Category Archives: Science

Another Day, Another Science Discovery

So, religion, any new discoveries about how the universe works since we last spoke?  No.  Too bad.

Because science has done it again.

Today the collaboration for the LHCb experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of two new particles in the baryon family. The particles, known as the Xi_b’ and Xi_b*, were predicted to exist by the quark model but had never been seen before.

More confirmation of theories we already have about what subatomic particles existed and when.

Landing a Robot on a Comet

Today, the European Space Agency landed a probe on a comet that moves through our solar system.  Comet 67P/Churyumov – Gerasimenko now contains a hitchhiker.  These pictures show the approach.

As great as that achievement is in and of itself, there is something I find even more amazing.  From what I’ve found using Google, the comet is hurtling through space at just over 18 kilometers per second.  The Earth averages 30 km/s on its travel around the sun.  As a reminder, that is kilometers per second.  PER SECOND!

They fired the bullet of Rosetta from the Earth, moving 30 km/s, at a comet, moving 18 km/s, AND THEY FIRED THE SHOT 10 YEARS AGO!  And I recently saw that the plan for this experiment was thought up 21 years ago.

21 years ago, scientists knew that in 11 years, they would need to fire a bullet that would need to sail around the inner solar system for a few years, go into hibernation, come out of hibernation and hit a comet moving at 41,127 miles per hour TEN YEARS AFTER THEY LAUNCHED IT.

Your move, religion.

Time Travel

I found out about this from here.

11.4 million years ago, a star went supernova.  And we (the human race) just noticed it.  Within the past month.  Think about that.  The article has pictures from an observatory in London — one taken in mid-December and one taken in mid-to-late January — showing the explosion of a star.    The earth is going to be witness to something that happened 11.4 million years ago.  Possibly with binoculars.

I would love to know which way to point a 300mm telephoto camera lens to try to pick up on this, but I doubt with all the interfering lights from suburbia I will be able to see anything.