Hell Really Exists
The special kind of animism that is typical of magic admits the existence of invisible mediators between symbols and reality, i.e., being endowed with some sort of ability to give symbols a particular meaning and to act in accordance with the specific characteristic of those symbols. Such, for example, are the Elementals of the Tarots, workmen of the shop of creation, who would obey orders given through a ritual using the Tarot cards, producing soil out of nowhere or starting terrible storms.M Supposing that such intermediate creatures exist, words and signs could serve as symbols having a tremendous power the most familiar example being perhaps the evocation and confinement of a demon within a pentacle by a Word of Command. Belief in demons, Elementals, and other invisible beings capable of controlling the forces of creation and of obeying orders of intelligent beings is a fascinating kind of animism. Perhaps its appeal stems not only from the archetypal nature of animism, but from...
It turned out the calculations upon which Tombaugh based his search were in error. It just happened to be one of the greatest strokes of coincidence that the little new planet just happened to be lying there right at that moment in time. It also quickly turned out that Tombaugh's new planet was far too tiny to have any impact whatsoever on the motions of Uranus and Neptune and much too far away as well. Because of the extreme cold and relative darkness in which the new planet must have existed, astronomers named the new world Pluto for the ancient Roman god of the underworld. The first two letters are also the initials of Percival Lowell, the astronomer who had spearheaded the search for the ninth planet. Tombaugh was one of his successors working at the observatory that bore Lowell's name.
Can prove (Arneodo et al., 1995) that the theoretical singularity spectrum D(a) of the generalized Devil's Staircase function f (x) fX dm verifies the following Fig. 8.15 displays the generalized Devil's Staircase and its partition function Z(q, s). In Fig. 8.16, we can see the Scaling Exponent and the Singularity Spectrum. This one is in perfect accord with the theoretical values bell curve, D(a)max log2(2) log2(3), ami 0.47 and amax 0.83.
The Solar System's second planet is Venus, which moves in an almost circular orbit at an average distance of 0.72 AU from the Sun. With a size, mass and density comparable to those of the Earth, Venus has often been thought of as our planet's twin. But in virtually every other way the two planets are about as similar as Heaven and Hell - with Venus a good substitute for Hell. Like Mercury, Venus has no moon. But it does have a substantial atmosphere - a choking shroud of almost pure carbon dioxide. So dense is this waterless sky that it pushes down on the surface at a pressure 92 times that on Earth - equivalent to that at the bottom of a lake 900 metres deep. A global greenhouse effect keeps the surface temperature twice as hot as a domestic oven. And, high above the surface, thick clouds of battery acid permanently block Venus' terrain from optical telescopes. Only radar can penetrate the clouds. The results have revealed a geologically young surface, less than 500 million years...
Entropy Macroscopic Definition 170 j. Entropy Increase and Irreversibility 172 K. Entropy as a Parameter of a System 173 l. Microscopic Interpretation of Entropy 174 M. Entropy and Order Maxwell's Demon 178 N. Heat Death of the Universe 180 Appendix Heat Engine Cycles 182
To search for signs of a hot companion star at the position of 1993J we took HST ACS images in the UV and deep, medium resolution spectra at Keck (full details are in 5 ). Our idea was to take high signal-to-noise spectra in the near-UV to look for the spectral signature of an OB-supergiant or massive main-sequence star i.e. Hi, Hel or Hell absorption features. The ACS image is shown on Fig. 2. SN1993J has several neighboring blue stars (G-F are at distances of 3-6 pc from the SN), but there is no dense OB-association.
During those years of the first reconnaissance missions, the rest of the solar system didn't prove any friendlier to life as we know it. Mariner 2, the first machine (from Earth) to successfully visit another world, flew by Venus in December 1962 and radioed back news that was disheartening, at least for carbon-based creatures on Earth looking for close company or a nearby vacation paradise. The surface of Venus is hot as a kiln and dry as bones. There, organic molecules would fare about as well as a snowball in hell. The warm, wet, richly inhabited
In his Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) drew an impressive picture of the medieval cosmology. He wrote the poem while in exile from his hometown Florence due to political reasons. It describes Dante's visit to Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. Hell is a cone extending down to the center of the Earth, while Purgatory is a conical mountain on the opposite side. After visiting the less pleasant places (where he found his political enemies ) Dante finally rises to Paradise, through its increasingly lovely levels (planetary spheres), ending at Empyrean, the dwelling place of God. Just below this most blessed place was the sphere of Pri-mum Mobile or the first mover. This new part had been added to the celestial clockworks by Arabic astronomers to explain the slow wobbling of the eighth Dante was not interested in epicycles and other mathematical details studied by astronomers. More important to him was the meaning of the overall structure of the universe for human race. Humanity had...
Zwicky had a difficult personality, and intentionally intimidated practically everyone he encountered. Zwicky (Figure 2.10) was also fond of calling people spherical bastards because they were bastards every way he looked at them. He was known to accost unfamiliar students in the astronomy building at Caltech with the interrogation Who the hell are you and he is reputed to have remarked to the head of his department at Caltech I have a good idea every two years. Give me a topic, I will give you the idea He usually lived up to his self-assessment.
Although a total solar eclipse, with the sudden onset of darkness and appearance of the stars is very frightening to many people, it only lasts a few minutes. A lunar eclipse, on the other hand, can last much longer and the Moon often turns a deep red (or sometimes a deep blue-black color) during the eclipse. The Quiche of Guatemala tell myths of Xqiq, Blood Woman, apparently an eclipsed Moon goddess and of her twin sons (planetary gods), who go to the underworld to conquer the lords of death. When planets and stars are too close to the Sun to be seen, it seems that the pre-Columbian Mesoamericans thought that they were in the underworld, and one of the most horrifying things about an eclipse must have been to see the land of the dead suddenly shining above in heaven, where the Sun god normally ruled. One of the ways in which the planetary twins demonstrated their prowess to the lords of death was by dancing in flames, which left them unharmed. DHK suspects this refers to planetary...
Responsibility for deploying TDRS-A was shared by the entire crew, although the Mission Specialists led the effort, with Peterson stationed on the aft flight deck and Musgrave temporarily in the Commander's seat. There had already been some confusion in the weeks preceding lift-off. We were in quarantine in the crew quarters at the Cape, remembered Peterson, and a couple of nights before launch, two guys showed up from Boeing. It turned out that the software we'd trained on in the simulator was not exactly the same as the software that was flying and a lot of the codes were different. Story and I copied a bunch of stuff down with pen and ink and used that on orbit and that's really scary because we were taking these Boeing guys' words for it We'd never seen some of this stuff in the simulator. Suppose what they told was not right and we messed up the payload We'd never find those two guys again They'd be gone and it'd be 'Why the hell didn't you guys do it the way you were trained to...
This question was already raised in a different form in antiquity. Augustine, one of the major theologians in early Christianity, around 400 CE discussed the question what God was doing before God created the world. If you see creation as the beginning of the world, what was the Eternal One doing that infinity of ages before there was a world Augustine first makes a joke, effectively saying 'Then God created Hell for those who ask such questions.' But then, Augustine attempts to deal seriously with this question.
An Irish physicist who was among the first to discuss the possibility of space colonies (see Bernal sphere). Bernal graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and began his research career in crystallography under William Bragg at the Davy-Faraday Laboratory in London before returning to Cambridge. In 1937, he was appointed to the chair of physics at Birkbeck College, London, where his studies eventually led him to consider the processes leading to the origin of life. In his remarkably perceptive book The World, the Flesh, and the Devil,15 Bernal discussed the possible future evolution of mankind and its spread into the universe.
Eclipsing variables are binary star systems whose orbital plane just happens to lie perpendicular to the plane of the sky. The stars alternately eclipse each other, thereby cutting off each other's light. The amount of light lost at each eclipse depends on the surface brightnesses of the two stars the eclipse of the star with the greater surface brightness35 undergoes the deeper eclipse so that the system light is lowest at this phase. In European literature, the first report that the star b Persei or Algol varied in brightness was made by G. Montanari in 1669, but this bright star must have had multiple prior discoveries. That its popular name comes from the Arabic, al ghul, the demon, would seem to support this idea. The first known explanation for its variation in terms of a geometric effect either a rotating spot on a star or an eclipse of one star by a companion was given by J. Goodricke, in 1783, when he was about 18 years old. In 1784, he discovered the variation of b Lyrae and...
Such a device, if of molecular size, seems suspiciously like 'Maxwell's demon'. If possible, such a tiny entity could separate hot and cold molecules in a glass of water. A fleet of nanobots could perhaps convert a lukewarm glass of water into a fluid that is boiling on its left side and freezing on its right.
The important question in the context of this meeting is, how much energy does a typical central AGN deposit in the cooling core plasma To answer this, we must determine the mean jet power, Pj, averaged over the lifetime of a typical CCRG, and how effectively that power is deposited in the local plasma. We emphasize that we have no direct measure of Pj. The radio power of the CCRG is a poor tracer of the jet power 5 . The best we can do directly from observations is to use minimum-pressure arguments, which are possible if the jet is resolved (e.g. M87 17 ). This gives us a lower bound on Pj. To go further, we must choose a dynamical model for the RG and its interaction with the local ICM. This sounds simple, but the devil is in the details.
Other legends about the Milky Way abound. American Indians believed it to be the celestial path taken by the souls of the dead on their arduous journey to Heaven, and that the brighter stars along the Milky Way were the campfires where they briefly stopped to rest. In China and Japan, the band of light was viewed as a river inhabited by spirits swimming toward the 'Land of Peaches.' The river metaphor appears again in Egypt, where the Milky Way was analogous to the Nile River, and in India where it represented the venerable Ganges. The Greeks viewed the Milky Way as the river Styx, across which the souls of the dead were ferried to the underworld.
It's all in the size and structure how big and loose a molecule is determines how well it absorbs IR. A molecule with only two atoms trying to absorb IR is like a rhythmically challenged person trying to dance to reggae music. If you can't shake your hips and swing your arms, then you might as well have a straitjacket on. These uptight little molecules have nothing to move, no degrees of freedom as we say in the biz. So, for example, little diatomic (two-atom) molecules such as oxygen and nitrogen (O2 and N2) cannot absorb infrared. They may want to dance but they're not hip to the right vibrations, and the IR passes them by like the little stiffs they are. Slightly larger molecules, with three or more atoms, such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, methane, and water (CO2, SO2, CH4 and H2O), have a lot more stuff to shake, and this makes them all strong IR absorbers. Pass some IR through air that's thick with these willing dancers and it's easy skankin' they just bounce, bounce,...
The age of the telescope led us to believe that Venus was a world very much like Earth. The age of space flight taught us that nothing could be farther from the truth. Venus is a world much like hell. Crushing pressures, scorching temperatures and corrosive clouds make it anything but a romantic place.
Learning new ways to think or behave is extremely difficult. For example, learning to reason using the laws of physics takes years and years of study, which unfortunately limits the number of people willing to put in the effort. On the other end of the spectrum (perhaps), learning to be a good soldier also takes years of effort and often painful reprogramming of the way one thinks. This is why military training, especially boot camp, is such a harrowing experience. The goal of military instructors is to subjugate the soldiers' free will to the often life-threatening will of the military apparatus. Teaching stay and fight discipline in situations where evolution and normal reasoning say, get the hell out of here is very difficult.
North Americans did not like this scheme because it was complex, added weight, and required special seals so the pressurized cabin atmosphere would not leak around the mechanism. The astronauts saw the possibility that the optics could not be retracted in the case of a failure of the mechanism, which would compromise the heat shield on reentry. They renamed the ''deployable optics'' the ''deplorable optics.'' David Gilbert, the NASA program officer who had just taken over responsibility for guidance and control, remembered stepping into ''a hell of a squabble'' between MIT and North American over the issue. Finally, he solved it by decree ''we decided we could live with a little less field of view and ended up with a fixed optics installation.'' That is no door, no deployable assembly, simply a fixed window for the telescope to look out the side of the spacecraft. If the sighting needed a different view, the astronauts would move the spacecraft itself to bring it around. Gilbert...
To the east of Cassiopeia lies Perseus the Hero. Although Perseus contains several bright stars, the Hero's shape is not easy to follow. Begin at the constellation's brightest star, centrally located Alpha (a) Persei, and then trace the star pattern from there. Under a dark sky, you'll see a fuzzy patch about one-third of the way from Perseus to Cassiopeia. Binoculars reveal this as the famed Double Cluster, a side-by-side pair of open star clusters. Perseus's most famous star is Algol, the Demon Star. It normally shines at 2nd magnitude, but every 2 days, 20 hours, and 49 minutes, it dims by 70 percent. The reason A faint companion star passes between the brighter component and us, eclipsing much of the bright star's light.
Joe, you couldn't be reading our minds more,'' Cernan responded. We were talking about that, and there is a piece of it right outside my window. I saw it after we got in here. Either that or back of a part of a data book or something. I hate like the devil to tear one of those other fenders off. And the reason tape won't stick is that everything's got a fine coating of dust. The only way I could finally get it to stick was to put tape on it (and then) rip the tape off . . . which took some of the dust off and then (another piece of) tape would tend to hold it. But it just won't hack it up here.'' Roger, Gene,'' Allen agreed. That's exactly what we're thinking and what we're
Very like to the well known synchronization effect for a system of oscillators with nonlinear binding, which is displayed as so-called devil staircase , expressing the preference of some multiple frequencies for oscillations of such a system. His calculations have shown a striking coincidence of the frequency distributions for such oscillators corresponding to the elementary particle masses (including electron mass), its differences and the combined energy distributions for nuclear levels, although the nature and even the fact of the existence of phenomenon itself are still argued.
The remaining central core of about 15 Me of heavy material, with a shallow atmosphere or no atmosphere at all. The state of the surface of these putative bodies is still to be determined and could be similar to the lava surface of Io with its 1500 K temperature. The emergence of the inside core of former and evaporated hot Jupiters may constitute a new class of planets which we proposed to call the chthonian planets in reference to the Greek god of the Earth Khthon ( chthonian is used to name the Greek deities who come from the hot infernal underworld).
Of mathematical astronomy comparable to that of Mesopotamia flourished in Egypt prior to the Greek takeover. However, there is substantial evidence that many Egyptian deities were identified as Sun, Moon, planets, or asterisms. The importance of astronomy in the religion and calendar is evident. In the tomb of Thutmose III in the Valley of the Kings near Thebes, the religious context of the hours of the night are made clear. The entire text of the Amduat or Book of What is in the Underworld appears on the burial chamber wall it can be found in Clagett (1989). It is set out in 12 chapters or hours, which mark the hours of the night, and transformed through the power of myth into the passage of the soul of the king through the underworld to be reborn, like the Sun. It begins with the lines During the first hour, the Sun orders the dead king, his physical body, to open the underworld's doors, beginning the process of bringing light and life to the underworld, and awakening its gods, hour...
True story During the First Astrobiology Science Conference at NASA's Ames Research Center in April 2000, President Clinton was, by coincidence, landing at the adjacent Moffett Field Air Base, where Air Force One parks when the president comes to the San Francisco area. In a scene right out of The X-Files, one of his Secret Service men, who had stopped a suspicious-looking scientist, was heard to shout anxiously into his walkie-talkie, What the HELL is astrobiology
The emission of light by living creatures is often (though not always) based on the oxidation of an organic material, a luciferin, in the presence of an enzyme (a biological catalyst) known as a lu-ciferase. There are a number of luciferins found among the various bioluminescent species, and each one requires a specific luciferase to generate light. This conversion of chemical energy to light is extremely efficient virtually no heat is produced in the process. The names of these chemicals are derived from the Latin for 'light bearer'. (The name 'Lucifer' has been applied both to a fallen angel and to matches manufactured in Britain about a century ago and immortalized in a line of a First World War song.) A sophisticated exploitation of bioluminescence occurs among insects. There are more than a thousand species of fireflies in the family Lampyridae within the order Coleoptera. Fireflies are soft-bodied beetles up to 25 mm long with luminescent panels on the rear abdominal segments,...
If you overshoot the mark when looking up the word algol in a dictionary, you may be surprised. Algology is the study of algae. Algolagnia is a psychiatric term covering sadism and masochism. ALGOL is an acronym recognized by the computer-literate, standing for ALGOrithmic Language, one of the earliest programming codes. It is Algol, a capitalized proper name, which is the subject of our present inquiry. This is otherwise known as Beta Persei, the second-brightest star in the constellation Perseus. ( Algol is an old Arabic word, apparently meaning demon, so perhaps the ancients recognized its peculiar behavior long before tardy Western science did so.)
Even those novices who agree that running a go-to scope from a laptop sounds downright cool become a little skittish when it comes to hardware. Doesn't astronomy software require a powerful computer What effect is dew going to have on an expensive laptop Will low nighttime temperatures send a brand new Dell to hell Isn't that nice, bright LCD screen going to ruin the dark adaptation of everybody on the observing field How complicated is interfacing a scope to a PC
The mission studies were carried out by competent teams, but the significant divergences between their results indicated the sensitivity to assumptions inherent in such studies, showing that the devil is in the details.'' Unfortunately, it was typically difficult to extract detailed data from the reports because of the way they were written, particularly on the states and steps involved in the various transfers involved in the end-to-end missions (see Sections 7.3.3 and 7.3.4).
One of the first lessons learned in the study of binary star systems is that the presence of a companion alters the course of evolution. Recall one of the most important aspects of the evolution of single stars. More massive stars have more fuel to burn, but they burn the fuel at a profligate rate. As a result, massive stars live a much shorter time than smaller-mass stars that hoard their meager allotment of hydrogen fuel. Given this most important lesson, how are we to understand the demon star Algol The star Algol presents a blue-white appearance to the eye. Algol also appears to be brighter and then dimmer every few days. When it is dimmer, it appears to be a little redder. In some early cultures a red, winking light in the sky did not bode well. Thus Algol acquired the name the demon star, ''Algol'' being the Arabic word for demon. We
Hope that we had reached two goals (a) to show that the coherence that is the Great Dance is something science can acknowledge without going out of its limits (b) to prove that, by the same token, whatever was valid in the strange world of elementals, demons, djinns, and cosmic energies in which magic believes could find a permanent place in the ivory tower of science. The idea that man is a special animal, that there is something special in his way of knowing and feeling could thus be dispelled, and the tower of science would appear again in its majesty as containing the whole of reality. Unfortunately, in the world of man's sensible experience, certain signs and objects, both natural and manmade, influence the activity of the animal Homo sapiens in a very curious way they are symbols. Within limits, they can be the object of scientific studies, but they cannot be explained without calling into play the whole combination of instincts, archetypes, automatic responses, reason, and will...
Interpreted theologically, the most important facet is that the brothers are shown descending to the underworld after The final scene shows Four Earthquake and Seven Flower, apparently none the worse for their cremation, seated at a ball-court marked with a skull, that is, presumably the ball-court of the Lords of Death. The date is 2 Deer, year 13 Rabbit, corresponding to Mayan 2 Manik 5 uayeb, the last day of a Mayan year, and to JDN 2,062,552, 17 December 934, with 10 271 . The day 2 Deer follows the day 1 Death, and the Popul Vuh tells how the younger brothers defeat the Lord of Hell called One Death. The same is apparently true of the elder brothers in some senses, despite the sad tales told of them on the same CR date, 2 Deer of the year 13 Rabbit, in the Vienna codex, One Flower appears in the Sun disk as a Sun god. At any rate, some sort of equivalence seems to be indicated. The first date on the following page shows the year 1 Reed, the day 1 Crocodile, the well-known...
Today, it is known that the dark bands on Mars are produced by seasonal wind erosion. As first revealed during the Viking missions of the 1970s, violent dust devils commonly swirl across the surface, leaving in their wake various exposed types of rock minerals of differing colors, such as dark volcanic bedrock. The storms on Mars are always more frequent and intense when the planet's orbit brings it closer to the Sun, which would be Martian summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Martian Dust Devil Tracks. A view of the floor of Mars's Argyre Basin located around 48 S x 43 W showing numerous dark streaks thought to be created by the passage of dust devils (Photo courtesy of NASA) Martian Dust Devil Tracks. A view of the floor of Mars's Argyre Basin located around 48 S x 43 W showing numerous dark streaks thought to be created by the passage of dust devils (Photo courtesy of NASA) ice-covered sands, blowing dunes, the changing shape of the southern ice cap, and huge, swirling dust devils...
The discussion of the previous section explains why Earth has remained habitable throughout most or all of its history. Abiotic climate stabilization by CO2 and possible biotic stabilization by CH4 both seem to have been involved. There are clearly limits, however, to how robust these climate stabilization mechanisms may be, as evidenced by the observation that they do not appear to have worked on our neighbouring planets, Mars and Venus. Venus is a dry burning hell with no liquid water and a surface temperature of 730 K. Mars is a frozen desert with a mean surface temperature of 218 K.
The southern Moon is absolutely full of craters. Tycho (1) (85 km) is probably the best known and is the origin of the largest ray system (figures 9. 24 and 9.25). The bright rays totally dominate the landscape of the Full Moon being the most noticeable feature seen by the unaided eye. The projectile that carved out the formation of Tycho must have caused an incredible explosion. The crater is 4,850 meters deep with much internal structure such as central peaks up to 1,600 meters. The crater came into existence towards the end of any active bobardment of the Moon, possibly 100 million years ago, as evidenced by the rays spreading across the surface of other craters and features for huge distances. The ejecta forming the rays is not just a dusting of powder but several meters deep in places. Deslandres (2) is a very large and complex crater with others inside -notably Hell (33 km). Deslandres is magnificent in its vastness spanning a huge 256 km in diameter. It is old and has had a...
On the movie Star Wars and computer graphics specialists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Shooting and production for Cosmos commenced in 1979, during which time the production staff consulted more than 100 different scientists concerning scientific accuracy and verification of facts. By September 1980, the show debuted on PBS, featuring the most extensive use of special effects ever in a documentary program. The theme music, composed by Vangelis and titled Heaven and Hell 3rd Movement (Theme from the TV series 'Cosmos') was as remarkable as the effects and later went on to become a popular soundtrack.
Sagan bounced back from the second surgery, and his last book, The Demon-Haunted World Science as a Candle in the Dark (1996), which focused on the differences between true science and artificial science, was published and drew favorable reviews. He was also working on a novel titled Billions and Billions Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium, putting together a collection of essays covering a wide variety of topics, including life on Mars, global warming, the invention of chess, and his fight with bone marrow disease. It was not long, however, before his disease recurred. Carl Sagan died of pneumonia in Seattle on December 20, 1996.
Let us now turn to those invisible and intangible entities which by their very nature cannot be expected to respond to prearranged experimental conditions, either because they are endowed with free will or because their manifestations in the sensible world obey a project unknowable to man. The problems which arise in connection with them concern not only the existence of a Supreme Being, but that of demons, such as are claimed to exist by magic and witchcraft, of angels, and in general of nonmaterial beings (cf. chapter nine). Obviously, science can help very little for science, in the case of a free being not otherwise observable, could at best detect those interventions of that being on sensible reality that are repeated in similar circumstances with the same clear-cut pattern and even then such interventions could be attributed to a free nonmaterial agent only if at least a hint about their possible aim were available.
Angels, ghosts, demons, creationism, telepathy, extrasensory perception (ESP), magic, channeling and other methods of communicating with the dead, and homeopathic medicine, to name but a few. Accepting any of these alternative realities requires the believer to accept incorrect or unproven beliefs about the natural world.
Another non-theistic response to this apparent fine-tuning for beauty and elegance of the laws of nature is that the idea of beauty is purely subjective, simply the result of our reading into nature anthropomorphic patterns, in the same way as humans have read meaningful patterns - such as the Bear or the Big Dipper - into the random pattern of stars in the night sky. The major problem with this explanation is that it does not account for the surprising success of the criterion of beauty in the physical sciences. We would not expect patterns that are merely subjective to serve as a basis for theories that make highly accurate predictions, such as the successful prediction of quantum electrodynamics - to nine significant figures - of the quantum correction to the gyromagnetic ratio of the electron. Merely subjectively reading a pattern into an otherwise random pattern is predictively useless. The second problem is that there are significant objective aspects of beauty, at least in the...
In my summary, I've tried to stress that the problem is far from solved. While the paradigm seems capable of explaining the observed universe, the devil lies in the detail, and the model must be fleshed out to actually explain how the AGN heat the ICM, and how the AGN is fuelled. Only then will we be able to demonstrate that the process contains the right scales, and that the feedback loop is sufficiently tightly coupled. Personally I find it amazing that something as small as a black hole might determine the entire future of the luminous universe.
Slayton was said by some to be understandably furious (although one of O'Leary's group suggested to the authors that there was ''hearsay evidence of just the opposite''), and in such a competitive field, there was very little sympathy or support from many of his peers. Another scientist-astronaut said that O'Leary should not have applied for selection if he didn't think he could fly ''What the hell did he think astronauts did '' Chapman, on the other hand, was far more committed and decided to ride it out, just to see what NASA had in store for him. He knew that the national objective at this time was just to get men to the Moon and back, and only the best, most experienced pilots would be on the first flights. Once NASA had demonstrated that men could land on the Moon and return safely to Earth, there would be a need for scientists to follow in their path.
Once the flight controllers had resumed their consoles, Kranz directed them to switch to the assistant flight director's intercom loop, which was not available to the viewing gallery, in order to speak to them privately. Unfortunately, his speech was not recorded. On one occasion Kranz recalled, ''I had to tell these kids how proud I was of the work that they'd done that on this day, from the time that they were born, they were destined to be here and destined to do this job they were the best team ever assembled and today, without a doubt, they were going to write the history books by being the team that took an American to the Moon.'' On another occasion he recalled saying, ''Okay, all flight controllers, listen up. Today is our day, and the hopes and dreams of the entire world are with us. This is our time and our place, and we will remember this day and what we will do here always. In the next hour we will do something that has never been done before - we will land an American on...
Smaller and physically weaker than most of his schoolmates, Isaac attempted to teach them to play philosophically, in Stukeley's words.6 When the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell died in September 1658, a great storm swept over England, giving rise to the superstition that it was the devil riding the whirlwind to claim his lost soul. Taking advantage of a rare opportunity, Isaac entered into a competition with several of the more athletic youths to see who could jump the farthest. By carefully timing the gusts of wind, he outleaped the other boys, much to their surprise and embarrassment. Many years later, Newton remarked to a relative that this was one of his first experiments.
Although not as color free or sharp as top-of-the-line camera lenses or true APO refractors (with three-lenses element and or a fluorite element), the EDs can do nearly as good a job, especially if equipped with one of the field flattener lenses available for many of them. A nice choice for the new astro-imager is one of the ubiquitous 66mm f 6 EDs that can often be bought for less than 400. The 66mm doesn't sound like much aperture, but it's utterly amazing what can be captured by one using a sensitive camera (Plate 77). At the longer focal lengths produced by even a 66mm ED scope, the imager's life does become more complicated guiding the telescope, for example, becomes a necessity if perfect stars are desired. The upside is that guiding is still relatively non-critical at 300 to 600mm. See the Prime Focus discussion and the Demon section below for tips. If the intent is to take exposures longer than one minute, some kind of guiding system will be needed. In the past many...
In the constellation Perseus, the star Algol (Beta Persei) is the prototype for a type of extrinsic variable star called eclipsing binaries. The name Algol is derived from Arabic for the demon, and though its nature was not scientifically documented until 1667, observers clearly knew about its regular fading for many hundreds of years before then. Algol is located 93 light years from Earth and has two components separated by less than five million miles. The system consists of a bright spectral type B8 bluish white star that shines at a temperature of 12,500K and with 100 times the luminosity of the Sun. The star is a hydrogen-burning main-sequence dwarf with about 3.8 times the mass of the Sun. The star itself is as regular as our Sun is but exactly every 2.867 days Algol does something amazing. Its light dims from magnitude +2.1 to magnitude +3.4 or only one-third its normal luminance. The reason why is because the primary star's companion passes in front of the star at that time...
Wurst, a bespectacled, aloof student who liked dark-themed music and whose nickname was Satan, faces homicide charges and remained jailed early Tuesday as the youngest person at the Erie County Prison. Two students and a teacher were injured, none seriously, before Wurst was disarmed by a banquet hall owner with a shotgun. Police and friends said Wurst snuck his father's pistol into the dance and had threatened at separate times to make the dance memorable, and to kill others and him. He was not taken seriously. State police said they are still trying to determine the boy's motive. Three other school-related shootings since October - in Jonesboro, Arkansas, West Paducah, Kentucky, and Pearl, Mississippi -- left 10 dead and 22 wounded. Mitchell Wright, the widower of a teacher killed in Jonesboro, called
We had problems welding up the suspension system,'' Romano said. We would weld them up and test them in a pull fixture. We had a devil of a time making all the weld joints equally strong. We went to North American Rockwell and used their Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding machine. If we didn't get those welds to pull right to get the strength we needed, the thing would not have been man-qualified and we wouldn't have made it. We were sweating those days, I'll tell you.''
Schriever's Systems Command was probably most affected by the OSD's new procedures and philosophy because it was responsible for the R&D process leading up to the USAF's fielding of new weapons. He noted, I never once had a session with McNamara relating to a single major program decision, not one time in all the five-and-a-half or six years that we overlapped. Yet Schriever reported McNamara's completely undisciplined staff . . . would go charging around all over the country. . . . Most of the time we didn't even know that they were wandering about. In no circumstances were we ever provided with copies of their reports when they came in, so we didn't even know what the hell was going on. Schriever reported that essentially the OSD usurped all this authority, but they had no responsibility so that Air Force officers were being whipsawed by the ever-changing requirements for thousands and thousands of pages of documentation the OSD demanded. Schriever concluded, Mr. McNamara had no...
Others came over to see it in the Hick Building in Huntsville where the mockup was at the time. I remember someone pulled the lever, it made a hell of a noise and hung up halfway down. And I remember Rees saying, 'I don't think it will work like that ' And I said, 'Oh no, it's not going to work like that.' In any event, we changed that so it was lowered down.'' Due to the non-repeatability of the automatic deployment system, Dr. Eberhardt Rees, then Director of the Marshall Space Flight Center, instructed NASA's Structures and Propulsion Laboratory to assist Boeing in the qualification (design changes) of the automatic deployment system and also to design a 'backup' deployment system for the LRV in case the automatic system could not be qualified. MSFC structures and propulsion design personnel designed a semi-automatic LRV deployment system. The design consisted of adding a pulley on the end of a shaft with a worm gear to the existing Boeing-designed deployment system. This design...
Two hundred years ago, the solar system was considered a stable system in which no changes occur. Newton formulated the law of gravitation and the laws of motion. From that time, the question arose do we live in a deterministic universe in which all future motions, accelerations, actions, and interactions are determined by the present position and motion of all the particles Such a point of view would imply to negate the notion of free will for humans. Examples of deterministic systems are typical topics in classical physics such as Newton's law of motion, classical electrodynamics, and thermodynamics. The point is, if the initial conditions were known in enough detail, the future evolution of the system is fully predictable. This leads us to Laplace's demon.15 Imagine an entity (today, we would say a supercomputer) that knows all facts about the past and present, that means it knows exactly the initial states defined by the positions and velocities of all particles in the universe....
According to astronomer-mythologist Elijah Burritt, Capricornus is associated with the god Pan. One day, while Pan was feasting with Jupiter and some other deities near the banks of the Nile River, the giant monster Typhon suddenly emerged from the underworld and attacked them, scattering the assemblage in all directions. In an attempt to hide themselves, each deity assumed a different shape. Pan, who had leapt into the river, turned his head and upper torso into a goat and his lower body, which was submerged, into a fish. When Pan emerged from the river, he discovered that Typhon had torn Jupiter's legs and arms from his body. Pan blew such a loud, shrill note on his pipe that it frightened Typhon away. Then Pan retrieved Jupiter's scattered limbs and tied them back on his body, allowing the god to move once more. Jupiter then struck Typhon with one of his thunderbolts, sending the creature back to the underworld to lick his wounds.
The devil is often hidden in details or in what is looking at first as a detail and then reveals itself as a point of prime importance. Convection theory is full of such details able to critically change the results. We may mention the problem of overshooting, i.e., where is the exact edge of a convective zone, the role of the gradients, the heat losses by convective fluid elements, semiconvection and thermohaline mixing, the effects of rotation on convection, convection at sonic velocities, etc.
The Lakota perceive a direct connection between certain places in the landscape and certain groups of stars in the sky. Thus Harney Peak, the highest mountain in the Black Hills, was associated with Seven Little Girls (the Pleiades), and isolated Devil's Peak was connected with Bear's Lodge (part of Gemini). During the year, the Lakota traditionally moved from their winter camps south of the Black Hills northward, toward and into the range. This journey, following the seasonal movements of the buffalo through the landscape, also followed the path of the sun through the constellations, and an integral part of the process was the performance of the appropriate sacred rites. On one level, this annual journey, regulated by observations of astronomical phenomena, simply served to ensure the successful exploitation of a vital food resource. However, this outsiders' perspective fails utterly to comprehend anything of the meaning of these practices to the people who undertook them. From the...
Introduced into groups of generic names. The classical KBOs (or 'cubewanos') were given names of the creation gods from classical mythology and names of the underworld gods were used for the so-called 'plutinos.' The naming of the class of 'centaurs,' however, soon will reach the unpleasant situation of a rather limited supply of classical names. In 2002 the proposal from the Dutch science journalist Govert Schilling (b. 1956) to use names from the novels of the English author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) was newly discussed for the naming of the so-called 'scattered-disc objects' among the KBOs. Experiences from the Pluto debate, however, raised these discussions into the frame of a political decision which may prevent a quick resolution. Problems in nomenclature seem to grow at least proportionally with the necessity of naming itself.
Her feast day is May 1 (hence Walpurgis Night) when the witches ride on broomsticks to the ancient places of sacrifice to revel with Satan. The best known of this places is the Brocken see planet (4724) , highest peak in the Harz mountains, immortalized by the scene of the witches' sabbath in Goethe's see planet (3047) Faust. (H 31, I. Heinrich)
Roscoe Turner's career peaked just a few decades before Collins's, but the two seemed worlds apart. Dubbed ''Aviation's Master Showman,'' in the 1920s and 1930s Turner barnstormed his way from rural America to Hollywood. He had little training and even less formal education. Yet he fashioned himself as a colorful character, sporting a waxed mustache and a made-up uniform from a nonexistent military in which he had never served. He was married in the cockpit of his Curtiss Jenny and flew his giant Sikorsky S-29 airplane, dressed up as a German bomber, in Howard Hughes's film Hell's Angels. As Collins noted, Turner flew with his pet lion Gilmore, named after the oil company that sponsored them. Turner embodied the showy, excited world of aviation in its ''golden age'' of transition from dangerous curiosity to commercial service.18
Lieved that the world was flat, up was the direction to Heaven, the abode of the gods, while down was the direction to the Underworld. Everything which was not divine had a natural tendency to fall down, and a fallen angel from Heaven above would inevitably finish in Hell below. And, although great astronomers of
Attempting to understand star formation can be ati intensely challenging and often frustrating experience. We can describe fairly accurately what happens deep within star-forming clouds such as the Orion Nebula. Dense clumps of gas, shielded from the harsh light of other stars by the surrounding material and thus allowed to cool, collapse under their own gravity. The densiLy at the centre rises until high-speed collisions between atoms become common, nuclear fusion can start and the star is born. However, the devil is in the detail.
Explorers in quest of ancient Mesopotamian civilizations at first ignored the clay tablets. Muslims avoided them because the Koran said they were bricks inscribed by demons and baked in hell. Christians thought it blasphemy to revive knowledge of the Assyrians, whom the Lord had determined to destroy along with all record of their wickedness.
A major solar eclipse in August 1999 was visible throughout much of western Europe. Many millions of Europeans who had not had the opportunity to observe an eclipse locally in decades saw this eclipse. There were already a couple of Web sites devoted to it, with maps of where the path of totality (the locations on the ground that will see the total eclipse) laid and recommendations for observing the eclipse. These sites are at http www.hermit. org Eclipsei999 and http www.users.dircon.co.uk seaview eclipseframe.htm the latter has a special emphasis on Great Britain. Those interested in past solar eclipses visible from Great Britain can check out which has information about a British book, UK Solar Eclipses from Year 1.
As the demon star because it appears to fade and brighten (or wink ) noticeably to the unaided eye, it ranges from a normal brightness of magnitude 2.1 (outside of eclipse) to a minimum of 3.4 (during mid-eclipse) every 2.9 days. There are actually two minima. The primary drop, obvious to the naked eye, occurs when a large, dim star in the system passes in front of and partially eclipses a smaller but brighter one there is also a much less noticeable secondary eclipse half an orbit later as the bright star passes in front of the dim one, reducing its light slightly.
This medieval view of the Universe was enshrined in poetry by the Italian Dante Aligheri, whose writings contain many references to astronomy. Dante revered Aristotle, whom he described as the supreme and highest authority, but he did not feel the need to follow him when it came to matters of astronomical detail. Here, he would turn to al-FarghanT's description of Ptolemaic astronomy. Dante's Divine Comedy follows the author on his journey as he passes through the centre of the Universe and then from planet to planet until he reaches the outermost sphere of the stars. He begins by descending into Hell, which is an inverted cone situated directly beneath the centre of the inhabited world -Jerusalem - and whose apex is the centre of the Earth (and, hence, of the Universe). He emerges in Purgatory, an island diametrically opposite Jerusalem on the Earth's surface, and on this island is a mountain that extends to the upper reaches of the atmosphere. From here, Dante enters Paradise, which...
The second planet from the Sun is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. This doubtless arose from its striking appearance in the evening and morning skies, especially near the times of maximum elongation. However, as the literal facts about Venus emerged from flybys and landings that took place in the mid-twentieth century, it became clear that the surface of Venus is neither a lovely nor a beautiful place. In fact, conditions there resemble medieval humanity's conception of hell.
People have long thought that because Venus is close to Earth and similar in size and mass, it would have conditions suitable for life. However, early robotic probes sent to Venus disproved this theory. The probes found Venus to have a hostile-to-life or hell-like environment. The thick atmosphere, high surface temperature and high pressure hampered early exploration by spacecraft, and many probes were unsuccessful. Both the USSR and USA have sent more probes to Venus than to any other planet, mainly because of its closeness to Earth.
For the next 8 hours you lie flat on your back, your seat all the way down to horizontal, strapped in tight, and try to sleep. You don't get airsick, but you worry that something will go wrong, the craft will shake apart, and you will be sent tumbling down into hell. Then finally the violent ride becomes smooth, and you hear the whooshing sound of the jet engines, which are now propelling the craft beneath the clouds of Venus at midnight.
By the time they completed initial training in the summer of 1979, they began working hand in glove with the 'Devil's Advocates' - the team of instructors who dropped fault after fault and failure upon failure into each mission simulation, testing their knowledge to the limit and proving themselves as the astronauts' worst enemies and closest friends, all rolled into one. Years later, many would look back warmly on the Devil's Advocates as having prepared them to be able to respond to almost any emergency during a 'real' mission.
If, having been discovered in 1930, Pluto was a late addition to our known solar system, its moon, Charon, is almost brand new, having been found in 1978. Named, fittingly, for the mythological ferryman who rowed the dead across the River Styx to the underworld ruled by Pluto, Charon is a little more than half the size of its parent 806 miles (1,300 km) in diameter versus Pluto's 1,426 miles (2,300 km). Orbiting 12,214 miles (19,700 km) from Pluto, it takes 6.4 Earth days to make one circuit. Pluto and Charon are tidally locked forever facing one another the orbital period and rotation period for both synchronized at 6.4 days. Charon's status is undetermined as a satellite of a dwarf planet. If it were orbiting the Sun (and not Pluto), it would fit the definition of a dwarf planet.
Native plants are not just interesting to see they also have special names and play important roles in the lives of desert people. Beargrass ( moe-hoe ), yucca ( tock-way ), devil's claw ( ee-hook ), banana yucca root ( o-ee-toctk ), and willow ( chay-ult ) provide the raw materials for the creative artistry found in Tohono O'Odham baskets. In the old days, mesquite and iron-wood were used to carve wooden bowls and cactus fiber was crafted into rope. Even today, mesquite sap is used in decorating native-clay pottery. Hungry Prickly pear cacti fruits, cholla cacti buds, mesquite and palo verde beans all are edible however, it's best to consult well-respected references on how to prepare desert dishes because some ingredients can bite back
By aligning on more than two stars, the computer can measure non-perpendicularity, flexure, and other sources of error, then correct for them. This is the purpose of TPoint, a product of TPoint Software (http www.tpsoft.demon. co.uk, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England). TPoint is used at large observatories but is also marketed to amateurs by Software Bisque (http www.bisque.com), integrated with their TheSky online star atlas. It runs on a personal computer (normally a laptop) connected to the telescope.
Named for the Sumerian goddess of wine and beer. She aided the god Lugalbanda in rescuing the tablets of fate from the demon Zu. In Semitic mythology, Ninkasi was also considered god of the Vine, corresponding to the Greek Dionysus see planet (3671) . An ode to Ninkasi, inscribed in cuneiform on 4000-year old clay tablets, provides a recipe that was used successfully by Fritz Maytag and Solomon H. Katz to recreate Sumerian beer. (M 20522)
The traditional log ship takes some carpentry but there are simpler alternatives. A bucket is great but is the devil to haul in. Small plastic beakers, filler funnels, mugs, and even empty cans work just as well, providing you use a light line and they are easy to recover. Even a bottle partly filled with seawater works.
From July 1994 images of Pluto have been obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, and definite features have been seen. Pluto is in fact an unusually complex object. As expected, there is a dark equatorial band and bright polar caps. Some of the features may be due to basins or impact craters, together with ridges, but others, including the prominent north polar cap, may be produced by the distribution of the frosts which migrate across Pluto's surface because of the orbital and seasonal cycles. No names have been given to the features (a system based upon Underworld deities, following my own suggestion, is now under consideration by the International Astronomical Union).
The star Beta Persei, which we can see soutn of Mirphak, is one of the most fascinating star** in the sky. It is also known as Algol, which means the 'Winking Demon', for its periodic change in brightness. It is one of those stars astronomers call 'eclipsing variables'. For two days and
Lockyer also tried to demonstrate that the temple of the Sun god, Amun-Re of Karnak, had various solar alignments The temple complex at Abu Simbel, built by Ramses II, and carved from the solid rock, is substantially north of Meroe but still far south of Karnak. It was built to celebrate the king's Sed festival, in his 34th year. The festival included a ritual race by the king and was supposed to be celebrated only after 30 years of rule. It is disputed whether the Sed festival was normally celebrated on the anniversary of the king's accession or on the first day of the season of Emergence (1 Tybi), and whether associated dates refer to the celebration of the festival or to the proclamation of the festival. The first of Tybi is mentioned in years 42 and 45 of Rameses II's reign in connection with the 5th and 6th Sed festivals. However, the 10th and 11th Sed festivals in years 57 and 60 seem to refer to 17 Tybi in a comparable context. There is an extended discussion by Parker (1950,...
Then our robotic explorers unmasked it for the hell it actually is an extremely hot world of rolling plains, resurfaced by volcanic activity, crushed under a very heavy carbon dioxide atmosphere with a surface pressure 90 times that on Earth. That is as much pressure as a deep ocean submarine is exposed to at about 900 meters (3,000 feet) depth on our Earlier spacecraft had barely reached beyond the Moon, so staying in radio contact with a probe at the distance of Venus was no small feat. Pioneer 5 demonstrated that it could be done, and also sent us valuable information about the Sun's magnetic field and the solar wind.
The determination of the distances to quasars represents a good example of the devil's-advocate method of lending support to a theory by discrediting all its plausible refutations. The quasars, even after attack by the devil's-advocate scientific method of inquiry, appear to be distant and energetic cosmic phenomena.
In classical times, Algol represented the head of the Gorgon, which Perseus slew just before his rescue of Andromeda. The name Algol is, in fact, derived from the Arabic Al Ra's al Ghul, the 'demon's head.' It is speculated, however, that the star's odd variability - which went so against the deep-rooted belief that the heavens were immutable - may have been what inspired ancient astrologers to consider it the most unfortunate star (a desastre) in the heavens.
The mythology of the Sumerians viewed the cosmos as being ruled by three primordial gods An, the god of the remote heavens En-Lil, the god of the sky and wind and En-Ki, the god of the waters around and below the Earth (including the underworld). Earth itself was created from a primordial unity when En-Lil intervened to separate the heavens from the area below. The Sumerians worshipped these and lesser gods, and each city-state had its favorites. powers, which is summarized in the Enuma Elish, a mythology text dating from the late 2nd Millennium bc. Now the gods are created out of a watery chaos, the sweet sea being the primeval male Apsu, and the salty sea being the primeval female Tiamat. From them are descended the sky Anu and the Earth Ea, and Ea becomes the father of Marduk. When Apsu and Tiamet threaten to destroy all of their offspring, Ea succeeds in killing Apsu (taking over the sweet water domains for himself). Marduk subsequently kills the powerful Tiamat only after the...
During one of their fights with thieves Castor, who was mortal, was killed. Pollux, who was immortal, was grief stricken and begged Zeus to allow him to be with Castor every other day in the underworld. Zeus was so touched by this request and by Pollux's feeling of true friendship that he not only approved of the request, but placed them in the heavens together so that the Earth people would always be reminded of the pre-ciousness of true friendship.
Now, a few million years sounds like a long time to you and me. Hell, I get bored driving from Tucson to Phoenix. But it's just a fraction of a percent of the 10-billion-year age of our galaxy. Thus, Hart argued, the absence of evidence is evidence of absence. Radio SETI was doomed to failure and maybe not worth the investment. Fermi's Paradox, reinvigo-rated, came to be called, by some, the Fermi-Hart paradox.
''Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful '' enthused Collins. ''Write it down just for the hell of it 170 by 60, like gangbusters.'' ''Hello, Moon,'' Collins greeted. ''How's the old back side '' ''Now,'' said Armstrong, ''the flight plan says we roll 180 degrees and pitch down 70 degrees.''
A number of events in addition to the Battle of Hastings have been associated with the appearance of Halley's comet. In 1456, when the Turks were extending their power into southeastern Europe, Halley's comet suddenly appeared in the skies. Convinced that the comet was a warning of impending doom, Pope Callixtus III (1455-58) called the faithful to take part in several days of prayer for the averting of the wrath of God, that whatever calamity impended might be turned from the Christians and against the Turks. To emphasize his concerns, the pope then excommunicated the comet, calling it an instrument of the devil. Unfortunately for his flock, the pope's actions were unsuccessful the Turks solidified their hold on Constantinople, remaining in power there for four more centuries. The first attempt to determine the orbit of a comet was made by the English astronomer Sir Edmund Halley (1656-1742), a close friend of Sir Isaac Newton. In 1687 Newton published his Principia, one of the most...
It was, furthermore, a frustration that NASA could ill afford. The planned six-day flight, designated 'STS-51L', would feature the first private citizen to fly aboard the Shuttle - a social studies high school teacher from Concord in New Hampshire, named Christa McAuliffe. Picked from over 11,000 applicants for the Teacher-In-Space initiative, she would teach two lessons from space, providing a much-needed public relations boon for the agency as it sought to demonstrate that its reusable fleet of orbiters were truly the spacegoing equivalents of commercial airliners. Indeed, years later, McAuliffe's mother, Grace Corrigan, would insist that the general atmosphere in the weeks leading up to Challenger's fateful launch was that the Shuttle was As the Sun rose, temperatures climbed slightly to a few degrees above zero Celsius, producing the coldest conditions under which a Shuttle launch had ever been attempted, a fact that would be investigated in depth during the subsequent...
The apex is a complex construction running in a transverse direction relative to the doorways, with projecting sticks. There are 90 sticks on the largest temple at Takina, dedicated to rituals concerning the conjunction of the Sun and the Moon. There are 44 sticks on the next largest, which possibly represent 11 2 synodic lunar months (29V2 + 143 4 44 ).
This was the time when Ishtar, the Chaldean goddess of earth and fertility, went through the seven gates of the underworld to find her husband Tammuz, who had been slain by a wild boar and taken to the underworld. As soon as Ishtar entered the first gate to the underworld, the Earth darkened. When she reached the underworld the Queen of Hell refused to give up Tammuz. When the gods over Earth sent a message to the Queen of the underworld to release Tammuz or be destroyed, Ishtar and Tammuz were sprinkled with magic water, set free and ascended through the seven gates of Hell to Earth. As they reentered Earth spring began, flowers bloomed and the sun warmed the land.
The Metamict State The Devil Teaches Thermodynamics (p. 3) the almost certain truth that nobody (authors included) understands thermodynamics completely. The writing of a book therefore becomes a kind of catharsis in which the author exorcises his own demon of incomprehension and prevents it from occupying the soul of another.
This constellation is also sometimes known as Serpentarius. It commemorates sculapius, son of Apollo and Coronis, who became so skilled in medicine that he was even able to restore the dead to life. To avoid depopulation of the Underworld, Jupiter reluctantly disposed of sculapius with a thunderbolt, but relented sufficiently to place him in the sky. Ophiuchus is a very large constellation, with 13 stars above the fourth magnitude.
The robotic space explorers we sent to investigate put an end to these romantic visions. Instead of lush jungles with bathing dinosaurs on Venus, they found an overheated and overpressured hell that would be more inspiring to Dante than to famous science fiction writer Edgar Rice Burroughs. Instead of wise aliens living in glass dome cities on Mars, we found a desert planet full of rusty rocks harassed by dry dust storms.
The outer ring, divided radially into compartments where different families live, represents the land. The roof is seen as a reflection of the celestial dome it is supported by upright posts known as pillars of the stars, and the horizontal crossbeam supporting it, always placed in a north-south orientation, has the name of the Milky Way. The center post reaches down into the underworld and up, beyond the roof, to the heavens. Placed centrally within the roof space, about three meters (ten feet) above the floor, is a set of tie beams forming a rectangular structure. This has a practical purpose in helping to support the crossbeam and providing a frame from which the men sleeping in the central space can hang their hammocks. However, its precise rectangular shape also has a cosmological significance the directions of the four corners from the center pole are the directions of sunrise and sunset at the solstices and, together with the pole itself, represent the four corners and center...
An eclipsing binary is situated so that one star passes in front of its companion, cutting off light from our view at regular intervals. An eclipsing binary regularly changes in brightness. You can see the famous eclipsing binary Algol, the Demon, in Perseus. Algol winks from brightest magnitude 2.2 to least bright magnitude 3.5 in about 2 days and 21 hours.
Bart Slattery, a NASA information officer, told reporters that when the rocket passed maximum Q (point of greatest aerodynamic pressure) at about 60 seconds into the flight, all hell broke loose in the blockhouse. Kurt Debus's face reflected the happy sense of accomplishment hours later when he informed the press that it had been a nearly perfect launch.43
Saxons, and it is shown on the Bayeux Tapestry, with King Harold toppling on his throne and the courtiers looking on aghast. In 1301 it was seen by the Florentine artist Giotto di Bondone, who used it as a model for the Star of Bethlehem in his picture The Adoration of the Magi - even though Halley's Comet was certainly not the Star of Bethlehem it returned in 12 bc, years before the birth of Christ. At the return of 1456 the comet was condemned by Pope Calixtus III as an agent of the Devil. It was prominent in 1835 and in 1910, but unfortunately not in 1986, when it was badly placed and never came within 39 million kilometres (24 million miles) of the Earth, and though it became an easy naked-eye object it was by no means spectacular. The next return, that of 2061, will be no better. We must wait until 2137, when it will again be a magnificent sight.
Before I actually tell you the Drake Equation, I'll give you an analogy the date equation. Say you are a single person going to a large dance party, and you would like to come away with a date for the following weekend. Arriving in front of the house, you can hear the music pumping and feel the bass rattling your gut. You are excited, but nervous as hell, so you decide to calm yourself with some math. Before going inside, you try to calculate your chances of getting lucky. You
It had already been the fate of another early thinker to be accused of doing deals with the Devil. This man was only saved from imprisonment or worse by the fact that he was actually the pope. Nevertheless, he was viewed with deep suspicion by his contemporaries. Gerbert of Aurillac, a Frenchman, lived during the second half of the tenth century, acceding to the Papacy as Sylvester II in the year 999. His enthusiasm for technology such as it then was and, in particular, his introduction of the abacus to Europe, has led some modern writers to dub him 'the first millennium's Bill Gates'. Certainly, he had the stamp of a polymath, his eclectic interests ranging from music to mathematics, and from anatomy to astronomy.
Usually Algol shines as a star of magnitude 2.1, only a little inferior to Polaris. It remains constant (or virtually so) for a period of 22 days, but then it starts to fade, until after about five hours it has dropped to magnitude 3.3. After a relatively brief minimum, it starts to brighten once more, taking a further five hours to regain its lost lustre. Textbooks usually say that its variations were discovered by Montanari in 1667, but the old Arab astronomers called Algol The Winking Demon , which is interesting if they were unaware of its odd behaviour - as they seem to have been.
The earliest known story about travelling to the Moon was written by Lucian of Samosata, in about ad 160. His first story, called True History or True Story describes Lucian and a band of sailors who sail off through the Pillars of Hercules, now known as the Straits of Gibraltar, and are blown off course by a storm. They land on an island and replenish their supplies from the rivers flowing with wine and swimming with fish. Soon after leaving the island, they are lifted up by a huge waterspout into space and are eventually deposited on the Moon, where they meet the King. It transpires that the King wants to set up a colony on Lucifer, known to us as the planet Venus, but the King of the Sun will not let him. Lucian and his sailors then join in a full-scale war and fight with such strange creatures as horse-vultures, salad-wings, millet-throwers, garlic-men and flea-archers, who rode giant fleas. He includes creatures that come from other celestial places, such as the dog-acorns who...
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