Supernova Sonata by Alex Parker
From April, 2003 until August, 2006, the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope
watched four parts of the sky as often as possible. Armed with the largest digital camera in the known universe, CFHT monitored these four fields for a special type of supernova
(called Type Ia) which are created by the thermonuclear detonation of one or more white-dwarf star
s. Each supernova is assigned a note to be played:
The volume of the note is determined by the distance to the supernova, with more distant supernova being quieter and fainter.
The pitch of the note was determined by the supernova’s “stretch,” a property of how the supernova brightens and fades. Higher stretch values played higher notes. The pitches were drawn from a Phrygian dominant scale
The instrument the note was played on was determined by the properties of the galaxy which hosted each supernova. Supernovae hosted by massive galaxies are played with a stand-up bass, while supernovae hosted by less massive galaxies are played with a grand piano.
posted by ThenCameNow
on May 26, 2011 -
Nova Science Now
recently ran a segment on lightning (quicktime, real, and windows video here
). I figured that subject was over and done with shortly after Franklin flew a kite, but it turns out we don't really know exactly what causes a bolt to start
. The coolest part of the segment was these researchers in Florida
. Scientists know how hard it was to observe, monitor, and even find lightning bolts, so these guys built their own rig. High-powered model rockets attached to a couple thousand feet of wire, which is grounded to larger metal structures on the ground. The result? Shoot a rocket into a storm cloud and you get instant lightning you can count on, measure, and control
posted by mathowie
on Oct 22, 2005 -
a 13+ link whistlestop glance at something from all the provinces and territories...Alberta
, British Columbia
, New Brunswick
, Nova Scotia
. Not to mention the talk about
posted by edgeways
on Feb 15, 2005 -
The elegant universe.
A 3 hour PBS NOVA documentary on string theory [in 24 ~5-10 minute chunks of real player or quick time video]. Welcome to the 11th dimension.
posted by srboisvert
on Nov 14, 2003 -
Why the towers fell.
PBS is airing a special episode of Nova
about the science behind while the World Trade Center towers collapse. Nova's reputation for converting esoteric science & engineering into understandable explanations for the layman should make the show something to watch. 7PM EDT/PDT on most PBS stations. Set your Tivos.
posted by Argyle
on Apr 30, 2002 -
Last week I was watching a Nova program on PBS called 'Cracking the Code of Life'
, which brought to my attention a disturbing fact about the process of mapping the Human Genome; private companies have applied for patents for gene sequences that they've mapped. Many of these patents were applied for before the government began the Human Genome Project
. Although the patent office has put these applications on hold until it figures out what to do with them, many drug companies an researchers won't work with a gene sequence
if there is a patent application outstanding. You can get involved yourself by petitioning against patents on life
posted by Sal Amander
on May 1, 2001 -