North America to scale on various planets

The vast majority of objects out there in the universe are pretty big…moons, planets, stars, galaxies, so it can be difficult sometimes to get your head round their actual size.
With the huge continent of North America dwarfed by Jupiter’s storms, the universe seems an even larger place. In the other direction, Mars looks so much more human-scaled.
This is how North America looks like in relation to Jupiter, one of the giant planets:
planet size-USA
But this is what it lookslike on Mars:
planet size-USA Mars
Read more about it here:
http://astronomycentral.co.uk/astronomy-the-size-of-stuff/

Philea robot lands on comet

Philae_landing

Congratulations, European Space Agency, you’ve made history! After departing from the Rosetta orbiter this morning, touchdown of the robot named Philae onto Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was confirmed at 16:05 GMT. This is a momentous occasion for space exploration as it marks the first time that a spacecraft has ever landed on the surface of a comet.

The Rosetta mission was dreamt up in the ‘80s, but it was not until 1993 that the $1.6 billion (€1.3 billion) project was approved and construction of the crafts could be initiated. That means the probes were fabricated using some systems that were undoubtedly invented in the 1980s, making the mission’s accomplishments even more remarkable.

Rosetta’s rocky voyage began in 2004 after two ditched launch attempts. It took a decade to reach the comet in August this year, a journey that covered six billion kilometers (3.75 billion miles) of our inner solar system.

More on IFL Science.

The grumpiest frog ever!

blackrainfrog

This frog with a perpetual frown isn’t actually grumpy — that’s just how the Black Rain Frog looks! This grouchy-faced amphibian has the most intimidating face around.

The Black Rain Frog is a burrowing amphibian that is native to the southern coast of Africa. One characteristic possessed by this frog is that they burrow to create tunnels up to 150 mm deep.

This frog has a special defense mechanism in case of attack. When someone scares him or tries to grab him, he puffs himself up with air to make his body more rotund.  So, he ends up looking like a grumpy little balloon…

Freezing a hand in hot ice

In this video a man sticks his hand into a jar full of molten sodium acetate and has it crystallize with his hand inside.

This works because the substance is not “ice” as in water, but a different substance called sodium acetate trihydrate. Normally solid sodium acetate was melted into a liquid that was then supercooled to below its melting point. In this state, adding nucleation sites, like the crystals on the man’s hand, rapidly causes the rest of the sodium acetate to crystallize.

via ▶ Hand in Hot Ice – YouTube.

Girl with autism tells her story

Megan-autism story“My name is Meghan.
We didn’t find out that I had autism until I was 18 years old. My parents always suspected that there was something different about me. I wasn’t social with kids my own age, I had an obsession with science (particularly astronomy), was very uncomfortable around lots of people, and loud noises easily overwhelmed me. I grew up thinking that I was a freak because none of the kids liked me. I had a difficult time socializing properly, and I had absolutely no friends. The only people who ever showed up to my birthday parties were family members.

I was bullied my entire life. Kids told me that I was weird, a freak, that I deserved to die, etc. When I was 12 I attempted suicide because I was so distressed over the bullying. I continued to wonder why I didn’t fit in no matter what I tried. I would study the popular kids and try to learn how to act like them, but it would never work. This continued through high school. During my senior year, my parents and I found out that I had a form of high functioning autism. That changed everything. I was resistant to the diagnosis at first, because I was hoping that my issues were just a phase I was going through, but the diagnosis meant that I would live with these struggles for my entire life.

I am now a junior in college studying forensic science. I have managed to accept my diagnosis and have been able to make some amazing friends who don’t care that I have autism. I am on track to achieve my dream of being a scientist. My autism does not keep me from being intelligent or pursuing a career in science. In fact, it makes my brain better equipped for handling scientific thought.

If I could tell young kids anything, it would be that autism can’t stop you from achieving your dreams. It only makes you more special and passionate about your dream. Keep on dreaming and working hard and you will achieve!”
Meghan
Cedarville, OH

If you want to read more stories of hope from people with autism click here: The autism site – stories of hope

What happens when you drink milk after Coke…

when you drink a little soda after drinking a glass of milk, you’ll be disgusted to see what happens in your stomach. Ugh. So gross!
First, you start out with simple ingredients: Coke and Milk.
Here only a small amount of milk is poured into the Coke bottle.
Coke-milk1
Now we let it sit for 6 hours.
coke-milk-2
And after waiting we’re left with this.
The top clearly looks like gross dirty water.
coke-milk-3
And the bottom looks like the dirty sand at the beach.
coke-milk-4
This is what happens in your stomach when you drink Coke after drinking milk…
Isn’t it disgusting? Maybe you should stop drinking Coke!