Only “seen” when swallowing up an unfortunate gas cloud or wayward star, black holes remain an enigma. With one of these bodies at the center of most galaxies—including our own—many scientists spend their whole careers trying to understand what happens to objects that become entrapped in their startling gravitational pull. Once in its grasp, an object can only escape if it manages to travel faster than the speed of light, a feat considered nearly impossible. Without any actual experimentation possible, researchers can only speculate as to what would happen if an astronaut ever went inside a black hole. Here are some of the leading theories:
This week in science: high greenhouse gas levels are slated to be a “permanent reality;” one energy drink can have some nasty health impacts; Google, Facebook, Pharrell, and more give scientists the…
A new species of raptor was found in South Dakota this week, and it’s one of the biggest ones yet.
The Dakotaraptor, aptly named after the state of its discovery, was 16 feet long with nearly 10-inch claws. The fossils date back to the Cretaceous period around 66 million years ago, the era that saw the emergence of some of the most well-known dinosaurs, including the Triceratops, the Pteranodon and, of course, the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The discovery was made in the aptly named Hell Creek, S.D., the same location that the T. Rex is known to have roamed.
NASA never ceases to amaze.
This week they released this ultra-high definition 4K video of the Sun, entitled “Thermonuclear Art.” The footage is comprised of a collection of images captured from a satellite from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
The SDO has been monitoring the Sun around-the-clock for five years, presenting not only solar scientists, but the world at large, with astounding information about the star’s daily movement.
In a news release, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center stated, “SDO captures images of the Sun in 10 different wavelengths, each of which helps highlight a different temperature of solar material. Different temperatures can, in turn, show specific structures on the Sun such as solar flares, which are gigantic explosions of light and x-rays, or coronal loops, which are stream of solar material traveling up and down looping magnetic field lines.”
Set to Lars Leonhard‘s ethereal tracks, this video features some of the most remarkable footage ever of the Sun, and according to NASA, “presents the nuclear fire of our life-giving star in intimate detail, offering new perspective into our own relationships with grand forces of the solar system.”
Enjoy this chance to view the Sun without damaging your eyes.
Ignaz Semmelweis just may be one of the smartest guys you never knew existed. A Hungarian medical doctor in the mid-19th century, he was the first known advocate of hand washing among doctors and was subsequently shunned by the entire medical community because of it.
The story begins in 1847 when Semmelweis became head of the maternity ward at the Allgemeine Krankenhaus — the largest hospital in Vienna, Austria. At the time, one in six women at the hospital died after childbirth of what was known as “puerile,” or “childbed fever.” The symptoms were always the same — the new mother developed chills and a fever, her abdomen would become agonizingly painful and bloated, and within a few short days she’d be dead, leaving the child motherless.