Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Aftermath

Here’s arguably the coolest video I’ve ever seen.  The Hubble timelapse over 4 years of star V838 Monocerotis, or V838 Mon.

From Petapixel:

Captured over the course of 4 years by the Hubble Space Telescope, it’s a time-lapse that shows a very unusual star’s ‘light echo’ rippling out through space in the most spectacular fashion.

A light echo happens with any object in space that brightens very quickly, such as a nova or a supernova. The light from the star itself reaches us first, but if there is dust and other stellar debris around the star, some light is reflected from the clouds and takes a bit longer to reach us.

Simply breathtaking.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014




A livelier night sky

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m very fascinated by anything related to our universe so when I saw this visual representation of what our night sky would look like if the planets of the Solar System were as close to us as our Moon, I had to post about it.

The link is here:

Here’s what we normally see on a moonlit night:


Now, if Mercury replaced the Moon, this is what we’d see:


Not too impressive, given Mercury’s size, but Venus is already quite more interesting:


And when you add Mars’ red shade:


Impressive size-wise are both Uranus:

uranusAnd Neptune:


But obviously the greatest spectacle is offered by Saturn:


And Jupiter, my all time favorite:


Now obviously if planets like Saturn and Jupiter were to ever come that close to the Earth our home planet would cease to exist, but imagine the spectacle!!

What’s your favorite?

New Additions!

Time flies and albeit late to the game I want to congratulate the 2 new states that have joined the club of the progressives:


A passage from the openly gay judge who ruled in the case:

Generations of Americans, my own included, were raised in a world in which homosexuality was believed to be a moral perversion, a mental disorder, or a mortal sin. I remember that one of the more popular playground games of my childhood was called "smear the queer" and it was played with great zeal and without a moment’s thought to today’s political correctness. On a darker level, that same worldview led to an environment of cruelty, violence, and self-loathing. It was but 1986 when the United States Supreme Court justified, on the basis of a "millennia of moral teaching," the imprisonment of gay men and lesbian women who engaged in consensual sexual acts. Even today I am reminded of the legacy that we have bequeathed today’s generation when my son looks dismissively at the sweater I bought him for Christmas and, with a roll of his eyes, says "Dad… that is so gay."


From Towleroad:

Judge John Jones III (above, right), a George W. Bush appointee, was not to be outdone by Judge McShane's lyrical and personal approach to the case. To Judge Jones, bans on same-sex marriage, whether they be constitutional provisions or statutes (Oregon had a constitutional amendment; Pennsylvania just had a law), are the worst of us and not worthy of our traditions and our future.

The decision was a broad one, covering equal protection and due process. Judge Jones even called for the application of heightened scrutiny in an equal protection analysis when antigay discrimination is at issue.

But one of the opinion's final lines struck me as too simple, at best:
In the sixty years since Brown [v. Board of Education] was decided, "separate" has thankfully faded into history, and only "equal" remains.

The count now stands at 19 (plus DC) states FOR marriage equality.

That almost half the number of states is now firmly on our side is truly remarkable and with pending litigation in all the remaining 31, it’s only a matter of time before the whole country has marriage equality.