Archive | December 2016

THE SPHINX—-TIME AND OTHER STUFF

Sphinx Main

The Editor:  What are you going to do with your extra second, LL ?

http://www.rappler.com/science-nature/matter-numbers/156879-extra-second-2016

Timex Cat:   I’m going to be a better cat ( for that second ).   I will be like Hill-take a licking and keep on ticking.

Here is where the last Nazis are located ( other than Washington, D.C. ).

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2489440/satellite-spots-massive-object-hidden-under-the-frozen-wastes-of-antarctica/

Time & Technology march on.

https://www.cnet.com/news/bmw-traps-thief-by-remotely-locking-him-in-car-he-was-stealing/

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Infrared Trifid
Image Credit: J. Rho (SSC/Caltech), JPL-Caltech, NASA

Explanation: The Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20, is easy to find with a small telescope, a well known stop in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. But where visible light pictures show the nebula divided into three parts by dark, obscuring dust lanes, this penetrating infrared image reveals filaments of glowing dust clouds and newborn stars. The spectacular false-color view is courtesy of the Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers have used the Spitzer infrared image data to count newborn and embryonic stars which otherwise can lie hidden in the natal dust and gas clouds of this intriguing stellar nursery. As seen here, the Trifid is about 30 light-years across and lies only 5,500 light-years away.

Tomorrow’s picture: full sky aurora

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Lunar Farside
Image Credit: NASA / GSFC / Arizona State Univ. / Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Explanation: Tidally locked in synchronous rotation, the Moon always presents its familiar nearside to denizens of planet Earth. From lunar orbit, the Moon’s farside can become familiar, though. In fact this sharp picture, a mosaic from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s wide angle camera, is centered on the lunar farside. Part of a global mosaic of over 15,000 images acquired between November 2009 and February 2011, the highest resolution version shows features at a scale of 100 meters per pixel. Surprisingly, the rough and battered surface of the farside looks very different from the nearside covered with smooth dark lunar maria. The likely explanation is that the farside crust is thicker, making it harder for molten material from the interior to flow to the surface and form the smooth maria.

Tomorrow’s picture: infrared trifid

THE SPHINX—-NEWS STUFF

Sphinx Main

News Cat:   Robot sex is almost here.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/12/19/rise-sex-robots-will-make-people-appreciate-real-thing/

Here is a treat for Twilight Zone fans.

http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/TV/2016/12/24/Twilight-Zone-marathon-to-begin-on-Syfy-Dec-31/2791482580932/?spt=hs&or=en_tv

I don’t understand why this guy wasn’t charged with reckless driving.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/24/california-dui-caffeine-lawsuit-solano-county

Here is how to handle a squirrel if rat-poison or guns are not legal.

http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2016/12/22/Kentucky-woman-uses-a-Slinky-to-squirrel-proof-her-bird-feeder/4471482420119/?spt=mps&or=1&sn=on

You figure this one out.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/25/solar-powered-town-babcock-ranch-environmentalist-panther

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Shell Game in the LMC
Image Credit & Copyright: John Gleason

Explanation: An alluring sight in southern skies, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is seen here through narrowband filters. The filters are designed to transmit only light emitted by ionized sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Ionized by energetic starlight, the atoms emit their characteristic light as electrons are recaptured and the atom transitions to a lower energy state. As a result, this false color image of the LMC seems covered with shell-shaped clouds of ionized gas surrounding massive, young stars. Sculpted by the strong stellar winds and ultraviolet radiation, the glowing clouds, dominated by emission from hydrogen, are known as H II (ionized hydrogen) regions. Itself composed of many overlapping shells, the Tarantula Nebula is the large star forming region at top center. A satellite of our Milky Way Galaxy, the LMC is about 15,000 light-years across and lies a mere 180,000 light-years away in the constellation Dorado.

Tomorrow’s picture: farside

THE SPHINX—OLD TIMES

Sphinx Main

The Editor:   What were the old days like, LL ?

Eat a Parrot Cat:    If they practiced better health care they might outlive modern people.  Here are some modern photos of isolated people.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/12/uncontacted-tribe-amazon-brazil-photos/

This is an ancient nativity scene.

http://www.seeker.com/5000-year-old-nativity-scene-found-2161058490.html

These are ancient mummies, older than the ones in Egypt.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/scans-unveil-secrets-worlds-oldest-mummies-024538479.html