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geek learn science

You wont believe: the smallest possible star is just a bit bigger than Jupiter


It is said that Jupiter is a failed star. It is so massive that, if it were a couple of times more massive, it would have become a star. Stars can be way smaller than our Sun. For example, theoretically, a red dwarf star has only about 7.5% the mass of the Sun.

Poxima Centauri, another example, has only 12.3% the mass of the Sun.

The smallest possible star would be only about 50% larger than Jupiter. Imagine how our sky would be with a planet-star our there. Cooler than Tatooine from Star Wars, of course.

The smallest known star is MASS J05233822-1403022 at about 9% the mass of Sun.

Bonus: what is the biggest star in the Universe? The most massive we know of is R136A1 which is over 265 solar masses. Eta Carinae is also big: 120 solar masses. Betelgeuse, from Orion Constellation, a red supergiant star, with a radius of 980-1200 times the radius of the Sun.

Betelgeuse would be so big that even Jupiter’s orbit would fit inside it. Vy Canis Majoris, another great star, is 1300 – 1540 times the radius of the Sun.

See how big is Betelgeuse:

How big is Vy Canis Majoris compared to the Sun?

And here are all of the biggest stars in one row:

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learn science

13 things you didn’t know about the snowflakes and snow


DNews’ Trace got it right: we don’t know a lot of things about snow and he’s here to make some light. Snow is great. Winter is also great. Those who live in warm climates won’t ever know how it feels to fight with snowballs.

The snowflakes have always six sides, although the particular pattern will be always different. At the center of a snowflake there is a always some sand or particle that generated that snowflake and inside it a ton of air bubbles are trapped.

This is why snow is a good sound insulator, but it is good as a home. Remember the iglus?

When a snowflake rushes down to Earth’s surface it does so at 3 mph, a very slow speed. Yup, not that high of a speed.

Watch the movie for more snow facts.

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learn science

If you drink 6 L of water at once you die


The guys at Reactions have created an explained video in which we learn that the dose makes the poison. For example, were you to drink 6L at once, then you would die. You die because of loss of Na ions in your body and thus the electrical activity inside us is decreased. Heart and brain stop and you die.

There are other elements, like lead that can be poisonous at any level or cyanide will kill you fast and easy in quite small amounts. Remember, better to steer clear of poisons of any kind.

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geek

Holiday life hacks are here :D


John Green, from Mental Floss, is ready to go through a series of Holiday life hacks again. Most of them are valid, but there are some others that didn’t make the cut. I’d say the choices were rather subjective, but on most part i agree with John here.

Life hacks that work:
– turn a bag of potato chips inside out, clean it and then use it as a wrapping paper for last minute presents
– use a cut toilet paper roll to hold the wrapping foil in place
– use wine glasses as candle holders
– put frosting in a condiment bottle
– put some paper on the end of the tape

The other life hacks can be seen int he video from above 😀

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geek on the web

Greetings from Pripyat, Chernobyl [video]

A must watch video about the Pripyat, Chernobyl area more than 26 years after the disaster. What we can say is that the animals are back, wolves roam the woods in here again and the plats grew astonishingly well. Any other animals are suites to live in there. While most of them are sick of radiation poisoning, that won’t stop them from growing in numbers.

Visits in those areas are permitted for only a couple of hours/visit and you are not allowed to touch anything as you can get radiation poisoning.

Via.

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geek learn tech

Watch this mesmerizing video of mechanical principles at work

The 19th century was a magnificent era of mechanical wonders. It was the time of Babbage’s differential engine and a time when Niepce created the first photograph. A time when Maxwell created the mathematical equations for the electrical and magnetic field paving way for Hertz to create microwaves in the lab.

Mechanical engineering was at its peak and many gears would calculate math formulas, or move your around or transform a rotating movement into translation on X or Y. The wonders of that era will stick with us for many years to come.

Check the video from below created by Ralph Steiner in 1930 about the mechanical principles. Square gears or triangle gears are definitively possible.

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learn on the web

How many bridges has Pittsburgh? Only 446!


The only city i the world to have the most number of bridges, 446, is Pittsburgh. The city is build right at the confluence of Monongahela and Allegheny and where they meet they form the Ohio River which flows into Mississippi.

With that many bridges you can see why it beats Venice. It is amazing how many things can humans achieve if they truly wish so. So, if you have enough time on your hands visit all those 446 bridges 😀

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science

Neat experiment with honey: it will be attracted to a plastic cup when the cup is electrically charged


Thunderf00t tried to explain why does the water get attracted to a plastic cup when you rub it against your hair. It seems that water behaves like an electrically charged medium and people don’t really know why it does that.

in order to observe these things better Thunderf00t used honey, which contains water, to see how it reacts to an electrically charged cup. And it works. This gift keeps on giving.

Why does water get attracted to the plastic cup in the first place?

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science

Things that are radioactive and you don’t know it


Everything on Earth is radioactive. Do not forget that the Earth is also radioactive and gives off heat due to radioactive decay that is happening inside it. Due to this radioactive decay Earth will have enough heat for 1 billion years ahead.

So, a couple of things that are radioactive that we often might encounter:
– bananas – potassium-40 (these are also an unofficial radioactivity unit called BED – banana equivalent dose)
– kitty litter – bentonite (contains traces or uranium and thorium)
– NY Grand Central Station – granite
– emergency Exit signs – tritium (radioactive isotope of hydrogen, tritium + phosphorus = radioluminescence )
– brazil nuts – radium

In any case the radiation we are exposed to when we fly with the airplane is way more than you could get from these items in one year. And that is still a manageable level, of course.

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science

Could life be older than Earth?


Alexei A. Sharov and Richard Gordon published on Arxiv.org a paper that shows their calculations: given the fact that the complexity of life doubles once every 376 million years, it seems that, going back in time, life could be about 9 billion years old. Or it could simply mean that life took more steps in the past than in current times.

Also, Abraham Loeb from Harvard University proposes the idea that, at an early stage of the Universe when the first planets were formed, the Universe was hot enough to allow liquid water to exist on some planets.

That might raise the idea that life existed way before Earth and that life, at least in microbial form, may be way more abundant than previously thought. Right now, we know for certain that we are alone in this part of the Universe or of the Solar System.