Star Constellations Map: All 88 Star Constellations (In 8K)

Star Constellations Map: All 88 Star Constellations

Here’s a high-resolution equatorial star constellations map: An equatorial star constellations map is a map of the night sky. It shows prominent stars and major constellations as they can be observed from the equator.  Since the objects are visible in the night sky depending on where you are located on Earth, the map helps you understand the orientation of constellations and their stars. If you want to take a look at a high-resolution star constellation map, then you’re in the right place. Let’s jump right in! What Is in the Star Constellations Map? This map marks stars and major constellations as they are visible from the equator. Because the map is centered in this visibility range, it features constellations in both the northern and southern hemispheres.  Because of the spherical nature of the Earth, one cannot see all constellations from a single location. Typically, constellations are only visible in one hemisphere, but on an equatorial map, more constellations are visible. How Do You Use the Star Constellations Map? The curvy line in the middle of the map denotes the equator. Star formations above the line are visible in the northern hemisphere. Constellations below the line are in the southern hemisphere. Because the map is rectangular and the sky is not, there is distortion in the map. This is represented by the curvature in the equatorial line. You can think of the map being rolled in such a way that the line would appear straight. That helps to understand how the constellations will actually appear in the night sky. While the map is accurate and functional, it is designed for decorative purposes. The best way to use the map is to enjoy what it is showing you. Why Have a Star Constellations Map? Aesthetics aside, a star map can help you get into stargazing. The map shows you how stars are arranged in order to find major constellations. The constellations are all in different parts of the sky at different times of night. So, you can use them to orient yourself and find any particular object of interest. The map shows where all of the constellations are relative to each other. If you can find anyone item on the map, you can find the rest. The important thing to remember is that the map orients constellations in degrees from the equator.  If you imagine the equator and think of a line in the sky to match it, the degrees north or south of that line where each object will appear are denoted in the map. What Is Included in the Star Constellations Map? This map contains all of the major constellations in the northern and southern hemispheres. It identifies 88 star constellations and the primary stars that comprise them. This is not a complete map of the night sky. Such a map would be absolutely monstrous in size. In fact, astronomers primarily use computer programs to track all of the known and named objects in the sky. There are too many stars and celestial objects to fit them all in a single picture or on a simplified map like this one. Instead, this map has sufficient information to help you navigate the night sky. With the constellations mapped here, you can find areas of the sky. If you are interested in finding or observing any particular object in the sky, you will first want to learn where it is to major constellations.  The map can help you find the right constellation. In turn, that can help you determine where to point your telescope for closer examination. Equatorial Star Constellations Map With All 88 Star Constellations Click on the map to enlarge it:

10 Fascinating Plack Era Facts.

10 Fascinating Facts About the Planck Era

These are 10 fascinating facts about the Planck Era. From time so small a human can’t understand it to temperatures millions hotter than the sun. So if you want the facts, then you’re at the right place. Let’s jump right in! #1 Pressure During the Planck Era Was Staggering If you’ve been underwater in the deep end of a pool, you understand the feeling of pressure. Not pleasant!  But, during the Planck Era, pressures were literally quintillions of times the pool pressures, you know.  After all, the entire universe was jammed into a microscopic speck. #2 Microscopic Timeline Indeed, the Planck Era only occurred briefly after the big bang began.  But, how briefly?  Actually, it was less than one quattuordecillionth of a second.  So, how brief is that?  In fact, it’s a “1” followed by 45 zeros.  In other words, too brief for humans to understand. #3 A Tiny Baby Universe Naturally, when the Planck Era was happening, the universe had barely grown.  Actually, at this time, the entire universe was smaller than a single atom. #4 Nice and toasty Because the entire universe was crammed into a microscopic dot, the pressure generated tremendous heat.  In fact, temperatures swelled to around 18-decillion degrees.  In other words, the core of our Sun multiplied by millions. Yeah, that’s hot. #5 Light Was Not Even a “Thing” Yet At the present time, the concept of “light” was not yet in existence.  Fundamental particles, like protons, were unable to bind together under such heat and pressure.  Therefore, the electron’s light-creating process was not yet a possibility. #6 Trust Me, You Wouldn’t Understand During the Planck Era, modern science and math do not make sense.  In fact, all human understanding of the universe is meaningless.  Simply put, the chaos and quantum weirdness taking place during this epoch are not things we have discovered nor understood yet.  Instead, all information we currently have of the Planck Era is purely speculation. #7 We Will Never See the Planck Era All astronomy relies on human’s ability to see or detect light.  The radiation allowed the discovery of every star, planet, and galaxy.  Therefore, without the existence of light during this epoch, modern science could never possibly “see” the Planck Era. #8 Fundamental Forces, Unite In high school science, we all learned of the four fundamental forces in the universe: Gravity  Electromagnetism  Weak  Strong nuclear force Not to mention, these four forces still appear independently everywhere around us today.  However, during the Planck Era, it is thought that all four forces were one single force. This would have been a perfect symmetry of the entire universe.  Often, science compares this to a pencil that stood on its nose, much too perfect to ever be stable. #9 Meaningful Times Mentioned above, during the Planck Era, our universe was in its infancy.  However, this unimaginably small timeframe serves a specific reason.  10^43 seconds, also known as a “Planck Unit,” is the shortest amount of “meaningful” time to humans and science.  Therefore, anything occurring during times shorter than a Planck Unit remains unable to be understood by us.  Hence, this mysterious and brief universal epoch. #10 Transient Particles Temperatures were so extreme during the Planck Era. Even fundamental particles could barely handle it.  Under such heat and pressure, protons could not bind. Nor could electrons could not orbit protons.  As a result, single particles bounced wildly throughout the universe, smashing into one another.  Plus, this meant that not a single atom existed yet in our universe.  Discover What the Planck Era Was Like Want to learn more about the Planck Era? Travel back in time and experience the Plank Era: Epochs of the Universe: Planck Era.

10 Fascinating Big Bang Facts (You Don’t Know These).

10 Fascinating Facts About the Big Bang

Here are 10 big bang facts. You probably don’t know these facts. Learn why the name big bang was an accident and why Einstein wasn’t a fan at first. Let’s get started! #1 A Mislabeled Event Typically, we picture the big bang as a sudden explosion, giving birth to an entire universe.  And, rightfully so, given its world-renown name.  However, the big “bang” was not believed to be an actual “bang” at all.  Rather, a moment in time in which everything appeared from nothing.  Therefore, a more accurate title may be the “big emergence?” #2 An accidental name Ironically, English astronomer, Fred Hoyle first coined the term “big bang” as a mockery.  Originally, upon learning of the newly-formed theory of an expanding universe, Hoyle showed his contempt and disbelief by jokingly labeling it the “Big Bang Theory.”  Ultimately, the title caught on. #3 Where Did the Big Bang happen? Often, people wonder where the big bang took place.  After all, we do see objects occurring at specific places and times in space.  However, the big bang happened everywhere all at once. Indeed, this is tough to wrap a human mind around.  But, often, science compares this concept to a balloon being inflated.  Equally, the universe expanded in every direction at once. Therefore, it is impossible to draw a line formally tracing back to a definite point in space.  It is space. #4 Everything from nothing Another unfathomable concept regarding the universe is that it came from nothing.  In physics, a singularity is an infinitely small space.  Furthermore, within this small space exists infinite gravity and density.  In fact, gravity within a singularity is so great that even light is unable to escape. As a result, pure darkness ensues.  Actually, black holes are also believed to contain a singularity. #5 Are we inside of a black hole? As mentioned previously (Where Did the Big Bang happen?), black holes also contain singularities.  Therefore, many current theories believe our universe is inside of a black hole.  Not to mention, some theories even provide a fairly concrete mathematical proof of such concepts. #6 The Hottest Time in History Occurring within a singularity, the big bang was the ultimate extreme. Simply put, the entire universe was jammed into an infinitely small space. In turn, this gave way to infinite temperatures—literally, temperature in which no numeric value can describe.  In fact, the same can be said for density, pressure, and most other universal measurements. #7 When did the big bang happen? Currently, science dates the big bang at slightly over 13.7 billion years ago.  First of all, it’s impossible to trace back to a single place where the big bang occurred because the universe has no center or edge.  Instead, every piece of the universe is constantly expanding, even today.  However, scientifically rewinding time does reveal when everything would have been crammed together in a singularity. #8 Life before the big bang Indeed, science and astronomy consider the big bang the start and creation of everything.  However, without light, humans are unable to observe this moment. Therefore, even many astronomers acknowledge that there may have been more that happened before the big bang.  Whether we will ever see or know this remains unknown. #9 You Can Watch the Real Big Bang on TV (No, Not the Sitcom) Blanketing the sky, the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) is the actual leftover radiation from the big bang.  As the universe’s first radiation occurred 380,000 years after the big bang, its thermal proof remained frozen in time.  No matter which direction you observe, our human limits reach this wall of energy. Because of this, when analog TVs (using antennae) flicker with static, a smaller percentage is due to the CMB.  However, only around 1% is from the big bang.  Nevertheless, still pretty cool. #10 Einstein Was NOT a Fan, at First! In 1927, Belgian priest Georges Lemaître proposed the idea that our universe could be expanding.  And, this concept also meant that the universe could have been dramatically smaller in the past.  Lemaître wrote to Einstein, sharing the exciting information. In his reply, Einstein remarked, “your calculations are correct, but your physics is abominable!”

15 Unsolved Space Mysteries (+ Interesting Facts)

15 Unsolved Space Mysteries

These are 15 unsolved space mysteries. From what white holes are to how life began. So if you want to learn 15 unsolved mysteries of our universe, then this article is for you. Let’s get right into it! 15 Unsolved Mysteries of Our Universe Even with all of the incredible technology at our disposal today, the universe is a complex and largely unknown realm. Armed with far more questions than answers, science constantly battles to understand more about the existence of it all.  These are 15 of the least-understood, most mind-boggling, and bazaar unsolved space mysteries: #1 Why Is Uranus Tilted? First of all, we were unable to find a not awkward way to draft this title.  There, we said it. Now, one of the great unsolved space mysteries is right in our own cosmic backyard.  Planet Uranus is extremely tilted on its axis. Sure, all planets have some axial tilting.  For instance, Earth is tilted 23.5º away from the Sun. But, Uranus is tremendously tilted, at just shy of 98º. Science has yet to explain this tilt accurately, but we do know that it must have been the result of a brutal collision.  And, this collision must have occurred when Uranus was still a baby.  We know this because the planets Moons also orbit around this tilted plane, hinting that the collision happened prior to the satellites coalescing into existence. #2 Why Is the Sun’s Corona so Hot? Similar to Earth, the Sun has an atmosphere.  However, the Sun’s atmosphere is much hotter by factors of thousands.  The biggest layer of the Sun’s atmosphere is called the Corona. One of the biggest unsolved space mysteries is why the Corona is so much hotter than the Sun’s surface below.  And, it’s not just a little warmer. It’s hundreds of times more scorching at millions of degrees Fahrenheit.  This would be like the air surrounding a campfire being hundreds of times hotter than the actual flames of the fire. #3 How Do Supernovas Happen? When a star runs out of its nuclear fuel, its own strong gravity wins, and the star collapses on itself.  The result of this is a violent explosion known as a supernova.  Now, in modern science, we know a rather healthy amount about these blasts.  But, our current technology does not allow us to see the insides of stars.  Because of this lack of insight, what occurs inside of a star as a supernova takes place is one of the currently unsolved space mysteries. #4 How Do “Hot Jupiters” Get so Close to Their Stars? Hot Jupiters are an exotic class of large exoplanets, similar in size and composition to our giant, Jupiter.  Yet, they remain one of the great unsolved space mysteries because they orbit remarkably close to their Sun. Planets of this gaseous composition are unable to form so close to a star.  So, what caused these mysterious giants to cuddle up?  Though we still do not know for sure, astronomers believe some type of collision knocks the planets into irregular orbits, like comets.  Eventually, the star’s powerful gravity may lasso the planets into a tight, searing, and deadly orbit. #5 What Causes Jupiter’s Great Red Spot? Arguably, Jupiter’s most notable feature is also one of the biggest unsolved space mysteries.  The planet’s infamous great red spot is a chaotic, swirling hurricane-like storm.  Big enough to house over three Earths, the storm has been raging on for at least 400 years now.  Although scientists know some storm characteristics, they have little to no explanation for its causes, let alone how it has been churning for so long now.  Plus, our study time is slowly running out, as we know that the storm is gradually shrinking. #6 What Are White Holes, and Are They Real? Among Einstein’s litany of staggeringly brilliant predictions are what is referred to as a white hole.  The mathematics of his renowned Theory of General Relativity state that the polar opposite of a black hole must exist.  In other words, these are regions of space where infinite amounts of mass burst out from points of seemingly nothing. Now, modern technology has allowed us to confirm the existence of black holes, including at the heart of our own galaxy.  However, white holes remain an unsolved space mystery because, well …where are they?  Yet, the hunt continues, if nothing else, because Einstein was rarely proven wrong, even long after his death.  After all, we just confirmed gravitational waves 100 years after he predicted them. #7 Are There Multiple Universes? The concept of the multiverse has been the plotline of countless sci-fi flicks.  And, while it’s fabulous film and literature fodder, it’s also one of the biggest unsolved space mysteries.  No surprise, the internet is riddled with potential theories, scientific and far-fetched alike. Yet, science can barely wager a guess at whether or not this may be true.  After all, we have hardly even broken the ice with figuring out our own solar system, let alone space on the universal scale.  However, we know for sure that we exist in a likely infinite world, and multiple universes are anything but written off. #8 How Are Galaxies Formed? Scientists now have some ideas as to how planets, stars, and several other astronomical objects are formed.  Yet, one of the most sought-after and yet unsolved space mysteries is how galaxies are formed. It coalesced to form these large whirling collections of stars, solar systems, dust, and more in the early universe when matter came to be.  But, even though there are thought to be hundreds of billions of galaxies, science has no answer for how they were created. #9 If the Universe Is Infinite, Then Were Is Everybody Else? Basically, just our own galaxy contains around 400 billion stars.  Supposedly, around 20 billion of those are stars similar to our own Sun.  Now, it is thought confidently that 1/5 of these Sun-like stars have an Earth-like planet in their habitable zone.  Therefore, if even just 0.1% of these planets harbor life, our galaxy alone would have 1 billion …

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10 Weirdest Planets in Our Universe.

10 Weirdest Planets in Our Universe

These are the 10 weirdest planets in our universe. From the water world GJ 1214 b the diamond world 55 Cancri e. So if you want to learn about the strangest planets in our universe, then you’re in the right place. Let’s jump right in! 10 Weirdest Planets No doubt, our universe is loaded with bazaar and mysterious places and things.  Like NASA’s Kepler telescope, modern technologies have allowed us to scan the heavens for other planets.  Now, with thousands confirmed, there are officially some weird planets.  But, as with anything in astronomy, new, even more, odd planets will inevitably be found.  But, as of now, here are the 10 weirdest planets in the universe: #1 GJ 1214 b – Water World Unlike the disappointing 1995 box office bomb, GJ 1214 b is a planet believed to be covered completely by one gigantic ocean.  And, these vast waters would allow depths thousands of times deeper than our largest Earth oceans.  Now, depending on temperatures and conditions, the waters’ phases may exist in steam, ice, plasma, and more. Therefore, not only is GJ 1214 b one of the weirdest planets, but it’s also one of the most promising.  After all, where there is water, there is oxygen, and where there is oxygen, there may be life. #2 CoKu Tau 4 – Baby World At less than 1 million years old, an unnamed planet orbits a star known as CoKu Tau 4.  Seems normal, right?  It has long been thought that planets take several million years to form.  Plus, planets form out of discs of dust and gas long after their parent stars have formed.  So, not only is CoKu Tau 4 one of the weirdest planets, it is currently making astronomers rethink their planetary formation theories. #3 Kepler-37b – Tiny World As of 2013, Kepler-37b is the smallest known exoplanet (a planet outside our solar system).  Only slightly larger in size than our Moon, this planet orbits close to its star. Because of this, its surface temperatures are thought to be around 800º F, hot enough to melt lead.  So, Kepler-37b may not necessarily be one of the weirdest planets, but it sure is the smallest. #4 GJ 504b – Pink World Around 57 light-years away is the exoplanet, GJ 504b, a planet about the same size as Jupiter.  This large planet has a deep magenta color, but that is not what makes GJ 504b one of the weirdest planets.  Planets the size of Jupiter are rather common in our galaxy.  But, they can only form within a certain distance from their star.  Simply put, anywhere father out from the star than Neptune does not have enough debris to form a planet this large eventually. However, GJ 504b sits nearly 44 times farther from its star than Earth from the Sun.  In our own solar system, this would be like Jupiter orbiting drastically far beyond Neptune. Because of this, astronomers now have to rethink modern theories of planet formation. #5 WASP-12b – Hot World WASP-12b is one of the weirdest planets simply because of its tremendous heat.  At twice the size of Jupiter, this planet is believed to reach sweltering temperatures of 4,000º F.  These extreme temperatures are hot enough to melt titanium, steel, platinum, nickel, and iron.  In other words, not suitable for life. #6 TrES-4 – Giant World TrES-4 is an absolute giant planet, ringing in at over 70% larger than Jupiter.  But its behemoth size is not what makes this one of the weirdest planets.  Despite its size, the planet only contains 75% of Jupiter’s mass. This means that the giant planet has a density similar to cork or balsa wood.  Obviously, this has astronomers a bit puzzled. #7 Methuselah – Ancient World Named after the long-lived biblical character, this strange planet is thought to be around 13 billion years old.  But it’s not the age that makes this one of the weirdest planets.  Rather, the fact that this Jupiter-sized world could even exist during this time period is vexing.  It was believed that in this infant universe, planet-forming materials did not yet exist. Apparently, this was incorrect. #8 PSR J1719-14 b – Speed World PSR J1719-14 b is another potential candidate for diamond planets (see #1).  But, what makes it one of the weirdest planets is its speed, orbiting its star in only 2.2 hours.  In other words, if you were celebrating your 21st birthday, you would actually be turning 83,000 years old. Shots! Also, the planet orbits a pulsar, which is a very dense, rapidly-spinning star leftover from a star’s violent death.  So, technically three things make PSR J1719-14 b one of the weirdest planets. #9 TrES-2b – Dark World This ominous planet only reflects 1% of the light that hits it, hence the name dark world.  This small amount of reflection would make it appear darker than black matte acrylic paint.  It is thought that TrES-2b may have no reflective clouds because of its high temperature.  Or, it may be because the planet contains chemicals that absorb light.  Finally, scientists say it may be possible that it contains chemicals that we have not yet discovered. #10 55 Cancri e – Diamond World In the constellation Cancer, super-Earth-sized planet 55 Cancri e is believed to contain an abundance of carbon.  Under tremendous pressures and temperatures orbiting close to its star, the carbon turns to diamond.  Hypothetically, this glitzy world was valued at $27 nonillion (that’s 27 followed by 30 zeros).  That would be over 300 quadrillion times planet Earth’s total GDP of $70 trillion.

Quasars for Dummies: What Is the Meaning of Quasars?

Quasars for Dummies: What Is the Meaning of Quasars?

This is about quasars. Quasars show up differently from different angles. So if you want to know what a quasar is put simply, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get started! What Are Quasars? During the 1960s, the dawn of radio astronomy unveiled a wealth of exciting new mysteries.  Signals revealed the cosmic microwave background, pulsars, and more.  Eventually, over time evidence told a full story, and we learned something new about our universe.  Among the greatest radio signal mysteries of the decade: quasars. Let’s break these distant cosmic mysteries down and get quasars explained! Searching for Answers Short for quasi-stellar objects, quasars first appeared as small and extremely bright objects. Not to mention, some were found to be moving away from Earth at a third of the speed of light (around 22 million mph). For years, astronomers quarreled over the cause of these supposedly speedy bright objects.  From advanced alien civilizations to incorrect measurements of the universe’s expansion, explanations ran the gamut. Later, in the 1980s, astronomers began agreeing on the active galaxy theory. This idea stated that some unknown processes caused certain galaxies to blast massive amounts of energy from their cores. Active Galaxies Now, confident in the active galaxy theory, astronomers wanted to know the cause.  Why was extreme energy blasting out of some galaxy’s centers? Today, we know that nearly all galaxies have massive, dense black holes at their centers.  And, as matter nears the black hole, it is heated to millions of degrees, and enormous amounts of energy are emitted as a result.  Furthermore, the strong magnetic poles of the black hole create jet-like streams of energy. This energetic center is known as the active galactic nucleus (AGN). Different Perspectives When a neutron star’s energy jets point directly at Earth, we call it a pulsar.  Otherwise, all characteristics of neutron stars and pulsars are identical. Similarly, quasars yield different results when viewed from various angles. When a quasar’s jets are perpendicular to us, we know it as a radio galaxy. Next, quasars seen from angles are simply called quasars. Finally, blazars have quasar jets pointed directly at Earth. Feeding Times As mentioned above, the beaming jets of a quasar result from material getting near a black hole.  At this point, a black hole essentially “feeds” on cosmic material.  And, as the matter approaches the black hole, an accretion disc is formed around the hole’s “surface” (the event horizon).  Now, the material in the disc is heated to staggering multi-million-degree temperatures.  As a result, excess energy is released, blasting out in the twin jets of a quasar. However, the material is not always approaching a black hole.  There are periods of time in which little or no material is nearby. Now, without energy production, quasar jets shut down. Hence, many astronomers jokingly refer to this process as a black hole’s “burp.” Are We an Active Galaxy? Now, we know that nearly all galaxies have black holes at their centers.  Also, we know that our own Milky Way galaxy, indeed, has a massive black hole named Sagittarius A*. So then, why does the Milky Way not have a quasar shooting out? Well, as mentioned above, quasars’ massive energy results from a black hole “feeding” on the material.  Right now, our home black hole does not have food to eat. Therefore, the nucleus of the Milky Way is not currently active. However, many astronomers believe that our galaxy was, at one time, an active galaxy with bright jets blazing out.  Also, some believe that we will again become an active galaxy in the distant future. In billions of years, our Milky Way will collide with the massive neighboring galaxy, Andromeda.  And, as you might imagine, with the gargantuan amount of matter in both galaxies colliding will yield dramatic results.  New matter flung toward our center will activate our black hole, and it again becomes a bright quasar!

Trappist-1 Explained: A New Solar System (+ Vital Facts)

Trappist-1: Fascinating Facts

This is about TRAPPIST-1. Attributes of these planets show the promise of water or even life. So if you want to learn all about TRAPPIST-1, then you’re in the right place. Let’s get started! TRAPPIST-1 Explained Simply put, seven Earth-like planets were discovered orbiting a nearby star. Incredible, right?  But, what about everyone’s major questions?  How far away is TRAPPIST-1?  Could there be water or even life in the new solar system?  Without further ado, here’s the TRAPPIST-1 explained: The Basics of TRAPPIST-1 Located in the constellation Aquarius lies a rather dim star, known simply as TRAPPIST-1.  The astronomy community ignited with the discovery of seven planets orbiting the star.  Furthermore, the size, distance, and other attributes of these planets show the promise of water or even life. In fact, at least three falls within the so-called habitable zone.  In other words, the appropriate distance from a star for water, and hopefully life to exist.  Also, based on distance from their star, planets are named: TRAPPIST-1 b  TRAPPIST-1 c TRAPPIST-1 d TRAPPIST-1 e TRAPPIST-1 f TRAPPIST-1 g TRAPPIST-1 h When searching for planets beyond our solar system, astronomers use one particular method.  Simply put, as planets orbit between their star and Earth, the star’s light briefly dims.  And, we use such light dips to observe the size, composition, and more. In fact, discoverer Michaël Gillon and colleagues utilized the trusty method. You can read the observations, originally published in the journal Nature. Finally, TRAPPIST-1 weighs in at only 8% of our Sun’s mass. So, not to mention, much cooler, dimmer, and redder, it produces dramatically less radiation. Is Their Liquid Water on TRAPPIST-1? First and foremost, mankind wants to know, “does TRAPPIST-1 host liquid water?”  In fact, we want to know if liquid water exists at all beyond planet Earth.  After all, after centuries of searching, we currently hold zero evidence. Indeed, TRAPPIST-1 hosts multiple planets in its habitable zone. And, within this zone, life’s primary ingredient can possibly exist.  However, several previously discovered planets also fall within this habitable zone. Yet, most are likely incredibly hostile environments, wildly unfit for water, let alone life.  After all, Venus technically falls within our Sun’s habitable zone. In case you need a reminder, Astronimate imagines living on Venus in this article.  So, could water exist on TRAPPIST-1? In short, we won’t know until further observation.  First of all, we must learn more about the planet’s conditions, surface temperatures, and more.  However, such learning falls well within our reach.  In fact, James Webb Space Telescope, launched in late 2018, may be the answer. Check out 10 James Webb Space Telescope facts for more information. The Distance to TRAPPIST-1 At last, here is where my realist personality arrives.  Much like possibilities of life, humans want to know, “how far away is TRAPPIST-1?”  After all, news and media outlets always include distance with exciting new finds.  Unfortunately, they are also ill-equipped to explain what such distances mean.  Furthermore, they can’t accurately explain cosmic distances in relation to mankind and our current abilities. Therefore, I will! Yes, TRAPPIST-1 is a “short” 40 light-years from Earth. However, in our vast universe’s scale, 40 light-years are truly nothing.  In fact, 40 light-years would be a mere millimeter to our universe. However, let’s break this down in human terms. One light-year is how far light, unobstructed, can travel in one Earth year. Furthermore, one light-year equals around 5.8 trillion miles. Now, let’s consider mankind’s fastest spacecraft to date, New Horizons, which travels at 36,000 mph. Indeed, that’s fast! Therefore, if we left today, traveling at our current 36,000 mph limit, we would reach TRAPPIST-1 in just under 746,000 years. In other words, in-person visitation is nowhere in our near future. But, hands-on observation does not currently fit our TRAPPIST-1 to-do list.  So, I simply like to mathematically point out what news agencies do not. The Conditions of TRAPPIST-1 Finally, we want to know what life would be like in the TRAPPIST-1 solar system. Surprisingly, all planets circling TRAPPIST-1 have orbits closer than Mercury to our own star.  However, TRAPPIST-1 is not all that much larger than the solar system king, Jupiter.  Plus, at 8% of the Sun’s mass, it only shines 0.05% as brightly.  Furthermore, most light from the star is in the form of infrared wavelengths, invisible to human eyes.  However, extremely cool red dwarf stars like TRAPPIST-1 live unimaginably long lives.  In fact, it’s believed that TRAPPIST-1 may burn for another 5 trillion years. In other words, a thousand times longer than our Sun. Initially, habitable-zone planets of TRAPPIST-1 seem too close, in danger of radiation blasts.  After all, inner-most TRAPPIST-1b orbits the star in 1.5 Earth days. In other words, a year on TRAPPIST-1b is 36 hours.  Plus, inner planets lie only fractions of the Earth-Sun distance from their star. So actually, like our Moon, inner planets may also be totally locked with TRAPPIST-1, meaning the same side always faces the star. However, depending on atmospheres and magnetic fields, planets this close may be able to withstand the star’s power. Not to mention, the longer lifespan of such stars and solar systems allows a much greater time for life to evolve on some planets. Could there be life on TRAPPIST-1? Next, we want to know, “could the TRAPPIST-1 solar system have life?” Unfortunately, planets TRAPPIST-1b through d are likely too warm to harbor liquid water.  As a result, human life is currently unlikely, as water is life’s key ingredient.  After all, while TRAPPIST-1 is far cooler, inner-most planets orbit at sub-Mercury distances, still much too hot. Next, TRAPPIST-1e falls in a zone in which liquid water and life could exist.  Most importantly, the planet would require the right atmosphere to help balance the star’s heat.  Especially since the planet still only orbits the star at 10 times the Moon-Earth distance. In other words, still super close! Not to mention, 1e is around 90% of Earth’s size and over half our mass. Then, we consider TRAPPIST-1f, still within the habitable zone. Weighing in at 60% Earth’s mass and 104% our size, planet …

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Romantic Quantum Entanglement Explained

Romantic Quantum Entanglement in Simple Terms

This is about the meaning of quantum entanglement. Quantum entanglement is when bonded matter instantly affects each other at a distance from each other.  So if you want to learn about the romantic side of quantum entanglement, then you’re in the right place. Let’s jump right in! Disclaimer for Romantic Quantum Entanglement You could say the theory I am about to divulge is completely absurd or ridiculous. And, you would be correct.  But, I dare anybody to prove me wrong.  See, that’s the beauty of quantum mechanics in this current age. It is all but completely unknown.  In fact, a specific phenomenon, quantum entanglement, is possibly the most bazaar and least-understood result in science. What Is Quantum Entanglement? Imagine two atoms, hydrogen, for example. They are two separate pieces of matter, right?  Well, under certain conditions, the two atoms are actually forever bonded.  When one atom changes, spins, or anything else, so does the other.  In fact, even from opposite ends of the universe, one atom affects the other. Now, even more strange, this effect on the other happens instantly.  And, not just extremely quickly, instantly.  This is the only thing in the universe known to be faster than the speed of light.  Plus, even the most brilliant minds in science have zero explanation. Above all, science has confirmed the results of entanglement countless times. Romantics of Quantum Entanglement Have you ever felt the stinging pain of a breakup?  Ever felt the deep grief of losing a loved one?  Most importantly, have you ever wondered why? Something out-of-sight has not simply disappeared.  Matter from each object may go elsewhere, but it is still matter. Therefore, deceased, alive, near, or far, quantum entanglement still exists.  If a family member passes away, your “eternally bonded” matter continues to intertwine. So, your lingering memories of them or the random thoughts of them might not be random at all. Also, quantum entanglement does not only apply to sad events.  Missing a sister who has moved away or the persisting feelings for a past love interest are all entanglement causes. Where Is My Proof? If it’s scientific evidence you seek, I have none.  However, I do have the first-hand experience.  Inevitably, you have misplaced an item, say a five-dollar bill, never to see it again.  You have also lost a pet, or a friend, or a family member.  Ask yourself which loss left a long-term sadness.  Which loss caused you to cry?  Sure, you may find yourself wishing you had that five dollars when you go to order a pizza. But, when a beloved person goes away, you experience real and deep emotions. To experience this is to experience quantum entanglement.  The atoms that make up your body are pairs of matter that you share with another person.  And, regardless of what happens or where you go, your chemical bond lives forever.  Regardless of my obvious lack of scientific evidence, I repeat, I dare anybody to prove me wrong.

Featured Dark Energy

Dark Energy for Dummies

This is dark energy put simply. Dark energy cause our universe to expand. So if you want to easily understand dark energy, then you should read this. Let’s get right into it! Dark Energy in Simple Terms Looking into the night sky, we see a Moon, planets, and stars with black space in between, right?  Actually, that “black” space is anything but empty.  In fact, it’s loaded with things we can’t even see, like dark energy.  So, what is that?  Well, let’s break it down and make dark energy simplified! What Is Dark Energy? Dark energy is an invisible force that causes our universe to expand at a constantly increasing rate.  In other words, dark energy is an unidentified repulsive (pushes away) force, acting against gravity. How Was Dark Energy Discovered? Edwin Hubble’s 1929 observations of distant supernovae first told us that the universe is expanding.  But, we knew that gravity eventually wins and would pull the universe back in. Therefore, the question we began asking was, “just how fast is the universe’s expansion slowing down?” However, reliable results would evade us for decades. Later, in the 1990s, the universe’s deceleration again became the subject of observation. Now, advanced technology and knowledge would allow us to calculate a precise number. Finally, shocking results showed that the universe is actually speeding up, not slowing down. And, these findings sent shockwaves throughout the astronomy and physics community. How Is Dark Energy Detected? Now, we know dark energy makes up 73% of the universe.  Furthermore, we know that it is invisible to our eyes and current technologies.  So, how do we detect invisible, untestable energy?  Much like dark matter, we must rely on observing dark energy’s effect on our surroundings. Using Supernovas as Candles The most violent class of supernova, type Ia (read one-A), are massive explosions that shine extremely bright.  In fact, all type Ia supernovae share an almost identical brightness.  Now, because we know the exact brightness for these explosions, they act like guide lights for astronomers.  Basically, knowing this brightness allows us to gauge their distance accurately.  And, knowing their distance allows us to see dark energy’s effect on the universe’s expansion. This is like a driver using headlights to tell the distance of an oncoming car. What Causes Dark Energy? Seeing dark energy’s effect on the universe only tells us so much.  Currently, nobody knows what it is made of or really any of its properties.  Yet, there are several theories currently swirling around: Quintessence This theory predicts a changing energy field called the “quintessence.”  In ancient Greece, the four essences were Earth, air, fire, and water.  Quintessence is the fifth essence. Gravity Now, if you read above, you know that dark energy directly counteracts gravity.  Therefore, gravity could never be the cause of the universe expanding, right?  Well, perhaps we simply do not completely understand how gravity works.  After all, there are far fewer knowns than unknowns in the universe. Space Energy Over a century ago, Albert Einstein was the first person to realize that space is not simply empty.  In fact, he was also the first to understand that new space can come into existence.  In his Theory of General Relativity, Einstein included a “cosmological constant” calculation to account for our static, unchanging universe.  Obviously, this prediction was incorrect. Actually, Einstein referred to the constant as his “biggest blunder.” Yet, one hundred years later, his cosmological constant is one of the most accurate models for dark energy.  As more space is created, more energy would be added to the universe.  Ultimately, this would accelerate the universe’s expansion. Unfortunately, though we know the cosmological constant nicely fits dark energy, we still are uncertain why it fits. A New Force Perhaps dark energy is an entirely new fundamental force in the universe.  And, some believe this force may only show its effects on extremely large scales. Or, it may only show its effects on extremely small quantum scales. Furthermore, some believe the new force could be temporary.  In other words, it may cause expansion for several billion years, ultimately slowing down and contracting in later eras. The “Theory of Everything” For decades, our understanding of the large and small have remained unlinked.  Classical physics explains everything from the planet’s motions to black holes.  Quantum theory explains the bazaar functions of the particles that make up atoms. However, classical physics completely breaks down at small atomic levels. And, quantum mechanics do not apply past the micro size of atoms. Therefore, perhaps finding the coveted link between these two realms opens new doors.  Ultimately, answers may reveal themselves upon connecting the large and small. Perhaps, among the unlocked secrets: dark energy.

Featurd Dark Matter

Dark Matter For Dummies

This is dark matter put simply. Nobody currently knows what dark matter is. If you want a simple explanation of dark matter, then you are in the right place. So without further ado, let’s do this! Dark Matter in Simple Terms First of all, let’s make one thing clear: nobody knows what dark matter actually is.  As you will learn below, dark matter can not be directly seen visually.  However, we do have some information by observing dark matter’s effect on its surroundings.  So, let’s jump right in! Words You Outta Know Baryonic matter: The matter that makes up EVERYTHING we know and see: stars, planets, food, animals, and even people. Literally, anything existing in your human life is considered the baryonic matter. Gravity: The natural force in which all matter attracts other matter. And, the larger the object, the more matter it has, and the more it attracts other matter. Mass: The amount of matter something has. Actually, mass is not the same as weight like most people think. Instead, weight is a result of gravity. So, for instance, if you took a 1-pound object to the Moon, its mass (matter it’s made of) would stay the same, but it would only weigh 1/6 of a pound because of the Moon’s lower gravity. What Is Dark Matter? First of all, nobody currently knows what dark matter is.  Also, since it is currently invisible to our eyes and tools, we do not yet know how to study dark matter.  However, by studying the things we can see, we know that dark matter is real and exists. How Is Dark Matter Detected? When we look out into space, we see stars, planets, galaxies, and more. And all of these objects are made of matter.  Plus, the matter making up all of these objects causes them to attract other matter through gravity. Astronomers can very accurately measure and predict the results of gravity. For instance, we know where and how a planet will orbit. Or, we know how one star will attract another star. Furthermore, astronomers can observe the orbits of stars in a galaxy and use this information to very accurately measure the amount of matter (mass) in the galaxy.  The speed of stars’ orbits directly affects the gravity from other matter in the galaxy. Now, the problem is that when astronomers use any galaxy’s stars to precisely add up its total mass, something is missing.  Stars are moving much faster than they should be compared to the matter measured.  Basically, by observing the behavior of visible matter, we know some form of invisible matter must be present. Astronomers have named this missing material “dark matter.” How Much Dark Matter Is Out There? Baryonic matter (definition above) is everything we have ever seen and known in the universe. All stars, planets, galaxies, people, plants, pets, and everything else are baryonic matter. Yet, astronomers have concluded that all baryonic matter accounts for 4.6% of the universe through detailed measurements.  Wait, let’s think about that.  Literally, everything ever seen or sensed throughout the existence of life only makes up 4% of the universe. So, what makes up the remaining 95%?  Well, nearly 73% is thought to be dark energy. But, around 23% is dark matter.  In other words, the dark sky you see at night is far from empty space. What Is Dark Matter Made of? Given that we have yet to see or directly observe dark matter, nobody knows what it’s made of.  However, multiple theories now swirl around as we scramble to unlock science’s biggest mystery.  Currently, a few of the leading theories are: WIMPs Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, or WIMPs for short, describe an overall type of particle.  Presumably, WIMPs are much more massive than common particles, like protons.  Yet, these heavier particles would only interact with each other through mild weak forces, making them tough to detect.  As of now, WIMPs are, by far, the leading candidate for dark matter. Sterile Neutrinos Neutrinos are tiny, almost massless particles. And, one neutrino could pass through our entire solar system and never bump into a single piece of matter. However, scientists believe there is a neutrino counterpart, called a sterile neutrino. And, it’s even more elusive.  In fact, a sterile neutrino could travel for the entire age of our universe (14 billion years) without bumping into any other matter.  That would be like you walking blindfolded through New York City for an entire year without running into a single thing. Neutralinos Though it sounds like a quaint Italian restaurant, the neutralino is actually an of particle.  Some theories believe each known particle has a “super” counterpart particle. The neutralino is one of these.  Mirror World A long-standing sci-fi staple is an alternate universe.  Now, once again, they emerge in predictions about dark matter.  Some theories believe matter in entirely separate universes is the cause of dark matter.  This other-worldly matter is unable to interact with our universe’s matter yet still throws off measurements and calculations in our own world.  Sure, it’s bizarre. But, can you prove it wrong? The Fourth Dimension Now, another sci-fi standby appears as probably cause for dark matter, the fourth dimension.  This theory believes that if dark matter does not exist in a separate universe, it may exist in an unseen dimension of space.  Unfortunately, this theory’s wild nature leaves it currently not well-accepted.