Magnetic Levitation Using A Superconductor

Before demonstrating magnetic levitation this video shows a small magnet being cooled to a superconducting temperature using liquid nitrogen. Once cooled the superconducting magnet is shown performing magnetic levitation above a section of magnetic track as seen in the featured image.

Further in the video the magnet is kept longer at superconducting temperatures by building a container of  liquid nitrogen around it. It is then seen being whizzed along by hand while levitating above, clinging to the side and hanging below, a Möbius strip track plastered in neodymium magnets. Continue reading “Magnetic Levitation Using A Superconductor”

Robot Controlled Chemical Evolution

Robot Controlled Chemical Evolution, “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”

Glasgow scientists studying Robot Controlled Chemical Evolution have created a robotic system where chemicals can evolve. I read about this in Gizmag, but followed it up with a quick read from the horses mouth at Nature magazine. The featured image (enlarged here) is a picture looking down at the heart of the researcher’s robot. Continue reading “Robot Controlled Chemical Evolution”

An Asteroid Will Cross Our Orbit – Asteroid 2014 UR116

This Asteroid Will Cross Our Orbit

Although thousands of asteroids have been discovered and their orbits determined there are thought to be many undetected ones. This asteroid will cross our orbit of the Sun every three years and is called Asteroid 2014 UR116. It was recently discovered by a Russian professor at Moscow State University, Vladimir Lipunov. It is the size of a mountain (400m across) – much larger than the 164 feet (50m) across mentioned in my post about Asteroid Day.

Having read about Asteroid 2014 UR116 in The Telegraph I can’t determine how much of a threat it is. On the one hand NASA says this Near Earth Object (NEO) doesn’t pass near enough to earth to be a threat, but on the other NASA says it will be an impact threat for the next 150 years.


  1. Mountain-sized asteroid is heading towards Earth, says scientist – The Telegraph.

Asteroid Day On The 30th June

Asteroid Day On The 30th June Proposed

There is a movement by astronomers, scientists, astronauts, artists, business leaders, and others, concerned for the long term safety of our species, other species, and our planet, to establish Asteroid Day on the 30th June each year commencing in 2015.

“Asteroids could wipe out humanity,” warn Richard Dawkins and Brian Cox. — The Telegraph.

The 10,000th Near Earth Object (NEO) was discovered in 2013 and by 30th November 2014 11,937 NEOs had been discovered. More are being detected all the time, but there are hundreds of thousands more undiscovered. When they are discovered their orbits can be determined. From their orbits astronomers can determine if and when they may collide with Earth.

Continue reading “Asteroid Day On The 30th June”

Universe is Not Expanding – Pop Goes That Theory

The Universe is Not Expanding!

I have been brought up to understand that I live in an expanding universe, but now that theory has been popped. According to an article in the universe is not expanding. Measurements have been made of the brightness of stars throughout the universe and they are not consistent with that which theory would predict if the universe were expanding in the way presumed for many years. If there is no significant expansion then the red shift seen in the light from distant objects must have another cause. Continue reading “Universe is Not Expanding – Pop Goes That Theory”

A Meteor Narrowly Missed A Skydiver

When A Meteor Narrowly Missed A Skydiver

A meteor narrowly missed a skydiver, Anders Helstrup in 2012, when it passed him, on its way to earth, after he opened his parachute whilst skydiving above Hedmark, Norway. It was all captured on his helmet cam.

The “dark flight” meteor (called that because it was not glowing hot) is thought to have broken off a larger meteor higher in the atmosphere. It was considered to be the first time such a meteor has been captured on video.

My featured image has been enhanced using PhotoZoom Pro 5 by BenVista.

Below you can see the video of the event:

You can read all about it here at PetaPixel.

We Have Another Dwarf Planet

Dwarf Planet 2012VP113

Astronomers have found another dwarf planet in the Solar System. This is a dwarf planet and it doesn’t have a real name yet. It just has a number ‘2012 VP113’ as do so many dwarf planets in the region of space occupied by Pluto. It doesn’t seem long ago that there was just Pluto beyond Neptune but new dwarf planets are being discovered regularly. There is a long list of them (46) here by Mike Brown (not updated since 2008), but here is Mike Brown’s up to date list of Probable Plutoids (as of 27/03/2014) and other people’s submissions at Wikipedia.

What is a Plutoid?

Mike Brown has a Plutoid definition embedded in this article.