Saturday, February 18, 2012

Science Saturday 2.5: Mini Chameleon, Deep Space Exploration, & More


Remember the recently discovered tiny frogs from Papua New Guinea?  Well a new dwarf chameleon species has been discovered on an isolated islet of Madagascar.  The Brookesia micra is only 30 millimeters from snout to tail, and its minuscule size is believed to be an evolutionary result of being in such an isolated environment.

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A new study from China suggest that electric cars cause more aerial pollution than their gasoline counterparts.  When factoring in the fossil fuels used for energy going into the production of electric vehicles at various power plants, emission of pollutant material was worse per person per mile in electric cars vs. gasoline cars.

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NASA is looking into the possibility of an astronaut-tended waypoint on the far side of the moon.  The Earth-moon libration point 2 (EML-2) is a point in space where the gravitational pull of the moon and the earth are balanced out, allowing for spacecraft to "park."  An EML-2 waypoint would allow for better deep space exploration of the moon, asteroids, and Mars.  This would be the farthest point in space that humans will have traveled.

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WARNING: The following video is graphic and not for those who are sqeamish at the sight of insects. The hissing cockroach, of Madagascar, carries it's eggs internally until they hatch, and it then gives "live birth" to its young (as seen in the video).  After birth, the mother squirts out "cockroach milk" which provides the young nymphs with nutrients.  Adult hissing cockroaches are not pests, taking habitat in rotting logs and foliage.

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