Science Space Photo of the Day When the lamp is shattered, The light in the dust lies dead. When the cloud is scattered, The rainbow's glory is shed. These words, which open Shelley’s poem "When the Lamp is Shattered," employ visions of nature to symbolize life in decay and rebirth. It's as if he had somehow foreseen the creation of this new Gemini Legacy image, and penned a caption for it. What Gemini has captured is nothing short of poetry in motion: the colorful and dramatic tale of a life-and-death struggle between two galaxies interacting. ''Curiosity'' rover Curiosity is a car-sized robotic rover exploring Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL). Curiosity was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26, 2011, at 10:02 EST aboard the MSL spacecraft and successfully landed on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars on August 6, 2012, 05:17 UTC. The Bradbury Landing site was less than 2.4 km (1.5 mi) from the center of the rover's touchdown target after a 563,000,000 km (350,000,000 mi) journey. Curiosity's design will serve as the basis for a planned Mars 2020 rover mission.
Synthetic Biology: Building a Language to Program Cells - IEEE Life Sciences By Dr. Christopher Voigt Living cells are the ultimate programming substrate. The last 15 years has seen the design of simple "genetic circuits" that are encoded in DNA and perform their function in the cellular milieu. A gene circuit harnesses biochemical interactions to generate a computational operation akin to an electronic circuit.
New InSight into Martian Geology Coming in 2016 It feels like we just finished celebrating the Curiosity rover’s tremendous landing on the Martian surface. But there is no rest for the wicked. NASA has recently announced another mission to Mars scheduled to blast off in 2016. An introduction to the instruments and apps for the Mars Curiosity Rover This is a brief introduction to the numerous scientific gadgets and mobile apps for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) a.k.a. the Mars Curiosity Rover. The information overload for just the mission alone may be overwhelming. Everybody is hoping that the MSL lands intact and fully operational. Even University of Michigan Engineering played a role in the landing of the MSL craft (link to their video here).
Biological transistor enables computing within living cells, Stanford study says Steve Fisch The biological transistor developed by Jerome Bonnet and colleagues could be used inside living cells to record when cells have been exposed to certain external stimuli, or even to turn on and off cell reproduction as needed. When Charles Babbage prototyped the first computing machine in the 19th century, he imagined using mechanical gears and latches to control information. ENIAC, the first modern computer developed in the 1940s, used vacuum tubes and electricity. Mars Has Tectonic Plates Just Like Earth Mars is like Earth in a lot of ways: It snows on the Red Planet, and a full day is a little more than 24 hours. Now, scientists have found yet another similarity. Just like Earth, Mars also has tectonic plates. For years, scientists suspected these tectonic plates existed on the Red Planet.
Mars Science Laboratory Overview Hubble view of Mars: Gale crater can be seen. Slightly left and south of center, it's a small dark spot with dust trailing southward from it. Bionengineers introduce "Bi-Fi" - the biological Internet Drew Endy If you were a bacterium, the virus M13 might seem innocuous enough. It insinuates more than it invades, setting up shop like a freeloading houseguest, not a killer. Study Tallies One Loss Path for Early Mars' Atmosphere Gale Crater, home to NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, shows a new face in this image made using data from the THEMIS camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. The colors come from an image processing method that identifies mineral differences in surface materials and displays them in false colors. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University Seen shortly after local Martian sunrise, clouds gather in the summit pit, or caldera, of Pavonis Mons, a giant volcano on Mars, in this image from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter.
Here’s why the Mars Curiosity camera is so outdated When we first saw pictures from NASA’s Curosity mission to Mars, many of us asked, “That’s it?” Yes, the images weren’t as detailed as we wanted, but they were from another planet, so we happily gobbled them up. But why does the Mars rover feature paltry 2-megapixel sensors on its main imaging cameras? The decision stems from planning of the rover’s systems back in 2004, Malin Space Science Systems project manager Mike Ravine told Digital Photography Review. The planning team selected the 2-megapixel sensor on Curiosity for several reasons. First, it had to produce a reasonable amount of data for transmission back to Earth via a UHF transmitter.
Darcy's law Background One application of Darcy's law is to water flow through an aquifer; Darcy's law along with the equation of conservation of mass are equivalent to the groundwater flow equation, one of the basic relationships of hydrogeology. Darcy's law is also used to describe oil, water, and gas flows through petroleum reservoirs. Description Diagram showing definitions and directions for Darcy's law. Curiosity's camera project leader explains 2-megapixel choice Chances are good that if you bought a cellphone within the last five years, its camera shoots higher resolution images than those on NASA's Curiosity rover. But in case you forgot, megapixel counts only tell part of the story, and there’s a lot more behind the choice of sensors in Curiosity’s Mastcams than you might guess. You thought your data cap was bad