July 5, 2010

"[T]he first full-sky image from Europe's Planck telescope which was sent into space last year to survey the 'oldest light' in the cosmos."

"It took the 600m-euro observatory just over six months to assemble the map. It shows what is visible beyond the Earth to instruments that are sensitive to light at very long wavelengths - much longer than what we can sense with our eyes.... 'What you see is the structure of our galaxy in gas and dust...'"

A picture worth taking a look at, don't you think?

26 comments:

magpie said...

Beautiful and awe-inspiring. I don't know why we don't spend more on space science and travel. It's what our restless spirits want.

Uncle Hesiod said...

I agree with Mr. Robert Hunter: "If I knew the way, I would take you home."

rhhardin said...

Planck is designed to have that capability. Some of its detectors operate at a staggering minus 273.05C - just a tenth of a degree above what scientists term "absolute zero".

1/T is actually the relevant variable, so it's not really slaggeringly "close" to anything.

rhhardin said...

Formula for infinite funding

"We know that eventually as the data get better and better, what you end up getting to are the limitations of what you know about the instrument," explained Professor Jaffe.

"And so, by running Planck for longer we can learn a lot more about the instrument itself and thereby remove a lot of the contaminating effects that are just because of the way it produces its noise."


I bet a quarter that wasn't in the proposal.

rhhardin said...

Orwell's Inversion: the confusion of input and output:

``Example: A giant program is to Conquer Cancer is begun. At the end of five years, cancer has not been conquered, but one thousand research papers have been published. In addition, one million copies of a pamphlet entitled ``You and the War Against Cancer'' have been distributed. Those publications will absolutely be regarded as Output rather than Input.''


John Gall

HKatz said...

That is awesome and eerily beautiful.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"A picture worth taking a look at, don't you think?"

Not if you're a "social justice" type who thinks all resources should be directed to schools and free housing, etc. and away from phallocentric pursuits like space exploration!

Alex said...

Science is a white-thing, so let's defund it.

Cousin Bob said...

Looks like rh figgers Big Science is about like robbin' banks.

Naw, on 2nd thought, that's wrong. More like embezzlement.

Come to think of it, a whole lot is.

jayne_cobb said...

magpie,

Because NASA is apparently more concerned with making Muslims feel good about themselves:

here

Top three tasks that they have been given:

1. Find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.
2. Re-inspire children to want to get into science and math
3. Expand our international relationships

Notice anything missing?

El Pollo Real said...

Miracle. Mystery. Authority.

William said...

I was relieved to learn that the Milky Way was the brightest plane in the universe, and that we are part of that plane. We've fallen a long way from being the center of the universe to being a speck of luminous dust in the shiniest part of the universe. Still you have to take what you can get....Of all the weird things in the universe, human consciousness and rationality is no stranger than the rings of Neptune. Still, it's kind of awesome that we're able to take pictures of the universe and that the universe obeys rational rules.

deborah said...

Desktopped.

Clyde said...

In true "Blind Men and the Elephant" style, I must say that the universe is very like a jelly bean. Looks like some kind of fruit punch flavor.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@William:

I was relieved to learn that the Milky Way was the brightest plane in the universe, and that we are part of that plane. We've fallen a long way from being the center of the universe to being a speck of luminous dust in the shiniest part of the universe.

The Milky Way is "shiniest" because it's closest to the telescope. Astronomers in other galaxies find theirs to be the "shiniest".

David said...

Beautiful. But no global warming tie in? How did they miss out?

Revenant said...

Beautiful and awe-inspiring. I don't know why we don't spend more on space science and travel.

Things like this are why I don't want us to spend money on space travel. For the cost of one Mars mission we could do hundreds or thousands of unmanned scientific missions like this one.

mtrobertsattorney said...

"...the universe obeys rational rules"

Why is it that the universe obeys abstract mathematical laws?

This is the question that has always puzzled philosophers.

Cedarford said...

mtrobertsattorney - "Why is it that the universe obeys abstract mathematical laws?

This is the question that has always puzzled philosophers."

Because the nature of time, space, the 4 forces, matter and energy strengths and proportions of each were all set in the 1st three seconds of the origin of the universe - and that nature sets all mathematical law defining it.

Cedarford said...

mtrobertsattorney - "Why is it that the universe obeys abstract mathematical laws?

This is the question that has always puzzled philosophers."

Because the nature of time, space, the 4 forces, matter and energy strengths and proportions of each were all set in the 1st three seconds of the origin of the universe - and that nature sets all mathematical law defining it.

Cedarford said...

Map is also mislabeled. It is not the universe, but the small part of it the ESA's probe detectors look out at from our galactic plane. Near-object galaxies, the near object dust and gas, then beyond the near objects, that part that seems to have no galaxies or loose matter, just space and background radiation.

Larry J said...

mtrobertsattorney - "Why is it that the universe obeys abstract mathematical laws?

This is the question that has always puzzled philosophers."


Probably because philosophers are lousy at math and real science.

Synova said...

Perhaps math obeys the universe.

Synova said...

And any irrational universe instantaneously annihilates itself.

Revenant said...

Why is it that the universe obeys abstract mathematical laws?

Because universes like that are easier to code. :)

Original Mike said...

Synova said: "Perhaps math obeys the universe."

That's it, exactly.

We've constructed our math to explain the universe. Of course, after we're done, we look back and say "the universe obeys abstract mathematical laws".