Friday, January 31, 2014

Holiday Booking and Travel Trends

Q4 2013 Winter travel trends infographic with the top five group and family destinations.
Sojern – World’s leading data-driven traveler engagement platform

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Earth's Changing Weather

credit: Cameron Baccario

An interactive visualization of global weather conditions forecast by supercomputers and updated every three hours. Click on it to interact with the map.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Understanding the Chain Fountain

Over 2.5 million viewers, including many physicists, have been astonished by Steve Mould's videos of a chain flowing along its own length from a pot to the floor below. Apparently defying gravity, the chain rises above the pot as a fountain before falling down. Proceedings A has published a paper which explains why this fountain occurs by considering the forces bringing successive links into motion. In this podcast, authors Mark Warner and John Biggins explain what is going on in an easy to understand and straightforward manner.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Worlds: The Kepler Planet Candidates

Worlds: The Kepler Planet Candidates from Alex Parker on Vimeo.

This animation shows the 2299 high-quality (multiple transits), non-circumbinary transiting planet candidates found by NASA's Kepler mission so far. These candidates were detected around 1770 unique stars, but are animated in orbit around a single star. They are drawn to scale with accurate radii (in r / r* ), orbital periods, and orbital distances (in d / r*). They range in size from 1/3 to 84 times the radius of Earth. Colors represent an estimate of equilibrium temperature, ranging from 4,586 C at the hottest to -110 C at the coldest — red indicates warmest, and blue/indigo indicates coldest candidates.

When the system is animated edge-on, it is clear that there is no time during which the sample of stars the Kepler spacecraft is observing does not contain a planet transiting a star. In fact, on average there are dozens of transits occurring amongst the Kepler sample at any given instant.

The Kepler observatory has detected a multitude of planet candidates orbiting distant stars. The current list contains 2321 planet candidates, though some of these have already been flagged as likely false-positives or contamination from binary stars. This animation does not contain circumbinary planets or planet candidates where only a single transit has been observed, which is why "only" 2299 are shown.

Check out the current list of planet candidates and find more information on the Kepler mission on their website.