Archives for March, 2016

“TW Hydrae is quite special. It is the nearest known protoplanetary disc to Earth and it may closely resemble the Solar System when it was only 10 million years old.” -David Wilner For hundreds of years since the realization that Earth and the other planets orbited the Sun, humanity had only hypotheses about how planets…

“When a star goes supernova, the explosion emits enough light to overshadow an entire solar system, even a galaxy. Such explosions can set off the creation of new stars. In its own way, it was not unlike being born.” -Todd Nelson In 1604, Kepler’s supernova went off, the last Milky Way supernova visible to naked-eye…

“Nobility, without virtue, is a fine setting without a gem.” -Jane Porter Since ancient times, gems were believed to bestow various traits and good fortunes upon those two whom they were gifted. In more recent times, we’ve associated gems with the time of the year someone was born, assigning each individual month a birthstone associated…

“Every single time you make a merger, somebody is losing his identity. And saying something different is just rubbish.” -Carlos Ghosn A galaxy cluster is the largest individual bound structure in the Universe, containing anywhere from dozens to thousands of times the mass of our Milky Way. Yet as the cosmic web grows and evolves,…

“Public discourse has been polluted now for decades by corporate-funded disinformation – not just with climate change but with a host of health, environmental and societal threats. The implications for the planet are grim.” -Michael E. Mann What a couple of weeks it’s been, both at Starts With A Bang and beyond, as I had a trip…

“When a person starts to talk about their dreams, it’s as if something bubbles up from within. Their eyes brighten, their face glows, and you can feel the excitement in their words.” -John C. Maxwell One of the most remarkable features of a great number of giant, active galaxies are the presence of jets of…

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.” -Winston Churchill When we look out at the Universe on the largest scales, from large-scale structure to the fluctuations in the CMB to lensed clusters of galaxies and to giant spirals and ellipticals, we…

“For the moment we might very well can them DUNNOS (for Dark Unknown Nonreflective Nondetectable Objects Somewhere).” -Bill Bryson The Sun makes up 99.8% the mass of our Solar System, yet stars account for only about 10-20% of the matter that protons, neutrons and electrons make up. Protons, neutrons and electrons — along with all…

“Although impact processes dominate the surface geology on Ceres, we have identified specific color variations on the surface indicating material alterations that are due to a complex interaction of the impact process and the subsurface composition.” -Ralf Jaumann, Dawn scientist NASA’s Dawn mission has just revealed a huge suite of data about Ceres, our Solar…

“I’m a fan of supersymmetry, largely because it seems to be the only route by which gravity can be brought into the scheme. It’s probably not even enough, but it’s a way forward to get gravity involved. If you have supersymmetry, then there are more of these particles. That would be my favourite outcome.” -Peter…