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Space

On Space

National Geographic

 

Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight up - Fred Hoyle

Some emerging ideas/thoughts about/reactions to space that you might find to be of interest...

Universe

The cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself - Carl Sagan

The oldest stars found in the Universe are nearly pristine, where almost 100% of what makes them up is the hydrogen and helium left over from the Big Bang. They come in at over 13 billion years old, with the oldest at 14.5 billion. And this is a big problem, because the Universe itself is only 13.8 billion years old.

Earth

On Sun(s)

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

blog image

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

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

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 Home

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?