A Week Among the 4.507034%
This has been another busy week. Monday saw the launch of STS-125 from the Johnson Space Center Building 2. Wednesday saw the docking with Hublle Space Telescope from Mission Control. Both Wednesday and Thursday had an opportunity to meet with the members of Expedition 19, Sandra Magnus and Mike Fincke. They showed some incredible HD video of the mission, also the STS-119 and STS-126 missions that visited while they were aboard ISS. Thursday was privileged to meet former Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale, who was please that I ride a motorcycle. During lunch I often go over to Mission Control, especially during EVA's. More photos coming soon.
Not to be forgotten, both Herschel and Planck launched together this week. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) measures the proportion of baryonic matter at 4.4 +/- 0.3%. Planck should narrow that down to +/- 0.1%, closer to the prediction of 4.507034%.
The old inflationary paradigm predicts that the Universe is flat, like Earth. Temperature fluctuations should be the same at all scales. Both predecessor spacecraft, COBE and WMAP show that fluctuations are zero beyond 60 degrees. This shows that the Universe is spherical as certainly as a ship's sails disappearing over the horizon. Inflation's prediction is ruled out by both COBE and WMAP.
The Hubble, now under repair, shows that either the universe is accelerating OR that the speed of light slows down. So far the former interpretation gets discussed everywhere but the latter seems nearly ignored. Shiny new instruments are great, but when will humans learn to interpret what is around them?