Statue of a woman
This figure represents a worshipper and must have been originally placed in a temple.
(Source: The British Museum)
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.
Primordial gravitational wave discovery heralds ‘whole new era’ in physics
Scientists have heralded a “whole new era” in physics with the detection of “primordial gravitational waves” – the first tremors of the big bang.
The minuscule ripples in space-time are the last prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1916 general theory of relativity to be verified. Until now, there has only been circumstantial evidence of their existence. The discovery also provides a deep connection between general relativity and quantum mechanics, another central pillar of physics.
"This is a genuine breakthrough," says Andrew Pontzen, a cosmologist from University College London who was not involved in the work. "It represents a whole new era in cosmology and physics as well." If the discovery is confirmed, it will almost certainly lead to a Nobel Prize.
The detection, which has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, was announced on Monday at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and comes from the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization 2 (Bicep2) experiment – a telescope at the South Pole.
The detection also provides the first direct evidence for a long-held hypothesis called inflation. This states that a fraction of a second after the big bang, the universe was driven to expand hugely. Without this sudden growth spurt, the gravitational waves would not have been amplified enough to be visible.
"Detecting this signal is one of the most important goals in cosmology today. A lot of work by a lot of people has led up to this point," said John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who leads the BICEP2 collaboration.
The primordial gravitational waves were visible because they created a twisting pattern called polarisation in light from the big bang. Polarisation is the direction in which a light wave oscillates. It is invisible to human eyes, which only register brightness and colour. Sunglasses made from polaroid sheets work by blocking out all light waves except those with a specific polarisation.
Light from the big bang has been turned into microwaves by its passage across space. These microwaves were discovered in 1964 and are known as the cosmic microwave background radiation. Bicep2 was designed to measure their polarisation.
(HubbleSite) Overlapping Galaxies 2MASX J00482185-2507365
A small, foreground galaxy is silhouetted in front of a larger background galaxy. Dust can be seen extending beyond the small galaxy’s disk of starlight. Such outer dark dusty structures, which appear to be devoid of stars, are rarely so visible in a galaxy because there is usually nothing behind them to illuminate them. Astronomers have never seen dust this far beyond the visible edge of a galaxy. They do not know if these dusty structures are common features in galaxies.
Ice separates from a stop sign in Canada
Bihar or Bengal, India, or Bangladesh (Indian), Ganesha, Lord of Obstacles , 11th century, gray schist
The Portland Art Museum
Arabella’s Apple Pie
Tropicana casino and resort in Atlantic City
Gentlemen and women, take note. [x]
Who needs to take note when apparently there are magical, self-tying bowties.
Inner Coffin of Djed MutEgyptianDate: circa 715-525 B.C.E.North Carolina Museum of Art
NEW SPECIE: WALKING SHARK DESCRIBED FROM INDONESIA
A new ‘walking’ bamboo shark, Hemiscyllium halmahera, has been discovered at Weda Resort at Halmahere, Lembeh. is the newest species of elasmobranch to be described.
Aww yiss new species always make me happy!
These fins were made for walking
And that’s just what they’ll do
What will become of these galaxies?
Spiral galaxies NGC 5426 and NGC 5427 are passing dangerously close to each other, but each is likely to survive this collision. Typically when galaxies collide, a large galaxy eats a much smaller galaxy. In this case, however, the two galaxies are quite similar, each being a sprawling spiral with expansive arms and a compact core.
As the galaxies advance over the next tens of millions of years, their component stars are unlikely to collide, although new stars will form in the bunching of gas caused by gravitational tides. Close inspection of the above image taken by the 8-meter Gemini-South Telescope in Chile shows a bridge of material momentarily connecting the two giants.
Known collectively as Arp 271, the interacting pair spans about 130,000 light years and lies about 90 million light-years away toward the constellation of Virgo. Recent predictions hold that our Milky Way Galaxy will undergo a similar collision with the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy in a few billion years.
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