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The Bat Cave EAR

Evie is an aeorspace engineer and will blog about current events in various fields including but not limited to: Space, Astronomy, Genetics, Biology, Green Energy, Neuroscience, Physics, Quantum Physics, Evolution, Environmental issues, Engineering.. Pretty much anything and everything that catches her eye. Stay tuned! Thoughts, comments, requests – always welcomed!

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Recent Comments

What a waist of time. Nothing new for curious people. I can tell the guy is into video gaming a lot. Good graphics and scientific language. Using just that, does not mean it is going to be a good m. . .Read More
Jan 11, 2014, 12:19am

Everyone keeps taking about it but no one does nothing. This mission to clear ll the space junk would cost billions but this should be something that needs to be undertaken by all the countries col. . .Read More
Jul 22, 2013, 5:41am

  Buddha had revealed in his teaching more than 2500 years ago that the sense of self is an illusion created by the mind. many buddhist suttas which recorded the teachings of the B. . .Read More
Jul 11, 2013, 12:14am

Just wanted to say "Great article!" even though nobody's been here for quite awhile. Got here by googling lagrange points upon reading of the deactivation of the Herschel space telescope. Interesti. . .Read More
Jun 18, 2013, 11:15am

Give them credit for putting ideas out there to ponder. This is a complex universe and it will not be explained and defined in a three-word sentence.  GROW UP ,LISTEN AND LEARN !!Read More
Mar 18, 2013, 11:47am
Awesome Stuff
Views: 2946 | Comments: 0
SpaceX has had an incredible mission. They completed the preliminary maneuvers near the ISS, and were cleared to go ahead and get close enough to the station for the robotic arm to be able to grab hold of it. This was all successfully done, and the Dragon Capsule was brought in to dock with the station, making history, by being the first ever commercial company to both fly to space and reenter Earth's atmosphere, and berth with the ISS. The mission will come to an end in several days, when the Dragon Capsule will be released from ISS, returned to Earth for a splash down landing in the ocean, and be recovered for reuse.

Success!!! The Falcon 9 launched successfully at 3:44am EST May 22nd. All systems were nominal, stage separation completed nominally, Solar arrays deployed successfully, and the Dragon capsule is now making its way toward the International Space Station. Stay tuned for more mission updates!

Way to go SpaceX!! This is the beginning of a new commercial era in space exploration.

*** Update - The launch was aborted at T-0.5 seconds, due to high chamber pressure in engine #5. Next launch window is May 22nd at 3:44am EST, and another window the following day, May 23rd 3:22am EST. Keep you posted on changes. ***

. . . More
Views: 9675 | Comments: 12
Last by Evie on Nov 10, 2011, 6:08pm
It would seem as though the end of an era is upon us. Tomorrow, will be the last scheduled launch of the NASA Space Shuttle. Or at least, that's what the current plan says. Never know with that Florida weather. Regardless of the date, there is only one mission left in the old bird. After which, NASA will recall it's vehicles, and the shuttle will be retired. For good.

I'm not typically one who cares much about so called historical events. However, I do find myself thinking: 'Awww.. no more shuttle.. Awwww'. Yes, there are 2 'Aww's in there. I'm as surprised as you are.

Being the space nut that I am, I spent much of my childhood day dreaming about what it would be like to take a ride up to space in that thing. So much so, that I in fact became the first person to land on the newly repaved landing strip runway at Cape Canaveral.

It was back in the early 80's. My family and I flew to FL to spend the summer with my grandma. During our stay, we took a road trip up to the Cape, and the eager little toddler that I was got on a facility tour bus with the big kids. My parents came along too. The bus took us all around the complex. No I don't remember any of this, but I do h . . . More
Views: 186391 | Comments: 137
Last by Neuron on Jan 11, 2014, 12:19am
Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to speak with Chiren Boumaaza, aka Athene, who you may know as the extravagant internet celebrity, and professional gamer.

If you haven't heard of him, he's a record holder in World of Warcraft and online poker, and plays the main character in a series of videos on a popular youtube channel with well over 340,000 subscribers.

'Athene' is known for crashing gaming servers, with the aid of his massive army of followers, who just love to be part of the controversy and trouble Athene is so well known for.

Over the past year, we haven't heard much from him, and it seemed as though he had fallen off the grid. Recently Chiren broke his silence, and announced that his disappearance was due to being very busy, conducting new research in the fields of quantum mechanics, general and special relativity, and neuroscience. He continued to say that this research is culminating in significant new discoveries that will be presented in a documentary named 'Athene's Theory of Everything'. This was definitely an unexpected turn, and caused quite a stir, and some confusion within his fan . . . More
Views: 1822 | Comments: 6
Last by Dov Henis on Feb 05, 2013, 2:46pm
Back in the early 1900's, one of the many cool things Einstein found through his theory of General Relativity, was the theoretical existence of these things called Gravitational Waves.

As their name suggests they are predicted to be ripples, or fluctuations in the curvature of Space-Time, that propagate the way waves would, emanating from a source such as a black hole, neutron star, binary star, or any other ridiculously super massive object.

Apparently, Space-Time itself is curved, and becomes more or less curved depending upon the objects held in it. The more massive the object held in space-time is, the more curvature develops there.

When a highly massive object moves or gets accelerated, it affects that Space-Time significantly enough to cause these ripples or waves. The energy the waves carry and transport is called Gravitational Radiation, which travels at the speed of light and loses strength as it propagates, but never stops or even slows down.

Although there has yet to be direct observation of these waves, there is plenty of data to support their existence in the form of indirect observation. Like the observations of orbits of binary pulsars, that seem to be losing orbital energy at the exact rate that General Relativity predicted they w . . . More
Views: 2876 | Comments: 0

Hello boys and girls!

Today's post is going to veer a bit from the usual science-y topics, and will be dedicated to increasing the world's awesome quotient.

You may be thinking to yourself, 'Wow! Increasing world AWESOME sounds like a great idea! But, how can we do that?'

Well I am glad you asked!

As it turns out, there is a large group of people who has been actively doing just that since 2007.

You may be familiar with the online phenomenon that is the Nerd Fighters, of Nerd Fighteria, under the leadership of the VlogBrothers.

The VlogBrothers is a YouTube channel, created by the brothers Hank and John Green, for the purpose of keeping in touch with each other. If you have some time, you should really check out their videos, 'cause they are very entertaining, and you will definitely learn something. Their correspondence videos were so awesome to begin with that over time they got more and more people following them.

These followers are now kno . . . More
Views: 1515 | Comments: 7
Last by Dov Henis on Jun 24, 2012, 1:05am
Last week we heard that researchers from Imperial college London, have published a study dealing with newly engineered metamaterials. These materials allow for light hitting them to be sped up or slowed down. Doing this, creates a zone with effectively no light, rendering that zone, and everything in it, hidden from sight, or invisible. The press release can be found here.

Our vision sensors, or eyes if you like, seem to work by collecting light rays from the environment. Waves of light hit objects, bounce off those objects and get picked up by the eye. The light then enters the eye through the cornea, passes through the pupil, and hits the retina. The picture there is received upside down, and it's up to the brain to take over and flip it around, do some filtering, put it all into context and perspective, and hopefully not pull too many tricks on us, as it often does..

Basically one could argue that it makes no difference how accurate your vision sensors are, as it still all depends on the programming and functionality of the brain, to interpret the data and make sense . . . More
Views: 11657 | Comments: 8
Last by Mike VH on Jun 18, 2013, 11:15am
Physics is cool.

It turns out that in the big bad dark vastness of the ever expanding, contracting, and moving universe, you can find certain spots that are always at rest.

Well I mean that’s all relative. They’re at rest relative to more massive bodies orbiting in their vicinity.

Say you’ve got your Sun and you’ve got your Earth, and you’re a much much smaller object, like a satellite, or space telescope. Well as it turns out, there are 5 points in space, not too far from both those bodies, which if placed at, you would appear to be holding your position steady with respect to both those large bodies.

This means, that even though you’re in motion, the Sun is in motion, the Earth is in motion, and the rest of the galaxy is hurling toward the unknown, you will still be in very good company. Your Earth and your Sun will literally always be there. In the same exact (relative) spots.

I think that is pretty damn cool.

What you're seeing here is an animated sketch of the relative motion of the bodies in question. The big yellow ball in the middle is the Sun, the blue small one is the Earth, and the labeled green points are the 'parking spots'. This pic is from Wikipedia, . . . More
Views: 14630 | Comments: 9
Last by Silwin Pereira on Jul 22, 2013, 5:41am

You may be asking yourself what is this space junk I speak of, and why am I bothering you with this.. Well, I am glad you asked!

Space Junk is pretty much anything that is left over, discarded, or no longer functioning, that happens to orbit our little globe here.

It can be debris from a space collision, left over parts from rockets, satellites, launch vehicles. Any object that is left adrift, floating in space in our immediate vicinity.

As you may be aware, the growing problem of space junk is becoming more real with every new launch that occurs.

You see, every single satellite system, shuttle mission, or top secret government experiment that is launched into space, requires (at this point) rockets to get there.

As they ascend and maneuver themselves into their target position, they shed large amounts of solid components that have served their purpose, and are no longer required. These can be burned out motor cases, or smaller connecting rings that held the separate stages of the rockets together, or even nuts and bolts that have been ejected.

These shed components, they don’t go anywhere.. they just hang out in orbit for a really really long time, till they eventually come crashing down to Earth. Usually burning up and dis . . . More
Views: 8661 | Comments: 4
Last by Evie on Nov 01, 2010, 9:06am is a great idea. It allows anyone and everyone to help out with as little or as much as they choose.

Basically school teachers in the US who find themselves in need, make a request, explaining exactly what they are missing from their classroom. They tell you what it is they need that would be of tremendous help, they explain what they need it for. And how it's gonna help the kids learn, and love science, possibly just as much as you do!

If you can spare a few minutes and a couple of bucks, you can be responsible for making a kid fall in love with science. A love that can last a lifetime.

You the donor, get to pick exactly where your money goes. There are literally thousands of 'projects' you can choose from. I am sure if you browse through the list, at least one will be near and dear to your heart. And perhaps you will choose to donate a few dollars to the cause, in place of your morning coffee.

As a huge bonus, this month, under 'Science bloggers for students', all us science bloggers are trying to get as many people involved as possible. You see, for every dollar you donate, HP will match it, and we'll get double the impact and double the help!

So what do you say? Can you throw a couple of . . . More
Views: 18201 | Comments: 13
Last by anonymous on Apr 22, 2012, 3:48pm

Did you hear the news? It would appear our astronomers have found a planet named Gliese 581g, not too far from us, that according to the data, could possibly sustain life as we know it.

Cool!!! This is very exciting! Of course this does not mean they found life on the planet, or that they even have a way to do so, 'cause they don't at the moment. But it does tell us there are other places in this universe that could potentially be not-too-hostile for life as we know it to exist, and possibly for us to explore/relocate to.

The discovery was made by astronomers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington. The scientists used data from the HIRES spectrometer at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, and the HARPS at the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, Chile to come up with this data.

They looked for evidence of 'wobbles' in the movements of stars to locate new planets. If a star were to move unhindered across the night sky, its path or trajectory would be smooth. But if it were to 'wobble' or make a slight off-tra . . . More
Views: 2341 | Comments: 8
Last by katesisco on Jun 01, 2011, 2:12pm
I'm excited about this new finding. Not only because water is a good thing to have in the far reaches of space, but because the new theory of how the water got there came into existence by analyzing new data, and discarding an old theory.

It is so important to remember that everything we think we know about stuff, can be totally turned around when new or additional information becomes available.

Back in 2001, water vapor was discovered in a cloud around a Carbon star named IRC+10216. It is the most studied carbon star to date. A Carbon star has an atmosphere containing more carbon than oxygen. The two elements combine to form carbon monoxide and the reaction continues until all the oxygen is consumed, leaving carbon atoms free to form other carbon compounds. This gives rise to the Carbon star's characteristic red 'sooty' look.

Located roughly 500 light years from Earth, IRC+10216 also known as CW Leonis, is about 4 times as massive as our Sun. Size wise, if placed in the center of our own solar system, it would sprawl out beyond . . . More
Views: 2629 | Comments: 8
Last by Evie on Sep 11, 2010, 3:18pm
Hello boys and girls! Welcome to Flight 101!

I think it’s time we all got on the same page when it comes to understanding how a plane stays in the air.

Those are pretty nifty things, aren’t they? Airplanes? Did you ever wonder how it is they stay up there? Even though they are heavy as hell, and should come crashing down? Well.. No, it’s not magic, and it isn’t big J up in the sky giving a helping hand, it’s not even 'cause of all the people in the various houses of prayer throwing their hands up and chanting.. Nope. It’s actually just physics, geometry, and fluid mechanics at play.

This is a simplified explanation, 'cause it can get pretty messy and heavy on the math, but the concept itself is simple, and I think it’s worth knowing. Plus you will totally be able to impress the person seated near you on your next plane ride. *Note: you should probably avoid using this as a pick up line. Results may vary.

So, how do planes stay in the air? Lift! Lift is what we call the upward force that combats gravity, and keeps the plane afloat in the sea of gaseous molecules that make up our atmosphere. In order for Lift to be produced, the air and the plane must be in motion relative to each other.

Let’s take as an example, a 2D s . . . More
Views: 2535 | Comments: 8
Last by Evie on Aug 17, 2010, 1:58pm

Net Neutrality is a very important issue.

If you’re not familiar with the term, here’s how Wikipedia describes it:

“Internet neutrality is a principle proposed for user access networks participating in the Internet that advocates NO restrictions by Internet Service Providers and governments on content, sites, platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and no restrictions on the modes of communication allowed.

The principle states that if a given user pays for a certain level of Internet access, and another user pays for the same level of access, then the two users should be able to connect to each other at the subscribed level of access.”

Net Neutrality is all about safeguarding your freedom to choose what sites you visit, without being restricted or hindered. You should have the ability to check out both CNN and MSN, you should be able to watch videos on YouTube, and Vimeo. That sounds fair.

But what if for instance, and this is JUST an example, CNN were to strike a deal with an internet service provider and say hey, if we pay you some extra money, would you provide higher bandwidth to CNN sites and lower bandwidth to our competitors . . . More
Views: 986 | Comments: 5
Last by robert on May 06, 2011, 2:00am

It's a bird! It's a plane!! No wait... It's a car!

No, I’m not kidding, it really is a car that flies. I don’t know how I missed this, but apparently this concept has been around for a few years now.

A group of MIT engineers got together and started a company called Terrafugia who manufactures this car-plane hybrid.

Cool name. As you probably guessed, it’s derived from the Latin words ‘Terra’ meaning Earth or ground, and ‘Fugia’ meaning escape.

What you’re looking at is the Terrafugia Transition. As the name suggests, it actually does transition between plane mode and car mode. In under 30 seconds no less! The transition itself is just the flip of a switch, which commands the wings to unfold and lock into place, or fold back up allowing you to drive away.

The car plane runs on regular gas, available at any gas station. How convenient! It even gets really good gas mileage in car mode, about 35 mpg. (Just like my pretty little civic did..)

This is a neat promo vid they made, kinda cheesy at times, but provides some good info.
. . . More
Views: 943 | Comments: 2
Last by Evie on Sep 07, 2010, 4:38pm
This isn’t new news, but I find it super cool none the less. I’m a big fan of the strawberry, and also a big fan of space travel. Putting those two together sounds like a good time waiting to happen!

The problem of food in space has been on the minds of many for a long time. You can only carry a limited amount of supplies with you, and currently, there really is no way to replenish said supplies other than waiting on another shipment from Earth. If we want to go out there, explore, and potentially take over the universe (but in a nice way), we need to figure out how to sustain ourselves in space, without relying on incoming shipments from our cozy blue planet. A first step in that direction would be growing our own space crops. There are many problems to tackle when dealing with crop growing in space. You've got your zero g issues, need of nutritious soil, limited water supply, limited space for a garden patch, sunshine requirements for your plants to live on, lack of bugs for pollination, and the list goes on.

Researchers working on a NASA funded project carried out at Purdue University, have come up with a healthy yummy sweet and nutritious space crop candidate – The Seascape Strawberry. This particular variety is very low maintenance, and hence would requi . . . More
Views: 1454 | Comments: 2
Last by Evie on Aug 09, 2010, 10:28am
Imagine if everyone on the planet cared about science, knew about science, helped figure out new things, and partook in advancing humanity. A dream? Maybe.

This week, a lucky group of 7th graders did just that! They found a formerly unknown cave on Mars! On MARS! That’s right, a group of 13 yr olds working on a science project at Evergreen Middle School, located in Cottonwood, CA, made this really cool discovery. They got this opportunity thanks to an amazing program called the Mars Student Imaging Program (MSIP). The program allows kids to come up with an interesting geological question about the red planet, and try and answer it. Their science teacher Dennis Mitchell said "The students developed a research project focused on finding the most common locations of lava tubes on Mars." With their question in mind, the kids looked through over 200 pictures taken by the Thermal Emission Imaging system (THEMIS) aboard NASA’s Mars Odyssey Orbiter. They then selected a target location, and got to command the imaging system themselves to take pictures of the Pavonis Mons volcano and surrounding area.

According to Glen Cushing, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist "This pit is certainly new to us, and it is only the second one known to be associated with Pavonis . . . More