Sam Harrelson



Sam Harrelson

urgency trumps understanding

There’s some sort of metaphor in the story of these two photos of the Earth from the moon’s surface; one low-resolution and one high-resolution, one broadcast at the moment and the other only decoded by volunteers some forty years after the fact. It’s hard to see and transmit what’s happening right now clearly, no matter what kind of equipment we’re using; urgency trumps understanding.

Source: đź‘€ Noticing: The Big Picture. 06/22/2018

Noticing is a great newsletter that you should subscribe to put together by Jason Kottke who has run one of my favorite sites/blogs for 20 years.




Stephen Hawking Laid to Rest Between Newton and Darwin

It’s safe to say that Hawking inspired so many people of my generation (and generations after us, hopefully) with his wit and humor along with his insights into the workings of black holes and the cosmos.

As a teenager who dove into the world of astronomy and cosmology as an escape from my small rural hometown, I always found Hawking as an incredible enigma with his dense articles, pop-sci books, and then appearances on The Simpsons and Star Trek: The Next Generation (all of which I cherished and continue to do so.

As a Middle School Science Teacher, I frequently used video clips of Prof. Hawking to make a point about space or black holes or the need for humble humor in all of our exploits.

Rest easy and continue to spur us forward in our journey to the stars, Prof. Hawking.

“His final resting place lies between the remains of two other famed scientists, Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton.

It is a rare honor to be interred at the Abbey, and one that has not been given to a scientist for almost 80 years. Before Hawking, the last scientists laid to rest at Westminster were atomic physicists Ernest Rutherford in 1937 and Joseph John Thomson in 1940.”

Read More on CNET – Stephen Hawking’s voice beamed into space as his ashes are interred




NASA receives response from Voyager 1

Build things that last…

“The Voyager flight team dug up decades-old data and examined the software that was coded in an outdated assembler language, to make sure we could safely test the thrusters,” said Jones, chief engineer at JPL.

Source: NASA receives response from Voyager 1 spacecraft 13 billion miles away after 37 years of inactivity | Technology Startups News | Tech News




“Still discovering new things”

golden_record_cover

On board each Voyager is a golden record — and record player — that is built to last one billion years or more and contains key information about humanity and life on planet Earth, in case of an alien encounter.

The sounds include the calls of humpback whales, the Chuck Berry song “Johnny B. Goode,” Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, a Japanese shakuhachi (a type of flute), a Pygmy girls’ initiation song, and greetings in 55 languages.

via Forty years on, Voyager still hurtles through space




Stephen Hawking is backing a project to send tiny spacecraft to another star system within a generation

The concept is to reduce the size of the spacecraft to about the size of a chip used in electronic devices. The idea is to launch a thousand of these mini-spacecraft into the Earth’s orbit. Each would have a solar sail. This is like a sail on a boat – but it is pushed along by light rather than the wind. A giant laser on Earth would give each one a powerful push, sending them on their way to reaching 20% of the speed of light.

Source: Hawking backs interstellar travel project – BBC News

Fascinating.

 




Metaphor for Looking Ahead By Looking Back

By pushing NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to its limits, an international team of astronomers has shattered the cosmic distance record by measuring the farthest galaxy ever seen in the universe. This surprisingly bright infant galaxy, named GN-z11, is seen as it was 13.4 billion years in the past, just 400 million years after the Big Bang. GN-z11 is located in the direction of the constellation of Ursa Major.

Source: Hubble Team Breaks Cosmic Distance Record | NASA

Our eyes, like the (still) incredible Hubble Telescope, are time machines. We see things as they happen in the past, whether they are right in front of us or 13.4 billion light years away. We are a curious and amazing species that can process signals to make inferences about our own future.

Whether it’s looking into deep space or contemplating the future of your life or business, don’t ever stop visioning. Our brains are built for such duties.




Don’t Buy Into the Myth of Human Progress

Integral calculus, like theology, are areas we imagine we have forward progress as humans… not always the case.

“What is perhaps more surprising is the sophistication with which they tracked the planet, judging from inscriptions on a small clay tablet dating to between 350 B.C. and 50 B.C. The tablet, a couple of inches wide and a couple of inches tall, reveals that the Babylonian astronomers employed a sort of precalculus in describing Jupiter’s motion across the night sky relative to the distant background stars. Until now, credit for this kind of mathematical technique had gone to Europeans who lived some 15 centuries later.”

Source: Signs of Modern Astronomy Seen in Ancient Babylon – The New York Times

 




Realizing Our Place in the Universe

“This image, captured with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is the largest and sharpest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy — otherwise known as M31.This is a cropped version of the full image and has 1.5 billion pixels. You would need more than 600 HD television screens to display the whole image.”

via Sharpest ever view of the Andromeda Galaxy | ESA/Hubble.

I had to download the 4.3 GB file. For science.