Togos Tulandi

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Should we build a village on the Moon?

The new head of the European Space Agency has a plan – for humanity to build a ‘village on the Moon’. Richard Hollingham asks him why.<p>Professor Johann-Dietrich Woerner has been in his new job as Director General of the European Space Agency (Esa) for a week. In charge of a €4.4 billion annual …

How do common medications influence moral decisions?

Can drugs change our morals? My colleagues and I recently addressed this question in a study carried out at University College London. We gave healthy people the opportunity to earn money by delivering painful electric shocks to either themselves or others, and investigated how common medications …

Songs That Heal: Preserving A Thousand-Year-Old Tradition

Only six people in the world know how to do what Sergio Pacheco is about to do.<p>A middle-aged man who rarely smiles, Pacheco stands in the middle of a crowd on the National Mall, wearing a feathered headdress, beaded necklace and wrinkled dress that's been hand painted with a large, maroon bird on …

APOD: The Potsdam Gravity Potato (2014 Dec 15) Image Credit: CHAMP, GRACE, GFZ, NASA, DLR http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141215.html Explanation: Why do some places on Earth have higher gravity than others? Sometimes the reason is unknown. To help better understand the Earth's surface, sensitive measurments by the orbiting satellites GRACE and CHAMP were used to create a map of Earth's gravitational field. Since a center for studying this data is in Potsdam, Germany, and since the result makes the Earth look somewhat like a potato, the resulting geoid has been referred to as the Potsdam Gravity Potato. High areas on this map, colored red, indicate areas where gravity is slightly stronger than usual, while in blue areas gravity is slightly weaker. Many bumps and valleys on the Potsdam Gravity Potato can be attributed to surface features, such as the North Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Himalayan Mountains, but others cannot, and so might relate to unusually high or low sub-surface densities. Maps like this also help calibrate changes in the Earth's surface including variable ocean currents and the melting of glaciers. The above map was made in 2005, but more recent and more sensitive gravity maps of Earth was produced in 2011. http://science.nasa.gov/missions/champ/ http://science.nasa.gov/missions/grace/ http://www.gfz-potsdam.de/en/home/ http://www.nasa.gov/ http://www.dlr.de/ Now Available: APOD 2015 Wall Calendars http://friendsofapod.org/?page_id=42 http://www.facebook.com/FoAPoD Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141215 #APOD