Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

The Moons of Mars – Phobos and Deimos

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Phobos and Deimos orbiting Mars

Phobos and Deimos orbiting Mars

Phobos and Deimos, are the two small moons which orbit Mars. Their origin still remains unclear, but Asteroid capture is the most accepted theory. Interestingly, from the surface of Mars, Phobos rises in the west and sets in the east; it then rises again in just 11 hours. Deimos, happens to be just outside the synchronous orbit (where the orbital period would match the planet’s period of rotation); in consequence, although it rises as expected in the east, it does so very slowly. Deimos has a 30 hour orbit or 2.7 days elapse between its rise and set for an equatorial observer. (more…)

Twitt

The Big Bang, Einstein’s Biggest Blunder, and the Age of the Universe

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Ancient galaxy cluster still producing stars

Ancient galaxy cluster still producing stars

The Big Bang is considered the birth of our Universe and, in consequence, the origin of space and time. It’s hard to wrap your brain around the fact that when looking into the sky at stars and planets light-years away, you’re looking into the past as it took millions of years for that light to reach us. That means as we look deeper into the past with powerful telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope, we are getting closer and closer to looking deeper into the past at perhaps the birth of time itself. (more…)

Twitt

Coelacanth – a Living Prehistoric Creature

Monday, April 15th, 2013
A preserved chalumnae (Latimeria chalumnae) at Natural History Museum of Nantes

A preserved chalumnae (Latimeria chalumnae) at Natural History Museum of Nantes

Coelacanth is a rare order of fish. The two extant species include the West Indian Ocean Coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) and the Indonesian Coelacanth (Latimeria menadoensis). They follow the oldest known living lineage of Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish and tetrapods); this classification means they are more closely related to lungfish, reptiles and mammals than to the common ray-finned fishes. The species are the most endangered order of animals in the world. Both species are threatened with the The West Indian Ocean Coelacanth classified as a critically endangered species. Coelacanths have been found along the coastlines of the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, and Tanzania. (more…)

Twitt

Chemistry: Calculate the Mass of an Atom [Video]

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Chlorine Atom
I created and uploaded this video to youtube back in 2009. This video demonstrates how to solve a simple chemistry problem. I calculate the mass of a Chlorine atom. (more…)

Twitt

Python – Implementing Caching in Your Applications via Dictionaries

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Periodic Table of the ElementsIn this blog I demonstrate how you can implement and take advantage of caching in your Python scripts/applications.

Caching allows you to complete tasks more rapidly by storing and reusing results for repeated operations using the same criteria. For example, consider a function that takes several arguments and performs a complex calculation. What if you passed the same arguments to this function ten times; well, without caching, the same operation and complex calculation will be performed ten times. (more…)

Twitt

University of Berkeley Astronomers Discover Largest Known Black Holes

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Black HoleUniversity of California, Berkeley Astronomers have discovered the largest black holes known to date. The black holes are estimated to be have masses equivalent to about 10 billion suns each (one black hole being slightly bigger than the other). The two black holes are in clusters of elliptical galaxies greater than 300 million light years away (1 light year is approximately 5.8 trillion miles). (more…)

Twitt

Celebration of Darwin’s 201st birthday

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

Last month I attended the “9th Annual Evolutionpalooza! – Darwin Day in San Francisco.” The event was at the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library. The short presentation by NASA Astrobiologist Dr. Lynn Rothschild on Darwin and some of his achievements as well as her brief intro on Astrobiology was interesting. Most of the information presented was nothing ground-breaking to those who are avid readers or dedicated scientists/researchers; however, I find it always good to hear information from different perspectives for discussion purposes and for refreshing one’s memory. One of the reasons I love the Bay Area so much is that there are many intellects in the area that are willing to organize events like this and participate regularly in regards to intellectual conversation. Also, the location was ideal as many library attendees who otherwise may never take interest in such a subject had an opportunity to attend and engage. (more…)

Twitt

Interesting Facts: Man-made Urea

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Urea

Urea - a molecular compound in human urine

Friedrick Wohler

Friedrick Wohler


In the past, organic compounds were restricted to those that could be produced only from living entities. These compounds were thought to contain a “vital force” based on their natural origin. This “vital force” concept was disproved in 1828 by a Geman chemist, Friedrick Wohler. Wohler synthesized a molecular compound found in human urine called urea. To accomplish this task he used the molecular compounds ammonia and cyanic acid. Urea became the first organic molecule synthesized by a chemist.

Twitt