January 24, 2014

Jupiter - Solar System

Planet Jupiter The Huge Ball Of Gas

Author: Leland Hess

Jupiter: The Enormous Planet With a lot of Gas

By Natalie Schnotz

The planet Jupiter is known as the fifth planet from the sun and also the largest in the solar system. Jupiter is known as a giant planet with a lot of gas ( and when I say gas I mean it's encompassed with huge quantities of hydrogen and helium gases). Because Jupiter does not actually have a solid surface, the planet is known as a gas giant. Beneath the planet's outer atmosphere, there exists a large liquefied ocean of hydrogen and water. (But, by ocean I don't mean the type of ocean it is possible to float a boat on because, remember, there isn't any surface.) Nothing divides the sea and atmosphere, the atmosphere just slowly gets thicker and thicker until it just becomes a part of the sky.

Think you know a ton with regards to the planet Jupiter? Listed below are ten fun facts about the gas giant that you may possibly not know.

1. What is in the Title?

Jupiter was named after the Roman God of sky and thunder, the king of the gods within their religion. Jupiter is more or less the Roman equivalent of Zeus - the ruler of all of the gods. Naming the 5th planet for the king of the gods is sensible; Jupiter hands down is the largest planet in the heavens … why wouldn't you name it after an individual with all the power?

2. That is One Enormous Planet.

It's tough to really comprehend precisely how big Jupiter is. Jupiter basically makes Earth appear to be a dwarf planet. If you have a ball that was about the size of a dime, Jupiter is close to the size of a soccer ball. About 1,300 Earths could fit inside Jupiter. Yep. It is THAT big.

3. There is a lot of Mooning Going on.

Astronomers have located at least 60 moons orbiting Jupiter. Galileo discovered the 4 largest and most well-known Jupiter moons - named Io, Europa, Ganymede and Calllisto - way back in 1610. Most of these moons are named after the daughters of the Roman god Jupiter. Four Jupiter moons are literally bigger than {the ex-planet Pluto|Pluto|the furthest planet from the sun, Pluto.

4. Holy Freezing Climate.

The temperature at Jupiter's cloud tops is approximately -148 °C. That suggests, if I have done my math right, it's about -234 Fahrenheit. Did you catch that? -234 Fahrenheit. Holy freezing. But, as you descend towards the planet, the temperature increases. So, not merely is Jupiter an extremely cold planet, it's additionally a really hot one. When you get to the very heart of the planet, scientists predict that the heat could possibly be reach as high as 36,000 Kelvin (that's 64,340 °F).

5. {{Bling, Bling. Jupiter Got The RingsJupiter Gots The RingsShowing Off The Bling With Jupiters Rings.

Bet you didn't know Jupiter has multiple rings. The planet actually has 3 thin rings around the equator. The rings are pretty light and can actually only been seen when Jupiter passes the Sun. The light coming from the Sun illuminates the smoke-sized particles and dust, allowing for us to witness Gossamer, Main and Halo ( that is what the rings are named) from Earth.

6. Jupiter's a fast a Quick MoverJupiter Has SpeedPlanet Jupiter Can MoveJupiter Can SpinJupiter Has Moves.

One would think a planet as huge as Jupiter would move really, really slowly. That isn't the case at all. The planet can rotate amazingly quickly - 9 hours and 55 minutes fast. But, even though it rotates really quickly, Jupiter takes almost 12 earth years to rotate completely around the Sun. Here is an intriguing fact, because Jupiter rotates so quickly, it's actually flattened out a bit and is also bulging at the equator.

7. Everything is Heavier on Jupiter.

If you ever are not very pleased with whatever you weigh now, you really wouldn't love the opportunity to weigh yourself on Jupiter. Because Jupiter is so big, it possesses a ton more gravity - making everything heavier. For those who weigh 140 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 370 lbs on Jupiter. (I think I'll stick to weighing myself on Earth.)

8. The Eye of Jupiter.

Jupiter is a pretty stormy planet. The truth is, it's so stormy that a lot of of the storms don't ever end, or at least that is what experts say. All of the storms within the atmosphere make Jupiter a pretty colorful planet.

Jupiter is recognized for having a 'Great Red Spot' - a spot where a giant storm has long been raging on for more than 300 years. This spot is usually called 'The Eye of Jupiter' due to the shape. Oh yeah, which 'spot' is bigger than the planet Earth, although researchers say it's shrinking. Astronomers do not know if or when it is going to completely disappear.

9. Jupiter is massive.

No, really, it's gigantic. Like really massive. Jupiter is 318 times the mass of Earth. In case you combined the mass of all of the other planets in the Solar System and times that by 2.5 you would then get the mass of Jupiter. But, here's something kind of intriguing and mind boggling at the same time. If Jupiter got anymore massive, it would actually begin to shrink. Adding more mass on the planet would make it more dense and force it to start pulling in on itself.

10. That's One Brilliant Planet.

Jupiter stands out as the brightest object within the Solar System … following Venus and also the Moon. Chances are, you've seen Jupiter in the sky and just had no idea that's what you were taking a look at. If you ever notice a really bright star up high in the sky, chances are you're watching Jupiter.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/education-articles/planet-jupiter-the-huge-ball-of-gas-4391396.html

About the Author

 Has been authoring for blogs and websites for the past several years. When she's not writing, you'll find her crafting, blogging or staring at Jupiter.

Cosmos : Gravity and Radioactivity

An Infinite Cosmos: Issues Arising

Author: John Prytz

In the infinite beginning there was something rather than pure nothing – a finite amount of something in an infinite void of nothingness. This scenario eliminates the philosophical quandary of what's beyond the boundary - that only other alternative. This eliminates the philosophical quandary of how much stuff there is. An infinite amount of stuff doesn't leave you much elbow room.

In the infinite beginning, well there was no beginning; there can ever be an end. No Alpha – no Omega. This eliminates the philosophical quandary of what comes before the ‘beginning' and what comes after ‘the end'.  

Okay, having postulated an infinite cosmos in space and in duration, well, other certain and not so philosophical issues come to the fore. If they can be addressed, well that's all to the good. If not, well it's back to the drawing board.

I'll start with…

Olber's Paradox

The night sky should be as bright as the daytime sky since in whatever direction you look, sooner or later you should see a star or galaxy that's in your line of sight. That's Olber's Paradox because the night-time sky isn't as bright as the daytime sky. One resolution is that our observable Universe is finite and there are only a finite number of stars and galaxies and thus, there will be lines of sight that do not intersect with an object that's emitting light.

But what if the cosmos is infinite in size and has existed for an infinite amount of time? Does that resurrect or reinstate the validity or viability of Olber's Pardox? Not necessarily.

Why is there something rather than nothing? That's been a prime philosophical question that has raged for eons. But, on reflection, overall, there is a great deal more of nothing than of something. If everything was something, it would be rather difficult to move. There would be no elbow room. In other words, just because the cosmos is infinite in duration and in volume doesn't mean that there has to be an infinite amount of something within.

Let's say that pure nothing is a perfect vacuum. Then something within that nothing makes for an imperfect vacuum. One could image a cosmos so dilute that there could literally be gaps of pure nothingness between the bits and pieces of something. Or, one could imagine a universe that contained just one final cosmic Black Hole that had over all the infinite eons gobbled up everything else that had been a something within the cosmos, and thus 99.99999% of that cosmos would contain absolutely nothing. 

That aside…

Stars, like people, are born, and thus their light may not have yet reached us.

Stars, like people, die, and thus their light has ceased to reach us. It has all now passed by.

In an infinite space, stars maybe so far distant that by the time their light reaches us, it's so diluted or spread out that only one photon per hour hits the eye and that threshold is too low to stimulate the optic nerve and thus register.  

Ever present cosmic Black Holes have gobbled up a lot of the radiation that is emitted and reflected. In fact, in a cosmos that's infinite, why haven't those astronomical Black Holes sucked up everything that can be sucked up thus terminating any and all evolving universes within that cosmos? Well the answer is Hawking radiation which theoretically predicts, on pretty substantial grounds, that eventually Black Holes will radiate away their mass. Once input is less than Hawking radiation output, the Black Hole will slowly, ever so slowly, radiate away, giving back to the cosmos what it once took away. There will be more on the significance of that shortly.

Entropy and Cosmic Recycling

Another concept that needs addressing is entropy or the Second Law of Thermodynamics, otherwise known as the ‘arrow of time' or sometimes as ‘time's arrow'. If one considers an infinite universe to be a closed box or closed system, then over time, and we have an infinite amount of it, that closed box should reach absolute equilibrium and no further cosmic evolution would be possible. There would be a maximum amount of disorder, and there would be no further energy available to reverse that level of disorder.

It should be noted from the outset that in any closed box or closed system, entropy rules. Things will go from a state of order to a state of disorder without outside interference, that being an external source of energy to reverse the natural trend. The commonly cited example is if you have a closed box (the kitchen), and you turn off the fridge, the kitchen and the fridge will eventually reach absolute equilibrium, the same temperature. The kitchen warms up the fridge; the fridge cools down the kitchen, until both are at the same temperature – maximum disorder. It takes an outside energy source – electricity – to keep the fridge colder than the kitchen and thus in a state is disequilibrium or a state where entropy has not been maximalized. Trouble is, once energy is evenly spread out throughout a closed system (like the fridge in the kitchen), no matter how much of it there is, it's useless in terms of doing useful things – like initiating change.

Another example: Your own body is a closed system. Your body's energy is in equilibrium. You are at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit from head to toe. Within that state of affairs, your body can not do useful things. Fortunately, there's a larger closed system that your body is a part of (like the fridge is part of the kitchen) that enables you to disrupt your body's equilibrium and thus provide the means for your body to initiate change. Your outside energy source is food, which is good since once you invoke that larger closed system that contains you, that larger system absorbs your body heat that gets radiated away into it. So the fridge needs outside energy to replenish its supply of cold; you need energy to replenish your body heat and to provide the ways and means to keep you keeping on. Of course as we all know, that's just postponing the inevitable. Sooner or later the fridge breaks down with wear; ditto you too. But in the meantime, and for a little while, you can keep your body's entropy under control.  

Now any attempt to tunnel around various laws, principles and relationships of physics might be in vain, but not a total waste of time. The laws, principles and relationships of physics are constantly being refined, even overturned as in Einstein refined Newton's gravity; the Sun going around the Earth got overturned by Copernicus. However, anyone attempting to tunnel over, around, or through the Second Law of Thermodynamics should abandon all hope. If you try to butt heads with entropy you'll just end up with a sore head. You'd have better luck patenting a ‘perpetual motion' machine, itself a violation of the ways and means of the entropy concept. In fact entropy is why you can't construct a perpetual motion machine and why any patent officer worthy of the name would refuse you a patent for one.

Still, in an infinite cosmos, a cosmos that keeps on keeping on, there probably needs to be a way to go from a state of disorder (high entropy) back to a state of order (low entropy).


As we noted in the example of the fridge and your body, It takes energy to reverse entropy or at least hold it at bay. A reversal of entropy is sort of like that closed box with Maxwell's Demon (representing energy) that controls a slot that the Demon can either open or close that's in the middle of that closed box that's of a uniform temperature.  The Demon opens the slot whenever a rapidly moving (hot) molecule heads toward the left side or when a slower moving (cold) molecule heads toward the right side. After a while, the left side of the box will be containing just hot stuff (rapidly moving molecules) and the right side cold stuff (slowly moving molecules). Maxwell's Demon is like a kid expending energy sorting a bag of 1000 various coloured marbles (maximum disorder) into piles of reds and greens and blues and yellows (maximum order).  Of course our infinite cosmos contains no demons, and marble-sorting kids need not apply if there's ever a job ad for restoring order to an infinite cosmos.

Okay, without demons (or entropy reversing kids), our infinite cosmos heads towards a state of maximum entropy or maximum disorder or maximum uniformity. The cosmic temperature will be the same everywhere; matter will be evenly distributed. But, can an infinite cosmos ever reach such a state? It could or should take an infinite amount of time, but that's also assumed. 

Yet alas, what even an infinite cosmos needs is a Maxwell's Demon. The cosmos, if it is to retain a state of vitality for an infinite duration, needs something that recycles stuff that's at maximum entropy (maximum disorder) back to the basics of minimum entropy (or minimum disorder) where useful things can continue to happen.

* The Role of Gravity

Gravity seems to be a Maxwell Demon's kind of force that keeps on keeping on. As long as you have two bits of matter, even just two electrons, you have gravity. Radiation (electromagnetism) could be dispersed evenly in infinite space over infinite time, but it is hard to imagine that situation with gravity. The only real way gravity could be rendered inert and useless as an energy source would be if it was 100% concentrated in just one place – like a super ultra mother of all cosmic Black Holes. The only other way gravity could be nullified would be in matter were distributed so absolutely evenly such that every bit of matter were being gravitationally pulled on absolutely evenly in each and every direction. But the slightest nudge or deviation from this ideal theoretical state (inevitable given quantum fluctuations) would throw everything out of equilibrium. But because matter is energy and energy is matter, if gravity can disrupt the distribution of matter from a state of near perfect uniformity, then energy will follow the short and curly material bits. Light (photons) reacts to gravity as much as electrons do. Further, the one extra nice property that gravity has is that it can't be blocked. You can block out light or shield yourself from electromagnetic effects, but nothing will shield you from gravity.

* The Recycling Role of Radioactivity

Fortunately, there are several basic ways of recycling complex cosmic stuff back into the cosmos in the form of simple stuff. The first of these however has issues. Gravity can contract and pull together interstellar gas and dust into a proto-star which will ignite under pressure via thermonuclear fusion to form a radiant star. Stars however fuse lighter elements into heavier elements, and when a star goes nova, or becomes a supernovae, those heavier elements increasingly form the next generation of interstellar gas and dust. Eventually, after many generations of enrichment, interstellar gas and dust is lacking in those lighter elements (mainly hydrogen and helium) which easily undergoes fusion. Heavy elements, like iron, just won't fuse any more and so the continued formation of radiant stellar stuff grinds to a halt. But, there is an escape clause.

Among the heavy elements; elements that stars manufacture, are radioactive elements with unstable atomic nuclei. Radioactive decay re-releases back into the cosmos those fundamental bits and pieces that can reform into those lighter elements that are the basic building blocks for forming radiant stellar objects. There is cosmic recycling from the simple to the complex and back to the simple again.

* The Recycling Role of Cosmic Black Holes

The second way of cosmic recycling is, believe it or not, via cosmic Black Holes. Astronomical Black Holes, via the vacuum energy (quantum foam or fluctuations) and quantum tunnelling, can release elementary particles back into the cosmos. As mentioned earlier, this is known as Hawking Radiation, after theoretical cosmologist/astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. Complex stuff can go into a Black Hole, but just very simple stuff ultimately comes back out again.

* The Recycling Role of Life

Life can be an entropy buster as in the case of Maxwell's Demon, the kid who sorts the marbles, the mum who does the housework, the bird or beaver who gathers up forest debris to make a nest. But, it takes outside energy to accomplish these things and at the end you haven't decreased complexity – the marbles are still marbles; twigs are still twigs. But microbes like bacteria, etc. can break down complex stuff (like twigs) and turn it into less complex stuff which can be recycled into hundreds of new and different complex things. So, when our home planet eventually meets its Waterloo, and gets scattered back into the cosmic winds, thanks to bacteria, there will be more simple stuff floating around than would otherwise be the case

So complex stuff gets recycled back into simple stuff, all brought together again by gravity to ultimately form complex stuff again. The cosmos receives recycled stuff back, from which it can keep on keeping on!     

* A Fly in the Ointment

In a cosmos that's both infinite in space and infinite in duration, here's an interesting ‘angels on the head of a pin' question. There are two forces which in theory can extend their influence indefinitely, that is, unto infinity. They are electromagnetism (of which light is a prime example) and gravity. So, can the influence of a force cross an infinite space if it has an infinite amount of time to do it in?

Perhaps Maxwell Demon's ‘closed box' isn't really an appropriate ‘container' for an infinite cosmos. If the cosmos is infinite, can it be described as a closed system?  

The Multiple You

And so finally, consider and reconsider the quantum mantra: "Anything that isn't forbidden is compulsory; anything that can happen will happen". That's even more the case when you have infinite time and space to play around with! So, I add to that mantra "and will happen again and again and again, an infinite number of times". That actually means, or at least very strongly suggests that every possible scenario, every possible history, and every possible variation on each and every scenario or on any theme that you care to think of or think up will happen again and again and again. That, by the way, includes you. You are a scenario, and you, and every possible variation of you and your history will transpire numerous times; actually an infinite number of times. If that isn't spooky, I don't know what is, but it's a logical consequence of having an infinite cosmos. 

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/philosophy-articles/an-infinite-cosmos-issues-arising-6629104.html

About the Author

Science librarian; retired.

History of Gemini Constellation

History of Gemini Constellation

Author: Alina Michael

The history of Gemini Constellation is a unique one. The symbol of twins depicts a love bond between them as stated in Greek myth. A majority of the Greek constellations came from Babylonian astronomy. However, the legends surrounding the origin of the constellations were mostly taken from Greek mythology.

The Gemini Constellation is one of the 88 constellations defined by the Astronomical Union. The constellation is an image of a two spurs with stars Castor and Pollux at one end and four short spurs in the other end. This history of Gemini constellation dates back to prehistoric times. Gemini is in fact the Latin word for "twins". It is associated with the twins, Castor and Pollux as depicted in Greek mythology. Besides Castor and Pollux, the other two visible stars in the constellation are Alhena and Wasat. Pollux is the brightest star in the Gemini constellation. It is known in astronomical terms as beta Geminorum. It was discovered that Pollux is approximately 33 light years from our solar system and has a planet that is believed to be 2.3 times the size of Jupiter.

The mythology explains that Castor and Pollux were both mothered by a same person called Leda, but had different fathers. The myth elaborates that Leda was seduced and made pregnant in the same night by Zeus (who disguised himself as a Swan) and her husband, King Tyndareus. Leda then birthed Pollux and Helen of Troy, followed by Castor the Twin of Pollux.  Castor did well in managing horses while Pollux had extraordinary skills in boxing. It was also noted that Pollux was immortal, whereas Castor was mortal. They both journeyed together in search of the Golden Fleece (similar to the Holy Grail). They fought alongside in the Trojan War to return Helen to her husband. When Castor died, Pollux was in despair. Pollux then requested Zeus to allow Castor share his immortality. Zeus with the power given agreed, and they were reunited as the Gemini Constellation image in the night sky, never parted.

The rich history of Gemini Constellation depicts a beautiful love story between two twins, who in the end chose to be together despite death.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/education-articles/history-of-gemini-constellation-1163027.html

About the Author

At the end, I'd like to share cool website with more information on topics like History of Fireworks and History of Gemini Constellation . Visit for more details.

China Space Exploration - Shenzhou-8 and Tiangong-1

China space success, blessing to globe

Author: mosup001

Mastery of know-how is not always solid until proven by repeated experiments.

With a string of sophisticated maneuvers, docking, de-linking and re-docking, as part of its current Shenzhou-8 space mission, China has laid a solid stepping stone for deep space exploration.


Photo taken on Nov. 14, 2011 shows the simulation picture of the second space docking between China's Shenzhou-8 and Tiangong-1, in the Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Center, in Beijing, capital of China. China's Shenzhou-8 unmanned spacecraft successfully re-docked with the Tiangong-1, a module of the country's planned space lab on Monday. (Xinhua/Wang Jianmin)

The autonomous docking know-how now enables China to build space stations, re-supply them, transfer astronauts and rescue them.

As the capacity of carrier rockets increases and space docking technologies mature, mankind may consider travel to planetary destinations much farther than the moon.

No single country can unilaterally fulfill that ambition.

The Chinese space feat coincides with two latest Russian launches -- one failed to catapult a Chinese Mars probe into orbit and the other is transporting Russian and American astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

It has been more than half a century since the Soviet Union sent its first satellite into the heavens, ushering in the space age. Space adventure requires cooperation and collaboration among all spacefaring nations, and such cooperation was even seen in the harshest years of the Cold War.

Nowadays, the increasing complexity and cost of human space programs require more collaboration among countries, especially against the backdrop of the continuing global financial crisis. Huge expenses and complex missions, such as a Martian expedition, would probably be beyond the resources of any one country or even one regional bloc.

Although China has been denied access to the ISS for two decades, Chinese technologists designed an androgynous docking system that allows any two similarly equipped spacecraft to dock with each other. Tiny adjustments could make the Chinese docking mechanism compatible with the ports of the ISS and U.S. space shuttles.

As part of its first space docking mission, China allowed Germany to conduct biological experiments in the Chinese vehicle -- the first instance of international cooperation since the beginning of China's manned space program.

China's future space station will weigh about 60 tonnes and is set to be assembled in space around 2020, in time for the likely retirement of the ISS. It will offer more opportunity for collaboration among nations, with room for international experiments and possibly space for foreign astronauts.

At the same time, China needs advanced space technologies from other countries. For example, China's transmission of scientific data and live communication from deep space to earth might largely rely on Russian and European space monitoring networks.

China is now joining the global efforts to build such infrastructure.

The concept of a "space race" is now obsolete. International cooperation is the future trend and rivalry between so-called space powers will inevitably give way to more friendly cooperation.

An already tech-savvy China is ready to make further contributions to space exploration, not only for its own, but also for the sake of the entire world.

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Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/organizational-articles/china-space-success-blessing-to-globe-5420767.html

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Aurora Borealis or The Northern Lights

Aurora Borealis, aka The Northern Lights

Author: Starr Hendon

It makes no difference whether you call this incredible light display the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights - the show is still the same! A wispy, undulating canvas in the sky.

In 1621, Pierre Gassendi, a French astronomer, philosopher, mathematician and scientist, was the first to give a name to this "otherworldly" phenomenon. Aurora - for the Roman goddess of dawn, and Borealis - the name the Greeks gave to the North Wind, which they called Boreas.

As the name implies, these light shows are seen in the Northern Hemisphere. The light shows seen below the equator are the Aurora Australis. These displays are also known as polar auroras, or aurorae. The closer you are to one of the poles, the better your chance of seeing this breathtaking spectacle. They are more apt to be seen around the time of the equinoxes, usually March 20th and September 22nd. As with viewing meteor showers, the best time to see the lights is at new moon. The less moon from the sky, the better view for your eye.

The best places for seeing the Aurora Borealis are areas close to the northern pole; Alaska, Canada and Scandinavia. Sightings in the lower 48 states do occur, but not with near the frequency of those in higher latitudes. In one very extreme event during 1958, the Aurora Borealis was reported to be seen as far south as Mexico City.

Aurorae are typically a night event, with the best viewing in the 3 to 4 hours around the midnight hour, although they can be seen at all hours from dusk to dawn. Daytime viewing is extremely rare, except in Svalbard, an archipelago north of the European mainland in the Arctic Ocean. During the 2 and a half month period around the Winter Solstice, occurring December 21st or 22nd of each year for the Northern Hemisphere, Svalbard remains dark enough during the daytime that the auroral oval is easily seen overhead at the noon hour.

In what is believed to be the most spectacular auroral event in recent history, enough geomagnetically induced current was produced by an auroral storm in 1859 for two telegraph operators to carry on a conversation between Boston and Portland, Maine, for about two hours without the then required use of batteries. Recorded from the operator in Boston: "My current is very strong at times, and we can work better without the batteries, as the aurora seems to neutralize and augment our batteries alternately, making current too strong at times for our relay magnets. Suppose we work without batteries while we are affected by this trouble."

While our technology for land communications has drastically improved in the last 100+ years, being very close to this kind of electric power can still wreak havoc on electronics or battery operated appliances and gadgets. But in the end, the show is worth the price of admission.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/science-articles/aurora-borealis-aka-the-northern-lights-4344299.html

About the Author

Visit Space for the Earthbound for more interesting astronomy information and fascinating pictures.

January 23, 2014

Planets in Solar System

Nine Planets in Order

Author: nitin.p070


Sun is at the centre of our solar system. Our solar system is nearly five billion years old. It contains nine planets in order ( now it is eight), a handful of so called dwarf planets and more than 170 moons, and dust, gas and thousands of asteroids and comets all orbiting around the central Sun. Now let us discuss the Nine planets in Order.

MERCURY: Mercury is the closest planet to Sun. With pluto's demotion to dwarf planet, it becomes the smallest planet of Solar System. Mercury's elliptical orbit takes the small planet as close as 29 million miles (47 million kilometers) and as far as 43 million miles (70 million kilometers) from the sun. If one could stand on the scorching surface of Mercury when it is at its closest point to the sun, the sun would appear almost three times as large as it does when viewed from Earth. Temperatures on Mercury's surface can reach 800 degrees Fahrenheit (430 degrees Celsius). Because the planet has no atmosphere to retain that heat, nighttime temperatures on the surface can drop to -280 degrees Fahrenheit (-170 degrees Celsius).

VENUS : Venus and Earth are similar in size, mass, density, composition, and distance from the sun. There, however, is where the similarities end. Venus is covered by a thick, rapidly spinning atmosphere, creating a scorched world with temperatures hot enough to melt lead and a surface pressure 90 times that of Earth. Because of its proximity to Earth and the way its clouds reflect sunlight, Venus appears to be the brightest planet in the sky.

EARTH; Earth, our home planet, is the only planet in our solar system known to harbor life. All of the things we need to survive are provided under a thin layer of atmosphere that separates us from the uninhabitable void of space. Earth is made up of complex, interactive systems that are often unpredictable. Air, water, land, and life—including humans—combine forces to create a constantly changing world that we are striving to understand. Viewing Earth from the unique perspective of space provides the opportunity to see Earth as a whole. Scientists around the world have discovered many things about our planet by working together and sharing their findings.

Facts of Nine Planets:

Some facts are well known. For instance, Earth is the third planet from the sun and the fifth largest in the solar system. Earth's diameter is just a few hundred kilometers larger than that of Venus. The four seasons are a result of Earth's axis of rotation being tilted more than 23 degrees.

MARS: The Red Planet ,Mars is a small rocky body once thought to be very Earth like. Like the other terrestrial planets—Mercury, Venus, and Earth—its surface has been changed by volcanism, impacts from other bodies, movements of its crust, and atmospheric effects such as dust storms. It has polar ice caps that grow and recede with the change of seasons; areas of layered soils near the Martian poles suggest that the planet's climate has changed more than once, perhaps caused by a regular change in the planet's orbit.

JUPITER: The most massive planet in our solar system, with four planet-size moons and many smaller satellites, Jupiter forms a kind of miniature solar system. Jupiter resembles a star in composition. In fact, if it had been about eighty times more massive, it would have become a star rather than a planet. On January 7, 1610, using his primitive telescope, astronomer Galileo Galilei saw four small "stars" near Jupiter. He had discovered Jupiter's four largest moons, now called Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Collectively, these four moons are known today as the Galilean satellites.

SATURN: Saturn was the most distant of the five planets known to the ancients. In 1610, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was the first to gaze at Saturn through a telescope. To his surprise, he saw a pair of objects on either side of the planet. He sketched them as separate spheres and wrote that Saturn appeared to be triple-bodied. In 1659, Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens, using a more powerful telescope than Galileo's, proposed that Saturn was surrounded by a thin, flat ring. In 1675, Italian-born astronomer Jean-Dominique Cassini discovered a "division" between what are now called the A and B rings. It is now known that the gravitational influence of Saturn's moon Mimas is responsible for the Cassini Division, which is 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) wide.

URANUS: Once considered one of the blander-looking planets, Uranus has been revealed as a dynamic world with some of the brightest clouds in the outer solar system and 11 rings. The first planet found with the aid of a telescope, Uranus was discovered in 1781 by astronomer William Herschel. The seventh planet from the sun is so distant that it takes 84 years to complete one orbit. It appears bluish green in dim sunlight.

NEPTUNE: The eighth planet from the sun, Neptune was the first planet located through mathematical predictions rather than through regular observations of the sky. (Galileo had recorded it as a fixed star during observations with his small telescope in 1612 and 1613). Nearly 2.8 billion miles (4.5 billion kilometers) from the sun, Neptune orbits the sun once every 165 years. It is invisible to the naked eye because of its extreme distance from Earth.

PLUTO: The world was introduced to dwarf planets in 2006, when petite Pluto was stripped of its planet status and reclassified as a dwarf planet. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) currently recognizes two other dwarf planets, Eris and Ceres.What differentiates a dwarf planet from a planet? For the most part, they are identical, but there's one key difference: A dwarf planet hasn't "cleared the neighborhood" around its orbit, which means it has not become gravitationally dominant and it shares its orbital space with other bodies of a similar size.

These nine planets in order are and the property of these nine planets are explained above. Out of these nine planets, our planet " The Earth" is the only planet where life is possible. Now scientists are conducting experiments to find out whether any possibility of life in any other planet other than our own planet " Earth".

Of these nine planets, Venus is the brightest planet and closest to our Earth. We can see this planet Venus in naked eye itself. Mercury and Pluto are forming the extreme points in our Nine planets in order.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/science-articles/nine-planets-in-order-6356087.html

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Saturn - Solar System

Saturn-One of the five planets is visible without a telescope

Author: piglet88

These individuals who were able to see that Saturn is visible without employing a telescope explain the planet being a vivid yellow light in darkish sky. Its light includes a magnitude among (+) 1 and zero. At a first glance, Saturn appears like Jupiter, but a scaled-down one. Its diameter is nine as well as a fifty percent times that with the earth. It features a mass of 95 times much more than the earth and its rotation time period is about 10 several hours and 39 minutes. Like planet Jupiter, it has 0.7 gm / cc density which is said to be much less than water's density.

Even without any gear, can be viewed. However, excellent viewing website is needed to be prosperous in locating this planet. Also, an kept up to date map with the sky during night will be of assistance. For the excuse that planets transfer in distinct paths, this planet may not be that visible generally. It can be nice if a viewer will research on dates when this planet will probably be significantly visible. Place also plays a part. Sometimes, becoming inside a metropolis will impact the sky's watch due to the significant amount of pollution covering the sky along with constructing lights. Moreover, Saturn is going to be best observed within the sky when this planet is close to or in the opposite from the Sun. The opposing place implies that the planet's configuration is at 180 degrees (elongation). In seventeenth of December 2002, the planet's rings had complimentary orientation relative to Earth that produced it to shine the brightest within the sky.

One of the early evidences of Saturn's visibility was in the course of early years when people watch this planet with their naked eyes. Even just before telescope and different space explorations happened, Galileo Galilee initial found the planet's existence throughout the year 1610. He thought that rings surrounding Saturn had been facet moons. It was only inside the 17th century when enhancements in telescopic equipment progressed. Christian Huygens disproved Galileo's theory and applied high quality gear to additional study this heavenly body. After these, discoveries had been produced by other experts.

Other explorations were created through spacecrafts and various flybys. In September of 1979, Pioneer 11 probed this planet within its surface area. Images were obtained, but lacked beneficial resolution to show distinct attributes. The spacecraft carried out studies and found F ring and Titan's temperature. Other than that, studies established that ring gaps may possibly appear dark, but appear very vivid by viewing in direction of the Sun. This has been one or more of the aspects believed to impact how Saturn is seen on the without using any gear. In November of 1980, Voyager one explored this planet's method and was in a position to create substantial quality pictures of its surface attributes. With its study from Titan's attributes, the spacecraft was able to contribute extra information about the air of moons or satellites. This brought additional interests on the planet and its capabilities.

In August of 1981, Voyager two acquired proofs of atmospheric adjustments and additional information. Although, some ideas were not successful as a result of troubles in picture equipment. Other area probes had been initiated to give additional information about this planet and its impressive type. Saturn is renowned for its rings and ringlets comprised of countless particles. Still, these functions are not lucid when viewed with out equipment. It may need about at the least 20 occasions telescopic zoom to determine every ring plainly. Other people don't think that Saturn is visible without making use of a telescope, but for people who were able to take pleasure from its magnificence, they carry on be fascinated with its look specially during darkish nights.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/science-articles/saturn-one-of-the-five-planets-is-visible-without-a-telescope-4986712.html

About the Author

You may want to visit interesting facts about Saturn at planet-facts.com. We also have more articles & pictures on your favorite planets.

Stephen Hawking - Universe

Hawking's Godless Universe

Author: Rose

On the one hand, the educational masterminds who insist on teaching Creationism in U.S. schools now have yet another opponent.

On the other hand, would they even listen?

First, the facts: Stephen Hawking, the world-famous and award-winning physicist who has done incredible research on the nature of the universe, has recently posited that God's inclusion in the tale of the creation of the universe is redundant, according to excerpts of his up-coming book that appeared on The Times newspaper this Thursday.

"Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist," writes the astrophysicist.

"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

The report has set off conversations around the world that Hawking has somehow turned his back on God and that God is an irrelevant feature in the tale of creation.

This is a highly novel development given Hawking's previous beliefs on God, which were that God was simply not "necessary" in order to understand the universe and that understanding a complete theory would mean that humans would finally know the mind of God.

Now, Hawking has moved on to something altogether revolutionary, not only for his own beliefs but also for what he represents as one of the smartest people in the universe and the "Einstein" of our era.

Will Hawking's latest assertions add more ammunition to the increasingly vocal atheist sects of society in disregarding the role of God in society and culture, or will his claims simply invigorate a religious base that feels increasingly under attack and which is, in some circles, becoming more militant as time passes?

The answer to this question is, of course, uncertain but what should be clear is that regardless of Hawking's brilliance in the realm of science, his understanding of religion is not significant enough to make him an authoritative figure on the subject.

Instead of learning religious theory from Hawking's latest declarations, what we should learn is that matters of religion and religious belief are subjects that people should learn in a family setting and that people should decide on personally and individually.

Brilliant scientists and Southern school boards may have their views on the universe, but the planet may be better off if they both keep those views to themselves and focus on what they know best: Physics and education, respectively.

Visit www.allmediany.com for more editorials!

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/journalism-articles/hawkings-godless-universe-3266449.html

About the Author

Jorge Vargas is the Editor-in-Chief of AllMediaNY.com.

Relativity - Albert Einstein

General Relativity Basics

Author: Zion

General Relativity Basics

At the age of 25, Albert Einstein (1879-1955) has come up with his Theory of Relativity, actually, the theory of Special relativity. This was at the year of 1905.

Ten years latter, at the year of 1916, after lots of mental effort did he published his theory of General Relativity.

Both theories did make a huge change in the perception of Energy, Matter, and Space. The Special relativity deals with bodies and particles moving in a uniform, constant velocity relative to each other, while the General Relativity deals with accelerated bodies.

We will discuss here the General Relativity only, and will leave the Special Relativity for another article.

Well, what are the basics behind the General Relativity?

General Relativity actually deals with gravitational interaction between objects. It thus deals with the rules that govern the giant universe and the galaxies within.

It all started when Einstein tried to express accelerated motions in terms of gravitational field. He claimed that the acceleration of "falling" object can be formulated in terms of a movement of the object in the gravitational "field", rather due to the gravitational "force" the object sense, as claimed the classical laws of mechanical physics. Einstein said: there are no gravitational forces out there. There is a gravitational field that causes objects to move in an accelerated motion (i.e. falling or travelling in a certain orbit).

What was that gravitational field that Einstein had defined? He claimed that the space-time domain is actually curved. Where ever there is a giant mass, it distorts the space (like creating a deep curve in space) to which objects fall if they are sufficiently close.

To clearly understand this, imagine the following commonly used example: suppose there a bit flat rubber tissue held well stretched. Now put a metal ball on this rubber tissue. The metal ball will create a curve in the tissue. Another object that travels on this tissue, when sufficiently close, will be trapped by this curve and will accelerate toward the metal ball. This is actually the gravitational field, consisting of curved space trying to trap any moving object out there.

This example, although understandable for a two-dimensional rubber tissue case, is not so easily understood for the space-time four-dimensional domain.

Anyway, Einstein needed about ten years of hard mental effort, and using complicated mathematic and a different geometry principles in order to formulate his new revolutionary theory.

This was of course a revolution. This postulate undermined the 300-year classical Newton mechanics that ruled the cosmos motion, which actually did a great job, reflected in amazing travels in space and man landing on the moon.

In contrast to the Special relativity that was quite simple to understand and adopt, even for the regular people, and had quite simple mathematics to support it, the General Relativity was really a new hard concept to digest. The idea of a curved universe, and the complicated geometry and mathematics behind, made this theory unique to very few scientist.

Although the new theory did succeed to explain some abnormal orbits of certain cosmic objects, and although one of the world wide scientific experiment done in 1919 did prove that light is bent at the vicinity of a big cosmic object, as the general relativity equation predicted, still it took many years later till the general relativity did gain its appropriate importance in the science world.

The general relativity was in full compliance with the Newton mechanics, and was found to be more accurate when enormous object are in concern, and near-light velocity is handled. The Newton's mechanics for example could not specifically explain how the graviton forces act, and how there are transmitted. It also stated that the force act between object at no time. For example, if the sun vanishes all of a sudden, the earth will immediately sense this change, and immediately its track will change. However, according to General relativity, the disappearance of the sun will be sensed by Erath only after about eight minutes, the time that the wave of gravitational change will make its way from the sun to earth, and only then will earth orbit start to react to the change.

Within the years more and more evidence to the general relativity predictions were found, and more theories were developed on top. Black holes, universe expansion/inflation, big bang, and other funny notions are based on the General relativity.


More about science and physics can be found at http://www.science.books4view.com and at www.physics.books4view.com.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/science-articles/general-relativity-basics-3950530.html

About the Author

Zion owns M.Sc degree in Interdisciplinary engineering and MBA degree too. Major interests are online education, physics, science, and sports.

January 20, 2014

Space History - NASA - Apollo - Sputnik - Hubble - Kaguya

Space History at a Glance

Author: Mejo John

Britain's contribution to space science began hundreds of years before Prime Minister Harold Macmillan announced a new British space research programme in 1959.

For centuries our scientists and astronomers have shaped how the world is seen and they continue to add to our knowledge of the Universe through space missions and ground-based science.

The following list highlights some of the most important
discoveries for science as well as key missions involving British scientists and engineers.

1668 - Sir Isaac Newton builds the first reflecting telescope. Over 300 years later, Newton's invention forms the basis of the Hubble Space Telescope.

1675 - John Flamsteed becomes the first Astronomer Royal at The Royal Observatory in Greenwich.

1687 - Newton publishes Principia Mathematica, possibly the most important book in the history of science. It contains his theory of universal gravitation, marking the beginning of modern astronomy.

1705 - Edmund Halley correctly predicts that a comet seen in 1682 would reappear in 1758. The comet, now named after Halley, is visible from Earth every 7576 years. It featured in the famous Bayeux Tapestry, was last seen from Earth in 1986 and observed in close-up by ESA's Giotto spacecraft. The comet will return in 2061.

1781 - William Herschel, a German musician who spent his whole life in England, discovers the planet Uranus with a mirror telescope of his own creation.

1798 - Henry Cavendish, an English chemist and physicist, first measures the force of gravity between two objects.

1846 - Calculations made by English mathematician John Couch Adams enable Johann Galle to see Neptune for the first time.

1856 - Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell proves that Saturn's rings are not solid, liquid or gaseous but are actually made up of different independent particles.

1897 - JJ Thompson, a leading English mathematician and physicist of the late 19th century, discovers the electron.

1919 - During an expedition to view a solar eclipse in Africa, English astrophysicist Arthur Eddington proves Einstein's prediction that gravity bends light.

1932 - English physicist James Chadwick proves the existence of neutrons.

1957 - Launch of first British Skylark sounding rocket.

1957 - The UK's massive Jodrell Bank radio telescope becomes operational.

1957 - Sputnik becomes the first manmade object to enter orbit.

1957 - Russian dog Laika becomes the first creature to be launched into space.

1959 - In September Soviets crash land a probe on the Moon. A few weeks later Lunik 3 sends back the first pictures of the far side of the Moon.

1959 - First meeting of the British National Committee on Space. This is the first committee to advise the government on space issues. Later in the year, Harold Macmillan announces a new British space research programme.

1961 - Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man to orbit the Earth and returns a hero.

1962 - The first international satellite, Ariel 1, is launched. Built by NASA, it contained six instruments developed by British scientists.

1963 - Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space.

1963 - The British Government establishes the Space Research Management Unit, a forerunner of the BNSC.

1965 - Cosmonaut Alexi Leonov is the first person to ‘walk' in space.

1967 - The first all British satellite, Ariel 3, is launched.

1969 - On 21 July, Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the surface of the Moon.

1971 - British Prospero satellite launched on British Black Arrow launch vehicle.

1975 - The European Space Agency (ESA) is established with the UK, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland as founder members.

1976 - America's Viking I spacecraft lands on Mars and sends back the first photographs of the planet's surface.

1979 - The first European-built rocket, Ariane 1, successfully completes its maiden flight.

1980 - The Voyager 1 space probe sends back vivid images of Saturn.

1985 - The British Government sets up the BNSC.

1986 - Space station Mir is launched by the Soviet Union.

1988 - Professor Stephen Hawking publishes A Brief History of Time, the most influential book about space written in the last 100 years.

1990 - The Hubble Space Telescope is launched.

1991 - Helen Sharman from Sheffield becomes the first Briton in space when she joins the crew for Project Juno. This was a Soviet mission, partly funded by British companies.

1992 - Michael Foale becomes the first British-born man in space, as part of the crew for the Space Shuttle mission STS45.

1995 - The joint NASA/ESA Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is launched.

1997 - The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft, a joint mission between NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency, is launched to Saturn.

1997 - The Pathfinder robot begins its exploration of Mars.

2001 - The Aurora project begins, with the first launch due in 2011.

2002 - Piers Sellers joins the crew of the STS112 mission and becomes the third British-born astronaut in space.

2002 - The first satellite for the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) is launched. All five satellites in the group have been built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

2003 - The launch of Mars Express.

2003 - Europe's first mission to the Moon, Smart1, is launched.

2003 - China succeeds in sending its first manned spacecraft into orbit.

2003 - Mars Express arrives in orbit. It releases the Beagle 2 probe but the signal from the lander is lost.

2004 - ESA's Rosetta spacecraft launched on its way to a rendezvous with Comet 67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko.

2004 - The Mercury Messenger mission is launched to the Sun's closest planet.

2005 - The Huygens probe begins its descent through Titan's atmosphere. The first part of the probe to land on Titan was built in Britain.

2005 - The European Venus Express mission is launched and Mars Express sends back images of the Red Planet.

2005 - The world's largest and most sophisticated civilian telecommunications satellite, UK-built Inmarsat4 f1, goes into orbit.

2005 - Launch of GioveA, the first satellite in the Galileo global positioning system.

2006 - NASA's New Horizons mission heads for the outer reaches of our Solar System towards Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.

2006 - Venus Express reaches its final orbit and begins to send back data.

2006 - Solar B, later renamed Hinode, is launched. This three year mission to study the Sun involves ESA and the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

2006 - After a highly successful mission, Smart1 undergoes a controlled 'crash' into the Moon.

2007 - Japan launches Kaguya (formerly SELENE) for a global survey of the Moon.

2008 - India's first mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-1, is due for launch.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/communication-articles/space-history-at-a-glance-515340.html

About the Author

Mejo is a Copywriter of

Space Station Technology

He had written various articles in different topics on Latest Science and Technology. For more information visit:
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Contact him at


January 13, 2014

The Big Bang, Universe and Space-Time

The Ten Cosmic Fallacies

Author: John Prytz

A key question in modern cosmology, rarely asked, its answer usually assumed, is whether or not the Big Bang event actually created space and time, as well as producing or providing our supply of matter/energy that we observe all around us. The central foundation of the Big Bang event, apart from the observational evidence of an expanding cosmos, was that the Big Bang event somehow created time and space, out of nothing for apparently no reason, and thus, the often assumed answer is "Yes". But, there's no evidence for this (and if they did that would exhibit causality lacking in the standard Big Bang scenario). No laboratory has ever created time and/or space. There's no real even theoretical recipe textbook way of doing this.

What if one rejects that premise? So, what if the answer instead is "No"? What if the Big Bang was created out of something, and for a reason? Then it's a whole new ballgame! If time and space pre-existed the Big Bang event, 13.7 billion years ago, then that suggests that because time existed prior to the Big Bang event, that there was a chain of events (a cause) that led up to and included the Big Bang (an effect). In fact, I invoke the principle of causality (cause and effect) which is one of the, if not the, foundation upon which all science is based, to ‘prove' (as far as that's possible, but which is as close to certainty IMHO as makes no odds) that the Big Bang event had a cause. Therefore, there had to have been a before-the-Big-Bang. Hells, bells, even "The Bible" attributes a cause to the origin of the Universe – ‘In the beginning, God created…". Ditto that for all other major religions.

Faced with a choice between accepting a Big Bang event that had a cause, and a Big Bang event that had no cause, I'll accept the former (hands down) and consign the latter to the fantasy land occupied by such notables as Santa Claus, James Bond, Little Red Riding Hood, Rocky and Bullwinkle, the Tooth Fairy, Harry Potter, the Easter Bunny, assorted elves, goblins and the Loch Ness Monster! Anyone believing that all of time, space, matter and energy, were created out of absolutely nothing, for absolutely no reason, is living in that same fantasy land.

Now if space existed prior to the Big Bang, then clearly the Big Bang event had coordinates (a centre or defined place) where the event happened. Also, it suggests that our Universe is currently expanding throughout that pre-existing space. Until such time as cosmologists can actually explain in detail how the Big Bang event created space and time, I'll assume the opposite and follow the implications trail of that. But that's not the end to what I consider the cosmological fallacies, IMHO.

#1: The origin of our observable universe (and in fact the Universe) can be traced back to as close to time equals zero, and space equals zero, as makes no odds. However, astronomers can't really see beyond roughly 380,000 years after the Big Bang event. It's only then that the Universe would have cooled enough to allow for atoms to exist and for the Universe to become transparent enough to allow electromagnetic radiation to pass. The remnants of that are observed as the cosmic microwave background radiation, now cooled to a temperature of some 2.7 degrees Kelvin. It's like with the Sun. At the core, the Sun is opaque to photons. It's only when they worm themselves up to the solar surface that things are cool enough, and transparent enough, to race away into space. However, although there's no way we can observe any electromagnetic radiation at an earlier era, astronomers can, using their equations, extrapolate further back – in fact back to very tiny micro-seconds after the Big Bang when those equations break down. At such time, the universe would have been small enough that quantum physics ruled. But, just because one can theoretically extrapolate earlier than 380,000 years after the Big Bang, doesn't mean that such theoretical cosmology represents what actually happened – again because there's no observable evidence. At 380,000 years old, the Universe wouldn't have been a quantum universe, but a fully formed macro Universe. Perhaps something happened at an earlier stage but that something just wasn't within the realm of quantum physics. [It must be noted that the search is on for primordial gravity waves, which, if found, would be observations of an even earlier era. So far, no luck, but in fairness, gravity waves (past or current) would be very hard to detect. Stay tuned!]

Actually, in other words, it's not so much that I object to extrapolating back towards the beginning (time equals zero) but rather uniformly extrapolating the ever decreasing volume of the Universe to where it (for all practical purposes) vanishes or becomes quantum-sized. The contracting volume of the Universe IMHO gets to a finite (macro) volume where it then ceases decreasing further in volume, and that point is reached well before time equals (near) zero. That volume might be in the range of a stellar to galactic sized object. That might be a reasonable volume to cram the contents of the Universe down into. It's more believable than cramming the Universe into a volume less than that occupied by an atom!

#2: You can not squeeze, IMHO, all the matter/energy contents of our observable universe, far less the entire Universe, into a volume that is properly the realm of the quantum or micro-verse. That's just common sense. However, that's what apparently the standard cosmological model (the Big Bang scenario) calls for. Now if you really believe the Big Bang was a quantum-sized event, then I suggest you can also be easily persuaded to believe that politicians have first and uppermost our best interests at heart, and not their best interests at heart – especially around election time!

#3: And in a somewhat similar fashion, IMHO, singularities may not be micro (quantum realm) objects either. Firstly, it's common sense that a singularity can not have zero volume and infinite density. Therefore, a singularity must have a finite volume and a finite density. As one adds more and more stuff to a singularity, the volume may remain constant while the density increases. But, because density can not hit infinity, it must have a limit. When that limit is reached, the volume of the singularity must increase. It follows therefore that the size of a singularity will eventually reach macro dimensions and fall out of the realm of quantum physics.

There's another reason why a singularity can not have zero volume and infinite density. If gravitational attraction increases as the density of something increases (the Sun, compressed to the size of a bowling ball, would have a lot more pull than said ball). So, what would the gravity be for something of so-called infinite density (i.e. – a singularity)? Well, it would have to also be infinite. Clearly singularities exist (because Black Holes have been verified to exist) and clearly we're not being attracted to them by their infinite gravitational pull (gravity might decrease with increasing distance away from the source of that gravity in accord with the well known Newtonian formula, but any decrease in infinity (say infinity divided by two) still leaves infinity. Therefore, either singularities do not exist, or they aren't infinitely dense.

#4: Space is expanding, according to cosmologists, carrying the entire Universe's matter/energy along for the piggyback ride. Thus we see the expanding Universe. However, IMHO, that's nonsense. The Universe (matter/energy) is expanding all right, but expanding through already existing and static space. The oomph that's driving the expansion of matter/energy through existing space is the energy or force of the Big Bang event itself.

Part and parcel of that expanding space idea is the concept of inflation that happened either just before of after the Big Bang event. Inflation is proposed to explain various cosmological observations, and suggests that a very sudden, but very short lived period existed where our embryo Universe increased in size (or inflated like a balloon) dramatically, so dramatically in fact that I have a problem with the concept. The one problem I have with the inflation concept is that apparently, for the duration that inflation existed, space was expanding at faster than light speed. Now that in itself is not the problem. That's allowable. The problem is that if space carries matter/energy along for the ride, the piggyback scenario above, then that matter/energy must have been moving, for the duration, faster than the speed of light, and that's not allowed.

If there is any observational test that can, and has, been made, which distinguishes between galaxies being carried piggyback by expanding space, and galaxies moving through existing space, I'm not aware of it.

#5: Although cosmologists inform us that there is no actual centre or location within our Universe where the Big Bang happened, that's nonsense, IMHO. Assuming a Big Bang (of some sort), it did not create space and time. How can any natural process create space and time is beyond me. Space is nothing, albeit a flexible nothing. Space is a 100% perfect vacuum in which all existing matter/energy resides, including containing the matter/energy that is what we term the vacuum energy or quantum jitters*. Time is just a measurement of the rate of change we observe in matter/energy, changes which can vary according to the Relativity Theories*. If the Big Bang did not create time and space, then time and space pre-existed when that cosmological event happened. Therefore, it had a specific location (coordinates) in that space (and time) – assuming there was an intelligence around to provide them. We have given the Universe coordinates (a cosmic latitude and longitude) in order to know where to point our telescopes. So, why can't we point our telescopes at these Big Bang coordinates – this point of origin coordinates – and observe directly the remnants of the Big Bang? Well, consider the following as an analogy. Say we have a heated oven (the Big Bang) in an enclosed room (the Universe). Now we turn the oven off. After an hour, it would be still obvious where the heat originated and coordinates (in the room) of same. However, after ten days, the oven is the same temperature as the entire room, and it is no longer obvious where the point of origin of the heat came from. Alas, we're at the ten day point. Since the Universe as a whole is at a uniform temperature (the cosmic microwave background radiation), ditto wherever the Big Bang occurred. One set of coordinates is identical in appearance to any other set. We have no idea therefore where to point our telescope, and even if we did, it wouldn't enlighten us.

#6: Cosmologists and science writers when trying to explain our evolving and expanding Big Bang Universe to the great unwashed, often use an analogy of an expanding balloon with painted dot ‘galaxies' on the expanding surface to represent our expanding Universe and the galaxies within, nearly all of which are receding away from each other in a precise mathematical manner. It's nonsense!

The expanding Universe is a three dimensional object – it has volume.

The expanding balloon is a three dimensional object – it too has volume.

So why one is asked to just believe or picture the expanding two dimensional outside surface of the balloon as representing our expanding three dimensional Universe escapes me!

That said, of course painted dot ‘galaxies' on the balloon's expanding surface will all be moving away from each other in a precise mathematical relationship that mirrors the real galaxies recession from each other, but…

If you could imagine these painted dot ‘galaxies' inside the expanding balloon (and not just on the surface), and if you can imagine the expanding space inside the balloon carrying these painted dot ‘galaxies' in a piggyback fashion, then the painted dot ‘galaxies' inside the balloon would also be getting further and further apart from one another in a precise mathematical relationship.

Another problem with the analogy is that we are taught that there's no preferred place or exact geographical location for the origin of the expanding Universe. Yet clearly, even in the two dimensional surface-only picture, there is a specific point or origin or location of the cause – the point where the air is being pumped in.

In either case, whether two dimensions or three dimensions, the balloon analogy is wrong in that expanding space isn't carrying the galaxies piggyback, but that the galaxies are moving through existing static space.

Ask yourself this question: Is the Andromeda Galaxy – which we can easily observe (or our own Milky Way Galaxy for that matter) on the surface of anything? The Andromeda Galaxy is not on the surface of anything! It is inside outer space, not on the surface of outer space. Outer space does not have a surface. The correct balloon analogy is that the Great Galaxy of Andromeda is inside the expanding balloon, not a dot on the surface of the balloon.

#7: There was absolutely nothing before the Big Bang event – no time, no space, no matter, no energy. Asking what happened before the Big Bang is akin to asking ‘what's the shape of a square triangle?'! At least that's the standard spiel. Of course if space and time have existed for all eternity, then lots of things, happenings, events, etc. preceded our Big Bang, IMHO. Unfortunately, with respect to cosmology, I've locked myself philosophically into taking the point of view that there are no absolute beginnings or first causes. By crossing these concepts off from consideration from the first, it eliminates a lot of otherwise potential messy details, like how does one create from absolute nothing things like time, space, matter and energy? (I can just imagine some stereotyped ‘mad scientist' in his basement laboratory creating these from first principles – that would really muck up the works, but then again, if Mother Nature could do it, shouldn't we be able to do it too – at least in theory?)

#8: The "Cosmic Coincidence" is just that – a coincidence – and coincidences don't require explanations, IMHO. For example, if someone in Canberra gets up at 7 am, has corn flakes for breakfast, wears a red tie to work, and has a wife and two kids, and someone in Sydney also gets up at 7 am, has corn flakes for breakfast, wears a red tie to work, and has a wife and two kids, that's pure coincidence and no explanation is required. Now the "Cosmic Coincidence" relates to the fact that the cosmological constant or dark energy or the vacuum energy responsible for the acceleration of the already existing expansion of our observable universe happens to be roughly equivalent in strength to the Universe's matter density. The former is forever constant despite the expansion while the latter is forever decreasing as matter (gravity) is being diluted due to that same expansion. Of course the two lines have to cross at some point in time; it's just that that time just happens to coincide with roughly a time that's compatible to our own existence. If cosmologists suspect some deeper meaning behind the crossing of those two events, and that we're simultaneously here to make note of it, then perhaps it should be termed something akin to a ‘fortuitous cosmic happening' or ‘fortuitous cosmic occurrence'.

#9: That there is only one Universe (ours) is often taken as a given (or for granted). But to repeat myself, if Mother Nature can produce one (our) Universe, then She can produce more than one. The Multiverse is quite a viable/reasonable hypothesis IMHO.

#10: That String or M-Theory will come to the rescue of and shortcomings in the standard cosmological (Big Bang) model. That, IMHO, is highly unlikely. After over two decades, despite the efforts of hundreds of physicists, and thousands of academic papers, String or M-Theory (including Branes) remains just a theoretical mathematical playground. It has no runs on the board, not one shred or iota of hardcore evidence as provided by any experiment to date. Thus, ideas akin to the Ekpyrotic Universe remain in the realm of science fiction – at least in the here and now.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/nature-articles/the-ten-cosmic-fallacies-4504320.html

About the Author

Science librarian; retired.

January 08, 2014

Astronomy Exhibitions and Meetings in 2014

1-) AstroFest - London, United Kingdom, 7-8th February
2-) The International Astronomy Show, Warwickshire, United Kingdom, 7-8th June
3-) SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation, 24-26 June, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
4-) AME, International Astronomy Fair, 13 September, Wurttemberg, Germany
5-) The Franklin Institute, Rittenhouse Astronomical Society Meetings - each month, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Click here to learn more about astronomy

January 04, 2014

Galaxies and Planets

Types of Galaxies

Author: Pyaraka Vijay


Almost all current systems of galaxy classification are outgrowths of the initial scheme proposed by Hubble in 1926. In Hubble's scheme, which is based on the optical appearance of galaxy images on photographic plates, galaxies are divided into three general classes: ellipticals, spirals, and irregulars. His basic definitions are as follows:
Elliptical galaxies.

Galaxies of this class have smoothly varying brightnesses, with the degree of brightness steadily decreasing outward from the centre. They appear elliptical in shape, with lines of equal brightness made up of concentric and similar ellipses. These galaxies are nearly all of the same colour: they are somewhat redder than the Sun.
Spiral galaxies.

These galaxies are conspicuous for their spiral-shaped arms, which emanate from or near the nucleus and gradually wind outward to the edge. There are usually two opposing arms arranged symmetrically around the centre. The nucleus of a spiral galaxy is a sharp-peaked area of smooth texture, which can be quite small or, in some cases, can make up the bulk of the galaxy. The arms are embedded in a thin disk of stars. Both the arms and the disk of a spiral system are blue in colour, whereas its central areas are red like an elliptical galaxy.
Irregular galaxies.

Most representatives of this class consist of grainy, highly irregular assemblages of luminous areas. They have no noticeable symmetry nor obvious central nucleus, and they are generally bluer in colour than are the arms and disks of spiral galaxies. An extremely small number of them, however, are red and have a smooth, though nonsymmetrical, shape.
Hubble subdivided these three classes into finer groups according to subtle differences in shape, as described in detail below. Other classification schemes similar to Hubble's follow this pattern but subdivide the galaxies differently. A notable example of one such system is that of Gerard de Vaucouleurs. This scheme, which has evolved considerably since its inception in 1959, includes a large number of codes for indicating different kinds of morphological characteristics visible in the images of galaxies. The major Hubble galaxy classes form the framework of de Vaucouleurs's scheme, and its subdivision includes different families, varieties, and stages, as shown in Table 1.

Examples of the de Vaucouleurs classification scheme are for galaxy M33, the Triangulum Nebula, which is classified as SA(s)cd, and the nearby small galaxy NGC 6822, classified as IB(s)m.

An entirely different kind of classification scheme is the luminosity classification developed in 1960 by Sidney van den Bergh. Based on morphological considerations, luminosity classes are assigned to individual galaxies within the Hubble classes. Those that are the most luminous are given a luminosity class of I, and the intrinsically faintest members of a class are assigned a V or VI, recalling the general approach of the luminosity class scheme used for stellar spectra . Thus a very luminous galaxy with open, resolved arms would be an Sc I galaxy, while a somewhat intrinsically fainter object with the same basic structure would be an Sc II or Sc III galaxy. To assign a luminosity class, a galaxy's image has to be compared with a set of standard images of galaxies for which distances are known and for which luminosity classes have been established by van den Bergh.

Classification schemes based on criteria other than optical appearance have been proposed. There is, for example, the Morgan scheme (proposed by W.W. Morgan), which combines information on the spectrum of a galaxy with its general shape. Here, a class is coded with a letter that indicates the spectral type of the galaxy in the blue (either as measured or as determined from the galaxy's bulge morphology, which correlates with the spectral type): e.g., a, af, f, fg, g, gk, k, for increasing dominance by cooler stars. The code then includes a capital letter to indicate general morphology--e.g., E, S, or I--in accordance with Hubble's general classes. This is followed by a number that indicates the overall optical shape of the image, with 0 representing a circular image and a 10 (never actually realized) standing for a linear, infinitely thin image. An example is the galaxy M31, the Andromeda Nebula, which is classified as kS5 in the Morgan system.

Systems that separate galaxies according to the character of their radio structure and the strength of their radio emissions also have been devised. For example, radio galaxies can be classified according to the following scheme:

g: galaxies with normal radio fluxes.

R: galaxies with strong radio emission. Many have distorted morphology, with evidence of explosive events or interactions with companions.

cD: galaxies with abnormally large, distended shapes, always found in the central areas of galaxy clusters and hypothesized to consist of merged galaxies.

S: Seyfert galaxies, originally recognized by the American astronomer Carl K. Seyfert from optical spectra. These objects have very bright nuclei with strong emission lines of hydrogen and other common elements, showing velocities of hundreds or thousands of kilometres per second. Most are radio sources.

N: galaxies with small, very bright nuclei and strong radio emission, probably similar to Seyfert galaxies but more distant.

Q: quasars, small, extremely luminous objects, many of which are strong radio sources. Quasars apparently are related to Seyfert and N galaxies but have such bright nuclei that the underlying galaxy can be detected only with great difficulty.

Although such schemes are sometimes used for special purposes, including, for example, certain kinds of statistical studies, the general scheme of Hubble in its updated form is the one most commonly used and so will be described in detail in the following section.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/science-articles/types-of-galaxies-5543903.html

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Irregular galaxies

light years

January 02, 2014

Constellations in Milky Way - Lyra Constellation

             Lyra is the constellation which can be seen from northern hemisphere from spring to autumn. Also recognized by International Astronomical Union. It is one of the closest constellation to the Earth. Lyra is composed of the stars called Vega, Sheliak, Sulafat, Kepler -37, Kepler - Kepler - 62. The last two have been discovered by Kepler Spacecraft in 2013.

         Lyra also consists of exoplanets which have been observed by Kepler Mission like Kepler 7b, Kepler 8b.

        Especially the planets orbiting the Kepler 62 star which are Kepler-62e, Kepler-62f are considered to be located in the habitable zone of the system and scientists specify that these planets are solid and ropcky and also include liquid water in order to sustain life on them. The distance of the Kepler 62 system to the Earth is 1200 light years.


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