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“Time and Space, Space and Time”

 

Time and Space, Space and Time. Tick: a life form emerges; Tock: a sun explodes; Tick: a galaxy is ripped apart; Tock: a star is formed. Our universe is absolutely amazing.

-Sardior Ruby

Monarch butterfly emerging from chrysalis. Image courtesy Sid Mosdell (SidPix)

Monarch butterfly emerging from chrysalis. Image courtesy Sid Mosdell (SidPix)

NGC 6302: The Butterfly Nebula. A dying star that was once about five times the mass of the Sun is at the center of this fury. Image and caption courtesy NASA.

NGC 6302: The Butterfly Nebula. A dying star that was once about five times the mass of the Sun is at the center of this fury. Image and caption courtesy NASA.

Arp 194. This interacting group contains several galaxies, along with a "cosmic fountain" of stars, gas, and dust that stretches over 100,000 light-years. Image and caption courtesy NASA.

Arp 194. This interacting group contains several galaxies, along with a “cosmic fountain” of stars, gas, and dust that stretches over 100,000 light-years. Image and caption courtesy NASA.

Sharpless 2-106. A massive, young star, IRS 4 (Infrared Source 4), is responsible for the furious activity we see in the nebula. Image and caption courtesy NASA.

Sharpless 2-106. A massive, young star, IRS 4 (Infrared Source 4), is responsible for the furious activity we see in the nebula. Image and caption courtesy NASA.

 When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it is tied to everything else in the universe.

-John Muir (1838-1914) U. S. naturalist, explorer.

I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale.

Marie Curie (1867 – 1934)

Chemical compound being drawn by female chemist. Image courtesy DARPA via Wikimedia Commons.

Chemical compound being drawn by an unidentified chemist. Image courtesy DARPA via Wikimedia Commons.

Aerogel cube & Peter Tsou, JPL Scientist, Stardust Deputy Principal Investigator. Image courtesy NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

Aerogel cube & Peter Tsou, JPL Scientist, Stardust Deputy Principal Investigator. Image courtesy NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

If one is sufficiently lavish with time, everything possible happens.

- Herodotus

Chlorion aerarium, Cumberland, Maryland, July 2012. Image courtesy USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Laboratory via Fotopedia.

Chlorion aerarium, Cumberland, Maryland, July 2012. Image courtesy USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Laboratory via Fotopedia.

This artist's concept features NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life. Curiosity landed near the Martian equator about 10:31 p.m., Aug. 5 PDT (1:31 a.m. Aug. 6 EDT) In this picture, the rover examines a rock on Mars with a set of tools at the end of the rover's arm, which extends about 7 feet (2 meters). Two instruments on the arm can study rocks up close. A drill can collect sample material from inside of rocks and a scoop can pick up samples of soil. The arm can sieve the samples and deliver fine powder to instruments inside the rover for thorough analysis. The mast, or rover's "head," rises to about 6.9 feet (2.1 meters) above ground level, about as tall as a basketball player. This mast supports two remote-sensing science instruments: the Mast Camera, or "eyes," for stereo color viewing of surrounding terrain and material collected by the arm; and, the Chemistry and Camera instrument, which uses a laser to vaporize a speck of material on rocks up to about 23 feet (7 meters) away and determines what elements the rocks are made of.

This artist’s concept features NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars’ past or present ability to sustain microbial life. Curiosity landed near the Martian equator about 10:31 p.m., Aug. 5 PDT (1:31 a.m. Aug. 6 EDT) In this picture, the rover examines a rock on Mars with a set of tools at the end of the rover’s arm, which extends about 7 feet (2 meters). Two instruments on the arm can study rocks up close. A drill can collect sample material from inside of rocks and a scoop can pick up samples of soil. The arm can sieve the samples and deliver fine powder to instruments inside the rover for thorough analysis. The mast, or rover’s “head,” rises to about 6.9 feet (2.1 meters) above ground level, about as tall as a basketball player. This mast supports two remote-sensing science instruments: the Mast Camera, or “eyes,” for stereo color viewing of surrounding terrain and material collected by the arm; and, the Chemistry and Camera instrument, which uses a laser to vaporize a speck of material on rocks up to about 23 feet (7 meters) away and determines what elements the rocks are made of. Image and caption courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech via Wikimedia Commons.

“Rivers shift, oceans fall, and mountains drift.”

-R.E.M., “Feeling Gravity’s Pull”

We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing.

-Maria Mitchell, Astronomer (1818-1889)

An estimated 10,000 galaxies are revealed in humankind's deepest portrait of the visible universe ever. Image and caption courtesy NASA/ESA/S. Beckwith(STScI) and The HUDF Team.

An estimated 10,000 galaxies are revealed in humankind’s deepest portrait of the visible universe ever. The snapshot reveals the first galaxies to emerge from the so-called “dark ages,” the time shortly after the big bang when the first stars reheated the cold, dark universe. Image and caption courtesy NASA/ESA/S. Beckwith(STScI) and The HUDF Team.

Imaging of the tonoplast intrinsic protein in Arabidopsis roots. Image courtesy S. Gattolin et al via Fotopedia.

Imaging of the tonoplast intrinsic protein in Arabidopsis roots. Image courtesy S. Gattolin et al via Fotopedia.

 If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living.

-Jules Henri Poincaré (1854-1912), French mathematician.

 

The first time they tell you that the world’s turning and you just can’t quite believe it ’cause everything looks like it’s standing still…. I can feel it. The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at 1,000 miles an hour and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at 67,000 miles an hour, and I can feel it. We’re falling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go….

-The Doctor, “Rose”

Sun over Earth. Image courtesy NASA.

Sun over Earth. Image courtesy NASA.

 

Image credits and references:

1. Monarch Life Cycle by SidPix.

2. NGC 6302 by NASA.

3. Arp 194 by NASA. More info at Wired.

4. Sharpless 2-106 by NASA.

5. Chemical Compound Being Drawn by DARPA.

6. Aerogel Cube & Peter Tsou by NASA.

7. Chlorion Aerarium by USGS.

8. Curiosity: Robot Geologist and Chemist by NASA.

9. Hubble Ultra Deep Field by NASA.

10. The Tonoplast Intrinsic Protein by S. Gattolin et al.

11. Earth and Sun by NASA. Modified version of image 44.

Comments

  1. Lofty says

    If I close my eyes to all this and shout “goddiddit” do I get a prize from Mr “Banana” Comfort?
    Naah, I think I’ll stick to being gobsmacked by the awesomeness of this universe we live in…

  2. grahamjones says

    You made me remember this, from Far from the Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy

    The sky was clear — remarkably clear — and the
    twinkling of all the stars seemed to be but throbs of
    one body, timed by a common pulse. The North Star
    was directly in the wind’s eye, and since evening the
    Bear had swung round it outwardly to the east, till he
    was now at a right angle with the meridian. A
    difference of colour in the stars — oftener read of than
    seen in England — was really perceptible here. The
    sovereign brilliancy of Sirius pierced the eye with a steely
    glitter, the star called Capella was yellow, Aldebaran and
    Betelgueux shone with a fiery red.

    To persons standing alone on a hill during a clear
    midnight such as this, the roll of the world eastward is
    almost a palpable movement. The sensation may be
    caused by the panoramic glide of the stars past earthly
    objects, which is perceptible in a few minutes of still-
    ness, or by the better outlook upon space that a hill
    affords, or by the wind, or by the solitude; but whatever
    be its origin, the impression of riding along is vivid and
    abiding. The poetry of motion is a phrase much in
    use, and to enjoy the epic form of that gratification it
    is necessary to stand on a hill at a small hour of the
    night, and, having first expanded with a sense of differ-
    ence from the mass of civilised mankind, who are
    dreamwrapt and disregardful of all such proceedings at
    this time, long and quietly watch your stately progress
    through the stars. After such a nocturnal reconnoitre
    it is hard to get back to earth, and to believe that the
    consciousness of such majestic speeding is derived from
    a tiny human frame.

  3. says

    I cannot think of a better blog to be mentioned in. I have studied and read about those things you posted here since I was a very young child. Thank you for cheering up an old man.