Self Care – Astronomy Picture(s and Video) of the Week: Quasars Help Find That Universe is Expanding Faster Than Originally Thought

(There are 5 images and a video here…)

This is a pretty awesome story…

Basically, 5 quasars were studied to figure out the expansion rate of the universe, and the results were… interesting:

When astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered nearly 100 years ago that the universe was uniformly expanding in all directions, the finding was a big surprise. Then, in the mid-1990s, another shocker occurred: astronomers found that the expansion rate was accelerating perhaps due to a repulsive property called “dark energy.” Now, the latest measurements of our runaway universe suggest that it is expanding faster than astronomers thought. The consequences could be very significant for our understanding of the shadowy contents of our unruly universe. It may mean that dark energy is shoving galaxies away from each other with even greater – or growing – strength. Or, the early cosmos may contain a new type of subatomic particle referred to as “dark radiation.” A third possibility is that “dark matter,” an invisible form of matter that makes up the bulk of our universe, possesses some weird, unexpected characteristics. Finally, Einstein’s theory of gravity may be incomplete.

These unnerving scenarios are based on the research of a team led by Nobel Laureate Adam Riess, who began a quest in 2005 to measure the universe’s expansion rate to unprecedented accuracy with new, innovative observing techniques. The new measurement reduces the rate of expansion to an uncertainty of only 2.4 percent. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it does not agree with expansion measurements derived from probing the fireball relic radiation from the big bang. So it seems like something’s amiss – possibly sending cosmologists back to the drawing board.

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Self Care – Great Guitar Solos: King Crimson Plays The Night Watch

Another one suggested by a commenter, this time Johnny Vector.

Robert Fripp is such an incredible guitarist. His playing is very unconventional; he does some weird and very cool things with his guitar, even, somehow, when he’s just playing a straight solo. This one, King Crimson’s The Night Watch, is a nice example…

The solo starts at 2:49 and ends at 3:39.

There’s just audio here, no video…

Enjoy!

Self Care – The Struggle Bus: Sinceriously

Sorry this is going up late. My bad.

This is episode 82 of The Struggle Bus (the most recent episode). From the page:

On this episode Kate and Sally jibber jabber about the state of the US right now and how to stay engaged while taking care of yourself. Then they answer emails about how to bring up ~sex stuff~ with a prospective partner, how to cope when the shit hits the fan all at once, and the best ways to support a loved one who miiiiight be struggling with how to reconcile their sexuality with their religion.

While they do talk about current events and Sir Tony Orange Hands, it’s all in the context of self care, and ways to cope. It’s a great episode, which is why I’m posting it…

Self Care – Astronomy Picture of the Week: The Multiverse

Okay… you might be thinking I’ve jumped the shark with this series now, but before getting back to images of objects within our observable universe, I just have to go here…

You see, I’m fascinated by the idea of multiple universes, especially the idea that there could be an infinite number of universes, because that means that everything is real. In such a multiverse, there is no such thing as fiction or fantasy. I kind of love that. I won’t go into detail, because this is largely an image series, but just let your imagination go wild thinking about this.

It’s awesome.

The following image is an artist’s rendition of one idea born out of various multiverse ideas, including String Theory, Superstring theory, and M-Theory. I got it from an article on The Physics of the Universe.

Artist's visualization of rippling membranes

Artist’s visualization of rippling membranes

I remember seeing this membrane idea described on one of those TV science documentary shows. It was something like this…

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