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  • Hair Spacing Keeps Honeybees Clean During Pollination

    A honeybee can carry up to 30 percent of its body weight in pollen because of the strategic spacing of its nearly three million hairs. The hairs cover the insect’s eyes and entire body in various densities that allow efficient cleaning and transport. 

    The research found that the gap between each eye hair is approximately the same size as a grain of dandelion pollen, which is typically collected by bees. This keeps the pollen suspended above the eye and allows the forelegs to comb through and collect the particles.

  • The Electric Sands of Titan

    Experiments suggest the particles that cover the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, are “electrically charged.” When the wind blows hard enough (approximately 15 mph), Titan’s non-silicate granules get kicked up and start to hop in a motion referred to as saltation. As they collide, they become frictionally charged, like a balloon rubbing against your hair, and clump together in a way not observed for sand dune grains on Earth — they become resistant to further motion. They attach to other hydrocarbon substances, much like packing peanuts used in shipping boxes here on Earth.

  • NASA Chooses Georgia Tech For New Solar System Research Project

    NASA has announced that School of Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Thomas Orlando’s team – Radiation Effect on Volatiles and Exploration of Asteroids and Lunar Surfaces (REVEALS) – is one of four chosen by the space agency for inclusion in SSERVI – the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute.

  • From the Butterfly's Wing to the Tornado: Predicting Turbulence

    Will we even ever know if a flapping butterfly wing can trigger a tornado a continent away? Chaos theory says calculating and predicting turbulence must be impossible. But physicists are latching onto turbulent patterns with digital optics and math, and their resulting forecasts closely jibe with actual turbulent flows. Their work offers possible paths into growing mounds of weather and climate data to make better use of them.