Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope say they have been watching the same star blow itself to smithereens in a supernova explosion over and over again, thanks to a trick of Einsteinian optics.
The star exploded more than nine billion years ago on the other side of the universe, too far for even the Hubble to see without special help from the cosmos. In this case, however, light rays from the star have been bent and magnified by the gravity of an intervening cluster of galaxies so that multiple images of it appear.
This made the rounds last week, but I’m just now sharing it here. If you haven’t seen it, this video helps you visualize the vast distances of space by giving you a “photon’s eye view” of light traveling away from the sun.
In our terrestrial view of things, the speed of light seems incredibly fast. But as soon as you view it against the vast distances of the universe, it’s unfortunately very slow. This animation illustrates, in realtime, the journey of a photon of light emitted from the surface of the sun and traveling across a portion of the solar system, from a human perspective.
I’ve taken liberties with certain things like the alignment of planets and asteroids, as well as ignoring the laws of relativity concerning what a photon actually “sees” or how time is experienced at the speed of light, but overall I’ve kept the size and distances of all the objects as accurate as possible. I also decided to end the animation just past Jupiter as I wanted to keep the running length below an hour. ~ Riding Light on Vimeo
Quite a find to be hidden away in your closet:
Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon when he traveled 240,000 miles on NASA’s Apollo 11 mission in 1969. He passed away in 2012, but left behind a legacy full of space, adventure and scientific inspiration. He also left behind a wealth of physical materials related to his travels. A purse full of rare artifacts is now in the spotlight as the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum shares details of a hidden piece of space history. ~ Forgotten Apollo moon artifacts found in Neil Armstrong’s closet – CNET
Programming was commonly thought of as “women’s work”. Read about the 31 year old woman whose software landed us on the moon: Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer, Project Apollo — Medium.
Wanderers: Stunning short film on humanity’s expansion into the Solar System: Wanderers – a short film by Erik Wernquist on Vimeo
Wanderers is a vision of humanity’s expansion into the Solar System, based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens. The locations depicted in the film are digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where available. Without any apparent story, other than what you may fill in by yourself, the idea of the film is primarily to show a glimpse of the fantastic and beautiful nature that surrounds us on our neighboring worlds – and above all, how it might appear to us if we were there. ~ Wanderers