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This is how you prep a Smilodon fatalis skull for the CT scanner.

Paleontologists Z. Jack Tseng and Camille Grohe of the +American Museum of Natural History used layers of foam and cotton padding to hold the heavy cranium upright in the plastic tub. Once the bucket is placed in the scanner, the CT machine takes several hours to scan the fossil. Scientists will use the series of X-ray image "slices" to build virtual 3D models of the cranium for feeding simulations.

Algorithms from bite force studies of living carnivores identify how skulls respond to feeding stresses. Applying these calculations to models of extinct animals' skulls tells researchers about the eating habits of ancient carnivores.

Find out more about Dr. Tseng's work modeling feeding simulations in living and extinct carnivores: http://www.amnh.org/explore/news-blogs/research-posts/building-better-skull-models-for-ancient-carnivores

#FossilFriday
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Is that a part an animal face??
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Five by Five

The Sun unleashed no fewer than five solar flares over five days this week, all from the same dynamic active region.

Many of these flares were associated with coronal mass ejections, most of which impacted Earth and generated beautiful auroral displays. The images were taken in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. Flares are the bright flashes you see, followed by spirals of magnetic field lines as the active region reorganizes itself.  

Date: June 21–25, 2015
Instrument: Atmospheric Imaging Assembly
Wavelength: 171 Å (Angstrom: a unit of length used primarily to measure light wavelengths. 1 Å is equal to 0.1 nanometer.)

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA 

Solar Dynamics Observatory: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/main/index.html
SDO's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA): http://aia.lmsal.com/
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Over the next 3 to 7 days watch for an increase in volcanic and seismic activity. This is the same behavior I noted back in March, 2011, just before the Fukushima disaster.
Well, I'm noting it again publicly and putting everyone on notice to be prepared for an earthquake and be ready to drop everything and go.
Remember, Fukushima changed everything. Our national leaders haven't said anything about it because there's nothing anyone can do. Our orbit was increased by 3 inches (confirmed by NASA) and no one has a clue what the overall effects will be. Japan was moved 13 feet closer to the United States. Yes, the whole island was moved.
That was just 3 days after we were hit by multiple X-class CME'S and a huge aroura light show big enough to be seen below the 33rd parallel and caused the "leap second" adjustment to occur way ahead of the normal leap-cycle.
Welcome to the new orbit.
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On November 12, 2014, the +European Space Agency, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft made orbit around Comet 67P, deploying the #Philae  lander to gather surface data. But mechanical failure prevented Philae from anchoring and it 'bounced' as it landed. Now partly in shadow, its solar panels couldn't fully recharge, and the unit eventually went to sleep.

Until today.

Philae "spoke" with its team for 85 seconds, the first contact since beginning its 7-month hibernation.   
 
Breaking news! #wakeupPhilae  
Tweet Rosetta's lander Philae is out of hibernation! The signals were received at ESA's European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt at 22:28 CEST on 13 June. More than 300 data packets have been analysed by the teams at the Lander Control Center at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). "Philae is doing very well: It has an operating temperature of -35ºC and has 24 Watts available," explains DLR Philae Project Manager Dr. Stephan Ulamec. "The lande...
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The perils of hasty weekend posting are many and varied. Time-travel-implying date has been amended.
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Active Regions Galore

About one dozen active regions danced over the Sun’s surface during a five-day period. The overall effect is a graceful ballet of movement. 

Bright strands looping from these regions are particles spinning along magnetic field lines that connect to areas of the opposite polarity.

These images were taken in the 171 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light, and have been tinted red instead of the usual gold to enhance the active regions' visibility.

Date: May 14–18, 2015
Instrument: Atmospheric Imaging Assembly
Wavelength: 171 Å (Angstrom: a unit of length used primarily to measure light wavelengths. 1 Å is equal to 0.1 nanometer.)

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA 

Solar Dynamics Observatory: sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/
SDO's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA): aia.lmsal.com/
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Is this activity normal? As far as energy its much like the picture to much gold.
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Cinco de Mayo X2.7 Flare

The Sun unleashed an X2.7 flare (X class flares are the most powerful) at its left edge on May 5, 2015, shown here in a combination of two wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light.

A coronal mass ejection (CME) accompanied the flare, blasting a mass of plasma into space. Flares and CMEs are triggered by disruptions of areas on the solar surface with intense magnetic fields.

The video covers about 75 minutes of activity.  

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA 

More from the Solar Dynamics Observatory at sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/
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Amazing
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MESSENGER is scheduled to plunge to its doom today. Its fuel tank empty, the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury will end its 4-year mission by crashing into the planet's surface. The impact is expected to happen at 3:26:02 pm EDT.

MESSENGER's first flyby of Mercury in January 2008 was historic. The last time a spacecraft visited—Mariner 10—was in 1975, and it only mapped half the planet. MESSENGER began its mission by sending back a complete picture of Mercury, shedding light on its geological history. Over the next four years, the mission returned much more than images. Its data on the planet's core, magnetic field, composition, and other attributes is helping scientists answer pressing questions about the evolution of the terrestrial planets and even the Solar System itself.

In this documentary from the Bulletins archives, take a step back in time to the beginning of MESSENGER's mission, and watch the science team react as the orbiter's first images of Mercury roll in. 

More about the anticipated impact location here: http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/image.php?gallery_id=2&image_id=1602 
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Have them in circles
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Happy International Asteroid Day!

Collisions between space objects are a vital part of the evolution of our Solar System. Most of Earth's impact craters have been wiped away due to plate tectonics, but evidence of such cosmic catastrophes, such as Arizona's 50,000-year-old meteor crater, do remain.

When is Earth due for another major blast?

Meet the professional and amateur astronomers who may be the first to know: first at LINEAR, a near-earth asteroid detection facility in New Mexico, and then at the Smithsonian's Minor Planet Center, where orbits of near-earth objects are tracked for possible hits and misses.

#AsteroidDay
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C e.6you


Lge. 11th
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CME Blow Out

A substantial coronal mass ejection erupted from the side of the Sun.

This profile view of the explosive event was captured in the 304 Angstrom wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light; the video clip covers about four hours of the dramatic solar activity.

While some of the plasma falls back into the Sun, a look at the coronagraph on SOHO shows a large cloud of particles heading into space. 

Date: June 17–18, 2015
Instrument: Atmospheric Imaging Assembly
Wavelength: 304 Å (Angstrom: a unit of length used primarily to measure light wavelengths. 1 Å is equal to 0.1 nanometer.)

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA 

Solar Dynamics Observatory: sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/
SDO's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA): aia.lmsal.com/
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Looks like a man and a sword
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Motyxia sequoiae, the only known bioluminescent millipede, demonstrates the wavelike locomotion that is unique to millipedes. Known as a metachronal gait, movement ripples through the legs in a wave that travels the length of the millipede's body from tail to head.

The video was recorded under ultraviolet light.

Learn more about Mytoxia and bioluminescence here: http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?org=NSF&cntn_id=135345&preview=false

Image credit: Paul Marek, Entomology Department, Virginia Tech and Owen Bissell, Fast + Light Productions, San Francisco, CA (fastandlightproductions.com)
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Seesaw Filament

Watch the area in the upper left of the Sun’s corona—a laterally oriented structure appears to balance itself above the Sun’s surface for at least two days.  

The structure seemed to fade about halfway through the video, but then reappeared even clearer than before. This solar activity was imaged in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light. 

Date: May 26–28, 2015
Instrument: Atmospheric Imaging Assembly
Wavelength: 171 Å (Angstrom: a unit of length used primarily to measure light wavelengths. 1 Å is equal to 0.1 nanometer.)

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA 

Solar Dynamics Observatory: sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/
SDO's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA): aia.lmsal.com/
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JODY LAKE's profile photostacy treto's profile photoTina Fies's profile photoGeorgia  priest's profile photo
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Sun's corona....mysterious...isn't it?
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"Hedgerow" Prominence

Rotating into view this week is a long prominence suspended above the Sun’s surface, demonstrating the intricate pushing and pulling of magnetic forces on strands of plasma.  

Prominences are quite unstable and often erupt. Only time will tell how long this one will hold together.  

The images were taken in extreme ultraviolet light.

Date: May 13–15, 2015
Instrument: Atmospheric Imaging Assembly
Wavelength: 304 Å (Angstrom: a unit of length used primarily to measure light wavelengths. 1 Å is equal to 0.1 nanometer.)

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA 

Solar Dynamics Observatory: sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/
SDO's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA): aia.lmsal.com/
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Breathtaking view.
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Bright Filament Eruption

A solar filament extending almost half the Sun's length erupted into space with a large burst of bright plasma (April 28–29, 2015.) 

Both of SOHO’s coronagraph instruments show the coronal mass ejection associated with the eruption. The white circle in the center of the round disk represents the size of the Sun, which is blocked by the occulting disks.  

Solar astronomers around the world had their eyes on this unusually large filament—an unstable strand of plasma suspended by magnetic forces—and were thrilled to see it erupt. 

Credit: SOHO, NASA/ESA.
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Is it heading our way; if so when is it expected to hit
Northern Lights display?
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Story
Tagline
Current research about the natural world.
Introduction

Explore the natural world with Science Bulletins; our documentary Feature Stories, Data Visualizations, and News updates focus on recent discoveries and new technologies in astrophysics, Earth science, biodiversity, and human health and evolution.

Astro Bulletin highlights the scientists, observatories, and technologies that advance our knowledge of the cosmos.

Earth Bulletin reports recent events and discoveries related to Earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere.

Bio Bulletin covers the ever-evolving diversity of life on Earth and our human footprint on the biosphere. 

Human Bulletin explores the science of our species, covering fossil and genetic research on human evolution as well as studies on human health and biology.