The Daily Flash -Eco, Space, Tech (5/25)

25migrate-span-articleLarge Flying 7,000 Miles – No Stops

In 1976, the biologist Robert E. Gill Jr. came to the southern coast of Alaska to survey the birds preparing for their migrations for the winter. One species in particular, wading birds called bar-tailed godwits, puzzled him deeply. They were too fat. At the time, scientists knew that bar-tailed godwits spend their winters in places like New Zealand and Australia. To get there, most researchers assumed, the birds took a series of flights down through Asia, stopping along the way to rest and eat. After all, they were land birds, not sea birds that could dive for food in the ocean. But in Alaska, Mr. Gill observed, the bar-tailed godwits were feasting on clams and worms as if they were not going to be able to eat for a very long time. “I wondered, why is that bird putting on that much fat?” he said.

Darkmatter09032 Does Dark Matter or Modified Gravity Explain the Universe?

The problem is that galaxies rotate so fast that the matter they contain ought to fly off into space. Similarly, clusters of galaxies do not seem to contain enough mass to bind them together and so ought to fly apart. Since this manifestly doesn't happen, some force must be holding these masses in place. Astrophysicists have put forward two explanations. The first is that these galaxies are filled with unseen mass and this so-called dark matter provides the extra gravitational tug. The second is that gravity is stronger at these intergalactic scales and so does the job by itself, an idea called modified Newtonian dynamics or MOND. Perhaps they're both right.

Venus_vmc Why Do Winds of Venus Blow Faster than Planet Rotates?

Akatsuki, the first extraterrestrial weather satellite, began its journey to Venus this morning after a successful launch from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan. The spacecraft should help answer one of the great mysteries of the Solar System: why the winds on Venus blow faster than the planet itself rotates. Venus rotates once every 243 days but it takes a mere 4 days for clouds in the Venusian atmosphere to go all the way round the planet at a whopping 200 metres per second. This phenomenon is known as superrotation. Astrophysicists have long speculated that the difference in temperature between the day and the night side of Venus at 300K and 100K respectively, is what drives these winds. But there's a problem with this calculation.

3661_028 Global warming's influence on El Nino still unknown

The climate of the Pacific region will undergo significant changes as atmospheric temperatures rise but scientists can not yet identify the influence it will have on the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) weather phenomenon.

500x_google-tv-froyo-2 Google: The Next 6 Months of Android Will "Blow Your Mind"

Android 2.2 is out, and it's pretty nice! But what's next for Android? A better keyboard? More sexy? And how exactly does Google decide what goes into each version of Android anyway? Let's ask Lead Android Andy Rubin. The highlights, if you don't want to read the interview.

Leaf_550x315 YeZ concept car sucks in C02, exhales oxygen

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation's YeZ, a concept car, behaves like a plant, converting carbon dioxide from the air via photosynthesis into oxygen that is sent back into the atmosphere. 

YeZ uses photoelectric conversion from solar panels on the roof, wind power conversion via small wind turbines in the wheels, and carbon dioxide absorption and conversion through the bodywork. 


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