Happy weekend everyone, I’ll be out of here for the weekend catching up on some much-needed sleep. Be sure to check out this fascinating article on how we smell (it’s not just with our noses) and I’ll see you all back here Monday!
This photo was created from 100 separate 30-second-exposure photos, composited together to make the star trail that “spins” around Polaris, the North Star.
Depicted is BOPPS, a high-altitude, stratospheric balloon, which launced last month and spent a few hours aloft to study a number of objects in our solar system, including an Oort cloud comet.
(Image / Text Credit: NASA/JHUAPL)
Happy Thursday! Like you, this spotted hyena is very excited the weekend is coming up. In the meantime, enjoy a few facts about this hearty mammal from Africa.
- Although hyenas look like dogs, they’re actually more closely related to cats.
- Spotted hyenas are the largest of three hyena species — the other two being brown and striped hyenas.
- The animals live in large groups called clans that can include up to 80 members. Clans are led by females.
- Clans often split into smaller cells, which reintegrate later using ceremonial one-on-one greetings.
- Hyena etiquette requires the less-dominant animal initiate the greeting.
- Spotted hyenas make a variety of sounds including “laughing.”
(Text Credit: Spotted Hyena Facts, National Geographic / Spotted Hyenas Don’t Deserve Their Bad Rap)
Good morning! In this photo from 1984, Ed Wolfe takes a temperature measurement on a sluggish channel eddy at Mt. Kilauea in Hawaii.
(Image Credit: P.W. Lipman / U.S. Geological Survey)
If you’re driving through Connecticut, you’ve probably noticed a lot of colors on your commute. Fall foliage has been on full display these last few weeks, with reds, oranges, and yellows covering trees all over New England. You may even have spent your weekend raking leaves up. But have you ever stopped to consider why leaves change color? Or how they fall off trees?
Kevin Burgio remembered the first time he saw monk parakeets. He was out bird watching “and I ran across this puddle that had like five or six monk parakeets drinking from it,” he said. “I’m like, ‘What the hell is that?’ Did someone lose like five parrots? I didn’t know there were parrots here.”
It’s the weekend! Hope you enjoy it. We’ll be back next week with stories about drones, monk parakeets, and other cool stuff.
“The amount of support that I’ve had from the community here in Connecticut about being put on this list has been absolutely outstanding. I really feel the warmth of the community. That’s meant a lot to me.”
What the heck is this? Last week, we asked you about this curiosity found in the Connecticut River. Today, the jury is back. Eric Schultz, an associate professor of ecology and biology at the University of Connecticut, says it’s a bryozoan.
Likely called pectinatella magnifica, this colonial organism (made up of individual animals called zooids), can either attach itself to other river objects or float freely. Very cool animal and a great photo. Thanks for the submission!
This slice-through of a supermassive star shows its inner core converting helium into oxygen. Astrophysicists at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Minnesota now believe certain non-rotating primordial stars (weighing between 55,000 and 56,000 times the mass of our Sun) may have ended their lives as supernovae, which completely unbound the stars, leaving no remnant black holes. This allowed them to seed early space with heavier elements (like carbon, oxygen, neon, magnesium, and silicon) that made up later stars, solar systems, and galaxies.
This four image montage of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was captured by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft. At the time, the spacecraft was about 16 miles from the center of the comet. The jets seen in the center are a product of ices sublimating and gases escaping from inside the nucleus. The ESA plans to land a rover on the comet in November.
(Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM)