Leonids Tonight

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

The Leonids can sometimes be a spectacular show, with one storm in 1833 producing a reported 100,000 meteors per hour. Tonight’s show should bring about 10 to 15 meteors per hour. A meteor shower will happen when the Earth flies through a trail of debris from a comet. These particular meteorites are leftovers from Tempel-Tuttle, a comet that orbits the … Read More

Life Discovered In Space?

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

Maybe, maybe not. There have been seeming credible reports on the Internet that sea plankton has been found on the windows of the International Space Station, plankton that wasn't there at takeoff. So say some Russians.  But not the official ones: “Results of the experiment are absolutely unique. We have found traces of sea plankton and microscopic particles on the … Read More

Apparently There’s Still A Debate About This?

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

Give it up, science deniers.  You don't get equal time: Sunday's episode of Cosmos was all about evolution. It closely followed the rhetorical strategy of Charles Darwin's world-changing 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, beginning with an example of "artificial selection" by breeders (Darwin used pigeons, Cosmos used domestic dogs) to get us ready to appreciate the far vaster … Read More

Nye-Ham Debate

Ken AshfordGodstuff, Science & TechnologyLeave a Comment

So there was a debate between Bill Nye vs Ken Ham (founder of the Creationist Museum) last night on the subject of evolution vs. creationism.  It was fascinating to watch.  One of my key takeaways was that Ham actually admitted that evolution takes place.  He says it explains the varieties of "kinds" of animals.  Rather than say that Noah took thousands … Read More

Voyager 1 Leaves Solar System

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

I guess it's a little difficult to determine when you're inside the solar system and when you've crossed out of it, but Voyager One is officially out of it, as of August 25, 2012, although we just figgered that out today.  It's the first man-made object to leave the solar system.  Ever. UPDATE:  What it sounds like out there….  

Prude Alert

Ken AshfordEducation, Popular Culture, Science & TechnologyLeave a Comment

From Talking Points Memo: Parents in Dietrich, Idaho, aren’t very happy with the way science teacher Tim McDaniel is teaching their children human anatomy. That is to say, they’re unhappy that he is teaching them human anatomy at all. In a formal complaint made against the 18-year Dietrich School veteran by at least four parents, McDaniel is chided for using the … Read More

Lab In New Mexico Creates “Zombie” Cells That Function Better After They Die

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

What could possibly go wrong? “Zombie” mammalian cells that may function better after they die have been created by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico (UNM). The simple technique coats a cell with a silica solution to form a near-perfect replica of its structure. The process may simplify a wide variety of commercial fabrication processes from the … Read More

Meteor In Russia Yesterday Injures 750

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

Pretty amazing:   This series of videos show the blast wave which caused the injuries:   UPDATE:  Injuries over 1000 now.  Just nicks and cuts mostly. By the way, NASA is saying this meteor has nothing to do with the near-miss asteroid which I mentioned a while ago.  That also flew by today.  Again, the two are unrelated — in … Read More

The Upcoming Near Miss

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

An asteroid about 2/3rds the size of a football field is heading toward Earth, arriving here on February 15.  NASA says the flyby is "the closest ever predicted Earth approach for an object this large." While it won't hit our planet this time around, there's a small chance it could collide with Earth when it circles back in 2110. Dina Spector at Business Insider points … Read More

Enjoy The Satellites While We Have Them

Ken AshfordDisasters, Environment & Global Warming & Energy, Science & TechnologyLeave a Comment

It's worth noting that those space images of Sandy that are not only cool but actually help scientists predicts its path and strength — well, they come from satellites which are nearing or past the end of their functional lives, and we have no replacement satellites scheduled to be launched for a few years. And if Republicans have their way … Read More

Complete MSL Curiosity Descent – Full Quality Enhanced 1080p + Heat Shield impact

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

This is a full-resolution version of the NASA Curiosity rover descent to Mars, taken by the MARDI descent imager. As of August 20, all but a dozen 1600×1200 frames have been uploaded from the rover, and those missing were interpolated using thumbnail data. The result was applied a heavy noise reduction, color balance, and sharpening for best visibility.  The video … Read More