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Curiosity panorama


Here's an interactive panorama of the current Curiosity surroundings. Astonishing !

The black hole recursion


One of the most important scientific discoveries of the last 2 years has shaken up the astronomical world : the fact that our universe keeps on expanding, and doing this on an increasing accelerating rate. The energy responsible for that expansion is now called dark energy. How strange as it may be, this model can be explained by a theory that allows universes to be contained into black holes.

The idea that our universe is entirely contained within a black hole provides answers to these problems and many more. It eliminates the notion of physically impossible singularities in our universe and it combines two central theories in physics.

The first is general relativity, the modern theory of gravity, which describes the universe at the largest scales. The second is quantum mechanics, which describes the universe at the smallest scales, such as the level of the atom. However, quantum mechanics and general relativity are currently separate theories; physicists have been striving to combine the two successfully into a single theory of "quantum gravity" to adequately describe important phenomena, including the behavior of subatomic particles in black holes. Using a new quark property called torsion, a new explanation about the big bang may be created.

If black holes contain universes, then the notion of a multiverse reappears : a universe that is truely infinite, and where everything is possible. In such a multiverse, there exists somewhere in space an identical copy of you reading an identical copy of this article at this very moment.

Venus transit 2012


On Wednesday June 6th, an exceptional astronomical event will take place. As seen from Earth, the planet Venus will pass in a straight line between Earth and the Sun. As a result of that, an observer on Earth can see the planet Venus 'transiting' the Sun disk. When you are looking at the Sun using special equipment (*never* look without any protection straight to the sun !), you can see a black circle slowly passing over the Sun.

The last time this event took place, was 8 years ago. However, it will take another 100 years, on 2117 Dec 11th and 2125 Dec 08th, for anyone to be able to observe this transit again.

For observers in Belgium, only the last part of the 7 hours during spectacle will be visible in the morning of June 6th, and this from 5:21 (sun rise) up till 6:55, when the planet's silhouette will leave the sun's disk. This event is an ideal opportunity to have a look at this through professional equipment, several observatories will be open to the public to give you an opportunity to look at the Venus transit.

The end of the Space Shuttle era - and the absence of a replacement


The STS-135 flight was the last of any Space Shuttle flight, and this marks the end of the Space Shuttle era, which began some 30 years ago. The Space Shuttle, although quite flawed, was a pinnacle in space flight technology, but eventually was shut down due to too high costs. Here's an overview of this remarkable vehicle :

Some remarkable quotes :

  • "Most people lament the end of the Space Shuttle. What's really sad, is that there is nothing to replace it."
  • "1969 : The landing on the moon
    1981 : The start of the Space Shuttle era
    2011 : Nothing
    For anyone traveling backwards in time, the American Space program looks fabulous."

Very close encounters


Asteroid 2011 CQ1 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on February 4 and made a record close Earth approach 14 hours later on February 4 at 19:39 UT. It passed to within 0.85 Earth radii (only 5480 km !) of the Earth's surface over a region in the mid-Pacific. This object, only about one meter in diameter, is the closest non-impacting object in our asteroid catalog to date !

Prior to the Earth close approach, this object was in a so-called Apollo-class orbit that was mostly outside the Earth's orbit. Following the close approach, the Earth's gravitational attraction modified the object's orbit to an Aten-class orbit where the asteroid spends almost all of its time inside the Earth's orbit.


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