Tribute of the Day: Fans Honor Leonard Nimoy By ‘Spocking’ Canadian Currency

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Via: The_CDR
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Canadians and Trekkies have been “Spocking” their five-dollar bills for years, but since Leonard Nimoy’s death there’s a been a surge in people sharing the defaced bills online to pay tribute. Last week the Canadian Design Resource (CDR) Twitter account encouraged its followers to scribble on former Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s face to honor Nimoy. There’s a community on Facebook called “SpockingYourFives” which explains the origins which is says are “shrouded in secrecy.”

Many years ago, some clever individual whos name has no doubt been forgotten in the annals of time noticed that Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s portrait on the Canadian five-dollar bill looked remarkably like a certain famous Vulcan. And thus the Spock five was born. With the advent of the new Canadian five-dollar bill, Laurier looks even more like Leonard Nimoy, ensuring the Spock five has a long and prosperous future.

With the increased attention towards “Spocking,” the Bank of Canada has come out saying that the practice is actually perfectly legal, but they still don’t want you to do it. “The Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes are inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride,” bank spokeswoman Josianne Menard told theCBC.

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The Dawn Spacecraft Finds Two Spots on Ceres

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ceres has some interesting spots
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Via: Scientific American: Whatever you call may call it, Ceres is one of the most geologically interesting and strange objects in the solar system. Its shape, size and composition—round, roughly the size of Texas and at least 20 percent water ice—place it at the poorly understood transition point between rocky worlds like Earth and icy worlds like Jupiter’s Europa, Saturn’s Enceladus, and other large moons of the outer solar system. Other than blurry Hubble Space Telescope images from 2004, its surface had scarcely been glimpsed until Dawn’s approach. As the spacecraft’s ion engines slowly push it toward Ceres, the dwarf planet’s details are now coming into focus, revealing tantalizing new details with practically every new image.

Lovejoy's Tail

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the tiny little dumbell nebula hangs right above it.
Via: NASA
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Via NASA: Buffeted by the solar wind, Comet Lovejoy's crooked ion tail stretches over 3 degrees across this telescopic field of view, recorded on February 20. The starry background includes awesome bluish star Phi Persei below, and pretty planetary nebula M76 just above Lovejoy's long tail. Also known as the Little Dumbbell Nebula, after its brighter cousin M27 the Dumbbell Nebula, M76 is only a Full Moon's width away from the comet's greenish coma. Still shining in northern hemisphere skies, this Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) is outbound from the inner solar system some 10 light-minutes or 190 million kilometers from Earth. But the Little Dumbbell actually lies over 3 thousand light-years away. Now sweeping steadily north toward the constellation Cassiopeia Comet Lovejoy is fading more slowly than predicted and is still a good target for small telescopes.

Mystery of the Day: Tumblr Dress Sparks Massive Online Debate

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Via: swiked
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It may not be Kim Kardashian’s butt or a couple of runaway llamas, but a single dress seemingly broken the Internet Thursday night. The image above was originally uploaded on February 15 to Tumblr with the following caption:

Guys please help me – is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the f**k out.

Simple enough question right? It’s obviously blue and gold. Mystery solved. But wait, when you turn the photo sideways it’s actually more blue and black. The more you really think about it, maybe it’s white and gold after all. Then your mind explodes, and the evil dress has won. One commenter thought we needed to elevate this to a higher authority.

SPREAD THIS UNTIL IT REACHES NASA WE MUST FIND ANSWERS

The dress was trending on Twitter and Facebook by Friday morning, with people of both camps (#whiteandgold and #blackandblue) arguing their case. Buzzfeed eventually contacted the original uploader, a woman named Caitlin McNeill. She confirmed that it was in fact the blue and black dress seen below. It’s called the Royal-Blue Lace Detail Bodycon Dress and sells for $77.

Although the more interesting question is, why do we all see different colors? Wired has a good explanation of why this is happening.

Human beings evolved to see in daylight, but daylight changes color. That chromatic axis varies from the pinkish red of dawn, up through the blue-white of noontime, and then back down to reddish twilight. “What’s happening here is your visual system is looking at this thing, and you’re trying to discount the chromatic bias of the daylight axis,” says Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist who studies color and vision at Wellesley College. “So people either discount the blue side, in which case they end up seeing white and gold, or discount the gold side, in which case they end up with blue and black.”

The Coma Glaxaxy Cluster

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that is a whole lot of galaxies
Via: NASA
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Via NASA: Almost every object in the above photograph is a galaxy. The Coma Cluster of Galaxies pictured above is one of the densest clusters known - it contains thousands of galaxies. Each of these galaxies houses billions of stars - just as our own Milky Way Galaxy does. Although nearby when compared to most other clusters, light from the Coma Cluster still takes hundreds of millions of years to reach us. In fact, the Coma Cluster is so big it takes light millions of years just to go from one side to the other! The above mosaic of images of a small portion of Coma was taken in unprecedented detail in 2006 by the Hubble Space Telescope to investigate how galaxies in rich clusters form and evolve. Most galaxies in Coma and other clusters are ellipticals, although some imaged here are clearly spirals. The spiral galaxy on the upper left of the above image can also be found as one of the bluer galaxies on the upper left of this wider field image. In the background thousands of unrelated galaxies are visible far across the universe.