moments of existence

Female Science writer gets called a Whore for saying NO to working for free →

womenrockscience:

image

This is Biologist Dr Danielle N. Lee also known as the Urban Scientist at Scientific American, she “draws from hip hop culture to share science with general audiences, particularly under-served groups.” Biology-Online liked her work so much they wanted her to write for them……for free….

Not cool. Really not cool. 


sagansense:

First Ever Evidence Of A Comet Striking Earth
The first ever evidence of a comet entering Earth’s atmosphere and exploding, raining down a shock wave of fire which obliterated every life form in its path, has been discovered by a team of South African scientists and international collaborators, and will be presented at a public lecture on Thursday.
The discovery has not only provided the first definitive proof of a comet striking Earth, millions of years ago, but it could also help us to unlock, in the future, the secrets of the formation of our solar system.
“Comets always visit our skies – they’re these dirty snowballs of ice mixed with dust – but never before in history has material from a comet ever been found on Earth,” says Professor David Block of Wits University.
The comet entered Earth’s atmosphere above Egypt about 28 million years ago. As it entered the atmosphere, it exploded, heating up the sand beneath it to a temperature of about 2 000 degrees Celsius, and resulting in the formation of a huge amount of yellow silica glass which lies scattered over a 6 000 square kilometer area in the Sahara. A magnificent specimen of the glass, polished by ancient jewellers, is found in Tutankhamun’s brooch with its striking yellow-brown scarab.
Tutankhamun’s Brooch
The research, which will be published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, was conducted by a collaboration of geoscientists, physicists and astronomers including Block, lead author Professor Jan Kramers of the University of Johannesburg, Dr Marco Andreoli of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, and Chris Harris of the University of Cape Town.
At the centre of the attention of this team was a mysterious black pebble found years earlier by an Egyptian geologist in the area of the silica glass. After conducting highly sophisticated chemical analyses on this pebble, the authors came to the inescapable conclusion that it represented the very first known hand specimen of a comet nucleus, rather than simply an unusual type of meteorite.
Kramers describes this as a moment of career defining elation. “It’s a typical scientific euphoria when you eliminate all other options and come to the realization of what it must be,” he said.
The impact of the explosion also produced microscopic diamonds. “Diamonds are produced from carbon bearing material. Normally they form deep in the earth, where the pressure is high, but you can also generate very high pressure with shock. Part of the comet impacted and the shock of the impact produced the diamonds,” says Kramers.
The team have named the diamond-bearing pebble “Hypatia” in honour of the first well known female mathematician, astronomer and philosopher, Hypatia of Alexandria.
Watch: The Frailty of Knowledge: Sagan on the Library of Alexandria, Hypatia
Comet material is very elusive. Comet fragments have not been found on Earth before except as microscopic sized dust particles in the upper atmosphere and some carbon-rich dust in the Antarctic ice. Space agencies have spent billions to secure the smallest amounts of pristine comet matter.
“NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) spend billions of dollars collecting a few micrograms of comet material and bringing it back to Earth, and now we’ve got a radical new approach of studying this material, without spending billions of dollars collecting it,” says Kramers.
The study of Hypatia has grown into an international collaborative research programme, coordinated by Andreoli, which involves a growing number of scientists drawn from a variety of disciplines. Dr Mario di Martino of Turin’s Astrophysical Observatory has led several expeditions to the desert glass area.
“Comets contain the very secrets to unlocking the formation of our solar system and this discovery gives us an unprecedented opportunity to study comet material first hand,” says Block.
Source: University Of The Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; Image: An artist’s rendition of the comet exploding in Earth’s atmosphere above Egypt (credit: Terry Bakker)
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sagansense:

First Ever Evidence Of A Comet Striking Earth

The first ever evidence of a comet entering Earth’s atmosphere and exploding, raining down a shock wave of fire which obliterated every life form in its path, has been discovered by a team of South African scientists and international collaborators, and will be presented at a public lecture on Thursday.

The discovery has not only provided the first definitive proof of a comet striking Earth, millions of years ago, but it could also help us to unlock, in the future, the secrets of the formation of our solar system.

“Comets always visit our skies – they’re these dirty snowballs of ice mixed with dust – but never before in history has material from a comet ever been found on Earth,” says Professor David Block of Wits University.

The comet entered Earth’s atmosphere above Egypt about 28 million years ago. As it entered the atmosphere, it exploded, heating up the sand beneath it to a temperature of about 2 000 degrees Celsius, and resulting in the formation of a huge amount of yellow silica glass which lies scattered over a 6 000 square kilometer area in the Sahara. A magnificent specimen of the glass, polished by ancient jewellers, is found in Tutankhamun’s brooch with its striking yellow-brown scarab.

imageTutankhamun’s Brooch

The research, which will be published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, was conducted by a collaboration of geoscientists, physicists and astronomers including Block, lead author Professor Jan Kramers of the University of Johannesburg, Dr Marco Andreoli of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, and Chris Harris of the University of Cape Town.

At the centre of the attention of this team was a mysterious black pebble found years earlier by an Egyptian geologist in the area of the silica glass. After conducting highly sophisticated chemical analyses on this pebble, the authors came to the inescapable conclusion that it represented the very first known hand specimen of a comet nucleus, rather than simply an unusual type of meteorite.

Kramers describes this as a moment of career defining elation. “It’s a typical scientific euphoria when you eliminate all other options and come to the realization of what it must be,” he said.

The impact of the explosion also produced microscopic diamonds. “Diamonds are produced from carbon bearing material. Normally they form deep in the earth, where the pressure is high, but you can also generate very high pressure with shock. Part of the comet impacted and the shock of the impact produced the diamonds,” says Kramers.

The team have named the diamond-bearing pebble “Hypatia” in honour of the first well known female mathematician, astronomer and philosopher, Hypatia of Alexandria.

imageWatch: The Frailty of Knowledge: Sagan on the Library of Alexandria, Hypatia

Comet material is very elusive. Comet fragments have not been found on Earth before except as microscopic sized dust particles in the upper atmosphere and some carbon-rich dust in the Antarctic ice. Space agencies have spent billions to secure the smallest amounts of pristine comet matter.

“NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) spend billions of dollars collecting a few micrograms of comet material and bringing it back to Earth, and now we’ve got a radical new approach of studying this material, without spending billions of dollars collecting it,” says Kramers.

The study of Hypatia has grown into an international collaborative research programme, coordinated by Andreoli, which involves a growing number of scientists drawn from a variety of disciplines. Dr Mario di Martino of Turin’s Astrophysical Observatory has led several expeditions to the desert glass area.

“Comets contain the very secrets to unlocking the formation of our solar system and this discovery gives us an unprecedented opportunity to study comet material first hand,” says Block.

Source: University Of The Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; Image: An artist’s rendition of the comet exploding in Earth’s atmosphere above Egypt (credit: Terry Bakker)


sagansense:


[ BIOCANVAS SURVEY RESULTS ]
Based on a national exam, a majority of American students in grades 4, 8, and 12 demonstrated a less-than-proficient knowledge in scientific concepts. But just by viewing science-as-art images like those found on Biocanvas, students under 18 years old had a remarkable turn-around in their interest for science. In fact, almost all respondents wanted to know what was scientifically happening in each image, and nearly half wanted to study science more.
This post is part of Biocanvas’s ongoing September giveaway. Make sure to like and/or reblog this post and follow Biocanvas to enter!

via biocanvas
sagansense:


[ BIOCANVAS SURVEY RESULTS ]
Based on a national exam, a majority of American students in grades 4, 8, and 12 demonstrated a less-than-proficient knowledge in scientific concepts. But just by viewing science-as-art images like those found on Biocanvas, students under 18 years old had a remarkable turn-around in their interest for science. In fact, almost all respondents wanted to know what was scientifically happening in each image, and nearly half wanted to study science more.
This post is part of Biocanvas’s ongoing September giveaway. Make sure to like and/or reblog this post and follow Biocanvas to enter!

via biocanvas

sagansense:

[ BIOCANVAS SURVEY RESULTS ]

Based on a national exam, a majority of American students in grades 4, 8, and 12 demonstrated a less-than-proficient knowledge in scientific concepts. But just by viewing science-as-art images like those found on Biocanvas, students under 18 years old had a remarkable turn-around in their interest for science. In fact, almost all respondents wanted to know what was scientifically happening in each image, and nearly half wanted to study science more.

This post is part of Biocanvas’s ongoing September giveaway. Make sure to like and/or reblog this post and follow Biocanvas to enter!

via biocanvas


hexa-awesome. 

14-billion-years-later:

The Hexagon
Hexagons have to be one of my favorite shapes, it’s hard to say why but I just think they’re neat. They have internal angles that add up to 720 or 4 lots of pi for those who prefer radians (everyone). The other neat thing is that the length between a vertex and the one opposite is twice the length of one of the sides in a regular hexagon. This in turn means that hexagons can be constructed from equilateral triangles. The area for a hexagon is given by the formula A=((3√3)/2)t^2 where t is the length of one of the sides, or alternatively simply A=1.5dt where d is the length between parallel sides. The elegant construction discovered by Euclid is also pictured.Hexagons also pop up a lot in nature, being the shape of honey combs (for it’s space optimizing ability), igneous basalt columns, crystal structures, benzene rings, snow flakes and the clouds on Saturn’s north pole.
hexa-awesome. 

14-billion-years-later:

The Hexagon
Hexagons have to be one of my favorite shapes, it’s hard to say why but I just think they’re neat. They have internal angles that add up to 720 or 4 lots of pi for those who prefer radians (everyone). The other neat thing is that the length between a vertex and the one opposite is twice the length of one of the sides in a regular hexagon. This in turn means that hexagons can be constructed from equilateral triangles. The area for a hexagon is given by the formula A=((3√3)/2)t^2 where t is the length of one of the sides, or alternatively simply A=1.5dt where d is the length between parallel sides. The elegant construction discovered by Euclid is also pictured.Hexagons also pop up a lot in nature, being the shape of honey combs (for it’s space optimizing ability), igneous basalt columns, crystal structures, benzene rings, snow flakes and the clouds on Saturn’s north pole.
hexa-awesome. 

14-billion-years-later:

The Hexagon
Hexagons have to be one of my favorite shapes, it’s hard to say why but I just think they’re neat. They have internal angles that add up to 720 or 4 lots of pi for those who prefer radians (everyone). The other neat thing is that the length between a vertex and the one opposite is twice the length of one of the sides in a regular hexagon. This in turn means that hexagons can be constructed from equilateral triangles. The area for a hexagon is given by the formula A=((3√3)/2)t^2 where t is the length of one of the sides, or alternatively simply A=1.5dt where d is the length between parallel sides. The elegant construction discovered by Euclid is also pictured.Hexagons also pop up a lot in nature, being the shape of honey combs (for it’s space optimizing ability), igneous basalt columns, crystal structures, benzene rings, snow flakes and the clouds on Saturn’s north pole.
hexa-awesome. 

14-billion-years-later:

The Hexagon
Hexagons have to be one of my favorite shapes, it’s hard to say why but I just think they’re neat. They have internal angles that add up to 720 or 4 lots of pi for those who prefer radians (everyone). The other neat thing is that the length between a vertex and the one opposite is twice the length of one of the sides in a regular hexagon. This in turn means that hexagons can be constructed from equilateral triangles. The area for a hexagon is given by the formula A=((3√3)/2)t^2 where t is the length of one of the sides, or alternatively simply A=1.5dt where d is the length between parallel sides. The elegant construction discovered by Euclid is also pictured.Hexagons also pop up a lot in nature, being the shape of honey combs (for it’s space optimizing ability), igneous basalt columns, crystal structures, benzene rings, snow flakes and the clouds on Saturn’s north pole.
hexa-awesome. 

14-billion-years-later:

The Hexagon
Hexagons have to be one of my favorite shapes, it’s hard to say why but I just think they’re neat. They have internal angles that add up to 720 or 4 lots of pi for those who prefer radians (everyone). The other neat thing is that the length between a vertex and the one opposite is twice the length of one of the sides in a regular hexagon. This in turn means that hexagons can be constructed from equilateral triangles. The area for a hexagon is given by the formula A=((3√3)/2)t^2 where t is the length of one of the sides, or alternatively simply A=1.5dt where d is the length between parallel sides. The elegant construction discovered by Euclid is also pictured.Hexagons also pop up a lot in nature, being the shape of honey combs (for it’s space optimizing ability), igneous basalt columns, crystal structures, benzene rings, snow flakes and the clouds on Saturn’s north pole.
hexa-awesome. 

14-billion-years-later:

The Hexagon
Hexagons have to be one of my favorite shapes, it’s hard to say why but I just think they’re neat. They have internal angles that add up to 720 or 4 lots of pi for those who prefer radians (everyone). The other neat thing is that the length between a vertex and the one opposite is twice the length of one of the sides in a regular hexagon. This in turn means that hexagons can be constructed from equilateral triangles. The area for a hexagon is given by the formula A=((3√3)/2)t^2 where t is the length of one of the sides, or alternatively simply A=1.5dt where d is the length between parallel sides. The elegant construction discovered by Euclid is also pictured.Hexagons also pop up a lot in nature, being the shape of honey combs (for it’s space optimizing ability), igneous basalt columns, crystal structures, benzene rings, snow flakes and the clouds on Saturn’s north pole.
hexa-awesome. 

14-billion-years-later:

The Hexagon
Hexagons have to be one of my favorite shapes, it’s hard to say why but I just think they’re neat. They have internal angles that add up to 720 or 4 lots of pi for those who prefer radians (everyone). The other neat thing is that the length between a vertex and the one opposite is twice the length of one of the sides in a regular hexagon. This in turn means that hexagons can be constructed from equilateral triangles. The area for a hexagon is given by the formula A=((3√3)/2)t^2 where t is the length of one of the sides, or alternatively simply A=1.5dt where d is the length between parallel sides. The elegant construction discovered by Euclid is also pictured.Hexagons also pop up a lot in nature, being the shape of honey combs (for it’s space optimizing ability), igneous basalt columns, crystal structures, benzene rings, snow flakes and the clouds on Saturn’s north pole.

hexa-awesome. 

14-billion-years-later:

The Hexagon

Hexagons have to be one of my favorite shapes, it’s hard to say why but I just think they’re neat. They have internal angles that add up to 720 or 4 lots of pi for those who prefer radians (everyone). The other neat thing is that the length between a vertex and the one opposite is twice the length of one of the sides in a regular hexagon. This in turn means that hexagons can be constructed from equilateral triangles. The area for a hexagon is given by the formula A=((3√3)/2)t^2 where t is the length of one of the sides, or alternatively simply A=1.5dt where d is the length between parallel sides. The elegant construction discovered by Euclid is also pictured.

Hexagons also pop up a lot in nature, being the shape of honey combs (for it’s space optimizing ability), igneous basalt columns, crystal structures, benzene rings, snow flakes and the clouds on Saturn’s north pole.


As a scientist, I feel that my role is to object when religious belief causes people to teach lies about the world. In this regard, I would argue that one should respect religious sensibilities no more or less than any other metaphysical inclinations, but in particular they should not be respected when they are wrong. By wrong, I mean beliefs that are manifestly in disagreement with empirical evidence. The earth is not 6,000 years old. The sun did not stand still in the sky. The Kennewick Man was not a Umatilla Indian. What we need to try to eradicate is not religious belief, or faith, it is ignorance. Only when faith is threatened by knowledge does it become the enemy.

Lawrence KraussShould Science Speak to Faith? (via scipsy)