Where technology is anthropology.
Elon Musk’s spacecraft manufacturing company SpaceX made history today at 9:56 a.m. ET, when its Dragon capsule was captured by the International Space Station’s robotic arm. The vessel made berth at the ISS at 12:12 p.m. ET.
DragonX is the first privately owned space vessel to dock at the International Space Station.
V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon) is a red variable star in the constellation Monoceros about 20,000 light years (6 kpc) from the Sun, and possibly one of the largest known stars. The previously unknown star was observed in early 2002 experiencing a major outburst. Originally believed to be a typical nova eruption, it was then realized to be something completely different. The reason for the outburst is still uncertain, but several theories have been put forward, including an eruption related to stellar death processes and a merger of a binary star or planets.
Rapidly brightening objects like novae and supernovae are known to produce a phenomenon known as light echo. The light that travels directly from the object arrives first. If there are clouds of interstellar matter around the star, some light is reflected from the clouds. Because of the longer path, the reflected light arrives later producing a vision of expanding rings of light around the erupted object. In addition, the rings appear to travel faster than the speed of light.
In the case of V838 Monocerotis, the light echo produced was unprecedented and is well documented in images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Photos taken: May 20, 2002; September 2, 2002; October 28, 2002; December 17, 2002; February 8, 2004; October 24, 2004
At TED2011, Physicist Janna Levin spoke about the sound of black holes:
Black holes can bang on space…like mallets on a drum, and they have a very characteristic song.
Black holes can be heard if not seen.
These black holes will ring in a frequency that your ears can hear. You head would be squeezed and stretched [so you might have difficulty hearing them.]
Imagine a lighter black hole falling into a heavy black hole…We can predict what that sound will be…We know that as it [the smaller black hole] falls in [to another black hole] it gets faster and louder and eventually we will hear the little guy fall into the bigger guy. [Levin plays a recording that vaguely resembles a heart beat, which then speeds up to what sounds like a basketball dribbling on a court. Levin notes it “chirps up at the end”].
How do you expect to achieve immortality?
Well, should sporting prowess have passed you by, or should you have suffered an unfortunate career-ending injury on a night out with some foreign language students, perhaps you might might use your computer to discover a planet or two.
Or, in the case of British utility worker Peter Jalowiczor, four.
» via CNET news