Quarks to Quasars

Minimalist Poster Series Honors Science’s Women PioneersMinimalist Poster Series Honors Science’s Women Pioneers

Incredible Photos Emerge of the 1986 Challenger Shuttle Disaster

Many people watched the Challenger Space Shuttle take off on January 28, 1986 and tragically combust less than two minutes into its flight. Now, nearly 28 years since the catastrophic event, photos of the shuttle’s takeoff and unexpected explosion have emerged via Michael Hindes. While rummaging through some of his grandfather’s old boxes, following the passing of his grandmother, the West Springfield, Massachusetts resident discovered a number of images documenting the disaster.

While many looked on in horror almost three decades ago, those feelings of heartbreak are felt once again today through these images taken by a photographer who was a friend and coworker of Hindes’ grandfather, a former contractor for NASA. The moving images stir up old emotions of an event that was meant to be a bright story, especially since Christa McAuliffe was aboard as the first intended teacher in space. Now, these historical photos serve as a remembrance of the lives tragically lost.

"I do know that kind fate allowed me to find a couple of nice ideas after many years of feverish labor," Einstein (at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 1940) once wrote to a fellow physicist.

(Source: smithsonianmag.com)

New York City’s Skyline Over a Century

Photo credit: tier1dc.blogspot.com

Last Launch: Dan Winters and the Shuttle Program

(Source: TIME)

Albert Einstein Being Super Chill

(Source: BuzzFeed)

Manuscripts from Historical Icons

1. Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

2. An Alexander Graham Bell Doodle

Your mobile phone could be more than 400 times more powerful than the computers that helped NASA astronauts land on the moon in 1969.

(Source: news.discovery.com)

Space and Time

Albert Einstein and Hendrik Antoon Lorentz, photographed by Ehrenfest in front of his home in Leiden in 1921. Source: Museum Boerhaave, Leiden

The White Marble

Credit: NASA/GSFC/Suomi NPP

In 1972, the crew of Apollo 17 took possibly the most famous picture of the Earth from space, which was dubbed “The Blue Marble.” Since then, NASA has released many gorgeous images of our planet stitched together from satellite views. Usually, however, these Blue Marble images focus on the western or eastern hemisphere.

Not so this image, hereby dubbed “The White Marble.” Using images from the Suomi NPP satellite, NASA put together this image of Earth from the top down. The icy Arctic appears amidst swirls of clouds, with Europe, Asia and northern Africa visible toward Earth’s midsection.

Evolution Of The Spacesuit

Spacesuits: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Collection, by Amanda Young, photographs by Mark Avino

Famous Physicists hanging out together

A. Piccard, E. Henriot, P. Ehrenfest, Ed. Herzen, Th. De Donder, E. Schrödinger, J.E. Verschaffelt, W. Pauli, W. Heisenberg, R.H. Fowler, L. Brillouin;
P. Debye, M. Knudsen, W.L. Bragg, H.A. Kramers, P.A.M. Dirac, A.H. Compton, L. de Broglie, M. Born, N. Bohr;
I. Langmuir, M. Planck, M. Curie, H.A. Lorentz, A. Einstein, P. Langevin, Ch. E. Guye, C.T.R. Wilson, O.W. Richardson

Watch a video of the transit of Venus. From 1882.

Today is your last chance to watch Venus cross the face of the Sun before 2117, so don’t miss it. The event occurs so infrequently that the last transit, prior to the one in 2004, occurred all the way back in 1882.

Until relatively recently, the most common way of capturing snapshots the sky was by means of glass, photographic plates. In 1882, astronomer David Peck Todd used a series of these plates to capture the transit of Venus. Over a century later, astronomers Anthony Misch and Bill Sheehan recovered these long-forgotten plates from storage, and combined them to form the video below, reanimating what they call “a moving record of an event seen by no one now living, and a preview of what millions” will soon see for the last time in their lives:

Ghosts of Milky Way’s Powerful Past Revealed

In the image: This artist’s conception shows an edge-on view of the Milky Way galaxy. Newly discovered gamma-ray jets (pink) extend for 27,000 light-years above and below the galactic plane, and are tilted at an angle of 15 degrees. Previously known gamma-ray bubbles are shown in purple. The bubbles and jets suggest that our galactic center was much more active in the past than it is today. 

Today the Milky Way Galaxy is a relatively quiet place. Our galaxy has grown up, and intense activity seen in other galaxies is a thing of our past. But scientists have long assumed the past was more hectic. A new study finds ghosts of past activity in the form of twin jets spat into space from the Milky Way’s central black hole.

Unlike our quiescent galaxy, active galaxies have cores that glow brightly, powered by supermassive black holes swallowing material and exciting the gas and dust around them to grow brightly in many wavelengths, from visible light to X-rays and gamma rays. Active galaxies also often shoot twin jets in opposite directions — beams of material thought to be directed by intense magnetic energy.

The new evidence of ghostly gamma-ray beams suggests that the Milky Way’s central black hole was much more active in the past.

"These faint jets are a ghost or after-image of what existed a million years ago," said Meng Su, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), and lead author of a new paper in the Astrophysical Journal. "They strengthen the case for an active galactic nucleus in the Milky Way’s relatively recent past.”

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Albert Einstein

(Source: biography.com)

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