Monday, 4 June 2012

Physics stuff from the week 28/5 - 3/6/12

In about 4 billion years, the Milky Way (the galaxy we're part of) will collide with the Andromeda galaxy (currently 2.2 million light years away)
Despite the hundred of millions of stars involved, the vast distances mean this solar system is unlikely to collide with a star in Andromeda

An update for the solar-powered plane:
They've had to delay their second leg because of... wait for it... too much wind! (Not a lack of sun)

Solar power output in Germany reaches 22 Gigawatts - the equivalent of 20 power plants - and half Germany's power demand

Last week, we read about blazars - black holes heating up surrounding dust with gamma rays. This article's about the Milky Way's supermassive black hole's past as an active gamma ray producer

[audio] [video] There's a whole load of mass out there, in the universe, but we don't know where all of it is.
We've found some, but it's not dark matter - it's atomic hydrogen gas. And there's a whole echidnaworth of it... apparently.

Another win for Relativity:
As matter descends toward black holes, it emits x-rays (called Hawking radiation), which travels outward, and excites the accretion disk surrounding the black hole.
But due to the black holes immense mass, as predicted by General Relativity, the subsequent signal is distorted.
Astronomers used K-line emissions, from iron atoms, to compare what was observed to non-relativistic observations of K-line emissions here on Earth.
This has enabled them to predict what they have dubbed relativistic reverberations

A beautiful video of aurorae, taken from the International Space Station

Added to the long list of ways Russia/CCCP beat the USA in the space race, is their discovery of water on the moon, two decades before the USA did:
- First rocket into outer space
- First probe into outer space
- First satellite into outer space
- First animal into outer space
- First man into outer space
- First woman into outer space
- First discovery of water on the moon
When's the US going to admit the Commies whooped their asses, eh??

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