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Ethan Siegel has been shared in 120 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
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 12:15:324990617
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
Alessandro Folghera7321. PLUS+1 This Post! 2. ADD Circle3, Share the circle (note you can add yourself when you go to share)4. COMMENT Below if you are not on it and I will add you!#circleshare   #geekcircle   #sciencecircle   #sharedcircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedcircleoftheday  Social Media Marketing Shared Circle ... share and increase your popularity !2013-04-16 08:01:53422229

Activity

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

3
comments per post
7
reshares per post
20
+1's per post

1,034
characters per posting

Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 32

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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 »

Most reshares: 42

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2014-09-30 16:07:38 (0 comments, 42 reshares, 38 +1s)Open 

"Perhaps the weirdest prediction of relativity is that rotating masses twist space around them. This effect is known as frame dragging, and it is most dramatic around black holes. But even the Earth’s rotation twists space ever so slightly. In 2011 a spacecraft known as Gravity Probe B successfully observed this effect due to the Earth.

The frame dragging effect of Earth is so small that it’s astounding we can perceive it at all. To observe these effects, the team had to create quartz spheres so precise that their surface varied no more than 40 atoms from a mathematically perfect sphere. They were then covered with a thin layer of niobium so they could be suspended within an electric field. Their rotation created a small magnetic field, which was measured by superconducting quantum interference devices. Of course all of this is packed into a probe and shot into space for an 18 monthmis... more »

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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2014-10-24 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, 13 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 (2 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, 10 reshares, 25 +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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2014-10-06 16:01:56 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

"But what they found were stellar mass black holes instead: two of them, with one about 0.8 light-years and the other 1.4 light-years from the cluster’s center. These are only visible because they’re actively feeding off of companion stars, and comparisons of those locations with X-ray observations from Chandra gives us the black hole masses: between 10-and-20 solar masses. This early data is suggestive of the fact that — given how rare feeding black holes are — there might be as many as 100 black holes in this globular cluster, and hence, possibly most globular clusters too!"

Don't miss the final globular cluster -- the last of all 29 -- that we'll cover for our #MessierMonday series!

"But what they found were stellar mass black holes instead: two of them, with one about 0.8 light-years and the other 1.4 light-years from the cluster’s center. These are only visible because they’re actively feeding off of companion stars, and comparisons of those locations with X-ray observations from Chandra gives us the black hole masses: between 10-and-20 solar masses. This early data is suggestive of the fact that — given how rare feeding black holes are — there might be as many as 100 black holes in this globular cluster, and hence, possibly most globular clusters too!"

Don't miss the final globular cluster -- the last of all 29 -- that we'll cover for our #MessierMonday series!___

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2014-10-06 00:16:02 (10 comments, 4 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

"So help the world, help science, and take a chance at helping yourself, too! If you’re already using BOINC, simply enter your account when you register and it’ll be automatically integrated. It’s an easy way to simply do good in the world, for something that costs us all almost nothing. Thanks for considering it (download / login / register here), and don’t just have a great weekend, but help everyone across the world while you do!"

If you've ever participated in BOINC projects such as Einstein@home, SETI@home, Malaria Control or one of many protein folding projects, you recognize the power of using the idle cycles of your CPU (and GPU) for helping science. But that’s nothing compared to what the Charity Engine is doing to help science, charities and build the world’s largest cloud-based supercomputer for lease only by vetted, ethical companies! For those of you withtons of old... more »

"So help the world, help science, and take a chance at helping yourself, too! If you’re already using BOINC, simply enter your account when you register and it’ll be automatically integrated. It’s an easy way to simply do good in the world, for something that costs us all almost nothing. Thanks for considering it (download / login / register here), and don’t just have a great weekend, but help everyone across the world while you do!"

If you've ever participated in BOINC projects such as Einstein@home, SETI@home, Malaria Control or one of many protein folding projects, you recognize the power of using the idle cycles of your CPU (and GPU) for helping science. But that’s nothing compared to what the Charity Engine is doing to help science, charities and build the world’s largest cloud-based supercomputer for lease only by vetted, ethical companies! For those of you with tons of old hardware lying around, you've got no excuse not to do it.___

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2014-10-05 17:46:59 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

"This is why I always say that, no matter what came before inflation, inflation wipes that information out. As much as I hate to say we’ll never know what came before it, we have to at least admit the possibility that, just as there’s a limit to the total amount of information in our finite, observable Universe, there are likely to be some questions that the Universe doesn’t provide us with enough information to answer. And this may be one of them."

For those of you who like thinking about the biggest questions out there, this week's edition of Comments of the Week is for you!

"This is why I always say that, no matter what came before inflation, inflation wipes that information out. As much as I hate to say we’ll never know what came before it, we have to at least admit the possibility that, just as there’s a limit to the total amount of information in our finite, observable Universe, there are likely to be some questions that the Universe doesn’t provide us with enough information to answer. And this may be one of them."

For those of you who like thinking about the biggest questions out there, this week's edition of Comments of the Week is for you!___

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2014-10-04 00:43:06 (1 comments, 18 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

"Since dark matter interacts with baryonic matter only gravitationally, and since there’s 5 times more dark matter than baryonic matter, 5/6th of a black hole must be dark matter. Does that tell us anything useful about black holes?"

When you look at a black hole from the outside, there are only a few quantities of it that you can measure: its mass, electric charge and angular momentum. Whether it was made of matter, antimatter or dark matter is lost to its history. But based on what we know of astrophysics and the Universe, we can calculate how much dark matter ought to be eaten by them over the Universe's history. As it turns out, black holes are born dark-matter-free, but can grow to have up to 0.004% of their mass originate from dark matter. Normal matter: not doing so bad for just 5% of the Universe!

"Since dark matter interacts with baryonic matter only gravitationally, and since there’s 5 times more dark matter than baryonic matter, 5/6th of a black hole must be dark matter. Does that tell us anything useful about black holes?"

When you look at a black hole from the outside, there are only a few quantities of it that you can measure: its mass, electric charge and angular momentum. Whether it was made of matter, antimatter or dark matter is lost to its history. But based on what we know of astrophysics and the Universe, we can calculate how much dark matter ought to be eaten by them over the Universe's history. As it turns out, black holes are born dark-matter-free, but can grow to have up to 0.004% of their mass originate from dark matter. Normal matter: not doing so bad for just 5% of the Universe!___

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2014-10-02 23:26:11 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

"What this meant is that no longer could we view objects like matter and radiation as existing in some fixed, grid-like framework. Instead, the Universe contains encoded within the equations that describe it a very profound idea: the very Universe itself — including space and time — evolved in a predictable, understandable way that depends on what’s in it!"

How big is the observable Universe? If it's 13.8 billion years old, it should be 13.8 billion light-years large, right? WRONG!

"What this meant is that no longer could we view objects like matter and radiation as existing in some fixed, grid-like framework. Instead, the Universe contains encoded within the equations that describe it a very profound idea: the very Universe itself — including space and time — evolved in a predictable, understandable way that depends on what’s in it!"

How big is the observable Universe? If it's 13.8 billion years old, it should be 13.8 billion light-years large, right? WRONG!___

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2014-10-02 16:48:20 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

"You see, every atom and molecule in existence has a signature spectrum that’s unique to that configuration. Hydrogen, helium, lithium and all the elements of the periodic table have specific wavelengths of light that they absorb and emit, corresponding to the atomic transitions that can occur within those atoms, with all other transitions being forbidden. This is true of molecules as well, including the nitrogen, water vapor, carbon dioxide and ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere.

All of those molecules could be the result of either organic or inorganic processes, but there’s one component of Earth’s atmosphere that couldn’t have arisen through inorganic processes, and that’s oxygen."

One of the biggest questions in all of science is that of just how ubiquitous — or rare — life in the Universe is. With the sole exception of Earth, all the worlds in our SolarSystem seem dev... more »

"You see, every atom and molecule in existence has a signature spectrum that’s unique to that configuration. Hydrogen, helium, lithium and all the elements of the periodic table have specific wavelengths of light that they absorb and emit, corresponding to the atomic transitions that can occur within those atoms, with all other transitions being forbidden. This is true of molecules as well, including the nitrogen, water vapor, carbon dioxide and ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere.

All of those molecules could be the result of either organic or inorganic processes, but there’s one component of Earth’s atmosphere that couldn’t have arisen through inorganic processes, and that’s oxygen."

One of the biggest questions in all of science is that of just how ubiquitous — or rare — life in the Universe is. With the sole exception of Earth, all the worlds in our Solar System seem devoid of life. Or at least, their detection has eluded us so far. But what of all the other planets, star systems and galaxies in the Universe? We all share the same common, cosmic history, and as far as we can tell, the ingredients for life are everywhere. But for the first time in human history, we may not need life to come and contact us; we can simply stay here and look for surefire signatures from afar. Come find out how we may be on the cusp of, for the first time, finding out we’re not alone in the Universe!___

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2014-10-01 02:40:38 (1 comments, 5 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

"Since that initial detection by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson (for which they won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1978), several experiments here on Earth and out in space have measured the CMB with increasing precision. In 1992 the Cosmic Background Explorer (CoBE) showed the first observations of the CMB temperature anisotropies — tiny changes in temperature that are 100,000 times smaller than the uniform 2.73 Kelvin background average. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) expanded our full-sky knowledge of those temperature anisotropies in 2003, and in 2013 Planck gave us our most precise measurement to date. These continued improvements measured not only finer and finer temperature details, but also progressively smaller angular scales."

The "smoking gun" of the Big Bang shows us everything except who pulled the trigger. And that's coming - ifwe... more »

"Since that initial detection by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson (for which they won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1978), several experiments here on Earth and out in space have measured the CMB with increasing precision. In 1992 the Cosmic Background Explorer (CoBE) showed the first observations of the CMB temperature anisotropies — tiny changes in temperature that are 100,000 times smaller than the uniform 2.73 Kelvin background average. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) expanded our full-sky knowledge of those temperature anisotropies in 2003, and in 2013 Planck gave us our most precise measurement to date. These continued improvements measured not only finer and finer temperature details, but also progressively smaller angular scales."

The "smoking gun" of the Big Bang shows us everything except who pulled the trigger. And that's coming - if we're lucky - in just a few weeks! A great contribution from +Amanda Yoho.___

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2014-09-30 16:07:38 (0 comments, 42 reshares, 38 +1s)Open 

"Perhaps the weirdest prediction of relativity is that rotating masses twist space around them. This effect is known as frame dragging, and it is most dramatic around black holes. But even the Earth’s rotation twists space ever so slightly. In 2011 a spacecraft known as Gravity Probe B successfully observed this effect due to the Earth.

The frame dragging effect of Earth is so small that it’s astounding we can perceive it at all. To observe these effects, the team had to create quartz spheres so precise that their surface varied no more than 40 atoms from a mathematically perfect sphere. They were then covered with a thin layer of niobium so they could be suspended within an electric field. Their rotation created a small magnetic field, which was measured by superconducting quantum interference devices. Of course all of this is packed into a probe and shot into space for an 18 monthmis... more »

"Perhaps the weirdest prediction of relativity is that rotating masses twist space around them. This effect is known as frame dragging, and it is most dramatic around black holes. But even the Earth’s rotation twists space ever so slightly. In 2011 a spacecraft known as Gravity Probe B successfully observed this effect due to the Earth.

The frame dragging effect of Earth is so small that it’s astounding we can perceive it at all. To observe these effects, the team had to create quartz spheres so precise that their surface varied no more than 40 atoms from a mathematically perfect sphere. They were then covered with a thin layer of niobium so they could be suspended within an electric field. Their rotation created a small magnetic field, which was measured by superconducting quantum interference devices. Of course all of this is packed into a probe and shot into space for an 18 month mission. Over the duration of the experiment, the rotation of the spheres had to be measured with milliarcsecond precision. Despite the challenges, Gravity Probe B confirmed the Earth’s gravitational curvature of space to within 1% of predictions, and confirmed frame dragging to within 19%."

When it comes to physics, there sure are some strange theories — and even stranger phenomena — out there. The notion that particles don’t have fixed, intrinsic properties that are simultaneously measurable can only be described as weird, and the fact that you can add as much energy as you want to a particle but it will never accelerate to beyond a particular speed is certainly counterintuitive. Yet one theory has them all beat. For ninety-nine years, now, General Relativity has made a whole host of unique predictions, ranging from time slowing down in a gravitational field to the bending of starlight to the decay of pulsar orbits, that have been observationally confirmed each and every time. It's the strangest theory we know to be true, and we're on the brink of testing (and possibly confirming) its predictions to even better precision! By +Brian Koberlein ___

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2014-09-29 14:56:35 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

"Because what you’re looking at isn’t just a faint, diffuse cluster of stars, these are stars that date back to some of the earliest times in the history of our galaxy! Our Sun contains lots of heavy elements: carbon, oxygen, silicon, sulphur, iron, and so on, and it’s the abundance of those heavy elements that allowed rocky planets to form around it. Stars that formed longer ago, and in regions that had fewer generations of stars live-and-die to enrich the interstellar medium, tend to be poorer in these heavy elements, and give us a glimpse of the stars that formed when the Universe was much younger.

Globular clusters tend to have older stars, but Messier 55 has just 1.1% of the heavy elements found in the Sun, one of the most metal-poor globulars known to exist!"

Even though Messier knew about this object since the 1750s, and started looking for it in the 60s, itwasn&... more »

"Because what you’re looking at isn’t just a faint, diffuse cluster of stars, these are stars that date back to some of the earliest times in the history of our galaxy! Our Sun contains lots of heavy elements: carbon, oxygen, silicon, sulphur, iron, and so on, and it’s the abundance of those heavy elements that allowed rocky planets to form around it. Stars that formed longer ago, and in regions that had fewer generations of stars live-and-die to enrich the interstellar medium, tend to be poorer in these heavy elements, and give us a glimpse of the stars that formed when the Universe was much younger.

Globular clusters tend to have older stars, but Messier 55 has just 1.1% of the heavy elements found in the Sun, one of the most metal-poor globulars known to exist!"

Even though Messier knew about this object since the 1750s, and started looking for it in the 60s, it wasn't until 1778 that he finally found it. Sometimes, the hard work you put in makes the discovery all the more rewarding!___

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2014-09-28 16:40:36 (0 comments, 5 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

"It’s also something of a relief to find out that some things will legitimately be ruined by a stain; certain colored stains on certain fabrics won’t ever come out without permanently discoloring the fabric as well. Still, wouldn’t you rather know?"

Fighting stains to the limits of our knowledge of chemistry; never lose a garment that could be saved again!

"It’s also something of a relief to find out that some things will legitimately be ruined by a stain; certain colored stains on certain fabrics won’t ever come out without permanently discoloring the fabric as well. Still, wouldn’t you rather know?"

Fighting stains to the limits of our knowledge of chemistry; never lose a garment that could be saved again!___

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2014-09-28 01:49:51 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

"It’s important to recognize how little information we have from the inflationary epoch of the Universe in our observable Universe today. We have the flatness of space, the uniformity of regions that should otherwise be causally disconnected, the lack of ultra-high-energy relics, and the observed spectrum of density fluctuations to guide us, sure, and those are big things. But we only have observable evidence arising from the final 10^-34 seconds (or so) of inflation that are imprinted on our Universe.

And if you can make a model of cosmology that reproduces the observable pieces without adhering to the standard picture, you’ve got an interesting model to consider, no matter how contrived it appears to be. We have very good reasons to make the (often simplifying) assumptions that we do, but it’s always important to remember what we have assumed, and how those assumptions could bechang... more »

"It’s important to recognize how little information we have from the inflationary epoch of the Universe in our observable Universe today. We have the flatness of space, the uniformity of regions that should otherwise be causally disconnected, the lack of ultra-high-energy relics, and the observed spectrum of density fluctuations to guide us, sure, and those are big things. But we only have observable evidence arising from the final 10^-34 seconds (or so) of inflation that are imprinted on our Universe.

And if you can make a model of cosmology that reproduces the observable pieces without adhering to the standard picture, you’ve got an interesting model to consider, no matter how contrived it appears to be. We have very good reasons to make the (often simplifying) assumptions that we do, but it’s always important to remember what we have assumed, and how those assumptions could be changed in ways that are still consistent with the Universe we observe. We have a more accurate model of the Universe than we ever have at any point in human history, and there’s no doubt that science — both the body of knowledge and the process of it, combined — will continue to refine, tweak, alter and improve this model as we move forward. I can’t wait to see what we learn next!"

If you can't, either, check this edition of Comments of the Week out!___

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2014-09-27 03:39:20 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

"Could Mars One turn back en route if they had regrets? Reality would set in seeing out beautiful blue planet get smaller while they head towards a dead toxic planet or if radiation/solar winds [were] to wildly [exceed] safe levels."

The next great leap in human spaceflight is a manned mission to a world within our Solar System: most likely Mars. But if something went wrong along the journey — at launch, close to Earth, or en route — whether biological or mechanical, would there be any way to return to Earth? A fun (and sobering) look at what the limits of physics and technology allow at present.

"Could Mars One turn back en route if they had regrets? Reality would set in seeing out beautiful blue planet get smaller while they head towards a dead toxic planet or if radiation/solar winds [were] to wildly [exceed] safe levels."

The next great leap in human spaceflight is a manned mission to a world within our Solar System: most likely Mars. But if something went wrong along the journey — at launch, close to Earth, or en route — whether biological or mechanical, would there be any way to return to Earth? A fun (and sobering) look at what the limits of physics and technology allow at present.___

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2014-09-25 20:05:38 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

"8.) After multiple generations of stars are born, live, burn through their fuel and die, the interstellar medium contains enough of the elements for complex chemistry that all new stars and star systems that form will have substantial amounts of the elements and molecules necessary for life."

The greatest story ever told is the one the Universe tells us about itself: how it went from a state of empty and expanding spacetime to one containing the huge number of galaxies, stars, planets and atoms, not to mention you. Here is the shortest version of that story ever that is still accurate and comprehensive, with ten sentences covering the entire thing!

"8.) After multiple generations of stars are born, live, burn through their fuel and die, the interstellar medium contains enough of the elements for complex chemistry that all new stars and star systems that form will have substantial amounts of the elements and molecules necessary for life."

The greatest story ever told is the one the Universe tells us about itself: how it went from a state of empty and expanding spacetime to one containing the huge number of galaxies, stars, planets and atoms, not to mention you. Here is the shortest version of that story ever that is still accurate and comprehensive, with ten sentences covering the entire thing!___

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2014-09-25 18:38:41 (6 comments, 4 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

"But if you wanted to destroy the Universe, relying on the Higgs is a fool’s game. The smart money is to bet on cosmic inflation, and to remember that the only reason our Universe exists as it does is because inflation came to an end. If we could reactivate it — if we could create a new inflationary epoch — the ultra-rapid expansion of the Universe that would ensue, and the incredibly intense energy intrinsic to space itself, would push apart not only the galaxies, but solar systems, people, cells, molecules and even individual atoms."

For all you aspiring supervillains out there, you may have heard that Stephen Hawking recently wrote about the possibility of the Higgs field destroying the Universe. As it turns out, that's not very likely to happen, not likely to affect us if it does happen, and not something we can control in any case. But there is something we can doif we were in... more »

"But if you wanted to destroy the Universe, relying on the Higgs is a fool’s game. The smart money is to bet on cosmic inflation, and to remember that the only reason our Universe exists as it does is because inflation came to an end. If we could reactivate it — if we could create a new inflationary epoch — the ultra-rapid expansion of the Universe that would ensue, and the incredibly intense energy intrinsic to space itself, would push apart not only the galaxies, but solar systems, people, cells, molecules and even individual atoms."

For all you aspiring supervillains out there, you may have heard that Stephen Hawking recently wrote about the possibility of the Higgs field destroying the Universe. As it turns out, that's not very likely to happen, not likely to affect us if it does happen, and not something we can control in any case. But there is something we can do if we were intent on destroying the Universe: restore the inflationary state that gave rise to the Universe (and the Big Bang) in the first place!___

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2014-09-24 21:12:10 (7 comments, 8 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

There's been a story going around that it's been proven that black holes don't exist.

Yes, they do, and if you "prove" that they don't, your proof is flawed. When we have the observations, your theoretical predictions don't really matter.

There's been a story going around that it's been proven that black holes don't exist.

Yes, they do, and if you "prove" that they don't, your proof is flawed. When we have the observations, your theoretical predictions don't really matter.___

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2014-09-23 19:41:19 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

"One hundred years after this founding, the rulers of Baghdad would fund one of the greatest astronomical observatories in the world. Equipped with mechanical devices (telescopes were not yet invented), astronomers charted the sky with unsurpassed precision, and first called into question the notion that the planets and stars orbit the Earth on celestial spheres. This observatory and the star maps developed there played a crucial role in the rise of modern astronomy and the ensuing downfall of astrology as a science.

The astrologers that guided the founding of Baghdad had no idea they were contributing to the demise of their own profession."

When you think of astrology, you likely think of someone who makes false promises and proclaims either platitudes or fabrications as though they were preordained truths. That's not even an unfair judgment. For many millennia dating to... more »

"One hundred years after this founding, the rulers of Baghdad would fund one of the greatest astronomical observatories in the world. Equipped with mechanical devices (telescopes were not yet invented), astronomers charted the sky with unsurpassed precision, and first called into question the notion that the planets and stars orbit the Earth on celestial spheres. This observatory and the star maps developed there played a crucial role in the rise of modern astronomy and the ensuing downfall of astrology as a science.

The astrologers that guided the founding of Baghdad had no idea they were contributing to the demise of their own profession."

When you think of astrology, you likely think of someone who makes false promises and proclaims either platitudes or fabrications as though they were preordained truths. That's not even an unfair judgment. For many millennia dating to just a few centuries ago, though, astrology was anything but. Our initial thoughts on the idea that what happens in the heavens affects what happens on Earth may have been flawed, but as it turns out, the simple idea of observing the Universe beyond our own world has been able to teach us more than the ancients would have ever dreamed! A fascinating look at the story of where science itself originated, courtesy of +James Bullock!___

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2014-09-23 14:28:29 (4 comments, 2 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

"Einstein, like no other physicist before or after him, demonstrated how the power of human thought alone, used skillfully, can allow us to consider experiments that could never be practically performed. This line of thinking, these experiments performed only in our imaginations, showed we little humans often have the power to deduce equations that govern the natural world by logical deduction alone."

When you think of Einstein — beyond the quotable old guy with the crazy hair — you probably think of trains moving near the speed of light, matter converting into energy (and vice versa), the fabric of space and time or perhaps the equivalence principle. Yet all of these ideas, special and general relativity, E=mc^2 and so on, sprung from the same source, the gedankenexperiment, or thought-experiment. It's amazing what the human mind, all on its own, can accomplish, includingkno... more »

"Einstein, like no other physicist before or after him, demonstrated how the power of human thought alone, used skillfully, can allow us to consider experiments that could never be practically performed. This line of thinking, these experiments performed only in our imaginations, showed we little humans often have the power to deduce equations that govern the natural world by logical deduction alone."

When you think of Einstein — beyond the quotable old guy with the crazy hair — you probably think of trains moving near the speed of light, matter converting into energy (and vice versa), the fabric of space and time or perhaps the equivalence principle. Yet all of these ideas, special and general relativity, E=mc^2 and so on, sprung from the same source, the gedankenexperiment, or thought-experiment. It's amazing what the human mind, all on its own, can accomplish, including knocking on the door of the newest frontiers in science!___

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2014-09-22 22:29:41 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

"What’s amazing is that, over the long term, this galaxy will be completely captured by the Milky Way, but it will likely remain in a very long-period orbit for many billions of years, remaining intact even as its parent galaxy is cannibalized by our own."

You won't believe where it came from, OR what's at its core!

"What’s amazing is that, over the long term, this galaxy will be completely captured by the Milky Way, but it will likely remain in a very long-period orbit for many billions of years, remaining intact even as its parent galaxy is cannibalized by our own."

You won't believe where it came from, OR what's at its core!___

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2014-09-21 23:00:25 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

"But by far the most surprising and entertaining use of Chatroulette came when Ben Folds himself — who many speculated was Merton (he’s not) — took this very idea and ran with it, even donning a Merton-like hoodie.

During one of his concerts, starting in Charlottesville.

The results are the greatest thing ever to come out of Chatroulette, I’m pretty positive of it."

The greatest Chatroulette of all time? Absolutely! Featuring Ben Folds, and (surprisingly) no penises.

"But by far the most surprising and entertaining use of Chatroulette came when Ben Folds himself — who many speculated was Merton (he’s not) — took this very idea and ran with it, even donning a Merton-like hoodie.

During one of his concerts, starting in Charlottesville.

The results are the greatest thing ever to come out of Chatroulette, I’m pretty positive of it."

The greatest Chatroulette of all time? Absolutely! Featuring Ben Folds, and (surprisingly) no penises.___

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2014-09-21 20:55:09 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

Did you know one of your favorite astrophysicists was on Sacramento's morning news... talking about blowing up the Death Star? Watch their cohost fall apart when I talk about national security...

Did you know one of your favorite astrophysicists was on Sacramento's morning news... talking about blowing up the Death Star? Watch their cohost fall apart when I talk about national security...___

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2014-09-21 16:52:27 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

"Should we not see green flashes at sunrise, as well?

So less than one solar mass energy can undue the binding energy of a galaxy?"

After a hiatus last week, we're back with a spectacular edition of the comments of the week, from the mystifying to the heartwarming. Check 'em out!

"Should we not see green flashes at sunrise, as well?

So less than one solar mass energy can undue the binding energy of a galaxy?"

After a hiatus last week, we're back with a spectacular edition of the comments of the week, from the mystifying to the heartwarming. Check 'em out!___

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2014-09-19 23:07:05 (0 comments, 5 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

"Back when the Universe was hotter, younger and denser, neutral atoms were unstable due to the high temperatures and large kinetic energies of everything around them. Our cosmos may be some 13.8 billion years old now, and a cold, relatively empty place to boot. But back when we were only a few hundred thousand years old, it was so hot and dense that neutral atoms were unable to form! Our Universe was simply an ionized plasma of electrons, nuclei, photons and other particles."

When we look out into the Universe, we can see fainter and farther than ever before simply by building larger telescopes and having them take longer exposures: in other words, by gathering more light. But even in principle, there's a limit to what we can see, thanks to the fact that, beyond a certain point, the Universe was an ionized plasma, randomizing whatever information was contained in the light passing... more »

"Back when the Universe was hotter, younger and denser, neutral atoms were unstable due to the high temperatures and large kinetic energies of everything around them. Our cosmos may be some 13.8 billion years old now, and a cold, relatively empty place to boot. But back when we were only a few hundred thousand years old, it was so hot and dense that neutral atoms were unable to form! Our Universe was simply an ionized plasma of electrons, nuclei, photons and other particles."

When we look out into the Universe, we can see fainter and farther than ever before simply by building larger telescopes and having them take longer exposures: in other words, by gathering more light. But even in principle, there's a limit to what we can see, thanks to the fact that, beyond a certain point, the Universe was an ionized plasma, randomizing whatever information was contained in the light passing through it. But that doesn't mean we can't see beyond that point, it just means we can't use light to do it! Gravitational waves are the future of astronomy, and can even tell us how the Universe got its start! ___

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2014-09-19 01:39:51 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

"In theory, extraordinarily isolated clumps of matter, whose mass totals something like only 0.0001% of our Milky Way Galaxy, may survive without forming any stars at all, and without being polluted by any nearby post-stellar mass, for well over a billion years. But if we wanted to find one, we’d have to be incredibly lucky. From the time the Big Bang first was proposed as a theory in the 1940s, we didn’t have that luck for years, and then decades, and then for generations.

But then 2011 came along, and we’ve had two strokes of luck that serendipitously have given us the luck we’ve been waiting for!"

The Big Bang has, among its predictions, three cornerstones: the Hubble Expansion of the Universe, the Cosmic Microwave Background, and the abundance of the Light Elements due to Big Bang Nucleosynthesis. The first one has been confirmed to spectacular accuracy, and withthe COB... more »

"In theory, extraordinarily isolated clumps of matter, whose mass totals something like only 0.0001% of our Milky Way Galaxy, may survive without forming any stars at all, and without being polluted by any nearby post-stellar mass, for well over a billion years. But if we wanted to find one, we’d have to be incredibly lucky. From the time the Big Bang first was proposed as a theory in the 1940s, we didn’t have that luck for years, and then decades, and then for generations.

But then 2011 came along, and we’ve had two strokes of luck that serendipitously have given us the luck we’ve been waiting for!"

The Big Bang has, among its predictions, three cornerstones: the Hubble Expansion of the Universe, the Cosmic Microwave Background, and the abundance of the Light Elements due to Big Bang Nucleosynthesis. The first one has been confirmed to spectacular accuracy, and with the COBE, WMAP and Planck satellites, the spectrum and fluctuations in the CMB rule out almost every other feasible alternative. But detecting the abundance of the light elements directly has always run into a difficulty: the formation of stars in the Universe pollutes the intergalactic medium, ruining our ability to see anything "pristine." We'd have to get incredibly lucky, to find a region of molecular gas that had never formed stars in-between our line-of-sight to a quasar or bright galaxy. For nearly 70 years, that didn't happen, and then all of a sudden, we found two. The Big Bang stands tall after all!___

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2014-09-18 03:00:05 (1 comments, 5 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

"When you think about it, it should make you really, really glad that matter won out over antimatter in the Universe, and that there aren’t starships, planets, stars and galaxies made out of antimatter out there. The way the Universe is destructing — slowly and gradually — is more than sufficient as-is."

The idea of destroying an entire planet may sound like an unachievable dream of a pathological teenager, as the energy required would be tremendous. To simply overcome the gravitational potential energy binding an Earth-sized planet together would require the entire energy output of the Sun added up over more than a week! But if we could harness a relatively small amount of antimatter — just 0.00000000002% the mass of the planet in question — that would be enough to do it.

"When you think about it, it should make you really, really glad that matter won out over antimatter in the Universe, and that there aren’t starships, planets, stars and galaxies made out of antimatter out there. The way the Universe is destructing — slowly and gradually — is more than sufficient as-is."

The idea of destroying an entire planet may sound like an unachievable dream of a pathological teenager, as the energy required would be tremendous. To simply overcome the gravitational potential energy binding an Earth-sized planet together would require the entire energy output of the Sun added up over more than a week! But if we could harness a relatively small amount of antimatter — just 0.00000000002% the mass of the planet in question — that would be enough to do it.___

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2014-09-16 00:26:39 (1 comments, 3 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

"This might strike you as strange: Messier 69 and Messier 70 are separated by only 1,800 light-years or so, they’re both close to the galactic center and close to the same age, but Messier 69 — which is slightly older than Messier 70 — has five times the heavy elements found in its neighbor! Why would one be so metal-rich and the other so metal-poor? Because Messier 69 always remains close to the galactic center, while Messier 70 moves in-and-out in a highly eccentric orbit!"

A member of the original catalogue of "not-a-comet" objects was where the telescope was pointed when the comet of our lifetime was discovered! Come say hello to Messier 70 this Messier Monday!

"This might strike you as strange: Messier 69 and Messier 70 are separated by only 1,800 light-years or so, they’re both close to the galactic center and close to the same age, but Messier 69 — which is slightly older than Messier 70 — has five times the heavy elements found in its neighbor! Why would one be so metal-rich and the other so metal-poor? Because Messier 69 always remains close to the galactic center, while Messier 70 moves in-and-out in a highly eccentric orbit!"

A member of the original catalogue of "not-a-comet" objects was where the telescope was pointed when the comet of our lifetime was discovered! Come say hello to Messier 70 this Messier Monday!___

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2014-09-15 20:00:45 (10 comments, 1 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

"To those of you who read Starts With A Bang regularly, you probably noticed that I didn’t write my regular Ask Ethan column this week, I didn’t respond to your Comments of the Week and I didn’t have a diversion for you this weekend. I didn’t want another day to go by without you having an explanation, but I also don’t think I could’ve written this before today. I hope you understand. And I hope that when you think about anyone you ever loved who’s gone, you remember them at their happiest, when they were the most full-of-joy and life that you ever saw them."

Goodbye, Cordelia. I miss you like hell.

"To those of you who read Starts With A Bang regularly, you probably noticed that I didn’t write my regular Ask Ethan column this week, I didn’t respond to your Comments of the Week and I didn’t have a diversion for you this weekend. I didn’t want another day to go by without you having an explanation, but I also don’t think I could’ve written this before today. I hope you understand. And I hope that when you think about anyone you ever loved who’s gone, you remember them at their happiest, when they were the most full-of-joy and life that you ever saw them."

Goodbye, Cordelia. I miss you like hell.___

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2014-09-11 22:03:18 (2 comments, 4 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

"Given a clear path to the horizon — such as over the ocean — this means that there’s a slight region of space just above the reddened Sun where only the shorter wavelength light is visible!

And when that happens, in addition to the normal color gradient that comes with a sunset, you can also get a small, separate region above the disk of the Sun that appears yellow, green, or even blue! (And much fainter than the rest of the Sun!)"

During sunset, the Sun appears to redden, dim, and eventually sink below the horizon. Every once in a while, a rare phenomenon emerges along with it: a green flash, where a greenish-colored beam of light appears just over the Sun. What causes it? One of the most beautiful natural phenomena our planet has to offer, explained in glorious detail.

"Given a clear path to the horizon — such as over the ocean — this means that there’s a slight region of space just above the reddened Sun where only the shorter wavelength light is visible!

And when that happens, in addition to the normal color gradient that comes with a sunset, you can also get a small, separate region above the disk of the Sun that appears yellow, green, or even blue! (And much fainter than the rest of the Sun!)"

During sunset, the Sun appears to redden, dim, and eventually sink below the horizon. Every once in a while, a rare phenomenon emerges along with it: a green flash, where a greenish-colored beam of light appears just over the Sun. What causes it? One of the most beautiful natural phenomena our planet has to offer, explained in glorious detail.___

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2014-09-11 00:26:51 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

"Surely you’ve heard the term supercluster before, where our Milky Way and local group are part of a giant cosmic structure that includes the other nearby galaxy groups and the giant, nearby Virgo cluster, making up our local (Virgo) supercluster. And our supercluster is just one of many, that themselves are arranged together, forming an even larger structure!"

You may have just heard that we’ve mapped out our supercluster of galaxies — Laniakea — to unprecedented accuracy, identifying a region 500 million light-years in diameter that’s responsible for our local group’s motion through space. While it's an amazing feat of astronomical mapping and cluster identification, calling a structure like this a “supercluster” implies that, in some way, the galaxies, galactic groups and galaxy clusters that make this up are in some way bound together. But this is in no way thecase! Come find... more »

"Surely you’ve heard the term supercluster before, where our Milky Way and local group are part of a giant cosmic structure that includes the other nearby galaxy groups and the giant, nearby Virgo cluster, making up our local (Virgo) supercluster. And our supercluster is just one of many, that themselves are arranged together, forming an even larger structure!"

You may have just heard that we’ve mapped out our supercluster of galaxies — Laniakea — to unprecedented accuracy, identifying a region 500 million light-years in diameter that’s responsible for our local group’s motion through space. While it's an amazing feat of astronomical mapping and cluster identification, calling a structure like this a “supercluster” implies that, in some way, the galaxies, galactic groups and galaxy clusters that make this up are in some way bound together. But this is in no way the case! Come find out why “superclusters” aren’t so super after all.___

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2014-09-10 22:37:26 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

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2014-09-09 16:08:31 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

"Before such delicate instruments were perfected, astronomers attempted a cruder approach to planet hunting called the astrometry method. It involved tracking a star’s movements through the sky, subtracting effects due to Earth’s motion, and looking for minuscule, rhythmic variations that could be chalked up to a planet’s pull."

In 1992, scientists discovered the first planets orbiting a star other than our Sun. The pulsar PSR B1257+12 was discovered to have its own planetary system, and since then, exoplanet discoveries have exploded! But before that, in 1963, decades of research led to the much-anticipated publication and announcement of the first exoplanet discovered: around Barnard's star, the second-closest star system to Earth. Unfortunately, it turned out to be spurious, and that in itself took years to uncover, an amazing story which is only now fully coming tolight... more »

"Before such delicate instruments were perfected, astronomers attempted a cruder approach to planet hunting called the astrometry method. It involved tracking a star’s movements through the sky, subtracting effects due to Earth’s motion, and looking for minuscule, rhythmic variations that could be chalked up to a planet’s pull."

In 1992, scientists discovered the first planets orbiting a star other than our Sun. The pulsar PSR B1257+12 was discovered to have its own planetary system, and since then, exoplanet discoveries have exploded! But before that, in 1963, decades of research led to the much-anticipated publication and announcement of the first exoplanet discovered: around Barnard's star, the second-closest star system to Earth. Unfortunately, it turned out to be spurious, and that in itself took years to uncover, an amazing story which is only now fully coming to light!___

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2014-09-08 22:30:53 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

"A collection of eight stars stands out in this region of the sky, not because they’re the brightest stars around, but because they have a distinctive pattern to them that we recognize as very similar to a common object here on Earth. We call such a collection of stars an asterism, and the teapot is one of the most recognizable ones. And the star at the very top of the teapot’s lid — Kaus Borealis — has a secret less than a single degree away from it."

What globular cluster is home to the first pulsar ever discovered in one? Learn about it on today's Messier Monday!

"A collection of eight stars stands out in this region of the sky, not because they’re the brightest stars around, but because they have a distinctive pattern to them that we recognize as very similar to a common object here on Earth. We call such a collection of stars an asterism, and the teapot is one of the most recognizable ones. And the star at the very top of the teapot’s lid — Kaus Borealis — has a secret less than a single degree away from it."

What globular cluster is home to the first pulsar ever discovered in one? Learn about it on today's Messier Monday!___

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2014-09-08 18:51:07 (0 comments, 6 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

"My goal in explaining these lunar phenomena is not to dismiss the hype, but rather to deepen your understanding and appreciation of our celestial companion. I see the Moon as a great example of how amazingly dynamic our Universe truly is, something we can’t often comprehend as most things that change do so on such dramatically long (dare I say astronomical) timescales that they are often imperceptible to us."

Tonight might be the final Supermoon of the year, but the Moon's story -- and the science behind it -- is going to be super all year long! A great explainer by Summer Ash!

"My goal in explaining these lunar phenomena is not to dismiss the hype, but rather to deepen your understanding and appreciation of our celestial companion. I see the Moon as a great example of how amazingly dynamic our Universe truly is, something we can’t often comprehend as most things that change do so on such dramatically long (dare I say astronomical) timescales that they are often imperceptible to us."

Tonight might be the final Supermoon of the year, but the Moon's story -- and the science behind it -- is going to be super all year long! A great explainer by Summer Ash!___

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2014-09-08 00:33:23 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

"Now in September, the first Salmon Cannons (yes, they are actually called Salmon Cannons) were successfully tested this past June at Washington’s Roza Dam, and are poised to rocket salmon onto trucks where they will be taken farther upstream than they’ve naturally been in a long time. If this, too, proves to be successful, the Salmon Cannon could be exactly what’s needed to restore the fish of the Columbia River to their natural, original runs!"

Hydroelectric dams are one of the best and oldest sources of green, renewable energy, but — as the Three Gorges Dam in China exemplifies — they often cause a host of environmental and ecological problems and challenges. One of the more interesting ones is how to coax fish upstream in the face of these herculean walls that can often span more than 500 feet in height. While fish ladders might be a solution for some of the smaller dams,they'... more »

"Now in September, the first Salmon Cannons (yes, they are actually called Salmon Cannons) were successfully tested this past June at Washington’s Roza Dam, and are poised to rocket salmon onto trucks where they will be taken farther upstream than they’ve naturally been in a long time. If this, too, proves to be successful, the Salmon Cannon could be exactly what’s needed to restore the fish of the Columbia River to their natural, original runs!"

Hydroelectric dams are one of the best and oldest sources of green, renewable energy, but — as the Three Gorges Dam in China exemplifies — they often cause a host of environmental and ecological problems and challenges. One of the more interesting ones is how to coax fish upstream in the face of these herculean walls that can often span more than 500 feet in height. While fish ladders might be a solution for some of the smaller dams, they're limited in application and success. Could Whooshh Innovations' Salmon Cannon, a pneumatic tube capable of launching fish up-and-over these dams, finally restore the Columbia River salmon to their original habitats?___

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2014-09-07 17:41:43 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

"Science is amazing because it admits all possibilities in theory, but it’s the observations we make and the experiments we perform that tell us exactly what the Universe we live in is like."

Plus not everyone becomes a red giant, has the Universe been accelerating for longer, and did the atomic bombs in Japan kill more people than any other natural disaster in history?

"Science is amazing because it admits all possibilities in theory, but it’s the observations we make and the experiments we perform that tell us exactly what the Universe we live in is like."

Plus not everyone becomes a red giant, has the Universe been accelerating for longer, and did the atomic bombs in Japan kill more people than any other natural disaster in history?___

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