Mr. Sexton's Science Outpost

Nature is worth knowing.

Category: Science News

Science in the news

Winter Solstice

Summer-Solstice-Stonehenge-1024x380Since the neolithic era, the December (winter) solstice has evolved into a time of great significance throughout humanity. In fact the time of the solstice is a common denominator upon which the histories and customs of many major cultures are interwoven.  Here is a link to read more about customs and holidays around the December solstice.



Click the image for an interactive season simulator.


The December solstice marks the day when the tilt of the Earth’s axis points the north pole away from the Sun. During this time, the Sun’s rays are at their most indirect angle as they strike the northern hemisphere and the daylight hours are at their minimum. Conversely, the Sun’s rays fall directly upon the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere where they experience their summer solstice and maximum daylight hours.
Here is a link to an interactive seasons astronomy simulator that lets you manipulate the date, latitude and the tilt of Earth’s axis to see the effect in seasonal temperatures, daylight hours, and the apparent path of the sun across the sky.

Have a wonderful solstice and a prosperous New Year!

Science Daily

Here is one of my favorite website for science articles.


Science Daily is a great website for keeping up on the latest science and finding science related articles. As you have probably experienced, students are not always very experience in evaluating the credibility of internet sources. Some nice features are:
1) All articles are second-source reports published only in reputable, peer-reviewed science journals.
2) The articles are categorized and sub-categorized to easily find topics of interest.
3) At the end of each article is a citation that can be automatically formatted in APA or MLA style.
4) There are a variety of RSS feeds to choose from, such as health, technology, environment, etc…


Mr. Sexton

Updated: July 4, 2014 — 2:58 pm

Study Reveals Evolution of the Ribosome in New Detail

What good is DNA without a ribosome?  Considering how the ribosome has changed over the last 4 billion years gives insight to the crucial nature of its role in biology, the unity of all life, and the process of evolution.

In the new study, Williams and Research Scientist Anton Petrov compared three-dimensional structures of ribosomes from a variety of species of varying biological complexity, including humans, yeast, bacteria and archaea. The researchers found distinct fingerprints in the ribosomes where new structures were added to the ribosomal surface without altering the pre-existing ribosomal core from the last universal common ancestor.140630164012-large

For a video on the origins and evolution of the ribosome, visit:

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