Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Protect my beloved Lucy!

Lucy is set to be on the public display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Ethiopia has agreed to lend Lucy to the United States for 6 years so that Lucy can go on an 11-city tour.

Lucy is an australopithecus that lived 3.2 million years ago. She had longer arms than us. That species has become extinct after Homo species emerged.

I agree with some scientists that Lucy's remains are too fragile to go on a tour. It's so rare to have fossils like australopithecus and other early hominids that are closely related to us, chimpanzees, and other apes. They should be preserved at one location so that they can be analyzed by researchers coming from different backgrounds such as paleoanthropologist, evolutionary biologists, etc.

Lucy is one of my favorite species.

For further reading, click on the link below.

Texas museum to show Lucy fossil amid criticism

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What are ancient bacteria capable of?

I just read an article about ancient bacteria surviving nearly a million years in harsh, frozen conditions. The arguments have suggested that Mars could have some sort of life. Unlike us, they can stay alive in a very long run. If it can survive for a long time on our planet, there is a probability that it could survive on Mars. The bacteria survived by eating nutrients like nitrogen and phosphate that are found in the permafrost. Do the bacteria enjoy living in the environment that is much colder with more stable temperatures like Mars? For further reading, click on the link below.

Ancient bacteria could point to life on Mars: study

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Salute to Ray Bradbury

I have read one book written by Ray Bradbury many years ago. Also, I probably read a few short stories as well. I just read a fascinating article in The New York Times about Ray Bradbury's current lifestyle. As you may know, he was one of the most respected science fiction writer during his early time. I think I will add Fahrenheit 451 to my reading list. I am amazed that a stroke in 1999 didn't stop him from writing. Of course, he got a generous daughter who helped him to complete his projects. For further reading, click on the link below.

Vintage Bradbury, Packaged Anew

A marvelous photo of a fossil fish

Above is an image of Priscacara, a fossil fish. It was well preserved. I really love this image so I decided to include it in my post. I got it from a website.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Life on Mars? I'm Doubtful for now.

I doubt that there is any life on Mars, even microbes. Mars has a very thin atmosphere. I don't think that this can support life at any form. NASA's Phoenix lander will arrive Mars this coming May. If the robotic digger doesn't malfunction and lands safely then it will be able to do many fascinating things. It could analyze the soil and the bacteria. If it discovers any microbial life then it would become a huge headline. It will eventually change my opinion at one point. However, I know that it has failed to advance beyond its own level.

For further reading, click on the link below.

Claim of Martian Life Called 'Bogus'

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Obituary : Ralph Alpher, 86, Expert in Work on the Big Bang, Dies

Last night, I read an obituary article in the New York Times about a physicist who supported the Bang Bang theory for the origin of the universe. Ralph Alpher passed away last Sunday in Austin, Texas. He was 86. His early calculations and theoretical predictions were largely ignored until two radio astronomers accidentally detected the hiss of background radiation in 1964. Unfortunately, Mr. Alpher was never awarded a Nobel Prize for his work. For further reading, click on the link below.

Ralph Alpher, 86, Expert in Work on the Big Bang, Dies

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Chasing Kangaroos

Last night, I read the New York Times article about a zoologist studying kangaroos. All so sudden, I become fascinated. As you know, kangaroos can be found in Australia. It's one of the most extraordinary species. Some 70 species make up the kangaroo family, which includes wallabies and rat kangaroos. The way kangaroo family evolved from another species is mysterious. I assume that one species migrated to Australia before the continental broke off from another. After the species became isolated, it evolved to kangaroos based on the climate, geography, and survival.

No need to fear, rat kangaroos and giant kangaroos have become extinct a long time ago. I'd love to see some kangaroos one day.

I'll add this book to my future reading list.

For further reading, click on the link below.

A Zoologist With a Pouch of Stories

Friday, August 17, 2007

A comet-like giant red star

I just read the New York Times article in the Science Section about a giant red star, Mira, zooming through the Milky Way galaxy 300 times faster than a speed bullet.

It's possible that hot gas in the core was heating gas blowing off the star, causing it to fluoresce with ultraviolet light. This could have caused the glowing material swirling around behind the star.

When our sun turns into the giant red star in about 4 to 5 billion years from now, what will it be like? Nobody knows and nobody will be able to forecast our sun's future. We wll be long gone by then.

Soon, I'll post an essay on a different topic. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hot Gas in Space Mimics Life

I just read an article about the new computer simulations shwoing the dancing dust particles "alive". In general, they are yet considered as life. The life is defined as the ability to metabolize and reproduce. This definition may make sense to you.

I have copied a paragraph so you can read a summary about plasma.

'Plasma is the fourth state of matter along with solids, liquids and gases. While unfamiliar to most people, plasma is the most common phase of matter in the universe. It's everywhere: Stars are luminous balls of plasma, and diffuse plasma pervades the space between stars. Plasma forms when gas becomes so hot that electrons are stripped from atomic nuclei, leaving behind a soup of charged particles.'

We should be see some future articles published about plasma in the future. The scientists will eventually understand this field better and reshape some theories.

For further reading, click on the link below.

Hot Gas in Space Mimics Life

Monday, August 13, 2007

My biography

Before I go any further, I'd like to tell you a bit about myself. My name is Andrew Kopec. I was born with Usher Syndrome. I was educated in New York School for the Deaf. I graduated from Gallaudet University in 1996. My interest in science has flourished in last few years. Sure, I have been interested in science for years. Lately, I have become very inquisitive in this subject.

Evolutionary biology is my favorite topic. I do believe in evolution. I understood a little about this field for a long time until I started to pick up books written by various authors. My knowledge has expanded like the expanding universe but I am not an expert yet. I'm literally delighted that I am picking up many interesting ideas that I have been missing.

There are other subjects that I enjoy such as astronomy, geology, history, politics, baseball, and traveling.

I will start to post various topic of sciene that I am interested. On some posts, I'll include my ideas and my essays. I will definitely write what I actually understand.

Why did I name my blog, "The Naked Galaxy"? I got the idea from one of my favorite science fiction book called "The Naked Sun" by Isaac Asimov.

Stay tuned!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Fossils challenge old evoluton theory

A couple days ago, I read an article about a research team challenging old evolution theory. According to them, Homo habilis and Homo erectus lived at the time, side by side, in Kenya. They may not have mated each other. Homo habilis was likely more vegeterian while Homo erectus, ate some meat. If that's true, the family tree will be revamped.

I am fully aware that the human evolution map is still not accurate. We still have more fossils to study and some more fossils will eventually be discovered in the future.

Meanwhile, the theory will continue to flourish and become more accurate. Time will tell.

For further reading, click on the links below.

New York Times : Fossils in Kenya Challenge Linear Evolution

Yahoo News : Fossils challenge old evoluton theory