Monthly Archives: September 2011

NASA Archives: UARS

This animation, produced in 1999, shows an artist concept of NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, launched in 1991. UARS measured chemical compounds found in the ozone layer, wind and temperature in the stratosphere, as well as the energy input from the sun. Together, these measurements helped define the role of Earth’s upper atmosphere in climate and climate variability. The 35-foot-long, 15-foot-diameter UARS was decommissioned on Dec. 14, 2005. (no audio)

NASA Detects Planet Dancing With a Pair of Stars

From double sunrise to double sunset the show goes on, always changing.

A planet with two suns is a familiar concept from science fiction. However, the evidence for the existence of circumbinary planets—those that orbit around both members of a stellar binary—has been limited. A few good cases have been made for circumbinary planets based on the timing of stellar eclipses [see, e.g., (13)], but in no previous case have astronomers obtained direct evidence of a circumbinary planet by observing a planetary transit (a miniature eclipse as the planet passes directly in front of a star). Detection of a transit greatly enhances confidence in the reality of the planet and provides unusually precise knowledge of its mass, radius, and orbital parameters (4).

Here we present the detection of a transiting circumbinary planet around a binary star system based on photometric data from the NASA Kepler spacecraft. Kepler is a 0.95-m space telescope that monitors the optical brightness of about 155,000 stars within a field encompassing 105 square degrees in the constellations Cygnus and Lyra (58).

Via [Sciencemag]





New Social Networking Site – Erly


Erly is a new social platform for organizing and sharing your personal content.

Everyday, people create and consume increasing amounts of personal life content, such as status updates, check-ins, and photos. Most social products organize this personal data around people with a friend graph that consists of individual profile pages, and shared content is specific to the person instead of an event or experience as a whole.

At Erly, we organize content by first creating canonical event pages within which we map people, time, and locations. This experience graph is inspired by the way the human mind often recalls what, when, and where just as often as we remember who. In publicly organized resources like Wikipedia, events and people exist at the same level of prominence, and we want to bring that to people’s personal lives as well. Overall, we believe that an experience graph can help connect people to each other and their vast amounts of personal data in new, unique, and valuable ways.

Our development approach is inspired by a studio publishing model where we will release a portfolio of products and services (instead of a single application) that each address a targeted customer scenario. Each product will leverage a common backend platform and will all be built on top of our global experience graph.

Our first product in building this graph is Collections, the fastest and easiest way for a group to build an album together. Everyone contributes by easily bringing together photos, notes, videos, and links from across the web into a beautifully designed layout. Your pictures, stories, and digital memories are meant to be shared, not buried in hard drives, emails, and feeds.

Our second product, focused on future events, will launch in a couple of months. From there, we will release additional products early and often.

VIA [Erly]