Pollia condensata produces its blue color at the nanoscale level and is more intense than anything ever studied. From the Smithsonian Magazine:
When they examined P. condensata on a cellular level, they realized that the fruit produces its characteristic color through structural coloration, a radically different phenomenon that is well-documented in the animal kingdom but virtually unknown in plants. They determined that the fruit’s tissue is more intensely colored than any previously studied biological tissue—reflecting 30 percent of light making it more intense than even the renowned color of a Morpho butterfly’s wings.
Most plants produce a pigment which coats the plant but is not a part of its cells. When the plants die they no longer produce the pigment and fade in color. Not the amazing blue of P. Condensata.
No, masers are not just a word that we came up with just now. They’ve actually been around since the 1950s, before lasers were invented. The problem is that they’ve always been impractical–that is, until the team of researchers came up with a device that could let masers over take lasers in the coolness race.
They have yet to determine what the maser can do, but like the laser the discoveries only happen when you shoot stuff.
The expectation is that the more precise maser can shoot through clouds (lasers can’t), detect extra-terrestrials, and turn into a surgical tool that can exactly attack a tumor.
The maser is the microwave-frequency precursor of the now ubiquitous laser. But it has had little technological impact compared with the laser, in large part because of inconvenience: masers typically require vacuum and/or low-temperature operating conditions.
The largest-ever experiment in space has reported the collection of some 18 billion “cosmic ray” events that may help unravel the Universe’s mysteries.
Run from a centre at Cern, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) aims to spot dark matter and exotic antimatter.
At the heart of the seven-tonne, $2bn machine is a giant, specially designed magnet which bends the paths of extraordinarily high-energy charged particles called cosmic rays onto a series of detectors, giving hints of what the particles are.
A series of ever-larger particle accelerators built here on Earth aim to drive particles to ever-higher energies, smashing them into one another to simulate the same processes that create them elsewhere in the cosmos.
But no Earth-bound experiment can match nature’s power as a particle accelerator – and Earth’s atmosphere absorbs incoming cosmic rays – so the AMS will catch some of these high-energy particles “from the source”, as a kind of complement to the likes of the Large Hadron Collider.
For an American, these photos are truly breathtaking. For most of our lives Russia has been an impenetrable vast region, indeed the largest country in the world, with millions of acres of natural wonders.
Looking for something fun, free, and fantastic to do with family and friends?
Head out to America’s national parks where millions of stars light up the dark night sky, deer and antelope (and a few other critters!) play on the wide open range, and history is an unbelievable experience, not an exam.
And the best news? During National Park Week, April 21-29, All 397 of your national parks offer free admission, all week long!
Feel like breaking a world record? Join the Nature Conservancy in their giant Picnic for the Planet sandwich-munching extravaganza. The goal is to set a record for the largest picnic celebration ever. The picnic sites are dotted across the country.
To mark the Clean Water Act’s 40th anniversary, the Wyland Foundation has invited cities across the nation — broken into groups by population — to compete at collecting pledges by individuals to cut down on water and energy use in the month of April.
Two apps that feature national parks have arrived just in time for Earth Day. And they’re free, which goes nicely with the Saturday start of fee-free National Park Week. So download the app, pick a park to visit and go.
April 22 will mark Earth Day worldwide, an event now in its 42nd year and observed in 175 countries. The original grass-roots environmental action helped spur the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act in the United States. Gathered here are images of our planet’s environment, efforts to utilize renewable alternative sources of energy, and the effects of different forms of pollution.
What if the world’s greatest works of art, when seen one after another, told a story? A story of people, places, nature and motion. artCircles from Art.com brings you “Van Gogh to Rothko in 30 Seconds,” an epic journey of discovery through the world’s most inspiring art collection.
Welcome to the 20th Anniversary Environmental Film Festival!
While 1,200 people attended the inaugural Festival, today the Festival has expanded to become the world’s largest showcase of environmental film, attracting an audience of over 30,000 (in Washington D.C.).
The 20th anniversary Festival, our largest and most ambitious yet, presents 180 engaging and thought-provoking films, including 93 Washington, D.C., United States and World premieres, from 42 countries.
A centerpiece of our 20th anniversary year is a retrospective of the work of Academy Award-nominated director Lucy Walker, who will screen her latest film, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom.