Newly discovered beetle species named after astronaut, Leonardo Dicaprio


This video says about itself:

BREAKING! Leonardo DiCaprio awarded an impressive insect honor

1 May 2018

Meet Grouvellinus leonardodicaprioi.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Bornean riffe beetle now known as Grouvellinus andrekuipersi

There was already a tulip named after him and a planetoid, but since today astronaut André Kuipers is also the proud name giver of a new beetle species; the Grouvellinus andrekuipersi.

The beetle was discovered during an expedition in Borneo, organized by biologist Menno Schilthuizen. During the same expedition another beetle was found, named after the American actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Vulnerable

De Groot wrote a competition for an original name for the beetle and biology student Auke-Florian Hiemstra suggested naming the insect after André Kuipers because of his great commitment to the environment.

“As an astronaut, Kuipers saw the earth from space and experienced the “Overview Effect“. He suddenly saw how vulnerable the earth is and realized that we should be careful with our planet.”

Kuipers received the scientific publication in Zookeys from Hiemstra, in which the beetle is described with its new name.

Riffe beetle

The Grouvellinus andrekuipersi is a real riffe beetle. It was found in an area in Borneo with a lot of clean and fresh water. The beetles live on pieces of wood in streams and mainly eat the bacteria that grow on the wood. The Grouvellinus andrekuipersi probably only occurs in Borneo.

It is not the first time that animals and insects are named after celebrities. A [pistol] shrimp with bright pink scissors and a good sense of drumming was named after the British rock band Pink Floyd and a fly with heavy arms after Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Donald Trump was also named after an animal species. The moth Neopalpa donaldtrumpi has a yellow-orange ‘haircut’ that is very similar to that of the American president.

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Mapping icebergs in Greenland


This video from the USA says about itself:

18 April 2018

How is mapping an iceberg similar to mapping an asteroid? They are actually much the same kind of a mission: they both involve using an autonomous vehicle in an extreme environment to map and explore a remote moving object.

Taking on the task of mapping icebergs, engineers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute developed the iceberg autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). During an expedition to Greenland in 2017, the research team successfully tested new control technologies that would allow the vehicle to safely travel parallel to complex vertical terrain (i.e., an iceberg). To do this the engineers outfitted the AUV with obstacle-avoidance sonars, aligned in the horizontal plane, to make sure the vehicle didn’t collide with anything. The vehicle also had a second sonar on it, aligned in the vertical plane, looking out the left side of the vehicle. This vertical sonar collected mapping data revealing what the target surface looked like.

The team ran several successful repeat missions on three different icebergs.

Video producer: Nancy Barr
Interview videographer: Todd Walsh
Video editor: Kyra Schlining
Music: http://taketones.com/track/digital-love (License N: TT000270144)
Illustration: Kelly Lance

For more information, see the MBARI 2017 Annual Report.

Celebrities’ names now on Pluto’s moon Charon


The International Astronomical Union selected for features on Pluto's moon Charon these 12 names out of a pool of selections that included characters from Lord of the Rings and Marvel comics

The International Astronomical Union selected for features on Pluto’s moon Charon these 12 names out of a pool of selections that included characters from Lord of the Rings and Marvel comics.

By Dan Garisto, 7:00am, April 20, 2018:

Celebrity names now mark places on Pluto’s moon Charon

Somewhere on the distant moon is a mountain with Stanley Kubrick’s name on it

Pluto’s largest moon, long seen as mysterious smudge at the outer reaches of our solar system, was revealed in 2015 closeup images to be pocked with craters, mountains and steep-sided depressions called chasmas. Now, 12 of those topographical features have names.

Charon’s six most prominent craters were named for fictional explorers, including Dorothy who visited the fantastical land of Oz, time traveler Revati from the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata, and Nemo for the captain of the ship Nautilus in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

Three chasmas received nautically themed names — Argo for the Greek ship sailed by Jason to retrieve the Golden Fleece, Caleuche for the mythological ghost ship said to travel off the Chilean coast, and Manjet for one of Egyptian sun god Ra’s vessels. The names for Charon’s mountains honor three real-life luminaries: film director Stanley Kubrick and science fiction writers Octavia E. Butler and Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

Before the International Astronomical Union announced the names April 11, scientists referred to Charon’s features with nicknames like “brown mountain” or “yellow mountain,” says Rita Schulz, a planetary scientist who heads the union’s Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature. In contrast, the new names have an appeal that “engages [the] public in science”, she says. And that, she adds, “is quite good.”

Astronomical latest news update


This 2015 video is called Black Holes Explained – From Birth to Death.

Astronomers can’t figure out why some black holes got so big so fast. These behemoths defy expectations of how quickly black holes feed. By Lisa Grossman, 7:00am, March 16, 2018.

Artificial Intelligence bests humans at mapping the moon. A computer algorithm found about 6,000 lunar craters that hadn’t been counted before. By Maria Temming, 3:53pm, March 15, 2018.

Dwarf planet Ceres may store underground brine that still gushes up today. Waterlogged minerals and changing ice add to evidence that Ceres is geologically active. By Lisa Grossman, 6:38pm, March 14, 2018.

New Horizons’ next target has been dubbed Ultima Thule. The name was chosen from about 34,000 submissions. By Mike Denison, 3:52pm, March 14, 2018.

British physicist Stephen Hawking, RIP


This video says about itself:

The Theory of Everything – Official Trailer (Universal Pictures) HD

The Theory of Everything is the story of the most brilliant and celebrated physicist of our time, Stephen Hawking, and Jane Wilde the arts student he fell in love with whilst studying at Cambridge in the 1960s. Little was expected from Stephen Hawking, a bright but shiftless student of cosmology, given just two years to live following the diagnosis of a fatal illness at 21 years of age.

He became galvanized, however, by the love of fellow Cambridge student, Jane Wilde, and he went on to be called the successor to Einstein, as well as a husband and father to their three children. Over the course of their marriage as Stephen’s body collapsed and his academic renown soared, fault lines were exposed that tested the lineaments of their relationship and dramatically altered the course of both of their lives.

From Reuters news agency today:

LONDON (Reuters) – Stephen Hawking, who sought to explain some of the most complicated questions of life while working under the shadow of a likely premature death, has died at 76.

* His children Lucy, Robert and Tim:

“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world. He once said: ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”

* Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web:

“We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit. Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking.”

* Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge:

“Professor Hawking was a unique individual who will be remembered with warmth and affection not only in Cambridge but all over the world. His exceptional contributions to scientific knowledge and the popularization of science and mathematics have left an indelible legacy. His character was an inspiration to millions. He will be much missed.”

In 2016, a United States American Christian religious fundamentalist threatened to murder Stephen Hawking for not being a religious fundamentalist, but an atheist.

Stephen Hawking campaigned against Tony Blair’s Trident nuclear arms plans; continued by Blair‘s Conservative successors Cameron and May.

Hawking maintained a generally left-wing political stance throughout his life, declaring that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a “war crime”: here.

This 2014 video is about the book by Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time.

This video says about itself:

Memorable scene from Star Trek TNG, Season 6, Episode 26 The Descent (part 1). Lieutenant Commander Data is playing poker with the most famous physics scientists of our recent history, Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. Simulated on the holo-deck.

TRIBUTES ARE POURING IN FOR LEGENDARY PHYSICIST STEPHEN HAWKING Who died from complications due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at the age of 76. [HuffPost]

A brief history of Hawking’s scientific legacy. Professor Stephen Hawking changed the way we understand the universe and leaves a legacy of theory ranging from black holes to the quantum effect on time. By Professor Raymond R. Volkas, University of Melbourne.

Humans living on Mars, where?


This 26 Febuary 2018 video, from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, says about itself:

Suitable landing sites on Mars to start a colony, if you asked a plant

Selecting the perfect landing site for the establishment of a Mars colony will be essential for its success. Growing crops to feed the astronauts will be one of the key tasks on Mars.

Scientists of Wageningen University & Research have been working on how to grow crops on Mars for five years now. For the growth of plant species, even if it is going to be indoors, there are more and less favourable places.

Using as much as possible of the available resources on Mars including regolith and ice seems wise. Wieger Wamelink and student Line Schug therefore developed an optimal Mars wide landing map, seen from a plant’s perspective. Some of the ideal landing places coincide with past and planned landing sites, however some do not.

Lunar eclipse information video


This video says about itself:

Lunar Eclipse 101 | National Geographic

30 January 2018

Nicknamed “blood moon”, some ancient cultures regarded a total lunar eclipse as an ominous event. Today, this celestial phenomenon generates excitement and wonder. Unlike a solar eclipse, which may require travel to see, total lunar eclipses can often be observed from the entire nighttime-half of the Earth. Learn what causes a lunar eclipse and how it gains its crimson coloring.