Thursday, February 26, 2015

The radioactive forest

"On November 2’2, 1961, a new research facility was put into operation at BNL. Called The Gamma Forest, the facility is the newest project in the Biology Department’s radiobotany program. Nuclear test explosions and waste disposal of radioisotopes have introduced into the environment substantially higher levels of ionizing radiation than have normally been present throughout the evolution of life. The presence of these higher levels of radiation - and the fact that man has the ability to increase them further, at least locally, by enormous factors - has stimulated many studies, at Brookhaven and elsewhere, of the effects of radiation on the earth’s organisms. Investigations of the deposition of radioactive debris on the earth’s surface have shown that it is carried by winds into the middle latitudes of both hemispheres where it is brought to earth in rain and snow." 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Russian proton crashes

These are generally very reliable rockets, but sometimes things just go wrong.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Young stars in Taurus

"The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has snapped a striking view of a multiple star system called XZ Tauri, its neighbor HL Tauri, and several nearby young stellar objects. XZ Tauri is blowing a hot bubble of gas into the surrounding space, which is filled with bright and beautiful clumps that are emitting strong winds and jets. These objects illuminate the region, creating a truly dramatic scene.
This dark and ominous landscape is located some 450 light-years away in the constellation of Taurus (The Bull). It lies in the northeastern part of a large, dark cloud known as LDN 1551."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What a difference 150,000 km makes!

NASA / JPL / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA / Emily Lakdawalla

Dawn's view of Ceres on January 25, 2015 (animation)

This animation is composed of 20 images gathered over a period of about an hour for optical navigation purposes. Dawn was 237,000 kilometers from Ceres at the time.