skunkbear:

Scientists at MIT have developed a new simulation that traces 13 billion years of cosmic evolution. They start the simulation shortly after the big bang with a region of space much smaller than the universe (a mere 350 million light years across).  Still, it’s big enough to follow the forces that helped create the galaxies we see today, and correctly predict the gas and metal content of those galaxies.

At first, we see dark matter clustering due to the force of gravity (first two GIFs). Then we see visible matter — blue for cool clouds of gas where galaxies form, red for more violent explosive galaxies (second two GIFs).

Super massive blackholes form, superheating the material around them, causing bright white explosions that enrich the space between galaxies with warm but sparse gas (fifth GIF).

Different elements (represented by different colors in the sixth GIF) are spread through the universe.

We arrive at a distribution of dark matter that looks similar to the one we see in our universe today (seventh GIF).

The simulation is so complex it would take two thousand years to render on a single desktop. And it’s kinda beautiful.

Image Credit: MIT and Nature Video

zerostatereflex:

Zoom Into a Microchip

It is absolutely crazy how tiny we can make things today.

What we’re seeing here is a standard microchip, older though in principle the same as modern cell phone chip.

At the micro level we’re dealing with this comparison:

"A micron is 1 millionth of a meter, 10-6 or 10-3 of a millimeter. Very tiny. It is abbreviated with the greek letter for M, or the mu."

It takes 100,000 Microns to equal about 4 inches and toward the end of the set we’re in the 1 micron range.

science-junkie:

Every Asteroid Discovered Since 1980
From the far, far away to the startlingly close, there have been over 600,000 asteroids identified in the inner solar system since 1980. This visualization tracks them all.
The video is the work of Scott Manley. Manley included the path of the near-by asteroids that have been identified starting 34 years ago and carrying on to this year. The asteroids that cross our own orbit are in red, the ones that just get close are in yellow, and the ones even further out are all in green.
Source: io9.com

science-junkie:

Every Asteroid Discovered Since 1980

From the far, far away to the startlingly close, there have been over 600,000 asteroids identified in the inner solar system since 1980. This visualization tracks them all.

The video is the work of Scott Manley. Manley included the path of the near-by asteroids that have been identified starting 34 years ago and carrying on to this year. The asteroids that cross our own orbit are in red, the ones that just get close are in yellow, and the ones even further out are all in green.

Source: io9.com

txchnologist:

A Thought-Provoking Toy

by Michael Keller

The spinning top above illustrates an unusual asymmetry where it flips over if spun in a clockwise motion and stays upright when spun counterclockwise. This behavior is a result of chirality, a property in which something displays handedness. When the an object or system is chiral, its mirror images can’t be exactly mapped to each other—like your right and left hands. 

Tadashi Tokieda, director of studies in mathematics at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, investigates and invents toys like the one above that exhibit interesting behaviors. He’s also a fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, where he presented what he calls the world’s first chiral tippy top. See the video with this and other toys that display chirality below.

Read More

themidnightclub:

Ulysses bobbing up and down, day in, day out, for over 30 years.
Keet blowing endless bubbles in a corner against the wall.
An unnamed orca beaches itself over and over again.
Kalia beaches herself and violently thrashes, repeatedly.
Orcas bob motionlessly at the surface of the water.
And sad, abused Morgan, chews on the walls of her tank and breaks her teeth.

These are all blatant examples of stereotypy behavior in orcas.

"[Stereotypy] are repetitive behaviors in captive animals, particularly those given inadequate mental stimulation. These behaviors may be maladaptive, involving self-injury or reduced reproductive success, and in laboratory animals can confound behavioral research”

Circus tricks are not natural ‘behaviors’, and stereotypy behavior is unhealthy. But these are the real behaviors captive orcas express. Are they healthy?