Courtesy Ron Miller Just from watching the opening of Star Trek episodes, we've heard that space is vast. But to we really understand the scale of things comparing our little planet with other planets, stars and galaxies? This collection of illustrations helps grasp those concepts better. Hang on tight!
The lyrebird is an excellent mimicker. Two species of the ground-based songbird (Menura novaehollandiae and Menura alberti) reside in Australia, and can mimic just about any sound they hear with near perfect fidelity. This video, shot at the Healsville Sanctuary lyrebird enclosure, just east of Melbourne, shows just how good this bird is at replicating sound.
Rossetta's lander Philae on its way to be the first man-made craft to land on a comet. You can watch it live right now at the link below. Estimated time of landing is 10:02am CST.
Courtesy Mark RyanThirty-nine years ago, the Great Lakes carrier, SS Edmund Fitzberald sank during a storm on Lake Superior. The ship was making a run from Superior, Wisconsin to a steel mill near Detroit with a full load of taconite ore when all contact with the ship ended suddenly. All 29 crew members were lost. The wreck was found a year later in 530 feet of water 17 miles from Whitefish Bay.
Courtesy Public domain via Wikipedia CommonsYou can read more about the most famous of recent Great Lakes' shipping disasters here or listen to the story in songwriter Gordon Lightfoot's song, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The tragedy is memorialized each year in an annual ceremony at the Mariners' Church in Detroit, Michigan, where a bell is tolled 29 times - once for each member of the lost crew.
Here's something you don't see everyday... or ever... until now. Three astronauts up in the International Space Station encased a GoPro video camera inside a sphere of water to produce an unusual video. Astronauts Steve Swanson, Reid Wiseman, and Alexander Gerst living in microgravity-induced weightless conditions captured their antics from various cameras including one inside the floating blob of water. If 2 dimensions aren't enough for you, it can also be viewed in 3 dimensions if you have a pair of those special blue-red 3D glasses laying around the house.
Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. Arizona/Univ. IdahoCameras on NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured and sent back some stunning images of sunlight reflecting off the hydrocarbon sea on Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Depending on its orbital position, the ringed planet and its moons can be anywhere from 839 to 934 million miles from the Sun. Beautiful, amazing stuff!
As Jerry Seinfeld might say: "What's the deal with Ebola?"
Courtesy CDCMany on the cable news networks seem to want to make it sound like the next version of the Black Plague. Politicians have turned it into a campaign issue as we head into the final days of the mid-term elections. The late-night comics are cracking jokes about it. But a lot of people in the U.S. are scratching their heads about how big a threat Ebola is to their personal health.
Here's a round-up of information on informational resources to help sort through the yapping to get to the heart of the matter on the Ebola threat.
The Centers for Disease Control have produced a nice info graphic about the ways Ebola virus is transmitted. It's not passed along by airborne systems like some other viruses. Droplets from an impacted individual need to make it into the body of an uninfected person for transmission to occur. Germs like chicken pox and TB are spread through the air. Germs like the plague and meningitis are spread through droplets.
What can you do to safeguard yourself from Ebola?
• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
ª Routinely clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces like bathroom surfaces, since some germs can stay infectious on surfaces for hours or days and lead to transmission.
Who faces the highest risks? Here's the CDC's link to those facing the highest risk factors. In the U.S., healthcare workers treating those with Ebola have by far the highest risk levels. People living west African nations, where the core of the outbreak is located, have the highest risk factor as Ebola can be contracted there through the handling of wild meats, being bitten by bats or coming in contact with objects that have been infected by the virus.
What are Ebola's symptoms?
How can Ebola be treated?
So what do you think? Has news coverage of the Ebola outbreak been informative to you? What more would you like to know? How concerned are you about Ebola impacting your life? Share your views here with other Science Buzz readers.
Courtesy Mark RyanPaleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh was born this day, October 29th, 183 years ago. Marsh (who preferred to be addressed as O.C.) rose to scientific fame with the help of his wealthy uncle, George Peabody, who set his nephew up as the first professor of paleontology at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
Courtesy Public domain via Wikipedia CommonsDuring the late 19th century, Marsh led several expeditions and employed several field collectors across the American West helping him build a huge collection of fossils for the Peabody Museum of Natural History on the Yale campus. His part in the famous "Bone Wars" waged both in the press and in the field against his former friend - and later bitter rival - Edward Drinker Cope of Philadelphia amassed a tremendous amount of scientific knowledge and fossils regarding dinosaurs, reptiles, and early mammals. During his lifetime, Marsh wrote more than 300 papers and books, and described more than 500 new species of prehistoric animals. He also served as the vertebrate paleontologist for the U.S. Geological Survey from 1882-1892. The great paleontologist died in 1899.
Bio of Marsh on Yale website