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Ethan Siegel has been shared in 121 public circles

You can see here the 50 latest shared circles.
If this is your profile, you can check your dashboard to see all shared circles you have been included.

AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Allan watson12,311This is a circle I created a few months ago and am now sharing with you in hopes that we can all benefit and grow our online presence.  This circle rewards those who take part in interaction as seen below..  Everyone in this circle continues to add followers.  IN ORDER TO MAKE THIS WORK PLEASE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW:  1. Plus the post  2. Share the post  3. Add the circle if you can, if not try again later.  4. Request to be added in comments or let me know if you should be in it and for some reason are not.#Lebanon #Tajikistan #SharedCircles #circlesharing #circleshare #circleoftheday #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircle2014-11-18 10:35:46487648
Becky Collins16,609Science Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-09-16 05:24:00459102
Becky Collins15,192Recipes and Cooking Circle : Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-08-18 05:14:394770210
Becky Collins13,270Space Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-07-17 07:18:063893010
Aman Singh2,014Circle of the dayYour re-share is appreciatedPlease re-share this circle in your stream.To be added:1- Add +Circles Circles Circles to your circles2- Write the URL of your blog in the comments section below3- Your blog must be an active blog (posts must be current)2014-07-16 12:15:324990718
Ryan Johnson9,485Hi friends! This is a great circle created with an important selection from all circles. The most important engagers are reshared because only that way can we grow our circle and have the people of google circle us.To get in, and to ensure you stay in this circle you need to do the following:1. Add me to your circles, if you haven't done so already!2. +1 this circle!3. Publicly share this circle to public, your circles and extended circles.4. If possible, leave a comment on this circle so I know you have done the three steps above!#circleshare #circlesharing #circleoftheday #wanttobecircled #addmetoyourcircles #public #publiccircle #sharedcircles #Britain #sharedcircle #morefollowers #sharingcircles #sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles #sharedcircle #photography #uk  #nottingham #Holland #Netherlands #Duch2014-07-16 10:40:014918812
Dina Tika0Here is a group of Active Engagers, Circle Sharers, Awesome Plus Oners, and Cool People on Google Plus!   Circle Sharing is an awesome way to increase your followers and active engagers on your profile. Some of my favorite people that I've met here on Google + through Circle Sharing.    Want to be in the next Circle of Awesomeness? Follow the Steps Below!  ☛ Add the circle ☛ Share in the Public ☛ Plus 1 the Post. ☛ Comment. 2014-06-10 05:53:52479001
Lư Thăng15,488Chia sẻ vòng kết nối chất lượng cho mọi người <3 #sharedcircles  2014-04-23 16:24:5447717223
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:27:36393014
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:26:50393033
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:26:17393011
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:25:52393011
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:25:16393203
Becky Collins3,213Baseball circle #Baseball  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins 2014-02-26 10:30:413883216
Becky Collins2,634Marketing Circle : Feb 22#circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday +Becky Collins2014-02-22 06:29:4945517724
Mikhail Petrovsky77,388Good morning / evening to all.This is a Social Circle of interesting people with an active lifestyle in Google+Это социальный круг общения интересных людей с активной жизненной позицией в Google+You'll love this circle. Photographers, artists and other interesting people!Вам понравится этот круг, добавьте его себе. Фотографы, художники и другие интересные люди!#EarthMyMother #ForFriends #photo2014-01-24 03:20:19483572882
B.A. TruthWarrior1,260These are some verified unusual characters....in general.#circleshare  #circlesharing #sharedcircles #sharedpubliccircles #sharedcircleoftheday  #sharedcircleday #circleshared   #variety  2014-01-16 03:45:1647527826
Artur Mashnich43,843A Very Social CircleCircle of the Most Active Users of Google+Круг наиболее активных пользователей Google+Если вы поделились этим кругом вчера, вы находитесь в нем сегодня. Если вы разделяете его с друзьями сегодня, вы будете в нем и завтра.If you shared this circle yesterday, you are in it today. If you share today, you'll be in tomorrow.#Forfriends  2014-01-10 16:01:13493331763
Artur Mashnich40,712A Very Social CircleКруг людей с активной жизненной позицией в Гугле+circle of people, with active life position in Google+Если вы поделились этим кругом вчера, вы находитесь в нем сегодня. Если вы разделяете его с друзьями сегодня, вы будете в нем и завтра.If you shared this circle yesterday, you are in it today. If you share today, you'll be in tomorrow.2013-12-18 11:08:35494443264
Claudiu Narita3,3332013-11-20 02:26:27501817
Lo Sauer2,493This is a great circle combined of active engagers, creative folks and  some of the best and brightest people on google+. A thank you in this circle-inclusion-shoutout to: +Peter Terren +Michael Műller +Carlos Esteban +Justin Chung +Malthus John +Marta Rauch +Rajini Rao +Katherine Vucicevic +Jonathan Eisen +Mike Allton +Scott Buehler +Mario Falcetti +Zvonimir Fras +Krithika Rangarajan +sridhar krishnan +Joanna Ortynska +Seamus Smyth +Chuck Croll +Michael Schobel +2013-11-19 18:19:4843218317
Justin Fournier1,722Social & SEO CircleIt's been awhile since I've shared circles with the general public.  In this Circle I've labeled it as my Social/SEO circle.  Users within this circle generally gave me insight, tips, and tricks into G+ and social branding.Add and follow their posts to increase your own branding in this now digital world!Share and enjoy all! #SEO   #googleplus   #socialmediamarketing   #sharedcircles   #googleplustips  2013-11-03 01:00:37143215
Rank Kemeng0This is a group of individuals that has personally shared four of my best circle sharing circles in the last month (or so).  They also include a mix of new circle sharers and some that are just trying to learn it for the first time. :) :) :0)They are individuals, to a large degree, that are very interested in not just circle sharing (which is great), but also engaging with you in a meaningful way (which is awesome)!!!Guidelines for Core Multipliers- Share the circle to stay in the circle- Have some fun!- If you are new and want in the circle, share the circle.This is a great group.  Enjoy this circle and have an awesome Thursday!*if you were somehow missed/ not included in the circle, please let me know and it will be corrected on the next share. My apologies ahead of time! :)**For those coming from multiplying circle, we are not inviting new folks here, you can privately message them or ping them when you share the circle on your public feed. Thanks!#corecircle #multiplyingcircle #coremultipliers #sharedcircles #circleshare #bestsharedcircle   #circleshare   #sharedcircles   #circleoftheday   #CircleQueen   #CircleMaster   #GPlusList   #Circle   #Circleshare   #Circlesharing   #PublicSharedCircles2013-11-01 15:53:38426115
Coyeb Sundel02013-10-24 10:04:35425202
Tiberiu Igrisan448Science (part 1)#science #sciencecircle #sharedcircles  2013-10-14 18:53:04257123
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:30:23414103
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:29:39414003
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:29:27414002
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:29:04414002
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:27:59414004
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:27:16414002
James Steward1,112These are my awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:25:57414103
Fraser Cain824,747Super Science Circle for October, 2013I know it's been a while, so it's time for a new Super Science Circle - the October 2013 edition.In case you weren't aware, the Super Science Circle is a list of more than 400 people who are actively engaged on Google+ and regularly post about science and education. We've got journalists, scientists, even a few astronauts. The Super Science Circle should be your best response to anyone who tells you that Google+ is just a ghost town. If you love science, this circle will deliver the goods.If you know anyone who actively posts about science, please let me know and I'll add them to the list.2013-10-04 20:14:53415304682
Fabian Weiland145#sharedcircles #science #health2013-09-05 07:24:12497214
Cyrus Khan14,028Active Engager's CircleAttention:  Please reshare and comment if you want to be a part of next weeks edition, instead of messaging me individually.If you've received a notification, it means you are a part of the circle.Thanks for interacting : )  This is the next edition of my weekly Engagers circle, where I highlight and share the people who've interacted with me this week.I will share this circle to all my followers for exposure as an personally approved group.The criteria to be added are:1)You have commented on and publicly shared one or more of my posts;2) You have re-shared this weeks circle;As this circle grows, I may have difficulty accommodating everyone, so if you add and re-share this week's circle, you'll be guaranteed a spot in next week's edition.Cheers! #circleshare   #active   #engagerscircle   #circle #circleoftheweek   #sciencecircles  2013-08-26 17:27:32477574284
Cyrus Khan13,678Active Engager's CircleAttention: This circle has been filled this week, and will start again from scratch next week. Please reshare and comment if you want to be a part of next weeks edition.If you've received a notification, it means you are a part of the circle.If you want to be added, simply add the circle, reshare and comment saying so.Thanks for interacting : )  This is the next edition of my weekly Engagers circle, where I highlight and share the people who've interacted with me this week.I will share this circle to all my followers for exposure as an especially active group.The only criteria to be added are:1)You have commented on and publicly shared one or more of my posts;2) You have re-shared this weeks circle;As this circle grows, I may have difficulty accommodating everyone, so if you add and re-share this week's circle, you'll be guaranteed a spot in next week's edition.Cheers! #circleshare   #circleoftheweek   #active   #engagerscircle   #science   #sciencecircles   #circlesharesunday  2013-08-18 17:07:30490452363
Science on Google+69,339Applied and Mathematical SciencesThis circle will give you exposure to Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics. Science on Google+ Database: http://goo.gl/Yz8KRScience on Google+ Community: http://goo.gl/uhJCNIf you have a science related degree, you are a science journalist, you are a K-12 science teacher, or you curate a science page, then add your profile/page to the database by filling out this form (http://goo.gl/yEg7M). Active profiles and pages will be included in the next shared circle.2013-08-15 23:58:07292202753
Cyrus Khan13,309Active Engager's CircleIf you've received a notification, it means you are a part of the circle.If you want to be added, simply add the circle, reshare and comment saying so.Thanks for interacting : )  This is the next edition of my weekly Engagers circle, where I highlight and share the people who've interacted with me this week.I will share this circle to all my 13,000 odd followers for exposure as an active bunch among others.The only criteria to be added are:1)You have +1, or publicly shared one or more of my posts;2) You have re-shared this weeks circle.3) If you're not already in the circle, and want to be, simply comment so below.As this circle grows, I may have difficulty accommodating everyone, so if you add and re-share this week's circle, you'll be guaranteed a spot in next week's edition. #sharedcircles   #circleoftheweek   #active   #engagerscircle  2013-08-12 16:03:13488432073
B.A. TruthWarrior0A little on the unusual side #sharedcircles   #circleshare  2013-08-10 23:49:534811115
Vũ Đăng7322013-07-28 19:07:46485109
Richard Green19,150Here's my latest Engagers Showcase circle. If you received a notification, that means that you are in the circle.“Showcase” means that you are invited to leave a comment (on the original post) with a link to one of your own posts, which ideally should be one of your best recent posts. This circle consists of people who have engaged with one of my recent posts in the form of +1s, comments and reshares.For reasons of space, I wasn't able to include people whose engagement was limited to +1s on circle shares, and I may have missed other people due to limitations of the G+ interface. I also had no room to include all the engagers on four of my recent non-circle share posts. Because of this, I will be sharing this circle again next week. If you reshare this version of the circle, you are guaranteed a spot in next week's circle. Thanks for reading my posts!2013-07-21 04:25:38464353147248
Lư Thăng1,723Vòng kết nối nè mấy bạn :D2013-07-19 08:53:50487371041
Zbynek Kysela9,954HOT Circle !!! - Summer 2013 edition===============================This is a public circle of awesome plussers on G+! If would like to be included here in next update please follow these easy steps:HOW TO BE PART OF IT===================1. Add this circle to your circles (Click Add circle)2. Re-Share This Post Publicly (Click Share Button Next To +1 Button)3. Click +1 and Comment to support the circle!Done ツMy entire social presence:http://xeeme.com/bouchacFeel free to connect.=====================#Circle   #Circles   #Public   #PublicCircle   #CircleShare   #CircleSharing #SharePublicCircle   #QSC   #querosercirculado   #circleoftheday #publicsharedcircles   #publiccirclesproject   #sharedcircleoftheday #fullcircleshare   #addmetoyourcircles   #awesomeness   #awesomepeople   #awesomecircle   #awesome     #awesomesauce #awesomeness   #awesomepeople   #bouchac #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles #xeeme  #awesomesauce  #snowball #hot  #круг   #círculo     2013-07-16 20:34:30491562869
Fraser Cain798,034Super Science Circle, July 2013 EditionNeed more science in your streams? Want to convince a friend that Google+ is a thriving place of science and rational thinking? Then import my Super Science Circle and be amazed at the awesomeness.PLEASE RESHARE THIS CIRCLE... FOR SCIENCE!Every single person in this circle is active on Google+ and regularly contributes high quality posts about science. You've got my personal guarantee.As always, I recommend you import this group into a temporary circle and look for people who match your interests. Then pull them over into more permanent locations in your circles. Or just wait for me to give you an update next month.If you want to be included in this circle, just make a post in the comments and I'll check out your profile.I'm looking for people who:1. Are active on Google+ (but not too active)2. Regularly post about science3. Provide context and additional information, and not just bare links or annoying memes.2013-07-16 18:35:56415255987
Richard Green18,334For my approximately-weekly circle share this week, I've chosen my "Not Just the Usual Suspects" circle. If you received a notification, it means that you are in the circle. As always with my shared circles, this is a "Showcase" circle, which means that you are invited to leave a comment (on the original post) with a link to one of your own posts, which ideally should be one of your best recent posts.Some of the profiles in this circle are people who engaged with recent hit circle shares by +Scott Buehler and +Christine DeGraff, but most of the profiles here are people I selected myself, usually because I liked their profiles for various reasons. As the name of the circle suggests, there are interesting people included here who don't often appear in circle shares.2013-07-14 21:42:0348426891207
Paul Christen113If you want to be TOTALLY freaked out, follow this science circle. Its not mine, it was shared by (I think) +Fraser Cain .Man, a  day does not go by that I'm not amazed by the advances in science and technology.2013-06-11 13:54:194095310
Science on Google+62,910Smokin' Science CircleWe took 500 active profiles from the  +Science on Google+: A Public Database and put them into this circle.  Be careful, this circle is smokin' hot! #scienceeveryday    Don't forget to check out the Science on Google+ Community: http://goo.gl/mTTxXDatabaseSearch Communities: http://goo.gl/RvyezSearch Pages: http://goo.gl/WCohTSearch Profiles: http://goo.gl/Yz8KRAdd Profile or Page to Database: http://goo.gl/yEg7MAdd Community to Database: http://goo.gl/zh0xJ2013-06-06 00:17:11500387674
Fraser Cain779,548Super Science Circle - May 2013 EditionNeed more science in your Google+? Well, here's all the science you can handle! Enjoy my latest, heavily curated edition of the Super Science Circle.Please share this circle... for Science!For the uninitiated, I maintain a circle of 450+ people who are active on Google+ and regularly post on Google+. In this circle you'll find scientists, journalists, astronauts, educators, and science enthusiasts. By importing this circle into your own circles, you'll immediately gain a vibrant and fascinating feed of amazing science stories.I recognize that it might be too much science, so I suggest you create a brand new temporary circle and evaluate the people in the circle. Only transfer the keepers to your permanent circles. Then, when I update the circle next month, rinse and repeat.Are you active on G+ and regularly post about science? +mention me and I'll check out your profile.Remember, please share this post2013-05-22 19:26:51456348088
Fraser Cain770,050Super Science Circle - April 2013 EditionIt's time for another sharing of my Super Science Circle. This is a collection of 400+ active people on Google+ who often post about science. If anyone tells you G+ is a ghost town (not that anyone does any more), get them to import this circle. PLEASE SHARE THIS CIRCLE... FOR SCIENCE!I have personally reviewed each and every person on this list, to make sure that they:1. Are active and engaged on Google+2. Regularly post science-related stories on Google+In this list you'll find scientists, journalists, researchers, professors, astronauts and general science enthusiasts. Not everyone in this list is going to be to your personal liking. So what you'll want to do is import the list into a temporary circle. Then move people over one by one into more permanent locations in your circles.I'm always looking for more people to add to the list, so if you know people who meet my criteria, feel free to nominate them.Again, please share the circle. Every little bit helps2013-04-26 21:02:03419226277
David Fuchs43,026Circle Name : What Hot And Recommended - 4-22-2012Date :  4-22-2013This Circle  :  Contains people on What's Hot And Recommended on Google+. It is started from scratch every week.Please Enjoy This Circle and Feel Free To Share.=================================================#circleshare    #sharedcircles    #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircleoftheday    #circlesharing    #circleoftheday    #Circle   #Circles      #Public    #PublicCircle    #CircleShare   #CircleSharing  #SharePublicCircle    #QSC    #querosercirculado   #circleoftheday    #publicsharedcircles    #publiccirclesproject   #sharedcircleoftheday  #fullcircleshare    #addmetoyourcircles   #awesomeness      #awesomepeople    #awesomecircle   #awesome      #awesomesauce  #awesomeness   #awesomepeople    #sharedcircles    #sharedpubliccircles     #awesomesauce    #круг    #círculo      2013-04-22 17:37:1494726

Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

4
comments per post
3
reshares per post
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820
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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 61

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2014-11-19 19:00:31 (61 comments, 1 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

"Too bad, because as amazing as Philae was, we could have gotten years of science out of it, rather than 60 hours. Maybe we’ll draw the reasonable conclusion from this outcome, and commit to the success of science and the advancement of humanity and our knowledge, and accept the very small (but not quite zero) risk associated with it.

The Universe is out there, waiting for us all to discover it. Don’t let your fears cheat you out of it. It’s your knowledge, too."

We’ll always be left to wonder what might have been if Philae had functioned optimally, and given us years of data rather than just 60 hours worth. The thing is, it wouldn’t have needed to function optimally to give us years of data, if only it were better designed in one particular aspect: powered by Plutonium-238 instead of by solar panels.

Most reshares: 31

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2014-10-08 01:23:35 (7 comments, 31 reshares, 52 +1s)Open 

"It might not have the fundamental importance that the Higgs boson does; it might not revolutionize our understanding of the Universe like the discovery of dark energy did; and it might, in fact, be so mundane that we already take it for granted. But it’s some amazing science that’s already led to some fantastic applications, and has the short-term potential to reduce the amount of energy that humans spend on lighting alone from 20% of our world’s energy use all the way down to just 4%.

Not bad for putting a few atoms in just the right place."

Were you among the many who thought that blue LED lights are simply too mundane to deserve a Nobel Prize? I have a feeling after you read what goes into it -- and what it means for us all -- you might change your mind!

Most plusones: 52

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2014-10-08 01:23:35 (7 comments, 31 reshares, 52 +1s)Open 

"It might not have the fundamental importance that the Higgs boson does; it might not revolutionize our understanding of the Universe like the discovery of dark energy did; and it might, in fact, be so mundane that we already take it for granted. But it’s some amazing science that’s already led to some fantastic applications, and has the short-term potential to reduce the amount of energy that humans spend on lighting alone from 20% of our world’s energy use all the way down to just 4%.

Not bad for putting a few atoms in just the right place."

Were you among the many who thought that blue LED lights are simply too mundane to deserve a Nobel Prize? I have a feeling after you read what goes into it -- and what it means for us all -- you might change your mind!

Latest 50 posts

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2014-11-23 04:03:53 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

"The Universe will do all of these things, and yet just a few hundred years ago, we knew none of these things. But not only do we know these things today, there’s both an entire history of how we came to learn so many of these remarkable things and a whole slew of people who’ve devoted their lives to broadening the frontiers of what is known.

And maybe, just maybe, you are (or someone you’re close to is) the kind of person who wants to share in all that knowledge. Well, have I got something for you."

Get yours today, or submit your questions to enter my giveaway and win a chance at getting one for free!

"The Universe will do all of these things, and yet just a few hundred years ago, we knew none of these things. But not only do we know these things today, there’s both an entire history of how we came to learn so many of these remarkable things and a whole slew of people who’ve devoted their lives to broadening the frontiers of what is known.

And maybe, just maybe, you are (or someone you’re close to is) the kind of person who wants to share in all that knowledge. Well, have I got something for you."

Get yours today, or submit your questions to enter my giveaway and win a chance at getting one for free!___

posted image

2014-11-22 23:46:22 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

"Do you think an American would say, “Oooh, we better not do that, it might violate ITAR.” Or do you think an American would be far more likely to say something like this:

* Yeah, I’m pretty much just going to do this, because it needs to get done and this is the best way to do this.

* Oh, you think it violates ITAR? Nah, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. Pretty sure there’s no violation. I’m just going to do it this way.

* What, I can get sued? What are you going to sue me for. I told you, it doesn’t violate ITAR.

* Oh, you’re suing me? Good luck with that. I’ve already bought my damned Plutonium from the Russians for this space mission.

* Oh, that’s a lawsuit? I couldn’t hear you over the sound of me launching my awesome Plutonium-powered space mission into space to do the science that you wouldn’t do yourselves.

*Oh, we’re having the laws... more »

"Do you think an American would say, “Oooh, we better not do that, it might violate ITAR.” Or do you think an American would be far more likely to say something like this:

* Yeah, I’m pretty much just going to do this, because it needs to get done and this is the best way to do this.

* Oh, you think it violates ITAR? Nah, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. Pretty sure there’s no violation. I’m just going to do it this way.

* What, I can get sued? What are you going to sue me for. I told you, it doesn’t violate ITAR.

* Oh, you’re suing me? Good luck with that. I’ve already bought my damned Plutonium from the Russians for this space mission.

* Oh, that’s a lawsuit? I couldn’t hear you over the sound of me launching my awesome Plutonium-powered space mission into space to do the science that you wouldn’t do yourselves.

* Oh, we’re having the lawsuit go forward and you’re going to find me guilty? Who cares, I’m already on a comet with all the power I need."

All about Philae, Rosetta, nuclear power in space, and a special guest appearance from Turd Ferguson. This, and lots more on our comments of the week!___

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2014-11-22 20:49:29 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

"But now that leads to the third and final point, keeping our notions of singularities in spacetime and the Big Bang in mind: if the Universe before the Big Bang — back during inflation — consisted of exponentially expanding spacetime, where did that spacetime come from?"

Finite to the past, infinite to the past, or cyclical in nature: those are the three options for the nature of our spacetime. We can trace our Universe's history back billions of years, to the earliest moments of the Big Bang and even before to the epoch of cosmic inflation that preceded it, but was there truly a singularity from which space-and-time emerged? Here's the limits of our knowledge on that front.

"But now that leads to the third and final point, keeping our notions of singularities in spacetime and the Big Bang in mind: if the Universe before the Big Bang — back during inflation — consisted of exponentially expanding spacetime, where did that spacetime come from?"

Finite to the past, infinite to the past, or cyclical in nature: those are the three options for the nature of our spacetime. We can trace our Universe's history back billions of years, to the earliest moments of the Big Bang and even before to the epoch of cosmic inflation that preceded it, but was there truly a singularity from which space-and-time emerged? Here's the limits of our knowledge on that front.___

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2014-11-21 00:59:33 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

"That’s why, to really get a handle on what’s out there beyond the plane of our galaxy, we can’t do it from the Earth’s surface; the atmosphere’s infrared light-blocking properties are simply too good.

To look beyond our galactic plane, and spy the Universe beyond, we simply have to go to space.

Lucky for you, we have, and the results are mind-blowing."

If you were plunked down at random in the Universe, would you be able to see a galaxy? Yes, you most probably would! With some of the greatest eye-candy you've ever seen at the end.

"That’s why, to really get a handle on what’s out there beyond the plane of our galaxy, we can’t do it from the Earth’s surface; the atmosphere’s infrared light-blocking properties are simply too good.

To look beyond our galactic plane, and spy the Universe beyond, we simply have to go to space.

Lucky for you, we have, and the results are mind-blowing."

If you were plunked down at random in the Universe, would you be able to see a galaxy? Yes, you most probably would! With some of the greatest eye-candy you've ever seen at the end.___

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2014-11-19 19:00:31 (61 comments, 1 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

"Too bad, because as amazing as Philae was, we could have gotten years of science out of it, rather than 60 hours. Maybe we’ll draw the reasonable conclusion from this outcome, and commit to the success of science and the advancement of humanity and our knowledge, and accept the very small (but not quite zero) risk associated with it.

The Universe is out there, waiting for us all to discover it. Don’t let your fears cheat you out of it. It’s your knowledge, too."

We’ll always be left to wonder what might have been if Philae had functioned optimally, and given us years of data rather than just 60 hours worth. The thing is, it wouldn’t have needed to function optimally to give us years of data, if only it were better designed in one particular aspect: powered by Plutonium-238 instead of by solar panels.

"Too bad, because as amazing as Philae was, we could have gotten years of science out of it, rather than 60 hours. Maybe we’ll draw the reasonable conclusion from this outcome, and commit to the success of science and the advancement of humanity and our knowledge, and accept the very small (but not quite zero) risk associated with it.

The Universe is out there, waiting for us all to discover it. Don’t let your fears cheat you out of it. It’s your knowledge, too."

We’ll always be left to wonder what might have been if Philae had functioned optimally, and given us years of data rather than just 60 hours worth. The thing is, it wouldn’t have needed to function optimally to give us years of data, if only it were better designed in one particular aspect: powered by Plutonium-238 instead of by solar panels.___

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2014-11-18 19:26:36 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

"It’s amazing to see how an experiment that is very realistic with current technology is able to probe dark energy. The technology should even allow surpassing the sensitivity expected by Burrage et al."

The particles of the standard model, some type of dark matter and dark energy, and the four fundamental forces. That’s all there is, right? But that might not be the case at all. Dark energy may not simply be the energy inherent to space itself, but rather a dynamical property that emerges from the Universe: a sort of fifth force. This is speculation that's been around for over a decade, but there hasn't been a way to test it until now. If this is the case, it may be accessible and testable by simply using presently existing vacuum chamber technology!

"It’s amazing to see how an experiment that is very realistic with current technology is able to probe dark energy. The technology should even allow surpassing the sensitivity expected by Burrage et al."

The particles of the standard model, some type of dark matter and dark energy, and the four fundamental forces. That’s all there is, right? But that might not be the case at all. Dark energy may not simply be the energy inherent to space itself, but rather a dynamical property that emerges from the Universe: a sort of fifth force. This is speculation that's been around for over a decade, but there hasn't been a way to test it until now. If this is the case, it may be accessible and testable by simply using presently existing vacuum chamber technology!___

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2014-11-17 21:25:13 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

"But it’s also where the richest concentrations of gas live, and one of the things that gas can do is reflect starlight: and that’s preferentially reflecting blue starlight over all the other frequencies. The galactic “fog” we live in is illuminated by the intense blue light emanating from Messier 35, and while there isn’t enough of it to create a true reflection nebula, there is enough that a telescope like the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) can pick it up."

Oh my god, it's full of stars! Blue, spectacularly blue, unforgettably blue stars!

"But it’s also where the richest concentrations of gas live, and one of the things that gas can do is reflect starlight: and that’s preferentially reflecting blue starlight over all the other frequencies. The galactic “fog” we live in is illuminated by the intense blue light emanating from Messier 35, and while there isn’t enough of it to create a true reflection nebula, there is enough that a telescope like the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) can pick it up."

Oh my god, it's full of stars! Blue, spectacularly blue, unforgettably blue stars!___

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2014-11-16 19:29:37 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

"But long before Lupita Nyong’o became a wonderful success, or even before Barack Obama was elevated to national prominence, Kenya was most well-known around the internet for a flash video that took the world (and our hearts) by storm in 2005: Only In Kenya!"

In Norway we've got lots of snow / but Kenya's crap so just don't go!

Hilarity, for when you need it most.

"But long before Lupita Nyong’o became a wonderful success, or even before Barack Obama was elevated to national prominence, Kenya was most well-known around the internet for a flash video that took the world (and our hearts) by storm in 2005: Only In Kenya!"

In Norway we've got lots of snow / but Kenya's crap so just don't go!

Hilarity, for when you need it most.___

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2014-11-16 18:56:36 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

___

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2014-11-16 17:08:35 (8 comments, 3 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

"There was a double-equipment failure of the retro-rockets not firing and the harpoons not firing that led to the lander bouncing so many times and so far off-course. It still landed on the comet, but fell into a shadowed region where it gets only one fourth of the sunlight it needs to power its solar panels.

I have said this before and I’ll say it again: if you want a reliable source of power that isn’t contingent on everything working perfectly, solar panels are a fool’s game. Bring your own: go nuclear!"

From wormholes to gravity to Philae and more on this spectacular edition of the Comments of the Week!

"There was a double-equipment failure of the retro-rockets not firing and the harpoons not firing that led to the lander bouncing so many times and so far off-course. It still landed on the comet, but fell into a shadowed region where it gets only one fourth of the sunlight it needs to power its solar panels.

I have said this before and I’ll say it again: if you want a reliable source of power that isn’t contingent on everything working perfectly, solar panels are a fool’s game. Bring your own: go nuclear!"

From wormholes to gravity to Philae and more on this spectacular edition of the Comments of the Week!___

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2014-11-14 18:26:32 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

"Before we get into the reasons why we’ll become an elliptical rather than a spiral, let’s remember that we’re doing science here, and that looking at one or two isolated examples isn’t going to cut it. If we want to accurately know what happens in the Universe, we need to look at the full suite of what we can see, and draw our conclusions from that."

The largest galaxies in the Universe all have a few things in common: they all contain many trillions of stars, they all contain many times their stellar mass in the form of dark matter, and they’re all found towards the centers of great galactic clusters. Oh, and one more thing: none of them are spiral galaxies! Why are the largest spiral galaxies in the Universe only a few times the size of our Milky Way, but the largest galaxies overall are hundreds or even a thousand times as big as our home galaxy? Find out on thisweek'... more »

"Before we get into the reasons why we’ll become an elliptical rather than a spiral, let’s remember that we’re doing science here, and that looking at one or two isolated examples isn’t going to cut it. If we want to accurately know what happens in the Universe, we need to look at the full suite of what we can see, and draw our conclusions from that."

The largest galaxies in the Universe all have a few things in common: they all contain many trillions of stars, they all contain many times their stellar mass in the form of dark matter, and they’re all found towards the centers of great galactic clusters. Oh, and one more thing: none of them are spiral galaxies! Why are the largest spiral galaxies in the Universe only a few times the size of our Milky Way, but the largest galaxies overall are hundreds or even a thousand times as big as our home galaxy? Find out on this week's Ask Ethan!___

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2014-11-13 22:58:51 (1 comments, 6 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

"If you look around, periodically, you’ll see all sorts of science articles that are published in a subfield of research known as “Foundations of Quantum Mechanics.” We all have our proclivities and preferences for what the most intuitive way to interpret the full suite of data that our inherently quantum Universe provides to us, and so long as your set of assumptions about the Universe allow you to predict results that are in agreement with the data, you’re welcome to whatever interpretation “feels” right to you."

Which interpretation of quantum mechanics is the right one? Are there many parallel Universes? Is the Universe in an indeterminate state? Are there nonlocal, hidden variables determining everything? Or — with the original formulation — did Niels Bohr have it right all along? As it turns out, these may not even be the right questions to be asking; if they alllead to the sam... more »

"If you look around, periodically, you’ll see all sorts of science articles that are published in a subfield of research known as “Foundations of Quantum Mechanics.” We all have our proclivities and preferences for what the most intuitive way to interpret the full suite of data that our inherently quantum Universe provides to us, and so long as your set of assumptions about the Universe allow you to predict results that are in agreement with the data, you’re welcome to whatever interpretation “feels” right to you."

Which interpretation of quantum mechanics is the right one? Are there many parallel Universes? Is the Universe in an indeterminate state? Are there nonlocal, hidden variables determining everything? Or — with the original formulation — did Niels Bohr have it right all along? As it turns out, these may not even be the right questions to be asking; if they all lead to the same observational predictions, we may be learning only about our own preconceptions by favoring one interpretation over another.___

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2014-11-13 01:23:54 (3 comments, 13 reshares, 44 +1s)Open 

"Now imagine, instead of trying to land on an object that’s attracting you, you’re trying to land on, basically, a speck of dust. Not that a comet or asteroid is as small as a speck of dust, but it has virtually no gravitational attraction at all."

Launched from the Rosetta satellite, on a mission 10 years in the making, the space probe Philae just successfully landed on a comet, the first time in history humanity has managed to make such a thing happen. But other than sounding cool, what have we gained? Here's a redux of the technical challenges and achievements, the scientific knowledge to come and when we can expect the payoff!

"Now imagine, instead of trying to land on an object that’s attracting you, you’re trying to land on, basically, a speck of dust. Not that a comet or asteroid is as small as a speck of dust, but it has virtually no gravitational attraction at all."

Launched from the Rosetta satellite, on a mission 10 years in the making, the space probe Philae just successfully landed on a comet, the first time in history humanity has managed to make such a thing happen. But other than sounding cool, what have we gained? Here's a redux of the technical challenges and achievements, the scientific knowledge to come and when we can expect the payoff!___

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2014-11-11 20:40:59 (15 comments, 0 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

"At other times the predictions of science fiction are way off. The chance of a McFly-esque hoverboard being developed in the next year is about as likely as the Cubs winning the world series. But why is it that some of our technological dreams become reality, while others remain works of fiction? Much of it has to do with the limits of the physics itself."

When our science fiction fills our heads with ideas that could make our lives tremendously improved, we like to believe it’s only a matter of time before technology catches up with our imaginations. Indeed, tricorders, wireless communicators and rocket ships were just some of the breakthroughs predicted by sci-fi on their way to becoming commonplace technology. But many of our dreams are a long way from becoming reality, including human-sized teleporters, wormholes and time travel. Here's what happens when science fiction runsi... more »

"At other times the predictions of science fiction are way off. The chance of a McFly-esque hoverboard being developed in the next year is about as likely as the Cubs winning the world series. But why is it that some of our technological dreams become reality, while others remain works of fiction? Much of it has to do with the limits of the physics itself."

When our science fiction fills our heads with ideas that could make our lives tremendously improved, we like to believe it’s only a matter of time before technology catches up with our imaginations. Indeed, tricorders, wireless communicators and rocket ships were just some of the breakthroughs predicted by sci-fi on their way to becoming commonplace technology. But many of our dreams are a long way from becoming reality, including human-sized teleporters, wormholes and time travel. Here's what happens when science fiction runs into the cold, hard wall that is scientific reality.
By +Brian Koberlein ___

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2014-11-11 03:35:59 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

"Like many dying stars, this has created a bi-polar planetary nebula, wher you get two “lobes” of gas on either side, with a donut-shaped region at the center. Viewed right down the center of one of the lobes, this would look like a ring, but since this is viewed from the side, we see mainly the lighter, rapidly expanding gas farther away with the heavier nitrogen and oxygen closer to the center."

It takes the death of old stars to create the newer generations of stars in the Universe, and it’s through the very act of that stellar death that “interesting” material finds its way into the Universe. This way, the subsequent generations of star systems will have more heavy elements, more rocky planets, more complex chemistry, and — in the end — more opportunities for life. This Messier Monday brings us a look at not only this process, but at the single faintest object in theentire Messie... more »

"Like many dying stars, this has created a bi-polar planetary nebula, wher you get two “lobes” of gas on either side, with a donut-shaped region at the center. Viewed right down the center of one of the lobes, this would look like a ring, but since this is viewed from the side, we see mainly the lighter, rapidly expanding gas farther away with the heavier nitrogen and oxygen closer to the center."

It takes the death of old stars to create the newer generations of stars in the Universe, and it’s through the very act of that stellar death that “interesting” material finds its way into the Universe. This way, the subsequent generations of star systems will have more heavy elements, more rocky planets, more complex chemistry, and — in the end — more opportunities for life. This Messier Monday brings us a look at not only this process, but at the single faintest object in the entire Messier catalogue.___

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2014-11-07 13:45:28 (2 comments, 5 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

"Imagine the Universe if signals propagated infinitely fast, or if we could feel the gravitation, see the light, or otherwise experience the effects of things from far beyond what ought to be accessible to us."

One of the things you learn about the gravitational force is that it has an “infinite range” to it. Because it’s a ~1/r^2 force, and because as you move radially away from the source, a sphere spreads out (in surface area) as ~r^2, you don’t lose anything as you move farther and farther away. So long as you intercept the same angular size on the sky, you’ll experience the same amount of force. But you can’t move arbitrarily far away from a source and still feel its gravitation! Despite being an infinite range force, our Universe has only been around a finite amount of time, and signals only propagate at a finite speed. Here's the reconciliation of these twoseemingly c... more »

"Imagine the Universe if signals propagated infinitely fast, or if we could feel the gravitation, see the light, or otherwise experience the effects of things from far beyond what ought to be accessible to us."

One of the things you learn about the gravitational force is that it has an “infinite range” to it. Because it’s a ~1/r^2 force, and because as you move radially away from the source, a sphere spreads out (in surface area) as ~r^2, you don’t lose anything as you move farther and farther away. So long as you intercept the same angular size on the sky, you’ll experience the same amount of force. But you can’t move arbitrarily far away from a source and still feel its gravitation! Despite being an infinite range force, our Universe has only been around a finite amount of time, and signals only propagate at a finite speed. Here's the reconciliation of these two seemingly contradictory facts.___

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2014-11-06 20:36:31 (2 comments, 5 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

"What does all this mean?

That Triton isn’t a naturally occurring moon of Neptune; it wasn’t created during the formation of the Solar System along with the planet the same way Saturn’s, Jupiter’s or Uranus’s moons were. Instead, it’s been gravitationally captured from its place of origin: the Kuiper Belt. We can tell where it originated from a combination of its density parameters, its surface features and its orbital mechanics, and it simply must have come from there!"

The largest Kuiper Belt object isn't Pluto or Eris!

"What does all this mean?

That Triton isn’t a naturally occurring moon of Neptune; it wasn’t created during the formation of the Solar System along with the planet the same way Saturn’s, Jupiter’s or Uranus’s moons were. Instead, it’s been gravitationally captured from its place of origin: the Kuiper Belt. We can tell where it originated from a combination of its density parameters, its surface features and its orbital mechanics, and it simply must have come from there!"

The largest Kuiper Belt object isn't Pluto or Eris!___

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2014-11-06 02:11:11 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

"Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
It's time for monopole
number TWO!"

We like to think of nature as beautiful, elegant and infallible. Yet our notions of what’s beautiful and elegant don’t always line up with what reality gives us. Take the notion of symmetry, for example: the gravitational force is symmetric, always exerting equal magnitude forces on whatever two masses it occurs between. But as similar as they are, electricity and magnetism are not symmetric at all. There are no such things as magnetic charges or currents, and this has huge ramifications for physics. But it didn’t need to be this way at all; the Universe could have been symmetric in this fashion. The fact that it isn’t teaches us all sorts of things, including why the idea of a Grand Unified Theory (GUT) may not be in the cards for our Universe at all.

"Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
It's time for monopole
number TWO!"

We like to think of nature as beautiful, elegant and infallible. Yet our notions of what’s beautiful and elegant don’t always line up with what reality gives us. Take the notion of symmetry, for example: the gravitational force is symmetric, always exerting equal magnitude forces on whatever two masses it occurs between. But as similar as they are, electricity and magnetism are not symmetric at all. There are no such things as magnetic charges or currents, and this has huge ramifications for physics. But it didn’t need to be this way at all; the Universe could have been symmetric in this fashion. The fact that it isn’t teaches us all sorts of things, including why the idea of a Grand Unified Theory (GUT) may not be in the cards for our Universe at all.___

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2014-11-04 23:53:42 (0 comments, 12 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

"However, as Morris and Thorne had revealed, and further studies have confirmed, to construct traversable wormholes requires an ingredient nature seems to lack — at least in large quantities — something called “exotic matter.” Exotic matter possesses a negative mass, and thus functions as a kind of antigravity stabilizing mechanism to help prop the wormhole’s throat open."

If you want to travel to the stars — to star systems beyond our own — you’d better be prepared to take your sweet time. Even at the speeds the Apollo astronauts traveled to the Moon, it would take millions of years to reach even the next nearest star beyond our own, Proxima Centauri. And yet, General Relativity admits an astounding possibility to short-cut the great cosmic distances by punching a hole in spacetime, connecting two far-separated events to one another through a cosmic bridge: awormhole. What strikes ... more »

"However, as Morris and Thorne had revealed, and further studies have confirmed, to construct traversable wormholes requires an ingredient nature seems to lack — at least in large quantities — something called “exotic matter.” Exotic matter possesses a negative mass, and thus functions as a kind of antigravity stabilizing mechanism to help prop the wormhole’s throat open."

If you want to travel to the stars — to star systems beyond our own — you’d better be prepared to take your sweet time. Even at the speeds the Apollo astronauts traveled to the Moon, it would take millions of years to reach even the next nearest star beyond our own, Proxima Centauri. And yet, General Relativity admits an astounding possibility to short-cut the great cosmic distances by punching a hole in spacetime, connecting two far-separated events to one another through a cosmic bridge: a wormhole. What strikes us as the most fanciful of science fiction ideas may legitimately someday become science fact, and if it does, here's the physics of how it will work!___

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2014-11-04 17:27:48 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

"Going forward, trying to detect B-modes is a priority for the cosmology community. Earlier this year, the BICEP2 team claimed to have discovered primordial B-modes, but that analysis has been thrown into doubt, and follow-up observations are needed. Several polarization experiments are going to weigh in, from the Planck results that will (hopefully) be released sometime late this year, to EBEX, SPTPol, Spider and several others."

The Big Bang takes us back to very early times, but not the earliest. It tells us the Universe was in a hot, dense state, where even the possibility of forming neutral atoms was impossible due to the incredible energies of the Universe at that time. The patterns of fluctuations that are left over from that time give us insight into the primordial density fluctuations that our Universe was born with. But there’s an additional signature encoded in thisr... more »

"Going forward, trying to detect B-modes is a priority for the cosmology community. Earlier this year, the BICEP2 team claimed to have discovered primordial B-modes, but that analysis has been thrown into doubt, and follow-up observations are needed. Several polarization experiments are going to weigh in, from the Planck results that will (hopefully) be released sometime late this year, to EBEX, SPTPol, Spider and several others."

The Big Bang takes us back to very early times, but not the earliest. It tells us the Universe was in a hot, dense state, where even the possibility of forming neutral atoms was impossible due to the incredible energies of the Universe at that time. The patterns of fluctuations that are left over from that time give us insight into the primordial density fluctuations that our Universe was born with. But there’s an additional signature encoded in this radiation, one that’s much more difficult to extract: polarization. While most of the polarization signal that’s present will be due to the density fluctuations themselves, there’s a way to extract even more information about an even earlier phenomenon: gravitational waves that were present from the epoch of cosmic inflation! Here's the physics on how that works, and how we'll find whether BICEP2 was right or not.___

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2014-11-04 01:43:56 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

"So it isn’t that there’s anything wrong with this cluster, or that its stellar density drops towards the core, or that it’s held onto its light-blocking dust far longer than a cluster of its size and age ought to. Rather, it just happens to be in an unusual location — caught partially behind a galactic dust lane — that gives it its unique appearance!"

When you consider the short life of a star cluster — from a collapsing molecular cloud to a nebula rich in gas and dust to a bright cluster of shining stars until the time it dissociates — you might think that they’d all be the same, except for a few details like mass and density profile. But then how would you explain Messier 26? Here’s a cluster, 89 million years old, whose core is almost totally devoid of stars, exactly where we’d expect it to be densest. You might think there’s some leftover, nebulousdust, but in a cluster this o... more »

"So it isn’t that there’s anything wrong with this cluster, or that its stellar density drops towards the core, or that it’s held onto its light-blocking dust far longer than a cluster of its size and age ought to. Rather, it just happens to be in an unusual location — caught partially behind a galactic dust lane — that gives it its unique appearance!"

When you consider the short life of a star cluster — from a collapsing molecular cloud to a nebula rich in gas and dust to a bright cluster of shining stars until the time it dissociates — you might think that they’d all be the same, except for a few details like mass and density profile. But then how would you explain Messier 26? Here’s a cluster, 89 million years old, whose core is almost totally devoid of stars, exactly where we’d expect it to be densest. You might think there’s some leftover, nebulous dust, but in a cluster this old, that’s unheard of! You might also think that there’s just a stellar deficiency, but that’s also unheard of! As it turns out there's a simple explanation: the intervening dust of our galaxy, that would have shocked and surprised the original discoverer of this object, who was simply disappointed at his findings.___

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2014-11-02 15:27:55 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

"I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Kristen (@neskirderf on Twitter) simply wins space nail art for me. Because what beats a space montage from the launchpad to an ISS resupply to NASA’s Maven making it to Mars?"

Space, science and the Universe at your fingertips? These creative artists nailed it!

"I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Kristen (@neskirderf on Twitter) simply wins space nail art for me. Because what beats a space montage from the launchpad to an ISS resupply to NASA’s Maven making it to Mars?"

Space, science and the Universe at your fingertips? These creative artists nailed it!___

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2014-11-02 04:10:26 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

"From PJ on the Forest Man of India: “That is just 1 mans efforts – imagine what 7 billion of us could do together…”

And this is the counterpoint. Maybe we are capable, if only we figure out where to place our values properly. I’m happy to see that even if I don’t necessarily agree with everyone on these issues, at least we’re attempting to deal with them, and not shying away from the contentiousness of what’s at stake: the long-term (longer than many human lifetimes, at any rate) direction of both the planet and humanity."

Wander with me in the cosmic woods for a while; I won't let you get lost!

"From PJ on the Forest Man of India: “That is just 1 mans efforts – imagine what 7 billion of us could do together…”

And this is the counterpoint. Maybe we are capable, if only we figure out where to place our values properly. I’m happy to see that even if I don’t necessarily agree with everyone on these issues, at least we’re attempting to deal with them, and not shying away from the contentiousness of what’s at stake: the long-term (longer than many human lifetimes, at any rate) direction of both the planet and humanity."

Wander with me in the cosmic woods for a while; I won't let you get lost!___

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2014-11-02 00:12:22 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

"Isn’t energy conserved? And if there’s less energy now, wouldn’t that mean energy has just been lost, and therefore not conserved?"

The Big Bang — and General Relativity in general — teaches us that in an expanding Universe, it’s the fabric of space itself that evolves over time. One of the consequences of this is a bit puzzling: that since the Universe was denser in the past, it must have been hotter in the past as well. But if each individual photon has redshifted to longer wavelengths, and the energy of every photon is inversely proportional to that wavelength, does that mean that energy is actually destroyed in an expanding Universe? The answer (surprisingly) is no, thanks to the relationship between work and energy.

"Isn’t energy conserved? And if there’s less energy now, wouldn’t that mean energy has just been lost, and therefore not conserved?"

The Big Bang — and General Relativity in general — teaches us that in an expanding Universe, it’s the fabric of space itself that evolves over time. One of the consequences of this is a bit puzzling: that since the Universe was denser in the past, it must have been hotter in the past as well. But if each individual photon has redshifted to longer wavelengths, and the energy of every photon is inversely proportional to that wavelength, does that mean that energy is actually destroyed in an expanding Universe? The answer (surprisingly) is no, thanks to the relationship between work and energy.___

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2014-11-01 20:18:15 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

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2014-11-01 20:04:11 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

You've all been waiting, so Happy Halloween 2014 from me: Manotaur Edition!

And if you're not (yet) a Gravity Falls fan, you should be after seeing this.

You've all been waiting, so Happy Halloween 2014 from me: Manotaur Edition!

And if you're not (yet) a Gravity Falls fan, you should be after seeing this.___

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2014-10-30 21:42:32 (3 comments, 7 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

"Think about the fact that our own solar system contains hundreds or even thousands of objects that potentially meet the geophysical definition of a planet, but are astronomically excluded only by the virtue of their orbital location. Now consider that for every star like our Sun, there are most likely hundreds of failed stars that simply didn’t accrue enough mass to ignite fusion in their core. These are the homeless planets — or rogue planets — that far outnumber planets like ours, that orbit stars. They may or may not have atmospheres, and they may be incredibly difficult to detect, especially the (theoretically) more common ones: the smallest objects. But if you do the math, that means for every star-orbiting planet like ours in the galaxy, there may be up to 100,000 planets that not only don’t orbit one now, but most likely never did."

We like to think of our SolarSystem as typic... more »

"Think about the fact that our own solar system contains hundreds or even thousands of objects that potentially meet the geophysical definition of a planet, but are astronomically excluded only by the virtue of their orbital location. Now consider that for every star like our Sun, there are most likely hundreds of failed stars that simply didn’t accrue enough mass to ignite fusion in their core. These are the homeless planets — or rogue planets — that far outnumber planets like ours, that orbit stars. They may or may not have atmospheres, and they may be incredibly difficult to detect, especially the (theoretically) more common ones: the smallest objects. But if you do the math, that means for every star-orbiting planet like ours in the galaxy, there may be up to 100,000 planets that not only don’t orbit one now, but most likely never did."

We like to think of our Solar System as typical: a central star with a number of planets — some gas giants and some rocky worlds — in orbit around it. Yes, there's some variety, with binary or trinary star systems and huge variance in the masses of the central star being common ones, but from a planetary point of view, our Solar System is a rarity. Even though there are hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy for planets to orbit, there are most likely around a quadrillion planets in our galaxy, total, with only a few trillion of them orbiting stars at most.___

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2014-10-30 01:08:24 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

"When we look at a star in our galaxy, it’s incredibly well-mixed with stars spanning the history of the cosmos. Some are ancient, going back nearly as far as a star can go; some are newborn, having come to life within the last 0.1% of the age of the Universe; and most of them are somewhere in between.

Maybe, as humans, we can take a lesson from the cosmos, and recognize that we weren’t meant only to spend time with people our own age, but rather that the young, the adolescent, the young adults, the middle aged, the golden aged, the elderly and even the dying can all gain something by being intimately aware of and connected to one another."

No, we haven't found it yet. But there are good reasons that we probably never will, and that even if we did find it, we probably wouldn't be able to recognize it as such. Come learn the nuances of what we think it should looklik... more »

"When we look at a star in our galaxy, it’s incredibly well-mixed with stars spanning the history of the cosmos. Some are ancient, going back nearly as far as a star can go; some are newborn, having come to life within the last 0.1% of the age of the Universe; and most of them are somewhere in between.

Maybe, as humans, we can take a lesson from the cosmos, and recognize that we weren’t meant only to spend time with people our own age, but rather that the young, the adolescent, the young adults, the middle aged, the golden aged, the elderly and even the dying can all gain something by being intimately aware of and connected to one another."

No, we haven't found it yet. But there are good reasons that we probably never will, and that even if we did find it, we probably wouldn't be able to recognize it as such. Come learn the nuances of what we think it should look like, what our prospects for hunting them are, and what the closest is that we've come so far!___

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2014-10-28 17:29:00 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

"As scientists we learn to wander off into the scientific woods. The great unknown as it were. Most of us only wander a few feet in, careful to always keep looking back at the clearing. A few bold souls wander deeper into the dark, and return with a treasure of discovery. Revolutionary theories come from these clever adventurers. But occasionally someone will wander deep into the woods, never to return to the clearing."

Wandering into the woods unprepared and without a plan sounds like a terrible idea. But if you’re interested in scientific exploration at the frontiers, confronting the unknown with whatever you happen to have at your disposal, you have to take that risk. You have to be willing to take those steps. And you have to be okay with putting your best ideas out there — for all to see — knowing full well that you might get the entire thing wrong. Sometimes, that’s indeedwhat ha... more »

"As scientists we learn to wander off into the scientific woods. The great unknown as it were. Most of us only wander a few feet in, careful to always keep looking back at the clearing. A few bold souls wander deeper into the dark, and return with a treasure of discovery. Revolutionary theories come from these clever adventurers. But occasionally someone will wander deep into the woods, never to return to the clearing."

Wandering into the woods unprepared and without a plan sounds like a terrible idea. But if you’re interested in scientific exploration at the frontiers, confronting the unknown with whatever you happen to have at your disposal, you have to take that risk. You have to be willing to take those steps. And you have to be okay with putting your best ideas out there — for all to see — knowing full well that you might get the entire thing wrong. Sometimes, that’s indeed what happens. Some of the most revered and famous scientific minds in history confronted the great mysteries of nature, and came away having done nothing but set us back many years by leading the field down a blind alley. But other times, the greatest leaps forward in our understanding occur as a result. Explore some great examples, and learn why this is vital for scientific progress. By +Brian Koberlein ___

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2014-10-28 12:54:11 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

"When twelve persons have witnessed the same phenomenon at the same time, then I might believe."

You've most likely heard of quantum entanglement before: the idea that if you create a mixed quantum state that consists of two particles, you can then know the properties of one by measuring the properties of the other. The odd — and counterintuitive — thing about this is that once these particles are entangled, you can move them an arbitrary distance apart from one another, measure the properties of one, and instantly know about the properties of the other! Does this violate the law of special relativity, which says the speed limit of everything in the Universe? As it turns out, the answer is no, but Einstein nevertheless thought this shouldn't be allowed to happen! Despite being the most brilliant mind of his generation, this is one of those times that Einstein got itcom... more »

"When twelve persons have witnessed the same phenomenon at the same time, then I might believe."

You've most likely heard of quantum entanglement before: the idea that if you create a mixed quantum state that consists of two particles, you can then know the properties of one by measuring the properties of the other. The odd — and counterintuitive — thing about this is that once these particles are entangled, you can move them an arbitrary distance apart from one another, measure the properties of one, and instantly know about the properties of the other! Does this violate the law of special relativity, which says the speed limit of everything in the Universe? As it turns out, the answer is no, but Einstein nevertheless thought this shouldn't be allowed to happen! Despite being the most brilliant mind of his generation, this is one of those times that Einstein got it completely wrong. Come learn about the ghostly physics that Einstein called "spooky action at a distance."___

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2014-10-27 19:07:29 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

"It appeared to me amazing that this faint nebula has escaped the astronomers and myself, since the discovery of the great [nebula] by Simon Marius in 1612, because when observing the great [nebula], the small is located in the same field of the telescope. I will give a drawing of that remarkable nebula in the girdle of Andromeda, with the two small [nebulae] which accompany it."

Galaxies may be the most common type of object identified in the Messier catalogue, and considering that there are at least hundreds of billions of them in the Universe, you might think that Milky Way-type galaxies are everywhere. But it’s not Milky Way-types that make up most of the Universe, it’s tiny little dwarf galaxies. It just so happens that we get one of them at the very end of the Messier catalogue! It’s the very last object in the entire catalogue, added only in 1967 despite being discovered byMessi... more »

"It appeared to me amazing that this faint nebula has escaped the astronomers and myself, since the discovery of the great [nebula] by Simon Marius in 1612, because when observing the great [nebula], the small is located in the same field of the telescope. I will give a drawing of that remarkable nebula in the girdle of Andromeda, with the two small [nebulae] which accompany it."

Galaxies may be the most common type of object identified in the Messier catalogue, and considering that there are at least hundreds of billions of them in the Universe, you might think that Milky Way-type galaxies are everywhere. But it’s not Milky Way-types that make up most of the Universe, it’s tiny little dwarf galaxies. It just so happens that we get one of them at the very end of the Messier catalogue! It’s the very last object in the entire catalogue, added only in 1967 despite being discovered by Messier back in 1773, but it’s got a remarkable story all its own.___

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2014-10-26 14:06:05 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

"When the trees grew big, it became difficult for me to protect them. The biggest threat was from men. They would have destroyed the forest for economic gain, and the animals would be vulnerable again."

For those of you who feel that once person can't make a difference, meet the ultimate counterexample: the man who planted an entire forest, saved an island, and defended herds of wildlife from would-be poachers.

"When the trees grew big, it became difficult for me to protect them. The biggest threat was from men. They would have destroyed the forest for economic gain, and the animals would be vulnerable again."

For those of you who feel that once person can't make a difference, meet the ultimate counterexample: the man who planted an entire forest, saved an island, and defended herds of wildlife from would-be poachers.___

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2014-10-25 21:38:30 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

"But, since you brought it up, I believe that there was a pervasive mindset at the time that still exists today: the mindset of what I call compassionate sexism. It’s the attitude that women shouldn’t be allowed to do dangerous things because we don’t want to see them get hurt. So no women in the military, because we’re not okay with women getting shot and killed. No women working as loggers or on fishing boats or in the trades because those are professions were lethal accidents happen frequently. And no women strapping themselves to gigantic rockets filled with explosives, because it’s too dangerous.

This form of sexism might not be as offensive as the kind that says “women aren’t inherently as good as men,” but it still has the same net effect: it denies women the opportunity to pursue the jobs, careers and opportunities that they would themselves choose in this life.It’s sexism all... more »

"But, since you brought it up, I believe that there was a pervasive mindset at the time that still exists today: the mindset of what I call compassionate sexism. It’s the attitude that women shouldn’t be allowed to do dangerous things because we don’t want to see them get hurt. So no women in the military, because we’re not okay with women getting shot and killed. No women working as loggers or on fishing boats or in the trades because those are professions were lethal accidents happen frequently. And no women strapping themselves to gigantic rockets filled with explosives, because it’s too dangerous.

This form of sexism might not be as offensive as the kind that says “women aren’t inherently as good as men,” but it still has the same net effect: it denies women the opportunity to pursue the jobs, careers and opportunities that they would themselves choose in this life. It’s sexism all the same, and while we can’t do anything about the damage done in the past, we can all band together and agree it’s high time that it end today."

Plus tons of other things you'll either love or hate on our latest edition of the comments of the week!___

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2014-10-25 16:43:21 (3 comments, 3 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

"The flames will burn brighter, the wood (and fire) will burn hotter and faster, and — despite having more fuel at your disposal — the logs will be nothing but ash in a much shorter amount of time.

This phenomenon is something that many of you, as a child, with a few candles at your disposal and a mild predisposition towards pyromania may have noticed. (Just me? Nah, couldn’t be just me!)"

It's a phenomenon we've all experienced: you've got a roaring fire going and you're excited to keep it burning for longer, so you throw an extra two or three large logs on it. A half hour later, all you've got left are coals. It might not make intuitive sense, but you would have been better off just putting a single log on — in other words, adding less fuel — if you wanted your fire to last longer. Here's the science of why. From +Pamela Peters.

"The flames will burn brighter, the wood (and fire) will burn hotter and faster, and — despite having more fuel at your disposal — the logs will be nothing but ash in a much shorter amount of time.

This phenomenon is something that many of you, as a child, with a few candles at your disposal and a mild predisposition towards pyromania may have noticed. (Just me? Nah, couldn’t be just me!)"

It's a phenomenon we've all experienced: you've got a roaring fire going and you're excited to keep it burning for longer, so you throw an extra two or three large logs on it. A half hour later, all you've got left are coals. It might not make intuitive sense, but you would have been better off just putting a single log on — in other words, adding less fuel — if you wanted your fire to last longer. Here's the science of why. From +Pamela Peters.___

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2014-10-24 00:12:13 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

"This is a big problem that shows up for scientists and science students all across the country, from the research lab to college to high school to even middle and primary school: your results are only as reliable as the precision and accuracy to which you measure them."

Handing your health and fitness over to a reality show, where the goal is to lose as much of your weight as possible in the shortest amount of time, might not be the healthiest long-term option, but for a chance at a quarter of a million dollars, it's worth it for some. Imagine how frustrated you'd be, though, if you learned that you should have been the winner, but weren't, all because of the rounding errors inherent to the format of the show. They not only often send the wrong person home, but may have crowned the wrong winner as a result of this common math mistake!

"This is a big problem that shows up for scientists and science students all across the country, from the research lab to college to high school to even middle and primary school: your results are only as reliable as the precision and accuracy to which you measure them."

Handing your health and fitness over to a reality show, where the goal is to lose as much of your weight as possible in the shortest amount of time, might not be the healthiest long-term option, but for a chance at a quarter of a million dollars, it's worth it for some. Imagine how frustrated you'd be, though, if you learned that you should have been the winner, but weren't, all because of the rounding errors inherent to the format of the show. They not only often send the wrong person home, but may have crowned the wrong winner as a result of this common math mistake!___

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2014-10-23 02:26:45 (3 comments, 5 reshares, 22 +1s)Open 

"Even as we continue down the path that the Big Bang has laid for us, we have to remember that this isn’t necessarily the only conceivable answer. There’s always the possibility that new, creative ideas could replicate all the observations of the Big Bang, and someday make new predictions that allow such a theory to be distinguished from it. In the meantime, the only explanation of the Cosmic Microwave Background that fits all the data we presently have comes from the Big Bang. Until that day comes, the Big Bang shall be no more controversial than the fact that the Earth is a nearly perfect sphere that rotates about its axis as it revolves around the Sun."

It's such a part of our cosmic and scientific history, that it’s difficult to remember that it’s only been for the past 50 years that the Big Bang has been the leading theory-and-model that describes our Universe. Eversince t... more »

"Even as we continue down the path that the Big Bang has laid for us, we have to remember that this isn’t necessarily the only conceivable answer. There’s always the possibility that new, creative ideas could replicate all the observations of the Big Bang, and someday make new predictions that allow such a theory to be distinguished from it. In the meantime, the only explanation of the Cosmic Microwave Background that fits all the data we presently have comes from the Big Bang. Until that day comes, the Big Bang shall be no more controversial than the fact that the Earth is a nearly perfect sphere that rotates about its axis as it revolves around the Sun."

It's such a part of our cosmic and scientific history, that it’s difficult to remember that it’s only been for the past 50 years that the Big Bang has been the leading theory-and-model that describes our Universe. Ever since the 1920s, when Edwin Hubble discovered the apparent expansion of our Universe, we’ve recognized that it’s a much bigger place than simply what’s in the Milky Way. But the Big Bang was hardly the only game in town. Yet the discovery of not only the Cosmic Microwave Background, but the detailed measurement of its temperature and spectrum, was able to rule out every single alternative as a non-viable model.___

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2014-10-21 16:52:56 (3 comments, 12 reshares, 34 +1s)Open 

"1.) The anthropic principle doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the multiverse.

The anthropic principle is equally valid regardless of whether there is a multiverse or not and regardless of what is the underlying explanation for the values of parameters in our theories, if there is one. The reason it is often brought up by multiverse proponents is that they claim the anthropic principle is the only explanation, and that there can be no other selection principle for the parameters that we observe. One then needs to show though that the value of parameters we observe is indeed the only allowable one (or at least the most probable one) if one requires that life is possible."

The Universe exists as it does; we exist in the Universe; therefore, the Universe needed to have such properties that at least allowed for the possibility of us arising. Is that a trivially trues... more »

"1.) The anthropic principle doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the multiverse.

The anthropic principle is equally valid regardless of whether there is a multiverse or not and regardless of what is the underlying explanation for the values of parameters in our theories, if there is one. The reason it is often brought up by multiverse proponents is that they claim the anthropic principle is the only explanation, and that there can be no other selection principle for the parameters that we observe. One then needs to show though that the value of parameters we observe is indeed the only allowable one (or at least the most probable one) if one requires that life is possible."

The Universe exists as it does; we exist in the Universe; therefore, the Universe needed to have such properties that at least allowed for the possibility of us arising. Is that a trivially true statement? Is that simply a useless tautology? Or can something like this actually be informative, and guide us in a useful direction when it comes to our understanding of the Universe? Theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder explores these and other issues, including the multiverse, in this fascinating look into the anthropic principle.___

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2014-10-20 20:10:56 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

"The Eagle Nebula isn’t the brightest nebula in the sky, nor the closest, nor the youngest, nor is it the largest. In fact, it doesn’t even hold any of those distinctions among nebulae in the Messier Catalogue, of which there are only seven!

But the reason this object is so spectacular isn’t because of how extreme it is in any particular way, but because it simultaneously illustrates all of the different stages that occur in a star-forming region."

The formation of new stars happens in stages: cold molecular gas clouds contract and collapse under their own gravity, forming proto-stars in the densest regions that grow to undergo nuclear fusion. The new stars then emit ionizing radiation, and burn off the rest of the nebula, leaving a young star cluster behind. For the most part, we observe this story in different stages when we look at different objects, but there'sone p... more »

"The Eagle Nebula isn’t the brightest nebula in the sky, nor the closest, nor the youngest, nor is it the largest. In fact, it doesn’t even hold any of those distinctions among nebulae in the Messier Catalogue, of which there are only seven!

But the reason this object is so spectacular isn’t because of how extreme it is in any particular way, but because it simultaneously illustrates all of the different stages that occur in a star-forming region."

The formation of new stars happens in stages: cold molecular gas clouds contract and collapse under their own gravity, forming proto-stars in the densest regions that grow to undergo nuclear fusion. The new stars then emit ionizing radiation, and burn off the rest of the nebula, leaving a young star cluster behind. For the most part, we observe this story in different stages when we look at different objects, but there's one place in our galaxy where the entire story is being told all at once. It's the Eagle Nebula: the one place in our galaxy that showcases all the stages of star formation simultaneously!___

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2014-10-20 03:24:45 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

"Thirteen American women — today known as the Mercury 13 — were selected to participate in the three phases of testing. Jerrie Cobb was the only one who passed them all. Not only did she pass, her scores placed her in the top 2% of all candidates, meaning that if the same criteria that were applied to the Mercury 7 were applied to her as well, she would have been selected. But without official NASA backing, the testing and training programs for women were shut down."

If NASA had really believed in merit, Jerrie Cobb would have been the first female in space, even before Valentina Tereshkova, more than 50 years ago. She still deserves to go.

"Thirteen American women — today known as the Mercury 13 — were selected to participate in the three phases of testing. Jerrie Cobb was the only one who passed them all. Not only did she pass, her scores placed her in the top 2% of all candidates, meaning that if the same criteria that were applied to the Mercury 7 were applied to her as well, she would have been selected. But without official NASA backing, the testing and training programs for women were shut down."

If NASA had really believed in merit, Jerrie Cobb would have been the first female in space, even before Valentina Tereshkova, more than 50 years ago. She still deserves to go.___

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2014-10-19 17:12:05 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

"I know that I am incredibly obstinate, think I have all the answers and would never change my mind no matter how much quality evidence I was presented with. Never, under any circumstances, no matter what.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s my challenge for all the LENR/cold fusion/e-Cat folks. Design for me one experiment, detailing the setup, materials, procedure, etc., that we can reproduce that yields more energy via the process of LENR/cold fusion than is required to be inputted into the setup to make the reaction proceed in the first place, and as soon as it is independently reproduced and verified, I will advocate that this work should win a Nobel Prize."

Black hole death and a cold fusion crackpot fiasco (and the straight science you all love and need) plus more on this edition of our comments of the week!

"I know that I am incredibly obstinate, think I have all the answers and would never change my mind no matter how much quality evidence I was presented with. Never, under any circumstances, no matter what.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s my challenge for all the LENR/cold fusion/e-Cat folks. Design for me one experiment, detailing the setup, materials, procedure, etc., that we can reproduce that yields more energy via the process of LENR/cold fusion than is required to be inputted into the setup to make the reaction proceed in the first place, and as soon as it is independently reproduced and verified, I will advocate that this work should win a Nobel Prize."

Black hole death and a cold fusion crackpot fiasco (and the straight science you all love and need) plus more on this edition of our comments of the week!___

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2014-10-18 03:18:14 (1 comments, 11 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

"Right now, all the data points to a cosmological constant, but you never know: it could be a scalar, tensor, or dynamical field of some sort with much more complicated behavior than we presently observe. But it could also just be plain old energy inherent to space itself, and until there’s observation to the contrary, that’s where the smart money is."

Rather than being made up of fixed space and time, general relativity brought along with it spacetime, and the idea that it wasn't fixed at all but rather dynamical. We discovered that the fabric of this spacetime itself is expanding over time, and by measuring multiple independent lines of evidence, we determined that the expansion itself is accelerating. This general phenomenon is due to dark energy, but what exactly is this dark energy we speak of so frequently? The observations are good enough now that we can (preliminarily)say... more »

"Right now, all the data points to a cosmological constant, but you never know: it could be a scalar, tensor, or dynamical field of some sort with much more complicated behavior than we presently observe. But it could also just be plain old energy inherent to space itself, and until there’s observation to the contrary, that’s where the smart money is."

Rather than being made up of fixed space and time, general relativity brought along with it spacetime, and the idea that it wasn't fixed at all but rather dynamical. We discovered that the fabric of this spacetime itself is expanding over time, and by measuring multiple independent lines of evidence, we determined that the expansion itself is accelerating. This general phenomenon is due to dark energy, but what exactly is this dark energy we speak of so frequently? The observations are good enough now that we can (preliminarily) say that it's a cosmological constant, or the energy inherent to space itself, or the non-zero zero-point-energy of the quantum vacuum. There's still a little wiggle room, but not much!___

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2014-10-17 06:02:12 (32 comments, 1 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

"Nuclear fusion, unlike our current terrestrial source of nuclear power — nuclear fission — involves no radioactive waste and no threat of a meltdown. Both the products and reactants of nuclear fusion processes are expected to be clean and pose no threat of a runaway, uncontrolled reaction.

Couple that cleanliness and safety factor with the incredible efficiency of nuclear power — multiple times as energetic per kg as fission and thousands of times more efficient than chemical sources — and it’s no wonder that it’s viewed as the holy grail of energy."

If you can reach the fabled "breakeven point" of nuclear fusion, you’ll have opened up an entire new source of clean, reliable, safe, renewable and abundant energy. You will change the world. At present, fusion is one of those things we can make happen through a variety of methods, but —unless you’re the Sun — we don’... more »

"Nuclear fusion, unlike our current terrestrial source of nuclear power — nuclear fission — involves no radioactive waste and no threat of a meltdown. Both the products and reactants of nuclear fusion processes are expected to be clean and pose no threat of a runaway, uncontrolled reaction.

Couple that cleanliness and safety factor with the incredible efficiency of nuclear power — multiple times as energetic per kg as fission and thousands of times more efficient than chemical sources — and it’s no wonder that it’s viewed as the holy grail of energy."

If you can reach the fabled "breakeven point" of nuclear fusion, you’ll have opened up an entire new source of clean, reliable, safe, renewable and abundant energy. You will change the world. At present, fusion is one of those things we can make happen through a variety of methods, but — unless you’re the Sun — we don’t have a way to ignite and sustain that reaction without needing to input more energy than we can extract in a usable fashion from the fusion that occurs. One alternative approach to the norm is, rather than try and up the energy released in a sustained, hot fusion reaction, to instead lower the energy inputted, and try to make fusion happen under “cold” conditions. If you listen in the right (wrong?) places, you'll hear periodic reports that cold fusion is happening, even though those reports have always crumbled under scrutiny. Here's why, most likely, they always will.___

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2014-10-16 01:49:54 (5 comments, 12 reshares, 32 +1s)Open 

"Without burying the lede too deeply, the claim of the test is that this device works, produced a total of 1.5 MWh (MegaWatt-hours) of energy over a timespan of 32 days, that the outputted energy was consistently between a factor of 3.2-to-3.6 higher than the inputted energy, and that no known chemical source could possibly be the cause of this reaction. In other words, they’re claiming that this must be a nuclear reaction.

But is this a scrupulous, rigorous test? Or are the researchers fooling themselves, and (possibly) falling victim to an elaborate hoax?"

Last week, outlets reported an independent test of the E-cat, an alleged cold fusion device that could revolutionize energy for our world. Or, alternatively, it could simply be a hoax perpetrated by a charlatan and a team of either accomplices or incompetents. How would you distinguish between the two? When you look att... more »

"Without burying the lede too deeply, the claim of the test is that this device works, produced a total of 1.5 MWh (MegaWatt-hours) of energy over a timespan of 32 days, that the outputted energy was consistently between a factor of 3.2-to-3.6 higher than the inputted energy, and that no known chemical source could possibly be the cause of this reaction. In other words, they’re claiming that this must be a nuclear reaction.

But is this a scrupulous, rigorous test? Or are the researchers fooling themselves, and (possibly) falling victim to an elaborate hoax?"

Last week, outlets reported an independent test of the E-cat, an alleged cold fusion device that could revolutionize energy for our world. Or, alternatively, it could simply be a hoax perpetrated by a charlatan and a team of either accomplices or incompetents. How would you distinguish between the two? When you look at the scientific standards, the results of the "independent test" leave a lot to be desired.___

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2014-10-13 21:13:20 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

"The brightest stars here — the blue and red giants — will all be gone in just a few million years, resulting in between one-and-three dozen supernovae that will illuminate not only our skies, but the skies of watchers across our galaxy. In a few tens of millions years more, the entire nebula will be gone as well, having evaporated away completely. At that time, all that will be left is a bright open cluster of thousands of stars, which will slowly dissociate due to gravitational interactions, eventually leading to thousands of isolated star systems not so different from our own: with planets, asteroids, comets, heavy elements, organic molecules, and chances for life."

4.6 billion years ago, a large molecular cloud collapsed in the Milky Way, giving rise to around a thousand or so new stars and star systems, one of which just happened to become our home. But those early daysshowcased a... more »

"The brightest stars here — the blue and red giants — will all be gone in just a few million years, resulting in between one-and-three dozen supernovae that will illuminate not only our skies, but the skies of watchers across our galaxy. In a few tens of millions years more, the entire nebula will be gone as well, having evaporated away completely. At that time, all that will be left is a bright open cluster of thousands of stars, which will slowly dissociate due to gravitational interactions, eventually leading to thousands of isolated star systems not so different from our own: with planets, asteroids, comets, heavy elements, organic molecules, and chances for life."

4.6 billion years ago, a large molecular cloud collapsed in the Milky Way, giving rise to around a thousand or so new stars and star systems, one of which just happened to become our home. But those early days showcased a violent time for our Solar System, and wasn't so different from what's currently taking place in the Omega Nebula, just 5,500 light years away in our own galaxy. Take an in-depth look inside, and catch a glimpse of what our Solar System's environment was like back during its earliest days!___

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2014-10-12 18:20:43 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

"What he does is he takes modern American cities, their geographical landmarks (rivers, hills, forests/parks, cemeteries, mountains and valleys), their notable man-made structures and townships/counties, and then renders them in the style of J.R.R. Tolkien’s maps from his middle-Earth Universe."

Geographically accurate maps of modern cities, in the fantasy style of J.R.R. Tolkien! Made by a legitimate geography professor, with custom orders available. Check out the incredible work of Stentor Danielson!

"What he does is he takes modern American cities, their geographical landmarks (rivers, hills, forests/parks, cemeteries, mountains and valleys), their notable man-made structures and townships/counties, and then renders them in the style of J.R.R. Tolkien’s maps from his middle-Earth Universe."

Geographically accurate maps of modern cities, in the fantasy style of J.R.R. Tolkien! Made by a legitimate geography professor, with custom orders available. Check out the incredible work of Stentor Danielson!___

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2014-10-11 22:56:58 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

"The fun thing about the strong force is that the force I described — rising as distance increases — only applies to system with a net color charge, and describes the strong interaction within a bound system, like a nucleus. When you have “confinement”, i.e., a colorless entity, then the force between nuclei drops off according to a Yukawa potential, which is like a Coulomb potential except with an exponential suppression on top of it. This is why the strong nuclear force, outside of colorless entities like protons, is so mind-bogglingly short-range! Gluons may be massless, but the force carriers that interact between colorless entities are other colorless entities: virtual mesons!"

Plus thought experiments, black holes eating dark matter, a self-loathing solid state physicist, and some people just stirring up trouble. (Also, the strong force is AWESOME.) All this and more inour com... more »

"The fun thing about the strong force is that the force I described — rising as distance increases — only applies to system with a net color charge, and describes the strong interaction within a bound system, like a nucleus. When you have “confinement”, i.e., a colorless entity, then the force between nuclei drops off according to a Yukawa potential, which is like a Coulomb potential except with an exponential suppression on top of it. This is why the strong nuclear force, outside of colorless entities like protons, is so mind-bogglingly short-range! Gluons may be massless, but the force carriers that interact between colorless entities are other colorless entities: virtual mesons!"

Plus thought experiments, black holes eating dark matter, a self-loathing solid state physicist, and some people just stirring up trouble. (Also, the strong force is AWESOME.) All this and more in our comments of the week!___

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2014-10-11 21:02:57 (1 comments, 9 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

"If you think of particle/antiparticle pairs as being “real” things, and if one escapes from the black hole’s event horizon and the other one falls in, then you’d expect to have just added energy to the Universe: half outside of the black hole and half to the mass of the black hole. But these pairs of particles and antiparticles aren’t real things, they’re only ways of visualizing (and calculating) the energy inherent to space itself."

Nothing in this Universe lasts forever: not life, planets, stars, atoms or even galaxies. But the longest-lived thing of all — black holes — have a limit on their lifetime, too! The phenomenon of Hawking radiation ensures that even they will decay and evaporate after a long enough time. But the popular picture — of particle-antiparticle pairs created outside the event horizon, with one falling in and the other escaping — is wildlyoversimplified, and... more »

"If you think of particle/antiparticle pairs as being “real” things, and if one escapes from the black hole’s event horizon and the other one falls in, then you’d expect to have just added energy to the Universe: half outside of the black hole and half to the mass of the black hole. But these pairs of particles and antiparticles aren’t real things, they’re only ways of visualizing (and calculating) the energy inherent to space itself."

Nothing in this Universe lasts forever: not life, planets, stars, atoms or even galaxies. But the longest-lived thing of all — black holes — have a limit on their lifetime, too! The phenomenon of Hawking radiation ensures that even they will decay and evaporate after a long enough time. But the popular picture — of particle-antiparticle pairs created outside the event horizon, with one falling in and the other escaping — is wildly oversimplified, and creates the misconception that Hawking radiation is particles-and-antiparticles escaping. It isn't; it's a blackbody spectrum of photons, and here's what you need to know about what actually goes on!___

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2014-10-09 22:50:05 (2 comments, 4 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

"As of 2012, for the first time, we’ve used this advanced version of adaptive optics to obtain a cleaner, higher-resolution image than even the space-based Hubble Telescope could obtain!"

If you want to take the best-ever images of objects in deep space, you build the largest possible telescope, you equip it with the best possible camera equipment, and you send it up to space. Right? Only, the "large" part and the "send it to space" part are mutually exclusive! We can build much larger telescopes on the ground than we can send to space, so how, then, could ground-based observatories ever compete with something like Hubble? You need to find a way to adapt to the ever-changing, turbulent atmosphere. Believe it or not, that's exactly what the lasers these observatories shoot allow us to do!

"As of 2012, for the first time, we’ve used this advanced version of adaptive optics to obtain a cleaner, higher-resolution image than even the space-based Hubble Telescope could obtain!"

If you want to take the best-ever images of objects in deep space, you build the largest possible telescope, you equip it with the best possible camera equipment, and you send it up to space. Right? Only, the "large" part and the "send it to space" part are mutually exclusive! We can build much larger telescopes on the ground than we can send to space, so how, then, could ground-based observatories ever compete with something like Hubble? You need to find a way to adapt to the ever-changing, turbulent atmosphere. Believe it or not, that's exactly what the lasers these observatories shoot allow us to do!___

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2014-10-09 20:07:40 (5 comments, 4 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

"But in the strong force, if you have a single color charge all by itself, the force it generates gets stronger and stronger the farther you are away from it, and only drops to zero when you’re very close! If you ever had a free quark, even temporarily, even if it was only “free” for a very small distance around it, it would require a huge amount of energy to create, and it would immediately begin pulling particle-antiparticle pairs out of the vacuum until everything was colorless again."

If you want an electron to be free, all you have to do is put in enough energy to ionize an atom. If you want a mass to be free, all you need is enough energy to overcome its gravitational binding. But a quark is a tricky thing: as much as we might try, we can never free it from being bound to other quarks (or antiquarks). The reason is tricky, and its explanation won the Nobel Prize exactly 10years... more »

"But in the strong force, if you have a single color charge all by itself, the force it generates gets stronger and stronger the farther you are away from it, and only drops to zero when you’re very close! If you ever had a free quark, even temporarily, even if it was only “free” for a very small distance around it, it would require a huge amount of energy to create, and it would immediately begin pulling particle-antiparticle pairs out of the vacuum until everything was colorless again."

If you want an electron to be free, all you have to do is put in enough energy to ionize an atom. If you want a mass to be free, all you need is enough energy to overcome its gravitational binding. But a quark is a tricky thing: as much as we might try, we can never free it from being bound to other quarks (or antiquarks). The reason is tricky, and its explanation won the Nobel Prize exactly 10 years ago. Here's a great explainer of the physics behind it.___

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2014-10-08 01:23:35 (7 comments, 31 reshares, 52 +1s)Open 

"It might not have the fundamental importance that the Higgs boson does; it might not revolutionize our understanding of the Universe like the discovery of dark energy did; and it might, in fact, be so mundane that we already take it for granted. But it’s some amazing science that’s already led to some fantastic applications, and has the short-term potential to reduce the amount of energy that humans spend on lighting alone from 20% of our world’s energy use all the way down to just 4%.

Not bad for putting a few atoms in just the right place."

Were you among the many who thought that blue LED lights are simply too mundane to deserve a Nobel Prize? I have a feeling after you read what goes into it -- and what it means for us all -- you might change your mind!

"It might not have the fundamental importance that the Higgs boson does; it might not revolutionize our understanding of the Universe like the discovery of dark energy did; and it might, in fact, be so mundane that we already take it for granted. But it’s some amazing science that’s already led to some fantastic applications, and has the short-term potential to reduce the amount of energy that humans spend on lighting alone from 20% of our world’s energy use all the way down to just 4%.

Not bad for putting a few atoms in just the right place."

Were you among the many who thought that blue LED lights are simply too mundane to deserve a Nobel Prize? I have a feeling after you read what goes into it -- and what it means for us all -- you might change your mind!___

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