Category Archives: NASA

Creation: Crab Nebula

He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name.
Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.
-Psalm 147:4-5

Crab NebulaCrab Nebula (Hubble Space Telescope photograph, 2005)

A supernova is a massive star exploding at the end of its life. The explosion creates spectacular glowing debris fields called supernova remnants.

The Crab Nebula is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellation of Taurus, part of the Perseus Arm of the  Milky Way galaxy. Located at a distance of about 6,500 light-years from Earth, the nebula has a diameter of 11 light years and expands at a rate of about 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) per second.

First recorded by Chinese astronomers in 1054, the Crab Nebula was observed later by English astronomer John Bevis in 1731 and is the first astronomical object identified with a historical supernova explosion.

At the center of the nebula lies the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star 17-19 miles across with a spin rate of 30.2 times per second, which emits pulses of radiation from gamma rays to radio waves.

Crab Nebula supernova remnants

Crab Nebula supernova remnants

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, NASA released four new images of the Crab Nebula supernova remnants. These supernova remnants are very hot and energetic and glow brightly in X-ray light, which allows Chandra to capture them in exquisite detail.

Chandra, one of NASA’s current “Great Observatories,” along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope, is specially designed to detect X-ray emission from hot and energetic regions of the universe.

On July 23, 1999, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia — the largest satellite ever launched by the shutter. Since its deployment 15 years ago, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivaled X-ray vision. Orbiting far above Earth’s X-ray absorbing atmosphere at an altitude up to 139,000 km (86,500 mi) allows for Chandra’s long observations unobscured by Earth’s shadow.

With its superb sensitivity and resolution, Chandra has observed objects ranging from the closest planets and comets to the most distant known quasars. It has imaged the remains of exploded stars, or supernova remnants, observed the region around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, and discovered black holes across the universe. Chandra also has made a major advance in the study of dark matter by tracing the separation of dark matter from normal matter in collisions between galaxy clusters. It also is contributing to research on the nature of dark energy.

Source: NASA.gov

For Chandra images, multimedia and related materials, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/chandra

H/t FOTM’s Igor

~Eowyn

Global Warming Scandal!! One Big Lie. Here Is The Proof.

 OK Folks according to this article NOAA’s US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) has been “adjusting” its record by replacing real temperatures with data “fabricated” by computer models.  This should prove once and for all that Global warming is a Hoax. I say should because somehow I have this bad feeling even a pesky thing like this fact might not make a difference in the rabbit hole we live in these days. 

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The scandal of fiddled global warming data

The US has actually been cooling since the Thirties, the hottest decade on record

4:04PM BST 21 Jun 2014

When future generations try to understand how the world got carried away around the end of the 20th century by the panic over global warming, few things will amaze them more than the part played in stoking up the scare by the fiddling of official temperature data. There was already much evidence of this seven years ago, when I was writing my history of the scare, The Real Global Warming Disaster. But now another damning example has been uncovered by Steven Goddard’s US blog Real Science, showing how shamelessly manipulated has been one of the world’s most influential climate records, the graph of US surface temperature records published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Goddard shows how, in recent years, NOAA’s US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) has been “adjusting” its record by replacing real temperatures with data “fabricated” by computer models. The effect of this has been to downgrade earlier temperatures and to exaggerate those from recent decades, to give the impression that the Earth has been warming up much more than is justified by the actual data. In several posts headed “Data tampering at USHCN/GISS”, Goddard compares the currently published temperature graphs with those based only on temperatures measured at the time. These show that the US has actually been cooling since the Thirties, the hottest decade on record; whereas the latest graph, nearly half of it based on “fabricated” data, shows it to have been warming at a rate equivalent to more than 3 degrees centigrade per century.

When I first began examining the global-warming scare, I found nothing more puzzling than the way officially approved scientists kept on being shown to have finagled their data, as in that ludicrous “hockey stick” graph, pretending to prove that the world had suddenly become much hotter than at any time in 1,000 years. Any theory needing to rely so consistently on fudging the evidence, I concluded, must be looked on not as science at all, but as simply a rather alarming case study in the aberrations of group psychology.

~Steve~

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/10916086/The-scandal-of-fiddled-global-warming-data.html

What’s that light on Mars?

On April 2 and April 3, 2014, photos taken by a NASA camera on the Curiosity rover on Mars caused quite a stir among UFO enthusiasts.

The photos show what appears to be a bright light on the horizon.

Here are some pics of the mysterious light on Mars (I’ve circled the light in yellow):

light on Marslight on Mars1light on Mars2light on Mars3

Carol Christian reports for Chron that the photos became news when ufologist Scott C. Waring posted one on the website UFO Sightings Daily on April 6.

Waring noted that the light shines upward, as if from the ground, and is very flat across the bottom: “This could indicate there there is intelligent life below the ground and uses light as we do. This is not a glare from the sun, nor is it an artifact of the photo process.”

NASA imaging scientist Justin Maki points out that the bright spot appears in single images taken by the stereo camera’s “right eye” camera, but the spot doesn’t show up in images taken less than a second later by the left-eye camera. In the two right-eye images, the spot is in different locations of the image frame, and, in both cases, at the ground surface level in front of a crater rim on the horizon.

NASA has given three explanations for the light:

1. Maki said in a statement: “One possibility is that the light is the glint from a rock surface reflecting the sun. When these images were taken each day, the sun was in the same direction as the bright spot, west-northwest from the rover, and relatively low in the sky.”

2. Another possibility is that the bright spots are sunlight reaching the camera’s image sensor through a vent hole in the camera housing, which has happened before with Curiosity and other Mars rovers.

3. Yet another possibility is that it’s a cosmic ray striking the camera’s detector (whatever that means).

~Eowyn

Russia plans to colonize the Moon

Dr. Eowyn:

. . . whereas under Obama, not only is America NOT returning to the Moon, NASA’s “foremost” mission is to improve relations with the Muslim world.

The enemy of the United States is sitting in the Oval Office of the White House.

Originally posted on Consortium of Defense Analysts:

This is what’s happened to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) under Barack Obama’s presidency:

  • Cancellation of NASA’s Constellation program to build new rockets and spaceships capable of returning astronauts to the Moon.
  • Since February 2006 NASA’s mission statement is to “pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research. In July 2010, however, NASA administrator Charles Bolden declared that his “foremost” mission as the head of America’s space exploration agency is to improve relations with the Muslim world.
  • In 2011, NASA ended its space shuttle program.
  • In April 2013, Bolden told a joint meeting of the Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board in Washington that “NASA is not going to the Moon with a human as a primary project probably in my lifetime.”

Charles Bolden

But Russia not only will return to the Moon, they plan to colonize it. Will Stewart reports for

View original 429 more words

Creation: So who created God?

Ring galaxyThe Ring Galaxy, with a span of 100,000 light years, is 600 million light years away from Earth. Visible in the gap (at about one o’clock) is yet another ring galaxy that likely lies even farther in the distance. [NASA]

Dr. Hugh Ross is a Christian physicist and astronomer who writes books and a terrific blog, Reasons to Believe, showing how science and Christianity can be very compatible. More than that, Dr. Ross uses science to demonstrate the truths of our Christian faith.

In his Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) famously reasoned for the existence of God by pointing to “the chains of effecting causes that exist in the world. Things here are produced by their causes; these causes in turn were produced by their causes, and so on. Ultimately, there must be a first cause….”

In his post of April 7, 2014, Dr. Ross answers a very good question from a non-believer on who/what created that first cause. Here’s the question:

Hello,

Let me start by saying I’m not actually a believer at this moment. When listening to the lectures, I hear a lot of talk about the complexity of things being a big proponent for creation or design because somebody created it. But at some point in the paradigm you’re at least admitting that, somewhere, something just existed that was at least as complex as, or more complex than, us….If we couldn’t have just existed, how could you say God just existed without something creating him. I’d like to hear your answer on that.

— Submitted by an attendee of an RTB event in San Antonio, TX

Dr. Ross gave a brilliant answer, pointing out that cause-and-effect can only happen in our Universe of space and time.

For if we say that X caused Y, X must have happened some time before Y.

But the Creator of the Universe cannot Himself be contained in that Universe. That means the Creator is outside our Universe of space and time, which in turn means that the Creator, the First Cause, is outside of time and, therefore, has no cause.

As St. Thomas Aquinas put it:

Where there is motion, there is a mover, and ultimately a first mover, itself unmoved. This is God.Ultimately, there must be a first cause which is itself uncaused. This is God.

Here is Dr. Ross’s answer:

Dear not-yet-a-believer,

Your question is one of the most important any human being could ask—and one that most Christians are ill prepared to answer.

As I understand your query, if explaining the natural realm’s ability to support life, especially human life, requires extreme levels of complexity and design, then would not the cause of all this complexity and design need a cause that is even greater than Him? As Richard Dawkins puts it, the problem with Christianity is accounting for who “designed the Designer?”1

The question of who created God was the heart of my debate with Lewis Wolpert at Imperial College in London. (You can listen to the debate here). In a nutshell, I explained that, today, physicists across the philosophical spectrum acknowledge that the space-time theorems are unassailable. If the universe contains mass and if general relativity reliably describes the movements of bodies in the universe, the theorems are valid. Those theorems establish that space and time had a beginning at the origin of the universe. They imply that the causal agent of the universe is not subject to space and time—thus, that agent can create space-time dimensions at will.

Of course, any entity—such as the universe and everything subject to the laws and dimensions of the universe—that is constrained to a single dimension of time, where time cannot be stopped or reversed, must have a beginning. Ultimately, such entities must be traceable back to a creation event. However, an entity not constrained by time need not have been created.

The Bible declares in multiple passages that God created time (e.g., John 1:3; Colossians 1:16–17). Psalm 90 adds that God can arbitrarily compress or expand time as we know it. In my book Beyond the Cosmos (3rd edition), I include diagrams illustrating that this compression and expansion of time is only possible for beings with access to the equivalent of at least two dimensions of time. Scripture also declares that God has no beginning, no ending, and is not created (e.g., Psalm 90:2; Hebrews 7:3). These declarations could be true only of a Being who created time, rather than one who is subject to time.

Philosophers responding to Dawkins have pointed out that he made a category error. God is in a different category than the universe or humans in that He is not subject to the physical laws of the universe or to its space-time dimensionality.

For a more thorough answer to this question, I suggest reading Beyond the Cosmos. The book includes a description of scientific evidence for the existence of nine dimensions of space and for a Being who brought into existence ten space-time dimensions.

~Eowyn

Vatican co-hosts science conference on search for alien life

galaxies1Artist rendering of the different types of planets in our Milky Way galaxy detected by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft. A new analysis of Kepler data found there are at least 17 billion planets the size of Earth. (AP Photo/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Bigots persist in portraying the Catholic Church as hostile to science.

None other than the Vatican Observatory is co-hosting a science conference on the search for life beyond Earth, at the University of Arizona this week.

The Vatican Observatory (Specola Vaticana) is an astronomical research and educational institution supported by the Holy See. Originally based in the Roman College of Rome, its headquarters are now in Castel Gandolfo, Italy. Vatican Observatory also has an observatory at the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO) in southeast Arizona’s Pinaleno Mountains. MGIO is a division of Steward Observatory, the research arm for the Department of Astronomy at The University of Arizona.

Megan Gannon reports for Fox News, March 17, 2014, that the Vatican Observatory is co-hosting, with the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory, a science conference called “The Search for Life Beyond the Solar System: Exoplanets, Biosignature & Instruments.”

Nearly 200 scientists are attending the conference, which runs from March 16 through 21 at the University of Arizona in Tucson. 

“Finding life beyond Earth is one of the great challenges of modern science and we are excited to have the world leaders in this field together in Tucson,” said event co-chair Daniel Apai, assistant professor of astronomy and planetary sciences at the UA Steward Observatory, in a statement. “But reaching such an ambitious goal takes planning and time. The goal of this meeting is to discuss how we can find life among the stars within the next two decades.”

Rev. Paul Gabor of the Vatican Observatory, the conference’s other co-chair, added that scientists will give more than 160 research presentations during this week’s conference.

According to the organizers, the conference will cover the technical challenges of finding and imaging exoplanets and identifying biosignatures in the atmospheres of far-flung worlds. Other presentations will discuss the study of life forms that live in extreme environments on Earth, which could be apt analogs for life on other planets.

The conference is not open to the public, but NASA’s Astrobiology Institute is broadcasting a live feed of the sessions. You can learn more about the conference via its website: http://www.ebi2014.org/

~Eowyn

Creation: Dazzling distant galaxies

An artistic sampling of some far-away worlds (source: Yahoo)

galaxies1

Above is an artist rendering of  the different types of planets in our Milky Way galaxy detected by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft. A new analysis of Kepler data found there are at least 17 billion planets the size of Earth. (AP Photo/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

galaxies2

Artist’s impression of five possible planets orbiting the star Tau Ceti, which is just 11.9 light-years from Earth.

galaxies3

This very wide-field view of the Milky Way shows the extent of the 84-million-star VISTA infrared image of the center of the galaxy (delineated by red rectangle).

galaxies4

This photo from the new Dark Energy Camera, taken in September 2012, shows the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365, in the Fornax cluster of galaxies, which lies about 60 million light years from Earth.

galaxies5

An artist’s illustration of the alien solar system Kepler-47, a twin star system that is home to two planets. The planets have two suns like the fictional planet Tatooine in the “Star Wars” universe.

~Eowyn