Paul Sutton

astronomy

The Hubble Space Telescope: From Cosmological Conflict to Alien Atmospheres

Space Telescope Science Institute Public lectures The Hubble Space Telescope: From Cosmological Conflict to Alien Atmospheres Tue 2nd March 2021

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February STSCI lecture review

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This months lecture Milky Way vs Andromeda: When galaxies collide. was really interesting, and covered material about how galaxies are formed, looking for life and what may happen when in 7 billion years, the Andromeda galaxy merges with our own, home galaxy.

The lecture also talked about how galaxies were first discovered and how, only in the last 100 years have we really started to learn a lot more about them. Why the two will merge is linked to the expansion of the universe.

Earth, of course, won't exist by then. The sun, being 4 billion years old, will have expanded to a red giant. As the duration of a 'main sequence star' is about 10 billion years (cite OU Open Learn The Sun)

So the lecture also included about how we could find earth 2.0, the fact that this. may not be easy given the time it will take to reach even the nearest start.

Proxima Centauri (4.2ly) and the planet around that isn't very hospitable.

Personal comment to add to this

I would guess it also raises the question if it will take 10's of 1000s of years to reach will it be the same or have developed to be more life friendly, then on the other side of that a planet that is life friendly now, may like the Earth not be so friendly i 1000's of years time.

Looking forward to the next lecture in March.

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The Milky Way vs. Andromeda: When Galaxies Collide

Space Telescope Science Institute Public lectures The Milky Way vs. Andromeda: When Galaxies Collide Tue 2nd Feb 2021

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The Darkest Secrets of the Universe

Space Telescope Science Institute Public lectures The Darkest Secrets of the Universe Tue 19 Jan 2021

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Active galaxies Review

So following on from the post on December 1st this is a quick review of the active galaxies lecture from the Space Telescope Science Institute.

This lecture, presented by Dr Mitchell Revalski, is really interesting, looking at how supermassive black holes, despite their small size compared to the galaxy they reside in.

Energy from these can push away surrounding gas, and heat this up which reduces star formation as gas needs to cool to form stars.

so scales are pretty huge:

First lets look at what a light year is

Citation : spaceplace.nasa.gov

For most space objects, we use light-years to describe their distance. A light-year is the distance light travels in one Earth year. One light-year is about 6 trillion miles (9 trillion km). That is a 6 with 12 zeros behind it! 

1 pc = 1 parsec = 3.26 light years

Supermassive black hole < 1pc

Bulge = 1 = 3 kpc (kilo parsec)

disk 30 kpc

circumgalactic area 50kpc

So even though these black holes are very small, they have a big influence on what surrounds them.

We know this is happening thanks to the research that led to the 2020 Nobel prize.

Well worth watching and the link is above.

Next lecture 19th Jan – The Darkest Secrets of the Universe Speaker: Raja Guhathakurta (UC Santa Cruz)

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Astrobiology course 5

So moving on in from the previous post the next lecture in the Astrobiology course is on Space Missions in the Search for Life

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Active Galaxies

Shaping Galaxies with Supermassive Black Hole Winds

Tuesday 1st December

So following on from Septembers lecture, the Space telescope science institute present their next lecture.

With details here

You can find more upcoming (monthly) lectures below.

http://www.stsci.edu/public-lectures

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The Dawn of Gravitational Wave Astronomy

So on to another high end physics lecture

This is from the Institute of Physics

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Astronify Review

Just watched the latest Space Telescope Science Institute lecture, mentioned in a blog post from 10/11/2020

The full lecture title was

Hearing The Light: How Sonification Deepens our Understanding of the Cosmos and Makes Astronomy More Accessible

This talk was really interesting, it covered how data from astronomy can be presented in an audible way, rather than as a graph on a screen or paper for example.

Why would this be important ?

Well, for most people, visual data can be seen by the eyes, if you are blind or partially sited, this this data is in accessible to you.

One of the examples given is the light curve from a star transit, this may look as follows

------             --------
      |            |
      |            |
      |            |                     
      --------------

So this, would illustrate, how the light from a star, drops when a planet passes in front of the host star.

If we were to express this audibly then the curve would start off as one tone then drop to a lower tone and go back up to the original higher tone.

This makes astronomy more accessible. It is also another way to represent data from Kepler and TESS telescopes.

The lecture explains this far better, but from the Q/A session we learn that this can be found in every day life.

The lecture emphasises that sonification is not about recording existing sound we could hear. So a microphone under water to record sound from sea life is NOT Sonification, however I think they suggested that turning non audible sound to audible sound IS an example, Other given examples, included star flares, which again can be represented. Once you know what to listen for, it helps us confirm the data further.

The team has a website at https://astronify.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ but I would recommend watching the video first.

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