Posts Tagged ‘Science


The Sun

Found this beautiful pic of the Sun on the web. This one’s recently captured by SDO (Solar Dynamics Laboratory).

SDO: The Solar Dynamics Observatory is the first mission to be launched for NASA’s Living With a Star (LWS) Program, a program designed to understand the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth. SDO is designed to help us understand the Sun’s influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously.

SDO’s goal is to understand, driving towards a predictive capability, the solar variations that influence life on Earth and humanity’s technological systems by determining

  • how the Sun’s magnetic field is generated and structured
  • how this stored magnetic energy is converted and released into the heliosphere and geospace in the form of solar wind, energetic particles, and variations in the solar irradiance.

Some more interesting pics and videos here


cryogenic engine

ISRO is reviewing the reasons for the failure of the GSLV-D3 mission on April 15, which was primarily meant to test the indigenously developed cryogenic upper stage of the rocket. In a recent statement, they have concluded that contrary to the earlier belief, the malfunctioning of another part and not the cryogenic engine, led to the failure.

Was curious to find out what is a cryogenic engine. So, here goes:

A cryogenic rocket engine is a rocket engine that uses a cryogenic fuel or oxidizer, that is, its fuel or oxidizers (or both) are gasses liquefied and stored at very low temperatures. Notably, these engines were one of the main factors of the ultimate success in reaching the Moon by the Saturn V rocket.

Various cryogenic fuel-oxidizer combinations have been tried, but the combination of liquid hydrogen (LH2) fuel and the liquid oxygen (LOX) oxidizer is one of the most widely used. Both components are easily and cheaply available, and when burned have one of the highest entropy releases by combustion, producing specific impulse up to 450 s (effective exhaust velocity 4.4 km/s).

Read more here.


Plasma globes

The adjacent picture is of a plasma globe. Most commonly, plasma globes are available in spheres or cylinders. Although many variations exist, a plasma lamp is usually a clear glass orb filled with a mixture of various gases—most commonly helium and neon, but sometimes also xenon and krypton—at low pressure (below 0.01 atmosphere) and driven by high-frequency alternating current at approximately 35 kHz, 2–5 kV, generated by a high-voltage transformer.

Placing a hand near the glass alters the high-frequency electric field, causing a single beam to migrate from the inner ball to the point of contact.

Plasma lamps are mainly used as curiosities or toys for their unique lighting effects and the “tricks” that can be performed on them by moving the hands around them. They might also form part of a school’s laboratory equipment for demonstration purposes.


Charles Hapgood and Crustal Displacement

Its been a long while since I posted. My co-author has been answering a lot of questions! applause!!

So watched 2012 a couple of days back, and yeah twice. And there was this reference to Charly hapgood and some theories that he proposed and the movie to quite an extent was based on it. So I decided to google it up.

Hapgood was an American Scientist. In 1958 Hapgood published his first book, The Earth’s Shifting Crust which denied the existence of continental drift. The foreword was written by the physicist Albert Einstein shortly before his death in 1955. In this book, and two successive books, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (1966) and The Path of the Pole (1970), Hapgood proposed the theory that the Earth’s axis has shifted numerous times during geological history.

This is what Einstein had to say (OK its slightly technical, but its Einstein you see)

    In a polar region there is a continual deposition of ice, which is not symmetrically distributed about the pole. The Earth’s rotation acts on these unsymmetrically deposited masses [of ice], and produces centrifugal momentum that is transmitted to the rigid crust of the Earth. The constantly increasing centrifugal momentum produced in this way will, when it has reached a certain point, produce a movement of the Earth’s crust over the rest of the Earth’s body, and this will displace the polar regions toward the equator

Read this and this and this for more.


Kite powered cargo ship

MS Beluga Skysails is the world’s first commercial container cargo ship which is partially powered by a 160-square-metre (1,700 sq ft), computer-controlled kite. The kite could reduce fuel consumption by 20%.[citation needed] It was launched 17 December 2007 and departed the northern German port of Bremerhaven to Guanta, Venezuela in January 2008.MV_Beluga_SkySails_2_Cargo

The SkySails propulsion system consists of a large foil kite, an electronic control system for the kite and an automatic system to retract the kite. The system bears similarities to kitesurfing. After tests on the Baltic Sea, the first commercial installation is planned for January 2008. The kites, which have an area of around 320 square metres (3,400 sq ft), can be flown at altitudes of 100–300 metres (330–980 ft). Because of the stronger winds at these heights, they receive a substantially higher thrust per unit area than conventional mast-mounted sails. A ship equipped with the current SkySails could consume from 10 to 35% less fuel.

The ship completed its journey on 13 March 2008 after sailing from Germany to Venezuela, then to the United States, and ultimately arriving in Norway. While the kite was in use, the ship saved an estimated 10-15% fuel, $1,000 to $1,500 per day.

Click here and here to read more.


Dark Matter

According to Wiki, in astronomy and cosmology, dark matter is hypothetical matter that is undetectable by its emitted radiation, but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter. According to present observations of structures larger than galaxies, as well as Big Bang cosmology, dark matter and dark energy could account for the vast majority of the mass in the observable universe. Scientists using different methods to determine the mass of galaxies have found a discrepancy that suggests ninety percent of the universe is matter in a form that cannot be seen. Some scientists think dark matter is in the form of massive objects, such as black holes, that hang out around galaxies unseen. Other scientists believe dark matter to be subatomic particles that rarely interact with ordinary matter.

According to a research paper, possibilities for dark matter range from tiny subatomic particles weighing 100,000 times less than an electron to black holes with masses millions of times that of the sun (9). The two main categories that scientists consider as possible candidates for dark matter have been dubbed MACHOs (Massive Astrophysical Compact Halo Objects), and WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles). Although these acronyms are amusing, they can help you remember which is which. MACHOs are the big, strong dark matter objects ranging in size from small stars to super massive black holes (1). MACHOs are made of ‘ordinary’ matter, which is called baryonic matter. WIMPs, on the other hand, are the little weak subatomic dark matter candidates, which are thought to be made of stuff other than ordinary matter, called non-baryonic matter. Astronomers search for MACHOs and particle physicists look for WIMPs.

So what’s this blog about?

Another attempt? Well yes. Attempting to figure out another sustainable model (there are some other attempts going on parallel-ly). Well, we have a lot of questions in mind. we read up stuff, we do some research to find answers to these questions. This is an attempt to publish that little 15-20 minute research.
April 2014
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