aliens arrive on earth but all they want to talk about is plants. scientists frantically question the aliens for days about secrets of space travel and civilization on other worlds but they always respond with “check out this fern”
photos of sakurajima, the most active volcano in japan, by (click pic) takehito miyatake (previously featured) and martin rietze. volcanic storms can rival the intensity of massive supercell thunderstorms, but the source of the charge responsible for this phenomenon remains hotly debated.
in the kind of storm clouds that generate conventional lightning, ice particles and soft hail collide, building up positive and negative charges, respectively. they separate into layers, and the charge builds up until the electric field is high enough to trigger lightning.
but the specific mechanism by which particles of differing charges are separated in the ash cloud is still unknown. lightning has been observed between the eruption plume and the volcano right at the start of an eruption, suggesting that there are processes that occur inside the volcano to lead to charge separation.
volcanic lightning could yield clues about the earth’s geological past, and could answer questions about the beginning of life on our planet. volcanic lightning could have been the essential spark that converted water, hydrogen, ammonia, and methane molecules present on a primeval earth into amino acids, the building blocks of life.
(see also: previous volcanology posts)
A rabble of Blue Morpho butterflies in the Amazon rain forest, Brazil.
Photo by Kelvin Hudson via Reddit
Galactic Center of Our Milky Way
The Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory — collaborated to produce an unprecedented image of the central region of our Milky Way galaxy.
Observations using infrared light and X-ray light see through the obscuring dust and reveal the intense activity near the galactic core. The center of the galaxy is located within the bright white region in the upper portion of the image. The entire image covers about one-half a degree, about the same angular width as the full moon.
Each telescope’s contribution is presented in a different color:
- Yellow represents the near-infrared observations of Hubble. They outline the energetic regions where stars are being born as well as reveal hundreds of thousands of stars.
- Red represents the infrared observations of Spitzer. The radiation and winds from stars create glowing dust clouds that exhibit complex structures from compact, spherical globules to long, stringy filaments.
- Blue and violet represents the X-ray observations of Chandra. X-rays are emitted by gas heated to millions of degrees by stellar explosions and by outflows from the supermassive black hole in the galaxy’s center. The bright blue blob toward the bottom of the full field image is emission from a double star system containing either a neutron star or a black hole.
maybe aliens don’t talk to us because we’re creepy. i mean we send them weird mix tapes and we keep trying to find out where they live
Stunning Vine video of aurora borealis lights lighting up the Earth as Orion rises in the background as seen from the ISS.
Credit: NASA Astronaut Reid Wiseman
"the science side of tumblr" aka people that are smart enough to use google
Foliage key to trees and shrubs including those native and introduced species with alternate leaves that are deciduous and simi-evergreen and hardy in New England and New York. ;By Thurston, Arthur S. on Flickr.
Publication info 1916.
UMass Amherst Libraries