The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos, to know itself.
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series of one hour shows written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, that was aired at the tail end of 1980 and was - at the time - the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. It is best introduced by an audio excerpt of one of his books, The Pale Blue Dot. Inside is a complete annotated collection of the series. [more inside]
Q: How many miles is it to the crab nebula? How does one even figure this out? A: The cosmic distance ladder! Here's a talk by Fields medalist Terrence Tao on methods for indirect calculation of distances to astronomical objects. Here's Tao's blog post on the subject, including the slides for the talk. And here's a Wikipedia page. [more inside]
We want to sing a big shout to U.S., and to all ravers in the world! And to Westbam, Marusha, Steve Mason, The Mystic Man, DJ Dick, Carl Cox, The Hooligan, Cosmic, Kid Paul, Dag, Mijk van Dijk, Jens Lissat, Lenny D., Sven Vath, Mark Spoon, Marco Zaffarano, Hell, Paul Elstak, Mate Galic, Roland Casper, Sylvie, Miss Djax, Jens Mahlstedt, Tanith, Laurent Garnier, Special, Pascal F.E.O.S., Gary D., Scotty, Gizmo,... and to all DJs all over the world!
For all your italo/euro/synth/space-disco needs, Cosmic Dudes record store has you covered. Sample tracks: Richie Heinen - Beach Freak or Torelli/Massiera - Afro Disco (scroll down for both)
Astronomers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected gamma-rays from a nova for the first time, a finding that stunned observers and theorists alike. (via)
In 2004, the Stardust mission passed through the tail of comet 81P/Wild (aka Wild 2); in 2006, that captured comet dust was returned to Earth. Now, researchers have found glycine, one of the amino acids in proteins, in that cometary material. [more inside]
The ultimate Eamesian (previously, twice) expression of systems and connections, Powers of Ten explores the relative size of things (previously) from the microscopic to the cosmic. The 1977 film travels from an aerial view of a man in a Chicago park to the outer limits of the universe directly above him and back down into the microscopic world contained in the man's hand. But in 1977, this view of the world in leaps and bounds was already 20 years old. Kees Boeke, Dutch educator and pacifist, wrote the essay Cosmic View, which provided the source for Powers of 10. The whole essay was put online 41 years later, and it's still online, if you can't find a physical copy around.
Suffering from a bad case of cosmic dread? Have you voyaged too far into the midst of the black seas of infinity? Concerned about invisible abominations stalking you in the dead of night? Fortunately, there's help. (SLYT).
Nanoreisen. "A virtual discovery journey into the worlds of micro- and nano-cosmos." [flash] A kind of thematic followup to this.
The universe [flash]. I know, it's on a corporate site, and you have to sit through some pretentious Japanglish while it loads, but being able to use your mousewheel to scroll from femtometers up to the 100 billion lightyear scale is dazzling. I love cosmic zooms. Remember to pray that there's intelligent life in space, because there's bugger-all down here on Earth, except for folks like Metafilter's own kokogiak, who shows us everything in the solar system bigger than 200 miles in diameter.