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Friday, 12 February 2016

Gravitational waves and floating hills..

Isn't this typical: I go on holiday for a week and everyone starts making mind bending advancements in astrophysics and space technology,while you're stuck up in the Scottish highlands with the amazing mountains, wildlife, and ski slopes....

Yeah, Scotland you suck, and you're ugly too....

.... fair enough, I had a good holiday and I'd recommend Scotland to anyone who likes holidays that are bit more adventurous than just lying by the pool. But some of the things that have happened this week have been momentous, so lets have a quick look at the two stories that really caught my eye, before it's back to business as usual:


Gravitational wave detection:

This is the weeks big BIG news, and everyone says so. Lots of them then ask 'what the hell are gravitational waves' and they're right to do so, since this isn't a topic that's covered in high school physics. Which is odd, because it's actually very simple. Waves occur in lots of things: Sound waves in gasses, surfable waves in water, electromagnetic waves (like radio waves and light waves) in electric and magnetic fields. Gravitational waves are just waves in space itself.

A sound wave is a pressure wave, so as it passes you the air pressure gets higher, then lower. Ocean waves are up /down motions in the water,so as they pass the water gets higher, then lower. Gravitational waves are distortions in space-time, so as they pass space itself stretches and squashes. As one hits you, you get slightly taller and thinner (very, very slightly), then slightly shorter and fatter (Universe today has some good animations explaining them, here).

Above: If you looked at a ring of dots just as a really huge gravity wave passed through them, you'd see them flex like this.

Space-time itself rings like a bell and, thanks to the fact that all waves have some things in common, we can actually translate the gravitational waves into audible sounds....

Above: The gravitational wave signal seen by LIGO, converted into audible sounds. It sounds rather nice for something that's travelled across a billion light years. Courtesy of Georgia Tech.

The waves are incredibly tiny: The ones that were picked up had travelled over a billion light years, and by the time they hit earth they were only strong enough to distort space by about 1/10,000 of the width of a hydrogen atom. But the incredibly sensitive detectors built to detect them, the LIGO detectors, independently saw the signal at the same time, which is a good sign that this is a real detection (and the reason why two detectors were built in the first place)

What does all this mean, aside from being a scientific curiosity? 
It gives us an entirely new way of 'seeing' the universe, other than electromagnetic waves (like light) and particles - in principle we can now see through light years of gas and dust, and watch the most powerful events in the history of the universe. the signal that was picked up was from two black holes, each weighing tens of times more than the Sun, hitting into each other...

Above: A simulation of what the event seen by LIGO would look like close up, courtesy of SXS Lensing

But it's also a final confirmation of Einstein's theories of gravity - confirming that they were on the money, in almost every respect, as far as we can measure.


Floating hills on Pluto:

Above: The clusters of floating hills on Pluto's sea of glaciers. Courtesy of NASA.

Last year the New Horizons spaceship gave us our first close up view of the dwarf planet Pluto. One of the surprises it gave us was the discovery of Sputnik Planum, a vast 'sea' of nitrogen ice glaciers. On Earth glaciers are made of water ice, which seems solid enough but flows at large scales. That allows huge 'rivers' of ice to flow across the plains of Antarctica and down the sides of mountains. On Pluto water ice is far too hard to flow at all, because of the much lower temperature. But nitrogen ice is still squishy enough to form glaciers in such frigid conditions - and unlike the isolated glaciers of Earth, Pluto's flow into a huge sea of slightly squashy nitrogen ice. 

That sea does some things we don't entirely understand, like form huge cell-like patterns on its surface (probably due to very slow convection currents), and elliptical pits that all line up.

Above: The cell-like patterns on the surface of Sputnik Planum
Now a detailed study of the latest images to be transmitted home by New Horizons has shown that it does something else: It actually has hills that float on it!
On Pluto the hills are made of water ice frozen super-hard. But it's still water ice, and water ice is less dense than nitrogen ice, so whole hills have broken off from the coastline if Sputnik planum and gone floating away, a bit like a bizarre reflection of Earth's ice bergs:


The hills are gathered in clusters at various spots, and seem to drift on the glaciers until they run aground somewhere.... or wander the sea forever. But this is all pretty day to day for the New Horizons team - I can't wait to hear about Pluto's next weird surprise!

Elsewhere in the universe:

James Webb Space Telesope passes milestone

Massive rogue planet found

13 comments:

  1. (3)...interstellar travel (thousands G of constant acceleration)... Gravity is a fundamental property of the Matter. Perhaps each material particle would work how a microsphere which emits, would be gravitons = PHOTONS, waves in straight line at all space directions. By some reason in magnetic substances these photon waves straight lines perhaps would braid among adjacent microspheres forming supposedly Gravitational Cords that already do not go in straight line faraway, but go in that object to a equilibrium point, the Pole, converging by exterior attracted by the Gravitational Cords from the other Pole...the "magnetic field". In the stellar Fusion is minimum the matter quantity that transforms into Energy, but if someday is obtained the matter/antimatter annihilation to exponentially convert all the mass into Energy (photons), perhaps would have a spectacular increment of the Gravitational Force during the action. So the Electromagnetic Force would be in reality the same Gravitational Force, with photon as the same exchange particle, presented at "other format". (How the Nature repeats successful designs...electromagnetic and gravitational forces, both attract things: electromagnetic attracts magnetic substances...gravitational attracts all...and there are some substances that rotate the plane of polarization of light, then perhaps... Electromagnetic Force: in magnetic substances the supposed photons Gravitational Cords...e.g. braided to the right: same Pole repulsion, and braided to the left: same Pole repulsion. Pole braided to the right against Pole braided to the left: attraction... Gravitational Force: perhaps could be something similar but inverse...e.g. photons Gravitational Cords braided dextrorotatory: from Matter...and braided levorotatory: from Antimatter... Gravity: matter/matter, attraction. Antigravity: antimatter/antimatter, attraction... Matter/Antimatter, repulsion)... If in the matter/antimatter annihilation could, instead of photons, be obtained antiphotons (antigravity) instead of attraction would have repulsion from the rocket engine toward the passengers, auto-synchronizing (major or minor↓↓↓↓acceleration...major or minor↑↑↑repulsion) rocket acceleration downwards with antigravity repulsion upwards for maintaining the living areas to 1g ↓...in to thousands G of constant acceleration Starships...

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  2. (4)...interstellar travel (thousands G of constant acceleration)... What is a Force?... Gravity...two objects attract between them emitting gravitons, how two pirate-ships hooked by ropes with hooks from the other... Each emitted graviton perhaps would go invisibly united to its emitter object, such as if would go an elastic cord with infinite length and when arrives till the other object, by far that it is, "knows" toward where has that "pulling"...never are confused the gravitons emitted by different sources "pulling" toward do not is... The gravitons that come from Andromeda they "pull" toward Andromeda, and do not toward the Magellanic Clouds... That graviton comes climbing toward the steel object which falls from a tower...when arrives to the objects, what finds?...sighted from its perspective finds which the object in reality does not exist...only "sees" a vacuum, here a nucleus of protons...far over there some electrons in orbit... Where "hooking for pulling" from this object which does not exist?, asks itself...also asks itself from where comes, how went emitted because over there also only was vacuum and some subatomic particles here and there... Ah, I know..."will hook" in the magnetic force lines which go away for this huge vacuum joining the nuclei of protons (+) with their far electrons (-), in these force lines made with Photons emitted from those nuclei and electrons...but, they are lines of electromagnetic force and I am a graviton... Ah, from there comes a graviton of here, from where comes?, perhaps from interior of some Proton where the gluons, what an adhesive!...indestructibly join quarks to form it...and goes to the place from where I come for make the same, "hooking for pulling". So that perhaps...Graviton hooks in Proton that seems strong... The Gravitational Force how solution...someday all spacecrafts always will go to thousands G of constant acceleration... The Universe is just there for us... What is a Force?...who emits it?...where it "hooks"?...

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  3. (4b)...interstellar travel (thousands G of constant acceleration)... The entire Universe gyrating. The "phantom position"... LMC galaxy around the Milky Way... When it is in an orbital point emits its gravitons toward here...when it is to quite a few degrees from point before those emitted gravitons do not can "pulling" toward the already "phantom position" where LMC is not placed now, so that the Gravitons must have a quality of trajectories reorganization it depends moving of the object, the new emitted would go away auto-correcting the trajectories of the gravitons before for the attraction always being toward the actual position... Andromeda and Milky Way... The Photons it transit by the "phantom position" because we see Andromeda not only how it was 2 million years ago, but also "where it was" at that time. At different way those emitted Gravitons in each place then must go away course actualizing among them... Matter/Antimatter annihilation rockets... to 9800 kms/sec²... Day 508: Half Journey...1 million light years...high hyperluminal-speed = 0.0455 light years/sec... In 2.79 years, here is Andromeda... spherical\tridimensional\spatial Heading...intergalactic navigation in Starships to thousands G of constant acceleration...

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  4. ...interstellar travel constant acceleration (Sun-Deneb: 1000g)... Earth...the 2 ships that will go formation flying for mutual assisting if there are problems...indestructible structures made of Hexapentas material, awaiting in airport the arrival of passengers... Day 1: zero-speed... THE SHIPS TAKEOFF►... navigation computer places on screen the spacecraft in the center of sphere...spherical\tridimensional\spatial Heading: Deneb... Antimatter rocket engines...ON... Here we go...goooooo!...1g...10g...100g...constant acceleration cruise: 1000g (9.8 kms/sec²)... Inside the living areas (the same as going submerged in water: constant acceleration downwards...less...constant thrust, constant acceleration, from water upwards)...the gravitational transformers, perfectly synchronized with the acceleration, running: 1000g constant acceleration toward the floor ↓↓(motors)↓↓...less...999g constant acceleration toward the ceiling ↑↑(gravitational transformers)↑ = 1g constant acceleration toward the floor↓... 8.5 hours: light-speed = 1c...the fusion reactor as an artificial sun illuminating the immense Vital Support Gardens to lowering, from their comfortable apartments, cheerful passage to the pool...the electromagnetic shield anti-radiation...anti-gravity fields generator run forward, working: light objects away from the path of the ship...and trajectory ship away from the heavy objects...superluminal-speed > 1c... 42.5 hours: reaches hyperluminal-speed = 5c... Day 508: Half Journey...1000 light years...high hyperluminal-speed = 1435.39c... OFF engines...a few minutes of weightlessness during maneuver...the ship rotates 180º around its axis...motors ON again and... ◄STARTS TO BRAKE... Day 1017 (2.79 years): End Path party...2000 light years...zero-speed... The forever young passage of the 1st Immortal Generation (3D Bioprinting...Telomerase...modified Biological Timers...) disembarks at destination: an extra-stellar planet which came errant to orbit of Deneb giant.

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  5. ...space-elevator (orbital station bike wheel-1g)... geostationary orbit, a huge "bike-wheel" is gyrating around its own axis for have 1g-centrifugal. Wheel held in place with 4 CABLES (each cable with a track for Train, for both trains crossing ↓↑) FORMING THE STRUCTURE OF A RHOMBUS♦ (minor diagonal of rhombus is the gyration-axis of the Station-Wheel)...rhombus´s below, the carbon nanotubes Track towards Earth...rhombus´s above, the Cable towards a higher counterweight... if...WHEEL´s RADIUS = 250 mts... Wheel gyration´s Axis length = rhombus´s minor diagonal = ½ Wheel´s radius = 125 mts (axis could be a resistant hollow tube with for example 20 mts in diameter with an adequate wall´s thickness, hollow which could serving how tank of anything, e.g. air, or tank of frozen water storage no totally full, for volume expansion from liquid to ice without tank, Axis, breaking, thawing using solar-heat)... Cable´s length of the rhombus´s side = Wheel diameter = 500 mts ((also how Wheel´s supporting, instead of a rhombus, can be a narrow Rectangular structure ▄▄▄▄▄▄ of rigid girder with dimension sides slightly majors than Wheel´s diameter and wide, e.g. Wheel´s diameter 500 mts and wide 50 mts...rectangle´s sides: 510 mts length, 60 mts wide. Rectangle with a cable/track (length=Wheel´s diameter) in each vertex, forming a long isosceles triangle ───◄at both rectangle´s minor sides►───)). Wheel´s ZONE-1g: habitable length = 1571 mts*50 mts wide (separation at both sides between Cable and Circumference of the gyratory Wheel, approx.= 5 mts, adjusting this separation installing an Axis with major or minor length, as much as shorter Axis...stronger and, for easy train´s passing, an angle nearer to 180º value in both rhombu´s-vertex, minor diagonal, where are the Big Soundless-♫-Bearings of Axis´s-insertion...a few Electrical Motors fed with Solar-Energy maintain automatically the gyration-speed counteracting the slow braking by friction from the Bearings...besides of Bearings: main Maglev system also for the gyration and Axis´s supporting, leaving the Bearings only how secondary security system...with a slight roominess between each Bearing and its exterior subjection, into the roominess all around...little solid Pistons radial extensible and retractable... Axis´s subjection: extensible ON, with Bearings; extensible OFF, with Maglev. With a sufficient cables tension coming from the counterweight, if Axis resists: the rhombus structure is undeformable)*10 Floors with 25 mts in height each one, gyrating 360º each 31 seconds, angular-speed = 11.61º/sec, linear-speed (tangential) = 182 kms/h... Station-Wheel´s GYRATION: AXIS IN PERPENDICULAR (90º) ORIENTATION TO THE ORBITAL TRAJECTORY...and so, while Station-Wheel follows its geostationary orbit, the Wheel does Not change the spatial-orientation of its axis, and thus there are Not Precession forces actuating (and thus there is Not torsion´s force against Track)...

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  6. (2)...space-elevator (orbital station bike wheel-1g)... Wheel with maneuvers tangential-rockets for gyration´s start, or...gyration emergency stop...and maneuver´s axia-rockets for reorientation of Wheel´s axis, if it is necessary: because the Earth´s axis slightly and very slowly goes oscillating cyclically due to nutation and precession...that oscillation evidently produces transversal traction pulling of the Track towards aside from its anchoring on equator, thus would have an also slight pendular movement side to side and it would produce precession´s movements of the Wheel´s axis and thus a not wished torsion of the Track...but the system must supporting lateral charges, in the same orbital plane and thus without precession´s problems on the Wheel´s axis, of acceleration against W→Track←E produced by the Coriolis effect when movement´s direction is perpendicular to the gyration´s axis, that lateral charge is maximum on equator (there, a vertical movement is perpendicular tø Earth´s axis) and zero on poles (there, a vertical movement is parallel tø Earth´s axis); upwards charge to West, downwards charge to East; the gyroscopic-rigidity contributes for maintaining the gyration-axis perpendicular to the orbital trajectory... When the Maglev Train slowly arrives (Train with one opened ╚╝ side in its technical maglev-zone train´s all along over Track for can passing for both tracks: main-Track/rhombus-track/again main-Track), using now cogwheels on Zipper-Track (zippers installed on the same Maglev-Track), Train stops in Geo 0g-Station placed over one Extreme of the Gyration-Axis, next to «Port for Spacecrafts»... Passengers disembark and entering into gyratory circular corridor, they take now the interior-elevator of one of the Wheel´s hollow-radius (also could be an exterior-elevator running for a simple zipper-radius), and tunnel "descending" till Hotel into the final Zone-1g...where while Station-Wheel goes turning, the immense O2 producer Hydroponics Garden receives a filtered Sun light...and there are Earth´s awesome views.

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  7. ☼↓↓▓0.08g▬▬▬←▬▬▬▬▬↓☺▬▬♦1g▬→▬▬1g...Space-elevator (orbital station ramp)... Faraway high beyond Earth surface at 150,000 kms...fast orbital speed 11.4 kms/sec...with only 0.08g centrifugal, 0.8 mts/sec² (a person who has 80 kgs ↓ gravitational force on Earth equator radius=6378.1 kms; over there with a radius=156378.1 kms only has 6.64 kgs ↑ centrifugal force...gravitational force downwards minus centrifugal force upwards)...could be, if someday is cheap the maglev-track, the counterweight Terminal Orbital Station-Ramp... Awaits passengers in Earth-Station a hyperspeed vertical electric Train of Magnetic Levitation... "Spatial Train coming from Orbital Station-Ramp and Orbital Station-Wheel at these moments arriving will depart again after one hour, passengers with Moon destination please embark on SHIP-COACH when will be hooked at Train´s end"... (((if...Trains mass=10 Tm and its vertical max-speed=10000 kms/h... CORIOLIS¨S EFFECT AGAINST TRACK ↓to East, ↑to West: acceleration=0.4 mts/sec², FORCE=0.41 Tm... How Track is attached on Earth´s equator, this Lateral Thrust occur in the same orbital plane, orbit forward or backward, and thus almost there are Not Precession´s problems in the System...except because due to slight cyclic oscillation (nutation and precession) of Earth´s axis, would that doing each a certain time a little correction, with their own axial maneuver´s rockets, for reorientation of Wheel´s Axis)))...medium-speed = 5,000 kms/hour: Earth/Orbital Station-Wheel, distance = 35,786 kms...total travel time = 7 hours... Orbital Station-Wheel/Orbital Station-Ramp, distance = 114,214 kms...total travel time = 23 hours... Well seized from retractable cogwheels, with slow-speed at the beginning travel of strong gravitation from Earth, with conventional Zipper-Track: MAGLEV-ON...COGWHEELS-ON... THE TRAIN DEPARTS►...

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  8. (2)...space-elevator (orbital station ramp)... starting horizontal from Terminal Stations (only on coach´s floor, line of Seats side to side with their vertical seat-backs now parallels to floor, passengers body horizontal), when train goes climbing (100 kms/hour) it is already in normal travel position...VERTICAL, now the Floor before is Wall and vice versa, seats and passengers are in normal position, body vertical. ■Each Inclinable-Seat with guiderails on Wall and floor for seat-sliding from normal-vertical-seat-back till horizontal-bed: _| _/ _,__↓Seat on floor, the normally vertical seat-back with its top-part always into contact with Wall-guiderails; padded-seat-bottom horizontal to ½ mt over floor for sit down normal, with hinges for fold up when it is not using... ¯| ¯\ ¯´¯¯↑Seat on ceiling, the same but inverse... According to train´s acceleration ↓↑, floor will be ceiling and vice versa; for passengers sit down with their feet down or up when Train goes accelerating or decelerating at one or other side of the geo-0g altitude, for passengers feeling acceleration toward feet and do not toward head... ■Each Coach with e.g. 10 mts in length divided into 5 Compartments with 2 mts (floor↔ceiling when it is vertical) each one... ■Each Compartment: one wall all wide Seats side to side, other wall with Stairs, with steps on both faces up/down, in diagonal till next Compartment, other walls Food and Drinks, other wall 2 Bathroom, instead of water-toilet, "air-toilet" in room with powerful fan closed-circuit interior adequate air-filtration-purification, motorized (12 v.cc) automatic with contact-sensor air-toilet-bidet with only solid wastes into little sufficient plastic-bag firmly closed, by thermo-solder with 2 sliding-pieces, and clean by exterior, that goes shoved for a Piston to train´s exterior-tank pressurized but frozen and when returning to Earth the plastic bags are normally eliminated, (perhaps better incinerate solid wastes and throw micro-ashes at Space)...

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  12. ...interstellar travel constant acceleration (the day of Earth)... PLANETARY EMERGENCY: global warming due to pouring pollutants greenhouse effect into the air...the generalized burn fossil fuels it must stop immediately. Car´s Factories: is inadmissible design dirty new cars with internal combustion, have to make and buy Solar Energy clean electric cars. Stop F1, welcome EF. Eliminate the cattle and natural meat how food. Leave Carbon and Petroleum for nonflammable uses. There are huge quantities of Methane also in oceanic bottoms how solid methane-hydrate, waiting... Methane Big Greenhouse Effect... Over there is visible, Lakes on polar areas already are releasing from bottom to surface big methane bubbles... Permafrost is Melting...when all that methane passing to Atmosphere... We receive vague communiqués... What can we do for avoid the future catastrophe on Earth?. Have to cooling the Planet again urgently, and do not thinking more Wars. Humankind must surmount its technological adolescence and go beyond...to the stars.

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  13. ...interstellar travel constant acceleration (without the evil empire)... climate change, "global warming is melting the poles, freshwater, and therefore...could stop deep sea currents...will increase evaporation (ebullioscopy: the less salt has, more evaporates) producing gigantic storm clouds that...phytoplankton shortage may decreasing its vital contribution with oxygen to the Atmosphere"... Warming...invasion of tropical diseases carried by their transmitter agents, already without the "general Winter" containing them, would fall upon the World like a plague (dengue, malaria...)...can produce a cooling, a new ice age, like living at the North Pole...and less oxygen in the Atmosphere... Is not known what will be worse. Go choosing... And while, the causers of all Wars the Evil Empire: religion, armies, monarchies and politicians...looking elsewhere and instead of to prepare the STARS PEACE, that do not interesting them...they are already preparing the "Star Wars", of course, war in which as always they will remain in their golden palaces eating partridges and will command the innocent People...("National Anthem", "Flag", "Honor", "Medals", "Veterans", "Patriots", "Heroes", "just to God praying and with the mallet striking"... The young went cheerfully drinking and singing in the rain patriotic songs, as if they were going to a party...carried them into cattle trains), again, to the deadly and muddy trenches gangrene in feet with their topboots on, during days and nights in the mud, to massacre them from enemy´s machine gun nests...with the story of "patriotism"...who survived to the inhuman artillery bombed, were affected by violent tremors. All armies spied the letters of soldiers, if "people in the know" did not want climb the coarse wood stairs because suddenly they did leave to be innocents and did know the truth: THE CAUSERS OF WARS ARE THE "LEADERS" TO DEFEND THEIR PARTICULAR RESERVED GREAT BUSINESS: NATIONS, WARS AND FRONTIERS, the "leaders" of all the World they are all friends and at same time enemies, the People is the unique common enemy that they have..."attention!", "a soldier do not thinks, a soldier obeys!"...did shoot down to were called "cowards", "deserters", "that did not want fight for their country", also at both sides to who were made the "christmas" truce...right over there at trenches. It is "our" economy... No more "feasts" religious, have to transform it into True Human Festivities... AROUND THE WORLD EVERYBODY must to say...to the next War that going at trenches: pontifices, monarchs and politicians...and fight among them, then rapidly rapidly rapidly already NO MORE WARS OF AGGRESSION, and so do not will have neither justified wars of defense.

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