NGC 3310

Found roughly 50 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Ursa Major, this is NGC 3310: a spiral galaxy with a turbulent past. Around 100 million years back, it violently clashed with one of its neighbors, inciting a chain reaction that culminated in a burst of star formation activity taking place within its borders.

This burst was triggered by something called density waves, which propagate when a change in gravity compresses the galaxy’s gas supply, causing sections to collapse. This Hubble-composite showcases generations of stars that came before and after the merger, revealing that the young outnumber the old (some are so young, in fact, that astronomers now think the aftereffects of a merger linger longer than we previously suspected).

 There are several hundred star clusters in NGC 3310, visible in the Heritage image as the bright blue diffuse objects that trace the galaxy’s spiral arms. Each of these star clusters represents the formation of up to about a million stars, a process that takes less than 100,000 years. In addition, hundreds of individual young, luminous stars can be seen throughout the galaxy.

Once formed, the star clusters become redder with age as the most massive and bluest stars exhaust their fuel and burn out. Measurements in this image of the wide range of cluster colors show that they have ages ranging from about one million up to more than one hundred million years.

[Reference: NASA]  

All in all, NGC 3310 spans approximately 50,000 light-years across, which makes it only half the size of the Milky Way (though by some estimates, it may be much smaller than that, perhaps just 22,000 light-years across).

Image Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

Fiskars multi-scissors

Core 77 reviews Fiskars’ amazing Cuts+More multi-scissors that can be used as an awl, rope-cutter, wire-cutter, twine-cutter, tape-cutter, sharpener, bottle opener, and titanium knife. Fiskars has a deserved reputation as one of the world’s finest scissor vendors, and is part of the same company that owns Gerber, who make some of my favorite multitools. This really feels like a merger of the Fiskars and the Gerber side of the business.

Fiskars’ Cuts+More has so many different sneaky little functions, it’s almost like it was designed in prison

Fiskars 01-005692 Cuts+More 5-in-1 Multi-Purpose Scissors (Amazon)

No one was fooled by Tony Abbott’s claims to be a “prime minister for Aboriginal Affairs”, but the shameless contempt for Indigenous people on display in the budget is still a slap in the face: more than $500 million cut from Indigenous affairs and the merger of 150 programs into five.

But the statistic that really summed it up relates to the lifting of the pension age to 70: the average life expectancy of an Indigenous male is 69.

The government’s message is clear: “You’re going to die before you see a cent.”

Most services to Indigenous people are not delivered through Indigenous-specific programs. But the general cuts will have a disproportionate impact, particularly in health and employment.

Welcome to the world’s largest book publisher: Penguin-Random House merger complete

Random House parent company Bertelsmann and Penguin parent company Pearson announced Monday that the merger of the two publishers is complete, thus resulting in the world’s largest book publisher: Penguin Random House.

The merger follows approval by the U.S., Canada, the EU, Australia, New Zealand and China.

Random House CEO Markus Dohle will serve as CEO of Penguin Random House; Bertelsmann owns 53 percent of the combined company, and Penguin owns 47 percent. Combined, the companies publish over 15,000 books annually and have 10,000 employees, with revenues of $3.9 billion.

» via paidContent

Netflix offers a technical take on why a “fast lane” for data is a bad strategy, and why the Comcast/TWC merger shouldn’t be allowed:

Comcast does not carry Netflix traffic over long distances. Netflix is itself shouldering the costs and performing the transport function for which it used to pay transit providers. Netflix connects to Comcast in locations all over the U.S., and has offered to connect in as many locations as Comcast desires. So Netflix is moving Netflix content long distances, not Comcast.

Nor does Comcast connect Netflix to other networks. In fact, Netflix can’t reach other networks via Comcast’s network. 

For all these reasons, Netflix directly interconnects with many ISPs here in the U.S. and internationally without any exchange of fees. 

In sum, Comcast is not charging Netflix for transit service. It is charging Netflix for access to its subscribers. Comcast also charges its subscribers for access to Internet content providers like Netflix. In this way, Comcast is double dipping by getting both its subscribers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other. 

Side note: Here’s FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler rebuking critics of the commission’s proposed net neutrality strategy.

Question: If 2 black holes get near each other, can they then gravitationally pull matter out of the other black hole & back into “normal” space?

The short answer is no.

A black hole (in the traditional sense) is defined as an object that has collapsed so that its radius is equal to, or less than, the Schwarzschild of the object.

What does this mean?

Every object has a Schwarzschild radius; this is the point at which an object’s mass is so compressed that the gravitational influence overpowers the other forces of nature and it collapses to a singularity.

Of course, not every object is massive enough to collapse to its Schwarzschild radius. The Earth’s Schwarzschild radius, for example, is about the diameter of a small marble. If you were to apply enough energy to the Earth and compress its mass to that size, it would collapse to form a black hole. The same is true for humans, except I’d need to compress you to a point some 10-million times smaller than a marble in order to turn you into a black hole.

So, what is special about the Schwarzschild radius? This is the point at which the escape velocity for the object is equal to the speed of light. Obviously, since you can’t travel ,or faster than, the speed of light you can’t get out of a black hole neither can another black hole pull you out.

It’s important to realize that, outside of the Schwarzschild radius (also known as the event horizon), spacetime is normal. You can interact with a black hole in the same ways you interact with any other object of mass.

Image credit: NASA/CXC/A.Hobart

Article: From Quarks to Quasars

Justice Department attempts to block AT&T merger with T-Mobile
  • then A while back, AT&T announced it would attempt to purchase T-Mobile for $39 billion, in an attempt to shore up deficiencies in its wireless network. Other companies and consumer groups, most notably Sprint, loudly complained.
  • now Now the Justice Department’s trying to block the merger. “AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low-priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” their complaint said. *BOOM.* source

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