STAY CURIOUS

March 5th, 2017

Black Panther- a look into one of the rarest seen animals

Posted by Patrick Rafferty in Biology

March 5th, 2017

THE SCIENCE BEHIND HOW PARROTS CAN TALK

Posted by Patrick Rafferty in Biology

harry_scarlet_macaw20130205-22903-1cs5f77-0_960xParrots are a bird that everyone has heard about. But a bird that I think is overlooked for its amazing ability to repeat back the sound waves it hears. It has a talent that is not to be matched by any other living organism we know about. And the science behind how this bird, with a brain much smaller than ours, can pull off this amazing feature.

We can thank evolution for this being possible. Scientists acknowledge that the parrot is one of the most understudied field. We are still trying to  find out new things about the parrot and how it brains allows it to perform its purpose in nature .

The evolution of the parrot can date all the way back to 29 million years ago. Obviously 29 million years ago there wasn’t a bird that looked or acted like the bird we see today. But we can see the shell of its skull has evolved and has been around for quite some time. And what is inside the brain is what makes this bird special.

parrott

Evolution a big overlook of thousands of years of natural selection. Where the one that is rightly fit to survive in its environment will survive. Which is what makes these species unique. We see tons of animals in the same animal family that are different due to natural selection. And this bird and how its brain evolved is the best example to show this method. Scientists say the reason their brain survived and grew under revolution is because it allows the birds to communicate in the wild with each other by repeating each other for mating reasons, to mark territory, and pass along alarms between each other.

The most recent explanation from scientists on how these birds did this through evolution is by the split of its brain into duplicates of itself. Their “song nuclei “in their brain is the name for the part of the brain in the mimic bird. The parts in this brain has neurons that are inter dependent that allows them to learn quickly, process, and then mimic the sound that it hears. But the exact area in the brain that this process happens is still remained a mystery under scientific research. We see differences in the brain but it is still not confirmed how it works. But what scientists have noticed that there is a gene that is found often in songbirds that is found in the splitting of the brain.

parrot

Parrots have a similar brain and gene structure, called the “core”,to the hummingbird, but the “shell” of the parrot is unique. I hope through technology in the future we will be able to find more out about these birds, and how the flow of their special brain they contain. In a couple of months from now we will find out something significant things about how the brain works in this bird, as some scientific research is being more intensely studied to find out about a bird everyone assumes they know, but no one knows about it and how it performs.

 

February 26th, 2017

Aliens?

Posted by Patrick Rafferty in Astronomy, Biology, Science and Technology

starssss

In my last post I made a statement that aliens will be real due to humans traveling and living on another planet. And in this post I’ll make an argument to why I think aliens totally are real already.

Space is the most fascinating thing ever. Something we as a race cannot rap our minds around. And we can prove this by the thousands of questions almost everyone has. How big is Space? Does it ever end? Are there other living things out there? If yes, what do they look like? These are questions I don’t know if we will ever find out. But I have a good argument to answer the question: Are there aliens?

starssThink about how big space is. I don’t think anyone can fully grasp this idea until you make a trip to Alaska or somewhere where you can see stars the clearest. But even if you just look up and see stars, you still can get a pretty good idea that it is huge. Space is where you can find another dimension, a place where it defies gravity, and allows you to go back in time. There are planets that if you were to visit it for 7 minutes, and come back to earth, 7 years would of passed. Because of gravity and the orbit it takes, it changes time.

If you were to look up at the sky right now and see a star, that does not mean that star is still in existence. Space is so big that light travels slowly through it, which is why we humans measure distance in space in lightyears. And that star you are looking at could have exploded millions and millions of years ago. Possibly even before dinosaurs were alive. But the light of the planet is just now reaching earth for our eyes to see. That just helps you put in perspective how big space is.

stars

All of the stars we see are suns, and suns have planets orbiting around them. And if you were to see the stars in Alaska, you would be able to see millions of stars, or suns. Thinking about that, and how small earth is compared to everything else that exists, it is hard to say that you think earth is the only plannet with a living thing on it. I am even talking about bacteria, if you found bacteria on another planet, that is an alien, it is a living thing. So out of the billions of stars out there, there is bound to be aliens.

Scientists put the number of stars that we can physically observe with our level of technology right now at 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. And we humans love to play the odds game. And if you are saying that that Earth is the only planet with a living thing at the odds of 1/1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, that is just a game of odds that I don’t think will go in your favor. Scientists just recently found 7 “Earthlike” planets only 39 lightyears away from earth. To us that is extremely far, but in the scale of the galaxy that makes this solar system our neighbor.

So I just want you to be open to that argument that aliens are existent, and allow your mind to stay open and stay curious, for Earth is just a grain of sand in the all of the beaches on earth combined and more!

starsss

February 26th, 2017

Mars

Posted by Patrick Rafferty in Astronomy, Science and Technology

mars-isro-mission-india-1

So last night I was walking home from a prior commitment and was amazed when I look up at the stars. It mainly was amazing in the western part of the sky. There were stars everywhere, the thing that caught my attention the most was you could easily see Mars. Now this time around seeing Mars was different. You could clearly see it shinning brighter than others and you could see a little bit of the red around the bright twinkle. So in that case I am going to write about Mars and the organization that is preparing to create a human civilization there by the year 2032 .

mars 1

Mars One is a mission to habitat the first humans on Mars. Crews will be assembled by applicants who apply online. Those applicants will be slimmed down to a select few. They will go through training to learn the skills care for themselves on this planet that is 249 miles from earth. Once these applicants reach Mars they are stuck there forever. The Mars One organization will be sending rovers and cargo missions through the years 2026-2029. These missions will prepare the habitat that the humans will be settling in the year 2032.

The outpost the humans will be living in.

The outpost the humans will be living in.

When I found out about this mission, and that it is actually in the works of becoming reality, I was just so amazed and happy. Amazed in the fact that in this era of technology will allow us to live on another planet, and happy that I am alive for this huge step in the human race. This is something all of us have thought about, but never thought we would live to see the day. It amazes me that we are going to have humans living on another planet before we even know what the dark side of the moon is like.

I am going to reference the same movie that I did in my last post, Interstellar. To think that we are getting closer to the reality that this movie portrays of going to different planet is just amazing. I mean who knows what we will be doing in space within the next 100 years. Another thing that excites me is that the debate if aliens are real or not will be over. A basic definition of an alien is a living thing that is not living on earth. And even though they are humans, they are living on another planet. So they are technically aliens,  experiencing an environment a human has never experienced before.  The things we will find out through science when this happens will be such a huge step.

We are blessed to be able to experience such an event in the works, and if this doesn’t excite you then I don’t know what will! And if I want you to take anything from this post, it is to stay curious, and open to anything, because anything is possible. Especially in an era that is getting smarter and smarter exponentially. I would say this is the best generation, because we as a race are finding out how to use more and more of our brain, and you can see that through the technology we are creating!

Stay+Curious_12

February 18th, 2017

Saturn’s F ring

Posted by Patrick Rafferty in Astronomy
pia20519

Saturn’s F ring

From a far view Saturn’s F ring looks as one, but as you look closer there are multiple strands made up of material that was knocked off with interactions with a small moon. There are four strands, one strand being vary faint and hard to see.

These strands are famous for a bed it has on its strands. When looked at in some detail, you see around the planet the ring has spiral. Astronomers have a hard time catagorizing this ring because it is very disrupted and dense.  2701_PIA07717

It is the smaller rings to see as the width is only 30-500 km, compared to the next smaller right called the Pauline Ring which is 2500 km in width. The F ring is on the very outside of all the rings. Astronomers were unaware of this ring until 1979 when Voyagers 1 closest orbit. In this orbit we discovered about the F ring and the G ring. What is thought to be in the F ring is 13 type of particles with a size of 10 km on average. They are mostly ice boulders and degree from other objects blasting each other creating thousands of particles satIn the photo above you can barley see the F ring on the very outside. because of it being so outside it the most active ring. The shape of it changes within hours of each other. There is a main strand to the F ring, and the surround 3 strands are spiral. It receives material from the moon making it a new type of ring every time we get a glimpse of it.

February 18th, 2017

The Inside of a Black Hole

Posted by Patrick Rafferty in Astronomy

This video is the closest we can get to understanding a black and what it would look like if we ever got pulled into one. It goes through how gravity changes time and takes into a dimension that will simply blow your mind away. From explaining how a black hole will bend light because the gravity is so strong, to explaining how you would be able to see the back of your head, all the way to being able to go back to even the dinosaur age, this video will explain how its all possible.

A black hole defined as a spot in space having such a strong gravitational field that nothing can escape from it, even light. There is no answer to what the inside of a black hole looks like, but space agencies are constantly getting new ideas of what it looks like. If you are being pulled into a black hole, you no longer exsist, or have the free will to do anything. You are simply just an observer. You would see beautiful galaxies getting tossed around, with a black circle which is the black hole. It is defined by the light around it. As you get closer to your doom, you enter the photons sphere, which forces your photons are forced to travel in orbits, after the orbit, your body eventually comes back to your eyes. It is hard to think how that is possible but through this phase and your body splitting through the orbit you are able to see the back of your head.

As you get closer and closer to the black hole, space will get more distorted, to a point where everything is black. Except behind you it would be as if you were looking outside a circular window to the universe. You are traveling at a small fraction of the speed of light. The faster you are traveling through space, causes you to move slower in time. At this point in the black hole, time is moving so slowly that you are in a dimension where you can see anything that has ever gone through the black hole. The objects you are looking at are going through  faster time dilation. This allows you to see the entire history of a spot in the universe. So for instance we would be able to see dinosaurs on earth

That part does not last for long as you keep traveling on. As the light behind you gets blue shifted, which is a decrease in wavelength and it reflects what you are seeing back, you become invisible and frequency is increasing and your eyes will eventually be permanently blind. Matter is being stretched kills every property of atoms. At this point time is no longer a part of any timeline to the outside universe, nothing occurs.

Unknown

Blue shifting

That is the closest description scientists have come up with. Black holes and space in general are such a mystery, a mystery that a human brain will never understand. I am just so fascinated in how gravity can change time, and if you want to see a movie that plays with that concept, then I suggest you watch Interstellar. It is a movie that shows how being on different planets creates its own time schedule through gravity from the rest of the outside world.

February 12th, 2017

Blue Dragon Sea Slug

Posted by Patrick Rafferty in Biology

blue-slug1

 

The Blue Dragon sea slug is an animal that I recently found, and I can honestly say it is the coolest looking animal I have seen. These slugs have the ability of camouflage and if you haven’t already guessed from its color, it has stinging cells. If you were to hold one of these you would receive a dangerous sting. How they get these stinging cells is through what they eat. They feed on the very dangerous venomous Portuguese man o’ war. The se slug stores the stinging cells from their meet in its tissues for a defense against predation.

These slugs have an ability to camouflage themselves. They float upside down by using the surface tension of the water to stay up and going. They are carried with the currents of the ocean, and through this they are able to stay steady and use their camouflage perk. The blue side of their body faces upwards which is blending with the rest of the blue water in the ocean. On the bottom of their body they have a silver side which blends in with the silvery surface of the sea.

These creatures can reach up to 3 centimeters in length. Their bodies are flat and have six appendages, kind of like arms but not really. These appendages store the venomous stinging cells they get from the Portuguese man o-war. There are four separate species that can be found in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, they mainly are in warm temperate climates around tropical areas. These slugs are free roaming in the open ocean and commonly found washed up onto beaches. These sea slugs are really a beauty in nature that shows off the beautiful color blue very nicely.

 

 

February 12th, 2017

Planet Earth’s II Jaw Dropping Video

Posted by Patrick Rafferty in Biology

In this video you see a fight for survival in nature, possibly one of the most thrilling videos I have ever seen. This video, taken on the Galapagos islands, shows a newly born marine iguana’s first and maybe only task is to make it to the safety of the sea. In this journey the iguanas are immediately put to the test with hundreds of racer snakes waiting around every corner to get a chance to get a tight grip on the newly born iguana.

The Racer snake is a highly venomous snake. Their length is usually up to 120cm. Their eyesight is not great, but they have evolved to quickly detect movement which causes them to act in fast and very aggressive movement. This time of year is the best feeding opportunity for these snakes, which makes it every snake for themselves. These snakes are sometimes forced to eat each other due to scarcity of food, which makes the attempt to get the prized meal of the iguana even more competitive and intense for these snakes.

The marine iguanas naturally have to prepare themselves to outrun these predators.  They do this by lying beneath the surface of the sand. This allows their bodies to heat up to strengthen their muscles. Their goal is to reach the safety onto of the rocks, a place where the snakes cannot reach. Can you imagine being in their situation? You are born only find yourself in the middle of an ambush of predators that want to swallow you alive, thats pretty scary.

This video has been the most viewed nature video in four years. Probably because normally one video of a snake attacking prey gets people’s fear of snakes up, but with hundreds of slithering snakes is bound to produce peoples reactions to make a video go viral.

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