Thursday, October 26, 2006


The Crab Nebula is the remains of a supernova visible in 1054 AD. Here it is imaged simultaneously in X-Rays by Chandra (green), by the Hubble Space Telescope (blue) and in infrared by Spitzer (red). It is nice when groups cooperate. The white dot in the centre is the Crab pulsar spinning like a beacon due to some unknown (singularity?) power source.

Disturbing story from THE AUSTRALIAN: "The nation's most senior Muslim cleric has blamed immodestly dressed women who don't wear Islamic headdress for being preyed on by men and likened them to abandoned meat that attracts voracious animals. In a Ramadan sermon that has outraged Muslim women leaders, Sydney-based Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali also alluded to the infamous Sydney gang rapes, suggesting the attackers were not entirely to blame."

Australia is a sunny place with many women in science. We wear shorts in Summer because the weather is hot. Aboriginal women wear even less and are perfectly happy. The cleric's statement shows what we are fighting for.

Spitzer has also discovered two of the most distant galaxies ever found. Galaxy 1417 (top) and Galaxy 964 (bottom) were intitially discovered by the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. We see them at redshift 7.5, when the Universe was only 700 million years old. They appear to be about 500-600 million years old, meaning they formed very soon after the Big Bang. How can galaxies with central Black Holes form so early? Evidence is mounting that supermassive Black Holes are primordial, another indication of a changing speed of light.


Blogger nige said...

Very interesting post!

Thank you for the supernova photo.

I love shock waves and have worked out basic formulae here for shock waves in air which would also apply in a cloud of hydrogen.

‘Dr Edward Teller remarked recently that the origin of the earth was somewhat like the explosion of the atomic bomb…’

– Dr Harold C. Urey, The Planets: Their Origin and Development, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1952, p. ix.

‘It seems that similarities do exist between the processes of formation of single particles from nuclear explosions and formation of the solar system from the debris of a supernova explosion. We may be able to learn much more about the origin of the earth, by further investigating the process of radioactive fallout from the nuclear weapons tests.’

– Dr P.K. Kuroda, ‘Radioactive Fallout in Astronomical Settings: Plutonium-244 in the Early Environment of the Solar System,’ Radionuclides in the Environment (Dr Edward C. Freiling, Symposium Chairman), Advances in Chemistry Series No. 93, American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C., 1970.

America and the USSR detonated several megatons in space in 1962 (even during the Cuban missiles crisis): see here,
here, here, here and here.


3:33 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thanks Nigel and everyone. (200 visits!), I am glad that people enjoy the technical stuff.

8:24 AM  

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