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space

There is still lot to be explored about outer space by modern science, but of that little we do know, there are some extraordinarily amazing things. This is a list of the top 10 most Interesting facts about Space:

  1. If you put Saturn in water it would float. Actually the density of Saturn is so low that if you were to put it in a giant glass of water it would float. The actual density of Saturn is 0.687 g/cm3 while the density of water is 0.998 g/cm3.
  2. If luckily, you get chance to visit moon, your footprints will remain there forever. Its because Moon has no weather or wind.
  3. Commonly known as carbon planet or carbide planet is full of diamonds. Astronomers discovered this planet in 2004.
  4. If two pieces of metal touch in space, they become permanently stuck together. This may sound unbelievable, but it is true. Two pieces of metal without any coating on them will form in to one piece in the vacuum of space. It is called cold welding.  Its a rare way to bond two metals.
  5. The rotation of our earth is getting slow by 0.001 to 0.002 seconds every century. Due to this slower rotation the length of the days are increasing.
  6. We are moving through space at the rate of 530 km/second. Our Galaxy – the Milky Way is spinning at a rate of 225 kilometers per second. In addition, the galaxy is travelling through space at the rate of 305 kilometers per second. This means that we are traveling at a total speed of 530 kilometers (330 miles) per second.
  7. If you can calculate one star per second then you can count all the stars in 3000 years.
  8. There is no air in space so you can’t hear anyone even if he/she shouts in front of you.
  9. The rotation of Pluto completes in 6 days and 9 hours approximately. So the length of Pluto’s day is equal to one week of Earth.
  10. The bird’s can’t survive in space because they need gravitational force to swallow and there is no gravity in space.

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coffee

Ever wonder what the best time is to drink your coffee? Sometime between 9:30 and 11:30 in the morning – According to neuroscience doctoral student Steven Miller.

Avoid coffee during time periods when the body is naturally more alert

Do you ever drink your coffee and feel like it just didn’t work? It all depends upon the concept of drug tolerance. You should take any drug when your body needs it the most. If you take the same drug again and again you will become resistant to it. So you should treat caffeine the way you treat painkillers or antibiotics. Careful timing of when you get your caffeine prevents you from building a tolerance to it, Miller explains. With Caffeine you’re messing with body’s alertness. So your coffee will probably be the most effective if you enjoy it between 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM.

Therefore, if you are drinking caffeine at a time when your cortisol concentration in the blood is at its peak means you are already feeling alert, you probably should not be drinking it.

 

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mars

If all goes according to plan, India will soon join an elite handful of countries that have successfully sent a spacecraft to the red planet.

 Today India will launch the unmanned Mars Orbiter Mangalyaan (Mars Craft). It will be launched from SHAR (Satish Dhawan Space Centre) with the help of PSLV. It is expected to take 10 Months for the orbiter to reach its destination – The Red Planet. If this $73 million mission goes well, India would also become the only country to have succeeded in its first try at sending a spacecraft to Mars as two third missions to send space crafts to Mars have been failed.

“We have a lot to understand about the universe, the solar system where we live in, and it has been humankind’s quest from the beginning,” said K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the ISRO (Indian Space and Research Organization). “We want to use the first opportunity to put a spacecraft and orbit it around Mars and, once it is there safely, then conduct a few meaningful experiments and energize the scientific community.”

Using solar power instruments, this orbiter will map the planet’s surface. It will collect data about weather and look for the presence of Methane to find out if the Red Planet can sustain life. The research is expected to collaborate with NASA’s Maven probe, which will launch later this month.

If, because of any reason, ISRO will not be able to launch this by November 19th, this project will be delayed by almost 5 years due to Earth’s rotation & Mars’ position in our Galaxy.

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Google_Calico_Web

Google has invested in a new venture called California Life Company (or Calico), with a goal of helping people to live longer — actually a lot longer upto 170 years. For most of us, Google’s investment into longevity was a surprise. But Google is only backing Calico. What Google is good at is the Data. It can bring data related to research to the table.

For an example of how data can impact health, just look to Google’s Flu Trends, which predicted flu outbreaks based on search data, although it turned out to be accurate only in certain cases.

In a TIME profile, Larry Page, Google’s CEO said that solving individual diseases, even ones as pervasive as cancer, would not increase life expectancy by much. To re frame, cancer is the symptom; the true disease is aging itself. As we age and our cells wear down, it causes other old-age diseases.

Aubrey de Grey, chief science officer of the SENS Research Foundation, presented a TED Talk on anti-aging saying

“Today we spend an incredible amount (of money) out of keeping people alive in a bad state of health,”

The idea is that instead of extending a patient’s elderly years, it would extend your life with better health (as Mashable puts it, “an extra decade of being 30, rather than an extra decade of being 90”).

But at the same time it sounded like something that would increase the split between the rich and the poor, leaving millionaires to live as long as they like. The rich people are already going for cryonics spending millions.

Cryonics is the low-temperature preservation of humans and animals, with the hope that healing and returning them to consciousness may be possible in the future – wikipedia

But the thing is even with increased lifespan, you can’t beat death. This research is not about death its about ageing.

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Super Mario Wallpaper

For years, video games have been considered as time-waster by most people but researchers have argued that playing games can  have have positive effects on brain function. A study published by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development states that regularly playing video games can actually make your brain more powerful.

In this study scientists have asked adults to play the video game “Super Mario 64” over a period of two months for 30 minutes a day. A control group did not play video games. Brain volume was analyzed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In comparison to the control group the video gaming group showed increases of grey matter. Scientists believe that video games could be useful for patients with mental disorders in which brain regions are altered or reduced in size.

“While previous studies have shown differences in brain structure of video gamers, the present study can demonstrate the direct causal link between video gaming and a volumetric brain increase. This proves that specific brain regions can be trained by means of video games”, says study leader Simone Kühn, senior scientist at the Center for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

So what does the study mean in practical terms? It means that playing a video game can actually build brain matter. So if your parents stop you from playing video games, make them read this. But its not an excuse to spend your whole day in front of screen.

 

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US-SPACE-NASA-MARS ATMOSPHERE

NASA is all set for its next mission to explore Mars named MAVEN – Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution. The spacecraft has arrived at the Kennedy Space Center and the  preparations are almost complete. The solar panels have been attached to the spacecraft. After a few final tests, NASA will be ready for the launch of its next mission to the MARS on Nov 18.

Instead of landing on the surface, this spacecraft will orbit the Red Planet to analyze its atmosphere. This will help NASA scientists to analyze how the planet’s atmosphere changed over time. MAVEN is scheduled to reach Mars in Sep 2014.

“The MAVEN mission is a significant step toward unraveling the planetary puzzle about Mars’ past and present environments,” NASA’s John Grunsfeld said in a written statement.

India has also scheduled its own Mars Orbiter mission for Nov 2013. These missions will help scientists to understand why Mars lost its atmosphere? A recent study  indicated that most of Mars’ carbon dioxide-based atmosphere may have escaped billions of years ago. If everything goes according to the plan India’s Space Research Organisation will join hands with NASA to explore Red Planet’s Atmosphere.

 

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NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover ‘Opportunity’  was launched on July 7, 2003 and landed on the surface of Mars on  January 25, 2004. As of year 2013 the Opportunity is still going.

NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity in its ten years of exploration has come across the tallest mountain. It has began scaling its tallest encounter yet. Opportunity will explore outcrops on the northwestern slopes of Solander Point, guided by mineral mapping from orbit, and will make its way up hill as a field geologist will do.

The hill rises southward as a ridge from Solander Point, forming an elevated portion of the western rim of Endeavour Crater spanning around  22 kilometres in diameter.

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured this stereo view after beginning to ascend the northwestern slope of "Solander Point" on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. Photo: NASA

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured this stereo view after beginning to ascend the northwestern slope of “Solander Point” on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. Photo: NASA

 

The sulphate-rich rocks record an ancient environment that was wet, but very acidic. The area reveals contact between a sulphate-rich geological formation and an older formation. The contact with older rocks may tell researchers about a time when environmental conditions changed.

Firstly Eastern side of the Solander Point was expored by the Oppotunity and then it drove back north and around the point to explore the other side.

“We took the time to find the best place to start the ascent,”

said Opportunity’s project manager, John Callas of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. “Now we’ve begun that climb, We’re in the right place at the right time, on a north-facing slope” he said.

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space capsule

Image Credit : World View

Want space travel but don’t have deep pockets. You may soon have a less expensive way to get into space. A balloon trip to  space and back might just be the answer. Arizona-based space travel company World View Enterprises is planing to offer a trip to the edge of space in a luxurious eight-seat capsule for $75,000 per ticket. Its not a small amount but still affordable. This pressurized capsule will be lifted by high altitude balloon upto 30 kms and will stay afloat for almost 2 hrs before piloting down back to Earth.

space balloon

Image Credit World View

Technically the capsule will not be in space but the passengers will be able to see the majestic views, company promised. Usually the commercial flights take you to heights of about 9-10 kms.

As per the company’s statement:

“Passengers will be among the few to have seen the curvature of the Earth with their own eyes,”

“They will be able to gaze at the astounding views, the blackness of space, the brilliance of stars and the thin veil of atmosphere enveloping our planet.”

Trips are expected to start as soon as 2016. For the time being we are leaving you with this concept video.

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sun

Eight planets (As Pluto is not lucky enough to be considered as a planet anymore) and their moons, tens of thousands of asteroids revolve around the sun. One of these is our Earth, orbiting the sun at an average distance of about 92,960,000 miles (149,600,000 kilometers). The sun is a huge, glowing ball that provides light, heat, and other energy to our Earth. Sun is already doing its thing for almost 4.5 Billion Years. So how many years is left before the sun dies?  According to NASA almost 4.5 billion.

So What if our Sun dies?

If you put a steamy cup of coffee in the refrigerator, it wouldn’t immediately turn cold. Likewise if the Sun turns off, which is physically impossible, Earth will still stay warm for millions of years. But not at its surface.

In a year its surface temperature would dip to –100° F. The top layers of the oceans would freeze. But that ice would insulate the deep water below and prevent the oceans from freezing solid for hundreds of thousands of years. Millions of years after that, our planet would reach a stable –400°, said David Stevenson, a professor of planetary science at the California Institute of Technology.

Only some microorganisms living in the Earth’s crust would survive but most of the life will end soon after the Sun going dark. Most of the plants would die in few weeks as photosynthesis would halt immediately. So all the food chain depending upon greens will die and same will happen to others.

Humans could live in submarines in the deepest and warmest parts of the ocean or there  might be nuclear- or geothermal-powered habitats, where people could continue harnessing volcanic heat for hundreds of years. But these are all the theories.

The sun doesn’t merely heat the Earth; it also keeps the planet in orbit. If its mass suddenly disappeared (this is equally impossible, by the way), our planet would fly off from its orbit.

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QWERTY

Since the days I have learnt working on computers, One thing has always made me curious – “Why aren’t the letters on a computer keyboard in alphabetical order?” It makes no sense. It is awkward, inefficient and confusing. We’ve been saying that for more than 100 years. But there it remains. This keyboard layout known as “QWERTY”, made its first appearance on a rickety, clumsy device marketed as the “Type-Writer” in 1872. Today the keyboard is a universal fixture even on the most advanced, sophisticated computers and every other device with a physical or virtual touch keyboard.

The name “QWERTY” for our typewriter keyboard comes from the first six letters in the top alphabet row

So how could we get stuck with something like this?

Some people would say that being first was the whole game. Because the first keyboard was developed with such layout, No one cares to change that. But its not true. It was invented by C. L. Sholes, who put together the prototypes of the first commercial typewriter in a Milwaukee machine shop back in the 1860’s.

For years, popular writers have accused Sholes of deliberately arranging his keyboard to slow down because those early typewriters were not able to cope up with the speed of fast typists. Which leads to jam up his sluggish machine. In fact, his motives were just the opposite.

Actually the first typewriter was made with the keyboard layout in alphabetical order. And yes that machine was sluggish and got jammed up. And the real problem was that type bars were very close to each other and clash when pressed in succession. And Sholes was able to figure out a way to solve this problem just by rearranging the letters. He took some of the most common letter pairs like TH and placed them at suitable distance so that they do not clash and at the same time keeping them close enough to help type faster.

So years after the machine went into production. QWERTY’s effect, by reducing those annoying clashes, was to speed up typing rather than slow it down. And today we can see it as a universal standard followed on almost every English keyboard we see.

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