Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bunsen's birthday

So in my absense it was dear Robert Bunsens birthday.
Now the name is self explanatory so I wont go into much detail.

Robert Bunsen was a German Chemist he is most famous for helping develop the bunsen burner as well as discovering rubidium and caesium.

Its a quick post but there is not allot too say about a google doodle

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My internet has capped!

Hey guys my internet has capped.. 1 terrabyte a plan and yet every month I still cap.. Oh well, I wont be able to post or check up on my usual blogs until the first!
Sorry for my absence.. Comment links too me if you think there is something I should check out, I wont be posting but I will still be writing so on the first expect some new posts
See you then

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fukushima update.

So apparently the report that radiation levels where 10 MILLION times above the acceptable level.. Well this was unfortunately a miscommunication error and new tests are being taken to confirm levels, however two employees where sent to hospital yesterday after stepping in a puddle that was well over 10,000 times and subsequently received severe beta radiation burns.

They should be released next Monday based on how well treatment is going though..

Sure 10 MILLION times is highly unbelievable, but if a puddle is at 10,000 times then shit..

on related news those of you in Boston look out for the rain as it has been tainted with "non lethal" doses of iodine from the Fukushima meltdowns fallout.'s Iodine story

Lets hope this mess gets cleaned up soon.. and thank the hard workers at the plant that made this catastrophe considerably less bad than it could have been, anyone remember Chernobyl??? well that is what this could have been if it hadn't been for the hard workers who worked through an earthquake and a tsunami stop it from happening.

Planetary bodies

A new theory released recently suggests that planets may form similarly to how stars form.. In great dust clouds.

This theory is the first step in explaining why neptunian style planets can be found as close to their star half the earths distance from the sun.

The new theory suggests that planets are formed elsewhere and then pulled in by a stars gravity, at which point the star strips off the excess gas and reveals the planets..

I personally do not think this that plausible as I believe like many that stars and their planets are formed together.. However we shall wait and see.

A scientist never loves anything more than they love being wrong, because being wrong and knowing it means you are one step closer too the truth.

If you wish too read the full article it can be found here

Friday, March 25, 2011

Follow up to the LIFE project

Bill nye has just sat down to tell everyone about the LIFE project and get some more promotion out there. I posted about it before so no need too do it again but here is the video! For the love of life, DONATE!

Ever wonder how they photoshop a galaxy?

This video is a timelapse photo of NGC-3982 A spiral galaxy in ursa major located nearly 70 million light years away.

Now you may think its cheating, having them photoshop color in, but remember, human eyes are weak and feeble, only able too see things in our so called "Visible spectrum" butterflies can see much further into the "Ultra violet spectrum" than we can even comprehend.

Hubble can see Further into Ultra violet and further into infra-red than we can because it takes in pure white light, unfortunately this means that the images come out in black and white because it can't selectively add color too the visible spectrum.

The image in this video is made up of 9 composite images taken across three of hubbles cameras.

There are three types of coloring they use..
It can be either

Representative is false color to highlight certain elements
Natural is too show what it would look like if we where there
and Enhanced is in false color too highlight elements that would be invisible in the other two.

The Curse of Dimensionality

Picture this..
say you have a square.. Perfectly flat.
2D cube

Now say you take that square and make it 3D perhaps not a cube, but just a tiny bit of height too it.. maybe a paper cut out of a square.
3D Cube projected in wire lay out

That square now has more weight (relative) and mass than the 2D square.

The same happens going from 1D to 2D and 3D to 4D, every time you add a dimension. You add mass to the object.
4D cube in wire layout

5D cube in wire layout

This is problematic because when you are talking about a multidimensional existence (parallel universes and such)
Different universes will have different perceived weight due to their increased mass.
11D cube

Now say all dimensions appear universally but we cannot perceive any but 2 and 3 then the universe would have infinite mass as mass increases every time you add on a new dimension.

and it would have virtually no middle as 1D and 0D are imperceivable too the human mind.. BUT HANG ON, I hear you say.. You can perceive 1D..

Well no you can't sorry to say..

Imagine the smallest thing you can think of, thats 3D..
Tiniest flattest thing... Well its 3D too, everything we can perceive is 3D, accept when we look at something displayed upon something..

For example the image on your computer monitor is 2D.. The monitor is 3D the pixels are 3D but what you are viewing is a 2D image..
We can perceive this because it has length and height..

But if you take away either of these it would not be a straight line, because even a straight line has some height or some width, it would be an infinitly receding point in existence, being ever smaller than is capable.. Thus it is out of our knowledge to perceive it.

Thought you might find some geometry interesting on this the day of the NSW State election!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

K-Nex, Tesseract, The Four Dimensional HyperCube

I have after much trial and tribulation, discovered that it is impossible to construct a 3d representation of a tesseract (4 dimensional hyper cube) out of knex,
I have been trying for over an hour however there is no way to build two cubes that have the correct size ratio, so now I am stuck with a cube inside a cube that is not a tesseract...

I called my friend for help with this and his response was "what is a tesseract" as many people may have first questioned so I figured, time to enlighten the blog.

The most common way of explaining it is flatland as told by the legendary Carl Sagan, Youtube link after the break.

It is a good example to explain alternate dimensions.

A tesseract is a 4 Dimensional version of a cube, So Imagine you have a straight line, to make a square you extend the line by right angles from itself, furthermore to make a cube you extend a square at right angles too itself, to make a 4d hypercube you extend a cube at right angles from itself, however since we ourselves are 3D we cannot see the new direction that a 4d cube would take, however we can see a projection of it in 3d much like we can see a projection of a cube in 2d.

Click the link for the animated version.

Originally when you see this image you may be very confused as too what is going on, well this is what a 4D image looks like when it rotates in 3D, of course even more confusing is because it is rotating in 2D but it is similar.
Here is it rotating from another perspective.

The interesting thing is that if you could see in 4 dimensions but be in a 3D world, you would have a sort of X-Ray vision, you could see inside everything at a level we cannot understand..

Unfortunatly, I cannot make a tesseract out of K-Nex too show off to my science buddies.. but I have a set of Knex cubes that I can hold in the right shape.

Hit the video to see Carl Sagans explanation!

Shuttle Life program by Bill Nye

Shuttle Life

See the link above.. Click it..

Why click it you may ask??

Because it is a link to which you should visit every day regardless..
But that link is special because it goes to the page for the shuttle life program.

What is the shuttle life program?

Well basically they want too put a whole bunch of funky microbes onto a space shuttle and launch it into space..
See how the organisms survive, too see if life really could have come from outer space on a rock from a distant planet..

But doing things like this is expensive, so they want moneys.. Well deserved moneys..
The planetary society was founded by the legendary CARL SAGAN, and is now founded by the amazing Bill Nye the science guy!

Donations can be anything but as incentive they have incentives for certain amounts, including a signed image of bill nye!!


Got a killer hangover so I am going to have to postpone todays post till tomorrow, but I assure you my drunken escapades have many many new stories too be told, expect a double feature tomorrow!

Till then, how do I cure this terrible terrible hangover..

My usual way is to eat greasy food drink allot of powerade (I love powerade when im hungover) and then just hope i dont die..

What are your secrets?


Sunday, March 20, 2011

The tragic Russian cosmonaut who was sent into space knowing he would die.

Above is Vladimir Komarov's remains.

Vladimir Komarov, one of the very first Russian cosmonauts and close friend of Yuri Gagarin(The first human in space)was destined too die.

You see during the space race the Russians wanted a big show for the 50th anniversary of the communist revolution, and so Leonid Brezhnev, leader of the Soviet Union, decided to put on a big show.. However this landed during the space race and so the best big show was to send a man up in a rocket. Even though the rocket wasn't ready.

Gagarin and Komarov found 109 serious faults when inspecting the rocket, and sent a memo out, however anyone who read the memo was sent too diplomatic siberia.

Komarov however still decided to take the flight because the other candidate was Gagarin and Komarov didn't wish that pain on his dear friend.

Check the link for the full story. Or grab the book Starman which comes out next month

Radiation chart.

The guys over at XKCD have designed this clever radiation chart to give people a realistic idea of how radiation really affects you. Click the picture for the large version, or click the link too see the article.

XKCD Radiation chart

Saturday, March 19, 2011

See that? thats mercury and jupiter

See those two white dots, no don't try and clean your monitor they are suposed to be there,
That my friends is mercury and jupiter.. This wonderful image was taken in sweden only a week ago, if you are lucky enough to be in the northern hemisphere, head somewhere with clear skys at sunset this month.. and check out that amazing view.

More supernova

This is an image of N 63A a remnant left behind from a supernova located in the LMC which to us laymen is the large magellanic cloud which is the fourth largest galaxy in our local group.. what is our local group you ask, well lets get technical.

Lets start small and get big

Ok so it starts with our planet being part of the solar system, which surrounds a star. Many stars make up a sector of a galaxy in our case the spiral arm.

Add many sectors you get a galaxy ranging anywhere up to 100 million light years across.

Add a bunch of galaxies you get a group,

add a few groups you get a cluster,

add a few clusters you get a supercluster,

add a few superclusters and you have our universe.

This is an image of the LMC as seen by the hubble space telescope.
and in the LMC is a binary star system that went supernova together

and there it is, viewed falsely in Xray light and in Optical light.

These images are distributed under the creative commons license according to wikipedia.

Kepler's Supernova

I took this off my old blog because its still relevant and fascinating.

So I am double tabbed on dual monitors, far left tab the ultimate tv series in history : Carl Sagan's Cosmos.
left tab : wikipedia
So lets start with that.

Kepler's supernova,
The most recently known supernova in the milky way, the image above is that of the supernova remnant, a cloud of dust that is the entire contents of the once mighty star, ejected into space so that it may cool and reform into a new star.
Supernovae remnants are almost synonymous with nebula although believed to have a different origin, they have the same effect, a remnant/nebula is a stellar nursery, where new stars shall be born.

Then I moved on to my favorite nebula, remnants always make me think of nebula and so I move onto the crab nebula, which is in fact, also a remnant of a supernova. The crab nebula is interesting in the fact that we have accounts of the actual supernova.
The supernova for the crab nebula happened not too long ago in relative time.. It happened in the year 1054, it is recorded as being bright enough to see during the daytime, and outshining every star at night, for 23 days and being visible in the night sky for a further 653 days. This supernova remnant now contains a pulsar, a huge radio source

This is a picture of the crab nebula with the picture from the hubble telescope in red and an xray image in blue.

this pulsar has a proposed planetary companion, not yet proven however it appears when the light is filtered that there is a faint point of light close to the flashing pulsar..


now right tab is this window for writing the blog
and the far right tab is skype so that I can communicate with friends, although nobody is online this late...

Anyways back to learning!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Stars fusing

Two stars may have been caught going into a hypothesized act I like to call STAR FUSION POWER! I'm not sure if thats a good name but lets stick with it.
Basically V1309 was discovered back in 2008 when it started letting out extremely bright solar flares, and so a group of researches decided to see what they could find, luckily a project researching dark matter has had their eye in that area of the sky for a while.

So after trolling through over 2000 images section by section, they came upon the conclusion that V1309 was originally a "contact binary star" which is science slang for two stars that circle each other so close that they are touching, which sounds extremely awesome and it is, problem being that eventually they star transferring mass until eventually (tens of millions of years later) they merge to make one larger star. The amazing thing is that although the merger takes tens millions of years to prepare, the physical merger takes only a few years, the core merger happens in less than a week..

That week was in late august 2008, up to this moment it was doubling in brightness every 19 days, however in late august 2008 its brightness increased by a factor of 300 in only 10 days.

Its final burst happened at the end of that month with the most luminescent burst so far in its life time, this burst happened when the cores of the two stars finally merged, making the new star more than 10,000 times brighter than the original star and more than 30,000 times brighter than our sun.

This new star is spinning outrageously quickly, and is throwing off huge amounts of matter into space making the star almost impossible too see, however when this matter clears we may get our first view of a merged contact binary star.


A MATCH MADE IN THE HEAVENS from Science News on Vimeo.


So its Saturday, lets do some fun science today..

My favorite age old question, Belly button lint!

So first off, why do we get belly button lint?

Well you see Belly button lint is fibers collected from your tshirt boxers even pants, all depending on how hairy you are, now most people understand that Hairy chest = Belly button lint, however this is because pubic hair (no pubic hair is not just crotch hair, it is all hair that you grow after you hit puberty hence pubic hair) has a rougher texture which rubs off fibers from your clothes, the static electricity makes them stick together. WOAH HOLD ON I hear you cry, where did the static electricity come from?? Well it comes from rubbing fabric against hair, simple!

Now the reason it builds up in the navel is that it is the only crevice on your body that can physically hold lint, unless you are extremely hairy in which case the static electricity can cause lint to build up nearly anywhere.

Now why is it blue?
This is the easy part, what type of shirt are you wearing? Black, blue, navy??
Well thats an easy explanation, but what if you are wearing a red shirt or a green shirt?? Well it still usually comes out blue and thats because, most dyes are based heavily on blue or black to get the right color.
Sometimes however the dye is not based on blue, and in that case you get different color lint!

Thanks for tuning in too fun science day!


The robonaut has finally been unpacked aboard the ISS.
Unfortunately he will not be activated until May.
Robonaut as I see it is the next step too an evil robot army.

For those of you who are curious what the robonaut is well he (it?) is one of four current robonaut models, they are basically robot astronauts designed to help astronauts in their daily tasks, and eventually on too things astronauts can't do, like go outside... which is something astronauts often have difficulty with what with the ISS being in space and all.

Astronauts are still able to go outside with suits, but robots could be ready much faster, and lets face it we dont mind risking robots as much as we mind risking humans.


The Pale blue dot

This speech makes me so happy, every time I hear it I feel an immense amount of love for our dear Carl Sagan.

Id like to take this time to thank him for all of the amazing things he did for our community, and to celebrate, here is his speech entitled "the pale blue dot"


Only a few hours ago the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging or the MESSENGER space craft for short, entered orbit around Mercury, and is unique in being the only spacecraft ever to do so!

Now I know some of you out there are thinking, how did we make a spacecraft that can survive the extreme temperature that is found that close to the sun? Well it all starts with the orbit, the MESSENGER flies in as close as 200 kilometers to the surface of mercury and then flies away more than 15,000 km from the surface, it does all of this every 12 hours. The flying away is what keeps it cool enough to continue working its sensors.

The MESSENGER will look for chemical signs of volcanic activity on mercury.
VOLCANIC ACTIVITY ON MERCURY?? I hear you cry, well indeed, scientists believe that there is volcanic activity on the surface and the MESSENGER is at the end of its 6 and a half year journey to discover if this is true.


Feel the love for the eco dome?


We spent billions of dollars getting up the ISS, why not the same funding to get to mars.

TerraForm or Eco Dome?
A common debate and question..I say, why not both?
We start with the eco dome to get colonists on the planet and then we terraform from there.
Think about any colonization what do you do?
you build a base of operations..
The eco dome could serve as that base and provide a place for scientists to study martian conditions and work out possible means of terraforming.

The planet like earth can support geothermal energy and solar energy..
for building an eco-dome that would be enough energy and then if teraforming is going to happen then nuclear is a cost effective and simple solution.

electric rovers can charge of stations that connect to these power supplies.

We can then set up a processing plant which can take the natural Oxygen/Carbon mix that is in the atmosphere of the planet, and convert them into breathable air. This processing plant filters air into the eco-dome which we fill with high oxygen producing plants. Alternatively to taking oxygen and combining it with carbon, we could take water from the ice caps and via electrolysis take out the oxygen, the remaining hydrogen can then be used as fuel.

I firmly believe that the eco-dome will need to be modular to allow for expansion if it is non-modular then the eco-dome will remain the same size and colonization cannot happen, it will fall into a purely research based facility, although this is all well and good, the eventual goal should be colonization and eventually a strong human presence on mars.

Any colony on mars pre teraforming needs to have a high pressure, but this allready happens with most structures that go beyond surface earth, IE Submarines and Space shuttles.

Transport to mars

The current journey to mars takes between 6-9 months, which is relatively long time to wait to get anything done, if we want to be there in ten years almost 1 year of that is transporting there, so we only have 9 years planning and construction time..
However at the same time, America to the moon took from 62-69 not even ten years..

I strongly believe we can make this happen, im no engineer I cant give you schematics or details, but I see no reason we cant be there before 2020, accept money..

Its still a long way off.. But if everyone had these ideas then we very well could be there..

The known universe

I love this video, always good to watch when feeling down, puts the whole universe into perspective.


So we are up and running!
My last blog run with Jik didnt end out well because of some weird issues with google, however here I am back and running with it. Ill see if Jik wants to get involved.

But at any rate. I love you all!