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“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
By Albert Einstein

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Originally shared by Russ Abbott
Matt Strassler explains the neutron star event observed the other day. It's a very nice explanation.

In talking about the merger of two neutron stars he writes,

Only in the last day of their lives do their orbits really start to speed up. And just before these objects merge, they begin to orbit each other once per second, then ten times per second, then a hundred times per second. Visualize that if you can: objects a few dozen miles (kilometers) across, a few miles (kilometers) apart, each with the mass of the Sun or greater, orbiting each other 100 times each second. It’s truly mind-boggling — a spinning dumbbell beyond the imagination of even the greatest minds of the 19th century. I don’t know any scientist who isn’t awed by this vision. It all sounds like science fiction. But it’s not.

About the observations themselves, (and in passing a bit of philosophy of science)

That the observed gravitational wave patterns agree with Einstein’s theory in every detail is the strongest evidence ever obtained that there is nothing wrong with Einstein’s theory when used in these combined contexts. That then in turn gives us confidence that our interpretation of the LIGO/VIRGO results is correct, confirming that black holes and neutron stars really exist and really merge. (Notice the reasoning is slightly circular… but that’s how scientific knowledge proceeds, as a set of detailed consistency checks that gradually and eventually become so tightly interconnected as to be almost impossible to unwind. Scientific reasoning is not deductive; it is inductive. We do it not because it is logically ironclad but because it works so incredibly well — as witnessed by the computer, and its screen, that I’m using to write this, and the wired and wireless internet and computer disk that will be used to transmit and store it.)

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A new study shows that Mars probably once had water - but it was almost frozen!

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Liquid metal brings soft robotics a step closer - Scientists have invented a way to morph liquid metal into physical shapes.

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Originally shared by XPRIZE
A huge announcement in science today, as astronomers have observed the first-ever-seen "kilonova", and they did so with both optical telescopes & gravitational wave detectors!:

"We’re able to combine dramatically different ways of viewing the universe, and I think our level of understanding is going to leap forward as a result.” - Julie McEnery, astrophysicist, NASA

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ScienceCasts 、Lettuce Orbit Earth 、A New Form of Life Takes Root on the ISS 、。。
By science@nasa 、。。

A New life form .. is taking root on the International Space Station, and its name is "Outregeous." .. The space-faring lettuce was delivered to the space station by a SpaceX Dragon capsule on April 20th 1014 、。。

It's spring, and all around the northern hemisphere gardeners are planting seeds, tilling soil, and watering crops .. Imagine a gardener's surprise, however, if water from the hose, instead of hitting the soil and sinking in, floated up to the sky .. Or if the soil itself rose up from the ground and fled the garden 、。。

That's exactly the kind of dilemma astronauts aboard the International Space Station have faced for years. Without gravity, how do you make your garden grow?
The situation is even more confusing for plants. In a weightless environment, up and down has no meaning, so roots grow in odd, chaotic directions. Shoots that emerge from the soil in search of the sun find, instead, a cold metallic lamp that never rises or sets. And needless to say, it never rains inside the space station 、。。

On April 18th, SpaceX's Falcon rocket, carrying the Dragon cargo spacecraft blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida with a possible solution to these problems ..
"We call it 'Veggie'," says Gioia Massa of NASA's Kennedy Space Center .. "It's a plant growth chamber designed to make gardens thrive in weightlessness." 、。。

Massa, who leads the Veggie science team, has been working on the project for years. Veggie's heritage traces back decades to experiments with plants on board the Russian space station Mir and NASA's space shuttles .. In all that time, NASA astronauts have never tasted home-grown food in space .. but that could soon change.
"Our first crop will be a variety of lettuce called 'Outredgeous,'" says Massa .. "It is delicious." 、。。

Veggie solves the problems of weightlessness using 'plant pillows.'
"Basically, these are bags of quote, 'space dirt' and slow-release fertilizer," explains Trent Smith, the Veggie project manager at Kennedy .. "Wicks inserted into the bags draw water into the soil where it cannot float away." 、。。

In addition to guiding water, the wicks act as a kind of gardening stake 、。。

"The wicks are where we glue the seeds," continues Massa. "We have to be very careful to orient the seeds so that roots grow 'down' into the soil and shoots pop out of the bag." 、。。

When the shoots emerge, they find an array of LEDs shining overhead, providing light for photosynthesis and a sense of direction to keep the shoots moving "up." .. The bellows-like walls of the chamber allow it to expand to make room for the growing crop 、。。

Pictures of Veggie often show the chamber flooded with a mixture of red and blue light. That's the color of light plants use most for photosynthesis 、。。

"We're just giving them what they want," says Smith 、。。

Under a purplish light, plants appear gray and unappetizing. "Who wants to look at that?" asks Massa 、。。

Astronaut gardeners can switch on green LEDs as well. Adding that color to the red-blue mix produces white light and displays the garden to better effect .. The appearance of the garden is important because, as Massa points out, gardening has psychological as well as nutritional benefits. Compared to Earth, spaceships are a relatively lifeless environment, cold, metallic and sterile 、。。

"Plants allow astronauts to form a connection to living things," she says. "There could be a huge psychological benefit." ..
Chalking up another success for commercial space flight, the Dragon capsule delivered Veggie to the space station on Sunday, April 20th 、。。

For more about gardening in space, visit

For more on the growth of science both on and off our home planet, visit

Solar System Documentary 、Collection 、。。

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Mini Black Holes 、。。
What if there was a black hole in your pocket 、。。
Credited by Kurzgesagt– In a Nutshell 、。。

Micro Black Holes .. Also called quantum mechanical black holes or mini black holes, are hypothetical tiny black holes, for which quantum mechanical effects play an important role .. The concept that black holes may exist that are smaller than stellar mass was introduced in 1971 by Stephen Hawking 、。。

It is possible that such quantum primordial black holes were created in the high-density environment of the early Universe (or big bang), or possibly through subsequent phase transitions .. They might be observed by astrophysicists through the particles they are expected to emit by Hawking radiation 、。。

Some hypotheses involving additional space dimensions predict that micro black holes could be formed at energies as low as the TeV range, which are available in particle accelerators such as the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) .. Popular concerns have then been raised over end-of-the-world scenarios (see Safety of particle collisions at the Large Hadron Collider) .. However, such quantum black holes would instantly evaporate, either totally or leaving only a very weakly interacting residue .. Beside the theoretical arguments, the cosmic rays hitting the Earth do not produce any damage, although they reach center of mass energies in the range of hundreds of TeV 、。。

Black Body 、Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation 、。。

Black Holes 、Introduction To The Theory Of Black Holes 、。。

Solar System Documentary 。。Collection 。。

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That doesn't not sound like a nominal landing, even if it was not dangerous...

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Originally shared by Chicago Tribune
Scientists witness huge cosmic crash, find origins of gold

It was a faint signal, but it told of one of the most violent acts in the universe, and it would soon reveal secrets of the cosmos, including how gold was created.
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