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Lightning Appreciation Post:

  • There are nearly 500 lightning strikes every second around the world.
  • Only about 100 of these strike the earth, the others are between and within the clouds themselves.
  • Lightning is very visible from space (last gif from Astronaut Reid Wiseman)
  • Besides regular storms (thunder storms, hurricanes, etc.) lightning can be found in volcanoes (gif 3) and even intense forest fires.

In conclusion: nature is fucking awesome!


Official Trailer | Website

First Look: COSMOS

TV Spot: "An Amazing Journey"
TV Spot: "Connect"
TV Spot: Buckle Up
World Series Promo: "Journey"
The Cosmic Calendar from Episode 1: “Standing Up In The Milky Way”
History Of Civilization from Episode 1: “Standing Up In The Milky Way”

Cosmos Crew
Seth MacFarlane | Ann Druyan | Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson (London Real)
Neil deGrasse Tyson on the new COSMOS (Bill Moyers Show)

In Case You Missed It…
Premiere Screening/Live Q&A Event



Bioartis Haari Tesla (behance) - "Macrocosm and microcosm is an ancient Greek Neo-Platonic schema of seeing the same patterns reproduced in all levels of the cosmos, from the largest scale (macrocosm or universe-level) all the way down to the smallest scale (microcosm or sub-sub-atomic or even metaphysical-level). In the system the midpoint is Man, who summarizes thecosmos." - I was doing some researches  and I found experiment with miniatures of space so I decided to try my own. The result has been nebulae, galaxies and supernovae transformed into microorganism.

(Source: devidsketchbook)


Nuclear fusion milestone passed at US lab | BBC News

Researchers at a US lab have passed a crucial milestone on the way to their ultimate goal of achieving self-sustaining nuclear fusion.

Harnessing fusion - the process that powers the Sun - could provide an unlimited and cheap source of energy.

But to be viable, fusion power plants would have to produce more energy than they consume, which has proven elusive.

Now, a breakthrough by scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) could boost hopes of scaling up fusion.

NIF, based at Livermore in California, uses 192 beams from the world’s most powerful laser to heat and compress a small pellet of hydrogen fuel to the point where nuclear fusion reactions take place.

The BBC understands that during an experiment in late September, the amount of energy released through the fusion reaction exceeded the amount of energy being absorbed by the fuel - the first time this had been achieved at any fusion facility in the world.

This is a step short of the lab’s stated goal of “ignition”, where nuclear fusion generates as much energy as the lasers supply. This is because known “inefficiencies” in different parts of the system mean not all the energy supplied through the laser is delivered to the fuel.

But the latest achievement has been described as the single most meaningful step for fusion in recent years, and demonstrates NIF is well on its way towards the coveted target of ignition and self-sustaining fusion.


Further reading:


Dinosaur Feathers Found in Ancient Amber

Instead of digging through rocks and rubble to find fossils, a group of Canadian paleontologists decided to dig through museums’ amber collections instead. Their unique approach paid off when they discovered feathers and never-before-seen structures, which they think are something called dinofuzz. As described in Science Now,

Some of the structures embedded in the amber don’t resemble anything seen on any creature living today.

Finding Feathers

The researchers combed through thousands of minuscule amber nuggets from nearly 80 million years ago. Among them they found 11 M&M-sized globules with traces of ancient feathers and fuzz. A number resembled modern feathers—some fit for flying and others designed to dive. And unlike fossils, the amber preserved colors too: white, gray, red and brown.

But a few hollow hair-like structures stumped researchers. The unidentifiable filaments weren’t plant fibers, fungus or fur, so the researchers surmise that they are protofeathers (thought to be the evolutionary precursors to feathers). Discovery News explains:

The collection is among the first to reveal all major evolutionary stages of feather development in non-avian dinosaurs and birds.

A Clearer History

The results, published in Science this week, give researchers a clearer picture of which ancient animals were feathered and the various purposes those structures served. As described in National Geographic:

The unusual find suggests a wide array of plumed creatures populated the time period—sporting everything from seemingly modern feathers to their filament-like forebears—and that even by this early date, feathers had become specialized, for example, for diving underwater.



[ via mymodernmet ]

Bobtail Squid by Todd Bretl

A series of portraits documenting the magnificent underwater creatures known as bobtail squids.

See larger images of the bobtail squid, and more of them, at Todd Bretl’s underwater photography site.

The cephalopods are a class within the Phylum Mollusca.
In the class Cephalopoda, there are two subclasses
    Nautiloidea [the nautilus]
Coleoidea [the squids, octopuses, and cuttlefish].

In the subclass Coleoidea, there are two superorders,
          [the ten-footed (eight short arms, two long tentacles)] 
    and the Octopodiformes.

The bobtail squid are an order - Sepiolida - of Decapodiformes, an order separate from the [true] squids, which are the order Teuthida.

Systema Naturae 2000: the phylogeny of the decapodiformes


Today’s launch seen in false color Infrared — The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus cargo spacecraft aboard, is seen in this false color infrared image, as it launches from Pad-0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. Cygnus is on its way to rendezvous with the space station. The spacecraft will deliver about 1,300 pounds (589 kilograms) of cargo, including food and clothing, to the Expedition 37 crew. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls #launch #rocket #Antares

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