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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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Whence the arrow of time?

[“Quantum foundations” series] A physicist walks into a bar, and asks the bartender, “What time is it?” The bartender is about to reply but then recognizes the customer. “You’re a physicist, correct? So, it’s a trick question.” So, what’s with time? A venerable philosophical question. A foundational question in physics. We have electronic devices, extremely… Continue reading Whence the arrow of time?

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An astronomer’s paradise — Chile

I just added another “big science” ground telescope to my Experiments page — the GMT. Astronomers claim that the images from these giant telescopes will be better than those sent to earth by the Hubble space telescope. Yet another in Chile. Then I recalled recently reading about Chile as an astronomer’s paradise. Here’s a sampling… Continue reading An astronomer’s paradise — Chile

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Humans fit for space? — NASA’s Twins Study

[See comments for updates.] Today (among others) published an article “Are Humans Fit for Space? A ‘Herculean’ Study Says Maybe Not” which summarizes NASA’s Twins Study which was published in Science (The NASA Twins Study: A multidimensional analysis of a year-long human spaceflight). Wired: In space, fluids won’t drain, and astronauts develop red, puffy… Continue reading Humans fit for space? — NASA’s Twins Study

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The Milky Way’s shape — a peculiar disk

Popular media is abuzz today with news regarding research by NAOC (National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences) on the shape of our galaxy, the Milky Way, published in Nature Astronomy today. A peculiar disk. A new 3D model. Original article on Nature Astronomy: “An intuitive 3D map of the Galactic warp’s precession traced by classical… Continue reading The Milky Way’s shape — a peculiar disk

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Imaging a light pulse?

Reference: The 2018-2019 Watson Lecture Series, Caltech, Beckman Auditorium World’s Deepest-Penetration and Fastest Optical Cameras by Lihong Wang Wednesday, November 28, 2018, 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM Lihong Wang will discuss the development of photoacoustic tomography, which allows scientists to peer deep into biological tissue. He will also talk about his lab’s development of compressed ultrafast… Continue reading Imaging a light pulse?

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What’s an attosecond?

As I continue to ponder the mind boggling character of quantum physics (the 10^-n reality), I’m fascinated by articles about novel experiments which routinely explore infinitesimal time scales and distances. Nanoscale (10^-9) is amazing! But now there’s the attosecond. This article (April 30, 2018), “The ‘Attoclock’ Shows How Fast Electrons Move in a Millionth of a Billionth… Continue reading What’s an attosecond?

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Celebrity and cultural phenomenon — Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking died last week. Lots of tributes in the media about his scientific legacy and life. Sean Carroll posted an article on his blog on March 16: “Stephen Hawking’s Scientific Legacy.” It’s particularly interesting. As a career physicist and cosmologist, Carroll met and interacted with Hawking over the decades. Early in his career Carroll turned… Continue reading Celebrity and cultural phenomenon — Stephen Hawking

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Star bright, first light — fingerprint hunt

Following up on the “Ultimate how” question in the context of the Big Bang theory, how far back in time can we actually detect evidence, follow a breadcrumbs trail? To a cosmic dawn?, among others, today posted articles about research at the Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory (MRO), in particular the MRO’s Experiment to Detect the Global EoR… Continue reading Star bright, first light — fingerprint hunt