The thing about nature is that, if you look close enough at just about anything, you’re bound to find a beauty and symmetry that defies description. In the case of Linden Gledhill‘s microscope photos of butterfly wings, he simply discovered another level of beauty in something that already captures many of our imaginations. A rainbow of colors and myriad textures greet you in Gledhill’s Butterfly wings Flickr set — each photograph more ethereal and alien than the last.
PERPETUAL OCEAN: Ocean Surface Currents
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
These are stills from a 3D visualization (available for viewing/download) which was created from ocean temperature, salinity, sea surface height and sea ice data [collected during field observations and by NASA satellites between July 2005 and December 2007].
Driven by wind and other forces, currents on the ocean surface cover our planet. Some span hundreds to thousands of miles across vast ocean basins in well-defined flows. Others are confined to particular regions and form slow-moving, circular pools. Seen from space, the circulating waters offer a study in both chaos and order.
- Perpetual Ocean: eastern Atlantic and the Caribbean
- The Gulf Stream carries warm water from the eastern coastline of the United States to regions of the North Atlantic Ocean.
- The Agulhas Current travels along the coastline of Mozambique and South Africa and then loops eastward.
- The Kuroshio Current flows northeast off the coast of Japan transporting warm ocean water circulating east of Taiwan.
For more information, check out this page from NASA …
A scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a freeze-fractured cross section through a nerve bundle.
Axons (brown) of nerve cells are surrounded by insulating cells called the myeline sheet (purple). These allow for more efficient conduction of nerve impulses along these huge cells. The sciatic nerve in mammals goes from the base of the spine, to the bottom of your feet. These cells can reach up to more than a meter depending on how tall you are. The perinuerium is the connective tissue (blue) that surrounds the structure.
(Source: Facebook - NeuronsWantFood)
For more information on neurons, feel free to check out this wiki page on them!
Gynecology Invented Through The Torture of Black Women
In the 19th century, the father of modern gynecology, J. Marion Sims, conducted his research experiments on enslaved Black women. Sims performed the invasive and torturous procedures without anesthesia. J….
Discovery Channel video gives you a chance to fly along the San Andreas Fault
Polymer absorbs water and expands. It keeps almost the same refractive properties as water and appears invisible.The polymer is Sodium Polyacrylate (thank you, thecraftychemist!)
Opposition date: April, 8th, 2014
By the time you finish reading this story, you’ll be about 1,000 km closer to the planet Mars.
Earth and Mars are converging for a close encounter. As March gives way to April, the distance between the two planets is shrinking by about 300 km every minute. When the convergence ends in mid-April, the gulf between Earth and Mars will have narrowed to only 92 million km—a small number on the vast scale of the solar system.
Astronomers call this event an “opposition of Mars” because Mars and the Sun are on opposite sides of the sky. Mars rises in the east at sunset, and soars almost overhead at midnight, shining burnt-orange almost 10 times brighter than a 1st magnitude star.
Oppositions of Mars happen every 26 months. Of a similar encounter in the 19th century, astronomer Percival Lowell wrote that “[Mars] blazes forth against the dark background of space with a splendor that outshines Sirius and rivals the giant Jupiter himself.”
In other words, it’s really easy to see.
There are two dates of special significance:
April 8th is the date of opposition, when Mars, Earth, and the sun are arranged in a nearly-straight line.
If the orbits of Mars and Earth were perfectly circular, April 8th would also be the date of closest approach. However, planetary orbits are elliptical—that is, slightly egg-shaped—so the actual date of closest approach doesn’t come until almost a week later.
On April 14th, Earth and Mars are at their minimum distance: 92 million km, a 6+ month flight for NASA’s speediest rockets. You won’t have any trouble finding Mars on this night. The full Moon will be gliding by the Red Planet in the constellation Virgo, providing a can’t-miss “landmark” in the midnight sky.
Remarkably, on the same night that Mars is closest to Earth, there will be a total lunar eclipse. The full Moon of April 14-15 will turn as red as the Red Planet itself.
Although these dates are special, any clear night in April is a good time to look at Mars. It will be easy to see with the unaided eye even from brightly-lit cities. With a modest backyard telescope, you can view the rusty disk of Mars as well as the planet’s evaporating north polar cap, which has been tipped toward the sun since Martian summer began in February.
Experienced astro-photographers using state-of-the-art digital cameras can tease out even more—for example, dust storms, orographic clouds over Martian volcanoes, and icy fogs in the great Hellas impact basin. The view has been described by some observers as “Hubblesque.”
Update: You’re now 1000 km closer to Mars.
Top 5 misconceptions about evolution: A guide to demystify the foundation of modern biology.
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