Showing posts with label Space. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Space. Show all posts

Sunday 7 May 2023

Physicists Broke The Speed of Light With Pulses Inside Hot Plasma

The speed of light has been considered as the ultimate speed limit for a long time. However, in recent years, physicists have made some groundbreaking discoveries that challenge this notion. One such breakthrough involves the use of pulses inside hot plasma to break the speed of light. This article will explore this fascinating discovery and its potential implications for the field of physics.


The speed of light, which is approximately 299,792,458 meters per second, has been considered as the ultimate speed limit in the universe. This limit is based on Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, which states that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. However, recent experiments have shown that it may be possible to exceed this speed limit using a technique known as pulse shaping.

What is Pulse Shaping?

Pulse shaping is a technique used in optics and laser physics to manipulate the shape of light pulses. This technique involves altering the amplitude, phase, and frequency of a light pulse to achieve a desired shape. Pulse shaping is used in a variety of applications, including ultrafast spectroscopy, optical communication, and laser material processing.

The Experiment

Physicists at the Imperial College London, led by Dr. Stuart Mangles, conducted an experiment to investigate the possibility of breaking the speed of light using pulse shaping. The team used a high-power laser to create a plasma by heating a gas. They then used pulse shaping to create a pair of laser pulses that traveled through the plasma.

The first pulse was designed to create a channel through the plasma, while the second pulse was designed to follow this channel. The team observed that the second pulse arrived at its destination faster than the speed of light in a vacuum.

The Results

The results of the experiment were surprising. The team observed that the second pulse arrived at its destination 30 femtoseconds faster than the speed of light in a vacuum. This may seem like a tiny amount of time, but it is significant in the world of physics. This discovery challenges the notion that the speed of light is an absolute speed limit.

The Implications

The implications of this discovery are vast. If it is possible to break the speed of light using pulse shaping, it could revolutionize the field of physics. It could lead to the development of faster-than-light communication, which could have a significant impact on the world of telecommunications. It could also lead to new discoveries in the field of astrophysics, as it could allow us to study the universe in more detail.


In conclusion, the discovery that it may be possible to break the speed of light using pulse shaping is a significant breakthrough in the field of physics. It challenges the notion that the speed of light is an absolute speed limit and opens up new possibilities for the future. It will be interesting to see what further discoveries will be made in this exciting field of research.

What is the speed of light? The speed of light is approximately 299,792,458 meters per second.
What is pulse shaping? Pulse shaping is a technique used in optics and laser physics to manipulate the shape of light pulses.
What is the experiment conducted by the physicists at the Imperial College London? The physicists at the Imperial College London conducted an experiment to investigate the possibility of breaking the speed of light using pulse shaping.
What are the implications of this discovery? The implications of this discovery are vast. It could lead to the development of faster-than-light communication and new discoveries in the field of astrophysics. 

Saturday 18 March 2023


Space Goth Grand Slam

In an effort to understand the origin of our galaxies, astronomers have spotted an insane, galactic showdown for the ages: four giant black holes in dwarf galaxies destined to collide, though not all in the same place. But boy, did they score a grand slam of astronomy firsts.

Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the astronomers kept a close eye on two separate pairs of merging dwarf galaxies. One is in a cluster 760 million light-years away, the other, over 3.2 billion. Unfortunately, us humans are relegated to the nosebleeds for this one.

Still, we don't need to be close up to understand the significance of the findings, which were published as a study in The Astrophysical Journals. According to the researchers, it's the first evidence of large black holes in merging dwarf galaxies at all.

"Astronomers have found many examples of black holes on collision courses in large galaxies that are relatively close by," explained Marko Mićić, lead author of the study and an astrophysicists from the University of Alabama, in a press release."But searches for them in dwarf galaxies are much more challenging and until now had failed," he added.

Dwarfing Achievements

It's the dwarf galaxy angle that really makes this discovery significant. While they may not be as stunning in scope, dwarf galaxies are indispensable to understanding the evolution of galaxies as a whole.

The theories vary, but cosmologists generally believe that the initial dwarf galaxies, which formed hundreds of millions of years after the Big Bang, merged over time to form the large ones like our own that we're so familiar with.

"Most of the dwarf galaxies and black holes in the early universe are likely to have grown much larger by now, thanks to repeated mergers," said co-author Brenna Wells, an undergraduate researcher at UA, in the release.

"In some ways, dwarf galaxies are our galactic ancestors, which have evolved over billions of years to produce large galaxies like our own Milky Way."

All that goes to show why it's so frustrating that dwarf galaxies prove difficult to detect due to their lack of luminosity, and the fact they need to be observed at colossal distances.

Now that they've discovered not one, but four unique examples of them, the astronomers can return for followup observations — perhaps one of the best opportunities yet to understand the primeval galaxies of our universe.

Wednesday 19 February 2020


SpaceX announced a partnership this week with space tourism Space Adventures to start launching passengers to orbit aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft starting as early as 2021, TechCrunch reports.

SpaceX says it will send four privately-paying space tourists to orbit the Earth for five days in its Crew Dragon capsule between “late-2021 and mid-2022,” according to CNBC.

“This historic mission will forge a path to making spaceflight possible for all people who dream of it, and we are pleased to work with the Space Adventures’ team on the mission,” SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement.

Space Adventures already sells seats on Russian Soyuz rockets.

SpaceX’s passenger-carrying Crew Dragon capsule, developed as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, has so far completed a successful test trip and docking maneur  to the International Space Station last year, but has yet to make the journey with any passengers on board.

Earlier this year, SpaceX tested its space taxi’s emergency abort system in dramatic fashion, intentionally blowing up a Falcon 9 rocket in the process.

READ MORE: SpaceX and new partner announce space tourism launches on Dragon starting as early as 2021 [TechCrunch]

Saturday 21 September 2019

The entire Galaxies are dying, Astrophysicists warn the scientific society!

Stripped of their ability to produce new stars, the unfortunate galaxies are stuck in time, slowly vanishing as their existing stars fade away or die in violent supernovas.

Now a team is investigating the nearby Virgo Cluster to figure out what’s going on in hopes that similar phenomena are happening there, project leader and McMaster University astrophysicist Toby Brown writes in The Conversation. Brown suggests that galaxies are being killed as they interact with the extreme conditions of tightly-packed galaxy clusters — but he’s not sure why.

Narrowing Down

To clarify, when Brown writes that “in the most extreme regions of the universe, galaxies are being killed,” he doesn’t mean that they’re suddenly vanishing. Rather, the formation of new stars within them is being shut down by yet-undetermined factors.

So far, Brown’s team has arrived at two possibilities, and Brown hopes that using advanced telescopes to probe the still-forming Virgo Cluster will tilt the scales one way or another.

Cosmic Starvation

The first possibility is called ram pressure stripping, a process through which all of the gas that a galaxy would use to form stars is vacuumed away by nearby intergalactic plasma. The other is that the environment inside a galactic cluster simply becomes too hot for cosmic gases to cool and condense into stars, rendering it useless as fuel.

“When you remove the fuel for star formation, you effectively kill the galaxy,” Brown writes, “turning it into a dead object in which no new stars are formed.”

READ MORE: Something is killing galaxies, and scientists are on the case [The Conversation]

Thursday 30 May 2019

String Theory assumes we live in a Universe with at least 10 dimensions!

The first dimension  is length, a good description of a one-dimensional object is a straight line.

Second dimension, the y-axis (or height), and you get an object that becomes a 2-dimensional shape (like a square).

The third dimension involves depth (the z-axis), and gives all objects a sense of area and a cross-section. The perfect example of this is a cube.

Fourth dimension, Scientists believe that the fourth dimension is time, which governs the properties of all known matter at any given point.

Fifth dimension, we would see a world slightly different from our own that would give us a means of measuring the similarity and differences between our world and other possible ones.

In the sixth, we would see a plane of possible worlds, where we could compare and position all the possible universes that start with the same initial conditions as this one (i.e. the Big Bang). 

In the seventh dimension, you have access to the possible worlds that start with different initial conditions. Whereas in the fifth and sixth, the initial conditions were the same and subsequent actions were different, here, everything is different from the very beginning of time. 

The eighth dimension again gives us a plane of such possible universe histories, each of which begins with different initial conditions and branches out infinitely (hence why they are called infinities).

In the ninth dimension, we can compare all the possible universe histories, starting with all the different possible laws of physics and initial conditions. 

In the tenth and final dimension, we arrive at the point in which everything possible and imaginable is covered. Beyond this, nothing can be imagined by us lowly mortals, which makes it the natural limitation of what we can conceive in terms of dimensions.

Tuesday 9 April 2019

The “Space Nation” Warns That an Asteroid Could Wipe out Humanity

The leader of Asgardia, which styles itself as humanity’s first “space nation,” has a warning for world leaders: a life-threatening asteroid impact is “inevitable” unless we do something to stop it.

“In the last 100 years, the Earth has been hit at least three times by space objects, each with an explosive power many times greater than the Hiroshima atomic bomb,” Igor Ashurbeyli said in a press release. “Future life-threatening impacts are inevitable unless defences [defenses] are built.”

“World leaders must intensify efforts to detect and track [near-earth objects] and create ways to deflect them from a strike on earth,” he added.

Let’s be real: It’d be easy to dismiss anything that comes from Asgardia as a joke. The nation is little more than an idealistic concept at this point — it doesn’t have anywhere for its citizens to live, and its name sounds kinda silly.

However, Ashurbeyli isn’t the first person to express concerns that an asteroid could wipe out humanity — scientists and other experts have been sounding the warningfor years.

He also isn’t the only one who thinks world leaders aren’t doing enough to protect the planet from the threat — retired NASA astronaut Russell “Rusty” Schweickart recently asserted that the United States should be doing a lot more to detect potential asteroid strikes.

Thankfully, space agencies aren’t completely ignoring the threat of Earth-bound asteroids.

NASA is currently developing a probe to smash into incoming asteroids to redirect them away from the Earth, with plans to launch in 2020 or 2021. The European Space Agency, meanwhile, is developing a “self-driving” spacecraft to work in conjunction with NASA’s probe.

Whether these projects will be ready in time to prevent an asteroid from smashing into the Earth and causing humanity to go the way of the dinosaur, however, is currently impossible to predict.

READ MORE: Scientists With Asgardia Are Demanding Swift Action To Stop Threat Of Apocalyptic Asteroid Strike On Earth [Inquisitr]

Monday 18 March 2019

പ്രപഞ്ചത്തില്‍ രൂപപ്പെട്ട ആദ്യ തന്മാത്രയെ കണ്ടെത്തി.

ബിഗ്ബാങിനു ശേഷമാണ് നാം ഇന്നു കാണുന്ന പ്രപഞ്ചം ഉണ്ടായതെന്നാണ് ഇതുവരെയുള്ള തെളിവുകള്‍ സംസാരിക്കുന്നത്. 1350കോടി വര്‍ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്കു മുന്‍പ് ബിഗ്ബാങ് സംഭവിച്ചപ്പോള്‍ ഹൈഡ്രജനും പിന്നെ ഹീലിയവും മാത്രമായിരുന്നു പ്രപഞ്ചം നിറയെ. ഇതിനെത്തുടര്‍ന്ന് ഹെഡ്രജനും ഹീലിയവും കൂടിച്ചേര്‍ന്ന് പ്രപഞ്ചത്തിലെ ആദ്യ തന്മാത്രയായ ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡ് രൂപപ്പെട്ടു എന്നാണ് കരുതുന്നത്. ഹീലിയം ഹെഡ്രൈഡും ഹൈഡ്രജനും ചേര്‍ന്നാണത്രേ ഹൈഡ്രജന്‍ തന്മാത്രപോലും രൂപപ്പെട്ടത്.

സംഗതി ഇങ്ങനെയാണെങ്കിലും ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡ് എന്ന ആദ്യ തന്മാത്രയെ പ്രപഞ്ചത്തില്‍ ഒരിടത്തും കണ്ടെത്താന്‍ ശാസ്ത്രജ്ഞര്‍ക്ക് ഇതുവരെ കഴിഞ്ഞിരുന്നില്ല. പ്രപഞ്ചത്തില്‍ നിരവധി ഇടങ്ങളില്‍ ടെലിസ്കോപ്പുകളും സ്പെക്ട്രോമീറ്ററുകളും കൊണ്ട് നമുക്ക് കഴിയുന്നപോലെ പരതിയെങ്കിലും ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡിന്റെ പൊടിപോലും കണ്ടെത്താനായില്ല.

സിഗ്നസ് എന്ന നക്ഷത്രരാശിയില്‍ 3000 പ്രകാശവര്‍ഷങ്ങള്‍ അകലെ ഒരു പ്ലാനറ്ററി നെബുലയുണ്ട്. NGC 7027 എന്നാണ് ഇതിനെ വിളിക്കുന്നത്. (സൂര്യനെപ്പോലെയുള്ള നക്ഷത്രങ്ങളുടെ അവസാനകാലത്ത് അതിന്റെ പുറംപാളികള്‍ അകലേക്ക് തെറിച്ചുപോയി ഉണ്ടാകുന്ന വാതകക്കൂട്ടമാണ് പ്ലാനറ്ററി നെബുലകള്‍. )
ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡ് ഉണ്ടാകാന്‍ എല്ലാ അനുകൂല സാഹചര്യവും ഉള്ള നെബുലയാണ് NGC7027 എന്ന് നേരത്തേ തന്നെ കണ്ടെത്തിയിരുന്നു. എന്നാല്‍ ഇത് ഉറപ്പിക്കാനാവശ്യമായ നിരീക്ഷണങ്ങള്‍ നടത്താന്‍ അനുയോജ്യമായ ഉപകരണങ്ങള്‍ നമുക്ക് ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നില്ല. ഭൂമിയില്‍ സ്ഥാപിച്ച ടെലിസ്കോപ്പുകള്‍ക്ക് അന്തരീക്ഷം ഒരു പ്രശ്നമായിരുന്നു. ബഹിരാകാശത്തെ ടെലിസ്കോപ്പുകള്‍ക്കാവട്ടെ ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡിനെ തിരിച്ചറിയാനുള്ള സംവിധാനവും ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നില്ല.

അവിടെയാണ് സോഫിയ എന്ന പറക്കുംടെലിസ്കോപ്പ് രക്ഷയ്ക്കെത്തിയത്.  NGC7027  നെബുലയില്‍ സോഫിയ ടെലിസ്കോപ്പ് ഉപയോഗിച്ചു നടത്തിയ നിരീക്ഷണങ്ങള്‍ ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രേക്സൈഡ് തന്മാത്രയുടെ സാന്നിദ്ധ്യം ആദ്യമായി കണ്ടെത്തിയിരിക്കുകയാണ്. ബിഗ്ബാങിന് ഒരു ലക്ഷം വര്‍ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്കുശേഷം പ്രപഞ്ചത്തില്‍ ആദ്യമായി ഉണ്ടായി എന്നു കരുതപ്പെടുന്ന അതേ തന്മാത്ര കോടിക്കണക്കിനു വര്‍ഷങ്ങള്‍ക്കിപ്പുറം നമ്മള്‍ കണ്ടെത്തിയിരിക്കുന്നു എന്നു പറയാം.

ഒരു വിമാനത്തില്‍ സ്ഥാപിച്ചിരിക്കുന്ന ടെലിസ്കോപ്പാണ് സോഫിയ. ഭൂമിയുടെ ഉയര്‍ന്ന പാളികളിലൂടെ സഞ്ചരിച്ച് പ്രപഞ്ചനിരീക്ഷണം നടത്തുകയാണ് സോഫിയയുടെ ജോലി. ശരിക്കും ഒരു പറക്കും ടെലിസ്കോപ്പ്. ഓരോ പറക്കലിനുശേഷവും താഴെയിറങ്ങും എന്നതിനാല്‍ ടെലിസ്കോപ്പിനെ നിരന്തരം പരിഷ്കരിക്കാന്‍ സോഫിയ അവസരമൊരുക്കുന്നുണ്ട്. അങ്ങനെ അവസാനം കൂട്ടിച്ചേര്‍ത്ത സംവിധാനമാണ് പ്രപഞ്ചത്തിലെ ആദ്യ തന്മാത്രയെ കണ്ടെത്താന്‍ ഇപ്പോള്‍ സഹായിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നത്.

ഈ തന്മാത്രയെ കണ്ടെത്താന്‍ കഴിയാത്തത് ശാസ്ത്രജ്ഞരെ സംബന്ധിച്ചിടത്തോളം കുഴഞ്ഞുമറിഞ്ഞ ഒരു പ്രശ്നമായിരുന്നു. അത്ര എളുപ്പമല്ല ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡ് രൂപപ്പെടല്‍. ഒരു മൂലകത്തോടും കൂടിച്ചേരാന്‍ ഇഷ്ടമില്ലാതെ സ്വതന്ത്രമായി നില്‍ക്കുന്ന ഒരു മൂലകമാണ് ഹീലിയം. അതുകൊണ്ടുതന്നെ ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡ് രൂപപ്പെടലും ബുദ്ധിമുട്ടാണ്. 1925വരെ കാത്തിരിക്കേണ്ടി വന്നു ആദ്യമായി  ഈ തന്മാത്രയെ പരീക്ഷണശാലയില്‍പോലും നിര്‍മ്മിക്കാന്‍.
NGC7027 നെബുലയിലാകട്ടേ അള്‍ട്രാവൈലറ്റ് സാന്നിദ്ധ്യവും ആവശ്യത്തിനുള്ള ചൂടും ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡ് രൂപപ്പെടാന്‍ അനുയോജ്യമായ സാഹചര്യം ഒരുക്കിയിരുന്നു.  ഇതേ അവസ്ഥയുള്ള മറ്റ് നെബുലകളില്‍ ഹീലിയം ഹൈഡ്രൈഡിനെ അന്വേഷിക്കാന്‍ ഇപ്പോഴത്തെ കണ്ടെത്തല്‍ വഴിവയ്ക്കും എന്നു കരുതാം.

Sunday 15 July 2018

Do aliens really exist?

Aliens are out there, more likely than not. The Drake equation gives an idea of those odds. Of course, "alien life" may not just be narrowly defined as "intelligent alien life" and Jupiter's moon Europa may hold the answer of whether or not microbial alien life exists in our very solar system. If we find out it does, that would be very exciting (and would also make the movie "2010" rather prophetic...but I seriously doubt in the way portrayed by the movie at all with the energy discharges and such).
There's no evidence that intelligent extraterrestrials have visited Earth, but there are some tantalising videos on the internet that may or may not be real. The ones of particular interest are the ones that are no longer available, or have been replaced by obvious hoax videos.
Of course, there is the witness accounts from dozens of high-ranking military officials and military pilots from around the world, many of which testified at a global disclosure summit (I believe it was held in Canada in 2011, but I cannot locate the video footage or related articles online to substantiate that), among other reports given by a few commercial airline pilots and police officers over the years. These people may have seen "something", although I cannot say if what they saw were truly extraterrestrial vehicles or not, but they had nevertheless put themselves up for public scrutiny and some have even put their jobs on the line when the reports became public. The obvious question is whether these latter reports were publicity stunts or unintentionally leaked to the press.
It is worth mentioning that in 1952, several UFO's were reported flying in restricted air space over Washington, D.C. in a highly publicised string of sightings, which sent the U.S. government scrambling military fighters to intercept. Keep in mind that the U.S. was in sort of a "UFO hysteria" at that time, and these sort of reports could have helped the government put public opinion in their favor to bolster cold-war military funding.
With that in mind, intelligent extraterrestrial beings visiting our planet seems unlikely, simply for the fact that the nearest habitable planetary system is 13 light years away, jand we are just one planet with really nothing of interest, out in the middle of nowhere, among millions of others just in this sector of our galaxy (being conservative with that number). Our natural resources are sparse, our civilisation is volatile and dangerous and our technology is unimpressive. Nothing to see here...move along. 

Friday 17 March 2017

`Supermassive' black hole rocketing through space at 5 million miles per hour: 

`Supermassive' black hole rocketing through space at five million miles an hour, Nasa reveals Hubble Space Telescope image shows it being pushed around galaxy by gravitational waves eight billion light-years from Earth Black holes are the big bullies of space. They're so massive that their gravity doesn't let any light escape.The biggest black holes, called “supermassive“, weigh as much as a billion suns. Looming at the centre of seemingly every galaxy, including the Milky Way, they control the formation of stars and can deform the fabric of space-time itself. It takes a lot to push a black hole around.
But eight billion light-years from Earth, in a galaxy called 3C 186, astronomers have discovered a supermassive black hole that got kicked off its throne. Now it's rocketing through space at a speed of almost 5 million miles an hour. There's one thing that could unseat a supermassive black hole in this manner, the researchers say: gravitational waves.
First predicted by Albert Einstein more than 100 years ago, gravitational waves are ripples in space-time caused by the universe's most cataclysmic events ­ just as concentric circles form on the surface of a pond after you toss in a heavy rock. Last year, researchers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) showed that this phenomenon exists when they detected gravitational waves produced by the merger of two black holes. In a paper that will publish next week in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, Marco Chiaberge and his colleagues say that the weird behaviour of the black hole in galaxy 3C 186 is likely the result of gravitational waves from another pair of colliding black holes.
The roving black hole was detected in an image taken by Nasa's Hubble Space Telescope. The fuzzy splotch that was galaxy 3C 186 contained an incredibly bright spot, a quasar. This wasn't unusual: a quasar is the nucleus of a galaxy, and it's bright because of the disk of gas that surrounds the black hole at its centre.
What caught Chiaberge's eye was the quasar's location, 35,000 lightyears from the centre of its galaxy.“We were seeing something very peculiar,“ he said in a Nasa release.
Chiaberge, who works at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and Johns Hopkins University, asked fellow astronomers for their observations from a range of other instruments, including the Chandra space observatory and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey's telescope in New Mexico. The former measures X-rays, the latter specialises in detecting redshift, the stretching of light that is detected as something travels through space. Their observations confirmed the Hubble finding. They also helped pin down the black hole's mass (equal to that of a billion suns) and the speed at which the gas around it was travelling (4.7 million mph).