Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Christmas Eve with an Early SciSchmooze

Cassiopeia A

Hello again Science Fans!

Since it is Christmas Eve, many of you have plans for today or tonight, so we’re publishing earlier than usual today.

The holiday season is a joyous time for many. Please remember that for some, it is a source of stress. Check in on friends or relatives who might be alone at this time of year.

If you’re looking for something to do New Years Day, we’ve listed some First Day Hikes on our calendar. These are led at various California State Parks around the state, including quite a few in the Bay Area.

Also, remember that The Physics Show tickets are still available, but are selling well. Dates this time around are January 6 and 7, 20 and 21, with three shows each day.

After a month of unrest, the Reykjanes peninsula volcano in Iceland finally began erupting on December 18. As of the 21st, it appears that the lava flows have stopped, at least for now. Here’s a blog history of activity, and this article includes some images of the eruption, as well as maps. Pretty impressive.

Speaking of eruptions, there are plumes of hydrogen cyanide jetting from the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Hydrogen cyanide is toxic to humans, but is believed to have been a key building block of amino acids.

Fast Radio Bursts are one of those interesting components of cosmology, and scientists have caught one source doing something never seen before.

Twain is the name given to a humpback whale that scientists recently had a 20 minute long “conversation” with. “If we could talk to the animals…”

Last January, the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County completed work on a wildlife tunnel under Laurel Curve on SR 17. While various small animals began using the tunnel immediatelly, on November 28 cameras captured images of a mountain lion using the tunnel for the first time.

Ever wonder what happens to all the tires on our cars and trucks after they wear out? A startup may have a new use for them. They are reclaiming graphite from old tires and using it in a new generation of fast-charging batteries for electric vehicles.

Supernova remnant Cassiopeia A looks like a Christmas tree ornament in the image at the top of the newsletter. NASA has released several more images with Christmas themes, as this article shows.

Last week I shared a couple of top 10 lists. Here are a two more. First is the Smithsonian Magazine’s picks for the ten most significant science stories of the year. Then Quanta Magazine looks at the year in Computer Science.

The James Webb telescope has been in operation for just about two years, and it may have “broken” cosmology. A lot of what we think we know about the cosmos may be wrong.

And with that to wrap your head around, those of us here at Bay Area Science wish you, your families, and friends Happy Holidays, however you celebrate them.

David will have the last word for 2023 next week.

Have a great week in Science!


Upcoming Events:
Click to see the next two weeks of events in your browser.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *