Spectacular, powerful, and sometimes deadly, lightning is one of the most common weather phenomena. Recent satellite data suggests that there are more than 3 million lightning flashes worldwide per day, or about 40 flashes per second on average. This includes flashes within or between clouds as well as flashes extending from cloud to ground. Lightning has also been observed on the planets Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. Yet despite its frequent occurrence, lightning is still not completely understood.
There are three primary types of lightning, defined by what is at the “ends” of a flash channel. They are intracloud (IC), which occurs within a single thundercloud unit; cloud to cloud (CC), which starts and ends between two different “functional” thundercloud units; and cloud to ground, that primarily originates in the thundercloud and terminates on an Earth surface, but may also occur in the reverse direction, that is ground to cloud.
A few months ago, physicist Harold White stunned the aeronautics world when he announced that he and his team at NASA had begun work on the development of a faster-than-light warp drive. His proposed design, an ingenious re-imagining of an Alcubierre Drive, may eventually result in an engine that can transport a spacecraft to the nearest star in a matter of weeks — and all without violating Einstein’s law of relativity.
dataSTICKIES are the next generation of data portability. They are graphene-based flash drives that replace USB pen drives and hard discs.
USB-based drives can be inconvenient to use as the positioning and insertion of the drive in the USB slot needs to be done precisely. When the slots are at the rear of a device, as is the case for many desktop computers, this task becomes even more troublesome.
dataSTICKIES solve this problem by carrying data like a stack of sticky-back notes. Each of the dataSTICKIES can be simply peeled from the stack and stuck anywhere on the optical data transfer surface (ODTS), which is a panel that can be attached to the front surface of devices like computer screens, televisions, music systems, and so on. The special conductive adhesive that sticks the dataSTICKIES to the ODTS is the medium that transfers the data. This special low-tack, pressure-sensitive adhesive is capable of being reused without leaving marks like a repositionable note. When the dataSTICKIES are being read by the device, their edges light up.
Nichelle Nichols talks to a group of students at NASA Mission Control in 1977 and visits the Lewis Research center that same year.
In the mid-1970s, Nichols has given a speech that criticized NASA for not selecting women and people of color as astronaut candidates. The agency’s response was to hire her to find and recruit talented minorities and women, and she did exactly that. In her tenure as a recruiter, she helped the agency bring five women, three African American men and an Asian American male on board.
the first gif shows one full year of full moons between may 2005 and april 2006. its size at perigee (when nearest to us) and apogee (farthest from us) differs by more than 10%. the wobble, due to the moon’s elliptical orbit and slight axial tilt and inclination, is know as lunar libration. (this is not to be confused with lunar libation, which is fancy speak for moonshine.) the second gif shows the moon’s phase and libration during october of 2007.