Stories tagged Amazing fact

Did you just uncover an interesting tidbit of knowledge related to current science? Tell us.

Another danger associated with alcoholic beverages. Be careful not to store your vodka bottles in the way of direct sunlight. Or get ready to call the fire department.

Earthquake damage
Earthquake damageCourtesy USGS/Earthquake Science Center
A court in Italy has sentenced six scientists and an ex-government official to six years in prison for failing to properly warn the public about a devastating earthquake that killed 309 residents of the town of L'Aquila in 2009. The seven defendants were convicted of manslaughter and also ordered to pay for damages and court costs.

I think the court itself has failed to predict just how idiotic this irrational prosecution looks to the world scientific community. Let's hope an appeals court will be reasonable enough to override this terrible injustice.

BBC story
Scientific American on "Bizarre trial".

Earth's water: Most of it is saline and undrinkable. A lot of the fresh water is underground or locked in polar and glacial ice.
Earth's water: Most of it is saline and undrinkable. A lot of the fresh water is underground or locked in polar and glacial ice.Courtesy US Geological Survey
This cool graphic from the USGS Water Science School website gives you a really good idea of just how much water there is on Earth. Compared to the Earth itself, it doesn't look like much. The large blue globe represents the volume of all the water present on Earth, i.e. in the oceans, lakes, icecaps, atmosphere etc. The next size is the volume of the all fresh water - much of which is located underground. Don't overlook the very tiny blue globe positioned beneath the mid-sized water globe and just northwest of Florida in the graphic. That's how much fresh water is contained in all the lakes and rivers on Earth - the sources of life's drinking water. Feeling thirsty now?

Check out this incredible video taken at the edge of a lava lake produced by Marum Volcano on Ambryn Island, Vanuatu near New Guinea. The astounding video was shot by Geoff Mackley, Bradley Ambrose, and Nathan Berg. I'm not sure which of them is in the suit posing at the edge but what a view he must have had! Apparently, without the heat-proof suit and breathing gear, you could only get within 30 yards of the boiling lake, and endure just six seconds of the blistering heat. The protective gear allowed the wearer to stand at the edge for 40 minutes! How cool would that be?

Starry Night: Vincent Van Gogh's masterpiece.
Starry Night: Vincent Van Gogh's masterpiece.Courtesy Wikipedia
Check out this nifty homage to Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting Starry Night put together by Alex Parker a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Parker obviously must not have had much research work last April when the Hubble Telescope was celebrating its 22nd birthday, so he spent all the free time putting together this really cool recreation of the Van Gogh astronomical masterpiece using photo-mosaic software and several of Hubble’s stunning Top 100 images found here.

Panda baby: The newly born panda at the National Zoo looks much like this baby panda born years ago.
Panda baby: The newly born panda at the National Zoo looks much like this baby panda born years ago.Courtesy Coegota
A baby giant panda was born last night at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. It's the first captive birth of a panda at the zoo since 2005 and only the second captive panda birth at the zoo ever. Mother and child are reported to both being doing well, while pappa panda is passing out cigars to all the other bears at the zoo. The zoo will follow Chinese custom and name the baby panda in 100 days. Do you have any suggestions?

This truly stunning hi-def footage captured by NASA satellites positioned around our Sun, show various views of a coronal mass ejection that occurred August 31, 2012. Wow!!


"On August 31, 2012 a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun's atmosphere, the corona, erupted out into space at 4:36 p.m. EDT. The coronal mass ejection, or CME, traveled away from the sun at over 900 miles per second. This movie shows the ejection from a variety of viewpoints as captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), and the joint ESA/NASA Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).“