Posts Tagged ‘Science & Tech’

By The Purple Grasses of Dantooine! Team | July 3, 2007

According to the Expanded Universe, Dantooine has steppes and savannas covered by purple grasslands, and we all know about the trippy color schemes of Felucian plantlife. The latest issue of Discover Magazine discusses the likelihood of lush grasslands on other planets having color palettes other than green. The article can be found online here. Here’s an excerpt:

[Astrobiologist Nancy Kiang] and her colleagues have used hypothetical star-planet combinations to predict extraterrestrial plant color with some intuitively jarring results. With a cooler star than our sun, little blue light would filter through an oxygen-rich atmosphere, so plants might have to rely on invisible infrared light for photosynthesis. Because they would reflect most visible light, they might appear white to our eyes. A hotter star could instead yield red or orange plants, though blue plants would be unlikely under any scenario, Kiang says.

Handy knowledge to have for gamers, designers and writers interested in telling tales of colorful planets.

Who Likes Pi?

Pablo Hidalgo | June 26, 2007

This one is strictly for fellow math nerds. Star Wars has no shortage of memorable numbers. Now, astound your friends at MIT and JPL by rattling off where within Pi’s endless series of digits said numbers can be found.

1138, as in detention block… ? Why, it’s 5,698 digits in.

2187, as in detention block…? Why, it’s 3,317 digits in.

3720, as in odds-against survival in an asteroid field…? Look 5,543 digits in.

3263827, as in garbage masher…? That one, you have to go 42,703,611 digits past the decimal points.

Find out more here. We now return you to your less numerical day-to-day life.

Atlantis Shuttle Crew Reminded of Star Wars

Bonnie Burton | June 21, 2007

In space it seems that even real astronauts can get slightly nostalgic for A New Hope.

Sturckow and his six STS-117 crewmates are concluding a 13-day mission to the ISS, where outfitted the orbital laboratory with new starboard solar arrays and trusses, hauled in an older solar wing and swapped out a member of the Expedition 15 crew. The astronauts undocked from the ISS Tuesday and flew around the station to take photographs of its new symmetrical shape.

“We refer to this as our TIE fighter video,” joked Cathy Koerner, lead STS-117 flight director, the similarity between the station’s new look and Star Wars fighters from afar.

Read more here.