"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."
ASTRONOMERS DISCOVER 'GAPING HOLE' IN UNIVERSE, 1 BILLION-LIGHT YEARS ACROSS
30 August 2007
Astronomers examining a microwave anomaly in the area of the constellation Eridanus, southwest of Orion, report having discovered a massive void, far larger than anything seen or theorized to date. The empty space, more than 1 billion light-years in diameter, contains no galaxies, stars or visible nebula, and appears to lack even dark matter. [Full Story]
NEW MICROWAVE ENGINE APPLIES THEORY OF RELATIVITY
A new breakthrough in propulsion technology may enable a fuel-free engine with no moving parts to use microwaves to push satellites through space and automobiles on earth. The science is complicated and controversial, but appears to be sound and takes advantage of Einstein's landmark theory of relativity to turn contained microwaves into a propulsion system, in the form of a non-mechanical engine. [Full Story]
PHYSICISTS IN JAPAN PLAN TO CREATE NEW UNIVERSE IN LAB
A radical new project could permit human beings to create a "baby universe" in a laboratory in Japan. While it sounds like a dangerous undertaking, the physicists involved believe that if the project is successful, the space-time around a tiny point within our universe will be distorted in such a way that it will begin to form a new superfluid space, and eventually break off, separate in all respects from our experience of space and time, causing no harm to the fabric of our universe. [Full Story]
BEYOND THE BIG BANG, THE MEMBRANE MULTIVERSE
The 'universe' we know as all-encompassing may actually be just one of many such distinct self-contained, self-sustaining phenomena, with distinct physical properties and corresponding physical laws and tendencies, unified membrane cosmologies adrift in a 'superfluid' soup, at times colliding with incredible energy diffusion, creating whole new universes. [Full Story]
TRANSIT OF VENUS
For the first time in 122 years, the planet Venus passed in front of the Sun in a phenomenon known as the transit. It was visible as a small round spot slowly passing across the disc of the Sun, and has not been seen by any living human being. The phenomenon was first witnessed in 1639, seen by only two people in the world. Astronomers remind that, like a full eclipse, it is dangerous to look directly at the Sun. [For more: BBC]
POSSIBLE TENTH PLANET: SEDNA
Scientists have discovered an icy red planetoid, 3x beyond the orbit of Pluto, which they say may be the 10th planet in our solar system. The object is smaller than most planets, and has been described by some as resembling an asteroid. Some have even speculated its discovery might place in jeopardy the planetary status of Pluto. Sedna is a cold place, far enough away from the Sun, that the Sun would appear as a bright star from that distance. [For more: SFGate | The Age]
HUBBLE PROGRAM TO BE ABANDONDED
The program to maintain and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope will no longer be funded by the NASA budget, according to a ruling made by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. The decision sparked a backlash of criticism and second-guessing, with many astronauts saying they had and would again risk their lives to maintain Hubble. The telescope has been called "the greatest instrument that ever was" and has produced more revolutionary discoveries in astronomy than any other single device. [Full Story]
NASA has announced it will no longer fund maintenance for the Hubble telescope. While the cost of maintaining and refurbishing the telescope is high, its scientific yield is virtually without parallel. Many of the most important discoveries in astronomy in recent years have been achieved through use of the Hubble. It is now thought that the telescope has only a 50% chance of surviving till 2007. [Full Story]
'SPIRIT' ROVER DEPARTS LANDER TO EXPLORE
NASA's pioneering Mars rover has now successfully 'egressed' from its landing apparatus, and was tentatively set in motion across the Martian surface. Photographs already returned from the rover are the clearest ever achieved of another planet's surface, and are said to mark a great moment in the history of human exploration. Scientists are seeking evidence of an ancient presence of water, and the possible existence of frozen seas or underwater reservoirs, where there might be evidence of extraterrestrial microbial life.
BUSH ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR SPACE EXPLORATION
President Bush today announced that his administration will begin planning for a new revival of space exploration. The plans as outlined include enhancement of the International Space Station project, the creation of a new space-travel vehicle (the Crew Exploration Vehicle), designed to carry human beings into space, to the Moon, and eventually to Mars. The plan, while ambitious, employs a long time-frame, not inaugurating the new vehicle until 2014 and not seeking a Moon-landing until 2020.
The plan includes an ambitious strategy to build the first human colony on the Moon. From this colony, the President wants the space program to then gain the information necessary to carry human beings on to Mars. The Moon base would be used to conduct research for the creation of advanced propulsion and life-support systems required for long-distance, manned space flight. [Full Story]
The Big Bang theory posits that a single cataclismic explosion initiated our universe, and that this same event gave rise to the expansion and differentiation which describe the physics of nature as we know it. The Multiverse variation of this theory proposes the possibility that the Big Bang was one in a long series of such beginnings, which mark the eruption of an entirely new universe out from an older one.
It is proposed that the physics of each bubble universe eventually produces a density or anomaly at some point along its surface, causing a burst of matter and energy sufficient to form an entirely new universe with its own elemental properties. [Full Story]