April 12, 2013
Soviet Era Lander Remains Spotted On Mars – The Daily Orbit
Citizen scientists win again!
Music, me, you , and our minds.
Is social networking not so social after all?
All that and more coming up on the Daily Orbit!
Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.
Citizen scientists have done it again! This time they’ve spotted the remains of a Soviet era Mars lander on the Red Planet’s surface. While following news about NASA’s Curiosity rover through images taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a group of Russian space enthusiasts have potentially found four pieces of hardware from the Soviet Mars 3 mission: the parachute, heat shield, terminal retrorocket and lander. In 1971, the Mars 3 lander became the first to survive a Mars landing long enough to make a transmission; though it ended after only 14 and a half seconds. The leader of the Russian group said he “wanted to attract people’s attention to the fact that Mars exploration today is available to practically anyone.” Congratulations citizen scientists for a job well done. Here’s a little certificate from the Daily Orbit.
“Please don’t stop the music!” Music brings people everywhere together. But did you know there’s a scientific reason for that? Researchers say that music affects different brains in the same way. Using MRI to monitor brain activity of participants listening to unfamiliar classical music, they found that classical music elicits a highly consistent pattern of activity across individuals in several brain structures including those involved in movement planning, memory, and attention; all despite musical preferences. They also found significant activity in the motor-planning centers which suggests that our brains automatically prep to move to the music, and maybe to coordinate us socially. “Dance to the music…” oh!
What might not be coordinating us socially? Ironically, social networking. Have you witnessed a Facebook friend breakup? Well according to a new poll, 76% of Facebook users have, with 78% saying that Facebook is becoming “increasingly hostile.” The poll found that wars waged on Facebook are bleeding into real life and not getting resolved. Eighty-one percent of those polled said the arguments they engaged in online are still unresolved. Researchers say that frankly—we’re more candid on Facebook but remain polite in real life. So they recommend you “check your motives, replace hot words, and agree before you disagree.” Wait! Hector just unfriended me on Facebook!!! Porque Hector? I didn’t do anything!
And checking up on whose unfriending who or whose unfriending you may be dropping your GPA if you’re a student. A new study found that many college students are engaged in some sort of media use nearly half the day. They found freshman women spent almost 12 hours a day tweeting, texting, posting, and engaging in online music and videos…and to no surprise, this high media use was associated with a lower GPA; including more missed classes, lower academic confidence, and a lack of sleep. Another study also found that Facebook could be a good predictor of alcohol use and anxiety. Kids! It’s not like us grown-ups allow social networking to affect our work! Right?
And here’s a stimulating study—researchers found that sound stimulation during sleep can enhance memory. They exposed participants to sounds that were in sync with the brain’s slow oscillation rhythms—which are critical for retaining memories—during slow wave sleep. Afterward, they found that participants were better able to remember word associations they had learned the evening before. Besides boosting memory, they said this research could help provided better sleep! Sounds like a win-win to me!
Well that’s all for the Daily Orbit! Let’s bond orbiters! Play that funky music DJ!