Meet the man who would take Rambo to the cleaners on Environmental Graffiti

Drought extinguishes Venezuela's lightning phenomenon

Darkness rarely lasted long in the skies over Lake Maracaibo. An hour after dusk the show would begin: a lightning bolt, then another, and another, until the whole horizon flashed white.
Electrical storms, product of a unique meteorological phenomenon, have lit up nights in this corner of Venezuela for thousands of years. Francis Drake abandoned a sneak attack on the city of Maracaibo in 1595 when lightning betrayed his ships to the Spanish garrison.
But now the lightning has vanished. A phenomenon that once unleashed up to 20,000 bolts a night stopped in late January. Not a single bolt has been seen since.

Full article by Rory Carroll on The Guardian

Martian avalanche

Spring is approaching us here in the northern hemisphere on Earth once again, and we are experiencing the annual thaw of the winter ice.
Spring is approaching the northern hemisphere of Mars as well, and with it comes the thaw of carbon dioxide ice. Some of that dry ice sits at the tops of cliffs, and when it thaws it dislodges the material there. The rock and debris on Mars then does the same thing it would do on Earth: it falls. Fast.
And when it does, you get this slice of Martian awesomeness:

More on Bad Astronomy

Large Hadron Collider Triples Its Own Record

The Large Hadron Collider set a new record for the creation of energetic particle beams this morning. The particle accelerator, which surpassed Fermilab’s Tevatron in December as the baddest atom smasher of them all, smashed its own record, charging particles to 3.48 trillion electron volts.
That’s three times the energy of any beam ever created by human beings and just a shade under half the LHC’s proposed maximum capabilities.

Full article by Alexis Madrigal on Wired

The Multiplying Mystery of Moonwater

Researchers who once confidently stated that the Moon was bone-dry are now thinking the unthinkable: The Moon has so much water, there's actually a "lunar hydrosphere." International spacecraft have recently discovered no fewer than three "flavors" of moonwater and no one knows when the discoveries will end.

Read full article by Dauna Coulter on Science@NASA

15 of the Meanest CAPTCHAs ever

Captchas, those distorted images of letters and numbers used to prevent the automated use of websites, are not very sensitive to our feelings. Meet fifteen of the worst ever seen, on Oddee

Fossil of ancient amphibian named after FedEx

Paleontologists at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History named the trematopid Fedexia striegeli after the company, which owns the land on which it was found, and the University of Pittsburgh student who found it.
Fedexia striegeli was a carnivorous amphibian that existed 300 million years ago, 70 million years before the first dinosaurs. It resembled a two-foot long salamander and had newt-like skin.

Full story on The Telegraph

Invisibility Cloak Goes 3D

European researchers have taken the world a step closer to fictional wizard Harry Potter's invisibility cloak after they made an object disappear, a study published Thursday in the journal Science showed.
Scientists from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany and Imperial College London used their cloak, made using photonic crystals with a structure resembling piles of wood, to conceal a small bump on a gold surface, they wrote in Science.
"It's kind of like hiding a small object underneath a carpet -- except this time the carpet also disappears," they said.

Full article on Discovery News

Whole flock of birds falls dead from the sky

On Sunday night, over a quiet Somerset house, scores of swooping starlings tumbled out of the sky and fell, dead, into a single front garden.
Covering an area 12ft across, more than 100 birds carpeted the garden, each with blood oozing from its beak and curled up claws.
Most had died, although some flapped lamely, clearly in pain until the RSPCA put them out of their misery

Read full story on The Daily Mail

How to Move A 900-Ton Generator

It took six months to plan the trip to move this monstrous generator 250 miles and one month to transport it.

Lunar Orbiter Spots Long Lost Russian Rover

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has picked out the final resting place of the Soviet Lunokhod 2 rover after a Canadian researcher followed the 37 year old tire tracks captured in recently released moon photos.

Full article by Ian O'Neill on Discovery News

Maya fountain unearthed by archaeologists

Add plumbing to the mysterious arts of the ancient Maya, investigators report. In a Journal of Archaeological Science study, anthropologist Kirk French and civil engineer Christopher Duffy of Penn State report on a conduit designed to deliver pressurized water to Palenque, an urban center in southern Mexico, more than 1,400 years ago.
"The ancient Maya are renowned as great builders, but are rarely regarded as great engineers. Their constructions, though often big and impressive, are generally considered unsophisticated," say the study authors. However, they add, "(m)any Maya centers exhibit sophisticated facilities that captured, routed, stored, or otherwise manipulated water for various purposes."

Full article by Dan Vergano on USA Today

Star Predicted to Blast Through the Solar System

In 1.5 million years time, the solar system could be in for a rough ride.
An orange dwarf star named Gliese 710 is powering in our direction and an astronomer has calculated an 86 percent chance of the interstellar interloper smashing through the Oort Cloud, located in the outermost reaches of our solar system.
This could have the devastating effect of scattering the icy Oort Cloud objects (or OCOs), causing them to plunge toward the sun and the inner planets, potentially bombarding Earth with comets.

Full article by Ian O'Neill on Discovery News

Mysterious cosmic "dark flow" tracked deeper into universe

Distant galaxy clusters mysteriously stream at a million miles per hour along a path roughly centered on the southern constellations Centaurus and Hydra. A new study led by Alexander Kashlinsky at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, tracks this collective motion — dubbed the "dark flow" — to twice the distance originally reported.

Read full article on

Comet-Kaze Strikes The Sun

At first glance it looks like aliens are using the sun for target practice.
A string of bullet-shaped streaks of light appear to be shooting straight toward the sun, plunging 300 miles per second toward a fiery end in the sun's atmosphere.
The NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) observed the demise of one comet fragment on Friday, March 12.
The wayward comets are called sungrazers. They are a class of comet that likes to live dangerously. Sungrazers can skirt within a few thousand miles of the sun’s roiling photosphere. Many are torn apart or evaporate as they streak along at a blazing 1 million miles per hour. As their orbits are perturbed, surviving sungrazers can collide with the sun on a subsequent passage.

Full article by Ray Villard on Discovery News

Paris 26 Gigapixels

Paris 26 Gigapixels is the name of the biggest assembled panoramic image of the world. It shows Paris in a very high definition. A gigapixel is 1 billion pixels! The image is a stitching of more than 2000 individual photos. Paris 26 Gigapixels has been shot on September 8th, 2009 and is now available for eveyone here

Indian man's internal organs all back-to-front

An Indian man has ben told by doctors that all his internal organs are back-to-front in what is thought to be the only living case of "situs inversus".
Doctors believe that the 64-year-old could be the only man in the world whose internal organs are in the mirror opposite position of where they should be.
Ashok Shivnani was about to have surgery to remove a tumour on his kidney in Mumbai when doctors realised most of his chest and abdominal organs and many blood vessels were on the opposite side of his body.

Full story by Dean Nelson on The Telegraph

Calling ET: Your chance to send a message to alien life

Is there anybody out there? What would you say if you could send a message into space? Would you say hello, ask the meaning of life, share an insight or just complain about the weather?
In celebration of SETI's 50th anniversary 5000 messages will be sent off in to space in the hope of being picked up by aliens.
The event is being organised by Penguin UK and National Science and Engineering Week, the messages of up to 40 words will be fired up using a radio telescope and can contain anything including greetings, confessions or warnings

Go here and write your message

The strangest liquid: Why water is so weird

Edwin Cartlidge on New Scientist wrote a great piece about the mysteries of water

We are confronted by many mysteries, from the nature of dark matter and the origin of the universe to the quest for a theory of everything. These are all puzzles on the grand scale, but you can observe another enduring mystery of the physical world - equally perplexing, if not quite so grand - from the comfort of your kitchen. Simply fill a tall glass with chilled water, throw in
an ice cube and leave it to stand.The fact that the ice cube floats is the first oddity. And the mystery deepens if you take a thermometer and measure the temperature of the water at various depths. At the top, near the ice cube, you'll find it to be around 0 °C, but at the bottom it should be about 4 °C.
That's because water is denser at 4°C than it is at any other temperature - another strange trait that sets it apart from other liquids.
Water's odd properties don't stop there...

What came before the Big Bang?

String theorists Neil Turok of Cambridge University and Paul Steinhardt, Albert Einstein Professor in Science and Director of the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science at Princeton believe that the cosmos we live in was actually created by the cyclical trillion-year collision of two universes (which they define as three-dimensional branes plus time) that were attracted toward each other by the leaking of gravity out of one of the universes.
In their view of the universe the complexities of an inflating universe after a Big Bang are replaced by a universe that was already large. flat, and uniform with dark energy as the effect of the other universe constantly leaking gravity into our own and driving its acceleration. According to this theory, the Big Bang was not the beginning of time but the bridge to a past filled with endlessly repeating cycles of evolution, each accompanied by the creation of new matter and the formation of new galaxies, stars, and planets.

Full article by Casey Kazan and video of the lecture on The Daily Galaxy

Suspected Asteroid Collision Leaves Odd X-Pattern of Trailing Debris

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has observed a mysterious X-shaped debris pattern and trailing streamers of dust that suggest a head-on collision between two asteroids. Astronomers have long thought the asteroid belt is being ground down through collisions, but such a smashup has never been seen before.

Full article on NASA

Evidence of Liquid Water on Saturn's Moon Enceladus

Saturn's moon Enceladus contains a large body of water under its surface, new research has confirmed. This has led scientists to speculate that the icy moon may even have conditions suitable for life.
Data from NASA's Cassini Equinox spacecraft revealed negatively charged water molecules in the moon's atmosphere.
"While it's no surprise that there is water there, these short-lived ions are extra evidence for sub-surface water and where there’s water, carbon and energy, some of the major ingredients for life are present," said Andrew Coates from University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory.

Full article by Ian O'Neill on Discovery News


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