This is Science Magazine
; this is one of their featured front-page stories (date stamped 17 September 2014 8:00 am): "The top 50 science stars of Twitter
", by Jia You
. The list has 46 men and 4 women
. [more inside]
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich has put together the fantastic short video Measuring the Universe
which briefly describes the different techniques used to allow us to calculate the vast distances to stellar objects in space. [via]
The Square Kilometre Array
) Organisation recently announced a two site
approach, in Australia-NZ and Southern Africa
, a move that was applauded
by the Australian
team. Once fully operational
in 2024, SKA's one square kilometre collecting area
should lead to major advances
. [more inside]
Writing in the New York Review of Books
, Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg
discusses his reason for suspecting that advances in particle physics and astronomy will not just slow down in the coming years, but cease entirely.
One of my favorite blogs
happens to be local to me. Eric Berger, the Houston Chronicle's "SciGuy" usually reports on the weather
. But he also posts entertaining and serious stuff as well. [more inside]
Don't continue fooling yourself
. The earth is growing and expanding rapidly. Despite plate tectonics' popular acceptance in the 60s, Samuel Warren Carey
, the father of modern expansion tectonics, was publicly promoting his theories of an expanded earth
as late as 1981. One of the theory's most prominent modern spokesmen is comics artist Neal Adams
, who has created a number of informative videos
about a new model of the universe
that even manages to explain why the dinosaurs died out
. [more inside]
Solar activity normally follows an 11-year cycle
. The new cycle was originally predicted to start in early 2008
, but despite a few sunspots appearing last year
, the Sun still features a remarkable lack of activity
- the deepest minimum
. However, NASA's STEREO
mission has seen indications
that activity is increasing again, in the form of a coronal mass ejection
[.mov, 3.3 Mb]), with an accompanying radio burst
World of Science
contains budding encyclopedias of astronomy
, scientific biography
, and physics
. This resource has been assembled over more than a decade by internet encyclopedist Eric Weisstein
with assistance from the internet community. MeFi visited Weisstein's Mathworld
a couple years ago.
A fascinating talk about the composition of the universe [Youtube, approx 1 hour]
, presented by Sean Carroll
, theoretical physicist at CIT. [via] [more inside]
An Interactive Space Simulator
"Smash planets together, introduce rogue stars, and build new worlds from spinning discs of debris. Fire a moon into a planet or destroy everything you've created with a super massive black hole. You can simulate and interact with our solar system: the 8 planets,160+ moons, and hundereds of asteroids, the nearest 1000 stars to our Sun, and our local group of galaxies." [31Mb, Windows only, sorry, but see inside for similar Mac and Linux apps] [more inside]
Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to seven introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University:Astronomy, English, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies: a full set of class lectures produced in high-quality video, syllabi, suggested readings, and problem sets. [more inside]
UniverseNewsFilter: Scientists claim to have detected dark matter
! Here are NASA's press release
, feature page
and multimedia presentation
. For an explanation what dark matter is, I refer you to this page
. After all that excitement, you can sit down and work out how much dark matter is in the Milky Way
The scientific tradition in Africa.
An interview with Thebe Medupe, a South African astronomer.
The sun is solid (this has beautiful images, btw)
. The earth is fixed
, or maybe growing
; relativity is wrong
, and so is most of current thinking
... For the intriguing as well as the insane, visit the fringes of science
Do Gravity Waves Exist?
This is one of the big unanswered questions
in physics. Gravity telescopes such as the LIGO
and the Geo 600
may soon tell us. These massive detectors are sensitive to a displacement of 1 part in 1000000000000000000000-- that's like "measuring a change of one hydrogen atom diameter in the distance from the Earth to the Sun."
Such a discovery would mean a tremendous boom to science. And big cash payouts to those who put their money where there mouth was
Jim Loy's Mathematics Page
is (among other things) a collection of interesting theorems (like Napoleon's Triangle theorem
), thoughtful discussions of both simple
math, and geometric constructions
(my personal favorite); the latter of which contains surprisingly-complex discussions on the trisection of angles
, or the drawing of regular pentagons.
Similarly enthralling are the pages on Billiards
(and the physics of
(and the savants of
), and Physics
(and the Phlogiston Theory of
), all of which are rife with illustrations and diagrams. See the homepage
for much more.
If you like your geometric constructions big, try Zef Damen's Crop Circle Reconstructions.
On the mission
miracles of Life on Earth and the mysteries
reaching beyond the stars
Great television science presenters
and their shows: Tim Hunkin "the Secret Life of Machines
", Jacob Bronowski "The Ascent of Man
", James Burke "Connections
", David Attenborough "Trials of Life
" "Blue Planet
., Marlin Perkins "Wild Kingdom
", Don Herbert "Watch Mr. Wizard
", Adam Hart-Davis "Science Shack
" "Rough Science
", Jack Horkheimer "Star Gazer
Does anyone else have any favorites, past or present?
"I was willing to bet that there was going to be a universe, and I hit the nail on the head."
The other day we had Avram Davidson
, which got me thinking of Calvino's Invisible Cities
, but all the recent talk about black holes made me remember that Italo Calvino
is at his most charming when he's playing with physics, math, and cosmology in Cosmicomics
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)
A supernova in our galactic backyard may be on the verge of exploding. In the (unlikely) event that it happens tomorrow, how would you spend your last day on earth?
It ain't so dark anymore.
Dark matter seems poised to assume its place among those astronomical phenomena that were predicted to exist before being observed. The planet Neptune
and black holes
to mention two of them. The last 100 years have really been a boom time for astronomy, and they're not slowing down.
Wot, no black holes?
Those wacky boffins in science land have already had a pop at the Higg's boson
, but now they're moving on to everybody's favourite theoretical singularity, with a new theory about what happens when a star kicks the astral bucket.
So you think the expansion of the universe is accelerating? Think again!
(Contains links to full paper in .pdf etc.)