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FOR THE SPACE GEEKS: A VISION OF THE FUTURE

Swedish animator and digital artist Erik Wernquist created this visual masterpiece set to the narration of Carl Sagan about humanity’s potential expansion into the Solar System. Wanderers combines breathtaking visual effects and an imaginative narrative from Sagan’s 1994 book, Pale Blue Dot. If you geek out over all-things-space like we do it’s definitely worth the 4-minutes out of your day.

BEER BOTTLE TAPPING HELPS EXPLAIN DEADLY GAS ERUPTIONS

…and we’re not talking the kind of eruption you might experience after an evening of hard partying and a late-night McDonalds run. We’re talking the the kind that release deadly gases from within the earth.

The physics of a bar prank that causes beer to overflow with foam by tapping the top of a beer bottle is being used by researchers to explain the mechanics of volcanic eruptions of lethal gases. Researchers used high-speed cameras and focused laser pulses to examine how bubbles in beer bottles form when being “tapped” as occurs in the popular bar prank. The scientists found that a sudden impact induces waves that cause bubbles to expand and quickly collapse. The sudden collapse of bubbles form cavities that lead to explosions of foam which rush upward. The physics examined in this process are helping researchers better understand how deadly gases are released during events called limnic eruptions in which dissolved CO2 is suddenly released from the earth. “A better understanding of the physics behind limnic eruptions could be of interest to quantify when they could happen and, more importantly, how much carbon dioxide can be released,” one of the researchers reported.

You can read the full report here, published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

THE SCIENCE OF BEER

Watch as It’s Ok To Be Smart introduces you to the “Science of Beer”, and we’re not talking “BEER + THIS GUY = YOU CAN’T TOUCH THIS.” We’re talking real and genuinely educational science.

All this talk of drank has my mouth watering so I’m gonna have to STOP, HAMMER TIME.

Yes I went there. 

TOUR OF EARTH FROM SPACE

Here’s a quick tour of the Earth from astronauts Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio as seen from the International Space Station. The shots are impressive, yes, but what I’m most moved by is the Academy-worthy script. “In most of Europe there’s excellent food.” Spot on dude. Spot on.

MARVEL VS DC COSTUME CLASH

Who has the best superhero costume? Surely it must be the “Scotty McMakout Man” suit I keep in my bedroom closet. You know, in the off-chance I run across a damsel in distress. Well not according to the folks over at Fractl. They polled 1,000 people to determine their choice for best costumes in the Marvel and DC universe then put together this infographic to illustrate the results. Sadly, “McMakout Man” didn’t even make the list. How could you reject the one guy yielding “The Golf Club of Iron”. Full infographic below.

credit fractl

Credit: Fractl

3D PRINTING…IN SPACE

NASA plans to bring a 3D printer to space for the first time this month and its not the $125,000 “pizza printer” they’ve invested in [I’ll take one of those]. The printer is scheduled to blast off on a mission to the International Space Station on September 19, and NASA hopes the technology will pave the way for long-term exploration missions by effectively making them more efficient and cost-effective. 3D printers can create material objects by layering plastic, metal, and other material using a technique called extrusion additive manufacturing.

SIGN ME UP: NASA’S MANNED MARS MISSION GETS APPROVAL

The agency has been working on a one-of-a-kind rocket called the Space Launch System which could eventually propel a manned space capsule to Mars. The design of the rocket incorporates several elements of the retired space shuttle but features a few key difference, most notably “advanced boosters” for heavy load. The project was just approved for testing to take place in 2018 with manned missions scheduled for the 2030s.

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