Monday, March 28, 2011

Mars with an ocean

Here's an interesting map, utilizing NASA survey data, showing what Mars may have looked like with an ocean.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Through the Rainbow

Today I drove through a rainbow. I didn't think it was possible, but today I honestly think it occurred. There was no pot of gold or leprechaun though that I could see, and certainly no gateway to Asgard.

Anyhow, I was driving home from work and it was monsoon season. Water standing in the road several inches deep in places because it can't drain fast enough.

It's raining so hard I can hardly see and then all of a sudden as I'm driving by the lake and nearing crossing the dam on my way home the rain lets up and I'm in bright sunshine. Wind and mist is still blowing, but there clear bright sunshine too. In front of me across the dam less than 100-200 yards away is a big fat rainbow, almost touching the ground/road.

As I cross the dam I expect the rainbow to "back away" from me as I approach because I thought rainbows were all about the angle between the misty rain, observers eye, and the sun/light source. Anyhow as I approached the rainbow to my surprise didn't run away from me. I swear I think I drove right through it. Maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me but I thought I saw some of the color even as I was very close to entering where I perceived the rainbow to be touching down.

About a mile down the road I saw another big, bright rainbow, so all-in-all a pretty cool trip home.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Three stories in a day

Flamingos falling from the sky in Siberia
Apparently some bird's internal compass can get reversed

The Far Side of the Moon - very cool pic recently released by NASA.
We're all familiar with the side of the moon facing earth, but have you ever seen the other side? It's far more cratered (if you think about it it makes sense) and looks quite a bit more foreign than the familiar moon we've come to know.

A 26 pound rabbit.
I'm not kidding. He was one big bunny.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Inside story on the space race

Here's a story from NPR regarding an early Russian cosmonaut who plunged to his death in the early stages of the space race between the U.S. and Soviet Union. The story puts a human face on the highly politicized competition between super-powers.

Here's Vladimir Komarov's story: "I'm not going to make it back from this flight."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Solar Power projection

Here's an interesting Solar Power projection from Scientific American. If costs keep falling in a predictable manner, solar power may be highly price competitive within the next decade.

The shape of the curve is interesting though. Has solar hit a plateau, or are costs continuing to fall?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Walking Cactus

Check out this odd new Cambrian explosion creature whose fossils were discovered in China. It's been dubbed "the walking cactus"