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National Geographic Explorer: Bill Nye's Global Meltdown
The Five Stages of Climate Change Grief
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Ever wonder what a star sounds like?
Stars certainly aren’t silent. Actually, they constantly ‘sing’ by oscillating at certain frequencies. Using ESA’s Corot satellite, astronomers have recorded these frequencies and made them into actual sounds. Click the link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7687286.stm) to go to the BBC website and actually hear starsongs.
Ever wonder what the Sun sounds like?
Asteroseismology records the frequencies which a star pulsates at and uses those frequencies to study the internal structure of the star. Those frequencies can be turned into actual sound. The mp3 is of the Sun’s pulsations. Turn your bass up and have a listen (http://www.asteroseismology.org/sounds/sun.wav).
Obviously, actual sound doesn’t travel through space. What you’re hearing are the frequencies the star’s vibrating at after they’ve been recorded by astronomers here on Earth. The tone is affected by a star’s age and how many metals it contains. The fluctuations you hear come from the fact that the whole star is oscillating. Vibrating standing waves ripple through the star’s body, and they can tell you a lot about the internal workings of the star itself.
The technique’s called astroseismology (http://www.asteroseismology.org/). It all started around 1962, when a group studying the Sun noticed that the radiation emitted by the solar surface slowly changes with a period of about 5 minutes. Specifically, they were looking at lines in the Sun’s spectrum, and noticing tiny doppler shifts over time. What they’d found were the acoustic harmonics in the Sun’s surface.
As you’d expect, giant stars (http://whitedwarf.org/seis/sounds/bHyi.wav) have a deep throbbing sound, while tiny, rapidly spinning white dwarfs (http://whitedwarf.org/seis/sounds/gd358.wav) are full of odd harmonics. You can even compare Alpha Centaurii A (http://whitedwarf.org/seis/sounds/aCenA.wav) with Alpha Centauri B (http://whitedwarf.org/seis/sounds/aCenB.wav).
The technique of actually listening to these vibrations, however, is a relatively new one; though it’s fast becoming popular. More and more astronomers (such as Jodrell Bank’s Tim O’Brien) are listening to sounds from space. It’s easy to see why, with the eerie beauty of some of these sounds, though it’s also a very useful scientific method. http://www.jodrellbank.manchester.ac.uk/
#stars #starsounds #acousticharmonics #astroseismology
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International Space Station celebrates 15 years of continuous human presence in space (low Earth orbit)
On November 2, 2000, a Russian Soyuz rocket docked at the International Space Station (ISS) carrying Expedition 1, carrying NASA astronaut William Shepherd and Roscosmos cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev.
The ISS shows what an international co-operation combined with scientific endeavour can achieve: since the launch of the first module in 1998, 211 astronauts from 15 countries have visited the ISS and over 69 countries have contributed to the development and running of the space station.
The breakthroughs achieved there would not have been possible on Earth. Aside from the many hundreds of experiments carried out in 15 years, technological innovations designed for the station have been transferred to help people on Earth, particularly when it comes to health and medicine.
Filtration systems designed for space are helping people around the world gain access to clean water.
Compact ultrasound devices developed for the use on the station have led to portable instruments that can travel to patients who otherwise might not have access to diagnostic machines.
Robotic arms working on the station have been adapted to do things on Earth like perform surgery. And a lot has been learned about the aspects of living in a micro-gravity environment. you can read more about how ISS is benefiting people here
And of course, the astronauts aboard the space station have provided us with the most incredible views of Earth.
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