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Chris Dolan
Works at Sony Creative Software
Attended University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Chris Dolan

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Woohoo! My good friend +Peter Erwin was featured in AAS Nova this week!
New observations have caught two galaxies in the process of forming peanut-shaped bulges like the one in the center of our own Milky Way.
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Great 👍👌
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The last time I posted about the fragility of the wheels of Mars rovers, a lot of you commented. Looks like the newly planned rover will have stronger wheels. :-)
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover: Using Proven Technologies and Advancing New Ones | Technology Development Makes Missions Possible | This infographic provides engineering facts about NASA's Mars 2020 rover (new wheels, microphone, rock core sampling, producing oxygen from Mars' carbon-dioxide, and landing sensors).
Each Mars mission is part of a continuing chain of innovation. Each relies on past missions for proven technologies and contributes its own innovations to future missions. This chain allows NASA to push the boundaries of what is currently possible, while still relying on proven technologies.

The Mars 2020 mission leverages the successful architecture of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission by duplicating most of its entry, descent, and landing system and much of its rover design.
The mission advances several technologies, including those related to priorities in the National Research Council's 2011 Decadal Survey and for future human missions to Mars. Plans include infusing new capabilities through investments by NASA's Space Technology Program, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, and contributions from international partners.

Many innovations focus on entry, descent, and landing technologies, which help ensure precise and safe landings. They include sensors to measure the atmosphere, cameras and a microphone, and at least two key ways to reach the surface of Mars with greater accuracy and less risk (Range Trigger and Terrain-Relative Navigation).

Credit: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

+NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 
+NASA Solar System Exploration 
+Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 
+Zero Robotics 
+Robotics Today 
+National Science Teachers Association 
+STEM on Google+ Community 
+Science on Google+ 
+PBS Parents 
+Phoenix Williams 

#NASA #Astronomy #Space #Mars #Science #Mars2020 #Curiosity #MSL #Technology #Engineering #Wheels #Microphone #Sensors #Cameras #EDL #Entry #Descent #Landing #Exploration #Infographic #JPL #Pasadena #California #USA #UnitedStates
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😱😱😱😱🙀🙀🙀That's cool
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Today I learned about which is a handy tool for whipping up quick diagrams showing messaging between systems. I recommend it!

I've been using it to create some diagrams of how some parts of Sony Ci ( work on the backend for my fellow devs. Ci is an impressively scalable distributed system that performs all of its long-running media actions (like scanning, transcoding, thumbnails, etc) asynchronously via fair-queued worker processes. Since some of the jobs depend on other jobs, so it makes for an interesting data flow, so some visualizations help a lot.
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WOW! Now that is a really interesting theory: a giant asteroid triggers a massive oil fire that blocks sunlight with soot. What a horrific time to be alive if that theory is right.
"Sixty six million years ago, the dinosaurs suddenly disappeared, along with most of the species on the planet. The extinction occurred at precisely the same time that a giant asteroid struck the Earth. The fact that the two events happened at the same time makes it all but certain that the asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, but just how did that extinction happen? Was it dust, shot into the sky, blocking out the sun? Acid rain produced by sulphur vaporised during the impact? An inferno of hot debris?

A new study may get us closer to solving this mystery. The asteroid struck the Yucatan Peninsula, a region with vast quantities of crude oil buried underground. New data shows that the burning of the oil produced billions of tons of soot, enough to dim the sun for years and lead to a decade of global cooling.

The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event was severe, wiping out over 75% of all species, including not just dinosaurs but also many birds, mammals, snakes, lizards, plants, and even insects. It was global, hitting all continents and all oceans. And it was rapid, with species seeming to vanish overnight."

Read more at:
Sixty six million years ago, the dinosaurs suddenly disappeared, along with most of the species on the planet. The extinction occurred at precisely the same time that a giant asteroid struck the Earth. The fact that the two events happened at the same time makes it all but certain that the asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, but just how did that extinction happen? Was it dust, shot into the sky, blocking out the sun? Acid rain produced by sulphur ...
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+Chris Dolan I don't know I saw some Inca rocks some old Inca rocks with the Dinosaurs inscriptions. I just found it interesting that human beings true dinosaurs if they never saw and how could they draw one that's all just a thought no need to trip
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I highly recommend this "Data Is Beautiful" collection, Colin consistently posts interesting stuff, like this post.
+FiveThirtyEight​ has released a comprehensive breakdown of gun deaths in America using data from the CDC's Multiple Cause of Death database. More than 33,000 people are fatally shot in the U.S. each year. While the majority of media coverage focuses on terrorism, mass shootings, police officers killed, and police shootings, they make up a fraction of the total. Nearly two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides with more than 45% of the victims men age 45 or older.

#Guns #Firearms #FiveThirtyEight #Fatality #Mortality #Homicide #Suicide #2ndAmendment #Rights #Arms #Health 
The data in this interactive graphic comes primarily from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Multiple Cause of Death database, which is derived from death certificates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is widely considered the most comprehensive estimate of firearm deaths.
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Wow, this galaxy looks very different in visible vs. UV vs. radio light. Usually collisions lead to spread-out stars and collided gas, but this looks like the opposite to me. Haven't read all the details yet, though...
Frankenstein Galaxy UGC 1382

In these images here you can see the galaxy UGC 1382 (Leda 7090), located about 250 million light-years away. The galaxy is a lot bigger than scientists first believed, about 718,000 light-years across, which is more than seven times wider than our Milky Way Galaxy (

The top image is showing optical data by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS,, the second images has added ultraviolet data from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX, and deep optical data from SDSS. With this data you can see the spiral arms of UGC 1382. The third image added data for low-density hydrogen gas (shown in green), detected at radio wavelengths by the Very Large Array (VLA,, now you can see the true extent of the galaxy.

Another odd thing about UGC 1382 is the age of its components. While usually the center of a galaxy is the oldest part, with younger parts spreading out, for UGC 1382 it is the opposite. The center is younger than the spiral disk surrounding it. Scientists believe that the galaxy didn't form as a singular object but in fact is a combination of different galaxies that interacted.

More on it here:

Image credit: At top, in optical light, UGC 1382 appears to be a simple elliptical galaxy. But spiral arms emerged when astronomers incorporated ultraviolet and deep optical data (middle). Combining that with a view of low-density hydrogen gas (shown in green at right), scientists discovered that UGC 1382 is gigantic. NASA/JPL/Caltech/SDSS/NRAO/L. Hagen and M. Seibert

#science   #astronomy   #ugc1382   #galaxy   #leda7090   #sdss   #galex   #vla   #space   #astrophysics  
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This is a synthesized picture of what Jupiter would look like if you flew over its south pole. No spacecraft has done that, so this picture is stitched together from Cassini photos from the various sides of Jupiter.

h/t +Dylan O'Donnell (and +Sophia Nasr) via

There's an artistically color-enhanced version of the photo at that's worth looking at, but I prefer the NASA one.
This map of Jupiter is the most detailed global color map of the planet ever produced. The round map is a polar stereographic projection that shows the south pole in the center of the map and the equator at the edge. It was constructed from images taken by Cassini on Dec. 11 and 12, 2000.
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Looks like a dosa
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Sony sells to theaters these glasses that project captions into the viewer's field of view. They've been available for a few years, but I just learned about them recently after the Hearing Loss Association of America honored Sony with an innovation award ( at their 2016 convention.

The idea is pretty cool. The theater installs a transmitter by each projector and loans the glasses (and/or headphones) to any customer who wants them.
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The same display technology is available as an open developer edition Augmented Reality headset ("sunglasses form factor"):

~$900 in the US.
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As a life-saving mechanism, this could be awesome. Pump oxygen directly into the bloodstream of a patient whose heart is working but whose lungs are not providing oxygen (due to obstruction, collapse, fluid, etc) to stave off brain damage or organ failure.
New Medical Discovery. A team of scientists at the Boston Children's Hospital have invented what is being considered one the greatest medical breakthroughs in recent years. They have designed a microparticle that can be injected into a person's bloodstream that can quickly oxygenate their blood.
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Brian's article is great, but I like this image better than the one he included:

In that false-color image from an awesome new radio telescope, there's an obvious darker ring. It's darker because there's water vapor in the disk absorbing some of the light. Closer to the star, the water is missing (I don't know, ionized perhaps? or dissociated into H and O?) and further from the star it's all ice instead of vapor.
Toe The Line

Planets form out of a disk of material swirling around a young star. As clumps form in this protoplanetary disk, they collide an merge to become the planets we see today. The composition of those planets depends upon where they formed. Those forming closer to the star tend to be dry and rocky, while those forming farther from the star tend to be rich with water. This is because the heat of the star tends to drive away volatiles like water, producing what is known as a frost line or ice line. Beyond this distance it’s cold enough for ice to exist. Closer than the ice line and it’s too warm. At least that’s the idea. Actually observing the ice line of a young planetary system is a challenge.

For a Sun-like star, the ice line is about three astronomical units from the star. That’s about the middle of the asteroid belt for our solar system. Imaging that line in a young system hundreds of light years away is difficult. But recently the star V883 Orionis has pushed its ice line much farther away. It’s only a bit more massive than our Sun, but as material from its protoplanetary disk has been consumed by the star it’s gotten much hotter. It’s currently about 400 times more luminous than our Sun. As a result, it’s ice line has been pushed back more than 40 astronomical units, which would put it beyond the orbit of Neptune in our solar system.

This is far enough out that the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is able to see the ice line directly. Not only does this validate the existence of ice lines in a planetary system, it also demonstrates how the ice line can shift significantly during the formation period of a solar system. Over time V883 Orionis will dim to a luminosity similar to the Sun’s, and it’s ice line will shrink accordingly. It’s an excellent example of the complexity of planetary formation.

Paper: Lucas A. Cieza, et al. Imaging the water snow-line during a protostellar outburst. Nature 535, 258–261 (2016)

The ice line of a planetary system has been observed for the first time.
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Fascinating engine technology. I also read and to learn more. The most important number is 14, which is the thrust-to-weight ratio. This compares really well to jet engines (5) and scramjet (2) according to the Wikipedia article.
ESA commits to next stage of UK revolutionary rocket engine
The UK’s Farnborough airshow today saw the European Space Agency's commitment to the next step in developing a revolutionary air-breathing rocket engine that could begin test firings in about four years.

The Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine, SABRE, is a unique engine designed to use atmospheric air in the early part of its flight to orbit before switching to rocket mode for its final ascent to space.

The UK’s Reaction Engines Ltd has been working on SABRE for many years. Success could lead to single-stage-to-orbit spaceplanes.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is investing €10 million in SABRE, joining £50 million from the UK Space Agency. Since 2008, ESA has played an important technical management role.

In 2010, ESA independently reviewed SABRE’s viability, opening the way to UK government investment.

Back in 2012, ESA oversaw the testing of a key element—the precooler that chills the hot airstream entering the engine at hypersonic speed. To render the air usable by the engine as oxidiser it needs to be cooled from 1000°C to –150°C in just a hundredth of a second—at the same time as avoiding the formation of potentially dangerous ice.

A number of research and development projects followed through ESA, helping to demonstrate the feasibility of other elements, such as the novel rocket nozzles, air intake design and thrust chamber cooling. ESA also helped to refine the overall SABRE design, looking at how it could be manufactured.

Today saw the contract signing by Franco Ongaro, ESA’s Director of Technical and Quality Management, and Mark Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Reaction Engines Ltd, to commit the next stage of ESA funding towards SABRE.

“Reaction Engines and ESA have been working together since 2008 to make the SABRE concept a reality,” says Director Ongaro.

“This new contract marks an important milestone in our continued collaboration to mature the design. It should take us to a point where we can expect to be testing a demonstrator engine in 2020.”

In about two years, this latest phase should define the configuration of the engine as well as allow the detailed design of the prototype demonstrator engine to begin.

Once the feasibility of the technology was demonstrated via individual elements in 2012, the next step is to build a ground demonstrator engine in 2020, which will bring all these elements together to verify the performance of the complete engine cycle.

The end result of this made-in-Europe technology would be low-cost, reliable and reusable engines, potentially enabling future vehicles that could perform the equivalent job of today’s rockets while operating like an aircraft—revolutionizing access to space.

Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)
Release Date: July 12, 2016

+Reaction Engines Ltd 
+European Space Agency, ESA 
+David Cameron 
+UK Space Agency 
+European Commission

#ESA #Space #Rocket #Engine #SABRE #Propulsion #Aerospace #Technology #Engineering #Science #Skylon #UK #UnitedKingdom #ReactionEngines #International #Cooperation #STEM #Education
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what is it so special in it ??
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Here's a good writeup of the great Sting & Peter Gabriel concert I went to last night.
Sting and Gabriel shared a bill, and at times the stage, at the Marcus Amphitheater for Summerfest’s closing night July 10.
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Have them in circles
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Programmer, software architect
  • Sony Creative Software
    Staff Software Engineer, 2012 - present
  • Avid Technology
    Sr Principal Software Engineer, 2007 - 2012
  • Clotho Advanced Media
    Sr Software Developer, 2001 - 2007
  • Univ Wisconsin, Astronomy Dept
    Research Assistant, 1994 - 2000
programmer, cyclist, gamer, former astronomer
Bragging rights
#1 Google result for "constellations"; Toughest bicycle ride: 125 miles + 11,000 ft climbing
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Astronomy, PhD, 1994 - 2000
  • Cornell University
    Astronomy, 1990 - 1994
  • Derryfield School
    1986 - 1990