Tag Archives | Astronomy

Cosmic Burst of Radio Waves From Unknown Source in the Universe

Parkes Radio Telescope in Eastern Australia (via The Neils Bohr Institute)

Parkes Radio Telescope in Eastern Australia (via The Neils Bohr Institute)

Via The Niels Bohr Institute:

A strange phenomenon has been observed by astronomers right as it was happening – a ‘fast radio burst’. The eruption is described as an extremely short, sharp flash of radio waves from an unknown source in the universe. The results have been published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Over the past few years, astronomers have observed a new phenomenon, a brief burst of radio waves, lasting only a few milliseconds.

It was first seen by chance in 2007, when astronomers went through archival data from the Parkes Radio Telescope in Eastern Australia.

Since then we have seen six more such bursts in the Parkes telescope’s data and a seventh burst was found in the data from the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico. They were almost all discovered long after they had occurred, but then astronomers began to look specifically for them right as they happen.

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The EAGLE Project: A Virtual Universe Simulated Inside a Supercomputer

redditAbout a week ago, we published this article, “Astronomers Simulate Universe and Galaxies on Cosmology Machine.” Thanks to contributor Chaos_Dynamics, it’s been brought to my attention that the astronomers working on this project did an AMA on Reddit yesterday. You can read the entire Q&A here.

brien23 asks:

Hi,

I am a layperson, i.e. not a cosmologist. I have a few questions regarding EAGLE:

  1. Is it based on our universe or is it like an independently evolving universe?
  2. Does this simulation need human input at regular intervals or is it progressing completely on its own without the need of human interference at any point?
  3. Can you turn it into an infinitely stretched universe (infinite expanse of space)? Is it a stupid thing to ask?
  4. How likely is the presence of an earth-like planet there? By ‘earth-like’ I mean a planet that is similar to Earth in its chemical and physical construction.
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Archaeoastronomy: The Stars and the Stones

SeAnAm

[disinfo ed.’s note: Excerpted from Secrets of Ancient America: Archaeoastronomy and the Legacy of the Phoenicians, Celts, and Other Forgotten Explorers by Carl Lehrburger]

Archaeo—What?

Even though astrology and astronomy were essentially the same discipline in ancient Egypt, Greece, and India, they have since the eighteenth century come to be regarded as completely separate fields. Today, astronomy is the study of objects and phenomena originating outside of Earth and is considered a scientific discipline. On the other hand, astrology uses the apparent positions of celestial objects as the basis for psychological experiences, the prediction of future events, and other esoteric knowledge. While the most important astronomers before Isaac Newton were professional astrologers (including Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, and Galileo Galilei), interest in astrology declined after Newton with the rise of the Cartesian “mechanistic” outlook during the Enlightenment.*

*The term Cartesian is derived from the Latin form of Descartes, and it refers to the philosophy of the seventeenth-century philosopher Rene Descartes (1596–1650).… Read the rest

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Occultist father of rocketry ‘written out’ of Nasa’s history

GALCIT Group members in the Arroyo Seco, November 1936. L-R: Rudolph Schott, Amo Smith, Frank Malina, Ed Forman, and Jack ParsonsNASA/JPL

GALCIT Group members in the Arroyo Seco, November 1936. L-R: Rudolph Schott, Amo Smith, Frank Malina, Ed Forman, and Jack ParsonsNASA/JPL

Via Wired UK:

Jack Parsons was a founding member of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Lab, with some crediting him as being one of the “fathers of rocketry” and others joking that JPL was actually Jack Parsons’ Laboratory, but you won’t find much about him on Nasa’s websites. Parsons’ legacy as an engineer and chemist has been somewhat overshadowed by his interest in the occult and, and has led to what some critics describe as a rewriting of the history books.

“He’s lived in the footnotes since his death. He’s a forgotten figure,” says biographer George Pendle, author of Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parson (Jack’s full name).

Pendle did an “archeological dig” into Parsons’ life after finding a mention of him in a science book.

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Separation of Church and Space?

(photo courtesy of NASA)

(photo courtesy of NASA)

via University of Dayton:

Whether you believe the Philae probe’s landing on a speeding comet is a monumental advance or a colossal waste might depend on your religion, according to a University of Dayton researcher.

Many in the space community see the landing as a critical step in colonizing the solar system, such as NASA Planetary Science Division Director Jim Green who said, “I truly believe that a single-planet species will not survive long. It’s our destiny to move off this planet.” (see CNET article)

Yet Evangelical Protestants are much surer Jesus will return in the next 40 years than that humans will make significant strides in space exploration, according to research by University of Dayton political science assistant professor Joshua Ambrosius.

“Evangelicals have been hesitant to recognize the discoveries of modern science — from evolutionary origins to climate change,” Ambrosius said. “The data show that this overall attitude extends into space.”

Ambrosius used data from the General Social Survey and three Pew surveys to compare knowledge, interest and support for space exploration among Catholics, Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants, Jews, Eastern religions and those with no religion.

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Guidestoned 2014 Documentary Kickstarter

“Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.”
– Oscar Wilde

Help us dig up the Time Capsule.

Let’s dig up the Time Capsule together.

Guidestoned 2014 Kickstarter

Over the past 2 years some fellow filmmakers and I have been filming a documentary surrounding the Georgia Guidestones that we have appropriately dubbed Guidestoned. What has interested us more than the monument and its designers is people’s collective perception of its message. Which was surprisingly positive in person, something I admit was unexpected. Throughout filming the documentary we met groups of people ranging from Mormon Missionaries that travel the world, to a crystal ball stealing Nazi biker gang, and everything in between. Mostly all were welcoming and kind, save a few. This documentary is filled with so many different perspectives. Folks show their true character, which the Guidestones tend to bring out in people.… Read the rest

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Curious Signal Could Be Dark Matter Pouring From The Sun’s Core

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via io9:

This could be historic: Astronomers from Leicester University have detected a strange signal in the X-ray spectrum that appears to be a signature of ‘axions’ — a hypothetical dark matter particle. It could take years to confirm, but this may be the first direct detection and identification of dark matter.

The study has the potential to significantly advance our understanding of dark matter and the way our Universe works. Though it has never observed directly, astronomers are certain dark matter exists because, without it, galaxies would just unravel and fly apart. Moreover, even though it doesn’t emit or absorb light, it exerts gravitational pull on celestial objects we can observe. To put it bluntly, it’s dark matter that holds the Universe together — and it may comprise up to 85% of all the stuff within it.

The idea of axions has been around for a while. It was postulated by the Peccei-Quinn theory in 1977 to resolve a nasty problem in quantum physics.

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NASA Contemplates Deep Sleep Option for Mars Mission

During interplanetary transit, the crew would receive low-level electrical impulses to key muscle groups to prevent muscular atrophy. ©SPACEWORKS

During interplanetary transit, the crew would receive low-level electrical impulses to key muscle groups to prevent muscular atrophy. ©SPACEWORKS

via Discovery News:

A NASA-backed study explores an innovative way to dramatically cut the cost of a human expedition to Mars — put the crew in stasis.

The deep sleep, called torpor, would reduce astronauts’ metabolic functions with existing medical procedures. Torpor also can occur naturally in cases of hypothermia.

“Therapeutic torpor has been around in theory since the 1980s and really since 2003 has been a staple for critical care trauma patients in hospitals,” aerospace engineer Mark Schaffer, with SpaceWorks Enterprises in Atlanta, said at the International Astronomical Congress in Toronto this week. “Protocols exist in most major medical centers for inducing therapeutic hypothermia on patients to essentially keep them alive until they can get the kind of treatment that they need.”

Coupled with intravenous feeding, a crew could be put in hibernation for the transit time to Mars, which under the best-case scenario would take 180 days one-way.

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The Cult of Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson - NAC Nov 2005.jpg

Are you a fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson? You know, the fellow who took picked up the mantle of Cosmos from Carl Sagan. He’s definitely the most famous astronomer of our time, but as with anyone reaching certain heights of fame, he’s now attracting critics, Rich Lowry of Politico among them:

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a very famous and popular scientist. He even has a TV show. And wears a cool astronomical vest. Only he’s not infallible.

This rather basic truth has been established over the past couple weeks, over much resistance and at the cost of much abuse, by Sean Davis of the lively new conservative website, the Federalist.

Davis dug into a handful of just-so stories repeated by Tyson in his public lectures, the point of which is to make himself — and by extension, his audience — feel superior to the dolts who aren’t nearly as scientific as he is.

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Live Webcast of Supernova

X-ray, Optical & Infrared Composite of Kepler's Supernova Remnant

X-ray, Optical & Infrared Composite of Kepler’s Supernova Remnant

This was brought to my attention by a science loving Disinfonaut.

via I Fucking Love Science:

Located 38 million light years away in the constellation Dorado, visible in the Southern Hemisphere, the intermediate galaxy NGC 1566 appears to have had a recent supernova. The event was discovered within the last week by researchers in Chile collecting data for the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASASSN).

The supernova candidate, dubbed ASASSN-14ha, cannot readily be seen with the average amateur telescope. To make up for that unfortunate fact, the folks at Slooh Community Observatory will be doing a live broadcast of observations from Pontificia Universidad Católica De Chile (PUC).

“Supernovae are the most violent events in the universe. And among the most useful, since their brightness can help pin down the distance to their parent galaxy,” Slooh astronomer Bob Berman stated in a press release.

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