IllTAlIAN

Est. '93

179 notes

mindblowingscience:

How Many Lakes on Earth? Researchers Finally Know

Until now, no one knew for sure how many lakes exist on Earth.
Blame geography — most of the world’s lakes are in places where humans don’t live, said David Seekell, an environmental scientist at Umea University in Sweden. “This is something one would have assumed had been done long ago, and was in a textbook somewhere,” Seekell said.
Lake size was a liability, too. Millions of lakes are too small for mapmakers to bother charting.
Instead of counting lake by lake, earlier estimates were statistical guesses, based on the number of lakes in a parcel of land or on average lake size. One widely cited study from 2006 estimated the lake total at 304 million.
A new study published Sept. 16 in the journa Geophysical Research Letters sidesteps these problems. With high-resolution satellite data and supercomputers to check every cloudless pixel, researchers now have the best count yet of lakes on Earth. The result? There are 117 million lakes in the world.
Yet the bodies of water cover more land (3.7 percent of Earth’s surface) than previous studies had predicted. This is because quite a few medium- to large-size lakes were missing from the databases used for previous studies.
About 90 million of the lakes fall in the smallest size category, measuring 0.5 to 2.5 acres (0.2 to 1 hectare), the study reports. That’s equal to a country house lot, a large farm pond or 1.9 American football fields.
"Most lakes are in the far North, and there’s actually quite a few of them," said Seekell, a co-author of the new study. "Even if they’re small and no one sees them, they are potentially important for global-scale environmental issues like the carbon budget," he told Live Science.

Continue Reading.

mindblowingscience:

How Many Lakes on Earth? Researchers Finally Know

Until now, no one knew for sure how many lakes exist on Earth.

Blame geography — most of the world’s lakes are in places where humans don’t live, said David Seekell, an environmental scientist at Umea University in Sweden. “This is something one would have assumed had been done long ago, and was in a textbook somewhere,” Seekell said.

Lake size was a liability, too. Millions of lakes are too small for mapmakers to bother charting.

Instead of counting lake by lake, earlier estimates were statistical guesses, based on the number of lakes in a parcel of land or on average lake size. One widely cited study from 2006 estimated the lake total at 304 million.

A new study published Sept. 16 in the journa Geophysical Research Letters sidesteps these problems. With high-resolution satellite data and supercomputers to check every cloudless pixel, researchers now have the best count yet of lakes on Earth. The result? There are 117 million lakes in the world.

Yet the bodies of water cover more land (3.7 percent of Earth’s surface) than previous studies had predicted. This is because quite a few medium- to large-size lakes were missing from the databases used for previous studies.

About 90 million of the lakes fall in the smallest size category, measuring 0.5 to 2.5 acres (0.2 to 1 hectare), the study reports. That’s equal to a country house lot, a large farm pond or 1.9 American football fields.

"Most lakes are in the far North, and there’s actually quite a few of them," said Seekell, a co-author of the new study. "Even if they’re small and no one sees them, they are potentially important for global-scale environmental issues like the carbon budget," he told Live Science.

Continue Reading.

53 notes

Gourds Of War: Pumpkin-Chucking Machines Put Physics In Action

txchnologist:

by Michael Keller

The leaves have started changing in the northern latitudes. Crops are coming in from the fields and harvest festivals are popping up on the season’s calendar in many communities. Smells of cinnamon and nutmeg are beginning to waft out of bakeries and breweries.

Autumn is in the air and nothing says fall has arrived like throwing squashes hundreds or thousands of feet across an empty field. The event is called pumpkin chucking (or punkin chunkin, as some rhyme-focused adherents like to say), and it now attracts thousands of competitors and spectators at international events every year.

Read More

143 notes

jtotheizzoe:

NEW VIDEO!

Bats: Wonders of the Night

In this week’s It’s Okay To Be Smart you’ll learn all about some BAT-ass flying mammals. 

I live in Austin, TX, a city known for breakfast tacos, cowboy hipsters, live music, and BATS. Lots of bats. Yet, even after living in this city for years, I had no idea just how many bats called Central Texas home. That is, until I shot this video.

Our backdrop for this episode, Bracken Cave near San Antonio, TX, is a very special place. That cave is home the largest congregation of mammals on Earth, 20+ million Mexican free-tailed bats. In some areas of the cave, 200+ are hanging in a single square foot! At sunset, when they journey out to find dinner… well, it’s one of the most amazing sights I’ve ever seen (and heard). Their emergence lasts hours, flowing overhead like a river of wings, rushing by with the sound of a fluttering waterfall.

The bats that live here can eat as many as 100 tons of insects in a single night! Exactly how they hunt is even cooler, but you’ll have to watch the video to find out more.

You’ll also learn what bats eat, why they might be the most advanced flying hunters in nature, the incredible impact they have on ecosystems, and how we are threatening their future with disease and habitat loss. Oh, and poop. You’ll learn about bat poop.

Special thanks to Bat Conservation International for their help making this video. They own the land around Bracken Cave, in order to protect this natural treasure for the future. Check out their website to learn how you can help protect these amazing animals.

If you like the videos we’re making, please consider subscribing on YouTube, and share this one with your bat-loving friends :)

176 notes

mindblowingscience:

Scientists Make Simple Objects ‘Invisible’

Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak no longer belongs solely to the world of fantasy. Scientists from the University of Rochester have brought the famous cape to real life, in a sense, after developing new technologies that can hide simple objects from view.
The novel technology not only overcomes some of the limitations of previous devices, but it uses simple, inexpensive, off-the-shelf components to hide objects in the visible spectrum of light.

"There’ve been many high tech approaches to cloaking and the basic idea behind these is to take light and have it pass around something as if it isn’t there, often using high-tech or exotic materials," John Howell, a professor of physics at the University of Rochester, said in a statement.
"This is the first device that we know of that can do three-dimensional, continuously multidirectional cloaking, which works for transmitting rays in the visible spectrum," added graduate student Joseph Choi, who was involved in the research.
The basic idea behind cloaking, according to the study, published in the journal Optics Express, is to manipulate light waves to force them around an object. This design works fine when you look at an object straight on, but frequently what happens is that if you move your viewpoint even slightly the object becomes visible.
So Howell and Choi combined four standard optical lenses in a way that keeps the object hidden, even as the viewer moves from side-to-side.
While the new cloak works for the whole visible spectrum of light, and can be applied to fairly large objects, it’s not a perfect design.
"This cloak bends light and sends it through the center of the device, so the on-axis region cannot be blocked or cloaked," said Choi. Meaning, the cloaked region is shaped like a doughnut. But he and Howell have already built slightly more complicated designs that solve the problem.

mindblowingscience:

Scientists Make Simple Objects ‘Invisible’

Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak no longer belongs solely to the world of fantasy. Scientists from the University of Rochester have brought the famous cape to real life, in a sense, after developing new technologies that can hide simple objects from view.

The novel technology not only overcomes some of the limitations of previous devices, but it uses simple, inexpensive, off-the-shelf components to hide objects in the visible spectrum of light.

"There’ve been many high tech approaches to cloaking and the basic idea behind these is to take light and have it pass around something as if it isn’t there, often using high-tech or exotic materials," John Howell, a professor of physics at the University of Rochester, said in a statement.

"This is the first device that we know of that can do three-dimensional, continuously multidirectional cloaking, which works for transmitting rays in the visible spectrum," added graduate student Joseph Choi, who was involved in the research.

The basic idea behind cloaking, according to the study, published in the journal Optics Express, is to manipulate light waves to force them around an object. This design works fine when you look at an object straight on, but frequently what happens is that if you move your viewpoint even slightly the object becomes visible.

So Howell and Choi combined four standard optical lenses in a way that keeps the object hidden, even as the viewer moves from side-to-side.

While the new cloak works for the whole visible spectrum of light, and can be applied to fairly large objects, it’s not a perfect design.

"This cloak bends light and sends it through the center of the device, so the on-axis region cannot be blocked or cloaked," said Choi. Meaning, the cloaked region is shaped like a doughnut. But he and Howell have already built slightly more complicated designs that solve the problem.

323 notes

ohstarstuff:

India’s first spacecraft to visit Mars has sent back one of the most incredible photos yet of the Red Planet. This image from the Mangalyaan probe was unveiled today by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The planet’s southern ice cap is clearly visible while a huge dust storm blankets part of the northern region. The spacecraft used its Mars Color Camera to capture the amazing photo from a distance of 46,292 miles above the Red Planet. (Credit: Indian Space Research Organisation)

ohstarstuff:

India’s first spacecraft to visit Mars has sent back one of the most incredible photos yet of the Red Planet. This image from the Mangalyaan probe was unveiled today by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The planet’s southern ice cap is clearly visible while a huge dust storm blankets part of the northern region. The spacecraft used its Mars Color Camera to capture the amazing photo from a distance of 46,292 miles above the Red Planet.

(Credit: Indian Space Research Organisation)

249 notes

asapscience:

The most famous reaction in the world! Small pores on the surface of the Mentos candy allows for the rapid creation of CO2 bubbles from the Diet Coke. The aspartame in the Diet Coke also helps alleviate surface tension, contributing further to the geyser-like reaction. Fun fact: if you use fruit Mentos, which are coated, they produce almost no effect. via SciencePx

asapscience:

The most famous reaction in the world! 

Small pores on the surface of the Mentos candy allows for the rapid creation of CO2 bubbles from the Diet Coke. The aspartame in the Diet Coke also helps alleviate surface tension, contributing further to the geyser-like reaction. Fun fact: if you use fruit Mentos, which are coated, they produce almost no effect. 

via SciencePx