Topic: particles

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How to collect black sand with a magnet

If you're ever at a beach with some black sand in the mix, run a magnet through the sand to see if the black sand sticks. Exploratorium educator Ken Finn demonstrates this experiment with a magnet and a plastic cup at...

What is dust made of?

Less than a tenth the size of an ant, a dust mite’s whole world is contained in the dusty film under a bed or in a forgotten corner. This realm is right under our noses, but from our perspective, the tiny specks of br...

The Aurora Named STEVE

For the first time, scientists have ground and satellite views of STEVE (short for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement), a thin purple ribbon of light. Scientists have now learned, despite its ordinary name, ...

Stephen Hawking explains black holes in 90 seconds

What are black holes? What's happening inside of them? You can't tell from the outside... but could you travel through one to find out? From his BBC Reith Lecture and animated by Aardman Studios for BBCRadio4, British...

Where does Space begin?

How far away is Space from where you are at this moment? How much closer is it when you're flying in a plane? And how close is the International Space Station to Earth if we can spot it in the sky? Travel up, up, u...

NASA simulates how dust, smoke, and sea salt have traveled the planet

Watch as sea salt, dust, and smoke—aerosol particles traveling on the winds—have moved across our planet in 2017. This animated simulation, "based on both satellite observations and computer models that use physical e...

Liquid Sand Hot Tub: Making a giant fluidized bed of sand

When air is pumped through sand in just the right way, the sand begins to behave a lot like a fluid. As air escapes between the sand particles, items placed in the sand will begin to float. Others will sink. And when ...

NEBULAE – a cosmic meditation

Be sure to full screen this 10m42s computer-generated nebula by Teun van der Zalm, who creates 3D nebulae visualizations built from particle physics for VR games, visual effects films, and fulldome planetarium shows. ...

‘Giant’ larvaceans filter the ocean with mucous webs

Using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and a new laser-and-camera system, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have been able to study three Bathochordaeus species, transparent and rela...

Can Bird Poop Make Clouds?

How does bird poop potentially help to keep our climate just a wee bit cooler? In this episode of Gross Science, Anna Rothschild helps connect tens of millions of seabirds in the Arctic to 40,000 metric tons of ammoni...

A Sketchy History Of Pencil Lead

When fifth-graders at Green Acres Elementary in Lebanon, Oregon asked the NPR Skunk Bear team how pencil lead was made, they looked into it... way into it. From the start of the universe (with a shout out to Carl Saga...

How to Design a Particle Accelerator

What is a particle accelerator and how would you go about designing one? We've heard of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, but what of the tens of thousands of other accelerators being used in science and medicine? ...

A bumblebee dislodges pollen in slow-mo

Sonication or buzz pollination is the bumblebee's secret weapon of resonant vibration. When bumblebees (and a few other bee species) grab onto a flower and vibrate it by flying in place, securely attached pollen is di...

Why every picture of a black hole is an illustration – Vox

No one has ever seen a black hole. There have been illustrations and computer simulations, but not even astronomers have seen a black hole... yet. In the spring of 2017, we might see... something. As a part of...

Understanding the Magnetic Sun – NASA Goddard

This dynamic computer model of our sun reveals the behavior of its invisible magnetic structure. The pink and green indicate open magnetic field lines that reach out into space, while the "closed" white lines loop bac...

Solar Wind Strips Martian Atmosphere – NASA Goddard

In 2014, NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission) spacecraft measured the speed and direction of ions escaping from Mars. The data collected as it orbited the Red Planet is visualized in this NASA...

An octopus that makes quicksand for a quick escape

The southern sand octopus can make a quick escape by making its own quicksand. How? It shoots jets of water into the sand grains, separating them into an almost fluid state, and allowing the octopus to burrow. There u...

How to Make a Cloud in Your Mouth – Physics Girl

To make a cloud in your mouth -- yes, this is a very cool trick that actually works with practice -- you'll need to make tiny water droplets in your mouth. Then up the pressure. Physics Girl Dianna Cowern demonstrates...

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