3 Emerging Themes from the First Half of the FDA Hearing on Cannabis in Consumer Products

Today, hundreds of people gather with the FDA to discuss cannabis within consumer products. Although CBD is a frequent topic of discussion, the hemp industry, along with other forms of cannabis, are also being debated. Valid points from all angles are being shared, though we have noticed three main emerging themes: 1. The Hemp Industry […]

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Hubble Sees a Galaxy Bucking the Trend

This luminous orb is the galaxy NGC 4621, better known as Messier 59. Located in the 2,000-strong Virgo cluster of galaxies within the constellation of Virgo (the Virgin), Messier 59 lies approximately 50 million light-years away from us. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2XhMyKr

Lynds Dark Nebula 1251

Stars are forming in Lynds Dark Nebula (LDN) 1251. About 1,000 light-years away and drifting above the plane of our Milky Way galaxy, the dusty molecular cloud is part of a complex of dark nebulae mapped toward the Cepheus flare region. Across the spectrum, astronomical explorations of the obscuring interstellar clouds reveal energetic shocks and outflows associated with newborn stars, including the telltale reddish glow from scattered Herbig-Haro objects seen in this sharp image. Distant background galaxies also lurk on the scene, visually buried behind the dusty expanse. The deep telescopic field of view imaged with broadband filters spans about two full moons on the sky, or 17 light-years at the estimated distance of LDN 1251. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2JPdi1A

What Is the Endocannabinoid System?

It seems like everyone is talking about cannabidiol (CBD). It’s touted as treating everything from relatively benign conditions such as acne and muscle pain, to more debilitating diseases such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and even cancer. But for many people, this new workhorse of the nutraceutical industry seems a bit too good to be true. […]

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Surround Sound - Orion Service Module for Artemis 1 Undergoes Acoustic Tests

Surround Sound - Orion service module for Artemis 1 undergoes acoustic tests via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2HMS1Uh

How to Travel at (Nearly) the Speed of Light

Learn about the three ways to travel at (nearly) the speed of light. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2MdN6zT

M95: Spiral Galaxy with an Inner Ring

Why do some spiral galaxies have a ring around the center? First and foremost, M95 is one of the closer examples of a big and beautiful barred spiral galaxy. Visible in the featured combination of images from Hubble and several ground based telescopes are sprawling spiral arms delineated by open clusters of bright blue stars, lanes of dark dust, the diffuse glow of billions of faint stars, and a short bar across the galaxy center. What intrigues many astronomers, however, is the circumnuclear ring around the galaxy center visible just outside the central bar. Although the long term stability of this ring remains a topic of research, observations indicate its present brightness is at least enhanced by transient bursts of star formation. M95, also known as NGC 3351, spans about 50,000 light-years, lies about 30 million light years away, and can be seen with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Lion (Leo). via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2JLBi5G

Jezero Crater, Mars 2020's Landing Site

This false color image shows part of an unnamed crater in Mars' Arabia Terra. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2YVxxy3

Stars, Dust, and Gas near NGC 3572

Star formation can be colorful. This chromatic cosmic portrait features glowing gas and dark dust near some recently formed stars of NGC 3572, a little-studied star cluster near the Carina Nebula. Stars from NGC 3572 are visible near the bottom of the image, while the expansive gas cloud above is likely what remains of their formation nebula. The image's striking hues were created by featuring specific colors emitted by hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur, and blending them with images recorded through broadband filters in red, green, and blue. This nebula near NGC 3572 spans about 100 light years and lies about 9,000 light years away toward the southern constellation of the Ship's Keel (Carina). Within a few million years the pictured gas will likely disperse, while gravitational encounters will likely disperse the cluster stars over about a billion years. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2YOTn6p

A Volcano of Fire under a Milky Way of Stars

Sometimes it's hard to decide which is more impressive -- the land or the sky. On the land of the featured image, for example, the Volcano of Fire (Volcán de Fuego) is seen erupting topped by red-hot, wind-blown ash and with streams of glowing lava running down its side. Lights from neighboring towns are seen through a thin haze below. In the sky, though, the central plane of our Milky Way Galaxy runs diagonally from the upper left, with a fleeting meteor just below, and the trail of a satellite to the upper right. The planet Jupiter also appears toward the upper left, with the bright star Antares just to its right. Much of the land and the sky were captured together in a single, well-timed, 25-second exposure taken in mid-April from the side of Fuego's sister volcano Acatenango in Guatemala. The image of the meteor, though, was captured in a similar frame taken about 30 minutes earlier -- when the volanic eruption was not as photogenic -- and added later digitally. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2X8erVd

What is Cannabinoid receptors?

In 1988 the first cannabinoid receptors were discovered in lab testing. CBD101: The CBD Beginner’s Guide is a great start to learning about CBD's in and outs. Medical field is starting to recognize CBD's The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health talks about this in there publication.

The endocannabinoid system consists of the endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), cannabinoid receptors and the enzymes that synthesise and degrade endocannabinoids. Many of the effects of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids are mediated by two G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), CB(1) and CB(2), although additional receptors may be involved. CB(1) receptors are present in very high levels in several brain regions and in lower amounts in a more widespread fashion. These receptors mediate many of the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids. CB(2) receptors have a more restricted distribution, being found in a number of immune cells and in a few neurones. Both CB(1) and CB(2) couple primarily to inhibitory G proteins and are subject to the same pharmacological influences as other GPCRs. Thus, partial agonism, functional selectivity and inverse agonism all play important roles in determining the cellular response to specific cannabinoid receptor ligands.

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Planet of the Tajinastes

What bizarre planet are these alien creatures from? It's only planet Earth, of course. The planet's home galaxy the Milky Way stretches across a dark sky in the panoramic, fisheye all-sky projection composed with a wide lens. But the imposing forms gazing skyward probably look strange to many denizens of Earth. Found on the Canary Island of Tenerife in the Teide National Park, they are red tajinastes, flowering plants that grow to a height of up to 3 meters. Among the rocks of the volcanic terrain, tajinastes bloom in spring and early summer and then die after a week or so as their seeds mature. A species known as Echium wildpretii, the terrestrial life forms were individually lit by flashlight during the wide-angle exposures. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2YQd9ia

John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy addressed a joint session of Congress to announce his decision to go to the Moon. I via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2QokoKX

SLS Begins Insulation Process for Booster Segments for Second Flight

NASA and Northrop Grumman technicians in Promontory, Utah, have applied insulation to the final booster motor segment for the second flight of NASA’s deep space rocket, the Space Launch System, and NASA’s Orion spacecraft. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2Vf5oA8

City Life Awaits Drones in Final Year of NASA Research

NASA is conducting field demonstrations of small drones navigating urban landscapes. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2VKAhg5

From Day Into Night on the International Space Station

A couple times a year, the International Space Station orbit happens to align over the day/night shadow line on Earth. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2QgyVbF

Deep Field: Nebulae of Sagittarius

These three bright nebulae are often featured on telescopic tours of the constellation Sagittarius and the crowded starfields of the central Milky Way. In fact, 18th century cosmic tourist Charles Messier cataloged two of them; M8, the large nebula just left of center, and colorful M20 on the top left. The third emission region includes NGC 6559 and can be found to the right of M8. All three are stellar nurseries about five thousand light-years or so distant. Over a hundred light-years across, the expansive M8 is also known as the Lagoon Nebula. M20's popular moniker is the Trifid. Glowing hydrogen gas creates the dominant red color of the emission nebulae. In striking contrast, blue hues in the Trifid are due to dust reflected starlight. Recently formed bright blue stars are visible nearby. The colorful composite skyscape was recorded in 2018 in Teide National Park in the Canary Islands, Spain. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2LU59L7

NASA is Going Green, in Space

NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission, or GPIM, will prove a sustainable and efficient approach to spaceflight. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2Ejz6y2

Planets of the Solar System: Tilts and Spins

How does your favorite planet spin? Does it spin rapidly around a nearly vertical axis, or horizontally, or backwards? The featured video animates NASA images of all eight planets in our Solar System to show them spinning side-by-side for an easy comparison. In the time-lapse video, a day on Earth -- one Earth rotation -- takes just a few seconds. Jupiter rotates the fastest, while Venus spins not only the slowest (can you see it?), but backwards. The inner rocky planets, across the top, most certainly underwent dramatic spin-altering collisions during the early days of the Solar System. The reasons why planets spin and tilt as they do remains a topic of research with much insight gained from modern computer modeling and the recent discovery and analysis of hundreds of exoplanets: planets orbiting other stars. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/30uLuEZ

A Circumhorizontal Arc Over Ohio

Why would clouds appear to be different colors? The reason here is that ice crystals in distant cirrus clouds are acting like little floating prisms. Sometimes known as a fire rainbow for its flame-like appearance, a circumhorizon arc lies parallel to the horizon. For a circumhorizontal arc to be visible, the Sun must be at least 58 degrees high in a sky where cirrus clouds are present. Furthermore, the numerous, flat, hexagonal ice-crystals that compose the cirrus cloud must be aligned horizontally to properly refract sunlight in a collectively similar manner. Therefore, circumhorizontal arcs are quite unusual to see. This circumhorizon display was photographed through a polarized lens above Dublin, Ohio in 2009. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2HxzFFm

Apollo 10 Launches Into History on May 18, 1969

When Apollo 10 launched on May 18, 1969, it was the fifth launch of the Saturn V. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2WO33xp

RS Puppis

Pulsating RS Puppis, the brightest star in the image center, is some ten times more massive than our Sun and on average 15,000 times more luminous. In fact, RS Pup is a Cepheid variable star, a class of stars whose brightness is used to estimate distances to nearby galaxies as one of the first steps in establishing the cosmic distance scale. As RS Pup pulsates over a period of about 40 days, its regular changes in brightness are also seen along its surrounding nebula delayed in time, effectively a light echo. Using measurements of the time delay and angular size of the nebula, the known speed of light allows astronomers to geometrically determine the distance to RS Pup to be 6,500 light-years, with a remarkably small error of plus or minus 90 light-years. An impressive achievement for stellar astronomy, the echo-measured distance also more accurately establishes the true brightness of RS Pup, and by extension other Cepheid stars, improving the knowledge of distances to galaxies beyond the Milky Way. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2VGw7us

Galaxy Blazes With New Stars Born From Close Encounter

The irregular galaxy NGC 4485 shows all the signs of having been involved in a hit-and-run accident with a bypassing galaxy. Rather than destroying the galaxy, the chance encounter is spawning a new generation of stars, and presumably planets. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2JKUjES

Jonny Kim: NASA's 2017 Astronaut Class

Jonny Kim was selected as a member of NASA's 2017 astronaut class, nicknamed "the Turtles." via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2LJ0742

Anemic Spiral NGC 4921 from Hubble

How far away is spiral galaxy NGC 4921? It's surpringly important to know. Although presently estimated to be about 300 million light years distant, a more precise determination could be coupled with its known recession speed to help humanity better calibrate the expansion rate of the entire visible universe. Toward this goal, several images were taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in order to help identify key stellar distance markers known as Cepheid variable stars. Since NGC 4921 is a member of the Coma Cluster of Galaxies, refining its distance would also allow a better distance determination to one of the largest nearby clusters in the local universe. The magnificent spiral NGC 4921 has been informally dubbed anemic because of its low rate of star formation and low surface brightness. Visible in the featured image are, from the center, a bright nucleus, a bright central bar, a prominent ring of dark dust, blue clusters of recently formed stars, several smaller companion galaxies, unrelated galaxies in the far distant universe, and unrelated stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2WDF8Rj

Good Vibrations: Orion Crew Module Undergoes Testing

On April 29 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Orion’s service module moved to the lift station inside the assembly bay. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2WFNs2N

Young Star Cluster Trumpler 14 from Hubble

Why does star cluster Trumpler 14 have so many bright stars? Because it is so young. Many cluster stars have formed only in the past 5 million years and are so hot they emit detectable X-rays. In older star clusters, most stars this young have already died -- typically exploding in a supernova -- leaving behind stars that are fainter and redder. Trumpler 14 spans about 40 light years and lies about 9,000 light years away on the edge of the famous Carina Nebula. A discerning eye can spot two unusual objects in this detailed 2006 image of Trumpler 14 by the Hubble Space Telescope. First, a dark cloud just left of center may be a planetary system trying to form before being destroyed by the energetic winds of Trumpler 14's massive stars. Second is the arc at the bottom left, which one hypothesis holds is the supersonic shock wave of a fast star ejected 100,000 years ago from a completely different star cluster. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2Hj3nz3

Waxing Crescent Moon Above Earth's Limb

The waxing crescent moon is photographed just above Earth's limb. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2VzrTEB

Rho Ophiuchi Wide Field

The colorful clouds surrounding the star system Rho Ophiuchi compose one of the closest star forming regions. Rho Ophiuchi itself is a binary star system visible in the blue reflection nebula just to the left of the image center. The star system, located only 400 light years away, is distinguished by its multi-colored surroundings, which include a red emission nebula and numerous light and dark brown dust lanes. Near the lower left of the Rho Ophiuchi molecular cloud system is the yellow star Antares, while a distant but coincidently-superposed globular cluster of stars, M4, is visible just to the right of Antares. Near the image top lies IC 4592, the Blue Horsehead nebula. The blue glow that surrounds the Blue Horsehead's eye -- and other stars around the image -- is a reflection nebula composed of fine dust. On the featured image right is a geometrically angled reflection nebula cataloged as Sharpless 1. Here, the bright star near the dust vortex creates the light of surrounding reflection nebula. Although most of these features are visible through a small telescope pointed toward the constellations of Ophiuchus, Scorpius, and Sagittarius, the only way to see the intricate details of the dust swirls, as featured above, is to use a long exposure camera. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2Yim6jU

Milky Way, Launch, and Landing

The Milky Way doesn't look quite this colorful and bright to the eye, but a rocket launch does. So a separate deep exposure with a sensitive digital camera was used in this composite skyscape to bring out our galaxy's central crowded starfields and cosmic dust clouds. In the scene from Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, a nine minute long exposure begun about 20 minutes after the Miky Way image recorded a rocket launch and landing. The Falcon 9 rocket, named for the Millennium Falcon of Star Wars fame, appropriately launched a Dragon resupply ship to the International Space Station in the early morning hours of May the 4th. The plume and flare at the peak of the launch arc mark the rocket's first stage boost back burn. Two shorter diagonal streaks are the rocket engines bringing the Falcon 9 stage back to an offshore landing on autonomous drone ship Of course I Still Love You. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2vQMwgz

Joe Acaba: Geologist and Teacher Turned Astronaut

Joe Acaba was selected as an astronaut in 2004 and has logged a total of 306 days in space on three flights. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2LCHrTE

Ellison Onizuka: First Asian American in Space

Ellison Onizuka was the first Asian American to fly in space. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2Ju6HbS

InSight Sees Drifting Clouds on Mars

NASA's InSight Mars Lander used its Instrument Context Camera beneath the lander's deck to image these drifting clouds at sunset on the Red Planet. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2VVWMm2

Astronaut Ricky Arnold Talks STEM Education

Today is National Teacher Day! NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold was a science teacher at John Hanson Middle School in Waldorf, Maryland. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2Jk0109

Liftoff of SpaceX's CRS-17 Dragon Cargo Craft

SpaceX's Dragon lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Saturday, May 4. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2V6UPic

Virtual Flyby of the Whirlpool Galaxy

What would it look like to fly over a spiral galaxy? To help visualize this, astronomers and animators at the Space Telescope Science Institute computed a virtual flyby of the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) using data and images from the Hubble Space Telescope. At only 25 million light years distant and fully 50 thousand light years across, the Whirlpool is one of the brightest and most picturesque galaxies on the sky. Visible during the virtual flyby are spiral arms dominated by young blue stars, older lighter-colored stars, dark lanes of dust, and bright red emission nebulae. Many galaxies far in the distance can be seen right through M51. The visualization should be considered a time-lapse, because otherwise the speed of the virtual camera would need to be very near the speed of light. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2vBhyZE

Saturn, Titan, Rings, and Haze

This is not a solar eclipse. Pictured here is a busy vista of moons and rings taken at Saturn. The large circular object in the center of the image is Titan, the largest moon of Saturn and one of the most intriguing objects in the entire Solar System. The dark spot in the center is the main solid part of the moon. The bright surrounding ring is atmospheric haze above Titan, gas that is scattering sunlight to a camera operating onboard the robotic Cassini spacecraft. Cutting horizontally across the image are the rings of Saturn, seen nearly edge on. At the lower right of Titan is Enceladus, a small moon of Saturn. Since the image was taken pointing nearly at the Sun, the surfaces of Titan and Enceladus appear in silhouette, and the rings of Saturn appear similar to a photographic negative. Now if you look really really closely at Enceladus, you can see a hint of icy jets shooting out toward the bottom of the image. It is these jets that inspired future proposals to land on Enceladus, burrow into the ice, and search for signs of extraterrestrial life. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2LlskxP

Saturn and the Da Vinci Glow

On February 2nd early morning risers saw Saturn near an old Moon low on the eastern horizon. On that date bright planet, sunlit crescent, and faint lunar night side were captured in this predawn skyscape from Bursa, Turkey. Of course the Moon's ashen glow is earthshine, earthlight reflected from the Moon's night side. A description of earthshine, in terms of sunlight reflected by Earth's oceans illuminating the Moon's dark surface, was written over 500 years ago by Leonardo da Vinci. On May 2nd an old Moon also rose in the predawn twilight. On that date its ashen glow shared the sky with Venus, the brilliant morning star. May 2nd also marked the 500th anniversary of Leonardo's death in 1519. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2VjwJWN

Hubble Spots Stunning Spiral Galaxy

NGC 2903 is located about 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo (the Lion), and was studied as part of a Hubble survey of the central regions of roughly 145 nearby disk galaxies. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2DJrswQ

Clouds of the Large Magellanic Cloud

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is an alluring sight in southern skies. But this deep and detailed telescopic view, over 10 months in the making, goes beyond what is visible to most circumnavigators of planet Earth. Spanning over 5 degrees or 10 full moons, the 4x4 panel mosaic was constructed from 3900 frames with a total of 1,060 hours of exposure time in both broadband and narrowband filters. The narrowband filters are designed to transmit only light emitted by sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Ionized by energetic starlight, the atoms emit their characteristic light as electrons are recaptured and the atoms transition to a lower energy state. As a result, in this image the LMC seems covered with its own clouds of ionized gas surrounding its massive, young stars. Sculpted by the strong stellar winds and ultraviolet radiation, the glowing clouds, dominated by emission from hydrogen, are known as H II (ionized hydrogen) regions. Itself composed of many overlapping H II regions, the Tarantula Nebula is the large star forming region at the left. The largest satellite of our Milky Way Galaxy, the LMC is about 15,000 light-years across and lies a mere 160,000 light-years away toward the constellation Dorado. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2VhJHUY

How Atmospheric Sounding Transformed Weather Prediction

In the late 1950's, NASA scientist Lewis Kaplan developed a groundbreaking way to calculate temperature in the atmosphere for weather forecasting. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2DLB9uq

Manicouagan Impact Crater from Space

Orbiting 400 kilometers above Quebec, Canada, planet Earth, the International Space Station Expedition 59 crew captured this snapshot of the broad St. Lawrence River and curiously circular Lake Manicouagan on April 11. Right of center, the ring-shaped lake is a modern reservoir within the eroded remnant of an ancient 100 kilometer diameter impact crater. The ancient crater is very conspicuous from orbit, a visible reminder that Earth is vulnerable to rocks from space. Over 200 million years old, the Manicouagan crater was likely caused by the impact of a rocky body about 5 kilometers in diameter. Currently, there is no known asteroid with a significant probability of impacting Earth in the next century. But a fictional scenario to help practice for an asteroid impact is on going at the 2019 IAA Planetary Defense Conference. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2DIsj0O

InSight Lander Captures a Sunset on Mars

NASA's InSight lander used the Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC) on the end of its robotic arm to image this sunset on Mars on April 25, 2019, the 145th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. This was taken around 6:30 p.m. Mars local time. via NASA https://go.nasa.gov/2GVyuQV