Why Science Blogging is Important

Alexander-Lakhanpal-science

In today’s ever-evolving world, science data advances almost in the blink of an eye. This is why science blogging is so important. Science blogging helps to disperse state-of-the-art scientific data nearly as soon as research is done and validation is complete.

It is difficult to imagine what daily life would be like without science blogging offering a wide range of topics updating scientific research into major health, nature and environmental issues.

For example, with the avid interest in ancestral genealogy, science bloggers use links to the most recent scientific research on an 8 million-year-old gene that could help citrus growers or the recent discovery that a praying mantis has 3-D vision. Each of these spins off into blog articles with comments by online readers.

 

Breaking News and Science Blogging

When the U.S. NASA launched a huge Delta 4 heavy rocket known as Space X’s Falcon Heavy rocket, science bloggers were full of the scientific details.

 

Not only is science blogging important in the U.S., but access to science blogs from around the globe provide a different perspective of important scientific studies and research, such as how genes may cause mental health problems or the new tick-borne disease discovered by Swedish scientists.

The United Kingdom’s science news that underwater volcanoes may be the cause of dinosaur extinction has science bloggers posting their views on this issue.

 

Science Blogging Supports the Public

One of the biggest benefits of science blogging is that it supports the public and stakeholders by continually injecting a consortium of public and stakeholder views and opinions on scientific issues.

During the late 1990s, the effects of acid rain kept science bloggers busy providing the public with a variety of opinions and ideas.

Online science blogs are a form of scientific communication shared over the internet platform and social media. Choices of science blogs range from those dedicated to science research, specific branches of science and science blogs that encourage students to take a greater interest in science.

 

The Convenience of Science Blogging

For professionals and neophytes alike, science blogging is readily accessible. It requires only minimal knowledge of using a search engine to find the science blog of choice. For example, one of the most popular nature science blogs is found at https://nature.com.

When to Look up to the Stars in 2018

Stargazing and space exploration enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to in 2018. The exciting events taking place in our solar system begin in January. Unique lunar displays, meteor showers, and international journeys into space make for an exciting new year.
Blue, Blood, Supermoon
The complex names describe a number of events occurring on January 31. First of all, we will witness the second full moon for the month, which is referred to as the Blue Moon. The event happens approximately once every 30 months. The moon will also venture 50,000 kilometers closer than usual. The path makes the “perigee-syzygy” or Supermoon appear 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than usual. The Blood Moon is so named due to the lunar eclipse that occurs when the moon passes into the shadow of the Earth. Although the moon is fully shadowed, light from the sun refracts toward the celestial body creating a blood red color.

March Moon Exploration
During the month or March, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, lander, and rover take a trip to the moon. The Chandrayaan mission is one of the many that countries have scheduled throughout 2018. The craft will be equipped with a variety of instrumentation designed to map and study the moon’s contents, which include minerals and water content. The country is excited as this will be the first lunar landing for India. They plan on making the journey to the planet’s south pole.

Perseids Meteor Shower
From August 11 through August 13, the skies come to life with streaks of meteors sailing through the northern hemisphere. The popular event takes place when our planet collides with the tail of the 109P/Swift-Tuttle comet. The size of debris pieces scattered varies. Larger pieces create the spectacular fireballs that thrill observers. There will be a new moon during the three days, which heightens visibility. The show entails approximately 100 meteors per hour.

Geminids Meteor Shower
From December 13 through December 15, the sky once again puts on a show as the Earth impacts with debris from the tail of the 32 Phaethon asteroid. However, optimal visibility will not occur until after midnight due to there being the first quarter of the moon. At that time, there will be an estimated 120 meteors per hour flashing through the atmosphere.

Climate Change

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/05/03/science/earth/arctic-shipping.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

 

 

Cassini’s Finale

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/04/26/google-made-a-doodle-for-doomed-cassini-and-space-lovers-are-losing-their-minds/?utm_term=.7553a38b43ed

If Mars Is Colonized, We May Not Need to Ship In the Bricks – By Nicholas St. Fleur

We often wonder if somewhere hidden on Mars are the building blocks for life. But what about building blocks for a civilization?

A new study suggests that the material humanity needs to one day construct houses, buildings and even entire colonies on Mars may already exist within the red planet’s own desolate soil. The research is still early and the technology is unlikely to be ready in time to meet President Trump’s stated goal of putting people on Mars by the end of his first term, but it could lay the groundwork for settlement of the planet if further study and testing confirms its findings.

“If this can indeed be scaled up for mass production on Mars, then I would say we are lucky,” said Yu Qiao, a materials scientist and engineer at the University of California, San Diego, pointing out that soil on the moon does not share that ability. He and his colleagues published their work Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports.

Photo

The researchers think that iron oxide, which gives the soil on Mars its red color, acts like a glue. Credit NASA

Dr. Qiao and his colleagues experimented with a substance that is chemically and physically similar to what you might find on the surface of Mars, but is made from particles on our planet. They call it Martian soil simulant. Quite by accident, the team members found that with enough pressure they could mash the mock Martian dirt into bricks — no extraterrestrial kiln needed.

The technique, if it works with real Martian soil, could make it possible to develop building material on Mars without needing extreme heat, water or a binding agent. Though the bricks they created were small, they were stronger than steel-reinforced concrete, Dr. Qiao said.

After that work, his team set their eyes on Mars. They realized they could produce the same kind of bricks for the red planet with smaller and smaller amounts of their space glue, until they found they could make Martian bricks by using pressure without a bonding agent.

I thought, ‘What is going on?!’” Dr. Qiao said.

The team members think that the iron oxide, which gives the soil its red color, acts like a glue to hold the particles together after it is subjected to enough pressure. Dr. Qiao said his next step was to investigate whether the technique could create larger bricks that could potentially build a house.

Henning Roedel, a doctoral candidate at Stanford University who studies technology for construction in outer space, said in an email that scaling the method could prove to be a challenge. Still, he called the technique an elegant solution to the problem of building on other planetary bodies.

 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/28/science/mars-soil-bricks.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fscience&action=click&contentCollection=science&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

WSJ Article – Verizon Deal

https://www.wsj.com/articles/yahoos-marissa-mayer-to-make-186-million-from-verizon-deal-1493103650

Success

The key to success is often hard to define, but we often try to categorize it as something that we can put a label on, such as hard work, education, or an entrepreneurial spirit. The key to success is most likely different for each one, just like every human is different; the key to each person’s own success will most likely also differ from person to person. Therefore, we should not try to emulate others in hopes of copying their success since that may not lead one down the right path for as an individual. Rather, we should know ourselves better; understand where we come from and what events have shaped our personal brand, strengths and weaknesses. Using this information we can then best determine which incremental key ingredient is necessary for us to maximize our own personal success.

Clearly, there are many common factors that will elevate our performance, especially determination. Having a strong determination can go a long way in achieving tremendous success. In fact, most of the fictional characters that inspire us tend to have a strong sense of determination that keeps them going in overcoming hurdles and challenges. However, there is a point where determination may result in diminishing marginal utility and other factors will be necessary in reaching a higher level of success. One of the factors that we sometimes forget in our intense quest of continuously improving may be humility. Humility is commonly seen as the act or posture of lowering oneself in relation to others, or conversely, having a clear perspective and respect for one’s place in context.

Humility is often underestimated as a key to success, but it is critical for long lasting success. By being humble, you will never underestimate the competition and the need to learn more and gain new experiences. If hubris is the downfall of greatness then humility should be the trajectory of success. Thus, as we attain incremental success we should always make sure to eat plenty of humble pie to ensure that we stay hungry for more success and never fall into the trap of underestimating our competition. In the Art of War, Sun Tzu wrote: Every battle is won before it is ever fought. We should keep this in mind as we strategies for the next corporate battle and ensure that we remain humble so that we do not overestimate our strengths or overestimate the competition’s weaknesses.

Inside the Webb World

Alexander LakhanpalSome exciting news has emerged from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center based in Greenbelt, Maryland. There, NASA engineers oversaw 2 deployments of the James Webb Space Telescope’s wings. Properly functioning sides of the structure are critical to the overall viability of the telescope because they compose the framework  that will house its mirrors.

Each deployment can last sixteen hours or more to complete, and the process requires multiple teams and very specific communication.

Once the James Webb Space telescope if assembled in full, the completed structure will be larger than any existing rocket that would have the capacity to launch it into space. Knowing this limitation, the engineering team behind the telescope came imagined, designed and created a telescope with the ability to fold up (similar to an origami piece) and fit inside a rocket.

After the rocket launches, Webb will continue on to its destination located roughly 1 million miles away.

To see more about these developments about the James Webb Space Telescope, see the video below or find them on Twitter.

 

Are Students Prepared for a Career in Computers?

AlexanderLakhanpalLeave it to Google to discover that American schools are not preparing young students for their future – a future in which many of them will be looking for jobs in a computer-related field.

Wired magazine ran a disheartening piece that looked at the seeming lack of awareness schools have regarding the modern job landscape. Schools in the US have apparently decided that there just isn’t the demand for computer science. This despite Gallup polls showing the opposite, that parents want their kids to learn to code, to program, starting at a young age. In a poll organized by Google, less than 50% of school leaders reported that their school boards want computer science education. How could this be true??

Start Them Early

Early exposure is critical in beginning to develop skills that will translate into careers. Students who took computer classes were more inclined to be interested in computer science in college. This is something we should be aiming for – jobs in computing are growing at double the rate of other jobs. In five years, there will be one million NEW computer science jobs created. Will American graduates have the skills to fill them all?

What’s Stopping Us?

It seems that in-fighting and bickering is getting in the way from what the data is telling us – that putting young students on a path of computer education is critical for their careers. That Americans want coding in the classroom.

If school administrators are right, and there isn’t enough money to support these programs – give them more! If teachers and students alike don’t have time because of all the standardized testing that has to be prepped – change the way that works! And if there aren’t enough qualified teachers to administer the curriculum, then jumpstarting a computer education initiative is more imperative than the article even lets on.

Google’s RISE Grants Seek to Change These Stats

Say what you will about Google, but the work they’re doing here is hugely beneficial to the country. Their RISE program gives awards in the forms of grants to groups that promote computer science literacy around the world, with a strong focus on women the poor, and minorities. With only half of principals reporting that their schools offer computer science classes at all, this is obviously a needed program.

According to program manager Hai Hong of Google’s K-12 education outreach,“If we’re trying to address existing disparities and access, we need the rigorous research to understand what the landscape of computer science even looks like.”

Pluto’s Closeup


 

Earlier this month, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made headlines. July 14th marked the first time that a spacecraft successfully explored the dwarf planet Pluto up close.

After hurtling through our solar system for over a decade at a speed of over 30,000 miles per hour, New Horizons finally reached its closest approach to Pluto, approximately 7,750 miles from the surface on July 14th. This was the first-ever space mission that successfully explored a world so distant from Earth.

New Horizons gathered data as it approached the planet, but by Wednesday, the information made its way back to Earthbound scientists and the rest of the world.

According to Jeff Moore of New Horizons’ Geology, GGI Team,

“The mountains likely formed no more than 100 million years ago — mere youngsters relative to the 4.56-billion-year age of the solar system — and may still be in the process of building”.

This information means that a small percentage of Pluto’s surface is in fact active to this day! This coupled with the seemingly unblemished nature of the surface of the planet imply that Pluto is fairly young compared to the other systems that we’ve been able to observe within our solar system.

Pluto is not heated through gravitational interactions with a larger planetary body so scientists believe that another process is responsible  for creating Pluto’s mountainous terrain. Presumably the mountains are composed of a water-ice “bedrock.”

Both methane and nitrogen ice cover a large portion of Pluto’s surface, but these materials aren’t durable enough to be responsible for the mountains. It’s more likely that the stronger material of water ice created these mountains.  Because Pluto is so cold, water maintains properties that are more similar to rock than to ice.

Scientists have already gleaned a lot of information from these first images of Pluto, and in 16 months a cache of computer data from New Horizons will make it’s way back to our planet.  It will be exciting to see what we glean from that.

 

A video posted by NASA (@nasa) on