Lisa Thompson

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Ask Ethan: What Is Spacetime?

When it comes to understanding the Universe, there are a few things everyone’s heard of: Schrödinger’s cat, the Twin Paradox and E = mc^2. But despite being around for over 100 years now, General Relativity — Einstein’s greatest achievement — is largely mysterious to everyone from the general …

Physics

30 Questions to Help You Reflect and Get Excited for 2015

<i>This post originally appeared on BrandMentalist.com</i><p>Another year has almost gone by, but now is the perfect opportunity to reflect and build a plan for next year.<p>I've come up with a set of questions to help you reflect, focus and build a plan to make your 2015 a successful year that embraces …

APOD: Molecular Cloud Barnard 68 (2014 Dec 14) Image Credit: FORS Team, 8.2-meter VLT Antu, ESO http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141214.html Explanation: Where did all the stars go? What used to be considered a hole in the sky is now known to astronomers as a dark molecular cloud. Here, a high concentration of dust and molecular gas absorb practically all the visible light emitted from background stars. The eerily dark surroundings help make the interiors of molecular clouds some of the coldest and most isolated places in the universe. One of the most notable of these dark absorption nebulae is a cloud toward the constellation Ophiuchus known as Barnard 68, pictured above. That no stars are visible in the center indicates that Barnard 68 is relatively nearby, with measurements placing it about 500 light-years away and half a light-year across. It is not known exactly how molecular clouds like Barnard 68 form, but it is known that these clouds are themselves likely places for new stars to form. In fact, Barnard 68 itself has been found likely to collapse and form a new star system. It is possible to look right through the cloud in infrared light. http://www.eso.org/sci/facilities/paranal/instruments/fors.html http://www.eso.org/projects/vlt/ http://www.eso.org/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=141214 #APOD