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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fresh Science 22 August 2007

We do the hard work of scruffling the globe for the furriest science articles - so you don't have to.

Histone code cracked? (Bayblab - Canada)
New developments in the field of epigenetics...

Aquatic animals intuit deep physics, but can they write equations? (Biocurious - Canada)
Animals using their intuitive sense of physics to catch their prey...

Seeing red pink (Laelaps - USA)
An evolutionary reason why women prefer pink?

Psychological continuity and the problem of identity (Mind Hacks - USA)
Say it wasn't you...

Voyager spacecraft celebrate 30th anniversary (Ontogeny - USA)
It keeps going and going and going...

Television and the Hive Mind (The Empire of the Odd - USA)
Mass media and mass psychology...


John - Evolutionary Middleman said...

Lim, what accounts for the fact that Voyager 1 has traveled about 20% further than Voyager 2? Is it because of a time difference in how long each spent exploring the solar system before moving on? After all, they were launched within a month of each other 30 years ago (Voyager 1 on my 24th birthday - which I think means I'm 37 now)?

I like the new look of your blog. I've never been really found of darker pages. This is easier on me.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Hi John,

Yes, you are right - in fact Voyager 2 was launched first, followed by Voyager 1 two weeks later.

Voyager 2 took a more curved flight path in order to explore Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Voyager 1 was launched on a more direct flight path to Jupiter and Saturn, and then it deflected upwards (towards north pole) away from the plane of the solar system.

It thus had the straightest and fastest flight path at that time - it even overtook Pioneer 10 (which was launched six years earlier!) in 1998 as the most distant space probe from Earth.

Only the New Horizons spacecraft is faster.

The Pioneer and Voyager missions are close to my heart, because as a teenager I went to our Central Library to read books containing many beautiful pictures of the outer planets from these spacecraft.

I read the official Pioneer 10/11 report and learnt the words "photopolarimeter" and "principal investigator" from that book.

Thanks for the feedback on my new blog colours! I would like to keep everything as simple and as readable as possible.