Thursday, 28 February 2013

HOW BIG IS THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE?

It's f@#king huge!!
Seems we're on the topic of size. I know, I know, my last post was about how big the Universe was compared to a grain of sand, basically it was about the size of the Universe. That was due to the video that explained it that I found interesting so I wanted to share. This one is a bit different. It's interesting to talk about how big the Universe is because...because it is big.

Well, actually how big it is makes us wonder. It's not really how big it is, is it? It is about how did it get that big? Why is it that big? What is the reason there are things in it that are there? Funnily enough everything that is there serves a purpose, has a reason for being. The mind bending thing is we are curious about this Universe because we can't really explain most of it. We try but, you know...

The other thing is we're addicted to knowing everything about it because the scales involved are mind melting LSD induced feeding frenzy madness. A distance of a million light years is equivalent to travelling at the speed of light which so happens to be 299,792,458 meters per second, non-stop for one million years. I mean...what does that mean? A million years of travelling time? How are we supposed to still be alive to see something that is a million light years away even when travelling at the speed of light? Where do we order a FTL (Faster Than Light) ship? Anybody got Captain Kirk's number lying around?

Doesn't it just blows your mind to know how small you are and how big this Universe really is? And that is the visible part. What about beyond that? Where if there was light there, it won't reach until until who knows when. Will we ever know what lies there? Brain freeze creeping in..urgh.

So, to help you to better understand this huge Universe, here is an article I read some time ago. It is a bit more technical but still understandable for people like you and me. Unless you happen to have a phd in Astrophysics...or two. But it is still an interesting read and I hope you enjoy it. I hope you get some enlightenment from it as well. A quote to whet your appetite:
If the Universe does curve back and close on itself, its radius of curvature is at least 150 times as large as the part that’s observable to us! Meaning that — even without speculative physics like cosmic inflation — we know that the entire Universe extends for at least 14 trillion light years in diameter, including the part that’s unobservable to us today.
14 trillion? 14 trillion? 14 trillion? 14 trillion? What's a trillion? How many zeros is in that? That would be 12 zeros or like this - 14, 000,000,000,000. 14 trillion light years!!!! Oh wait a minute, America has already achieved this number, the national debt is about 14 trillion dollars (for some fun facts about that click here..but I digress). 14 trillion light years!!! C'mon, you're not intrigued by that? See what this guy had to say about it:
14 trillion? What's a trillion?
If you found my post interesting, funny or educational, please do share it with your network so more people can be interested, entertained and educated. Spread the love yo!


To find out more about how big the Universe is, try reading my new book - "How Big Is Our Universe - Answers To The Question You've Always Asked". You can click on the image below to hyperjump there.




To get a free 40 page sample of all the chapters, click on the image below.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

HOW BIG IS THE UNIVERSE COMPARED TO A GRAIN OF SAND?

How big is the Universe? Very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very.....well, you get the point. It's huge beyond human comprehension.

So how do we imagine how big it is then? What if we compared it to a grain of sand? Preposterous you say? Yeah, the idea sounds crazy but you can use a grain of sand to imagine how big the Universe is, well at least the visible part. There's another part which is not visible (yet) that is even bigger. It could even go on forever.

Here's an interesting video explaining how big the Universe is. I'm sure you've seen many videos explaining this but I think this is pretty simple to understand. So enjoy your journey.



To find out more about how big the Universe is, try reading my new book - "How Big Is Our Universe - Answers To The Question You've Always Asked". You can click on the image below to hyperjump there.


To get a free 40 page sample of all the chapters, click on the image below.


Monday, 18 February 2013

BYE BYE ASTEROID 2012 DA14

Guess what? We're all still here. Hooray!! Asteroid 2012 DA14 flew by Earth on February 15th as expected, passing above Earth at an altitude of 17,000 miles and whizzing by around 28,100 kilometers per hour (17,450 miles per hour), or 7.82 kilometers per second (4.8 miles per second) relative to Earth. And I was sound asleep that morning (I'm in Malaysia for your information) after a night out with Bruce Willis. Perhaps Saturday was "A Good Day To Die Hard" but then again maybe not.

It seems the Russians did think it was  "A Good Day To Die Hard" albeit the day before 2012 DA14 was to arrive. A small asteroid entered our atmosphere and exploded over a small town, briefly shining brighter than the Sun. I thought it was a hoax in anticipation of 2012 DA14 but it was real. The explosion was something else.

According to NASA:
A small asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere early Friday, February 15, 2013 over Chelyabinsk, Russia at about 9:20 am local Russian time. Initial estimates, according to Bill Cooke, lead for the Meteoroid Environments Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, is that the asteroid was about 15 meters (50 feet) in diameter, with a weight of 7,000 metric tons. It hit the atmosphere at a shallow angle of about 20 degrees, at a speed of about 65,000 km/h (40,000 mph).
You can read more about it here.

Here I want to share 2 videos of the2012 DA14 fly-by with you. There are many videos of 2012 DA14 but some are very boring either showing the asteroid as a streak of light or a short line jumping across the screen (like a time lapse shot..yawn). But this one shows the rock moving smoothly, it's so small. Reminds of the scene in Start Trek : First Contact where Zephram Cochrane was looking at the Enterprise through a telescope from Earth. The video was made by Fran├žois Colas from the Pic du Midi observatory in southern France.

video

Here is another interesting video of the fly-by. It is an animation of the fly-by as seen from an imaginary point following the asteroid. Mikko Suominen, a freelance science journalist from Finland created this 3-D animation based on the JPL’s information graphics using rendering software called Blender.

video

Of course you die hard fans of explosions and mayhem can always search Youtube for videos of the Russian asteroid. I know that one is more exciting. Kinda looks like the Decepticons landing on Earth from space.

Again, as usual if you feel that this post is funny, entertaining or informative, please do share with your network. Hopefully more people will be well informed and entertained.

Also do check out my new book. Lots of nice things about the universe in there but the point of it is to understand how big our Universe is and our place in it. Click the image below to the sales page.


To get a free 40 page sample of all the chapters, click on the image below.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

10 MIND BENDING FACTS ABOUT BLACK HOLES - VIDEO

Artist’s rendition of a black hole drawing gas off
a nearby star. Credit: NASA E/PO, Sonoma
State University, Aurore Simonnet
Ah Black Holes, the most mysterious object in the Universe. Why is it so mysterious, you ask? Well, because it's black. We can't see inside it, we send light to it, it don't come back. No signals bounces off it, we can't see it, don't know how it looks like. All we know is if you check in, you don't check out.

What are Black Holes?

Really, what are Black Holes? How do they form? This is a very interesting question. Of course I ain't no scientist, so I ain't gonna be talking for 3 hours about Black Holes. But I will try to explain in simple terms what they are and how they form, with some help from our good friend EarthSky.

And later you can watch the interesting video about 10 mind bending facts about Black Holes too. So, what are these things, these Black Holes? They are nothing more than extremely dense cores of once-massive stars. Most stars, like our sun, end their lives peacefully by gently blowing their outer layers into space. But stars exceeding about eight times the mass of the sun have other ideas of ending their lives. They don't die peacefully in their sleep. They go out with a bang, literally.

According to EarthSky:
These stars die when they can no longer fuse atomic nuclei in their core. It’s not that they run out of fuel, per se. Rather, once the star has a core of iron, fusing together atoms to make new elements actually costs the star energy. Lacking an energy source, the star can’t hold itself up against the relentless struggle with gravity. The outer layers of the star come crashing down.
As several octillion tons of gas come hurtling down, the star’s core undergoes a drastic change and becomes resilient to further compression. The infalling gas hits the now-hardened core and rebounds. The rapid gas compression sets off one last wave of uncontrolled nuclear fusion. The star, now wildly out of balance, explodes. The resulting supernova can outshine an entire galaxy and can be seen from across the universe.
In the supernova’s wake, the core remains. This dense soup of subatomic particles has a couple of options at this point. For a star with less mass than 20 suns, the core holds together as a neutron star. But for the real stellar heavyweights, the core transforms into a truly exotic object. A black hole is born.
So basically, a Black Hole is a small object with a f@#$ing huge gravity. It's like the Earth is the size of an apple but the gravity stays the same as it is now. Not sure if this analogy is correct but you get the idea. So squeezing a lot of mass into a smaller and smaller volume makes the gravity at a dead star’s surface skyrocket which makes it increasingly difficult for anything to escape.

Here is how to understand how this huge gravity is preventing even light from escaping a Black Hole.
Throw a ball up into the air, and eventually it stops, turns around, and comes back to your hand. Throw the ball harder, it goes higher – but still falls back down. Throw the ball hard enough and the ball can escape Earth’s gravity. That point-of-no-return is called the “escape velocity”. It’s different for every planet, star, and comet. Earth’s escape velocity is about 40,000 km/hr. For the sun, it’s over 2 million km/hr!. On a very small asteroid, jumping too high might accidentally launch you into orbit.
On a black hole, however, the escape velocity is greater than the speed of light!
What is the speed of light? It's the ultimate speed in the Universe. Nothing can go faster than light. So if even light itself cannot escape, what hope is there for us. In our souped up 600 hp V8 Mustang.

Ok, so that is quite the bendy bit right there. But below is the video I promised you. There's 10 mind bending facts there, so go ahead and enjoy it. I hope you like it and continue to ponder the awesome secrets of the Universe.

video

Again, as usual if you feel that this post is funny, entertaining or informative, please do share with your network. Hopefully more people will be well informed and entertained.

What? Is this a cheap blog post to sell my book? Hell yeah! I wrote the damn book, am I supposed to keep it or give it away for free? Yeah giving it away for free sounds like the right thing to do but I gotta eat. I'll probably write another book one day and give that away for free but for now, you can download the free sample chapters.


To get a free 40 page sample of all the chapters, click on the image below.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

ARE WE ALL GONNA DIE THIS WEEK? NOPE

As a follow up to my article last week called "ARE WE ALL GONNA DIE NEXT WEEK?", which talked about the close fly-by of asteroid 2012 DA14, here are some good news.

Are we gonna be toasted by a 150 feet asteroid zooming in at 26,000 miles per hour? Errr...nope. It's going to miss us by 17,000 miles. That is not as high as some of our satellites which orbit at around 34,000 miles but in astronomical terms, it's "fucking" close. In some astronomical labs, that is a technical term by the way.

So, if it's not gonna toasted us, we might as well enjoy the show. How can you watch this rock whizz by? Well, you can use a pair of binoculars or a telescope. You'll have to find out the time it will pass by and the area of space to look at while steadily moving the telescope to follow the thing.

Good thing our scientists here on Earth are very excited to watch this thing too. So they've all setup everything you need to catch this falling star. And you can do it in the comfort of your own home via the web. You can check it out here, it contains all the links you'll need plus they will update it when necessary.

Remember the fly-by will be on February 15th. If I'm not mistaken that would be in the Americas, so for you Pacific Rim people it would be the next morning.

If you feel that this post is funny, entertaining or informative, please do share with your network. Hopefully more people will be well informed and entertained.

Friday, 8 February 2013

ARE WE ALL GONNA DIE NEXT WEEK?

It seems that an asteroid about 150 feet across is hurtling through space as you are reading this at about 26,000 miles an hour and it is heading right for us. Yes..US. You and me. Earth. Earth? How many Earths do you know? Yeah, this Earth!

It will reach us on or about February 15th and will pass in between the Earth and the Moon. It will do a fly-by at a height of about 17,000 miles above the Earth's surface, which is lower than some satellites. Most satellites are at 35,000 miles, so this is pretty close.

But then again, this 17,000 miles is what the scientists have calculated. They could be wrong. For all we know it could be 170,000 miles or 17 miles! Who knows, right? Scientists will only be able to pinpoint where the thing will go once it is a few million miles away from us. But at that point it would too close to take action. It could also hit one of our satellites and veer off into California. Or the Earth's massive gravitational pull could just suck it into Washington anyway. Maybe we should just give Bruce Willis a call..just in case.

At 26,000 miles per hour, hitting the Earth would unleash the equivalent of a thermonuclear bomb. No, I don't want to create a worldwide panic but it's just you never know. But don't go out and empty the shelves at Wal-Mart or Tesco. What's the point if the thing lands on your town anyway?

Ok, before we start running out of our homes screaming like Freddy Kruger is on the sofa, what is this rock anyway? According to Wikipedia:
2012 DA14 is a near-Earth asteroid with an estimated diameter of about 45 meters (148 ft) and an estimated mass of about 130,000 metric tons. It was discovered on February 23, 2012, by the OAM Observatory, La Sagra in Spain (J75) seven days after passing 0.0174 AU (2,600,000 km; 1,620,000 mi) from Earth on February 16 2012. Calculations show that on February 15, 2013, the distance between the asteroid and Earth will be 0.000228 AU (34,100 km; 21,200 mi). The 2013 passage of 2012 DA14 by Earth is a record close approach for a known object of this size.
On January 9, 2013, the asteroid was recovered by Las Campanas Observatory and the observation arc increased from 79 days to 321 days. It is now known that on February 15, 2013 at 19:25 Universal Time the asteroid will pass at a distance of 0.000228 AU (34,100 km; 21,200 mi) from the center-point of Earth, with an uncertainty region of about 0.000001 AU (150 km; 93 mi). The asteroid will pass closer than satellites in geosynchronous orbit. The asteroid will not be visible to the naked eye, but will briefly peak at roughly apparent magnitude 7.4. The best viewing location for the closest approach will be Indonesia. Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia are also well situated to see the asteroid around its closest approach.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN IT DOES PASS BY?

The short answer is … nothing. On the day it passes, most of us won’t see it or be aware of its passage, in any way. The asteroid won’t alter the tides. It won’t cause volcanoes. It’ll just sweep closely past us – as millions of asteroids have done throughout Earth’s four-and-a-half-billion-year history – some in your own lifetime. Below is the trajectory of the asteroid, just to be sure.

Courtesy of good old NASA

The asteroid will be within range for small telescopes and solidly mounted binoculars, used by experienced observers who have access to appropriate star charts. Here’s what NASA says about its visibility:
On [February 15, 2013], the asteroid will travel rapidly from the southern evening sky into the northern morning sky with its closest Earth approach occurring about 19:26 UTC when it will achieve a magnitude of less than seven, which is somewhat fainter than naked eye visibility. About 4 minutes after its Earth close approach, there is a good chance it will pass into the Earth’s shadow for about 18 minutes or so before reappearing from the eclipse. When traveling rapidly into the northern morning sky, 2012 DA14 will quickly fade in brightness.
Phew! See, we have nothing to worry about then. You guys....Tell you what. Why don't you download my book and read about the size of the Universe and its wonders. That should take your mind of this thing. You can click on the image below to hyperjump there.

Again, as usual if you feel that this post is funny, entertaining or informative, please do share with your network. Hopefully more people will be well informed and entertained.

What? Is this a cheap blog post to sell my book? Hell yeah! I wrote the damn book, am I supposed to keep it or give it away for free? Yeah giving it away for free sounds like the right thing to do but I gotta eat. I'll probably write another book one day and give that away for free but for now, you can download the free sample chapters.



To get a free 40 page sample of all the chapters, click on the image below.


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

7 HORRIBLE WAYS THE UNIVERSE CAN DESTROY US WITHOUT WARNING

Oh crap.
We live in a universe. Simple as that. We live on a small piece of rock floating in space in a huge galaxy among billions of galaxies in a super huge universe. And there are a lot of other things our there in the universe such as stars, planets, moons, galaxies, black holes, quasars....yeah, you get the message. It's, for lack of a better word - fucking huge!

And there are a lot of things floating around out there that can kill us. Yeah..us, all of us...in one go. Hasta La Vista baby. Things like an asteroid or a black hole or a gamma ray burst. But lets start with the 7 horrible things as listed by Cracked.com. For a heart-warming read, click here.
The universe hates you. Let's get that out of the way right now. The universe loathes your guts and is infuriated by the way you dress, and the stupid way you talk sends it into a murderous rage. It's just one bad morning and an empty coffee canister away from driving to your house and shanking you in the neck.
Ah yes, the universe. Our best friend and worst enemy all at the same time. And the best part is we're living inside of it.


To find out more about the universe, try reading my new book - "How Big Is Our Universe - Answers To The Question You've Always Asked". You can click on the image below to hyperjump there.


To get a free 40 page sample of all the chapters, click on the image below.