Science Nation - Sunspots Revealed

submitted by: nsf

Sunspots have fascinated mankind right from their first detection. Their mere existence challenged science and philosophy when it was recognized that the sun, once believed to be pure and unchanging, was indeed not. Now, state-of-the art telescopes, combined with the muscle of a supercomputer called "Bluefire," are allowing scientists to come to a physics understanding of sunspots and to accurately model their structure and dynamics.

Science Nation - Just by a Whisker

submitted by: nsf

From rats to robots: The story of the humble whisker. With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Mitra Hartmann, associate professor at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering, and her students are beginning to get a feel for how animals perceive the world around them. The team starts by looking at one of the most powerful sensory systems in nature: the rat whisker system.