≡ Menu

The Allen Telescope Array is the first radio telescope designed specifically for SETI Photo by Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill

The Allen Telescope Array is the first radio telescope designed specifically for SETI Photo by Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill

Since it was founded in 1984, the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, California has been a principle American venue for scientific efforts to discover evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations. In mid-November, the institute sponsored a conference; ‘Communicating across the Cosmos’ on the problems of devising and understanding messages from other worlds. The conference drew 17 speakers from numerous disciplines, including linguistics, anthropology, archeology, mathematics, cognitive science, philosophy, radio astronomy, and art.

This is the second of four installments of a report on the conference. Today, we’ll look at the SETI Institute’s current efforts to find an extraterrestrial message, and some of their future plans. If they find something, just how much information can we expect to receive? How much can we send?
[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Wow! Epic 4K Timelapse of Aurora Over Iceland and Greenland

Holy Northern Lights, Batman! This new timelapse is just beautiful! Photographer Joe Capra traveled to Greenland and Iceland to shoot 10 nights of the arctic Aurora. Not only was the aurora absolutely stunning, but the landscape is equally beautiful. Joe said that all the footage was shot in super high resolution 4K Ultra HD, and you can even see the bright aurora reflected in small rivers and streams.
[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Global Warming Watch: How Carbon Dioxide Bleeds Across The Earth

High concentrations of carbon dioxide (in red) tend to congregate in the northern hemisphere during colder months, when plants can't absorb as much from the atmosphere. This picture is based on a NASA Goddard computer model from ground-based observations and depicts concentrations on March 30, 2006. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/B. Putman/YouTube (screenshot)

High concentrations of carbon dioxide (in red) tend to congregate in the northern hemisphere during colder months, when plants can’t absorb as much from the atmosphere. This picture is based on a NASA Goddard computer model from ground-based observations and depicts concentrations on March 30, 2006. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/B. Putman/YouTube (screenshot)

Red alert — the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing year-by-year due to human activity. It’s leading to a warming Earth, but just how quickly — and how badly it will change the environment around us — is hard to say.

NASA released a new video showing how carbon dioxide — a product mainly of fossil fuels — shifts during a typical year. Billed as the most accurate model to date, the emissions shown in 2006 (tracked by ground-based sources) show how wind currents across the globe spread the gas across the globe. The red you see up there indicates high concentrations. The full video is below the jump.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Subaru Telescope Spots Galaxies From The Early Universe

The expansion of the universe over most of its history has been relatively gradual. The notion that a rapid period "inflation" preceded the Big Bang expansion was first put forth 25 years ago. The new WMAP observations favor specific inflation scenarios over other long held ideas.

A team of astronomers have used the Subaru Telescope to look back more than 13 billion years to find 7 early galaxies. Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team

It’s an amazing thing, staring into deep space with the help of a high-powered telescope. In addition to being able to through the vast reaches of space, one is also able to effectively see through time.

Using the Subaru Telescope’s Suprime-Cam, a team of astronomers has done just that. In short, they looked back 13 billion years and discovered 7 early galaxies that appeared quite suddenly within 700 million years of the Big Bang. In so doing, they discovered clues to one of astronomy’s most burning questions: when and how early galaxies formed in our universe. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

New Simulation Offers Stunning Images of Black Hole Merger

A binary black hole system, viewed edge-on. This pair of extremely dense objects twists and warps spacetime  as the two black holes spiral in toward one another. Image Credit: Bohn, Throwe, Hébert, Henriksson, Bunandar, Taylor, Scheel (see http://www.black-holes.org/lensing)

A binary black hole system, viewed edge-on. The two black holes twist and warp spacetime as they spiral in toward one another. Image Credit: Bohn, Throwe, Hébert, Henriksson, Bunandar, Taylor, Scheel (see http://www.black-holes.org/lensing)

A black hole is an extraordinarily massive, improbably dense knot of spacetime that makes a living swallowing or slinging away any morsel of energy that strays too close to its dark, twisted core. Anyone fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to directly observe one of these beasts in the wild would immediately notice the way its colossal gravitational field warps all of the light from the stars and galaxies behind it, a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.

Thanks to the power of supercomputers, a curious observer no longer has to venture into outer space to see such a sight. A team of astronomers has released their first simulated images of the lensing effects of not just one, but two black holes, trapped in orbit by each other’s gravity and ultimately doomed to merge as one.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }