Science Reblog: Space Shot of the Day: Cathedral to Massive Stars

From The Daily What: Space Shot of the Day: Cathedral to Massive Stars

The Hubble Space Telescope took this spellbinding image of Pismis 24 (shown center above), one of the most massive and luminous star clusters known, glimmering above the NGC 6357 nebula that is approximately 8150 light-years away. According to NASA’s estimates, the brightest star of Pismis 24 cluster is over 200 times the mass of our Sun.

 

Wow: Snowy Range Perseids Meteor Shower

 

Photographer David Kingham posted this composite image to Flickr.

You must look at it and admire.

From the photographer:

Last night I went out to Snowy Range in Wyoming in search of dark skies for the Perseid meteor shower. I wanted something special for the foreground and I knew the Snowies faced in the perfect direction to get this shot. I started shooting at 10pm and didn’t stop until 5 am, I had to change my battery every 2 hours which made for a long night. The moon rose around 1am to light up the mountain range.

This is a composite of 23 images, 22 for the meteors/stars and 1 taken at sunrise for the foreground which was lightly blended in. I also corrected the orientation of the meteors to account for the rotation of the earth (this took forever!)

I had a great night which was made even better because I spent it with my newly adopted dog Emmie, she was a trooper!

Check out more of his work

 

Seven Thunders

Did you know that if you look west on clear nights, you can see Venus and Jupiter. Right now, Venus is straight west, shining very bright and Jupiter is beneath it shining, but not as big and bright.

I can’t help but think, that if God would have placed life on those two planets, made them in “his image”, and he would have revealed himself in the vague manner he revealed himself to humans, we’d be developing ways to shoot explosive devices at them for one religious reason or another. They’d invent ways to shoot themselves. And they’d fight over what Jesus looked like when he was born of a virgin or young woman on their planets.

Come on, belief. Can’t you expect better?

Oh yeah, the above video is another edition of “Revelation Unraveled.”

Happy Leap Year!

Any of you readers a Leap Year baby?

Do you know anyone who is?

My memories of Leap Year growing up were largely affected by a field trip to Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill, NC. I was in elementary school, and I remember being fascinated by the experience of laying back in our seats and looking up at the stars they projected onto that big dome ceiling.

I must have had a few dollars to buy a souvenir with me, because I bought a little metal calendar in the gift shop. There were two pieces to the calendar that rotated, and depending on where you placed the dial, you could have all the days, including a leap year, for whatever year you pointed it at.

The leap year thing intrigued me, and having a remedial understanding about something as fascinating (to me) as Leap Year seemed to do a doozie in my little noggin.

And, just to be a jerk and throw a dig in toward “Intelligent” Design, wouldn’t an intelligence create a perfect system of Earth rotating around the sun? Seriously. How adding one 24-hour period to the equation actually makes up for the difference is beyond me. Surely it’s not just 24-hours off.

I can’t say that I would be awe-struck if 365 days were a perfect, unchangeable effort. I’d be impressed though. Especially if that number were biblical and perfect.

Just sayin’.

Have a great Leap Day. If you need my address to send my leap year gifts, I don’t mind giving it out again.

Honk.

Amazing photo of the Milky Way


Apropos to the previous post, here’s an amazing photo of the Milky Way taken photographer Anton Jankovoy. Click here to see on Flickr.

About the photo:

Milky Way above the Himalaya

Nepal, ACAP, Annapurna Sanctuary, Modi Khola Valley, 2011 | 30 sec, f/1.6, ISO 2500, FL 24 mm

This was shot on the way to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC).

Via TDW

You are made of the universe … and here’s the breakdown

This is a reblog from theoretical astrophysicist Ethan Siegel’s blog called, “Going Nuclear: How stars die”. You should read it.

Here’s a snippet:

“After all, the universe required ten billion years of evolution before life was even possible; the evolution of the stars and the evolving of new chemical elements in the nuclear furnaces of the stars were indispensable prerequisites for the generation of life.” –John Polkinghorne

There are close to a whopping 1028 atoms in your body. And while just over half of them are hydrogen atoms, all the rest of them — from Lithium to Uranium — were made inside of stars, and ejected back out into the Universe, where, billions of years later, they made you.

Read on

Lawrence Krauss sings the hits

Partical physics & cosmology at the Wellcome C...
Image via Wikipedia

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements – the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.”

Lawrence Krauss

Via

Should I repent for Poe’ing it up?

Yesterday was busy. I had a photoshoot in the morning and then we met with a couple about shooting their wedding in the afternoon. I had scheduled two posts to hit in the morning, and then in the afternoon, I found this infographic doohickie to post, and it raised some eyebrows.

I’m not accustomed to bringing atheists out of the woodwork to comment on a post. But all night long, I got some great responses from strangers who didn’t know I was joking.

At first, I felt badly. But then I thought, it serves these morons right to jump to the conclusion that this blog — of all places — isn’t posting something so ridiculous as a joke.

It shows me at least one thing, it doesn’t matter what team you’re on, there are still dullards who jump to conclusions and respond without doing just a teensy-weensy bit of research.

And frankly, that pisses me off. Atheists are supposed to be the smart kids. Atheists see through the haziness of what’s right in front of them, and they search for the truth, no matter what it is.

I’m not saying we’re exempt from the occasional April Fool’s Joke or a weak moment of gullibility, but for Pete’s sake, grow a brain muscle between them ears of yours. Think before you write.

And if you’re not willing to do so, then get off the fucking Atheist bus and ride the short one where you belong.

HONK!

BBC Horizon: What Happened Before the Big Bang?

They are the biggest questions that science can possibly ask: where did everything in our universe come from? How did it all begin? For nearly a hundred years, we thought we had the answer: a big bang some 14 billion years ago.
But now some scientists believe that was not really the beginning. Our universe may have had a life before this violent moment of creation.
Horizon takes the ultimate trip into the unknown, to explore a dizzying world of cosmic bounces, rips and multiple universes, and finds out what happened before the big bang.

Play all videos (6)
Aired October 11, 2010 on BBC Two

They are the biggest questions that science can possibly ask: where did everything in our universe come from? How did it all begin? For nearly a hundred years, we thought we had the answer: a big bang some 14 billion years ago.

But now some scientists believe that was not really the beginning. Our universe may have had a life before this violent moment of creation.

Horizon takes the ultimate trip into the unknown, to explore a dizzying world of cosmic bounces, rips and multiple universes, and finds out what happened before the big bang.

Reblogged from Atheist Media

 

Peer back 800 million years, young earthers shake their scaredy-cat bones.

This is cool. Go to this site and follow the directions. Here’s the description of the site (emphasis mine)

Click-drag green circle to pan around the whole image.

The Ultra Deep Field obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope is the deepest view into the sky by humankind to date. This image combines 800 frames with a total exposure time of 1 million seconds. The 10.000 galaxies that are visible have distances out to times where the universe was just 800 million years old, one seventeenth of its current age. For more info check the UDF press release at spacetelescope.org.

For a wider but less deep view visit the GEMS Skywalker.