Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Science of Mosquitos

Summer in EISCAT-land is a wonderful time: the sun is up 24 hours, temperatures are somewhere between "too cold" and "too hot", and landscape as well as radars are just stunning. It could be so perfect, if not for a tiny ingredient, that can turn the nature in Lapland into a hell for some: mosquitos.

These little insects seem to inspire a lot of stories, and in some of these, they grow in the same manner as fish grow in the stories of fishermen while the evening progresses. But some people get inspired by  mosquitos, which set their inquisitive mind spinning. Recently, we came across the article "How a mosquito survives a raindrop hit" in ScienceNews, which details a research of what happens when a mozzie is hit by a water drop.

It turns out that the insect will not just be squashed to the ground, but instead "rides the drop" in free fall, and separates from it just at the right time to reach a target faster or before hitting the ground.

Mosquitos have also been used to explain certain phenomena in plasma physics, but that's another story.

For more info, please refer to the original article at ScienceNews.org.

Photo credit: Tim Nowack, Andrew Dickerson and David Hu/Georgia Tech (photo from the article).

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