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Young Stars Paint Spectacular Stellar Landscape

Astronomers at ESO have captured the best image so far of the curious clouds around the star cluster NGC 3572. This new image shows how these clouds of gas and dust have been sculpted into whimsical bubbles, arcs and the odd features known as elephant trunks by the stellar winds flowing from this gathering of hot young stars. The brightest of these cluster stars are much heavier than the Sun and will end their short lives as supernova explosions.

Most stars do not form alone, but with many siblings that are created at about the same time from a single cloud of gas and dust. NGC 3572, in the southern constellation of Carina (The Keel), is one of these clusters. It contains many hot young blue-white stars that shine brightly and generate powerful stellar winds that tend to gradually disperse the remaining gas and dust from their surroundings. The glowing gas clouds and accompanying cluster of stars are the subjects of a new picture from the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile .

In the lower part of the image a big chunk of the molecular cloud that gave birth to these stellar youngsters still can be seen. It has been dramatically affected by the powerful radiation coming from its smoldering offspring. The radiation not only makes it glow with a characteristic hue, but also sculpts the clouds into amazingly convoluted shapes, including bubbles, arcs and the dark columns that astronomers call elephant trunks .

A strange feature captured in this image is the tiny ring-like nebula located slightly above the centre of the image. Astronomers still are a little uncertain about the origin of this curious feature. It is probably a dense leftover from the molecular cloud that formed the cluster, perhaps a bubble created around a very bright hot star. But some authors have considered that it may be some kind of oddly shaped planetary nebula — the remnants of a dying star .



Another Bush Puts His Name on the Ballot in Texas

George P. Bush, son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, officially entered the family business on Tuesday when he filed to run for a statewide office in Texas.

The grandson of former President George H.W. Bush and nephew of George W. Bush, George P.Bush filed on Tuesday to run for Texas land commissioner. A lawyer by training and founder of a Fort Worth-based investment firm, George P. Bush seeks the oldest continuously-held office in Texas history. The land commissioner–who oversees all public lands and mineral rights in the second largest U.S. state–is frequently thought to be a springboard to higher office.

Republican Party observers also hope Bush can appeal to Hispanic voters. Bush’s mother was born in Mexico, and as of his filing he is the only Hispanic Republican running for statewide office in Texas. The current land commissioner is running for lieutenant governor, and political handicappers see Bush as the clear favorite to win the post next year.


Dear God, Please spare us from another fucking Bush.

Dems try going on offense: It’s Obamacare versus ‘Cruz Care’


In 2012, the meta-pundit narrative turned on whether the election would be a choice between two visions for the future (as Dems hoped) or a referendum on the anemic Obama status quo (as Republicans predicted). The outcome surprised observers who thought the weight of the bad economy made the latter inevitable.

Now Democrats are going to attempt a repeat performance around Obamacare, at a time when the law’s travails have triggered widespread predictions that it, too, will serve as the focus of a referendum, just as the Obama economy was supposed to last year.

I’m told the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is set to launch a new campaign designed to refocus the debate on the Republican position on health care, which Dems will widely label as ”Cruz Care.”

With Ted Cruz set to roll out his own health plan — one that will probably look like the usual grab bag of GOP reform ideas, which just aren’t a reform alternative to Obamacare – Dems plan to tar GOP Senate candidates across the country with it, by hitting them as proponents of “Cruz Care.” Many GOP candidates also embraced Cruz’s Obamacare-driven government shutdown.



Climate science lawyers up

By Lindsey Konkel
The Daily Climate

Time for climate scientists to lawyer up? One of the world's premier science associations is offering the option.

The American Geophysical Union, representing more than 62,000 Earth, atmospheric and space scientists worldwide, has teamed with the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund to make lawyers available for confidential sessions with scientists at its annual meeting next month.

Legal counseling is not a typical agenda item for a science confab, but it's become an important one in today's political climate, scientists say.

The role of science in society is evolving, said AGU's executive director Chris McEntee. As society faces more conflict over natural disasters, natural resource use and climate change, scientists increasingly find themselves in the spotlight, forced to communicate findings in ways they haven't in the past.



Thursday TOON Roundup 4- The Rest






Thursday TOON Roundup 3- 1 week away

Thursday TOON Roundup 2- CONgress and GOP

Thursday Toon Roundup 1- A Violent Man

Inside NYC's New Mirrored Infinity Rooms

In what's being called the next Rain Room for New York, eccentric Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is showing off her newest installations at David Zwirner gallery. Called Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away and Love Is Calling, expect these to be the must-visit installations this fall! (Translation: Expect long lines.)

In Infinity Mirrored Room, hundreds of multicolored LED lights, suspended at different heights and dangling from floor to ceiling, transform a room into what feels like eternity. The cube-shaped, mirror-paneled room has a shallow reflecting pool as its floor and the lights flicker on and off in a strobe-like effect. Though similar to the ones Kusama has shown previously—Infinity Mirror Room at the Tate Modern and Fireflies on the Water at the Whitney Museum of Art—this one was made especially for this exhibition and still promises the viewer a wonderfully surreal experience.



'Darwin's Frog' goes extinct

LONDON (Reuters) - A frog named after Charles Darwin has gone extinct because of a deadly amphibian skin disease, scientists believe.

Darwin's frogs were named after the father of evolution, who discovered them in 1834 in Chile during his voyage around the world on the ship HMS Beagle.

They are notable for having evolved to escape predators by looking like a dead leaf, with a pointy nose, and the fact that the males carry young tadpoles around inside their vocal sacs.

Researchers think the northern Darwin's frog, one of two species, has been killed off completely by a fungal disease called chytridiomycosis that infects their skin. Numbers of the related southern species have plunged dramatically.

An analysis into the spread of the disease by a team from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Chile's Universidad Andres Bello found that habitat loss contributed to the decline, but this alone could not explain the animal's demise.


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