Science Art: Red laser through irregular glass mj1, by Mariojan Photo, 2007

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A red laser pointer. A chunk of “bad” glass. A blank wall. And here, a remarkable thing.

From the Wikimedia Commons description:

A red laser beam passes through an irregular sheet of glass and produces an image on the wall. Here the caustic effect, normally seen with incoherent light, is combined with interference of laser rays travelling along different lenght paths because of varying refraction angles. Class II laser pointer, 650nm lambda, 0.05m laser to glas…

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Science Art: The Great Telescope, Melbourne Observatory

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Look up!

I’m not sure exactly what the story is behind this image, because it’s part of the bewildering-but-great (and partially mechanically curated) British Library Space & SciFi album.

It’s from the 1889 novel The Conquest of the Moon: a story of the Bayouda, by André Laurie (a pseudonym of Paschal Grousset). There are more (splendid!) illustrations from it here, especially what seems to be an Arabic eclipse. At least they had some camels die on the way, maybe?

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Science Art: De XII Afbeelding (Banana) by Maria Sibylla Merian

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At the end of the 17th century, this was some weird and wild stuff – a fruit that in the Americas, they call “banana” (if I’m reading the Dutch text from Biodiversity Heritage Library’s copy of Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium correctly).

Merian was curious about entomology, and all sorts of other parts of nature, and made some lovely illustrations of insects and the plants they relied on for food. But it was the Insects of Surinam that made her reputation.


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Science Art: Jupiter: A New Point of View, by Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran

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This is a sidelong look at the king of planets from NASA’s Image of the Day gallery.

The NASA folks say:

This striking Jovian vista was created by citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

The tumultuous Great Red Spot is fading from Juno’s view while the dynamic bands of the southern region of Jupiter come into focus. North is to the left of the image, and south is on the right.

If you want t…

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Science Art: Representations of the Braid Groups by Nancy Scherich, overall winner, Dance Your Ph.D. 2017.

“A representation is faithful if it has only one braid in its kernel.”

So, this is doctorate-level mathematics rendered as interpretative dance, and that is not a joke.

It’s really kind of beautiful. There’s even a plot, and a plot twist.

The other 2017 Dance Your Ph.D. winners this year are pretty great, too.

I only recently found out about this annual Science magazine contest, now in its 10th year, from my better half.

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Science Art: Ordo Fecundus (Steinfurz und Flidermaus), 1553

Taken from ‘Icones Animalium Quadruped Viviparorum et Oviparorum’ by Conrad Gessner ( 1516-1565 )Click to embiggen slightly

An owl and a bat, in German and Latin, as presented by Conrad Gessner in Icones Animalium Quadruped Viviparorum et Oviparorum.

This may have been more timely on Halloween, but really, it’s been available since the 16th century. Any day is a good day… or any night is a good night, really… for Owl and Bat.

[via Scientific Illustration]

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Sins of the father?

2 November 2007 grant b 1

Scientific American reports on another look at the origins of violent behavior in children… and rather than blaming food additives, junk TV or general social […]

Old, stinky sex.

30 October 2007 grant b 0

With plants! New Scientist reports on a sordid study of the pulsing, fetid origins of life as scientists plunge into an ancient plant’s hot, stinky […]

The Happy Brain.

29 October 2007 grant b 0

New Scientist discusses a joyous discovery inside our skulls – the bits of the brain responsible for optimism: Elizabeth Phelps at the New York University, […]

HIV defeated?

26 October 2007 grant b 0

Science Daily reports that AIDS might finally be on the way out: With the latest advances in treatment, doctors have discovered that they can successfully […]

China Moon

25 October 2007 grant b 0

Reuters reports that China is taking its next step into space with the Chang’e One lunar orbiter launch this week: The launch of the Chang’e […]

Biofuel from a bush.

24 October 2007 grant b 0

Nature brings news of a potential fuel for tomorrow growing wild in Africa and India. It’s called jatropha, and it could possibly be ideal for […]

SONG: Something in the Air

23 October 2007 grant b 0

SONG: “Something in the Air” [Download] (To download: right-click & “Save As”) ARTIST: grant. Hello there. SOURCE: “Lap dancers ‘in heat’ are the ones to […]

Sputnik DIY

22 October 2007 grant b 0

The BBC has published directions for building your own history-making satellite: In simple terms, the Sputnik satellite was a metal sphere almost 2ft (61cm) in […]

The Ares V

20 October 2007 grant b 0

Behold the mighty propaganda of a mighty space agency! NASA’s (computer generated) video of the very big (notional) Ares V rocket, launching a Very Large […]