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FQXi - Foundational Questions Institute

Related:  Astronomy & Physics

Is Time an Illusion? (Video) “Time has no independent existence apart from the order of events by which we measure it.” —Albert Einstein Surprising as it may be to most non-scientists and even to some scientists, Albert Einstein concluded in his later years that the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously. In 1952, in his book Relativity, in discussing Minkowski’s Space World interpretation of his theory of relativity, Einstein writes: Since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent “now” objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated.

Total lunar eclipse of September 28, 2015 - online broadcasts schedule After more than 30 years a supermoon in combination with a lunar eclipse will be visible again across the skies of North and South America, Europe, Africa and parts of west Asia and the eastern Pacific. This rare celestial event is set for September 28 (UTC), 2015, and is expected to last for 1 hour and 11 minutes. For those who might find themselves to be unlucky with their location, weather conditions or light-polluted night skies, there is still hope, as many observatories will broadcast the event - live and free: NASA will broadcast the event from 00:00 UTC until at least 03:30 UTC, September 28, from Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville with a live feed from the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, Adler Planetarium, Chicago, Fernbank Observatory in Atlanta and other locations across the US. Slooh Community Observatory will broadcast the event starting 00:00 UTC on September 28 with a live feed from Canary Islands, Spain. Video credit: ScienceAtNASA

Hawking: Mankind has 1,000 years to escape Earth Russia Today Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking warns human beings won’t survive “without escaping” from the “fragile” planet. His gloomy forecast is people will become extinct on Earth within current the millennium. Speaking at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles the 71-year-old scientist called for further exploration of space to guarantee the future of mankind, the Belfast Telegraph reports. “We must continue to go into space for humanity. If you understand how the universe operates, you control it in a way,”Professor Hawking said, adding that “we won’t survive another 1,000 years without escaping our fragile planet.” Yale researchers seek explananation for abnormal star light Invisible to the naked eye, light peculiarities emanating from a distant star — KIC 8462852 — grabbed the attention of amateur and professional astronomers alike when they viewed the abnormalities through NASA telescopes four years ago. The abnormal phenomenon and its possible causes have recently been thrust into the spotlight once again due to a new Yale study determining that the phenomenon was most likely caused by a swarm of comet fragments. Over 1,400 light years away from the Earth, KIC 8462852 has exhibited extreme fluctuation in its light output over the past four years. Amateur astronomers from a citizen science project called Planet Hunters first spotted this anomaly while combing through public data collected by the NASA Kepler spacecraft. Planet Hunters was established in 2010 with the help of Debra Fischer, an extrasolar planet hunter and astronomy professor at Yale. “The comet scenario was our best [explanation],” Boyajian said.

Cosmos is a fantastic show about ideological conversion more than it’s about science Like Carl Sagan before him, Neil deGrasse Tyson is constructing a cult of personality. Also like Sagan, that personality is not his own. In both its versions, Cosmos has had to serve a number of masters — they’ve both had to educate, to entertain, and to bring in advertising. By far their most defining goal, however, the one that most differentiates them from both the Planet Earths and Bill Nyes of the world, is ideological.

[Link]: KIC 8462852, aka WTF star, "the most mysterious star in our galaxy", ETI candidate, etc. - Less Wrong Discussion KIC 8462852, or the WTF (Where's the Flux?) star, is an F-type main sequence star about 1,480 ly away. It's a little larger and more massive than the sun, and a few times brighter. Astronomers spy most distant Solar System object ever NASA/ESA/G. Bacon/STScI The Kuiper belt lies beyond Neptune. Astronomers have spotted the most distant object ever seen in the Solar System: a frigid world that currently lies 103 times farther from the Sun than Earth does. It breaks a record previously held by the dwarf planet Eris, which had been seen at 97 times the Earth–Sun distance. Scott Sheppard, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC, reported the object on 10 November at the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in National Harbor, Maryland.

Top 10 Best Astrophotographers in the World The sky that we usually see and is considered to be an ordinary thing is in fact full of many wonders and secrets that need to be revealed but how to do this? Discovering more about the secrets that are hidden in the sky is costly and requires spending a long time trying to see the invisible objects and observe the changes that take place in front of your eyes using special equipment. The question is how to record all what you see and the amazing beauty of the invisible objects that can be found in the sky to enjoy watching them whenever you want?