October 06, 2015
Simple Processes Involving Layyyzeerrzz
The most strongest of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Fairies brings us news fro the practical application of coherent light.
Via Brian Wang, we learn that General Atomics (could there BE a more awesome name for a company?) is expected to be offering its line of Avenger drones with 150 kilowatt lasers on them. The Avenger is a stealthy development of the much used Predator (and was formerly called Predator-C)
For comparison purposes, the article helpfully provides video of what the prototype 30 kilowatt laser on the USS Ponce can achieve.
WARNING: Military grade laser...demo may cause ear damage and extreme irritation.
Yes gentle readers, in a little over a year we will have flying robots armed with lasers!
Sarah Connor, raise your son well.
Farther afield, in San Luis Obispo, Scientists are working on a solar laser that can de-spin asteroids for exploration and exploitation as well as alter their orbits so as to deflect space rocks that threaten to impact the Earth.
Note too that if they can get a solar laser working, it is just a matter of scaling it up (a whole hell of a lot) to allow interstellar probes, perhaps even manned ones.
September 28, 2015
Meanwhile, on the Second Closest Planet One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes was supposed to be reporting on NASA's news conference today, but instead seems to be focused on organizing an excursion to the beach...
"We're going to need sunblock, some really big mirrors, high yield, low fission fraction H-bombs, a few tons of CFCs, some ham biscuits, lichen, iced tea, blue green algae and a towel."
I'm not sure wh...
"Our quest on Mars has been to ‘follow the water,’ in our search for life in the universe, and now we have convincing science that validates what we’ve long suspected,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water -- albeit briny -- is flowing today on the surface of Mars.”
Percival Lowell, he died 99 years too soon.
("Science Babe" is actually Sakura War's Diana Caprice as drawn by Ao Ume)
September 24, 2015
This is Worrisome It's not just that these incredibly simple, basic questions were answered correctly by only 6% of the nation...but that one question is not even about science (indeed its opposite).
September 20, 2015
Oh My Stars And Garters YES!
Also this...which is just as awesome but lacks the derp.
September 15, 2015
Best Picture Yet ...of the exhaust port, alien city, ice deposit or whatever is going on in Occator Crater on Ceres.
September 10, 2015
More Pluto! One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes brings us news from the edge of the solar system.
Actually, she's not at the edge of the solar system.
Come to think of it, Pluto isn't either, because there is still the Oort Cloud and Kupier Belt which extend for hundreds of AU before one gets to the Heliopause.
Anyway, our science corespondent reports that the experts are cataloging and naming the features on Pluto and Charon....
"Golly. I guess it makes sense that they'd've completely exhausted Edith Hamilton as a source for names."
In any event, NASA has downloaded several high rez pictures from this summer's flyby of the object formerly known as the 9th planet and here are a couple...
Click here for larger.
Click here for supah-size.
Click here to embigulate.
Click here to see at exactly the same size.
August 10, 2015
The Alien Battle Station We Call Ceres Continues Slowly Charging Its Main Gun One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes discusses the continuing mystery of the bright spots on Ceres.
"When I find out who put that damned, irresponsible, Hoaglandesque post title over MY head. I am going to break my foot of in their a.."
In lieu of expert commentary, we will go with the short, quick version:
No one has a good explanation for the glowy bits.
Note that "pyramid" is a bit dramatic. It appears to be a steep sided mountain...that glows.
August 06, 2015
OK This is REALLY Neat! Here is an animation of the moon crossing the Earth from a million miles away. Note the lack of rabbits on the far side of the moon.
July 29, 2015
Meanwhile, In Outer Space One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes brings us news from the International Space Station, where...
OK. She seems busy at the moment.
Note that they mean the outside of the windows...on the Space Station.
It seems that the organisms are terrestrial marine plankton. though how they got up there is unclear. My initial guess would be cross contamination from 0-G plankton experiments, but the C-Net article suggests air currents or the possibility that the plankton originated from Florida where much of the station was launched from (though that would mean the plankton had survived a rather long time).
Of course all of this is dancing around the fact that there is living greenery on the outside of the space station and we all KNOW what that means.
July 26, 2015
"Have You Ever Seen The Blue Sky?" This is a disturbing hour and a half that went viral and gained two hundred million views in less than a week before being banned by the Chinese Government.
It even attracted praise from the newly-installed environment minister, Chen Jining, for its contribution to the national debate on public health – but that was before it was abruptly scrubbed from the internet on Friday, ordered offline by the Communist Party's central propaganda department.
The segment that begins around 1:00 is disturbing in an entirely different way..as it highlights just how precarious the Chinese industrial economy actually is.
July 19, 2015
VOLCANO SHARKS! One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes reacts to a report about lava loving hammerheads.
"Can we get LASERS for them?"
In order to study the volcano, Phillips’ team used robots and cameras. While the volcano was not erupting, the images are blurred by orange plumes and bubbles. Carolyn Barnwell, writing for National Geographic, said that in the video "carbon dioxide and methane gas bubbles” can be seen rising from seafloor vents, and that the color of the water was "due to reduced iron and sulfur.”Phillips and his team were shocked to find both hammerhead and silky sharks, in addition to stingrays and smaller fish, swimming around inside the volcano
Presumably, the sharks leave when the caldera fills with lava so this is not actually a Sci-Fi channel movie made real. OTOH it is hoped that this might lead to an eruption prediction system.
Of course, if the sharks preternatural predictive ability amounts to "Hmmm...getting a bit hot here...Let's leave." Then the potential implications are less exciting.
July 16, 2015
70 Years Ago Today
July 14, 2015
New Horizons LIVES! One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes reacts to the news that the New Horizons Probe has successfully reestablished contact with NASA.
One thing thing that they added to the list of discoveries is that the planetoid is rather larger than they had thought.
Preliminary images and instrument readings show that Pluto is much larger than scientists had expected—about two-thirds the size of Earth’s moon. By the most recent measurements, Pluto is about 1,472 miles in diameter, making it easily the biggest planetary object beyond the orbit of Neptune.
It will take some time to get the closet picture processed as the data transmission rate is agonizingly slow, but this pic taken before the probe turned all its antennae on Pluto and its moons gives some idea of what to expect.
July 10, 2015
The Mi-Go Are Happy to See Us? One of the Bwikmuppet's Quack Team of Science Babes helps us interpret the most recent data from Yuggoth Pluto.
" .... . -. .-. -.-- / .- -.- . .-.. . -.-- / .-- .- -. - ... / --- ..- - "
The data also includes the first fairly clear pictures of the planetoid. It does look like the atmosphere might indeed share some commonality with that of Titan (Tholin rain). It's really cool that they're getting pictures like this 6 days out (quite an accomplishment given how little light there is out there). Of course, the probe will be out of contact during the flyby and we won't know if the mission is a success for a couple of days.
As to the pattern-spotting, it's unclear if the formation in what appears to be the southeastern quadrant* is a cloud or a surface feature. The Telegraph says it looks like a valentine, but here at Brickmuppet Blog we also can make out an anglerfish or perhaps, Hem Dazon.
*Compared to most other planets, Pluto is a bit off kilter anyway and, in any event, New Horizons is coming at it from an odd angle so it's probably not really the southeast.
July 06, 2015
This....Is....HAPPENING! One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes follows up on the information she provided us a few days ago...
...and provides her usual thoughtful analysis.
'The awesomeness of this is Brobdingnagian!"
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