All Of The Asteroids That Could Potentially End The World

Here’s the path of the nearly 1,400 asteroids that would cause “major devastation” if they hit our planet.

It’s no surprise that NASA is keeping track of all potentially hazardous objects, or PHOs, that surround our planet. If it’s closer than 4.6 million miles away and larger than about 350 feet in diameter, NASA’s watching it. And if a comet or asteroid’s orbit comes close enough to ours that there’s some potential for it to collide with our planet, NASA classifies it as a PHO. If something that size smacked Earth, it’d cause a major tsunami (if it hit water) or major regional destruction (if it hit land).

There are 1,397 known potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) at the moment, which you can see in this list. (The other PHOs are comets.) But why look at a list when you can look at a massive gorgeous picture? The image above, taken from NASA/JPL’s Photojournal, shows all 1,397 of those PHAs as represented by their orbits. Kind of amazing that we haven’t been hit by one, isn’t it?

[via Photojournal]


Gravity Map of the Moon

The GRAIL mission was launched by NASA on September 10, 2011 and consisted of two small spacecraft, GRAIL A and GRAIL B. The acronym GRAIL stands for Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory and aimed to measure in very high quality the gravitational field of the moon. The two spacecraft, nicknamed Ebb and Flow, orbited the Moon for almost a year, starting on 31 December 2011, and ending on December 17, 2012 when they both impacted the surface of the moon. In the images generated, see above, the red zones are areas of above average gravitational pull, while blue areas are below the average gravitational attraction. The data gathered by Ebb and Flow will be used to help create much more accurate fuel consumption models for future missions to and around the moon.


Today’s Smile by qubibi

<meta property=“og:description” content=
This is a website I created after being affected by the 3.11 Earthquake in Japan,
and the nuclear power plant incidents that followed.”


UPDATE 2012-02-05
Shortly after I’ve posted this The Daily Dot wrote more about
qubibi (Kazumasa Teshigawara), the process and emotions behind this work.


Bryozoan Statoblast (diminutive aquatic animal of the phylum Bryozoa) (10x)

“Survival pod” of a bryozoan colony:

“Phylactolaemates also reproduce asexually by a method that enables a colony’s lineage to survive the variable and uncertain conditions of freshwater environments.[16] Throughout summer and autumn they produce disc-shaped statoblasts, masses of cells that function as “survival pods” rather like the gemmules of sponges.[6] Statoblasts form on the funiculus connected to the parent’s gut, which nourishes them.[16] As they grow, statoblasts develop protective bivalve-like shells made of chitin. When they mature, some statoblasts stick to the parent colony, some fall to the bottom (“sessoblasts”), some contain air spaces that enable them to float (“floatoblasts”),[6] and some remain in the parent’s cystid to re-build the colony if it dies.[16] Statoblasts can remain dormant for considerable periods, and while dormant can survive harsh conditions such as freezing and desiccation. They can be transported across long distances by animals, floating vegetation, currents[6] and winds,[16] and even in the guts of larger animals.[64] When conditions improve, the valves of the shell separate and the cells inside develop into a zooid that tries to form a new colony. Plumatella emarginata produces both “sessoblasts”, which enable the lineage to control a good territory even if hard times decimate the parent colonies, and “floatoblasts”, which spread to new sites. New colonies of Plumatella repens produce mainly “sessoblasts” while mature ones switch to “floatoblasts”.[61] A study estimated that one group of colonies in a patch measuring 1 square metre (11 sq ft) produced 800,000 statoblasts.[6]

Image 1: A dish of millipedes under UV light. Most of the ones fluorescing in blue are Semionellus placidus, while the two fluorescing red are Pseudopolydesmus serratus. Red fluorescence under UV hasn’t been reported before in arthropods, to my knowledge.”

Photos by Derek Hennen. Check out his blog post for more field notes and details on identification!

Image 2: Semionellus placidus, photo by Derek Hennen (source)


Madreporites on sea stars

The madreporite is a lightcolored calcerous opening used to filter water into the water vascular system of echinoderms. It acts like a pressure-equalizing valve. […] Close up, it is visibly structured, resembling a “madrepore” (stone coral, Scleractinia) colony.” — Wikipedia

Image 1: Madreporites, from Pierce and Maugel’s 1987 Illustrated Invertebrate Anatomy (via “How Starfish Move”)

Image 2: Madreporite of Henricia pumila:The madreporite is creamy colored as in the type specimen.  Notice the papulae extended among the pseudopaxillae.” (Source)


Exotic Fractals


These images look like exotic phyto-plankton, but in fact they are boundary of different Julia sets.  Julia sets are mathematical fractals. The same pattern repeats infinitely in smaller and smaller detail. Following the same simple rules repeatedly, these amazing patterns are formed.

Fathom the Universe

Source and image credit:


Dude! That top one totally looks like a dendrimer! Will post more about dendrimers soon…


by Barbara Doser and Hofstetter Kurt, 2006

medien.KUNSTLABORKunsthaus Graz


A screening of ecstatic moments created with the Video Feedback technique at the event horizon of perceptible worlds of image and sound while generating a moving picture. Moments distilled from experimental videos and compiled into a new unit.

Video Feedback is mapping (imaging) any visual event (image) to itself through parallelism and circulation. A minimum change of its instrument positions (video camera | screen) generate a maximum of stimuli at the time-based event horizon of perception. A flood of rapidly changing abstract images on the move will be experienced as a world of spatial complexity and of dynamic states.”


Background info on optical feedback

An example of Optical feedback

Image source:

Examples of dynamic optical feedback image on television monitor

Image source:

More information:

Monocot root cross-section

The vast majority of these illustration plates are from a plant systematics wall chart series – the Dodel-Port Atlas – released between 1878 & 1883”


Waltzing Volvox, from the Goldstein Lab at the University of Cambridge

Volvox is a colonial green algae (more info at Wikipedia)

Check out more movies on their YouTube channel and lab website

(And someone else has uploaded a more colorful video of dancing volvox here:

Volvox, a colonial green algae (more info at Wikipedia)

From the Goldstein Lab, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge:

They do really, really cool research, as described by this awesome statement: 

When asked whether I am a theorist or an experimentalist, my reply is that I am a scientist. Our group seeks to understand fundamental principles that govern the behavior of nonequilibrium systems in physics and biology, using a combination of experiment and theory. This research is not easily described by a single, conventional academic label; rather, it involves the domains of condensed matter physics, physical chemistry, biological physics, fluid dynamics, applied mathematics, and geophysics.  I subscribe to Poincaré’s motivation: 

The scientist does not study nature because it is useful;

he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because
it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living.

I also believe that some of the best science is close to art, and that Glenn Gould captured this spirit when he said 

The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but rather the gradual,
 lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.”

UMMM and they have a YouTube channel!