rhamphotheca:

Behold the first geological map of Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon

by Lauren Davis

Four hundred years ago, Galileo Galilei observed Ganymede in orbit around Jupiter. This week, a team of planetary scientists unveiled the first global geological map of our solar system’s largest moon.

Using images obtained by NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft and the Galileo orbiter, a team led by Geoffrey Collins of Wheaton College pieced together a mosaic image of the planet, giving us our first complete image of the geological features of the satellite. Above, you can see the moon centered at 200 west longitude. The darker areas represent the very old and heavily cratered region of Ganymede, while the lighter areas are somewhat younger regions marked with grooves and ridges…

(read more: io9)   (… and a 2nd look.)

images: NASA-JPL

2,467 notes

Slowly in Prayer Matthew Lippman

To be thankful for the Starbucks lady, Lucy,
who is pissed at me for asking too many questions
about my damn phone app
is one thing.
To be thankful for my wife plastering my face to the bathroom floor
with pancake batter
for missing the bus
is another thing.
I tried to be thankful for my eyes this morning
even though one of them is filled with puss
and the other with marigold juice.
Marigold juice is the stuff that comes from the flower
when you put it between your palms and rub, slowly in prayer,
even though nothing comes out.
It’s the imagined juice of God,
the thing you can’t see when you are not being thankful.
I try to be thankful for the lack of energy that is my laziness
and my lonely best friend with no wife and children
knowing I am as lonely as he
with one wife and two daughters.
Sometimes we travel five minutes to the pier in Red Hook
and it takes hours in our loneliness to know, in our thankfulness,
that if we held hands it’d be a quiet romance for the ages.
I’ll admit, I’m thankful for Justin Timberlake
because he’s better than Beethoven
and my friend Aaron
who lived in the woods with an axe and never used it once.
I try hard to forget love,
to abandon love,
so that one day I will actually be able to love.
Until then, I am thankful that Lucy wanted to spit in my coffee,
or imagined that she did,
and thanked her profusely
for showing me which buttons to push
and how to do it, with just the right amount of pressure,
the whole tips of all my fingers dancing like stars
through the blackness
of a mocha latte, black.

Our Daily Becoming Adam Clay

Like animals moving daily
through the same open field,
it should be easier to distinguish
light from dark, fabrications

from memory, rain on a sliver
of grass from dew appearing
overnight. In these moments
of desperation, a sentence

serves as a halo, the moon
hidden so the stars eclipse
our daily becoming. You think
it should be easier to define

one’s path, but with the clouds
gathering around our feet,
there’s no sense in retracing
where we’ve been or where

your tired body will carry you.
Eventually the birds become
confused and inevitable. Even our
infinite knowledge of the forecast

might make us more vulnerable
than we would be in drawn-out
ignorance. To the sun
all weeds eventually rise up.

thenewenlightenmentage:

Astrophile: Wrinkles reveal Mercury’s rapid slimming
Object: Mercury’s many wrinklesSource: A cooling, crumpling crust
Mercury just wanted to look its best. As the years rolled by the planet was losing the fire of its youth, but it was also slimming down, shedding a few pesky kilometres from its round, rocky body. Then the wrinkles started to sprout…
When the solar system formed about 4.6 billion years ago, Mercury was a hot ball of molten material. The tiny planet cooled quickly, shrinking in size and causing its relatively thin crust to crumple up. The shrinking seems to have slowed down after about a billion years, but the grey, pockmarked world we see today is crisscrossed by steep crustal ridges that reveal the period of rapid contraction.
Continue Reading

thenewenlightenmentage:

Astrophile: Wrinkles reveal Mercury’s rapid slimming

Object: Mercury’s many wrinkles
Source: A cooling, crumpling crust

Mercury just wanted to look its best. As the years rolled by the planet was losing the fire of its youth, but it was also slimming down, shedding a few pesky kilometres from its round, rocky body. Then the wrinkles started to sprout…

When the solar system formed about 4.6 billion years ago, Mercury was a hot ball of molten material. The tiny planet cooled quickly, shrinking in size and causing its relatively thin crust to crumple up. The shrinking seems to have slowed down after about a billion years, but the grey, pockmarked world we see today is crisscrossed by steep crustal ridges that reveal the period of rapid contraction.

Continue Reading

36 notes

Spirits of the Dead Edgar Allan Poe

Thy soul shall find itself alone
‘Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone;
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.
Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness—for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.
The night, though clear, shall frown,
And the stars shall not look down
From their high thrones in the Heaven
With light like hope to mortals given,
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever.
Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
Now are visions ne’er to vanish;
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more, like dew-drop from the grass.
The breeze, the breath of God, is still,
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token.
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!

1 note

Suffering the Unattainable David Dodd Lee

Large sea turtles and some whales
will outlive us, water a manifestation of wind in

   another dimension.
I had to use the shovel to hack at the wood, had to grab

a hatchet, down deep in the hole. The oak pitched around
like a ship’s mast, or I was no longer alive; perhaps I was yet

    to be
all over again, though I kept recalling your name. The verdurous roots.

spaceplasma:

July 16, 1969: The Earth photographed by the Apollo 11 crew on their first day in orbit.
Image credit: NASA

spaceplasma:

July 16, 1969: The Earth photographed by the Apollo 11 crew on their first day in orbit.

Image credit: NASA

50,385 notes

quadranopia:

Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis
This lung disease is caused by the prolonged inhalation of coal dust, often seen in miners. 

quadranopia:

Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis

This lung disease is caused by the prolonged inhalation of coal dust, often seen in miners. 

4,057 notes

Like Him by Aaron Smith

I’m almost forty and just understanding my father 
doesn’t like me. At thirteen I quit basketball, the next year
refused to hunt, I knew he was disappointed, but never 
thought he didn’t have to like me 
to love me. No girls. Never learned 
to drive a stick. Chose the kitchen and mom 
while he went to the woods with friends who had sons 
like he wanted. He tried fishing—a rod and reel 
under the tree one Christmas. Years I tried
talking deeper, acting tougher 
when we were together. Last summer 
I went with him to buy a tractor. 
In case he needs help, Mom said. He didn’t look at me 
as he and the sales guy tied the wheels to the trailer, perfect
boy-scout knots. Why do I sometimes wish I could be a man 
who cares about cars and football, who carries a pocketknife 
and needs it? It was January when he screamed: I’m not 
a student, don’t talk down to me! I yelled: You’re not 
   smart enough
to be one! I learned to fight like his father, like him, like men:
the meanest guy wins, don’t ever apologize.

moments-in-spacetime:

The Spaceship of the Imagination explores the solar system on Cosmos.

1,379 notes

neurosciencestuff:

Inherited Alzheimer’s damage greater decades before symptoms appear



The progression of Alzheimer’s may slow once symptoms appear and do significant damage, according to a study investigating an inherited form of the disease.



In a paper published in the prestigious journal Science Translational Medicine, Professor Colin Masters from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and University of Melbourne – and colleagues in the UK and US – have found rapid neuronal damage begins 10 to 20 years before symptoms appear.
“As part of this research we have observed other changes in the brain that occur when symptoms begin to appear. There is actually a slowing of the neurodegeneration,” said Professor Masters.Autosomal-dominant Alzheimer’s affects families with a genetic mutation, predisposing them to the crippling disease. These families provide crucial insight into the development of Alzheimer’s because they can be identified years before symptoms develop. The information gleaned from this group will also influence treatment offered to those living with the more common age-related version. Only about one per cent of those with Alzheimer’s have the genetic type of the disease.
The next part of the study involves a clinical trial. Using a range of imaging techniques (MRI and PET) and analysis of blood and cerebrospinal fluid, individuals from the US, UK and Australia will be observed as they trial new drugs to test their safety, side effects and changes within the brain.
 “As part of an international study, family members are invited to be part of a trial in which two experimental drugs are offered many years before symptoms appear,” Prof Masters says. “It’s going to be very interesting to see how clinical intervention affects this group of patients in the decades before symptoms appear.”
The Florey is looking to recruit more participants in the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) study. Those who either know they have a genetic mutation that causes autosomal-dominant Alzheimer’s or who don’t know their genetic status but have a parent or sibling with the mutation are invited to email: dian@florey.edu.au

neurosciencestuff:

Inherited Alzheimer’s damage greater decades before symptoms appear

The progression of Alzheimer’s may slow once symptoms appear and do significant damage, according to a study investigating an inherited form of the disease.

In a paper published in the prestigious journal Science Translational Medicine, Professor Colin Masters from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and University of Melbourne – and colleagues in the UK and US – have found rapid neuronal damage begins 10 to 20 years before symptoms appear.

“As part of this research we have observed other changes in the brain that occur when symptoms begin to appear. There is actually a slowing of the neurodegeneration,” said Professor Masters.
Autosomal-dominant Alzheimer’s affects families with a genetic mutation, predisposing them to the crippling disease. These families provide crucial insight into the development of Alzheimer’s because they can be identified years before symptoms develop. The information gleaned from this group will also influence treatment offered to those living with the more common age-related version. Only about one per cent of those with Alzheimer’s have the genetic type of the disease.

The next part of the study involves a clinical trial. Using a range of imaging techniques (MRI and PET) and analysis of blood and cerebrospinal fluid, individuals from the US, UK and Australia will be observed as they trial new drugs to test their safety, side effects and changes within the brain.

 “As part of an international study, family members are invited to be part of a trial in which two experimental drugs are offered many years before symptoms appear,” Prof Masters says. “It’s going to be very interesting to see how clinical intervention affects this group of patients in the decades before symptoms appear.”

The Florey is looking to recruit more participants in the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) study. Those who either know they have a genetic mutation that causes autosomal-dominant Alzheimer’s or who don’t know their genetic status but have a parent or sibling with the mutation are invited to email: dian@florey.edu.au

366 notes

Because I cannot remember my first kiss by Roger Bonair-Agard

but I remember sitting alone on the brown 
couch in my grandmother’s living room, 
couch whose cushion covers were of velvet 
and the color of dark rust, or dried blood 
—and sewn by the tailor from up the block, 
the same one who made me my first light blue 
suit two years earlier 
And I sat there running my hands back 
and forth 
over the short smooth hairs of the fabric 
and understanding what touch meant 
for the first time—not touch, the word, 
as in don’t touch the hot stove or don’t 
touch your grandfather’s hats but touch 
like Tom Jones was singing it right then 
on the television, with a magic that began 
in his hips, swiveled the word and pushed 
it out through his throat into some concert 
hall somewhere as a two-syllabled sprite, 
so that women moaned syllables back in return. 
 
And I knew I wanted to touch 
like that               because 
Tom Jones stooped down at the edge 
of the stage and a woman from the audience 
in a leopard-print jumpsuit unfurled 
from her front row seat, walked like 
a promise of what I couldn’t quite 
discern up to him and pushed her mouth 
soft and fast up against his mouth 
and they both cooed into his microphone 
mouths still move-moaning together 
like that for an eternity. And then 
Tom Jones unlocks his mouth from hers 
while my breath is still caught 
in my throat, and moves to the other 
end of the stage, and squats there, 
and kisses another woman from the audience 
in a black jumpsuit, while the first 
woman looks on, swaying so slightly 
I almost can’t tell—to the band 
which is still vamping the chorus line— 
mesmerized and taut with expectation as I 
am, palms down on the velvet-haired 
cushions              and Tom pauses, sensing 
the first woman’s impatient almost-mewling 
and says Easy Tiger while he moves his mouth 
against this woman’s, his cheeks working 
like tiny bellows, before returning to the first 
one       and then the bridge or the chorus 
or whatever—at that point the song 
is an afterthought, and I knew there was 
a mission to be fulfilled—Tom Jones 
pointed to the women and said touch 
and the new color TV made everything 
shimmer with promise so my eight year old 
body preened and stretched itself against 
the ecstatic couch and dreamed of what 
tomorrow could be like if I could make 
touch mean so many things, if I could 
make a building or a body coo like this.

3 notes