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Thorfinn Hrolfsson
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Thorfinn Hrolfsson

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A Purdue University study shows that targeting plants with red and blue LEDs provides energy-efficient lighting in contained environments, a finding that could advance the development of crop-growth modules for space exploration.

Research led by Cary Mitchell, professor of horticulture, and then-master's student Lucie Poulet found that leaf lettuce thrived under a 95-to-5 ratio of red and blue light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, placed close to the plant canopy. The targeted LED lighting used about 90 percent less electrical power per growing area than traditional lighting and an additional 50 percent less energy than full-coverage LED lighting.

The study suggests that this model could be a valuable component of controlled-environment agriculture and vertical farming systems in space and on Earth, Mitchell said.

"Everything on Earth is ultimately driven by sunlight and photosynthesis," he said. "The question is how we can replicate that in space. If you have to generate your own light with limited energy resources, targeted LED lighting is your best option. We're no longer stuck in the era of high-power lighting and large, hot, fragile lamps."
A Purdue University study shows that targeting plants with red and blue LEDs provides energy-efficient lighting in contained environments, a finding that could advance the development of crop-growth modules for space exploration.
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Astronomers are gearing up for high-energy fireworks coming in early 2018, when a stellar remnant the size of a city meets one of the brightest stars in our galaxy. The cosmic light show will occur when a pulsar discovered by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope swings by its companion star. Scientists plan a global campaign to watch the event from radio wavelengths to the highest-energy gamma rays detectable.
Astronomers are gearing up for high-energy fireworks coming in early 2018, when a stellar remnant the size of a city meets one of the brightest stars in our galaxy.
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Observing time at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) on Paranal Mountain is a very precious commodity – and yet the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile spent an entire night with a high-resolution infrared camera pointed at a single object in the night sky. The data collected by the Naco optics instrument enabled an international team headed by ETH Zurich’s Sascha Quanz to confirm its earlier hypothesis: that a young gas planet – presumed not unlike Jupiter in our own solar system – is orbiting the star designated HD 100546.

At “just” 335 light years away, HD 100546 is one of our near cosmic neighbours, and its age of five to ten million years makes it relatively young in astronomical terms. Like many young stars, it is surrounded by a massive disk of gas and dust. The outer reaches of this disk are home to the protoplanet, which lies at a distance from its parent star that is some fifty times greater than the distance between the Earth and the Sun.
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Type Ia supernovae are the “standard candles” astrophysicists use to chart distance in the Universe. But are these dazzling exploding stars truly all the same? To answer this, scientists must first understand what causes stars to explode and become supernovae. Recently, a unique collaborative project between the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Weizmann Institute of Science provided a rare glimpse of the process. Their findings were published in Nature.
 
The project, called the Palomar Transient Factory, is a robotic telescope system based in Southern California that scans the night sky for changes. In May, halfway around the world at the Weizmann Institute, Dr. Ilan Sagiv realized that one of the bright new lights the Palomar telescope had pinpointed was, indeed, a supernova – just four days into the explosion – and he sounded the alert sending the Swift Space Telescope on NASA’s Swift Satellite to observe the blast. But the Swift Telescope also observed in an unusual way – in the invisible, ultraviolet range.
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The universe can be a very sticky place, but just how sticky is a matter of debate.

That is because for decades cosmologists have had trouble reconciling the classic notion of viscosity based on the laws of thermodynamics with Einstein’s general theory of relativity. However, a team from Vanderbilt University has come up with a fundamentally new mathematical formulation of the problem that appears to bridge this long-standing gap.

The new maths has some significant implications for the ultimate fate of the universe. It tends to favour one of the more radical scenarios that cosmologists have come up with known as the “Big Rip.” It may also shed new light on the basic nature of dark energy.

The new approach was developed by Assistant Professor of Mathematics Marcelo Disconzi in collaboration with physics professors Thomas Kephart and Robert Scherrer and is described in a paper published earlier this year in the journal Physical Review D.
A Vanderbilt team of scientists have developed a new formulation for cosmic viscosity which strongly favors the
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So, this new Big Rip model suggests that matter closest to the axle of the Universe flows/ expands faster than the at the side of the Universe... Very interesting, but what happens to the expanding space itself?
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great shot
 
Namibia skies. Photo by Marina Cano
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NASA's Swift satellite detected a rising tide of high-energy X-rays from the constellation Cygnus on June 15, just before 2:32 p.m. EDT. About 10 minutes later, the Japanese experiment on the International Space Station called the Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) also picked up the flare.

The outburst came from V404 Cygni, a binary system located about 8,000 light-years away that contains a black hole. Every couple of decades the black hole fires up in an outburst of high-energy light, becoming an X-ray nova. Until the Swift detection, it had been slumbering since 1989.
NASA's Swift satellite detected a rising tide of high-energy X-rays from the constellation Cygnus on June 15, just before 2:23 p.m. EDT.
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This rich view of an array of colourful stars and gas was captured by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera, on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. It shows a young open cluster of stars known as NGC 2367, an infant stellar grouping that lies at the centre of an immense and ancient structure on the margins of the Milky Way.

Discovered from England by the tireless observer Sir William Herschel on 20 November 1784, the bright star cluster NGC 2367 lies about 7000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Canis Major. Having only existed for about five million years, most of its stars are young and hot and shine with an intense blue light. This contrasts wonderfully in this new image with the silky-red glow from the surrounding hydrogen gas.

Open clusters like NGC 2367 are a common sight in spiral galaxies like the Milky Way, and tend to form in their host’s outer regions. On their travels about the galactic centre, they are affected by the gravity of other clusters, as well as by large clouds of gas that they pass close to. Because open clusters are only loosely bound by gravity to begin with, and because they constantly lose mass as some of their gas is pushed away by the radiation of the young hot stars, these disturbances occur often enough to cause the stars to wander off from their siblings, just as the Sun is believed to have done many years ago. An open cluster is generally expected to survive for a few hundred million years before it is completely dispersed.
ESO, European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere
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There may be far fewer galaxies further out in the universe then might be expected, according to a new study led by Michigan State University.  Over the years, the Hubble Space Telescope has allowed astronomers to look deep into the universe. The long view stirred theories of untold thousands of distant, faint galaxies. The new research, appearing in the current issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters, however, offers a theory that reduces the estimated number of the most distant galaxies by 10 to 100 times.

“Our work suggests that there are far fewer faint galaxies than we once previously thought,” said Brian O’Shea, MSU associate professor of physics and astronomy. “Earlier estimates placed the number of faint galaxies in the early universe to be hundreds or thousands of times larger than the few bright galaxies that we can actually see with the Hubble Space Telescope. We now think that number could be closer to ten times larger.
There may be far fewer galaxies further out in the universe then might be expected, according to a new study led by MSU.
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I think we should keep on trying to know more and more about this endless study of universe
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Thorfinn Hrolfsson

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It is well known that muscles need resistance (gravity) to maintain optimal health, and when they do not have this resistance, they deteriorate. A new report published in the July 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal, however, suggests that this might not be true for all muscles, offering hope that there may be ways to preserve muscle mass and strength for individuals in low-resistance environments, whether it be the microgravity of space, extended periods in a hospital bed, or a 9-5 job behind a desk.

"Maintaining muscle mass and good muscle repair is key to all areas of our lives: successful ageing, combating devastating diseases like muscular dystrophy, as well as generalized health and well-being to improve quality of life," said Elizabeth Barton, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the College of Health and Human Performance, Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. "Figuring out these pathways may lead to strategies that can enhance training effects for healthy individuals, and also to therapeutics that can counter the loss of functional muscle in genetic diseases or ageing. Clearly, the 'use it or lose it' rule has broader impact than on muscle alone."
Muscles need gravity to maintain optimal health, and when they do not have it, they deteriorate. A new report published in the July 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal, however, suggests that this might not be true for all muscles, offering hope that there may be ways to preserve muscle mass and strength for individuals in low-resistance environments, whether it be the microgravity of space, extended periods in a hospital bed, or a 9-5 job behind a d...
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Asteroid Day is a global awareness movement where people from around the world come together to learn about asteroids and what we can do to protect our planet, our families, communities, and future generations. Asteroid Day will be held on the anniversary of the 1908 Siberian Tunguska event, the largest asteroid impact on Earth in recent history
Asteroid Day is a global movement to protect Earth from asteroids. We are raising awareness through events and activities. The first Asteroid Day will take place on June 30, 2015.
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Thorfinn Hrolfsson

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seal contemplating lunch
 
Beautiful leopard seal. Photo by Paul Nicklen #wildlife
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MUITO BONITO
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