Month: February 2015

Comet Lovejoy photobombs Dark Energy Camera (world’s most powerful camera)

Scientists operating the world’s most power digital camera, the 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera, were “shocked” to find Comet Lovejoy ambling through its field of view this week. Luckily for us however, the photobomb has provided us with a stunning view of Comet Lovejoy. On December 27, 2014 the Dark Energy Survey was scanning the southern sky when Comet Lovejoy pass through the camera’s view. At the time the picture was taken, the comet was 51 million miles away from earth (the Dark Energy Camera is sensitive to light from as far as 8 billion light years away). Given that the comet is only about 3 miles wide, it’s stunning to think something that small could be photographed when it is that far away from us! Each of

Optical illusion – the Blue and Black Dress (or the white and gold dress?)

You may find this surprising but to some crazy people, the dress above appears to be black and blue. To other, more rational, sane people, the dress appears to be white and gold. The intense debate over the color of the White and Gold Dress has taken the Internet by storm as families and friends argue over the true color of this unusual dress. Actually, the dress itself is not the trick – it’s the lighting. Reeko has talked about sight and color before, how the light reflects off the object you “see”, enters the eye through the lens, and hits the retina in the back of the eye causing signals to be sent to the visual cortex in the brain. Your mind then interprets the color

NASA plans to explorer the moons of Saturn with… a submarine?

Titan, one of Saturn’s 60 something moons, is covered with lakes and seas of liquid methane which means landing a spaceship on Titan would be quite difficult. But landing a spaceship *under* the methane seas of Titan… well, that’s an entirely new set of problems – and NASA intends to figure out how to do it. To explore Titan’s undersea world, NASA proposes development of a submersible autonomous vehicle – in other words, a remote-controlled submarine.  By 2040, they would like to send this submarine to Titan’s largest northern sea, Kraken Mare, which is comparable in size to the Great Lakes in the United States. The submarine will investigate Titan’s ocean to discover and determine its chemical composition, how its currents flow, and what the seabed

The amazing Snapdragon Flower Seed Pod looks like a human skull

They’re beautiful when alive but once they shrivel up and die, things get a bit creepy. [Editor note: Reeko said under no circumstances were we to put any politically-incorrect dead people jokes here.]  Meet the Snapdragon flower seed pod which bears the stark appearance of a human skull (or a human face screaming in agony). The Snapdragon flower (aka Antirrhinum or dragon flower) can be found in many household gardens and gets its name from its flower which resembles a dragon’s head (squeeze the snapdragon flower and the “dragon” mouth will open and close making it “talk”). Yet once the flower has died it leaves behind a seed pod with the macabre appearance of a human head. The Snapdragons name (Antirrhinum) comes from the Greek words “anti,”

Scientists discover black hole that is 12 billion times larger than the Sun

Researchers in China have discovered a massive black hole that is 12 billion times the size of the sun. 12 billion times as big as our gigantic Sun! For reference, a billion is a thousand millions or 1 with nine zeroes after it. If you counted every second of your life, you’d only live a bit longer than 2 billion SECONDS. A billion pennies stacked on top of each other would reach 870 miles into the sky. The black hole they found is larger than any of its age ever found. A black hole is a dense region of space that has collapsed in on itself in a way that nothing can escape – not even light. This one was given the typical goofy astronomer name

Join the movement – stop the abuse of robot dogs!

  Regular visitors to Reeko’s Mad Scientist Lab know Reeko loves robots. In fact, he’s pretty much fanatical about Boston Robotics’ four-legged dog robots (fanatical enough that some of us are beginning to worry). Check out the amazing video below which features a public service announcement call-to-action to stop the abuse of robot dogs.  Join the movement! #stoprobotdogabuse   Funny video–stop robot dog abuse   Weighing in at 160 pounds, these wonderful robot dogs are able to run, climb stairs, jog next to its owner, and even recover its balance after being kicked! The robotic dog uses cameras and sensors to help it navigate over rough, uneven terrain. It can recognize humans and other robotic dogs and we think, but are not totally sure, that it can even pee on