This mesmerizing ad for BBC One plays clips of beautiful wildlife and breathtaking scenes of nature while naturalist David Attenborough narrates the lyrics to What a Wonderful World.
This video explains how particles originating from deep inside the core of the sun creates northern lights, also called aurora borealis, on our planet.
It’s right here. David Kaplan took this otherworldly image in Switzerland, with Orion glimmering over the mountains and the villages around the Lauerzersee glowing below a sea of fog. His sunrise shot—with the Moon and Venus aligned—is even better.
While NASA’s Hubble is one of the largest and most well-known space telescope for astronomy, it’s the not the only one NASA uses. In fact, there are four large, powerful space-based telescope that fall under NASA’s series of Great Observatories – Hubble, the now deorbited Compton Gamma Ray Observator (CGRO), Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO) and Spitzer Space Telescope (SST). Each serves a particular function (Hubble – visible light and near-ultraviolet, CGRO – gamma rays, hard x-rays, CXO – soft x-rays, and SST – infrared spectrum), examining a specific region of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The results from the 2009 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition are in. They are as mesmerizing and funky as always.
While Robert Frost famously said that he prefers the world to end in fire, physicists have long predicted the universe will end with an icy sputter known as “heat death.” Heat death occurs when the universe finally uses up all its energy, with all motion stopping and all the atoms in creation grinding to a halt. And, based on new calculations from a team of Australian physicists, it looks like heat death is far closer than previously thought.
San Francisco and Supermayor Gavin Newsom announced plans to take the pollution-mired Hunter’s Point Shipyard and build a $20 Million, 80,000-square foot UN Global Compact Center, which will serve as a “climate change think tank and green tech incubator.”
Construction on the building will begin in 2011, and finish in mid 2012, serving as office space for the Global Compact, as well as house a conference center. The city also hopes the center will encourage other sustainable resource-oriented orgs to populate around the area as well.
Now here’s a smart marketing campaign. In an effort to raise awareness / interest in its 2010 Prius, Toyota planted five 18-foot tall “solar flowers” in Boston’s Prudential Plaza and provided free Wi-Fi and electricity that was “partially powered” by the solar panels attached to the petals and stem. The so-called “Harmony Between Man, Nature and Machine” just disappeared from Boston but will next germinate in New York, followed by Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. We’re not exactly in the market for a car right now, but we promise to think about it while we lovingly enjoy the free laptop charge and internet access.
Mysterious, glowing clouds previously seen almost exclusively in Earth’s polar regions have appeared in the skies over the United States and Europe over the past several days.
Photographers and other sky watchers in Omaha, Paris, Seattle, and other locations have run outside to capture images of what scientists call noctilucent (”night shining”) clouds. Formed by ice literally at the boundary where the earth’s atmosphere meets space 50 miles up, they shine because they are so high that they remain lit by the sun even after our star is below the horizon.
The clouds might be beautiful, but they could portend global changes caused by global warming. Noctilucent clouds are a fundamentally new phenomenon in the temperate mid-latitude sky, and it’s not clear why they’ve migrated down from the poles. Or why, over the last 25 years, more of them are appearing in the polar regions, too, and shining more brightly.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station noticed two mysterious dark circles in the ice of Lake Baikal in April. Though the cause is more likely aqueous than alien, some aspects of the odd blemishes defy explanation.
The two circles are the focal points for ice break-up and may be caused by upwelling of warmer water in the lake. The dark color of the circles is due to thinning of the ice, which usually hangs around into June. Upwelling wouldn’t be strange in some relatively shallow areas of the lake where hydrothermal activity has been detected, such as where the circle near the center of the lake (pictured below) is located. Circles have been seen in that area before in 1985 and 1994, though they weren’t nearly as pronounced. But the location of the circle near the southern tip of the lake (pictured above) where water is relatively deep and cold is puzzling.
The lake itself is an oddity. It is the largest by volume and the deepest (5370 feet at its deepest point), as well as one of the oldest at around 25 million years.