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This is Vudu Spark, Walmart’s very own Chromecast competitor 08 November 2014, 16.59 Internet Television
This is Vudu Spark, Walmart’s very own Chromecast competitor
Nov. 7, 2014 - 12:46 AM PST Nov. 7, 2014 - 12:46 AM PST Add Walmart to the list of companies that’s trying to sell you a Chromecast-like HDMI streaming stick: The retail giant’s Vudu streaming service is getting ready to
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Amazon Prime Instant gets unofficial Chromecast support with Primecast
Nov. 6, 2014 - 1:49 PM PST Nov. 6, 2014 - 1:49 PM PST Amazon Prime Instant is coming to Chromecast at last, thanks to two third-party developers: Amazon’s video streaming service doesn’t officially support Chromecast, but
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Social media and breaking news: Why authenticity trumps authority almost every time
Nov. 6, 2014 - 12:42 PM PST Nov. 6, 2014 - 12:42 PM PST There were a number of panels at the Web Summit in Dublin this week that talked about media and journalism, but the one that included VICE News, Time Inc. and Storyful was
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Aereo imposes large layoffs, but streaming TV service is not shutting down
Nov. 6, 2014 - 12:08 PM PST Nov. 6, 2014 - 12:08 PM PST Aereo’s bad year just got worse. The company said on Thursday that it will shut down its Boston office and lay off 43 employees, citing yet another adverse court ruling
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Does BuzzFeed engage in clickbait? That depends on your definition 08 November 2014, 16.59 Internet Television
Does BuzzFeed engage in clickbait? That depends on your definition
Nov. 7, 2014 - 11:38 AM PST Nov. 7, 2014 - 11:38 AM PST So BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith wrote a post on Thursday about clickbait, a post that appears to have been triggered by a dismissive comment that Jon Stewart made
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Earth News Reports

Green Car Reports: Tesla Superchargers, New Hybrids, and Toyota’s First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle
Share on TumblrEmail What defines a “green car” can be the source of much discussion among environmentalists, advocates, and actual buyers. Every week Green Car Reports shines a light on the industry with
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Swiss Man Breaks Bicycle Speed Record with Insane 207-MPH Rocket Bike
Share on TumblrEmail Imagine reaching 207 mph in just 4.8 seconds – that’s a pretty impressive feat for any vehicle. Now imagine traveling that fast on a bicycle with a rocket strapped to it. Daredevil
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NASA Tests New Shape-Shifting Flaps to Make Airplanes Greener 12 November 2014, 21.04 Transportation
NASA Tests New Shape-Shifting Flaps to Make Airplanes Greener
Share on TumblrEmail Air travel produces roughly 5 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions, edging us closer to an era of runaway climate change. As part of an ongoing effort to develop greener planes and
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Classic works of literature turned into beautiful book sculptures 12 November 2014, 21.03 Green Architecture
Classic works of literature turned into beautiful book sculptures
Impressive art made of carved books. The chosen books are classics and each carving is related to the topic of the book. The series is titles “Fragments of story” and was designed by Tokyo-based artist Tomoko
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A 3D-printed lamp that will turn your room into a wonderland 12 November 2014, 21.03 Green Architecture
A 3D-printed lamp that will turn your room into a wonderland
Created by Linlin and Pierre-Yves Jacques, a Paris-based arist couple, this lamp was designed to project some patterns on your wall and turn any room into a beautiful wonderland. The post A 3D-printed lamp that will turn your
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30 beautiful digital artworks for your inspiration 12 November 2014, 21.03 Green Architecture
30 beautiful digital artworks for your inspiration
In this today’s blog post, we have the collection of 30 beautiful digital artworks for your inspiration. All these artworks are the mixture of stunning photo manipulations, digital illustrations and other amazing digital art
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15 gorgeous free all caps fonts 12 November 2014, 21.03 Green Architecture
15 gorgeous free all caps fonts
With so much of compelling fonts available in the web, it’s sometimes very difficult to make a decision on which font to choose for your design. Despite of other fancy fonts, capital fonts are also very competent to use for
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Surreal illustrations by Matthias Leutwyler 12 November 2014, 21.03 Green Architecture
Surreal illustrations by Matthias Leutwyler
Matthias Leutwyler‘s illustrations look like a mix of drawing, collage and painting. He doesn’t say much about himself, but his work speaks for itself. The post Surreal illustrations by Matthias Leutwyler appeared
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20 well-designed packaging designs 12 November 2014, 21.03 Green Architecture
20 well-designed packaging designs
Looking for some packaging design inspiration? Then here we introduce you 20 well designed packaging designs that are amazing and high quality artworks from great designers around the globe. Have a look! 1. Pringles packaging
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Art that goes against the frame 12 November 2014, 21.03 Green Architecture
Art that goes against the frame
A cool art project by Steven Guermeur, who decided to break the conventional frame and to make it a part of the artwork. In a fun way, the artist changes the way art is traditionally presented to the world. The post Art that
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Technology

Why Lowering NYC’s Speed Limit by Just 5 MPH Can Save a Lot of Lives
Cars are viewed on a Manhattan Street on November 7, 2014 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images Last week, New York City officially lowered its default speed limit, from the standard 30 mph to 25. That difference may
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Incredible New Photos Taken From the Surface of a Comet
This incredible image was taken by the Philae lander of one of its legs resting on the comet's surface. ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA This incredible image was taken by the Philae lander of one of its legs resting on
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Facebook Rolls Out Clearer Privacy Policy, But You Still Can’t Control Your Data
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Ariel Zambelich / WIRED Facebook has condensed its complex and legalese-loaded privacy policy by two-thirds, in hopes of making it easier for the average user to understand. “Our goal is to
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The Philae Spacecraft Landed in the Shadow of the Comet’s Cliff
This is the first image ESA is releasing from the comet. It shows Philae settled at the base of a rocky comet cliff. ESA We landed a motherfucking spacecraft on a comet. And then it bounced off. Twice. And the scientists and
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Science Graphic of the Week: Magnetic Stars and Planets
This snapshot from a computer simulation shows magnetic interactions, represented by the colorful, stringy lines, between a star and its nearby planet.  A. Strugarek, Université de Montréal The most basic factor that
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US News Reports

Connecticut death row inmate says he's on food strike over whether his food really is kosher
Published November 13, 2014 HARTFORD, Conn. –  A Connecticut inmate awaiting execution for his role in the killings of a woman and her two daughters says he is refusing to eat prison food that he believes is not
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Nigerian man arrested in online dating scam, used Montana AG's photo in profile
Published November 13, 2014 A Nigerian resident faces charges that he set up an online dating profile using a photo of Montana's attorney general and falsified stories about overseas business problems to scam several
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Romance or rape? California ‘dating coach’ under fire after video details graphic sexual assault
Julien Blanc is pictured here in an undated photo. Lonely men from around the world pay as much as $3,000 each to attend seminars where self-described pick-up artist Julien Blanc and his associates purport to teach how to
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Condemned Connecticut inmate on food strike over kosher diet
Published November 13, 2014 HARTFORD, Conn. –  A Connecticut inmate awaiting execution for his role in the killings of a woman and her two daughters says he is refusing to eat prison food that he believes is not
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Kansas to set up seismic monitoring system after strong earthquake
Published November 13, 2014 TOPEKA, Kan. –  On the same day that Kansas marked its strongest earthquake of the year, Gov. Sam Brownback announced that the state will buy monitors to track increased seismic activity in
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Computer News

Microsoft looks to find its way in app market via free Office deal
By unlocking core edit functions in its free Office apps for iOS and, later, Android, Microsoft is trying to close out pesky rivals in the mobile market and lure new subscribers to Office 365. Accomplishing those goals is
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Motorola may have won the 'First to Lollipop' prize with the new Moto X
Florence Ion Happy Friday, Android users! And if you’re currently sporting the second-generation Moto X, you’re in for a treat. Motorola said it would deploy Android Lollipop quickly, and boy, did it deliver. Motorola
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AT&T extends network to Mexico with $2.5 billion lusacell acquisition
AT&T will pay US$2.5 billion to acquire Mexican wireless company lusacell, in a major push to expand its coverage and improve mobile Internet service for those living south of the U.S. border. The acquisition,
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Biggest ever Tor raid hits 410 underground sites; 17 arrested
Coordinated raids by law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and 16 European countries have closed hundreds of underground websites, including dozens dealing in weapons and drugs, and led to the arrest of 17 people. The raids
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Intel’s 'Broadwell Unlimited' enthusiast chip might face heavy competition (from Intel)
Intel The CPU that Intel never planned to make in the first place may be actually be getting its day in the sun—just in time to have it collide with its replacement chip. The CPU in question, codenamed “Broadwell
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Living News Reports

Elegant Self-Assembly IO Chair Designed for Introspection and Daydreaming
Collect this idea Daydreaming, reading or relaxing in a cozy chair is a traditional part of life. IO Chair was developed by Juan Ochoa at the Florence Institute of Design International (FIDI) and encourages its users to
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Dreamy Lakeside Modern Chalet in Quebec’s Forested Landscape 
Collect this idea Can you imagine yourself living in a modern chalet in Quebec? If you answered yes, this exemplary modern cottage located near Lake Champlain, in Quebec, Canada. Placed just a few feet away from the
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Luxury Mountain Chalet Offering Striking Panoramic Views in Whistler, Canada
Collect this idea Lakecrest Residence is an imposing mountain chalet in Whistler, Canada perched atop a rocky cliff in a lakeside neighborhood of Whistler, Canada. As you probably guessed, this is one of those homes that
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What Are the Top Neutral Colors to Choose Now 08 November 2014, 16.57 Living
What Are the Top Neutral Colors to Choose Now
Collect this idea There is a new trend in neutral color—gone is the boring beige! Image Source: Jules Art Of Living There is a new trend making an appearance on the interior design horizon—stylish new shades of
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Fresh Ideas Exhibited by Bauhaus Architects&Associates Office in Vietnam
Collect this idea The creative team at Bauhaus Architecs & Associates managed to transform a dull 90 square-meter surface into a fresh office design filled with inspiring elements. Bauhaus Architects&Associates
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Another Dust Bowl? California drought resembles worst in 1,000 years
A high-pressure ridge that blocks rain storms has been present each time California has suffered through an intense drought. By planting crops that lacked drought resistance, farmers during the Dust Bowl encouraged 'black
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Bear cub rescued from California dumpster 19 October 2014, 22.26 Living
Bear cub rescued from California dumpster
Wildlife officials in Pasadena first had to scare off the cub's mother to perform a safe rescue, but don't worry — there's a happy ending to this story. Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 02:50 PM After a long day in Pasadena,
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How to safely watch the upcoming partial solar eclipse
Solar eclipses can be dangerous to gaze upon, so make sure you have the correct filters for your telescopes or a viewing box. By: Geoff Gaherty, Starry Night Education for SPACE.com Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 01:43 PM A
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Terrifying tornado clusters on the rise 19 October 2014, 22.26 Living
Terrifying tornado clusters on the rise
Despite the rise in back-to-back tornado incidences, the annual number of tornadoes has held steady. The intensity of tornadoes may be getting an assist from climate change (Photo: NOAA) Tornadoes are touching down in
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Why thousands of bees are flying around with sensors PDF Print E-mail
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Articles - Science
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 06 October 2014 22:46

 

Wireless data-collecting sensors are everywhere: contact lensesparking spacesphonesclothes, trash, stores. The list could go on. So it's not surprising that they're now on honeybees to help solve a major problem.

Enter a swarm of sensors.

bee-sensor-press-photo-csiro.png

 

Australia's national science agency, The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), is placing tiny sensors on the backs of 5,000 honeybees. Using Radio Frequency Identification sensors the researchers will be able to track the movement of the bees. By doing this, researchers will be able to track bee behavior and look for environmental changes that could be harming bee colonies.

"Bees are social insects that return to the same point and operate on a very predictable schedule. Any change in their behavior indicates a change in their environment. If we can model their movements, we'll be able to recognize very quickly when their activity shows variation and identify the cause. This will help us understand how to maximize their productivity as well as monitor for any biosecurity risks," said Dr. Paulo de Souza, who is leading the project, in a press release.
And while we don't have data from the study yet, the way the scientists are able to attach the sensors to the bees is fascinating. According to CSIRO, the bees are first refrigerated for a short time to put them in a "rest state" just long enough to attach the tiny sensors to their backs with an adhesive -- younger hairy bees must be shaved first. After a few minutes the bees are back to normal and able collecting data.

"This is a non-destructive process and the sensors appear to have no impact on the bee's ability to fly and carry out its normal duties," de Souza said.

The sensors used on the bees are 2.5mm x 2.5 mm, but CSIRO plans to shrink them to one millimeter so that they can be attached to smaller insects like mosquitos and fruit flies for future studies.

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Last Updated ( Friday, 10 October 2014 08:04 )
 
The Atomic Nucleus: Fissile Liquid or Molecule of Life? PDF Print E-mail
Articles - Science
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 30 July 2012 02:09

 

 

 

 

Probability density for the presence of neutrons and protons predicted for the neon-20 nucleus. It can be seen that this is not homogeneous: the neutrons and protons are distributed in clusters. © Jean-Paul Ebran/CEA

A new view of the nucleus that unifies its liquid and molecule-like aspects has been put forward by a team of researchers from France.  By making an analogy with neutron stars, the researchers have for the first time demonstrated one of the necessary conditions for the formation of molecule-like behavior within the atomic nucleus.  Such molecule-like behavior makes it possible to understand the synthesis of elements that are key to the appearance of life.  The work is published in Nature on July 19, 2012.

The is generally described as a drop of quantum with a diameter of around a million billionth of a meter.  In particular, such liquid-like behavior explains nuclear fission, and applies especially to heavy nuclei, i.e. nuclei that contain a large number of nucleons (neutrons and ).   On the other hand, light nuclei can behave like tiny '', or clusters, made up of neutrons and protons within the nucleus.  This molecular aspect makes it possible to understand the stellar synthesis of carbon-12 and other heavier elements necessary for the appearance of life.

Until now, both the 'molecule-nucleus' and the 'liquid-nucleus' views coexisted.  Now, a team from the Institut de Physique Nucléaire d’Orsay (Université Paris-Sud) and from CEA (the French Atomic Energy Commission), in collaboration with the University of Zagreb, proposes a unified view of these two aspects. By solving quantum physics equations on the scale of the nucleus (in particular the Schrödinger equation), the researchers have demonstrated that, although a light nucleus can show molecule-like behavior (tending towards the ), heavier nuclei take on a liquid-like behavior.

To establish this new theory, the physicists took inspiration from neutron stars1. The deeper you go inside a neutron star, the more you pass from a crystalline medium to a liquid medium. Thanks to this analogy, the physicists identified a mechanism of transition from the liquid to the crystalline state in the nucleus.  When the interactions between neutrons and protons are not strong enough to fix them within the nucleus, the latter is in a quantum-liquid type state where protons and neutrons are delocalized.

Conversely, in a crystalline state, neutrons and protons are fixed at regular intervals within the nucleus.  The nuclear molecule is interpreted as being an intermediate state between a quantum liquid and a crystal.  In the long term, the aim is to attain a unified understanding of the various states of the .


A new view of the nucleus that unifies its liquid and molecule-like aspects has been put forward by a team from the Institut de Physique Nucléaire d’Orsay (Université Paris-Sud/CNRS) and from CEA (the French Atomic Energy Commission), in collaboration with the University of Zagreb. By making an analogy with neutron stars[1], the researchers have for the first time demonstrated one of the necessary conditions for the formation of molecule-like behavior within the atomic nucleus. Such molecule-like behavior makes it possible to understand the synthesis of elements that are key to the appearance of life. The work is published in Nature dated 19 July 2012.

The atomic nucleus is generally described as a drop of quantum liquid with a diameter of around a million billionth of a meter. In particular, such liquid-like behavior explains nuclear fission, and applies especially to heavy nuclei, i.e. nuclei that contain a large number of nucleons (neutrons and protons). On the other hand, light nuclei[2] can behave like tiny 'molecules', or clusters, made up of neutrons and protons within the nucleus. This molecular aspect makes it possible to understand the stellar synthesis of carbon-12 and other heavier elements necessary for the appearance of life[3].

Until now, both the 'molecule-nucleus' and the 'liquid-nucleus' views coexisted. Now, a team from the Institut de Physique Nucléaire d’Orsay (Université Paris-Sud/CNRS) and from CEA (the French Atomic Energy Commission), in collaboration with the University of Zagreb, proposes a unified view of these two aspects. By solving quantum physics equations on the scale of the nucleus (in particular the Schrödinger equation), the researchers have demonstrated that, although a light nucleus can show molecule-like behavior (tending towards the crystalline state), heavier nuclei take on a liquid-like behavior. To establish this new theory, the physicists took inspiration from neutron stars1. The deeper you go inside a neutron star, the more you pass from a crystalline medium to a liquid medium. Thanks to this analogy, the physicists identified a mechanism of transition from the liquid to the crystalline state in the nucleus. When the interactions between neutrons and protons are not strong enough to fix them within the nucleus, the latter is in a quantum-liquid type state where protons and neutrons are delocalized. Conversely, in a crystalline state, neutrons and protons are fixed at regular intervals within the nucleus. The nuclear molecule is interpreted as being an intermediate state between a quantum liquid and a crystal. In the long term, the aim is to attain a unified understanding of the various states of the nucleus.

[1] The core of a massive star that collapses during a supernova explosion becomes so dense that protons and neutrons combine, forming neutrons. The resulting body becomes a kind of giant atomic nucleus made up mostly of neutrons, which is what gives it its name.

[2] Such as oxygen-16 (16O), which contains 8 neutrons and 8 protons.

[3] For instance, the Hoyle state of carbon-12, key to nucleosynthesis, is described as a nuclear molecule made up of three alpha particles. An alpha particle is a cluster of two neutrons and two protons.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 31 July 2012 20:16 )
 
NASA Discovers Unprecedented Blooms Of Ocean Plant Life PDF Print E-mail
Articles - Science
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 07 June 2012 18:28

NASA PRESS RELEASE : 12-184

WASHINGTON -- Scientists have made a biological discovery in Arctic Ocean waters as dramatic and unexpected as finding a rainforest in the middle of a desert.

A NASA-sponsored expedition punched through three-foot thick sea ice to find waters richer in microscopic marine plants, essential to all sea life, than any other ocean region on Earth.

The finding reveals a new consequence of the Arctic's warming climate and provides an important clue to understanding the impacts of a changing climate and environment on the Arctic Ocean

and its ecology.  The discovery was made during a NASA oceanographic expedition in the summers of 2010 and 2011.



The expedition called ICESCAPE, or Impacts of Climate on EcoSystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment, explored Arctic waters in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas

along Alaska's western and northern coasts onboard a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker. Using optical technologies, scientists looked at the impacts of environmental variability and

change in the Arctic on the ocean biology, ecology and biogeochemistry.

"Part of NASA's mission is pioneering scientific discovery, and this is like finding the Amazon rainforest in the middle of the Mojave Desert," said Paula Bontempi,

NASA's ocean biology and biogeochemistry program manager in Washington. "We embarked on ICESCAPE to validate our satellite ocean-observing data in an area of the Earth

that is very difficult to get to," Bontempi said. "We wound up making a discovery that hopefully will help researchers and resource managers better understand the Arctic."

The microscopic plants, called phytoplankton, are the base of the marine food chain. Phytoplankton were thought to grow in the Arctic Ocean only after sea ice had retreated

for the summer. Scientists now think that the thinning Arctic ice is allowing sunlight to reach the waters under the sea ice, catalyzing the plant blooms where they had never

been observed. The findings were published today in the journal Science.

"If someone had asked me before the expedition whether we would see under-ice blooms, I would have told them it was impossible," said Kevin Arrigo of Stanford

University in Stanford, Calif., leader of the ICESCAPE mission and lead author of the new study. "This discovery was a complete surprise."



During the July 2011 Chukchi Sea leg of ICESCAPE, the researchers observed blooms beneath the ice that extended from the sea-ice edge to 72 miles into the ice pack.

Ocean current data revealed that these blooms developed under the ice and had not drifted there from open water, where phytoplankton concentrations can be high.

The phytoplankton were extremely active, doubling in number more than once a day. Blooms in open waters grow at a much slower rate, doubling in two to three days.

These growth rates are among the highest ever measured for polar waters. Researchers estimate that phytoplankton production under the ice in parts of the Arctic

could be up to 10 times higher than in the nearby open ocean.

Fast-growing phytoplankton consume large amounts of carbon dioxide. The study concludes that scientists will have to reassess the amount of carbon dioxide entering the

Arctic Ocean through biological activity if the under-ice blooms turn out to be common.

"At this point we don't know whether these rich phytoplankton blooms have been happening in the Arctic for a long time and we just haven't observed them before," Arrigo said.

"These blooms could become more widespread in the future, however, if the Arctic sea ice cover continues to thin."

Previously, researchers thought the Arctic Ocean sea ice blocked most sunlight needed for phytoplankton growth. But in recent decades younger and thinner ice has

replaced much of the Arctic's older and thicker ice. This young ice is almost flat and the ponds that form when snow cover melts in the summer spread much wider than those on rugged older ice.

These extensive but shallow melt ponds act as windows to the ocean, letting large amounts of sunlight pass through the ice to reach the water below, said Donald Perovich, a geophysicist

with the U.S. Army Cold Regions and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H., who studied the optical properties of the ice during the ICESCAPE expedition.

"When we looked under the ice, it was like a photographic negative. Beneath the bare-ice areas that reflect a lot of sunlight, it was dark. Under the melt ponds,

it was very bright," Perovich said. He is currently visiting professor at Dartmouth College's Thayer School of Engineering.

The discovery of these previously unknown under-ice blooms also has implications for the broader Arctic ecosystem, including migratory species such as whales and birds.

Phytoplankton are eaten by small ocean animals, which are eaten by larger fish and ocean animals. A change in the timeline of the blooms can cause disruptions for larger

animals that feed either on phytoplankton or on the creatures that eat these microorganisms. "It could make it harder and harder for migratory species to time their life cycles

to be in the Arctic when the bloom is at its peak," Arrigo said. "If their food supply is coming earlier, they might be missing the boat."

Bontempi believes the discovery also may have major implications for the global carbon cycle and the ocean's energy balance. "The discovery certainly indicates we need to

revise our understanding of the ecology of the Arctic and the region's role in the Earth system," Bontempi said.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 June 2012 19:12 )
 
Astronomers Without Borders: Phone & Online Technology Brought to Transit of Venus PDF Print E-mail
Articles - Space
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 03 June 2012 22:19

Astronomers Without Borders: Phone & Online Technology Brought to Transit of Venus


 

PRESS Release
Date Released: Monday, June 4, 2012
Source: Astronomers Without Borders

image

Astronomers Without Borders has partnered with the Venus Transit Project and Esri, a leading geographic information systems company, to create unique smartphone and web apps for the transit of Venus.

Owners of mobile devices using the Apple and Android operating systems can now take part in the largest such effort ever thanks to a new free app developed by Steven van Roode of the Transit of Venus Project. Anyone can emulate the expeditions of old without leaving home or making lengthy measurements of their location or local time.

Just a few clicks on a smartphone is enough, and many thousands are expected to join in. The technology used was not available even for the Venus transit in 2004 -- the only other transit to occur since the 19th century -- ensuring that this project will see unprecedented participation.

The web app can be accessed from any web browser, and adjusts for mobile as well as desktop platforms. The dynamic app provides several ways for users to learn about the transit and interact with others watching it around the world. Users can:

* Find where and when the transit occurs around the world.

* See contact timing observations from the VenusTransit smartphone app in near real-time on transit day, and see how they compare to the predicted times (most of the timing differences can be attributed to the black drop effect).

* See tweets, photos, and videos of transit of Venus activities on a world map, and share yours through hashtags and key phrases: #tov2012, #venustransit, 'Transit of Venus', and 'Venus Transit'.

* Watch a video explaining the transit, including an animation that shows the whole 6 hour, 40 minute event in one minute.

The web app is available at http://tov2012.esri.com/, and will be embedded on several websites soon, including Astronomers Without Borders, Transit of Venus (http://transitofvenus.nl/wp/), and http://www.eclipse-maps.com.

Contact:

Mike Simmons
President, Astronomers Without Borders
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
+1 818 597 0223

More information and downloads: http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/index.php/projects/transit-of-venus.html

The transit of Venus web app was developed jointly by the prototype software laboratory at Esri (a GIS software company; http://www.esri.com), Astronomers Without Borders (http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org), and the team behind the VenusTransit smartphone app (http://transitofvenus.nl/wp/getting-involved/phone-app/).

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 June 2012 06:52 )
 
SpaceX Engineers Race to Repair Engines for May 22 Launch PDF Print E-mail
Articles - Space
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 19 May 2012 18:05

A team of SpaceX engineers diligently assess the cause of the May 19 launch abort for the Falcon 9 rocket poised at Pad 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Repairs to a malfunctioning rocket engine are now underway. Credit: Ken Kremer

Today’s (May 19 historic launch of the first ever privately developed rocket bound for the International Space Station (ISS) was very surprisingly aborted at the last second when an engine glitch forced a dramatic shutdown of the Falcon 9 rockets 1st stage firing already in progress as the NASA launch commentator was in the middle of announcing liftoff.

SpaceX and NASA are now targeting liftoff of the mission dubbed COTS 2, for Tuesday, May 22 at 3:44 AM EDT from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. There is another launch opportunity on May 23.

Later today, SpaceX engineers determined that a faulty valve caused the engine failure. They are now in a race against time to complete all the repair work and mandatory assurance testing required in order to be ready to achieve the new May 22 launch date.

The Falcon 9 rocket was designed and developed by SpaceX and the first stage is powered by nine Merlin 1 C engines. As the countdown clock ticked down to T-minus zero, all nine engines ignited. But engine #5 suddenly developed a “high chamber pressure” and computers instantaneously ordered a shutdown of thrust generation by all nine engines just 0.5 seconds from liftoff and the rocket therefore never left the pad, said SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell.

“We’ve had a cutoff,” announced NASA launch commentator George Diller. “Liftoff did not occur. We’ve had a launch abort. Standing by.”

After draining the explosive propellants, SpaceX engineers began inspecting the engines later today within hours of the aborted liftoff to determine the cause of the rocket failure.

“This is not a failure,” Shotwell told reporters at a post scrub media briefing. “We aborted with purpose. It would have been a failure if we lifted off with an engine trending in this direction.”

This evening SpaceX announce they had determined the cause of the engine failure.

“Today’s launch was aborted when the flight computer detected slightly high pressure in the engine 5 combustion chamber, said SpaceX spokeswoman Kirstin Grantham. “We have discovered root cause and repairs are underway.”

“During rigorous inspections of the engine, SpaceX engineers discovered a faulty check valve on the Merlin engine. We are now in the process of replacing the failed valve. Those repairs should be complete tonight. We will continue to review data on Sunday. If things look good, we will be ready to attempt to launch on Tuesday, May 22nd at 3:44 AM Eastern.”

The purpose of Dragon is to carry some 1200 pounds of supplies up to orbit and dock at the ISS and partially replace the capabilities of NASA’s now retired space shuttle.

SpaceX is under contract with NASA to conduct twelve resupply missions to carry about 44,000 pounds of cargo to the ISS for a cost of some $1.6 Billion.

Ken Kremer

Tagged as: Commercial Space, Dragon, Dragon capsule, Falcon 9, SpaceX, SpaceX Dragon

Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 May 2012 06:43 )
 
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