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Archives – October, 2013

Wealth Inequality in America: Reality vs Perception

An interesting video showing  the wealth inequality in US using infographics. The numbers are mind blowing !

Leave a Comment October 20, 2013

Asha Purdue Video

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Asha Purdue video summarizing chapter’s activities and projects during past two years. Asha Purdue is a chapter of non profit organization, Asha for Education, at Purdue University. The chapter currently supports two educational projects in India and looking forward to support more schools and projects. For more information, please visithttp://www.ashanet.org/purdue/

 

Leave a Comment October 10, 2013

The Sound Of Gravity

Another post on “Gravity” which explains that I am still in awe after watching this movie. Although there were few scientific errors in the movie but I am not going to nit-pick on those considering how other aspects of the movie especially special effects and 3-D make up for those errors. Besides spectacular 3-D effects, another winner in this movie is the sound which enhanced the overall space experience. Probably this is going to be the last post on this movie, enjoy the video!

Leave a Comment October 8, 2013

Story Of Physics- A Short Animation

If you wanted to know about history of Physics in less than 5 minutes without going through lengthy classes and equations and preferably presented in a fun way (animation), here you go! Here is a short animation created by Asa Lucander for BBC describing important milestones in Physics. More interesting videos and science stories to be uploaded soon, so keep coming back!

Leave a Comment October 8, 2013

Solar Cycle And Dancing Lights- Aurora 2013

As described in my earlier posts, our local star Sun, undergoes a natural cycle of roughly 11 years and  it’s peak activity it is manifested by increase in number of solar spots, coronal mass ejections (CME), enormous magnetic waves.  CMEs when they travel to earth are then directed by earth’s magnetic fields towards earths poles which leads to display of beautiful Aurora or dancing lights. Auroras are result of the interaction between ions and electrons from the solar wind with Earth’s magnetic field and upper atmosphere. During Coronal Mass Ejections from the sun, high energetic ions are bombarded towards the earth. These ions migrate towards poles due to Earth’s magnetic fields, that’s why this phenomenon is seen mostly at Northern and Southern poles of the earth. These high energetic ions interact with Oxygen and Nitrogen of the upper atmosphere and excite them to higher energy levels. When the atoms fallback to ground state it emits light typical to particular atom. Oxygen emits at a wavelength of 558 nm (green) and at 630 nm (red ). Emission at 558 nm is more prominent and that’s how Aurora gets it’s greenish color. A slight tinge of red color can also be seen at times.  Auroras in other colors have also been seen such as blue and purple but green ones are most prominent. Here is a beautiful timelapse video captured by Christian Mülhauser in Norway during Feb 2013.

2013 is supposed to be solar maxima but unfortunately, our Sun has been low in activity and has defied many predictions, probably the weakest in more than a century. Solar activity is also measured by the number of solar spots observed and this time maximum solar spots observed has been 67 (observed in Feb 2011) and since then it has been low and it appears that it will slowing down now onwards. As compared to this cycle, more than ~150 sun spots (2003) were observed in last solar cycle.

A lull in solar activity means reduced Aurora display on earth which is sad. Although last week there was a short burst of activity which resulted on some Aurora display and was captured by Astro Photographer Göran Strand in Sweden on Oct 2nd, 2013. Enjoy the videos by  Göran Strand and Christian Mülhauser and hopefully solar activity picks up!

Soruces:  http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml

http://www.astrofotografen.se/

https://vimeo.com/62534688

Leave a Comment October 8, 2013

Movie Gravity Reminded Me Of These Awesome ISS Pictures Taken From Earth

Movie “Gravity” released past week is one of the best space movie as far as I can remember aided by  superlative 3D special effects. If you havn’t watched the movie yet, it is highly recommended that you should visit your nearby 3D Theatre and enjoy the thrill of being in space via movie Gravity. I am not going to write a review of the movie in this post, but I just wanted to post few pictures of International Space Station (ISS) which has been featured in this movie. It is difficult to imagine that one can view ISS and shuttle from the ground with naked eye, but it is possible to see ISS as well as shuttle and in fact any satellite if timed appropriately.

 What you see above is the image of sun and the speckle you see are the images of solar transit of ISS and shuttle Atlantis after undocking from ISS and returning back to earth. This stunning image has been taken by photographer Thierry Legault during Sep 2006 in France. If we zoom in, we can see the ISS very clearly.

There is another image of ISS taken by Thierry Legault during 2009 where ISS image can be seen more clearly. These images are awesome considering that the distance between the observer and the object was about 550 km.

And ofcourse, as you saw in the movie, ISS is not the only space station, there is Chinese space station named Tiangong-1 which means “Heavenly Palace” in Chinese and was launched in 2011. Tiangong-1 is at the same orbital height as ISS. Thierry Legault imaged Tiangong just like ISS and can be seen below. Hopefully you enjoyed these pictures, thanks to Thierry Legault’s awesome photography!

Image credit: Thierry Legault | http://legault.perso.sfr.fr

Leave a Comment October 8, 2013


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