asapscience:

A UFO caught on tape!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

asapscience:

A UFO caught on tape!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

carolynporco:

Twenty-five years ago today, Voyager 2 flew within 5,000 km of the cloud tops of Neptune, capping the most glorious and ambitious exploration humankind has ever engineered. We could not claim to know the contents of our cosmic neighborhood without Voyager’s tour through the planetary portion of our solar system. For many of us, including myself, it was a defining, life-shaping experience.

Here are some pictures from that oh-so-memorable time … a time of discovery and peaceful conquest that set the stage for the return expeditions to Jupiter and Saturn, which came to be called Galileo and Cassini. The pictures include artwork, a close-up of the high methane clouds on Neptune, preparations for TV interviews by MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour and CNN, the final press conference in which I gave the summary of our findings on Neptune’s rings, and a pic of Chuck Berry and Carl Sagan, speaking to the Voyager team members already giddy in their celebration of the successful conclusion of Voyager’s historic, 12-year odyssey.

Enjoy the memories!

nythroughthelens:

Museum of Natural History - First Ever Sleepover for Grownups - New York City

There are a few places in New York City that are almost more New York City than New York City itself.

The American Museum of Natural History is one of those places.

Say its name in certain late-night conversations and you are bound to encounter a wide spectrum of responses most of which are accompanied by a starry-eyed look usually reserved for times when people think back to beloved childhood memories.

Even visiting the museum on frequent school trips during my own childhood, the museum seemed to be a portal into an alternate New York City reality tinged by nostalgia.

The museum started having sleepovers for children and their parents around a decade ago. But it wasn’t until last week that the museum decided to host its first ever "sleepover for grownups".

The allure of an adults-only sleepover was strong, of course. The sleepover’s tickets sold out within the first three hours that they were up for sale.

I was fortunate enough to be one of the 150 adults who got to attend the sleepover. It was a fascinating night.

Here is some of what transpired…

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Sleepover guests were greeted by live jazz music inside of the museum courtesy of the 12th Night Jazz Ensemble

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The Milstein Hall of Ocean Life was the setting for the actual sleeping part of the sleepover. Guests were guided to the hall to pick a cot under the 94 foot blue whale or away from it (I met quite a few people over the course of the night who seemed to share a fear of having the giant whale fall on them in their sleep).

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There was also a champagne reception followed by a three course meal where sleepover guests nervously contemplated how the evening’s adventures would unfold.

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I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was happily surprised to find that there was an in-depth itinerary provided for us:

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All 45 museum halls and the entire Rose Center for Earth and Space were open for free exploration. Some of the hallways were completely empty.

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I took an empty elevator up to the 4th floor. I knew what I wanted to see most of all.

The dinosaurs, of course.

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It was a stellar moment when I realized that the dinosaurs were lit up in a special way at night.

I had T-Rex all to myself for a good 10 minutes.

It was *spectacular*.

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This night was also the first night I got to use the Sony A7S which has insane low-light capability. You can basically shoot up to 50,000 ISO with little noise. For those who don’t know what ISO is, ISO is the measure of how sensitive your camera sensor is to light. For reference, my first DSLR could only ever really shoot up to around 800 ISO. Anything greater than that and the photos would be extremely noisy.

This next photo was taken at 25,600 ISO with the A7S. It’s straight out of camera. If you want to view it really large, here it is: T-Rex at 25,600 ISO

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I can’t wait to take this camera out on the dark streets of New York City at night.

Back to the sleepover though.

There were a lot of events on the itinerary. I took a break from the dinosaurs to go and attend a presentation about toxicology in the Power of Poison exhibit.

The exhibit was fun to walk through. Here is a representation of the witches from Macbeth.

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This is the table at the presentation with all sorts of ominous things like a giant cell display, a tea kettle, a skull, and Arsenic.

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And here is the curator of the Power of Poison exhibit who is an author and one of the world’s top leech experts, Dr. Mark Siddall. He is demonstrating the effects of Arsenic. :)

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Before the next event on the itinerary, I ran back to the 4th floor to gawk at the dinosaurs again for a few minutes. If this is what the kids at the sleepovers have been experiencing for years, I am supremely jealous. I love these exhibits even more at night.

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I also took a little detour and visited a new exhibit called Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs. There is a simulation game where you can flap your arms to fly like a pterosaur on the screen in front of you. You can then fly over the ocean and try to catch fish, or fly through a forest and try to catch bugs. It is surprisingly (or not surprisingly) hard to catch fish or bugs while flying around with an enormous prehistoric wingspan.

This is another museum guest attempting to fly like a pterosaur.

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My dinosaur visit was short-lived since I had to book it to get to the Live Animal presentation. No one really knew what live animals would be featured but the speculation was quite amusing over dinner. My dinner table guests nearly lost it when someone suggested that there would be sloths. Sloths!

Alas, there were no sloths. But that’s ok because there was an owl:

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…and a lemur eating a banana.

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There was also a bird of prey, an alligator who urinated all over the trainer and the stage, and a Burmese python.

Before the midnight showing of the current space show in the planetarium, I quickly made my way to the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda. When I was really little, it was one of my favorite places in all of New York City. It’s really hard to beat. Not too many other places can boast a trio of large dinosaurs in action poses.

I was surprised to find the room totally empty. If you have visited this museum, you will recognize this room as one of the main entrances. It’s usually full of people since it’s one of the places you can enter the museum and purchase tickets to the exhibits. To experience it empty was truly sublime.

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I always thought that the dinosaurs looked a bit like they were dancing.

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That tail…

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The planetarium show ended somewhere between 1 am and 2 am. I had lofty goals of sleeping under the giant whale but I wanted to visit the Lunar Lounge first.

The Lunar Lounge was the name given to the adult-sleepover-decked-out Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth. It was a space for those adults who preferred to skip sleep. With non-stop films, electrical outlets to charge devices and dim lighting, it was a pretty cool place to hang out for a bit.

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At around 3 am, I decided to make my way back to the whale.

Decked out in an oversized hoodie and leggings (the instructions were to bring comfortable clothes for sleeping in sleeping bags but no pajamas: one of the most puzzling requests related to the event), I marveled at how eerily beautiful the museum was at night.

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And as I nestled into my sleeping bag under the giant whale, I knew this would be a night I would never forget.

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Some notes about the sleepover:

1. Sleep was but a dream. As I mentioned, I had lofty expectations that I would be able to sleep. In truth, they remained lofty expectations. We were warned that the cots would be extremely uncomfortable. That was an understatement.

But it wasn’t the cot that did me in sleep-wise. And it wasn’t the noise or low-level of light in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. As a travel photographer, I travel with ear plugs and an eye mask and I had both in my possession for this sleepover.

It was the bone-chilling cold.

I guess something that you never really think about when you think of museums is how incredibly cold they get at night. While I had my comfy sleeping bag and I was wearing a hoodie and leggings, I was still uncomfortably freezing for the few futile hours that I attempted to sleep. In retrospect, I should have just kept roaming around the museum. If I were to do the sleepover again, I would actually bank on not sleeping at all.

2. The crowd. I was actually a bit surprised at how restrained the guests were throughout the night. I think I expected that there would be more…revelry. Everything was very, very subdued though which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I was shocked when I entered the sleeping hall at around 3:30 in the morning to find many people sleeping soundly (how did they sleep in that cold?!).

There seemed to be many couples and groups of friends. I was solo on this adventure and so perhaps I was just keenly aware of how paired-up everyone else seemed to be. It’s a great event to attend with someone special, that’s for sure.

3. The itinerary. As I mentioned in the photo-set above, I was pleasantly surprised to find there was a planned itinerary with events and presentations. The presentations and events were pretty fantastic. The only thing I think could be improved would be to space the events out a bit more to allow for more free roaming of the museum. If you wanted to attend all of the events, you would have been left with only a little over an hour to explore the museum.

4. The price. The price was quite steep. At $375 per person, it definitely wasn’t a budget-friendly choice of an NYC outing. The price seemed to cover quite a bit in terms of events, food, and drink (unlimited wine at dinner, champagne reception). One quibble I had in regards to the food was that I felt that the breakfast could have been a lot more than muffins and juice for that price.

The children’s sleepover price is $145 per person. Of course, the children’s sleepovers don’t come with unlimited wine at dinner, a champagne reception and quite a bit of live music, I would assume. It will be interesting to see if the price stays at $375 per person for the adult sleepover in the future. The museum already indicated that they will try to host more of these adults-only type of events so time will tell.

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I hope you enjoyed my museum sleepover recap!

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Looking for these (and more) photos of the museum sleepover for adults to view larger? Here you go (click or tap on each photo to view larger):

Museum of Natural History - Sleepover for Grownups

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P.S. - Information about my New York City photography book which is releasing in stores and online in the autumn of 2014 (including where to order it):

NY Through The Lens: A New York Coffee Table Book

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View: My New York City photography portfolio, My Travel Blog, On G+,email me, or ask for help.

The Theory of Everything Official Trailer #1

The Theory of Everything is an upcoming 2014 British biopic-drama based on the life of physicist Stephen Hawking. It stars Eddie Redmayne as Hawking and Felicity Jones as his wife Jane and chronicles their relationship, from his early development of ALS to his success in physics.

is nobody going to at least speak of The Theory of Everything movie or

micdotcom:

Richard Dawkins sounded off on “worse” forms of rape — and the backlash was swift

Richard Dawkins is a smart man; his contributions to the biological sciences are many. Too bad his expertise in biology doesn’t preclude him from making foolish and offensive claims about rape. 

He’s completely missing the point | Follow micdotcom

"Using the chain rule is like peeling an onion. You have to deal with every layer at a time and if it’s too big you’ll start crying."
— Calculus professor (via mathprofessorquotes)
drtyson:

"Last night in midtown Manhattan, Bill Nye @TheScienceGuy teaches me to knot my first-ever Bow Tie. "

drtyson:

"Last night in midtown Manhattan, Bill Nye @TheScienceGuy teaches me to knot my first-ever Bow Tie. "

kidsneedscience:

On July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 crew blasted off and four days later opened the door of the lunar module and Neil Armstrong stepped out onto the lunar surface.  Armstrong’s radio back to Earth that his was ‘one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’ became instantly one of the most quoted and known phrases uttered in the name of science.  The Apollo program was started less than a decade earlier with success following success.  Named by then NASA Director Abe Silverstein (who later said it was like naming his baby) after the Ancient Greek god known for knowledge and who was represented as a flaming chariot shooting across the sky.  Hats off today to Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins.  All born in 1930 and still healthy and looking to the skies.  

Thanks also to the flight crew:

SUPPORT CREW

  • Charlie Duke, Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM)
  • Ronald Evans (CAPCOM)
  • Owen K. Garriott (CAPCOM)
  • Don L. Lind (CAPCOM)
  • Ken Mattingly (CAPCOM)
  • Bruce McCandless II (CAPCOM)
  • Harrison Schmitt (CAPCOM)
  • Bill Pogue
  • Jack Swigert

FLIGHT DIRECTORS

  • Cliff Charlesworth (Green Team), launch andEVA
  • Gene Kranz(White Team), lunar landing
  • Glynn Lunney(Black Team), lunar ascent

All images courtesy NASA, used with permission and in the public domain.  Please copy and share!

jtotheizzoe:

I think I’m becoming obsessed with the fluid dynamics of iced coffee and milk.

jtotheizzoe:

I think I’m becoming obsessed with the fluid dynamics of iced coffee and milk.

pennyfornasa:

On June 30, 2004, the Cassini spacecraft, carrying the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe, arrived at Saturn. Today Cassini celebrates 10 years exploring the Saturn system. Originally intended for a four-year primary mission, Cassini has received three extensions allowing the spacecraft to collect 514 GB of science data and 332,000 stunning images of the planet, its rings and moons.Below is a list compiled by NASA of Cassini’s Top 10 discoveries and accomplishments: — The Huygens probe makes first landing on a moon in the outer Solar System (Titan) — Discovery of active, icy plumes on the Saturnian moon Enceladus — Saturn’s rings revealed as active and dynamic — a laboratory for how planets form — Titan revealed as an Earth-like world with rain, rivers, lakes and seas — Studies of Saturn’s great northern storm of 2010-2011 — Studies reveal radio-wave patterns are not tied to Saturn’s interior rotation, as previously thought — Vertical structures in the rings imaged for the first time — Study of prebiotic chemistry on Titan — Mystery of the dual, bright-dark surface of the moon Iapetus solved — First complete view of the north polar hexagon and discovery of giant hurricanes at both of Saturn’s poles Read more: Cassini’s 10 Years At Saturn: http://go.nasa.gov/1o3EzJZ Cassini’s Top 10 Discoveries: http://go.nasa.gov/1m1Skuf  Check out Cassini’s Top Images: http://go.nasa.gov/1veUSF3 Download The Infographic: http://go.nasa.gov/1wxXSyW Image Credit: NASA

pennyfornasa:

On June 30, 2004, the Cassini spacecraft, carrying the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe, arrived at Saturn. Today Cassini celebrates 10 years exploring the Saturn system. Originally intended for a four-year primary mission, Cassini has received three extensions allowing the spacecraft to collect 514 GB of science data and 332,000 stunning images of the planet, its rings and moons.

Below is a list compiled by NASA of Cassini’s Top 10 discoveries and accomplishments:
— The Huygens probe makes first landing on a moon in the outer Solar System (Titan)
— Discovery of active, icy plumes on the Saturnian moon Enceladus
— Saturn’s rings revealed as active and dynamic — a laboratory for how planets form
— Titan revealed as an Earth-like world with rain, rivers, lakes and seas
— Studies of Saturn’s great northern storm of 2010-2011
— Studies reveal radio-wave patterns are not tied to Saturn’s interior rotation, as previously thought
— Vertical structures in the rings imaged for the first time
— Study of prebiotic chemistry on Titan
— Mystery of the dual, bright-dark surface of the moon Iapetus solved
— First complete view of the north polar hexagon and discovery of giant hurricanes at both of Saturn’s poles

Read more:
Cassini’s 10 Years At Saturn: http://go.nasa.gov/1o3EzJZ
Cassini’s Top 10 Discoveries: http://go.nasa.gov/1m1Skuf
Check out Cassini’s Top Images: http://go.nasa.gov/1veUSF3
Download The Infographic: http://go.nasa.gov/1wxXSyW

Image Credit: NASA

laikas-owner:

poodlepants:

I was all set to be snarky about this, but I think Neil did well enough on his own.

*Infomercial voice* with such wondrous hits such as “Baby, you’re starlight”, “You make my heart go supernova (duet with Bill Nye)”, and that super great single, “Stars in your eyes”.

laikas-owner:

poodlepants:

I was all set to be snarky about this, but I think Neil did well enough on his own.

*Infomercial voice* with such wondrous hits such as “Baby, you’re starlight”, “You make my heart go supernova (duet with Bill Nye)”, and that super great single, “Stars in your eyes”.

A Celebration of Carl Sagan - Library of Congress

Speakers:

James H. Billington (0:26 - 4:45)

Seth McFarlane (5:00 - 13:26)

Christopher H. Chyba: “Science and Hope” (14:00 - 21:24)

Ralph J. Cicerone: “From the Faint Early Sun Paradox to the Bright Star of Science Communication” (21:52 - 29:18)

John P. Holdren: “Creating a Science Savvy Citizenry” (29:42 - 36: 28)

Jonathan I. Lunine: “Letter from a Hero” (36:56 - 44:22)

David Morrison:  ”Carl Sagan: The People’s Astronomer” (47:33 - 57:55)

Bill Nye: “Carl Sagan Saved the World, and Me Along with It” (58:22 - 1:07:05)

Carolyn Porco: “Carl, This One’s for You” (1:07:34 - 1:17:17)

Steven Soter: “Carl Sagan as a Candle in the Dark” (1:17:54 - 1:24:24)

Kip S. Thorne: “Carl Sagan’s Impact on Me: From Wormholes to Floaters to Science Communication” (1:28:00 - 1:39:15)

Neil deGrasse Tyson: “Carl on my Mind” (1:39:43 - 1:50:58)

Ann Druyan: “A Way for the Universe to Know Itself” (1:51:29 - 2:04:16)

"In high school I got all this guidance, like ‘Why do you want to take calculus? You’re just going to get married and have babies.’ Or ‘What do you mean you want to take a physics course? You’re just going to be a housewife.’"