Posts tagged with ‘astronomy

What’s the purpose of the universe? Possibly to create black holes to create more universes

For a little over 150 years, people have been coming to terms with Darwin’s Origin of the Species, with the fact that the the amazing and beautiful diversity on our planet is due to a constant, millions year long struggle for life to conquer other life, to evolve as conditions demand and that genetic makeup of every type of life form changes over time due to mixing and matching and environmental pressures. But what about the universe? Is there any “purpose” to our universe?  Lee Smolin, a researcher at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and an adjunct professor of physics at the University of Waterloo has proposed an idea called the Theory of Cosmological Natural Selection in which he postulates that the universe’s ultimate goal is to make stars, which then become black holes, which then makes more singularities that can potentially turn into other universes. 

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Kepler telescope spots the most Earth-like exoplanet ever discovered

While the number of exoplanets discovered by scientists via the Kepler telescope numbers in the thousands, most of the planets found have been gas giants, because gas giants are much easier to spot. But if you’re looking for an Earth 2, the closest thing so far is Kepler 186f, a small rocky planet only slightly larger than Earth that orbits in the comfortable “Goldilocks zone” around its star where it’s not too hot, not too cold. We may never know if there’s life on Kepler 186f, but its discovery is certainly a damn good start in the search for other Earth-like planets out there.

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Science fiction stories with good astronomy and physics

This is a selective list of some short stories and novels that use more or less accurate science and can be used for teaching or reinforcing astronomy or physics concepts. Included are both traditional “science-fiction” and (occasionally) more serious fiction that derives meaning or plot from astronomy or physics ideas.

See the full list here

And here’s that video of a skydiver almost getting hit by a meteorite

Not only are the odds of this happening so astronomical (pun intended), imagine had the guy actually smacked into the thing and been killed. There would have been no other explanation that God just had it out for this guy, personally.

Afternoon science: Just how big is the universe anyway?

Really really big. And there may be lots and lots of them.

Astronomers may have found another dwarf planet in our solar system

It was the discovery of a number of tiny dwarf planets beyond Pluto, in the Kuiper Belt, that prompted the definition of dwarf planet vs regular planet. But most of these except Sedna were within the Kuiper Belt… between that and the edge of the Oort Cloud, astronomers thought there was pretty much nothing. And then this faint pink dot shows up, an icy world orbiting 44 billion miles away from the Sun. For right now, the planet is just called VP113, and is technically being called a “sednoid” right now due to its weird spot waaaay out there on the edge of the solar system.

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First Asteroid With Rings Discovered (like how cool is that?!)
Until now it seemed that only giant planets had the gravity to hold on to the billions of bits of orbiting ice and dust that make up a ring, but in a paper published today in Nature, astronomers report the discovery of two icy rings around a small object named Chariklo that orbits between Saturn and Uranus.
The discovery was made possible by observations at many sites in South America, including ESO's La Silla Observatory. The origin of these rings remains a mystery, but they may be the result of a collision that created a disc of debris.
"This probably will be the biggest discovery of my career," says Felipe Braga-Ribas of the National Observatory in Brazil, who led the team that found the rings, and who received his Ph.D. just last year.
Sources: 1, 2Illustration by Lucie Maquet

First Asteroid With Rings Discovered (like how cool is that?!)

Until now it seemed that only giant planets had the gravity to hold on to the billions of bits of orbiting ice and dust that make up a ring, but in a paper published today in Nature, astronomers report the discovery of two icy rings around a small object named Chariklo that orbits between Saturn and Uranus.

The discovery was made possible by observations at many sites in South America, including ESO's La Silla Observatory. The origin of these rings remains a mystery, but they may be the result of a collision that created a disc of debris.

"This probably will be the biggest discovery of my career," says Felipe Braga-Ribas of the National Observatory in Brazil, who led the team that found the rings, and who received his Ph.D. just last year.

Sources: 1, 2
Illustration by Lucie Maquet

(Source: sci-universe)

A car-sized meteorite travelling at 38000mph struck the moon in Sept 2013, and the entire event was caught on video

The explosion was recorded by the MIDAS project (Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System), which consists of several large telescopes in Seville, Spain. The explosion had a yield of about 15 tons of TNT.

It looks like there’s liquid water flowing on Mars right fucking now

The majority of exploration into the presence of water on Mars deals with looking for evidence that there was water on the planet at some point in the past. But NASA JPL has announced they think water may be flowing right this very moment. A combination of salt and iron may be giving this seeping groundwater a natural antifreeze property, and you wouldn’t want to drink it, but still, shit… water on Mars as we speak.

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New theory suggests that instead of a bang, the universe emerged from a long, deep freeze

Conventional thinking has it that the universe and all the matter within it exploded out from a single point, the so-called Big Bang Singularity. But a German theoretical physicists says this never happened. Instead, the universe started empty and cold, slowly emerging from a deep freeze.

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What does the future hold? Find out with this comprehensive timeline of the far future
There are millions of things no one can really predict, but there are also plenty of events that are predictable, or at least pretty certain. Things like the death of the sun, the galaxies crashing into each other and constellations pulling apart. If you want to know when you should or shouldn’t set your time machine for, the BBC has put together an impressive timeline of the far future.
See the full chart here

What does the future hold? Find out with this comprehensive timeline of the far future

There are millions of things no one can really predict, but there are also plenty of events that are predictable, or at least pretty certain. Things like the death of the sun, the galaxies crashing into each other and constellations pulling apart. If you want to know when you should or shouldn’t set your time machine for, the BBC has put together an impressive timeline of the far future.

See the full chart here

Minute Physics video of the day: Why is the solar system flat?

Well, mostly flat. Other than Pluto and the Keuper Belt objects, the rest of the solar system is in a remarkable flat orbital disk. What up with that?






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