In this week's installment of Weird Science Weekly, we're looking at some of the strangest science, from a look at the rainbow sun, to Lego cars that you can actually drive, to getting migraines simply from too much gum-chewing...
NASA satellite reveals the rainbow sun
The glowing nuclear furnace at the centre of our solar system glows with a constant yellow light in our sky, but if you look at it in the right way, it reveals a strange but spectacular rainbow of colours. Rather than just walking outside and trying it for yourself (because that will end badly), NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has you covered.
SDO doesn't just give a view of the effect in visible light, though, since that wouldn't give us much more than we can see here from Earth. Instead, it swings different filters in front of its camera lens, and takes pictures at different wavelengths of light (and thus at different temperatures), revealing the different structures and details of the sun's surface and atmosphere. You can check out all the different 'channels' at SDO's website, and NASA put together a great video showing off the differences in a way that's much better than looking at them separately.
Each channel shows a wealth of data, but my favourite has to be the golden '171 angstrom', since it shows the best views of the amazing coronal loops.
Air-powered Lego car can drive up to 30 kph
Let's just start with saying one thing: Lego is awesome.
Working from that premise, Steve Sammartino and Raul Oaida came up with the idea to build a car out of it. Using over 500,000 Lego pieces, they produced a roadster that has a 256-piston engine that actually drives and can go between 20 and 30 kilometres per hour! Don't worry about them melting all that lego, though. The car runs on air.
Suffer from migraines? Cut down on the gum chewing
There's been concerns in recent years that migraines in teens might be caused by artificial sweetener aspartame in gum, but according to a doctor at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, Israel, it might be caused simply by chewing the gum itself.
The problem, from what Dr. Nathan Watemberg says, comes from overworking the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is where the jaw joins to the skull. He saw that many teens who reported migraines also reported being gum chewers, especially teenage girls. When they stopped chewing at his request, many of them got better.
"Out of our 30 patients, 26 reported significant improvement, and 19 had complete headache resolution," Dr. Watemberg said in a statement. "Twenty of the improved patients later agreed to go back to chewing gum, and all of them reported an immediate relapse of symptoms."
The data set isn't very large, so it would probably need a bit more research to tell if there's really something to this. However, given the results, the simplicity of the 'treatment', and how horrible migraines are, it seems like if you fit the profile as both a gum chewer and a migraine sufferer, it might be worth a shot.
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Keep your eyes on the wonders of science, and if you spot anything particularly strange you'd like me to check out for next week, comment below or drop me a line on Twitter!
(Image courtesy Getty Images)
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