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Steven Roy
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RIP Carroll Shelby! Born 1923. Died May 10, 2012 at 89 years young. He is the PROTOTYPE of the racer-entrepreneur-promoter-team owner and was genuinely enjoyable to be around. A true American racing icon, we'll miss you!
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OMG
Hubble Captures View of 'Mystic Mountain' | HH 901 and HH 902 in the Carina Nebula

This craggy fantasy mountaintop enshrouded by wispy clouds looks like a bizarre landscape from Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" or a Dr. Seuss book, depending on your imagination. The NASA Hubble Space Telescope image, which is even more dramatic than fiction, captures the chaotic activity atop a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being assaulted from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks.

This turbulent cosmic pinnacle lies within a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. The image celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hubble's launch and deployment into an orbit around Earth.

Scorching radiation and fast winds (streams of charged particles) from super-hot newborn stars in the nebula are shaping and compressing the pillar, causing new stars to form within it. Streamers of hot ionized gas can be seen flowing off the ridges of the structure, and wispy veils of gas and dust, illuminated by starlight, float around its towering peaks. The denser parts of the pillar are resisting being eroded by radiation much like a towering butte in Utah's Monument Valley withstands erosion by water and wind.

Nestled inside this dense mountain are fledgling stars. Long streamers of gas can be seen shooting in opposite directions off the pedestal at the top of the image. Another pair of jets is visible at another peak near the center of the image. These jets (known as HH 901 and HH 902, respectively) are the signpost for new star birth. The jets are launched by swirling disks around the young stars, which allow material to slowly accrete onto the stars' surfaces.

Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 observed the pillar on Feb. 1-2, 2010. The colors in this composite image correspond to the glow of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green), and sulfur (red).

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)
Explanation of the image from: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2010/13/image/a/
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I wrote a guest post for sidepodcast on boycotting coverage of the Bahrain GP. If the teams and drivers won't stand up and be counted the fans should. I still don't believe the race will happen.

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I wrote a post so now I am plugging it.

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Look how small we really are
Sometimes I want to ask religious folks, how fast does prayer travel? How is it broadcast? Where do they think a/the god(s) reside? Because if they're not reasonably close to Earth, it's going to take some time for their prayers to even be heard. (And if they/it are/is close to Earth, what the heck is all the REST of the Universe for??)

But I don't ask that because it won't really get anywhere.

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It will be a great night to get out those telescopes, Googlers

Tonight, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury will align in a diagonal line (with Jupiter at the top) with the moon appearing just above and at the right of Venus. On Sunday night, the cosmic line-up happens again, but this time the moon will appear higher in the sky, just to the right of Jupiter.

If you are eager to see the planets and moon, but have cloudy or rainy weather, the online skywatching website Slooh.com will provide a free webcast of the planetary show on Saturday and Sunday each night beginning at 9:30 p.m. EST (0230 GMT) at this website http://events.slooh.com/
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