The Brain Scoop:
500 million years ago a collision between two asteroids threw one of them out of its rotation in the belt between Jupiter and Mars. Within a few tens of thousands of years the fragments of that meteor fell to earth and sank to the bottom of an ancient sea in modern-day Sweden. Over millions of years the mineralization process replaced many of the original elements in the meteorite, but thanks to some key identifying chemical markers our geologists and meteoriticists were able to determine that these specimens, excavated from a limestone quarry, are fragments of that ancient asteroid collision.
The craziest part of all of this? Those fragments are still falling on earth today - in fact, one was found here in Chicago a few years ago, and after analysis it was matched to one of the fossilized fragments from Sweden.
Separated by unthinkable distances in space and more than 500 million years, they’re reunited together again right here at The Field Museum. Now tell me that isn’t a story of star-crossed lovers.
Calcium oxylate crystals through scanning electron microscope.
It’s silica gel…an artifical form of silicon dioxide (the same stuff that makes up sand) that has tons of tiny pores that have affinities for water. Silica gel can absorb around 40% of its weight in water. It’s manufactured to be entirely dry and then placed in food or other products that manufacturers don’t want to get moist in humid climates (slightly moist chips are what we in the real world call “stale.”) Water would rather be in the silica matrix than the food matrix, so that’s where it goes, keeping the food nice and dry.
And if you’re wondering why you shouldn’t eat it…it’s just because it’s not technically food. It’s not dangerous though…it’s just fancy sand.
SciShow Space takes you behind the scenes of astronaut training, to show how crew members and their equipment are tested in microgravity, all while never having to leave Earth.
Quick Questions explains what alcohol does — and doesn’t do — to your brain cells. Enjoy this episode responsibly!
Julia’s writing the latest batch of names on the SciShow Wall of Fame! YOU could be immortalized on our office walls forever for just a $10 contribution on Subbable.
Hank, you adorable dork <3 :)
We made this animation for our December 2013 advent calendar - a journey through our chromosomes in 24 short films.
If you’ve ever been pregnant, or been around a pregnant lady, you know that the agony that is morning sickness — and it’s not just something that happens in the morning! SciShow explains the many theories about what causes it.
Inside the Operations and Checkout Building high bay at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians dressed in clean-room suits have installed a back shell tile panel onto the Orion crew module and are checking the fit next to the middle back shell tile panel. Preparations are underway for Exploration Flight Test-1, or EFT-1.
Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to destinations not yet explored by humans, including an asteroid and Mars. It will have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. The first unpiloted test flight of the Orion is scheduled to launch later this year atop a Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to an altitude of 3,600 miles above the Earth’s surface. The two-orbit, four-hour flight test will help engineers evaluate the systems critical to crew safety including the heat shield, parachute system and launch abort system.