chemical reactions

I have to admit, there’s something magnetic
in the livid flicker of firelight.
I’m accustomed to the vacuum chill
of deep space; my molecules
have long since fallen still.
But they’re buzzing now, every inch of me,
every part of me waking up. Warming.
Aching, frostbitten
but still attached. Still alive, somehow,
and growing more so
every second.

I attribute this to you—
to them, too, each one
of the raucous, raggedy orphans
who’ve claimed us as their own, but
in my mind, it’s thanks to you
more than anyone else
that I’m regaining sensation in my toes.
There’s a heat in you
like a secret star, chemical reactions
racing a mile a minute,
transforming, creating.
I’m not sure even you know
just how powerful you are.
How contagious.
But I caught this fever from you,
and as I bask now
in the light of your blazing core,
I wonder what it would be like
to burn like this forever.
‘Forever’ is a strong word, I know.
But I confess,
it doesn’t scare me like it should.
—  alucinor 3.17 (s.s.)
Extracting Bismuth from Pepto Bismol!

So today I extracted bismuth from pepto bismol with the chemistry teacher and my partner for a project.  I have pictures explaining each step.  Enjoy!

So I went out and bought 180 pepto bismol pills (obviously not all of them are shown here).

Then we put them in a mortar…

…and ground them with a pestle:

When we were done grinding them we had a beautiful beaker of powdered Pepto Bismol.

Then we got to the fun part.

We dissolved the powder in a solution of six parts water and one part muriatic acid (also known as hydrochloric acid (HCl)).  While we were trying to dissolve it we got this (Ignore the NaOH it was on the flask originally and has nothing to do with this project):

You can see that we got a lot of foam. It even overflowed and we had to put it into separate flasks so we wouldn’t lose our work.  I found this to be hilarious.

I know the flask only shows a little bit of overflow but there was a lot more after! The end result of the dissolved pills was a foggy white solution with foam still present but the powder was dissolved.  Then we filtered it.

This type of filter was not sufficient enough so we switched to a coffee filter which was faster but it was still filtering slowly.  While the solution was being filtered the chemistry teacher was curious and wanted to know if the next step worked so he took some of the filtrate and put the aluminum foil in and it worked!

The black stuff that you see is the bismuth powder which formed as a result of the reaction between the aluminum and the filtrate! We filtered that too but it is not done yet but it probably will be done by tomorrow.  I will post an update if I can.  I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed doing this experiment!


UPDATE: The explosion was a result of a chemical reaction related to drug use

Original story below:

Bomb goes off in Target women’s bathroom

A small bomb went off inside the women’s restroom of an Evanston, Illinois, Target on Wednesday afternoon around 4 p.m., local affiliate WGN TV reported. The bomb didn’t hurt anyone and caused only minor damage. Police are investigating — but the timing of this can’t be ignored.


I’ve spent the past few months attempting to figure out a framework for Ghost Physics in the Danny Phantom universe? Enjoy my crazed scribblings.

Cliff notes version: The Ghost Zone is our dimension’s 4D “atmosphere,” absorbing harmful trans-dimensional radiation. Ghosts are made of the Ghost Zone’s version of matter, called ectoplasm, a substance capable of 4D motion (video explanation of that), “toggling” how physical forces (esp. electromagnetism and gravity) interact with it, and storing huge amounts of energy. A ghost’s unique nervous system and encoded body plan (the ecto-signature) remains in the upper energy levels of the Ghost Zone at all times, remotely controlling their body. Danny can chemically change his body between ectoplasm and regular matter, and has both a normal physical brain and an ecto-signature.

A Literal Essay:

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Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Reaching out into space yields benefits on Earth. Many of these have practical applications — but there’s something more than that. Call it inspiration, perhaps, what photographer Ansel Adams referred to as nature’s “endless prospect of magic and wonder." 

Our ongoing exploration of the solar system has yielded more than a few magical images. Why not keep some of them close by to inspire your own explorations? This week, we offer 10 planetary photos suitable for wallpapers on your desktop or phone. Find many more in our galleries. These images were the result of audacious expeditions into deep space; as author Edward Abbey said, "May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.”

1. Martian Selfie

This self-portrait of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the robotic geologist in the “Murray Buttes” area on lower Mount Sharp. Key features on the skyline of this panorama are the dark mesa called “M12” to the left of the rover’s mast and pale, upper Mount Sharp to the right of the mast. The top of M12 stands about 23 feet (7 meters) above the base of the sloping piles of rocks just behind Curiosity. The scene combines approximately 60 images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager, or MAHLI, camera at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. Most of the component images were taken on September 17, 2016.

2. The Colors of Pluto

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft captured this high-resolution, enhanced color view of Pluto on July 14, 2015. The image combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC). Pluto’s surface sports a remarkable range of subtle colors, enhanced in this view to a rainbow of pale blues, yellows, oranges, and deep reds. Many landforms have their own distinct colors, telling a complex geological and climatological story that scientists have only just begun to decode.

3. The Day the Earth Smiled

On July 19, 2013, in an event celebrated the world over, our Cassini spacecraft slipped into Saturn’s shadow and turned to image the planet, seven of its moons, its inner rings — and, in the background, our home planet, Earth. This mosaic is special as it marks the third time our home planet was imaged from the outer solar system; the second time it was imaged by Cassini from Saturn’s orbit, the first time ever that inhabitants of Earth were made aware in advance that their photo would be taken from such a great distance.

4. Looking Back

Before leaving the Pluto system forever, New Horizons turned back to see Pluto backlit by the sun. The small world’s haze layer shows its blue color in this picture. The high-altitude haze is thought to be similar in nature to that seen at Saturn’s moon Titan. The source of both hazes likely involves sunlight-initiated chemical reactions of nitrogen and methane, leading to relatively small, soot-like particles called tholins. This image was generated by combining information from blue, red and near-infrared images to closely replicate the color a human eye would perceive.

5. Catching Its Own Tail

A huge storm churning through the atmosphere in Saturn’s northern hemisphere overtakes itself as it encircles the planet in this true-color view from Cassini. This picture, captured on February 25, 2011, was taken about 12 weeks after the storm began, and the clouds by this time had formed a tail that wrapped around the planet. The storm is a prodigious source of radio noise, which comes from lightning deep within the planet’s atmosphere.

6. The Great Red Spot

Another massive storm, this time on Jupiter, as seen in this dramatic close-up by Voyager 1 in 1979. The Great Red Spot is much larger than the entire Earth.

7. More Stormy Weather

Jupiter is still just as stormy today, as seen in this recent view from NASA’s Juno spacecraft, when it soared directly over Jupiter’s south pole on February 2, 2017, from an altitude of about 62,800 miles (101,000 kilometers) above the cloud tops. From this unique vantage point we see the terminator (where day meets night) cutting across the Jovian south polar region’s restless, marbled atmosphere with the south pole itself approximately in the center of that border. This image was processed by citizen scientist John Landino. This enhanced color version highlights the bright high clouds and numerous meandering oval storms.

8. X-Ray Vision

X-rays stream off the sun in this image showing observations from by our Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, overlaid on a picture taken by our Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The NuSTAR data, seen in green and blue, reveal solar high-energy emission. The high-energy X-rays come from gas heated to above 3 million degrees. The red channel represents ultraviolet light captured by SDO, and shows the presence of lower-temperature material in the solar atmosphere at 1 million degrees.

9. One Space Robot Photographs Another

This image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows Victoria crater, near the equator of Mars. The crater is approximately half a mile (800 meters) in diameter. It has a distinctive scalloped shape to its rim, caused by erosion and downhill movement of crater wall material. Since January 2004, the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been operating in the region where Victoria crater is found. Five days before this image was taken in October 2006, Opportunity arrived at the rim of the crater after a drive of more than over 5 miles (9 kilometers). The rover can be seen in this image, as a dot at roughly the “ten o'clock” position along the rim of the crater. (You can zoom in on the full-resolution version here.)

10. Night Lights

Last, but far from least, is this remarkable new view of our home planet. Last week, we released new global maps of Earth at night, providing the clearest yet composite view of the patterns of human settlement across our planet. This composite image, one of three new full-hemisphere views, provides a view of the Americas at night from the NASA-NOAA Suomi-NPP satellite. The clouds and sun glint — added here for aesthetic effect — are derived from MODIS instrument land surface and cloud cover products.

Discover more lists of 10 things to know about our solar system HERE.

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Hi everybody! I just started a YouTube channel for science videos and I’d seriously appreciate it if you could check it out/subscribe/share it. I’ve spent a lot of time on it (and I personally find the video really funny) so thank you for any support!

Humanity is so beautiful

So I learned two cool things about humans: 
Humans have stripes!
Human skin is overlaid with what dermatologists call Blaschko’s Lines, a pattern of stripes covering the body from head to toe. The stripes run up and down your arms and legs and hug your torso. You cannot see them without special equipment as the difference between the stripe cells and the non-stripes are too subtle for human eyes to pick up. You will also notice them at if something irritates the skin, as rashes and moles can form along these invisible lines.

Humans are bio-luminescent!
We glow in the dark. Natural chemical reactions in our cells let out some energy in the form of visible light. Unfortunately this light is very weak, about 1000 times weaker than the eye can see. Scientists still don’t know if there are animals capable of seeing this light in humans. 

So, it gave me an idea, and I will be writing something on it, but I’m also eager to see where others would go with the idea: what if humans met a race that could see our stripes, or our glow, or both! 
My take on the idea will involve the aliens adoring these glowing stripy creatures. Humans, meanwhile, are really confused about why these aliens find us so much more attractive than the more colourful creatures out there. Their compliments would confuse us. We literally cannot see what makes us beautiful to them. 

Anyone who wants to write this, feel free to go other places; love, hate, disgust, confusion. Any reaction from the humans, or aliens, can make a good story. 

1,000 Days in Orbit: MAVEN’s Top 10 Discoveries at Mars

On June 17, our MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission) will celebrate 1,000 Earth days in orbit around the Red Planet.

Since its launch in November 2013 and its orbit insertion in September 2014, MAVEN has been exploring the upper atmosphere of Mars. MAVEN is bringing insight to how the sun stripped Mars of most of its atmosphere, turning a planet once possibly habitable to microbial life into a barren desert world.

Here’s a countdown of the top 10 discoveries from the mission so far:

10. Unprecedented Ultraviolet View of Mars

Revealing dynamic, previously invisible behavior, MAVEN was able to show the ultraviolet glow from the Martian atmosphere in unprecedented detail. Nightside images showed ultraviolet “nightglow” emission from nitric oxide. Nightglow is a common planetary phenomenon in which the sky faintly glows even in the complete absence of eternal light.

9. Key Features on the Loss of Atmosphere

Some particles from the solar wind are able to penetrate unexpectedly deep into the upper atmosphere, rather than being diverted around the planet by the Martian ionosphere. This penetration is allowed by chemical reactions in the ionosphere that turn the charged particles of the solar wind into neutral atoms that are then able to penetrate deeply.

8. Metal Ions

MAVEN made the first direct observations of a layer of metal ions in the Martian ionosphere, resulting from incoming interplanetary dust hitting the atmosphere. This layer is always present, but was enhanced dramatically by the close passage to Mars of Comet Siding Spring in October 2014.

7. Two New Types of Aurora

MAVEN has identified two new types of aurora, termed “diffuse” and “proton” aurora. Unlike how we think of most aurorae on Earth, these aurorae are unrelated to either a global or local magnetic field.

6. Cause of the Aurorae

These aurorae are caused by an influx of particles from the sun ejected by different types of solar storms. When particles from these storms hit the Martian atmosphere, they can also increase the rate of loss of gas to space, by a factor of ten or more.

5. Complex Interactions with Solar Wind

The interactions between the solar wind and the planet are unexpectedly complex. This results due to the lack of an intrinsic Martian magnetic field and the occurrence of small regions of magnetized crust that can affect the incoming solar wind on local and regional scales. The magnetosphere that results from the interactions varies on short timescales and is remarkably “lumpy” as a result.

4. Seasonal Hydrogen

After investigating the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet for a full Martian year, MAVEN determined that the escaping water does not always go gently into space. The spacecraft observed the full seasonal variation of hydrogen in the upper atmosphere, confirming that it varies by a factor of 10 throughout the year. The escape rate peaked when Mars was at its closest point to the sun and dropped off when the planet was farthest from the sun.

3. Gas Lost to Space

MAVEN has used measurements of the isotopes in the upper atmosphere (atoms of the same composition but having different mass) to determine how much gas has been lost through time. These measurements suggest that 2/3 or more of the gas has been lost to space.

2. Speed of Solar Wind Stripping Martian Atmosphere

MAVEN has measured the rate at which the sun and the solar wind are stripping gas from the top of the atmosphere to space today, along with details of the removal process. Extrapolation of the loss rates into the ancient past – when the solar ultraviolet light and the solar wind were more intense – indicates that large amounts of gas have been lost to space through time.

1. Martian Atmosphere Lost to Space

The Mars atmosphere has been stripped away by the sun and the solar wind over time, changing the climate from a warmer and wetter environment early in history to the cold, dry climate that we see today.

Maven will continue its observations and is now observing a second Martian year, looking at the ways that the seasonal cycles and the solar cycle affect the system.

For more information about MAVEN, visit:

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grimm-fairy  asked:

I don't know if you've ever answered this before, but do you believe that snake and lizard pets feel love for their owners? There are a lot of conflicting opinions online.

This is a complicated question! People like to argue back and forth about it, but really, the answer is no. 

Reptiles, as awesome as they are, are incapable of feeling love as we understand it. There’s a kicker there, because human and reptile brains are very different. There’s a complex series of chemical reactions that govern human emotions. What we understand as love is closely related to oxytocin, a hormone that reptiles simply do not produce. Reptiles are also not social animals like dogs (for the most part- there are limited exceptions!) and they’re not domesticated. Domestication plays a HUGE part in why our dogs “love” us- we selectively bred the most social, friendly proto-dogs. Dogs have genetic instincts to socialize, to live in a pack with others, and to cooperate- but reptiles really don’t. 

That being said, reptiles do have emotions- fear, stress, curiosity, comfort- and can definitely come to recognize and trust their owners. They’re non-social creatures that are in many cases actively ok with hanging out with an animal much, much larger than them- some reptiles will even run up to their people when they see them, even if they don’t get a food reward. A well-acclimated reptile is often very curious about their person, and some reptiles will bond with their people- not so much the way a dog will, but they’ll trust a person and prefer their company and attention. But they’re not mammals and so trying to understand their emotional capabilities from a mammalian perspective is really difficult. It tends to lead to anthropomorphizing, or ascribing human thoughts and feelings to a non-human creature- and for reptiles, which have sensitive needs, this can end in tragedy. 

I think that’s actually one of the fairly rewarding things about pet reptiles- that they can come to trust a creature (us!) they should naturally fear or ignore. While they might not love us like we love them, they’re still wonderful, dynamic creatures. The best way we can show our love for them is by giving them the best lives possible and doing our best to earn their trust.