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Variable Star RS Puppis and Surrounding Dust Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble

APOD: A Spectre in the Eastern Veil (2013 Oct 30) Image Credit & Copyright: Alfonso Carreño (Observatorio Zonalunar) Explanation: Frightening forms and scary faces are a mark of the Halloween season. They also haunt this cosmic close-up of the eastern Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, the expanding debris cloud from the death explosion of a massive star. While the Veil is roughly circular in shape covering nearly 3 degrees on the sky in the constellation Cygnus, this portion of the eastern Veil spans only 1/2 degree, about the apparent size of the Moon. That translates to 12 light-years at the Veil's reassuring estimated distance of 1,400 light-years from planet Earth. In the composite of image data recorded through narrow band filters, emission from hydrogen atoms in the remnant is shown in red with strong emission from oxygen atoms in blue-green hues. In the western part of the Veil lies another seasonal apparition, the Witch's Broom. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page #APOD

APOD: Heavy Black Hole Jets in 4U1630-47 (2013 Nov 20) Illustration Credit: NASA, CXC, M. Weiss What are black hole jets made of? Many black holes in stellar systems are surely surrounded by disks of gas and plasma gravitationally pulled from a close binary star companion. Some of this material, after approaching the black hole, ends up being expelled from the star system in powerful jets emanating from the poles of the spinning black hole. Recent evidence indicates that these jets are composed not only electrons and protons, but also the nuclei of heavy elements such as iron and nickel. The discovery was made in system 4U1630-47 using CSIRO’s Compact Array of radio telescopes in eastern Australia, and the European Space Agency's Earth-orbiting XMM-Newton satellite. The 4U1630-47 star system is depicted above in an artist's illustration, with a large blue star on the right and jets emanating from a black hole in the center of the accretion disc on the left. Although the 4U1630-47 star system is thought to contain only a small black hole -- a few times the mass of our Sun -- the implications of the results may be larger: that black holes of larger sizes might also be emitting jets of massive nuclei into the cosmos. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page #APOD

Filter coffee: the return of a has-bean

Wetherspoon pubs and Britain's third-wave coffee shops don't have a lot in common, but, collectively, these very different hangouts are key players in a remarkable revival of filter coffee's fortunes. When Italian, espresso-based cafe culture took off in Britain in the 90s, filter fell out of …

FYI: What Is Espresso?

Your chocolate-covered espresso beans are a lie<p>Espresso is both widely drunk and widely misunderstood, and even though we're avid drinkers of the stuff here at PopSci, when asked precisely what the term means, we couldn't come up with a satisfying answer. That's because it turns out to be much …

Complete History of Coffee Making

This is a complete guide to making coffee around the world. How much is consumed, where it's consumed the most and the history of brewing and …


Ask a Cicerone: What People Get Wrong About Beer

More<p>BEER!<p>We love it. And you've voted. See which is the best American beer city.<p>This week, we asked our crew of beer experts to sound off about people's misconceptions about beer. What myths and assumptions drive them crazy? Here's what they had to say...<p>"Even though the craft beer movement has …