Interested in astronomy and physics but a lover of all of the sciences. Listener of Grizzly Bear, Talking Heads, and The Shins. Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman enthusiast.
Leaf tailed gecko, photographed by Thomas Marent
Stunning gif of Saturn’s auroras.
1. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking — A book in which Hawking attempts to explain a range of subjects in cosmology to the non-specialist reader.
2. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson — The history of science through the stories of the people…
- Christopher Hitchens (via whats-out-there)
types of matter
600 Million Years and Counting…
I was pretty bored so I decided to make some GIFs of the last 600 million years of our planet’s plate tectonics.
The first GIF is a global mollewide projection. The second one is of the Colorado Plateau and the North American Southwest. The next GIF is of the entire formation of the North American Continent. The fourth GIF is of geologic and tectonic evolution of Europe. And finally the last one is the same as the first except in rectangular format.
I obtained the images from Global Paleogeography and them compiled them one by one into Photoshop with the end result being the above GIFs.
- Richard Feynman (via observando)
The color of the Aurora depends on the altitude and the atom being struck by solar radiation (causing excitation). At higher altitudes, there is more Atomic Oxygen than Nitrogen, leading to the common color stratifications you see.
500-200 km altitude
— Atomic Oxygen — Red
— Atomic Oxygen — Greenish-Yellow
— Ionized Nitrogen — Blue/Purple
— Nitrogen (N2) — Crimson
Oxygen only emits red at higher altitudes because once it’s excited, it takes a longer time to emit red than it does green. Why is that important? Well, at lower altitudes there is more Nitrogen for the Oxygen to bump into and absorb that excitation-energy before it gets a chance to emit red light. In this case, where the collision occurs, the Oxygen will emit Green and at low enough altitudes the Nitrogen-Oxygen collisions eventually prevent Oxygen from emitting any light at all.
During stronger storms, high energy solar particles will reach lower in the atmosphere and cause the Crimson emission from Nitrogen, creating a deep-red band at the lower edge of the aurora. Other elements emit light too, like Hydrogen (Blue) or Helium (Purple) which are at higher altitudes.
Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong during his Gemini 8 flight, 1966
Photo Credit: NASA
Sept. 12, 1992: Dr. Mae Jemison Becomes First African American Woman in Space
On this day in 1992, Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African American woman to travel through space. She served as Mission Specialist aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-47.
WTCI’s Alison Lebovitz discusses the legacy of the first woman of color to travel beyond the stratosphere on “The A List with Alison Lebovitz.” Watch the interview here.
Jemison appeared on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me in 2013 and told host Peter Sagal how she geeked out about Star Trek as a young woman, relished dancing in the Space Shuttle Endeavour, abhorred using diapers in space, and much more.
She also described what it felt like to finally achieve her dream of visiting space:
And I remember one time actually we flew through the Southern Lights… They’re these shimmering curtain of lights. So there’s nothing that you could have ever seen in a science fiction movie that would even come close to seeing that in person.