Friday, March 28, 2008
What good will I be dead? What about the other exposed people who are 'like me'? Do they have to die? What purpose does it serve? If there is a cure, why shouldn't they get help? We don't have to die.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Damn... the major asking if he should kill a guy. Kill. A. Guy. I guess in all the excitement I've never really thought about it, but I've actually killed people, at least one that I know of. Part of me says it was an "either me or him" situation and what the major was asking was different, but Jesus. Here I was, all noble in Pfister's face, arguing to let the speedster live and I've probably got a higher body count than some of the soldiers here on Liberty Island (unless they fought in the Middle Earth War, but they look a little too young for that). Christ Almighty, I shoulda went out drinkin' with Jesse.
Friday, March 14, 2008
(Jessie) The travelocity gnome? Or the next Super villain?
Thursday, March 13, 2008
It is going to be difficult to be effective without putting yourself out there. We're going to seen and we're going to be recognized. Not in the, 'Hey isn't that Phil Pfister?' kind of way; but 'Hey isn't that Supernova?'. I may have come across wrong, I just didn't want to put our identities in front of every YouVid page or the Egyptian Media.
I believe that Major Rutherford would do anything he can for us, however I must differ to General Doolittle. Regardless I think we actually use this to 'help ourselves' for whatever reason. One thing is for sure there are alot of people out there and were not the only ones looking for them. God! All I can think of are long days followed by increasingly dangerous run-ins. You can sleep when your dead, right?
As for this other contact, it would be nice to share a beer and discuss the mutual ways we can help ourselves. I'm hoping that he could be another Kennedy for us. Speaking of which I wonder when he's coming back.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Charles Q. ChoiSpecial to SPACE.comSPACE.com 2 hours, 25 minutes ago
A beautiful pinwheel in space might one day blast Earth with death rays, scientists now report. Unlike the moon-sized Death Star from Star Wars, which has to get close to a planet to blast it, this blazing spiral has the potential to burn worlds from thousands of light-years away.
"I used to appreciate this spiral just for its beautiful form, but now I can't help a twinge of feeling that it is uncannily like looking down a rifle barrel," said researcher Peter Tuthill, an astronomer at the University of Sydney.
The fiery pinwheel in space in question has at its heart a pair of hot, luminous stars locked in orbit with each other. As they circle one another, plumes of streaming gas driven from the surfaces of the stars collide in the intervening space, eventually becoming entangled and twisted into a whirling spiral by the orbits of the stars.
The pinwheel, named WR 104, was discovered eight years ago in the constellation Sagittarius. It rotates in a circle "every eight months, keeping precise time like a jewel in a cosmic clock," Tuthill said.
Both the massive stars in WR 104 will one day explode as supernovae. However, one of the pair is a highly unstable star known as a Wolf-Rayet, the last known stable phase in the life of these massive stars right before a supernova.
"Wolf-Rayet stars are regarded by astronomers as ticking bombs," Tuthill explained. The 'fuse' for this star "is now very short — to an astronomer — and it may explode any time within the next few hundred thousand years."
When the Wolf-Rayet goes supernova, "it could emit an intense beam of gamma rays coming our way," Tuthill said. "If such a 'gamma ray burst' happens, we really do not want Earth to be in the way."
Since the initial blast would travel at the speed of light, there would be no warning of its arrival.
Gamma ray bursts are the most powerful explosions known in the universe. They can loose as much energy as our sun during its entire 10 billion year lifetime in anywhere from milliseconds to a minute or more.
The spooky thing about this pinwheel is that it appears to be a nearly perfect spiral to us, according to new images taken with the Keck Telescope in Hawaii. "It could only appear like that if we are looking nearly exactly down on the axis of the binary system," Tuthill said.
The findings are detailed in the March 1 issue of Astrophysical Journal.
Unfortunately for us, gamma ray bursts seem to be shot right along the axis of systems. In essence, if this pinwheel ever releases a gamma ray burst, our planet might be in the firing line.
"This is the first object that we know of that might release a gamma ray burst at us," said astrophysicist Adrian Melott at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, who did not participate in this study. "And it's close enough to do some damage."
This pinwheel is about 8,000 light years away, roughly a quarter of the way to the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. While this might seem far, "earlier research has suggested that a gamma ray burst — if we are unfortunate enough to be caught in the beam — could be harmful to life on Earth out to these distances," Tuthill said.
What might happen
Although the pinwheel can't blast Earth apart like the Death Star from Star Wars — at least not from 8,000 light years away — it could still cause mass extinction or possibly even threaten life as we know it on our planet.
Gamma rays would not penetrate Earth's atmosphere well to burn the ground, but they would chemically damage the stratosphere. Melott estimates that if WR 104 were to hit us with a burst 10 seconds or so long, its gamma rays could deplete about 25 percent of the world's ozone layer, which protects us from damaging ultraviolet rays. In comparison, the recent human-caused thinning of the ozone layer, creating "holes" over the polar regions, have only been depletions of about 3 to 4 percent, he explained.
"So that would be very bad," Melott told SPACE.com. "You'd see extinctions. You might see food chain collapses in the oceans, might see agricultural crises with starvation."
Gamma ray bursts would also trigger smog formation that could blot out sunlight and rain down acid. However, at 8,000 light-years away, "there's probably not a large enough effect there for much of a darkening effect," Melott estimated. "It'd probably cut off 1 or 2 percent of total sunlight. It might cool the climate somewhat, but it wouldn't be a catastrophic ice age kind of thing."
Cosmic ray danger
One unknown about gamma ray bursts is how many particles they spew as cosmic rays.
"Normally the gamma ray bursts we see are so far away that magnetic fields out in the universe deflect any cosmic rays we might observe from them, but if a gamma ray burst was pretty close, any high-energy particles would blast right through the galaxy's magnetic field and hit us," Melott said. "Their energies would be so high, they would arrive at almost the same time as the light burst."
"The side of the Earth facing the gamma ray burst would experience something like getting irradiated by a not-too-distant nuclear explosion, and organisms on that side might see radiation sickness. And the cosmic rays would make the atmospheric effects of a gamma ray burst worse," Melott added. "But we just don't know how many cosmic rays gamma ray bursts emit, so that's a danger that's not really understood."
It remains uncertain just how wide the beams of energy that gamma ray bursts release are. However, any cone of devastation from the pinwheel would likely be several hundred square light-years wide by the time it reached Earth, Melott estimated. Tuthill told SPACE.com "it would be pretty much impossible to for anyone to get far enough to be out of the beam in a spaceship if it really is coming our way."
Still, Tuthill noted this pinwheel might not be the death of us.
"There are still plenty of uncertainties — the beam could pass harmlessly to the side if we are not exactly on the axis, and nobody is even sure if stars like WR 104 are capable of producing a fully-fledged gamma-ray burst in the first place," he explained.
Future research should focus on whether WR 104 really is pointed at Earth and on better understanding how supernovae produce gamma ray bursts.
Melott and others have speculated that gamma ray bursts might have caused mass extinctions on Earth. But when it comes to whether this pinwheel might pose a danger to us, "I would worry a lot more about global warming," Melott said.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
1. Is there a hole in the universe?
2. Dark Energy and Mapping the Universe
3. Lots More Information
4. See all Astronomy articles
In August 2007, scientists from the University of Minnesota published an astonishing finding in the Astrophysical Journal. The universe, they declared, had a hole in it -- a hole far bigger than anything scientists have ever seen or expected. This "hole" spans almost one billion light years and is six to 10 billion light years from Earth, in the Eridanus constellation [source: Daily Tech]. (For reference, one light year measures about six trillion miles.)
Outer Space Image Gallery
Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF, NASA This picture depicts the spread of cosmic microwave background radiation, beginning with the universe just after the big bang (left), spreading through the universe's many galaxies, clusters and voids (center), and ending with a recent CMB map. In the giant void, the WMAP satellite (top left) detects a cold spot while the VLA radio telescope (bottom left) sees fewer galaxies.
See more outer space images.
What makes this vast area of the universe a hole? The area shows almost no signs of cosmic matter, meaning no stars, planets, solar systems or clouds of cosmic dust. Researchers couldn't even find dark matter, which is invisible but measurable by its gravitational pull. There were also no signs of black holes that might have gobbled up the matter once present in the region.
The hole was initially detected by a NASA program studying the spread of radiation emitted from the Big Bang, which scientists believe spawned our universe. It was then further examined using information gleaned from the Very Large Array (VLA) telescope, used in the NRAO VLA Sky Survey Project to study large sections of the visible sky.
One researcher described the find as "not normal," going against computer simulations and past studies [source: Yahoo News]. Other such holes, also known as voids, have been found before, but this find is by far the largest. Other voids amount to around 1/1000th the size of this one, while scientists once observed a void as close as two million light years away -- practically down the street in cosmic terms [source: CNN.com].
Astronomer Brent Tully told the Associated Press that galactic voids in all likelihood develop because regions of space with high mass pull matter from less massive areas [source: CNN.com]. Over billions of years, a region can lose most of its mass to a massive neighbor. In the case of this giant void, further studies may reveal some matter in the region, but it would still be far less than what is found in "normal" parts of space.
Earlier we said that the void was first discovered through a NASA program examining radiation stemming from the Big Bang. On the next page, we'll take a closer look at that program and how scientists can look far back into the universe's history -- almost to its beginnings -- in order to make discoveries like this one.
Video Gallery: Imaging the UniverseIn an airplane hangar in Columbus, Ohio, some 80 tons of steel, electronics and cryogenic equipment come together -- all to deposit one ounce of aluminum as a near-perfect, whisper-thin coating on a giant telescope mirror. Watch this video to see how a telescope is made.
Instead of using one large satellite, an MIT research team is proposing the idea of launching several small satellites capable of intelligent communication. See how a network of mini-satellites could be used to create a high-resolution telescope in this research video from MIT.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
The island is the property of the federal government and is operated by the National Park Service. It is accessible to the public only by ferry, either from Battery Park in
Liberty Island is 2000 feet (600 m) from
Since September 11, 2001, the island is guarded by around-the-clock patrols of the United States Coast Guard.
It's never as easy as it seems. Many times have I been stretched to my limits, only to be told I made it look easy. This is a bold understatement for my... companions... friends? Paul gave us a fighting chance, Sam grappled impossible odds, they all made it look easy. But in reality, without my... heroic surge I would have been immediately reduced to a liability to my... friends.
I have a feeling that Chance will have some insight for us now that Percy is out there. Still, I cannot help but wonder if these 'others'; Former Press Secretary Teague or Agent Kennedy will be teamed up together or with us. They seem to be good patriots. However this new acquisition may prove to be problematic. A fact, I'm sure, they're prepared for.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Did you ever have that feeling that some is watching you? That if anyone learns of what you can do, "They" will lock you up? Or. What if you can't control what is happening around you or someone is controlling you?
Text YES to: 78-737-6682
You shouldn't have to look over your shoulder anymore.