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rainie-is-seasonchange · 20 hours ago
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Flower blood moon lunar eclipse.
(May 16, 2022)
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nasa · 20 hours ago
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Astrobiology: The Story of our Search for Life in the Universe
Astrobiologists study the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the universe. This includes identifying evidence left behind by life that once survived on the ancient Earth, and extends to the search for life beyond our planet.
When looking for signs of life on other worlds, what are they looking for?
Things called biosignatures. For example, when you sign a piece of paper, your signature is evidence of your existence. Similarly, biosignatures are anything that can prove that life was once, or is, present in an environment.
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If we were very very lucky, we might spot something we know is life with a powerful telescope or receive a "phone call" or radio signal from alien civilizations. Those types of biosignatures would be obvious. But they would only let us identify advanced life.
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For most of Earth’s history (billions of years), single-celled life like bacteria and archaea have been around. Humans have only been making radio transmissions for hundreds of years. So we have a better chance of finding life if we look for signs that have been around for very long periods of time.
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Patterns in ancient rocks that were created by life are a great example. That can be anything like a dinosaur footprint or structures built by microorganisms, like stromatolites.
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Molecules can also be biosignatures, like DNA left behind for detectives to discover. But DNA doesn’t last very long on its own in most environments, so other molecules like lipids (like natural oils, wax, and fat) might be a better choice if you are looking for signatures of life from millions (or billions) of years ago.
Even the balance of gases in a planet’s atmosphere can be a sign of past or present life. On Earth, biology plays a major role in maintaining the delicate composition of gases like nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide in the air that we breathe.
These are just a few examples of signs astrobiologists look for when searching for life amongst the stars! Research into these biosignatures inform many of our biggest missions, from observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope and the Webb Space Telescope to our Mars Sample Return endeavor.
Want to learn more about the search for life? Check out the latest issue of our comic-book style graphic history novel, Astrobiology: The Story of our Search for Life in the Universe. This new chapter is all about biosignatures.
Explore life in the universe with us by following NASA Astrobiology on Twitter and Facebook.
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space!
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i learned that humans have no sense for wetness, only temperature and pressure (x)
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karlrincon · 15 hours ago
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Last night's total lunar ecliple;  Full moon in scorpio 🩸🌙
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newtonpermetersquare · 15 hours ago
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wtf-fun-factss · 23 hours ago
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A child's initials are written on the moon. Click to read the full fast.
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mathysphere · 19 hours ago
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saw this absolutely KILLER pattern today, every day the periodic table stitchers are knocking it all the way out of the park ⚛
Pattern is by SpiritLineDesigns on Etsy, and the artist is on Instagram, too!
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molecularlifesciences · 16 hours ago
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Great illustration! Love the use of color.
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i-was-today-years-old-when · 14 hours ago
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i learned that the hummingbird brain is 4.2% of its body weight, twice higher than the human brain at only 2% proportionally.They remember well their migration routes, and the yard and flowers they visited the previous year. Some consider them sacred, and in mythology they are healers helping people in need (x)
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capturingthecosmos · 9 hours ago
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NGC 1316: After Galaxies Collide via NASA https://ift.tt/z3vrTMl
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newtonpermetersquare · 17 hours ago
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o...
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brightestofcentaurus · 16 hours ago
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IC 342: Hidden Galaxy
"IC 342 is a challenging cosmic target. Although it is bright, the galaxy sits near the equator of the Milky Way’s galactic disk, where the sky is thick with glowing cosmic gas, bright stars, and dark, obscuring dust. In order for astronomers to see the intricate spiral structure of IC 342, they must gaze through a large amount of material contained within our own galaxy — no easy feat! As a result IC 342 is relatively difficult to spot and image, giving rise to its intriguing nickname: the “Hidden Galaxy.” Located very close (in astronomical terms) to the Milky Way, this sweeping spiral galaxy would be among the brightest in the sky were it not for its dust-obscured location. The galaxy is very active, as indicated by the range of colors visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, depicting the very central region of the galaxy. A beautiful mixture of hot, blue star-forming regions, redder, cooler regions of gas, and dark lanes of opaque dust can be seen, all swirling together around a bright core. In 2003, astronomers confirmed this core to be a specific type of central region known as an HII nucleus — a name that indicates the presence of ionized hydrogen — that is likely to be creating many hot new stars."
Image and information from NASA.
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platypu · 11 hours ago
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I love reading zoology research articles so much - yeah often there will be a ridiculous amount of academic language and scientists should be pushing to make knowledge more widely accessible but there's something about it all that is just unintentionally comedic. Like the formality of it all and the funding required and the number of scientists being like yeah this is my life's work and it is incredibly significant and then they'll show you the animal and it's just-
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bluebeadss · 2 hours ago
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fuckyeahfluiddynamics · 23 hours ago
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Making chemical separation more eco-friendly with nanotechnology
Chemical separation processes are essential in the manufacturing of many products from gasoline to whiskey. Such processes are energetically costly, accounting for approximately 10–15 percent of global energy consumption. In particular, the use of so-called "thermal separation processes," such as distillation for separating petroleum-based hydrocarbons, is deeply ingrained in the chemical industry and has a very large associated energy footprint. Membrane-based separation processes have the potential to reduce such energy consumption significantly.
Membrane filtration processes that separate contaminants from the air we breathe and the water we drink have become commonplace. However, membrane technologies for separating hydrocarbon and other organic materials are far less developed.
Penn Engineers are developing new membranes for energy-efficient organic separations by rethinking their physical structure on the nanoscale.
Read more.
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vashtibruna · 19 hours ago
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spacetimewithstuartgary · 9 hours ago
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NASA mission finds Tonga volcanic eruption effects reached space When the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai volcano erupted on Jan. 15, 2022, it sent atmospheric shock waves, sonic booms, and tsunami waves around the world. Now, scientists are finding the volcano’s effects also reached space. Analyzing data from NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, mission and ESA’s (the European Space Agency) Swarm satellites, scientists found that in the hours after the eruption, hurricane-speed winds and unusual electric currents formed in the ionosphere – Earth’s electrified upper atmospheric layer at the edge of space. “The volcano created one of the largest disturbances in space we’ve seen in the modern era,” said Brian Harding, a physicist at University of California, Berkeley, and lead author on a new paper discussing the findings. “It is allowing us to test the poorly understood connection between the lower atmosphere and space.” ICON launched in 2019 to identify how Earth’s weather interacts with weather from space – a relatively new idea supplanting previous assumptions that only forces from the Sun and space could create weather at the edge of the ionosphere. In January 2022, as the spacecraft passed over South America, it observed one such earthly disturbance in the ionosphere triggered by the South Pacific volcano. “These results are an exciting look at how events on Earth can affect weather in space, in addition to space weather affecting Earth,” said Jim Spann, space weather lead for NASA’s Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. “Understanding space weather holistically will ultimately help us mitigate its effects on society.” When the volcano erupted, it pushed a giant plume of gases, water vapor, and dust into the sky. The explosion also created large pressure disturbances in the atmosphere, leading to strong winds. As the winds expanded upwards into thinner atmospheric layers, they began moving faster. Upon reaching the ionosphere and the edge of space, ICON clocked the windspeeds at up to 450 mph – making them the strongest winds below 120 miles altitude measured by the mission since its launch. In the ionosphere, the extreme winds also affected electric currents. Particles in the ionosphere regularly form an east-flowing electric current – called the equatorial electrojet – powered by winds in the lower atmosphere. After the eruption, the equatorial electrojet surged to five times its normal peak power and dramatically flipped direction, flowing westward for a short period. “It's very surprising to see the electrojet be greatly reversed by something that happened on Earth's surface,” said Joanne Wu, a physicist at University of California, Berkeley, and co-author on the new study. “This is something we’ve only previously seen with strong geomagnetic storms, which are a form of weather in space caused by particles and radiation from the Sun.” The new research, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, is adding to scientists’ understanding of how the ionosphere is affected by events on the ground as well as from space. A strong equatorial electrojet is associated with redistribution of material in the ionosphere, which can disrupt GPS and radio signals that are transmitted through the region. Understanding how this complex area of our atmosphere reacts in the face of strong forces from below and above is a key part of NASA research. NASA’s upcoming Geospace Dynamics Constellation, or GDC, mission will use a fleet of small satellites, much like weather sensors on the ground, to track the electrical currents and atmospheric winds coursing through the area. By better understanding what affects electrical currents in the ionosphere, scientists can be more prepared to predict severe problems caused by such disturbances. ________________________________________
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bpod-mrc · 22 hours ago
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Capping it Off
Sperm are simple in structure. A head carrying precious cargo, and a tail to power it to its destination. But even something so seemingly simple requires accurate building to ensure the best chances of fertilisation. That includes the formation of the acrosome – the cap of the head full of enzymes that help to break down the outer layer of the egg and allow the sperm to penetrate for successful fertilisation. Mutations in two proteins, FAM71F1 and FAM71F2, are common in male patients with infertility because the acrosome can't form the normal half-moon shape. Shown are a ‘normal’ sperm on the left in each row and three with mutated FAM71F1 (top) and FAM71F2 (bottom) on the right. The acrosomes (green) in the mutated sperm are clearly malformed leading to fertility issues, despite there being no effects on the DNA in the sperm head (blue) or the mitochondria (magenta) that power the tail.
Written by Sophie Arthur
Image adapted from work by Akane Morohoshi and Haruhiko Miyata, and colleagues
Department of Experimental Genome Research, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan
Image originally published with a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Published in Development, October 2021
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bluebeadss · 3 hours ago
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