Some people stick with the traditional, feeling struck by the epic beauty or blown away by the insane scale of the universe. Personally, I go for the old “existential meltdown followed by acting weird for the next half hour.” But everyone feels something.
Physicist Enrico Fermi felt something too—”Where is everybody?”
It turns out that when it comes to the fate of humankind, this question is very important. Depending on where The Great Filter occurs, we’re left with three possible realities: We’re rare, we’re first, or we’re fucked.
posted by michswiss
on Jun 26, 2014 -
A few months ago there was a list of links to classic video game emulators posted.
Very recently, I'm pleased to report, those links all came true
. The Internet Archive bespoke upon aforementioned consoles, computers, and mileposts on our way to the tech utopia of today, (seriously, where's my flying car?) and they asked us to do something: Imagine every computer that ever existed, literally, in your browser
. And it was so.
I have absolutely no affiliation with jscott
, btw. Thought I should disclose that.
posted by jdaura
on Oct 25, 2013 -
The very first major science fiction series for adults on radio was Mutual Broadcasting System's 2000 Plus
(1950-1952). An anthology program, 2000 Plus
used all new material rather than adapting published stories. Just one month after its premiere, NBC Radio began airing Dimension X
(1950-1951), which dramatized the written work of such young writers as Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Kurt Vonnegut. In 1955, NBC relaunched Dimension X
as X Minus One
(1955-1958), drawing from stories that had been published in the two most popular science fiction magazines at the time: Astounding
. 17 of 30 episodes
of 2000 Plus
, all 50 episodes
of Dimension X
, and all 125 episodes
of X Minus One
are available for free download as individual mp3s from the Internet Archive. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jun 12, 2013 -
The best description I can give
Would be that if you looked at new spring snow
Which has a fine grain size
About an hour after dawn or an hour before sunset
You'd see the same spectrum of light
That an alien astronomer in another galaxy would see
Looking at the Milky Way [more inside]
posted by thirteenkiller
on Jan 13, 2012 -
Galaxy Quest: The Documentary. Before the movie
, there was the tv series, which, oddly enough, appears never to have been syndicated or given a proper IMdB entry, which leads many people to claim that the show never existed. Oh, yeah? Then by Grabthar's Hammer, explain why we have this wonderful little reunion show with the entire cast. Part 1
. Part 2
. Part 3
) [more inside]
posted by maudlin
on Feb 5, 2011 -
Through three giant images, the Gigagalaxy Zoom
project reveals the full sky as it appears with the unaided eye from one of the darkest deserts on Earth, then zooms in on a rich region of the Milky Way to reveal three amazing, ultra-high-resolution images of the night sky that online stargazers can zoom in on and explore in an incredible level of detail.
posted by Effigy2000
on Sep 15, 2009 -
A sixteen year long astronomical study, led by Dr. Reinhard Genzel of the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, has provided what is considered to be the best empirical evidence yet of the existence of supermassive black holes
, specifically one a relatively cozy 27,000 light years away.... "The stellar orbits [QT]
in the Galactic Centre [QT]
show that the central mass concentration of four million solar masses must be a black hole, beyond
any reasonable doubt
." [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth
on Dec 13, 2008 -
Does dark matter exist?
Dark matter has been suggested as a solution to the galaxy rotation problem
where individual stars don't seem to rotate the way Newton's laws would predict. Now, some scientists are saying that observations fit with Einstein's general relativity, without any dark matter needed. I just find it amazing that no one has tried this yet.
posted by delmoi
on Oct 10, 2005 -
Breathtaking Hubble picture
of the Sombrero Galaxy (also identified as M104). The Hubble Heritage team took the original images during May and June of this year using the Advanced Camera for Surveys and multiple color filters. They then stitched 6 images together to make the final composite image.
posted by Irontom
on Oct 10, 2003 -
MMmmm, doughnut. (NYT link, reg. req'd)
Lots of great philosophical answers to the old universe question, like our galaxy is in some giant's fingernail, and others. How about this one? Our universe is the shape of a doughnut! (more inside)
posted by msacheson
on Mar 10, 2003 -
A computer aided simulation builds a spiral galaxy from its beginning
. In all, 390,000 particles were placed in an arrangement similar to a newborn galaxy. The end result after three months is an event that is believed to take billions of years to occur. (animation)
posted by samsara
on Aug 7, 2002 -