Tag Archives: science

Kuiper Belt: Facts And History!

Kuiper Belt: Facts And History!

From what the belt is, to how it’s helped change the classification of the solar system, and more! Join me as I reveal to you the facts and history of the Kuiper Belt!
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9. What Is The Kuiper Belt?
Despite it being a major part of our solar system, there are many who honestly don’t understand the grand scale and scope of the Kuiper Belt. So allow us to give you some perspective on the matter.
The Kuiper Belt is a circumstellar disc in the outer Solar System, extending from the orbit of Neptune (at 30 AU) to approximately 50 AU from the Sun. It is similar to the asteroid belt, but is far larger—20 times as wide and 20 to 200 times as massive.
Like the asteroid belt, it consists mainly of small bodies or remnants from when the Solar System formed. While many asteroids are composed primarily of rock and metal, most Kuiper belt objects are composed largely of frozen volatiles (termed “ices”), such as methane, ammonia and water.
The Kuiper belt is home to three officially recognized dwarf planets: Pluto, Haumea and Makemake. Some of the Solar System’s moons, such as Neptune’s Triton and Saturn’s Phoebe, may have originated in the region.
In many respects, the Kuiper Belt is the “end” of our solar system in terms of things like the physical objects that are there and reachable. The “edge” of the solar system is a slightly different matter as that would either be the Heliosphere (if you go by magnetic fields) or the Oort Cloud, which is where the suns’ gravity reaches the end of its influence.
But either way, the Kuiper Belt is a major part of our solar system in the literal and figurative sense. Which is rather interesting when you think about it because for a very long time we didn’t understand what was truly in that realm of space as a whole.
8. The Discovery Of The Kuiper Belt
To truly understand the Kuiper Belt, we have to dive into something you’re very familiar with, Pluto.
After the discovery of Pluto in 1930, many speculated that it might not be alone. The region now called the Kuiper belt was hypothesized in various forms for decades. It was only in 1992 that the first direct evidence for its existence was found. The number and variety of prior speculations on the nature of the Kuiper belt have led to continued uncertainty as to who deserves credit for first proposing it.
But let’s go back to the beginning and just break it down from there, shall we?
The first astronomer to suggest the existence of a trans-Neptunian population was Frederick C. Leonard. Soon after Pluto’s discovery by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930, Leonard pondered whether it was “not likely that in Pluto there has come to light the first of a series of ultra-Neptunian bodies, the remaining members of which still await discovery but which are destined eventually to be detected”.
That same year, astronomer Armin O. Leuschner suggested that Pluto “may be one of many long-period planetary objects yet to be discovered.”
This is fascinating for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is that the discovery of Pluto should have been a finite discovery, or one that led to more study of the planet and what it could mean as a whole. Yet many scientists looked upon it and wondered if it was telling us everything we needed to know about the region.
In 1943, in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Kenneth Edgeworth hypothesized that, in the region beyond Neptune, the material within the primordial solar nebula was too widely spaced to condense into planets, and so rather condensed into a myriad of smaller bodies.
From this he concluded that “the outer region of the solar system, beyond the orbits of the planets, is occupied by a very large number of comparatively small bodies” and that, from time to time, one of their number “wanders from its own sphere and appears as an occasional visitor to the inner solar system”, becoming a comet.
That’s not a bad way to describe what the Kuiper Belt really is, and he was right that by modern classifications, the various items in the belt weren’t able to go and become fully-fledged planets. But more on that in a bit.
Before we continue to break down everything that’s going on with the Kuiper Belt, be sure to like or dislike the video, that way we can continue to improve our content for you, the viewer! Also be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss ANY of our weekly videos!
7. Continued Theories
The more that astronomers wondered about the Kuiper Belt, the more that speculations rose and fell about what it is, what it could be, what it could’ve been, and more.

#InsaneCuriosity #KuiperBelt #TheSolarSystem

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MinuteEarth Explains: Water

MinuteEarth Explains: Water

Help support COVID-19 relief efforts every time you surf the web. Download the Tab For A Cause extension today at

In this collection of classic MinuteEarth videos, we take a look at one of Earth’s most critical – and unique – features.

We originally created the videos in the “MinuteEarth Explains” series for another project. But we know that lots of people right now are looking for really good online educational content – and something to take their mind off current events – so we decided to release them here as well. We’d love to know what you think, so leave us a comment below!

These are the episodes featured in this compilation:

0:25 – Where Did Earth’s Water Come From?

3:05 – Why Are There Clouds?

5:46 – Why Do Rivers Curve?

8:31 – UPSIDE-DOWN Rivers On Mars?!

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15 New Stunning Images Of Mars From Curiosity Rover (2020)

15 New Stunning Images Of Mars From Curiosity Rover (2020)

15 New Stunning Images Of Mars From Curiosity Rover (2020)

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From the various peaks of mountains, to the valleys that help reveal so much about red planet, join me as we explore brand new images from Mars via the Curiosity Rover.
I want you to imagine that you are on Mars right now. That is after all the goal of many in the world right now. Between NASA, Space X, and various other international agencies, there are a lot of people who are working hard to get us to the red planet known as Mars, and in the process, create history. Because when we do land on Mars, it’ll be the first time a human has stepped foot on another planet.

15. The Curiosity Rover
You might not realize just how much we owe to the Curiosity Rover, so allow me to explain it to you and show you just how much work this singular machine had done. The Curiosity Rover was launched from Earth on November 26th, 2011.

14. Mount Sharp 1:17
In terms of the location of where the Curiosity Rover was posted, that would be the Gale Crater. This was an impact site that at one time was believed to have been a key place for various things like water and sediment. We know that there is water on Mars, and Curiosity has even found various forms of clay via its explorations.
13. 3D Map Of Mars
While not solely a thing from the Curiosity Rover, anytime you can make a top-down 3D map of an area, it can be very helpful in various tasks that you are trying to achieve. And sure enough, with the help of the Curiosity Rover and the satellites above and beyond Mars over the years, NASA was able to make a 3D map of the area the rover is in, and thus, create a way for them to look over the terrain that would help them go and find a path through the crater and up to the peaks of Mount Sharp.

12. Yellowknife Bay
Yellowknife By was one of the areas that the Curiosity Rover had to go through to get to Mount Sharp, and as you can see from these pictures, various styles and compositions of rock are here in this area. By looking at these pictures, a lot of information was able to be determined. Including the fact that at one time, this area was indeed filled with water. Hence the name “Yellowknife Bay”.

11. Parhump Hills
Continuing on its journey to Mount Sharp, the Curiosity Rover found itself looking at the base of the mountain via the Parhump Hills. And with this came a look at places like the Kimberly Foundation. The more pictures that were taken, the more proof was stacked about how the crater was at one time a major place of water.

10. Garden City
Heading now to a rather odd spot on the rovers journey to Mount Sharp was the place known as Garden City. When you take a look at these photos, it’s almost as if the place is full of bones and litter. But in fact, it’s a place that is full of various mineral deposits that winds and weaves throughout the area.

9. Martian Sunset
If you’re hoping to see more aesthetic things that rocks and dirt via the rovers time on Mars, then you’re in luck. Because during its time on the red planet, it had time to get some absolutely beautiful shots of the Martian sunrise and sunset. Do you notice anything interesting in this picture? Exactly. The Martian setting sun has a more bluish tint than anything we have here on Earth.

3. Vera Rubin Ridge
The highest point in its journey thus far, Vera Rubin Ridge is another case of massive erosion and embedding of sediments. Though it’s impossible to tell at present just how each structure was formed, we do know that some were because of wind erosion, but others don’t seem to be that way based on looks alone. Showing that even Mars can have some weird and unknown structures.
2. The View Of Mars
At the top of the ridge, Curiosity took the opportunity to make a beautiful panoramic shot. Showing Mars from the height it was at, and showcasing the depth of field and the distance it had traveled so far. The fun is quite spectacular, and it makes you wonder what it will be like when Curiosity reaches the top of Mount Sharp. It hasn’t reached there yet, but it will soon more than likely.
1. A Hi-Res Panorama
We’ve shown you a lot of pictures over the course of this video, but now, let’s show you a literal brand new one that has come from the Curiosity Rover just days before this video was made. This was a panorama image that was made by the Curiosity Rover taken over the course of a “break” from late November to early December. This Panoramic image is comprised of 1000 photos and is 1.8 BILLION pixels.
The picture itself is of the Glen Torridon, a region on the flanks of Mars’ 3.4-mile-high (5.5 kilometers) Mount Sharp that the rover has been exploring recently.

#InsaneCuriosity #RecentSpaceDiscoveries #MarsEverythingAboutTheRedplanet

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MinuteEarth Explains: Food

MinuteEarth Explains: Food

In this collection of classic MinuteEarth videos, we examine the weird world of what we like to eat.

We originally created the videos in the “MinuteEarth Explains” series for another project. But we know that lots of people right now are looking for really good online educational content – and something to take their mind off current events – so we decided to release them here as well. We’d love to know what you think, so leave us a comment below!

These are the episodes featured in this compilation:

0:14 – Why Do We Eat Spoiled Foods?

3:26 – The Story of Frozen Food

5:35 – Why Don’t Americans Eat Reindeer?

7:36 – Why Do Animals Eat Their Babies?

Photo Credits:

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*If We Aren't Too Late

*If We Aren’t Too Late

This video was made in partnership with Bill Gates. To learn more about his work on clean energy, visit

We’ll each have at least $100,000 more in our piggy banks, on average, if we stop climate change than if we don’t.

Thanks also to our Patreon patrons and our YouTube members.
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To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
climate change damages, greenhouse gas emissions, climate mitigation
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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer: Peter Reich
Script Editor and Video Narrator: Alex Reich (@alexhreich)
Video Illustrator: Sarah Berman (@sarahjberman)
Video Director: Julián Gustavo Gómez (@thejuliangomez)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Kate Yoshida, Ever Salazar, David Goldenberg, Arcadi Garcia Rius
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:
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References:

Burke M, WM Davis, NS Diffenaugh. 2018. Large potential reduction in economic damages under UN mitigation targets Nature 557: 549-553.

Hsiang S, R Kopp, A Jina, J Rising, M Delgado, S Mohan, DJ Rasmussen, R Muir-Wood, P Wilson, M Oppenheimer, K Larsen, T Houser. 2017. Estimating economic damage from climate change in the United States. Science 356, 1362-1369

International Monetary Fund. 2017. The Effects of Weather Shocks on Economic Activity: How Can Low-income Countries Cope? World Economic Outlook Chapter 3, 117-183.

Kahn, ME, K Mohaddes, RNC Ng, M Hashem Pesaran, M Raissi, J-C Yang. 2019. Long-Term Macroeconomic Effects of Climate Change: A Cross-Country Analysis, CESifo Working Paper, No. 7738, Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo), Munich.

Some economists argue that people in the future will be so much richer than people today that we should just let them pay to fix climate change. There’s no guarantee, however, that future people will be richer (especially if we let climate change happen), and other economists argue that even if future people are richer, it’s not ok to leave them with a ruined planet. So, we’ve emphasized why it would be beneficial to slow climate change now.

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How To Tell If We're Beating COVID-19

How To Tell If We’re Beating COVID-19

This video made possible with support of Brilliant – the first 200 subscribers to go to get 20% off a Premium subscription to Brilliant.
Go to to explore the graph from the video yourself!

RESOURCES
Grant’s 3Blue1Brown Video: Exponential Growth and Epidemics:

Aatish’s Exponential/Logistic Curve-Fitting Site:

Data Source:
Our World in Data Page on Coronavirus:

How many tests for COVID-19 are being performed around the world?

Understanding logarithmic scales:

What we can learn from the countries winning the coronavirus fight:
(Great explainer on log scales and growth curves explained in the context of COVID-19 in different countries)

This video is a collaboration with Aatish Bhatia about how to see the COVID-19 tipping point – we present a better way to graph COVID-19 coronavirus cases using a logarithmic scale in “phase space” – plotting the growth rate against the cumulative cases, rather than either of these against time.

Support MinutePhysics on Patreon!
Link to Patreon Supporters:

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Minute Physics provides an energetic and entertaining view of old and new problems in physics — all in a minute!

Created by Henry Reich

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The Astounding Physics of N95 Masks

The Astounding Physics of N95 Masks

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This video was written in collaboration with Aatish Bhatia –
To learn more about using & decontaminating N95 masks:

Thanks to Manu Prakash for useful discussion and feedback (Manu is involved with the N95 decontamination project)

Support MinutePhysics on Patreon!
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The physics & engineering of N95 mask design is pretty incredible.

REFERENCES

10X efficiency of electrically charged fibers

“The electrostatic charge of N95 masks is a major contributor to their filtration efficiency, improving it at least 10-fold over uncharged fabric” (Tsai et al., Journal of Electrostatics 2002; Peter Tsai, personal communication).

Prakash Lab COVID-19 Response Group Working Draft Document on N95 masks:

“Electrostatic charge contributes as much as 95% of the filtration efficiency”
Molina, A., Vyas, P., Khlystov, N., Kumar, S., Kothari, A., Deriso, D., … & Prakash, M. (2020). Project 1000 x 1000: Centrifugal melt spinning for distributed manufacturing of N95 filtering facepiece respirators. arXiv preprint arXiv:2004.13494.

Tsai, P. P., Schreuder-Gibson, H., & Gibson, P. (2002). Different electrostatic methods for making electret filters. Journal of electrostatics, 54(3-4), 333-341.

History of Electrets

Jefimenko, O. D., & Walker, D. K. (1980). Electrets. The Physics Teacher, 18(9), 651-659.

Physics of Air Filtration

Hinds, W. C. (1999). Aerosol technology: properties, behavior, and measurement of airborne particles. John Wiley & Sons.

Scientific consortium for data-driven study of N95:

N95 & virus particle sizes

Bałazy, A., Toivola, M., Adhikari, A., Sivasubramani, S. K., Reponen, T., & Grinshpun, S. A. (2006). Do N95 respirators provide 95% protection level against airborne viruses, and how adequate are surgical masks?. American journal of infection control, 34(2), 51-57.

Harnish, D. A., Heimbuch, B. K., Husband, M., Lumley, A. E., Kinney, K., Shaffer, R. E., & Wander, J. D. (2013). Challenge of N95 filtering facepiece respirators with viable H1N1 influenza aerosols. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 34(5), 494-499.

Liao, L., Xiao, W., Zhao, M., Yu, X., Wang, H., Wang, Q., … & Cui, Y. (2020). “Can N95 respirators be reused after disinfection? How many times?. ACS nano.

MinutePhysics is on twitter – @minutephysics
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Minute Physics provides an energetic and entertaining view of old and new problems in physics — all in a minute!

Created by Henry Reich

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What If Every Satellite Fell to Earth?

What If Every Satellite Fell to Earth?

Thousands of satellites and pieces of debris currently orbit our Earth. They provide us with television, internet, and communications. But what if all these satellites suddenly went offline? And then came crashing down to Earth? What would a crashing satellite do to the Earth? How many satellites would come falling down?

Transcript and sources:

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What If is a mini-documentary web series that takes you on an epic journey through hypothetical worlds and possibilities. Join us on an imaginary adventure through time, space and chance while we (hopefully) boil down complex subjects in a fun and entertaining way.

Produced with love by Underknown in Toronto:

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How to Tell Matter From Antimatter | CP Violation & The Ozma Problem

How to Tell Matter From Antimatter | CP Violation & The Ozma Problem

This video was made with the support of the Heising Simons Foundation.

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This video is about the Ozma problem of distinguishing the chirality (ie left-handedness or right-handedness) of matter using weak interaction processes like beta decay (for example in uranium), or neutral kaon/k-meson decay. This is wrapped up in the phenomenon of CP violation, by which charge and parity are both violated by certain weak interaction processes – this enables antimatter to be unambiguously distinguished from matter, and left handed chirality from right handed.

REFERENCES

The Ozma Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Project

Sean Carroll on CP Symmetry (& why we shouldn’t trot out baryogenesis all the time)

Electroweak CP Violation on Scholarpedia

The Wu Experiment

Martin Gardner, The New Ambidextrous Universe

Lecture notes on CP Violation and the CKM Matrix, Cambridge (Mark Thomson)

Homochirality

L-glucose (vs D-glucose)

Radioactive Nucleus Decay

CP Violation in Semi-Leptonic Decays (SEE PAGE 426 for reference to definition of MATTER)

Kaon Decay Modes

Flipped bowling Jesus scene in Big Lebowski

Isotopes of Uranium

Beta Decay

The Wu Experiment

Kaons

CP Violation in Symmetry Magazine

Physics Stack Exchange on CP Violation

MinutePhysics is on twitter – @minutephysics
And facebook –
And Google+ (does anyone use this any more?) –

Minute Physics provides an energetic and entertaining view of old and new problems in physics — all in a minute!

Created by Henry Reich

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MinuteEarth Explains: Battle of the Sexes

MinuteEarth Explains: Battle of the Sexes

Help support COVID-19 relief efforts every time you surf the web. Download the Tab For A Cause extension today at

In this collection of classic MinuteEarth videos, we take a look at how deep the divide between males and females actually goes.

We originally created the videos in the “MinuteEarth Explains” series for another project. But we know that lots of people right now are looking for really good online educational content – and something to take their mind off current events – so we decided to release them here as well. We’d love to know what you think, so leave us a comment below!

These are the episodes featured in this compilation:

0:04 – Are any Animals Truly Monogamous?

3:24 – Males vs. Females: Sexual Conflict

6:18 – Why Bird Penises Are So Weird

8:49 – Why It Sucks to Be a Male Hyena

11:27 – Why Do Female Hyenas Have Pseudo-Penises?!

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