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Instride Online provides in-depth information in short, concise articles about politics, health, religion … connecting you to what’s in the news and what makes our lives meaningful on a daily basis.
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In the 1920’s, the International Astronomical Union established the precise coordinates of the 88 constellations.
The most ancient constellations were observed more than 5,000 years ago, and they each tell a story about the civilization that first put into writing their view of the stars, the visible planets, the phases of the moon, and the seasonal changes that influenced their planting and harvesting.
Centuries later, the Greeks and then the Romans adapted these same star groupings to represent tales of love, hate, lust, and war among deadly creatures and legendary warriors. Relying solely on the sharpness of their eyesight, these early astronomers mapped the night sky with incredible accuracy.
When the first refracting telescopes were aimed at the stars in the 1700’s, new constellations were being “discovered” by explorers as they navigated the oceans near the North and South Pole, completing the map of the night sky.
In the year 2020, space agencies from around the globe will be launching orbiters, landers, and rovers toward Mars at a time when the red planet’s elliptical orbit places it nearest to earth, an alignment that occurs every two years.
After a 9-10 month journey, the new series of spacecraft will explore Mars, while a manned space flight is on schedule for the 2030’s.
On April 20, Fyodor Yurchikhin and Jack Fischer traveled to the International Space Station as part of Expedition 52 set to begin in May.
There are currently 83 scientific experiments being conducted on the ISS, many that involve the astronauts themselves as they test the limits of living and working in the microgravity of space.
Just as we can find a position on earth using GPS coordinates, when this same theoretical “grid” is projected outward onto the night sky, coordinates of right ascension (longitude) and declination (latitude) can be used to locate deep sky objects such as stars, star clusters, planets, and even galaxies.
Orbiting the earth are more than 2,280 satellites that are working 24/7, tracking the weather, redirecting voice and data communications, and sending GPS information to and from anywhere on the globe.
- Low Earth Orbit (LEO) the ISS, Hubble, earth observation satellites
- Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) GPS satellites
- Geosynchronous Orbit (satellite and the earth have same orbital speed)
- High Earth Orbit (HEO) weather satellites
A satellite’s “place in space” is determined by three things: its distance from the surface of the earth (the farther away, the slower the orbit), the eccentricity of its orbit (either circular or elliptical) and its inclination (whether it orbits parallel to the equator or at an angle). For instance, a weather satellite might be positioned in a geosynchronous circular orbit to constantly monitor cloud cover, precipitation, and storm systems in a particular region, while communication satellites that cover regions over the north and south poles would follow a highly elliptical orbit inclined at a 90 degree angle.
A cool website “Stuff in Space” has located thousands of satellites, both active and non-functioning, as well as large pieces of space debris that are carefully monitored by NASA’s initiative “Astromaterials Research and Exploration.”
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We know that exercise is good for our health, but how much of a metabolic boost is needed to reap some of the benefits?
Researchers have found that just 20 minutes of physical activity a day kick starts the immune system, preventing it from over-producing certain types of leukocytes that target healthy cells in the body and cause inflammation.
A healthy diet is most important when we need the energy to get through a busy day. We might think that specialty or convenience foods are helpful, but all the nutrients we need are in the recipes we’ve been cooking for years:
- A medium sweet potato contains 500% rda for Vitamin A
- 100% of the vital B vitamins are in combinations of every day foods like fortified cereal, eggs, orange juice, chicken, fish, and beans
- All the minerals we need come from healthy snack foods such as salads, whole grains, nuts, yogurt, and dark chocolate
- And these same foods contain protein and carbs for energy and a clear-minded focus through the day
The spiral, ladder-shaped molecule of DNA is a familiar sight. In recent years, scientists have been researching the correlation between DNA and the aging process, specifically whether the shortening of telomeres at the base of a DNA molecule could result in various types of cancer.
Cancer occurs when parts of a chromosome known as a gene become damaged, interrupting the cells normal functioning and causing it to grow out of control. The cause could be environmental or simply a misalignment of the nitrogenous base pairs that occurs during DNA replication.
But our cells have built-in mechanisms for repairing DNA. When DNA replicates, for instance, the parent DNA is able to alert itself when the sequence of base pairs are lining up incorrectly. Enzymes then swoop in to “delete” the incorrect sequence, repairing the strand of DNA before it divides into the new cell.
When cell damage occurs from environmental factors (such as stress, unhealthy foods, toxins) enzymes within the cell nucleus that continually scan the genetic material will locate and cut away the broken pieces and rebuild the strand with the correct sequencing.
Researchers have found that numerous mutations usually have to occur within a strand of DNA before the cell becomes cancerous. They point to this as the reason that cancer occurs more often in the elderly, or as the reason that we age at all.