Archive for the ‘universe’ Category

Why the Higgs Boson is so important?

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

The most hyped discovery of science in the human history (I bet not even the heliocentric theory was this hyped), also known as the Higgs Boson, is still hot topic a few days later. (more…)

Dark matter: Material answers

Thursday, July 5th, 2012
Abell was I

THE Higgs boson (see article) is not the only curious form of matter whose nature has been probed this week. A paper by Jörg Dietrich, of the University of Michigan, and his colleagues, just published by Nature, illuminates—if that is the appropriate word—a substance known as dark matter.

Dark matter, the theory goes, is composed of particles that cannot interact with the electromagnetic force, and thus have no dealings with light. But they do interact gravitationally. In fact, it is the gravitational pull of dark matter that stops galaxies flying apart as they rotate. Moreover, calculations suggest there is five times as much dark matter in the universe as there is ordinary matter. But what is rarely observed is dark matter by itself. Since both the dark and the visible forms of matter are affected by gravity, they tend to cluster together.

Models of the evolution of the universe suggest, though, that this clustering is secondary. The young universe was first filled with a lattice of threads of dark matter, then the visible stuff gathered around these threads and formed the galaxies familiar today.

Mars Bars: Seasonal Markings on Martian Slopes Could Indicate Flowing Water

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

News | Space

Newfound features on the Red Planet hint that liquid water may still exist there

NEW EVIDENCE: Streaky features extending down Martian slopes could be caused by watery brines on the Red Planet. Image: Courtesy of NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

In the long hunt for water on Mars, researchers may have finally caught sight of flowing liquid.

High-resolution photographs from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) show dark, transient features on slopes in several midlatitude locations in the southern hemisphere. The features have appeared in Mars’s southern spring across multiple years since the probe entered orbit in 2006, grow in length as they extend downhill, and then fade in late summer or early fall. The new features, which carry the purposefully uncontroversial moniker of recurring slope lineae, or RSL, were announced in a study in the August 5 issue of Science.

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E Pluribus Lunum: Did Earth Once Have Two Moons?

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

News | Space

A primordial collision between two natural satellites of Earth could explain the stark differences between the moon’s near and far hemispheres today

Simulation of two moons collidingMOON STRUCK: A simulation of Earth’s moon absorbing an impact by a smaller companion moon billions of years ago offers an explanation of puzzling features on the lunar surface. Image: Martin Jutzi and Erik Asphaug

For tens of millions of years—a mere sliver of astronomical time—the night sky above Earth may have been a bit more populous than it is today. For that brief period, our planet may have had not one but two moons, which soon collided and merged into our familiar lunar companion. No one would have been around to see the second moon—the lunar merger would have occurred nearly 4.5 billion years ago, shortly after Earth had formed.

The two-moon hypothesis, put forth in a study in the August 4 issue of Nature, would help explain why the moon’s two hemispheres are so different today. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.) The familiar hemisphere facing Earth is covered by low, lava-filled plains (seen as the darker gray areas on the moon’s “face”), whereas the far side, which is never visible from Earth, is a collection of rugged, mountainous highlands. Those highlands, according to the new hypothesis, would be the remains of the smaller, short-lived satellite following its collision with the moon that now hangs overhead. The key is that the moonlet’s impact would be slow enough to pancake its material across one face of the moon rather than excavating a large crater.

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Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

What is a “secret”?

A Google search, specifically: define secret, gives me a plethora of hits. I choose one, and will reprint here for you……………

Definitions of secret on the Web:

  • not open or public; kept private or not revealed; “a secret formula”; “secret ingredients”; “secret talks”
  • clandestine: conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods; “clandestine intelligence operations”; “cloak-and-dagger activities behind enemy lines”; “hole-and-corner intrigue”; “secret missions”; “a secret agent”; “secret sales of arms”; “surreptitious mobilization of troops”; “an …
  • unavowed: not openly made known; “a secret marriage”; “a secret bride”
  • communicated covertly; “their secret signal was a wink”; “secret messages”
  • not expressed; “secret (or private) thoughts”
  • hidden: designed to elude detection; “a hidden room or place of concealment such as a priest hole”; “a secret passage”; “the secret compartment in the desk”
  • privy: hidden from general view or use; “a privy place to rest and think”; “a secluded romantic spot”; “a secret garden”
  • confidential: (of information) given in confidence or in secret; “this arrangement must be kept confidential”; “their secret communications”
  • something that should remain hidden from others (especially information that is not to be passed on); “the combination to the safe was a secret”; “he tried to keep his drinking a secret”
  • indulging only covertly; “a secret alcoholic”
  • information known only to a special group; “the secret of Cajun cooking”
  • mysterious: having an import not apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence; beyond ordinary understanding; “mysterious symbols”; “the mystical style of Blake”; “occult lore”; “the secret learning of the ancients”
  • mystery: something that baffles understanding and cannot be explained; “how it got out is a mystery”; “it remains one of nature’s secrets”
  • the next to highest level of official classification for documents
  • Secrecy is the practice of sharing information among a group of people, which can be as small as one person, while hiding it from people not in the group. That which is kept hidden is known as the secret. Secrecy is often controversial. …
  • secret is the fourth studio album released by Japanese Pop singer Kumi Koda, released on February, 2005. … (album)
  • Secret (Greta Hayes) is a fictional character, a superheroine in the DC Comics universe. (comics)
  • The Secret (Latin: Secreta, oratio secreta) is the prayer said in a low voice by the celebrant at the end of the Offertory in the Mass. It is the original and for a long time was the only offertory prayer. … (liturgy)
  • Secret is a South Korean television drama produced by the MBC in 2000. It was first broadcasted in South Korea from September 2000 to November 2000. It has a total of 18 episodes. (TV series)
  • “Secret” is a song recorded by American rock band Heart. It was released as the fourth and final single from the band’s tenth studio album Brigade. (Heart song)
  • “Secret” was the first single taken from Madonna’s 1994 album Bedtime Stories. It was released in September 1994 and became a top ten hit around the world. (Madonna song)
  • “Secret (Take You Home)” is an pop song written by a collection of songwriters for Minogue’s ninth studio album Body Language (2003). The song was produced a promotional single release in the beginning of 2004 in Taiwan. … (Take You Home)
  • Secret is Ayumi Hamasaki’s eighth studio album produced by Max Matsuura. It was released on November 29, 2006. (Ayumi Hamasaki album)
  • Portion of the input block to the SHA-1 calculation that is known only to participants in a Service. The participants include the User Tokens and the Service Control Unit. (see Unique Authentication Secret, Master Signing Secret)
  • From the Greek “Esoterikos”. The term was first applied to the private instructions and doctrines of Pythagoras, taught only to a select number of his pupils and not intended or designed for the general outer body. Opposed to exoteric or public.
  • These sayings are said to be secret. Eternal life comes through their correct interpretation.”
  • I like best this definition….kept secret or not revealed.

    Not revealed.

    Doesn’t mean it does not exist, means it is not revealed, not dug up, not seen, not heard, not understood, perhaps forgotten.

    Now, how about…”The Secret”…is it the only one?

    I picked up a magazine called “Ode” the other week. The magazine was a complete suprise, I had no plans to buy it, rather, I arrived early for a work appointment and found myself in Whole Foods and picked up some different magazines, yes, I splurged.

    So I found the Ode and within it, I found an article entitled, “The Real Secret”.

    Again, this does not tell us the one and only secret, rather, it hints at that which is not revealed within the megablockbuster, The Secret.

    One of the issues within this article was the matter of blame.

    Oh, ok, maybe the author didn’t put it that way, my regular readers know though that that is an open issue for me in regard to the theories within The Secret.

    The article in part set forth:

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t think positively, or that we’re not interconnected. All I’m saying is it’s incorrect to use current physics research to validate these claims and it’s highly misleading to present them as the utimate truth, or the ‘Great Secret,’ of the universe. Such grand assetions give people a false sense ofhope.

    And, on the contrary, the claim that we create our own realities may also be unfair with respect to people who are ill or poor. The message of The Secret suggest they too are responsible for their own fate. Does this mean that the thousands in Bangladesh made homeless by floods are suffering because they did not have a positive vision?”

    The Real Secret, by Peter Russel, Ode Magazine, October 2007, Vol. 5, Issue 8.

    I think not.

    I do not know what the ultimate answer is in the Universe, it is only recently I began to learn we may not be from this universe after all…following compliments of

    “This same sense of shock came as scientists announced that the Sun, the Moon, our planet and its siblings, were not born into the familiar band of stars known as the Milky Way galaxy, but we actually belong to a strange formation with the unfamiliar name of the Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy!

    How can this be?”


    The best thing we can know, is that we do not know.

    The Beauty of God’s Plan, it includes you…

    Friday, July 13th, 2007

    I was gratified to come across a lovely post on Sibbia’s blog this evening.

    My posts have been simple this week, rather quiet, reflecting the depth of silence in me and what I wait for it to tell me.

    Sibbia said in such a moving way, how we can easily allow in a better part of ourselves, for those readers that believe in God, she has written concisely and simply of the easy steps to allow God in to lead you closer to yourself. At least that is what I have come away with….simple, refreshing, pleasing, just right. Indulge youself, take a peek, I doubt you will be sorry you spent a moment in such a lovely flow of thought.

    The Girls of Riyadh

    Sunday, July 8th, 2007

    Tonight, I read slowly, something that those who know me well, know happens too infrequently.

    I read the voice of a young woman, and am struck by something she felt worthy to be placed among the pages. I have not referenced and cross-referenced, I simply put this here for a note of familiarity, The Girls of Riyadh, by Rajaa Alsanea, pp. 73-74):

    Rid yourself of woe and tears

    Instead of crying years and years

    Oh You who’ve wept the traitor man

    Weep on today, if you well can.

    But watch that no one sees tears fall

    For such will please the traitors all.

    God & Monogamy

    Saturday, July 7th, 2007

    I’m wondering if God has a monogamous relationship with each and every one of us.

    I don’t care much for religious thought, Biblical teachings, it’s not done much for humanity all of these years to enlighten us to prevent crimes against humanity or the lack of daily kindness.

    I care instead about what I believe is the one and only true religion, the religion of the heart:  open, loving kindess.

    Is it possible for God indeed to have a monogamous relationship with each of us?

    I read the news and hear the news and I shake my head.  How is it possible?  Prayers of thanks are given by those physically saved in the midst of numbers mounting day after day of those that are unable to thank God for saving them, either because they are no longer on planet Earth or because they have suffered such circumstances that thanks are no longer in their vocabularly.

    If it is true that God only responds to some prayers, some religions, some chosen people, then obviously God is not having a monogamous loving relationship with each and every one of us and is favoring some over others.

    See, I can’t believe that, I truly cannot get that notion through my thick head.

    The only other alternative for me then is:  God gave us the tools we need and some of us fail to use them….That’s what I want to believe, because then there means there is hope and something to look forward to, a greater, better human race that wants to improve.

    Simple steps to the law of attraction

    Thursday, July 5th, 2007

    I read a lot about spirituality, powers untapped of the universe, etc.

    Tonight, I enjoy a piece that Ronnie at Out of my Head wrote about how to take simple steps to make it happen.

    Maybe some of you are like me, you need a picture drawn, not The Last Supper, but a small and well defined cartoon, few brush strokes to get to the heart of the matter.

    Well, Ronnie did that for me, and yes, I guess I spurred her on a bit, but so what? I wanted the answer.

    Hello New World…habitable planet…Gliese 581

    Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

    Updated:  May 11, 2007 (new resource links below)

    Queen Elizabeth II descends upon the shores of Virginia, to reclaim or to apologize?

    No matter as we have now discovered a “new” planet where we can start this whole silly process all over again!


    Potentially habitable planet found

    By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer Wed Apr 25, 4:35 PM ET

    WASHINGTON – For the first time astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is potentially habitable, with Earth-like temperatures, a find researchers described Tuesday as a big step in the search for “life in the universe.”


    if the planet is just the right size, might have water in liquid form, and in galactic terms is relatively nearby at 120 trillion miles away. But the star it closely orbits, known as a “red dwarf,” is much smaller, dimmer and cooler than our sun.

    There’s still a lot that is unknown about the new planet, which could be deemed inhospitable to life once more is known about it. And it’s worth noting that scientists’ requirements for habitability count Mars in that category: a size relatively similar to Earth’s with temperatures that would permit liquid water. However, this is the first outside our solar system that meets those standards.

    “It’s a significant step on the way to finding possible life in the universe,” said University of Geneva astronomer Michel Mayor, one of 11 European scientists on the team that found the planet. “It’s a nice discovery. We still have a lot of questions.”

    The results of the discovery have not been published but have been submitted to the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

    Alan Boss, who works at the Carnegie Institution of Washington where a U.S. team of astronomers competed in the hunt for an Earth-like planet, called it “a major milestone in this business.”

    The planet was discovered by the European Southern Observatory’s telescope in La Silla, Chile, which has a special instrument that splits light to find wobbles in different wave lengths. Those wobbles can reveal the existence of other worlds.

    What they revealed is a planet circling the red dwarf star, Gliese 581. Red dwarfs are low-energy, tiny stars that give off dim red light and last longer than stars like our sun. Until a few years ago, astronomers didn’t consider these stars as possible hosts of planets that might sustain life.

    The discovery of the new planet, named 581 c, is sure to fuel studies of planets circling similar dim stars. About 80 percent of the stars near Earth are red dwarfs.

    The new planet is about five times heavier than Earth. Its discoverers aren’t certain if it is rocky like Earth or if its a frozen ice ball with liquid water on the surface. If it is rocky like Earth, which is what the prevailing theory proposes, it has a diameter about 1 1/2 times bigger than our planet. If it is an iceball, as Mayor suggests, it would be even bigger.

    Based on theory, 581 c should have an atmosphere, but what’s in that atmosphere is still a mystery and if it’s too thick that could make the planet’s surface temperature too hot, Mayor said.

    However, the research team believes the average temperature to be somewhere between 32 and 104 degrees and that set off celebrations among astronomers.

    Until now, all 220 planets astronomers have found outside our solar system have had the “Goldilocks problem.” They’ve been too hot, too cold or just plain too big and gaseous, like uninhabitable Jupiter.

    The new planet seems just right — or at least that’s what scientists think.

    “This could be very important,” said NASA astrobiology expert Chris McKay, who was not part of the discovery team. “It doesn’t mean there is life, but it means it’s an Earth-like planet in terms of potential habitability.”

    Eventually astronomers will rack up discoveries of dozens, maybe even hundreds of planets considered habitable, the astronomers said. But this one — simply called “c” by its discoverers when they talk among themselves — will go down in cosmic history as No. 1.

    Besides having the right temperature, the new planet is probably full of liquid water, hypothesizes Stephane Udry, the discovery team’s lead author and another Geneva astronomer. But that is based on theory about how planets form, not on any evidence, he said.

    “Liquid water is critical to life as we know it,” co-author Xavier Delfosse of Grenoble University in France, said in a statement. “Because of its temperature and relative proximity, this planet will most probably be a very important target of the future space missions dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial life. On the treasure map of the Universe, one would be tempted to mark this planet with an X.”

    Other astronomers cautioned it’s too early to tell whether there is water.

    “You need more work to say it’s got water or it doesn’t have water,” said retired NASA astronomer Steve Maran, press officer for the American Astronomical Society. “You wouldn’t send a crew there assuming that when you get there, they’ll have enough water to get back.”

    The new planet’s star system is a mere 20.5 light years away, making Gliese 581 one of the 100 closest stars to Earth. It’s so dim, you can’t see it without a telescope, but it’s somewhere in the constellation Libra, which is low in the southeastern sky during the midevening in the Northern Hemisphere.

    “I expect there will be planets like Earth, but whether they have life is another question,” said renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking in an interview with The Associated Press in Orlando. “We haven’t been visited by little green men yet.”

    Before you book your extrastellar flight to 581 c, a few caveats about how alien that world probably is: Anyone sitting on the planet would get heavier quickly, and birthdays would add up fast since it orbits its star every 13 days.

    Gravity is 1.6 times as strong as Earth’s so a 150-pound person would feel like 240 pounds.

    But oh, the view. The planet is 14 times closer to the star it orbits. Udry figures the red dwarf star would hang in the sky at a size 20 times larger than our moon. And it’s likely, but still not known, that the planet doesn’t rotate, so one side would always be sunlit and the other dark.

    Distance is another problem. “We don’t know how to get to those places in a human lifetime,” Maran said.

    Two teams of astronomers, one in Europe and one in the United States, have been racing to be the first to find a planet like 581 c outside the solar system.

    The European team looked at 100 different stars using a tool called HARPS (High Accuracy Radial Velocity for Planetary Searcher) to find this one planet, said Xavier Bonfils of the Lisbon Observatory, one of the co-discoverers.

    Much of the effort to find Earth-like planets has focused on stars like our sun with the challenge being to find a planet the right distance from the star it orbits. About 90 percent of the time, the European telescope focused its search more on sun-like stars, Udry said.

    A few weeks before the European discovery earlier this month, a scientific paper in the journal Astrobiology theorized a few days that red dwarf stars were good candidates.

    “Now we have the possibility to find many more,” Bonfils said.”

    This artistic illustration released by the European Southern Observatory on Tuesday, April 24, 2007, shows planets orbiting the red dwarf star, Gliese 581. Astronomers believe that the newly discovered planet Gliese 581 c, left, is potentially habitable.  (AP Photo/European Southern Observatory) AP Photo: This artistic illustration released by the European Southern Observatory on Tuesday, April 24, 2007.”

    Can I get an “Amen”?

    Hello new world.

    Yes again, we are discovering the potential of life beyond us.

    Go figure.

    Do you think we win the prize for the most egotistical species in the Universe?

    Read on….


    Sci-Tech Today Video

    Top Tech News

    May 11, 2007:

    Centauri Dreams:  Gliese:  A Potentially Habitable Earth-like World

    Centauri Dreams:  Chances for Habitability

    View From the Edge:  April Showers, May Flowers, and Gliese 581-C

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