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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The 62-mile-high club

30 July 2007 grant b 0

Discover raises a slippery space question… as if NASA didn’t have enough scandal to deal with lately: When missions lasted no more than a few […]

My Mechanical Mom

28 July 2007 grant b 0

From New Scientist comes news of the womb-on-a-chip: Fujii’s team has created a “lab on a chip” that is 2 millimetres across and 0.5 millimetres […]

The Amygdaloids

26 July 2007 grant b 0

From Salon comes assurance that we are not alone: All right, the occasion wasn’t a concert but a graduation ceremony for 10,000 students in the […]

Pleasure and placebo

25 July 2007 grant b 0

Nature plumbs the depths of one of the most mysterious processes in medicine. Researchers have found that the placebo effect – when “fake” medicine creates […]

The Noble Bonobo

25 July 2007 grant b 0

The New Yorker, of all publications, has a fascinating Ian Parker article on the natural history of the bonobo – the sexy primate that’s supposed […]

Ice Volcanoes of Charon!

24 July 2007 grant b 0

Nature brings new observations of Ice Volcanoes in Outer Space. Cook speculates that liquid water deep within Charon’s core is mixed with ammonia, which acts […]

SONG: A World Without Us.

23 July 2007 grant b 3

SONG: “A World Without Us” [Download] (To download: right-click & “Save As”) ARTIST: grant. I’m the guy who put this questionable site up on the […]

Schizophrenia in Paradise

19 July 2007 grant b 0

Science News reports on Trouble in Paradise – how feelings of “social defeat” could be responsible for triggering schizophrenia, which might explain why the otherwise […]

Weather in China

16 July 2007 grant b 0

On the one hand: China had more wars in cold weather Most of the armed conflicts in eastern China over the past 1,000 years were […]