Space Station Back At Dusk / See Orion’s Curlicue and Five Dawn Planets

Rays of aurora borealis reach 60 miles and higher over the Pacific Northwest on Jan. 20, 2016 in this photo taken by astronauts Scott Kelly and Tim Peake from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

I hadn’t been paying attention, so I was pleasantly surprised two nights ago to see the International Space Station (ISS) made a bright pass in the southwestern sky. A quick check revealed that another round of evening passes had begun for locations across the central and northern U.S., Canada and Europe. I like the evening ones because they’re so much convenient to view than those that occur at dawn. You can find out when the space station passes over your house at NASA’s Spot the Station site or Heavens Above.The six-member Expedition 46 crew are wrapping up their work week on different types of research including botany, bone loss and pilot testing. Plants are being grown on the International Space Station so future crews can learn to become self-sustainable as they go farther out in space. While they work their jobs speeding at more than 17,000 mph overhead, we carry on here on the surface of the blue planet.U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly regularly tweets photos from the station and recently noted the passing of Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who died Thursday at age 85 on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his lunar landing on February 5, 1971. Mitchell was one of only 12 people to walk on the moon and described the experience to the UK Telegraph in 2014: Relive the Mitchell’s Apollo 14 mission to the moon in 9 minutes and 57 seconds“Looking at Earth from space and seeing it was a planet in isolation … that was an experience of ecstasy, realizing that every molecule in our bodies is a system of matter created from a star hanging in space. The experience I had was called Samadhi in the ancient —> Read More

Adorable Polar Bear Cub Nora Grows Up Before Your Very Eyes

Don’t they grow up fast!

It seems like only yesterday that Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio, welcomed its newborn polar bear, weighing a tiny 1 pound, into the world.

Now the adorable cub — who was this week named Nora after a public vote — weighs 18 pounds and is crawling, walking and running around all by herself.

Footage posted online shows how she’s matured since her birth on Nov. 6 last year. The zoo also uploaded this video where she’s officially given her name, a fusion of her dad’s Nanuq and mom’s Aurora:

A total 88,061 votes were cast from across the world to decide on the moniker, according to the zoo. The rejected suggestions were Desna, meaning “boss,” Kaya, meaning “little but wise” and Sakari, meaning “sweet.”

“We are thrilled and inspired that so many people around the world helped name this young polar bear,” said zoo president and CEO Tom Stalf.

“We hope that those who have been watching Nora grow will continue to do so throughout her life, and remember that we all have a role to play in protecting wild polar bears for generations to come.”

A previous Facebook post revealed that the zoo’s animal care staff were hand-rearing the cub after her mom stopped caring for her:

Staff continue to help but the cub is becoming more and more independent every day, said the zoo’s assistant curator Shannon Morarity.

Wild polar bears are found in the U.S., Canada, Russia, Greenland and Norway, and do not live in the Southern Hemisphere, according to the zoo’s website.

Females live for an average 24.1 years and can grow to 8 feet tall and 550 pounds. —> Read More

Where infants sleep may affect how long they are breastfed

A new study indicates that mothers who frequently sleep, or bed-share, with their infants consistently breastfeed for longer than mothers who do not bed-share. Also, pregnant women who expressed a strong motivation to breastfeed were more likely to bed-share frequently once their baby was born. The findings, which come from a study of 678 women in a randomized breastfeeding trial who were recruited at mid-pregnancy, question whether recommendations to avoid bed-sharing due to concerns such as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) may impede some women from achieving their breastfeeding goals and could thereby prevent women and their children from experiencing all of the short- and long-term benefits of breastfeeding. —> Read More

Excessive Tanning Could Be A Sign Of A Deeper Problem

(Reuters Health) – Women who use indoor tanning salons are more likely to have mood or body issues than the average person, suggests new research.

Compared to the general population, women who reported tanning at least 10 times in the last year were more likely to be obsessed with real or imaginary flaws in their appearance, to have episodes of depression related to changes in seasons and to have high stress levels.

“It may be the case in clinical settings that when we see people who do a lot of tanning, it may be a flag to look at other mental health issues,” said senior author Sherry Pagoto of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.

Previous research found that people tan due to needs stemming from their mood and appearance, the researchers write in a letter in JAMA Dermatology.

“We see sometimes with tanners an effort to get tanner and tanner and a feeling that you’re never tan enough,” Pagoto told Reuters Health. That type of behavior is not unlike body dysmorphic disorder, which is when people feel there is an issue with their appearance that can’t be fixed.

Past research also suggests that people who tan may be at an increased risk of elevated stress and seasonal affective disorder – or SAD.

“We looked at these three things and we wanted to see if we found elevated rates among people who tan,” Pagoto said.

The researchers recruited 74 women, ages 19 to 63 years, who had been tanning at least 10 times in the past year and at least four times in the past two months.

They surveyed the women with questions that would help detect body dysmorphic disorder, SAD and elevated stress and then compared the women’s scores to what would be expected in the general population.

Overall, 39 percent of the —> Read More

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