Infinity Imagined
Multicellular Organic
Neural Network
Lives in Nitrogen-Oxygen Atmosphere
270 K - 300 K
Eats, Breathes, Thinks, Creates

I just received my Form-1 3D printer!  What do you think I should print first?

The most common answer to this question was a smaller 3D printer, so I created the tiniest 3D printer I could think of.  Here’s the small subunit of the Thermus thermophilus ribosome, created from PDB entry 4BTC.  Have any more ideas?
Here are the results of my first two weeks 3D printing with the Form 1.  From top left to bottom right; nucleosome, ribosome, DNA, T4 bacteriophage, acetylcholine receptor, klein bottles, shadow of a hypercube, transfer RNA, and lysergic acid diethylamide. The quarter in the bottom right is 2.3 centimeters wide.

Despina, Moon of Neptune Image Credit: NASA, JPL - Processed Image Copyright: Ted Stryk
Explanation: Despina is a tiny moon of Neptune. A mere 148 kilometers across, diminutive Despina was discovered in 1989, in images from the Voyager 2 spacecraft taken during its encounter with the solar system’s most distant gas giant planet. But looking through the Voyager 2 data 20 years later, amateur image processor and philosophy professor Ted Stryk discovered something no one had recognized before — images that show the shadow of Despina in transit across Neptune’s blue cloud tops. His composite view of Despina and its shadow is composed of four archival frames taken on August 24, 1989, separated by nine minutes. Despina itself has been artificially brightened to make it easier to see. In ancient Greek mythology, Despina is a daughter of Poseidon, the Roman god Neptune.
Our solar system is fantastically bizarre. There are worlds with features we never imagined. Storms larger than planets, moons with under-surface oceans, lakes of methane, worldlets that swap places…and that’s just at Saturn.

Images taken during the Cassini spacecraft’s orbital insertion on June 30 show definite compositional variation within the rings. This image shows, from left to right, the outer portion of the C ring and inner portion of the B ring. The B ring begins a little more than halfway across the image. The general pattern is from “dirty” particles indicated by red to cleaner ice particles shown in turquoise in the outer parts of the rings.
Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Colorado
Source: Saturn’s Colorful Rings (Wired Space Photo of the Day)

Spokes in Saturn’s B Ring, photographed by Cassini, 21 August 2008.  (Also you can see Pandora just outside the F Ring.)

Senkyo’s Dunes
The Cassini spacecraft once again dons its special infrared glasses to peer through Titan’s haze and monitor its surface. Here, Cassini has recaptured the equatorial region dubbed “Senkyo.” The dark features are believed to be vast dunes of hydrocarbon particles that precipitated out of Titan’s atmosphere.
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute [high-resolution]
Caption: Cassini Solstice Team

Move over exoplanets, exomoons may harbour life too
In the Star Wars universe, everyone’s favourite furry aliens, the Ewoks, famously lived on the “forest moon of Endor”. In scientific terms, the Ewok’s home world would be referred to as an exomoon, which is simply a moon that orbits an exoplanet – any planet that orbits a star other than our sun.
Although more than 1,000 exoplanets have been discovered since the first one was found in 1995, only a handful of those are thought to be habitable, at least by life as we know it. New research shows that exomoons, too, could provide habitable environments. Although we are yet to find exomoons, we have good reasons to believe that there should be many, even more than exoplanets.
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Titan in the Foreground

Titan’s layers of haze
Source: Val Klavans

hex: Saturn’s north pole, photographed by Cassini, 3rd April 2014.
The hexagon is an atmospheric vortex, the shape apparently created by interaction of winds circling the pole at different speeds. Each side of the hexagon is about 13,800km long, wider than Earth.
10 images taken over about a quarter of a Saturnian day, which is about 10 hours and 40 minutes long.
Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.
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