Showing 239 posts tagged science
The Canadian Space Agency has one of the better summary videos about Expedition 34/35’s return to Earth from the International Space Station. Watch CSA Astronaut Chris Hadfield and his crewmates Tom Marshburn and Roman Romanenko climb into the Soyuz spacecraft, separate from ISS, and parachute down before getting extracted out of the amazingly small capsule that brought them safely home. Regarding Hadfield’s historic trip, CSA tweets:
144 days on the #ISS, 146 days in space, 2,336 orbits around the planet and clocked almost 62 million miles. What a ride!— CanadianSpaceAgency (@csa_asc) May 14, 2013
They also conducted over 130 science experiments, a record amount for the Station.
Our gravity must feel strange after five months of floating.
To celebrate Commander Chris Hadfield’s return to earth today, Monday, May 13, Scientific American has collected the Top 10 Commander Hadfield Videos from the International Space Station. Excellent watching all around.
It’s the first music video made in space.
Imagine that the age of the universe, 13.82 billion years, is compressed into only one year. Carl Sagan explains this idea (using 15 billion years as his example) in a clip from his 1980 television series, Cosmos: A Personal Journey.
Down here, the first humans made their debut around 10:30 p.m. on December 31st. And with the passing of every cosmic minute — each minute 30,000 years long — we began the arduous journey towards understanding where we live and who we are.
11:46 - only 14 minutes ago, humans have tamed fire.
11:59:20 - the evening of the last day of the cosmic year — the 11th hour, the 59th minute, the 20th second — the domestication of plants and animals began, an application of the human talent for making tools.
11:59:35 - settled agricultural communities evolved into the first cities.
We humans appear on the cosmic calendar so recently that our recorded history occupies only the last few seconds of the last minute of December 31st. In the vast ocean of time which this calendar represents, all our memories are confined to this small square.
Every person we’ve ever heard of lived somewhere in there. All those kings and battles, migrations and inventions, wars and loves. Everything in the history books happens here, in the last 10 seconds of the cosmic calendar.
“Magicicada Brood II will make its 17-year appearance when the ground 8” down is a steady 64°F,” reports Radiolab in this excellent Cicada Tracker DIY project page. And why 17 years underground? From Scientific American:
The curious phenomenon of the cicada’s periodical life cycle is the subject of much debate among scientists, who are limited to no small extent by the infrequency of the insect’s visits to the surface. Most agree, however, that climate shifts — notably the rapid warming following the end of the last ice age — have played a role.
There are seven species of periodical cicadas in North America, four bound to a 13-year cycle, three in a 17-year cycle. All are characterized by black and orange bodies, and males woo their mates with species-specific choruses that can be deafening in large numbers.
The genetic similarity of these seven species suggests a common ancestor in the last 8,000 years. And because emergence seems closely linked to soil temperature and moisture, it is likely that climate has played a role in both regulating their life cycles and cueing their appearance.
Cicadas don’t sting or bite. After a few weeks making noise up in the trees (measured at 94 decibles), eggs will be laid and will hatch. After feeding on sap, these hatchlings will drop down to burrow and live underground, next seen in the year 2030.