The strange looking sand formation above is called a fulgurite. Also known as petrified lightning, fulgurites are formed when lightning instantaneously melts the mineral grains in sand and fuses the grains together. The result is a hollow glassy tube with a root-like appearance.The estimated temperature required to create a fulgurite varies, but it is believed to be between 1500 °C to 4000 °C. Their size can range from just a few centimeters to several meters long. The longest fulgurite on record is 4.9 meters.
Twilight phenomenon is produced when unburned particles of missile or rocket propellant and water left in the vapor trail of a launch vehicle condenses, freezes and then expands in the less dense upper atmosphere. The exhaust plume, which is suspended against a dark sky is then illuminated by reflective high altitude sunlight, which produces a spectacular, colorful effect when seen at ground level. The phenomenon typically occurs with launches that take place either 30 to 60 minutes before sunrise or after sunset when a booster rocket or missile rises out of the darkness and into a sunlit area, relative to an observer’s perspective on the ground.
This phenomenon usually produces a cloud of green, blue, white and rose colored hues which takes on a corkscrew appearance as it is whipped around by wind currents. It is seen within two to three minutes after a launch has occurred. Depending on weather conditions, it could remain in the sky for up to half an hour before dispersing.
Pre-dawn launches are probably less spectacular than their dusk counterparts. During dusk launches, the sunlight shines through the exhaust plume. Pre-dawn launches, on the other hand, produce a more subtle display because the sunlight directly reflects off the plume.
Happy World Ranger Day! We are celebrating with the AMAZING LEWA Wildlife conservatory in Kenya. Please check out the amazing work they are doing to shave rhinos, elephants, giraffes and more on their face book page,website or twitter (@lewa_wildlife)! Below is a message from their face book:
World Ranger Day is celebrated around the world on July 31st each year on the anniversary of the founding of The International Ranger Federation (IRF), an organization that supports the work of rangers as the key protectors of parks and conservation. World Ranger Day will also be a day to remember the many rangers who have been injured or killed in the line of duty while protecting national and state parks.
Join us in celebrating our rangers, appreciating the work they do and remembering those that have been injured or killed while protecting and preserving our wildlife. Kudos to all Lewa rangers for the good work they do. We are so proud of them and we thank them immensely!!!
Uvaroviteis a chromium-bearing garnet group species with the formula Ca3Cr2(SiO4)3. It was discovered in 1832 by Germain Henri Hess who named it after Count Sergei Semenovitch Uvarov (1765-1855), a Russian statesman and amateur mineral collector.
Uvarovite is one of the rarest of the garnet group minerals, and is the only consistently green garnet species, with a beautiful emerald-green color. It occurs as well-formed fine-sized crystals. Specimens of uvarovite are much sought after by collectors for outstanding brilliance and color.
Found! 3 Super-Earth Planets That Could Support Alien Life
The habitable zone of a nearby star is filled to the brim with planets that could support alien life, scientists announced today (June 25).
An international team of scientists found a record-breaking three potentially habitable planets around the star Gliese 667C, a star 22 light-years from Earth that is orbited by at least six planets, and possibly as many as seven, researchers said. The three planet contenders for alien life are in the star’s “habitable zone” — the temperature region around the star where liquid water could exist. Gliese 667C is part of a three-star system, so the planets could see three suns in their daytime skies.
This is what the school-to-prison pipeline looks like. This is how black youth criminalized.
She was doing a science experiment
She’s being charged as an ADULT
She’s being charged with a FELONY
If this all goes the way the prosecution wants, this young woman will be LEGALLY discriminated against for the rest of her life. No voting, housing discrimination, employment discrimination (as if getting a job while black isn’t hard enough), etc. etc.
As we admire these women this month, we must also remember how difficult of a journey they must have had. And we must make a commitment to make the journey easier for little Black girls who are interested in science.
In her book Swimming Against the Tide: African American Girls and Science Education, Sandra Hanson explodes the myth that black girls are somehow disinterested in science due to hyper-religiosity or “culture.” Hanson found that, despite significant institutional and societal barriers, there is greater interest in science among African American girls than in other student populations. She frames this seeming paradox in historical context, stressing that “Early ideologies about natural inequalities by race influenced the work of scientists and scholars as well as the treatment of minorities in the science domain. Racism is a key feature of science in the United States and elsewhere. This has a large impact on the potential for success among minority students. Early work on science as fair has not been supported.”
Hanson outlines some of the obstacles that confront budding African American women scientists from elementary school to the postgraduate level. Stereotypes about girls of color lacking proficiency in science, the absence of nurturing mentors, the dearth of education about people of color who have contributed to science research (i.e., culturally responsive science instruction), and academic isolation often deter youth who would like to pursue science careers.
Conservatives who disdain “liberal multiculturalism” in higher education dismiss such concerns about diversity in hiring as handwringing. According to this view there is only one standard academia should use; objective and unbiased, untainted by affirmative action.
Yet white students are beneficiaries of cradle to grave affirmative action. White students grow up seeing the dominant image of rational, trailblazing scientific discovery (from films like Dr. Strangelove to 2001: A Space Odyssey to Close Encounters to The Right Stuff) as spearheaded by courageous rugged individualist generally white males. They are socialized to believe in a template of “purely” meritocratic success and individual achievement. Meritocracy becomes gospel and lucre. They can take it to the bank and use it to repel the less qualified savages.
While she was at UCLA Devin Waller was the only African American woman in the Astrophysics department. On the first day of her upper division classes she recalls being asked by male students befuddled by her presence whether or not they “were in the right class.” Since peer networking and study groups in science departments are largely white and male, white academic success and scholarly legitimacy in science become a self-fulfilling prophecy. For black women in white male dominated professions, showing vulnerability and having any kind of public failure are simply not options. Like many women of color Devin’s approach was that “You kind of go in there and set a precedent. Everything you do is watched. You have to establish yourself as intelligent. There were no black women in my classes. No one who looked like me.”
Not having anyone who looks like them as a faculty member, administrator and/or mentor influences the sense of isolation, anxiety, and burnout that students of color often experience in science disciplines. As an Electrical Engineering major Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, a nonprofit dedicated to developing African American girls as computer programmers, also found herself “feeling culturally isolated” during college. On her website she argues that the “dearth of African-American women in science, technology, engineering and math professions…cannot be explained by, say, a lack of interest in these fields. Lack of access and lack of exposure to STEM topics are the likelier culprits.”
In her autobiography Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments from My Life, Mae Carol Jemison (the first black woman astronaut and first woman of color in space) reflects on how, after professing interest in being a scientist to one of her teachers, she was told to set her sights on being a nurse instead. As a sixteen year-old undergraduate at Stanford University, Jemison was practically shunned by her physical science instructors. Although her experiences occurred during the sixties and seventies, the dominant view of who is a proper scientist has not changed and nursing is still a more acceptable aspiration for black women who are culturally expected to be self-sacrificing caregivers for everyone in the universe.
Getting back to basics, Lloyd Donaldson of Scion Next Generation Biomaterials in Rotorua, New Zealand, snapped this image of simple cotton fibers stained with berberine sulfate, a plant-based extract, and color-depth shaded. The loose strands were taken on a confocal fluorescence scope at 200 times the size of a normal weave.
Beloved cartoonist Lynda Barry is teaching a university-level course on doodling and neuroscience that you can audit remotely for free. She’s posting the weekly assignments on her Tumblr – this is the first one.