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          Invaders from Mars (1953) at Wonders in the Dark      Cache   Translate Page      

Helena Carter in Invaders from Mars (1953)

Count me in as an Invaders from Mars boy. (Are there Invaders from Mars girls? All the Invaders from Mars obsessives whom I know are baby boomer male nerds. The movie feels completely locked into an adolescent boy perspective.)

While Invaders from Mars enjoyed some popularity upon release in 1953, its real impact came when the movie was released to television in the late 1950s. Although it inevitably lost the power of its weird Cinecolor process and its depth of field, it strangely gained in resonance as well. In their comfortable suburban homes, boys could watch the story of a boy who looked out the window of his suburban home. And there was a curious leveling of the image in those old TVs—low budget science fiction came out looking eerily similar to the 6:00 news.

I think I must have seen Invaders from Marsfor the first time between 1965 and 1970 (when I was five to ten), probably on a Saturday afternoon. Although I watched it approximately 15 years after the movie was made, the movie’s main protagonist—a preadolescent boy—could have easily been a neighbor on my block. His bed looked like mine, his telescope looked like mine, and his window looked like mine. I could easily imagine rising from bed at 4 a.m. and looking out my window to see a UFO descending. This key scene was grounded in my reality. For a suburban 60s kid, it felt archetypal.
Excerpted from my Invaders from Mars essay:
read it all at Wonders in the Dark

I contributed this piece to the Top 100 Science Fiction Countdown at Wonders in the Dark. For the next three months, Wonders blogmaster Sam Juliano will be sharing 100 essays on these great films, written by dozens of his knowledgeable film-buff friends. It’s an honor to be counted among them!

© 2016 Lee Price

          Annunciation Essays: Meditation on Jan van Eyck's The Annunciation      Cache   Translate Page      

Annunciation Blogging
for Advent 2014:
The Annunciation
by Jan van Eyck

Fade in.  An angel appears before Mary.  The angel makes a surprising proposal, Mary responds with a question, the angel reassures her, and she graciously agrees to the plan.  The vignette has a beginning, middle, and end.  Classically constructed, the scene begins with the angel announcing, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with You!” and ends with Mary entering into an agreement, “(L)et it be to me according to your word.”  Fade out.

Jan van Eyck (Netherlandish,
circa 1390-1441),
The Annunciation, c. 1434/1436,
oil on canvas transferred from panel,
Andrew W. Mellon Collection,
National Gallery of Art.
As told by the evangelist Luke in his gospel, the Annunciation has the shape of a conventional narrative.  It unfolds like a well-constructed movie scene.

Most art of the Annunciation—both literary and visual—treats the scene as conventional narrative, in the manner of Luke.  The artist thoughtfully selects a moment in the story that captures what they want to express about the text.  It could be the second when the angel enters, or the angel greeting Mary, or Mary’s asking “How shall this be?” or Mary’s final note of gracious acceptance.  That’s the normal way of doing things.

Jan van Eyck’s masterpiece The Annunciation employs a very different strategy, sometimes used by the Old Masters but rarely to this extent.  The whole story flashes before us at a stroke, with van Eyck treating time with the creativity that Cezanne would later bring to the treatment of space.  In van Eyck’s The Annunciation, there is no natural beginning or end, no unfolding of narrative, no reading from left to right.  The story is shaped into an image that instantaneously contains the whole.

Within a single frame, the angel enters, the angel speaks, Mary responds with a dramatic gesture symbolizing alarm, the angel reassures, and Mary speaks the final words.  It’s all there.

But this brief Annunciation story is wrapped within a much larger story. Biblical history, prophecy, and theology surround the main characters through the illustrations on the tiled floor and the paintings and stained glass that decorate the walls.  The remarkable details on the two most prominent tile scenes depict David slaying Goliath and Samson pulling down the temple, events that were believed to prefigure the works of Jesus.  This mighty encompassing framework is an important part of van Eyck’s vision.  Vast history is telescoped into a narrow scene with the Annunciation particulars in the foreground and the Biblical backstory lining the background.

Jan van Eyck (Netherlandish,
circa 1390-1441),
Detail of The Annunciation, c. 1434/1436,
oil on canvas transferred from panel,
Andrew W. Mellon Collection,
National Gallery of Art.
Van Eyck’s grand painting is awash in symbolism, with the drama enacted in a sacred space—the church interior.  The angel utters the visible words “Ave gratia plena” (translation: “Hail, full of Grace…”) and the words of Mary’s response, “ecce ancilla domini” (translation: “Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord…”) appear upside down.  They have been flipped because they are addressed to neither Gabriel nor the viewer but rather upward to God, whose Holy Spirit is descending as a dove on streaming rays of gold leaf.

The apostle Paul famously said in his first letter to the Corinthians that we see through a glass, darkly.  Rooted in secular time and space, most of the world’s artwork explores the limited viewpoint which is part of the human condition.  But in this one painting, van Eyck ventures to depict a world stripped of its mundane and profane elements, where every detail resonates with the sacred.

It’s a God’s eye view, filled with awe and joy.

Reference Sources

National Gallery of Art Collection Highlights, Explore This Work
The New Oxford Annotated Bible, Revised Standard Version
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis, translated by William C. Creasy

© 2014 Lee Price

          Wide-field off-axis telescope for the Mesospheric Airglow/Aerosol Tomography Spectroscopy satellite      Cache   Translate Page      
Hammar, Arvid; Park, Woojin; Chang, Seunghyuk; Pak, Soojong; Emrich, Anders; Stake, Jan In this paper, Hammar et al. demonstrate a new method of addressing low-order optical distortions in off-axis te ... - Source:
          Estrellas agitadas      Cache   Translate Page      

En la noche del 20 de enero de 2019 Comquibo, Chile se sacudió con la fuerza de un terremoto de magnitud 6.7. Aunque Comquibo se encuentra a 90 kilómetros del Observatorio La Silla de ESO, sus efectos no pasaron inadvertidos.

Esta imagen única muestra el terremoto tal y como lo registró el telescopio (TAROT (Rapid Action Telescope for Transient Objects, telescopio de acción rápida para objetos transitorios), un telescopio diseñado para monitorear explosiones de rayos gamma.

En la noche en cuestión, TAROT estaba obteniendo imágenes de satélites geoestacionarios, que, vistos desde un telescopio en tierra, parecen puntos estáticos en el cielo. Como resultado, las estrellas se registran como pistas al girar la tierra sobre su eje durante la exposición. En esta imagen se han superpuesto tres imágenes de 10 segundos, tomadas en rápida sucesión la noche del terremoto.

La exposición de la primera imagen (izquierda) empezó 41 segundos después del comienzo del terremoto, y la última (derecha) termina unos 100 segundos después del inicio del terremoto. Cada estrella se ve tres veces mientras el terremoto sacude el telescopio y desenfoca la vista del cielo nocturno. El efecto del terremoto se debilita gradualmente con el tiempo (hacia la derecha de la imagen).

La grabación de la imagen es similar a las medidas registradas por los sismógrafos en un rollo de papel.

          How Much Does the Milky Way Weigh? Hubble and Gaia Space Telescopes Investigate      Cache   Translate Page      
We can't put the whole Milky Way on a scale, but astronomers have been able to come up with one of the most accurate measurements yet of our galaxy's mass, using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite.
          4 billion 500 million light-years away in the lens galaxy outside the existence of wandering black h      Cache   Translate Page      
4 billion 500 million light-years away outside the lens Galaxy "wandering black hole" black holes in the universe how much as shown in the figure, this is the Harbert space telescope lens Galaxy XJ1417+52, astronomers discovered that distant galaxies have a black hole wandering outside. According to the science news website, astronomers have discovered that […]
          The earth’s neighboring galaxy has a stellar hotbed covered with dust autobots      Cache   Translate Page      
There was dust covered earth nearby galaxies "stars for this unique galaxy is very similar to the Milky Way department, it is surrounded by dense dust, at present, scientists through Atta Kama Large Millimeter Telescope Array through the dust area, Heng Xingwen found the hidden" bed of the galaxy". Tencent space news according to the […]
          Hubble & Gaia Reveal Weight of the Milky Way: 1.5 Trillion Solar Masses      Cache   Translate Page      

Hubble & Gaia Accurately Weigh the Milky Way

In a striking example of multi-mission astronomy, measurements from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the ESA Gaia mission have been combined to improve the...

The post Hubble & Gaia Reveal Weight of the Milky Way: 1.5 Trillion Solar Masses appeared first on SciTechDaily.

          50 things to see with a telescope : kids and parents, too by Read, John A., author.      Cache   Translate Page      
          Hubble Space Telescope Snaps Dazzling View of Two Colliding Galaxies      Cache   Translate Page      

A new Hubble Space Telescope image captured two colliding galaxies, and it was a dazzling solar system sight. The image, which showed a location roughly 230 million light-years away from Earth, takes place […]

The post Hubble Space Telescope Snaps Dazzling View of Two Colliding Galaxies appeared first on

          Some notes on the Raspberry Pi      Cache   Translate Page      
I keep seeing this article in my timeline today about the Raspberry Pi. I thought I'd write up some notes about it.

The Raspberry Pi costs $35 for the board, but to achieve a fully functional system, you'll need to add a power supply, storage, and heatsink, which ends up costing around $70 for the full system. At that price range, there are lots of alternatives. For example, you can get a fully function $99 Windows x86 PC, that's just as small and consumes less electrical power.

There are a ton of Raspberry Pi competitors, often cheaper with better hardware, such as a Odroid-C2, Rock64, Nano Pi, Orange Pi, and so on. There are also a bunch of "Android TV boxes" running roughly the same hardware for cheaper prices, that you can wipe and reinstall Linux on. You can also acquire Android phones for $40.

However, while "better" technically, the alternatives all suffer from the fact that the Raspberry Pi is better supported -- vastly better supported. The ecosystem of ARM products focuses on getting Android to work, and does poorly at getting generic Linux working. The Raspberry Pi has the worst, most out-of-date hardware, of any of its competitors, but I'm not sure I can wholly recommend any competitor, as they simply don't have the level of support the Raspberry Pi does.

The defining feature of the Raspberry Pi isn't that it's a small/cheap computer, but that it's a computer with a bunch of GPIO pins. When you look at the board, it doesn't just have the recognizable HDMI, Ethernet, and USB connectors, but also has 40 raw pins strung out across the top of the board. There's also a couple extra connectors for cameras.

The concept wasn't simply that of a generic computer, but a maker device, for robot servos, temperature and weather measurements, cameras for a telescope, controlling christmas light displays, and so on.

I think this is underemphasized in the above story. The reason it finds use in the factories is because they have the same sorts of needs for controlling things that maker kids do. A lot of industrial needs can be satisfied by a teenager buying $50 of hardware off Adafruit and writing a few Python scripts.

On the other hand, support for industrial uses is nearly nonexistant. The reason commercial products cost $1000 is because somebody will answer your phone, unlike the teenager whose currently out at the movies with their friends. However, with more and more people having experience with the Raspberry Pi, presumably you'll be able to hire generic consultants soon that can maintain these juryrigged solutions.

One thing that's interesting is how much that 40 pin GPIO interface has become a standard. There are a ton of competing devices that support that same standard, even with Intel x86 Windows computers. The Raspberry Pi foundation has three boards that support this standard, the RPi Zero, the Model A, and the Model B. Competitors have both smaller, more efficient boards to choose from, as well as larger, more powerful boards. But as I said, nothing is as well supported as Raspberry Pi boards themselves.

Raspberry Pi class machines are overpowered for a lot of maker projects. There are competing systems, like the Arduino, ESP32, and Micro:Bit. As a hacker, I love the ESP32 class devices. They come with a full WiFi stack and can be placed anywhere.

If you are buying a Raspberry Pi, I recommend Adafruit. Not only do they have the devices cheap ($35), they'll have a lot of support for maker hardware that you may want to add to the device.

Your first choice will be a power supply. You'll be tempted to use the USB chargers and cables you have lying around the house, and it'll appear to work at first, but will cause CPU throttling problems and file corruption. You need to get either the $8 "official" power supply, or one of those fast charging devices, like those from Anker. Remember that it's not just a matter of the power supply providing enough current/amps, but also cables with 20 AWG wires that can handle the current.

Your next choice will be the flash drive for booting the computer. One choice is micro SD cards. You should choose cards with the "A1" rating, which are faster at random file access. Most other microSD cards are optimized for large sequential transfers, and are painfully slow at random accesses. If you write a lot of data to the device, you may need to get a card rated for "endurance" instead -- micro SD cards wear out quickly.

Or, you may consider a real SSD connected to the USB port. You can get a $20 120-gig SSD and a $8 USB-to-SATA adapter. This will perform much faster, and not have the data corruption issues that micro SD cards have.

Your next decision will be a heatsink. The Raspberry Pi generates a lot of heat at full load. People assume ARM is efficient, but it's not, and the Broadcom ARM CPU used by the RPi is very bad. Unless you have a heatsink, instead of running at 1.4-GHz, it'll spend most of it's time throttled back to 600-MHz. Because of their size, your choice of heatsink and fan depends upon your choice of case. There are some nice aluminum cases that act as a heatsink. You can also get combo kits on for $15 that include the case, heatsink, and fan together.

If looking at a competing device (e.g. Odroid-C2, Rock64), get one that supports eMMC. It's much faster and more reliable than micro SD cards. For home server applications, its worth getting a lesser supported platform in order to get eMMC. It makes a huge difference. I stopped using Raspberry Pi's for home server applications and went with Odroid-C2 machines instead, mostly because of the eMMC, but also because they have more RAM and faster Ethernet. I may switch to the Rock64 device in the future because of its support for USB 3.0. I have one on-order, but it's taking (so far) more than a month to arrive.

As for the ARM ecosystem, there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about this. People keep claiming they are more efficient. They aren't. They consume less power by being slower. Scaled to the same performance, ARM CPUs use the same amount of power as Intel CPUs. Now that ARM has more powerful CPUs close to Intel in speed, and Intel now has their low speed "Atom" processors, we see that indeed they have roughly the same efficiency. The Raspberry Pi's Broadcom CPU is extremely inefficient. It uses the decade old 40nm manufacturing process, which means it consumes a lot of power. Intel's latest Atom processors built on 22nm or 14nm technology consume a lot less power. There are things that impact efficiency, but the least important of which is whether it's ARM or Intel x86, or RISC vs. CISC.

For hackers, there's a lot you can do with a Raspberry Pi (or competitor). We are surrounded by things that we can hack. For example, you can use it to hack the CEC feature of HDMI to control your TV. You can attach a cheap RTL-SDR device and monitor radio frequencies. You can connect it to the CAN bus of your car. You can connect it to your ZigBee devices in your home and control your lights. If there's a wire or radio wave around you, it's something you can start hacking with the RPi.


A feel the above article does the subject a disservice. It's less "industrial IoT" and more "crossover between maker culture and industry".

Every geek should get a Raspberry Pi and play with it, even if it's only as simple as a Owncloud/Nextcloud backup server sitting in a closet. Don't skimp on the power supply, as people who do get frustrated, you need a charger rated for at least 2.4 amps and a charging cable with thicker 20 AWG wires. If going the micro SD route, choose "A1" or "endurance" rated cards. Consider going a USB SSD route instead.

          Guizhou eye telescope can find aliens academician – Sohu military channel response-660003      Cache   Translate Page      
Guizhou "eye" telescope can find aliens academician response – Military Channel Sohu in November 26, 2015, in the construction of Pingtang County of Guizhou Province, the world’s largest single aperture radio telescope of 500 m diameter spherical radio telescope (fast) is the core component of the "cabin" on the 21 day in the first test […]
          Time-lapse view of an asteroid      Cache   Translate Page      

Take a look at this image featured on the “Astronomy Picture of the Day” on 20 April, 2017.   The attribution and explanation on APOD reads: Asteroid 2014 JO25 Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Goldstone Solar System RadarExplanation: A day before its closest approach, asteroid 2014 JO25 was imaged by radar with the 70-meter antenna of NASA’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California. This grid of 30 radar images, top left to lower right, reveals the two-lobed shape of the asteroid that rotates about once every five hours. Its largest lobe is about 610 meters across. On the list of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids, this space rock made its close approach to our fair planet on April 19, flying safely past at a distance of 1.8 million kilometers. That’s over four times the distance from the Earth to the Moon. The asteroid was a faint and fast moving speck visible in backyard telescopes. Asteroid 2014 JO25 was discovered in May 2014 by A. D. Grauer of the Catalina Sky Survey, a project of NASA’s Near-Earth Objects Observations Program in collaboration with the University of Arizona.

The post Time-lapse view of an asteroid appeared first on 10QViz.

          How Many Planets in our Solar System, do You Think?       Cache   Translate Page      
"We have convincing evidence that the census of the solar system is incomplete.”

A huge planet might be sitting at the edge of our solar system without ever being seen.

The world — which could be about ten times as massive as Earth — would be large enough to become the ninth planet of our solar system.

The planet has not yet been seen by scientists. Instead, they have found it by watching the way that dwarf planets and other objects in the outer solar system move — their orbits seem to be disturbed by something huge but hidden sitting out there.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

“If there’s going to be another planet in the solar system, I think this is it,” Greg Laughlin of the University of California, Santa Cruz told National Geographic. “It would be quite extraordinary if we had one. Fingers crossed. It would be amazing.”

If the planet exists, it is thought to be about ten times as massive or three times as large as Earth. That sort of sized planet occurs throughout the universe — but has been an obvious omission from our own.

"This would be a real ninth planet," says Brown, the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of Planetary Astronomy. "There have only been two true planets discovered since ancient times, and this would be a third. It's a pretty substantial chunk of our solar system that's still out there to be found, which is pretty exciting."

It would be around 200 to 300 times as far away from the sun is when it gets closest to the star, scientists say. It will spend some of its time as much as four times as far away as that, and an entire orbit of the sun probably takes about 20,000 years.

The planet might have made its way out to the edge of the universe when it was thrown out there by the gravity of Jupiter or Saturn, the scientists suggest.

At such distances, the planet could be impossible to spot — even with the two huge telescopes that are currently looking for it. So little light is sent back from that far away, that it might never make it back for us to see.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It is surrounded by much brighter lights — even the distant Pluto could be about 10,000 times brighter — and so scientists have to be sure that they point telescopes at exactly the right point and pick out an already very unlikely speck of light.

That is why the scientists have spotted the potential planet by seeing the disturbances that it is causing in the gravitational field of the far star system. There appears to be a “great perturber” upsetting the movement of other objects in that far away region, and the new paper — authored by Michael Brown and Konstantin Batygin and published in the Astronomical Journal — claims that is being caused by a mysterious, unknown world.

The solar system does not often change. The only recent addition was Pluto, which was found in 1930 and spent most of the 21st century as its most distant and smallest planet — until it was controversially downgraded to being just a dwarf planet, and the solar system went back to having eight members.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

If the new planet is real, then it will definitely be a planet, scientists say. Since it dominates a bigger region than any of the other planets, it would "the most planet-y of the planets in the whole solar system", Brown said.

The downgrading of Pluto was partly the result of work by astronomer Michael Brown, who co-wrote the new paper. He had found that Pluto was surrounded by a huge number of similarly sized planets, and the International Astronomical Union decided that Pluto would be excluded from a new definition.

The two astronomers found the new potential planet while they were looking at those small rocks. They seemed to fly around on orbits that could not be happening by chance, and instead were best explained by a big ninth planet sitting out there with them.

A ninth planet has long been hypothesized — and become the basis of some conspiracy theories — originally going under the name Planet X. It was first talked about more than a century ago, and looking for that planet was what brought astronomers to find Pluto.

The name of the planet will be crowd-sourced too, if the researchers get their way — as opposed to being proposed by the discoverer and then approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which is the usual way of doing things. Brown’s and Batygin’s personal name preference is “George,” a hat-tip to British astronomer William Herschel, who discovered Uranus and wanted to name it Georgium Sidus (the Georgian Planet) after King George III. That might be a hard sell to the IAU—to say nothing of nearly all other stargazers, who tend to like a little more lyricism in their cosmos. “We actually call it Fatty when we’re just talking to each other,” Brown admitted.

Whatever the planet is eventually called, its very existence will do more than simply add to the population of the solar system. It will also add to its mystery. Even in our tiny corner of the universe, it seems, there can still be big surprises lurking.

Brown acknowledged that the history of astronomy is riddled with false hopes. Urbain Le Verrier, the French mathematician who correctly predicted the existence of Neptune, in 1846, also predicted the existence of a planet orbiting between the sun and Mercury. He called it Vulcan, and it turned out not to exist. Every few years, someone announces the discovery of Planet X, some large object that Galileo and four centuries of his descendants missed, only to retract it. “If somebody proposed this—if I picked up a newspaper and read a headline—my first reaction would be, Oh my God, these guys are crazy,” Brown said of his and Batygin’s finding. “But if somebody then looked at the evidence, they’d have a hard time disagreeing that the evidence is there.”

Sources and Additional Information:

          Safran Reosc Wins Fifth Contract in a Row for ESO's Extremely Large Telescope      Cache   Translate Page      
Safran Reosc, a subsidiary of Safran Electronics & Defense, today signed a contract with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to design and produce the M5 mirror, the fifth and final mirror for the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT)*. The ELT will be the most powerful telescope ever built. The M5 mirror for the ELT is a flat elliptical silicon carbide mirror measuring 2.70 by 2.20 meters. It will be the world's largest mirror with optical precision in the 10 nanometer class built to date.
          Where to buy telescopes in Kuwait?      Cache   Translate Page      
Around a decade ago, maybe more, there used to be a store in Muthana Complex that used to just sell telescopes. That store closed down ages ago and after that, the only other place I knew of that sold good telescopes was Xcite in Avenues. But, they no longer seem to carry them anymore so […]
          "A Look to the Heavens"      Cache   Translate Page      
“Also known as the Cigar Galaxy for its elongated visual appearance, M82 is a starburst galaxy with a superwind. In fact, through ensuing supernova explosions and powerful winds from massive stars, the burst of star formation in M82 is driving the prodigious outflow of material. Evidence for the superwind from the galaxy's central regions is clear in this sharp composite image, based on data from small telescopes on planet Earth. 
 Click image for larger size.
The composite highlights emission from filaments of atomic hydrogen gas in reddish hues. The filaments extend for over 10,000 light-years. Some of the gas in the superwind, enriched in heavy elements forged in the massive stars, will eventually escape into intergalactic space. Triggered by a close encounter with nearby large galaxy M81, the furious burst of star formation in M82 should last about 100 million years or so. M82 is 12 million light-years distant, near the northern boundary of Ursa Major.”

          Weekday Public Night at the Cronyn Observatory      Cache   Translate Page      

Event Date: Monday, March 25, 2019

(sunset 7:42 p.m.)

On MONDAY, 25th March, come and join us for an evening of stargazing. 

Astronomy Public Nights at the Cronyn Observatory are offered monthly on Saturdays from October through April. Check our schedule for more details:

General Information:

Our public nights are first and foremost a time to view the skies through our telescopes and to pose your favorite questions to the astronomers hosting the evening. Objects viewed vary with the season, but might include the Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, binary stars, star clusters, planetary nebulae, or galaxies. There is nothing like seeing these wonders with your own eyes!

There will also generally be a presentation of general astronomical interest to be held in the lecture theatre at one or more times during the evening. We often will also open up our 1940 and 1967 period rooms to the public, as well as our astronomical demo vault in the basement. 

In the event of cloudy skies, the observatory will still be open for the presentation, demos and a look at the telescopes, but closing time might be earlier. Note that our weekday public nights are stargazing only -- no presentation.

Members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada are also on hand with their portable telescopes set up on the Observatory balcony and  front lawn. If you're interested in doing some astronomy as a hobby, these are the people to talk to.

There is no charge, and no reservations are necessary; come and go as you please throughout the evening. The University has free parking on the weekends; check Western's "Visitor Parking" web page here:

          What is the Song Bohemian Rhapsody About Anyway?      Cache   Translate Page      
Last week, Bohemian Rhapsody was released on DVD, the Oscar-winning film about the band Queen and their lead singer, Freddie Mercury. The movie is titled after the famous song of the same name, a six-minute suite blending elements of rock and opera. It's only fitting that the album from which the song came was called A Night at the Opera, released in 1975. The star track Bohemian Rhapsody is considered by many to be Mercury's magnum opus.

With the success of the film, I thought I'd revisit the lyrics of Bohemian Rhapsody. What is this song about anyway? Plenty of legendary rock songs are nonsense (since a lot of these guys were probably on drugs when they wrote them), but Mercury was a meticulous and brilliant lyricist. A friend of mine recently said, "Sometimes a movie is just a movie." Well, sometimes a song is just a song. But there's more going on in Bohemian Rhapsody than meets the ears.

In order to understand the underlying message, we need a little background. Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in a British territory of Zanzibar on the east coast of Africa. His parents immigrated from British India and were Parsis, meaning that they practiced Zoroastrianism; a pantheistic, free-will religion that teaches you must have "good thoughts, good words, good deeds." Though Zoroastrians believe in a version of heaven and hell, ultimately everyone will be "saved" whether they did good or bad, and they will be reunited with the "Wise Lord" in immortality. When Mercury died in 1991, his funeral was conducted by a Zoroastrian priest at Mercury's request.

As a boy, Mercury was sent away from his parents to St. Peter's Church of England School, an all-boys boarding school in Panchgani, India; later to finish at St. Joseph's Convent School in Zanzibar. It was in boarding school that he was given the more English-sounding nickname Freddie. A violent revolution rose up in Zanzibar in 1964, so Mercury fled with his family to England, where he attended a liberal arts college and graduated in 1969 with a degree in graphic art and design. Mercury incorporated these skills into designing Queen's logo and his performance costumes.

In 1970, Mercury wrote a song called My Fairy King. Toward the close of the song, he mentioned "Mother Mercury." He later said, "I am going to become Mercury, as the mother in this song is my mother." In the film Bohemian Rhapsody, Mercury was criticized by his father that the Bulsara name was "not good enough." The likelihood though is that it simply never mattered to Mercury. Consider the very last line of Bohemian Rhapsody: "Nothing really matters to me."

If you knew nothing else happening in the lyrics to this song, that line would tell you all you need to know: Freddie Mercury believed, "Nothing really matters." His worldview was not driven by secularism or born out of irreligion—this was his religion. Mercury's music was a hodgepodge of religious subtext, which the movie only barely touched on.

Mercury received his primary education through Anglican and Catholic schooling, all the while underscored by his family's Zoroastrianism, a religion that preaches do what you think is right and everyone is going to the same place anyway. Therefore, "Nothing really matters."

As we dissect the lyrics, let's start with that title. What is a Bohemian rhapsody? The term "Bohemian" was coined in western Europe in the 19th century in reference to gypsies who were thought to have come from Bohemia. The word would later be used to describe any person rich or poor who lived an unconventional lifestyle. A Bohemian's interests are outside the norm, particularly when it came to expressions of art, music, literature, or spirituality.

A "rhapsody" is a single-movement piece of music or an epic poem with highly contrasting themes. So by the title alone, we might expect Bohemian Rhapsody to be a musical epic about an unconventional person. Queen's guitarist Brian May explained, "Freddie never explained the lyrics, but I think he put a lot himself into that song."

The song begins by asking if life is "real" or a "fantasy" we're unwillingly "caught in" from which there is "no escape." Here are the opening lyrics, sung acapella at first, then underscored with piano:
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go
A little high, little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me, to me
I've already mentioned the closing line. The song ends the same way it begins: "Nothing really matters to me." This was Mercury's approach to life. In his 1985 interview with David Wigg, Mercury was asked, "How do you want to be remembered when you die?" Mercury replied, "Dead and gone. Who cares?"

The song continues and gradually elevates in strength:
Mama just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger now he's dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away
Mama, oh-oh
Didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters
Now we get more religious. In several of Mercury's songs, Mama represented the feminine or nurturing side of God. This opinion about God was influenced by Zoroastrianism. The Persian prophet Zoroaster referred to their god Ahura Mazda in both masculine and feminine terms interchangeably, depending on the attribute of god he was referring to.

It's interesting to note the opening line of this segment begins, "Mama just killed a man," rather than, "Mama, I just killed a man." We would be led to think Mama was the one who put a gun against a man's head until the singer sings, "Pulled my trigger now he's dead." This was intentional. What Mercury was conveying here was that God tempted me with all these things He then called evil. They pleased me, but they displeased God. Why then did God give them to me? God put the gun against my head, but I'm the one that pulled the trigger.

Since Mercury referred to what he characterized as the effeminate side of God, the singer apologizes and says he "didn't mean to make you cry." But "carry on, as if nothing really matters." Mercury thought God didn't care about anything that happened. If He did, He wouldn't allow the people He created to be tempted by the evil that He would eventually judge them for. Ultimately, according to Mercury's worldview, there is no divine mercy, nor is there lasting punishment for evil. Therefore, "Carry on, as if nothing really matters."

The "man" who was killed in the song was Mercury himself, but this doesn't mean he was thinking of committing suicide. He was singing about a series of personal yet destructive decisions that would eventually kill him. This was not unlike Mercury to write of such things. In his song Great King Rat, he sang about a man who died of a sexually transmitted disease at the age of 44. This was somewhat prophetic considering Mercury died of AIDS brought on by his homosexual perversion at the age of 45.

It's in Great King Rat that Mercury sang, "Don't believe all you read in the Bible," and "Don't listen to what Mama says," but instead, "Put out the good and keep the bad." You already know what's best for you: "I'm not going to tell you what you already know." (In the aforementioned 1985 interview, Mercury was asked whom he turned to whenever he had a problem. He said, "I have a lot of mirrors.")

When you live the way you want to live, "Very soon you're gonna be his disciple," a disciple of the Great King Rat. Through the voice of Mercury, Satan whispers, "Don't follow God. Follow me!" All these little decisions for yourself are "dirty," and will eventually kill you. Again, it's a slow death, not a sudden suicide, as Mercury notes next in Bohemian Rhapsody:
Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time
Goodbye everybody, I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, oh-oh (anyway the wind blows)
I don't want to die
Sometimes I wish I'd never been born at all
The singer is slowly killing himself and he knows that, but he doesn't really want to die. A part of Mercury understood that after death comes judgment, hence why the singer thought it would have been better if he'd "never been born at all." Mercury lived his life feeding his sensuous appetites, but none of it ever brought him any fulfillment—even in 1975 when Bohemian Rhapsody debuted and Mercury was hardly 30 years old. As rich and as famous as he was, he was always unsatisfied and wanted more.

Zoroastrians see life as a battle between two spirits: Spenta Mainyu, the good spirit or the "Bounteous Principle," and Angra Mainyu, the chaotic spirit or the "Destructive Principle." Mercury identified himself with the destructive spirit since "nothing really matters." Though a person who lived destructively might go to the Zoroastrian equivalent of hell, all of creation is eventually renovated by a savior-like figure, and everyone returns to Ahura Mazda, the "Wise Lord," in immortality.

In Mercury's 1985 interview, Wigg asked him, "Do you think you're going to get to heaven?" Mercury replied, "No, I don't want to. Hell is much better. Look at the interesting people you're going to meet down there?" He only thought so flippantly of hell because Zoroastrianism taught him hell was just a hang-out until immortality is granted to everyone. But the Bible is clear hell is eternal punishment for those who rejected Christ and followed the devil.

From here, Bohemian Rhapsody picks up tempo and we enter into the operetta section. Likewise, the lyrics get more intense as well:
I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, Scaramouch, will you do the Fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning very very frightening me
Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Figaro, Magnifico
Lyrics like this have led many to conclude that the song is mostly nonsense, but these lines are very revealing. The singer sees but a shadow of a man, a "little silhouetto," someone who doesn't make a great impression and is easily vanquished as a shadow disappears when someone turns on a light. A "scaramouch" is a stock clown character in Italian theater. So he's singing of someone (himself) who is of no consequence but gives everyone a few laughs for a while.

He then sings, "Will you do the Fandango?" The Fandango is a Spanish dance. It's a euphemism for hanging himself—again, keeping up the motif of slowly killing himself with the life choices he makes. "Thunderbolt and lightning" means God is displeased with how he lives his life. With that in mind, "Galileo" is not a reference to Galileo Galilei, the Italian astronomer, at least not entirely. (As a winking aside, Galileo was the first astronomer to observe the planet Mercury through a telescope.)

Galileo Figaro Magnifico
in Latin means "Make great the Galilean's figure" or image. Galilean is the Roman name for Jesus Christ. Maybe the singer could break the cycle of his meaningless comedy if he were to call upon Jesus (and maybe Mercury himself was asking Jesus to search him out just as Galileo found Mercury).

Of course, this is if "Figaro" was spelled figuro instead of like the character in the opera The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini. In the opera's most famous piece Figaro's Aria, Figaro sings of "a good life! What pleasures there are." He calls out his own name multiple times, but toward the end of the aria, he's so popular that he's unable to meet the demands of all his adoring customers.

In Bohemian Rhapsody, the singer calls upon Jesus multiple times to save him from the meaninglessness of life and possibly the wrath of God. But if the inference of Figaro's Aria is to be considered, Mercury thought of Jesus as being too too busy or He just didn't care—He can't meet the demands of all His adorers (Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice made this same criticism of Christ in the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, which preceded the release of Bohemian Rhapsody by several years).

Here's where the lyric goes next, still in an operatic style:
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go
Bismillah, no, we will not let you go, let him go
Bismillah, we will not let you go, let him go
Bismillah, we will not let you go, let me go
(Will not let you go) let me go (never let you go)
Let me go (never let me go)
Oh oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no
The singer says he's someone of no consequence no one really cares for. Being a "poor boy" means he was too immature to know that his decisions were so destructive. The accompanying choir repeats his prayer as though angels or saints (considering Mercury's Catholic influence) are also praying for him: "Spare him his life from this monstrosity." It's as though the singer is saying, "I came into these things easily; will you let me off easy?" and also, "I'm of no consequence; why bother with me?"

Then comes the line, "Bismillah, no, we will not let you go." I first heard this song a few years after it was made popular in America by the 1992 film Wayne's World. Even at a young age, the word "Bismillah" clued me in to recognizing there was more going on in the song than random lyrics. No one says "Bismillah" just because. "Bismillah" is the first word in the Quran, and it means, "In the name of God," also called, "most gracious, most merciful."

Three times it is sung, "Bismillah, no, we will not let you go." Mercury was presenting what he thought of as the personality of the Muslim god and the Christian Triune God together as the same god, whom Mercury did not think of as gracious and merciful. "Bismillah" is sung harshly. The angelic chorus pleads, "Let him go," and instead "Bismillah" curses the singer and denies him relief from cravings of his flesh: "We will not let you go."

The opera portion concludes with this:
Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me
For me, for me
Again, "Mama" was Mercury's effeminate title for God. "Beelzebub" is another name for Satan (from Matthew 10:25, Mark 3:22, and Luke 11:18). Since God is not going to relieve the singer of his lusty appetites, Satan is waiting in the wings with a devil to keep the singer company while he gives in to indulging in the passions of his flesh. The demons are better fellowship for the singer than God.

Mercury blamed God for the temptation he experienced and the sins he committed as if God was the one who caused them. He was no different than Adam in the Garden of Eden, when Adam said to God, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate" (Genesis 3:12). If only Mercury understood the words of James 1:12-15, when he said:
"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God,' for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."
God is not guilty of your sin—you are. You have no one to blame but yourself. If indeed Mercury prayed to God and asked to be delivered from temptation, the reason God didn't grant his request was because he asked with wrong motives. He only wanted his guilt taken away—he didn't actually want to honor God with his life or stop doing what he was doing. James 4:3 goes on to say, "You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly to spend it on your passions."

At this point, the song leaves the opera and goes hard rock. Whatever your opinion is of rock, it is often an angry genre of music, and Mercury is straight-up spiteful as he sings:
So you think you can stop me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die
Oh baby, can't do this to me, baby
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here
Singing "baby" and saying "so you think you can love me and leave me to die" sounds like grief over a woman who broke his heart. But nothing else in the song has set the tone for that. The singer has taken on the persona of a hard-rocker singing of his broken heart when he expresses his hatred toward God for not caring about him.

From the singer's perspective, if God truly loved him, God wouldn't let him die like this. Threats of punishment against the evil-doer are not enough to stop the singer from indulging in his temptations. He's "just gotta get out" of the cycle of temptation and guilt he can't seem to find relief for. But instead of repenting of his pride and blasphemy and finding peace with God through Jesus Christ, he relieves himself by hardening his heart and giving in.

Then the song calms way down into a ballad again, and it ends the same way it began:
Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to me
(Anyway the wind blows)
Nothing really matters which anyone can see. Just like in Great King Rat, you know what's good for you. Do what thou wilt, for nothing really matters anyway.

Songwriter Tim Rice said he knew the secret of Bohemian Rhapsody. "It's fairly obvious to me that this was Freddie's coming out song," Rice said. "This is Freddie admitting that he is gay." One of Mercury's homosexual partners agreed. "Bohemian Rhapsody was Freddie's confessional," said hairdresser Jim Hutton. "It was about how different his life could have been, and how much happier he might have been, had he just been able to be himself the whole of his life."

Brian May denied it: "What's it about? None of us know. Freddie never talked about it to my knowledge and didn't want to and that's the way it should be. He had something in his mind and he loved to spin these little pieces of magic. A little bit of reality and little bit of fantasy. If anyone tries to unravel it, they'll never manage it, because they'll never know what went into those lyrics."

I searched multiple websites and read several dissections of the lyrics of Bohemian Rhapsody. None of them considered the influence of religion on Freddie Mercury. He feared judgment for his sins, and the honesty of his tormented soul came out in his most famous work. But instead of repenting of his sins, he blasphemed God and pursued worldly pleasure and treasure. In Luke 4:7, the Devil said, "If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours." Freddie Mercury fell for it, and it killed him.

When a person believes nothing we do in this life has eternal significance, then "nothing really matters." When a person believes everyone receives eternal life and no one gets eternal punishment, they will do whatever they want expecting the outcome will ultimately be the same for all. But the Bible says that those who persist in sin will "be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:12). Jesus said, "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life" (Matthew 25:46).

Everything matters. You were made to glorify God. Do not sell your eternal soul for the fleeting pleasure of sin, leaving you empty and leading to judgment. Know the gospel of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross as a sacrifice for sins and rose again from the grave, so that all who believe in Him will receive His eternal life. Turn from your sin and follow Jesus. He will clothe you in His righteousness. You will be received by your Father in heaven. And you will live in His kingdom forever.

Next Week: My son met Mary Sue, and he hated her.
          Takahashi FC/FS Multi Flattener CA Ring FC-100DL, FS-102, FC-125      Cache   Translate Page      
The CA ring 125 is designed to adapt the FC/FS Multi-Flattener for use with the FC-100DL, FS-102 and FC-125 telescopes.  

          Takahashi FC/FS Multi Flattener CA Ring FS-128, FS-152      Cache   Translate Page      
The CA ring 128 is designed to adapt the FC/FS Multi-Flattener for use with the FS-128 and FS-152 telescopes.  

          Takahashi FC/FS Multi Flattener CA Ring FC-60, FC-65      Cache   Translate Page      
The CA ring 65 is designed to adapt the FC/FS Multi-Flattener for use with the FC-60 and FC-65 telescopes.  

          Takahashi FC/FS Multi Flattener CA Ring FC-50      Cache   Translate Page      
The CA ring 50 is designed to adapt the FC/FS Multi-Flattener for use with the FC-50 telescope.  

          Takahashi FC/FS Multi Flattener CA Ring 100      Cache   Translate Page      
The CA ring 100 is designed to adapt the FC/FS Multi-Flattener for use with the FC-100D and FC-100 telescopes.  

          Takahashi FC/FS Multi Flattener CA Ring 60C      Cache   Translate Page      
The CA ring 60C is designed to adapt the FC/FS Multi-Flattener for use with the FS-60CB telescope.  

          Takahashi FC/FS Multi Flattener CA Ring 76      Cache   Translate Page      
The CA ring 76 is designed to adapt the FC/FS Multi-Flattener for use with the FC-76, FC-76D and FS-78 telescopes.  

          Takahashi FC/FS Multi Flattener 1.04X      Cache   Translate Page      
The new FC/FS Multi-Flattener 1.04X is designed as a universal replacement to previous flatteners in the FS and FC series of fluorite doublet telescopes.

          Takahashi Universal TOA Losmandy-style Dovetail Plate      Cache   Translate Page      
This D-style dovetail plate provides mounting holes for TOA and certain Epsilon series Takahashi telescopes. It also has three mounting locations for Takahashi clamshell tube holders.

          Takahashi Dovetail Plate for Corrected Mewlon Series      Cache   Translate Page      
This D-style dovetail plate provides mounting holes for FRC, BRC and corrected Mewlon Takahashi telescopes. 

          Takahashi SD Ring for 76D Flattener      Cache   Translate Page      
This flattener allows is needed when using the 76D flattener on a Takahashi telescope for terrestrial viewing.

          TAKAHASHI FSQ-85ED BABY Q REFRACTOR TELESCOPE w/Flattener      Cache   Translate Page      
This is the same telescope is the FSQ-85EDX, but includes the 1.01X flattener as part of the standard telescope assembly.  This is the same unit designated as FSQ-85EDP in Japan.

          TAKAHASHI FC-100DF REFRACTOR TELESCOPE 6X30 KIT      Cache   Translate Page      

          TAKAHASHI FC-100DC REFRACTOR TELESCOPE 7X50 KIT      Cache   Translate Page      

          On This Day in Math - March 13      Cache   Translate Page      
Many Paris Street signs are named for Mathematicians *The n-Category Cafe

It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don't understand it. You see my physics students don't understand it... That is because I don't understand it. Nobody does.
~Richard Feynman

The 72nd day of the year; 72 is a pronic, heteromecic, or oblong number (and sometimes pronic is spelled promic). They are numbers that are the product of two consecutive integers
Oblong numbers have the property that if they are used in infinite nested radicals, they produce an integer, \(\sqrt(72+\sqrt(72+\sqrt(72+...))) = 9 \)

72 is the smallest number whose fifth power is the sum of five smaller fifth powers: \(19^5 + 43^5 + 46^5 + 47^5 + 67^5 = 72^5\).
The rule of 72 was once a commonly used approximation in banking and finance for the time it took an investment to double at r%. For a 5% investment, the approximate period would be 72/5 = 14.4 years. The rule applies to compound interest. The rule is based on an approximation of ln(2) = .693..

The Rhombicuboctahedron or Great Rhombicuboctahedron is an Archimedian solid that has 72 edges. It has 12 faces that are squares, 8 faces that are hexagons, and six faces that are octagons, for a total of 26 faces in all. Knowing the number of edges and faces, good students can calculate the number of vertices using Euler's Gem. (there is a lesser Rhombicuboctahedron or just Cubicuboctahedron which is a faceted version of the greater)


1639 Harvard University named after its London born clergyman founder John Harvard. Harvard was founded in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, making it the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Initially called "New College" or "the college at New Towne", the institution was renamed Harvard College on March 13, 1639. It was named after John Harvard, a young English clergyman from Southwark, London, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge (after which Cambridge, Massachusetts is named), who bequeathed the College his library of four hundred books and £779 pounds sterling, which was half of his estate. *Wik

1641 Vincenzo Renieri wrote to Galileo describing certain experiments on falling bodies, including dropping weights from the Tower in Pisa. In his trial a lead weight and a wooden one, of equal sizes, were dropped but in his trial they arrived three cubits apart. He asked Galileo if he had an explanation. At this time Galileo was already old and blind, and his assistant was Viviani.   “Thus Vincenzo Viviani’s account of the results of Galileo’s experiments that involved dropping different weights from the top of the bell tower of Pisa seems to be completely unfounded.” 

1758 Halley’s comet in perihelion, as he predicted in 1682. The comet last reached perihelion on 9 February 1986, and will next reach it again on 28 July 2061 *Wik

1781 Sir William Herschel discovered Uranus at 10:30 PM.(The first planet discovered by a telescope) During his search for double stars Herschel noticed an object appearing as a nonstellar disk. Herschel originally thought it was a comet or a star. He made many more observations of it, and afterwards Russian Academician Anders Lexell computed the orbit and found it to be probably planetary. Herschel determined in agreement that it must be a planet beyond the orbit of Saturn. He called the new planet the 'Georgian star' (Georgium sidus) after King George III, which also brought him favor; the name didn't stick, however. In France, where reference to the British king was to be avoided if possible, the planet was known as 'Herschel' until the name 'Uranus' was universally adopted.*Wik

1889 New York Tribune carries report of Senate sidelined by new game, Pigs in Clover, invented by Charles Martin Crandall. :
Senator William M. Evarts purchased one from a street fakir in order to get rid of him. He took the puzzle home and worked it for hours. The following morning he brought it with him into senate chambers where Senator George Graham Vest stopped by Evarts' desk, borrowed the puzzle and took it to a cloak room. Soon thereafter he was joined by Senators James L. Pugh, James B. Eustis, Edward C. Walthall and John E. Kenna. A page was sent out to buy five of the puzzles and upon his return, the group engaged in a "pig driving contest". About 30 minutes later, Senator Vest announced his accomplishment of driving the last pig in the pen.
*Antique Toy Collectors of America *Wik

1925 The Butler Act, a law in Tennessee prohibiting the teaching of Darwin’s theory of evolution passed the state senate on March 13, and was signed into law by Governor Austin Peay (for whom the university in Clarksville, Tennessee is named) on March 21. The Butler Act was a 1925 Tennessee law:
That it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the Universities, Normals and all other public schools of the State which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, to teach any theory that denies the Story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.
It would remain the law in Tennessee until repealed on September 1, 1967. *Wik

In 1930, the discovery of a ninth planet was announced by Clyde W. Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory. It is only one-tenth as large as Earth and four thousand million miles away. The planet was named Pluto on 24 May 1930.*TIS The discovery made headlines across the globe. The Lowell Observatory, which had the right to name the new object, received over 1,000 suggestions from all over the world, ranging from Atlas to Zymal.
The name Pluto was proposed by Venetia Burney (1918–2009), an eleven-year-old schoolgirl in Oxford, England. Venetia was interested in classical mythology as well as astronomy, and considered the name, a name for the god of the underworld, appropriate for such a presumably dark and cold world. She suggested it in a conversation with her grandfather Falconer Madan, a former librarian at the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library. Madan passed the name to Professor Herbert Hall Turner, who then cabled it to colleagues in the United States.*Wik

1986 Microsoft Goes Public Ten years after the company's founding, Microsoft Corporation stock goes public at \($21\) per share. *CHM Allowing for stock splits and reinvestment of dividends, each \($21\) share then would be worth \($9239 \)today (price may be somewhat dated). (I know, you thought computers were just a fad, too.)

1585 Federico Cesi (13 Mar 1585 OR 26 Feb (sources differ, but Thony Christie did some research to suggest the Feb date is the correct one); 1 Aug 1630 at age 45) Italian scientist who founded the Accademia dei Lincei (1603, Academy of Linceans or Lynxes), often cited as the first modern scientific society, and of which Galileo was the sixth member (1611). Cesi first announced the word telescope for Galileo's instrument. At an early age, while being privately educated, Cesi became interested in natural history and that believed it should be studied directly, not philosophically. The name of the Academy, which he founded at age 18, was taken from Lynceus of Greek mythology, the animal Lynx with sharp sight. He devoted the rest of his life to recording, illustrating and an early classification of nature, especially botany. The Academy was dissolved when its funding by Cesi ceased upon his sudden death(at age 45). *TIS It was revived in its currently well known form of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, by the Vatican, Pope Pius IX in 1847.

1733 Joseph Priestley (13 Mar 1733, 6 Feb 1804) English chemist, clergyman and political theorist who discovered the element oxygen. His early scientific interest was electricity, but he is remembered for his later work in chemistry, especially gases. He investigated the "fixed air" (carbon dioxide) found in a layer above the liquid in beer brewery fermentation vats. Although known by different names at the time, he also discovered sulphur dioxide, ammonia, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and silicon fluoride. Priestley is remembered for his invention of a way of making soda-water (1772), the pneumatic trough, and recognizing that green plants in light released oxygen. His political opinions and support of the French Revolution, were unpopular. After his home and laboratory were set afire (1791), he sailed for America, arriving at New York on 4 Jun 1794 *TIS
The book below gives a wonderful history of scientific cooperation in this period. "This 18th century group of science fans and practitioners centred around Charles Darwin’s maternal and paternal grandfathers, Josiah Wedgwood and Erasmus Darwin, met monthly at full moon to facilitate the members journey home in the dark. Apart from Priestley, Darwin and Wedgwood notable other members, some corresponding, were Boulton and Watt of steam engine fame, Benjamin Franklin, James Hutton, Joseph Banks, William Herschel and a host of other scientific worthies." *Thony Christie, The lunatic who invented fizzy pop.

1842 Joseph Valentin Boussinesq (13 March 1842 – 19 February 1929) was a French mathematician and physicist who made significant contributions to the theory of hydrodynamics, vibration, light, and heat.
In 1897 he published Théorie de l' écoulement tourbillonnant et tumultueux des liquides, a work that greatly contributed to the study of turbulence and hydrodynamics.*Wik

1855 Percival Lowell (13 Mar 1855, 12 Nov 1916) American astronomer who predicted the existence of the planet Pluto and initiated the search that ended in its discovery. Lowell was also passionately committed to finding proof of intelligent life on Mars. In 1894, he founded the Lowell Observatory, atop Mars Hill, at Flagstaff as Arizona's first astronomical observatory. Studying Mars, Lowell drew in intricate detail, the network of several hundred fine, straight lines and their intersection in a number of "oases." Lowell concluded that the bright areas were deserts and the dark ones were patches of vegetation. He believed further, that water from the melting polar cap flowed down the canals toward the equatorial region to revive the vegetation. *TIS

1866 Dayton Clarence Miller (13 Mar 1866, 22 Feb 1941 at age 74)American physicist. Author of The Science of Musical Sounds (1916). Miller's collection of nearly 1,650 flutes and other instruments, and other materials mostly related to the flute, is now at the Library of Congress. To provide a mechanical means of recording sound waves photographically, he invented the phonodeik (1908).( The Phonodeik converts sound waves into visual images. The name, from "to show sound" was suggested by Edward W. Morley. Before electronic oscilloscopes, this device was used for analyzing sounds waves. The Phonodeik can be modified to project sound waves on a screen for public demonstration.*Wik) He became expert in architectural acoustics. During WW I, he was consulted concerning using his photodeik to help locate enemy guns. Miller spent considerable research effort on repeating the Michelson and Morley experiment, proposed by Maxwell, to detect a stationary aether. He spent some time working with Morley (1902-4), then more time at Mt. Wilson, recording results favoring the presence of the aether.*TIS

1899 John Hasbrouck Van Vleck (13 Mar 1899, 27 Oct 1980) was an American physicist and mathematician who shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1977 with Philip W. Anderson and Sir Nevill F. Mott. The prize honoured Van Vleck's contributions to the understanding of the behaviour of electrons in magnetic, noncrystalline solid materials. In about 1930, he introduced the contribution of the second-order Zeeman effect into the theory of the paramagnetic susceptibility for the ions of the elements samarium and europium, thus bringing calculations into agreement with experimental results. Hans Bethe's theoretical work (c.1929), was extended by Van Vleck to develop the ligand, or crystal, field theory of molecular bonding. He also studied the theory for the nature of the chemical bond, especially as related to its magnetic properties, and contributed to theory of the spectra of free molecules.*TIS

1925 John Torrence Tate Jr. (March 13, 1925, ) is an American mathematician, distinguished for many fundamental contributions in algebraic number theory, arithmetic geometry and related areas in algebraic geometry. Tate has been described as "one of the seminal mathematicians for the past half-century" by William Beckner, Chairman of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Texas.*Wik

1928 Paulo Ribenboim (March 13, 1928, )is a mathematician who specializes in number theory. Ribenboim was born in Recife, Brazil, and has lived in Canada since 1962.He has authored 13 books and 120 articles. Ribenboim has been a professor of mathematics at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and is now a professor emeritus.*Wik

1833 Daniel Friedrich Hecht (8 July 1777 in Sosa – 13 March 1833 in Saxony) was a German mathematician. He was a mine manager, then a teacher and finally a professor of mathematics. He is most notable for writing high school textbooks on maths and geometry. *Wik

1884 Siegfried Heinrich Aronhold (16 July 1819 Angerburg, East Prussia – 13 March 1884, Berlin, Germany) was a German mathematician who worked on invariant theory and introduced the symbolic method.*Wik

1933 Robert Thorburn Ayton Innes (10 Nov 1861; 13 Mar 1933) was a Scottish astronomer who discovered Proxima Centauri (1915), the closest star to earth after the Sun. Invited by David Gill to the Cape Observatory, South Africa (1894), he became a successful binary star observer with the 7-inch refractor (1628 discoveries). His most famous discovery, Proxima Centauri is a faint star near the binary star Alpha Centauri, which is so far south it is
photo by Lowell Observatory
not visible from most of the northern hemisphere. He was also one of the first to see the Daylight Comet of 1910, though this comet was found independently by so many people in the Southern Hemisphere that no single "original" discoverer could be named. Innes recorded it on 17 Jan 1910. *TIS

Credits :
*CHM=Computer History Museum
*FFF=Kane, Famous First Facts
*NSEC= NASA Solar Eclipse Calendar
*RMAT= The Renaissance Mathematicus, Thony Christie
*SAU=St Andrews Univ. Math History
*TIA = Today in Astronomy
*TIS= Today in Science History
*VFR = V Frederick Rickey, USMA
*Wik = Wikipedia
*WM = Women of Mathematics, Grinstein & Campbell
          Trump's 2020 NASA Budget Would Cancel Space Telescope, Earth Science Missions (Again)      Cache   Translate Page      

The Trump administration's federal budget request for 2020 proposes the cancellation of three NASA science missions: the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) and two Earth science missions.

This isn't the first time the Trump administration has tried to nix WFIRST, a $3.2 billion flagship-class astrophysics mission that has already had to grapple with budget cuts. In its fiscal year 2019 budget proposal, the Trump administration sought to end that mission along with five other Earth science missions — but the Senate voted to give WFIRST the funding it needed to stay on track for a launch in 2025.

According to NASA's summary of the budget request, the Trump administration is proposing "to terminate the WFIRST mission and instead focus on completing the delayed James Webb Space Telescope," another flagship-class project that is over budget and behind schedule.

          HISTORIC TREATY SIGNED: The birth of the SKA Observatory – the largest radio telescope in the world      Cache   Translate Page      
A historic international treaty was signed this week to establish the Square Kilometre Array Observatory, which will oversee the building and operation of the Square Kilometre Array for the next 50 years.
          Hubble Space Telescope Snaps Dazzling View of Two Colliding Galaxies      Cache   Translate Page      

A new Hubble Space Telescope image captured two colliding galaxies, and it was a dazzling solar system sight. The image, which showed a location roughly 230 million light-years away from Earth, takes place […]

The post Hubble Space Telescope Snaps Dazzling View of Two Colliding Galaxies appeared first on

          Anti-TMT demonstrations planned for Hawaii and California      Cache   Translate Page      

As the developer of the Thirty Meter Telescope prepares for construction atop Mauna Kea, opponents of the billion-dollar-plus project continue to press their case with demonstrations at universities in Hawaii and on the mainland.

           THE TRUMP AND TRIBE FILE: Digest of reports!      Cache   Translate Page      
MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2019

With our plans for the rest of the year:
Yesterday, Frans de Waal authored an essay in the New York Times Sunday Review.

Most recently, de Waal is the author of the 2016 Times best-seller, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? In the identity line in yesterday's paper, he was identified thusly:

"Dr. de Waal is a primatologist who studies chimps and their relations."

In yesterday's essay, de Waal mused about the emotional experiences of non-human animals, not excluding your pet dog. In line with our recent focus on "the rational animal," we were struck by his closing paragraph:
DE WAAL (3/10/19): For the longest time, science has depicted animals as stimulus-response machines while declaring their inner lives barren. This has helped us sustain our customary “anthropodenial”: the denial that we are animals. We like to see ourselves as special, but whatever the difference between humans and animals may be, it is unlikely to be found in the emotional domain.
We humans "like to see ourselves as special," de Waal puckishly says. This resembles our own pronouncement, in which we've poetically claimed that we humans may perhaps be inclined to "see ourselves from afar."

We humans! At least in the west, we've tended to think that we alone possess a "soul"—even that we alone are conscious. With respect to that latter point, did Descartes really conduct vivisection experiments on live animals while assuring horrified onlookers that his subjects' (apparent) screams of pain were really just an illusion? sees to suggest that he did. Other sources seem to say that he probably didn't. But as part of our persistent attempt to "see ourselves as special," we humans, at least in the west, have tended to revel in this self-flattering claim, as translated from Aristotle:

"Man [sic] is the rational animal."

What did Aristotle actually mean by his famous translated claim? We can't tell you that! But the claim, as commonly understood, has served as part of our species' tendency to adopt the stance de Waal calls "anthropodenial."

As commonly understood, the claim says this: We're the "rational" ones over here!

At any rate, we humans! Just how "rational" do we turn out to be, setting aside our capacity for inventing technologies which actually work?

In the course of this year, we've suggested that it might be useful to adopt a skeptical stance with respect to the extent of our species' "rational" impulses and abilities. We've even dared to make this suggestion:

The irrationality isn't all located Over There, in the tents of The Others! You'll also find a lot of sub-rational conduct within our own liberal/progressive tents; at the highest ends of the upper-end press corps; and even among the most celebrated thinkers within our universities.

It's isn't just Rush and Sean, we've suggested. Given the "tribodenialism" known to all our species' tribes, this suggestion is hard to swallow for many folk Over Here.

How rational is "the rational animal?" For ourselves, we've been surprised by how instructive that question has turned out to be.

When we build a framework out of that question, can the duck start to look like a rabbit, perhaps in a bit of a paradigm shift? Again and again, we'd say that the answer is yes.

With that in mind, we plan to explore several topics in the weeks to come, even as we comment in passing on the press corps' attempts to keep us up to date 1) on who may have had consensual sex with whom, on one alleged occasion, back in 2006; 2) on the romantic behavior and marital status of Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son; and 3) on the constantly shifting odds that Paul Manafort will take his last breath in prison.

That last topic has become the ghoulish focus of our tribe's favorite "cable news" show. Perhaps we're neither as moral, nor as bright, as we tend to think.

For ourselves, we don't take pleasure in dreaming about the future suffering of others. With that in mind, we'll be exploring such topics as these as the year proceeds:

Those brutal achievement gaps:

We've often claimed that nobody cares about the brutal "achievement gaps" which help define the current state of American public schools. Needless to say, every good liberal knows that this is a ludicrous claim because we so deeply care.

It doesn't look that way to us! In pursuit of this claim, we'll focus on the "Too Small to Fail" project of the much-maligned Clinton Foundation, and on the underlying question of the so-called "30 million word gap."

Is there really such a gap? If so, how can it be addressed? Truth to tell, nobody cares! Based on prevailing evidence, nobody gives a fig about that, or about much of anything else.

Mario Livio's book:

According to the leading authority, Mario Livio is an Israeli-American astrophysicist—and an author of works that popularize science and mathematics. From 1991 through 2015 he was an astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which operates the Hubble Space Telescope.

Stating the obvious, Livio knows a ton of physics and math. But though he's a ranking astrophysicist, he actually isn't a ranking "philosopher" or a ranking logician. We think this intriguing fact comes through loud and clear in his fascinating book for general readers, Is God A Mathematician? (It's not a religious text.)

How poorly do our leading mathematicians and physicists reason when they wander outside the confines of their specialized fields? In our view, it's important and interesting to note the fact that they tend to reason remarkably poorly. We expect to start exploring Livio's book as early as next week.

What the later Wittgenstein said:

The later Wittgenstein wrote about these remarkable gaps in logic and reasoning. He said these gaps in reasoning are especially prevalent "when doing philosophy."

Unfortunately, Wittgenstein's writing was always quite opaque. He wasn't kidding when he said the following in the preface to Philosophical Investigations:

"I should have liked to have produced a good book. This has not come about, but the time is past in which I could improve it."

In our view, that wasn't the inscrutable modesty of a "philosophical" genius. Wittgenstein's book is quite hard to interpret and apply. In line with our study of the way our species' "rational" faculty breaks down at the highest intellectual levels, we'll be showing you one way to apply the later Wittgenstein's work as the year proceeds.

By the way, what thanks did the later Wittgenstein get for providing this valuable service? As we've noted in the past, Professor Horwich claims that "professional philosophers" have largely thrown the later Wittgenstein under the bus because he claimed that the bulk of their work was built upon "mere pseudo-problems, the misbegotten products of linguistic illusion and muddled thinking."

Could such claims about our leading intellectuals possibly be accurate? Anthropodenialism to the side, we plan to suggest that it could be and frequently is!

But wait—there's even more:

In the course of this exploration, we'll take you to the world of the Harvard philosophy department, circa 1969. Readers have been fascinated by Tara Westover's "Education." We think this other alternative education is worth reviewing too.

These topics should start next week. All this week, starting tomorrow, we're going to be looking at a timely topic: What Trump Actually Said.

Prediction: Your lizard is going to rise in anger at every word we write on this topic. That said, would your lizard have so much power if we humans, and we liberals, were as sharp as we've constantly said?

Last week, we wrote about Trump and Tribe. Granted, those reports were useless, but they went exactly like this:
Tuesday, March 5: Michael Cohen knew what to say! Our tribe's pursuit of Trump.

Wednesday, March 6: Everybody knows what to say! Wallace hears a hoo.

Thursday, March 7: I know you are, but what am I? Tribal cried abound!

Friday, March 8: Mister Trump gains as Dems denounce hate! Tomasky makes war on The Others.
Starting tomorrow, What Trump Really Said. Lizards, start your engines! Prepare for a week of wrecks!

          Mega zonnevlam ontdekt in de Orionnevel      Cache   Translate Page      
Een onderzoeksteam heeft met behulp van de James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) te Mauna Kea, Hawaï, de eerste zonnevlam ontdekt in het sub-millimeter bereik van het ver-infrarood, een uitbarsting die zo een 10 miljard maal sterker is dan de zonnevlammen van onze zon. De ontdekking werd bij toeval gedaan. Hoofdonderzoeker Steve Mars bestudeert met de […]
          How a Space Telescope's Accidental Discovery Overturned Everything we Thought we Knew About Lightning Storms      Cache   Translate Page      
The GRAPES-3 muon telescope in Ooty, India was designed to study the cosmos—events that took place millions of years ago at distances that confound the human imagination. What researchers didn’t expect was that it would also shed light not just on cosmic history, but on a mystery much closer to home: the massive power hidden in a thundercloud.

Benjamin Franklin was the first to produce a definitive study on a thunderhead's electric charge*. With his famous kite-in-a-thunderstorm experiment, along with many others, he showed that thunderclouds separate electric charge, piling up negative charge at their lower edges and positive charge at the top. (It’s since been found that although this is the case most of the time, occasionally the charges are switched.) This charge imbalance creates an electric potential difference—also known as a voltage—across the cloud vertically, much like a giant battery. In 1929, Scottish physicist Charles Wilson estimated this voltage to be well over one gigavolt, or one billion volts—an astounding figure. While it was initially accepted with enthusiasm, this estimate eventually fell out of favor as field measurements repeatedly struggled to break one-tenth that amount.

That shouldn’t really come as a surprise, though, says Sunil Gupta, corresponding author on a new article in the American Physical Society's journal Physical Review Letters. After all, voltage is usually determined by connecting the positive and negative sides with a terminal and measuring the current that flows across it, powered by the potential difference. “But how do you put a terminal across a two- or three-kilometer high thundercloud?” he asks rhetorically. You simply can’t.

Instead, researchers usually use balloon-borne instruments to measure the local electric field at many points throughout the thundercloud, and from that extrapolate the overall voltage. But balloons are slow and can take hours to transverse a cloud, and thunderstorms have short lifetimes. “They weren’t using the right tool,” Gupta says. In contrast, he and his colleagues think that they’ve found the ideal tool, one that can flit through a thundercloud in a matter of microseconds: high-energy, electron-like particles known as muons.

This story begins the same way so many others do in the scientific community: an unexpected experimental measurement. Although the project would eventually develop into a collaboration among twenty-two researchers at six institutions dotted across India and Japan, it started with one team from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, and another from Osaka City University. The two institutes were initially united in a collaborative survey of muons, with the hope that it would provide some insight into the cosmos.

The GRAPES-3 team poses by one of the four telescope halls.
Image credit: GRAPES-3 experiment.
Muons themselves do not come from space, but astronomers find them useful as a proxy for cosmic rays, which do. Cosmic rays are an assortment of high-energy particles—primarily composed of protons and helium nuclei, but also containing representatives of most of the periodic table—that bombard Earth’s atmosphere from outer space.

After being ejected from stars, supernovae, and more exotic objects such as quasars, these particles travel over light years of empty space, practically unimpeded. But when they enter the atmosphere, they're confronted with a wall of air molecules, and quickly interact with these particles' nuclei to produce a whole spectrum of secondary particles, including muons. Except for muons, these secondary particles never reach the ground; they're either too light or too highly charged to carry much momentum in a straight line. Muons, however, have the charge of an electron but more than 200 times its mass, which means they can hurtle down toward Earth at incredible speeds, without being deflected much by the charged particles they pass on the way. “Almost like a shower of particles moving at nearly the speed of light propagating towards Earth,” Gupta explains.

It was this shower of particles that the team originally set out to survey with the GRAPES-3 muon telescope. However, they were surprised to find that during certain times of year the muon intensity tended to dip (or, more rarely, spike) as much as 2% for a brief period. “Now, for most experiments 2% is a very small number… you generally don’t worry about it,” Gupta admits. But outside of these anomalies, the fluctuations in the number of muons measured was comparatively tiny, only about 0.2% off the mean. That means that such an enormous variation is extremely unlikely to be due to chance; in fact, “it will likely not happen even in the lifetime of the universe,” Gupta says. There had to be some other explanation.

This graph indicates the percent change in observed muon intensity over time for a small region of the sky. The red bars indicate the standard error of roughly 0.2%. It was the enormous dip of 2% (starting at 10:42) that caught the researcher's attention.
Image credit: Hariharan et al.
After a little head-scratching, they realized that those times corresponded to peak thunderstorm season in their location—and, in fact, the changes to muon intensity always occurred in conjunction with a storm! Gupta is quick to point out that they weren’t the first to observe such a phenomenon: “The thunderstorm connection was well known,” he says, “but the direct relationship between the two was not established.” In other words, although thunderstorms and muons were linked in research literature, it wasn’t clear why thunderstorms would have such a large effect on the number of muons reaching the ground—or what it could tell us.

GRAPES-3, however, has something that other muon telescopes don’t: the ability to tell with high accuracy the muon’s direction of travel based on their angle of impact. “We gained direction,” Gupta says of the telescope’s unique construction, “and that turned out to be a critical difference in studying this phenomenon.” It’s the same difference, he says, as the one between an optical telescope and a solar panel; both register photons hitting their surfaces, but only one can reconstruct an image of the sky. Similarly, the team could use GRAPES-3 data to reconstruct a map of muon intensities across a thundercloud, something that hadn’t been done before.

The reconstructed field of view as seen by GRAPES-3. Each pixel is colored according to the muon variation observed; note the maximum variation of -2% in the lower right-hand corner. The approximate shape of the thundercloud is traced out by the dark line.
Image credit: Hariharan et al.
These muon maps gave the research team a more complete picture of the thunderstorm’s anatomy, allowing them to accurately compare muon intensities under a thundercloud to those in clear skies. This was key, because muons have a special property: as charged particles, their energy changes when they pass through an electric potential like that of a thundercloud. And since the GRAPES-3 receiver has a threshold energy of about 1 GeV, that change in energy can affect whether a muon is detected at all. It seems like a perfect explanation for the observed drop in muon intensity, since some muons presumably lost enough energy passing through the thundercloud that they no longer registered.

Well, it’s almost a perfect explanation. You see, muons come in two flavors: positively charged and negatively charged. Assuming the typical thundercloud charge distribution (positive on top, negative on bottom), a negatively charged particles with an energy of, say, 1.3 GeV would lose enough energy that it would fall below the threshold—but on the other hand, a positively charged muon of 0.7 GeV could gain enough energy to be detected, resulting in a zero net change.

“This is where nature comes to our rescue,” Gupta says with a chuckle. This conundrum is very real, but only assuming an equal number of positive and negative muons (and an even distribution of energies). However, since many of the cosmic rays that produce the muons in the first place are the positively-charged protons, there is actually an imbalance in muon charges that results in a 10-20% excess of positive muons. Without this convenient fact, the researchers could never have measured a difference in muon intensity.

Yet they did, and from those measurements they managed to extrapolate a function that maps an observed change in muon intensity to the voltage that would have caused it. After analyzing the numerous thunderstorms caught by GRAPES-3, they were delighted to find that one thundercloud was particularly powerful, clocking in at 1.3 gigavolts—right on target with Wilson’s prediction from nearly a century ago! To put that in perspective, after making some reasonable assumptions about the cloud’s size and shape, the researchers estimate that it contained over 720 gigajoules of power. “That’s a massive amount of power." says Gupta, "If you could tap this power… it is enough to sustain New York City for 26 minutes. It’s really unbelievable.”

The team has already measured several more thunderstorms with similar voltages, indicating that their 1.3 gigavolt monster was not an anomaly. “It’s not a one-off thing,” Gupta says of the remarkable potential. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever be able to harness the remarkable power held in thunderstorms, but Gupta is already hoping that this study will help explain other phenomena—like the mysterious high-energy gamma rays that populate the atmosphere. “The story has just begun,” he promises.

—Eleanor Hook

*In fact, Gupta spent considerable time poring over Franklin’s original writings from 1751. “I found it very hard to read the papers of Franklin,” he admitted, mainly for stylistic reasons, “but the writing is absolutely precise.”
          Iran Acquires Know-How to Build Radio Telescopes      Cache   Translate Page      

The head of Iran’s Space Research Centre says the country has acquired the technical knowledge of building radio-telescopes with the aim of monitoring radio waves of astronomical resources.

The post Iran Acquires Know-How to Build Radio Telescopes appeared first on IFP News.

          Sky & Telescope – May 2019      Cache   Translate Page      
Sky & Telescope – May 2019

          Meet WFIRST, the next-gen space telescope Trump wants dead - CNET      Cache   Translate Page      
The White House has proposed cancelling an observatory that scientists say should be NASA's top large space mission.
          NASA Merilis Foto Penampakan Dua Galaksi yang Bertabrakan      Cache   Translate Page, California - NASA mengatakan bahwa sepasang galaksi dilaporkan telah bertabrakan dan menyatu. Temuan ini diabadikan melalui sebuah gambar yang baru dirilis dari Hubble Space Telescope.

Ketika 'pertempuran' hebat tersebut pertama kali ditemukan pada tahun 1784 oleh astronom William Herschel, ia mengira itu hanyalah satu galaksi besar dengan bentuk bulat tidak normal.

Kini, publik bisa tahu bahwa NGC 6052 sebenarnya adalah dua galaksi yang sedang berada pada tahap akhir penggabungan, sangat padat sehingga tepi keduanya --yang berbeda-- telah memudar.

Saat jarak mereka kian dekat, bintang-bintang individual yang berada di dalam masing-masing galaksi akan dikeluarkan dari orbit aslinya dan ditempatkan ke jalur yang baru.

Dua galaksi bertabrakan. Momen ini direkam oleh teleskop angkasa luar Hubble milik NASA. (Adamo et al., ESA/NASA)#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

Gambar di atas diambil oleh teleskop Hubble milik NASA dengan menggunakan Wide Field dan Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) versi lawas.

Ini mungkin terdengar seperti bencana yang mengerikan, tetapi karena galaksi sebagian besar merupakan ruang kosong, maka tabrakan antar bintang sangat sedikit dan jarang terjadi.

"Sejak bintang-bintang menghasilkan cahaya yang bisa kita lihat, galaksi gabungan itu sekarang tampaknya memiliki bentuk yang sangat kacau," jelas Badan Antariksa Eropa (ESA) sebagaimana dikutip dari Science Alert, Rabu (13/3/2019).

"Akhirnya, galaksi baru ini akan mengendap menjadi bentuk yang stabil, yang mungkin tidak menyerupai salah satu dari dua galaksi aslinya," lanjut ESA.

Galaksi kita sendiri, Bimasakti, pada suatu hari akan mengalami nasib serupa dengan tetangganya, galaksi Andromeda. Tapi untungnya, tubrukan yang terjadi tidak begitu dekat. Para ilmuwan mengklaim, tabrakan keduanya setidaknya berlangsung empat miliar tahun lagi.


Saksikan video pilihan berikut ini:

Ilmuwan Kuak Misteri Tabrakan Galaksi Bimasakti dan Andromeda, Kapan Terjadi?

Ilustrasi Andromeda dan Galaksi Bima Sakti di langit malam (NASA)#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

Sementara itu, kiamat bagi galaksi kita, Bimasakti, mungkin 'tertunda'. Setidaknya itu yang disimpulkan dari perhitungan para ilmuwan. 

Sebuah studi baru menunjukkan bahwa tabrakan dahsyat yang diprediksi terjadi antara Bimasakti dan galaksi berbentuk spiral, Andromeda, akan terjadi sekitar 4,5 miliar tahun dari sekarang, menurut pengamatan yang dilakukan oleh pesawat ruang angkasa Eropa, Gaia.

Beberapa penelitian sebelumnya memperkirakan, tabrakan itu akan terjadi lebih cepat, dalam waktu sekitar 3,9 miliar tahun. Namun dugaan ini kemungkinan besar meleset.

"Temuan ini sangat penting untuk pemahaman kita tentang bagaimana galaksi, rupanya, berevolusi dan berinteraksi," kata ilmuwan proyek Gaia, Timo Prusti, yang tidak terlibat dalam penelitian ini, dalam sebuah pernyataan, seperti dikutip dari Live Science, Selasa 12 Februari 2019.

Gaia diluncurkan pada Desember 2013 untuk membantu para ilmuwan membuat peta tiga dimensi (3D) lain dari Bimasakti. Pesawat ruang angkasa ini telah memantau posisi dan pergerakan sejumlah besar bintang dan objek kosmik lainnya secara tepat.

Sementara itu, tim misi tersebut sudah melacak lebih dari 1 miliar bintang sebelum Gaia tak lagi berfungsi untuk selamanya.

Sebagian besar bintang yang Gaia amati berada di Bimasakti, tetapi beberapa di antaranya terletak di galaksi terdekatnya.

Dalam riset baru, para peneliti menemukan sejumlah bintang di galaksi Bimasakti, di Andromeda (juga dikenal sebagai M31) dan di dalam spiral Triangulum (atau M33). Ketiga galaksi yang saling bertetangga ini berada dalam jarak 2,5 juta hingga 3 juta tahun cahaya dari Bimasakti dan dapat berinteraksi satu sama lain.

"Kami perlu mengeksplorasi gerakan galaksi dalam 3D untuk mengungkap bagaimana mereka tumbuh dan berevolusi, serta apa yang menciptakan, memengaruhi fitur dan perilaku mereka," kata penulis utama penelitian, Roeland van der Marel, dari Space Telescope Science Institute di Baltimore.

"Kami dapat melakukannya menggunakan paket data kedua berkualitas tinggi, yang dirilis oleh Gaia," tambah van der Marel, merujuk pada tangkapan yang dirilis pada April 2018.

Pekerjaan ini memungkinkan tim riset untuk menentukan tingkat rotasi M31 dan M33 -- sesuatu yang belum pernah dilakukan sebelumnya, kata para peneliti.

Dengan memanfaatkan temuan yang diperoleh oleh Gaia dan analisis informasi arsip, tim kemudian memetakan gerakan dari M31 dan M33 yang berjalan melalui ruang angkasa di masa lalu dan ke mana keduanya akan pergi selama beberapa miliar tahun ke depan.

Model-model tersebut memberikan penanggalan yang lebih lambat dari perkiraan semula --terkait tabrakan Andromeda dan Bimasakti.

Karena jarak antar bintang begitu besar, kemungkinan tata surya kita akan terganggu oleh adanya "penggabungan" tersebut. Tetapi tabrakan itu pasti akan menyilaukan langit malam bagi makhluk apa pun yang ada di Bumi, yang hidup 4,5 miliar tahun dari sekarang.

"Gaia dirancang untuk memetakan bintang-bintang di dalam Bimasakti ---tetapi studi baru ini menunjukkan bahwa satelit itu bisa melakukan lebih dan dapat memberikan wawasan unik tentang struktur dan dinamika galaksi di luar wilayah kita sendiri," papar Prusti.

"Semakin lama Gaia mengamati pergerakan kecil galaksi-galaksi ini di langit, pengukuran kita akan menjadi lebih tepat," lanjutnya.

Andromeda bukan satu-satunya galaksi yang ditabrak oleh Bimasakti. Awan Magellan Besar (Large Magellanic Cloud) dan Bimasakti disebut akan "menyatu" sekitar 2,5 miliar tahun dari sekarang.

Studi baru tersebut diterbitkan bulan ini di The Astrophysical Journal.

          The staggering beauty of galactic collisions      Cache   Translate Page      

Every once in a great while, an astronomical image will come down that is so arresting, so soul-touchingly beautiful, that it stops you in your tracks. It almost doesn’t matter what kind of object it is — planet, nebula, star cluster, galaxy — it’s the artistry of it that somehow reaches out to you.

NGC 3256 is one such object. This Hubble Space Telescope image of it is one such work of art.

          UK to host global HQ of world’s biggest radio telescope SKA      Cache   Translate Page      

The UK has signed an agreement in Rome as one of the first countries to be involved in the establishment of Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the world’s largest radio telescope, and for the setting up of the international headquarters in Jodrell Bank, Manchester.

          Quasar jets confuse orbital telescope      Cache   Translate Page      
(Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology) Astrophysicists from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, the Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (LPI RAS), and NASA have found an error in the coordinates of active galactic nuclei measured by the Gaia space telescope, and helped correct it.
          Japanese astronomers discover 83 supermassive black holes      Cache   Translate Page      
Japanese astronomers have made two discoveries using some of the most powerful telescopes in the world; the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii and ALMA in Chile.
          Hubble telescope captures image of two galaxies colliding      Cache   Translate Page      
NASA’s Hubble space telescope has captured an incredible image of two galaxies colliding together. The galaxies, collectively known as NGC 6052, are located in the Hercules constellation, about 230 million light-years from Earth. They were originally discovered in 1784 by William Herschel. Initially, they were erroneously classified as one galaxy, due to their “odd shape,”...
          Astronomers discover 83 supermassive black holes in the early universe -      Cache   Translate Page      
  1. Astronomers discover 83 supermassive black holes in the early universe
  2. Astronomers discover 83 supermassive black holes in the early universe: Subaru Telescope spots 13-billion-year-old quasars powered by black holes  Science Daily
  3. View full coverage on Google News

          (USA-MA-Lexington) Optical Engineer      Cache   Translate Page      
Job Description Solidus is searching for an optical engineer, who will assist and support staff members in developing, building and testing a variety of optical systems. Candidate will join a group that provides optical support for many programs across on site departments. This includes optical concept development, optical design and analysis, optical fabrication and procurement, and optical assembly, alignment and test. Responsibilities: * Work closely with optical and mechanical engineers to determine the methodologies and techniques required to assemble, align and test precision optical systems * Execute relevant techniques, tests and procedures * Support staff members in developing a variety of optical systems including telescopes, lens assemblies, laser optics, focal plane assemblies and fiber optics for space and airborne applications * Assembly and alignment of complex optical systems using a variety of optical instruments. Perform optical testing; specify and purchase optical components * Organize and maintain the optical facilities and instrumentation * The position may require special security clearances and travel to meetings and field sites Please note this is NOT an entry level position as at least 1 year relevant experience is required; and closer to 3 years experience will be preferred. Requirements: * US Citizenship and the ability to obtain a DoD Secret Clearance * Candidate should have extensive hands on laboratory exposure with a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 1 years of experience in optical assembly and alignment * Minimum of 3 years of experience in optical assembly and alignment * Experience assembling, aligning and testing refractive and reflective optical components and systems * Experience with optical alignment instruments such as interferometers, autocollimators, alignment telescopes, theodolites, profilometers and wavefront sensors * Experience with interferometric testing, precision lens assembly, high power lasers and fiber optics is strongly desired * Broad understanding of optical fabrication techniques and shall be capable of evaluating vendors for custom manufacturing requirements * Ability to perform incoming inspection on a variety of procured items which requires a working knowledge of optical fabrication specs * Preference will be given to candidates who have experience with space systems and laser communication / lasercom system testing * Three years’ of testing experience is highly desired Applicants selected must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information. U.S. Citizenship may be required. Solidus is an Equal Opportunity Employer and participates in E-Verify. NOTICE OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PLAN FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES, DISABLED VETERANS AND OTHER PROTECTED VETERANS. It is the policy of this Company to seek and employ qualified individuals at all locations and facilities, and to provide equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees in recruiting, hiring, placement, training, compensation, insurance, benefits, promotion, transfer, and termination. To achieve this, we are dedicated to taking affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities, disabled veterans, and other protected veterans. The objective in adopting the Affirmative Action Programs is to place qualified individuals with disabilities, disabled veterans and other protected veterans in all job classifications. These Affirmative Action Programs are available for inspection by any applicant or employee by contacting the Company's EEO Coordinator, in the Human Resources office, Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm *Job Category:* Electrical or Hardware Engineering *Clearance Level:* Eligible to Obtain *Location:* Massachusetts, Lexington *Req Code:* 19:BC-D7-008
          Gorgeous Hubble Photo Gives Glimpse of Milky Way's Fate      Cache   Translate Page      
A new image from the venerable Hubble Space Telescope shows what happens when two galaxies collide — an experience our own Milky Way will have in a few billion years.

via Live Science
          Deep-sky Hunting in Cancer, the Crab      Cache   Translate Page      

As winter melts into spring, we sample both familiar and overlooked deep-sky treasures in the "empty space" between Gemini and Leo, home of the Crab.

The post Deep-sky Hunting in Cancer, the Crab appeared first on Sky & Telescope.

          My First Astrophoto: The Rosette Nebulae      Cache   Translate Page      

The post My First Astrophoto: The Rosette Nebulae appeared first on Sky & Telescope.

          Dignity of Damavand Mountain      Cache   Translate Page      

The post Dignity of Damavand Mountain appeared first on Sky & Telescope.

          Astronomical Research Institute of Sri Lanka      Cache   Translate Page      

  NAME Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club ADDRESS 60/1/A, Ganemulla Road Kadawatha, Western Province Sri Lanka 11850 CONTACT Eranga Thilina Jayashantha PHONE +94718792137 EMAIL URL NUMBER OF MEMBERS 10+

The post Astronomical Research Institute of Sri Lanka appeared first on Sky & Telescope.

          ‘Oumuamua “Sped Up” in the Inner Solar System. This Might Be Why.      Cache   Translate Page      

Astronomers think a jet-powered rocking motion could solve the puzzle.

The post ‘Oumuamua “Sped Up” in the Inner Solar System. This Might Be Why. appeared first on Sky & Telescope.

          Die Nasa hat gerade ein atemberaubendes Foto von zwei Galaxien veröffentlicht, die aufeinanderprallen      Cache   Translate Page      


Auf ihrer Webseite veröffentlichte die Nasa nun ein spektakuläres Bild, das die Kollision zweier Galaxien zeigt. Aufgenommen wurde das Bild mithilfe des Hubble Space Teleskops der Weltraumbehörde.

Die beiden durch die Schwerkraft miteinander kollidierenden Galaxien schließen sich nun im Sternbild des Hercules zusammen, wie die Nasa bekanntgibt.

Zunächst vermutet, es würde sich um eine einzelne Galaxie handeln

Bereits 1974 wurde NGC 6052 — so der Name der beiden sich vereinenden Galaxien — von William Herschel, einem deutschen Astronomen, entdeckt. Weil die Galaxien sich dabei aber bereits extrem angenähert hatten, war er der Überzeugung, es würde sich um eine einzige Galaxie handeln, die jedoch eine außergewöhnlich runde Form hat.

Dieses Missverständnis wurde mittlerweile aufgeklärt — die beiden Galaxien, die gemeinsam NGC 6052 bilden, sind sich nun aber schon so nah, dass die Abgrenzungen nicht mehr eindeutig sind und die Ursprungsgalaxien immer mehr ihre Form verlieren. „Schließlich wird diese neue Galaxie sich in einer dauerhaften Form niederlassen, die vielleicht nicht mehr den beiden ursprünglichen Galaxien gleicht“, erklärt die European Space Agency. Bei einem vollständigen Zusammenschluss würden die Sterne aus ihrer ursprünglichen Umlaufbahn geworfen und neue Plätze einnehmen.

Der Nasa zufolge sind solche Ereignisse sehr selten

Wie die Nasa berichtet, ist der Zusammenschluss der Galaxien nicht nur faszinierend, sondern auch selten zugleich, da es sich bei Galaxien hauptsächlich um leeren Raum handelt. In etwa vier Milliarden Jahren werden jedoch auch Milchstraße und Andromeda kollidieren und sich zu einer einzigen Galaxie vereinen. Bis es so weit ist, haben die Wissenschaftler aber noch genügend Zeit, weiterhin NGC 6052 zu erforschen.

Das könnte euch auch interessieren:

 Forscher haben im Zentrum unserer Galaxie ein beängstigendes Objekt entdeckt

 „Extrem schnell und nah“: Seltsame Objekte rasen auf das Schwarze Loch in unserer Galaxie zu

 „Es stellt unser Verständnis auf den Kopf“: Unsere Nachbar-Galaxie ist ganz anders, als Forscher bisher dachten

Join the conversation about this story »

          Forschen in Zeuthen - Wettbewerb für Neubauten des DESY entschieden      Cache   Translate Page      

Das Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft mit Sitz in Hamburg und Zeuthen ist eine Einrichtung für naturwissenschaftliche Grundlagenforschung und eines der weltweit führenden Labore bei der Entwicklung und dem Bau von Teilchenbeschleunigern. Nach der deutschen Wiedervereinigung vergrößerte sich das DESY um den zweiten Standort im brandenburgischen Zeuthen südöstlich von Berlin. Seit Anfang dieses Jahrzehntes planen die Verantwortlichen, den Zeuthener Campus des DESY zu einem weltweit relevanten Zentrum der Astroteilchenphysik auszubauen. Mit der 2016 getroffenen Entscheidung, das Science Data Management Centre (SDMC) für das Zukunftsprojekt Cherenkov Telescope Array nach Zeuthen zu holen, wurde ein zweiphasiger Wettbewerb mit vorgeschaltetem Bewerbungsverfahren organisiert. In der ersten Phase nahmen zwanzig Büros teil, in der zweiten noch acht. Aufgabe war die Entwicklung eines Masterplans für den DESY-Forschungscampus samt dreier Neubauten für SDMC, Kantine und Schulungs- und Kooperationsprogramm. Betreut wurde das Wettbewerbsverfahren von dem Berliner Büro C4C competence for competitions. Am Montag, 11. März 2019 wurde die zweite Wettbewerbsrunde...

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