Great Pics

Photographer Takehito Miyatake – the brilliant light shows of Japan


Japanese photographer Takehito Miyatake is known for his breathtaking pictures, especially long exposure takes on fireflies, volcanic eruptions, and beaches awash in bioluminescencnt firefly squid. He likens his meditative photography to poetry, explaining that the exposure for his pictures can last anywhere between 15 seconds and half an hour. But the time spent on the exposure isn’t in vain. iyatake recently won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Nikkei National Geographic Photo Awards. You can see more of his photography on his website. Via This is Colossal…….

Climate, Environment, News

Study confirms “global warming hiatus” is in the deep oceans

(Top) Global average surface temperatures, where black dots are yearly averages. Two flat periods (hiatus) are separated by rapid warming from 1976-1999. (Middle) Observations of heat content, compared to the average, in the north Atlantic Ocean. (Bottom) Salinity of the seawater in the same part of the Atlantic. Higher salinity is seen to coincide with more ocean heat storage.
Credit: K. Tung / Univ. of Washington

Observations of climate change often report a “missing heat” – a hiatus in the global warming, which went unaccounted for; but now, a new study concludes that the heat absent from the Earth’s surface for more than a decade is plunging deep in the north and south Atlantic Ocean, and this is part of a naturally occurring cycle. Climate change deniers have used this argument for more than a decade: if the world is actually heating up, then why is it heating up so little? Where is all the heat? An increasing number of research is starting to show that while we are mostly focusing temperature measurements on the atmosphere, the…

Animals, Videos

Meet an awesome blonde penguin


Seafarers on a 2012 National Geographic-Lindblad expedition to Antarctica found this amazing and rare “blond” penguin on a colony on Aitcho Island. < The penguin actually suffers from a condition called isabellinism or leucism – not albinism.Though technically separate conditions, isabellinism and leucism are used interchangeably In albinism, there is a complete or partial lack of the skin pigment called melanin (responsible for the color black). In leucism however, there is a reduction in all types of skin pigment, not just melanin. A further difference between albinism and leucism is in eye colour. Due to the lack of melanin production, albino animals and humans often have red eyes – while in…

Fossil Friday

#FossilFriday: Fossil Crab – Tumidocarcinus giganteus – Miocene


Via Tumidocarcinus giganteus roamed today’s New Zealand in the Miocene. The Miocene  is the first geological epoch of the Neogene period and extends from about 23.03 to 5.332 million years ago. Life in the Miocene was marked by the development of two new biomes, kelp forests and grasslands. This allows for more grazers, such as horses, rhinoceroses,and hippos. Marine wildlife was fairly modern, as depicted by this remarkable fossil……

Astrophysics, News, Space

The most exotic material on the planet: researchers find dust from beyond the solar system

An optical microscope image of a track through aerogel made by Orion, one of the dust particles believed to be from interstellar space. Photograph: D Frank/Nasa/JSC

Researchers believe they have found seven dust specs from outside the solar system. This is the first time we have the chance to directly analyze interstellar matter. The material was probably ejected from a supernova….

News, Other

Student faces up to 8 years of jail for sharing scientist thesis on the web

Colombian college student Diego Gomez faces jail time after he shared on Scribd a thesis written by another scientist. The act violates strict copyright laws in the South American country.

In 2011, Diego Gómez Hoyos posted someone’s thesis about amphibian taxonomy on scribd while still an undergrad, hoping that by sharing the work he would help other fellow biology students. Come 2013, Hoyos was sued by the owner of the work and now faces copyright charges that, if found guilty, could have him jailed for up to 8 years. Jail for sharing science   Hoyos quickly withdrew the paper from website as soon as he received the copyright infringement notice, but either way his case already came to the attention of the Colombian court.  The country revised its copyright bill in 2006 following a free trade agreement it signed with the…

Health & Medicine, Neurology, News

Baby brains grow to half the adult size in just 90 days


Researchers performed MRI scans on babies to see how their brains developed from birth to later stages. Their findings reveal the explosive growth of the human brain following birth: in just 90 days, the baby brain grows by 64% reaching half the adult size. …

Astrophysics, Geology, News

Still hot inside the Moon? Earth gravity creating a hot layer

Credit: Image courtesy of National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Scientists have indirectly demonstrated the existence of a hot layer surrounding the Moon’s core, through seismic and deformation studies. This layer is created by the gravity exerted by the Earth on the Moon and can provide valuable information regarding the evolution of the Earth-Moon system….