Thursday, June 18, 2009

Amazing Facts Of Science

  1. When Archimedes discovered the concept of buoyancy, he leapt form the bath and shouted the word he made famous: “Eureka!” which means “I found it!” That word became the motto of the state of California after the first gold rush miners shouted that they had found gold.                                                              
  2. Approximately one million Earths can fit in side the sun. But that is slowly changing. Some 4.5 pounds of sun light hit the earth each second.                                                     
  3. The average human brain weighs three pounds and contains 100 billion brain cells that connect with each other through 500 trillion dendrites! No wonder it was hard for Vesalius to see individual neurons.                                                     
  4. Speaking of falling objects, the highest speed ever reached by a woman in a speed skydiving competition is 432.12 kph (268.5 mph). Italian dare devil Lucia Bottari achieved this record-breaking velocity above Bottens, Switzerland, on September 16, 2002, dur ing the annual Speed Skydiving World Cup.                                                     
  5. Pluto was called the ninth planet for 75 years, since its discovery in 1930. Pluto’s orbit is the least circular (most elliptical) of all planets. At its farthest, it is 7.4 billion km from the sun. At its nearest it is only 4.34 billion km away. When Pluto is at its closest, its orbit actually slips in side that of Neptune. For 20 years out of every 248, Pluto is actually closer to the sun than Neptune is. That occurred from 1979 to 1999. For those 20 years Pluto was actually the eighth planet in our solar system and Neptune was the ninth!                                                     
  6. Galileo would have been astonished to learn that Jupiter resembles a star in composition. In fact, if it had been about 80 times more massive, it would have been classified as a star rather than a planet.                                                                                                          
  7. Americans donate over 16 million pints of blood each year. That’s enough blood to fill a swimming pool 20 feet wide, 8 feet deep, and one-third of a mile long!                                                                                                                                                               
  8. Home barometers rarely drop more than 0.5 inch of mercury as the weather changes from fair to stormy. The greatest pressure drop ever recorded was 2.963 inches of mercury, measured inside a South Dakota tornado in June 2003.
  9. Oceanographer Sylvia Earle set the women’s depth record for solo diving (1,000 meters or 3,281 feet). According to the concept Boyle discovered, pressure at that depth is over 100 times what it is at the surface!                                                     
  10. Cell biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division.

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Laurel Kornfeld | June 18, 2009 at 9:38 AM  

Pluto is still a planet. Only four percent of the IAU voted on the controversial demotion, and most are not planetary scientists. Their decision was immediately opposed in a formal petition by hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto. One reason the IAU definition makes no sense is it says dwarf planets are not planets at all! That is like saying a grizzly bear is not a bear, and it is inconsistent with the use of the term “dwarf” in astronomy, where dwarf stars are still stars, and dwarf galaxies are still galaxies. Also, the IAU definition classifies objects solely by where they are while ignoring what they are. If Earth were in Pluto’s orbit, according to the IAU definition, it would not be a planet either. A definition that takes the same object and makes it a planet in one location and not a planet in another is essentially useless. Pluto is a planet because it is spherical, meaning it is large enough to be pulled into a round shape by its own gravity--a state known as hydrostatic equilibrium and characteristic of planets, not of shapeless asteroids held together by chemical bonds. These reasons are why many astronomers, lay people, and educators are either ignoring the demotion entirely or working to get it overturned. I am a writer and amateur astronomer and proud to be one of these people.

Using this broader definition, our solar system has 13 planets and counting (Pluto is the 10th): Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris.

sriharsha | June 19, 2009 at 5:22 AM  

13 !!!! Wow .. I don't know about that... thanks alot...

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