Driving On the Moon? Not So Fast or Furious

Yes, the land speed record on the Moon is a whopping 10.56 mph.  The three Lunar Roving Vehicles (LVH), which were built by Boeing, were sent up with the Apollo missions.

Because no one was exactly sure how well the LVRs would hold up, NASA limited the range they were allowed to be driven in order to stay within astronauts’ walking distance back to the shuttle.

The LVRs are still on the Moon.  I guess they couldn’t exactly call AAA for a tow truck!

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Now That’s a Big Bang

How hot can you get?

At the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider in the Brookhaven National Laboratory, pretty darn hot.

The temperature, recorded at 4 billion K, was made as physicists smashed gold ions together while trying to replicate conditions resembling the Big Bang. They succeeded in creating the quark-gluon plasma that was present in the first microseconds of the universe.

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A Seed for the Ages

As if it’s not enough for the Indian lotus to symbolize divine beauty, this plant has some even more impressive qualities.

Scientists have managed to germinate 1300-year-old seeds of this plant that were found in China.  The plant itself can live for a thousand years.  Somehow, this flower is able to regulate its temperature to thrive during cold spells and attract helpful insects.  Its flowers, seeds, roots, and leaves are edible.  The Indian lotus can also be found in warm parts of Asia and in Australia.  No wonder it has been revered in many cultures through the ages.

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No Laser Tag For Me, Thanks

Did you know that the word “laser” is actually an acronym?  It stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.”  Yeah, it’s a lot simpler to just say “laser.”

On July 5, 2012, the National Ignition Facility generated a laser zap that created 500 trillion watts of power.  According to their web site, the facility seeks to replicate conditions found in stars and planets so we can learn more about them. The NIF has a great web site where you can learn more about lasers.  Check it out and let us know what you think!

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The Tide Is High

Hooray for Canada!  The Bay of Fundy, between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, has tides that move 160 billion tons of seawater every day with tides that go from high to low about every twelve hours.

The Bay of Fundy is home to 8 species of whale, squid, pollock, mackerel, seals, sharks, and many kinds of crustaceans.  It’s a great place for whale-watching, and you can also canoe, search for fossils, raft, and do other outdoor activities.

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No Peanut Butter With This Jelly

It’s true–the longest jellyfish on record had tentacles that were 120 feet long.  The arctic jellyfish uses its long tentacles to sting its prey, immobilizing it.  It’s sure a lot easier to eat when your dinner isn’t swimming away from you!

And yes, in case you were wondering–the arctic jellyfish can be deadly to humans.  Run-ins are rare, thought, because they like to live in cold water.

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Better Than a Starry Sky

Starfish aren’t actually fish at all, so a better name for them is “sea star”.  These echinoderms are found in both deep and shallow ocean water all over the world, especially in rocky places and coral reefs.

They use the suction cups on their feet to eat clams and oysters, and their many arms can regenerate if a predator pulls them off.  What a useful adaptation!

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