Apollo 11 & James Cameron | SciByte 40

Apollo 11 & James Cameron | SciByte 40

We take a look at recovering Apollo 11 hardware, James Cameron’s ocean dive, sprinting planets, Lego science, coffee, Einstein’s writings, Hubble image competition, viewer feedback and as always take a peek back into history and up in the sky this week.

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Show Notes:

Apollo 11 Engines found at the bottom of the ocean

*— NEWS BYTE — *

James Cameron dives deep


Runaway planets

  • The low down
  • In 2005, astronomers found evidence of a runaway star that was flying out of the Milky Way galaxy at a speed of 1.5 million mph (2.4 million kph).
  • In the seven years since, 16 of these hypervelocity stars have been found
  • Significance
  • A new study has found that planets themselves could be ejected from their star, and even escaping the Milky Way at a speedy to 30 million miles per hour, or a fraction of the speed of light
  • A typical runaway planet would likely dash outward at 7 to 10 million mph (11.3 to 16.1 million kph),
  • Under the right circumstances, a few could have their speeds boosted to up to 30 million mph (48.3 million kph)
  • At those speeds they could be the fastest large solid objects, and could cross the diameter of the Earth in 10 sec
  • These hypervelocity planets could escape the Milky Way and travel through interstellar space
  • * Of Note*
  • Planets that are in tight orbits around a runaway star could travel with them, and be visible from dimming as it transits
  • This is the first time that scientists are discussing searching for planets around hypervelocity stars
  • Further Reading / In the News
  • ‘Warp-Speed’ Planets Flung Out of Galaxy on Wild Ride @ space.com

Lego’s can help build bones too

  • The low down
  • Bone has excellent mechanical properties for its weight
  • Synthetic bone has a range of applications; from the obvious, such as medical implants, to a material used in building construction
  • Researchers at Cambridge making synthetic bone have turned to legendary children’s toy Lego for a helping hand.
  • Significance
  • To ‘grow’ a synthetic bone like substance, the researchers first dip a sample into a beaker of calcium and protein, then rinse it in some water and dip in into another beaker of phosphate and protein
  • The process must be repeated over and over to build up the structure, which is time consuming and tedious
  • So the team looked into ways of automating the process, ideally a robot that could simply run while the team worked on other things and/or overnight
  • One solution for acquiring a robot was to purchase an expensive kit off the shelf from a catalog
  • Looking for a cheaper solution the team realized Lego could be the simplest, and cheapest, solution
  • So the team decided to build cranes from a Lego Mindstorms robotics kit
  • They programmed it to perform basic tasks on repeat, using microprocessors, motors, and sensors
  • The sample is tied to string at the end of the crane which then dips it in the different solutions
  • * Of Note*
  • The researchers are also working on hydroxyapatite–gelatin composites to create synthetic bone, of interest because of its low energy costs and improved similarity to the tissues they are intended to replace.
  • Multimedia
  • YouTube VIDEO : Google Science Fair 2012: How can robots aid scientific research ? ( with LEGO) |Google Science Fair
  • YouTube VIDEO :
  • IMAGE : @
  • Social Media
  • Twitter Results for [#]()
  • Further Reading / In the News
  • Growing bones with Lego @ University of Cambridge
  • Growing bones with Lego @ physorg.com

Sorry some coffee lovers

  • The low down
  • While stimulants may improve unengaged workers’ performance, a new University of British Columbia study suggests that for others, caffeine and amphetamines can have the opposite effect, causing workers with higher motivation levels to slack off.
  • Significance
  • Researchers studied the impacts of stimulants on “slacker” rats and “worker” rats, and sheds important light on why stimulants might affect people differently
  • For slacker rats, amphetamine sharpened the mental work ethic, making them more likely to choose the harder task.
  • For workers; however, amphetamine caused the animals to choose the easier option more.
  • Researchers can’t yet explain why stimulants would cause workers to choose the easier task
  • One possibility is that hard workers are already performing optimally, so any chance to the system could cause a net decrease in productivity.
  • * Of Note*
  • This study indicates that people being treated with stimulants would better benefit from a more personalized treatment programs.
  • Further Reading / In the News
  • Slacker rat, worker rat @ sciencenews.org
  • Coffee, other stimulant drugs may cause high achievers to slack off: research @ medicalxpress.com

Einsteins library

  • The low down
  • Albert Einstein’s complete archive is gradually becoming available through the Einstein Archives Online
  • The archive when fully uploaded will have more than 80,000 documents.
  • The archive will contain everything from manuscripts containing the famous E=mc^2 equation written in Einstein’s handwriting to postcards to his mother
  • * Of Note*
  • Einstein was an excellent student, who left school because he couldn’t handle the strict discipline and authority.
  • Further Reading / In the News
  • Einstein Was a Good Student, New Online Archive Suggests @ space.com


You could bring about the next great Hubble picture

  • The low down
  • Since 1990, Hubble has made more than a million observations
  • The main way to get Hubble data is the Hubble Legacy Archive website, where a search box lets you look for objects based on their name or coordinates or even which camera on Hubble
  • Realize that Hubble has not been able to observe all objects in the night sky and that scientists get the first chance to work with their data, releasing it to the public a year after they have been made
  • Significance
  • Over a million observations of the Universe have been made by the Hubble Space Telescope. Spacetelescope.org is asking the public to sift through the archives, adjust the colors of their favorite photos with an online tool, and submit to the contest
  • You can search Hubble’s archive for hidden treasures even if you don’t have advanced knowledge
  • It is recommend that people narrow their search to give only results from ACS, WFC3 and WFPC2 – Hubble’s general purpose cameras, as not all of Hubble’s observations are images
  • An interactive tool on the website allows you to look at the image in more detail, and carry out basic image processing such as adjusting the zoom and changing the contrast and colour balance
  • You can save your work as a JPEG
  • The process is entirely browser-based, however you can download the image in a FITS format so you use more advanced software to process the images
  • * Of Note*
  • Images from Hubble are look at the image in more detail, and carry out basic image processing such as adjusting the zoom and changing the contrast and colour balance, containing far more information that the eye can see
  • The beautiful iconic Hubble images seen by the public have been extensively tweaked and optimised by hand, in order to reveal as much of the data as possible
  • Multimedia
  • VIDEO : Hubblecast 53: Hidden Treasures in Hubble’s Archive @ spacetelescope.org
  • Further Reading / In the News
  • Hubble’s Hidden Treaures Website
  • Hubble Legacy Archive
  • What is image processing?
  • Hubble Treasures Contest : iPad and iPod Touch up for Grabs
  • Join the 2012 Hubble’s Hidden Treasures Competition



Looking back

  • Apr 07, 1927 : 85 years ago : First Television Broadcast : In 1927, the first public display of a long distance television transmission was viewed by a group of newspaper reporters and dignitaries in the auditorium of AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories, New York. The research at AT&T was led by Herbert Ives, who introduced the system to the audience, followed by a broadcast speech by the then Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover from Washington, D.C.. Both the live picture and voice were transmitted by wire, over telephone lines. Hoover said,“Today we have, in a sense, the transmission of sight for the first time in the world’s history,” and also, “Human genius has now destroyed the impediment of distance in a new respect, and in a manner hitherto unknown.” The accomplishment was heralded with great acclaim by the press
  • Apr 06, 1930 : 82 years ago : Twinkies!!! : In 1930, Hostess Twinkies snack cakes were invented by James “Jimmy” A. Dewar, plant manager at Continental Baking Company, Chicago as an inexpensive product at the time of the Great Depression. He realized the factory had baking pans for sponge cakes used only during the summer strawberry season, and that they could be made useful year-round for a new product: sponge cakes injected with a banana creme filling. They originally sold at two for a nickel. Vanilla creme was substituted during the WW II banana shortage. The name is said to have come to him based on a billboard he saw for “Twinkle Toe” shoes.

Looking up this week

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