The TCrane Tribune provides you with information to will help you make decisions about your education, find new things to explore, and what's new in Science these days.  New science information is always coming out.  We'll try to keep you up on things!

A Galaxy of Roses

Gravity Shapes the UniverseGravity. It spans time and space.  It shapes, creates, destroys.  It can be as gentle as the pull on the earth's oceans, or as violent as to tear whole stars apart and fling the debris millions of miles into space.  It is a power that is everywhere and yet we do not understand much of its basic structure.

In celebration of the twenty-first anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope's deployment in April 2011, astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute pointed Hubble's eye to an especially photogenic group of interacting galaxies called Arp 273.

The larger of the spiral galaxies, known as UGC 1810, has a disk that is tidally distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational tidal pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813. A swath of blue jewels across the top is the combined light from clusters of intensely bright and hot young blue stars. These massive stars glow fiercely in ultraviolet light.  Read More ...


Creating New Stars

A Galaxy Creating Stars in CassiopeiaIt is truly amazing that at one time people said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Today, an image can hold a thousand thousand books of information! The Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionaized how we view images, and how scientists see the sky.  The photo of galaxy NGC 278 here is a perfect example.

This image, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, shows a spiral galaxy named NGC 278. This cosmic beauty lies some 38 million light-years away in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia (The Seated Queen).

While NGC 278 may look serene, it is anything but. The galaxy is currently undergoing an immense burst of star formation. This flurry of activity is shown by the unmistakable blue-hued knots speckling the galaxy’s spiral arms, each of which marks a clump of hot newborn stars. Read More ...


 In the Sept., 2015 issue of Science News, scientists announced that Pluto's reddish layers are actually made up of a frozen mist floating approximately 130Km (81 miles) above the surface.  The distance that this haze floats above the surface is a surprise to scientists. What is also remarkable is that this mist has collapsed back to the surface on over half of the orb!  Where this mist came from, what it's made of, and why half of it has dropped back to the surface are just a few of the many questions that astro physicists are discovering as they pour through the stream of images that are returning to earth.

In November, 2016, scientists reported finding evidence that Pluto harbors a hidden ocean beneath the frozen surface of its heart-shaped central plain. Evidence suggests that this plain is actually the frozen surface of an ocean that contains as much water as all of Earth's seas.

The finding, reported in two research papers published in the journal Nature, adds Pluto to a growing list of worlds in the solar system beyond Earth believed to have underground oceans, some of which could contain life. Pluto's ocean, which is likely slushy with ice, lies 93 to 124 miles (150 to 200 km) beneath the dwarf planet's icy surface and is about 62 miles (100 km) deep, planetary scientist Francis Nimmo of the University of California, Santa Cruz said in an interview.

With its ocean covered by so much ice, Pluto is not a prime candidate for life, added Massachusetts Institute of Technology planetary scientist Richard Binzel, another of the researchers. But Binzel added that "one is careful to never say the word impossible." 

Want to learn more?  Type, "latest information on pluto" in your search box, surf the internet, and see what you find!  There is new information almost every day.


Heavy Elements from Neutron Stars?

Neutron Star Collision | illustration

Most chemical elements heavier than helium were born in the death throes of stars; the explosive energy of a supernova is responsible for generating most of the contents of the periodic table. Now, a new observation hints that another type of explosion—caused by the collision of two neutron stars—could be responsible for the production of many heavy nuclei, including gold. 

Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics identified a red point of light at the same location as a powerful explosion known as a short duration gamma-ray burst. This is the first identification of an optical counterpart to this type of gamma-ray burst, and it could be the signature of new neutron-rich elements being produced in the aftermath of the explosion. If that conclusion is correct, then this observation is powerful support for the idea that colliding neutron stars are responsible for many gamma-ray bursts and the origin of some heavy elements. 
Learn more here ...

What Makes Up an Element?

Periodic Table of the Elements | imageUnderstand the Periodic Table of Elements and you'll understand what's inside everything you see. You don't need to be a NASA scientist to be able to explore the universe at depth when you know the elements.  Even something as simple as water can come in different forms. How can that be? Jefferson Labs has a great approach to understanding the Elements.  Their web site will randomly pick an element and present you with that element's data from the Periodic Table of Elements. Then, you can use that information to answer the question that the computer asks about the number of protons, neutrons, electrons or nucleons (particles in the nucleus) that the atom contains.  Learn more here ...

What is a Sine Wave?

A sine wave is really just another way to describe a circle | image of sine waveYou hear about sine waves all the time.  It's how radio works (both AM and FM).  It's how television works.  It's even how your microwave works!  But did you know that a sine wave is really just another way to describe a circle?  Yup.  That's all there is to it. If you go to the Interactive Mathmatics web site and scroll down, you'll see an active illustration of how the sine describes a circle.  Mathmatics describes real world things.  Unlike what many people say, it is not an abstract science.  Rather, it is a very solid and tested way to describe real things. 

It's all trigonometry and that's why builders can create bridges, buildings, freeways, automobiles, engines, hydro-electric dams, and space stations.  All with math, including sine waves.  Is it complicated?  Not really.  Trig is about describing a circle with numbers. Once you understand what the numbers mean - you can build almost anything. Check it out!  Don't believe me?  Call us and let's find out just how trig works in the real world!

Multiplication Rhymes

(Numbers squared)

Graph of numbers 1 through 9 multiplied by thenselves | image1x1 went for a run, one got tired, and then there was just 1

2x2 went to explore, the number of hamsters they found was 4

3x3 climbed a pine, when they got to the top it was half-past 9

4x4 was a truck so mean that to drive it you had to be at least 16

5x5 hit a bee hive, the stingers pulled out totaled 25

6x6 took some pix, their photo album contained 36

7x7 looked so fine, because they were only 49

8x8 fell on the floor, when they got up they were 64

9x9 had some fun, their jokes, all told, were 81

10x10 went to bed, when they woke-up they were a 100

11x11 got some sun, their temperature went up to 121

12x12 got real sore, their pushups equaled 144

(Note:  1x1 = 12,  2x2 = 22… 9x9 = 92, etc.)