If you have a wet washcloth here on el planeta Tierra and you want to get rid of a lot of the moisture in a very short amount of time, you can simply wring it and much of the water will drip away.
But have you ever wondered what would happen if you did that in a microgravity environment? WHO HASN’T!?
Well, a couple of Canadian high school students wondered. And so they asked the Canadian Space Agency, which asked Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who is currently aboard the International Space Station. And here’s what happened:
Chris Hadfield, by the way, is one of the coolest astronauts around right now. This isn’t the first question he’s answered via YouTube. He periodically uploads answers to various questions as part of SPACE.com’s YouTube Channel. Scroll through and you’ll see some here and there among the uploads. WATCH ALL OF THEM.
He also has an excellent twitter feed that he uses live from the ISS. Because SCIENCE IS THE BEST THING EVER. He periodically tweets photos of some amazing things. Like this:
A few years ago some researchers from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders did a study where they hooked some jazz musicians into fMRI machines and had them do some musical improvisation to see what their brains looked like when they were improvising as opposed to when they were playing rehearsed, learned musics. The results were interesting.
Interesting enough that it caught the attention of hip-hop artist Mike Eagle and hip-hop “enthusiast and producer” Daniel Rizik-Baer1. They contacted one of the researchers with an interesting proposal: the original study had been about improvising music. What about improvising lyrics?
Soon twelve hip-hop freestylers including Mike Eagle were hooked up (one at a time) to fMRI machines to see what happened in their brains when they went off-script and started improvising rhyming lyrics.
Researcher Ho Ming Chow uses an fMRI machine to scan the brain of hip-hop artist Mike Eagle. Daniel Rizik-Baer
THIS IS SCIENCE! And it’s completely awexome. There are tons of ramifications for studies like this; seeing how the creative process happens in the brain can lead to all sorts of applications for developmental disabilities and brain damage.
This is an amazing film of the landing of the Mars Curiosity, from the expulsion of the heat shield until touchdown, from the point of view of the Mars Curiosity itself!
From the YouTube notes:
This is a full-resolution version of the NASA Curiosity rover descent to Mars, taken by the MARDI descent imager. As of August 20, all but a dozen 1600 x1200 frames have been uploaded from the rover, and those missing were interpolated using thumbnail data. The result was applied a heavy noise reduction, color balance, and sharpening for best visibility.
Since this is a series of still frames that have been compiled into a film, the video is about three times as fast as the landing actually took. And you can see the heat shield thud into the Martian surface!
On a completely unrelated note, I’m off to an Open Mic night right now! It’s at the Olive Branch Café inside the Hidden Treasures Antique Mall, across the street from where the Mandolin Café used to be.
In about three hours something awexome is (hopefully) going to happen. NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover is going to touch down on Mars at approximately 10:30 PM Pacific Standard Time. If everything goes right. NASA made this pretty funny video about just how frikkin’ difficult this mission actually is. It’s called “Seven Minutes of Terror.”
You can watch live coverage (14 minutes delayed from the Red Planet) of the landing at http://www.ustream.tv/NASAJPL — you best believe that I’ll be watching!
Also, it was pretty cloudy for most of the day, and though it did clear up at the end I never bothered to make a pinhole camera or anything like that. I don’t like being out in direct sunlight too much, even if it is dimmed by 0.1% because a speck is in front of it.
I hope everyone got to experience it to some degree, whether live-streaming it or in person. It’s SCIENCE. Read more about it.