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3 posts tagged with astronomy by absalom.
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A reason to call in sick tomorrow.

Last night there was a pretty cool coronal ejection that ought to be arriving shortly. When it does, expect Auroral activity as far south as Tennessee. (Or Northern Italy. Or New Zealand.) [Via MonkeyFilter]
posted by absalom on Dec 13, 2006 - 35 comments

Cage Match: Gravity Leakage vs. Dark Matter

In 1962, Thomas Kuhn published The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. It questioned not only the "progressive" model of scientific history, but also bled over into other disciplines and brought into question human perception of just about everything else. (coining the questionable phrase "paradigm shift" in the process.)

One of the most interesting shifts came in the battle about the (not totally forgotten) aether. A modern day equivalent might be "dark matter," an undetected form of matter that explains some of the quirky behavior of gravity. Or, it could all be gravity leakage.
Let the battle begin! (The winner might just set the course of astrophysics for the next generation, or even lead to the holy grail.)
(see also here.)
posted by absalom on Mar 1, 2005 - 26 comments

There can be no escape. . .

NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory recently detected [reg required] the largest explosion ever detected in the universe: an eruption releasing the energy of hundreds of millions of gamma ray bursts. Just to put it in perspective, a single GRB releases enough radiation to wipe out just about everything human beings would require for survival in a 1000 light year radius. (The Milky Way spans ~100,000 light years, while the United Federation of Planets spans about 8,000). Arthur C. Clarke has gone so far as suggesting that GRBs might be one of the reasons for Extra-Terrestrial silence: Gamma Ray Bursts are so large and inescapable, a single one would wipe out even an enormous galactic empire. Makes killer asteroids seem downright quaint.
posted by absalom on Jan 8, 2005 - 24 comments

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