Adorable Mini Spider Discovered in China
by Nadia Drake
Tiny spiders with oversized rumps have been discovered in China. The little arachnids, each about a mm long, represent two new species of orb-weaving spiders. They belong to the Mysmenidae family of orb-weavers, and were described on May 21 in the journal ZooKeys.
Found near giant panda sanctuaries in Chongqing and Sichuan, the mini-spiders live among leaf litter and in caves, making them incredibly hard to spot. Mysmenidae weave tiny webs in the cavities created by leaves and mosses on the forest floor, and they generally prefer humid climates.
Trogloneta yuensis, collected in April 2010, is about 1 mm long. Mysmena wawuensis, collected in June 2012, is even smaller — about 0.75 mm long — and named after the Wawu Mountains National Forest Park, where it lives. Scientists believe both spiders are endemic to their particular regions, meaning you’d need to travel to China to meet these adorable micro-arachnids.
(via: Wired Science) (photo: Lin and Li, ZooKeys)
Zhangye Danxia - Geology From a Storybook
Long ago, colorful sediments were deposited in western China, layer after layer, century after century. If you were there at the time, you would have seen unremarkable ground, a single hue of dirt no different from a thousand other places on Earth.
But after thousands and thousands of years subject to the forces of pressure and tectonic movement, the total of those layers has been pushed upward, letting us peek at a rainbow-hued slice of Earth’s past perhaps unmatched on this planet. The planet looks more like the cross-section of a jawbreaker candy than layers of rock in these photos, near Zhangye, China.
The Zhangye formation, not to be confused with this danxia, a UNESCO heritage site, reminds us how our crust is heaved and hurled throughout the ages, a slow evolution that will continue into the distant future. It’s yet another story of Earth’s past, written in stone, but perhaps with the same pen as a fantasy storybook.
Space Weather Monitor is Now Operational
The “Meridian Project,” a massive scientific research project that will monitor weather in space, became fully operational this week. The Meridian Space Weather Monitoring Project is the China’s first space weather monitoring project and will lead the field in multiple areas, according to a statement from the National Space Science Center at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
“The project will help China’s space program achieve major breakthroughs, enhance the country’s competence in space and safeguard the security of the nation’s space activities,” says Wu Ji, general manager of the project and director of the National Space Science Center.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/10/space-weather-monitor-now-operational
The Extraordinary Reed Flute Cave in China.
“The reed flute cave is the largest and most scenic of the karst caves in the Chinese tourist city of Guilin. Guilin is an ancient picturesque city, located in southern China. The Chinese themselves call Guilin, the most beautiful city in the Middle Kingdom.
Guilin is a tourist center, thanks to the wonderful nature. On the north-west, seven miles from the center of town is Mount Guanminshan, on the southern side of which sits a rock ‘reed flute. In this rock is unique cave, Called the Cave of reed flutes.
According to a legend, Reed Flute Cave got its name because people believed that the reed by the cave’s mouth could be made into flutes. Its name is explained by the fact that reeds for making flutes and pipes have been grown in this region since ancient times. This dripstone cave is 790 feet deep.” [x]
“It is the last thing the residents of Chongqing would have expected to see.
But the Yangtze river, which runs through the city in south-western China, turned a bright shade of orange-red yesterday.
The waterway where the Yangtze met the Jialin River provided a fascinating contrast as the red started to filter into the other river.”
- Meeting point: A ship sails across the junction of the polluted Yangtze River (left) and the Jialin River in Chongqing, China, yesterday.
- Shock: The Yangtze river, which runs through the city in south-western China, turned a bright shade of orange-red yesterday.
- In the thick of it: A fisherman goes about his daily business.
- Bizarre: The red river gave Chongqing an apocalyptic appearance yesterday.
- Check it out! Some residents were so amazed that they collected samples in water bottles.
Last December, the Jian River in the city of Luoyang, in the north Henan province, turned red after becoming polluted by a powerful dye.
The dye was being dumped into the city’s storm drain network by two illegal dye workshops.”
See more photos & continue reading here.
A video clip of this historic event:
Chinese Astronauts entered the Tiangong-1 Prototype Orbital Space Module early this morning, marking a significant milestone in Chinese Aerospace history. The three-member crew of Shenzhou 9, with the first Chinese female Astronaut, is seen here waving at a television camera shortly after the hatch opening. Commander Jing Haipeng is seen below immediately after opening the hatch between the two space crafts. Shenzhou 9’s orbital module will act as the kitchen, toilet, and living facilities of the two-ship complex, while Tiangong-1 will be primarily for research and on-orbit operations. The crew is expected to stay at the module for ten days. This is China’s fourth manned spaceflight, and first long duration mission, expected to last anywhere from 12-14 days.
Oh, Neil. Always so spot on.
“If women can be railroad workers in Russia, why can’t they fly in space?”
- Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. She accomplished the feat on this day, June 16, 1963.
“I believe in persevering. If you persevere, success lies ahead of you.”
- Liu Yang, China’s first female astronaut, who was carried into the cosmos today, June 16, 2012, 49 years later. Coincidence? I think not.
Picture of the eclipse on May 20, 2012 over China.
China students on intravenous drips for exams
The school maintains that the amino acid drips help students relax while studying for university entrance exams, and will continue the practice.
Pictures: 3,000 Ancient Buddhas Unearthed in China
Top Photograph by Sun Zifa, Imaginechina/AP
The discovery is believed to be the largest of its kind since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, an archaeologist with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences told reporters in late March, according to the Associated Press.
The Buddha statues—most of which are made of white marble and limestone and many of which are broken—could date back to the Eastern Wei and Northern Qi dynasties (A.D. 534 to 577), experts say.
The statues—discovered during a dig outside of Ye, the ancient capital of the Eastern Wei and Northern Qi dynasties—may have been rounded up and buried after the fall of the Northern Qi dynasty by later emperors in an attempt to purge the country of Buddhism.
“It may have been that some of the ruins and broken sculptures from the past were gathered from old temple sites and buried in a pit,” said Katherine Tsiang, director of the Center for the Art of East Asia at the University of Chicago.
In some cases, the Buddhist statues may have been buried by the faithful themselves in times of danger.
“In other sites, there are inscriptions that suggest that old damaged sculptures were not just dumped in a pit, but respectfully buried in an orderly way,” Tsiang said.
Tibetan exile Janphel Yeshi, 27, runs as he is engulfed in flames after he set himself on fire to protest an upcoming visit to India by Chinese President Hu Jintao, March 26, 2012, in New Delhi. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Blue Moon shining Over China
June 2010 Shanghai - China
Image credit : Leping Zha
“A blue moon can refer to the third full moon in a season with four full moons. Most years have twelve full moons that occur approximately monthly. In addition to those twelve full lunar cycles, each solar calendar year contains roughly eleven days more than the lunar year of 12 lunations. The extra days accumulate, so every two or three years (7 times in the 19-year Metonic cycle), there is an extra full moon.”
Source: Milky way scientists