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#91 [Permalink] Posted on 11th February 2014 10:17
(salam)

I know this is mostly about Magnificent beauties up in the skies.

How about some on the Earth.

Mt.Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa.

SubhanAllah!

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#92 [Permalink] Posted on 15th February 2014 23:27
1 in 4 Americans unaware that Earth circles Sun



Americans are enthusiastic about the promise of science but lack basic knowledge of it, with one in four unaware that the Earth revolves around the Sun, said a poll out Friday.

The survey included more than 2,200 people in the United States and was conducted by the National Science Foundation.

Ten questions about physical and biological science were on the quiz, and the average score -- 6.5 correct -- was barely a passing grade.

Just 74 percent of respondents knew that the Earth revolved around the Sun, according to the results released at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

Fewer than half (48 percent) knew that human beings evolved from earlier species of animals.

The result of the survey, which is conducted every two years, will be included in a National Science Foundation report to President Barack Obama and US lawmakers.

One in three respondents said science should get more funding from the government.

Nearly 90 percent said the benefits of science outweigh any dangers, and about the same number expressed interest in learning about medical discoveries.

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#93 [Permalink] Posted on 19th February 2014 10:07
Asteroid 2000 EM26 'as big as three football fields' hurtles past Earth


Slooh Space Camera tracked the asteroid as it raced past at 27,000 mph


An asteroid believed to be roughly the size of three football fields hurtled past the Earth on Monday, just over a year after one exploded over Russia and injured 1,200 people.

The Slooh Space Camera followed the asteroid's approach via a live video stream from 9pm on Monday evening as it raced past the Earth at 27,000 mph.

Slooh's flagship observatory on Mount Teide in Spain's Canary Islands was iced over and unable to record live images of the asteroid, Paul Cox, Slooh's technical and research director, said on the one-hour webcast, but pictures were received from a Dubai observatory.

The 270 metre asteroid, known as 2000 EM26, streaked past Earth at a distance of about 2.1 million miles (3.4 million km) little more than a year after another asteroid exploded on 15 February over Chelyabinsk, 900 milles east of Moscow. Over 1,000 people were injured following a massive shock wave that shattered windows and damaged buildings.

The ten-ton meteor that entered the earth's atmosphere at 33,000mph ripped across the sky above Russia's Ural Mountains.

Region officials in Chelyabinsk had wanted to mark the anniversary by giving a piece of the meteorite to each 2014 Winter Olympic athlete who won a medal on Saturday at the Sochi Games. However, the International Olympic Committee at the last minute said it could be done only after the Games.

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"We continue to discover these potentially hazardous asteroids - sometimes only days before they make their close approaches to Earth," Cox said in a statement before the show.

He added, "We need to find them before they find us!"

The Dubai Astronomy Group provided Slooh photos of the part of the sky where the rock was expected to be seen, but its motion could not be picked out immediately in a live webcast against the backdrop of night-time stars.

Additional reporting by Reuters
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#94 [Permalink] Posted on 20th February 2014 03:02
Slovenia.
Allahuakbar!

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#95 [Permalink] Posted on 20th February 2014 22:44
Sloshed Cassiopeia star snapped milliseconds before supernova blast
19th February 2014

The NuSTAR space telescope has sent back the first radioactive map of one of our most recent nearby supernova - and shown the star was sloshing and bubbling before its final explosive collapse.


The glowing remains of Cassiopeia

Scientists have been focusing on Cassiopeia A (Cas A), which is one of the earliest supernovae actually spotted and recorded on Earth when the light from its death reached us in 1671. Today, data from NuSTAR, matched with observations from other orbital telescopes, has given the first map of what's left of the explosion and confirmed a popular theory with astronomers as to how such stellar deaths occur.

At a NASA press conference, Brian Grefenstette, an astronomer at Caltech, explained that two of the most popular theories about Cas A were that it either vented its explosive force via jets of matter from a rapidly spinning star, or that it collapsed in on itself with a sloshing explosion and blew itself apart unevenly.

When Cas A went supernova, the internal temperature of the star rocketed as it began to collapse, while contained in the cooler outer shell of the reaction. As the compressed neutrinos were formed in the heart of the celestial body they heated the surrounding matter, which bubbled up through the star, breaking up the outer shell and the ultimately the supernova's shockwave.

This is the first time scientists have been able to see this predicted model of how some stars explode demonstrated in nature, but Grefenstette lamented that the observation, while confirming the sloshing hypothesis, had also raised some troubling questions.

NuSTAR mapped out the position of radioactive titanium-44 in the Cas A explosion, but the sloshy model had predicted that the element (which decays over time to become the calcium found in human beings) would be closely associated with the formation of hot iron in the star's core. In fact, it appears that either the two elements aren't formed together or they are widely distributed, so it's back to the drawing board on that one.
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#96 [Permalink] Posted on 27th February 2014 22:46
Incredible images show Northern Lights illuminating Iceland's night sky

Incredible images have shown the beautiful Northern Lights illuminating Iceland's night sky


The breath-taking images pictures were taken by a school bus driver who said that witnessing the natural phenomenon was like a "dream."

Kristin Jonsdottir, 27, lives on a farm near the fjord of Borgarfjorour, which she said is the perfect place to take pictures of the aurora borealis because of a lack of light pollution.

Ms Jonsdottir said she had to practice taking pictures of the Northern Lights for a number of years as the light levels of the aurora change rapidly.


The photographer of the jaw-dropping pictures said witnessing the aurora was like a "dream"


Kristin Jonsdottir said the spot the photos were taken was perfect due to a lack of light pollution


The Northern Lights are also known as aurora borealis


Ms Jonsdottir has practiced taking pictures of the Northern Lights for years


The Northern Lights are formed after particles from large solar explosions meet the earth's magnetic shield.

The particles then move towards the magnetic North Pole where they interact with the atmosphere.

Auroras are formed after particles from large solar explosions meet the earth's magnetic shield


Each instance of an aurora is unique but often features three green bands across the sky


Each instance of an aurora is unique but often features three green bands across the sky. The phenomenon happens more than 62 miles above ground level.
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#97 [Permalink] Posted on 28th February 2014 07:13
Northern Lights illuminate the UK

The Aurora Borealis - better known as the Northern Lights - has been giving rare and spectacular displays over parts of the UK, from the north of Scotland to as far south as Essex and Gloucestershire.


The lights have also been clearly visible in places such as Orkney, Norfolk, and south Wales.


The display, which is caused by electrically charged particles from the Sun entering the Earth's atmosphere, led to scenes such as this one at the Stonehaven war memorial, Aberdeenshire.


Mark Thompson, presenter of BBC's Stargazing Live, said he had not been expecting a display as spectacular as it was in places such as Wick, in Caithness.


Mr Thompson said the display, which was also seen in Orkney, happens when solar wind, or electronically charged particles, are ejected from the Sun. He said: "They take two or three days to get here and when they do get here they cause the gas atoms in the sky to glow. It is as simple as that."


The astronomer said: "Three or four days ago the Sun will have thrown a lot of this stuff out in an event called a Coronal Mass Ejection, and they would have been travelling towards the Earth since. It all depends how active the Sun has been." This photograph was taken in Gloucestershire.


Mr Thompson said the particles were usually pulled towards the North Pole but "if there is enough of them they will travel further down towards the equator and cause the lights to go further south", such as here, in Foxley, Norfolk


Mr Thompson said. "The last time I have seen it this spectacular was probably 20 years ago."
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#98 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd March 2014 00:32
According to scientific research and not Islamic studies.

Quote:

Earth's crust at least 4.4 bn years old

23 February 2014

A microscopic grain of Earth's oldest known mineral has been dated to 4.4 billion years ago, shedding light on our planet's infancy and how it came to harbour life, researchers said Sunday.

The finding proves that Earth remained a fiery ball covered in a magma ocean for a shorter period of time after its creation than previously thought.

The Earth is thought to have formed about 4.5 billion years ago, but little is known about its early years, particularly when it became cool enough for the crust to congeal from a sea of molten rock and for liquid water to form.

Some had postulated the cooling would have required as much as 600 million years.

But the discovery in recent decades of zircon crystals, some estimated to be as old as 4.4 billion years, threw that theory into doubt, even though the minerals' age was not conclusively proven. Until now.

The new study confirms that zircon grains harvested from western Australia's Jack Hills region crystallised with the formation of the Earth's crust some 4.374 billion years ago, its authors said.

This was about 160 million years after the creation of the Earth and other planets in our solar system -- "much earlier than previously believed", according to a press statement.

The findings strengthen the theory of a "cool early Earth", with temperatures low enough for liquid water, oceans and a hydrosphere -- the combined mass of water on a planet -- to form not long after the crust during a period known as the Hadean.

"The study reinforces our conclusion that Earth had a hydrosphere before 4.3 billion years ago", and possibly life not long after, said study co-author John Valley, a geochemist from the University of Wisconsin Madison.

The study was conducted with a new technique called atom-probe tomography that could accurately determine the age of the miniscule mineral fragment by measuring individual lead atoms inside it.

Due to its durability, zircon can withstand billions of years of erosion to remain chemically intact, and contains a wealth of geological information.

It is found locked up in younger rocks and even in sand.

This new knowledge about when the Earth cooled "may also help us understand how other habitable planets would form," said Valley.

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#99 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd March 2014 20:27
Kepler telescope bags huge haul of planets

By Jonathan Amos

Science correspondent, BBC News

26 February 2014
The science team sifting data from the US space agency's (Nasa) Kepler telescope says it has identified 715 new planets beyond our Solar System.

This is a huge new haul.

In the nearly two decades since the first so-called exoplanet was discovered, researchers had claimed the detection of just over 1,000 new worlds.

Kepler's latest bounty are all in multi-planet systems; they orbit only 305 stars.

The vast majority, 95%, are smaller than our Neptune, which is four times the radius of the Earth.

Four of the new planets are less than 2.5 times the radius of Earth, and they orbit their host suns in the "habitable zone" - the region around a star where water can keep a liquid state.

Whether that is the case on these planets cannot be known for sure - Kepler's targets are hundreds of light-years in the distance, and this is too far away for very detailed investigation.

The Kepler space telescope was launched in 2009 on a $600m (360m) mission to assess the likely population of Earth-sized planets in our Milky Way Galaxy.

Faulty pointing mechanisms eventually blunted its abilities last year, but not before it had identified thousands of possible, or "candidate", worlds in a patch of sky in the constellations Cygnus and Lyra.

It did this by looking for transits - the periodic dips in light that occur when planets move across the faces of stars.

Before Wednesday, the Kepler spacecraft had confirmed the existence of 246 exoplanets. It has now pushed this number up to 961. That is more than half of all the discoveries made in the field over the past 20 years.

"This is the largest windfall of planets that's ever been announced at one time," said Douglas Hudgins from Nasa's astrophysics division.

"Second, these results establish that planetary systems with multiple planets around one star, like our own Solar System, are in fact common.

"Third, we know that small planets - planets ranging from the size of Neptune down to the size of the Earth - make up the majority of planets in our galaxy."

When Kepler first started its work, the number of confirmed planets came at a trickle.

Scientists had to be sure that the variations in brightness being observed were indeed caused by transiting planets and not by a couple of stars orbiting and eclipsing each other.

The follow-up work required to make this distinction - between candidate and confirmation - was laborious.

But the sudden dump of new planets announced on Wednesday has exploited a new statistical approach referred to as "verification by multiplicity".

This rests on the recognition that if a star displays multiple dips in light, it must be planets that are responsible because it is very difficult for several stars to orbit each other in a similar way and maintain a stable configuration.

"This technique that we've introduced for wholesale planet validation will be productive in the future. These results are based on the first two years of Kepler observations and with each additional year, we'll be able to bring in a few hundred more planets," explained Jack Lissauer, a planetary scientist at Nasa's Ames Research Center.

Sara Seager is a professor of planetary science and physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is not involved in the Kepler mission.

She commented: "With hundreds of new validated planets, Kepler reinforces its major finding that small planets are extremely common in our galaxy. And I'm super-excited about this, being one of the people working on the next generation of space telescopes - we hope to put up direct imaging missions, and we need to be reassured that small planets are common."

Detailed information on the latest discoveries has been posted in twopapers on the electronic pre-print arXiv repository.


The habitable zone is the region around a star where water can keep a liquid state

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#100 [Permalink] Posted on 5th March 2014 21:25
Stunning NASA Image Catches A Volcanic Explosion On Jupiter's Moon


NASA's New Horizons spacecraft zipped past Jupiter and caught this image of Io, the planet's third-largest moon, as a volcano was erupting on the surface. The plume emanating from the Tvashtar volcano is 200 miles high.
The image was created by NASA's Visualization Explorer.

Here's NASA'sdescription of the image:

Locked in a perpetual tug of war between the imposing gravity of Jupiter and the smaller, consistent pulls of its neighboring moons, Io's distorted orbit causes it to flex as it swoops around the gas giant. The stretching causes friction and intense heat in Io's interior, sparking massive eruptions across its surface.


NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center



At 2,263 miles in diameter, Io is slightly larger than Earth's moon. According to NASA,it is the most volcanically active body in the solar system.


Here's another image of the moon's dynamic surface. The black spots are collapsed volcanoes:

Collapsed volcanoes form large, dark spots on Io's surface.
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#101 [Permalink] Posted on 5th March 2014 21:34
We just missed this by half an hour.

Asteroid hurtling past Earth at 9pm tonight will be closer than the moon

DX110 will make its closest approach when it reaches a distance of less than 217,000 miles from the Earth


This image shows the relative locations of asteroid 2014 DX110 and Earth on March 4, 2014. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth on March 5

By HEATHER SAUL

Wednesday 05 March 2014

An asteroid travelling at 33,000 mph will come closer than the moon when it hurtles past Earth at 9pm (GMT) tonight.
The newly discovered asteroid 2014 DX110 is expected to make its closest approach when it reaches a distance of less than 217,000 miles from the Earth at about 9.07pm. The moon is on average 238,000 miles from Earth.

The 98-foot-wide Apollo class asteroid will not collide with Earth, according to scientists, but will provide excellent views for those with a good telescope.

The Virtual Telescope Project and Slooh will be providing a live, online event sharing real-time images of the asteroid from 8.30pm tonight.

Relatively close approaches such as this occur frequently, although the DX110 is extra close.

Last month the asteroid 2000 EM26 streaked past Earth at 27, 000 mph, a year after a ten-ton meteor entered the earth's atmosphere at 33,000mph, exploding over Chelyabinsk, 900 milles east of Moscow.
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#102 [Permalink] Posted on 7th March 2014 23:52
Icy Debris From A Star In The Neighborhood Of The Solar System Suggests Existence Of New Planet

By Kukil Bora
on March 07 2014


This artist's concept illustrates the preferred model for explaining ALMA observations of Beta Pictoris. At the outer fringes of the system, the gravitational influence of a hypothetical giant planet (bottom left) captures comets into a dense, massive swarm (right) where frequent collisions occur. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/F. Reddy


An international team of astronomers has found a swarm of icy, comet-like bodies in the solar system, which suggests the existence of an as-yet-unseen planet in Earth's cosmic neighborhood, NASA announced Thursday.

According to the space agency, astronomers exploring a disk of gas and dust around a nearby star uncovered a compact cloud of poisonous gas formed by constant collisions among the comet-like bodies. The astronomers suggest that the comet swarm is either the remnant of a crash between two icy worlds resembling Mars, or frozen debris trapped and concentrated by the gravity of an unknown planet.

The astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, or ALMA, in Chile, to examine dust and carbon monoxide (CO) molecules in a disk surrounding the bright star, Beta Pictoris, which is only 20 million years old and is located about eight Astronomical Units, or AU (1 AU = 93 million miles) from Earth.

"Although toxic to us, carbon monoxide is one of many gases found in comets and other icy bodies," Aki Roberge, an astrophysicist at NASA, said in a statement. "In the rough-and-tumble environment around a young star, these objects frequently collide and generate fragments that release dust, icy grains and stored gases."
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#103 [Permalink] Posted on 7th March 2014 23:57
Quote:
the bright star, Beta Pictoris, which is only 20 million years old and is located about eight Astronomical Units, or AU (1 AU = 93 million miles) from Earth.


This can't be correct, literally impossible.
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#104 [Permalink] Posted on 8th March 2014 00:01
100

Comment underneath original article :
Quote:
the article is incorrect. Beta Pictoris is 63 (give or take) light-years away. Eight AUs is so close in cosmological terms as to still be within the boundries of our own solar system.


What a silly mistake. 8 AU would put this star closer to us than Saturn!
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#105 [Permalink] Posted on 8th March 2014 00:19
I didn't post the link due to some other contents and banners. (although they change from time to time)

I'm just fascinated by the Magnitude of these wonders and hope that other can see the glory of Allah's creation.

But MashaAllah, you are very well versed in this field. Alhumdulillah.
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