“I want you. I want your sleepy confused look when you wake up. I want to be the warmth that fills the space in your bed. I want to be the sheets your fingers crave at night; the blanket that wraps around you all night. I want to drink tea with you, share some records we find. I want to talk about everything in the world newspapers. I want to discuss with you, to be stubborn and quick-witted with you. I want to have differences between us. I want your flaws. All of them. I want go into the deepest corners of your mind and never get bored of you. I want to be surprised by the new all the time. I want to look at you like a movie, a living piece of art; always trying to chase what you crave … and capture you.”
— Elay Neal Moses
The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble
The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth’s night sky are often named for flowers or insects. Though its wingspan covers over 3 light-years, NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of this particular planetary nebula has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. This sharp close-up of the dying star’s nebula was recorded in 2009 by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3, and is presented here in reprocessed colors. Cutting across a bright cavity of ionized gas, the dust torus surrounding the central star is near the center of this view, almost edge-on to the line-of-sight. Molecular hydrogen has been detected in the hot star’s dusty cosmic shroud. NGC 6302 lies about 4,000 light-years away in the arachnologically correct constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius).
Ambrym is a large basaltic volcano with a 12-km-wide caldera. It is not only one of the most active volcanoes of Vanuatu, but also in the world. Ambrym’s caldera is a wide, impressive moon-like landscape containing an ash plain, cut by innumerable erosion gullies and containing several active craters and recent lava flows.
The caldera is believed to have formed during a major plinian eruption with dacitic pyroclastic flows about 1900 years ago. Activity after the caldera formation was concentrated around two vents that have become large complex craters called Marum and Benbow. Often, both Marum and Benbow (as well as other craters) contain small lava lakes, which occasionally erupt lava flows onto the caldera floor, or even exit the caldera through erosion gaps.
To capture close-up footage of this lava lake on the Pacific island of Vanuatu, Geoff Mackley and his colleagues had to brave excruciating heat and some rather precarious-looking abseiling.
You can see more incredible shots at Mackley’s website.
Credit: Geoff Mackley, Bradley Ambrose, Nathan Berg
Lava is rather fascinating as a fluid. Lava flow regimes range from extremely viscous creeping flows all the way to moderately turbulent channel flow. Lava itself also has a widely varying rheology, with its bulk properties like viscosity and its response to deformation changing strongly with temperature and composition. As lava cools, instabilities form in the fluid, causing the folding, coiling, branching, swirling, and fracturing associated with different types and classes of lava. (Image credit: E. Guddman, via Mirror)
Bay Area Scientists Artfully Present Their Research in Oakland Exhibit
"Experimental Space” is the latest show at Oakland art gallery Aggregate Space, consisting of images and videos created by scientists in the course of their research — learn more from Danna Staaf at KQED Science.
Terracotta Daughters Prune Nourry
"In the continuation of her Holy Daughters project in India, Prune now reflects upon gender preference in China and infiltrates the local culture through the familiar symbol of the Terracotta Soldiers, by creating an army of 116 life-size Terracotta Daughters.
India and China alone represent 1/3 of the world population and both encounter a similar gender imbalance. This sociological phenomenon is due to the preference parents give to having a son. The number of single men has been increasing ever since the 80’s, and the misuse of ultrasounds to select the sex of the child. This leads to disastrous consequences for the situation of women in Asia (kidnappings of children and women, forced marriages, prostitution, population migrations…).
Emulating the style and ancient techniques of the Terracotta Warriors, Prune collaborates with local Xi’an artisans specialized in the copies of the terracotta soldiers to create the Terracotta Daughters project.”
Learn more here.