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Varun's Blog - At the Speed of Light !

A fact is a simple statement that everyone believes. It is innocent, unless found guilty. A hypothesis is a novel suggestion that no one wants to believe. It is guilty, until found effective. ~Edward Teller

A very warm welcome to my th reader.Why speed of light ? Well, the aim of this blog is to reach the impossible by exploration and scientific fervor. Exploration never ends, knowledge never dies but Speed of Light can be achieved ....

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Monday, November 13, 2006


FOUR PLANETS: Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Mercury are all crowded around the sun this weekend. The great conjunction is invisible to the human eye (too much sunlight), but SOHO can see it. The spacecraft's coronagraph is able to block the glare and reveal the planets.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Transit of Mercury

On Wednesday, Nov. 8th, Mercury will pass directly in front of the sun. The rare transit will be visible from the Americas, Hawaii and all around the Pacific Rim. It begins at 2:12 p.m. EST (11:12 a.m. PST) and lasts for nearly five hours.

Because Mercury is so small, only a tiny fraction of the sun will be covered. So don't stare at the sun on Wednesday; it will be as blinding as ever. Instead, try to view the event through a properly-filtered solar telescope. Mercury's tiny, jet-black silhouette passing in front of solar prominences, filaments and sunspots should be a marvelous sight.

Informative Links
Live Webcast NASA
Optical Projection & Filter


Thursday, October 19, 2006

You can remember your future !

Reversal of Time

Well, humans might be able to remember events in the future. This means if you placed a bet with your friend, you will surely win because you would know the result beforehand. Sounds little absurd, eh? I will try to answer this question in very simple words and easy logic.

One thing we have to agree with is that there are always more disordered states than the ordered ones. Consider a Jigsaw puzzle. There are many disordered states but the ordered state is only one i.e. only one arrangement will complete the puzzle.

Now, suppose that a system starts with small number of ordered states. Eventually, as time progresses, it will evolve according to laws of science and will become disordered because disordered states are always more in number for the system. This means that with increase in time, disorder will tend to increase. In simple words, disorder of a system increases as time progresses obeying the initial condition of high order.

Consider that god wants to finish the universe in a state of high order. Now, the situation is totally opposite to what we have seen in the above paragraph. Universe has to “end” in a state of high order and it is for sure that in “early stages” of universe, it would have probably been in a disordered state. As the time progresses, the end of the universe comes closer. In other words, disorder will decrease, as the universe will approach its end. We can also put it like this – “Disorder is decreasing with time.” Now, keep this statement in mind and read further.

This means that we would see broken tea cups pieces gathering together and jumping back on the kitchen shelf.

A human living in the same universe would see this and this would have a psychological impact on his mind. He will remember events in the future, and not the events of the past. When the teacup was broken, he would remember it being on the shelf, but when it was on the shelf, he would remember it being on the floor in the broken form. So, every event that he will remember is in a way “of the future”. It is difficult to talk about human memory and perception as we don’t know its working in thorough detail.

If the universe begins to contract, we can say that the universe is nearing its end and disorder is decreasing with time. Now, would we be able to remember events in the future ? Would we be able to remember tomorrow’s prices and make a fortune on stock market ? The problem is we can’t observe this because the universe would not contract for at least another 10,000 million years. But there is a way out to check this: Jump into a black hole. Entering a black hole is same as experiencing a collapse of the universe. Suppose an astronaut enters a black hole, he would be able to make money at roulette by remembering where the ball would go before placing the bet. But, unfortunately, he would not be able to bank his winnings, as there is no way out from a black hole.

The idea is attractive because it means contracting phase of the universe will be reverse of expanding phase. Therefore, people would die before they were born in a contracting universe.

I know the entry has exceeded the word limit (as our English teachers say – “Marks will be deducted for exceeding the word limit.”) but I hope it has put the point across.


Monday, October 09, 2006

Rover reaches Victoria - safe driving needed.

NASA’s newest Mars orbiter has reached at the rim of the Red Planet’s massive Victoria Crater.Appearing almost as a shiny boulder, Opportunity’s and its camera-mast shadow can easily be seen in the image by NASA’s MRO.

It just another great image which is taken from a distance of 200 million miles.
Victoria Crater is large enough to fit up to five football stadiums inside and is the biggest Martian crater to be visited by NASA’s red planet rovers.

Rover - Help in Exploration
The rovers together have taken upto approximately 160,000 images of the red planet. They have been a great help in studying the planet.Opportunity has spent 21 Earth months exploring the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. The rover’s robotic twin Spirit rolled across its own Gusev Crater landing site, scaled one of the region’s Columbia Hills and clambered down the other side.

This is the deepest thing studied on this planet. Certainly, it uncovers the secrets and provides us information about the conditions and composition of rocks in the early years. Early estimates pin Victoria Crater at somewhere between 10 million and 100 million years old, but the rocks within the depression themselves are likely much older – as in a few billion years in age.

Opportunity has already found evidence that subsurface water once soaked rocks at Meridiani Planum based on studies at Eagle Crater and the larger Endurance Crater, both of which are dwarfed by Victoria’s size.A complete trip around the crater’s 1.5-mile (2.5-kilometer) rim would take up to nine months.

Very Careful Drive
The interesting and the most difficult of all is to keep the rover safe from diving into the crater. Mission controllers have to find a safe path to enter and then exist from this crater. Everything needs to be done carefully.

Opportunity is now into the 960th Martian day of a mission that was initially planned to span just 90 sols, the term for days on Mars. Now pushing more than 10 times its expected lifetime, Opportunity could fail at any moment.

to see Victoria Crater


Can you play this game ?

This game is a conversation between people. However, instead of traditional statements and responses, each response must be in lyrics that come from the top of your head.Here's how it works. When you visit Mr.Keller's posting and after that the most recent comment left under it, write some lyrics that come from the top of your head in response to the previous lyrics. Also, include the artist/author with each set of lyrics and the song title (if you can).The winner will be the one who would have submitted the greatest number of entries by that time.And, for you goal oriented folks, the winner will have a song written for him/her by Mr.Keller with the lyrics posted on his blog by Midnight (MST) on January 10,2007.

The game is hosted by Mr. Keller on his blog. You can land on his blog to play this game.


Monday, October 02, 2006

Software Solves Moon Mystery

According to an MSN news source, an Australian computer programmer has found the missing “a” from Armstrong’s famous first words from the moon in 1969, when the world heard the phrase,

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

Some historians and critics have dogged Armstrong for not saying the more dramatic and grammatically correct, “One small step for a man ...” in the version he transmitted to NASA’s Mission Control. Without the missing “a,” Armstrong essentially said, “One small step for mankind, one giant leap for mankind.” But Armstrong intended to say it properly and he believes he did.Some high-tec sound editing computer programmer, Peter Shann Ford proved Armstrong right.

Ford said he downloaded the audio recording of Armstrong’s words from a NASA Web site and analyzed the statement with software that allows disabled people to communicate through computers using their nerve impulses.

In a graphical representation of the famous phrase, Ford said he found evidence that the missing “a” was spoken and transmitted to NASA.“I have reviewed the data and Peter Ford’s analysis of it, and I find the technology interesting and useful,” Armstrong said in a statement.

Well, this proves that Armstrong did say the "a". But the Moon Hoax is still generating questions in the minds of people.Its the most debatable topic on the net.Did we really go to moon ? This document has all the evidences , proofs and other neccessary graphics supporting the fact that we went on moon.It also contains the myths and what hoax believers say.Deep anaysis - Go through it !

Moon Documents


Friday, June 23, 2006


Two NASA officials who deemed a July 1 launch for the space shuttle Discovery too risky without alterations, said they would not oppose the launch schedule approved by NASA chief Michael Griffin. "At this point it's a done deal. We now go forward and we look to see if we can launch this vehicle next week," Bryan O'Connor, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's top safety official told a telephone news conference Wednesday.


End of 20th century warmest in 400 years

Human activity has made Earth hotter now than at any point in 400 and possibly more than 1000 years, a US Congress commissioned report said Thursday.
Temperature in the northern hemiphere warmed by about one degree Fahrenheit (0.6 degrees Celsius) during the last century, the report by the National Academy of Sciences found.
Scientists have argued that the change was sufficient to alter hurricane patterns and see Polar ice caps melt down.
"There is sufficient evidence ... to say with a high level of confidence that the last few decades of the 20th century were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years," the academy's National Research Council report said.
The Republican-led House Science Committee commissioned the study in November after controversial findings by climatologist Michael Mann showed that the 1990s were the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year of the 20th century.
The latest report -- while stressing that data from before 1600 is for the large part sketchy -- said Mann's conclusion that a graphic charting temperatures over the past century looked like a "hockey stick" was correct.
The academy's National Research Council said Mann's findings were "plausible," but that there was insufficient evidence to pinpoint 1998 as the hottest year.
Existing data did illustrate that temperatures were lower before the industrial revolution and that human activity was responsible for the warming, the study said.
For the northern hemisphere, reconstructions showed that warm conditions centered around the year 1000 and that a relatively cold period -- dubbed the "Little Ice Age" -- followed from 1500 to 1850.
Things started heating up again with the industrial revolution before spiking up in the past decades.
Although temperatures 1,000 years ago were warm, they do not compare with those now, the report said. "None of the reconstruction indicates that temperatures were warmer during medieval times than during the past few decades," it said.
The report called for more research into proxy data for the period prior to 1600 so that comparisons for the past two millennia could be made, and for improved global access to existing to information on which temperature studies could be conducted.
It noted that far more research existed for the northern hemisphere than for the southern hemisphere, and that this vacuum limited the reliability of data overall.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Black Holes

The term “Black Hole” is of very recent origin coined by John Wheeler, an American scientist.

The graphical description and idea of “A BLACK HOLE” goes back to two hundred years when there were two prevalent and widely accepted theories about light. Light was considered to possess two forms (or natures) namely particle and wave nature. The particle nature of light was favored by Newton.

According to the wave nature, light behaves as a wave. The question that arises is that – Can gravity affect light ? Yes, gravity can affect light if it is considered to behave as particle. Roemer discovered that light has a finite speed, therefore, gravity must have important effect on it.

Gravity is seen to have effect on cricket balls, humans and rockets etc. But light is composed of photons. Photon is a particle which can move upwards constantly against gravity without showing retarding effect. How can then Newtonian gravity affect light?

A star is formed when a light amount of hydrogen starts to collapse on itself due to strong gravitational pull. Eventually due to gravity and increasing pressure the gases heat up and finally hydrogen atoms collide to form helium. The heat released in the process makes the star shine.

Oppenheimer’s work was based on black holes.

He proposed that gravitational field of the star changes the path of light rays it emits in space-time. The light cones are bent slightly inwards near the surface of star. As the star passes its years of life, it contracts and its gravitational field becomes stronger and stronger and finally a time comes when the light cones bend inwards so much that it can no longer escape. This results into nothing but a region in universe which is called a black hole.

The boundary of a black hole is called event horizon. It coincides with the path of light rays that just fail to escape from the black hole.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Meteor Shower Peaks on Saturday

Earth is about to pass through a stream of dust from Halley's Comet, and this will produce the annual eta Aquarid meteor shower. The shower peaks on Saturday, May 6th, with 10 meteors per hour in the northern hemisphere and as many as 60 meteors per hour in the southern hemisphere. The best time to look is during the hours immediately before sunrise on Saturday morning.

PHOTO OP: On May 7th, the biggest fragment of dying comet 73P/Schwassmann Wachmann 3 will glide by the Ring Nebula in Lyra. The view through backyard telescopes should be wonderful. This is an opportunity for astrophotographers to take some rare photos of a comet and a planetary nebula side by side.

Visit http://spaceweather.com for sky maps and more information.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Does Universe look same from everywhere?

We have a unique position in the universe. While we observe from our planet, universe seems to be same from all directions. In 1965,Penzias and Robert Wilson, were testing a very sensitive microwave detector. They found that their detector was picking up more noise than it ought to. The noise did not appear to be coming from any particular direction. It was concluded after sometime that the noise was from outside the atmosphere. Infact, it was coming from beyond the solar system.

When one combines general relativity with the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics, it is possible for both space and time to be finite without any edges or boundaries.


Saturday, April 29, 2006

Attention ! All readers. Do you also write ?

I am sure most of my website visitors like to read my blog and posts related to the universe.If you also want to write articles,submit news,poems on universe,jokes and want to publish them on the blog - please post your name and email address in the comments section.I will give you an invitation and you can become a permanent writer for this blog.

I have also introduced a tell a friend service for you.So that you can also invite your friends to this blog where all the updated news events and activities are discussed.You can permanently become a registered member of Exploreuniverse.com by joining the community.Checkout the community to see what members get.

If you want some topics to be discussed specifically , please write to me.Any kind of suggestions and feedback is welcome.

Thanks alot.Keep Reading


Sky falls above the moon !

"Every day, more than a metric ton of meteoroids hits the Moon," says Bill Cooke of the Marshall Space Flight Center's Meteoroid Environment Office. They literally fall out of the sky, in all shapes and sizes, from specks of comet dust to full-blown asteroids, traveling up to a hundred thousand mph. And when they hit, they do not disintegrate harmlessly in the atmosphere as most would on Earth. On the airless Moon, meteoroids hit the ground.

Clues to how often and how hard the Moon is hit lie in data from four seismometers placed on the Moon by the Apollo 12, 14, 15, and 16 missions during 1969-72. They operated until NASA turned them off in 1977. For years, the seismometers recorded all manner of tremors and jolts, including almost 3000 moonquakes, 1700 meteoroid strikes, and 9 spacecraft deliberately crashed into the Moon. All these data were transmitted to Earth for analysis.

Cooke and Diekmann are now loading the old seismic data into machines at the MSFC where they can perform digital calculations at speeds impossible 30 years ago, rapidly trying new algorithms to find previously unrecognized impacts.

Critical to the analysis are nine man-made impacts. "NASA deliberately crashed some spacecraft into the Moon while the seismometers were operating," he explains. "They were the empty ascent stages of four lunar modules (Apollo 12, 14, 15 and 17) and the SIV-B stages of five Saturn rockets (Apollo 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17)." Their seismic waveforms tell researchers what an impact should look like.

According to the Standard Model, such meteoroids hit the Moon approximately 400 times a year—more than once a day. (Picture a map of Africa stuck with 400 pushpins.) The Apollo seismic dataset can test that prediction and many others.

The analysis is just beginning. "We hope to find many impacts," he says. Regardless of the final numbers, however, their work will have value. "We're developing new algorithms to find meteoroid impacts in seismic data." Eventually, Cooke believes, next-generation seismometers will be placed on the Moon and Mars to monitor quakes and impacts, and when the data start pouring in, "we'll be ready."


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

NASA spacecraft hits moon - a search for water

NASA today announced that a small spacecraft, to be developed by a team at NASA Ames, has been selected to travel to the moon to look for precious water ice at the lunar south pole.

The name of the mission is LCROSS, short for Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite. LCROSS is a secondary payload: It will hitch a ride to the moon onboard the same rocket as the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) satellite due to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in October 2008.

Left: LCROSS approaches the moon...
Daniel Andrews's team proposed LCROSS. He says , "We think we have assembled a very creative, highly innovative mission." LCROSS will hunt for water by hitting the moon--twice--throwing up plumes that may contain signs of H2O.

It works like this: After launch, the LCROSS spacecraft will arrive in the moon's vicinity independent of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. On the way to the moon, the LCROSS spacecraft's two main parts, the Shepherding Spacecraft (S-S/C) and the Earth Departure Upper Stage (EDUS), will remain coupled. As the pair approach the moon's south pole, the upper stage will separate, and then hit a crater in the south pole area. A plume from the upper stage crash will develop as the Shepherding Spacecraft heads in toward the moon. The Shepherding Spacecraft will fly through the plume using its instruments to analyze the cloud for signs of water and other compounds. Additional space and Earth-based instruments also will study the 2.2-million-pound (1000-metric-ton) plume.

Left: ...and hits. Pictured is the first of two impacts delivered by the split craft.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and LCROSS are the first of many robotic missions NASA will conduct between 2008 and 2016 to study, map, and learn about the lunar surface to prepare for the return of astronauts to the moon. These early missions will help determine lunar landing sites and whether resources, such as oxygen, hydrogen, and metals, are available for use in NASA's long-term lunar exploration objectives.



Thursday, April 06, 2006

Planets around Dead Stars

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has uncovered new evidence that planets might rise up out of a dead star's ashes.

The infrared telescope surveyed the scene around a pulsar, the remnant of an exploded star, and found a surrounding disk made up of debris shot out during the star's death throes. The dusty rubble in this disk might ultimately stick together to form planets.

This is the first time scientists have detected planet-building materials around a star that died in a fiery blast.

Pic : An artist's concept of a planet-forming disk around pulsar 4U 0142+61. [Movie]

The paper on the Spitzer finding appears in the April 6 issue of Nature. Other authors of the paper are lead author Zhongxiang Wang and co-author David Kaplan, both of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"We're amazed that the planet-formation process seems to be so universal," says Deepto Chakrabarty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, principal investigator of the new research. "Pulsars emit a tremendous amount of high energy radiation, yet within this harsh environment we have a disk that looks a lot like those around young stars where planets are being born."

The finding represents the missing piece in a puzzle that arose in 1992, when Aleksander Wolszczan of Pennsylvania State University found three planets circling a pulsar called PSR B1257+12. Those pulsar planets, two the size of Earth, were the first planets of any type ever discovered outside our solar system. Astronomers have since found indirect evidence the pulsar planets were born out of a dusty debris disk, but nobody had directly detected this kind of disk until now.

The pulsar observed by Spitzer, named 4U 0142+61, is 13,000 light-years away in the constellation Cassiopeia. It was once a large, bright star with a mass between 10 and 20 times that of our sun. The star probably survived for about 10 million years, until it collapsed under its own weight about 100,000 years ago and blasted apart in a supernova explosion.

Some of the debris, or "fallback," from that explosion eventually settled into a disk orbiting the shrunken remains of the star, or pulsar. Spitzer was able to spot the warm glow of the dusty disk with its heat-seeking infrared "eyes." The disk orbits at a distance of about 1 million miles and probably contains about 10 Earth-masses of material.

see captionPulsars are a class of supernova remnants, called neutron stars, which are incredibly dense. They have masses about 1.4 times that of the sun squeezed into bodies only 10 miles wide. One teaspoon of a neutron star would weigh about 2 billion tons. Pulsar 4U 0142+61 is an X-ray pulsar, meaning that it spins and pulses with X-ray radiation.

Any planets around the stars that gave rise to pulsars would have been incinerated when the stars blew up. The pulsar disk discovered by Spitzer might represent the first step in the formation of a new, more exotic type of planetary system, similar to the one found by Wolszczan in 1992.

"I find it very exciting to see direct evidence that the debris around a pulsar is capable of forming itself into a disk. This might be the beginning of a second generation of planets," Wolszczan says.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Solar Eclipse 29 March 2006


A Solar Eclipse is a truly, truly wonderful phenomena. But one

SEVERE eye damage can result if the sun is viewed improperly at any time!!

Safe Methods of Viewing

METHOD 1) Eclipse Glasses

This is the most affordable method. Eclipse glasses are very inexpensive and can be found many places. Just be sure to buy them well before the eclipse, because they will be very hard to come by a day or two before. Make sure that the glasses have the "CE" certification on them.

Eclipse glasses usually consist of a cardboard frame holding two pieces of filtering material where the glass would be in normal sunglasses. The filters remove 99.99% of the Sun's visible light and 100% of the harmful UV. There are now two types of eclipse glasses. The older type has filters made of aluminized Mylar. The newer type uses black polymer lenses. Both will give good protection, but the black polymer type is better all around. They show a more natural color and can be used to look at sunspots any time the Sun is visible. They are more expensive than the Mylar glasses, but well worth the price.

Always check the glasses carefully before each use for pinholes. If you find any, cut the glasses up with scissors and throw them away.

METHOD 2) Special Telescope Filters

These filters fit over the FRONT END of a telescope. Again, they filter out most of the Sun's light. The advantage with this method is that one can see a magnified image of the Sun, with sunspots, granulation, speckles, and other features. The disadvantage is that the filters are more expensive (plus one needs a telescope).

METHOD 3) Welder's Glass

Be careful that you use the right kind of glass! Welder's glass is numbered from 1 to 14 with 14 being the darkest. It is only number 14 glass that is dark enough for solar viewing! And NO STACKING! A pair of number 7's or a 10 and a 4 together DO NOT have the same protection as a single piece of number 14 (see unsafe methods for more details).

METHOD 4) Telescopic Projection

One can get a nice, large, bright image visible to several people at the same time. It requires no special equipment beyond the telescope itself and some sort of flat screen. HOWEVER: It can be VERY DANGEROUS unless one knows EXACTLY how to do it properly! Not only can it cause severe and permanent eye damage, but it can also easily set things on fire. USE CAUTION when following these instructions!

Unsafe Methods of Viewing

Keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list. People have historically been very clever in coming up with stupid ways to observe the Sun. In general, when you're considering whether or not a particular method is SAFE, ask yourself these questions:
"Is this method I'm using SPECIFICALLY designed for solar viewing?"
"Do I know EXACTLY what I'm doing?"
If the answer to either of these questions is "no," then for your vision's sake, don't try it!

(a)Sunglasses (b)Multiple Sunglasses

(c)Mylar Balloons (d) Mylar Food Wrappers (Pop Tart Bags, etc.)

(e) Smoked Glass (f) X-Ray Film

(g) Film Negatives (h) CD's or CD-ROM's

(i) Stacked Welder's Glass

(j) Stacked Welder's Glass

(k) Liquid Filters

(l) Eyepiece Solar Filters

(m) Eclipse Glasses and Telescopes Together


Thursday, March 16, 2006


NASA astronauts may need quake-proof houses as they are going back to the moon.
The moon is seismically active.Between 1969 and 1972, Apollo astronauts placed seismometers at their landing sites around the moon,instruments faithfully radioed data back to Earth.

And what did they reveal?

There are at least four different kinds of moonquakes:
(1) deep moonquakes about 700 km below the surface, probably caused by tides;
(2) vibrations from the impact of meteorites;
(3) thermal quakes caused by the expansion of the frigid crust when first illuminated by the morning sun after two weeks of deep-freeze lunar night; and
(4) shallow moonquakes only 20 or 30 kilometers below the surface.

The first three were generally mild and harmless.Between 1972 and 1977, the Apollo seismic network saw twenty-eight of them; a few "registered up to 5.5 on the Richter scale". A magnitude 5 quake on Earth is energetic enough to move heavy furniture and crack plaster. Shallow moonquakes lasted more than 10 minutes. The moon rang like a bell.

On Earth, vibrations from quakes usually die away in only half a minute. The reason has to do with chemical weathering: "Water weakens stone, expanding the structure of different minerals. When energy propagates across such a compressible structure, it acts like a foam sponge—it deadens the vibrations." Even the biggest earthquakes stop shaking in less than 2 minutes.

The moon, however, is dry, cool and mostly rigid, like a chunk of stone or iron. So moonquakes set it vibrating like a tuning fork. Even if a moonquake isn't intense , it just keeps going and going.

"Any habitat would have to be built of materials that are somewhat flexible," so no air-leaking cracks would develop. "We'd also need to know the fatigue threshold of building materials," that is, how much repeated bending and shaking they could withstand.

What causes the shallow moonquakes? And where do they occur? The Apollo seismometers were all in one relatively small region on the front side of the moon, so we can't pinpoint [the exact locations of these quakes].
We're especially ignorant of the lunar poles. That's important, because one candidate location for a lunar base is on a permanently sunlit region on the rim of Shackleton Crater at the Moon's south pole.

Proposals for deploying a network of 10 to 12 seismometers around the entire moon is on, to gather data for at least three to five years. This kind of work is necessary, to find the safest spots for permanent lunar bases.
Other planets must be shaking too.We have to study the moon before establishing habitats on mars or beyond.



Saturday, March 11, 2006

Breaking News Headlines

I don't need to say anything but these images say it all.


Solar Storm is coming.

Solar minimum has arrived,Sunspots have vanished & Solar flares are nonexistent. The sun is utterly quiet.

This week a storm is coming--the most intense solar maximum in fifty years.The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one.
Solar maxima can be intense, as in 1958, or barely detectable, as in 1805, obeying no obvious pattern.

The key to the mystery is a conveyor belt on the sun.
We have something similar here on Earth—the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt, popularized in the sci-fi movie The Day After Tomorrow. It is a network of currents that carry water and heat from ocean to ocean—refer to the diagram below. In the movie, the Conveyor Belt stopped and threw the world's weather into chaos.
Above: Earth's "Great Ocean Conveyor Belt."

The sun's conveyor belt is a current, not of water, but of electrically-conducting gas. It flows in a loop from the sun's equator to the poles and back again. Just as the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt controls weather on Earth, this solar conveyor belt controls weather on the sun. Specifically, it controls the sunspot cycle.
What sunspots are--tangled knots of magnetism generated by the sun's inner dynamo. A typical sunspot exists for just a few weeks. Then it decays, leaving behind a 'corpse' of weak magnetic fields."

Enter the conveyor belt.
"The top of the conveyor belt skims the surface of the sun, sweeping up the magnetic fields of old, dead sunspots. The 'corpses' are dragged down at the poles to a depth of 200,000 km where the sun's magnetic dynamo can amplify them. Once the corpses (magnetic knots) are reincarnated (amplified), they become buoyant and float back to the surface." Presto—new sunspots!

All this happens with massive slowness. It takes about 40 years for the belt to complete one loop. The speed varies "anywhere from a 50-year pace (slow) to a 30-year pace (fast)."

When the belt is turning "fast," it means that lots of magnetic fields are being swept up, and that a future sunspot cycle is going to be intense.
Who's right? Time will tell. Either way, a storm is coming.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

UnExplore Universe

The facts available about "Universe" on various websites/books are under big question marks ???

As most of these Facts are cooked around the "Facts" assumed by people living in "Imaginary World" and "Information" provided by few agencies.

Most of these facts are already available in one or the other form in Ancient Vedas - If we start Exploring things from them, we will have better picture of it. A number of old indian researchers have already worked alot in this area. Somehow due to lack of resources and encouragement, they had stopped their researches in betweeen as part of Brahmanda Shastra/Vigyan. We need to combine this "Gyan" with modern tools to actually know Whats and Hows of the Brahmanda/the Universe.

You will not belive but if ONE calculates correctly using information and methods provided in Vedas, one can actually calculate exact relative position of each and every object present in Brahmanda without using any modern tool.

So UnExplore to Explore Universe


Alien life does NOT mean intelligence...

Consider this: Signs of life are found on a planet, say, Venus (this is just an example), it definitely DOES NOT mean that we have found beings who will come around in flying saucers to say "hi". If the life forms are nothing more than worms, we will call them aliens.

This is exactly why the SETI is the "Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence". It does not search for alien life, it searches for alien intelligence. Therefore, even if some form of life was living within jupiter, we wouldnt know until the day we make an explorer heat resistant enough to go there.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Why isn't the universe burning ?

Firstly I should mention that there is another fabulous discovery in the solar system. Jupiter has another red spot.Christopher Go of the Philippines photographed it on February 27th using an 11-inch telescope and a CCD camera:

There are trillions and trillions of galaxies in the universe which in turn have billions of massive stars.So why isn’t the universe hot ? Instead it is freezingly cold.Why doesn’t the universe burn due to heat.Some people would argue that the space is all vacuum but its not like that everywhere.Some places are still having matter like regions of dark matter instead of vacuum.

The thing is energy infact Heat travels from the stars to other parts of the universe through the process of radiation and in this process there is no need of any medium.This is so because heat infact Light travels in the form of electromagnetic waves which are transverse in nature and don’t require a medium for propagation.

Now the light (carrying heat) reaches other planets or I should say heavenly bodies which in turn get heated up and the heat is generated on them and in their surroundings. In all this process the medium stays unaffected hence the space remains unaffected and the universe remains unaffected.Due to this reason its very cold.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Do other universes exist ?

Do nearly exact copies of you exist in other universes? If one or more of the multiverse hypotheses is correct, then quite possibly they do.

The universe started with an explosion called big bang which occured 14 billion years ago.Ever since the universe is expanding.It was an explosion "of" space, not an explosion "in" space.

In earlier times people thought the earth is flat.According to Ptolemy,the Earth stood at the center, surrounded by eight spheres that carried the moon, the sun, the stars and the five planets known at that time, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

This is one of the analogy I can put forward.It is called Balloon analogy.A good way to help visualise the expanding universe is to compare space with the surface of an expanding balloon.COnsider a balloon with dots marked on its surface.If the balloon is blown up the distances between the dots increase in the same way as the distances between the galaxies.Universe - balloon , galaxies - dots on the balloon.The surface is homogeneous with no point which should be picked out as the centre. The centre of the balloon itself is not on the surface and should not be thought of as the centre of the universe.So to say that what is the centre of the universe becomes a little meaningless.... read this ....

1. The 2-dimensional surface of the balloon is analogous to the 3 dimensions of space.
2. The 3-dimensional space in which the balloon is embedded is not analogous to any higher dimensional physical space.
3. The centre of the balloon does not correspond to anything physical.
4. The universe may be finite in size and growing like the surface of an expanding balloon but it could also be infinite.
5. Galaxies move apart like points on the expanding balloon but the galaxies themselves do not expand because they are gravitationally bound.

Till now people go by the hubble theory that galaxies are moving far apart due to the continuing expansion force.Rest is exploration based.We cannot assume - We have to EXPLORE and then match our observations with theoretical concept.


Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mars Mission Remix - Once More

You will never want to miss it neither will you see it once thats why its once more.Launching of rover from earth till reaching mars combined with real effects & alot of rock music - MISSION IMPOSSIBLE and other fizzy stuff with actual stagger for you to enjoy.Going to love it.Credit goes to Dan Maas for original movie and for remix credit goes to Varun Khetarpal.I made it in 1 hour or so and then said its release something ultra super - not just a mission but you egt the feeling that its much more than that !



Saturday, February 25, 2006

Don't Miss this !

MERCURY AT ITS BEST: Tonight is the best night of the year to see Mercury. Step outside at sunset and look west. Mercury is the bright pink "star" shining through the glow of the setting sun. (If you miss the planet tonight, try again tomorrow. Mercury will remain visible at sunset all weekend long.)

NEW COMET: A new comet is emerging in the morning sky. Comet Pojmanski has been brightening since its discovery in January and can now be found just east of Venus before sunrise. The best way to see the comet is through binoculars or a small telescope: It looks like a fuzzy 5th-magnitude star with a small tail.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

I feel something ......

Have we ever thought of looking at the universe from a different point of view ? I am sure only 7% of the population in the world gets to manage and come out of their homes during winter and give a look at the sky.The sky has always amazed the man from ancient times of Ptolemy and Galileo.Those bright dots in the sky during winter really arise a feeling of exploring and some may even want to reach those destinations.Man has been so fascinated with these glowing stars in the sky that we have today made them our goals.Pholosophical view – “Our aim in life is touching those stars!”

Telescopes , other equipments, supreme high-tec observatories have really improved our vision of looking at the universe.Ok so from now on we would have a giant vacuum called space and then we would have those stars and finally the solar system consisting of those planets.Who got this idea ? I mean its too great to start everything with !

Space-Exploration is gaining heights these days. Hundreds of agencies work towards finding out possibility of life in the universe. Distributed work and proper mindset has even showed us high qualitative results.

Movies like Star Trek, The Centre of Earth etc etc. are becoming popular among the people. I wish if I had one of those startrek Space Ships. I would then travel at the speed of light and reach those far ends of the universe and my dreams would automatically come true.But restrictions which say this is fictious hinders my goal achievement.One day I would make this dream come true … reach those corners of the cosmos whose secrets lie at the heart of space and time !


This is science !

When you are speaking to technically illiterate people you must resort to the plausible falsehood instead of the difficult truth.

Photos of Comet Mcnaught !
Astro-photographer? Send your photos to pics@exploreuniverse.com and have them featured on this blog with your name. Comet Mcnaught : Pictures taken with Nikon D100 on 19/1/07 from Manning Point, northern NSW, Australia by Mr. Peter Enright.
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