Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Universe Is Expanding Faster Than Scientists Thought

Scientists trained the Hubble Space Telescope view of the galaxy UGC 9391, which contains variable stars and supernovas that scientists studied to calculate a newly precise value for Hubble's constant.  What they found was the universe expanding 5 to 9 percent faster than astronomers had thought.

Scientists used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to study 2,400 Cepheid stars and 300 Type Ia supernovas.

These are two different universe phenomenon allow scientists to measure distances across the universe. Cepheids pulse at predictable rates and Type Ia supernovas blaze up with consistent luminosity.  This allowed the distances to the 300 supernovas, which lie in a number of different galaxies. Then, the researchers compared these figures to the expansion of space, which was calculated by measuring how light from faraway galaxies stretches as it moves away from Earth, to determine how fast the universe is expanding — a value known as the Hubble constant.

The new value for the Hubble constant comes out to 45.5 miles per second per megaparsec. (One megaparsec is equivalent to 3.26 million light-years.)

The new figure is 5 to 9 percent higher than previous estimates of the Hubble constant, which relied on measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation which is an "echo" of the universe's creation 13.8 billion years ago.

More information available click HERE

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Suicide Squad / Batman: Attack on Arkham

In Suicide Squad a team of dangerous criminals consisting of elite hitman Deadshot, former psychiatrist Harley Quinn, pyrokinetic ex-gangster El Diablo, opportunistic thief Captain Boomerang, genetic mutation Killer Croc, and specialized assassin Slipknot. They are placed under command of Colonel Rick Flag to be used as disposable assets in high-risk missions for the United States government. Each member has a nano bomb implanted in their neck, designed to detonate should any member rebel or try to escape.

In Batman: Assault on Arkham, Batman rescues Riddler from a black ops assassination ordered by Amanda Waller, returning him to Arkham Asylum. Invoking Priority Ultraviolet, Waller captures criminals Black Spider, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, KGBeast, Killer Frost and King Shark for the Suicide Squad. Their mission is to break into Arkham and recover a thumbdrive in the Riddler's cane; while in Waller's employ, Riddler copied information on the squad to make it public knowledge. She forces compliance by threatening to detonate nano-bombs implanted in their necks. KGBeast, who believes it's a bluff, walks out on Waller and is killed as an example to the others.

The simularities between the two films is far more than just having a few of the same characters, many of the action points are shared as well as a good deal of the plot devices. 

At first I thought that each movie was playing parts of the same canon but I am now more inclined to think of the movies as a slightly different telling of the same plot line. 

Check out the wikipedia for more information. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Beam Me Up 479 Is Now Online

This week for episode 479, after a short musical interlude, I spend some time on the Beam Me Up blog with articles like the age of the Moon, a loss in the historical NASA astronaut crew and the Air Force's x37b space plane is due to set new records in mission length.

Finally I read a short story.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

X-37B Due to Break Longest Time in Space Record

The U.S. Air Force's mysterious X-37B space plane has now spent 600 days in Earth orbit on the vessel's latest mission, and is nearing a program record for longest time spent in space.

The robotic X-37B lifted off atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on May 20, 2015, kicking off the program's fourth space mission (which is known as Orbital Test Vehicle-4, or OTV-4).

If the uncrewed spacecraft spends 74 more days aloft, it will break the duration record set during OTV-3, which touched down in October 2014.

But it's unclear how long OTV-4 will last, or just what the X-37B is doing as it circles Earth; most details about the space plane's missions and payloads are classified.

This SPACE.com infographic depicts the B Orbital Test Vehicle is an unmanned space test vehicle for the USAF. See how the unmanned space drone works here.

 For more information, press the HERE link

Monday, January 16, 2017

RIP Eugene Cernan

U.S. Navy Captain Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, died Monday, Jan. 16,

Previous to the final Apollo mission, Cernan piloted the Gemini 9 mission with Commander Thomas P. Stafford on a three-day flight in June 1966. Cernan logged more than two hours outside the orbiting capsule.

In May 1969, he was the lunar module pilot of Apollo 10, the first comprehensive lunar-orbital qualification and verification test of the lunar lander. The mission flew the lunar module to within eight nautical miles of the moon's surface.

for more click here

Friday, January 13, 2017

The moon is very old, it turns out

It would appear that the moon is very old, it turns out.

A new analysis of lunar rocks brought to Earth by Apollo astronauts suggests that the moon formed 4.51 billion years ago — just 60 million years after the solar system itself took shape.

Some studies have come up with similar estimates, while others have argued for a younger moon that coalesced 150 million to 200 million years after the solar system was born. The new findings are published in the journal Science Advances.

For more information you can log to this page. Press the link button.

Podcast 478

I start this week with a story from David Scholes called Other Side the I mistakenly call Reincarnation, it's good no matter what the case.

From the blog, it would seem that Germany's fusion reactor works!  David has a story collection available on Amazon. Pluto has structures similar to ice pressure ridges but on a truly vast scale. 

Finally I play David's Urban Pacifiers, which is a really great short tale.

podcast 478

Friday, January 06, 2017

Some of Nimoy's Stage Credits

Listner Phil really knows his theater.  I asked him what he knew about Nimoy and stage and he
sent me back a "did you know" list:

Here are just a few stage shows that Leonard Niemoy was in and parts he played.

Musical Theatre
Melody Top Theatre Milwaukee, WI (Regional Theatre)
Camelot - Arthur (1973)
Fiddler on the Roof - Tevye (1974)
My Fair Lady - Henry Higgins (1976)
Oliver - Fagin (1972 - 1973)
The King and I - The King (1974)

Atlanta Theatre Guild, Atlanta, GA (1955)
A Streetcar Named Desire - Stanley Kowalsky
University of Alabama Town and Civic Center Clark Memoiral Theater
Cat on A Hot Tin Roof - Brick
Town and Gown Repertory Theatre - Birmingham, AL. (1959)
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest - Randle Patrick McMurphy
Little Theatre on the Square - Sullivan, IL. (1974)
The Fourposter - Michael (1975)

The bladed terrain of Pluto’s Tartarus Dorsa region, that were photographed by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft during its epic flyby in July 2015, as ice ridges 1,650 feet or so tall.  On Earth, these structures rise just a few feet above the ground in cold, mountainous regions of Earth.

The gargantuan size is predicted by the same theory that explains the formation of these features on Earth. 

On Earth however the structures are made up of snow or water ice, whereas Pluto's ridges are mostly methane and nitrogen ices. 

Researchers say that Pluto's structures probably formed within the past few tens of millions of years.