Today (April 8) is the best time of the year to spot and watch Mars!
The planet is at the point in its orbit where it is roughly closest to Earth, making it appear bigger and brighter. It’s visible almost all night, so if you have a chance, grab binoculars or a telescope and see Mars with your own eyes! (Image: NASA, edited by me)
In 1952 Alan Turing, a british mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist, wrote a paper which remains influential in computational biology today. He explained how stripes might form on a snake’s skin [and other patterns on animals], using the dispersion of two chemicals; an activator [red] and an inhibitor [yellow]. The activator causes the colouration, and the inhibitor inhibits it. Turing wrote a pair of equations which say that concentrations of the activator cause creation of more inhibitor, but that the inhibitor diffuses and spreads out more quickly than the activator. As shown in the animation, this causes the activator to form peaks with surrounding basins of inhibitor. The concentrations of the two chemicals quickly converge to a stripey pattern where the red activator is periodically in higher concentration than the yellow inhibitor. [video] [more] [code]
Imagery from the intro to Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey: A dandelion seed morphs into the shape of the Voyager 1 spacecraft. This is a nod to Carl Sagan. The original “Spaceship of the Imagination” appeared, on the outside, as a dandelion floating on the wind. The “Golden Record” (seen glistening in the last few frames of this gif) that was affixed to the side of Voyager 1 was a project that was dear to his heart, and was the project on which he met his wife, Ann Druyan.