Thursday, October 29, 2009

Palate Cleanser - Scientists Observe The Two Oldest Things In The Universe!

I am a huge Astronomy buff and often watch the programs on PBS, The Science Channel, Discovery, and National Geographic when they cover the subject. Had I been better at math, physics, chemistry, and a couple dozen other science subjects and been able to afford a hundred-thousand dollars on a Cal-Tech education I might very well have ended up an Astronomer instead of becoming the lowly auto tech I am. However, I did take an Astronomy course at the local Community College ten years ago and we had some very interesting discussions during lectures....

This morning Yahoo featured a story of a thirteen-billion old remnant of a gamma-ray burst. Since we now have more powerful visual and radio telescopes we are constantly seeing and hearing farther and farther back into the history of our Universe. I can remember asking my Astronomy Professor a question during a lecture that (at that time) I considered stupid and naive. I asked him if, as we build stronger telescopes and continue to study the stars, will we ever actually see the "Big Bang" since we are virtually peering into the past with our observations? His answer was essentially no. It has something to do with how long it actually takes the light to travel to Earth and how fast we are moving away from the "Big Bang" and center of the original explosion. Now I am starting to wonder if he was wrong?

The image of the thirteen-billion year old gamma-ray burst is on the upper left. The actual Burst is a faint red dot in the center of the image. For a look at the second oldest object ever observed in the known Universe - click here.

Content Warning: the image is quite intense and of an object that is very very old.

The link to the original Yahoo story is below.


Winfred Mann said...

I took a look at the image: AARRRGGGHHH!

Greasywrench said...

Obviously it was a real story on Yahoo. I just had to sneak in the Helen Thomas picture. Someone on another blog was blathering about how ole' Helen had taken Obama to task with a probing question.

Somehow, one pointed question out of thousands over the years doesn't seem to make up for a lifetime of masquerading as a reporter when Thomas is nothing but a shill for the Dems.