What do you get when you combine some celebrities with serious nerd cred and a few incomplete sentences? The first official Vine from the White House, of course!
Bill Nye the Science Guy, LeVar Burton, and uh, this other woman took a quick 6 seconds to welcome us all to the White House Science Fair in a Vine tweeted out from the official White House Twitter feed today.
Students from across the country were invited to the White House to share their creations -- from marshmallow launchers to robots to 3D-printed widgets -- with the president and others. Some projects also got the Vine treatment. … Read more
Don't cry for Tyrannosaurus rex and its teensy-weensy arms. It was in good company in the dinosaur kingdom with a recently discovered new species found in Madagascar. After a nearly 10-year dino drought on the island, two researchers uncovered the Dahalokely tokana, a creature with big back legs and itsy-bitsy front arms.
The critter was about as tall as a human male, but had a length of 9 to 14 feet. What helped the researchers peg it as a new species were some unique characteristics of the vertebrae, including the shape of cavities on the side. For dinosaur species, that's a lot like finding a fingerprint.
Besides being a new species, Dahalokely is also helping to fill in some puzzling gaps in the fossil record for Madagascar. "We had always suspected that abelisauroids were in Madagascar 90 million years ago, because they were also found in younger rocks on the island. Dahalokely nicely confirms this hypothesis," said project leader Andrew Farke, curator of paleontology at the Alf Museum.… Read more
After multiple scrubbed launches last week, an Antares rocket finally lifted off the ground from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia as part of Orbital Sciences' bid to transport cargo to the International Space Station.
The rocket lifted off at 5 p.m. ET Sunday and achieved orbit smoothly. It launched an 8,400-pound mock Cygnus supply ship into orbit about 158 miles above Earth.
Antares is a medium-class, two-stage, 13-storey rocket designed to carry payloads of up to 6,500 kg (14,329 pounds). Along with SpaceX, Orbital was awarded a Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract to … Read more
I just rewatched Ridley Scott's "Prometheus," and I think the soundtrack's opening horn melody would go perfectly with this NASA pic.
The Hubble Space Telescope has photographed the Horsehead Nebula in stunning detail. The nebula, about 1,500 light years away in the constellation of Orion, was imaged in infrared wavelengths against the backdrop of the Milky Way.
The pink cast is from hydrogen gas behind the nebula, which is being lit up by Sigma Orionis, a five-star system. … Read more
Thanks to astronaut Chris Hadfield and a series of videos from the Canadian Space Agency, we've had incredible access to all aspects of life on the International Space Station. Activities that are so mundane here on Earth (like clipping nails and heating up some spinach) become things of wonder in zero gravity. That's why we're all going ga-ga over Hadfield wringing out a washcloth.
If I told you nearly 600,000 people would tune into YouTube to watch a piece of cloth get wrung out, you would probably laugh and tell me to take the day off. Fortunately, we're not all suffering from a mass delusion. Hadfield soaking up a washcloth with water and then wringing it out really is that cool.… Read more
Head underwater at the Great Barrier Reef with Google Maps, and you'll notice something deeply saddening: instead of the vividly colored corals you would expect, vast swathes of the reef are dull brown -- dying, thanks to pollution, fishing, and climate change. This is a situation repeated the world over, with 20 percent of the world's reefs dead, and another 50 percent under immediate threat.
Although coral reefs, when left alone, can regenerate, those closer to human habitation aren't so lucky. It seems hopeless; short of drastic intervention, such as the cessation of fishing and dropping waste into the sea, how on earth could we combat this?
Humans have been trying to help. Fragments of Hope is a coral nursery in Belize that sends divers down to plant pieces of healthy coral in the dying reefs to speed up the recovery process. This work is painstaking and slow, however, and -- perhaps most pertinently -- subject to the limitations of the human body. There are places where humans cannot dive, and human endurance has a limit.
The Coral-bot Team from the U.K. has proposed that robots go where humans can't tread. The team has designed and built a series of robots that could autonomously navigate the depths and continue the work of planting coral. … Read more
The prevailing stereotype of scientists is that they're a bunch of quiet geeks wearing white coats and playing with test tubes in labs. They're not usually associated with moves more often seen on WrestleMania. In the midst of a heated discussion, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hopped out of his chair, only to be playfully restrained by renowned PBS nerd Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Nye and Tyson were part of a panel of science experts gathered together to discuss topics ranging from the origins of the universe to cutting-edge technologies. The panel took place as part of the Origins Project at Arizona State University. You could watch the whole multi-hour discussion, or check out the below video for the juiciest bit.… Read more
It looks like a fish swimming in a bowl, or a serving of living octopus in its own salt water, but the photorealistic works of Singapore-based artist Keng Lye are not even sculptures, but paintings. He uses a technique developed by Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori, using acrylic paint and resin to build up, layer by layer, images of creatures swimming in water.
The technique involves starting with a container and pouring in thin layers of clear resin. When each layer dries, the next "slice" of the creature is painted on and allowed to dry before the next layer is poured. It's quite a painstaking process, but the effect, as you can see, is stunning. … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--Whether you're an adult looking for a cool place to have your kid's birthday party, or a kid wanting to get your hands messy with science, the Exploratorium has been a favorite for all ages since it first opened its doors more than 40 years ago. But it eventually faced a problem: space.
Originally located at the Palace of Fine Arts, the only building left standing in its original location from San Francisco's 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the Exploratorium had outgrown the Beaux Arts house and began planning to move. Now completed, the Exploratorium will reopen to the public on April 17.
Its new space straddles the city and the bay at Pier 15, an overhauled warehouse located near the heart of downtown San Francisco. The hands-on science museum, founded by J. Robert Oppenheimer's physicist brother Frank in 1969, is using its new location to drive its popular mix of art and science into the 21st century. And it's huge. … Read more