Posts tagged "Astronomy"

Pay no attention to that mystrious roar in deep space!

It is NOT my giant, living planet finally achieving consciousness and preparing to feed on neighboring moons for the first time. I repeat, it is NOT a giant living planet I created named Gorth who will soon devour planets on my command if they do not hand over their secret advanced technology. You have nothing to fear. Go back to watching American Idol. Remember to vote for the worst!

PS: Also ignore the Bloop in the ocean. Just don’t go swimming after dark if you hear it.

Mystery Roar from Faraway Space Detected
Andrea Thompson
Senior Writer andrea Thompson
senior Writer – Wed Jan 7, 10:31 pm ET

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Space is typically thought of as a very quiet place. But one team of astronomers has found a strange cosmic noise that booms six times louder than expected.

The roar is from the distant cosmos. Nobody knows what causes it.

Of course, sound waves can’t travel in a vacuum (which is what most of space is), or at least they can’t very efficiently. But radio waves can.

Radio waves are not sound waves, but they are still electromagnetic waves, situated on the low-frequency end of the light spectrum.

Many objects in the universe, including stars and quasars, emit radio waves. Even our home galaxy, the Milky Way, emits a static hiss (first detected in 1931 by physicist Karl Jansky). Other galaxies also send out a background radio hiss.

But the newly detected signal, described here today at the 213th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, is far louder than astronomers expected.

There is “something new and interesting going on in the universe,” said Alan Kogut of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

A team led by Kogut detected the signal with a balloon-borne instrument named ARCADE (Absolute Radiometer for Cosmology, Astrophysics, and Diffuse Emission).

In July 2006, the instrument was launched from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas, and reached an altitude of about 120,000 feet (36,500 meters), where the atmosphere thins into the vacuum of space.

ARCADE’s mission was to search the sky for faint signs of heat from the first generation of stars, but instead they heard a roar from the distant reaches of the universe.

“The universe really threw us a curve,” Kogut said. “Instead of the faint signal we hoped to find, here was this booming noise six times louder than anyone had predicted.”

Detailed analysis of the signal ruled out primordial stars or any known radio sources, including gas in the outermost halo of our own galaxy.

Other radio galaxies also can’t account for the noise – there just aren’t enough of them.

“You’d have to pack them into the universe like sardines,” said study team member Dale Fixsen of the University of Maryland. “There wouldn’t be any space left between one galaxy and the next.”

The signal is measured to be six times brighter than the combined emission of all known radio sources in the universe.

For now, the origin of the signal remains a mystery.

“We really don’t know what it is,”said team member Michael Seiffert of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

And not only has it presented astronomers with a new puzzle, it is obscuring the sought-for signal from the earliest stars. But the cosmic static may itself provide important clues to the development of galaxies when the universe was much younger, less than half its present age. Because the radio waves come from far away, traveling at the speed of light, they therefore represent an earlier time in the universe.

“This is what makes science so exciting,” Seiffert said. “You start out on a path to measure something – in this case, the heat from the very first stars – but run into something else entirely, some unexplained.”

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Posted by Dr. Mobusu - January 9, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Categories: Science   Tags: , ,

My Martian Bigfoot Project

Sometimes great ideas just come to you. Like the time I thought to make bats large enough to ride, which also had the added benefits of saving me gas and eating the excess overgrown insects around my castle lair. Another great idea was the Bigfoot Army. A legion of Sasquatches that will march under my banner and help my reign of chaos. We all know Bigfeet are impervious to weapons and have the ability to blend into the surrounding environment. That is not even mentioning their fog effect, where all cameras trying to photograph them either end up blurred or destroyed. To make the ultimate weapons, I have to grow them in a variety of harsh environments to make them bigger and badder than any other sasquatch army out there. I wouldn’t want any other mad scientist to try to jump the gun with his own Bigfoot army. NASA inadvertently snapped a photo of one of my troops (Bigfoot #1200543-A) and that has now spread across the internet. Luckily, some have chosen to not believe, which will still allow me to take the world by surprise!


Life on Mars? Amazing photos from Nasa probe reveal mystery figure on Red Planet

Perched on a rock, she could be waiting for a bus.

But if so, she could be in for an awfully long wait.

This photo of what looks remarkably like a female figure with her arm outstretched, was taken on Mars.

Call me rocky: The intriguing image captured by Nasa on Mars
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Perhaps unsurprisingly, it has set the Internet abuzz with claims that there really is life on the red planet.

Others may well feel that it is simply an optical illusion caused by a landscape.

Alien life: What seems to be a human-like Martian is pictured on Mars
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The image was among many sent back to Earth by Spirit, Nasa’s Mars explorer vehicle which landed there four years ago.

Initial inspections revealed nothing unusual, but closer examination by amateur astronomers has thrown up this intriguing picture.

Painstaking: Space enthusiasts spent four years analysing this image, which on much closer inspection shows the ‘alien’
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As one enthusiast put it on a website: “These pictures are amazing. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw what appears to be a naked alien running around on Mars.”

Another, dismissing cynicism about the somewhat stony look of the “alien”, wrote: “If you show me another rock in another photo from Mars, or Earth, that naturally looks like that, I will reconsider.”

Say cheese: The mystery image was captured by Nasa’s explorer vehicle, Spirit

A third contributor, who might have come closer to the majority view, said: “Ah, the human eye can be tricked so easily.”


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Posted by Dr. Mobusu - January 23, 2008 at 10:00 am

Categories: Science   Tags: , , , ,