Tag - Astronomy

Science

A Giant Black Hole Merger Has Been Discovered

The total count of black hole mergers we know about today is ten. The recent addition of four black hole mergers which were previously not considered has been documented and accepted by the scientific community. Among the newly added black hole, mergers is a massive one which is much bigger than the Sun.

It is easier to understand the nature of these black hole mergers if we can establish patterns. In 2016, the first black hole merger was detected; this event was widely reported in scientific journals. It was a huge achievement in physics.

The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) was the first agency that observed the formation of black holes. To properly investigate this discovery, the reports from the LIGO observatory period were analyzed a second time to ensure the details were in order. The information from these reports led to the discovery of the last four black hole mergers.

On July 29, 2017, scientists witnessed one of the most significant black hole mergers. These mergers are measured based on their mass, distance from the earth and spin.

It remains the largest black hole merger to have been discovered. The combined mass is very large, and scientists have reported the black holes were spinning at their fastest speeds which are unlike other mergers they have identified.

It is also the most distant black hole merger at about nine billion light-years in space. According to LIGO, the components of the black hole during the merger were identified with the code blue, while code purple was presented for other black hole mergers. The continuous studies are now making it possible to determine a pattern characteristic of each black hole merger event.

The black hole merger events may have happened following the collapse of large stars such as the Type II supernova. According to scientific speculations, it is also proposed that the black hole merger events currently happening are secondary, in follow up to previous mergers of black holes. The need for larger samples of black holes will increase the chances of identifying particular subgroups of larger holes which had been formed earlier.

The larger black holes have a capacity to draw in all objects in and around its path. This means there are more chances of mergers with smaller black holes. However, such an event is yet to be witnessed and confirmed. The bigger black holes have characteristically shorter signals; this means the random noise them emit is notably shorter. Therefore, it is important to use the proper equipment to detect the size of merged objects.

On the other hand, it is also suggested that the events witnessed and reported by LIGO are mergers between neutron stars. These events lasted for remarkably longer periods, and the signals from the neutron start were weaker thus reducing the volume of space where these events can be detected.

Going forward, the scientists can continue to work with what they have at the moment. The massive black hole merger will be under observation to define patterns. If the patterns can be determined, it will be easier to determine the space where such events are likely to happen.

The total count of black hole mergers we know about today is ten. The recent addition of four black hole mergers which were previously not considered has been documented and accepted by the scientific community. Among the newly added black hole, mergers is a...

Science

Tiny Soviet Moon Rocks Sell For Almost $1,000,000

When we hear that someone is selling ‘moon rocks’, we often imagine it’s the modern day snake oil. It’s just something that is hard to believe. If someone was the holder of some extraterrestrial rocks, then why would you ever choose to sell such an item?

It makes it easy to believe that they must be talking nonsense, then. However, with the help of an auction taking place at the moment, we might just get to see the real thing – actual moon rocks. This will go on sale at the Sotheby’s Auction House, and is expected to sell for as much as $1m when the auction takes place his week to come.

Indeed, according to Sotheby’s Auction House’ senior specialist for books and manuscripts, Cassandra Hatton, the product is legit. She said that: “You cannot buy or sell lunar material unless you have documentation proving that it can be owned by a private individual,

“As far as we know, this is the only lunar material that actually has that documentation, so it’s the only lunar sample that can be legally bought by a private individual.”

Where does it come from?

This particular lunar material is supposed to have been part of the 1970 lunar missions carried out by the Soviets. It was provided to the auction hose by Nina Ivanova Karoleva, the widow of Sergei Pavlovich Korolev. Korolev was the former director of the Soviet space program, and the rocks were then sold by Sotheby’s to an anonymous American for a fee of $442,500. These were sold in 1993, and now look to go for even more in 2018.

With a pre-sale estimate of $700,000-1m, they were auctioned on November 29th. In the end, the rocks eventually went for $855,000. This shows that the price and value of the rocks has almost doubled since they last went on sale in the 1990s.

This was not the first major sale this year either, in relation to the moon. A bag was sold by Sotheby’s last year which was supposed to have been laced with moon dust, and was used by US Astronaut Neil Armstrong during the first ever manned mission to the moon. It sold for around $1.8m.

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When we hear that someone is selling ‘moon rocks’, we often imagine it’s the modern day snake oil. It’s just something that is hard to believe. If someone was the holder of some extraterrestrial rocks, then why would you ever choose to sell such an...

Science

Today It’s Easier To Find Habitable Planets

For years, the search for habitable planets has gone on. However, there is often little to no genuine progress. one such change to that, though, has come from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), as well as the Paris Observatory. Working alongside NVIDIA, they have taken the move to try and ramp up the search for new planets which would be habitable.

This comes after a new demonstration of the Subaru Telescope, the 8.2-meter telescope owned by the NAOJ. Also, they are using development with astronomers from the KAUST Extreme Computing Research Center to develop new Extreme-AO algorithms. These will help to make the search for habitable planets much easier and should help to put a dent in what has been a huge barrier in the path to finding a potential new home in the centuries to come.

According to Dr. Hatem Ltaief, the Senior Research Scientist at ECRC: “Imaging exoplanets with large ground-based telescopes is very challenging due to the star/planet contrast and blurring induced by Earth’s atmosphere. Very high-performance adaptive optics—sometimes referred to as ‘Extreme-AO’—are required,”

The aim is to create more powerful control algorithms, with the aim being to help use high-powered NVIDIA GPU systems to help deliver continuous optimization of the system. This would even help to create a system that can anticipate quickly changing disturbances caused by the atmosphere of the Earth itself.

A step in the right direction

Professor Damien Gratadour, an astronomer at Paris Observatory, noted that “This fantastic new technology is already being used to take a closer look at exoplanets orbiting around nearby stars. With the larger 25-40 meter telescopes astronomers are currently building, new Earth-like planets orbiting nearby stars will be imaged and their atmospheric composition will be measured to look for signs of life such as oxygen, water or methane,”

By using the new Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) algorithms, there can be better control provided to account for atmospheric conditions. Indeed, the research itself was highly regarded, winning awards at the Platform for Advanced Scientific Computing Conference in Basel in 2018. Indeed, it’s already being used on the Subaru Telescope, located at 14,000ft, over in Hawaii.

While some get frustrated at stories like this, it’s obviously very cool. The world does need to act faster on saving our own planet, what with the whole 12-year warning recently from the IPCC. However, it’s important that we continue to develop aspects of science like this. Sadly, if humanity continues to show this same ravenous appetite for all things it shouldn’t touch, we might need a new planet one day.

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For years, the search for habitable planets has gone on. However, there is often little to no genuine progress. one such change to that, though, has come from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), as well as the Paris Observatory. Working...

Science

Billboards In Space: NASA Explores Placing Ads On Rockets

In the near future, you may conceivably see a spacecraft to Mars featuring a Mars chocolate bar logo plastered across its wings.

NASA recently called for a new committee of the NASA Advisory Council to explore the idea of branding and endorsement opportunities. Despite current regulations and laws seemingly prohibiting such activities, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine recently posed the question, “Is it possible for NASA to offset some of its costs by selling the naming rights to its spacecraft?” he asked during to a meeting of a council that advises NASA. “Or the naming rights to its rockets? I’m telling you, there is interest in that right now.”

As much as news of seeing astronauts in Coca-Cola commercials, or NASA’s Mars rover rebranded as Jordan’s brought to you by Nike, it will take some time before a decision can be made. “The question is: is it possible?” Bridenstine mentioned in a video broadcast on NASA TV and which question has been debated in press accounts since then. “The answer is: I don’t know, but we want somebody to give us advice on whether it is.”

Bridenstine also stated he would like to see astronauts participate in marketing and endorsement opportunities as well as transforming rockets into corporate billboards similar to ads on NASCAR racing cars. “I’d like to see kids growing up, instead of maybe wanting to be like a professional sports star, I’d like to see them grow up wanting to be a NASA astronaut or a NASA scientist,” he said. “I’d like to see, maybe one day, NASA astronauts on the cover of a cereal box, embedded into the American culture.”

The White House recently announced the establishment of a National Space Council last year, led by Vice President Mike Pence, and wants to see mankind return to the moon. However, the administration’s budget proposals so far suggest financing will remain flat through 2023, with wishes to end direct funding for the International Space Station and turn over its operations to a private entity. Bridenstine also said he wants the new committee to explore flying tourists to the International Space Station alongside government astronauts.

The committee, headed by Maxar Technologies’ Mike Gold, will pursue ways NASA could work with advertisers to brand its spacecraft and rockets as well as investigate how astronauts might engage in endorsements and media opportunities — both on and off Earth. He proposes that by allowing astronauts to do advertisements like appearing on cereal boxes, such endorsements will help “enhance the exposure of space activities in the popular culture,” according to Gold. One of Bridenstine’s goals is to offset the costs of NASA missions by selling the naming rights of its hardware to private companies.

Among the next steps are branding and advertising that future commercial space stations might tap into Bridenstine said. “This is yet another opportunity to prove out a market.” The newly appointed committee is likely to make recommendations at the next quarterly meeting of the NASA advisory council, he said.

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In the near future, you may conceivably see a spacecraft to Mars featuring a Mars chocolate bar logo plastered across its wings.
NASA recently called for a new committee of the NASA Advisory Council to explore the idea of branding and endorsement...