sexta-feira, 25 de julho de 2014

The Most Precise Measurement of an Alien World's Size

Thanks to NASA's Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes, scientists have made the most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet outside our solar system. The size of the exoplanet, dubbed Kepler-93b, is now known to an uncertainty of just 74 miles (119 kilometers) on either side of the planetary body.
The findings confirm Kepler-93b as a "super-Earth" that is about one-and-a-half times the size of our planet. Although super-Earths are common in the galaxy, none exist in our solar system. Exoplanets like Kepler-93b are therefore our only laboratories to study this major class of planet. Read more.

quarta-feira, 23 de julho de 2014

IC 4603: Reflection Nebula in Ophiuchius

Image Credit & Copyright: Rolf Olsen

What is NOT Random?

Why is it Hot Underground?

Discarded water bottles become cheap solar lights

Designers are working on a low-cost, sustainable light source that gives a second life to plastic water and soft drink bottles. In big cities we take for granted how easy it is to use electrical light, but over a billion people living in developing countries and rural areas don't have access to the power grid. In rural India, if someone wants to study at night or walk home in the dark, they'll often have to light a kerosene lamp, which is expensive to maintain and smoky, plus it’s a pretty dangerous fire hazard if it’s accidentally tipped over. Read more.

domingo, 20 de julho de 2014

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Higgs Boson Blues

Stalking the Shadow Universe

For centuries people have found meaning — or thought they did — in what they could see in the sky, the shapes of the constellations echoing old myths, the sudden feathery intrusion of comets, the regular dances of the planets, the chains of galaxies, spanning unfathomable distances of time and space.
Since the 1980s, however, astronomers have been forced to confront the possibility that most of the universe is invisible, and that all the glittering chains of galaxies are no more substantial, no more reliable guides to physical reality, than greasepaint on the face of a clown. Read more.

quinta-feira, 17 de julho de 2014

Q&A: The First-Ever Expedition to Turkmenistan's "Door to Hell"

The Darvaza Crater, more commonly known as the Door to Hell, still burns today, a surreal feature in an otherwise barren landscape.
Details on the origin of the sinkhole are sketchy, but the story goes that Soviet scientists set it on fire to burn off noxious gases after the ground under a drilling rig gave way. Perhaps the scientists underestimated the amount of fuel that lay below—Turkmenistan has the sixth largest natural gas reserves in the world.
In November 2013, explorer and storm chaser George Kourounis, on an expedition funded partly by National Geographic, set out to be the first person to plumb the depths of the crater, which is 225 feet (69 meters) wide and 99 feet (30 meters) deep. (Related: "Diver 'Vanishes' in Portal to Maya Underworld.").

Darvaza, Karakum Desert, Turkmenistan: A camera man films George Kourounis as he prepares to enter the crater.

Blackest is the new black: Scientists develop a material so dark that you can't see it...

A British company has produced a "strange, alien" material so black that it absorbs all but 0.035 per cent of visual light, setting a new world record. To stare at the "super black" coating made of carbon nanotubes – each 10,000 times thinner than a human hair – is an odd experience. It is so dark that the human eye cannot understand what it is seeing. Shapes and contours are lost, leaving nothing but an apparent abyss. Read more.

Rosetta: Der Zielkomet 67P ist ein Doppelkörper!

Diese Sequenz aus neun Bildern, die mit dem Teleobjektiv der Osiris-Kamera an Bord von Rosetta entstanden, enthüllt deutlich, dass der Kern des Kometen 67P rund 4 x 3,5 Kilometer groß ist. Gut zu erkennen ist die Rotation des Himmelskörpers, der für eine Umdrehung 12,4 Stunden benötigt. Tschurjumow-Gerasimenko besteht klar aus zwei sich berührenden Körpern, von denen einer signifikant kleiner ist. Diese ungewöhnliche Form wird es den Missionskontrolleuren nicht einfacher machen, im November dieses Jahres die Tochtersonde Philae auf 67P aufsetzen zu lassen. Mehr lesen.

sexta-feira, 11 de julho de 2014

Estão todos convidados a batizar exoplanetas

A União Astronómica Internacional, que atribui os nomes aos astros, abriu pela primeira vez essa possibilidade ao público a nível mundial

Mais certo é que o nome Pandora, o luxuriante planeta de Avatar, não esteja disponível e o mesmo para Alderaan, da saga Star Wars. Mas não há de faltar a criatividade aos que quiserem participar na escolha dos futuros nomes de 30 exoplanetas. Isso vai ser possível em breve, na Internet, num concurso mundial promovido pela União Astronómica Internacional (IAU, na sigla inglesa), que tem a seu cargo a atribuição dos nomes aos astros. Ler mais.

terça-feira, 8 de julho de 2014

Ciência Viva no Verão 2014

De 15 de Julho a 15 de Setembro, passeios científicos, observações astronómicas, visitas a obras de engenharia, castelos e faróis, em todo o país, na companhia de especialistas de instituições científicas, centros ciência viva, associações, autarquias e empresas.

A participação nas acções é gratuita.
As inscrições estarão abertas a partir das 15 horas de Portugal continental do dia 8 de Julho de 2014.

Inscrição online ou através da Linha Ciência Viva no Verão 21 898 50 50 (das 9h00 às 18h00).

O registo na edição de 2014 é feito com a primeira inscrição. Mais Informação

Iridescent Clouds over Thamserku

domingo, 6 de julho de 2014

Take a moment with OK Go