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Imaging atoms – seeing the impossibly small

When not merely obscured in our field of view, things which we cannot see – that are essentially invisible – often may be either impossibly distant or impossibly small (among other factors). That’s why we have telescopes and microscopes. At cosmic scales, imaging a black hole was like seeing something spanning “the size of a period… Continue reading Imaging atoms – seeing the impossibly small

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Cosmic greetings – Santa-in-Space – in the bubble

My holiday card this year in the cosmic greetings, Santa-in-Space series. In the bubble … at various scales … Notes • Space.com > “NORAD tracks Santa Claus in cosmic trip to the International Space Station” by Tariq Malik (December 24, 2020) • YouTube > NORAD > Analytical Graphics > “NTS 2020 ISS” (Dec 21, 2020)… Continue reading Cosmic greetings – Santa-in-Space – in the bubble

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Quantum dots – not just for TVs

So, occasionally I run across articles which mention quantum dots; but more frequently I notice this technology promoted in higher quality flat screen displays and TVs. Photo-luminescent nanotechnology. This Phys.org article (below) reminds me that the technology is critical in quantum information processing, e.g., quantum computing. And as Wiki notes, modeling quantum dots showcases the… Continue reading Quantum dots – not just for TVs

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Our ‘Pale Blue Dot’ – a meditation

The daily grind. Global threats. Political chaos. The coronavirus … Perhaps a calming meditation? Our shared place in the cosmos, our ‘Pale Blue Dot’ – a tiny blue speck shining in space. Notes Space.com > “‘Pale Blue Dot’ shines anew in Carl Sagan Institute video to mark iconic photo’s 30th anniversary” by Chelsea Gohd (February… Continue reading Our ‘Pale Blue Dot’ – a meditation

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Celebrating Spitzer space telescope – seeing the invisible for 16 years

As noted in my post on X-rays, looking beyond what our eyes can see – seeing what is hidden to visible light – tells a better cosmic story. Multi-wavelength observations refine and extend our view of the universe beyond our familiar vision. So, today we celebrate the Spitzer space telescope, one of NASA’s great space… Continue reading Celebrating Spitzer space telescope – seeing the invisible for 16 years

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Tiny grains tell a stellar story

Imagine a grain of fine beach sand. What’s its size? Classification scales vary, but let’s say less than a tenth (0.1) of a millmeter (mm). A grain of table salt. Same question. Maybe ~0.3 mm. In either grain there are a gazillion molecules. Now imagine something a thousand (1000) times smaller – a micrometer-sized grain.… Continue reading Tiny grains tell a stellar story

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Celebrating Hubble – 30th anniversary year

Who would have expected the Hubble Space Telescope (often referred to as HST or Hubble) to still be in operation after being launched into low Earth orbit in 1990? So, NASA/ESA kickstarted its 30th anniversary with some majestic galactic photos. Wiki: Five Space Shuttle missions have repaired, upgraded, and replaced systems on the telescope, including… Continue reading Celebrating Hubble – 30th anniversary year

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Celebrating X-Ray Astronomy — Chandra

This Space.com article “NASA Unveils Amazing Cosmic Views as Chandra X-Ray Observatory Turns 20” (July 28, 2019) reminded me of the limited vision provided only with visible light. Consumer security (and other) cameras have accustomed more of us to regularly seeing infrared light (a longer wavelength part of the electromagnetic spectrum). And that “light” behaves… Continue reading Celebrating X-Ray Astronomy — Chandra

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Photographing a black hole?

As teased earlier this month, today the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project announced and presented the first ever photographs of a black hole — “the last photon orbit.” Another epic story of big science and an international team. The interplay of models and simulations, data capture, and complex processing. And funding. Much news coverage. Here’s… Continue reading Photographing a black hole?