September 2012

The Hubble Space Telescope does it again

The eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, is a photo that contains the farthest glimpse into the universe ever.

Space agencies are seeing further than ever before and it allows us humans to gather valuable knowledge about the beginnings of the universe. The picture by the Hubble Telescope was assembled utilizing Hubble Telescope views over a decade.

The universe is estimated to have a 13.7 billion-year lifespan and the galaxies in the XDF photo go back as much as 13.2 billion years. The Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3 were used by Hubble to generate this image. Astronomers are now able to examine the universe by seeing into the depths of space and time.

The discovery of the Higgs boson

The "God Particle" found

Next month there is a big decision that has to be made in the world of physics with the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded. But appropriately giving credit for the discovery of the "God Particle" is no easy task. There are whole countries that are clamoring for the physics world to recognize their intellectuals and the contributions they have made. 

A lot of people have difficulty in comprehending the need for space exploration. Here is a fact I'd like to share: four percent of the United States labor force is comprised of scientists and engineers, but they create jobs for the other 96 percent.

Those in the scientific community recognize the significance of this Higgs boson discovery and marvel at what physicists can do by harnessing the Higgs field. For those of you studying physics, this is a new opening for a job related to what you are studying or have studied.

The Higgs Boson, Part I

The Martian Dream

Could there possibly be a new space race?

Since ancient times, people have always dreamt of the Red Planet. When looking at what governments are hoping to do in the future, there is an indication that there could be another space race. This is all very exciting for me, but will it be governments like Japan and Russia that will lead the way or will it be the Americans who will be the pioneers like they always have been?

When looking at the future, you can look at it with a glass half full or half empty. I choose the former and the United States has made strong progress with its $2.5 billion Curiosity Rover mission that a human mission to Mars is being strongly considered by planners and policymakers.

NASA's Voyager 1 is now celebrating its 35th anniversary

Voyager 1 is set to leave the solar system

The Voyager 1 was a very exciting project by NASA that has paid big dividends. The images that it has captured has given us so much knowledge over the years. There is still more to come.

The Voyager 1 will be the first ever manmade object to go beyond the Sun's sphere of influence. The heliopause is the region that Voyager 1 will cover in the next two years before moving out into the Milky Way. It will be interesting to see what information Voyager 1 can send back to Earth after having done that.

The universe is stranger than Star Wars

Truth is stranger than fiction.

George Lucas created the Star Wars saga at a time when Americans were less optimistic with all of the events happening around them like the Watergate Scandal. But the more time goes by, it seems that a lot of the exotic worlds Star Wars showed have been found by astronomers in the Universe.

Tatooine-like planets

Luke Skywalker's home planet is Tatooine and in the episode, A New Hope, he looks at the sunset which shows two suns. A lot of physicists and astronomers at the time thought this was a wild depiction, but it turns out that the Universe has this too and these worlds are not rare.

Saturn's moon Mimas: The fictional death star

Mimas has a very big, circular crater that resembles quite extraordinarily the Star Wars' Death Star's "superlaser focus lens."