Tag Archives: Science

Prawn Nebula Visible in all its Dusty Glory

The Prawn Nebula, located some 6000 light-years from Earth, is a massive nebula (roughly 250 light-years wide, covering an area of sky equivalent to four times that of the full Moon) filled with gas and dust. Despite its size, it has often been overlooked by observers due to its faintness and because most of its light is emitted at wavelengths where the human eye is not sensitive, specifically in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum.

Well, the Prawn Nebula languishes in indiscernibility no longer. Check out the glorious photo above of the Prawn Nebula, taken by the VLT Survey Telescope at the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO’s) Paranal Observatory in Chile and enhanced by amateur astronomer Martin Pugh, who apparently was able to improve the quality and color of the images using some very long camera exposures.

For more information on the project, check out the ESO’s press release.

Image credit: ESO/Martin Pugh, published under the Creative Commons license (CC BY 3.0), via http://www.eso.org.

Where to find Science News

I’ve made it clear that I’m interested in science, and that one of the things I’ll be doing around here is posting articles related to science. But that begs a question: Where are some good places to get science news?

While many mainstream news sites will have subsections for science news, like NBC News – Science, this is what I think of as mass-market science, or science news for people who don’t really care much about science. I’m not trying to insult the quality of the reporting, but the coverage is very limited in scope.

Instead, I get much of my science news from some of the following outlets:

Popular Science: An old one but a good one. Popular Science features articles on everything from cars and gadgets to energy science to robots, space and futurism. Their articles are usually well written, engaging, and easily digestible for the general public. They even let you view the vast majority of articles in their print magazine for free online.

Scientific American: Another old one but good one. There’s tons of content available on the Scientific American website, not just news, but the news is good. A lot of it is gathered and shared in collaboration with other magazines, like Nature and The Daily Climate, but it’s good to be able to access it all in one place.

Science: Probably the most well-known, well-respected science journal of them all. It’s a researcher’s dream to publish in Science. I don’t find the user interface of their news page quite as slick as some of the others, but the content is good.

Science Daily: I can’t say that I support or endorse Science Daily, as their web content is usually lifted verbatim (some might say plagiarized) directly from press releases distributed on university and research center websites. With that said, however, if you’re looking for some one-stop shopping for web science news and you don’t mind their suspect business model, you could do worse.

io9: Ok, fair warning here. io9 is not purely a science site. It’s a Gawker media blog that covers science, space, and futurism as well as science fiction and fantasy culture, TV, and movies, not to mention comics and other assorted geeky stuff. With that said, I find it enormously entertaining, and when they do feature science content, it’s quite good and different from the stuff you might find at any of the above sites. I definitely recommend it.

That’s about it for me. What sites do you guys like to visit for your science fix?