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Science called physics.


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The branch of science called physics.
The branch of science called physics.

Book Review: Empire of the Stars.

Nov 21, 2005 The branch of science called physics comes with a long history of preliminary conjectures later proven or disproved via experimentation. Brave champions pillared their beliefs before friend and foe alike with the simple desire to contribute. Those correct in their postulations live for eternity in textbooks, while those who fail ignobly disappear. Arthur Miller in his book Empire of the Stars dusts off the fairly recent instantiation of ideas and postulations surrounding black holes. In it he shows that even being correct may not necessarily add your name to the wall of physics fame.

What's Up In The Universe This Week.

Nov 21, 2005 Let's start the week off with one of the finest globular clusters for both hemispheres - M2. There's plenty in store as we explore history, take a look at planetary nebulae, seek out Galaxies and hunt down open clusters. A pair of occultations will round out the week as we keep our eyes on the skies...

Why is Moondust So Clingy?

Nov 21, 2005 One of the main challenges of returning humans to the Moon will be how to deal with all that gritty, clingy moondust. scientists believe that ultraviolet radiation charges individual grains of dust, giving them a static charge. NASA is studying individual grains of moondust returned by Apollo astronauts to how much charge they can build up, and the results have been surprising. Ultraviolet radiation can give a grain of moondust 10 times more charge than the theories had calculated.

Radiation Resistant Computers.

Nov 21, 2005 Modern spaceflight is dependent on reliable computers to handle navigation, life support, and other functions. The problem is that radiation in space, such as cosmic rays can cause computer chips to calculate incorrectly. NASA is working a solution that would run multiple redundant computers to do the same calculation several times over and then vote on which is the correct result. If a cosmic ray caused one processor to make a mistake, the other processors would still be correct, and the error would be prevented.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is Halfway to Mars.

Nov 21, 2005 NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter fired its main engine for 20 seconds on Friday, fine-tuning its course towards the Red Planet. The spacecraft is schedule to reach Mars on March 10, 2006. Since its August 12 launch, the spacecraft has traveled about 60% of the distance between Earth and Mars, and it will make 4 more adjustments before arriving at Mars. Once it does arrive, MRO will spend about half a year adjusting its orbit before beginning its science phase.

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