Breaking science news and multimedia, heavy on astronomy and physics (and heavy on citing) New vids, pics, articles, and the occasional research post for ResearchBlogging.org.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

2 Exceptional Astrophysics Videos

I'd like to share with you a new TED Talk, a presentation about astrophysics and the dedication of the scientists in this discipline so full of wonder.
Here's Anil Ananthaswamy in:
"What it takes to do extreme astrophysics"



Video Credit: Anil Ananthaswamy/TED


Here's a very cool and very brief video, posted today as the Archive Video of the Day on Hubble's Site:
"Matter accreting around a supermassive black hole (artist's impression)"
"At the heart of most, if not all, giant galaxies lies a supermassive black hole. When dust and gas falls into the central black hole, it heats up and emits intense radiation. Quasars, some of the brightest objects in the cosmos, are powered by these phenomena. In this artist’s impression of a quasar, the rotating ring of matter, and powerful jets of particles thrown out at close to the speed of light can be seen." -ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser)

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Video Credit: ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser)


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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Time Lapse Video of the Milky Way and Undulating Clouds

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Today Gizmodo shared with us this captivating video:
"A Beautiful Glimpse of the Milky Way From Spain’s Tallest Mountain"
Absolutely incredible.


The Mountain from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

Video Credit: Terje Sorgjerd via Gizmodo | thanks to my friend Jayrol San Jose for finding this!  His photo blog is here.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spirituality and Neurotheology

Time's up for the poll I had over on the right.
29 votes in!
Here was the question:
"Have you ever had a non-religious experience you would call 'spiritual' when studying Science?"

18 voted YES

7 voted NO

4 voted for the third option, "Yes, and I'd consider it religious too."


Spirituality is a emotionally laden word.  To some, it seems inseparable from religion.  
First, we have to define spirituality as some of a certain set of feelings, easily lifted from wikipedia:


  • The perception that time, fear or self-consciousness have dissolved
  • Spiritual awe
  • Oneness with the universe
  • Ecstatic trance
  • Sudden enlightenment
  • Altered states of consciousness

The last three seem to me too vague, covering both mild and extreme states of mind.  Lots of further semantics would be required for it to be clear. 
My aim here is not to discredit those having religious experiences, but rather to point out how the act of studying science can induce spiritual feelings.  These feelings are the targeted areas of study by Neurotheologists.  The study of Neurotheology, also called Spiritual Neuroscience, attempts to make some sense of these special and common feelings.


The secular also experience feelings of spirituality, often in cases where the perceived border of the self becomes temporarily blurred with the world around us.
This, I think, is why study of science, especially on scales of the extremely small or large, can induce these feelings.  The results of the poll seem to back that up.







 

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Recent Best of: Astronomy Photographs From Early April

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ESA, the European Space Agency, has released some exciting new photos of
"Neighboring Volcanoes on Mars"
"Ceraunius Tholus and Uranius Tholus are two volcanoes in the Tharsis region of Mars. Ceraunius Tholus is 130 km across and rises 5.5 km above its surroundings. The flanks of this volcano are etched with many valleys. Its neighbour, Uranius Tholus is a smaller volcano, with a base diameter of 62 km and a height of 4.5 km."-ESA

Image Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)


ESO, the European Southern Observatory, (not to be confused with ESA,) shares yet another beautiful photograph of space with us in:
"The Rose-red Glow of Star Formation"
"The vivid red cloud in this new image from ESO’s Very Large Telescope is a region of glowing hydrogen surrounding the star cluster NGC 371. This stellar nursery lies in our neighbouring galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud." -ESO
Click to embiggen! This is a great computer wallpaper.

Image Credit: ESO/Manu Mejias


NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day Today is a goodie!  
"Giant Galaxy NGC 6872"
"Over 400,000 light years across NGC 6872 is an enormous spiral galaxy, at least 4 times the size of our own, very large, Milky Way." -NASA

Image Credit: Sydney Girls High School Astronomy Club, Travis Rector (Univ. Alaska), Ángel López-Sánchez (Australian Astronomical Obs./ Macquarie Univ.), Australian Gemini Office


A gem of a find over on Boing Boing recently, featuring a new NASA image from WISE, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
"Swirling Palette of Star-Forming Clouds"
"The amazing variety of different colors seen in this image represent different wavelengths of infrared light. The bright white nebula in the center of the image is glowing due to heating from nearby stars, resulting in what is called an emission nebula." -NASA

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/WISE


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Friday, April 1, 2011

Preprint of My Latest Research Project: Analysis of Accelerating Baryonic Gasses in NGC 1411


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Here's the results of my latest research project!  I'm happy to be able to share it with you guys.
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Draft Version 1 April 1, 2011



Analysis of Accelerating Baryonic Gasses in NGC 1411: Simulations of the Decoupling of Matter and Dark Matter with Modified Ram-Pressure Model Revealing the RAM-Constant, Requiring a Tweak to General Relativity
Dr. Richard A. F. D. Astley, David L. Morris, Dr. Mike Stock, Dr. Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman
North Waterman Laboratories Billboard, MI

ABSTRACT:
Of many similar processes, Ram pressure can, by ICM (the intracluster medium) remove baryonic gas from a galaxy, as shown herein with NGC 1411. Similar processes in various stages (Gunn & Gott 1972) and (Vollmer(2009) NGC 1411 via Chandra's X-Ray and Subaru imaging provided us gravitational strong-lensing. Post-peak, pre-peak, and peak groups of ram pressure through our new calculations in the Modified Ram-Pressure Model show how a decoupling of Matter and Dark Matter accelerates at a constant heretofore unmeasured and unaccounted for in standard General Relativity.







Fig. 1.— Rick Astley, discoverer of galaxy
NGC 1-4-2011. He's Never Gonna Give You Up. Never Gonna Let You Down. Never Gonna Turn Around, and Hurt You.
Happy April Fools!


REFERENCES:
Dr. Richard April Fools Day Astley (1985) VH1 Behind the Music VH1(April) DOI:arXiv:woot.0



Abstract and Title inspired by:

Stephanie Tonnesen, Greg L. Bryan, Rena Chen (2011). How To Light It Up: Simulating Ram-Pressure Stripped X-ray Bright Tails ApJ (April) DOI: arXiv:1103.3273

I think I might be the first person to Rick Roll ResearchBlogging.org!

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