Thursday, 30 January 2014

Thyroid cancer cells become less aggressive in outer space

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For those who think that space exploration offers no tangible benefits, new research involving thyroid cancer may prove otherwise. Researchers show that some tumors which are aggressive on earth are considerably less aggressive in microgravity. By understanding the genetic and cellular processes that occur in space, scientists may be able to develop treatments that accomplish the same thing on Earth.

via Science Daily

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Breakthrough in rechargeable batteries: New twist to sodium-ion battery technology

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Engineers have made a breakthrough in rechargeable battery applications. They have demonstrated that a composite paper -- made of interleaved molybdenum disulfide and graphene nanosheets -- can be both an active material to efficiently store sodium atoms and a flexible current collector. The newly developed composite paper can be used as a negative electrode in sodium-ion batteries.

via Science Daily

Dumbbell Nebula in Taurus Oval Stickers

Here's a great sheet of stickers featuring a beautiful image from deep space

tagged with: awesome astronomy images, inspirational, dmbblneb, vulpecula constellation, intense ultraviolet radiation, messier 27 ngc 6853, heavens, stars, dumbbell nebula, the fox constellation, european southern observatory, eso, vista

Galaxies, Stars and Nebulae series A great photo from deep space featuring the Dumbbell Nebula - also known as Messier 27 or NGC 6853. It's a typical planetary nebula and is located in the constellation Vulpecula (The Fox).

The distance is rather uncertain, but is believed to be around 1,200 light-years. It was first described by the French astronomer and comet hunter Charles Messier who found it in 1764 and included it as no. 27 in his famous list of extended sky objects.

Despite its class, the Dumbbell Nebula has nothing to do with planets. It consists of very rarefied gas that has been ejected from the hot central star (well visible on this photo), now in one of the last evolutionary stages. The gas atoms in the nebula are excited (heated) by the intense ultraviolet radiation from this star and emit strongly at specific wavelengths.

This image is the beautiful by-product of a technical test of some FORS1 narrow-band optical interference filters. They only allow light in a small wavelength range to pass and are used to isolate emissions from particular atoms and ions.

In this three-colour composite, a short exposure was first made through a wide-band filter registering blue light from the nebula. It was then combined with exposures through two interference filters in the light of double-ionized oxygen atoms and atomic hydrogen. They were colour-coded as “blue”, “green” and “red”, respectively, and then combined to produce this picture that shows the structure of the nebula in “approximately true” colours.

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Image code: dmbblneb

ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA
Reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

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Rocket Streak and Star Trails

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Fixed to a tripod and looking east across the Kennedy Space Center's Turn Basin, a camera captured these star trails as a series of short exposures over a three hour period on the evening of January 23rd. Positioned just a few miles from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, it also captured a spectacular night launch of an Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite TDRS-L. Creating the trails, the apparent motion of the stars through the sky is just a reflection of the daily rotation of planet Earth on its axis. But that rotation is also the reason the rocket streak follows a path arcing east across the Atlantic. Launching toward the east, in the direction of Earth's rotation, adds the rotation velocity to the rocket and reduces the fuel needed to reach orbit. A little ironically, TDRS-L is destined for a geostationary orbit. From there, 36,000 kilometers or so above the equator, it's orbital period will match Earth's rotation and the satellite will hang motionless in planet Earth's sky.

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Hubble images spawn theory of how spiral galaxies turn into jellyfish before becoming elliptical

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( —A trio of researchers, two from the University of Hawaii, and one from the University of Dunham in the U.K. has found evidence from the Hubble Space Telescope that suggests jellyfish galaxies come about when spiral galaxies are ripped apart as they move towards dense galaxy clusters. In their paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the team describes how six images of jellyfish captured by Hubble appear to show how spiral galaxies morph into elliptical galaxies.

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Monogram Brightest Supernova Ever space picture Table Lamp

Here's a gorgeous lamp featuring a beautiful image from deep in outer space.

tagged with: astronomy pictures, outer space, star galaxies, sn1006c, supernova explosions, brightest supernova, exploding white dwarf, neutron star, deep space astronomy, monogram initials, supernova bursts, supernovae space bubble

Galaxies, Stars and Nebulae series Just over a thousand years ago, the stellar explosion known as supernova SN 1006 was observed. It was brighter than Venus, and visible during the day for weeks. The brightest supernova ever recorded on Earth, this spectacular light show was documented in China, Japan, Europe, and the Arab world.
Ancient observers were treated to this celestial fireworks display without understanding its cause or implications. Astronomers now understand that SN 1006 was caused by a white dwarf star that captured mass from a companion star until the white dwarf became unstable and exploded. Recent observations of the remnant of SN 1006 reveal the liberation of elements such as iron that were previously locked up inside the star. Because no material falls back into a neutron star or black hole after this type of supernova explosion, the liberation of this star's contents is complete. It represents, therefore, a cosmic version of Independence Day for this star.
This is a composite image of the SN 1006 supernova remnant, which is located about 7000 light years from Earth. Shown here are X-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), optical data from the University of Michigan's 0.9 meter Curtis Schmidt telescope at the NSF's Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO; yellow) and the Digitized Sky Survey (orange and light blue), plus radio data from the NRAO's Very Large Array and Green Bank Telescope (VLA/GBT; red).
This combined study of the Chandra, CTIO and VLA/GBT observations shows new evidence for the acceleration of charged particles to high energies in supernova shockwaves. An accompanying Hubble Space Telescope image of SN 1006 shows a close-up of the region on the upper right of the supernova remnant. The twisting ribbon of light seen by Hubble reveals where the expanding blast wave is sweeping into very tenuous surrounding gas.
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image code: sn1006c

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/G.Cassam-Chenaï, J.Hughes et al.; Radio: NRAO/AUI/NSF/GBT/VLA/Dyer, Maddalena & Cornwell; Optical: Middlebury College/F.Winkler, NOAO/AURA/NSF/CTIO Schmidt & DSS

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