Jupiter and Venus will merge into a
dazzling “super-star” in the Western horizon by the end of June, NASA
says. The conjunction of the two planets has been building during the
month of June and will culminate in a spectacular display on June 30. Read more >>
Nearly a century ago, Edwin Hubble’s discovery of red-shifting of light from galaxies in all directions from our own suggested that space itself was getting bigger. Combined with insights from a handful of proposed non-Euclidean geometries, Hubble’s discovery implied that the cosmos exists in more than the three dimensions we’re familiar with in everyday life.That’s because parts of the cosmos were moving further apart, yet with no physical center, no origin point in three-dimensional space. Just think of an inflating balloon seen only from the perspective of its growing two-dimensional surface, and extrapolate to four-dimensional inflation perceived in the three-dimensional space that we can see. That perspective suggests that three-dimensional space could be curved, folded, or warped into a 4th dimension the way that the two dimensional surface of a balloon is warped into a 3rd dimension.We don’t see or feel more dimensions; nevertheless, theoretical physics predicts that they should exist.
There are three practical implications:
1. Warp Drive The main theory here is called M theory, which is a theory in physics that unites various types of what’s called superstring theory. In M theory there 10 or 11 dimensions. In addition to the three we’re familiar with there are compact dimensions. It’s all related to phenomena called branes that vibrate like strings, but what’s most relevant to this discussion is that the extra or compact dimensions don’t necessarily have to remain compact and it might be possible to unpack the extra dimensions. If an advanced civilization learns how to manipulate higher dimensions, they might use them for technology, including warp drive. The idea being that some kind of controlled decompacting of extra dimensions could have the effect of squeezing or expanding one of the three big dimensions that we know. Engage the compacting effect in front of a starship and the expansion effect to the rear, and you’d have warp drive. So far, we don’t have a shred of evidence that the hypothesized extra dimensions even exist. Someday, soon, we might get some evidence from the Large Hadron Collider.
3. Traversable Wormholes Another means of transport made possible by a multidimensional cosmos is wormholes. Theoretical physicist Kip Thorne worked out the equations showing that there was a stable, traversable wormhole, or even a system of such tunnels linking different areas of space-time. An advanced civilization could build a system of wormhole-dependent tunnels connecting different points of the space-time fabric, essentially drawing the departure and arrival points in the fabric into close proximity to one another through a 4th dimension. If we could do it, we could have an entry portal nearby, somewhere in the inner Solar System, that leads to an exit point at our destination, for instance a nearby star system with an Earth-like planet.
Quick question! When do we get new photos of pluto? Ive been checking nasa news but ive got nothing except for those paintings of pluto
Taken just a few days ago, you’re looking at the first color image of Pluto and its moon Charon… aren’t they beautiful?
The type of orbital dance they’re engaged in is known as a ‘double planet’. That’s when the two bodies orbit around a common center of mass that isn’t actually inside of the larger of the two.
In this image the crosshair is centered on the point around which both Pluto and Charon orbit.
July 14th New Horizons will fly by Pluto and basically revolutionize astronomy and planetary science of the outer solar system. Almost everything that will be taught about Pluto we will learn from what happens July 14th.
You can expect some startlingly beautiful images then! 😊
(Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute)
“A light echo in X-rays detected by our Chandra X-ray Observatory has provided a rare opportunity to precisely measure the distance to an object on the other side of the Milky Way galaxy. The rings exceed the field-of-view of Chandra’s detectors, resulting in a partial image of X-ray data.” - NASA