joe rojas-burke

science journalist @rojasburke

August 22, 2014 at 3:51pm
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Our solar system is in no way typical of the diversity out there. 

The number of known planets orbiting other stars now stands at more than 200. (The Kepler satellite has identified some 3,000 planet candidates awaiting confirmation).

Some exoplanets are weirdly unlike any in our solar system. The mass of exoplanet HD149026b, for instance, is 20% greater than Saturn but its radius is 22% smaller, which implies that it contains more heavy elements than can be found on all eight of the full-fledged planets circling our sun, according to David S. Spiegel and co-authors.

Some are gas giants similar to Jupiter except they’ve ballooned in size beyond what planetary scientists expected from models of planet formation based on our solar system. 

The first figure compares planets by radius (relative to that of Jupiter) and the rate of energy received from the star they orbit, often 10,000 times greater than the solar energy reaching Earth. 

The second figure compares planets by radius and mass, which ranges from less than Earth’s to more than 10 times that of Jupiter.

  • Colored circles = confirmed exoplanets
  • Small white circles = candidate planets identified by the Kepler mission (KOI)
  • Red stars = the eight planets of our solar system

The figures are from Structure of exoplanets by David S. Spiegel, Jonathan J. Fortney, and Christophe Sotin, PNAS (2014)]

8:02am
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Reblogged from jedavu

jedavu:

Works by Toronto-based illustrator Brandon Celi

(via pricum)

August 21, 2014 at 9:07am
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Manhattan Island viewed from across the Hudson River. I never tire of this view of the city from Hoboken, and it’s been 27 years since I first took it in.

Manhattan Island viewed from across the Hudson River. I never tire of this view of the city from Hoboken, and it’s been 27 years since I first took it in.

8:54am
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A dragonfly that found its unlikely way to a tiny balcony garden in the concrete jungles of Hudson County, NJ.

A dragonfly that found its unlikely way to a tiny balcony garden in the concrete jungles of Hudson County, NJ.

8:26am
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Reblogged from motherboardtv
motherboardtv:

Canada’s Hitchhiking Robot Completed Its Trip Without Getting Murdered

motherboardtv:

Canada’s Hitchhiking Robot Completed Its Trip Without Getting Murdered

(via scienceetfiction)

August 20, 2014 at 7:05am
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A three-legged cat trying to scratch himself with his phantom limb. His name is Isaac.
Apparently this behavior is quite common among cat amputees. 
Source: ElenTheMellon on imgur
 

A three-legged cat trying to scratch himself with his phantom limb. His name is Isaac.

Apparently this behavior is quite common among cat amputees. 

Source: ElenTheMellon on imgur

 

August 19, 2014 at 9:12am
8 notes
Show the world how hot you are: Take selfies in infrared.

Show the world how hot you are: Take selfies in infrared.

August 18, 2014 at 8:30pm
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A vestigial fire escape near Penn Station.

A vestigial fire escape near Penn Station.

7:05pm
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At the Corning Museum of Glass

At the Corning Museum of Glass

August 15, 2014 at 2:35pm
1 note