SCIENCE
Astrophotographers Rush to Capture Images of New Supernova 2014J
Category: SCIENCE
Tags: Space
The new supernova in M82 captured by the 32-inch Schulman Telescope (RCOS) at the Mount Lemmon Sky Center in Arizona on January 23, 2014. Credit and copyright: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona


Astrophotographers Rush to Capture Images of New Supernova 2014J
by NANCY ATKINSON on JANUARY 23, 2014

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With news yesterday of the closest confirmed type Ia supernova since the 1800′s, astronomers in the northern hemisphere risked frostbite and hoped for clear skies to try and capture images of the newly named supernova, 2014J.

Others quickly sorted through images taken of the galaxy M82 taken within the last week to see if they managed to capture it unknowingly! Currently at about +11.5 magnitude, you’ll need at least a 4-inch and larger telescope to see SN2014J. But it is not hard to see in these great images here, as the object is the only bright star shining in the galaxy. Of course, not all of us have access to equipment like the 32-inch telescope at the Mount Lemmon Sky Center, but Adam Block stayed up for most of the night and managed to capture this spectacular image of M82 and the supernova.

 
An image of M82 taken on January 19, 2014, before the official announcement of the discovery of the supernova. SN2014J is clearly visible. Credit and copyright: Sarah Hall & Colin Campbell. 

This is one example of astronomers looking back at recent images to see if they captured the supernova without knowing it. This one by Sarah Hall and Colin Campbell was taken on January 19, 2014 between 20:39 to 20:44 UTC with a Newtonian Telescope with prime focus DSLR observation, 8 inch aperture 1000mm focal length (f/5).

The buzz on Twitter has been that the supernova was so bright, that automated supernova search telescopes and programs missed it because it was too bright and they dismissed it as an anomaly.

One of the latest Astronomer Telegrams puts the star going supernova no earlier than January 11 and sometime prior to January 19, but they haven’t narrowed it down any further yet. I’m sure more images will surface to help pinpoint the time.

In the meantime, enjoy these other great shots:
 
 
 
 


Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/108462/astrophotographers-rush-to-capture-images-of-new-supernova-2014j/#ixzz2sS3rWWdI

 

Sugar-powered biobattery has 10 times the energy storage of lithium: Your smartphone might soon run on enzymes
Category: SCIENCE
Tags: Batteries

As you probably know, from sucking down cans of Coke and masticating on candy, sugar — glucose, fructose, sucrose, dextrose — is an excellent source of energy. Biologically speaking, sugar molecules are energy-dense, easy to transport, and cheap to digest. There is a reason why almost every living cell on Earth generates its energy (ATP) from glucose. Now, researchers at Virginia Tech have successfully created a sugar-powered fuel cell that has an energy storage density of 596 amp-hours per kilo — or “one order of magnitude” higher than lithium-ion batteries. This fuel cell is refillable with a solution of maltodextrin, and its only by products are electricity and water. The chief researcher, Y.H. Percival Zhang, says the tech could be commercialized in as soon as three years.

Now, it’s not exactly news that sugar is an excellent energy source. As a culture we’ve probably known about it since before we were Homo sapiens. The problem is, unless you’re a living organism or some kind of incendiary device, extracting that energy is difficult. In nature, an enzymatic pathway is used — a production line of tailor-made enzymes that meddle with the glucose molecules until they become ATP. Because it’s easy enough to produce enzymes in large quantities, researchers have tried to create fuel cells that use artificial “metabolism” to break down glucose into electricity (biobatteries), but it has historically proven very hard to find the right pathway for maximum efficiency and to keep the enzymes in the right place over a long period of time.

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Life On Mars Sim: 'Terraforming' Utah To Grow On Mars | Video
Category: SCIENCE
Tags: Mars Explorers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6KqgipcpuU

Published on 27 Jan 2014

MarsCrew134 is simulating the exploration of Mars in high altitude Utah. Crew scientist Michaela Musilova is adding organisms from Earth's extreme environments to the Utah soil samples to create organics, and important step in terraforming Mars. -- Read more here: http://goo.gl/5Wz3uc

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