James Webb Telescope: The largest science project in US government history

Precision? The Webb can detect heat generated by a bumblebee as far away as the Moon.

James Webb Space Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope as it will appear in orbit. Photo: NASA

There is much information about the Universe that is invisible even to the Hubble Space Telescope—and that’s where NASA’s much hyped, two-decades-in-the-making, $8.8 billion-plus James Webb Telescope comes in. The Webb Telescope being built by NASA and its partners is a more direct successor to the Spitzer Telescope rather than the Hubble. In short, the Webb will open up a whole new world of infrared astronomy when it launches in 2018. The telescope will be able to capture images of the very first stars and galaxies, formed only 200 million years after the Big Bang.

Source: Ars Technic

Bodily Heatmaps Of Emotions

Bodily Heatmaps Of Emotions
Bodily topography of basic (Upper) and nonbasic (Lower) emotions associated with words. The body maps show regions whose activation increased (warm colors) or decreased (cool colors) when feeling each emotion.

Emotions are often felt in the body, and somatosensory feedback has been proposed to trigger conscious emotional experiences. The heatmaps reveal bodily sensations associated with different emotions using a unique topographical self-report method. The participants were shown two silhouettes of bodies alongside emotional words, stories, movies, or facial expressions. They were asked to color the bodily regions whose activity they felt increasing or decreasing while viewing each stimulus. Different emotions were consistently associated with statistically separable bodily sensation maps across experiments. These maps were concordant across West European and East Asian samples.

The full reaserch can be found at PNAS

Scientists Warn Of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries

A massive boulder on a coastal ridge in North Eleuthera, the Bahamas. A new research paper claims it was likely moved there by powerful storms during the last warm period of Earth history, 120,000 years ago, and warns that such stormy conditions could recur because of human emissions of greenhouse gases. Credit Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post, via Getty Images
A massive boulder on a coastal ridge in North Eleuthera, the Bahamas. A new research paper claims it was likely moved there by powerful storms during the last warm period of Earth history, 120,000 years ago, and warns that such stormy conditions could recur because of human emissions of greenhouse gases. Credit Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post, via Getty Images

An abrupt climate shift could lead to sea levels high enough to begin drowning coastal cities later this century, new research suggests, renewing a roiling debate.

Climate scientists, including ex-NASA scientist James Hansen, warns that our climate could dramatically change within decades, not centuries.

Virtually all climate scientists agree with Dr. Hansen and his co-authors that society is not moving fast enough to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, posing grave risks. The basic claim of the paper is that by burning fossil fuels at a prodigious pace and pouring heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, humanity is about to provoke an abrupt climate shift.

NASA’s Kepler Catches Early Flash of an Exploding Star

Shock Breakout

The brilliant flash of an exploding star’s shockwave — what astronomers call the “shock breakout” — has been captured for the first time in visible light by NASA’s planet-hunter, the Kepler space telescope.

An international science team led by Peter Garnavich, an astrophysics professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, analyzed light captured by Kepler every 30 minutes over a three-year period from 500 distant galaxies, searching some 50 trillion stars. They were hunting for signs of massive stellar death explosions known as supernovae.
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