14 October 2016
Abysses beyond imagination… and beyond.
One of my great discoveries on the early Internet was the amount of information about the Milky Way. I hadn’t come across anything that really described its size, behaviour, composition, and our place in all of that. However, back about 2005 or so, I devoured information about it, and as I did so, more and more new discoveries were made.
I recently discovered this love site, Pics About Space, where much of what I had been learning has been visualized. Now that we have 1-2 trillion galaxies in mind, I look forward to new images.
13 October 2016
The more we know, the more we know we don’t know, y’know?
Apparently, a census of the visible universe has been collated, tabulated, and our earlier estimates of the number of galaxies was off. A bit.
The observable universe—that is, the part of the universe that’s visible to us on Earth—contains 10 to 20 times as many galaxies than previous estimates. That raises the total to somewhere between one and two trillion galaxies, which is up from the previous best estimate of 100 billion galaxies. Consequently, this means we also have to update the number of stars in the observable universe, which now numbers around 700 sextillion (that’s a 7 with 23 zeros behind it, or 700 thousand billion billion).
Here’s a now under-dense image of the galaxies (Southern skies btw) mapped out prior to this new estimate:
19 May 2016
Albert Einstein imagining himself riding lightning.
And here we have a clever representation by Alphonse Swinehart
8 May 2016
Using astronomy. So, what’s your excuse?
Updated Update: This story isn’t all it has been cracked up to be. Not to knock William Gadoury, as he was testing a theory, more with the “experts” who confirmed his findings, as they may not be “lost” or “a city”. We can’t confirm mayan constellations, since we don’t have a definitive list of them, and the mayan region was likely heavily developed and populated.
the Long-Lost Mayan City Teen Found Isn’t Lost…Or a City
Un ado découvre une cité maya (So, yes, it’s in French (le journal de Montreal, after all).
Un Québécois de 15 ans a découvert une nouvelle cité maya jusque-là méconnue grâce à sa théorie selon laquelle cette civilisation choisissait l’emplacement de ses villes selon la forme des constellations d’étoiles.
William Gadoury, un adolescent de Saint-Jean-de-Matha dans Lanaudière, est devenu une petite vedette à la NASA, à l’Agence spatiale canadienne et à l’Agence spatiale japonaise, alors que sa découverte est sur le point d’être diffusée dans une revue scientifique.
Essentially, a 15-year-old Quebecois lad discovered a heretofore (they have that word in French, y’know) unknown Maya city thanks to his theory that the Mayan civilization chose the locations for its settlements according to the constellations.
Pretty clever stuff. Good on him, and for showing that this type of creative thinking is really valuable.
UPDATE: as one intrepid commenter on the original site noted: the coordinates provided in the article put the city in Guatemala, whereas the map above shows the city in Belize. I have more faith in William Gadoury than I do the fact-checkers at le Journal de Montreal. Also, Montreal is spelled Hochelaga.
8 November 2014
378 day cycle begins today at conjunction
16 October 2014
106 day cycle begins today at inferior conjunction