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Space

On Sun(s)

Customer

The weird idea that Earth could be getting a second sun, at least temporarily, if Betelgeuse, one of the night sky's brightest stars, goes supernova, recalls a dream, many years ago, of climbing a ridge in the desert and seeing a dawn uncannily like this photo...

S-TWO-SUNS-large

On Stars...and On Us Halcyon In Kal… 19 October 2016

The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff - Carl Sagan, Cosmos

While the saying “we are stardust” seems poetic but vague, it is literally true. The atoms of our bodies were created in the cores of stars billions of years ago. 

On Marcel Proust
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Halcyon In Kal… 2 August 2016

After the BBC opened up its archives of In Our Time, I came to the episode about Marcel Proust.

As the programme notes make clear, "À La Recherche du Temps Perdu has been called the definitive modern novel.  Proust's stylistic innovation, sensory exploration and fascination with memory were to influence a whole body of thinkers, and innumerable critics and novelists since.  But how did he succeed in creating a 3000 page novel with such an artistic coherence?'"

On the Universe Halcyon In Kal… 13 May 2016

Imagine our universe as only one of an infinite number of possible universes - be they "Quilted", "Brane" or, most strangely of all, "Ultimate". Brian Green tackled this almost mystical idea head-on in The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos. Greene discussed his ideas further during a March 2011 edition of Start the Week.

Imagine too flying through the universe. This animated flight through the universe shows close to 400,000 galaxies, and was derived at John Hopkins University from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

Another video meanwhile takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang.

On Time Halcyon In Kal… 30 April 2016

According to Thor Heyerdahl, it is almost impossible grasp the meaning of time.  He didn't believe it exists and he felt this again and again, when alone and out in nature.  As Henry Ford said, it feels at such moments that "life is just one damn thing after another".  Nevertheless, in the BBC’s The Wonders of the Universe, Brian Cox argued that, thanks to the second law of thermodynamics, entropy means that does indeed flow, and in only one direction.

"As a species, we can never know where our true potential lies until we confront the systems that keep us tied to the past. And that is where the true adventure will begin" - Thomas Frey

On the Long Term Halcyon In Kal… 22 April 2016

What if we were not fixated by today's headlines and concentrated instead on the "long news", i.e. the stories that may still be important years, decades, even centuries from now.

On Home Halcyon In Kal… 20 April 2016

The Forum looked at "home" from a number of thought-provoking angles, by asking:

  • What role does legend play in shaping our sense of a homeland?
  • Does it matter that rural regions are shrinking as villagers leave their homes to seek their fortune in new cities?
  • Are we alone in the universe, or are there other planets we could inhabit? (Some scientists believe there could be 10,000 civilisations in our galaxy alone.)

Ownership and interior decorations and garden designs may change over 30 years, but if location and bricks and mortar and dreams and memories remain the same, is somewhere still home?

On the Earth Halcyon In Kal… 20 April 2016

Reading Fathers, Sons and Motorcycles stirred memories of having read Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for the first time, many, many years ago.

Halcyon Space Headlines Halcyon Identifies 3 October 2014

Halcyon curates the most significant space-related content from carefully selected, top quality sources. Please contact us if you'd like our help with space-related challenges.

On Stardust Halcyon In Kal… 14 May 2014

Every atom in our bodies was fused in the body of an ancient star. NASA astronomer Dr. Michelle Thaller explains how the iron in our blood connects us to one of the most violent acts in the universe- a supernova explosion - and what the universe might look like when all the stars die out.