Archive for the ‘Astronomy’ Category

Hubble Takes Deepest Look into Universe Yet Mapping 5500 New Galaxies

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Hubble's Deepest Look Yet

Yesterday Nasa released a photo taken by the Hubble telescope and has identified roughly 5,500 galaxies in just one small section of the universe.  The faintest of these are one ten-billionth the brightness of what the human eye can see, so don’t try and pinpoint them in the night sky.   It’s hard to even grasp at how small of a section this is of the nights sky.  One comparison I read was to basically consider this to be one 30-billionth of the visible night sky.  So multiply 5,500 by 30 billion and that would be the potential number of galaxies in the known universe.

The brain has a hard time simply comprehending that number, much less the fact that a single galaxy is generally made up for many stars.  Stars that may or may not be surrounded by multiple planets.   Planets that may or may not be capable of sustaining life as we know it, or even as we don’t know it.

It’s amazing when you think about, and possibly even more amazing when you think about how little we actually know about the universe.   How much of what we know as a planet could very well, and probably will come to be realized to be false.   It is unfortunate that the budget of these programs is being cut instead of increased so that we can learn more.  At some point our species will come together as one and look towards the sky together and ask aloud ‘What else is out there?’.  However, what it will take and what pivoting event it will take to get there is really a speculation of many science fiction writers.

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Living in the City, Where the Stars don’t shine

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Light Pollution is a type of Pollution that doesn’t get much attention now a days. Reason being is it’s not something that most people think about and it’s not doing us any harm right? For those who are not familiar with what Light Pollution is I would highly recommend reading this wikipedia article on Light Pollution. The type of Light Pollution I want to talk about is the type that interferes with the night sky in large cities.

Now why am I making an issue over a type of pollution that has no adverse health effects?  Well besides the fact that it has pollution in the name I would like to go with the fact that if you life in the city you probably don’t know what the night sky really looks like.  If you look up on a clear night in the city you may see 20 or so stars in the sky, if you are lucky and have a good vantage point.

Alternatively if you were to look up at the night sky from a location far away from any major city and at a higher altitude you would have a hard time counting the stars in the sky there would be so many.  It is a magnificent thing to see and it really makes you think, but it is something that city dwellers lack.

Our advancements as a society have begun to block our view of something that made our ancestors strive for innovation.  The sight of the stars in the night sky inspired thought and ideas and we as a society, as we further advance, take ourselves further away from the awe inspiring star filled night sky.

Don’t take the night sky for granted, if you have a chance take a trip to somewhere fall away from the cities and on a clear night sit out below the stars and take it all in.  As our civilizations expand future generations may not have as easy as a time seeing what has inspired humans for as long as we’ve existed.

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32 New planets discovered, is there one I can live on yet?

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

This last week there was a total of 32 new planets discovered. That is an amazing amount to me as these planets are very hard to spot as they are so far away. It really says something for the advancements we are making in technology. It is to bad that it is highly unlikely that we will travel to one of these planets in my lifetime or for that matter the lifetime of anyone who is alive currently.

Maybe it is just my love for science ficton or my strong desire to get off this planet bit I really wish we were to the point where we could travel to and live on other planetary bodies. There is nodoubt in my mind that there is a planet out there somewhere that is very similar to Earth in many features and can support life as we know it. Not to mention the planets that are not like ours but can still support life.

A planet doesn’t need to be cool to support life, look at the life that lives at the bottom of the sea near the hot underwater vents. Life can survive and thrive in the harshest of enviroments so what makes anyone think that there can’t be life on some of the planets that are in our solar system?

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