Posts from the ‘small’ Category

A simplified demonstration of how planets move:

The planets orbit the sun in ellipses on a relatively flat plane

The sun is moving through space around a massive black hole in the middle of our galaxy, the Milky Way. This is the second part of the .gif, when the planets start spiraling.

The Milky Way is part of a cluster of galaxies called the Local Group, which orbit around a center between us and the Andromeda Galaxy.

And the Local Group is part of the Virgo Supercluster, which is one of millions to billions of superclusters in the observable universe.

Not to mention all of that is speeding “outward” as the universe expands. Probably. At speeds approaching light-speed. 

But despite all of this movement, we are able to shoot a rover attached to a lowering crane and hit a designated landing spot on one little planet. 

If that isn’t an awesome example of science, I don’t know what is.



Mini Mammoth Was World’s Smallest

by Jane J. Lee

Island living can be a tricky thing. Over time, the isolated environment tends to miniaturize large mammal species and grow small species into giants. That’s what scientists thought happened to a tiny elephant, whose roughly 800,000-year-old fossils were found on Crete a century ago. Researchers thought the creature, about 1 meter tall at the shoulder (right, for scale), descended from ancient, mainland European elephants that came to the Greek island and shrank over time. But a new analysis reveals that the animal wasn’t an elephant at all: It was a mammoth. Surface enamel patterns on its molars (left, light-colored tooth) and the ratio of its tooth height to width more closely resemble those of mainland mammoths rather than elephants, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The finding lends credence to a 2006 DNA study that argued that the Cretan dwarf was a mammoth, and it could push the animal’s evolution back almost 3 million years. It also means that the creature-dubbed Mammuthus creticus-is the world’s smallest mammoth species. 

(via: Science NOW)        

(image: (photo) The Natural History Museum in London; (drawing) Armand Morgabn, From Biol. Lett., 2, (2006))

Hello mini mammoth!

Can we just put all mammals on a small island and wait for them to miniaturize?

Physicists work some movie magic by doing cool stuff with lasers and rubidium atoms and you really just need to read the article. Possible applications: A movie theater for bacteria and quantum computer advances. Mostly the latter.

Physicists make a small movie. Atomically small.