A question

This forum is for discussing space science topics related to Stardust@home.

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Nikita
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Post by Nikita »

Startrak,

I saw this and I thought of you. I'm not losing a few brain cells any more, I can now feel little explosions going off in my head!
Gravity bending light
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startrak
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Gravity bending light

Post by startrak »

Thanks so much, Nikita. And we always assumed we were the only ones in the universe. Regarding little explosions, I swear I can hear them. :roll:

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Dark matter/energy

Post by startrak »


Nikita
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Post by Nikita »

Thanks to a fellow duster, (Thanks again, John!) I am now aware that that link is to the current picture of the day and I was referring to the picture for the specific date posted.
Thanks for your link Startrak, I think I'll need to process that one a little. OK, a lot. Ether is back, WOW! :shock:
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Wolter
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Post by Wolter »

Well, ust edit your link then Nikita ;)
Just dusting... Image

Nikita
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Post by Nikita »

Thanks Wolter! I meant to do that, been a little busy.... :oops:
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startrak
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Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex

Post by startrak »

I was looking at the Astronomy Picture of the Day for 2007 Sept 3 and 2008 Feb 15 and wonder if this is the same area our Stardust comes from?

bmendez
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Re: Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex

Post by bmendez »

startrak wrote:I was looking at the Astronomy Picture of the Day for 2007 Sept 3 and 2008 Feb 15 and wonder if this is the same area our Stardust comes from?
Interesting thought, startrack.

The location in the sky that the interstellar dust originates from is close to Rho Ophiuchi:

Image

The elipse is the direction the dust stream was measured to originate from by the Ulysses and Galileo spacecrafts. Rho Ophiuchi is just outside that area.

However, our view of the sky is 2-dimensional and Rho Ophiuchi is a bit too far away to be a source of interstellar dust entering our Solar System. The picture below illustrates the distribution of interstellar matter clouds in the Sun's neighborhood.

Image

It's that very local cloud that the Sun is passing through that is the likely source of the interstellar dust stream that Stardust sampled. The appearance of where in the sky it's coming from is a combination of the Sun's motion through the Galaxy (toward Hercules) and the cloud's motion through the Galaxy (from somewhere in the vicinity of Scorpius).

-Bryan
"I am made from the dust of the stars, and the oceans flow in my veins"
- RUSH

startrak
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Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex

Post by startrak »

Thank you for the awesome illustrations, Bryan. Makes viewing the night sky even more fascinating.

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Age of universe

Post by startrak »

I read in Space.com news a few months ago the universe is now thought to be 15.8 billion years old, not 13.7 but I haven't heard or read 15.8 billion years being used anywhere since that item. Of course I can't even begin to comprehend either number but am curious about the age of the universe.

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Age of Universe

Post by fjgiie »


bmendez
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Re: Age of universe

Post by bmendez »

startrak wrote:I read in Space.com news a few months ago the universe is now thought to be 15.8 billion years old, not 13.7 but I haven't heard or read 15.8 billion years being used anywhere since that item. Of course I can't even begin to comprehend either number but am curious about the age of the universe.
Hi Startrak,

I haven't read the information you've seen. The latest that I am aware of is that the parameters that WMAP helped pin down have been independently confirmed by several other studies. All of those parameters together with a give model of the Universe (the cold dark matter model with a a non-zero cosmological constant) determine the age of the Universe, about 13.7 billion years.

all the best,
-Bryan
"I am made from the dust of the stars, and the oceans flow in my veins"
- RUSH

startrak
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Age of universe

Post by startrak »

Thank you for the information jfgiie and Bryan. This is the article I was referring to -- http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0 ... evise.html

Another question (and I apologize if this sounds absolutely ridiculous). Is it possible the Big Bang started out like the whip action of a line of ice skaters thereby causing the increase in acceleration and size?

My sincere sympathy to you and your family, Bryan.

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Post by Nikita »

You know Startrak,

My daughter asked me what was on the other side of the universe and I told her the same thing that's in tomorrow. That sent her away saying, "I can't take it!" She's only 12 (Hee Hee!).

I don't know how accurate it would be, but I have a book I jump into every now and then called The Last Three Minutes by Paul Davies. A large part of it is spent on the first three minutes, I know there is another book called The First Three Minutes.

The copy I have is dated 1994 - woefully old, but I have to believe that some of the data is still good. I don't know if anyone else has any better suggestions for us. It would be nice to have one good source than to get lost in the virtual data out there!
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Post by jsmaje »

Nikita wrote:My daughter asked me what was on the other side of the universe and I told her the same thing that's in tomorrow. That sent her away saying, "I can't take it!" ...
... I don't know how accurate it would be, but I have a book I jump into every now and then called The Last Three Minutes by Paul Davies ...
... It would be nice to have one good source than to get lost in the virtual data out there!
For a more-or-less up to date non-specialist account of on-going cosmological thinking I can recommend the Scientific American Magazine's subscriber supplement I've just been reading The Cosmic Life Cycle - origins of the universe. I believe there is a similar special edition The Once and Future Cosmos for non-subscribers.
I also have Paul Davies's and other books as well but, given a continually developing observational and theoretical subject such as cosmology, any such books, taking months/years to get into circulation, are bound to be already out-of-date when published. Subscription to respectable magazines such as SciAm, New Scientist, Astronomy Now, etc. is a better way for the general reader to nevertheless keep up with latest ideas, and can be worth it for the pictures alone.

At the suggestion of a friend I've also recently been enjoying various web articles about early bizarre cosmological ideas, including Sir Edmund Halley's (he of the comet) 1692 suggestion of a hollow earth with concentric inner shells. Initially this was a perfectly reasonable attempt to explain earth's moving magnetic field, but later became elaborated to suggest that the putative shells were possible habitats for inner-earth people and animals, their luminous atmosphere leaking through the north and south poles to cause the aurorae! In 1818, Captain John Symmes even proposed an expedition to the north pole to find a hole there into earth's interior but didn't get the necessary funding before he died. I guess Jules Verne's 1864 novel "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" was based on such such speculations, along with all the subsequent Hollywood spin-offs.

There is also the account of how in 1897 Cyrus R. Teed thought that not only was the earth hollow, but the rest of the universe was in fact on the inside! His serious scientific attempt to prove earth's surface was therefore concave rather than convex makes fascinating reading.

Dark matter, dark energy, string theories, brane theories, multiverses, etc. are our modern-day equivalent attempts to explain the universe and, although we now have much more sophisticated observational and experimental tools, undoubtedly much will eventually prove to be wrong just as in the past. To me, that's the fascination of science.

Meanwhile Nikita, I thought your answer to your daughter's question about what's on the other side of the universe was brilliant.
Can I suggest you demonstrate a Möbius Strip to her, and ask her which side is inside and which outside? I'd certainly like to know!

John

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