Stars are huge musical instruments, playing music with their starlight. This twinkling carries the secret story of their magnetic cores
Authorea || Edison Menlo Park Lab
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The Night of the Shooting Stars
During the night of August 11th, a meteor shower called ’Perseids’ might put up a memorable show. After the moon sets, which occurs around 1:00 AM local time, it might be possible to see up to 200 ’shooting stars’ per hour. Below, what you need to know about this astronomical event.
What is a shooting star?
Despite their name, shooting stars are actually small rocks (meteoroids) falling towards the Earth due to our planet’s gravitational attraction. As they move rapidly through the atmosphere, they reach very high temperatures due to friction with air particles. This makes them burn and become visible to the human eye. The trail they leave is called ’Meteor’. Due to their tiny size, they usually almost completely burn in a fraction of a second. In some very exceptional cases, large meteors can continue the hot descent and hit the ground. If they also survive the crash, they get promoted immediately to the ’meteorites’ class. Generally speaking a meteoroid producing a meteor needs to be at least as large as a marble to reach the Earth and eventually become a meteorite. Some Burning facts:
Average meteorite velocity: 30000 miles/hour (48000 km/h)
Max temperature: 3000 F (1650 C)
The Meteor Crater in Arizona was formed 50000 years ago by an object 160 feet (50 meters) across
... yes, impacts like the one that produced the Meteor Crater are extremely rare
Have there been aliens? Will there be aliens?
The fact we are alive and pondering a vast Universe from spaceship Earth raises a number of fascinating questions. Astrophysicist are now asking why “here” and why “now”. What is the chance of life emerging around a star like the Sun, about 12-13 billion years after our Universe was born?
First evidence of Quantum Gravity? Ask the dust
Rise and fall of the biggest discovery of the century highlights the importance of open, collaborative science.
On 17 March 2014 BICEP2, a South Pole based experiment aimed at studying the very first moments of the universe, made a sensational announcement. They claimed to have detected for the first time the signature of an extremely rapid expansion of space that occurred right after the universe’s birth. This expansion, also called inflation, is believed to be responsible for the existence of large-scale structures like clusters of galaxies, as well as to explain why the properties of the universe appear to be the same for all observers. If confirmed, the existence of inflation would represent the first evidence of a fundamental connection between gravity (general relativity) and quantum physics.