Tag: clear (page 21 of 51)

Must -see! My Favorite Reality-warping Double Slit Experiment Presentation ~ By Jim Al-Khalili

Today there can be found many video presentations that demonstrate the head scratching- reality bending experiment known as the Double Slit Experiment, and this lecture delivered by Iraqi-born British theoretical physicist Jim Al-Khalili is my favorite...

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So is Pluto a Planet Again or Not?


Illustrated image of Pluto

theweathernetwork.com
ByScott Sutherland Meteorologist, theweathernetwork.com

Friday, July 18, 2014, 12:24 PM - For over 75 years, tiny Pluto enjoyed its status as the most distant planet in our solar system, but in 2006, it was demoted down to a 'dwarf planet' and its title was passed on to Neptune. Now, though, the editor of Astronomy magazine is sounding the rallying cry to re-open the debate about Pluto's nature, which could potentially redefine what it means to be a planet.

In 2006, when the International Astronomical Union (IAU) set down an official definition for what a 'planet' is, they came up with three rules:
1) The object must be in orbit around the Sun,
2) The object must be massive enough to be a sphere by its own gravitational force. More specifically, its own gravity should pull it into a shape of hydrostatic equilibrium, and
3) It must have cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.

Everything in the solar system technically orbits around the Sun, of course. Something like the Moon doesn't qualify, though, even though it's massive enough to be roughly spherical and its 'neighborhood' is as clear as Earth's is, because it only goes around the Sun as a consequence of being in orbit around Earth. Same goes for the moons of the other planets. Asteroids and comets don't qualify because they're not big enough to become spherical by their own gravity. Even Ceres (which is roughly spherical) doesn't make the cut, because it's in the asteroid belt, thus its 'neighborhood' isn't clear.
Pluto suffers the same problem as Ceres. It's definitely in orbit around the Sun (or at least the common gravitational focus it shares with Charon is in orbit around the Sun). It is massive enough to be a sphere. It just isn't considered to have cleared its neighborhood. So, not a planet, at least by the IAU rules.

However, while the first two rules are pretty clear and easy to determine, third isn't. According to Prof. Abel Méndez, of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, "there is no standard 'cleared' metric." It seems that due to the very existence of the Kuiper Belt, Pluto loses its status. However, exactly how cleared does the neighborhood have to be? There are millions of near-Earth asteroids flying around us, and there are even some asteroids that are locked into the same orbit as Earth ('Earth trojans'). There are even more asteroids near Mars' orbit, due to its proximity to the asteroid belt. Jupiter has an extremely large collection of asteroids in its orbit, both preceding it (the Greeks) and following behind (the Trojans).
Even discounting these cases, as it is, when you go further out into the solar system, it gets harder and harder for an object to clear its neighborhood. This is simply because it makes fewer orbits around the Sun compared to objects closer to the Sun, and thus it encounters the other objects in its orbit far less often. Consider Earth, going around the Sun once every year, with Pluto orbiting every 247 years. So, whereas Earth has made roughly 4.5 billion trips around the Sun since it formed, Pluto has only made 18 million similar trips (if it formed at roughly the same time).
As Astronomy magazine editor David Eicher said: "At the Pluto-like distance of 40 astronomical units — 40 times farther away from the Sun then we are now — Earth would not clear its orbit of asteroids, and so would Earth then not be classified as a planet?"
Also, since recent evidence has pointed to the fact that there may be two super-Earth-sized objects out beyond Pluto, both of them would be considered 'dwarf planets' as well, despite one potentially being 10 times the mass of Earth and the other being up to 100 times the mass of Earth.
So, when it comes to Pluto, what's the case for making it a planet again? Based on the facts above and Eicher's own thoughts:
1) the definition of what 'cleared the neighborhood around its orbit' is, itself, unclear
2) it seems unjustifiable that an object even larger than the Earth would not be considered a planet, simply because it orbits far out in our solar system
3) an object's intrinsic characteristics should dictate what kind of object it is, not its location.

Indeed, if you take the IAU's definition and attempt to apply it to all objects we know about, the multitude of worlds that we've discovered outside our solar system aren't technically planets, despite being large enough and even if they've cleared their orbit, because they don't orbit around the Sun.
So, perhaps it's time to revise the IAU's definition, not only to reconsider Pluto for planetary status, but also to make the definition applicable to a wider range of objects. Even if they changed the first rule to have 'a star' instead of 'the Sun' and changed the emphasis of the third rule to be that the object is large enough compared to the rest of the objects in its orbit to be capable of clearing its neighborhood (given enough time), it might be a much better set of conditions to measure everything against.
As Astronomy's editors offer up their time and efforts to host a renewed debate about Pluto, what do you think about its status? Should it be a planet again, remain as a dwarf planet, or perhaps something else? Leave your ideas in the comments below.

pluto

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Glass Half Full: An Afterlife Experience ~ By Greg Giles


I originally posted this article a couple of years ago, but its one of my favorite of all the articles I have shared over the years here at Ascension Earth. I feel this very real experience is worth sharing with you all once again, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy sharing it with you. 
Greg      
In a recent article, I shared the story of my Uncle Sonny who, upon leaving this realm from his hospital bed, emphatically and excitedly claimed his friends who had passed on years before him had come for him and were standing right there in the corner of the small hospital room waving him to come with them. My uncle had awoken from a coma he was under for weeks for just that moment, and upon the site of his friends smiling and waving to him he closed his eyes and left this Earth, I am sure to follow his friends into the afterlife.   


My uncle though, is not the only member of our family who has left one last gift for our family, as my mother also left this Earth just one year ago and she too had one last remarkable tale of her own to tell before she said goodbye to all of us. During a long surgical procedure that my mother survived, she was given the opportunity to leave here. After my mother awakened after her surgery in her hospital recovery room, this is what she had to share with all of us. My mother said that during her surgical procedure she suddenly materialized in a small, plainly decorated room. There in front of her was a table with a small glass filled to the top with crystal clear water. She didn't know why the glass of water sat there on the table, and before she could even think about it too long the door to the room opened and a young, handsome man walked in. She said he looked in his early 20s, which corroborates other evidence that beyond the veil of our current reality we can choose our own age and it appears that the low 20s are a very popular choice.


So this young man walked in and he greeted my mother by saying hello Anne, as if he knew her, and I'm sure he does. Without any further conversation he simply said, ‘If you are now ready to leave Earth and return home all you need to do is drink some of the water from this glass. I'm going to leave now for a few minutes to let you think about this and when I return, if you have drank any water from this glass you can come with me through this door. If I return and you have not drank any of the water from this glass, this will be your answer that you are not yet ready to leave your current life and you will be returned to your body back in the hospital.’


The young man then exited the small room and was gone, according to my mother’s account, for about three or four, maybe five minutes tops. My mother thought carefully about whether she wished to leave her life and her family here on Earth, and finally decided to leave the glass of water on the table untouched. The young man, who my mother refers to as one of her spirit guides, though she did not recognize him, returned to the room, looked at the glass of water on the table and said, ‘Okay Anne, then you will now return to your body in the hospital.’ My mother then had second thoughts and said to her guide, ‘Wait, I think I changed my mind. I want to drink some of the water.’ The young man looked at her and surprised her greatly when he said, ‘Sorry, you have already made your choice and now you must return to your life and to your body in the hospital.’


When my mother told us this story we all broke out in laughter and my mother laughed the hardest, saying, ‘Of all the spirit guides in the world I get some kid whose a stickler for the rules.’ My mother always had a great sense of humor and I thank her for that, because I believe I have inherited mine from her side of the family. I'm sure her spirit guide was strictly following procedure, and I am also sure he is a very gifted guide. One would have to be if they were charged with watching over our big family, as every one of us is certainly a handful, and that's putting it mildly.


My mother returned to her body and awoke in the recovery room where she immediately shared with us her story. There is no way I would ever believe that she was hallucinating or anything like that, and this is also quite out of character for her, as she has never felt comfortable speaking about spirituality or life after death or anything of that nature. She certainly was quite surprised to be standing in a room with her spirit guide who offered her the choice to return home. She couldn't stop thinking about what existed beyond the door of that small room, and she immediately knew that if she was ever offered a sip of that water again she would not hesitate to quench her thirst for adventure and a new beginning. She felt she had made a mistake not sipping the water, and she felt she allowed the fear of leaving here and the fear of leaving her family behind to influence greatly her choice, though, she has selflessly looked after us long enough and she certainly deserves the paradise that awaited her just beyond that door.     

My poor mom suffered as well after hesitating to take a sip of that water, as she was in much pain in the days following her surgery. It would not be long before she received a second chance however, and although she did not get the chance to share another story with us of her amazing experience in the afterlife, I’m convinced that somewhere a half filled glass of water sits on a table, and a girl, young again, smiles and laughs with all her old friends.

Greg Giles

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Criticism of Study Detecting Ripples From Big Bang Continues to Expand

The lab housing the Bicep2 telescope near the South Pole. Credit Steffen Richter, Harvard University
nytimes.com

Stardust got in their eyes.
In the spring a group of astronomers who go by the name of Bicep announced that they had detected ripples in the sky, gravitational waves that were the opening notes of the Big Bang. The finding was heralded as potentially the greatest discovery of the admittedly young century, but some outside astronomers said the group had underestimated the extent to which interstellar dust could have contaminated the results — a possibility that the group conceded in its official report in June.

Now a long-awaited report by astronomers using data from the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite has confirmed that criticism, concluding that there was enough dust in Bicep’s view of the sky to produce the swirly patterns without recourse to primordial gravitational waves.
“We show that even in the faintest dust-emitting regions there are no ‘clean’ windows in the sky,” the Planck collaboration, led by Jean-Loup Puget of the Astrophysical Institute in Paris, wrote in a paper submitted to the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics and posted online Monday.
As a result, cosmologists like the Bicep crew cannot ignore dust in their calculations. “However,” said Jonathan Aumont, another of the Planck authors, also from the Paris institute, “our work does not imply that they did not measure at all a cosmological signal.

Moreover, due to the very different observation techniques and signal processing in the Bicep2 and Planck experiments, we cannot say how much of the signal they measured is due to dust” and how much to gravitational waves.

So this is not the end of the story, both the Planck scientists and the Bicep group agree. But the original euphoria that the secrets of inflation and quantum gravity might be at hand has evaporated. Planck and Bicep are now collaborating on a detailed comparison of their results.

John M. Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, lead author of the Bicep paper, said the new report confirmed in greater detail the trend suggested by the first Planck papers in the spring, which indicated there is more dust even in the cleanest parts of the galaxy than anyone had thought.

Raphael Flauger of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N. J., who first raised the issue of dust in the Bicep report, said it confirmed what he had thought. “It doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room,” he wrote in an email, “and it seems clear that at least the majority of the signal is caused by dust.”

The gravitational waves may exist, although they would be weaker than the Bicep analysis indicated, causing theorists to reshuffle their ideas. As Richard Bond, an early universe expert at the University of Toronto and a Planck team member, put it: “Planck showed that dust could possibly be the entire Bicep2 signal, but Planck alone cannot decide. We have to do this in combination with Bicep2.”

The joint comparison and Planck’s own polarization maps are due at the end of the year.

If true, Bicep’s detection of gravitational waves would confirm a theory that the universe began with a violent outward antigravitational swoosh known as inflation, the mainspring of Big Bang theorizing for the last three decades.

The disagreement over the Bicep finding will not mean the end of inflation theory; it just means it will be harder for cosmologists to find out how it worked. The Bicep group and an alphabet soup of competitors are soldiering on with new telescopes and experiments aimed at peeling away the secrets of the sky.

Michael S. Turner, a cosmologist at the University of Chicago, said: “This is going to be a long march, but the goal of probing the earliest moments of the universe makes it well worth the effort. Dust is the bane of the existence of astrophysicists — and cosmologists. It is everywhere, and yet our understanding of it is very poor.”

Others are less optimistic. Paul J. Steinhardt of Princeton University, a critic of the Bicep paper — and of inflation theory — said in an email that the Bicep paper should be retracted, “and we should return to good scientific practice.”

The Bicep observations are the deepest look yet into a thin haze of microwaves, known as cosmic background radiation, left over from end of the Big Bang, when the cosmos was about 380,000 years old.

According to theory, the onset of inflation, less than a trillionth of a second after time began, should have left ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves. They would manifest as corkscrew patterns in the direction of polarization of the cosmic microwaves.
The Bicep group — its name is an acronym for Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization — is led by Dr. Kovac; Jamie Bock of Caltech; Clement Pryke of the University of Minnesota; and Chao-Lin Kuo of Stanford. They have deployed a series of radio telescopes at the South Pole in search of the swirl pattern. Their most recent, Bicep2, detected a signal in the sweet spot for some of the most popular models of inflation, leading to a splashy news conference and a summer of controversy and gossip.
As the critics pointed out, things besides quantum ripples from the beginning of time could produce those swirls, including light from interstellar dust polarized by magnetic fields in space.
Planck, launched in 2008 to survey the cosmic microwave sky, can distinguish the characteristic signature of dust by comparing the sky brightness in several radio frequencies, as well as measuring its direction of polarization. Bicep2, in contrast, looked at only one frequency, 150 gigahertz.

The Bicep astronomers asked for Planck data on their patch of sky, but it was not available until now because of suspected instrument problems, Dr. Aumont said. So they extrapolated from existing data to conclude that there was little dust interfering with their observations.

The new Planck report has knocked the pins out from under that. But there are still large uncertainties that leave room for primordial gravitational waves at some level. For example, the Planck team had to extrapolate some of its own measurements.

As the Planck report says, “This result emphasizes the need for a dedicated joint Planck-Bicep2 analysis.”

The group hopes this analysis will include data from the latest Bicep telescope, called the Keck Array, which has been gathering data for several months. In an interview this summer, Dr. Kovac said, “It’s been a funny year to be in the spotlight like this.” He said the group stood behind its work, even if the ultimate interpretation of the measurements is up for grabs.

Acknowledging that dust would not be as sexy a discovery as ripples from inflation, Dr. Kovac said, “It’s really important as an experimentalist that you can divorce yourself from an investment in what the answer is.”

He went on: “One thing that would distress me bitterly is if a major mistake in the measurement or of the analysis would come to light. The most pressing question is, what are the dust contributions to the signal?”

Stay tuned.

Lyman Page, an astrophysicist at Princeton, said the episode illustrated the messy progress of science.

“Taking a step back,” he said by email, “it is amazing that a precise measurement of the cosmos can be made, discussed in fullness, and refuted by another measurement in such a short amount of time. It is testament to a healthy field.”

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What is Enlightenment?

Thomas Razzeto, GrahamHancock.comMy most passionate plea is for you to wake up to your true self as pure awareness. We have all heard it said that you are not a human being having a spiritual experience, but instead, you are a spiritual being having a human experience. Yet you are not a being of any kind, spiritual or physical. You are pure awareness! And most importantly, your awareness is the One Awareness – the Divine Awareness – and as such, it is the only reality tha [...]

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Do We Plan Our Lives Before We Are Born?

Nikkie Gray, Collective-EvolutionThe theory that we plan our lives was something I had never heard of before 2011. Up until that point, I could not have even imagined such a thing. Even after hearing about it 3 years ago, it took me quite a long time to let this concept into my paradigm. How I stumbled upon it wasn’t even through my avid research of the afterlife and reincarnation. It came to me through a vision I had. Before the vision, I believed in reincarnation. The idea of it ha [...]

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NASA Partners With Boeing And SpaceX To Send Astronauts Up In Space Taxis



techcrunch.com

NASA has announced a deal with SpaceX and Boeing to build space taxis to shuttle astronauts to the International Space Station. This deal will end NASA’s reliance on expensive Russian crew transport by 2017. The cost was a whopping $71 million per seat. However, the rising tensions in Ukraine may have also been a factor in the push for U.S. contracts.
It’s still not clear which company is going to get to command the first mission to carry humans into low-Earth orbit on a spacecraft, but according to NASA, the vehicles chosen will either be Boeing’s CST-100 or SpaceX’s Dragon. The total potential contract value is $4.2 billion for Boeing and $2.6 billion for SpaceX.
NASA also considered a bid from privately owned Sierra Nevada Corp. but went with Boeing and SpaceX instead. It should be noted that Boeing and SpaceX have won most of NASA’s development funds.
SpaceX already has a $1.3 billion NASA contract to fly cargo to the space station. SpaceX will now upgrade its Dragon freighter and is expected to launch on top of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket to the orbiting outpost this week, according to Space.com. It will be packed with more than 5,000 lbs of materials for the crew – including the first ever 3D printer in space.
NASA also has a $1.9 billion contract for resupply missions with Orbital Sciences Corp.
Here’s a video of what could potentially be the first ever space taxi, the SpaceX Dragon, for reference:

 Click to zoom

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Double blast of solar storms heading to Earth raise disruption concerns



reuters.com
By Irene Klotz

CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) - A rare double burst of magnetically charged solar storms will hit Earth Thursday night and Friday, raising concerns that GPS signals, radio communications and power transmissions could be disrupted, officials said on Thursday.
Individually, the storms, known as coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, wouldn’t warrant special warnings, but their unusual close timing and direct path toward Earth spurred the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center to issue an alert.
The first CME, which burst from a magnetically disturbed region of the sun on Monday night, should reach Earth Thursday night, center director Thomas Berger told reporters on a conference call.
The same patch of solar real estate produced a second, more powerful storm about 1:45 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.“We don’t expect any unmanageable impacts to national infrastructure from these solar events at this time, but we are watching these events closely,” Berger said.
The sun currently is in the peak of its 11-year cycle, though the overall level of activity is far lower than a typical solar max.
Storms as powerful as the ones now making their way toward Earth typically occur 100 to 200 times during a solar cycle, Berger said.
“The unique thing about this event is that we’ve had two in close succession and the CMEs could possibly be interacting on their way to Earth, at the Earth’s orbit or beyond. We just don’t know that yet,” he said.
The highly energetic, magnetically charged solar particles could hit Earth’s magnetic field and disrupt some radio communications and degrade GPS signals, NOAA said.
The storms also have the potential to impact electric field power grids in the northern latitudes, which are more susceptible to geomagnetic disturbances.
Power grid operators and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have been notified “just in case,” Berger added.
On the plus side, the storms should trigger beautiful auroral displays, visible wherever clear skies prevail along the northern tier of the United States. Aurora are caused by electrically charged solar particles hitting oxygen, nitrogen and other gases high in the atmosphere, creating curtains of light above the planet’s magnetic north and south poles.

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