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Posts Tagged "universe"

@ScientificAmerican

Getting Ready for Scientific American Tweet-Up at the American Museum of Natural History

We’re counting down the days here until the Scientific American tweet-up at the American Museum of Natural History on Wednesday, January 18, starting at 6 p.m. Full details are on my earlier blog post. We’ll enjoy talks, a tour of the “Beyond Planet Earth” exhibition–and some conversations over cocktails. Attendance is free for followers of [...]

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Life, Unbounded

C-SPAN’s ‘After Words’ Discusses Our Cosmic Status

(A. Fitzsimmons/ESO)

Ever feel that broadcast TV fails to tackle the big issues? I don’t mean the state of the economy, healthcare, the future of clean energy, or what B-list celebrities had for breakfast – I mean the Really Big Issues. Like whether or not we’re alone in the universe, whether life is somehow special, and whether [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Biggest Cosmological Problem Is…

The whole sky (again in Galactic coordinates) seen by Planck (ESA)

…living in a place that makes doing cosmology hard. Let’s backtrack a little. Unless you’ve been living under a particularly thick and insulating rock you’ll know that in recent months the world of experimental cosmology (what would have previously been called observational cosmology, or just plain old astronomy) has been on tenterhooks waiting to see [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Photons Of Your Life

Starry Night Over The Rhone (V. van Gogh, public domain)

An unusual question raises an intriguing idea. At a party a few nights ago a friend approached me with a dilemma. A relative of theirs had died, and the spouse was trying to understand if it was at all possible that there was still ‘something’ of their partner in existence; a tangible part of their [...]

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Life, Unbounded

This Is What We Don’t Know About The Universe

dont panic.001

In recent days I’ve had some interesting conversations. There’s a giddiness going around, related to an outpouring of science love – the kind you get from President Obama introducing TV science shows, the kind that has wonderful visuals, but is, well, a wee bit simplistic (a sin that none of us could ever, ever be [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Cosmic Cartography: Here Is Your (Local) Universe

Our local cosmic terrain (Credit: Helene Courtois)

A new video tours the nearby universe and makes it charmingly familiar. When I was a graduate student I spent a lot of time studying maps of our universe. These were being constructed using great surveys of galaxies. Each of these fuzzy specks was triangulated on the sky and located in depth by its apparent [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Subatomic to Superhorizon – Abandon All Hope!

Contemplating vastness

                      Grasping for an understanding of the true scale of the cosmos is a vital part of how we try to conceptualize reality and our place among it all. But it’s tremendously difficult, whether we’re seeking that ‘oh wow’ moment, or trying to gain intuition [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Stars Are Beginning To Go Out…

The galaxy NGC 1365 aglow with H-alpha light (Credit: ESO)

They really are. The universe is apparently well past its prime in terms of making stars, and what new ones are being made now across the cosmos will never amount to more than a few percent on top of the numbers already come and gone. This is the rather disquieting conclusion of a new and [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Interstellar Internet

An interstellar web? (Original image by B. Torrissen)

A speculative but intriguing discussion that sometimes crops up when talking to people engaged in exoplanetary science goes like this; let’s suppose that we find an unmistakably terrestrial style planet around a relatively nearby star (less than about 30 light years away), perhaps even around one of the Alpha Centauri members, a touch over four [...]

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Observations

Shocked Physicist Learns His Big Bang Theory Is True [Video]

Andrei Linde Hears BICEP2 Results

Few people were as thrilled with the big physics news today as physicist Andrei Linde. One of the main authors of inflation theory—the idea that the universe expanded incredibly rapidly just after it was born in the big bang—Linde has reason to be excited. Physicists announced this morning that they have discovered imprints of gravitational [...]

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Observations

Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: From the Big Bang to the Big Controversy (aka Climate Change)

The first morning lecture series for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, which is focused on physics for this, its 62nd anniversary year, got off to a cosmic start, tracing the origins and evolution of the universe, before crashing back to Earth with a discussion of climate change. (You can read all our coverage this week, [...]

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Symbiartic

An Interactive Scale of Everything in the Universe

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This infographic may look modest, but it is nothing short of exceptional. A few days ago, I posted it to Twitter and it seems at least the Twittersphere agrees. Now the graphic is up on Visual.ly with an embed button, so of course I had to pass it along! Truly an awesome graphic in scope [...]

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Symbiartic

Unveiling The Universe Within

13-001FEATURE

Almost five years ago to the day, Neil Shubin’s first book (and my first foray into illustrating popular non-fiction), Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body debuted. It was by all accounts hugely successful, far exceeding the publisher’s sales expectations in the first few months and going into multiple [...]

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