We’ve already given you the year’s most important and most surprising photos, but 2013′s most incredible science photography shouldn’t be left out of the fold. From zoology to physics to astronomy to microbiology, we’re bringing you the year’s best science photos.
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At the end of November, something particularly strange transpired within the cavernous depths of the Grand Canyon. Cool air rose from the canyon bottom, met warm air a ways up, and created a thick layer of fog from top to bottom. The process is known as inversion, and it’s absolutely mind blowing to watch.
Life is stressful. Whether it’s a divorce, a high-profile job or studying for a history exam, anxiety always finds a way to creep into our lives. As bad as stress is on its own, medical professionals continue to uncover more ways that stress, particularly chronic stress, can impact our bodies and our lives. Read on to discover the most surprising way stress could be affecting your life.
Stress Effects No. 1: Memory Loss
Have you noticed that you are often more forgetful while stressed? Researchers have found that stress has a negative effect on cognitive functions, resulting in reduced concentration and memory loss. For many, a lack of concentration greatly reduces productivity at work and can have incredibly frustrating consequences.
More than any other planet beyond Earth, more than any other heavenly body discovered since the rapid expansion of telescopes, Mars has made a multi-millennia-long career out of taunting humanity. Named for the Roman god of war, Mars is usually visible to the naked eye as a red, flickering pinhole in the night sky. But with only a beginner’s telescope, the many contours and colors of the Martian landscape become clear, and a bizarre and intriguing world lays waiting to be discovered.
Mars is often called the red planet due to its blood-red appearance to the naked eye. But one look through the telescope shows that in fact Mars is rusty orange-brown, streaked with long, jagged black lines and capped on both ends with swirls of pure white. Mars is literally rusted over with iron oxide, but recent meddling by Mars probes has uncovered interiors of a much brighter and more colorful nature.
As the holidays approach, many of us will spend significantly more time in the kitchen–either creating or consuming the colorful carbohydrates seen above. Why not feed your brain with a bit of an understanding of the chemistry behind the cookie?
Imagine a place where the word “sky” doesn’t conjure the color blue but an ashy grey. No, such a place isn’t in another planet or the set of a dystopian sci-fi film. That place is present-day China, a country now living and breathing the harsh effects of dogged industrialization. In northern China, the heavy use of coal coupled with the ever-increasing population has led to an alarmingly extreme case of air pollution. It’s so extreme, in fact, that a person’s life expectancy in northern China is a full five years shorter than someone residing in southern China. As the size of the middle class continues to balloon, there is an insatiable need for cheap and easy energy. Quickly turning to oil and gasoline for fuel and coal for heat, the Chinese love affair with fossil fuels has plunged an astounding amount of people into an atmosphere ripe with danger.