Tuesday, October 27, 2009

yowee, just when the cosmos seemed all safe..

...something like this happens.

Now, it is kind of interesting how little we heard about this. This waggish headline follows up a little more.

But, in short, a 30 foot or so meteor entered Earth's atmosphere over Indonesia and exploded with the force of a little more than two Nagasaki bombs some thousands of feet up. What's more, "...assuming an estimated size of 5-10 meters, we would expect a fireball event of this magnitude every 2 to 12 years on average...".

REeeaally? More or less random detonations of nuclear weapon proportions every 2-12 years or so? This the first we've heard of this. Maybe a little more interesting is that meteors of this size would not connect with the ground unless they are 25 meters(80 feet or so) across or bigger. And, in that case, some major damage could occur.

Now, even more interestinger, there was no advance indication that this was going to happen. While it is the case that many objects of relatively small diameters are catalogued and more are being discovered all the time, this is no means all of them. And 'relatively small' meaning less than one kilometer estimated diameter, but the majority of those being discovered are larger than the one that blew up over Indonesia, which makes sense because they are bigger, and therefore easier to see.

Many more have been discovered recently, the most ever, and this is because they are looking harder, with better technology-- it is true.

But even so, they missed that one over Indonesia. They would need more telescopes, more money to build them, to catch more.

One 80 footer could wreak havoc.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The speed of light is constant, right?

I read this article and found it interesting. I do not understand all of it, but I get the gist of it.

The gist of it is, a new paper has been written that proposes that gravity seems to have worked differently 8-10 billion years ago.

Gravity from a mass is known to affect space and time around it, to "pull" on it, and this is demonstrated by the effect of "gravity lensing". The larger the mass, the more its gravity might affect light passing near it, this is called gravity lensing. Non-visible objects with great mass are sometimes discovered through the observation of this lensing effect.

This effect is defined in the Relativistic framework as an effect on space and time. The effect was regarded as being equally 'active' on both: each would be 'molded' by gravity in equal measure.

But this new study indicates that, for at least a small portion of deep space, that gravity seems to have had a greater distortive effect on time than space 8-10 billion years ago, three times as strong an effect on time compared to its effect on space.

This would seem to mean that light traveling through a gravitational field that is 8-10 billion light years away would be travelling at a different distance/t than 'local light' does, because "t" would be different-- significantly different-- and distance would be different but not proportionally different when compared to local light.

Light is supposed to travel 186,000 miles per second, per second. But if gravity is messing about with the base values of 'miles' and 'seconds' with different 'pressures' applied to each, then that is very interesting.

Now, it seems like if light gets bent, and slowed down, but it shouldn't, then there is where it should of gone however fast in the absence of gravity as well as where it actually did go. And stuff moves around, so the light may be affected or not.

So what is 'there' where it should have gone if it wasn't affected? Well, dark-- light cannot go there, because while there is space for it there is no time for it.

Gravity distorting time at a different rate than it bends space is a really interesting thing to think about.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I will not say what I will be doing...

so I will do some more music, another collection released, I think. Don't worry, it will be self-absorbed and self-indulgent, fairly strange, both intricately contrived and sloppily thrown together-- in short, exactly the sort of insignificant musical offering that you've come to expect from Utenzil.

But bigger.

That's all I'm going to say.

one other thing and back to music stuff..

I said before that the solar system orbits the Pleiades, to be clear what I was describing was the 'theory' of the whole 2012 thing.

But the real thing to maybe take away from all this is the enormity of so much around us in the universe. Someone who knows about astronomy and answers questions for laymen has a good description of our galactic location, the galactic plane and the Earth's relationship thereto.

But it is agreed that the Solar System "bobs up and down" in relation to the galactic plane, and that the Earth revolves around the Sun at an angle (60 degrees) relative to the galactic plane. And there are still double-domed labcoat wearers that hold out hope for an apolcalypze, although 2012 isn't circled on their calendars.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

at any rate, it's all on wikipedia...

So what is maybe most useful about all of this 2012 stuff is how it causes one to learn more about the celestial neighborhood.

When I was a kid there was 9 planets, now there are 8 and three dwarf planets, Pluto, Haumea and Makemake. Oh wait, there is also Eris, four dwarf planets.

Space was "a vacuum". There were mysterious "cosmic rays".

But now. the space that the Solar System is in isa Bubble that is still pretty vacuum-ish, but has some hydrogen atoms floating around in it, even less hydrogen atoms than the surrounding Cloud. So we are in a bubble in a cloud. Surprisingly, the cloud has a lot of energy in it, but we are protected from contact with the cloud by the Solar Wind and we are protected from the Solar Wind by our Magnetosphere.

So we are in a 'bubble' that is sparsely filled with interstellar gas as opposed to the surrounding 'cloud' (which is a good thing, because that gas gives off energy) and further protected from any impinging gas by the solar wind which in turn we are protected from by the magnetosphere. The Local Bubble is courtesy of a star that went nova, leaving a kind of 3D 'crater' in the surrounding cloud of interstellar matter.

Now, something interesting about the Local Bubble is that it is thought to be narrower along the galactic plane. The reason this is interesting is because we are so far from the center of the galaxy that effect of the supermassive black hole at it's center is regarded as nearly negligible. Yet, it seems to mold the shape of the vast superbubble that surrounds the solar system.

So, as we approach the galactic plane, our surrounding celestial neighborhood will be subjected to different forces than elsewhere above or below that plane.

Something I am curious about in this context is the thing that hit Jupiter a little while back. Now, to be sure, scientists know there is a Kuiper Belt, full of Kuiper Belt Objects, and the Kuiper Belt is a 'stablized' collection of the kind of objects that are found in the Scattered Disc where most periodic comets are thought to come from at this point. Whereas scientists theorize that there is an Oort Cloud that other comets might come from, or not, and there is an "inner Oort Cloud" or Hills Cloud.

But my point (if I have one, which clearly I may not) is that there is a whole crapload of stuff floating around in the space around our Solar System, some of it definitely real, some of it theoretically real, which will come under the influence of a different kind of force along the galactic plane. The 'crapload' will come under such influence, because of what seems to be generally accepted thought that the Local Bubble is influenced by whatever force along the galactic plane.

The more firmly established celestial bodies will not be as influenced by this force because of all the protective energies surrounding them. But if there is a floating field of less stable trans-Neptunian and further detritus, it seems like it may be more influenced. Now, it doesn't mean that it will be influenced to Hollywood epic proportions, but it seems like it would be influenced to some extent.

Now, the interesting thing, the 'funny' thing, is that if that scattered collection was influenced to Hollywood epic proportions, where little misshapen iceballs started to squeeze into line along the galactic equator in such a way that some significant portion thereof bumped into each other causing their headlong descent into the Sun-- and Earth's orbit around it-- that knowledge along with a little less than $US 2.00 would get you a large boutique-ish coffee of any number of various brands to sip as the resulting cataclysm tore the world as we know it asunder.

What you might have an idea of, then, is when to purchase that coffee.

Could the Maya, knowing that their distant descendants would be in a rich coffee growing region, have established their calendar and impressively aligned architectural legacy which would cast various shadows during this alignment, and have been leaving such a message?

We can only wonder.