The good news on Star Wars in the real world does not cease. After one of the Mars rovers clearly spotted the Mos Eisley Cantina Band, it now also seems like a planet like Tatooine might actually exist.
Tatooine famously orbits a binary star (see header image) and it was thought that binary stars could not have planets because the gravity of the binary star would prevent planets in the habitable zone from forming. But now it seems that our telescopes have actually spotted evidence which hints at the existance of rocky planets around binary stars in their habitable zone.
Yes, Tatooine might be out there, but so far, things are not as great as they sound. but the gentleman here can explain this much better than I can:
In today’s episode of the Non-Euclidean Æthercast I have the great pleasure of chatting with one of my oldest international contacts in the Steampunk scene: Jo Lima from Portugal. Since we have known each other for quite a while, a lot has happened and Jo is no longer active in the Portuguese Steampunk scene.
Real life has „forced“ her to become a planetary scientist (to my everlasting envy) and she is currently working on her PhD thesis in Madrid.
Our chat mainly concerns astronomy and planetary science, please enjoy!
Bill Nye, head of the Planetary Society and all around excellent guy has put out a call to the members of the society to reach out and share there love for space with the world in general.
Using the hash tag #SpaceLoveStory the members should just share exactly that: The story of how they fell in love with space. I have been in love with space for a very long time and the love only grows. After all, we are all connected with the rest of the universe in some way and we are literally the children of a super nova. Yes, that is true. The elements our planet and we are made of can only be formed in the very heart of a supernova. So thank a long forgotten dead star for your existance!
Doomsday scenarios are a common trope in science fiction of all media types and most of us can list a few of them out of the top of our heads. Common ones are:
Global war of one sort or another (nuclear, biological, a mix of it all)
The sun goes nova prematurely
The sun turns dark prematurely
The Maya calendar malfunctions
I could go on.
Most of those scenarios are pretty localized in scope, i.e. destroying (in order of growing magnitude) human civilization, mankind as a whole, the Earth, the entire Solar System (or at least making Earth and/or the Solar System uninhabitable for humans). The Solar System, however, is where things usually end on the apocalypse scale.
Now, in comes science, painting a scenario that could possibly be the end of THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE. I am not talking about the Cold Death of the universe when all the stars have vanished and the last black hole has evaporated due to Hawking radiation. This ( in about 102500 years, just think about that number. The current age is 1.4 * 1013years). The Cold Death actually means the universe still exist but the temperature would for all purposes be absolute zero (0 Kelvin, −273.15 °C, −459.67 °F ) but it would still be there.
There is another scenario, that would actually simply annihilate our universe (and could theoretically be going on right now in some distant part of it already). This scenario assumes that the vacuum state of the Higg’s Boson is a false vacuum. If this is the case, we are all doomed sooner or later.
If you are confused now, because of all these weird terms, watch this video:
Rosetta, ESA’s 12 year mission to study comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has come to an end with an epic finale. The Rosetta probe has crash-landed on the comet and thus joined the lander Philae, it successfully deployed there on November 12th 2014.
One of the most ambitious space missions in human history has come to an end and I raise my glass to taost everyone involved and especially the Philae lander and the Rosetta probe.
This is the video of the final moments of the mission, you can watch it with a heavy and a joyful heart at the same time:
It has been too long, but now Minutes at the Edge is back and I offer some wild speculations concerning Fermi’s Paradox and how Sagittarius B2 could be a possible solution to it.
This is mainly because Sagittarius B2 is made up of highly-pure alcohol, several cubic light years of it…
A long, long time ago, I wanted to be a scientist, an astronomer to be precise. I started dabbling in astronomy in my early teens and have been interested in the stars basically since I first saw the night sky.
For various reasons (mainly the prospect of finding steady work and other considerations) I was not able to pursue a regular astronomy degree when I had the chance.
Never fear! With the coming of the internet new avenues of learning opened. There are by now several dedicated websites to choose from if you want to enhance your eductaion or go down whole new roads. Here are the ones I have used in the past or I am still using:
But my proudest achievement in online learing comes with EdX and a course that was offered by Harvard, no less. As you can guess, it was a course in astronomy, and also astrobiology, come to think of it.
It is still a long road ahead, but every degree begins with the passing of the first course:
This is just the first step, but I sincerely hope I will be able to continue down this road. Even if I will not manage to work in the field, I will at least be a gentleman scientist and this alone is worth it!
Today’s episode of Minutes at the Edge is a very happy one. I talk about the New Horizon mission to Pluto, the discoveries made and the geek fest the people at NASA had naming the geological structures they found on Pluto and Charon.
Please enjoy this shiny podcast!
And here are some links for further reading (all highly recommended):
Today’s episode of Minutes at the Edge is all about the weird and wonderful stuff between the starts and the stars themselves.
Especially if the stars in question are weird and wonderful, so please enjoy: