STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend: July 22

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Between school, homework, practice and spending time with loved ones, it’s easy to miss out on the latest in science, technology, engineering, art and math. But don’t worry, Thinkery’s got you covered. Here are some of our favorite STEAM discoveries from the previous week. It’s fuel for your weekend.

Ready to feel small? Like really, truly, incredibly small? Take a look at this picture.

STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - Universe
Photo credit: Daniel Eisenstein and SDSS-III.

That’s the one. It’s pretty cool, huh? Lots of dots, eh? Well, let’s break it down. Each dot—all 48,741 in total—represents a galaxy. And each galaxy pictured is home to millions and, in some cases, billions of stars.

Yep, even our very own Milky Way, a galaxy estimated to contain between 100–400 billion stars, would be a teeny-tiny blip in this image. Pretty wild stuff, if you ask us.

What’s even more unbelievable is that this photo is simply a slice of the largest-ever three-dimensional map of distant galaxies. It represents just 1/20th of the sky measured and mapped by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III). Hundreds of scientists spent a decade collaborating on this record-breaking map, which includes 1.2 billion galaxies.

Please excuse us while we pick our jaws up off the floor. Click here to learn more!

STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - Scripps
Photo credit: Jaffe Laboratory for Underwater Imaging/Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

A brand-new microscopic imaging system allows scientists to observe the ocean floor without upsetting its underwater inhabitants.

Designed and developed by researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the first-of-its-kind, diver-operated Benthic Underwater Microscope (BUM) images the seafloor with never-before-seen precision. BUM is able to capture marine microorganisms and ecological processes at millimeter scale.

It’s fascinating footage that you’ve got to see to believe. Take a look at BUM’s close-up of life in a coral reef!

And finally, we bring you the Cyclotron.

STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - Cyclotron

Featuring airless tires and automatic light sensors, the spokeless Cyclotron is the TRON-inspired bicycle you never knew you wanted. Or needed. Seriously, this thing is cool. The Cyclotron‘s self-charging lithium-ion battery pack powers its lights for more than eight hours at a time. It even projects a bright red laser bike lane, because WHY NOT? Sign us up.

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