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The Center of the Universe: here, there and everywhere

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For quite a long time, people thought that we were at the center of the Universe. And why wouldn’t they? The Sun, the Moon, even the stars all seem to revolve around our world. There’s a famous anecdote involving the philosopher Kierkegaard and a friend talking about this on one occasion. “Why do people say that it was natural to think that the sun went round the earth rather than that the earth turned on its axis?,” Kierkegaard wondered, to which his friend replied, “I suppose, because it looked as if the Sun went around the Earth.” “And what would it look like if the Earth revolved around the Sun?” the Danish philosopher replied, no doubt rhetorically.

Polish astronomer Copernicus finally “moved” the Earth from the center of the Universe, putting the Sun in its place, however we now know we’re actually on the fringes of a rather unremarkable galaxy, one of the billions that exist in space. We’re probably not at the center, but could we eventually figure out where that is? I mean, if there was a Big Bang, that point from which everything began has to be it, right? Well, not exactly.

In the late 1920s, American astronomer Edwin Hubble figured out that the celestial “smudges” we used to call nebulae were actually other galaxies, located a lot farther away from us than we previously thought. The Universe just got a whole lot bigger! Working with the 100-inch telescope at Mt. Wilson Observatory (the largest such instrument of its day) and using techniques developed by Henrietta Leavitt (one of the great scientific minds of the early 20th century you probably never heard of), Hubble discovered that these galaxies were moving away from us – in fact the farther away they were, the faster they were moving, which suggested that the Universe was expanding (now known as Hubble’s law).

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Other scientists then took the next logical step: if you go back in time, the entire Universe must have been an unimaginably small, infinitely dense point, from which everything emerged. This became known as the Big Bang theory. But here’s the thing – the Big Bang wasn’t an explosion in space, it was the expansion of space itself, which means it “happened” everywhere all at once.

There’s an analogy often used to explain this, and it involves a balloon. Take a balloon and draw a few dots on its surface, each representing a galaxy. Now inflate it. You’ll notice that as the balloon expands, all the dots move away from each other (gravity, by the way, keeps the galaxies themselves from expanding). Also, you couldn’t really say any one of those dots is in the center – in a sense, that’s exactly how the geometry of the cosmos works out.

So in a way, there is no center of the Universe. But if you’re a glass half full kind of person, you could also argue that yourself, like any other observer, is in the center. The people of Wallace, Idaho, seem to be that kind of people. On September 25, 2004, the mayor of Wallace proclaimed his city to be the center of the Universe, more precisely a sewer cover in one of the town’s intersections. Scientifically, it’s as valid (or invalid) a location as any.

Who doesn’t enjoy listening to a good story. Personally I love reading about the people who inspire me and what it took for them to achieve their success. As I am a bit of a self confessed tech geek I think there is no better way to discover these stories than by reading every day some articles or the newspaper . My bookcases are filled with good tech biographies, they remind me that anyone can be a success. So even if you come from an underprivileged part of society or you aren’t the smartest person in the room we all have a chance to reach the top. The same message shines in my beliefs. All it takes to succeed is a good idea, a little risk and a lot of hard work and any geek can become a success. VENI VIDI VICI .

Astronomy

NASA Will Make a Big Announcement About Unidentified Anomalies

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NASA will release a major report on UFOs, or “unidentified anomalous phenomena” (UAP).

The briefing will be held at the agency’s Washington DC headquarters at 10:00 EDT (14:00 UTC) on Thursday, September 14. The video player below streams the discussion live.

NASA commissioned an independent study group of 16 scientific, aeronautical, and data experts led by astrophysicist David Spergel in 2022 to produce the findings.

NASA says the study group will “examine UAP from a scientific perspective and create a roadmap for how to use data and the tools of science to move our understanding of UAP forward.”

The team’s full report will be posted online by NASA 30 minutes before the briefing.

This report will be released in accordance with NASA’s openness, transparency, and scientific integrity. When the study was announced last year, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate assistant deputy associate administrator for research, Daniel Evans, said, “We take that obligation seriously and make it easily accessible for anyone to see or study.”

UAP sightings were once the domain of conspiracy theorists and sci-fi, but recent high-profile US military sightings have legitimized them.

US authorities are taking UAPs seriously because they may be Russian or Chinese experimental aircraft being tested for national security.

Also possible is extraterrestrial life. NASA is open to all possibilities, but this week’s announcement won’t reveal alien lifeforms visiting Earth.

Instead, the report may outline new protocols to help the agency collect UAP data in the future.

“The report informs NASA of future data collection opportunities to shed light on UAP’s nature and origin. The announcement’s brief NASA statement said the report is not a review or assessment of previous unidentifiable observations.

“There are currently a limited number of high-quality observations of UAP, which make it impossible to draw firm scientific conclusions about their nature,” the agency said.

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Astronomy

NASA’s DART probe successfully collided with an asteroid.

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At the time of impact, the impactor vehicle, about the size of a vending machine, was moving at about 14,000 mph.

After traveling for over a year, NASA‘s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which attempted to provide answers, “Could a specially crafted satellite be used to divert an asteroid from its planet-destroying course? How about a number? “has effectively impacted the Dimorphos asteroid. However, NASA ground control has confirmed that the DART impact vehicle has intercepted the target asteroid. The results and data from the collision are still being received. Yes, Dimorphos is about the size of a football stadium, but space is very big, extremely dark, and both the asteroid and the spaceship were traveling rather quickly at the time.

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“It’s been a successful completion of the first part of the world’s first planetary defense test,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said after the impact. “I believe it’s going to teach us how one day to protect our own planet from an incoming asteroid. We are showing that planetary defense is a global endeavor and it is very possible to save our planet.”

In an effort to investigate the employment of defensive satellites as a method of planetary defense against Near Earth Objects, NASA launched the DART mission in November 2021. Nearly 68 million miles from Earth, the DART impactor vehicle, about the size of a vending machine, tragically crossed Dimorphos’ path while traveling at about 14,000 MPH.

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It remains to be seen if future generations of a planetary defense system will be packed with satellites ready to go full June Bug vs. Chrysler Windshield against real planet-killer asteroids. Dimorphos is one of two asteroids that are gravitationally entangled; its parent rock is more than five times larger than Dimorphos itself, but both are dwarfed by the space rock that struck Earth 66 million years ago and destroyed 75% of the planet’s multicellular life while gouging out the Gulf of Mexico.

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Various Companies Partner Up to Put a Mobile Phone Network on the Moon

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The world of science and technology brings us yet another crazy possibility that’s going to be explored quite soon. Fourth Generation Cellular Networks are seeing implementations on various places. One of them could be the natural satellite orbiting the earth: The Moon.

A partnership between Nokia, Vodafone and Audi is looking to implement cellular networks on the moon sometime next year. Even if the proposition sounds crazy, it seems like they have a lot of plans to make this dream a reality.

Vodafone will be designing the lunar network and will make use of equipment designed by Nokia Bell Labs. This connectivity will allow two Audi Lunar Quattro rovers to communicate wirelessly with a base station at the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module.

Using existing satellites, mission organizer Part Time Scientists will also be able to live stream scientific data and HD video content from the Moon to viewers on Earth. In other words, we will be getting some very detailed views of Earth for public viewing.

The networking equipment will be launched into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. If you think it’s going to be very heavy and sloppy to handle. Nokia’s engineers have worked really hard to make it weigh less than one kilogram.

We’re seeing the vestiges of life in the moon very frequently now. All thanks to the options becoming more and more accessible with the fast advancements in technology. Of course, this rapid growth is far from reaching its peak potential.

Who knows? Maybe we will be able to look at interplanetary travels and living. The sky is the limit when it comes to the amount of creations. Nowadays bizarre ideas like mobile networks in different planets aren’t that far fetched eiher.

It’s going to be an interesting ride, for sure. However, we must be also conscious about the planet we’re currently living in. Even though there are efforts to make this planet greener, there is a lot left to do.

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