science-junkie
science-junkie:

The origin of bright-colored birds
From the brilliant red cardinal to the bright pink flamingo (pictured above), birds can sport a rainbow of colors. These vibrant patterns are due to pigments called carotenoids. Now, researchers have traced the first appearance of these pigments to a theoretical ancestor of perching birds (Passeriformes) that probably lived 56 million years ago, more than 100 million years after brown and black birds owned the skies.
The researchers collected and chemically analyzed feathers from nearly 10,000 extant bird species and found that 40% of all bird species’ plumage contains the carotenoid pigment—25% more than previously predicted. After sorting all the birds into carotenoid-present or carotenoid-absent categories, the researchers constructed a family tree to predict the origins of the pigment.
The research, published online this week in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, suggests that birds have become steadily more colorful as time has gone on.
Source: news.sciencemag.org
Inage: [x]

science-junkie:

The origin of bright-colored birds

From the brilliant red cardinal to the bright pink flamingo (pictured above), birds can sport a rainbow of colors. These vibrant patterns are due to pigments called carotenoids. Now, researchers have traced the first appearance of these pigments to a theoretical ancestor of perching birds (Passeriformes) that probably lived 56 million years ago, more than 100 million years after brown and black birds owned the skies.

The researchers collected and chemically analyzed feathers from nearly 10,000 extant bird species and found that 40% of all bird species’ plumage contains the carotenoid pigment—25% more than previously predicted. After sorting all the birds into carotenoid-present or carotenoid-absent categories, the researchers constructed a family tree to predict the origins of the pigment.

The research, published online this week in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, suggests that birds have become steadily more colorful as time has gone on.

Source: news.sciencemag.org

Inage: [x]

science-junkie
science-junkie:


Expanding Universe Theory
It’s very difficult to be offensive when the fundamental concepts of space, time or matter —all born from a big bang— still throw even the greatest luminaries of science into bewilderment, and they rightly call everything and everyone into question.  
Anyway, to resolve some doubts about matter, its creation and its conservation, you can read something about nucleosynthesis and Antoine Lavoisier’s law. In this post, however, I want to focus on the expanding universe theory. Don’t worry, I’m not an astrophysicist, so this will just be a little, amazing story (thanks to the protagonists, not for my grammar).
Theoretical physicists may bring back the stationary universe theory (no Big Bang and no inflation as we know them) and think that there is no expansion —which is replaced by an increase in mass of everything as the universe ages. But, according most cosmologists, that theory is just an interesting idea because currently it can’t be tested. Instead, concrete evidence indicates that our universe, from whatever point you look at it, is expanding after the Big Bang, the galaxies are in motion and they are moving away. 
But let’s start from the beginning.
Read More

science-junkie:

Expanding Universe Theory

It’s very difficult to be offensive when the fundamental concepts of space, time or matter —all born from a big bang— still throw even the greatest luminaries of science into bewilderment, and they rightly call everything and everyone into question.  

Anyway, to resolve some doubts about matter, its creation and its conservation, you can read something about nucleosynthesis and Antoine Lavoisier’s law. In this post, however, I want to focus on the expanding universe theory. Don’t worry, I’m not an astrophysicist, so this will just be a little, amazing story (thanks to the protagonists, not for my grammar).

Theoretical physicists may bring back the stationary universe theory (no Big Bang and no inflation as we know them) and think that there is no expansion —which is replaced by an increase in mass of everything as the universe ages. But, according most cosmologists, that theory is just an interesting idea because currently it can’t be tested.
Instead, concrete evidence indicates that our universe, from whatever point you look at it, is expanding after the Big Bang, the galaxies are in motion and they are moving away. 

But let’s start from the beginning.

Read More

neuro-genesis
mashable:

The Most Observant Satellite in History Is About to Blast Off
The WorldView-3 Satellite is launching to space today with the the fastest, highest resolution super-spectral imaging capability on the market, with 31-centimeter panchromatic resolution, 1.24 meter multispectral resolution and 3.7 meter short-wave infrared resolution.
Here’s what that means — the satellite could prevent famine in Syria by identifying ahead of time exactly how many crops are being grown now that 2 million refugees, mostly farmers, have fled the country. This is a satellite that can help firefighters, because it sees through dense smoke. It can tell you when Iran has added a new parking space outside one of its nuclear facilities. It can identify invasive species, tell the difference between limestone and sandstone, estimate the number of chickens on the planet via its chicken coops, inform cities where all their manhole covers and mailboxes are, and tell the difference between a truck and an SUV.

mashable:

The Most Observant Satellite in History Is About to Blast Off

The WorldView-3 Satellite is launching to space today with the the fastest, highest resolution super-spectral imaging capability on the market, with 31-centimeter panchromatic resolution, 1.24 meter multispectral resolution and 3.7 meter short-wave infrared resolution.

Here’s what that means — the satellite could prevent famine in Syria by identifying ahead of time exactly how many crops are being grown now that 2 million refugees, mostly farmers, have fled the country. This is a satellite that can help firefighters, because it sees through dense smoke. It can tell you when Iran has added a new parking space outside one of its nuclear facilities. It can identify invasive species, tell the difference between limestone and sandstone, estimate the number of chickens on the planet via its chicken coops, inform cities where all their manhole covers and mailboxes are, and tell the difference between a truck and an SUV.

neuro-genesis
mucholderthen:

The shocking facts about lightning strikesReprinted (slightly condensed) from Mother Nature Network
Here are some facts that will make you think twice about going outside during thunderstorms.
Lightning is extremely hot. A bolt of lightning can heat the air around it to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is five times hotter than the surface of the sun! 
Lightning isn’t only a product of a thunderstorm. The discharge of electricity through lightning can happen in hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, and even dust storms and heavy snowstorms. 
You aren’t necessarily safe from lightning if you’re outside the radius of a storm. Lightning often strikes more than 3 miles from the center of a storm and can strike 10-15 miles (or even farther!) from a storm’s center. So even if you’re far from any clouds, you might still be hit by a “bolt from the blue.” 
The odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime are about 1 in 3,000. While it is possible to survive a lightning strike, victims often have severe and lasting injuries ranging from burns to brain damage and even personality changes. 
It is estimated that lightning strikes the Earth around 100 times per second, with about 70 percent of the strikes occur in the tropics.
And yet cloud-to-ground lightning only accounts for about 25 percent of lightning flashes — cloud-to-cloud and intra-cloud lightning are more common. 
Photo: Donald Quintana / MNN Flickr Group 

mucholderthen:

The shocking facts about lightning strikes
Reprinted (slightly condensed) from Mother Nature Network

Here are some facts that will make you think twice about going outside during thunderstorms.

  1. Lightning is extremely hot. A bolt of lightning can heat the air around it to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is five times hotter than the surface of the sun!
  2. Lightning isn’t only a product of a thunderstorm. The discharge of electricity through lightning can happen in hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, and even dust storms and heavy snowstorms.
  3. You aren’t necessarily safe from lightning if you’re outside the radius of a storm. Lightning often strikes more than 3 miles from the center of a storm and can strike 10-15 miles (or even farther!) from a storm’s center. So even if you’re far from any clouds, you might still be hit by a “bolt from the blue.”
  4. The odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime are about 1 in 3,000. While it is possible to survive a lightning strike, victims often have severe and lasting injuries ranging from burns to brain damage and even personality changes.
  5. It is estimated that lightning strikes the Earth around 100 times per second, with about 70 percent of the strikes occur in the tropics.

And yet cloud-to-ground lightning only accounts for about 25 percent of lightning flashes — cloud-to-cloud and intra-cloud lightning are more common. 

Photo: Donald Quintana / MNN Flickr Group