April 18, 2014
Astronomers have found the first Earth-sized exoplanet within a star’s habitable zone. The planet is the closest thing yet to the coveted ‘Goldilocks’ orb that scientists have long sought — a world roughly the size of Earth orbiting a star at a distance that is just right for liquid water to exist.
Named Kepler-186f, the planet orbits a star that is less than half the size of the sun and much cooler. The new world is the outermost of five planets orbiting Kepler-186, a red dwarf star some 500 light-years from Earth.
Learn more here, here, here, here or here.
April 16, 2014
In the tradition of ‘Killer Whale vs Seal‘, ‘Lion vs Buffalo vs Crocodile‘, ‘Shark vs Octopus‘, ’Leopard vs Porcupine‘, ‘Hornets vs Honey bees‘, ’Salmon vs Grizzly Bear‘, ‘Hippopotamus vs Crocodile’, ‘Polar Bear vs Walrus Colony’, ‘Giraffe vs Giraffe‘, ‘Caterpillar vs Frog‘, ‘Frog vs Poison Newt’, ‘Rubber bands vs Water Melon’, ‘Sarcastic fringehead vs Sarcastic fringehead’, ‘Jaguar vs Crocodile‘, and ‘Snake vs Crocodile‘, here is ‘Centipede vs Snake’:
It seems a female nose-horned viper snake tried to eat a centipede. It got the centipede down its throat …. but the centipede fought back!!!
The centipede began to eat its way out of the snake, eventually killing the snake! The centipede almost succeeded in attaining freedom, breaking free from the snake’s body, when the snake’s venom finally killed it. Learn more here.
April 14, 2014
An adult human can distinguish up to 10,000 odors. You use your nose to figure out what to eat, what to buy and even when it’s time to take a shower. But how do the molecules in the air get translated into smells in your brain?
April 13, 2014
We live in a world of unseeable beauty, so subtle and delicate that it is imperceptible to the human eye.
April 9, 2014
Literally everything around us is made up of chemicals. That includes all foods. And the different kinds of chemicals they contain give the stuff we eat their flavours, colours, and smells. For example:
Learn more here or here.
April 6, 2014
It sounds like an almost unbelievable: Anders Helstrup went skydiving nearly two years ago in Hedmark, Norway and while he didn’t realize it at the time, when he reviewed the footage taken by two cameras fixed to his helmet during the dive, he saw a rock plummet past him. He took it to experts and they realized he had captured a meteorite falling during its “dark flight” — when it has been slowed by atmospheric braking, and has cooled and is no longer luminous.
Watch a video here or learn more here or here.
April 2, 2014
“Slow” marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges are very mobile creatures, but their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen. These animals build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives.
March 24, 2014
For nearly a century, scientists assumed the human nose was capable of discerning about 10,000 different odours. Turns out, that number was missing a whole bunch of zeroes — new research shows that the human nose can detect over 1,000,000,000,000 distinct scents. Tell your dog to quit being so smug.
In fact, one trillion estimate is actually on the low end. And while you probably don’t encounter a trillion different odours in a given day (I hope), the capability to discern new scents means your nose is ready for whatever changes your environment presents. Learn more here or here.
March 22, 2014
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies.
You hear a lot about solar power, but right now, solar covers only about 0.3%, or 1/300th or the world’s energy consumption.
It’s also amazing how little of the Earth’s surface you’d need to cover with solar panels to power the entire world.
March 15, 2014
The Galaxy and Mass Assembly catalogue is a detailed map of the Universe showing where galaxies are in 3D. This simulated flythrough shows the real positions and images of the galaxies that have been mapped so far. Distances are to scale, but the galaxy images have been enlarged for your viewing pleasure.
Remember each little speck is an entire galaxy, not just a single star. Our Solar System’s star, the Sun, is merely one of the 100–400 billion stars in our galaxy The Milky Way.
Get ready to see an awful lot of galaxies …