Tuesday, October 10, 2006

That's No Moon, It's a Space Station


Ed Morana of Tracy, California took this photo of ISS transiting the Moon. He used his own camera and a backyard telescope. It looks like we are nearly there. As mentioned before, I've been at the AAS HEAD Meeting. Compared to COSMO the papers are less speculative, with little mention of strings or "dark energy."

In his Friday talk, Roger Blandford of KIPAC urged us to attack fundamental problems directly, instead of "assumption-fitting model-building." He joined those calling the current physics "epicycles." Though he has previously lectured the public about it, he avoided mentioning "dark energy." Welcome to the team, Dr. Blandford.

Pythagoras is known for his theorem about triangles, though he probably learned that from Babylonians. He encouraged his followers to have many interests, making contributions to music and astronomy. As a musician, he is credited with the idea that "music of the spheres" described the planets. As a mathematician, Pythagoras was inspired to claim that that "all is numbers," meaning that everything in the world could be described by equations. This idea is the basis of modern physics. Pythagorean ideas began a quest that would last thousands of years, to find equations describing the Universe.

To please his musician's ear, Pythagoras sought a "cosmic harmony." A sphere is simply a circle of three dimensions rather than two. Reasoning that the most harmonious shpae was a circle, he theorised that Earth was spherical. This theory, born from a first principle, turned out to be correct. Today's science seeks to explain the Universe from such principles.

4 Comments:

Blogger Rae Ann said...

Just this afternoon going to pick up my kids while listening to a CD in the car I was thinking about how we've "reduced" so many things to numbers with all of our digital technology. But with music it's interesting that you can still kind of tell subtle differences between a digital reproduction and the "live" music, and with pictures we can definitely see the pixels. I'm not sure if that's really relevant, but it seems like it might be.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Ah yes, an age of the Music of the Spheres! How fortunate we are to be given such opportunity. And how damned are we to squander it.

1:00 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

It can be frustrating, but look at all that we three have accomplished. Both your contributions are valuable and are appreciated.

8:37 PM  
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