The Andromeda Galaxy in Ultraviolet Light
It’s a g-g-g-ghost! IRAS- Ghost Nebula to be exact. So what’s lighting up nebula IRAS 05437+2502? No one is sure. Many details about this stellar nursery remain unknown, other than its location in the constellation Taurus (the Bull), close to the central plane of our Milky Way galaxy. Particularly enigmatic is the bright upside-down V that defines the upper edge of this floating mountain of interstellar dust, visible near the image center.
Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, R. Sahai (JPL)
Better quality of the photos of Jack and I from the photobooth at the AMNH
Sun in extreme-ultraviolet-light, credit: NASA.
The Associated Press has declared Newark Mayor Cory Booker the winner in Wednesday’s special U.S. Senate election. Booker defeated former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, a Tea Party Republican, to serve out the remainder of the late Frank Lautenberg’s term.
Congratulations Senator Booker!
This is a gif of a helicoid transforming into a catenoid. A helicoid was first described by Euler (you know, the guy who brought us e, the base of natural logarithm and so many other mathematical discoveries)
A helicoid can be made by taking a two-dimensional plane, choosing an axis (line) on the plane and turning it around the axis. Because they are both minimal surfaces, a catenoid can be into the shape of a helicoid (and back) without stretching the surface.
A minimal surface locally minimizes its area, having a mean curvature of zero.
Image source: here
Draw a straight line by hand at the top of a piece of paper. Then try to copy the first line just below it, including its imperfections. Repeat. I saw this done in an Art Gallery, and it was cool how wave patterns emerged. I coded this process using Mathematica, and created the above image. Note how each line is similar to the one above it, yet by the time we get to the bottom, the line is extremely wiggly. Small changes accumulate! [code]
Draw a perfect triangle on a piece of paper, and then draw around the triangle free-hand. Try to make each new shape closely match the previous one, including its imperfections. You’ll find wavy patterns developing (just like doing the same with straight lines) which makes a nice picture. But can you manage to do all this, with the ultimate goal that after 50 lines you will reach a perfect square? This animation shows a computer program having a go. [code]
I’m addicted to this stuff.
How Birds Got Their Wings: Fossil Data Show Scaling of Limbs Altered as Birds Originated from Dinosaurs
Sep. 17, 2013 — Birds originated from a group of small, meat-eating theropod dinosaurs called maniraptorans sometime around 150 million years ago. Recent findings from around the world show that many maniraptorans were very bird-like, with feathers, hollow bones, small body sizes and high metabolic rates.
But the question remains, at what point did forelimbs evolve into wings — making it possible to fly?