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Ethan Siegel has been shared in 121 public circles

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

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

Activity

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

7
comments per post
14
reshares per post
77
+1's per post

673
characters per posting

Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 62

posted image

2014-12-17 00:46:23 (62 comments, 16 reshares, 128 +1s)Open 

"The Universe is a race, and the Big Bang is the starting gun."

If you're old enough to ask, you're old enough for the real answer!

Most reshares: 128

posted image

2014-12-07 17:53:57 (42 comments, 128 reshares, 857 +1s)Open 

"For some reason, being able to see some of these designs and immediately identify them with not only the nebula but the actual image that they were sourced from gives them an extra sense of legitimacy to me. Sure, they have artistic renditions of space as well, but why would you settle for a beautiful fake when you can have the real deal of a bona fide piece of the Universe brought to you for the same price?"

The ultimate in space porn, brought directly to your bed. What more could you ask for?

Most plusones: 857

posted image

2014-12-07 17:53:57 (42 comments, 128 reshares, 857 +1s)Open 

"For some reason, being able to see some of these designs and immediately identify them with not only the nebula but the actual image that they were sourced from gives them an extra sense of legitimacy to me. Sure, they have artistic renditions of space as well, but why would you settle for a beautiful fake when you can have the real deal of a bona fide piece of the Universe brought to you for the same price?"

The ultimate in space porn, brought directly to your bed. What more could you ask for?

Latest 50 posts

posted image

2014-12-21 14:59:50 (6 comments, 12 reshares, 46 +1s)Open 

"A total solar eclipse is a rare event, but rarer still is one that’s visible by you. Unlike lunar eclipses, visible for hours by the entire night side of the world, a total solar eclipse can only be viewed along a narrow path on Earth’s surface, where the Moon’s shadow happens to fall."

The first total solar eclipse since 1918 to cut across the USA, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, is happening in just 32 months. Start getting ready now!

"A total solar eclipse is a rare event, but rarer still is one that’s visible by you. Unlike lunar eclipses, visible for hours by the entire night side of the world, a total solar eclipse can only be viewed along a narrow path on Earth’s surface, where the Moon’s shadow happens to fall."

The first total solar eclipse since 1918 to cut across the USA, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, is happening in just 32 months. Start getting ready now!___

posted image

2014-12-20 20:55:30 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

"But here’s one for your seven-year-old: do you get a prize if you win? If gravity wins and you do get to form a galaxy, you win the ultimate prize of all: you get not just one, but billions of chances to form worlds with intelligent life on them, and a chance at you getting to have a lifetime of your very own. That’s a prize that’s pretty hard to beat!"

With a real discussion of the deepest questions, from the nature of science itself (and how it's different from math) to life, death, and immortality.

"But here’s one for your seven-year-old: do you get a prize if you win? If gravity wins and you do get to form a galaxy, you win the ultimate prize of all: you get not just one, but billions of chances to form worlds with intelligent life on them, and a chance at you getting to have a lifetime of your very own. That’s a prize that’s pretty hard to beat!"

With a real discussion of the deepest questions, from the nature of science itself (and how it's different from math) to life, death, and immortality.___

posted image

2014-12-19 20:39:00 (20 comments, 20 reshares, 105 +1s)Open 

"If the Universe had just the tiniest amount more of dark matter — something like 1 part in 10^24 more — it would have recollapsed billions of years ago. It was very finely balanced for a long time — with gravity winning locally in some spots and losing in others — but now that dark energy has come to dominate it, we’re seeing that its effects are going to win out. It wins in the end, it wins on the largest scales, and it wins for everything that wasn’t already gravitationally bound together after the first seven-or-so billion years of the Universe."

We all know that dark energy has come to dominate the Universe, and will lead to a cold, empty Universe in short order. But everywhere we look, we find galaxies and clusters: regions where gravity has defeated the cosmic expansion in the greatest struggle in the Universe. So how is it possible that both of thesethings are true? A great ex... more »

"If the Universe had just the tiniest amount more of dark matter — something like 1 part in 10^24 more — it would have recollapsed billions of years ago. It was very finely balanced for a long time — with gravity winning locally in some spots and losing in others — but now that dark energy has come to dominate it, we’re seeing that its effects are going to win out. It wins in the end, it wins on the largest scales, and it wins for everything that wasn’t already gravitationally bound together after the first seven-or-so billion years of the Universe."

We all know that dark energy has come to dominate the Universe, and will lead to a cold, empty Universe in short order. But everywhere we look, we find galaxies and clusters: regions where gravity has defeated the cosmic expansion in the greatest struggle in the Universe. So how is it possible that both of these things are true? A great explanation of the difference between "local" and "global" when it comes to the expanding Universe!___

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2014-12-18 21:35:26 (1 comments, 9 reshares, 46 +1s)Open 

"There is a theory that the whole idea of celebrating the new year only began as humans migrated away from the equator, where the difference between the Sun’s path through the sky — and the seasonal climates — became incredibly different. As the Winter Solstice approaches, the Sun’s path dips lower and lower each day. Perhaps you’d fear, if you didn’t know any better, that it might drop below the horizon entirely and disappear forever. But the Solstice marks its minimum point, and then a few days afterwards, it noticeably begins to rise again. Hence, the Sun would return to its dazzling spring-and-summer heights, and a new year would begin. Perhaps that’s where rituals such as New Year’s, Christmas and other just-post-solstice “rebirth” celebrations owe their origins to!"

Yes, we all know about axial tilt, the seasons, the northern hemisphere's tilt awayfrom the Sun and the southe... more »

"There is a theory that the whole idea of celebrating the new year only began as humans migrated away from the equator, where the difference between the Sun’s path through the sky — and the seasonal climates — became incredibly different. As the Winter Solstice approaches, the Sun’s path dips lower and lower each day. Perhaps you’d fear, if you didn’t know any better, that it might drop below the horizon entirely and disappear forever. But the Solstice marks its minimum point, and then a few days afterwards, it noticeably begins to rise again. Hence, the Sun would return to its dazzling spring-and-summer heights, and a new year would begin. Perhaps that’s where rituals such as New Year’s, Christmas and other just-post-solstice “rebirth” celebrations owe their origins to!"

Yes, we all know about axial tilt, the seasons, the northern hemisphere's tilt away from the Sun and the southern's tilt towards it. But this is a top six list of solstice facts that even those with deep scientific knowledge sets might not know of, including information about the Moon, about perihelion, the origin of the New Year's celebrations, and how far south you can be and still have the Sun appear lower than it does at the South Pole!___

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2014-12-18 03:02:38 (29 comments, 52 reshares, 209 +1s)Open 

"The theory is in full accord with our experience (at least insofar as ordinary quantum mechanics is)… because it is possible to show that no observer would ever be aware of any ‘branching.’"

Quantum mechanics defies our intuition by having the state of a quantum system, and all systems are inherently quantum, be ill-defined until a measurement is made. But there are other interpretations than the standard one, including one — the Many-Worlds Interpretation — that allows all possible outcomes to occur, simply in distinct Universes. This has a fascinating consequence: that any time there’s a situation where you have the opportunity to either meet your demise or survive, there does exist a Universe where you continue to live. Could this mean there's a type of quantum immortality that we're all experiencing? Probably not, but perhaps! Great read by +Paul Halpern!

"The theory is in full accord with our experience (at least insofar as ordinary quantum mechanics is)… because it is possible to show that no observer would ever be aware of any ‘branching.’"

Quantum mechanics defies our intuition by having the state of a quantum system, and all systems are inherently quantum, be ill-defined until a measurement is made. But there are other interpretations than the standard one, including one — the Many-Worlds Interpretation — that allows all possible outcomes to occur, simply in distinct Universes. This has a fascinating consequence: that any time there’s a situation where you have the opportunity to either meet your demise or survive, there does exist a Universe where you continue to live. Could this mean there's a type of quantum immortality that we're all experiencing? Probably not, but perhaps! Great read by +Paul Halpern!___

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2014-12-17 18:50:00 (17 comments, 8 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

We all have our own interpretation of what “the scientific method” is, but there’s always at least one thing that they all have in common: the ultimate arbiter of whether a theory or idea is valid depends on the evidence that comes back from physically observable phenomena. But not everyone necessarily agrees with this in the way we commonly understand it. +Sabine Hossenfelder has some fantastic thoughts analyzing and synthesizing a variety of viewpoints, laying the hammer down with a sweeping statement:

"You can thus never arrive at a theory that describes our universe without taking into account observations, period. The attempt to reduce axioms too much just leads to a whole “multiverse” of predictions, most of which don’t describe anything we will ever see."

String theorists and quantum gravity researchers who disagree, you've been warned.

We all have our own interpretation of what “the scientific method” is, but there’s always at least one thing that they all have in common: the ultimate arbiter of whether a theory or idea is valid depends on the evidence that comes back from physically observable phenomena. But not everyone necessarily agrees with this in the way we commonly understand it. +Sabine Hossenfelder has some fantastic thoughts analyzing and synthesizing a variety of viewpoints, laying the hammer down with a sweeping statement:

"You can thus never arrive at a theory that describes our universe without taking into account observations, period. The attempt to reduce axioms too much just leads to a whole “multiverse” of predictions, most of which don’t describe anything we will ever see."

String theorists and quantum gravity researchers who disagree, you've been warned.___

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2014-12-17 00:46:23 (62 comments, 16 reshares, 128 +1s)Open 

"The Universe is a race, and the Big Bang is the starting gun."

If you're old enough to ask, you're old enough for the real answer!

"The Universe is a race, and the Big Bang is the starting gun."

If you're old enough to ask, you're old enough for the real answer!___

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2014-12-16 19:28:22 (1 comments, 9 reshares, 68 +1s)Open 

So I get all excited about the physics of snowflakes, but that's nothing compared to the snowflakes of three amazing physicists: Einstein, Curie and Schrodinger!

So I get all excited about the physics of snowflakes, but that's nothing compared to the snowflakes of three amazing physicists: Einstein, Curie and Schrodinger!___

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2014-12-16 02:04:42 (21 comments, 48 reshares, 316 +1s)Open 

"But it isn’t 1980 any longer, and as great as the story that Carl Sagan told us is, we’ve extended it in a number of remarkable ways: at the beginning, at the present day and into the far future."

The 3 greatest advances in our understanding of the Universe since 1980's original Cosmos. Featuring -- for those of you who couldn't be there -- my talk in honor of what would have been Carl Sagan's 80th birthday!

"But it isn’t 1980 any longer, and as great as the story that Carl Sagan told us is, we’ve extended it in a number of remarkable ways: at the beginning, at the present day and into the far future."

The 3 greatest advances in our understanding of the Universe since 1980's original Cosmos. Featuring -- for those of you who couldn't be there -- my talk in honor of what would have been Carl Sagan's 80th birthday!___

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2014-12-14 22:42:12 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

"And Billy, don’t worry if you make a mistake on the grill. Don’t worry if your burger patty gets dry, burnt, broken or incomplete… we’ll just turn it into chili meat!"

It's the 25th anniversary spectacular of Wendy's training music videos. Don't know how to work the grill to make the perfect burger? Not to worry; the sparkly, sunglasses-wearing magical black man has got your back. And when it's all over, maybe he'll teach you the secret handshake, too!

"And Billy, don’t worry if you make a mistake on the grill. Don’t worry if your burger patty gets dry, burnt, broken or incomplete… we’ll just turn it into chili meat!"

It's the 25th anniversary spectacular of Wendy's training music videos. Don't know how to work the grill to make the perfect burger? Not to worry; the sparkly, sunglasses-wearing magical black man has got your back. And when it's all over, maybe he'll teach you the secret handshake, too!___

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2014-12-14 20:00:09 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

"In your post you mention that the ISS crew will have a great view of these meteorites. Shouldn’t they be more concerned about coming into contact with one given the number of particles is increasing every year? What does NASA do to combat an issue like this?"

From safety during a meteor shower to the fate of water in space, from the birth of the Universe to its ultimate demise, our comments this week lead us to many wonderful places. Come see for yourself!

"In your post you mention that the ISS crew will have a great view of these meteorites. Shouldn’t they be more concerned about coming into contact with one given the number of particles is increasing every year? What does NASA do to combat an issue like this?"

From safety during a meteor shower to the fate of water in space, from the birth of the Universe to its ultimate demise, our comments this week lead us to many wonderful places. Come see for yourself!___

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2014-12-13 03:24:02 (6 comments, 28 reshares, 105 +1s)Open 

"For most models of dark matter, there’s one more property that’s expected of them: they ought to be their own antiparticle. Therefore, where the dark matter density is densest (at the centers of galaxies and clusters), there’s a chance they can annihilate. And if they do, the two annihilating dark matter particles will produce two photons, where the energy of each photon (to conserve energy and momentum) will correspond to the dark matter particle’s rest mass.

Sounds great, then, doesn’t it? All we have to do is point our high-energy telescopes — our X-ray and gamma ray observatories — at the centers of galaxies and clusters, and look for signals of this annihilation."

There's a claim going around the news that we've really done it this time, and found dark matter. Yet that's not even physically possible; even if this turns out to be a newparticle, our astroph... more »

"For most models of dark matter, there’s one more property that’s expected of them: they ought to be their own antiparticle. Therefore, where the dark matter density is densest (at the centers of galaxies and clusters), there’s a chance they can annihilate. And if they do, the two annihilating dark matter particles will produce two photons, where the energy of each photon (to conserve energy and momentum) will correspond to the dark matter particle’s rest mass.

Sounds great, then, doesn’t it? All we have to do is point our high-energy telescopes — our X-ray and gamma ray observatories — at the centers of galaxies and clusters, and look for signals of this annihilation."

There's a claim going around the news that we've really done it this time, and found dark matter. Yet that's not even physically possible; even if this turns out to be a new particle, our astrophysical constraints already rule this out as dark matter!___

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2014-12-11 23:27:49 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

"[O]ur planet is only getting colder (in the north) because of our tilt away from the Sun. Over the next few months, we’ll start tilting back towards it again, and with the increased, more direct sunlight, warmer temperatures will ensue.

But the Universe itself isn’t so lucky."

Winter not depressing enough for you? This should clear that right up. And a bonus fun fact: 97% of the galaxies in the part of the Universe observable to us are already unreachable, even at the speed of light.

"[O]ur planet is only getting colder (in the north) because of our tilt away from the Sun. Over the next few months, we’ll start tilting back towards it again, and with the increased, more direct sunlight, warmer temperatures will ensue.

But the Universe itself isn’t so lucky."

Winter not depressing enough for you? This should clear that right up. And a bonus fun fact: 97% of the galaxies in the part of the Universe observable to us are already unreachable, even at the speed of light.___

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2014-12-11 02:39:51 (0 comments, 14 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

"When we talk about putting liquid water in the vacuum of space, we’re talking about doing both things simultaneously: taking water from a temperature/pressure combination where it’s stably a liquid and moving it to a lower pressure, something that makes it want to boil, and moving it to a lower temperature, something that makes it want to freeze."

If you're asking whether water boils or freezes in space, the maddening (but most correct) answer is "yes."  Come find out why!

"When we talk about putting liquid water in the vacuum of space, we’re talking about doing both things simultaneously: taking water from a temperature/pressure combination where it’s stably a liquid and moving it to a lower pressure, something that makes it want to boil, and moving it to a lower temperature, something that makes it want to freeze."

If you're asking whether water boils or freezes in space, the maddening (but most correct) answer is "yes."  Come find out why!___

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2014-12-10 02:01:17 (0 comments, 5 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

"Since the Geminids were first discovered, they’ve been intensifying annually. In recent years, the Geminids have been producing over 100 meteors per hour, and this year they’re expected to peak Saturday night, with rates somewhere between 120 and 160 meteors per hour! The only people who’ll have a better view than we do if we have clear skies are the astronauts on board the ISS!"

With everything you need, except a weather dominator. 

"Since the Geminids were first discovered, they’ve been intensifying annually. In recent years, the Geminids have been producing over 100 meteors per hour, and this year they’re expected to peak Saturday night, with rates somewhere between 120 and 160 meteors per hour! The only people who’ll have a better view than we do if we have clear skies are the astronauts on board the ISS!"

With everything you need, except a weather dominator. ___

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2014-12-09 03:41:56 (4 comments, 10 reshares, 41 +1s)Open 

"You’ve got to realize that when we speak about something like all this, we’re talking about the complex life we have here on our world in the context of the entire Universe.

Yes, we have amazing biological organisms here, but they’re all powered by the biochemical processes of organic molecules, which are composed of links of all the different elements of the periodic table, which came about through the cosmic story of stars, galaxies, dark matter, gas, dust, radiation, the fundamental forces of nature, and time."

I'm starting a video series called Genesis: the story of where all this comes from. Check out the first episode on Organic Molecules!

"You’ve got to realize that when we speak about something like all this, we’re talking about the complex life we have here on our world in the context of the entire Universe.

Yes, we have amazing biological organisms here, but they’re all powered by the biochemical processes of organic molecules, which are composed of links of all the different elements of the periodic table, which came about through the cosmic story of stars, galaxies, dark matter, gas, dust, radiation, the fundamental forces of nature, and time."

I'm starting a video series called Genesis: the story of where all this comes from. Check out the first episode on Organic Molecules!___

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2014-12-07 17:53:57 (42 comments, 128 reshares, 857 +1s)Open 

"For some reason, being able to see some of these designs and immediately identify them with not only the nebula but the actual image that they were sourced from gives them an extra sense of legitimacy to me. Sure, they have artistic renditions of space as well, but why would you settle for a beautiful fake when you can have the real deal of a bona fide piece of the Universe brought to you for the same price?"

The ultimate in space porn, brought directly to your bed. What more could you ask for?

"For some reason, being able to see some of these designs and immediately identify them with not only the nebula but the actual image that they were sourced from gives them an extra sense of legitimacy to me. Sure, they have artistic renditions of space as well, but why would you settle for a beautiful fake when you can have the real deal of a bona fide piece of the Universe brought to you for the same price?"

The ultimate in space porn, brought directly to your bed. What more could you ask for?___

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2014-12-06 23:18:14 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

"So you’ve explained what happens to individual particles, but what about collections of atoms? If space is expanding does that also mean that matter becomes less dense over time? Are we all slowly spreading apart?"

From water on Mars to your always-interesting Pluto comments, from the expansion of the Universe to BICEP2 and gravitational waves from inflation, there's no shortage of wonders to marvel at, or discuss!

"So you’ve explained what happens to individual particles, but what about collections of atoms? If space is expanding does that also mean that matter becomes less dense over time? Are we all slowly spreading apart?"

From water on Mars to your always-interesting Pluto comments, from the expansion of the Universe to BICEP2 and gravitational waves from inflation, there's no shortage of wonders to marvel at, or discuss!___

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2014-12-06 01:01:22 (1 comments, 11 reshares, 66 +1s)Open 

"But what about distant galaxies that aren’t necessarily active? Believe it or not, we can even map their magnetic fields by taking advantage of the simple fact that light itself is an electromagnetic wave, and hence responds to the presence of magnetic fields."

It’s easy to visualize a magnetic field if you’ve got a set of iron filings and a laboratory to experiment in, but what about the distant stars? What of entire galaxies? They’re thought to have magnetic fields, just as our Sun does. But we can’t measure the coronal loops so easily for objects thousands, millions or billions of times as distant. Yet, we have our techniques, based on how charged particles and light interact with magnetic fields. Come see how we map the Universe’s magnetism from afar!

"But what about distant galaxies that aren’t necessarily active? Believe it or not, we can even map their magnetic fields by taking advantage of the simple fact that light itself is an electromagnetic wave, and hence responds to the presence of magnetic fields."

It’s easy to visualize a magnetic field if you’ve got a set of iron filings and a laboratory to experiment in, but what about the distant stars? What of entire galaxies? They’re thought to have magnetic fields, just as our Sun does. But we can’t measure the coronal loops so easily for objects thousands, millions or billions of times as distant. Yet, we have our techniques, based on how charged particles and light interact with magnetic fields. Come see how we map the Universe’s magnetism from afar!___

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2014-12-05 01:17:23 (10 comments, 17 reshares, 99 +1s)Open 

"So when you see this cold, dry, red planet hovering in the night skies, know that it not only wasn’t always that way, but that between the orbiters and the rovers we’ve got exploring it we just might be on the cusp of finding out how it came to be this way!"

You might think there's very little that Earth and Mars have in common, with our planet covered in water, with a thick atmosphere, active magnetic field and teeming with life, while Mars is a dry, cold, barred desert world that's incapable of liquid water. But for the first one or two billion years of its existence, Mars likely had liquid water and all the right conditions for life. What happened? The leading theory says that Mars cooled, lost its magnetic field, and had its atmosphere stripped away by the solar wind, and NASA's MAVEN mission is about to take the data to either validate or falsify thishyp... more »

"So when you see this cold, dry, red planet hovering in the night skies, know that it not only wasn’t always that way, but that between the orbiters and the rovers we’ve got exploring it we just might be on the cusp of finding out how it came to be this way!"

You might think there's very little that Earth and Mars have in common, with our planet covered in water, with a thick atmosphere, active magnetic field and teeming with life, while Mars is a dry, cold, barred desert world that's incapable of liquid water. But for the first one or two billion years of its existence, Mars likely had liquid water and all the right conditions for life. What happened? The leading theory says that Mars cooled, lost its magnetic field, and had its atmosphere stripped away by the solar wind, and NASA's MAVEN mission is about to take the data to either validate or falsify this hypothesis!___

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2014-12-04 00:52:57 (4 comments, 4 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

"[T]he most important lesson I’ve learned about Pluto — that I would have told my young self if I could — is this:

The fact that there are other things out there that are bigger, smarter, faster, stronger, or better than you, in any regard, in absolutely no way diminishes how special you are."

In a sense, we are all Pluto. Despite the fact that it's not a planet, it arguably matters more now than ever.

"[T]he most important lesson I’ve learned about Pluto — that I would have told my young self if I could — is this:

The fact that there are other things out there that are bigger, smarter, faster, stronger, or better than you, in any regard, in absolutely no way diminishes how special you are."

In a sense, we are all Pluto. Despite the fact that it's not a planet, it arguably matters more now than ever.___

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2014-12-03 02:01:25 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

"Stay curious, stay hungry for more knowledge, but always demand that your scientific claims be independently verified, that your possible systematic errors be checked, and that you have overwhelming evidence before believing the extraordinary claims. It’s easy to make a bold statement; it’s hard to start a bona fide scientific revolution!"

Earlier this year, the BICEP2 team shook up the world by announcing the discovery of primordial gravitational waves: a signal from the earliest stages of the Universe, going all the way back to before the Big Bang! By looking at the photon polarization data, they claimed to have surpassed the gold “5” standard for announcing a discovery in physics. But recently, that’s been walked back, as there could have been a systematic error at play: simple emission from our own Milky Way. Later this month, the Planck team will release their results,and eithe... more »

"Stay curious, stay hungry for more knowledge, but always demand that your scientific claims be independently verified, that your possible systematic errors be checked, and that you have overwhelming evidence before believing the extraordinary claims. It’s easy to make a bold statement; it’s hard to start a bona fide scientific revolution!"

Earlier this year, the BICEP2 team shook up the world by announcing the discovery of primordial gravitational waves: a signal from the earliest stages of the Universe, going all the way back to before the Big Bang! By looking at the photon polarization data, they claimed to have surpassed the gold “5” standard for announcing a discovery in physics. But recently, that’s been walked back, as there could have been a systematic error at play: simple emission from our own Milky Way. Later this month, the Planck team will release their results, and either confirm or refute BICEP2. Here’s where we stand on the eve of that announcement.___

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2014-12-01 21:18:04 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

"It’s easy to simply say thing like “oh, another star cluster” or “big deal, another globular,” but if you take the time to actually peer into, examine and learn about each one, you start to very quickly see how diverse and varied each type of object can be. That glimpse into what this Universe is truly like, and how the laws of nature and the particles that exist come together to form all that we can perceive is what science is all about."

After 110 consecutive weeks highlighting each one of the Messier objects, astrophysicist Ethan Siegel has completed a virtual online tour of the entire catalogue, with the greatest (publicly available) images and mosaics of each object available in a single, scrollable article. Time well spent!

"It’s easy to simply say thing like “oh, another star cluster” or “big deal, another globular,” but if you take the time to actually peer into, examine and learn about each one, you start to very quickly see how diverse and varied each type of object can be. That glimpse into what this Universe is truly like, and how the laws of nature and the particles that exist come together to form all that we can perceive is what science is all about."

After 110 consecutive weeks highlighting each one of the Messier objects, astrophysicist Ethan Siegel has completed a virtual online tour of the entire catalogue, with the greatest (publicly available) images and mosaics of each object available in a single, scrollable article. Time well spent!___

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2014-11-30 17:23:08 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

"And if I order “↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A start” of them, can I get thirty?"

Video games + christmas/holiday sweaters = I WANT ONE!

"And if I order “↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A start” of them, can I get thirty?"

Video games + christmas/holiday sweaters = I WANT ONE!___

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2014-11-29 19:45:54 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

"While the majority of oxygen — which began being produced by cyanobacteria about 2.5 billion years ago — was absorbed by various ocean and rocky sources, it began appearing in the atmosphere at the few percent level as far ago as 2.3 billion years! So this is great for exoplanet hunters, because we can find oxygen at the few percent level with telescopes being planned today, and we don’t need a cambrian explosion for it to happen. Perhaps that’s something else to be thankful for, too!"

From spacetime to dark matter to stars and one more very important thing to be thankful for, it's been a great week!

"While the majority of oxygen — which began being produced by cyanobacteria about 2.5 billion years ago — was absorbed by various ocean and rocky sources, it began appearing in the atmosphere at the few percent level as far ago as 2.3 billion years! So this is great for exoplanet hunters, because we can find oxygen at the few percent level with telescopes being planned today, and we don’t need a cambrian explosion for it to happen. Perhaps that’s something else to be thankful for, too!"

From spacetime to dark matter to stars and one more very important thing to be thankful for, it's been a great week!___

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2014-11-29 02:53:10 (3 comments, 27 reshares, 66 +1s)Open 

"[The] Big Bang… says that as space-time is expanding, this is causing the light shift towards longer wavelengths. Does space-time expansion affect matter particles in any way? After all, matter particles have a finite size."

If the Universe is expanding and cooling, it’s easy to visualize how radiation cools: it has a wavelength, space expands, and so as the wavelength gets stretched, the energy drops. But what about the matter? Energies must have dropped for matter as well, otherwise it wouldn’t have lost enough kinetic energy to become gravitationally bound into gas clumps, stars and galaxies. And yet, those things very much exist! What’s the resolution to this? The incredible answer is here.

"[The] Big Bang… says that as space-time is expanding, this is causing the light shift towards longer wavelengths. Does space-time expansion affect matter particles in any way? After all, matter particles have a finite size."

If the Universe is expanding and cooling, it’s easy to visualize how radiation cools: it has a wavelength, space expands, and so as the wavelength gets stretched, the energy drops. But what about the matter? Energies must have dropped for matter as well, otherwise it wouldn’t have lost enough kinetic energy to become gravitationally bound into gas clumps, stars and galaxies. And yet, those things very much exist! What’s the resolution to this? The incredible answer is here.___

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2014-11-29 00:36:25 (0 comments, 6 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

As the country freezes over, remember why hotter water freezes faster than cold!

As the country freezes over, remember why hotter water freezes faster than cold!___

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2014-11-27 15:35:28 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

“And what’s amazing is that — if you’re willing to start with expanding spacetime and the laws of physics — a Universe that looks a whole lot like ours, complete with clusters, galaxies, stars, planets, heavy elements, and, most probably, life, is inevitable. And it’s inevitable all over the Universe.”
Today, take some time to give thanks for not only all that we have here on Earth, but for all that happened in both the terrestrial and cosmic past to allow us to be here today. It’s a part of a story connecting us all, and something we should universally be thankful for!

“And what’s amazing is that — if you’re willing to start with expanding spacetime and the laws of physics — a Universe that looks a whole lot like ours, complete with clusters, galaxies, stars, planets, heavy elements, and, most probably, life, is inevitable. And it’s inevitable all over the Universe.”
Today, take some time to give thanks for not only all that we have here on Earth, but for all that happened in both the terrestrial and cosmic past to allow us to be here today. It’s a part of a story connecting us all, and something we should universally be thankful for!___

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2014-11-26 22:27:52 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

"It’s an incredibly ambitious, far-fetched idea, as it requires cooling to temperatures on the order of picoKelvin just to measure the inherent width, and even lower than that (down to attoKelvin scales) if you want to measure realistic gravitational waves. Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic theoretical possibility, and one that could shed light on an otherwise invisible, undetectable phenomenon permeating our Universe!"

With every extra digit we add in our quest for absolute zero, more and more of the Universe becomes accessible to us. One of the holy grails of this will be to measure the inherent line width of the spin-flip transition of atomic hydrogen, perhaps the narrowest of all emission lines. If we can go even deeper than that, probing its structure over time, we could wind up seeing signatures of phenomena such as gravitational waves, a time-varying gravitational constant orbla... more »

"It’s an incredibly ambitious, far-fetched idea, as it requires cooling to temperatures on the order of picoKelvin just to measure the inherent width, and even lower than that (down to attoKelvin scales) if you want to measure realistic gravitational waves. Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic theoretical possibility, and one that could shed light on an otherwise invisible, undetectable phenomenon permeating our Universe!"

With every extra digit we add in our quest for absolute zero, more and more of the Universe becomes accessible to us. One of the holy grails of this will be to measure the inherent line width of the spin-flip transition of atomic hydrogen, perhaps the narrowest of all emission lines. If we can go even deeper than that, probing its structure over time, we could wind up seeing signatures of phenomena such as gravitational waves, a time-varying gravitational constant or black hole formation. We're waiting on the experimentalists to get us there, but in theory, this is happening all the time.___

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2014-11-25 22:34:35 (1 comments, 6 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

"[I]t can often feel as though we’re zoning in on the last few big questions of how our Universe has evolved. Instead we are standing at a precipice, looking down into a gulley of new frontiers in Cosmology that we’ve only begun to explore, waiting for our eyes to adjust."

Accelerated by some unknown mechanism, the highest energy particles in the entire Universe come from all over the sky with energies exceeding 10^19 eV, or more than a million times the energies achieved at the LHC. On the flipside, the lowest energy radio waves are emitted by an ultra-rare transition of hydrogen atoms, and may provide a window into the Universe from before the first stars formed. Come learn about the highest and lowest energy signals from the Universe, and why they matter for our understanding of it all.

"[I]t can often feel as though we’re zoning in on the last few big questions of how our Universe has evolved. Instead we are standing at a precipice, looking down into a gulley of new frontiers in Cosmology that we’ve only begun to explore, waiting for our eyes to adjust."

Accelerated by some unknown mechanism, the highest energy particles in the entire Universe come from all over the sky with energies exceeding 10^19 eV, or more than a million times the energies achieved at the LHC. On the flipside, the lowest energy radio waves are emitted by an ultra-rare transition of hydrogen atoms, and may provide a window into the Universe from before the first stars formed. Come learn about the highest and lowest energy signals from the Universe, and why they matter for our understanding of it all.___

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2014-11-25 18:06:06 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 22 +1s)Open 

"If you took our Universe, kept the overall geometry and initial conditions the same, and just removed the dark matter, it’s hard to understand how anything as complex as life could have developed. As mysterious and removed as it seems, dark matter, according to standard cosmology, has been absolutely essential for life."

When you think of the origin of life, you probably think about the atoms coming together to make molecules, the molecules coming together to make self-replicating, information-encoded strands, and how all that took place here on Earth. But you might want to consider a different point of view. Try thinking about the fact that those complex atoms need to be created and recycled into new generations of stars, which requires stars to live, die, expel that processed matter back into the interstellar medium, and to have it incorporated into future generations of stars... more »

"If you took our Universe, kept the overall geometry and initial conditions the same, and just removed the dark matter, it’s hard to understand how anything as complex as life could have developed. As mysterious and removed as it seems, dark matter, according to standard cosmology, has been absolutely essential for life."

When you think of the origin of life, you probably think about the atoms coming together to make molecules, the molecules coming together to make self-replicating, information-encoded strands, and how all that took place here on Earth. But you might want to consider a different point of view. Try thinking about the fact that those complex atoms need to be created and recycled into new generations of stars, which requires stars to live, die, expel that processed matter back into the interstellar medium, and to have it incorporated into future generations of star systems. Simply having the primordial ingredients wouldn’t give rise to anything interesting. Without dark matter, the structures enabling this wouldn't have been able to form at all, but with it, everything is possible!___

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2014-11-25 00:07:32 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

"A closer inspection reveals that there are actually a great many young stars that have formed inside, but it’s only the most massive, most luminous ones that dominate. Deep within the dust, here, it’s probable that there are at least hundreds of additional stars simply beyond our power to view them.

Furthermore, what’s incredibly interesting is that the bright, central star would have passed within just 109 light-years of us some 9 million years ago based on its current orbit, making it one of the brightest stars in our sky. But it probably didn’t exist that long ago, having formed much more recently than that!"

It's the last object in our 110-object tour of the Messier catalogue, and trust me, you won't want to miss it!

"A closer inspection reveals that there are actually a great many young stars that have formed inside, but it’s only the most massive, most luminous ones that dominate. Deep within the dust, here, it’s probable that there are at least hundreds of additional stars simply beyond our power to view them.

Furthermore, what’s incredibly interesting is that the bright, central star would have passed within just 109 light-years of us some 9 million years ago based on its current orbit, making it one of the brightest stars in our sky. But it probably didn’t exist that long ago, having formed much more recently than that!"

It's the last object in our 110-object tour of the Messier catalogue, and trust me, you won't want to miss it!___

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2014-11-23 04:03:53 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2014-11-22 23:46:22 (23 comments, 2 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Oh, we’re having the laws... more »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2014-11-22 20:49:29 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2014-11-19 19:00:31 (61 comments, 2 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2014-11-18 19:26:36 (2 comments, 3 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hilarity, for when you need it most.

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

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

Hilarity, for when you need it most.___

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2014-11-16 18:56:36 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

___

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2014-11-13 22:58:51 (1 comments, 6 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

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

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

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

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

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2014-11-13 01:23:54 (3 comments, 14 reshares, 45 +1s)Open 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"What does all this mean?

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

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

"What does all this mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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