Saturday, July 9, 2011
We are clearly not the masters of the universe. If we are then why are our units of distance (miles and kilometers) and time (year, decade, even lifetime) inadequate for describing the size of space?
In this beautiful image, the center of our galaxy is encircled.
Here's how I imagine this image to be.
Our destination is our galactic center. There it is, encircled in black. It's at the end of a very long transparent tunnel that extends from the earth. This is the sight we'll see as we rush through the tunnel.
Human distances (miles and kilometers) are inadequate for the job of space travel. Even the speed of light, which we'll use, is not impressive as a measure of speed.
Even if we traveled at the speed of light, it would take 35 minutes to pass the first object, the planet Jupiter (encircled in red). Then we would have to wait 600 years before we pass the next object, the beautiful star, Antares (encircled in white). Finally, after countless lifetimes, in 26,000 years, we would reach the center of our galaxy.
Come to think of it, human time (years, decades, and lifetimes) is also inadequate!
Antares is the alpha star of the zodiac constellation Scorpius.
If you follow astrology and your birthday falls between October 24 and November 21, you're a Scorpio.
Stars in a constellation are lettered (as opposed to being numbered) using the Greek alphabet. Most of the time, the brightest star is alpha, the second-brightest, beta, and so forth.
Source of Image
The astrophotography site of Mr. Jerry Lodriguss.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
What started it.
The article that started it was the one on the left. Notice the many social media buttons. And notice also the Microsoft ad. It's using tweets in the ad content. Tweeting is another social media tool, a powerful one.
I returned to the Philippines after 25 years in the States. That's what I'm blogging about.
Friday, May 6, 2011
The outburst is coming from a blob of matter, called HST-1. It's embedded in the jet which is a powerful narrow beam of hot gas produced by a supermassive black hole residing in the core of the giant elliptical galaxy M87.
HST-1 is so bright that it is outshining even M87's brilliant core, whose monster black hole is one of the most massive yet discovered.
The glowing gas clump has taken astronomers on a rollercoaster ride of suspense. Astronomers watched HST-1 brighten steadily for several years, then fade, and then brighten again. They say it's hard to predict what will happen next.