This infrared image shows a kilometer-high volcanic vortex swirling over the Bardarbunga eruption. The bright red at the bottom is lava escaping the fissure, whereas the yellow and white regions show rising hot gases. Although the vortex looks similar to a tornado, it is actually more like a dust devil or a so-called fire tornado. All three of these vortices are driven by a heat source near the ground that generates buoyant updrafts of air. As the hot gases rise, cooler air flows in to replace them. Any small vorticity in that ambient air gets amplified as it’s drawn to the center, the same way an ice skater spins faster when she pulls her arms in. With the right conditions, a vortex can form. Unlike a harmless dust devil, though, this vortex is likely filled with sulphur dioxide and volcanic ash and would pose a serious hazard to aviation. (Image credit: Nicarnica Aviation; source video; via io9)
Watson, the decision whisperer
At the rate you hear the words ‘big data’ and ‘analytics’ thrown around these days, you might think everyone was using them. And sadly you’d be wrong. In reality, most business folks leave insights out of their decisions because the tools to extract them are too complicated. Here’s a new name to drop. IBM Watson Analytics. Using natural language and a keyboard, anyone can go mining data for instant insights. Just ask your question and Watson can help guide you through answers. No fancy statistics degree required. Get the scoop →
Today’s graphic looks at the 20 common amino acids that are combined to make up the proteins in our bodies. It also gives the three-letter and one-letter codes for each, as well as denoting whether they are ‘essential’ or ‘non-essential’.
Read more information & grab the PDF here: http://wp.me/p4aPLT-tu
I can’t get enough of these vast, imaginary, scientific landscape illustrations in my textbook. This one shows how the open ocean is represented by water that is offshore and away from coral reefs. This biome can be broken up into several zones. The photic zone contains sufficient light for photosynthesis by algae, while water in the aphotic zone is so deep that sunlight cannot penetrate.
The Rosette Nebula spans about 100 light-years across, lies about 5000 light-years away, and can be seen with a small telescope towards the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros).
(Brian Lula via NASA)
Leaf tailed gecko, photographed by Thomas Marent