April 22, 2013

Seismic Activity Measured From Superstorm Sandy – The Daily Orbit

Superstorm Sandy was more of a shocker than you know.

What happens when you ring out a washcloth in space?

What company is looking to mind-control for the future?

And celebrating Planet Earth! On today’s Daily Orbit!

Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.

It’s Earth Day so we want to give a shout out to our lovely planet and all great resources it provides us by revisiting our official “Earth Song Remix” once again. Shake it shake shake it…

And superstorm Sandy really shook things up last fall in more ways than one. As the storm devastated the East Coast, it also sent seismometers up and down. Scientists detected seismic waves created by both the ocean waves hitting the East Coast and from waves smashing into each other, where energy penetrated downward through the water column to the sea floor. I’m sure you’re saying, wait aren’t seismic waves created by earthquakes? Yes, but scientists explained that also storms like Sandy, mining, mine collapses, tornadoes, meteoric impacts, construction, and even traffic create these waves. They added that their seismographic data of Hurricane Sandy suggests that future storms may be able to be tracked through seismology. How cool!

And from water on Earth to water in space—what happens when you try to ring out a washcloth on the ISS? Well, this [ video clip ]. The Canadian Space Agency had a contest asking students to design a simple experiment that astronauts could perform in space with items already on board the ISS. And the contest winner…“washcloth experiment.” This two student team hypothesized that water on a washcloth would not drip in microgravity but would remain on the wash cloth. They were right. When the astronaut tried to ring out the water it stayed around the washcloth.  The astronaut told the students “You are the space explorers of the future and the sky is no longer the limit.”

And a perfect example of this space exploration potential is the Hubble Telescope which is celebrating 23 years in orbit. To commemorate the anniversary, NASA and ESA released this amazing image of the Horsehead Nebula. The nebula also known as Barnard 33 sits in the constellation of Orion about 1,300 light years away and is formed from a collapsing interstellar cloud of material. The image was taken by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and is a composite of individual images made at wavelengths of 70 microns, 160 microns, and 250 microns. The infrared light view helps to show features usually obscured by the nebula’s inner regions. Happy 23rd Hubble! Does anyone else think the nebula looks like a giant tongue? Hmmm…I guess it’s all what you see in your mind.

And Samsung is counting on that. In collaboration with researchers at UT Dallas, Samsung has begun testing for mobile devices using mind-control. Although in the very, very early stages of testing, researchers want to use your thoughts for mobile functions like to launch an application, select someone from a contact list, a song from a playlist, or to turn the device on or off. Samsung has no immediate plans to offer a brain-controlled phone however. Well, if it did happen it would give us an excuse to be even more like a vegetable…

But vegetables are good! And even better when you’re growing them yourself according to a new study that looked at the benefits of urban community gardening. Researchers found that people who participate in community gardening have a significantly lower body mass index and chance of being overweight than their neighbors who aren’t involved. Men were 62% less likely to be overweight and women 46%. It’s not clear what exactly the correlation is between the community gardens and health, but researchers say that it “could be of interest to urban planners, public health officials and others focused on designing new neighborhoods and revitalizing old ones.” So you city-slickers grab a shovel and get to digging—for your health!

Well that’s all for today’s Daily Orbit. Go out and do something green today to celebrate Planet Earth!

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