Science Art: Ophir Chasma, ESP_062483_1755, by the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory HiRise.

A stereoscopic image of Mars. Or half of a stereo image, at least.Click to embiggen vastly

This is half of a stereoscopic image of the surface of Mars. The other half is here, if you want to line them up, one in each eye, and see the Chasma in all its depth and glory. This is a Martian canyon named after the biblical land where Solomon sent a mission that returned with gold.

I found this via the USGS Astrogeology Planetary Photogrammetry Lab, although the LPL is a University of Arizona project.

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SONG: Under Orion's Arms

SONG: “Under Orion’s Arms”.

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE:, 3 January 2020, “Will Bright Star Betelgeuse Finally Explode? A Look at the Dimming Red Giant in Orion’s Shoulder,” as used in the post “So Orion’s shoulder might be about to explode.

ABSTRACT: I’ve been binge-watching Twin Peaks: The Return over the last month. I guess this is what happens.

Had the organ down, like, after Episode 12. The guitars (so many guitars) followed in short order, with the main, Richard-Hawley m…

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Science Art: Quasi-Poloidal Stellarator (QPS), 2007

Scientific illustration of a fusion reactor, more efficient (and smaller) than a tokamakClick to embiggen

This is a fusion reactor that was never built, a small power plant that takes the principles of a tokamak (use super-heated plasma to generate more power than you put into heating and containing the plasma) and adds different magnetic fields running in different directins to keep the hot stuff inside the donut-shaped body of the thing. A donut shape is technically a “torus,” and “toroidal” means in a circle that follows the shape of the donut. “Poloidal” means in a ring arou…

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Science Art: Pyramid of the Sun and the Moon (1825-1835), by Jean-Frédéric Maximilien de Waldeck

Scientific illustration of Mayan pyramids by Jean-Frédéric Maximilien de Waldeck, 19th century.Click to embiggen

A painting of Mayan pyramids by a mysterious man, described on Public Domain Review (where I found this image) as an “artist, erotic publisher, explorer, and general enigma.” I recommend the article and can’t really do it justice here. Features a Mayan warrior in an unlikely jaguar onesie and a lithograph of a supposed Mayan relief with an elephant’s head in the middle. From an up-to-now unknown population of Central American elephants, one supposes.

Not that he was enti…

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Science Art: From The Helicopters Are Coming, 1944.

A scientific illustration (in the form of a cartoon) depicting the coming age of helicopters, when police will simply be able to hover by your high-rise apartment window to conduct their inquiries. Click to embiggen
This illustration, by Erik Nitsche and Roslyn Welcher, is from a book by CBF Macauley that claims to be “the first complete work ever dedicated to the subject of helicopters.” It’s a curious book, mislabeled on, and seems to be half popular science and half… cutesy humor? At least the illustrations have a kind of droll, James Thurber vibe to them. Obviously, helicopters were going to change life in large ways and small… though maybe not as much as Macauley expe…

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Science Art:Induction Coil Cutaway, 1920

Scientific illustration of an induction coil from The How and Why of Radio Apparatus. It's an old electric image. Antique equipment FTW. Click to embiggen

From Harry Winfield Secor’s The How and Why of Radio Apparatus, from the Experimenter Publishing Co., which you can read here.

Electricity was the theme of my Yule week.

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Sleep Eaters

7 August 2007 grant b 0

Discover lifts the veil on unusual nocturnal behavior – the phenomenon of sleep eating: Except for the trail of crumbs and gooey messes that confront […]


6 August 2007 grant b 0

New Scientist on the dawn of the Humortron 3000: Now Julia Taylor and Lawrence Mazlack of the University of Cincinnati in Ohio have built a […]

Gimme more sugar! MORE!

4 August 2007 grant b 0

Kevin Beck at ScienceBlogs shares some news published on PLoS by researchers from France’s University of Bordeaux, who found that sweet things can be more […]

Robo-Dog Soldiers

2 August 2007 grant b 0

Well, we knew about robot dogs and we’ve heard about robot soldiers – but unless you were paying close attention, you might not have heard […]

The future is now.

31 July 2007 grant b 0

Via Wired’s Danger Room comes news from the US Army’s Future Combat Systems. They need a new name because we’re already living in the future: […]

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 […]