Science Channel - InSCIder

17 Sep

This Is What A Plane Carrying 195,000 New iPhones Looks Like

As the first reviews roll in on the new iPhone 6, the smartphone has already smashed Apple's record for preorders, with more than 4 million iPhone 6 devices ordered in the first 24 hours.

How do all of these iPhones get to U.S. consumers? On planes!

One reader of MacRumors shared photos showing 195,000 iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices he just flew to the U.S. from China: " Yep, that's what I do. I fly stuff. Privileged to be a small part of the team. Just landed a 747 in Anchorage," he wrote.

HuffPost Tech reports he wrote in a later post that "the shipment [weighed] a combined 256,000 pounds, and the plane landed at 'a little under max landing weight at 643,000 lbs.'"

Of course, 195,000 iPhones is just a drop in the bucket with millions of preorders. Apple has already warned customers that "demand had outstripped supply" for the new iPhones and that some customers will have to wait until next month for their order to be fulfilled.

iGenius: How Steve Jobs Changed the World

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15 Sep

For The First Time, Scientists Have Captured The Sound Of A Single Atom

A single atom sounds like a D-note -- D28, to be precise, "about 20 octaves above the highest note on a grand piano."

That's the conclusion from a team of researchers at Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology, which set out to capture the sound of an atom.

"We have opened a new door into the quantum world by talking and listening to atoms," study co-author Per Delsing said in a press release. "Our long term goal is to harness quantum physics so that we can benefit from its laws, for example in extremely fast computers. We do this by making electrical circuits which obey quantum laws, that we can control and study."

The research was published in the journal Science.

DNews explains how the research was conducted:

"The team started by first making an artificial atom. Next, they charged it with energy. Normally, atoms release energy in the form of light, called a photon. However, in this experiment, the atom was designed to both emit and absorb energy in the form of sound, called a phonon."

One of the greatest historical discoveries involving atoms was the finding that atoms combine in a certain way:

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12 Sep

Carnegie Mellon 'Smart Headlights' May Make Nighttime Driving Safer

Innovative new headlights technology from Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute could make nighttime and inclement weather driving safer.

The 'smart headlights' allow drivers to use high beams "without fear of blinding oncoming drivers or suffering from the glare that can occur when driving in snow or rain at night," a CMU press release said.

Here's how it works: The programmable headlights track oncoming vehicles and dim "only the small parts of the headlight beam that would otherwise shine into their eyes."

"During snow or rain showers, the headlight improves driver vision by tracking individual flakes and drops in the immediate vicinity of the car and blocking the narrow slivers of headlight beam that would otherwise illuminate the precipitation and reflect back into the driver's eyes."

An early version of the technology was demonstrated in this 2012 video:

Don't look for this cutting-edge technology on showroom floors just yet; Dr. Srinivasa Narasimhan told The Huffington Post that it would be three to five years before smart headlights show up on new cars.

Smart headlights aren't the only cool car technology to come along lately. In the Netherlands, this car hack is absolutely outrageous and ridiculously out-of-control:

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11 Sep

What Astronauts Returning to Earth Looks Like From the International Space Station

Expedition 40's three-man team -- American astronaut Steve Swanson and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev -- landed safely in Kazakhstan Wednesday after completing 167 days on the International Space Station.

The trio "orbited Earth more than 2,700 times, traveled more than 71.7 million miles and welcomed five cargo spacecraft," NASA reports.

As the Soyuz spacecraft carrying the three flew toward Earth, German astronaut Alexander Gerst Tweeted two incredible images of the craft from his vantage point aboard the ISS:

Social media has become an integral way astronauts share their experiences in space and one of the first space superstars was Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. Here, he shows what happens when you wring a wet washcloth in space.

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10 Sep

Jupiter Moon Europa Could Have Plate Tectonics Like Earth

New research reveals Jupiter moon Europa may have plate tectonics similar to those on Earth, giving new hope to the search for extraterrestrial life.

Our friends at DNews report:

"During studies of photographs taken by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft that orbited the gas giant from 1995 to 2003, planetary geologists have found it hard to explain why most of the crust was relatively new ice (on average, the icy surface is 40-90 million years old) and yet there was little evidence of old ice that had been crushed up on the surface to make way for the new material.

...

Their conclusion is that, like Earth’s rocky crust, there must be subduction zones where old material is pushed against plate boundaries, making the ice sink into the subsurface ocean, where it melts and gets cycled."

"Europa may be more Earth-like than we imagined, if it has a global plate tectonic system," planetary geologists Simon Kattenhorn said in a statement. "Not only does this discovery make it one of the most geologically interesting bodies in the solar system, it also implies two-way communication between the exterior and interior -- a way to move material from the surface into the ocean -- a process which has significant implications for Europa's potential as a habitable world."

Earlier in 2014, NASA put out a call for proposals to hunt for alien life on Europa, which is believed to have a deep underground ocean that could be capable of sustaining life.

Want to learn more? Get to know Europa:

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9 Sep

This Is Your Brain On Social Media

STOP: Before you Tweet or Facebook this blog post, stop and watch AsapSCIENCE's latest video, which breaks down what social media is doing to your brain.

The YouTube channel explores five ways the Internet is actually changing your brain structure; for instance, according to AsapSCIENCE, "five to 10 percent of Internet users are unable to control how much time they spend online... brain scans of these people actually show a similar impairment of regions that those with drug dependence have."

Shocked? Surprised? Hit play:

How does brain chemistry work

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8 Sep

Newly-Discovered Dinosaur Weighed As Much As 7 T. Rex

Just how big was Dreadnoughtus, a newly-discovered dinosaur that roamed Earth around 77 million years ago?

Absolutely massive.

"It weighed as much as a dozen African elephants or more than seven T. rex," Drexel University paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara, who discovered the dinosaur in Argentina, said in a statement. "Shockingly, skeletal evidence shows that when this 65-ton specimen died, it was not yet full grown. It is by far the best example we have of any of the most giant creatures to ever walk the planet."

The 85-foot-long, 65-ton creature had "a body the size of a house, the weight of a herd of elephants, and a weaponized tail," Lacovara described. As such, Dreadnoughtus' name was chosen because it means "fears nothing."

Dreadnoughtus is part of a group of supermassive planet-eating dinosaurs called titanosaurs.

 How did a Tyrannosaurus rex bite compare with a modern alligator? Find out:

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5 Sep

Our Planet Is Beautiful From Space

Because it's Friday, sit back and enjoy an out-of-this-world view of Earth, courtesy of the International Space Station:

Looking for more stunning space videos?

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4 Sep

Science Presents Programming For National Hispanic Heritage Month 2014

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15), Science proudly highlights a variety of programming that showcases the rich and diverse history of the Hispanic and Latino cultures. The following is a list of programming to commemorate the month:

Survivorman: Sonoran Desert
September 16 at 3p.m. (Eastern)
 
Survivorman: Tierra del Fuego
September 23 at 3 a.m. (Eastern)


 
How Do They Do It? Marca País Episode 1
NEW | September 18 at 10 p.m. (Eastern)
September 18 at 1 a.m. (Eastern)
September 19 at 8 a.m. (Eastern)
September 19 at 11 a.m. (Eastern)
September 19 at 6 p.m. (Eastern)
 
How Do They Do It? Marca País Episode 2 (P)
NEW | September 25 at 10 p.m. (Eastern)
September 25 at 1 a.m. (Eastern)
September 26 at 8 a.m. (Eastern)
September 26 at 11 a.m. (Eastern)
September 26 at 6 p.m. (Eastern)
 
The Unexplained Files: Peruvian Alien Skull & Baltic Sea UFO
September 17 at 1 p.m. (Eastern)
September 21 at 1 p.m. (Eastern)
 
Close Encounters – Examined: Socorro & Plauen (P)
NEW | September 24 at 10 p.m. (Eastern)
September 24 at 1 a.m. (Eastern)
September 25 at 8 a.m. (Eastern)
September 25 at 11 a.m. (Eastern)
September 25 at 6 p.m. (Eastern)
September 27 at 6:30 p.m. (Eastern)
 
Strip the City: Machu Picchu
September 24 at 4 a.m. (Eastern)


Dark Matters: Remote Control Man, Cadavers for Sale, Einstein’s Revenge
September 26 at 4 a.m. (Eastern)

Firefly: All-day marathon feat. Gina Torres and Morena Baccarin
September 27 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

When Earth Erupts: Americas
September 28 at 10 a.m. (Eastern)
 
Aliens of the Amazon: Treehoppers
October 12 at 6 a.m. (Eastern)
 
Aliens of the Amazon: Secret Alliance
October 12 at 7 a.m. (Eastern)
 
Species of Mass Destruction: Fire Ants
October 12 at 9 a.m. (Eastern)

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3 Sep

Late Summer Solar Flares Erupt In Stunning New NASA Video

New video from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows an M5 solar flare bursting from the sun in stunning color:

NASA notes that "radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground," but flares could disrupt communications systems.

Tonight on "How the Universe Works," learn how Earth's magnetic field protects us from the sun's deadly radiation:

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