Selasa, 30 November 2010

wow! Shoeless Queen dons 'beekeeper' hat

Shoeless Queen dons 'beekeeper' hat as she visits Abu Dhabi mosque

Shoeless and wearing a beekeeper-style shawl and hat, the Queen walked across the world’s largest carpet last night as she met Islamic students in Abu Dhabi at the start of her five-day state visit to the Gulf.
No sooner had the Queen and Prince Philip stepped off their chartered British Airways flight from London than they were taken straight to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the country’s largest.
The floor of its main prayer hall is covered in a 35-ton carpet which took 1,200 Iranian women two years to stitch by hand.

Royal visit: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip arrive at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi
In keeping with tradition, the Queen removed her shoes before entering and padded in in stockinged feet.
While other female members of the party wore a traditional 'abaya' or full-length cloak over their clothes and a 'sheela' or scarf, the Queen wore a gold brocade coat embroidered with Swarovski crystals over her matching dress, both designed by her dresser, Angela Kelly.
She tied a gold lame shawl over her pill box hat to cover her hair.
Not only was the Queen the first visiting head of state to visit the mosque but it is seen as hugely symbolic here that the Supreme Governor of the Church of England should visit a place that, despite its young age, is a national shrine.


Toeing the line: The Queen removed her shoes before entering
Before entering the main chamber, the Queen paid her respects at the tomb of Sheikh Zayed, founding father of the United Arab Emirates.
This visit, her first in 31 years, is designed to underline a renewed spirit of co-operation between the UAE and Britain’s Coalition Government. The Queen will be accompanied throughout by the Foreign Secretary, William Hague.
In an unusual departure from convention, the royal couple are also being accompanied by the Duke of York in his capacity as a trade ambassador for Britain.

Spectacular: The Sheikh Zayed Mosque which had a Royal visit today on the first leg of a five-day tour of the Middle East


State visit: The Queen emerges after removing her footwear as a mark of respect before going in
Arriving in Abu Dhabi last night, Prince Andrew gave his first - very warm - public thoughts on Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding.
'I think this is the most wonderful piece of news that the UK has had for a long time... I'm aware that the United Kingdom has taken Kate to their heart, I think that's absolutely wonderful news,' said the Duke, who also married in Westminster Abbey, to Sarah Ferguson in 1986.
I think a spring wedding will be absolutely fantastic. I understand it's going to take place over a bank holiday weekend so it's another excuse for a good party and I think it's wonderful news - it's absolutely great.'

State visit: Foreign Secretary William Hague and his wife Ffion (left) arrive at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque before the Queen

Stunning mosque: Mr Hague and his wife are shown round
Commenting on the importance of the Queen's trip, which will also include a two-day state visit to neighbouring Oman, Andrew said: 'I think you have to look back to the fact this is a long standing relationship between the UAE and the United Kingdom which reaches back over 40 years when the UAE was a protectorate.
'A lot of work has gone on in the intervening period. Since the new Government came in there's been an increased level of concern for this particular region in terms of investment, in terms of business opportunities.
'This has been reciprocated by the UAE and other countries in the region.
'The Queen's visit here is extremely important not only for the relationship between the UK and UAE...but also for the wider region.'

Her Majesty: The Queen sported a beekeeper-style shawl and hat

Making an entrance: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, arrive at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque

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wow! November 24, 2010 Tension in the Koreas

November 24, 2010  

Tension in the Koreas

Yesterday, November 23rd, North Korea fired scores of artillery shells at the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, killing at least four (two soldiers, two civilians), wounding 18 more, destroying several houses, and setting numerous fires in one of the most serious clashes between the two countries in decades. North Korea claimed it was a response to earlier shells fired by South Korea - which the South acknowledged had been fired, but as an exercise, and not into North Korean territory. 70,000 South Korean troops were beginning an annual nationwide military drill called "Safeguarding the Nation" in the area, near the spot where a South Korean naval vessel was sunk in March, killing 46 sailors - which Seoul also blamed on North Korea. This attack coupled with recent revelations about the North's nuclear capabilities and escalating threats and counter-threats have raised tensions around the region - even as athletes from both Koreas continue to compete on a world stage, against each other and other nations, in the Asian Games in China. [Editor's Note: I will be out for the Thanksgiving holiday. Next entry will be published on 11/29] (33 photos total)

This picture taken on November 23, 2010 by a South Korean tourist shows huge plumes of smoke rising from Yeonpyeong island in the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea on November 23, 2010. North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a South Korean island on November 23, 2010, killing four people, setting homes ablaze and triggering an exchange of fire as the South's military went on top alert. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)  

A picture of smoke rising at Yeonpyeong Island after it was hit by dozens of artillery shells fired by North Korea, is shown on a mobile phone of a resident of the island November 23, 2010. (REUTERS/Kyodo)

A resident attempts to extinguish a house fire during North Korea's artillery shelling of Yeonpyeong Island November 24, 2010. (REUTERS/Yonhap)

Smoke billows from a brushfire on a mountain on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010. (AP Photo/Yonhap)

Fire fighters extinguish a fire on Yeonpyeong island in the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea on November 24, 2010 after North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells the day before. (Incheon Fire and Safety/AFP/Getty Images)

Smoke billows from multiple locations on Yeonpyeong island near the border between North Korea and South Korea on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Yonhap) KOREA OUT

Destroyed houses are seen on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, following artillery exchange between North and South Korea on November 24, 2010. (Korea Pool/Getty Images)

An aerial view shows destroyed houses on Yeonpyeong island, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010, one day after North Korea's artillery attack on the island. (AP Photo/Yonhap, Kim Hyun-tae)

This handout picture taken and released on November 24, 2010 by the Ongjin County Office shows the badly damaged interior of a house on Yeonpyeong island in the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea a day after North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells. (Ongjin County office/AFP/Getty Images)

Destroyed houses on Yeonpyeong island in the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea after North Korea fired artillery shells at the island, seen on November 23, 2010. (Ongjin County office/AFP/Getty Images)

Residents are seen at an air-raid shelter after being evacuated in Yeonpyeong Island following an artillery attack by North Korea November 23, 2010. (REUTERS/Ongjin County)

A shell fired from North Korea is seen on Yeonpyeong Island November 24, 2010. (REUTERS/Park Jong-Sik/Hankyoreh)

Residents wait to get aboard a ship before they leave Yeonpyeong island November 24, 2010. (REUTERS/Park Jong-Sik/Hankyoreh)

South Koreans take a moment of silence for South Korean marines killed in a North Korean bombardment during a rally against North Korea's recent attack, in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

South Koreans read extra edition newspapers in downtown Seoul on November 23, 2010 after North Korea earlier in the day fired dozens of artillery shells onto a South Korean island. (KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Members of the South Korean Coast Guard evacuate residents from Yeonpyeong island in the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea after North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells the day before, on November 24, 2010. (Korea Coast Guard/AFP/Getty Images

South Korean survivors arrive as they are surrounded by relatives and media at a port in Incheon, west of Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010. (AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man)

Survivors of the artillery exchange between North and South Korea arrive at Incheon port from Yeonpyeong Island on November 24, 2010 in Incheon, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Members of the media interview local residents from Yeonpyeong island as they arrive at the port in Inchon, west of Seoul, on a police vessel on November 24, 2010. (KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The mother (right) of South Korean marine Seo Jeong-Woo who was killed during North Korea's attack on Yeonpyeong Island, cries in front of a memorial altar at a military hospital in Seongnam, south of Seoul on November 24, 2010. (DONG-A ILBO/AFP/Getty Images)

A partially illuminated bridge to nowhere sits in the middle of the the Yalu River, which separates the North Korean border town of Siniuju (opposite bank, in darkness) from Dandong in northeast China's Liaoning province on November 24, 2010 in Dandong. The Yalu River bridge, also known as the no-name bridge, remains standing reaching only halfway across the river after it was bombed by the U.S. in 1950 during the Korean War and eventually dismantled from its own side by North Korea shortly after the Korean War armistice. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

South Koreans look at military controlled areas at the Imjingak pavilion, near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, about 55 km (34 miles) north of Seoul on November 24, 2010. The United States-led U.N. Command in Seoul said on Wednesday it had called for talks with North Korea to seek ways to ease tensions on the peninsula after Pyongyang's deadly artillery shelling on an island in the South. (REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak)

A North Korean soldier stands guard on the banks of the Yalu River, near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong on November 23, 2010. (REUTERS/Stringer)

A border area of North Korea's west coast, dotted with artillery bunkers and a sign reading "Long live Great leader Kim Il-Sung and his revolutionary ideology!", as seen from South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island in the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea on January 28, 2010. (KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images)

South Korean protesters, with defaced portraits of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il and his son Kim Jong Un, shout slogans during a rally against North Korea's attack on Yeonpyeong island, in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010. The letters on a flag read "Shatter". (AP Photo/Bang Sung-hae)

Protesters trample a portrait of North Korea leader Kim Jong Il in front of the Defense Ministry, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010 in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea's troops were on high alert Wednesday as their government exchanged threats with rival North Korea following a frightening military skirmish that ratcheted tensions on the peninsula to new extremes. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

Stanford University scientist Siegfried Hecker speaks about his recent trip to North Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010, at the Korea Economic Institute of America in Washington. Hecker gave a report on his trip to the North's main Yongbyon atomic complex and a small, industrial-scale uranium enrichment facility. Calling the efforts of the North Koreans "stunning", he and his colleagues observed what they estimated to be over 2,000 centrifuges capable of producing low-enriched uranium in a very modern facility. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

This DigitalGlobe Satellite handout image received on November 22, 2010 and taken on November 4, 2010 shows a satellite image of construction at North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear site. North Korea has unveiled a secret new uranium enrichment plant equipped with 2,000 centrifuges, US scientist Siegfried Hecker said, raising new fears on November 21, 2010 about Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. US officials accused North Korea on November 22 of flouting UN sanctions and seeking to destabilize the region amid the latest claims that the secretive state has built a sophisticated, new uranium enrichment plant at Yongbyon. (DIGITALGLOBE/AFP/Getty Images)

In this undated photo released on Monday, Nov. 22, 2010 by Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, center, inspects a duck farm during an inspection trip in Ryongyon, North Korea, facing the Yellow Sea. (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service)

Yang Chun Song of North Korea (right) and Kim Dai-sung of South Korea fight for the 1/8 final men's Freestyle 66kg wrestling competition at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou on November 24, 2010. The bout between the two athletes comes one day after after the North Korean rained a deadly artillery barrage on the Yellow Sea island of Yeonpyeong that belongs to South Korea. Yang Chun Song of North Korea later won the match. (MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

South Korea's Hwang Ye Sul, right, smiles after judges awarded her a win over North Korea's Sol Kyong during their women's judo -70kg gold medal match at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

North Korea's Pak Myong Jin, right, shakes hands with South Korea's Lee Seung-jun after their men's basketball game at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, Friday, Nov. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)

An elderly South Korean man wipes his tears as a North Korean relative (in the bus) waves to say good-bye after a luncheon during a separated family reunion meeting at the Mount Kumgang resort on the North's southeastern coast, near the border on October 31, 2010. North Korea criticized South Korea on November 24, 2010 for scrapping planned talks on family reunions, and repeated claims that Seoul provoked this week's deadly artillery attack on a South Korean island. (KOREA POOL/AFP/Getty Images)

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Rabu, 24 November 2010

UGM Borong Penghargaan PPRI

Kompetisi Pemilihan Peneliti Remaja Indonesia (PPRI) ke-9 mencapai puncaknya pada Selasa (23/11/10) pukul 19.00 di Widya Graha Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia, Jakarta.

Sejumlah penghargaan diberikan kepada para pemenang dari tiga kategori, yaitu Ilmu Pengetahuan Alam (IPA), Ilmu Pengetahuan Sosial dan Kemanusiaan (IPSK) dan Ilmu Pengetahuan Teknik (IPT).

Penghargaan diberikan oleh Ana Mustamin, salah satu juri kompetisi yang juga menjabat Kepala Departemen Komunikasi Perusahaan AJB Bumiputera 1912.

"Saya sangat terkesan dengan hasil-hasil penelitian dari para finalis. Terus terang, kami juga sulit memutuskan pemenangnya," ujar Ana Mustamin dalam sambutannya.

Pemenang PPRI kali ini diborong oleh mahasiswa dari Universitas Gajah Mada (UGM) Yogyakarta. Salah satu pemenang dari UGM tersebut adalah tim Fakultas Farmasi yang terdiri dari Ameilinda Monikawati, Irma Armandari dan Sofa Andari.

Mereka mengusung tema "Aktivitas Kemopreventif Ekstrak Etanolik Herba Ciplukan (Physalis angulata L.) pada Kanker Payudara: Kajian Secara In Vivo dan In Vitro".

Mereka berhasil menjadi juara pertama untuk kategori IPA. Peserta lain dari UGM adalah tim Susilo Harjono dan Ravando, masing-masing dari Fakultas Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik dan Fakultas Ilmu Budaya.

Mereka mengusung tema "Manusia Perahu sesudah Perang Berlalu: Menelusuri Jejak Pengungsi Vietnam di Pulau Galang Indonesia".

Keduanya berhasil menggondol piala juara ketiga untuk kategori IPSK. Sementara itu, peserta ketiga dari UGM adalah tim Azmi Basyarahil dan Dani Aufar yang berasal dari Fakultas Ekonomi dan Bisnis.

Keduanya mengusung tema yang berkaitan dengan penanganan korupsi dan berhasil meraih juara kedua untuk kategori IPSK. Ditanya tentang perasaan ketika memenangkan, Ameilinda mengatakan, "terus terang tidak menyangka, waktu presentasi jurinya seolah kurang tertarik dengan penelitian ini."

Ia menerangkan, hadiah uang dari kompetisi ini akan dimanfaatan bersama untuk kepentingan tim dan ditabung. "Saya juga sudah memiliki banyak bayangan tentang penelitian berikutnya. Tapi, nggak tahu nanti yang mana, masih bingung," tambahnya.

Sementara itu, Azmi mengatakan, dana yang diterimanya akan digunakan untuk kepentingan penelitian lagi. Sebagai tindak lanjut dari penelitiannya, ia juga ingin membangun komunitas yang memerangi korupsi, sebuah komunitas yang saat ini diprakarsai oleh mahasiswa-mahasiswa dari fakultasnya.
"Nantinya, kami akan coba jaring mahasiswa dari fakultas lain, seperti Fakultas Hukum, Psikologi, Ilmu Budaya serta Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik," ujarnya.

Selain peserta dari UGM, peserta lain yang menjadi pemenang antara lain berasal dari Universitas Negeri Makassar, Universitas Andalas, Universitas Brawijaya, Institut Sains dan Teknologi Sepuluh November, Universitas Negeri Surabaya dan Universitas Airlangga.

Peserta dari Universitas Negeri Makassar berhasil meraih juara pertama untuk kategori IPSK, sementara peserta dari Universitas Airlangga berhasil meraih juara pertama pada kategori IPT. Masing-masing pemenang berhak atas piala dan piagam penghargaan dari LIPI.

Mereka juga berhak atas uang tunai sebesar 12 juta rupiah untuk juara pertama, 10 juta rupiah untuk juara kedua dan 8 juta rupiah untuk juara ketiga.

Seluruh finalis yang tak memenangkan penghargaan juga diberikan penghargaan berupa uang tunai 1 juta rupiah. Seluruh uang tunai merupakan persembahan dari AJB Bumiputera 1912.

Sumber : Kompas

Pemenang LKIR Ke-42 LIPI

Pengumuman pemenang Lomba Karya Ilmiah Remaja (LKIR) ke 42 hasil kerja sama Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI) dengan AJB Bumiputera 1912 dilakukan pada hari Selasa (23/11/2010) malam di Widya Graha LIPI, Jakarta.
Penyerahan penghargaan dilakukan oleh Dr Adi Susanto dari LIPI, juri karya tulis ilmiah di bidang Ilmu Pengetahuan Alam (IPA).
Masing-masing peserta mengusung tema yang berbeda. Pemenang pertama kategori IPA, misalnya, mengusung tema tentang "Analisis terhadap Pembelokan Aliran Sungai Opak Saat Bermuara di Samudera Hindia (Studi Terhadap Faktor-faktor dan Proses Pembelokan Aliran Sungai".
Pengusung tema tersebut adalah Yan Restu Freski dan Darmadi, mahasiswa Universitas Gadjah Mada dan Institut Teknologi Bandung yang menjadi anggota Taman Pintar Science Club, Yogyakarta.
Sementara itu, pemenang pertama untuk kategori Ilmu Pengetahuan Sosial dan Kemanusiaan (IPSK) adalah tim dari Banten yang beranggotakan Pebrian, Alanikika Pratyaksa, dan Vina Nurlita.
Ketiganya mengusung tema "30 Hari Menjadi Anak Nelayan: Kajian Sosial tentang Kehidupan di Desa Muara-Binnuangeun, Kecamatan Wanasalam, Lebak-Banten". Mereka berasal dari SMA Negeri 1 Malingping, Lebak-Banten.
Untuk kategori Ilmu Pengetahuan Teknologi (IPT), pemenenang pertamanya adalah tim yang beranggotakan Muh Imam Mukhtar Shidiq dan Agustina Slamet dari SMK N 2 Depok, Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta.
Mereka meneliti tentang "The Box Cleaner Emssion (Meminimalisir Polusi Gas Buang Kendaraan Bermotor pada Proses Penservisan". Adi Susanto berkomentar, "Seluruh penelitian ini sangat baik."
Walaupun ada yang tidak menang, mereka seharusnya bangga karena sudah menyisihkan 622 orang yang sebelumnya mengirimkan proposal. Secara khusus, ia memberikan apreasiasi kepada peserta dari Taman Pintar Science Club.
"Mereka itu meneliti tentang Kali Opak. Jadi tentang pembelokan aliran sungai yang terjadi di muara sungainya. Saya tahu pasti itu karena saya sangat terkesima saat mereka presentasi. Bagus sekali. Di usianya, mereka bisa menerangkan dengan sebegitu detail," ungkapnya.
Selain para pemenang pertama tersebut, salah satu penelitian menarik yang diusung peserta LKIR adalah pembuatan alat peredam suara dari jerami.
Penelitian itu dilakukan oleh siswa-siswi dari SMK Boedi Oetomo 2 Gandrungmangu, Cilacap, Jawa Tengah, yang beranggotakan Budi Santoso, Elis Kartika, dan Novita Sari.
Mereka meraih juara 2 untuk kategori IPT. Dari kategori IPSK, salah satu penelitian menarik yang juga menjadi juara 3 dalam kategori tersebut adalah tentang "Tinjauan terhadap Nilai Kearifan Arsitektur Rumah Tradisional Bugis di Kabupaten Pinrang".
Tema tersebut dibawakan oleh siswa SMAN 1 Pinrang, Sulawesi Selatan, yaitu Hardiana Arsyad. Beberapa siswa telah memiliki rencana penelitian selanjutnya. Yan dan Darmadi, misalnya, masih akan terus meneliti Sungai Opak.
"Sekarang yang kami lakukan, kan hanya menganalisa faktor-faktor dan proses terjadinya perubahan. Ke depan, kami ingin membuat pemodelan sehingga bisa memprediksi apakah di tahun mendatang akan terjadi perubahan atau tidak," jelas Yan yang mulai mengikuti proses seleksi lomba ini masih duduk di bangku SMA.
Seluruh pemenang mendapatkan piala dan piagam penghargaan dari LIPI. Mereka juga berhak atas uang tunai persembahan dari AJB Bumiputera 1912 sebesar 12 juta rupiah bagi juara 1, 10 juta rupiah bagi juara 2, dan 8 juta rupiah bagi juara 3. Selamat!

Sumber : Kompas

Ular Terbang - Hah... Ada Ular Bisa Terbang!

Hah, ada ular yang bisa terbang! Tenang, hanya ular yang termasuk dalam genus Chrysopelea yang bisa terbang, tak semuanya. Ular dalam genus tersebut mampu terbang—atau tepatnya melenting—dengan cara meluncur sambil meliuk dari pohon satu ke pohon lainnya hingga sejauh 79 kaki atau 24 meter. Ditemukan bahwa habitat ular golongan tersebut ada di Asia Tenggara dan Asia selatan.

Bagaimana ular itu bisa terbang? Hal itu diuraikan dalam presentasi penelitian dalam pertemuan American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics kemarin, (22/11/2010).

"Ular ini tidak sedang melawan gravitasi ketika terbang, juga bukan melakukan hal-hal yang tak masuk akal. Adalah persoalan gaya yang dikerahkan oleh ular yang menjadi penyebabnya," kata Jake Socha, pemimpin proyek penelitian ini saat diwawancara Discovery.

Untuk sampai pada kesimpulan itu, Socha bersama rekannya mencoba "meluncurkan" ular jenis tersebut dari gedung berketinggian 49 kaki. Mereka merekam setiap gerakan dari ular tersebut. Kemudian, mereka mengembangkan model matematis yang mengungkapkan cara ular terbang.

Berdasarkan hasil penelitian yang telah diterima oleh Jurnal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Socha menjelaskan bahwa ular itu akan mengatur posisi tubuhnya sesaat sebelum terbang dan pada saat terbang.

Sesaat sebelum terbang, ular tersebut akan menjulurkan salah satu ujung badannya ke depan dan membentuk huruf J. Setelah itu, barulah si ular memulai melompat ke depan dan mempercepat gerakannya sehingga bisa terbang.

Ketika si ular terbang, ia akan mengerahkan gaya ke atas dari gerakannya sehingga membuatnya tak langsung jatuh. "Ular tetap terangkat ke atas walaupun ia bergerak ke bawah. Ini karena gaya yang mengarah ke atas lebih besar daripada berat badan ular," kata Socha. Ular akan terbang miring 25 derajat dari aliran udara yang tercipta oleh gerakannya.  Bagian ekornya akan terus bergerak-gerak, sementara bagian lain akan membentuk lengkungan, seperti liukan ular ketika melata di atas tanah.

"Jika ular tetap pada kondisi seperti itu, ia akan terus terbang ke atas. Namun, model terbang ular tersebut ternyata hanya sementara sehingga pada akhirnya ular tetap akan jatuh ke tanah mengakhiri luncurannya," kata Socha yang merupakan ahli biologi di Virginia Tech.

Menurut Socha, model terbang ular ini bisa menjelaskan cara meluncur beberapa spesies, termasuk mamalia dan ikan. Ke depan, penciptaan kendaraan tak berawak mungkin bisa dilakukan dengan meniru cara terbang luncur ular ini.


Astronomi - Ada "Lho" Galaksi Kanibal

Ternyata ada lho galaksi kanibal. Galaksi tersebut "memakan" galaksi tetangganya sehingga bisa mempertahankan diri tetap awet muda, dalam arti tetap mampu memproduksi bintang-bintang.

Para astronom baru-baru ini mempelajari NGC 4150, sebuah galaksi elips (galaksi yang memiliki bentuk seperti telur) tua yang ditemukan masih memproduksi bintang walaupun sudah tergolong lanjut usia.

Galaksi tersebut bisa dikatakan tetap awet muda. Rahasia awet mudanya sendiri adalah kanibalisme, artinya galaksi itu memakan galaksi lain. Diketahui, NGC 4150 memakan galaksi yang lebih kecil sehingga bisa mendapatkan energi untuk melanjutkan proses kehidupannya.

"Galaksi-galaksi elips seharusnya sudah selesai membuat seluruh bintangnya miliaran tahun yang lalu," kata Mark Crockett, peneliti dari University of Oxford. Namun, ia mengatakan, "Kami menemukan banyak bintang lahir dari galaksi elips, galaksi yang dibuat berdaya dengan proses memakan galaksi lain yang lebih kecil," lanjut Crockett.

Crockett dan timnya berpendapat, galaksi NGC 4150 itu bertumbukan dengan galaksi lain miliaran tahun yang lalu. Galaksi yang bertumbukan dengan NGC 4150 itu kaya akan gas sehingga bisa memberi "bahan bakar" bagi NGC 4150 untuk tetap memproduksi bintang.

Galaksi yang dimakan oleh NGC 4150 memiliki karakteristik tertentu. Astronom lain yang juga terlibat dalam studi ini, Sugata Kaviraj, mengatakan, "Kelimpahan logam dalam bintang yang baru dilahirkan sangat sedikit sehingga galaksi yang dimakan oleh NGC 4150 itu pasti juga miskin logam." Diperkirakan, ukuran galaksi yang dimakan tersebut adalah seperduapuluh dari ukuran NGC 4150.

Crockett dan timnya menggunakan Hubble Space Telescope milik NASA untuk melakukan pengamatan galaksi dalam penelitian ini.

Lewat pengamatannya, mereka menemukan bahwa dalam galaksi NGC 4150 terdapat kumpulan bintang yang masih muda, berusia kurang dari satu miliar tahun. Bintang-bintang tersebut membentuk struktur cincin yang berdiameter 1.300 tahun cahaya, 85 juta kali jarak Matahari dan Bumi.

Peneliti mengatakan, kunci dari pengamatan galaksi ini adalah penggunaan sinar ultra violet yang mampu mengamati kilauan biru dari bintang muda dan memisahkannya dari warna kemerahan bintang-bintang yang sudah tua.