Johnny Lee Wallace

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Antarctic Sea Ice Growth Baffles Scientists

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APOD: The Helix Nebula from Blanco and Hubble (2014 Oct 12) Image Credit: C. R. O'Dell, (Vanderbilt) et al. ESA, NOAO, NASA http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141012.html Explanation: How did a star create the Helix nebula? The shapes of planetary nebula like the Helix are important because they likely hold clues to how stars like the Sun end their lives. Observations by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope and the 4-meter Blanco Telescope in Chile, however, have shown the Helix is not really a simple helix. Rather, it incorporates two nearly perpendicular disks as well as arcs, shocks, and even features not well understood. Even so, many strikingly geometric symmetries remain. How a single Sun-like star created such beautiful yet geometric complexity is a topic of research. The Helix Nebula is the nearest planetary nebula to Earth, lies only about 700 light years away toward the constellation of Aquarius, and spans about 3 light-years. http://www.physics.vanderbilt.edu/cv/odell.html http://www.vanderbilt.edu/physics/index.php http://www.spacetelescope.org/ http://www.noao.edu/ http://www.nasa.gov/ 2015 APOD Calendar: Nebulas and Star Clusters http://friendsofapod.org/?page_id=42 Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141012 #APOD

Shedding light on the moon’s dark side

Tonight – October 27, 2017 – the moon is at or near its first quarter phase, which means the portion of the moon we see from Earth is 50% illuminated …

Secretive U.S. robotic mini-shuttle to end 22-month mission on Tuesday | Reuters

CAPE CANAVERAL Florida (Reuters) - The U.S. military plans to land its secretive X-37B robotic space plane in California on Tuesday, ending a classified 22-month mission, officials said.<p>A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying the U.S. military's X-37B experimental space plane lifts off …

The Greatest Space Hack Ever

How duct tape and tube socks saved three astronauts<p>In NASA’s 56 years of operation, it has put men on the moon and robots on Mars. But one of its greatest achievements is less well known: the hack that saved the lives of three stranded astronauts in 1970.<p>When an oxygen tank exploded as Apollo 13 …

Why A Blue LED Is Worth A Nobel Prize

Plus, a little history of making semiconductors glow<p>Three scientists have jointly earned the Nobel Prize in physics for their work on blue LEDs, or light-emitting diodes. Why blue in particular? Well, blue was the last -- and most difficult -- advance required to create white LED light. And with …

Can you find the Big Dipper?

Tonight … can you find the Big Dipper at nightfall and early evening? It’s perhaps the most famous of all star patterns, and – for those at latitudes …

Starwatch: The Andromeda Galaxy

The Square of Pegasus is not the most striking asterism in the sky. With corner stars of the second magnitude or fainter, and sides around 15° long, it can easily be overlooked. It is also so empty that one test of sky quality is to count the number of stars visible to the naked eye within it – if …

Milky Way’s dark matter half what we thought?

Australian astronomers say our Milky Way galaxy has only half the dark matter we thought it did. If so, it explains the shortage of Milky Way …

The Brilliant Ten: Roxana Geambasu Exposes How Companies Use Your Data

She's also teaching the cloud to forget personal information.<p>As a computer scientist, Roxana Geambasu of Columbia University says she picks new projects based on what “really, really annoys me.” She hates ceding control of her personal data online, which is why she’s building software that allows …

Largest-yet study describes near-death experiences

Tunnels ending in light, your life flashing before you, out-of-body sensations. Near-death experiences merit further study without prejudice, these …

This Woman Sees 100 Times More Colors Than The Average Person

A unique genetic mutation and a well-wired brain mean that Concetta Antico is like no other artist on Earth.<p>When Concetta Antico looks at a leaf, she sees much more than just green. “Around the edge I’ll see orange or red or purple in the shadow; you might see dark green but I’ll see violet, …

MIT Students Claim Astronauts Will Starve On 'Mars One' Mission

But CEO Bas Lansdorp says the study used bad data.<p>PhD students at MIT published a study this week that seems to debunk Mars One's plan to land humans on Mars by 2025 using existing technology. They say that without dramatic improvements in equipment life, the space colonists, who would have no way …