the great science


Ten Surprises For Scientists And Skywatchers During The Total Solar Eclipse

3.) The solar corona really did turn visibly pink in some spots. When some people looked at the corona, myself included, there were some locations around the Sun’s rim that appeared pink to the naked eye. It wasn’t your eyes playing tricks on you, although I never expected human eyes would be sensitive enough to see that color! When you ionize a hydrogen atom, which the Sun’s corona is more than hot enough to do, you create free electrons. As those electrons fall back down onto the hydrogen nuclei, they go through a series of transitions. The most powerful optical transition is a red line at precisely 656.3 nanometers. Combined with the white light of the luminous corona itself, the hydrogen line creates a pink effect where the Sun’s plasma loops near the photosphere are strongest. The pink effect was real.”

No matter how well-prepared you were for your first total solar eclipse, no amount of reading or photograph-searching could do the experience justice. There were so many things to feel, see, and be overwhelmed by that you literally needed to be there to relate to. Yet it was remarkable how many things there were that surprised scientists and skywatchers alike. The temperatures really did plummet, and they dropped by more than even the weather models predicted. There was a star and a planet visible, but not the planets we thought would arrive. The sky turned red along the horizon, which was a mystery for centuries, even after we learned why the sky is blue. And the light, the way it looked across the landscape, was a unique treat that you’ll never experience during any other time than an eclipse itself.

Here are ten surprises that left me (and millions of others) in awe of the experience. It’s why the 2017 total eclipse, my first, will definitely not be my last!

anonymous asked:

Top five favorite disney movies? For science.


(I’m not including the Pixar films because that would need its own list)

5. Beauty and the Beast (the animation)

4. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

3. Zootopia


1. Tangled


This Earth Day (April 22) we must  remain humble and be reminded of the environmental fights we have already lost so that we can learn from our mistakes and fight for a better future for us, our children, and the world.These 5 environmental battles we have sadly already lost, or are very close to losing, serve as a reminder of why we need to keep fighting. Read more

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Scientists are about to get an up-close and personal look at Jupiter’s most famous landmark, the Great Red Spot.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft will be directly over the spot shortly after 10 p.m. ET on Monday, July 10, about 5,600 miles above the gas giant’s cloud tops. That’s closer than any spacecraft has been before.

The spot is actually a giant storm that has been blowing on Jupiter for centuries. It’s huge, larger than the Earth in diameter.

“It’s lasted a really long time,” says Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio and principal scientist for NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter. “No scientists really understand exactly how that storm is created or why it could last so long.”

NASA Spacecraft Gets Up Close With Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

Image: Karen Teramura with James O'Donoghue and Luke Moore/NASA


President Donald Trump could announce his long-awaited final decision on whether or not to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreements on climate change any day now.

Meanwhile newly unveiled research shows the growing effects of climate change are even more dire than many scientists initially suspected. Some of the repercussions are already irreversible.

It seems the stakes couldn’t be much higher for the global scientific community or the planet. Read more (5/30/17)

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A little birthday something for Kaz who wanted S4 Sam - SN: 04x12