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rorschachx:

New Flying Reptile Found in “Unprecedented” Pterosaur Boneyard
Nearly 50 skeletons of a new species of ancient flying reptile have been unearthed in southern Brazil, an “absolutely unprecedented” discovery, one expert says.
Varying ages of the newfound species, dubbed Caiuajara dobruskii, fill the rare boneyard, which was once part of a desert lake in the late Cretaceous period, about 100 million to 66 million years ago. With a wingspan of up to 7.7 feet (2.35 meters) C. dobruskii had a head that was shaped differently from those of other pterosaurs, including a bony protrusion in front of its eyes. (See “New Golden Age for Pterosaurs, Flying Reptiles of the Dinosaur Era.”)
The discovery offers the “best evidence ever uncovered” that the extinct dinosaur-era animals, called pterosaurs, may have lived in colonies, said study author Alexander Kellner, a paleontologist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
It also offers a new window into how the animals—the first vertebrates to fly—developed into adults.
Finding such an intact fossil site is unusual—though pterosaurs were found on every continent, their fragile wing bones do not preserve well. What’s more, most pterosaur remains have been found near what was once oceans or lagoons, not desert.
Keep reading on National Geographic
| Illustration by Maurilio Oliveira

rorschachx:

New Flying Reptile Found in “Unprecedented” Pterosaur Boneyard

Nearly 50 skeletons of a new species of ancient flying reptile have been unearthed in southern Brazil, an “absolutely unprecedented” discovery, one expert says.

Varying ages of the newfound species, dubbed Caiuajara dobruskii, fill the rare boneyard, which was once part of a desert lake in the late Cretaceous period, about 100 million to 66 million years ago. With a wingspan of up to 7.7 feet (2.35 meters) C. dobruskii had a head that was shaped differently from those of other pterosaurs, including a bony protrusion in front of its eyes. (See “New Golden Age for Pterosaurs, Flying Reptiles of the Dinosaur Era.”)

The discovery offers the “best evidence ever uncovered” that the extinct dinosaur-era animals, called pterosaurs, may have lived in colonies, said study author Alexander Kellner, a paleontologist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

It also offers a new window into how the animals—the first vertebrates to fly—developed into adults.

Finding such an intact fossil site is unusual—though pterosaurs were found on every continent, their fragile wing bones do not preserve well. What’s more, most pterosaur remains have been found near what was once oceans or lagoons, not desert.

Keep reading on National Geographic

| Illustration by Maurilio Oliveira

Chilling at the beach with the kids (at Galveston Beach, Tx)

Chilling at the beach with the kids (at Galveston Beach, Tx)

Colored Baby - Baby Colored !

Colored Baby - Baby Colored !

afro-dominicano:


A Galaxy With A Glowing Heart

This view, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a nearby spiral galaxy known as NGC 1433.
At about 32 million light-years from Earth, it is a type of very active galaxy known as a Seyfert galaxy — a classification that accounts for 10% of all galaxies. They have very bright, luminous centres comparable to that of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
Galaxy cores are of great interest to astronomers. The centres of most, if not all, galaxies are thought to contain a supermassive black hole, surrounded by a disc of infalling material.

afro-dominicano:

A Galaxy With A Glowing Heart

This view, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a nearby spiral galaxy known as NGC 1433.

At about 32 million light-years from Earth, it is a type of very active galaxy known as a Seyfert galaxy — a classification that accounts for 10% of all galaxies. They have very bright, luminous centres comparable to that of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

Galaxy cores are of great interest to astronomers. The centres of most, if not all, galaxies are thought to contain a supermassive black hole, surrounded by a disc of infalling material.

spaceplasma:

Spectroscopy and the Birth of Astrophysics

The 3D animation (above) depicts how the light of a distant star is studied by astronomers. The spectrum of the light provides vital information about the composition and history of stars. Now, let’s look into the history of stellar spectroscopy.

In 1802, William Wollaston noted that the spectrum of sunlight did not appear to be a continuous band of colours, but rather had a series of dark lines superimposed on it. Wollaston attributed the lines to natural boundaries between colours. Joseph Fraunhofer made a more careful set of observations of the solar spectrum in 1814 and found some 600 dark lines, and he specifically measured the wavelength of 324 of them. Many of the Fraunhofer lines in the solar spectrum retain the notations he created to designate them. In 1864, Sir William Huggins matched some of these dark lines in spectra from other stars with terrestrial substances, demonstrating that stars are made of the same materials of everyday material rather than exotic substances. This paved the way for modern spectroscopy.

Since even before the discovery of spectra, scientists had tried to find ways to categorize stars. By observing spectra, astronomers realized that large numbers of stars exhibit a small number of distinct patterns in their spectral lines. Classification by spectral features quickly proved to be a powerful tool for understanding stars.

The current spectral classification scheme was developed at Harvard Observatory in the early 20th century. Work was begun by Henry Draper who photographed the first spectrum of Vega in 1872. After his death, his wife donated the equipment and a sum of money to the Observatory to continue his work. The bulk of the classification work was done by Annie Jump Cannon from 1918 to 1924. The original scheme used capital letters running alphabetically, but subsequent revisions have reduced this as stellar evolution and typing has become better understood.

While the differences in spectra might seem to indicate different chemical compositions, in almost all instances, it actually reflects different surface temperatures. With some exceptions (e.g. the R, N, and S stellar types), material on the surface of stars is “primitive”: there is no significant chemical or nuclear processing of the gaseous outer envelope of a star once it has formed. Fusion at the core of the star results in fundamental compositional changes, but material does not generally mix between the visible surface of the star and its core. Ordered from highest temperature to lowest, the seven main stellar types are O, B, A, F, G, K, and M. Astronomers use one of several mnemonics to remember the order of the classification scheme. O, B, and A type stars are often referred to as early spectral types, while cool stars (G, K, and M) are known as late type stars.

Scientists assumed that the spectral classes represented a sequence of decreasing surface temperatures of the stars, but no one was able to demonstrate this quantitatively. Cecilia Payne, who studied the new science of quantum physics, knew that the pattern of features in the spectrum of any atom was determined by the configuration of its electrons. She showed that Cannon’s ordering of the stellar spectral classes was indeed a sequence of decreasing temperatures and she was able to calculate the temperatures.

  • More information: here

Credit: ESO, Jesse S. Allen

ba614:

THIS IS A PICTURE THAT SOMEONE TOOK WHO WORKS ON AN OIL RIG IN TEXAS.HE WANTED TO GET A SHOT OF THE LIGHTNING THAT WAS FLASHING BY. HE WAS UNAWARE OF THE TORNADO UNTIL THE LIGHTNING ILLUMINATED IT.This has been called a one-in-a-million photo; taken south of Ft. Stockton, Texas.

ba614:

THIS IS A PICTURE THAT SOMEONE TOOK WHO WORKS ON AN OIL RIG IN TEXAS.

HE WANTED TO GET A SHOT OF THE LIGHTNING THAT WAS FLASHING BY. 
HE WAS UNAWARE OF THE TORNADO UNTIL THE LIGHTNING ILLUMINATED IT.

This has been called a one-in-a-million photo; taken south of Ft. Stockton, Texas.

spaceplasma:

ESO's Paranal Observatory projecting a laser into the night sky to create a sodium beacon guide star. Laser guide stars are an artificial star image created for use in astronomical adaptive optics imaging. The, by now classical approach, is to use a narrow-line laser emitting at a sodium resonance line wavelength to create a yellow artificial “star” in the ~ 95 km altitude sodium cloud around the Earth. When working with an Adaptive Optics system, this beacon provides a bright reference source to correct atmospheric turbulence in real time in fields devoid of bright enough natural stars; note however that a moderately bright natural star is still needed to correct global image motion in the field (see a short tutorial here)
There are two main types of laser guide star system, known as sodium and Rayleigh beacon guide stars:
Sodium beacons are created by using a laser specially tuned to 589.2 nanometers to energize a layer of sodium atoms which are naturally present in the mesosphere at an altitude of around 90 kilometers. The sodium atoms then re-emit the laser light, producing a glowing artificial star. The same atomic transition of sodium is used to create bright yellow street lights in many cities. Rayleigh beacons rely on the scattering of light by the molecules which make up the lower atmosphere.
In contrast to sodium beacons, Rayleigh beacons are a much simpler and less costly technology, but do not provide as good a wavefront reference as the artificial beacon is generated much lower in the atmosphere. The lasers are often pulsed, with measurement of the atmosphere being time-gated (taking place a few microseconds after the pulse has been launched so that scattered light at ground level is ignored and only light which has traveled for several microseconds high up into the atmosphere and back is actually detected).
Credit: ESO/Gianluca Lombardi (glphoto.it)

spaceplasma:

ESO's Paranal Observatory projecting a laser into the night sky to create a sodium beacon guide star. Laser guide stars are an artificial star image created for use in astronomical adaptive optics imaging. The, by now classical approach, is to use a narrow-line laser emitting at a sodium resonance line wavelength to create a yellow artificial “star” in the ~ 95 km altitude sodium cloud around the Earth. When working with an Adaptive Optics system, this beacon provides a bright reference source to correct atmospheric turbulence in real time in fields devoid of bright enough natural stars; note however that a moderately bright natural star is still needed to correct global image motion in the field (see a short tutorial here)

There are two main types of laser guide star system, known as sodium and Rayleigh beacon guide stars:

  1. Sodium beacons are created by using a laser specially tuned to 589.2 nanometers to energize a layer of sodium atoms which are naturally present in the mesosphere at an altitude of around 90 kilometers. The sodium atoms then re-emit the laser light, producing a glowing artificial star. The same atomic transition of sodium is used to create bright yellow street lights in many cities. Rayleigh beacons rely on the scattering of light by the molecules which make up the lower atmosphere.
  2. In contrast to sodium beacons, Rayleigh beacons are a much simpler and less costly technology, but do not provide as good a wavefront reference as the artificial beacon is generated much lower in the atmosphere. The lasers are often pulsed, with measurement of the atmosphere being time-gated (taking place a few microseconds after the pulse has been launched so that scattered light at ground level is ignored and only light which has traveled for several microseconds high up into the atmosphere and back is actually detected).

Credit: ESO/Gianluca Lombardi (glphoto.it)

Happy Birthday to the Best Son in the Whole World!!!

Happy Birthday to the Best Son in the Whole World!!!

Making that paper anyway we can. (at The Waterway, The Woodlands Texas)

Making that paper anyway we can. (at The Waterway, The Woodlands Texas)