"The Cassini Saturn probe has captured the previously unseen northern polar region of Saturn's moon Hyperion. Its weirdly eroded surface looks like nothing else in the solar system seen so far, demonstrating once again that when it comes to planetary exploration, "expect the unexpected" is more than just glib advice from the Hitch-hiker's Guide!"
( I think this should be Astronomy Picture Of the Day.Collapse )
How the Universe Will End
Scientists think they know how the universe began, but what happens at the other end of the space—time continuum was a deep, dark mystery—until now
Read this article from TIME.com.
By 1998 both teams knew something very weird was happening. The cosmic expansion should have been slowing down a lot or a little, depending on whether it contained a lot of matter or a little—an effect that should have shown up as distant supernovas, looking brighter than you would expect compared with closer ones. But, in fact, they were dimmer—as if the expansion was speeding up. "I kept running the numbers through the computer," recalls Adam Riess, a Space Telescope Science Institute astronomer analyzing the data from Schmidt's group, "and the answers made no sense. I was sure there was a bug in the program." Perlmutter's group, meanwhile, spent the better part of the year trying to figure out what could be producing its own crazy results.
In the end, both teams adopted Sherlock Holmes' attitude: once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever is left, no matter how improbable, has got to be true. The universe was indeed speeding up, suggesting that some sort of powerful antigravity force was at work, forcing the galaxies to fly apart even as ordinary gravity was trying to draw them together. "It helped a lot," says Riess, "that Saul's group was getting the same answer we were. When you have a strange result, you like to have company." Both groups announced their findings almost simultaneously, and the accelerating universe was named Discovery of the Year for 1998 by Science magazine.
Anyway, I think this raises a very important issue: if the universe has an end, then all of life that is in it has to come to an end. What does this mean for those who believe in a god (or gods)? What about those who hanker for immortality in some other form (like freezing your body for scientists or some other method)? Is immortality even possible knowing that someday the universe will cease to exist? Where does this place us in the grand scheme of things? If their findings are correct, and "the end" won't happen for millions of years, do you think scientists in the future may be able to find a way to stop it? My stance: all of human life arose through random, natural, albeit complex processes, and once we pass, we cease to exist. Death = total annihilation. Anyway, I couldn't think of anything worse than immortality. It would be incredibly boring.
In short, my opinion is: what we were before we were born is what we become when we die. Any thoughts or opinions?
The point is, whinge all you like, but first go here and sponser me. My number is 25051314-0
Please please do this. I'm trying to raise $400 in less then two weeks for the 40 hour famine. I'm going a whole week without wearing black or eyeliner, and that's a pretty big thing.
why you ask?
it's about 1 AM here in Seattle and i can take a book outside and read it with no artificial lighting.
small print book too.
is it possible that a white cloud cover can reflect the city light back to earth? because when i look up, all i see are orange-ish clouds.
all in all, i am creeped out.
I feel mighty. True, I am nothing compared to lightyears of gas, giant plants, black holes, galaxies eating one another or supernovas... but I'm me. I'm alive, I am me, I am walking along with all this wonderous stuff and I feel glorious.