The pristine night sky — chock full of gleaming stars and awe-inspiring views of our Milky Way galaxy — comes to life in a magnificent time-lapse video…Read More »
shot from northern Chile.
The amazing time-lapse video of the cosmos above Chile traces the cycle of sunset to night to sunrise, with incredible shots of the starry night sky. The video was painstakingly created by filmmaker Nicholas Buer, who entitled it "Ancients."
The rocks atop steep mountains can break down into soil far quicker than previously thought, new research shows. Given that soil is involved in removing…Read More »
carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the results suggest that mountains may have the potential to influence global climate, researchers say.
Previous research had suggested there's a "speed limit" to the rate of new soil production and weathering on rapidly eroding mountain ranges. To test if this speed limit can be broken, researchers analyzed soil samples from the western Southern Alps of New Zealand. Through tectonic activity, these mountains uplift, or grow, faster than most others on Earth — this phenomenon also erodes rocks and exposes new soil that is able to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through a process called chemical weathering. (Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that's able to block Earth's heat from escaping into space, resulting in a rise of global average temperatures).
The glacier that contributes more to sea level rise than any other glacier on Antarctica has hit a tipping point of uncontrollable retreat, and could…Read More »
largely collapse within the span of decades, a new study suggests.
Pine Island Glacier accounts for about 20 percent of the total ice flow on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet — an amalgam of glaciers that covers roughly 800,000 square miles (2 million square kilometers) and makes up about 10 percent of the total ice on Antarctica. Many researchers think that, given the size of Pine Island Glacier, its demise could have a domino effect on surrounding glaciers and ultimately — over the course of many years — lead to the collapse of the entire ice sheet, which would raise average global sea level by between 10 and 16 feet (3 and 5 meters).
When a falcon swoops through the air and spots a flock of birds, these crafty predators use a special aerial attack strategy to capture prey in midflight,…Read More »
according to a new study.
To gain insight into the hunting practices of falcons, researchers at Haverford College in Haverford, Pa., outfitted falcons across the United States and Europe with miniature helmet- and backpack-mounted video cameras to record footage of raptor attacks in action.
Mars Express — the first European spacecraft built to investigate another planet — has been snapping color and 3D images of Mars for 10 years.
To honor the Martian anniversary, the European Space Agency has released a spectacular new fly-over video of Mars showing off some of the striking images captured by the Mars Express spacecraft from its place in orbit. [Full Story: …Read More »
New views from the Hubble Space Telescope are revealing the spooky-looking Tarantula Nebula in never-before-seen detail.
The Tarantula Nebula is located…Read More »
about 160,000 light-years from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the closest galaxies to the Milky Way. The prolific Hubble Space Telescope produced the image, which shows multicolored clouds of gas and dust glowing with stars sprinkled throughout the image.
This artist rendering shows the binary system dubbed MAXI J0158-744, a dancing duo of sorts consisting of a white dwarf (left) and a Be star (right). The…Read More »
image was snapped by the Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) instrument, which is mounted on the exterior of the International Space Station Kibo module.
MAXI discovered the binary system on Nov. 11, 2011, when it captured X-ray data from the explosion of the white dwarf star within that system. A white dwarf is a star that has burned up all of its hydrogen, meaning it no longer powers itself. However, the dwarf's gravity lets it grab mass from nearby sources, such as other stars like the Be star in the pictured binary system. This additional mass can ignite a thermonuclear explosion to create a nova, or an outburst the likes of the one picked up by MAXI in November 2011.
"The association of a Be star in a nova is very rare. In fact, MAXI J1058-744 is the first of this kind known so far, and there are only a few known binary systems consisting of a white dwarf and a Be star, and no nova has been seen from them," said lead study researcher Mikio Morii of RIKEN (the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research) in Japan. "We believe that the large luminosity is related to the fact that the white dwarf is small and heavy, meaning that the surface gravity is strong. Because of the strong gravity, only a small amount of accreted matter from the companion is required to make it sufficiently dense and hot to ignite a thermonuclear runaway. Since the accumulated matter is sufficiently small, the hot fireball was directly visible."
Research like this could help astronomers understand how the sun will evolve when it becomes a white dwarf 5 billion years from now. Less «
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Trippy View at Paria Canyon
Credit: Adam Marland/ U.S. Department of the Interior
There's no digital trickery to the above photo. Paria Canyon is just that stunning. The above photo is uncropped and unenhanced.
Paria Canyon has towering…Read More »
walls streaked with desert varnish, huge red rock amphitheaters, sandstone arches, wooded terraces and hanging gardens. The 112,500-acre Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness sprawls from northern Arizona into southern Utah.
The 3,000-foot (914 meters) escarpment known as the Vermilion Cliffs dominates the remainder of the wilderness with its thick Navajo sandstone face, steep, boulder-strewn slopes, rugged arroyos (creeks) and stark overall appearance.
The wilderness provides opportunities for backpacking, photography and solitude in the mind-boggling landscape. Some of the best slot canyon hiking in the Colorado Plateau is found here. Deer and desert bighorn sheep are often seen in the area.
No two trips to the wilderness are the same. The colors and textures in the rock formations within the wilderness constantly change with variations in the light and weather, creating a magical landscape that is just as cool as it looks in pictures.