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Tag Archives: astronomy
If you read nothing else between now and January, a recent article in The Atlantic Monthly perhaps should be it. (And then, when you start reading again in January, perhaps you should Google immediately the article’s subject for the rest … Continue reading
Does Time Exist? Einstein, Julian Barbour, Lee Smolin, Some Greek Philosophers–And The New Data From The NASA Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope
Julian Barbour, Albert Einstein, and Parmenides vs. Anaximander and Lee Smolin. Theoretical physicist, Julian Barbour, believes that what we experience as time passing actually consists of frozen moments of space-time in relation to one another (akin to a flip book). It … Continue reading
It appears that beneath the ice of Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, is an ocean with sand resting on its bottom and heat vents reaching 190 degrees. Life around the vents? Possibly. Cassini will get within thirty miles of Enceladus … Continue reading
Physicists Andrei Linde and Alan Guth “distorted by gravitational waves.” (HuffPost image.) __________ Cosmic background radiation has long been considered by physicists to be the smoking gun evidence for the big bang, but what about the recent discovery of bent … Continue reading
Imagine positing a theory about the origin of the cosmos, then predicting something odd and otherwise implausible that one would find if the theory were true. Then imagine finding it. That’s what happened. This is via USA TODAY and The … Continue reading
Image source: NASA (of course). The rover? Curiosity. __________ The fact that this image was taken by Curiosity raises a question: Given that Augustine included curiosity among the vices in his Confessions (Book 10, section 35), would he have approved … Continue reading
Fresh Water! Mars Rover Curiosity Finds 3.5 Billion-Year Old Lake Sediment in Gale Crater That Could Have Supported Life
There was some big news yesterday that you might have missed. It appeared in the science section of the The New York Times (December 9, 2013): [L]ife [on Mars], at least in the ancient past, is at least plausible. John P. … Continue reading
A pretty stunning Mars photo from Rocknest was released by NASA a couple of weeks back. Here it is in the event you missed it. __________ Of course, there’s also something distinctly gloomy about the photo, for it shows a … Continue reading
Here’s something to fire the imagination. This is from the science section of The New York Times this week: Astronomers said Thursday that they had found the most Earth-like worlds yet known in the outer cosmos, a pair of planets that appear … Continue reading
After Russia’s nervy meteor encounter last week, the following TED talk by Phil Plait is obviously important:
NASA plans to reveal news “for the history books” based on data coming from the Mars rover, Curiosity. A press conference is to be held at an upcoming science conference scheduled for December 3-7. This is at Wired: “If it’s going in the history books, … Continue reading
NASA recently released the below Hubble image. It’s a high quality (2 million second) exposure of deep space galaxies, the most distant of which are 13.2 billion light years away. What you’re seeing is not our time, but the universe … Continue reading
A miracle. This is not the American Southwest, but part of Mount Sharp inside Gale Crater on Mars. The (apparently sedimentary) rocks exposed here are more than three billion years old. Curiosity is about six miles from them. Behold the Book of Mars. We’ll … Continue reading
Now that Curiosity has landed safely in Gale Crater and directly upon an alluvial fan at the base of Mount Sharp–a mountain likened in its strategraphic layering to the Grand Canyon, my imagination is vexed. I want the rover to … Continue reading
Last night, my wife Rachel and I took our two daughters, Lia and Aria, to the Will Geer Theatricum in Los Angeles to see a hippie rendition of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. But though the Will Geer production was colorful and I … Continue reading
On Earth as It Is on Mars: Curiosity Mars Rover is Heading for the Grand Canyon of Mars, and May Provide Strong Evidence Against Young Earth Creationism
Are you curious about Curiosity, NASA’s new Mars rover, scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., this month? Here’s part of a report in the Los Angeles Times about it: Curiosity will take 8.5 months to travel the 354 million … Continue reading
For “Carl Sagan Day” (which is today), this extended reflection on Carl Sagan’s life seems fitting to post.
The below image was recently taken of the Earth and moon by Juno, a NASA space probe currently on its way to Jupiter. Seize the dot.
Question: Five days after the creation of the universe, were there whales? Answer: Obviously not. Why? Because the earth was not here five days after the universe began. And, for that matter, it was not here a billion years after the universe began. The earth … Continue reading