A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Enjoy our special posts in the fields of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS Blog) and Social Sciences & Arts (SSA Blog)

A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Laboratory experiments replicate volatile plasma at the center of galaxy clusters

Credit: Giannandrea Inchingolo

Scientists use simulations and high-power lasers to explain how turbulent plasma can stay hot 

A team of U.S. National Science Foundation grantee astronomers and astrophysicists based at the University of Rochester and other institutions examined the inner workings of heat conduction in galaxy clusters -- thousands of galaxies held together by gravity.

The matter in galaxy clusters is mostly tenuous ionized gas (plasma) with magnetic fields in a turbulent state. Turbulent plasma is incredibly hot; the new study provides an explanation. The team published the work in Science Advances.

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How scientists are ‘looking’ inside asteroids

The shape of asteroids such as 243 Ida can reveal information about what they're made of, which can, in turn, tell us more about the formation of the solar system. Image credit - NASA/JPL/USGS

Asteroids - treasure troves of knowledge

Asteroids can pose a threat to life on Earth but are also a valuable source of resources to make fuel or water to aid deep space exploration. Devoid of geological and atmospheric processes, these space rocks provide a window onto the evolution of the solar system. But to really understand their secrets, scientists must know what's inside them.

Only four spacecraft have ever landed on an asteroid – most recently in October 2020 – but none has peered inside one. Yet understanding the internal structures of these cosmic rocks is crucial for answering key questions about, for example, the origins of our own planet.

'Asteroids are the only objects in our solar system that are more or less unchanged since the very beginning of the solar system's formation,' said Dr Fabio Ferrari, who studies asteroid dynamics at the University of Bern, Switzerland. 'If we know what's inside asteroids, we can understand a lot about how planets formed, how everything that we have in our solar system has formed and might evolve in the future.'

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The Secret Troves of Etymology

Credit: Gettyimages
The Evolution of Words and Meanings

Words have their own history, which is as revealing and profound for the meaning they bring as, for example, the discovery of electricity for the rapid advancement of modern technology. Each step that language has made through the years left its footprint. A word is a bouquet of various senses and a multitude of connections with other words that eventually produces not only a notion of something but a feeling, imagery. Have you ever thought how is it possible that a given word describes its object so good, how irreplaceable it sounds? Well, it is not only that we have made a convention out of it. It is also the gradual sculpturing of meaning over and over through the centuries. Even though we are not always aware of all these transformations, we have adopted them when we learned to use language. It is a network that is erected upon a huge underground structure of nuances, contexts, and connotations, which are present although implicitly. When we use a word we give rise to a tremendous chain of meanings, that makes us perceive things in one way or another. Today, we will follow the long and captivating adventure of the word cosmos, which has always sounded so beautiful to me, and it turned out it has something to do with beauty.

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On this date, 23 years ago

Credit: Gettyimages

On 20th November 1998, the first module of the International Space Station was launched

The module was called Zarya and was Russian-built and American-owned. Zarya is an FGB (Functional Cargo Block), which provided electrical power, storage, propulsion, and guidance to the ISS during the initial stage of assembly. The International Space Station (ISS) is a modular space station in low Earth orbit. It is a multinational collaborative project operated by 5 space agencies – the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency, US's NASA, Russia's Roscosmos, and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency. It is a manned artificial satellite. The brightest man-made object visible to the naked eye from Earth. ISS orbits the Earth at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour (28,000 kilometers per hour) at an average distance of 248 miles (400 kilometers) from Earth.

The station's purpose is to serve as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory where scientific research is conducted in meteorology, astronomy, astrobiology, physics, and other fields. The ISS is suited for testing the spacecraft systems and equipment required for possible future long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars.



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Planetary evolution reveals a volatile history

Credit: Gettyimages

Planet Formation

Just as human beings and all other living things exist in a vast number of different forms thanks to their genetic makeup, so different types of planets occur due to the chemical processes at work in the dusty regions surrounding newborn stars.

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How do we know if an asteroid headed our way is dangerous?

It is not uncommon for asteroids to hit Earth. In 2013, the Chelyabinsk meteor exploded over Russia, injuring hundreds. Image credit - Alex Alishevskikh, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The dangers of the Cosmos

There are a lot of things that pose a threat to our planet – climate change, natural disasters, and solar flares, for example. But one threat in particular often captures the public imagination, finding itself popularised in books and films and regularly generating alarming headlines: asteroids.

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Sunday Inspiration: Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Photo credit: gettyimages.com

Falling in love with Science will never end up with heartbreak

"During our brief stay on planet Earth, we owe ourselves and our descendants the opportunity to explore — in part because it's fun to do. But there's a far nobler reason. The day our knowledge of the cosmos ceases to expand, we risk regressing to the childish view that the universe figuratively and literally revolves around us."  - Neil DeGrasse Tyson

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SSA Recent Posts

24 May 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Welcome to Florence – the live museum of the Renaissance From 24-26 of May, Art Meets Science at Centro Congressi Auditorium al Duomo- Firenze. The synergy of Arts and Humanities, presented in one unique event - Extended Scientific Sessions "The Magi...
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23 May 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
2Credit: Lauren JN Brent; A grooming chain of adult female rhesus macaques on an island off the coast of Puerto Rico Number of grooming partners predicts the size of certain brain areas What's the link between social life and brain structure? A team ...
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21 May 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: French Philosopher Roland Barthes, Paris, 9th June 1978; Gettyimages A Lover's Discourse: Fragments "Am I in love? --yes, since I am waiting. The other one never waits. Sometimes I want to play the part of the one who doesn't wait; I try to b...
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