Once In a Lifetime: Transit of Venus Spectacular Sight

Once In a Lifetime: Transit of Venus Spectacular Sight

 

 

Yesterday was a rare event……The Transit of Venus.  The next time it will occur is in the year 2117.  Skygazers and astronomy lovers alike grabbed their telescopes and solar shades to get a glimpse of the once in a lifetime event.  The Transit of Venus occurs when Venus moves around the Earth and its closest star, making the sun appear to have been punctured by a small dot.  It was visible to most around the world.  Take a look at some of the shots from the occasion!

 

 

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The Sun Like You’ve Never SEEN IT

The Sun Like You've Never SEEN IT 

 

 

NASA released an incrediable video of the sun which which used images from The Solar Dynamic Observatory.  They used enhanced like which make surfaces more visible.  The video covers a 24-hour period of the sun on Sep. 25, 2011.  NASA says, "While there is no scientific value to this processing, it does result in a beautiful, new way of looking at the sun."

 

 

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Solar Powered: May 20, 2012 Solar Eclipse

Solar Powered: May 20, 2012 Solar Eclipse

 

A rare solar eclipse of  happened yesterday for some parts of the world.  In the western U.S., Asia and the Pacific, some people were treated to a spectacular annular solar eclipse.  An annular eclipse does not cover the entire sun.  NASA says:

 

The “path of annularity” is a strip about 300 km wide and thousands of km long.  It stretches from China and Japan, across the Pacific Ocean, to the middle of North America.  In the United States, the afternoon sun will become a luminous ring in places such as Medford, Oregon; Chico, California; Reno, Nevada; St. George, Utah; Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Lubbock, Texas.

 

You should not look directly at any eclipse.  You should use a solar filter because the sun's light is extremely bright.

 

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The Earth: The Best High-Resolution Photo of EARTH EVER

The Earth: The Best High-Resolution Photo of EARTH EVER 

 

 

A Russian weather satellite, Electro-L, has taken some incredable photos of the Earth, possibly the best photos of Earth to date.  The satellite orbits the earth, about the equator, and snaps images every thirty minutes.  Robert Simmons, a NASA scientist as NASA's Earth Observatory told Gizmodo:

 

Elektro-L is a Russian Satellite similar to GOES (the satellites that provide the cloud image loops shown on the news every night). The images posted by Gizmodo are a combination of visible and near-infrared wavelengths, so they show the Earth in a way not visible to human eyes (vegetation looks red, for example). They're not any better or worse than NASA images, but they show different things.

 

 

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Denver The Last DinoFart?

Denver The Last DinoFart?

 

 

 

We might want to rename the Brachiosaurus with the monikerGassiosaurus, new research indicates. The gassy emissions from these giant dinosaurs may have been enough to warm the Earth, the researchers say.

Sauropods are large plant-eating dinosaurs typified by such titans as Apatosaurus (once known as Brontosaurus) and Brachiosaurus. When they lived, during the Mesozoic era — from about 250 million years ago until the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago — the climate was warm and wet. Nothing on Earth today compares with these giants.

The researchers found that the greenhouse gas methane produced by all sauropods across the globe would have been about 520 million tons per year, a number on par with the total amount of methane currently produced by both natural and man-made sources. [Album: World's Biggest Beasts]

Questionable numbers

The researchers, led by David Wilkinson of Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom, did their best to get an accurate estimate of how much gas these big dinosaurs would have created, but their answers are still just estimates based on multiple assumptions, they warn.

The greenhouse gas methane is a natural byproduct of the digestive process of plant eaters, especially in herbivores called ruminants (like cows and camels). The researchers suspect that like ruminants, sauropods would have harbored methane-producing bacteria in their intestines to help digest these fibrous foods.

There is currently no way to tell what kind of bacteria lived in the digestive systems of dinosaurs,what gasses they produced, or what those digestive systems would have looked like, but Wilkinson thinks they would have produced methane like today's animals.

"To process that amount of vegetation they have to be relying on microbes in their digestive system," Wilkinson told LiveScience. "But without a time machine you can't be sure."

Crunching gassy numbers

They used a mathematical model to determine how much gas these plant-eating giants would have eaten. They extended data on methane production by modern mammals, based on size, up into the reaches of the sauropods.

In their calculations the researchers used middle-of-the-road numbers: 10 sauropods, each weighing 20,000 pounds (9,071 kilograms), could have roamed 1 square kilometer of lush Mesozoic habitats. "We've taken a middle-ground value," Wilkinson said. "We tried to be reasonably conservative."

They found that these 10 sauropods would have contributed 7.6 tons (6.9 tonnes) of methane every year. Expanding this number to cover the amount of land estimated to be hospitable habitat for these animals (about half the land on Earth at the time), the researchers end up with more than 550 million tons (500 million tonnes) of methane produced every year.

"I was expecting a number like that produced by cows, so the size of the number really surprised me," Wilkinson said. "It's way, way, way ahead of the estimated methane production by modern livestock." (Cows produce 55 to 110 million tons (50 to 100 million tonnes) of methane each year, he estimated.)

Big eaters

It makes sense, based on the animal's huge size, that they would make much more methane per individual than a cow. But, there are several other reasons why these large dinosaurs could have produced so much more gas than modern herbivores.

The animals would have had plenty of plants to eat, because they could reach high and low, and because of the warm climate, there was plenty of vegetation; in addition, these animals had much vaster areas in which to graze.

The real question is, did these dinosaur's gassy emissions warm the planet?

"The thing about methane is it is an extremely potent greenhouse gas," Wilkinson said. If the levels were anywhere near where their calculations indicate, he said, it very well could have been one of many factors that made that era warmer and wetter than modern times.

The study is detailed in today's (May 7) issue of the journal Current Biology.

You can follow LiveScience staff writer Jennifer Welsh on Twitter, on Google+ or on Facebook. Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter and on Facebook.

Copyright 2012 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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SUPERMOON GREAT SATURDAY

SUPERMOON GREAT SATURDAY

 

 

Last night was "Super Moon Saturday" and it didn't disappoint.  The moon shown brightly all around the world and many people took photos to celebrate the one night where the moon will show the brightest of the year.   Supermoon occurred at 11:34 EST.  The moon was 221,802 miles away from the earth and appeared 30% brighter and 14% larger than normal as it approached Earth, NASA reports.  It is referred to as "supermoon" because it is a noticeable alignment.  

 

 

 

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Saturn Video: Out of THIS WORLD

Saturn Video: Out of THIS WORLD

 

 

 

A Netherlands based director, Sander van den Berg created and directed a two-minute film dubbed "Outer Space".  The wonderful creation was made using NASA's Cassinni and Voyager Spacecraft.  The creation was set to the music The Cinematic Orchestra's "That Home".  NASA just recently announced that the Cassinni had:

 

Scientists working with images from NASA's Casino spacecraft have discovered strange half-mile-sized (kilometer-sized) objects punching through parts of Saturn's F ring, leaving glittering trails behind them. These trails in the rings, which scientists are calling "mini-jets," fill in a missing link in our story of the curious behavior of the F ring. The results will be presented tomorrow at the European Nesciences Union meeting in Vienna, Austria.

 

 

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