Archive for August 8, 2012

Cat Album: The Life of a Cheetah

Posted in Relaxing Corner on August 8, 2012 by 2eyeswatching

Post 1123

Cat Album: The Life of a Cheetah

LiveScience Staff
Date: 02 August 2012 Time: 03:30 PM ET
Big Stretch

Big Stretch

Credit: KA Photography KEVM111, ShutterstockCheetahs can grow to lengths of 3.5 to 4.5 feet, not including their tails, which extend some 30 inches, standing at 2-3 feet at the shoulder, according to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. And the spotted cats weigh between 75 and 145 pounds. Here, a cheetah stretches out in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve.

My What Big Eyes

My What Big Eyes

Credit: marcokenya | ShutterstockThe fastest runners in the animal kingdom have some of the biggest eyes for their body size, researchers reported May 2, 2012 in the journal Anatomical Record. That’s because bigger eyes often mean better eyesight. And when you’re moving as fast as a cheetah, the super vision comes in handy.

Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You CanCredit: © Bob Suir | Dreamstime.comThey are fast! Cheetahs are considered the fastest animals on land, with their wiry bodies built for intense bursts of speed. In fact, an 11-year-old cheetah at the Cincinnati Zoo broke the world speed record in 2012; Sarah (see next image) ran the 100-meter sprint in 5.95 seconds, four seconds faster than the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt of Jamaica, whose quickest time for this distance is 9.58 seconds.

Sarah Sprints

Sarah Sprints

Credit: Ken Geiger/National Geographic MagazineSarah, who set a world land speed record in June, is 11 years old and lives at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Sarah the Cheetah

Sarah the Cheetah

Credit: Ken Geiger/National Geographic MagazineSarah the cheetah first set a world record in speed in 2009, when she ran 100 meters in 6.13 seconds.

Speedy Cheetah

Speedy Cheetah

Credit: © Ken Geiger/National Geographic MagazineAn 11-year-old cheetah named Sarah broke a world record by running 100 meters in 5.95 seconds on June 20, 2012.

In Hot Pursuit

In Hot Pursuit

Credit: Dennis Donohue, ShutterstockThey are forces to be reckoned with, stalking their prey and approaching to within about 50 feet, according to the Smithsonian, before sprinting from cover toward their target. The wild cats grab pretty by the throat and suffocate them within just minutes. Here, a cheetah chases down a wart hog in Kruger National Park.

Hiding the Kill

Hiding the Kill

Credit: Eric Isselée, ShutterstockAfter securing their kill, like this gazelle, cheetahs may drag it elsewhere to cover, though, despite their best efforts to hide catches, larger predators often snag their prey, according to the Smithsonian.

The Female

The Female

Credit: Villiers Steyn, ShutterstockFemale cheetahs reach breeding age at 21-22 months old, and though they can breed any time of the year, they tend to mate in the dry season, according to the Smithsonian. And except for when they are raising cubs, the females live alone and rarely associate with other cheetahs.

Cheetah Cub and Mom

Cheetah Cub and Mom

Credit: Jason Prince, ShutterstockAdorable cheetah cubs usually wean from their mom at about 3 months old. Mom usually has three cubs at a time, though until about 5 or 6 weeks of age, the cubs stay hidden. After that, they follow mom around to learn her skills.

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The Rise of “Cyber Therapy,” or How Games Became a Medical Treatment

Posted in SCIENCE, GEOLOGY,HEALTH, INVIRONMENT, TECHNOLOGY,ANTHROPOLOGY, ARCHAEOLOGY, on August 8, 2012 by 2eyeswatching

Post 1122

The Rise of “Cyber Therapy,” or How Games Became a Medical Treatment

By George Dvorsky
https://i1.wp.com/img.gawkerassets.com/img/17v9gzrqxpaixjpg/original.jpg

Today many doctors today say the best high-tech treatments are ones you can download from an app store. A trend in digital bootstrapping, using simple technology to solve complicated problems, reveals that the best cure isn’t always a brand-new drug or gadget. Sometimes a simple iPad app or game can transform a troubled treatment into a successful therapy.

This was the topic of discussion at a talk presented by Anitko‘s Kel Smith at the WorldFuture 2012 Conference held from July 28 to 30 in Toronto, Ontario. Smith has made a career of exploring and developing “barrier-free” digital experiences — particularly for those who need it the most.

Simple tools to change behavior

Smith noted how any therapeutic tool, regardless of its cost and technological sophistication, has to be measured in terms of its effectiveness. Ultimately, if the desired end is achieved, the device or intervention should be considered a success.

The Rise of "Cyber Therapy," or How Games Became a Medical Treatment As an example, Smith described the Grace app for iPhone and iPad. It’s a simple device that helps autistic children and adults communicate more effectively and comfortably — and it does so by allowing them to build semantic sequences from a series of images that help them construct complete sentences. The app itself was developed to alleviate the frustrations often experienced by autistics when trying to communicate with neurotypicals.

“People who are on the spectrum have a tantrum not because of the condition,” said Smith, “but because they are being misunderstood.” By using this affordable mobile app, autistics are finding new ways to communicate — and in a manner that leads to considerably less stress and angst.

Smith also pointed to the example of Mason Ellsworth, a musical prodigy who became paraplegic after being hit by a drunk driver. Ellsworth became depressed and despondent after the accident, unwilling to re-engage in life. Then, after working with California based Smule Apps, he started to rediscover his musical roots by using the Ocarina musical software program. Because of its social nature, he was able to perform with other musicians over the net — and it completely transformed Ellsworth’s world.

“This simple app offered some tremendously positive emotional associations for Mason,” said Smith, adding that “Competence is a continuum by which people adapt to their environment — how we measure that competence is by how you adapt to your environment.” In this sense, Ocarina did the trick.

Indeed, it was clear from Smith’s presentation that it’s often the simplest things that can make the biggest impact. Take the story of Lee Ridley, for example, a British man who is using a speech synthesizer to overcome his cerebral palsy and make a career doing stand-up comedy as The Lost Voice Guy.

Playing games

Therapists are often frustrated with their patients who, for whatever reason, fail to take their medications. According to Smith, medical nonadherence results in over 125,000 fatalities each year — the fourth leading cause of preventable deaths. In addition, 28% of people returning home from the hospital end up having to go back on account of insufficient touch-points.

“We now live in a hi-tech, low-touch society,” said Smith.

Home visits are a way of addressing the problem, but this strategy has resulted in physical therapists having to drive a total of nearly five billion miles per year — more than UPS’s annual run of two billion miles.

“Drugs only work for those people who take them,” said Smith. The trick, therefore, is to get compliance — and low-tech offers yet another elegant solution. By creating encouraging and fun video games, therapists have been able to motivate their patients into both remembering and administering their medications. The promise of reward, it would seem, can be a very powerful motivator.

Games have proven to be particularly effective when working with children. Smith highlighted Medical Acoustics’ Lung Flute for the treatment of bronchial conditions. Children don’t like blowing into the medical device — but they’re required to do so two to three times per day. It was by turning it into a game where the children could inflate and blow up a virtual balloon that the therapists got the compliance they were looking for.

But games can be used for more than just compliance. Smith pointed out how Toronto’s St. Michael’s hospital is using the Nintendo Wii console to improve motor skills in patients by as much as 30%. He also noted how Microsoft’s Kinect is helping autistic kids with their motor skills and coordination.

Other games can simply create engagement where previously there was none. Waterloo Labs out of Texas has developed a DIY version of Super Mario that can be controlled by just using eye movements — what will be an entirely new gaming opportunity for quadriplegics.

Changing realities

Though a little bit more sophisticated in the technology department, virtual reality devices are proving to be helpful as well — tools that virtually any hospital can afford.

Smith noted how therapists are increasingly taking advantage of a phenomenon called ‘cognitive bonding’ in which a person feels physically associated with their avatar. For people working through a physical injury or developmental disorder, the act of working with an avatar in a VR environment is allowing them to get more comfortable with moving their bodies through time and space. As they “virtually” move their bodies around, they get better.

These tools are also helping with pain management. Pioneering work by Hunter Hoffman at the University of Washington’s burn unit has shown that receptors in the brain that respond to heat also respond to pain. Hoffman has been able to take advantage of this phenomenon by transplanting a person to a snowy, blue, and snowman-infested virtual environment. The psychological impact of this “pain distraction” is so pronounced that therapists are no longer having to treat their patients with opiates. And as Smith encouragingly noted, “This cyber therapy, where we’re separating body from the mind, is finally starting to gain credibility.”

Top image via bloomua/shutterstock.com. Inset images via wsa-mobile.org, buffalo.edu, hitlabs.

Fall 2012: Snow for Rockies; Warmth Grips Midwest, Northeast

Posted in News on August 8, 2012 by 2eyeswatching

Post 1121

Fall 2012: Snow for Rockies; Warmth Grips Midwest, Northeast

Meghan Evans, AccuWeather.com – Aug 06, 2012 01:02 PM ET

This article was provided by AccuWeather.com.

The return of chilly air and early season snow is expected in the Rockies for Fall 2012, while temperatures will remain mild for portions of the Midwest and Northeast.

The Southeast and Gulf Coast will be soggy, and some drought relief is in store for the the Plains.

A breakdown of the Fall 2012 forecast can be found below.

Chill to Return to Rockies First
While cold air may be delayed in arriving across areas farther east in the nation, cold shots will not have a problem reaching the Rockies. This is the first area that may be at risk for early frosts and freezes.

“I think there will be some early cold outbreaks out over the central and northern Rockies, especially. I think that where the season-winter season-actually is going to start much quicker,” Pastelok emphasized.

Temperatures are expected to average 1-2 degrees below normal for the northern Rockies this fall.

Four Corners a Hot Spot for Snow By Mid-Season
The central and southern Rockies, spanning the Four Corners region, may be a hot spot for snow by the middle of the season.

The mountains in Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico may start to get snowfall during October.

Colorado ski lift photo posted by Flickr user dkwonsh.

“As far as early snowfall goes, I think places in the Four Corner region will be the places to watch. The jet stream will be increasing across that area. And I think they will start to see some snow falling by as early as early- to mid-October,” Pastelok said.

A possible early kick start to the ski season in the Rockies is great news for both ski enthusiasts and the ski industry.

Some Rain Relief for the Plains
Before monsoon moisture tapers off across the Southwest and as storms begin to impact the Northwest in the fall, some moisture will stream into portions of the central and southern Plains at times.

The rain will be beneficial for communities that have been suffering severe to exceptional drought conditions.

drought forecast 2012

Western and central portions of Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas will get some rain relief from the brutal drought. Conditions have been very bad for brush and grass fires, and the return of rain should help the situation.

Wet for Southeast, Gulf Coast
Communities across eastern Texas, the Gulf Coast and Southeast will have a wet fall due to a combination of potential tropical system landfalls and fronts that stall across the region.

Two more direct landfalls from tropical systems are forecast in the U.S. as the hurricane season picks up during August and September, according to AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski. The central Gulf Coast to the Southeast coast, from southern Mississippi eastward to Florida and then northward to southern Virginia, is the most likely to get hit.

RELATED:
The Worst is Yet to Come with the Atlantic Hurricane Season
Atlantic Hurricane Season: Record Start, Followed by a Lull

A gradual fading of the tropical season is expected to occur during October, depending on how fast and strong El Niño comes on. El Niño is a phenomenon characterized by above-normal water temperatures across the central and equatorial Pacific.

However, while tropical season winds down, soggy weather should continue to hammer the region from other sources.

“We have to be careful along the Gulf Coast, particularly from Louisiana into the Southeast. There is the potential for fronts stalling out and causing widespread flooding. That’s an area of concern as we get into October and November especially,” AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

New Orleans, La., Montgomery, Ala., Atlanta, Ga., Columbia, S.C., and Raleigh, N.C., are among the cities that will be wet this fall.

Some of the moisture will stream into the southern mid-Atlantic at times as well, for cities such as Norfolk and Richmond, Va.

Warm, Dry Fall for Ohio Valley, Great Lakes, Parts of the Northeast
The center of hot and dry weather has kept a tight grip of the central Plains and Midwest over the summer. The warm and dry weather for the fall will shift farther east across the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and interior Northeast.

Unfortunately, drought-stricken areas of the Ohio Valley will continue to deal with above-normal warmth and below-normal precipitation.

The Northeast, which got hit by a nasty Halloween snowstorm last year, will have a slower return of chilly air. Early season snow is not likely for the I-95 cities, because it may take a while for cold air to sink up with huge storms.

However, the frost forecast is much more difficult.

“The early frost prediction is a very difficult one, because you can still get frost in areas that are above-normal for the fall season. For instance, like the Midwest and central Plains states, they can still see a normal to maybe early frost. I think it is more likely in the central and northern Rockies and least likely in the Northeast,” explained Pastelok.

Wet Early-Mid Season in Northwest, Then Shifting to California
It will start out wet during the early and middle of the fall in the Northwest.

“I think it will start out wetter, but get drier in the late fall season, which could set up for a fairly dry or at least below-normal winter season across areas like Seattle and Spokane,” Pastelok added.

Wet weather will shift farther south across much of California during the middle to latter part of the season. A wet late-fall is in store for San Francisco.

Increased snowfall expected in the Sierra is good news for California water supply, following a significant snow drought last winter.

© AccuWeather.com. All rights reserved. More from AccuWeather.com.

Mars rover sends first photos

Posted in THE UNIVERSE & SPACE SCIENCE on August 8, 2012 by 2eyeswatching

Post 1120

Mars rover sends first photos

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity beamed back an incredible image of its surroundings, Aug. 6, showing a spectacularly clear view of the enormous mountain that it will clamber up in the next few years. NASA’s Mars science rover Curiosity landed on Mars late on Aug. 5 in an historic landing.

NASA rover

This image released on Tuesday Aug. 7,2012 by NASA shows the first color view of the north wall and rim of Gale Crater where NASA’s rover Curiosity landed Sunday night. The picture was taken by the rover’s camera at the end of its stowed robotic arm and appears fuzzy because of dust on the camera’s cover. (AP Photo/NASA)

Mars Rover Curiosity Snaps Photo of Crater's Mysterious Mountain

ASA’s Mars rover Curiosity snapped this picture of Mount Sharp with its front Hazard Avoidance camera, or Hazcam. The photo was released by NASA on Aug. 6, 2012.

Mars Rover Curiosity Snaps Photo of Crater's Mysterious Mountain

This full-resolution version of one of the first images taken by a rear-left Hazard-Avoidance camera on NASA’s Curiosity rover, was released on Aug. 6, 2012.The image was originally taken through the “fisheye” wide-angle lens, but has been “lin

In this photo released by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona, NASA's Curiosity rover and its parachute, left, descend to the Martian surface on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. The high-resolution Imaging Science

In this photo released by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona, NASA’s Curiosity rover and its parachute, left, descend to the Martian surface on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. The high-resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera captured this image of Curiosity while the orbiter was listening to transmissions from the rover. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

This handout image from NASA, one of the first images from the Curiosity rover which landed on Mars, with camera dust cover in place, shows the wheel of the rover after it successfully landed on Mars

This handout image from NASA, one of the first images from the Curiosity rover which landed on Mars the evening of August 5, 2012, with camera dust cover in place, shows the wheel of the rover after it successfully landed on Mars. The rover landed on the Martian surface shortly after 10:30 p.m. Pacific time on Sunday (1:30 a.m. EDT Monday/0530 GMT) to begin a two-year mission seeking evidence the Red Planet once hosted ingredients for life, NASA said. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA/Handout (UNITED STATES – Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

Amazing Mars Rover Landing Video Captures NASA's Daring Descent

This color thumbnail image was obtained by NASA’s Curiosity rover during its descent to the surface of Mars on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT). The image was obtained by the Mars Descent Imager instrument known as MARDI and shows the 15-foot (4.5-meter*
Amazing Mars Rover Landing Video Captures NASA's Daring Descent

This image from Curiosity’s Mars Descent Imager illustrates the roughly circular swirls of dust kicked up from the Martian surface by the rocket motor exhaust. At this point, Curiosity is about 70 feet (20 meters) above the surface. This dust c

In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from a second batch of images sent from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars

In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from a second batch of images sent from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on Mars. The video screen was inside the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California August 5, 2012.The rover landed on the Martian surface shortly after 10:30 p.m. Pacific time on Sunday (1:30 a.m. EDT Monday/0530 GMT) to begin a two-year mission seeking evidence the Red Planet once hosted ingredients for life, NASA said. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA TV/Handout (UNITED STATES – Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Wow! Mars Rover Landing Spotted by Orbiting Spacecraft

Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity members from left: John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator, Charles Elachi, director, JPL, Pete Theisinger, MSL project manager, Richard Cook, MSL deputy project

Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity members from left: John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator, Charles Elachi, director, JPL, Pete Theisinger, MSL project manager, Richard Cook, MSL deputy project manager, Adam Steltzner, MSL entry, descent and landing (EDL) lead and John Grotzinger, MSL project scientist, California Institute of Technology, from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover mission team raise their arms celebrate the landing of Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

In this video grab Rob Manning, Flight System Chief Engineer Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, right, celebrates NASA's most high-tech Mars rover Curiosity safe landing into Mars surfac

In this video grab Rob Manning, Flight System Chief Engineer Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, right, celebrates NASA’s most high-tech Mars rover Curiosity safe landing into Mars surface with a complex new landing technique at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
An artist's concept of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft approaching Mars
An artist’s concept of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft approaching Mars. The Curiosity rover is safely tucked inside the spacecraft’s aeroshell. The mission’s approach phase begins 45 minutes before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere. It lasts until the spacecraft enters the atmosphere. For navigation purposes, the atmospheric entry point is 2,188 miles (3,522 kilometers) above the center of the planet. This illustration depicts a scene after the spacecraft’s cruise stage has been jettisoned, which will occur 10 minutes before atmospheric entry.The landing is set for late evening August 5, 2012. REUTERS/ NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout (UNITED STATES – Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)
Mars Rover Curiosity Will Hunt for Life's Building Blocks
Artist’s concept depicts the NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a nuclear-powered mobile robot for investigating the Red Planet’s past or present ability to sustain microbial life.
The target landing area for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission is the ellipse marked on this image of Gale Crater on Mars
The target landing area for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission is the ellipse marked on this image of Gale Crater on Mars (top L). The ellipse is about 12 miles long and 4 miles wide (20 kilometers by 7 kilometers). The MSL Curiosity rover is set to for landing about 10:31 p.m. on August 5, 2012, Pacific Daylight. This view of Gale Crater is derived from a combination of data from three Mars orbiters. The view is looking straight down on the crater from orbit. Gale Crater is 96 miles (154 kilometers) in diameter. Mount Sharp rises about 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers) above the floor of Gale Crater. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/MSSS/Handout
Artist's drawing of landing of MSL Curiousity rover on Mars
This artist’s concept depicts the moment that NASA’s Curiosity rover touches down onto the Martian surface. The entry, descent, and landing (EDL) phase of the Mars Science Laboratory mission begins when the spacecraft reaches the Martian atmosphere, about 81 miles (131 km) above the surface of the Gale crater landing area, and ends with the rover safe and sound on the surface of Mars which is set for late evening August 5, 2012. The sheer size of the Mars Science Laboratory rover (over one ton, or 900 kilograms) would preclude it from taking advantage of an airbag-assisted landing. Instead, the Mars Science Laboratory will use the sky crane touchdown system, which will be capable of delivering a much larger rover onto the surface. It will place the rover on its wheels, ready to begin its mission after thorough post-landing checkouts. REUTERS/NASA-JPL/Handout

Supernova Photos: Great Images of Star Explosions

Posted in THE UNIVERSE & SPACE SCIENCE on August 8, 2012 by 2eyeswatching

Post 1119

Supernova Photos: Great Images of Star Explosions

SPACE.com Staff
RCW 86 - First Documented Supernova

RCW 86 – First Documented Supernova

Credit: NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/CXC/SAOThis image combines data from four different space telescopes to create a multi-wavelength view of all that remains of the oldest documented example of a supernova, called RCW 86. The Chinese witnessed the event in 185 A.D., documenting a mysterious “guest star” that remained in the sky for eight months.

Close Type Ia Supernova PTF 11kly

Close Type Ia Supernova PTF 11kly

Credit: Peter Nugent and the Palomar Transient FactoryThe arrow marks PTF 11kly in images taken on the Palomar 48-inch telescope over the nights of, from left to right, Aug. 22, 23 and 24.  The supernova wasn’t there Aug. 22, was discovered Aug. 23, and brightened considerably by Aug. 24.2011

X-ray Stripes in Tycho Supernova

X-ray Stripes in Tycho Supernova

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/K.Eriksen et al.; Optical: DSSThis image comes from a very deep Chandra observation of the Tycho supernova remnant. Low-energy X-rays (red) in the image show expanding debris from the supernova explosion and high energy X-rays (blue) show the blast wave, a shell of extremely energetic electrons. These high-energy X-rays show a pattern of X-ray “stripes” never previously seen in a supernova remant.

Mock Supernova Created by Supercomputer

Mock Supernova Created by Supercomputer

Credit: Hongfeng YuThis astrophysics simulation seeks to discover the mechanism behind core-collapse supernovae, or the violent death of short-lived, massive stars. The image shows entropy values in the core of the supernova, different colors and transparencies assigned to different values of entropy. By selectively adjusting the color and transparency, the scientist can peel away outer layers and see values in the interior of the 3-D volume.

Supernova Remnant Casseopeia A

Supernova Remnant Casseopeia A

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/xx; Optical: NASA/STScI; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.WeissThis image presents a composite of X-rays from Chandra (red, green, and blue) and optical data from Hubble (gold) of Cassiopeia A, the remains of a massive star that exploded in a supernova. Inset: A cutout of the interior of the neutron star, where densities increase from the crust (orange) to the core (red) and finally to the region where the “superfluid” exists (inner red ball).

Evidence Found for Youngest Black Hole Ever Seen

Evidence Found for Youngest Black Hole Ever Seen

Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/D.Patnaude et al, Optical: ESO/VLT, Infrared: NASA/JPL/Caltech [Full Story]This composite image shows a supernova within the galaxy M100 that may contain the youngest known black hole in our cosmic neighborhood. The black hole would be about 30 years old and was born from the supernova SN1976C.

Distant Star Explosion Chokes on Its Own Dust

Distant Star Explosion Chokes on Its Own Dust

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. HurtWhile searching the skies for black holes using the Spitzer Space Telescope Deep Wide Field Survey, Ohio State University astronomers discovered a giant supernova that was smothered in its own dust. In this artist’s rendering, an outer shell of gas and dust — which erupted from the star hundreds of years ago — obscures the supernova within. This event in a distant galaxy hints at one possible future for the brightest star system in our own Milky Way.

Supernova Shrapnel Discovered Inside Meteorite

Supernova Shrapnel Discovered Inside Meteorite

Credit: NASA/ESA/R. Sankrit and W. Blair (Johns Hopkins University)This false-color image of Kepler’s supernova remnant combines data taken in X-rays (Chandra X-ray Observatory), visible light (Hubble Space Telescope) and infrared radiation (Spitzer Space Telescope). Nicolas Dauphas, from the University of Chicago, and his colleagues have been analyzing meteorites for the microscopic remnants of a supernova that exploded approximately 4.5 billion years ago

Astronomers Find Supernova First Spotted 2,000 Years Ago

Astronomers Find Supernova First Spotted 2,000 Years Ago

Credit: Chandra: NASA/CXC/University of Utrecht/J.Vink et al. XMM-Newton: ESA/University of Utrecht/J.Vink et al.The combined image from the Chandra and XMM-Newton X-ray observatories of RCW 86 shows the expanding ring of debris created after a supernova.

Explosive Debate: Supernova Dust Lost and Found

Explosive Debate: Supernova Dust Lost and Found

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/S. Stanimirovic (UC Berkeley)An infrared image of the portion of the Small Magellanic Cloud containing supernova remnant E0102, plus a composite X-ray, optical and infrared image of E0102.

Mystery Object Found in Supernova's Heart

Mystery Object Found in Supernova’s Heart

Credit: ESA, XMM-Newton, De Luca et al.This image shows the aftermath of a 2,000-year-old star explosion. In the heart of the central blue dot in this image, smaller than a pinpoint, likely lies a neutron star only about 20 kilometers across. The nature of this object is like nothing detected before.

Hidden Star Explains Supernova Oddity

Hidden Star Explains Supernova Oddity

Credit: Gemini South GMOS.S. Ryder/T. Rector.The supernova SN 2001ig (inset) sits in the outer fringes of the galaxy NGC 7424, seen here in an image taken by the Gemini South Telescope in the constellation Grus.

New Life in Dead Star: Supernova 'Changing Right Before Our Eyes'

New Life in Dead Star: Supernova ‘Changing Right Before Our Eyes’

Credit: Gemini/NASAThis image of SN 1987A combines data from NASA’s orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory and the 8-meter Gemini South infrared telescope in Chile. The X-ray light detected by Chandra is colored blue. The infrared light detected by Gemini South is shown as green and red. The ring is produced by hot gas (largely the X-ray light) and cold dust (largely the infrared light) from the exploded star interacting with the interstellar region.

Identity of Puzzling Star Revealed

Identity of Puzzling Star Revealed

Credit: NASA/CXC/Southampton/W.Ho;NASA/CXC/M.WeissA Chandra X-ray Observatory image of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, with an artist’s impression of the neutron star at the center of the remnant. The discovery of a carbon atmosphere on this neutron star resolves a ten-year old mystery surrounding this object.

The Surprising End to a Supernova

The Surprising End to a Supernova

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/GFSC/S.Immler & K.Kuntz; Optical: NOAO/AURA/NSF/G.Jacoby, B.Bohannan & M.HannaThe Chandra image in the inset shows X-rays from SN 1970G, a supernova that was observed to occur in the galaxy M101 35 years ago. The bright cloud in the box in the optical image is not related to the supernova, which is located immediately to the upper right (arrow) of the cloud.

Core of Supernova Goes Missing

Core of Supernova Goes Missing

Credit: P. Challis & R. Kirshner, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for AstrophysicsThe remnant of supernova 1987A shows no sign of the neutron star scientists believe is lurking at its heart.

10-year-old Discovers Exploding Star

10-year-old Discovers Exploding Star

Credit: David J. LaneA ten-year-old amateur astronomer became the youngest person to have ever discovered a supernova, after detecting a stellar explosion in the galaxy UGC 3378 within the constellation of Camelopardalis.

Guts of Exploded Star Revealed

Guts of Exploded Star Revealed

Credit: NASA [Full Story]A team of astronomers led by the University of Colorado at Boulder are charting the interactions between Supernova 1987A and a glowing gas ring encircling the supernova remnant known as the “String of Pearls.”

Cosmic Bullet Fired by Exploding Star

Cosmic Bullet Fired by Exploding Star

Credit: NASA/CXC/Penn State/S.Park et alThis annotated image from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory shows N49, the aftermath of a supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud, and a bullet-like object ejected from the huge star explosion. Full Story.

Star's Corpse Illuminated by High-Energy Wind

Star’s Corpse Illuminated by High-Energy Wind

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/T.Temim et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-CaltechA new image from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope shows the dusty remains of a collapsed star. The composite image of G54.1+0.3 shows X-rays from Chandra in blue, and data from Spitzer in green (shorter wavelength infrared) and red-yellow (longer wavelength infrared). Scientists think that a pulsar (the white source in the center) is sending off a wind that is heating up remnant supernova dust.

Star Remnants Retain 'Memory' of Explosions

Star Remnants Retain ‘Memory’ of Explosions

Credit: NASA/CXC/UCSC/L. Lopez et al.The shapes of supernova leftovers can tell scientists the origin of this explosion, with Type 1a supernova from thermonuclear explosions leaving behind symmetric remnants (right). And supernova created when a massive star collapses tend to leave behind asymmetrical remnants (left).

On 10th Birthday, Chandra Spies Stellar Explosion

On 10th Birthday, Chandra Spies Stellar Explosion

Credit: NASA/CXC/MIT/D.Dewey et al. & NASA/CXC/SAO/J.DePasquale)This composite image of X-ray and optical data shows the remnant of supernova 1E 0102.2-7219, about 190,000 light-years away in the Small Magellanic Cloud.

Supernova Blast Wave in Series

Supernova Blast Wave in Series

Credit: NASA/Peter Challis [Full Story]Time-series images made by cameras onboard the Hubble Space Telescope show the evolution of the inner remnant of Supernova 1987A.

Milky Way Galaxy’s Head-On Crash with Andromeda (Gallery)

Posted in THE UNIVERSE & SPACE SCIENCE on August 8, 2012 by 2eyeswatching

Post 1118

Milky Way Galaxy’s Head-On Crash with Andromeda (Gallery)

by SPACE.com Staff
Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way Collision

Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way Collision

Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), and A. MellingerThis photo illustration depicts a view of the night sky just before the predicted merger between our Milky Way galaxy and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. Image released May 31, 2012.

Halo of Andromeda Galaxy Used to Measure Its Drift Across Space

Halo of Andromeda Galaxy Used to Measure Its Drift Across Space

Credit: NASA, ESA, R. van der Marel and T. Brown (STScI), and the Digitized Sky SurveyThis composite image shows a region in the halo in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy that astronomers used to precisely measure the galaxy’s sideways motion on the sky. Image released May 31, 2012.

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: Present Day

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: Present Day

Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), T. Hallas, and A. MellingerThis is a nighttime view of the current sky, with the bright belt of our Milky Way. The Andromeda galaxy lies 2.5 million light-years away and looks like a faint spindle, several times the diameter of the full Moon. Image released May 31, 2012.

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: 2 Billion Years

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: 2 Billion Years

Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), T. Hallas, and A. MellingerThe disk of the approaching Andromeda galaxy is noticeably larger. Image released May 31, 2012.

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: 3.75 Billion Years

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: 3.75 Billion Years

Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), T. Hallas, and A. MellingerAndromeda fills the field of view. The Milky Way begins to show distortion due to tidal pull from Andromeda. Image released May 31, 2012.

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: 4 Billion Years

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: 4 Billion Years

Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), T. Hallas, and A. MellingerAfter its first close pass, Andromeda is tidally stretched out. The Milky Way, too, becomes warped. Image released May 31, 2012.

Fate of Sun After Galaxy Collision

Fate of Sun After Galaxy Collision

Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild and R. van der Marel (STScI)This illustration is a before-and-after comparison of the size of our Milky Way galaxy at present, and after it fully completes a merger with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy 10 billion years from now. The merged galaxies will blend together to create an elliptical galaxy of aging stars. Our Sun now orbits in the Milky Way’s disk. But after the merger, it likely will be tossed into a looping orbit that will bring it both nearer to the center and farther into the outskirts of the newly formed elliptical galaxy. Image released May 31, 2012.

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: 3.85-3.9 Billion Years

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: 3.85-3.9 Billion Years

Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), T. Hallas, and A. MellingerDuring the first close approach, the sky is ablaze with new star formation, which is evident in a plethora of emission nebulae and open young star clusters. Image released May 31, 2012.

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: 3.85-3.9 Billion Years

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: 3.85-3.9 Billion Years

Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), T. Hallas, and A. MellingerDuring the first close approach, the sky is ablaze with new star formation, which is evident in a plethora of emission nebulae and open young star clusters. Image released May 31, 2012.

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger

Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), T. Hallas, and A. MellingerThis series of photo illustrations shows the predicted merger between our Milky Way galaxy and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, as it will unfold over the next several billion years. The sequence is inspired by dynamical computer modeling of the inevitable future collision between the two galaxies. Image released May 31, 2012.

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: 5.1 Billion Years

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: 5.1 Billion Years

Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), T. Hallas, and A. MellingerDuring the second close passage, the cores of the Milky Way and Andromeda appear as a pair of bright lobes. Star-forming nebulae are much less prominent because the interstellar gas and dust has been significantly decreased by previous bursts of star formation. Image released May 31, 2012.

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: 7 Billion Years

Nighttime Sky View of Future Galaxy Merger: 7 Billion Years

Credit: NASA, ESA, Z. Levay and R. van der Marel (STScI), T. Hallas, and A. MellingerThe merged galaxies form a huge elliptical galaxy, its bright core dominating the nighttime sky. Scoured of dust and gas, the newly merged elliptical galaxy no longer makes stars and no nebulae appear in the sky. The aging starry population is no longer concentrated along a plane, but instead fills an ellipsoidal volume. Image released May 31, 2012.

Measuring the Drift of the Andromeda Galaxy

Measuring the Drift of the Andromeda Galaxy

Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild and R. van der Marel (STScI)This illustration shows one of the regions in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy where astronomers aimed the Hubble Space Telescope to make precise measurements of the galaxy’s lateral motion. As the galaxy drifts through space, the stars will appear to uniformly move against the far-more-distant background galaxies, which remain fixed on the sky. Image released May 31, 2012.

Collision Scenario for Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy Encounter

Collision Scenario for Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy Encounter

Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild and R. van der Marel (STScI)This illustration shows the inevitable collision between our Milky Way galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy approximately 4 billion years from now. The galaxies are moving toward each other under the inexorable pull of gravity between them. A smaller galaxy, Triangulum, may be part of the smashup. Image released May 31, 2012.

Compass and Scale Image of Andromeda

Compass and Scale Image of Andromeda

Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)An astronomical illustration of a compass and scale image of Andromeda. Image released May 31, 2012.