"To learn, think and listen, with a theme to ponder, of a time to reflect, in a quote a month, and then to wonder..."



Countdown To The Quote Of The Month Archive




Claire C Smith

Discovered & studied science since age 6

Tutored SEND students gaining valuable experience

Created her astronomy & science website in 1999 & continues to build it

Wrote 95+ topics on astronomy, astrophysics & physics

Attended an astronomy event with & at the house of, famous
astronomer Sir Patrick Moore

Presented astronomy talks

Tweets & writes threads about science

Contributed her website as an educational tool

Published in a paper & science book on mathematical
Information Theory (2002)

Theorises & returned to writing about mathematics


Extra interests:

Astronomy (Sun/Moon/Saturn)

Astrophysics (black holes/neutron stars)

Physics (electromagnetism/engineering/photonics)

Mathematics (complex & vector analysis /probability/statistics/
algebra/number theory)

Education (thinking skills/cognitive science/psychology/SEND)

Varied (animals/nature/art/music)


Also hosts

Ok for an amateur?






C-this Countdown to the Quote of the Month page (now recent first) Read this intro about how this page works then scroll down to the current Quote of the Month - this page was updated on (Latest - December 2021) April 21st 2017- See older and most recent November and December 1st 2015 for two themes in one Month. The last few years Quote of the Months from 2008 to 2013, are available and archived here




This site is about my favourite interests - Science (Physics, Astronomy) Space Art + Music which include some ideas in science and space art that I have created. Part of the site also contains an old magazine. This bit has a Monthly Quote and a few ideas thrown together. Read the bit of text below first to see what that means, then scroll down to read the latest quote.


Countdown to the Quote (of The Month) on this page now goes:


The Quote

Every month, I put a 1st of the Month quote here (which I have done for years) but recently, since about mid to late 2011, I came up with a new idea to go along with this. As usual I put the quote here, then I say who the quote belongs to.


The Theme

Then I say what the theme of the month is that goes with the quote, mainly in a large title just below it.


The 'Twint'

If you look at my twitter page http://twitter.com/ClaireCSmith about 2,3 or 4 days before the 1st of the Month Quote, I tweet one hint a day or three in a day, that I call Twints, so that each tweet means a countdown, which are really just tweet hints (twints) about what the theme is, that is about to come up in the next quote or subject.


The Explanation

Later I intergrate some text about a brief explanation of the quotes into the countdowns. I may extend, if necessary, any possible explainable connections of my own then embed (an education word for a method I used when I was a tutor) those ideas on top of that. The quote explanations are a way of getting some science fact, as well as inspiring, over to the masses and wider audience so I tend to use simple and direct terms to do just that. After all that I put the kettle on... or not, I am joking, I put a link on the last part, that is usually to some music video that might illustrate the theme that month and then I can assure you it does really go with the theme ( it doesn't really but it's a good way to make it relevant and interesting). So, it's all connected with my twitter page and this website and it is all supposed to go together. Some how.





C-This Quote Of The Month December 1st 2015





"We came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the earth."



by William Anders NASA astronaut one of the men on Apollo 8 mission






It’s Not Just the Destination





We are here, or maybe I should say, you are here:







By that, I mean literally you really *are* here! Because the chances of many of us as a species, including you, ever being further than just below the surface of the atmosphere of our planet, in this lifetime at least, even say for the next hundred years, is indeed a very remote one. I’ll explain further.


Car, airplane and sailing as travel only gets us so far, on the flat plane – geometrically that is. It’s a human instinct to travel far away and go abroad, which to us is just across the sea and to then land on foreign soil. After all, we’ve been doing it for thousands of years. Birds have migrated thousands of miles to warmer climates during winter for all the time they have existed on Earth and if you really think about it, we often perceive travel in a linear way – it’s across the globe and the longest distance any person can take to a new place, without doing the same route again will be in the exact opposite area of the place they are at when they start that journey and it’s just the other side of the world. Where does that leave us?


One of the most significant questions asked in science is, how far can humans travel in space? But this produces another intriguing area of insight. When we get there, it’s not just about what will we see looking back, but more uniquely, what will our journey to see our planet Earth from space be like?




Looking Back (But Not In Anger)




Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: A view that was the first to amaze the world, by the first person to see it from the furthest point.


On the 24th December in 1968, an astronaut called William Anders took one of the most moving and iconic space images that humankind would ever see. It was taken during the Apollo 8 mission to the Moon. The gripping part of the event wasn’t just the fact that it was the first manned space mission that would go beyond Earth’s orbit and to the Moon with a safe return, but that when it got there, to have a snapshot of that event whilst looking back at Earth, made it more rare. This image is called Earthrise.




Earthrise from Apollo 8



The Apollo 8 mission at first secured a circular orbit to a parking orbit around Earth, which is an Earth parking orbit. Its apogee at its first stage was 99.99 nautical miles and its perigee was 99.57 nautical miles. If comparing its position to the Earth’s Equator, it had an inclination of 32.51° and its orbital period was clocked at 88.19 minutes. To increase its apogee, it meant using a method of propellant venting which increased its nautical miles by 6.4. This manoeuvre was put in ready to prepare for its next stage in the area of orbital travel and to produce any acceleration from actual orbital velocity to injection velocity, it was crucial knowing what parts of the forces acted within the law of pure physics and how its thrust and mass were exchanged when they did so – in this case it’s not just displacement of position but mass exchange. Normally acceleration is calculated on the ground as a rate of change of velocity where it has both magnitude and direction. Escape velocity is not actually acceleration either, for an object in orbit is linear and this means it only has size and is scalar like speed. Anything that only has size is linear, like speed and is scalar. So for acceleration for example, a high speed car using fuel and loosing mass through thrust, accelerates but does so linearly at a rate of change of velocity per unit time, and the unit time and it’s position within that relativistic time, plays a the crucial part all because the time and position is calculated in linear form. Because the acceleration of the high speed car is also a vector, it means it has direction, but it is a linear vector, whereas when the Apollo 8 ship’s orbit displaces itself out of its initial orbital velocity period, where it is needed the most, and as its thrust takes over, it is termed the Trans-Lunar Injection stage because this is the key part in lifting it out of 2nd stage orbit , as it is just displaced mass with the effort it takes to reach it, all based on changing position though non-linear time plus non-linear space as a period of acceleration with a change in mass. Another way to explain this is that if the orbital velocity is a constant but linear method of travel – much like how humans travel on the planets geometric plane on its surface, the Apollo 8 mission is at its first stage injection velocity, using a type of unnatural thrust from the Earth’s gravitational pull. There is a tendency to think that this actual acceleration is the same as the car, but it is not because the car isn’t displacing any orbital motion. The only way the ship can escape the forces of natural orbital velocity, is to go against the grain of the inward tangent that would stop it pulling away from Earth’s gravitational pull and where escape velocity and propulsion are different, had it not gained non-linear acceleration. It’s this area that uses the opposite thrust to the natural force in orbit – in this context the force produced by injection is more like real acceleration than the down to Earth linear acceleration - more simply, the increase in acceleration produces a non-linear change in position, means the ship ends up displaced into an eccentric orbit.




The-trans Lunar Injection Stands Out



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: A shift from one plane to another, which enabled the object doing so, a smooth journey onward + back


After achieving initial stage thrust from Earth’s orbit, the Apollo 8 ship was put at a bit less than the Earth’s escape velocity to make sure it was captured by the Moon’s gravitational pull, otherwise the Apollo 8 ship would move away. I think this is one of the most brilliant events in physics space ever because it meant using a simple but natural force from the Moon, which was its gravitational force to propel Earth toward it with the subtle but most extensive shift, as Apollo 8’s journey left Earth’s grasp to grab the Moon’s, as it delicately balanced its shift in position creating an event, so simple but moving, that the handshake form both Moon and Earth, created for the first time ever, via the ship, a corresponding pathway of connecting forces, all from each of the three bodies, that created one of the best journeys known in space exploration.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: A gradual step by step method of enquiring + calculation that enables a transition of mechanism + thought


This thinking that uses physics as a step by step method, is not only just like how we as the species like to stand back and realise what we can achieve each time we innovate, but there is learning curve of subtle advancement in travel technology and how we grasp what the universe has to offer which would enable us to travel further if we look closer but at the same time stand back and use a non-linear method each time to break away. More importantly, it was during the Apollo 8 mission and it’s calculation in orbits and planetary slingshots that weren’t just about the laws of physics but also about the laws of human behaviour to get to the next step into breaking out of our physical linear orbit, as well as our mental ones too.



Here is a diagram I created based on the original of the Launch and the-Trans Lunar Injection - Apollo 8 mission drawing







I was inspired by this years (2015) John Lewis advert called The Man on the Moon. Just a few days before it was launched, I tweeted about having a view from the Moon that was inspired by the Earthrise form 1968. I then went on to tweet about the Cassini mission a few years ago which showed a picture of our planet Earth as a tiny dot in one of Saturn’s rings. What made me think was, we have yet to get this far, not just in destination but in its journey. Noel Gallagher brilliantly explains all of this in the group he once belonged to, Oasis, with the track called ‘Half the World Away' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tiqxn3iOmxY






C-This Quote Of The Month November 1st 2015





"Everything has a natural explanation. The moon is not a god, but a great rock, and the sun a hot rock"



By Anaxagoras, a Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher





The Sun is a Hot Rock!






I drew this 15 year old image on the computer, called Sunblast.




Countdown to the Quote 3: The most important object in space and known to man, that is relied upon for energy needs which fuels our planet.



Most of the Earth’s life forms and many other processes are reliant on energy needs that have their origins in one of the largest objects in our vicinity - it’s always the Sun. Even though it often appears that all our needs are met on planet Earth, it’s quite immense to gasp the fact that we rely mostly on one source in space, and that we should think that we’re fortunate enough to have such a vast, almost perfectly spherical globe of immense energy, which is the Sun, which in one aspect, seems like a simple system comprising of a giant ball of hot plasma in our solar system and that in astronomical terms, it is not very far away.


The Sun is a very complex nuclear reaction in which a system of motion and change, and if it is looked at in one way, it is almost dynamically balanced and simple, and in it another complex, because it has two main dynamics that connect with each other to keep that balance in line (for now). These are gravity and fusion energy. As its fusion rate increases, its core heat increases, making the core area expand in a billowing process as it enlarges in size, but at some point, because it loses its thermal energy due to external areas of mass, the forces of this inward mass by gravitational collapse, creates backward pressure and gravity wins, as the nearest layer next to the inner core stops any more expansion and it collapses back, that in turn generates the heat that creates fusion and the cycles starts all over again. As the core swarms with internal magnetic fields that twist and move, all fusing and creating new elements, the energy here is also transferred outwards and by the time all its dynamic behaviour is nearer the outer core, what energy is left is converted to kinetic and light, which is part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we see when looking at the Sun right now. Being 4.6 billion years old, the Sun has been around a long time but its power and its internal energy will not last forever, because one day it will burn up all its hydrogen and expand into a massive star and become nearly as big as our solar system! Only then will it eventually collapse into a Red Dwarf.


The Sun has around 7 different layers, each with a process, that interact with one another creating the effects and light we see on its surface.






The first part is the inner core. This is often mistakenly thought that as it’s the hottest area with an internal temperature of 15.7 million kelvin, and being most dense area of the Sun generally, that it is less energetic than its other areas, but opposite thinking here is more fact. There is a vast amount of dynamical movement inside its core. This area of dense heat and motion is the place where hydrogen is converted into helium. It is thought that this is the process where the Sun creates its thermal energy and where fusion takes place. As the internal core generates thermal energy, it is then lost through its outer layers then transferred into kinetic energy.




Countdown to the Quote 2: The layer of this object that transfers internal core energy from fusion via heat, into outward dispersing force.



The Sun’s radiative zone, by referring to the pervious paragraph, is the part nearest layer to the core, and is where the Sun loses it thermal energy the most - it can be thought of as having a dual purpose – thermostatically controlling the amount of fusion by heat that results in energy transfer away from its core. Here, its ions of hydrogen and helium emit photons, that are absorbed back again and the core density decreases the greater the distance form the core.


There is a next layer called the Tachocline layer. Before getting to the changing rotations of the convective zone, this layer lays in-between that zone and is the more uniform rotation rate of the radiative zone. The Tachocline layer occurs where these two layers of different systems rotation are in contrast but the overriding forces begin to be uniform of the radiative areas. This area is also thought to drive a dynamo effect which is powers the origins of the Sun’s magnetic field.


The Convective Zone is about 200,000 km below the surface of the Sun. In this area, there is noted a temperature decrease and less the heavier particles or atomic structures do not undergo ionization as much. This means the radiation as heat, and it passage through the Sun’s outer surface is reduced. This area is actually the well-known plasma that is often cited, as what mostly makes up the Sun’s make-up, and has the correct density to create currents and turbulences that generate energy for the next layers further up in its atmosphere. As the previous layer heat increases, it expands resulting in a density decrease, while thermal areas form micro funnels that are smaller more contained systems, called cells, as they create strong convection currents, all transporting more energy towards the outer layers of the Sun, out into its photosphere.


It is in the Photosphere that generates much of the Sun’s light source, but this is slightly obscured by the next layer called the Atmosphere, that mainly consists of the more opaque appearance of one part of the chromosphere. As electrons react with hydrogen atoms, H− ions are produced and this is when visible light is created. Here blackbody radiant energy is detected at about the same rate as the spectrum of sunlight emitted and where any expenditure of the blackbody effect ends up radiating at around 6,000 K respectively. Hydrogen at this point also, is mostly in its atomic form and isn’t fully ionised.




It’s all in a Flux


The Sun’s atmosphere starts with its Chromosphere, which is just above the Photosphere and at a temperature of about 4,100 K, various common chemicals can be detected which are often not thought of as existing in the Sun. Within their forms, these are carbon monoxide and water. There is a region called the Transition area, and in the Corona area there a surprising temperature increase thought to occur – and that is greater than the surface of the Sun. These are created by special waves called magnetohydrodynamic waves, or Alfvén waves. This is simply explained by oscillating ions caused by a force, termed effective tension - all happening within magnetic fields lines. The magnetic fields cause the restorative force and the ion mass density provides the inertia. These Alfvén waves move along in the same direction of the magnetic fields, even though the wave is really at oblique incidence to morph into a magnetosonic wave, which is when its propagation becomes perpendicular to the magnetic field. The magnetic field and the ions then arrange themselves in the same direction which means they are then transverse, or right angled, to the direction of propagation. As this all happens, the corona heats up more than the surface of the Sun itself and it has been found, the Chromosphere shows a spectrum of emission lines and absorption lines and the higher the area within this region (nearer the transition region), the warmer it gets again, and helium is properly ionised that lessens cooling. The transition areas have defining properties or layers, but they wrap themselves around filaments and spicules within the ever changing systems of the Chromosphere.


The corona, being larger than the photosphere, is the outer layer of the surface of the Sun and can reach temperatures as warm as 8,000,000–20,000,000 K . It is here a system of conjoining forces happens, called magnetic reconnection, before generating plasma that becomes part of the solar wind.


The heliosphere extends outwards that is the Sun’s last layer. This is the area responsible for the solar wind. This bubble of plasma then comes up against the medium of space, as it extends. The pressure of space creates a barrier that shapes this area around the Sun, whereby the direction of the movement of the Sun, squeezes the size of area or bubble of atmosphere in front of it, compared to the area moving in the opposite direction that is dragged behind creating a larger area in contrast.




The solar wind is created by atoms that are ionised from within the corona. As the Sun’s magnetic field rotates, it produces a shape - the Heliospheric current sheet that, what is called in Solar circles, as resembling a ballerina’s skirt.









Countdown to the Quote 1: This object has a layer around it, mixing with space to produce an effect similar to the physics of a sonic boom.








The next area of this bubble is called the Termination shock. It is when the speed of the solar wind deceases to subatomic speeds as it mixes with the interstellar medium. It is here when compression occurs, that is then heated which changes its magnetic field. Because the speed of sound in space is 100 km/s, the speed at which the Sun’s particles are emitted are greater than the speed of sound. When moving away from the Sun, both the interstellar medium and the stellar wind at one point become equal and as the solar wind slows down below the speed of sound, a shock wave is created. The Heliopause slows solar wind particles caused by the interstellar medium - this part is called the Heliosheath. The shape of each layer then creates a Heliotail caused by the bunching up of layer in the direction of the Sun and the longer side is the dragging effect from the opposite side that looks like the shape of a tail.


The concluding thought here is although the Sun appears to be an average contender within the range of G-type main sequence stars, or a G2V, because of its size, it has an ability to regulate its internal heating core against the pressure of gravity in order to recycle its waist, this effect creates forces that turn into kinetic energy. Other forces when mixed with plasma and turbulence within each layer self-regulate, as its outer regions produce a vast source of radiant energy as light and heat. Although the Sun won’t last forever, it is a great example of self-contained science dynamics and how equilibrium within a vacuum behaves, that although has lead us to find more theory, will provide more Solar science that has yet to be understood. We are only scratching the surface, where the surface that we know about and can see with our eyes, is as opaque as the Sun’s chromosphere…




A Solar flare



I chose this track because it was the first CD I bought just after I heard in a specialised sound shop, just after purchasing my first proper stereo system in the early 1990’s. I was in a specialised sound shop and the sales man let me listen to some music to differentiate 2 different types of speakers and this track of music was played. I was inside a room at the back of the shop and as they played it, I could immediately tell the vast difference in sound quality between the more expensive speakers compared to the cheaper ones. I ended up buying 3 stereo components from there that I still have now – along with this track on CD.


The Stranglers - Always the Sun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um9kd-mhhK4

The Stranglers - Always the Sun (extended) (this one is with pictures of the Sun!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wDdZwRAOug






C-This Quote Of The Month October 22nd for october 1st 2015





"They say the universe is expanding. That should help with the traffic."



By American comedian, actor and writer Steven Wright





The Shape of the Future









But first go back!




Why would it be assumed in the world of astrophysics and astronomy, that only objects such as stars, galaxies and Black holes alike would be the only events in space having any shape and nothing more?



The galaxies and stars that exist in our inverse all have a distinct pattern, but they were all originally formed from gasses and plasma in the early universe, that were later mixed up from the shockwaves of surrounding stars, like supernova explosions, which then re shaped the cosmic soup forcing it into the clumps and object masses that are seen today.


If you look at picture of young galaxies, they are much more regular in shape and form




Credit: NASA's Spitzer Telescope





Old Light - Young Galaxies



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: These packets of energy are responsible for us finding out how far away large objects are in deep space.


It doesn’t take much thinking that due to the way light takes time to travel within inter galactic sizes, that its behaviour is predicted to be the same when it gets to Earth - to a degree. This means that looking further afield for each galaxy that is studied, any galaxy that is a bit further away from the previous one, proves we are always looking further back into the past each time. For example, a galaxy a million light years in the distance is tricking you into thinking it is how you would see it today, especially if you didn’t know that the physics of the speed of light has a limit, therefore you are not seeing what it looks like as it is today because light does have a certain speed limit, which means it takes time to travel to your eyes. A galaxy a million light years away that you are looking at is actually showing you its light as it was a million years ago – that’s a long time ago!



One of the recent methods astronomers have used to find young galaxies had been with a telescope that was launched into orbit in 1990 called the Hubble Deep Field. Since then the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) concentrated on a smaller area of space that had to be a place of low density in stars so that detection could be clear of space debris (there’s plenty of it). The reason was that this was to allow seeing further back in time.







Going much further afield, ahem, a more recent method was used to look at an even smaller area of sky from the exact Hubble Ultra Deep Field set and again, this time with less foreground stars and objects to do just that. It looked at the extreme end of deep fields within the cosmos. This was done by using the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) telescope. This brilliant image shows galaxies that existed 13.2 billion years ago.




Credit: NASA; ESA; G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch, University of California, Santa Cruz; R. Bouwens, Leiden University; and the HUDF09 Team

Wow, and amazing iamge of young galaxies. Credit: NASA's Hubble Ultra Deep Field Telescope



Red Shift and the First Galaxies



It is incredible to think that one of the oldest objects in our early universe, the galaxy UDFy-38135539, took its light 13.1billion years to travel to Earth. This object is calculated to be around a massive 30 billion light years away. This object was discovered in the sensitive infrared band and only just detected due to the fact that any light it emitted, that could be detected as at least visible, would have been absorbed by hydrogen gas on it journey here. This object spewed out ultraviolet radiation but as most of it was absorbed by hydrogen gas, it makes the finding and method of doing so, all the more appealing. The distance of galaxy UDFy-38135539 and its correlation to a non-uniform light speed as the early universe just after the big bang, expanded faster than it does now, ends up defining one of Einstein’s theories on larger than local scale and that is - nothing can travel faster than the speed of light- but light speed needs a frame of reference and expanding space in between matter, that’s proportionally measured according to everything else around it, as in co-moving references frames, also means light speed reference frames starts to question this problem from other newer angles, at least for as far as how objects like galaxies and stars in the universe behave is concerned, and by that how to calculate their light reaching us, what and how its speed can be calculated when it does and most importantly, in which direction it travels, whether we calculate light coming from the point of origin within the centre of the Big Bang, or from a star moving away from that origin, in which case it might be in my little theory here, has its light then co -moved towards, then the odd thing of the angle it takes as we measure its origin, when its origins are moving, or its co-ordinates are changing in relation to what is measured when the light does reach us. This is the most amusing part of cosmology to think about here.

Mainly all of this different frame of reference being not so clear cut is because we know that the universe is expanding, but it’s often referred to accelerating, but (another but!) even that is a questionable assumption because, it has to have something to accelerate into, like Dark Energy and since acceleration is not the same as changing frame without inertia (remember acceleration is not the same as a change in reference frames, Lorentz transforms etc.), then it creates an extra level of complexity and any matter considered in it that does move, that is termed co-moving, creates the catch that is it to be re calculated with proper distance values and this is all about starting from the beginning again and again, then asking, where does it all start anyway? A meaning for proper distance measures are based on Hubble’s Law due to the expansion of the universe and as time also expands, any thinking here becomes more involved when adding light speed over the top of time and co moving reference frames, hence one of the main ideas in thinking about cosmic inflation then becomes a great problem if the universe expanded faster than light at the start of the big bang, because it might not have, for all of these reasons.

In a complete twist, a universe full of stars and massive rocks seems very unlikely to be flat! but the flatness is due to spatial geometry where it is thought that the universe’s energy density is just about its critical and energy densities to be equal, if for a flat universe, but if both these are not the actual energy density’s net product (without rocks as matter) then it might be better to look at it this way: without ordinary matter, or mass, the universe shape is not what it appears to be yet again. So imagine trying to calculate what that means first! If working out the overall energy density from the actual density and the critical density in the early universe, in which they are thought as equal, it just suggests that the universe had an even greater twist by the introduction of Dark Energy. Where its flatness is donated as a positive cosmological constant, and it not having mass, it was concluded to have constant positive curvature. In the early theories, the shape of the universe was derived as having constant positive curvature which was first devised by mathematical physicist, Willem de Sitter. Using the Lambda symbol results in an equation taken from working out the flatness using the De Sitter angle:



De Sitter space equation



But it still maintains the shapes of objects within it that are in 3 dimensions – the balmy world of flat spatial geometry has now confused the issue. Going back to the astrophysics of the actual expanding universe and how light in the red shift is detected from objects that have greater velocities the further away you look (they are assumed to be at a greater speed, due to expansion the further out they are, and co- moving) one of the best examples says it is more true depending on where you are stood in the universe, but most importantly, that your absolute relation to the centre of where the Big Bang took place is crucial and not just that, but also the shape of the universe itself - it’s still flat in its spatial geometry, but is not necessarily infinite either! The image below is the physicist, Friedmann’s Equation. It sums up a few things.






The curvature radius of space that is represented by R. The rho is the mass density structure. The Lambda part is the cosmological constant. The k is the symbol for space curvature. The G is the gravitational constant and lastly, c is speed of light!



I've doen the arrows with it to make it easier. Notice how I made the Space Curviture arrow curved - kewl or what.



Using and thinking about these methods of co-moving distances and proper distances, also explain why the light emitted from UDFy-38135539 took 13.1 billion years to reach us, but is actually calculated to be 30 billion light years away. The theory here included the fact that it emitted ultraviolet but the only detectable band was found to be in the very red shift area. This is the next important part. Even if you know that when an object moves away, implying to ones that are further away from us, the galaxy is detected in the red shift band, even going back further in time just after the Big bang, at around 13.7 billion years ago, which was just as the Cosmic Background radiation was forming and the universe was very hot and when the universe was just 380,000 years old, this area consisted of a type of hot ionized plasma and hardly any galaxies at all, or certainly any clumps of matter or arears of dense effects. About 400,000 years after the Big Bang, it was observed that here protons joined back together with electrons. This era was called recombination and I reckon it completely muddles even more the idea that light, if it were, travelled slower than the expansion of the universe. It’s quite difficult to find out from plasma what actually occurred at this time. After this period of time became the Dark Age that lasted a few hundreds of million years.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: A method to change the way light behaves using vibration of waves that are within a specific plane.

Within the one particular area of this soup like plasma, it was found recently that light emitted from it was seen to be polarized, which is now called a pattern termed E-mode polarization. With an even more recent collaboration of the South Pole Telescope in Antarctica, together with ESA’s Herschel space observatory, a newer pattern has been detected in the polarized light, and then called the B-mode. This B-mode observation is within the magnetic mode for coding the patterns of light, or in this case the type of polarization occurring. As well as the microlensing effect of light being bent by objects in space, like dark matter for example, what is interesting to think about is that the detection was about primordial gravitational waves that occurred just a few seconds after the Big Bang took place as gravity joined up with the strong and weak interaction, as well as the electromagnetic forces – in fact it was less than a part of a second! From this perspective, it could be that the shape of the universe might not have any significance, but only for the microlensing method, as it can be imagined that young gravitational behaviour had a type of shape effect, or at least, the patterns of gradational waves show their own pattern and therefore a distinct shape.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: The physics of everything in the universe changes due to context, size + shape of the objects within it.

In the early young universe, although irregular shapes with less stars were formed due to less clumping effects of mass, in general physics then and as it is now, the shape and density and most critically the size of a classical object - if they are very dense at least, would according to Newton’s general laws, harness greater momentum and therefore are assumed and most definitely proven to be the least to decay over a longer period of time. Although this is a true fact of classical objects, here comes another great shift in thinking, but first throw out the previous level of physics, because it now starts to break down at larger scales (like Einstein’s theory of Relativity breaking down in Black Holes). So it goes, the weirder the idea, the more likely it becomes less of a novel thing to think about, especially within the physics and chemistry of stars, because they do end up contradicting this local effect at some point of the local more classical theory to some degree. It is all because the larger more dense stars have greater pressure within their cores and it means they burn out quicker because they use up hydrogen much more rapidly. From this odd logic, the lighter and smaller and less dense the stars are, the more they retain their energy at a more constant rate, and therefore they last longer which backs up the fact that some of the younger stars may have lived very long if they were smaller in size. Add this to the fact that the stars in the earlier universe ionised hydrogen within their vicinity. This was to be the final catalyst to the shape and formation of what stars and galaxies look like today.

An exciting development in the future molecular clouds midst is the Webb Space Telescope that is to be used in 2018. This telescope will look at ionised gas within the early universe and is the best instrument yet that might detect galaxies in higher red shift bands.




Credit: NASA



What will happen in the future? Will the shape of our galaxies change and disperse or will they form a very similar pattern? They might look like clones of each other but all depends on what occurs within the astrophysics within our universe.

From one extreme to the other, all cooler galaxies have distinct shape and form. This leaves the question, what will the shape of our galaxies and stars look like in the future? It could be that all galaxies start to form larger and larger shapes and become mega galaxies (see last month’s parsec sized objects). We already know about Super Massive Black Holes, so maybe there will be Super Massive Spiral Armed Galaxies with Old Stars waiting in the wings – but if they want go the opposite way to re distribute and disperse, they might have to have very big winged spiral arms too, in order to fly free…






I chose this lovely piece of music by the superb composer and music writer that I have on CD which is John Williams, who writes the music to the Star Wars films. The reason is because it reminds me of how galaxies could become very similar in the far future – much like the future of our species, maybe our own galaxies will become clones of each other or perhaps not, maybe we will never know…

John Williams: Love theme (from Attack of the clones) or Star Wars Episode II Soundtrack - Across the Stars (Love Theme from Attack of the Clones) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktD_5icBQhQ or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM_ZWnD40aA or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLQ5o4-vnHI





C-This Quote Of The Month September 1st 2015





"Twinkle, twinkle, quasi-star
Biggest puzzle from afar
How unlike the other ones
Brighter than a billion suns
Twinkle, twinkle, quasi-star
How I wonder what you are"




By George Gamow, a Russian theoretical physicist and cosmologist






The War in the Sky








A pic of a quasar




Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: Just when you thought one space object was the largest ever, another surrounds it + takes its place.




All’s fair in love and war and it couldn’t be more apparent in the cosmos. The cosmos has its own theory of evolution proving to us there are challenges, not just at home but also in space, in order to compete to win the biggest war in the universe - which object is the greatest and biggest. It could be said that the stars are there to conquer the interstellar realms, much like the human race raging in battles on our planet Earth, but these larger cosmic realms are the ones which take on the same behaviour as Darwin’s survival of the fittest only they are on a more colossal scale, as with the consequences of each, they all become enormous compared to the last, in a cosmic evolutionary context, the last to survive becomes the winner and in the end and like our own Earthly battles, there is always a loser. It’s the survival of the biggest and one of them will win.




For the time being it has been known that quasars are the most prolific objects in space. They are the stars of light and their energy is an army of soldiers from a contribution of forces occurring in the centre of supermassive black holes. As one of the brightest objects in the sky, one particular quasar stands out - called the 3C 273 in constellation of Virgo and has an apparent magnitude of 12.8 with absolute magnitude of −26.7. This is impressive for a star because it is quite bright considering the distance it is from Earth. Quasars are the nuclei of galaxies that occurred early on in the universe and at 600 million light-years away from us, the combined luminosity of this quasar in particular is 4 trillion times that of our Sun, so for its size, this is quite impressive. There is also a hyperluminous quasar called APM 08279+5255 which has an absolute magnitude of −32.2, being even greater to boot. The criteria for their prolific energetic behaviour, if not immense size, is in terms of their full energy output that is powered by supermassive black holes at their centre and there’s plenty of that: from one end of the spectrum of gamma ray, X-ray to ultra-violet, all the way to the optical range toward infrared and from microwaves and then to radio, to say their emissions are broad, is an understatement. They have very unusual spectra lines and it is thought that they are apparent from the range they show. They are caught in the optical range and swiftly to the X-ray range. When galaxies collided about 12 billion years ago they created quasars. Quasars are just very compact areas of energetic events within a galaxy, but unlike the compactness of neutron stars, quasars that culminate around a black hole are the most super massive. Just to provide scale, when thinking about the size of a standard black hole and its Schwarzschild radius, which is if the mass of an object was squeezed into the size of the sphere, the escape velocity, which is a measurement of speed when adding an object's kinetic energy with its gravitational potential energy results in becoming equal to zero, escaping from its surface would equal the speed of light. Here then, the size of a quasar is 10–10,000 times that actual Schwarzschild radius, which is the standard size for the black hole. The quasar is much bigger and powered by mass falling into the black holes accretion disc. Quasar object themselves are part of the centres of very young galaxies and produce emissions that are around a thousand times greater in terms of energy output, than our own Milky Way galaxy that we are inside of. We wouldn’t have much of a chance existing in, or even around one of these galaxies though, all because of bombardment by its emissions and energy.




Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: If measuring across including a central effect, these objects span a great distance from 2 directions



One of the things that becomes striking about studying quasars in comparison to other stars that are omnidirectional (radiating outwards in all directions in a uniform manner) is, that they produce enormous relativistic jets that are almost pointing towards us. These jets are superb events to study for any astronomer and astrophysicist. The preferred term for what these jets are is an Astrophysical Jet or a Relativistic Jet. Their jets produce striking behaviour as they spew out energy that occurs when matter is thrown out in the centre of axis of rotation of the quasar, as it is approaching the speed of light. As well as the wide emission spectrum of the actual quasar, these jets of matter or plasma are a marker for how much energy is being generated just under the speed of light. Now compare the size of the quasar mentioned before to the size of its jet that are almost hundreds of thousands of light years across. It is obvious that looking at the images they spew out very far. These very bizarre jets are electrically neutral and comprise a mixture of electrons, positrons, protons with some suggestion of electron-positron plasma involved.



“Do I hear what I think I'm hearing?
Do I see the signs I think I see?
Or is this just a fantasy?
Is it true that the beast is waking
Stirring in his restless sleep tonight
In the pale moonlight” - Abba, Soldiers





Although the lone quasar appears to be the main fighter of our skies by taking charge battling its way through the vast dangers of unknown deep space, it might be that it has won the war for the greatest object known in the universe (apart from the universe itself) but it need not get complacent, for it has an even greater challenge to battle in the war of the Greatest, and that is the Huge-LQG, or The Huge Large Quasar Group.




Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: It's a group of the same objects seen as 1 cluster of ultrastrong emitters with colossal size + energy






Model distribution of Huge-LQG and older CCLQG grouped objects




In this diagram, it shows the Huge-LQG and older CCLQG groups. The ticked areas marked show intervals of 200 Mpc across. The Huge-LQG is seen in the upper LQG area. The dark spheres have a radius of 33.0 Mpc.




The Huge Large Quasar Group is one of the biggest known objects in the observable universe. Consisting of about 73 quasars in total, this massive object is an astounding 4 billion light years across in length. Looking within the constellation Leo, a group of astronomers in the North West of England, found this colossal structure in 2013, as it peered at them by way of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. At 1.24 Gpc (gigaparsecs) in length and with a mass of 6.1×1018, anyone would think they hit jackpot! This had to be a war won by one of the largest object in space. This cluster of quasars that became an event unto itself has what is called the ultrastrong emitters. This Huge-LQG (Huge Large Quasar Group) has a large iron signature, with Lyα fluorescence with some microturbulence. But even if this was the biggest known object in the observable universe, it seems, the battle would continue for the greatest object of them all because the fight with yet another large object in space named the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall meant the cosmological war did not end then.





Credit: ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser)




In the mining of data within the gamma-ray bursts arena, this Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall was discovered by a group of American and Hungarian astronomers in November 2013. Looking in the constellations Draco and Hercules (but in fact it spans from the area of Boötes right across to the constellation Gemini) this dense formation within the redshift of 1.6 and 2.1, contains 19 GRBs or 19 gamma-ray bursts overall. Existing at the size of 2 billion to 3 billion parsecs, which is 6 to 10 billion light years across, it makes a huge gravitational warp in the current smooth cosmological thinking – by that, suggesting its denseness by cosmological standards should make it very rare, or even not even exist at all. Being at about a supermassive object 1/9 or 10.7% of the diameter of the observable universe, it had to put into its own category because it doesn’t fit into any other, literally.



“What's that sound, what's that dreadful rumble?
Won't somebody tell me what I hear?
In the distance but drawing near
Is it only a storm approaching?
All that thunder and the blinding light” - Abba, Soldiers




Although it appears the battle could be won and the soldiers of the cosmological war, in theory can all go home and celebrate their victory, there might be one last interstellar enemy battle target to consider in the war of the largest of the skies. Under what could be the most massive cosmological empire, who will win now, is to be anyone’s guess because a current law is 1) the universe is homogeneous, this means it is the same throughout, or that clusters have the same distribution and probabilities of what is inside them is similar and 2) that the universe is isotropic, which means it is the same in all directions.




Does this mean the war has been won? It could be because apart from the universe itself, one of the biggest laws of the universe - the Cosmological principle envelops all objects within it.





I did this space pic of a quasar when I started creating this website - about 15 years ago!




“Soldiers write the songs that soldiers sing
The songs that you and I won't sing
Let's not look the other way
Taking a chance
'Cause if the bugler starts to play
We too must dance” - Abba, Soldiers




Added text September 4th 2015 [I want to add, on a personal level I don’t agree with war and I have written about this before years ago, and where possible I am a peace advocate. In today’s world it often seems that the idea of gaining peace without war a far harder option, which is a disappointing and unfortunate reality. Maybe this is because the reality always seems difficult over the complexities of human behaviour, but I wanted to use the theme of war and soldiers this month to illustrate how it could be similar in space but using it in a more general way for the theme of competition of size and greatness for space objects, like quasars as an example. I think whether war itself would be the only and best option to gain greater peace for all on Earth at the moment, remain unanswered.]




This is one of my top ten most brilliant favourite Abba songs, called Soldiers from one of their later albums called Visitors. I had this album since being a kid in the 80’s on vinyl. Got it on CD and often play this a lot in my car. Just listen to the introduction part with the drums – it’s the best part. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ec2dCvoext0










C-This Quote Of The Month 4th July for the 1st August 2015





'Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it.'




By Leonardo da Vinci – an Italian polymath who’s range was from artist to scientist covering anatomy.







The Anatomy of the Universe - Look At It This Way








An old image I created years ago.





It is probably early days but a good part of science has not yet been thought about. The best way to start this investigation is to ask the question - what type of time is being used?




Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: How an area of science connects separate parts using common theory already used in the physical world


It’s easy to jump to the obvious answers from the weak interaction that is gravity, to the strong nuclear force and other theories that are passed around suggesting how things can attract are under greater scrutiny. One item in this subject that stands out and could be tackled more is to ask whether any of the old and working theories are either linear or on linear. For example, does gravity mean that all classical objects follow the rules of linear time? By taking one aspect of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, does it mean that, with space-time curvature is it that there is yet more to how things are held together than what is already known. It could be more open ended than we realise.








One place that can be studied is in the field of anatomy of biology and medicine. It could be that the anatomy of parts is expressed in a type of linear dynamic form. More closely, they are separated by each system which works next to their neighbour and however different in cell structure because how they work and function is in synch with the next. If they did not work in synch, they would not function. A good example is to look at the anatomy of the eye. The eyes are connected to the brain but an eye as a separate system has parts that operate based on chemical and quantum levels. If taken all together, they have a kind of sideways emergence fashion in common and we can only see one angle of that. To explain this better, each component of the eye, like a separate cell, are separated by their defining form but each follow a defined function and because function is the physiology and based on a time dependant method of analysis, it is ruled by the laws of thermodynamics. In other words, when studying the forms in anatomy, they are understood to work together in unison and with other forms, which comprises of a standard time layout. It means the process of physiology and the part about how things function, is very time dependant, i.e. they are understood to have rules operating on classical levels (leave out quantum brain events for now, or any biological quantum events at this level) If this is a red flag, then there could be more to how each section proceeds, all because classical biology shows us form and function at standard levels using the time dependant chemistry.




When everything is Linear and static



Now try to grasp the same idea from biology and take it to the more general level within the physics and forces going on within wider reality itself. Not just living things but innate objects. It may not seem obvious, but much like the parts that are understood to have sections in biology, physics in this context, could reveal more than we know - each tying them together. If it works in the world of biology, there could also be more to how things are kept in synch than the current theories of attraction. For example the standard laws of gravity to the strong nuclear force etc. Just think about how these systems could occur without linear time. There are mathematical models and equations in physics that use a type of non-linear function to gain a type of answer to nonlinear events in nature, but the models are in all actuality still linear by fashion. A good example is the weather. It can be predicted to a degree because there are methods that can gain insight into how the system will change, this is along the line of chaos theory. The point here is, chaos theory, as much as it is one way to understand and develop ideas about reality, by using non-linear physics and mathematics, it still bypasses our limited grasp of nature because we cannot know the full process of events beyond our most determined method. To put it another way, our use of mathematics is very good at utilising a formalism that neatly packs our understanding together – but this might not always happen in nature. In nature, its input might not follow a rule to a predicted output. Another way to look at this is how one action at the start, like the butterfly effect, then becomes amplified, resulting in an end product that is a larger version of the butterfly’s wing flap. But the results might be different and not end like this: it might not always follow an exponential function (a type of non-linear dynamic function). I think this is because it is to do with the angle with which we understand and tackle the problem. An example is to take the angle that is used to predict general events that appear chaotic based upon a general power law, in fact many laws of physics in a non-linear system will use power laws from the general theories of gravity to the world of nature, but what happens if they do not follow these rules entirely - what are we left with? To undertake this problem it might be a good idea to change the angle of detection and research. One way to do this is, instead of taking each part and seeing an expansive effect, how about to slice through time for each component, or each system then look sideways on.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: The research into a subject of forming systems, that when work as parts, function together on 1 level


Going back to the biology anatomy class, there is much to learn about the physiology of living systems because at present, there is only a theory of biological events using the same power laws, all which are determined by a method of input in and input out. As this rule goes right down to the chemistry of anatomy, because chemistry is about a process in linear form that requires a starting product and end product, like discovering a new compound for example, the journey into how to begin this discovery might be given a hint by what subjects provide insight into the laws of time and that are only created and measured by the laws of time.


There are examples of quantum theories using non-linear time and dynamics, like the Richard Feynman diagrams which postulate virtual particles to virtual time – they defy the classical world which would not be thought of with anatomy. It is here that the on classical time dependant virtual particles are created and re absorbed. In the same way that Feynman could dissect little worlds at those fundamental levels, there is no reason to stop at that level and assume it cannot be a topic of research on the classical scale – all the way up to anatomy.






Are we looking at everything from the wrong angle?





Not entirely, it is common to use the method in dissection in biology in order to see how and what works. It is also used to detect disease and internal structure as used in MRI and CT scans.


But take this thinking further: what if we asked and understood all these parts but now working together in synch, through non-linear time. Remember by seeing the MRI scan, we use a standard time plane, but there might be another use that shows different aspects of the object to the same time on a flat line but cut through at right angles to our time plane. This animated gif illustrates this example well by allowing a cut along our standard time plane onto a non-linear plane:









Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1:A unique method of study taken from a mechanical system that could be applied in the physical sciences



This is an animated gif of a cut away area of the inside of an engine – just to see how it worked! Notice how the new angle of time for each part and most obviously each by their function, makes you see the parts work in synch differently. This is just another example of looking at the same object, in this context it not the eye but an engine, but the difference here is it is starts from a type of sideways time plane - a lateral out of time plane. Normally, the components of the engine would be studied on a long ways time plane, i.e. engineering and physics in real time but using linear time where the mechanics constitute the parts - various form and functions worked out over classical time, but as separate entities they would not be studied in unison on this unusual plane, much less as joined parts. By using non-linear time as this gif might provide, opens up a new world of thinking beyond the limits of mechanical logic, where all parts, forms and function work in succession but on a limited time plane.









From this cut away imagine how more insight can be had from seeing the processes within a star using the same method as the machine gif. Do also remember that each part in the engine is seen not only cut through but revealing parts of each as it is cutting though across the engine on a non-linear time plane as it moves through it – that which we would not normally account for because this time is embedded and without our knowledge. Why is this important? It is important because we are using a sideways view of reality - the engine itself is understood to follow the rules of time on one level, yet to understand it as an object in unison, in the cut away alongside ways view as a non-linear view, it opens up another level of cause and effect that could be expanded and expanded further. The questions now is can we make any connections between each part of the engine as it slices through each every second that way in time compared to the other methods?


A few years ago I wrote about how the film the Matrix used an unusual angle of time on camera, this is called Bullet Time and I asked what angles could we compare and use here as an example for physics? (You might need to my archives for that subject here http://www.cthisspace.com/quotesarchive.html )








This particular method of seeing realty sideways on, although not a cut away section is another way that non-linear time creates new angles on cause and effect, but with a bullet approach to a sequence of time on a separate plane. I explained then, that it reminded me of a theory in physics because it cut across classical time but on a visual format as opposed to a theoretical mathematical one. But the engine gif idea is not far off either.







What if this unique method of measurement and enquiry were used within the fields of orbital mechanics? It might be a good way to research non-linear embedding because of how objects behave in classical time in the subject of astronomy. Could they describe how things will behave according to general laws of physics and if furthered onto astrophysics with this method? If all that was astronomical on a large scale was linear nothing would work but there must be more to it anyway. If it is time it self that makes us use our imagination in a limited way, maybe asking if we are being led along the wrong route could help. If so, is this just one of many methods that could allow views across the cosmos that we yet have to find, or is it all just one big joke? In the words of Swiss anatomist and physiologist, Albrecht von Haller, the answer could just simply be - “Nature never jests.”


I have chosen the song Lord Grenville form his album, Year Of The Cat, by singer song writer Al Stewart, to illustrate how when I listen to his music, there always a common theme but seems to run sideways, hidden or embedded that ties his songs together, it’s that we just haven’t heard it yet. Could we do so by applying the same methods of analysis? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW5hTNfox58







C-This Quote Of The Month 4th July for the 1st July 2015





'If you take a galaxy and try to make it bigger, it becomes a cluster of galaxies, not a galaxy. If you try to make it smaller than that, it seems to blow itself apart.'



By Jeremiah (Jerry) Paul Ostriker who is an astrophysicist and Professor of Astronomy at Columbia University







When Two Worlds Collide – The Interstellar and the Everyday.





The Colliding Spiral Galaxies of Arp 274








A 2015 North West Astro Fest poster





Andrew Davies

Originator and Director of Northwest Astronomy Festival

Andrew's twitter page @ADavies915




I remember the first time a man I had never met before sat down next to me at my local astronomy society and placed his glass of larger on the floor as he introduced himself as Andrew. What I didn’t know was, that later on this man was about to embark on a very important mission…






...The North West Astronomy Festival!





Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3:I went to another astro event like this before now that makes the idea seem worthwhile in the everyday



I have just had my first taste of an astronomy event created about 4 years ago called the Northwest Astro Fest. It was created by a lovely couple trying to make life in education and the world in general, a better place – they are called Andrew and Sue Davies.



Astro photographer/astronomer Will Gater with Sue and Andrew Davies - the couple

who are Directors of the North West Astronomy Festival

Photograph by Jonathen Harty




Andrew and Sue Davies have a very difficult but rewarding task of getting disadvantaged kids into education, this is their day job. By night, they do this via the subject of astronomy. Because both Andrew and Sue have day jobs in the north of the UK, teaching children from disadvantaged backgrounds important knowledge and skills, that include STEM subjects, it is important to know that because this area of the country is the worst for work life after school expectations, this unique idea that combines their days jobs with their second (or first love if Andrew) of astronomy, should be whole basis to engage young children in education. It is not just a way of getting them to know and be tested on subjects, they also need to be interested and inspired. That notion can be supported by this sort of idea, to combine knowledge and skills with another subject close to many hearts, in this case, astronomy. More needs to be done about this in the UK but sadly, due to the lack of ambition and funds by the councils to support their unique idea and take it further here, Andrew and Sue have recently taken it across the sea to France! Good for them! All this is because they are more welcoming to the combination of ideas, or worlds, in this case, that work best together than alone. In education in particular this works very well and it is important to first break down these elements in order for them to re combine and collide to produce the best results. These are the first two important principles in education which are:


1) The knowledge and skills needed to get by in life.

2) The wonder of a subject that could inspire young minds.


Then to collide them in order to end up with a third element which will produce:


3) The wonder of a subject that could inspire young minds to pursue the knowledge and skills by using the other subject – in this case it’s astronomy.




It’s as simple as that. Education authorities, councils and government and take note.





My First Taste of the North West Astronomy Festival





Credit North West Astro Fest.

Photograph by Jonathen Harty





As I drove to the astronomy festival, it was a very warm day… no hang on a very hot day! And to top it all off, had to negotiate two long traffic jams on the way and then road works going into Runcorn itself which apparently also got a few of the speakers in a fluster, but we all got there eventually in the end (no glaring satnav or hefty drives on steep hills this time for me though ). For some reason also, I hadn’t mastered my air conditioning in my car properly which meant it didn’t seem to be working on the way, so by the time I did get there, I was already washed out by the heat. As I’ve been recently writing just as much about my driving capers to the events (as much as I am about the wonders of the astronomy events themselves) the first things that caught my eye were the jewels of the whole event, like the getting together of like-minded people from all walks of life – John for example, who introduced me to the group next to me, as I ended up on a table further away at the end of one side of the café at first, thanks John!


The Saturday main events all comprised of various famous astronomers which first of all included Mark Thompson The People’s Astronomer, who hosts BBC Star Gazing Live programme:



Here is a brilliantly clear photograph of 'BBC Star Gazing Live' TV Presenter,

'The People's Astronomer', Mark Thompson and the North West Astronomy

Festival Director, Andrew Davies - image credit North West Astro Fest.

Photograph by Jonathen Harty




And then later Saturday, we all had a surprise treat of the unknown variety. This turned out to be a presentation by the well-known astronomy BBC Sky at Night presenter, Professor. Chris Lintott, who later went about talking with the crowd in the café later, and who I chatted to about his presentation and the day I spent at Patrick Moore’s house in April 2008 for a party for the Sky at Night team (which Chris remembered although he said he had a hangover ;-) --- > http://www.cthisspace.com/anniversarytext2009.html



This is John on the left that I sat with and the BBC astronomy programme, 'The Sky at Night' TV Presenter,

Professor Chris Lintott at our North West Astronomy Festival

Image credit North West Astro Fest.

Photograph by Jonathen Harty





On Sunday it was about the astrophotographers for the Northwest Astro Fest main event that went on much longer throughout the weekend. The list included a talk by Damien Peach who is a famous astrophotographer and who’s presentation I sadly missed Sunday because I decided it was best I didn’t drive back again due to heat stroke and splitting head ache that started Saturday night, just before I drove on the way back. Just to add, when I first booked to go to this event a few years back (the first one was held in Oct 2013), I did actually book to stay overnight 2 nights, so I didn’t need to drive back home again, but I ended up not going at all go at all, due to having an older car and catching flu beforehand. Meh…

Going back to the AstroFest event, there was a room for other activities, like an exhibition stand and I think a planetarium at some point but I didn’t see that – maybe next year. The room with exhibition stands included loads of tables with people stood behind them promoting astronomy societies and shops around the UK. One was the very good Tring Astronomy Centre, as well as other various bits and pieces going on in between, like an astronomy themed jewellery stand. The exhibition stand room was quite hot because the air conditioning wasn’t working throughout the buildings so we struggled to get kewl… ok cool (we were already kewl, we were the astronomers). Next year it will be working fine. Along with the astronomy themed goods, jewellery, books, posters, telescopes and general astronomy equipment, I noticed two tables in particular that stood out.






Symmetry Shattered by Two Worlds into One





On my way in to exhibition stand room, there was the first table walking in, that was being manned by a writer who I have never met before. He was selling and promoting his books, who is called Nicholas Lee. His two books on display were:


GarvityCosCode‘Gravity – Cracking the Cosmic Code’ - Amazon HiggsFor

‘Gravity – Cracking the Cosmic Code’

‘Higgs Force – Cosmic Symmetry Shat’




I ended up being keen on buying the second one because it was something I wanted to read more about (I have written a bit about the Higgs Boson a couple of months ago on this page in a recent quote of the month theme) so I thought that it would be a good introduction to it, but via some interesting ideas and using a popular science route. I spoke to Nicholas for a while about his books too, which was very interesting. Then I did a little test run of one of his books which made him think a bit though (I’m not sure if it went down well but he got the idea later as I will explain, again<-) This is what I did: I picked up the second ‘on show book’ called, ‘Higgs Force – Cosmic Symmetry Shattered’ and I flipped the pages backwards to see if I could briefly catch any diagrams or visuals in it. It had a few there but mentioned jovially that I had to do the test again just to make sure I was right. It seemed that the book had just enough diagrams in it for me to think it was worth buying later to read. Overall, what it meant was that Nicholas with his PhD in physics, had effectively achieved just what I think makes a good book work without either of us even talking about what that was yet! (see my write up of the previous quote of month theme for that topic)  that was included visuals, diagrams and it had grabbing headlines, or relevant titles. I decided that I would have a think first with a walk around the exhibition stand room, and then maybe come back later having decided if I wanted to buy the book. Now you ask, when is the astronomy on this page going to start?





It’s Astronomy NOW!





Astronomy Now logo or title design




Later as I approached the exit of the exhibition stand room, I came across a table with a massive and grand beautiful poster that was behind another gentleman promoting lots of magazines and posters for another famous magazine called, ‘Astronomy Now’. I was completely caught by the artwork and photography on the posters and the glaring magnificence of the quality of the promotion material. I ended up buying 2 magazines - one was ‘Hubble – The Universe Revealed – Anniversary 25 Years Edition’ and the other was, ‘Shooting Stars – The Ultimate Guide to Photographing the Universe’. The second magazine is just breath taking because it has glossy pages full of the clearest images of deep space ever. The man behind the table was called Steve Kelly, who introduced himself as the magazines main Graphic Designer and artwork illustrator. Steve had studied Visual and scientific illustration to degree level and is now artwork and visual designer for the magazine. It said, as well as Steve himself, a lot about how the artwork in astronomy is vastly important to its promotion, which is a lot. I also told him that I write about (and draw about) how I love combining science and art to create new ideas and ways of thinking. Steve completely understood my angle and he seemed to agree that it was one of the most important parts of astronomy promotion.





When Two Worlds Collide – I’m back to writing about Science and Art (again!)





Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: Close up, another 2 astro worlds, that when got together, make another greater one greater than each.



After talking to Steve, I went back to Nicholas to buy his Higgs Boson Book but just before, I briefly talked about how important it was to have visuals within the equations inside the science writing in science books and because I had already said this with Steve earlier, something came to mind; I wandered what it would be like if the two guys (lovely as they are in their very different worlds!) would talk to each other about their views on astronomy. As I stood there in front of Nicholas, I looked over at Steve and I asked in my mind if they would get to see each other’s point of view. I then looked across to Steve’s table but this time, pointed to Steve, whilst saying to Nicholas, that Steve’s work and contribution in the visuals of art in astronomy, is just as important as his own version of the equations in physics that grasp our understanding of the universe and that some of the most eminent scientists thought about their ideas visually first before they wrote them down or evidenced them – Nicholas agreed. Here occurs a familiar pattern on my website as I write: I had collided two worlds again. If you are a new reader of this page, or not, please scroll down to see how many times I have written about combining both science and art to make the whole greater than the parts. My website is over 15 years old and this page in particular, has allowed to me combine the two worlds into a grand cornucopia of my own ideas about astronomy, astrophysics, physics, art and even music, that I have created to make a more wondrous journey for you – all you need to do is think about all the different variations I have written and drawn about that show how this is done.






From Astro-Festics to Astro-Physics







Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/S.Mineo et al, Optical: NASA/STScI, Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech





At 130 million light-years away, this composite image of spiral armed galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163, shows us it as being classed as an ultra-luminous X-ray type binary or a ULXs binary, and is one of the grazing galaxies that have allowed us to take data on it from one of Nasa’s spacecraft - namely the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The image explains one particular band of the X-ray light that is seen as the pink colour. Next the Hubble Space Telescope projects it in the actual optical range and the light is seen as blue, white and the warmer orange ranges, which are mainly in the thicker bands or arms of the galaxies. Lastly the Spitzer Space Telescope allows us see it in the infrared range of light and therefore it is shown here in the red colouring in the picture.



Whilst we know from our understanding in astrophysics and can calculate what and how single stars and planets work in a binary system, we have yet to find out more about how galaxies, their cores and their corresponding neighbours, behave so that extra data about this fuzzy area can provide us with more explanations about the large colossal masses that their corresponding physics. We know about how some stars are formed but it is just as intriguing to get behind the real colliding physics that occurs elsewhere. These types of binaries are driven by massive gravitational effects about their centres, but in twos with a difference; first of all, we know for a fact that the binary here comprises of a star orbiting a neutron star or a stellar mass black hole, and that the local effect on the star itself is being pulled via its larger gravitational neighbour and is in fact heated up to such a degree that it becomes a temperature of a near few million degrees – hot! This effect is like a large frictional motion on small scales that eventually heat up the neighbouring star. The final result is a combination of galactic forces that end up generating powerful X-rays. A simple introduction to X-rays in the lab is that they were discovered by a German physicist called Wilhelm Röntgen in 1995. Röntgen found that if voltage was applied, it acceleration electrons emanating from discharge tubes called Crookes tubes. The tubes ionised the air around them when a voltage was applied. X- rays are found within the electromagnetic spectrum of about a wavelength that ranges from 0.01 to 10 nanometers in size. Röntgen studied these X –rays and found that high voltages excited electrons that were produced from a cathode and so much so, that when striking an anode, they then produced lots of X-rays.





A Little Wiz through the World of X-rays and X-ray Spectroscopy




Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: A method of detection to know how another larger collision of 2 worlds creates a new type of emission


Unlike optical telescopes that collect light on the ground, another type of telescope is better at collecting X-ray data better, and is placed above the Earth’s atmosphere because many X-rays are absorbed there. Some types of these telescopes are made with greater accuracy and any incoming detection is concentrated through greater precision. The first X-rays that were detected actually came from our nearest star, the Sun and were found in the 1940’. This was using the first X-ray telescope that was created by a group of scientists working for Riccardo Giacconi. By the time the late 1960’s arrived, scientists detected the first X-rays originating from vary far beyond our Sun and local solar system. All this was achieved by a satellite that was built by NASA, called the Uhuru X-ray instrument. The Uhuru detected very dense neutron stars and dense black holes in deeper space. Since then, at least 9 space instruments have been re designed which have detected more events, all spurting out X-rays from the interstellar world.


To measure the X-ray wavelengths of many elements, one method is called X-ray Spectroscopy. A first consideration is to know that on the quantum scale, the electrons in their shells become excited by photons and it is their subsequent behaviour at this point that shows the different element types collected in X-ray Spectroscopy. In more direct terms, the electron moves into a higher level of energy when bombarded by a photon. This change in energy level by the electron itself emits this difference in energy level, again via another photon - this then allows us to know what element it is working from. Our instruments collect this data and the scientists have a better grasp of events occurring in deep space. So far we know about black holes and dense neutron stars by using these methods and that the material that is absorbed by the Black holes generate the X-rays not the actual black holes themselves, but at the centre of such binary systems, such as the generating ULXs, it can be said that these give us a clue about black holes that are much denser and heavier called stellar mass Black holes than types that are already known about. If so, then there are a few more fundamental theories to know about this chaotic system. These are to ask the questions like, what are the effects that could create any new types of new stars, and if any, what could be generated via a much stronger system than we know now?


The fact that with a binary system, the main larger black hole uses a massive gravitational pull collecting the matter from the second smaller star, creates such friction that it heat up to hundreds of million degrees producing new larger stars, we have yet to detect any new stellar phenomena. If this could be, one day its encounter would be colossal because science as ever, provides us with a pair of fresh eyes every time we reinvent our understanding of it, all starting with a general theory, then the re building of the detectors that finally prove our theories – all this is part of our journey into the science of new galactic space and we have yet to find that out. The best part of this astrophysics is, let us not forget, the behaviour of the dynamics within the boundaries, not just the dense centres themselves, or the formation of dense neutron stars, but the birth of much younger stars that have been found here and over the last few years, we have discovered many new amazing ones created by these new collisions. What is fascinating is that out of all the immense power created by each centre, it is imperative to include the surrounding arms that reach out to that forms each galaxy. It is this simple – these features can have as much an impact at propelling interstellar dust and gasses as the centres, and if so, could change the shape of each corresponding pair. A good analogy is to think of it a bit like the arms of astronomy, which are the artwork and visuals, if the galactic centres are the physics, or better still - one galaxy is the physics and the other is the art, and that when these two interstellar worlds collide, they will always create the most spectacular events ever to occur in the cosmic universe.




I have chosen the theme music to the film, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ by Strauss, ‘The blue danube’ because of the collision of the almost waltz like quality of the first part of the music compared to the softer string section at 3 minutes and 10 seconds in – which part though, out of the two, makes the most impact is uncertain, but what is certain is they both collide well - together…







C-This Quote Of The Month 1st June 2015




'Science is about knowing; engineering is about doing'



By Henry Petroski, who is a professor of Civil Engineering





It’s Not Just a Tool!






A picture of a spanner - which is a tool.




The Engineer Men


What is engineering? It’s an extremely, logical, practical, technical and scientific subject that involves a lot of mathematical study that is applied for the theory and development of how things and parts work. These range from how moving things work in mechanical engineering, computer engineering for CAD/CAM, to civil engineering for the way cities are built and to electrical engineering for electronic components. The most important thing about engineering is that it’s a very practical subject that spans across many scientific disciplines. Also, it’s very difficult to have theoretical engineering, unlike theoretical physics, because engineering has to work, in other words, there isn’t room for errors.



I was driving up a hill towards an astronomy centre the other week and as I got onto the country lane to it, I knew I had to turn off my car head lights so that the astronomers wouldn’t lose their dark vision but I struggled to see even short distance and was concerned that I would crash into another car and every time I turned off my headlights, realised my built in satnav screen increased in brightness – Ah haa, the wonder of electronics!? Well not quite. As soon as I turned on my dimmer side lights to crawl up the lane in the semi darkness (I’m at it again – and wanted to be safe) a bloke with a woollen hat and a beard came out of nowhere and tapped on my driver window pocking his angry face towards me (I could only just make out his face and hat with beard). I stopped and opened my side window only to be shouted at by a barrage of words at the top of his voice, along the lines of, “Don’t you know you’re not supposed to put your headlights on when astronomers are observing?! You will have to turn back onto the lower car park – there’s no room here. Have you been here before?” My reply, “Yes. Twice”. His reply, ”Don’t you know that you shouldn’t have your car headlights on? There are astronomers here”. My reply was, “Yes, I know. I am one”. Met with a completely puzzled expression on his face and a few more words of advice rammed down my throat, the guy walked off shaking his head in disgust.

About 20 minutes later after walking up to the astronomy centre, when I finally sat down inside its large circular room under one of the main domes in the observatory, I got talking to a man called John. He was wearing a woollen hat and had a beard and he was really nice. For about the 45 minutes or more that I sat with him I noticed that we got on and he suddenly seemed very friendly and we were all cosy after his spat at me when I drove up – all this was on the assumption that this was the actual bloke who spoke to me when I drove up earlier.


I was wrong.


A man walked through the door and introduced himself as an ex lecturer of Engineering. He also had a beard and a woollen hat. The gut introduced himself, looked at me oddly and said that he had was an ex engineering University lecturer who had recently taken up studying a joint maths and astrophysics degree in his retirement, but he knew that much like the main worry of today, later decided to leave completing his course because he didn’t have time to do it and be at the astronomy centre at the same time but that the main reason was that the course was starting to cost too much money. After a while we noticed who each other was and he actually apologised about his words earlier! I said it’s just water off a ducks back and to forget about it… and we moved on – in a very interesting way!



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: It's a subject that has more aesthetic appeal to it compared to another depending on a point of view.

After talking for some time about education, we both got into thinking about what engineering was and if it had any aesthetic value like astronomy, but according to him engineering was a means to an end that a student studied at degree level and had a high chance of getting a job at the end. He thought that this was because the maths that is used in the course is a way to get through the problem solving that is required on many of the projects and it equips the student properly to get to the facts right but astronomy was more difficult to get a job in even if it had a more aesthetic value to it and I agreed with him here.

A short while later when talking about education and learning in more dpeth, we both thought it was a good idea to use any learning style that suited the students need in order to allow them to get ahead on their courses but at the level of aesthetic value for some particular areas, we both had different views. I’ll give you an example. After someone else in the room mentioning equations, this ex lecturer was somewhat shocked that an equation like Schrodinger’s Wave equation was seen as beautiful! He couldn’t get his mind round it at all and insisted that, like using calculus and algebra for engineering, the Schrodinger’s Wave equation was ‘just a tool’ in order to get to know about what physics does. Ok, fair enough, I thought he was right to an extent, but I said that, it’s just that some people might not realise that every idea or theory that ends up as a functioning equation has some appeal because of its reasoning and origin so not just used as a means to an end, it has history and depth.

After about an hour of tackling this problem, we stumbled upon how many ideas in science use diagrams to get their messages across. I said that art was a really good way to address a type of understanding that is left out just by using equations as tools, or as a means to an end. This got him thinking a bit more! We talked about physicists who visual methods, like diagrams to illustrate their theories and ideas and after this he generally started to agree. Maybe he had not yet challenged that way of thinking until then – that was interesting in itself. This guy said I could study engineering if I applied myself, although he thought the route would be slightly different being dyslexic and would require much harder work than someone who has a general gift in mathematics, and of course again this is where striking differences in ability, learning and thinking styles come in…



Draw a Diagram and think like an Engineer


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: It's a very lucrative subject depending on what + how it’s applied that spans all avenues of science.


Just before talking to this lecturer at the astronomy centre, I was tweeting to someone on twitter in Direct Messages (little messages exchanged in private) and mentioned I had noticed his tweet about getting people to study Engineering at his university and that by brother studied Engineering at college when he was younger and that I used to read his text books to think about the interesting physics problems they contained. The lovely guy, who is called William Whittow, and an admissions tutor and senior lecturer in Electronic Engineering at Loughborough University, was intrigued by my statement and followed it on with some course ideas at his university (that’s really nice Will if you read this!!). He was just doing his job obviously, which was recruiting people to become students on his course on twitter, but my point here is, I told him I’m not great at everyday mathematics (I know engineering requires mathematics and I don’t have a high maths qualification because I struggle with dyscalculia (dyslexia with Maths) so much so and that I find arithmetic really hard to do and remembering mobile phone numbers, and because I am dyslexic and it would seem too much to go back to Uni. But he said I could study a year in foundation level Mathematics to get up to scratch, in order to do the degree level. This sounded great (It still is) but I said many courses at University are proving expensive, especially online Open Uni ones and because of that, I would think about it. He then added, that having looked at my website (here at my quotes pages maybe?) I had a good way of writing things out and explaining them - I’m not so sure about that, but I said I was a good thinker and had a few creative ideas, of which Whill replied saying that some of his best Engineering students where the most creative and not always the best at mathematics. It is statements like this that enhance anyone’s confidence about themselves (and gets them to take up courses!) but more importantly, it’s also probably very true!

I think the thing to remember here is that we can spend all our lives thinking one way and assuming that by just going forward, the use of tools we find their appeal in other areas too. It is often overlooked that tools, like applied mathematics created out pure mathematics for example, can have value on their own and this can be done by stepping back and seeing the underlying beauty and wonder from how these theories that are the basis and foundations of science came about – and I think it’s all down to how we think about things.

I’ll provide an example. I have about 90 or more books on physics, astrophysics, astronomy, maths and some more about electrical engineering and art.





Some of my books on all the subjects I metnioned here.


Out of them all, about a third are popular science (written more for the layman and the masses) but the other lot are text books that are from the old UK O level and A level syllabuses, right up to degree level and higher. I have one book that is purely calculus! And I noticed that if it is read this calculus book slowly and studied from the start, it actually proves to be a real mind changer about how the universe works and because my mind jumps across in time and visualises imagines because of dyslexia, the forces and derivatives it describes for example, at least for me and I now think, makes me wonder if this subject actually suits my thinking more than many other topics in mathematics (apart from the odd one like geometry) and arithmetic, which I have never been good at. Because calculus is visual with some abstract ideas, it helps me grasp the foundations of physics better that deepens any astrophysics and astronomy to a degree that it’s almost like art without the pictures, but available to you on page, where you make up the images in your mind.

Physics and Art are the same - a 3D visual representation of reality e.g. via mental rotation. If you’re stuck on problem, draw a diagram and think like an engineer.


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1:It’s worth changing a certain style to get another angle on others perspective in this similar subject

Now, suppose there was any effort to think about how to study like this at that level but from the other way, a type of practice in learning, then I would choose a very analytical thinker who thinks more in equations and formula, like the ex-lecturer who might see some spark in a book full of diagrams about science theory! But it remains to be seen if this guy would get the same out of it as I do (all this from his angle after a full investigation on his natural learning style), as it’s worth investigating to find out if he would find wonder, just by changing his thinking mode, that he could get a glimpse into how my works – such luck! The point here is, that valuing the way other people think and having a go at their perspective on the same subject even if it’s quite hard and slow, only adds value to the science, or whatever you fancy studying. It’s important to also remember that we all have a natural learning and thinking styles. Some people will always find it harder to imagine a table in three spatial dimensions as they try to use perspective and outline for example, but because some people think more using flat images or symbols, by just knowing that someone thinks and learns different to you (like other people who think different to me and use symbols and flat ideas), even if you cannot match that, broadens anyone’s repertoire.

Going back to my collection of books, I do have a slight preference to one book in particular but it’s not about the subject of astronomy, or physics! But that it caught my attention because I like the way the book is written, regardless of its subject matter. It’s called Electromagnetism for Engineers:



One of my favourite books.




It looks totally unremarkable too! In fact, it’s one of the thinnest books in my collection and the cover is what could be described as basic –certainly not eye catching! What I found intriguing in this book was how the author used diagrams (this is printed 1975 copy) to back up how they described theory for the engineering and electronics science within the book. It is as if the author was being whimsical. The topic is how he gets to the equation for flux and potential lines on a parallel plate capacitor. First this is the equation:



An electromagnetic engineering and physics equation for flux and potential lines on a parallel plate capacitor



by stating on page 56, section 3.10, referring to Figure. 3.21, ‘Field near the edge of a parallel-plate capacitor’, but just before the equation he writes:



“The picture looks very complicated, but with a little practice one can make fee-hand sketches which are quite accurate”




Diagram pf a 'Field near the edge of a parallel-plate capacitor'

From 'Electromagnetism for Engineers'


This is the most GENIUS thing I have read in a science book! It is an absolutely brilliant- I just love it and the best way to get students learning using as many modalities as possible. The book reads simply and directly, and uses art for diagrams so should be used as a model for students learning how to learn and study engineering and all the other science subjects we have.

I’m trying something very different this month by using a track from a Japanese recording artist, who composed, recorded and produced New Age music but Electronic of the genre – called Kitarō. It’s a very ethereal feel to it and the track is called The Field but it could easily represent an electronic field in the quantum world within the worlds of engineering and science…






C-This Quote Of The Month (updated and addded info on June 1st) 1st May 2015




'Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge'



By Carl Sagan who was a cosmologist, astronomer, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other sciences






Variety is the Spice of Life for You, Me and the Stars You See, ‘It Takes Allsorts Theory’







Liquorice Allsorts Sweets






This month is in three parts and the astronomy is last, but first…






Part 1) My Holiday Away with the Physics Unbound team https://twitter.com/physicsunbound




The beautiful Holiday Cottage that I stayed in with the Physics Unbound team at 'Castle Farm' in Wales



I tweeted this just after this holiday I went on,

“Often wonder why lots of ppl with PhD's follow me on twitter. I don't have 1 - as an amateur. There were plenty of PhD's at PhysicsUnbound”. My twitter page https://twitter.com/ClaireCSmith

I’ve just been on a little weekend away with the Physics Unbound team in the Welsh hills. The idea was and most probably will be for years to come, is to get a few people together, whether professional or amateur, to talk and think about physics, astrophysics and astronomy along with any other subjects like art, which we found interesting that contributed towards them, and apart from the sky not clearing for the stars (we were to star gaze at night and solar view in the day if it was clear) until the afternoon, we all set off this new event like a Supernova as the whole thing went off with a bang!

There was a general plan of action throughout the weekend and anyone could participate in it at any level or at any time they wanted or not, depending on what you fancied doing. During the Saturday activities most went walking, but I stayed in the cottage reading and thinking about the subjects we were there for. I arrived there about 9pm on the Friday night after driving up just after lunch. On the way there when I was driving from the nearest village, I noticed that just at the last few miles to the holiday cottage, there was an unexpected narrow country road open to the countryside. I did look on Google maps for the whole of this road before the journey but missed out the deep mid-level part of the road that is in the open spaces in the valley and only noticed online that it had trees next to the lane. At one point the road (but now a narrow lane) was winding me and my car around and halfway up a steep valley as I realised the drop meant a slower driving speed, but it was more apparent driving down around corners that where hidden. The hidden corners made it all the more intriguing and with the mist and increasing darkness, that in a sort of psychological way, actually helped obscure the views and heights as I drove along in semi darkness towards the holiday cottages. Although at one point it was slightly worrying because I didn’t know the bends and angles of the road, it was an adventure because any wrong move would have meant a drive over the road edge into a steep drop, so I was careful and as I drove toward the holiday cottages, I noticed the familiar trees right next to the lane that I saw on Google maps days before and eventually got there safely (just!).

I arrived tired and quite hungry after driving up. I parked my car in the dark, just in front of the holiday cottages. The main Farmhouse that I stayed in is enormous and has extra holiday wings that comprise of a large kitchen that hosts a large warm aga cooker heating it all day every day. Next to it sits a dining table in the centre of the kitchen and in the daytime, if washing the pots at the sink, you can see a fantastic view of the hills out of the window. Next to the kitchen is a wall with open sides and cubby holes that makes up two extra dining rooms. One of the dining rooms was used for the presentations because it was really large. Next I found two bathrooms (one very large with massive bath and shower), a lounge with a large real wood and coal burning fireplace, 4 bedrooms with some having double beds, and single in one room (I think?). The rooms varied between double bed and single bed in most, and some with just double beds, and some with just single beds. One was a single bed in a single room just below me which Alun had. My room had a double bed in it but in a single room all to me which had a lovely private view out the back.



View out of my window at Castle Farm


Going back to the main Farmhouse I was in, adjacent to it on the South side is the Granary building, which is a little building all to itself with a double bed in it, then over to other side of the Farmhouse going North, is yet another building which is a massive Barn with tons of room for beds on ground and first floor, about 2 bathrooms off shooting, a kitchen and in its Barn area lots of places to sit for chatting, TV and music. Because some of the beds in it are away in the upper section with skylight windows above them and anyone could see the daytime sky or stars if it cleared at night. Then next to that going North again, another annexe or modern built Cottage with its own modern kitchen with big windows, a utility room, all modern fitted bedrooms (some double and single beds some just double) and skylights in most roofs again. The whole of the Holiday cottages put together just sprawled more massive than the pictures you can see of them – the whole thing is enormous and brilliant!



The Granary - one of the holiday cottages at Castle Farm in Wales.


I managed to get though the gate in the darkness by using a torch. When arriving in the kitchen, there was a loud chatting noise coming from the neighbouring dining room



The main 1, of the 2, dining rooms at castle Farm



and noticed they were all laughing and talking as they got the event away. Sarah, the great host and owner of the cottage, greeted me first as I walked through the back kitchen door. I was overwhelmed by the sheer cosiness and homeliness of the place (that was just the kitchen!). What an absolute place of comfort and wilderness this was, not to mention what would occur next.


As I started eating my late dinner, which was just amazing as a welcome hot stew made by Sarah, for any people arriving, the whole event took off from there just from sitting in the kitchen all warm and happy. The second person to walk in was the originator of the Physics Unbound team event, Nicola, who talked about the place and what would go on. Rik and his gang arrived after me and later joined us.

About ten minutes in and still eating my late dinner, and with the chatter and laughing going on and getting louder and more gregarious from the adjacent dining room, a gentleman from there walked into the kitchen and introduced himself as Alun. I am not joking but within the space of about five minutes in, I was sat there eating at the dining room kitchen table, talking about String Theory to a vase full of Tulips (tons of food and tall things placed in the middle of the kitchen dining table, including 2 massive vases of flowers). Alun sat down opposite me and didn’t realise he drowned himself behind the vase of flowers; hence I ended up talking to a load of tulips in a vase. I then gently moved them aside just to make sure the voice was from Alun. It was! All three of us talked about the theory, and then just out of the blue whilst chewing on food, I muttered something like:


‘All String Theory means is quantum mechanics if full of loosely ended infinities and physicist Brian Greene came along and used a load of maths to tie it all up.’

It produced a bit of a laugh but I hadn’t realised what I had said. It produced a bit of a laugh but I hadn’t realised what I had said. On the Saturday morning, as I was walking down the stairs just outside my room to go to the bathroom before having a shower, Alun who introduced himself the night before, walked half naked out of the bathroom with only a white towel around his midriff as he stood bare foot on the floor letting me into the door way (I wasn’t complaining as such because that type of thing doesn’t happen very often ;-).



The massive (you can't tell here) kitchen at Castle Farm - all the greatest theories occur here.



There was an introduction in the lounge after eating. We all sat down saying what we came for and what we did and what interested us. There were many similarities for the reasons why people went and how they viewed the topics and subjects about the event - this made it unique and special. We all shared a common interest but came from all walks of life and backgrounds and this made it really refreshing.


As the weekend took off, the whole holiday started to go into a compendium of ideas. There were 3 presentations (Ben, Chris, Jeni) about physics and astronomy. Around the during the presentations, there were side talks, for example people asking questions about the talks (Mark was quite good at this part) but I thought it extended the time the speakers talks so it was worth it because it allowed everyone to think more, and later we had talks about these subjects that spun into more ideas and thoughts and sub talks. During Chris North’s talk I pointed out that in relation to the image of the Sun on the wall from the projector, the table of booze they all had was a good analogy for the Sagittarius B2 Alcohol in Space area which created quite of a laugh (it was just my way of enhancing the talk) it worked!

Here is a Key: if I started a chat topic it is [I]. If it was a presentation they did it is [P]. The names of others and me in group discussion around them or other group chatting is in brackets as (). Our chat topics in dining the room covered a wide range dense level subjects, like holidaying in a supernova of ideas gravitationally collapsing into a Neutron star.


Subjects of the general core covered were (this bit resembles a meal menu):

Friday night:

String Theory [I] (Alan, Nicola, me)

Islands of mathematics [I] (Alan, Nicola, me)

Logical deduction and applied maths in physics [I] (Alan, Nicola, me)

Art in physics and science [I] (Jennifer, Ben, me, others)



Saturday day:

Higgs Boson [P] (Ben). Then later (Mark, me)

Engineering (Mark, me)

Neutrinos [P] (Ben). Then (Ben, Mark) Then (Ben, Mark, me)

Energies and mass interchanges of particles at high velocities, Higgs Boson, neutrinos (Ben, Mark) Then [I] (Ben, Mark, me)



Saturday night:

The Solar System [P] (Chris). Mercury, Venus, Sagittarius B2 Alcohol in Space Table analogy [I] (Chris, Mark, me)

Science writing and science communication [I] (Mark, Peter, me) later (Peter, me)

Politics (Peter, Mark, Chris, Nicola, Mark's wife, me)

Education and learning [I] (Peter, me) and then later again [I] (Peter, Mark, Chris, Nicola, Mark’s wife, me)



Sunday morning:

Galaxies and stars, homogeneous universe, isotropic universe, dark matter, dark energy, critical density [I] (Chris, Jennifer, Jeni, me)


There were other talks and chats going on in the hallways and rooms throughout the weekend and I also talked to Rik who was house comedian and very charming and lovely.



Alun (left), a late comer who arrived Saturday (middle) and The Sky at Night astronomy presenter, Dr. Chris North -

(right) and wearing 2 sets of sun glasses, but you can't tell here and who I now name 'The Double Glasses Guy'. There are reasons...





Part 2) The Learning Curve





A distribution curve or the Gaussian Function




Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: This shape is found in data from areas of education that is about differences in learning + ability.



This was to go towards marks for the qualification as well as observations and the theory in tutoring work which involved, planning and writing schemes of work, lesson plans, formative and summative assessments, ILP’s, which I had to use these for special needs students - these are Individual Learning Plans, progression routes and evidencing and so on and so forth. Because tutoring, teaching and lecturing requires loads of paper work and theory before getting into the classroom doing the actual tutoring job, it is paramount to explain the context of this experiment I did in order for it to fit at least two criteria. The point made here is, I created what’s called a distribution curve on the graph. Anybody in education will know that before starting the tutoring process, there is a reason for this (in fact two), one is that it provides evidence that the test devised worked and each student/learner/pupil was properly ‘normed’ against each other thus producing the distribution shape, and second, it shows that before a student learns anything at all, there is innate ability that can be defined in this graph to some degree. The important part is that each student, like each person, will be plotted on the graph, whereby most students or people will sit in the middle (they will have average ability). This just happens to be a fact of life and is where it becomes more interesting:





Another way of of seeing the

Gaussian Distribution Function




The other edges of the curve show that at the start of it, there are is always a small set of students who won’t have high ability, but then swinging right to other side of the distribution, it shows another small set of students who do have high ability. What this is saying is that within reason, most people are similar in their general ability (in a random sample) but there is always variation within that random sample, thus it is always shown by the small low ability and small high ability tails which is explained by bell curve shape (regression to the mean) - however don’t confuse this with the bell curve for IQ or Education, because it is actually education that is supposed to skew the results of the distribution curve when comparing these variables. This is at most minimal, because most natural ability in comparison to and using the ‘norming’ method is fixed; it is also why certain students are never going to get to a certain level on competency in certain subjects. Ability is a specific term describing brought about by differences between on a scale that proves that attribute regardless of what that attribute is. There are students/learners/pupils who always fall within the lowest set and might never achieve a very high level of competency, and it is these students that are probably best being geared towards more functional and hands on subjects that are used in more practical subjects and careers, like apprenticeships and industry. There are some who fall slightly higher up in the set who much improve slightly, but not significantly. The important thing to understand here is, very generally, the ability distribution shape means we are all different. It also means nothing would work if we were all the same. So my thinking has always been since learning tutoring training and theory, it is just as useful to have these skills developed in students/learners/pupils, as it is to have students/learners/pupils getting high levels of education. As I wrote about many years ago, it is as if Darwin’s Theory of natural selection was made truer in education to make sure we always have a spread of variation in order to produce some better applying students, of course this is just a very general outline; however, it is also extremely important to know, because most unqualified educators will assume that students will be assessed (formatively) from a flat base when it actual fact they are not and for this reason it makes education far more complex when comparing progression routes for each student, so when trying to skew graph shapes to bring them back to the notion of the curve that changes the curve – the learning curve is the only thing that changes the distribution curve, if the same experiment is done a second time after learning, something called a law of regression to the mean occurs because ability is still bedded within the differences brought about by a comparison graph of learning as opposed to ability, this is still norming student ability to each other but the shape of the distribution goes back to the bell type – it regresses to the mean.

From this I told Pete that variety is important to life because it produces good outcomes, but at the expense of not so good outcomes because these have to exist as a by-product of variation and that without variation, everything in the universe, including us, (if it was the same mean, statistically at least) nothing would really work. What to look for is that within the large medium part of the distribution curve where most things are, is some type of organisation of processes, like a there is an area of stability which tails off again but all within the realms of variability. It also works in the quantum world to a degree. Then I applied this theory to how Pete would view his audience for his science writing. I theorised that they might be varied but some of them with a degree of knowledge of science and to base his blog writing on that. But I’m not saying any more about what other things I told him that could work in science writing, because it’s a secret.



Yes! But how does this all fit in with …..er, stars?



A pic of some candies or sweets called 'Liquorice Allsorts'



Easy! All stars are like people. There is a spectrum of them and like us, they cross or span covering different types which according to random and variation of stochastic processes should in all theory produce statistical predictions for making some stars work, or maybe even produce life on their orbiting planets, who knows…





Part 3) Variation in the Stars and Universe




I did this image years ago (about 14 years ago) - it's a bit cartoonish but provides the idea of star variation. A bit.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: Same shape found to define many areas of life, from ppl who learn, to the variation of stars in space


A star is just a lot of gas and dust that by the forces of gravity produce a second phase called a proto star - which is like a pretend star. If stars are not large enough, their cores cannot produce nuclear fusion so they become brown dwarfs. However, if they are large enough, their cores become dense enough to produce helium. When explaining a medium standard, or a general standard for what a star is, the first way is to start with a star called a Main Sequence variety. Simply put, these are the stars that make up the most within our known universe and are created by their familiar internal processes. These stars fuse hydrogen atoms together. This produces helium and occurs within the stars core. These types of stars can be one tenth of the mass of our own Sun or 150 times, or more, massive than our Sun. The fusion process creates an outward pressure that balances with the inward pressure of gravity on its core and keeps the sequence going thus stabilizing the star. Just because a star is big doesn’t mean it will live longer than a small one though. This is because even though it may have greater mass, its cores high temperature will burn out quickly because of greater gravitational affects caused by more mass. The opposite will occur in a smaller star that can be as half a massive as our Sun, like a red dwarf, that will not become hot enough due to a lower gravitational effect resulting in a steady burn usually over a longer period.



A Sirius A and B (a white dwarf of type DA2) resolved by HST (Hubble Space Telescoep)




Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: The same shape found in the quantum world, from the photons + atoms to variations of stars in space.


Much like the variation in the natural selection distribution curve, there is also variation when classifying the stars in our astronomical night sky. In this context, the star natural selection system is rolled out based on a stellar classification system that differentiates, or categorises, each star by its spectral type and absolute magnitude. Simply put, the spectral type of the star is a way of investigating its emission spectrum. Instead of using a test to find out what level a star is compared to the others, a method is used by splitting the stars light with a type of prism called diffraction grating. It is this diffraction grating method which provides an emission spectrum. Diffraction grating separates the lines and colours out so that they can be analysed and by using this method, spreads them out into a spectrum. What is found is that each line, whether dark or light, provides information about the atoms and molecules of that particular stars surface. The method of diffraction grating results in two sets of methods which allow either emission line or an absorption lines. The stars atoms and their atoms electrons change their state, or orbit, and in doing so the photons become absorbed, but as soon as this occurs, these very photons are re emitted and usually in the same frequency. The energies of these photons and their interactions are what provide the data for the composition of stars and depend upon the temperature and materials and how they interact with other emission sources. The photons from a warmer broader spectrum that go through a cold material, produce an absorption line, whereas photons from a warmer material, detected within a broad spectrum from a cooler source, produce an emission line. What is intriguing is this data allows us to see what colours are there in that spectrum and darker areas, all of which show the stars chemical properties. Within a section of the subject of spectral line analysis, there is a topic called Thermal Doppler broadening.



Two-dimensional Gaussian function – look familiar !?



This is due to how gas atoms have a distribution of velocities within stars, and much like the different types of distribution of stars themselves, the photons emitted from each gas atom will be either blue or red shifted, which is defined by the Doppler effect caused by the atoms velocities, taking into account that they are relative to the observer. When the temperature of the gas is high, there is a wider distribution of velocities, which means it will produce a broader spectral line accommodating for the wider spread. All of this can then be translated onto a distribution graph called a Gaussian profile, like a distribution curve.



another way of showing a Gaussian Function in 2D



When detecting and analysing a star, the first method is to find out what its photosphere temperature is, and in doing its density. The most used classification system is called the Morgan–Keenan system or MK for short. The identification system uses the letter O, B, A, F, G, K, and finally M, where the hottest star is within the O and the coolest star is within the M range:


Spectral Type chart for the various different stars

http://chandra.harvard.edu/edu/formal/variable_stars/bg_info.html and "HR-diag-no-text-2" by User:Spacepotato - Modified version of Image:HR-diag-no-text.svg, written by User:Rursus. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HR-diag-no-text-2.svg#/media/File:HR-diag-no-text-2.svg



Spectral type O is the range of the most rare and most supermassive stars, as hot and very luminous that produce most if their output in the ultraviolet range.

Spectral type B is the range that includes stars that can be seen as hot but visible blue. They include a neutral helium bands with reasonable hydrogen ones with some ionised metals.

Spectral type A is the range that includes the most common stars that can be seen with the naked eye. They are white or a cooler white with a tinge of blue. They show dense hydrogen lines with ionised metals.

Spectral type F is a range that has weaker hydrogen lines with neutral metals showing in their bands. They can be seen as mid white stars in colour.

Spectral type G is a range that contain stars that are including the yellow supergiant, our Sun is in the section because it has weaker hydrogen lines than F but neutral metals and ionized metals. These stars look a yellow colour.

Spectral type K is a range containing stars that are now showing a cooler line, at least as a barometer, cooler than our Sun. These have very weak hydrogen lines but with abundance of neutral metals. These stars have a higher chance of orbiting planets producing life if they are stabilized within the habitable zone.

Spectral type M range contains the most stars known comprising of about 76%. The problem with these stars is they have low luminosities and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Most of the stars in this range are classed as red dwarfs but it hosts a small amount of giants and super-giants.


Between each of these letters, as a subdivision, is the numeric system that puts an 0 for the hottest area and the number 9 as the coolest area. The system has been recently extended to include white dwarf that would be included in band D and carbon stars included in band C that would not fit in the standard range but, if you think about it, now make the overall distribution of the different types of stars in our universe, much wider and far more interesting than before. This array of letters for spectral type is just one line on the graph. The second is the luminosity class, or the absolute magnitude, not to be confused with apparent magnitude, that provides a scale for what each star produces in terms of the width of the stars absorption lines within the stars spectrum. What appeals to this distribution is that it involves stars outside the band or the general standard.



Starry night sky with stars


There is a method of spectral analysis of stars called Secchi classes from I to V:


The Class I, contain blue and white stars that produce heavy and broad hydrogen lines, now introduced into the recent alphabetical class A. In this spectrum you will find the stars Vega and Altair for example. Under this class there is another called a Class I, Orion subtype that contains narrow lines rather than wide ones. An example of such stars are Rigel and Bellatrix.

The Class II, these stars are less hydrogen based but with metallic traces put into class G and K. Our Sun along with Arcturus, and Capella are included here.

The Class III, these produce orange to red colours with complex bad spectra lines. They are situated in the recent class M and an example for such stars are Betelgeuse and Antares.

The Class IV, are carbon stars and very red spectrum range.

The Class V, are stars with emission lines only such as γ Cassiopeiae and Sheliak. One of the reasons that γ Cassiopeiae of spectral type B was put into this section was because this star, being a sub-giant that creates a weird strong and chopping magnetic field, also has an equatorial bulge due to high velocity spinning, at a projected rotational velocity of 300 km s−1, which produces a decretion disk. This complicates the data for what emission is created and how it is classified. But it’s ok, it got saved in the process.



Gaussian Distribution Equation




Conclusion: referring to the equation above, from the distribution of students in education, people in life and to the types of stars in space, the universe tells us that a type of probability mathematics permeates everything and it is one that displays an array of possibilities allowing events to occur that maximise outcomes. Within its variations and twists and turns, we learn a little bit more about what new possibilities can occur and sometimes they are beyond our wildest imaginations…





But in other words it just takes all sorts. A bag of them.



A bag of Liquorice Allsorts sweets.





Music: I chose a track (or tracks) called Beaubourg (Excerpts) by the superb musician Vangelis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFE-Y6yqBlM because, even though this isn’t may favourite Vangelis track because it sounds a bit ‘odd’, the sounds are what I imagine the stars would make if they played music, or spoke to each other, or if we used them to play music this is what we would hear and I just thought it was interesting to use this type of sound for a change; after all, it takes all sorts.






C-This Quote Of The Month 1st April 2015



'Nobody else took what I was doing seriously, so nobody would want to work with me. I was thought to be a bit eccentric and maybe cranky.'


By ̶J̶e̶r̶e̶m̶y̶ ̶C̶l̶a̶r̶k̶s̶o̶n̶ ̶ Peter Higgs, a British theoretical physicist.





Jeremy Clarkson and the Higgs Boson






http://nerdreactor.com/2015/04/01/jeremy-clarkson-set-to-return-to-top-gear/ or source is the BBC, I think





Just as a forward, it was very difficult trying to prize apart images of Gazza, Captain Slow and Hamster as there are only a few that are single pics of each. It occurred to me that one day; it would require another type of intervention on a much more fundamental scale.

Keeping in mind on a macroscopic scale of it not yet having a full description about what keeps all matter attracted to all types of other matter, as in gravitation which is a proven and well known theory proposed as part of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and without a complete theory of everything because it does not take into account the much larger percentage of matter within the universe we know (that being dark matter and a few other odds and sods of physics that it hasn’t yet incorporated into its world of wonder, like some neutrino behaviour), the model about to be explained which is one of the most fundamental theories being thrashed out and a mathematically proven at Cern in the world of physics today, makes it the all more famous, because it incorporates the weak and strong, and nuclear forces, including the electromagnetic force, which are major parts of what makes up a great standard of our most fundamental knowledge in the world of physics and science so far – the now known Standard Model. Its main purpose is to do a job called Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking all by our intervention, and we, ‘the intervening party’ have done just that. This just means breaking down the particles that are stable under normal conditions and often results in questions like, is it the same if we are breaking it up anyway and is there an un-known field that can be detected?


But Physics Still Needs Our Intervention


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: A reason to experiment in order to ask the whys + hows everything has something fundamental in common


Just as physics needs to know what goes on and doesn’t want to let go, our intervention will always be useful because it will always be caught by the undertow of science, which is the need to know the real fundamental reasons about what and just as importantly, why everything exists, including what and how and why something gets its mass. There’s no getting away from being drawn to what mass is in the world of physics and as the attractive force of being pulled towards the field of gravitation is similar, the centre of gravity for the study of mass is the same, but in the form of the strong nuclear effect on a much larger scale. The easy option is to stop what we are doing and think about the intervention into what made up the matter and take into account why thinking all we can do is destroy the evidence when finding out - but we are curious creatures and need to know more. Like for example asking one of the first questions, did the intervention really provide that elusive discovery of an unknown field?




MissMJ   PBS NOVA [1]Fermilab, Office of Science, United States Department of EnergyParticle Data Group



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2:This Model proves 4 different areas of elusive particle discovery playing a part in mass interactions.

The Standard Model provides about four different areas of elusive particle discovery that play a part in interactions for how mass is provided in just about everything in our universe, barring a large percentage of non-baryonic matter and the topic of gravity - a weak interactive force. The Standard Model uses two ways to explain the building blocks of matter via particle detection and interaction which are, gauge invariance and symmetries.

The first goal is to study a group of 12 particles that are the Pauli Exclusion Principle following particles. The Pauli Exclusion Principle means no two particles in the same state can have the same value (quantum number) unless they are in different states and vice versa - two particles with the same value cannot occur in the same states. These are called fermions. These particles have intrinsic angular momentum, or half integer spin and each have an antiparticle. Classed on what charge they carry, they have interactions corresponding to each one. When breaking this group of 12 down, 6 of them become quarks and the other 6 become leptons. Most of them have been given easy to remember names, like ‘charm’ as a quark, and ‘muon’ as a lepton. These particles are really hard to prize apart because they have a characteristic called ‘colour charge’ ruled by the strong interaction or nuclear force.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Neutron_QCD_Animation.gif by Qashqaiilove

The 6 fermions are very different and 3 of them that are in the neutrino family have no charge at all with neither colour or electric charge.



The Mediators of the Electroweak Interaction



There are also 4 gauge bosons that carry force, and being the mediators of the most important interactions within particle physics, they have spin with a value of 1, unlike the fermions earlier that are only half; these gauge bosons do not follow the Pauli Exclusion Principle. The first particle within the group is classed as a gauge boson and is the well-known photon. With this is the W+, W− boson, written as W±, which has a charge of +1 and -1. This boson works with left handed particles and right handed anti particles and is weakly interactive. The Z gauge boson on the other hand, interacts with left handed particles and anti-particles and with this is neutrally charged. The last in this group are the massless 8 gluons, all behaving as exchange particles working with strong interaction, in other words, the strong nuclear force and work with quarks, the colour charge particles.

As the thinking goes on, by the time all these particles start to work together as a theoretical frame work for force carrying, exchange interaction and likewise, something really weird starts to emerge. There becomes a type of inkling of something existing almost everywhere that maybe resembles a mass field effect and it all becomes about it being greater than the sum of all the parts. It means that currently the sum (the field that exists everywhere) is only seen via its parts, but only under a type of weird law breaking method.


Low Chance of Bad Things Happening When Good Things Are Detected. (Sort of)


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: Crucial detection work at a lab involving breaking physics laws methods in order to study this field


In particular, a type of detection work has already been done at Cern by us, we ‘the intervening party’, which involves a weird physics law breaking method to study this field. It is a large experimental lab that uses strong magnets to smash particles together at very high speed. This is the same lab that got told off in the past for messing about with physics, by smashing particles together in case it created manmade Black Holes. The results are that it has so far, not created any Black Holes by studying particle path trajectories called decay signatures. That’s because it is really difficult capturing a real particle under these circumstances anyway, much less capturing Black Holes even though these experiments are built specifically for these reasons!!! As much as we, as a curious human species, try not to scare ourselves when carefully breaking these laws of physics, we know in all probability that any Black Holes that could be created using the methods deployed by Cern, are very small indeed – and besides, even if it where the case, even trying to disappear off well away from them would not stop any (theoretical) Black Holes from engulfing us (even if it did create a Black Hole because we would voluntarily disappear anyway) - in fear.




Hiigs Boson Decay Equation.



This is a new theory of Physics I now call, ‘Jezza Physics’. Along with us, the Earth and thus everything about and around it, including the entire universe, would also go, but let us for just one minute ask the question, what are the real chances of this occurring? The answer is it really depends on the circumstance. But enough of Jeremy for now, because it was actually Peter Higgs, the British theoretical physicist who devised the ideas in the 1960's for broken symmetry in the electroweak formulas. Also remember that even though Cern, the particle smashing facility that is also called the Large Hadron Collider, did show signatures for the Higgs, as an actual particle, it is still more or less unproven and has not been directly detected. But all good work either way, because it still unravels a few incomplete questions.





Not Jeremy Clarkson but the actual Peter Higgs with his eqations.




Going back to this field thing - if it’s everywhere why can’t we see it?


It is the actual decay signatures that tell us what occurred so we can’t see the actual field itself. These are then studied in more detail by looking at each particle path history, in a type of backward step, to find out what goes on as soon as they are detected – this give us the idea that it could be a field underlying all theories of physics. This provides an undertow for what give particles mass. But because it is really difficult to capture particles in this way, some particles don’t last very long as they hate being taken out of their comfy seats and shifted out of symmetry. Much like two people in an argument, then one lunching forward with a punch toward the other, the puncher (the perpetrator) then makes what was a calm working symmetry between them, become uneasy. For example a detected particle may only last a fraction of a second in a broken symmetry state before it decays back into other particles within the devised system, and not only that, at first glance, the main events detected are due to a field called the Higgs Field. It is at this crucial point during the shift from the field, to the slightest detection of a massive event, that one important particle is in on the act of the real underlying reason that some particles have mass and others don’t, and also shows a direct method about how exactly these particles interact within this model – this is the Higgs Boson particle itself. This particle lets us know why the photon has no mass for example, but why the other W and Z bosons are the opposite. The Higgs Boson particle also gives rise to the mass of leptons and quarks within the standard model and being that the Higgs Boson is massive with no spin or electric charge with a non-zero amplitude when in ground state, makes it an even more unique challenge to try to detect because it is theorised to be, you guessed... everywhere!

The next part is different attempt to try to explain how the Higgs Boson is detected and most importantly, what could occur if it did, but in another way by using a 3 Car Gear method as levels of explanations so that each corresponding Gear goes with the order of graspness. For example, the 1st Gear is a bit more detailed and the Medium Gear is less so etc…




Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking Thrice Fold for the Mexican Hat Theory By Way of Jezza Physics.



Refer to my two diagrams below for the next few paragraphs :





Now revert to






1) Fist Gear: By detecting the Higgs Boson – let us call it ‘the intervening party’ we/they/them/him, as the perpetrator by breaking the laws of physics when doing so at high energy levels, break down particle behaviour to its ‘lastest’ component that doesn’t follow the same type of conservation of energy that would occur in the expected mode, but does in another when using the rules of symmetry. In other words, with some force of energy (like what Cern will do to crack open normal particle behaviour with large magnets smashing particles at high speed - smashing, or throwing a fist at what would be a well-balanced system into its less symmetrical behaviour) a non-zero vacuum situation is taken out of balance and we can’t really get a hold of it for very long – it’s not following the rules of fundamental physics here. BUT when in balance (symmetry) by explanation of a Mexican Hat shaped field potential, the bit we are looking at is always in the middle of the top of a hat, a Mexican shaped Hat. It is when we smash it out of balance, like throw a punch at it and breaks its symmetry, that same bit then looks back in shock and sits into a dip in one side of the ‘hat’. It might break off. It might fall into a part of a (Mexican) hat shape. Or worse still, it might make the intervening party look a bit more of an idiot. This has now temporarily become a type of broken symmetry.

2) Middle Gear: Think of something as stable as a particle that keeps the most fundamental undertow in physics working together in a normal and productive way, like a manager of a TV programme employed by a broadcasting company trying to keep a TV programme running smoothly and in working order but then gets collided by a physical force, a high energy fist punch of particle smash quality, resulting in unravelling mass media Symmetry Breaking. At stratospheric broadcasting scales you might expect a yet to be fully investigated, under the laws of physics fracas, but whether this will occur or not, the Producer will always create a ‘compensate’ (you read compensate<- not Bose Einstein Condensate) like awkward behaviour in the perpetrator.

3) Top Gear: Cern looks at the bit that moves and breaks off then falls into one side of the hat. When looking at something stable using a high energy whack or colliding smash or fist punch force method, expect it to do 1 out of 2, from 3 things: 1. Nothing. 2. Goes into one side of the hat. 3. If the method of colliding/punching results in collapse into Black Hole state, the intervening party will do a disappearing act anyway, so just call it Jezza Physics.


But Hang On A Minute, What If We Went In Reverse Gear and Asked: What If Jeremy Clarkson *WAS* the Higgs Boson?



If Jeremy Clarkson, or ‘≈125 GeV H Jezza’, for short, was the undertow of everything as the actual Higgs Boson, media companies would turn into fermions of intrinsic ‘fracas spin’, the electrically neutral Z boson would become the ‘Z producer’, but remember the Z boson is more massive than the W± boson, so the W+, W− bosons as force carrying mediators would be






Probably the BBC (again) The Slow Hamsters±





‘Hamster+’, and ‘Captain Slow –‘ to ‘Slow Hamsters±’ and Jeremy Clarkson would permeate the whole of the British media and beyond, giving mass prosperity, well for a certain British Broadcasting Corporation at least, had they not let him go…





I rendered this image and fancied it up a bit. It took me ages. They better be pleased. He looks quite handsome here.




I have chosen one of my favourite musicians that I have on CD again – that is a track by Timbaland called, ‘Timbaland feat. The Fray & Esthero – Undertow’ from the ‘Shock Value 2’ album. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pVyRdgolxo All Timbaland's music albums have some great tracks and this is one of them. The lyrics, well, they speak for themselves…






C-This Quote Of The Month 1st March 2015



'In the beginning, there was physics. "Physics" describes how matter, energy, space, and time behave and interact with one another. The interplay of these characters in our cosmic drama underlies all biological and chemical phenomena. Hence everything fundamental and familiar to us earthlings begins with, and rests upon, the laws of physics. When we apply these laws to astronomical settings, we deal with physics writ large, which we call astrophysics'


by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an American astrophysicist, cosmologist and author.




Orbital Velocity









Ever just sat in a car and wondered why you can just…. you know, sit in a car?



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: Something is pulling you down to the Earth, that was like a fruit that a famous scientist discovered.



The atoms in you and the driver’s seat are being tugged by one of the strongest forces in the universe; the strong nuclear forces making sure its atoms are all attracted together. The atoms nucleuses are keeping their electrons in orbit like you are being pulled towards Earth’s gravitational centre and as the physicist Newton, who discovered the apple falling to Earth would think it’s as simple as that, it is, ok, so it depends on how you think about it really. It could be a delicate operation though, because any less of the change of that weaker force called gravity compared to the quantum strong nuclear one that keeps atoms together, would result in serious catastrophic consequences not only on a local scale but probably on cosmic scales too.




Put Your Foot Down! (Speed and Velocity)


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: It's a scalar moving in a constant straight line with size + worked out by area covered per unit time


In a straight line, because speed is constant,

(- - - - - - - - -)

it is about how fast something is moving. Speed is a called a scalar and being that speed is<- termed a constant; it is about the displacement of position, so it is just the distance that is covered in space for example, just as change in position over time, or a change in position per unit time is a scalar, it has size or magnitude, this means any object moving very fast at a constant speed in a straight line will cover a much larger distance over any given area, than an object moving much slower.

Velocity is a vector and a scalar because it is has both magnitude and direction.

(/ / / / / / / / /)

Make it as (/)

For example, the direction that a car is travelling if on a curve had displaced position in time and direction and is measured by one point, or little line, in time.




Driving You Round the Bend


Where speed is a constant (- - - - - - - - -), acceleration on the other hand is a rate of change of that speed


(It's the same as the dashes in the brackets above, but this time the dashes are further apart, further along the line you look (I can't demonstrate it here in this Dreamweaver software I use for this text, even though I can in Microsoft Word, because it won't copy and paste the dashes example, so you will have to use your imagination ;-)

and being that acceleration is a vector quantity (/), because it considers both magnitude and direction; it is calculated as the change in velocity and divided by the duration of the interval (look at the space in between each interval). But don’t confuse the two. Just because velocity is about speed, where speed is a constant in a straight line, it does not mean that if you were to drive a car around in a circle at a constant (- - - - - - - - -) speed, that you would not gain any acceleration ( - - but dashes getting further apart).



Drving car around the bend




When driving around in a circle in a car at constant speed, the vector part in the velocity bit is changing direction all the time, so you are in effect, still accelerating due to a force called centripetal acceleration. You will feel this force as you drive in constant speed in a circle shape (don’t assume any onlookers know that you are proving a physics experiment).



A very good example of this often overlooked force is the difference between when you drive a car at a constant speed around a corner and then when you don’t. In this situation, if you are driving at a constant speed around a corner, your body is being tugged outward at right angles to the direction (/) of orientation that you want to go and for as long as you don’t accelerate ( - - - - - - - ), the force exerted on your body, will remain proportionate and quite manageable and also constant – still centripetal acceleration . However, if you were to put your foot on the accelerator pedal and accelerate on that same bend, you will feel your body being thrown outward even more because any speed change you do with a change in direction, is directly connected to acceleration but you just don’t realise it. This force is termed tangential acceleration. The moral of the story is, don’t drive slower or speed up on a corner, unless you want to be thrown out of your car, with your car thrown outwards too.



It’s good to think about the different variations of acceleration. If changing the situation from driving cars to objects in space, take a small satellite orbiting a large planet, and the object is at constant speed orbiting that planet, then for the very same reason that the person in the car is undergoing acceleration due to a change in the direction (/) of motion, then so is the satellite. Although, unlike being thrown out of the car when changing speed due to tangential acceleration, the real reason there is still acceleration with the satellite orbiting at constant speed is because of a centripetal force which is directed towards the centre of mass of the larger object that is being orbited by the smaller one. In this situation, it is the satellite around the larger planet. Another term called constant acceleration is the effect of Earth’s gravity on an object in a free fall motion.




Orbital Velocity or Orbital Speed.


The orbital velocity or orbital speed is the speed that an object orbits around a larger body. It is worked out by the distance from the barycentre of the largest object and (if can be determined) its centre of mass. Because stars can change and have fuzzy centres, we make a general assumption about where that is.

If using more precise terms there are about three different ways to think about radial motions and shapes of their trajectories:


The 1st is called a hyperbolic trajectory and orbital energy which is the sum of both objects potential energy, but it has more speed to escape the central objects gravitational pull. Because it can escape the larger objects gravitational pull, its shape is not circular but rather flat. This is a hyperbolic shaped orbit.

The 2nd orbital shape is the red line called a parabolic. This tells us that the objects kinetic energy is the same as its potential energy and its orbit will be dependent on the other larger body. Again determined by the centre of mass of the larger object, the barycentre changes motion within the larger object and that also changes the orbit of the smaller object - factor in smaller effect on the larger object by the smaller object but it’s very hard to detect.

The 3rd one is when the object energy is negative and its potential energy is greater than its kinetic energy which will result in the green ellipse shape that is almost circular when these forces work together.




The four main shapes defined in different colours, that an object can orbit.




Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: BIG MASS with little mass over the distance between the 2 masses squared is a force due to gravity.

Putting it all together with orbits and acceleration due to gravity the general equation is force equals gravity BIG MASS, little mass over the distance between the two masses squared, G Mm/r2. If one of the objects is larger and denser, then factor in the gravitational field around it. When considering the simple formula for what a force is - mass times acceleration, F = Ma, you can work out what the unknown mass of a larger object is.

Due to the law of conservation of angular momentum, which is a measure of amount of rotation due to the objects mass, shape and its speed, a force termed the transverse orbital speed, means that its speed is inversely proportional to the distance of the central object and is the origin of Kepler's second law. Also, its circular orbit shape will be more acute nearer the barycentre - the larger objects centre of mass also includes the barycentre, that changes position, but because it is nearer to the centre of the larger masses barycentre, it means its orbit does and the speed of the smaller object will increase in the smaller area of the orbit than the larger area of the orbit.



Fluctuations in Orbits, and Constants in General




The path of an orbit through time is spiral not really flat




The problem with having any definition of criteria for constants and how things behave in space is that there are probably much larger outside changes due to many unknown cosmic effects. An example is gravitational waves that could change and certainly cause a temporary wobble in orbits of stars and planets. Also, other much larger effects like mega weird Black Holes that we haven’t discovered, could change the fabric of space and then the behaviour of the objects much further away. I certainly don’t think it is as uniform as it appears. The orbits are also not just in circles. The universe is expanding and that means the shapes of orbits and behaviour of objects are not intuitively circular they are in spirals (see above image) and are dependent on all the things occurring around them. Next time you get into your car and sit in the driver seat and set off to drive, first try it at constant speed, then try it as you turn a corner, then try a circle, after have a go at accelerating on a curve, then on circle and think about the Earth’s gravitational forces keeping you and your car down to the ground, all the while the Sun is keeping the Earth in orbit around it – not so boring a drive now, is it?

Orbital Velocity - Thanks Physics for That




The music theme that I chose this month is split into two. The first track is called ‘Tunnel Vision’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be5YLJWDxLY from the group Orbital that I have on CD – from their Blue Album. It signifies the 1st part of this theme – the slightly serious tunnel vision in physics, of speed and vectors.

in the second part https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYgJBzSa5IU the track ‘One Perfect Sunrise’ takes on a more ethereal and less tunnel vision theme and is about how acceleration due to gravity creates the wonderful orbits engulfing our stars and planets in solar system and beyond. Notice also, it says, Sunrise<- we orbit the Sun and we see the Sun rise but this is according to our world view much before taking into account all the astrophysics involved, and it’s just a nice song…







C-This Quote Of The Month Feb 5th (for Feb 1st) 2015



There's two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery.



By Enrico Fermi, who was an Italian physicist, best known for quantum theory, nuclear, particle physics, and statistical mechanics.




Viruses from Outer Space





Quite scary and very Alien looking - it's an image of the T4 bacteriophage, which is a native virus (lives on Earth not outer space - good job really!)

http://www.scaconference.co.za/?attachment_id=136 msmith.




After getting over a bout of flu from around three and a half weeks at the start of January 2015 (I’m still not actually better even now on the first day of February!) and with its ever evolving symptoms that seem to get better one day, then when I feel better and take on more physical challenges or go outside, about two or three days later the symptoms return. With this I asked a dreaded but fundamentally important question; what would happen if the human race were to encounter an Alien virus from outer space and not just that, could it wipe the whole world out, literally?

It is better to first think about how remarkable it is that over millions of years on planet Earth, humans, animals and creatures of all kinds, have developed many strategies to overcome risky invaders and the ironic thing is, as I will explain later, so have viruses. Whether it is strengthening muscles to physically fight the enemy, working on a new medicine to combat new diseases, creating technological gadgets to prolong a natural life span or even just developing our ever changing immune systems to take on viruses themselves (that we haven’t encountered yet) as much as we are forever making changes and advances to overcome the biggest dread of all, that actually being virulent native virus in our midst, we have yet to look at the bigger picture and by gum it is very big.



World Risks and Catastrophes… and driving cars around



But before that, if you think about the more local size of our world, it is still full of risks and major catastrophes. Many of them are just caused by being alive, which is one of the biggest risks of all. Another one is being knocked down by a bus, hit on the head by a falling tree due to storms, getting a horrible terminal disease and being hit by a meteorite. Quite amazingly, over the last 50 years or more, we think that due to technological advances and better thinking along with more accurate prediction, as a species have studied these risks and tried to developed strategies that prevent them occurring. We have done very, very, well but we know that because there is much chaos and randomness in life, not every single terrible event will be prevented so we have learned to be more cautious. However, if we are too cautious we would lose out on fantastic occurring events by not taking any chances. For example, if we all didn’t drive cars because we wanted to eliminate any chance of being involved in a car crash, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the possibilities open to us that having a car and driving around in it can bring. An example is driving to a shore if you live inland, or seeing relatives when they need you, the choices are endless, so we strive to take those chances, all with accompanying risks associated with them and in that respect, nothing in our behaviour has really changed.



Asteroid Impacts


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3:A response to a random event from outer space caused by an object creating a natural disaster on Earth


Amongst the many things, including viruses, that could be considered really bad in terms of world catastrophes, is our understanding of the devastation caused by a major asteroid or meteor impacts. The difference between the previous more common risks of cars crashing and diseases killing etc. and asteroid impacts, is that the chances of asteroids crashing into Earth would be far less than all the chances of many of the other catastrophes occurring but with the exception that it would destroy a lot more. The asteroid event is termed a high impact low occurrence, whereas the other events are high occurrence low impact, but none they less still are very destructive.



Some Black and White Thinking (from the Chess Game Model.)


With the knowledge that asteroids are terrible things if they were ever to impact Earth, along with diseases being just as horrendous that impact our health, we as a species, have tried every possible trick in the book to stop theses events destroying life because we want encourage life. This means that we tend to compartmentalise and associate all destroying agents as always being bad because they wipe out life and most of the time they are and with our experience, will try to get rid of their power because we think of them as terrible. Now try this; what if we changed our black and white thinking and challenged it? On the basis that, we think as only good or bad, or Black or White - much like a game of Chess that has opponents with each player challenging the other. But turning this around, what if we had a go at the thinking that by destroying something else, it could actually be good, because then it is a by-product, or pay off from what it provides for life? That is what thousands of years of immune systems do, but because our immune system does exactly that, destroys a living agent which is the virus itself, in this way what a virus is doing is providing a chance of life – but for us! If this seems balmy at first then think about how our immune systems work. They are programmed by previous viruses to combat ones that are currently being detected, this is called natural immunity, plus we have man made immunity in medicine that can also combat viruses.

However, as viruses mutate they can catch us out because our vaccines won’t match the new type of virus. Just like in the research into space, astronomy and cosmology, we still have a lot to learn and just like risks associated with living, human health can go wrong too. In terms of our immunity there are risks here (aren’t there always?) and quite often a virus can be clever enough to destroy its host just by destroying our the hosts immunity by making the hosts immune system go overboard, which is programmed to destroys the host but then it destroys itself it if destroys us. The question then is do we strike a balance to have some virus in order to programme our immune systems that would combat any other virus types in the future, because the virus has by then changed nature, the hosts immune system is to make sure it destroys it, but what if itself? This is evident in many diseases throughout the world, like auto immune diseases for example but there is always a war that we cannot change, it is that our immune systems are a result of millions of years of evolution and as much as we are very robust in tackling disease and we have also become part of the eco process of the life and destruction of viruses.




A REALLY old space image I did when I started my website - about 15 yrs old?




Why Fear Viruses More than Aliens



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: Very tiny agents living inside cells that replicate + change to combine with elements of our selves.


Within the small world in our universe, viruses are that well known Alien species that are very small living agents that live inside cells of humans, animals, plants, insects and bacteria and are responsible for the devastation caused by many epidemic diseases. Their DNA replicate to become stronger and have various methods of transportation and disguise, that being the host or living organism, i.e. the human body, insect, animal. Viruses are really clever though, because they can mutate (change in form) to become resistant to treatment and us. To be more specific, they change our immune system and even make us better, or worse depending on how much they mutate and how much our immunity can combat them – it’s a give and take game.

Within the larger world of our universe, there has always been a fear that if we explored space we could come across another much larger Alien species and therefore could be wiped out by them if they were challenging. We haven’t yet calculated what that might mean because they might want to just communicate to us and remain passive but on the other hand, they might want to visit us and destroy Earth completely, including us! Before we can know this for sure, we have to look at some variables or parameters about space travel and physics because there are limits to how planet and star quantity, signals, time and distance can work on larger scales. The best place to start is to study the Drake Equation that tells us what we need to break down in order to find out the chances of life occurring in outer space. This is the equation:






Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: Equation showing our knowledge in probability of extra-terrestrial activity occurring in our galaxy.

The equation tells us about what extra-terrestrial activity might occur in our Milky Way which is quite local compared to the vast universe – but it needs to be rounded it off somehow, when factoring in each part of these variables or parameters. Each component or variable is represented by a symbol and broken down as such and you get: N, the number of civilisations in our galaxy with communication via radio that could be possible and to = R*, the rate of star formation in the Galaxy we are in. fp, the fraction of those very stars that have actual Planets. Ne, as per star that has actual planets, the average number of those planets supporting life. Fl, the fraction of planets supporting life that can develop complex life. Fi, the fraction of planets developing intelligent life, into civilizations. Fc, the fraction of civilisations that create technology, and releasing signals from them, into space of which there is detection. L, the length of time it takes for such civilisation to release its signals into space should the signals be detectable.






Just looking at this equation provides an idea that the chances of us being visited by Aliens, or extra-terrestrials at least, seem quite reasonable but a later theory challenged that, it’s called the Fermi Paradox. This theory suggests there is no real proof (at least now) that these extra-terrestrials exist and that there are that many chances on whatever planets are out there (if there are) even though it has been calculated with the sums that say they can, and could send signals (to some degree), so this means there must be something missing. Although it is a calculation with some degree of accuracy and can tell us what the first parameters are and what they will entail - the star formation and fraction of planets, per star etc. the last three are somewhat more difficult to pin down and it is all due to our lack of knowledge about the probability of those events taking place and especially on a more specific scales. As it shows us they could be extremely complex organisms or civilizations with technologies we cannot fathom, at least not yet anyway. But one thing we can think about is viruses. Just suppose according to our experience, viruses could be imbedded in asteroids or meteors for millions for years, and they are Alien and very foreign viruses, they could literally, if not hypothetically, have an impact on our planet. As our recent probes to Mars means our technology advances that enables us to bring back to Earth more samples from other planets and stars, we might run the risk of bringing back more than our fair share of extra-terrestrials. So, space exploration has its own risks because we know what it means to be beaten by extra-terrestrials who don’t like us – we don’t go there! Or we stay away from them if they come here because they could be destructive. Maybe we think going to space and meeting Aliens or extra-terrestrials is safe because we don’t think we will make physical contact, but what if becomes too late, and they do? And unknowingly, we bring back the smallest life forms on our space suits and probes, all unaware that the very smallest extra-terrestrials of all, the viruses we cannot know about, are on us. Remember; we might not have developed an immune system to combat them.



Try some Black and White thinking with another Paradox


Imagine if in the future, we got caught out and our planet was over run to a point where nearly all our native life was wiped out by extra-terrestrials, and only they were left on it as they later took over and had adapted the best immune systems combating all native viruses on planet Earth. We could use to wipe them out then, we couldn’t use extra-terrestrial viruses either, and so what would we like to happen to them now…. welcome some meteor impacts perhaps?


I chose a track by singer song writer, Ellie Goulding called 'Human" because how she writes it, reminds me of how Aliens, or Alien viruses would imagine us to be.






C-This Quote Of The Month Jan 12th (for Jan 1st) 2015



Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost



From the poem by J. R. R. Tolkien from his novel, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ this is the full poem:


‘All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost’




A man wandered along a shore in fading light. He then stopped in order to crouch towards the ground. As he gently placed his hand in some dusty soil, he turned his palm upwards, rubbing soil away through his fingers. Standing back up, he looked at the fading light in the sky above him and noticed the first rising visible star; he then gazed to the horizon across towards the sea...





William Herschel, the Musical Astronomer




An artists illustration of astronomer and musician William Herschel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Herschel


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: Famous person who invented a new technique changing existing telescope methods + influenced by music.

William Herschel was born in Germany in 1738 but left the country to live in Britain, England in 1757, namely to escape the turmoil of the Battle of Hastenbeck. His main work for a living was as a musician and composer but consequently showed much talent in music and with great proficiency in playing various musical instruments. The list included the violin, harpsichord, oboe and organ. He composed as many as 20 or more symphonies and various concertos throughout his musical career. After living in Sunderland, he later moved to Leeds and Halifax, and then ended up living in Bath.

It was in 1773 that Herschel started his interest in astronomy and optics. His interest in optics was sparked by how he used to grind telescope mirrors for many hours every day - but it did pay off! By using the Galileo Galilei method of parallax to find the distance and subsequent motion of stars, Herschel set about studying double star sets that later where classed (in astronomy terms) as binary’s. The fact that Herschel looked deeper at what might have appeared as a single star, meant he was able to distinguish with more scrutiny than many astronomers at the time, that they were in fact double stars, but very close together.

After looking at other objects such as the planet Uranus, which he though was at first just another star; Herschel researched and focused on a massive collection of Nebulae and Clusters. These were all catalogued and ordered into eight categories of nebulae, of which were all classed by their size, how faint they were and how densely packed each object was. He later published all this work in the General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters during 1864. Because of his interest in telescope making, he ended up creating hundreds and later modified their designs from a standard Newtonian reflector type, all by taking out the small diagonal reflector mirror that is placed diagonally in the telescope and then changing the orientation of the primary mirror. All this meant he could see his images more easily.




Across to the Renaissance




from http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/03/skills-of-da-vinci.html


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: A time when subjects were mixed together which invented a shift in attitude that created new ideas.

Going back in time slightly, just before William Herschel was born, from the 14th to the 17 century at around the time of the Renaissance that had origins from Italy, there was a period of time which involved cultural changes and perspectives in many major fields. The cultural shift started from politics, all the way to the world of science and arts but new ideas and shifts in thought mainly flourished in the world of art. As the Renaissance emerged, it produced changes in shaping the minds of artist and scientist and a new term was born out of a type of person who had an interest within a wide variety of fields – a polymath. The Renaissance evolved and proved how it flourished when someone was later to combine both art and science as a polymath, and with such originality, he ended up creating great leaps of supreme invention; this was the famous artist and scientist, Leonardo da Vinci.



The Explosion of Science and Art and Herschel’s Situation


As there was a tendency to combine both subjects of science and art at the time of the Renaissance which was just before Herschel was born, anything discovered outside of each of these fields, when the other was either the day job or hobby, was much less of a surprise. Today, in a world where subjects are boxed into separate areas, it often means any findings, especially in less professional career oriented areas, are not regarded as official work or discoveries. This can be a waste of talent and this type of discovery happens all because of its organic nature of what discovery means – to jump out of a specialism and combine it with outside subjects. It is as if there is an underlying factor that is not initially obvious, which is, a person who might not find the discovery through professional means (a day job) might actually have found it because<- it was not their professional day job. This brings us back to the uniqueness of Herschel’s situation within the fields of science and art, in this case astronomy and music. Herschel was only one example of a polymath within a small sea of thinkers and (unofficial) scientists and artists, who used their day job, for him a musician, as a sounding board for ideas and in this context, Herschel was deeply into the way astronomy instruments played a part in what they could find, in as much as he was into musical instruments and what they could play.

It is now obvious about what is the most striking element in Herschel’s situation, as compared to say how these genres work or don’t work today, and it is that in those days it was big news if someone (in fact anyone!) found an astronomy object and saw it better, as then it would become official data in the world of astronomy. In stark contrast to that, these days it would be big news if a musician found such a discovery (if any) in anything other than in music, and just by the fact that they were musicians by trade and not actual astronomers, would make the headline news and not what they found! There must be a reason for this absurd reaction – today, unlike during the Renaissance, has different priorities about the definition of science and art and how science works with art and vice versa.



Dr Allan Chapman - His Talk and Presentation


Me sat on left with dark hair in ponytail wearing black jacket at one of Dr Allan Chapman's talks (Dec 2013) Allan looks like he's about to pat Paul on the head.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: This historian of astronomy got our full attention with his talk on the view of the mix of 2 subjects

It was last year in late December 2014, I attended my annual astronomy meal at a local village (not that local – it was on the way to Lancaster) that is frequented every year, by our after meal speaker, the well-known science historian, Dr Allan Chapman. His talks are all about his knowledge of the history of science but with a specialism in astronomy. The thing that I noticed about Dr Chapman’s talks, is that he can project his presence within the room (which is a large hall, but we used to have a much larger hall than the one now) and can convey a snapshot of scientific history to a load of local astronomy groups, all without any visual aids (if you’re in the teaching profession, it’s mean feet to do that without visuals but he carried it off very well, as ever with a pounding voice). This year (December 2014) there were as many as 9 – 10 astronomy societies attending because another grouped recently formed, which I think was the Cumbrian astronomy Society but don’t quote me on it, I’m terrible at remembering the names of things. As usual we all enjoyed the meal and his after dinner talk, as it’s known in science, the more a room is filled with solid objects, in this case people, the more any sound produced within that room and reverberates becomes absorbed and dampened, so that it might not have the same volume impact without those objects, but Mr Chapman still sounded very clear, even though the obvious science proven in this case might trump the effect. His talks are very articulated and he uses large chronological events to explain each subject matter, which incidentally, is broken down into little story narratives and are the real gems of his talks, but this time we all got a surprise - a little song from him!

During the talk Dr Allan Chapman went through the history of Herschel’s life and throughout, plumped it up and made all his relevant references to the history of innovations and discoveries come to life. The talk took us through the period that Herschel was living though and his main influences. Another thing that stood out in his talk was when he mentioned that Herschel knocked about with artists - this could mean musicians, but in those days it was the same. I think Dr Chapman said Herschel knocked about with actual artists (painters) as well as musicians and various other literary people at the time, not forgetting scientists. As I have explained in the previous paragraphs on this subject this month, it was the Renaissance that produced some of the most unique inventions and ideas because of the crossover of thought between art and science. Later in his talk he mentioned the modern equivalent of what it means to put art with science and referred to ex musician, Dr Brian May from the well-known rock music group, Queen as an example of an artist that went into science, hence Mr May finished his doctorate in astrophysics and there are other modern examples and some more thrown (shouted) out (lobbed) from our audience during his questions and answer section…

After the talk, both Dr Allan Chapman and I met up and talked for a while about a few things from his presentation that led to a few spin off thoughts. The first thing I said to him was (great talk) and that it is obvious today, putting art and science together seems almost an alien concept when in actual fact it is a very old idea. He approved and then I said that I thought that there are many subjects in today’s school curriculum, which would benefit from being overlapped with other subjects and not be boxed into sections into specialisations which unfortunately sums up modern day education - of which he also agreed. I then said the government, politicians and certain education authorities who develop the school curriculum (not teachers or head teachers) create school kids who might not have the ability to think more creatively when they leave school and that it isn’t the school kids fault but who tells the schools and teachers what to teach and how.

Then I mentioned that in the field of mathematics, the subject of geometry was very visual and any teaching of it might be enhanced by using art and that in art lessons why not weave geometry mathematics into that. Again he agreed. I also referred to astronomy being a visual field much like mathematics and gave examples - like kids using their imagination when rotating the planets in their minds and using Einstein’s theory of General Relativity to help visualise how mass bends space-time and then back to astronomy again to imagine the planets moving around in the solar system. I said all this is doing is making another connection that imbeds the idea that astrophysics and then physics can all be part of art and the visual form also. Dr Chapman then interjected by saying Herschel spent most of his time with artists and not scientists or astronomers. Later in our chat, I mentioned to Dr Chapman that recently with astonishment, I had read an article about surgeons today, being advised to take up art classes in order to get their minds trained up on the visual analysis and thinking of the human body. I give an example of them drawing the human heart and how its chambers pump blood.




Christopher Wren



The subject brought a few passionate responses from Dr Chapman because he knows about the history of how surgeons, as well as scientists, would illustrate their findings using diagrams after using the visual techniques I mentioned and said that the renowned English architect, Sir Christopher Michael Wren was another, if not the greatest example of what he thought he was a genuine polymath, who had great knowledge and not just of architecture, but how he combined his knowledge of anatomy, astronomy, mathematics and physics that developed a unique view on the buildings we have today. What many people don’t often realise is that Christopher Wren was a trained physicist in the traditional context, and subsequently used all his knowledge and put it all together to create great forms and ideas into buildings.


The other thing I mentioned to Dr Chapman was that although technology and the internet is great at providing learning aids, for example in the fields of astronomy, they and it can also strip away a natural kids, or adults curiosity and wonder by making it too easy to research ideas that kids had to research into in the past in order to get answers. Also the act of drawing a picture, diagram, or visual (referring to surgeons drawing anatomy) is better than just looking at static pictures, or just watching computer simulations, because the act of drawing provides a mental map about what ideas are being formed in the mind. Students could learn better from having the option to answer crucial questions and do important research by drawing diagrams in any science, as well more common methods – using equations and text. He took it all into account.



Long ways Knowledge and Sideways Learning


In the first paragraph I write here about the mystery man walking along the shore, was mainly about how when stopping and looking at the ground and the sky (up and down), although it is an important part of learning to specialise with ‘long ways knowledge’, an example is of the sections of subjects today taught in schools, colleges and universities, it is also important to gain side-ways learning that also leads to knowledge, which I refer to when the man walks along the shore and then turns to look across sideways to the sea. The idea is, that by looking across, hence the across the subjects of the curriculum, much can be gained and ideas can be explored by having them blend into each another, that is, to wander endlessly like a river or sea, across the great domains of time – art and science. As this is to wander, it means that nothing is lost, including the wanderer who wanders and wonders who has gained a new perspective of the knowledge and then discovered something unique.

This superb video of the science we have created today shows us how acoustics in science can blend making each subject much more intriguing, but even more powerful when combined. It is called ‘Ultrasonic Acoustic Levitation In 2-dimensions and Ultrasonic Standing Wave Visualisation by using dry ice’:




To Wander…



The man who I mentioned in the introduction here, who wandered along the shore and saw the first star rise above him, could be anybody and maybe he got onto a boat and endlessly sailed away in a river or the sea, but if he was someone well known from the history of astronomy, then that first star he saw must have been Uranus!






This month there is a choice of two pieces of music


In the first video I have for this month’s theme good short video illustrating this month’s theme, by showing a projection of some astronomy that accompanies William Herschel’s music. This one is called ‘Symphony No 8’ by William Herschel


By using this second video as another illustration for the theme, I have done something completely risky, I have chosen a piece of music that, wait for it…. I haven’t heard yet! Yes that’s that you have just read. I haven’t heard this track of music yet from my CD that is linked here for you. I will play it in a few days and (cringe perhaps?) with the hope it goes with this month’s theme. I took a chance and made a connection that might not even be there. All I know so far looking at the album CD cover here and not playing the Youtube version (yet) is that the music is by Pink Floyd who is the group who did ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ and I bought this album a couple of weeks ago after hearing about it last year (November 2014). I also read or heard, I can’t remember which, so it makes it even more of a mystery (and I haven’t researched this online but you might want to) that the guy on the front of the album cover artwork, who is wading in the boat wearing the white shirt billowing in the breeze with his back to us artwork, might actually even be (an art rendering) of the famous physicist Stephen Hawking…. perhaps? Again, taking a chance with connections but if this isn’t correct please tweet or e-mail me and I’ll edit this page to say what it is. In the meantime – music and astronomy, art and science? Well maybe science and music but if I’m right it will all fall together and who knows what could be discovered, but in the meantime, let’s just wander…

Pink Floyd - The Endless River - Side 1 of 4 (Full)






C-This Quote Of The Month December 1st 2014



‘All patterns in Nature are energy conduits that facilitate energy flow from one pattern to another. There are smaller patterns inside larger patterns. Electrons and protons beget atoms. Atoms beget molecules. Molecules join to form our body organs, mountains, and oceans. In the course of this journey, energy changes into different useful forms.


By Bill Graham who is a Marine Biologist, a student of Nature, teacher and researcher, as well as a photographer.




The Patterns of the Universe






I did this image - but need to upload larger version without breaking the whole page (like I did today) as it's bigger than the page




Sometimes it appears that the patterns within things inside our universe have a type of consistency and that to some degree, are the way they are from an effect that occurred billions of years ago. When thinking about this clearly, the patterns were directly formed from evolving events originating far back from when the universe began. The early big bang produced the first atoms and molecules that shape the elements that are around today for example, they are found in physics, chemistry, astronomy and biology – in fact not much really changed since apart from a few minor adjustments. Mostly any study of science involves how objects from small atoms and molecules in chemistry, to the largest of planets in astrophysics are arranged, and behave with one another and strikingly, that’s about it! But as much as this fact can be easily overlooked and not seen as relevant, at the same time it creates one of the biggest questions of all, which is an endeavour into an old scientific fundamental, that is to find if there is one underlying pattern within the whole of the universe itself.




Do straight lines occur in nature?


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: Via a certain subject in science, patterns of a particular angular shape + defined edges can be seen.



This is an image of an atom creating wave patterns



One of the topics that often come up when thinking about the scale and vast shape of all objects in the universe is, if straight lines occur in nature. One level that is common for this to occur is in the study of chemistry when crystals form shapes. Although the level of analysis at which this happens is only within Chemistry, it is often intriguing to think ahead about what else could use straight lines on a larger scale and how this could affect the whole geometry of the universe itself.




Euclid Geometry


The geometry of space and time of the everyday has a kind of flow and logic that is expressed using formulae that are the axioms of early thinking, in other words, almost every event, object and their actions (often seen in physics experiments involving weights and measures as an example) have one definite answer. These answers are calculated from an original type of formal logic and are shown in geometric diagrams expressing that logic. The logic patterns for these proofs are instantly evident, especially when referring to the parallel postulate in the subject of geometry – this is named Euclid's Fifth Postulate:







“The parallel postulate: If two lines intersect a third in such a way that the sum of the inner angles on one side is less than two right angles, then the two lines inevitably must intersect each other on that side if extended far enough.”

It is a bit disconcerting to think that the universe could act in any other way other than using the solid geometrics logic of Euclid and it is this particular postulate that is the subject of applied mathematics which concludes all facts based on all logical patterns, and often makes us think of it in no another way, so when mathematics uses deduction and tries to explain every pattern, an all-encompassing science in its purest forms occurs, and then a thinking dilemma happens. This is to ask if there is another way to achieve its conclusions other than to use the previous patterns that are found in nature.



Non Euclidian Geometry


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: A physicist worked out how to change previous thinking about flat space-time toward a different shape



It was during the early 19 century that various mathematical ideas bounced about that eventually over wrote the problem with regard to the parallel postulate, and it was during the time Einstein was working on innovative physics, that the basis of straight lines in flat space - time in three dimensions was not the only answer, well according to him. What Einstein did, was turn the whole of the previous mathematical logic upside down and dared to ask:


What would happen if events occurred outside the formal logic of Euclidean geometry and in space and time?


And as time (and space) went on still being in straight lines, Einstein wobbled the fabric of physics as he broke the patterns of previous thinking which became evident in his General Theory of Relativity. This theory in its simplest form said mass bent space time. This means it is based on a sphere rather than in straight lines and if you think about it, any parallel or logical thinking goes a bit haywire on a sphere. When this occurs, the shape of the curve of the sphere ends up changing the previous formal linear logic and changes flat planes.

This left a hole in thinking about what happens to patterns within the bigger universe. It was later realised that although Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity worked on a local scale, for example using planets like our Earth, it broke down at larger scales, like around black holes and it was as if the pattern was broken yet again, and all depending on the scale of events that were used.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: Large objects in deep space have recently been found arranged into this type of pattern + alignment.



ESO/M. Kornmesser



Just recently there was a discussion about super massive Black Holes that seemed aligned as observed by astronomers from the (VLT) Very Large Telescope. In particular it was with regard to their rotation axes that alignment was calculated. The conventional thinking is, as mentioned before here, only the scales of chemistry within the field of crystals that nature could ever show us anything to be aligned, but to think that quasars, as super massive Black Holes, could also re-create this pattern of alignment, almost formal geometric behaviour and on very large scales is even more incredible.



Back to ̶ ̶C̶i̶r̶c̶l̶e̶ ̶ Square One



Just supposing that rather than going the way Einstein went, via the route beyond linear logic, as his thinking surpassed the use of formal flat space time by using curvature to assume (and been proven!) space time causality that he used in the General Theory of Relativity, that we now go back toward the geometric postulate I mentioned earlier, but rather than using it on small local scale, i.e. to formulate angles within a triangle, that we blow up the scale to a large galactic level and precede think the linear patterns in it, the question then is to ask is, considering there is what appears to be no consistency in patterns in our methods of logical thinking using geometric formality; it is to ask at those large scales, could this even be possible at all? Can nature create straight lines or patterns on a very large scale?




Repeating image illusion - this pattern could be replicated in the wider universe, who knows...



Could the universe, be described within a new order that has an entirely new pattern altogether? There are various old theories, like the lattice used in many words theory that have a theoretical basis but what about being able to detect actual aligning patterns in the visible spectrum and on much larger scales?


Because there are jumps that are caused by scale effects, that in itself could be thought of as a type of paradigm shift depending on what different levels of formal mathematical logic is used, but maybe it is better to assume that the universe as a whole cannot be formalised using any one particular method. Atoms and molecules arrange themselves in a certain ways that follow rules and patterns, but when seeking patterns amongst the biggest events in space time, like planets stars and Black Holes, there are blurred lines (if that can be allowed) because it now appears scale governs shape and hence the behaviour of things within those scales, so within the sphere of our astrophysics understanding, let me get this straight (ahem), there could be more surprises found in the patterns of the universe yet…


I chose the track Blue Monday not because of the name of the track but because of the name of the group ‘New Order’ that illustrates the theme this month but I also like this track as it’s their most famous one.







C-This Quote Of The Month November 1st 2014



‘A vivid intuitive imagination, for new ideas are not generated by deduction, but by artistically creative imagination.


By Max Planck, a theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory. From 'Creativity at Work' – of quotations of creativity in science.




Real Life and Imaginary Art in Astronomy




This is my twitter background image called the Pink Star.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: As a kid I loved 3 subjects that I combined into a theme for the autodidactic study of space + light.


When I was about 6 years old, I loved and used to delve into two subjects, science and art, especially physics, astronomy and art. At around the time of early school age, I had a big interest in astronomy and science and kept a notebook that I used to jot ideas down onto which I still have. I also used to create a lot of art and especially loved space pictures.


Since starting this space and astronomy website in late 1999 (yes it’s been that long!) I have also been interested in space art as well as astronomy, astrophysics and physics and shown much of it here. In my mind they overlap and join up. In fact I have often thought they were similar in many ways – perhaps one subject.


But just before thinking about self-drawn space art itself, take the art of astrophotography. There has been in the last few years, a separate and emerging subject on the emphasis on real world instant astronomy imaging, and at the moment, where images are taken to capture what is seen, for example capturing the Moon and the Sun in solar astronomy, we are given much more data to investigate and to a degree, imaging becomes a science in itself. Take for example the probe taking images of the surface of comets. Space art can also be used in the same context, like how the famous astronomer Patrick Moore drew hundreds of detailed drawings of the surface of the Moon, and many which I saw with my own eyes when I was at his house in 2008. I noticed that the amount of artwork he produced was inspiring, let alone the science study and it made me think about how important it is that drawing, as opposed to taking photos, can mean getting a deeper feel for the object captured. With computers, digital art along with real genuine drawing skill can produce detailed surfaces of planets, in fact any astronomy object at all. I have an example which was a picture I did of Jupiter with one of its Moons Io, which is an example of how you see them as they are.





My Jupiter with Io image



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2:1. Processes are taken in order to capture data + develop theory in science + aided by another subject

In science there are different steps and processes that are taken in order to capture data and develop theory. At one point there is a process called hypothesis where theories are created that are later proven (or not but that is also important). Hypothesis is science is often done by using equations and words so it is not actually thought about often but the same process of hypothesis can be achieved using in art too, especially in astronomy, and space art also uses its own art to capture imaginary ideas. A good example is creating a picture to represent a world on another planet that we might not be able to see in our current time. So not just capturing what is there now with probes and space telescopes taking immense images of space and planets, art itself drawn by artists is also used to imagine what might be in science.




My old Quasar pic



Space art then, is a valid way of creating those imaginary worlds where the space artists is responsible for making the worlds come alive – they are creating a hypothetical world. This is very important in science and astronomy because it can illustrate an idea in a visual way to suggest how something could be. The subjects of Exo-Planets and the processes of distant stars in astrophysics are often explained using space art because we cannot always know what occurs in space beyond our current technology - this thinking in this way means our imagination in art especially, plays an important part in both science and art.




another old space image of mine - it is not anything real but I just used my imagination



Science needs Art



‘#Science e.g. #physics, requires art (3D rotation/visual analysis/diagram representation) to imagine the world as it might be -> #hypothesis’ - One of my tweets.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: A study of this subject enables the mind to produce 3 Dimensional rotations, detail + visual analysis

The study of art enables the mind to produce 3 Dimensional rotations, detail and visual analysis of objects, not just their surface, with their place in space but art also enables the mind to create visual holistic representations of scientific ideas in general. In physics and astronomy (and even mathematics) there are quite a few well known scientists alive and dead who were pioneers because of their interest in art as a well as science. They used many examples of visual diagrams and thinking that contributed to their science. Also art animations as diagrams, or just art, like space art online are used to represent and illustrate science. With regards to educating young kids and adults (I have said this before on my website and twitter but this is in different way), taking into account the subject of astronomy, astrophysics and thusly physics, it cannot be emphasized enough, that when a child is learning to study science, any aspect of making the information they study more explanatory, is going to help. In fact, a step into a field of astronomy, which is accessible to just about anybody at any level, can introduce some physics that they might not know about that they already hated in the classroom! It is just that it is often disguised within the study of astronomy and especially in the subject of astrophysics. In the field of science fiction, space art inspires young and old to make great leaps of the imagination – it also contributed to a lot of the science we know about today...



Just remember –


‘There r no rules in #science writing (I don't follow any) 2 display thinking in words (most ppl use words)+ science can b explained with art’ - one of my tweets about art in science




This is my old imaginary space craft complete with planet I used on my twitter profile page - there is a pic of my face now. Not sure wich is better!




I chose this track because it goes with the video that goes with the theme – loads of artwork and astrophotography about how we deal with the famous planet – Mars


Planet Mars : Making Second Earth - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EezAi18yJ3k







C-This Quote Of The Month October 1st 2014



"We often frame our understanding of what the space telescope will do in terms of what we expect to find, and actually it would be terribly anticlimactic if in fact we find what we expect to find. ... The most important discoveries will provide answers to questions that we do not yet know how to ask and will concern objects we have not yet imagined."


John Norris Bahcall was an American astrophysicist that contributed to solar neutrino theories and development of the Hubble Space Telescope.









Super Sight from the One Eyed (Cat) Telescope




After owning a cat that lived the best and most spoilt life of 21 and a half years (this April 2014!) it was that time in her life that meant she was to be put to sleep, due to old age and illness. Soon after, I acquired two new pet cats. One of these cats was a male kitten at a few weeks old and the other cat (I got this one first) was in a cat home for a couple of months and she was reckoned to be about age between 3 – 5 years old (the vet had to decide!) but the most interesting part is, the second slightly older cat was born with just one eye.

Because of her unusual predicament, I felt more sorry for her and being in the cat home, it didn’t take me long to decide to take her on. After a couple of weeks of having her in my house (the kitten wasn’t introduced until a few weeks later) I noticed a remarkable thing about her, which was that she adapted very well with just the one eye. At first I wasn’t sure how she could cope with jumping up onto high platforms and how she would judge distance, but I was in for a big surprise…

The cat with one eye was getting on well rummaging around my house for the first week or two because I kept her inside, and at one stage I couldn’t find her anywhere. This was worrying and at one point I thought maybe she felt lost in her new home and ran outside through an open door that I hadn’t noticed. This was based on the fact that, one eye or not, she was a fast as anything I had seen in terms of cat behaviour and for this reason I temporarily called her ‘Speedster’ after her first name. Sometimes she was so quick that I tripped over her a few times when walking out of doorways. She was and still is one step ahead of me.

A few weeks after getting my second cat at kitten age, I kept noticing my one eyed cat bobbing her head side to side then make a play for a jump. Again she disappeared after frantically looking around the house. I later found her sat on the highest cupboard just under the ceiling. She was sat very quietly looking down at me as if nothing had happened. Pahh! As if…

Over time, I noticed her bob her head from side to side before taking off for a jump. After sussing out that she had to judge distance in some way because she could not have the stereoscopic vision that goes with having two eyes, the more I thought about this idea and the more I found it intriguing.

Human and animal vision with two eyes is a common biological form where its function relies on binocular vision. This provides a wilder field of view and ultimately depth perception. Depth perception is seeing the world around us in 3 dimensions and is as real as objects are, being in 3D reality. Some animals have very far spaced eyes, an example is birds, which provide a wild angled field of view to detect prey – humans have eyes on a more similar plane because our faces are flatter but still require stereoscopic function for detecting distance and speed of objects, although we rely upon this on a more subtle level and in early human evolution was used to detect the distance for prey.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3:3 different subjects when combined at the same time, create a unique perception of the world around us

How to get a 3D image


Looking at the elements of each, perspective, distance and speed, it easy to see they are all related and when combined, create a unique 3D perception of the world around us. Try this: change your perspective with two eyes, by alternating between looking through one eye at a time (cover one eye then the other) it will make objects in the foreground (ones nearer to you) appear to move position more than objects in the distance. Although the use of both eyes to gain 3D fields in the animal kingdom is an advantage for hunting, in order to if see how fast prey is moving when there is only the option of one eye, as in my case with the one eyed cat, then moving the ‘eye’ along the line of sight - via bobbing its head side to side, is the next best idea to detect distance and 3D perception. The bobbing movement compensates for the lost eye and the cat’s brain automatically anneals the information taken from the view and re shapes it into a more refined or smoother focus. This allows my one eyed cat’s brain to compensate by combining the two separate images that would otherwise be seen using both eyes. Clever kit or what! Actually pigeons use it too, perhaps just to gain extra advantage for survival.



by Nathaniel Domek



Just for a moment, try to think about the combined elements of binocular vision that are interconnected and think about the notion of parallax when taking into account the more detailed subjects of angles in mathematics and geometry. You will discover that one of these subjects has been used the most to find the distance of objects – it is called the theory of triangulation. Triangulation is using angles to find out the distance of objects against other objects (usually background). The relationship between the background objects and foreground objects determine, to a degree, the position and distance of each and all depend on the position of the observer (hence the eye bobbing technique to gain depth perception). On larger scales though, it is in the subject of astronomy that both methods of parallax, within the mathematics of triangulation, that is the method used to find out the position of distant stars.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2:1 side of this object collects something that is focused then seen at the other to achieve this effect

The One Eyed Telescope


If stepping back for a second, when looking inside a standard ‘one eyed’ telescope, there is a lens at the front that collects the light of the object, or event viewed, called the objective. At the opposite end is the eye piece. In between the two, there is an area of light that is bent then focused into a point in such a way, that it appears defined at the eyepiece - this is how we see the objects in the night sky. This type of telescope is called a Refractor telescope.





Inside the next type of telescope, the objective collects the light that goes directly to a primary mirror at the opposite end, which is positioned right next to the eyepiece itself. This mirror bounces the same light, but back onto a secondary mirror placed about a third of the way along from objective to the eye piece - that is then bounced back into the eyepiece. There are telescopes that have the eyepiece out on the side of the tube which collect bounced light from a 90 degree angle to the objective - as the light is bounced from a mirror situated inside. As this set up can be inside a shorter area, it is the same as what I call my, ‘Short Assed Tube’ Catadioptric telescope, which I’ve had since I was very young. My other telescope that I have had since about 2007 is a motor mounted, 6 inch; Russian Tan 2 reflector and I’ve got a 3rd, 1 eyed ‘Captain Cook’ job (70’s hand held long tube one eyed scope). Because the light can be bounced back and forth at three times the focal length in the short tube Catadioptric type, this type of telescope for that reason can be a lot shorter than a refractor. The type of telescope explained here is called a reflector because the light is just that, it is reflected.






Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: The information through this devise is first inverted through an object then seen at the end, twice.

The Two Eyed Telescope


The third later type of light detector viewing device is based on not only reflecting light, but bending it through prisms. The prisms then invert the image that directs it back to the eyepiece. There are two at once for each eye, so each view is like the parallax angle to increase depth of perception. These are called Binoculars.






Super Sight



In the last part of this page I am being very optimistic by taking into account the complex mechanics that might be required for this next idea. It is to combine all the telescope technology up to a larger scale. Referring to the heads bobbing technique of the one eyed cat, in order to produce the parallax view, I want to devise an idea but on a more astronomical scale. Only, it would require a massive jump after GPS data used for satellites. The military first dismissed the use of relativity for GPS but later it realised its massive implications for collecting data at specific times. In real thinking, after using triangulation for finding objects in 3 D space, the next step was to use a method called Trilateration, which is the same but considers the geometry of triangles but on circles and spheres, along with time differences of special relativity and general relativity used in devises of GPS portioning systems. If creating a device larger in scope than the distance the satellites are from each other using this technique, along with the idea of calculations for detecting objects even further, there are already problems because of time massive time delays on a much larger scale. Space itself would have to be taken into account inside the detectors. There are satellites that have already orbited the Sun in order to get images of the Sun, but a good question is to ask is, how about developing a collective telescope, or light collecting device, where the technology would need to combine light from larger distances to acquire more information from distant stars. I would like to think about a theoretical light collecting device that takes images of deep space on a much wider 3D scale, with a larger parallax, where its inside components make up an area larger than the distance of the Sun to the Earth and maybe the furthest space probe, but with the power to correct for the mathematics used in special and general relativity and more - that could possibly be extended beyond the local, to the deep sky we do not know yet. I do not know, but like I said, I am being very optimistic…

Track this month to illustrate theme: ‘Suddenly I See’ track from KT Tunstall's album ‘Eye to the Telescope’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AEoUa0Hlso


- - -


Extended part of this page (if you like cats)-

My other cat that was recently a kitten, has an 'extended' habit of collecting odd objects from my garden and bringing them inside the house. (Somehow got through the cat door with the cat) This is the exact list from getting my male kitten around May this year (about a month just after getting my one eyed female cat same year 2014 - this list is not an exaggeration but exact to date. The top of the list starts at the beginning just after I got my male kitten (now almost full grown). He brought all in these ‘objects’ inside (note my new next door neighbours are having their house gutted and decorated with new windows and seals put in). I have kept most objects the cat brought inside and have called them, ‘Exhibit A', 'Exhibit B', 'C', accordingly etc, like you do:


Red rose
Pink rose
Mouse (live) (don’t ask) (captured in humane mousetrap then let out day after it got lost + lived in my lounge over night)
Stone (concrete)
Black thing
Stone (small)
Leaf (large)
Stone (large)
Leaf (small)
Leaf (large)
Twig (long)
Frog (live – found behind door downstairs)
Stone (medium)
Leaf (small)
Frog (live small – let out later)
Moth (live)
Flower pod (brown)
Plastic bottle Cap (blue)
Moth (big)
Moth (big)
Stone (medium)
Moth (massive)
Stick (little)
Moth (large)
Moth (large)
Feather (white)
Moth (Very large)
Feather (grey)
Feather (Small)
Feather (large)
Moth (large)
Stone (medium)
Feather (large)
Moth (small)
Feather (medium)
Flannel (from 1st floor)
Moss (massive load)
Filler (long clear blob about 6 inches long with stick/window ledge in it - yes filler not feather, that rubbery plastic stuff sealant used to seal windows and doors)
Filler (brown coloured shape of a snail oddly enough and at first I thought it was poo)
Filler (brown animal cat <------ shaped blob with white blotches/specks stuck to it that look like 2<-- eyes (it could have been one) – yes that’s what you read, what are the chances??? May put pic up of it)
Filler (white blob)
Filler (brown)
Filler (long blob like string shaped)

50 objects so far

I'm expecting him to bring in a telescope next.




C-This Quote Of The Month September 1st 2014



"When given a choice…take both!!"


By Peter H. Diamandis is an engineer, physician and founder/chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation, Singularity University and CEO of and Zero-Gravity Corporation, along with the co-founder and vice chairman of Space Adventures Ltd, among others.




Moon and Earth: A Cosmic Waltz






A very old image I did called 'Sun Blast'

helping illustrate how planets, like Earth and Moon in our solar system formed.




A gentleman takes to the dance floor and gracefully with open arms, greets his partner - the lady who joins him in a twirling embrace as they both set off to waltz…



The Origins of the Earth to the Moon.


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: 4.54 billion years ago, by a method called accretion, it was formed into an object that created a 2nd

From a cataclysmic whack into a cosmic waltz, the Moon + Earth danced to the music of the cosmos - in astrophysics this means that just after the Earth was forming about 4.54 billion years ago from a system called accretion, along with other events taking place that may have created the arrangements we have today, Earth’s very own geology was generally formed from gas that went into clumps, all probably originating from our nearest star, the Sun. The Sun's power threw off some of its own mass which along with early Earth behaviour, became very volatile, and if proven correctly, to some extent coupled with a third object that is explained more later, our early Earth may have created one of the most significant events we will ever be indebted to – the making of the Moon.


It may have been about 50 million years ago that the Moon was formed and it was only as the Earth cooled down and formed a crust that created one of the first theories for this – putting all the pieces together suggesting that it may have created the Moon. Around this time the Earth had to have had enough energy to throw out matter in order to do so though, which would have been a big moment of space birth! But recently it was calculated that the energy required for this theory to take form, using a term called the centrifugal force, may have been slightly ambitious, so this idea stays at that level until proven otherwise. If on the other hand the Earth had enough gravitational pull around then, it may have drawn the early Moon into its orbit. It is incredible that there is still a large amount of astrophysics and early geology to think about when theorising about the formation of Moon that we know about today. A third theory that has been simulated by computers, that had to take into account the random and largely unknown behaviour of early magma formation and hot gases, suggests the Moon may have actually been formed from a giant impact into early Earth which blew away some of its matter into a disc and the Moon formed form this.



Image credit: Fahad Sulehria of http://www.novacelestia.com/



It was probably this disc idea that would most closely become the Moon that we see today - also the Moon had to cool down like Earth and if so, it means most the Moon’s geological origins may have had the same basic constituents as Earth - the then proto Earth. Add to this the object that impacted Earth all shaping a small part of the Moon’s structure, or matter then the Moon becomes a mixture of both the impacting object and Earth itself. Wow!


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: A term describing 2 space objects, 1 bigger than the other, in unison sharing a common centre of mass

There has been a recent debate about what Earth and Moon are – together that is. The most general term used to describe two objects together, or that are in unison of a solar system like our Moon and Earth, is a binary but a binary system is more about star objects not planets. This makes for an interesting thought because binary means two of the same and having some gravitational influence on each other; it also means two stars orbiting about their common centre of mass. If one is bigger than the other, the bigger star is called the primary (in this case the Earth) and the second largest is called the companion star. One very good example of a binary system is the star with its companion that is called Sirius.



S. Espenak www.astropixles.com



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: An example is a star system, where its companion can be seen on the main star’s lower left of field.

This star has a second star called Sirius B that can be just about seen on the main star’s lower left of field. Sirius and its mate are also close together which means there is a possibility that a bit of grab mass can occur from each other. But these are stars and our Earth and Moon are really planets - bit of a difference. Compared to the system of stars in Sirius, our Moon and Earth have got a lot to contend to, that is, we are different sizes! It means that as much as we are now very cosy comfy about how close we are in origin (the Moon and our Earth) our masses are actually quite different. The force that keeps us together is obviously gravity but it is the way in which this gravity is put together… (Sounds like Carl Sagan in that song) that creates this wonderful waltz that has occurred to make our unison.



My old pic i did showing Earth with theSun but also with Moon - top left of Earth - (obviously ;-)



Strictly Come Astronomy


Because our Moon and Earth orbit about a common barycentre, each planet’s behaviour is influenced by the other. The Moon for example is grabbed by our gravitational field (although moving away from us slowly) and orbits us quite nicely. Our Earth is keeping the Moon at the distance and speed it is as you see it through a telescope today. It’s as simple as that – we are keeping the Moon in. The mass ratio between the Earth and Moon, plus the Sun’s influence, is the reason why they are behaving orbit on orbit like (remember the Earth is orbiting the Sun) but there is something else; the Moon is keeping us close too, by that, if it were not for the Moon we would not have tides and the life evolving from the sea to make us what we are today – think about that! The recent term for what it means to put the Moon and Earth together is to call our perhaps unique system, a double planet. The other thing to remember is the Moon is also being influenced by the Sun’s gradational pull too. If our Earth was further away (not much in solar system terms) we would be the main puller-in-er of the Moon!



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_star Credit:Zhatt



There is a refined dance going on with our Moon and planet Earth that we can only see from the inside whilst standing on our Earth, looking through telescopes at the Moon. We can also use equations to delve into the intricacies of astrophysics of the two and draw pictures to create simulations of the events in real time, but the only way to think about the magnificent behaviour of them both is to stand back as if being on a space ship and imagine the way they glide through space, together as they both orbit the Sun, but then on closer inspection to see that the Moon orbits the Earth, we share a unique embrace.

Now just supposing from the first paragraph, it is the second theory where the Moon could be imagined as Earth’s companion, all formed from the Sun’s disc matter as it glided along towards our planet, much like the lady being welcomed to the dance floor by the gentleman, the Earth and Moon could have been joined in unison like them, as they both began the most amazing waltz to the dance of the cosmos…






No, strictly speaking, I don’t like the UK TV series Strictly Come Dancing – on the other hand I have liked using here it to illustrate the theme for this month. I’m usually a rock, dance and pop girl with some classical mixed in for music genres (especially for picking them for these quote of the months pages) but this month I wanted to be different, I wanted to be more mellow even including love as the main theme, ahh… as if the Earth loved its companion; as if the Moon loved us back. All lovely... Actually the main reason I chose this track was because it was played at a funeral for a very dear member of my family who passed away last month at age 91. I found out she loved Russ Conway! So later I went through a few of his tracks and finally chose this one for her funeral because it was the most fitting for her and realised I really liked it also (it's a bit...let's just put it this way, it's very 70's hotel lounge foyer sounding)... anyway it's a spine tingler now because it will remind me of her and the sound of it is a kind of mellow classical feel, sprinkled with a bit of love - It’s Russ Conway - "Concerto For Dreamers" ("Always You And Me") - '62 (also the 1st link is a recording direct from the old vinyl disc so it includes the usual woody sounds, even with crackle and scratches)… it’s all old fashioned but rustic this month https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC4hvVTiNwE the next link is the same track (it's got a planet on it even) but an unfettled version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgIaZanfKVU




C-This Quote Of The Month August 1st 2014


"I am undecided whether or not the Milky Way is but one of countless others all of which form an entire system. Perhaps the light from these infinitely distant galaxies is so faint that we cannot see them."


By Johann Heinrich Lambert who was a Swiss mathematician, physicist, philosopher and astronomer and was known for proving the Irrationality of π.




What is a Galaxy?





The Car's The Star - in this case, many stars. A Galaxy Lamborghini




Once upon a time ago, there was a galaxy far, far away, so far away in fact that it may have been a bit too far to tell a story about...

I sat down the other day and thought about all the objects and things in my lounge. The solidness of the walls and ornaments and the light coming through the window, along with the water in my glass made me think about how physics helps us understand all these things around us and how far we had come to discover certain fundamental facts about them. These including the elements of fire, air and water are the physical components of everything, including solid mass, liquid and gas. I thought about how we might understand the predictions of each using all the knowledge we know – much like the gas laws, or Newton’s laws of motion all the way to Einstein’s theories. I thought that within reason, we as the now advanced human race could also produce many experiments using all these components in a lab, but there was one sticking out – it was the Galaxy.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: A self-contained system of many parts where the outer regions depend upon its centre in order to spin

A galaxy is a self-contained system of many parts where the outer regions depend upon its centre more or less (which is usually denser than its outer parts) in order to spin the way they do and due to the effects of gravity, into the shape it is. I thought that it is the one system in our universe (there are quite a few more) that we cannot really emulate in our science labs. Apart from its size, we do not fully understand what really goes on within a Galaxy. Of course there is a breakdown as mentioned in the first sentences in the previous paragraph, where of all the parts that make our world and a galaxy are facts, but we don’t really understand how they all interact, at least not completely. Science with all its advances is in some ways still at nursery stage but this makes the whole subject more fascinating and because it is fascinating, I thought about the subject further. As you read later it is not all really the way it appears, but only that because of the very unique nature of what actually makes up a galaxy and not a wall, or a glass of water for example, says to us that it partly remains mysterious. This all due to its behaviour and missing matter explained later. We know a galaxy cannot be directly observed under a microscope, nor seen as a whole inside a laboratory, in fact this is what makes this an intriguing subject even before asking what could be missing, if there is.


Galaxy Mass


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: Using orbital motion within it, giving us it its mass, a rotation curve produces its rotation speed.

Starting off with the orbital motion within the galaxy giving us its mass, the first method is to use a rotation curve, which produces data on its rotation speed. The measuring of the rotation speed relies upon and creates crucial information about its distance from the centre of the galaxy - (orbital speed)2 × (distance from the centre)/G.


Our Milky Way Galaxy



Milyway http://www.eso.org/public/images/milkyway/


With our own Milky Way galaxy at 5.8×1011 solar masses, and our knowledge that relied upon its orbital velocity measurement based on its whole mass inside its orbital radius, in 2009, it became clear that whilst using the Very Long Baseline Array instrument, we found our galaxy had stars on its outer region and not only that these stars were actually speeding along in the range of velocities along the lines of 254 km per second. This changed a few things. What we know now is that part of the mass within our own galaxy; the Milky Way, contains dark matter which brings in total mass up to 4.5×1012 M☉.Our own Milky Way is built upon about 100 billion planets and billions of stars, maybe up to about 400 billion estimated so far. Inside the spaces between these stars and planets is a system called the interstellar medium - a mixture of dust and gas. One of the most effective ways to find out what the ratios of stars to planets are is using a technique called Gravitational Microlensing.






Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: Using orbital motion within it, giving us its mass, is a rotation curve producing its rotation speed.

The history of gravitational microlensing begun with the scientist called Isaac Newton who worked out that light was bent by gravity. It was later that the famous physicist Albert Einstein ended up calculating an effect called deflection by using one of his well-known theories called General Relativity. The microlensing effect uses a term that is based on the angular Einstein radius θE





that works things out (in other words, its pure physics that quite spectacularly calculates the right answer).





The Microlensing technique uses a gravitational lens effect around a simple method based on photometry. Because astronomers need to find out the mass of singular planets and stars in a galaxy or just in space, photometry is a method that can be used by looking at how light is bent, which is due to any gravitational distortion from an object in front of the source (in front the object that is being studied). When collecting all this information up later for scrutiny, it is the data here shown over a period of time on a graph that is significant to the astronomer and it is this graph that is referred to as the much used light curve:



Jan Skowron from http://ogle.astrouw.edu.pl/




The Andromeda Galaxy



Andromeda by Adam Evans


The Andromeda Galaxy is our nearest spiral galaxy. This galaxy is known as either Messier 31, M31 (not the motorway), or numerically the NGC 224. What a wonderful galaxy this is and the reason is because it can be seen (just about on a clear night) with the naked eye. Sitting in the constellation of Andromeda…never! This Galaxy contains about ten to the power of twelve stars, which is about one trillion stars, wow! This is twice the amount in our own Milky Way, so quite impressive. Apparently we are to collide into this Galaxy in 3.75 billion years’ time, so there’s plenty of time to pack your bags and hold your breath, that’s if we are, including our local universe, still around (which I doubt but who knows what could occur within that time frame) The apparent magnitude of the Andromeda Galaxy is 3.4 and it is one of the brightest objects in the Messier range. At first a Persian astronomer called Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi thought it was a cloud, and then a German astronomer called Simon Marius saw more detail. Later it was the French astronomer, Charles Messier who catalogued this object of magnificence. Although you would not know this, the Andromeda Galaxy was formed by two collisions from smaller galaxies around 9 billion years ago but in detail, it is reckoned that it was formed from a number of smaller Protogalaxies which is like loads of blobs of gas that formed in the early universe. The collisions here may have been different to later types because they were formed from gaseous clouds rather than say, just bits of matter like the Galaxies that we know about today.



Dark Matter and its relation to Non Baryonic Matter


Dark matter is the astronomers answer to what else makes up the mass of the universe... and galaxies. Only gravitational effects from normal matter, or baryonic matter, can tell us about dark matter. Most of the universe is made up of dark matter. Matter that you can’t see has always been a bit of an odd ball because it does not absorb or even emit light. The only way it is detected is through gravity and radiation. Most of the universe it dark matter and an even bigger ratio is dark energy. Dark matter makes up 84.5% of the total mass of the universe, which is a lot considering we have the standard model that tells us all about about mass in the world of physics from what we know within the field of baryonic matter. Dark matter is non baryonic and mainly composed of weakly interacting massive particles.



An image called Dark Matter I created years ago


To conclude this exercise, I was still sat drinking a glass of water in the lounge as it later occurred to me, that after thinking about galaxy rotation and their mass mixed with the classical physics of the everyday combined with the difficult to get to science, like quantum mechanics, plus Dark Matter being a large part of what makes up galaxies (and just about everything else going on) actually asking what a galaxy was, ended up making me think about those same everyday objects in my lounge, but this time with a little bit more interest than before.

As we are the children of the stars, I chose a track by Robert Miles – called ‘Children [Dream Version]’ because it starts slow like the centre rotation part of a galaxy then later speeds up later like how the stars and planets would within the outer regions of a galaxy… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ6smhO99B4




C-This Quote Of The Month July 1st 2014


"Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real."


By Niels Bohr, who was a Danish physicist that laid the ground foundations forming atomic structure and quantum theory.




Reality is a Liar.




Look closely - look again. The two smaller shapes

(sphere and triangle) in the above image I did years ago,

might appear to fit into the larger shapes next to them,

until closer scrutiny says otherwise.




Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: Early this year, a group of scientists discovered an object where its distance was a world record.

Early this year in 2014, at around Feb time, some US and European astronomers working on Nasa's Hubble and Spitzer telescopes, discovered what was the most likely distant galaxy ever at 13.15 billion light years away. When reading this news it was hard not to take a grasp of breath, basically just trying to imagine and think about how far that actually was. To think that an even more weird fact is that the light that that galaxy gave off, of which we could see then in Feb (more or less now compared to the time the universe has been in existence) had in fact started its journey to us when our universe was just 650 million years old and now it is 13.8 billion years old. The galaxy in question (see image below) is called Abell 2744_Y1








and you would not think any of this distance and light travel malarkey just by glancing at the sky, especially if you were just a newcomer to astronomy. If you are a newcomer, you would assume that what you can see in the night sky is there now, but because light takes time to reach us and to meet our eyes, it means that this is not always the case – in fact it never is the case. If you have just digested those thoughts, try thinking about this next one:


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: Events occurring at different times as opposed to intuitive thinking based on any synchronising ones.

The same applies to near objects, or any objects and events. For a start, there is a time delay when the eye takes in information which is directed to the brain and any information about the world around the detector is delayed by a tiny bit of a fraction of a second, but the most humbling part is, you would not even know about it – your intuitive thinking may think different and base it on synchronising times. In fact taking into account local speed where light travels at an astonishing 186,000 miles per second, which is ‘quite fast’, it is practically impossible for any light in any eye, or eye like detector, to have that information be absorbed at exactly the same time it was emitted, and not only that our brain makes it appear seamless as though it is not the case at all. In this instance, to phrase Aristotle on the subject of Sense Perception, ‘More than Meets the Eye’, this saying sums up what it means to miss half of the universe, but what does this mean? It means quite astonishingly that a lot of reality is a liar.

Another example of very early reasoning about all is not what it seems, was by a Danish astronomer called Olaf Roemer, who in 1675, first modulated and studied the speed of light using observations of a Moon on the inner side of the planet and gas giant Jupiter. He realised that it was to do with the timing of the eclipse events which where dependant on the positions of the Sun, indeed our planet Earth and Jupiter itself. He later reckoned up that when the Earth was nearest to Jupiter, the actual eclipses events themselves would take place quite a few minutes ahead of predicted time, but when the Earth was farthest away from Jupiter, the eclipse would take place a few minutes later than predicted.


If Reality Did Not Lie, You Would Actually Fall Through the Floor (A good title for a book, heh?)


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: Another counter intuitive theory of science, which stands itself up+ uses a unique interactive force.

How can all of something, be actually mostly nothing? Simple! Because nothing is really solid and all solids are really nothing and it is all a lie to say otherwise. Atoms are really electric fields events and fuzzy occurrences that happen in clouds of probability – it means nothing can be properly a solid in a classical context, even though all solid objects might appear just that.





When standing on the floor, the repelling electrons on the underside of your shoes on ‘contact’ with the floor stop you from falling through the floor and in this respect, if reality was not a liar, you would actually fall through the floor. Out of four forces of: 1) electromagnetism, 2) the weak interaction, 3) gravitation (as another weak force), it is 4) the strong interaction of nuclear force within the atomic structure, that really stops you from falling ‘through the floor’. It is mainly what stops all of the components of the atoms squashing together, so don’t worry, the electrons and nuclei just repel one another and you the floor too. It was physicist Ernest Rutherford who introduced the theory of why you didn’t fall through the floor – sort of (with radioactive half-life, splitting the atom, a few alpha particles and nitrogen thrown in)

Now think about this, is the universe really just a simulation? Did you just wake up from a dream, into another dream that is not as real as the dream you dreamt, or is the universe is just a continuous unreal occurrence? If you are puzzled, don’t worry; just watch the film The Matrix again, but this time with the intention of likening it to the everyday reality you live in and the knowledge that not everything that you thought you knew (up until reading this) was all sorted out in the real world and later, as a result, figured out that it is not really sorted out at all. How did you do? Do you know that the reality you live in is real, as real as an atom, as real as the most distant galaxy? Hang on, if so, doesn’t this mean that reality is just a liar?

What does all of this tell us about how we perceive the world and ultimately, the universe we live in? Humans are very good at enjoying lots of things in real life that are not at all real, that are all based on lies, in fact we love the way it lies. An example is, watching non-factual films and reading fiction, using our imagination in play when we are children, acting in shows when adults, but in the cold hard facts of science, we stand most of our understanding on the theory of the strong interactive force, otherwise we would all fall through floors of reality – reality the liar, but we wouldn’t have it any other way, would we?


Love The Way You Lie?

Love The Way You Lie? Eminem - Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna






C-This Quote Of The Month June 1st 2014


"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."


By John Muir, a Scottish-American Engineer, naturalist, writer, botanist and geologist




Mega (Mass)



It all started out just fine with a long visit to the Supermarket late in the day when the Sun was shining away.

It just got a bit mean afterwards.





A sunny day (old pic I did)



As the day turned to night, a purchase of a bag of Mars Planets was a good idea but the supermarket was only a certain size and had limited stock so it didn’t sell them but all was not lost, as a walk back to the car from the Supermarket turned into the BIGGEST star fest…

Carrying my shopping (be it missing one bag of Mars Planets) I stopped and put my shopping bags down on the ground as a certain star caught my eye. Squinting and looking up toward the ecliptic as the night sky shone forth, its brightest star was there within Scorpius. It was shining away at magnitude +1.09. I asked what and how big is this star… really? Turning my imagination to its immense size, I visualised that this star was at the centre of our solar system. I saw a speeded up process as it blasted its size up, whilst its hot air whooshed towards my face and beyond. As it expanded itself towards the outer skirts of the solar system, my mind illustrated this effect by visualising the stars outer surface extending beyond planet Mars, but it stopped just before Jupiter. Suddenly, I looked down and imagined that my shopping bag was melted along with the shopping. I thought to ask, huh the star responsible here is a Supergiant right? It was a red star called Antares in fact. Within seconds my mind returned to the normal everyday world, after all I only imagined it and everything was ok (shopping intact). On the way back to the car again I asked, could there be a bigger star perhaps…






Star FTL (I did this pic for an old mag copied on this site called FTL)


The next stop would be to call in at the Bank for some more money. On the way there I started thinking that the Banks where becoming larger and larger, like a large mass gaining even more mass and wondered that if they had similar behaviour to large planets and stars would they all join up the same. I wanted to know if the larger store, the Hypermarket was open, because all I could think about was that bag of Mars Planets. After going to the colossal bank and on the way to the Hypermarket entrance, I noticed its car park was bigger because it is a Hypermarket after all. Looking up again at the night sky, it was darker and as I tried to define the sky even more, I saw constellation Canis Major with a bright red star inside it. This time my imagination took me a long way, whilst thinking about the engulfing imagery of how much larger this star actually is, say compared to the Supergiant red star Antares from just before. I then notice that this new star’s radius could blast and melt away not only my shopping bags, but the Hypermarket itself. To make matters worse, I knew this star’s surface extended all the way to the outer reaches beyond Jupiter. I thought, this massive star is the Hypergiant, a large deep red star called Canis Majoris with temperatures at around 3,500 K and classed as high-luminosity in the M star range. Thinking of its average density of about 0.000005 to 0.000010 kg/m3 which means it’s a hundred thousand times less dense than Earth’s atmosphere, I later retuned all my thinking to normal as I made my way into the store to purchase that bag of Mars Planets I wanted.



Mega Mass



Another old pic of a quasar I did years ago


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: One of three words that describes an increases in size of ascending order and the largest of them all

On my way out I decided to sit in the car to eat my Mars Planet sweets before driving home. As I threw a Mars Planet up in the air (not a real one) just to catch it in my mouth, the chocolate taste made me close your eyes as my imagination went to the far regions of galactic space at the largest ever object possible.

At four billion light-years across, I thought you can’t get much bigger than that. A recent discovery emerged in my head as I thought of a Large Quasar Group called the (LQG). This is one of the biggest objects known in the universe (so far). I knew it was a collection of Quasars in the form of massive Black holes but with this, it was good to think they contain immense active centres, all emitting a massive range of effects from radio waves all the way to gamma rays. I thought, these are the biggest objects known to man and to the universe as we know it (and we may not know all of it yet).



Mass(ive) or Mass Hive


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: Calculated on classical scales, everything is made of this and it gives definition when accelerated.

I had to think. What REALLY is Mass? This is what I thought: All things in everyday objects large and small are made up of matter and when their mass is calculated on classical scales, they can be split into about three different categories. The first example is when a force is applied. Here any of the objects acceleration is defined by its mass – this is called Inertial Mass. In the second scenario, Mass is also affected<- by gravitational fields – this is called Gravitational Mass. This second one splits into two sections though. They are Active and Passive. Active is what that mass affects around it, or how much gravitational fields it has and the second is how it<- is affected by another gravitational field. The third example of Mass is that it can be thought of as another form of frozen energy and is this type that is referred to in the context of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity for E=mc², and when mass is accelerated, that concludes what occurs in his theory of Special Relativity.

Mass is also defined by an objects volume, which is its size, times its density, where its density is how thickly its internal matter is made up. Some objects like the planet Jupiter for example, are really LARGE in size or volume (compared to Earth!) but are not very dense. This is because Jupiter is mainly a gas giant and gas is not dense – or even think of it as a large sponge that is very light. The opposite of this is thinking about a smaller object like a Neutron Star, which are only about 30 miles across (much smaller than Jupiter) but has a much more dense form. Because densely Mass objects can create large gravitational forces around them (refer to number 2 in paragraph above for the Active form) Neutron Stars, as the best example, are so dense that they REALLY distort everything around them quite wildly and for this reason, are often termed to have - infinite density…

But I thought that’s all that is needed to know because this month’s theme is about a mixture of all three, with the emphasis on the result of a type of conglomerate or...





Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: When all things similar and dissimilar in nature and form, all join together to create a larger unit.

Sat in the car thinking about how all these stellar objects on a large scale work and how the laws of physics tells us about objects large and small behave, it didn’t surprise me that to predict in the future, any forms of mass now forming near other forms of mass, could later create even larger masses.

‘Well I'm standing by the river, But the water doesn't flow’


I thought that if taking these steps closers to home to the systems that operate on our planet Earth, for example our Supermarkets, they are also gaining a type of hypothetical mass, by that, the larger ones are attracting other smaller shops to create even larger shops as Hypermarkets. I thought our Banks are another example whereby, on their way to forming large colossus institutions too, their behaviour is like a set of supermassive Black Holes that create a type of super nucleus (spewing out bad vibes along the way). Some well-known pharmaceutical institutions today also appear to be gaining mass (when taking over the smaller masses of pharmaceutical institutions). The questions I asked where, are these also heading in the same direction? It is as if there is a law of attraction within these systems that operate within our economy, not just stellar objects, and all that was spilt into manageable smaller chunks in the past, are now becoming large and if we don’t get them right now, might become even more un-workable forms later, and like the laws of physics tells us, the unworkable in large form might start to gain its own momentum too. How scary is that?

‘This ain't no technological breakdown. Oh no, this is the road to hell’

As there is a predicted singularity of institutions in the world of technology, where it not only for its size (a singularity is a point where everything merges into one) a larger version, but with its density in increasing mass, thus attracting all other forms of itself and like themselves to themselves, might become an even larger dense point distorting all economic systems around it, like a neutron star. I then thought if this was the case, will there be a technological breakdown and will technology become an all-encompassing conglomerate of everything else?

‘And all the roads jam up with credit. And there's nothing you can do’

Taking this one step further to an even bigger question, I asked what would happen if all the matter in the universe came to a standstill because every object could merge with every other object (like the beginning of the big bang) but this time and even more to the point (the most dense point ever) could it be that all its mass would congeal into one, then turn to solid state into a place of no vacuums at all. It would mean everywhere and all the matter (and non-baryonic) would become so dense into one large gloop that nothing could escape it, not even the whole of the universe outside it, (if there was one) and all time just stopped because everything turned into itself.



An equation for a quasar's black hole mass



Indeed, all this time that I was pondering about Maga Mass, sat in my car with its heater on, I forgot about my bag of Mars Planets sweets that I earlier placed near my car heater vent. They had melted into one solid mass. Oh well it was just as well that I saw it as one giant Mega sweet.


Chomp that Mass!




I’ve chosen Chris Rea ‘Road to Hell’ because it sums up how things might turn out – a type of conglomerate hell but don’t get me wrong, I don’t really think hell exists (nor heaven) but rather it all just stops. I think heaven and hell are religious ideals used to fill a void that can’t really be filled. Nature and science sorts this out quite well and I tend to stick to that notion. I’ve chosen this song because I like the rhythm and background music and the lyrics are quite subtle and sort of go with this month’s theme. The 3 sub quotes within in the previous paragraph are all Chris Rea lyrics from this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abZlWqVeLzg





C-This Quote Of The Month May 1st 2014


"It is utterly beyond our power to measure the changes of things by time. Quite the contrary, time is an abstraction at which we arrive by means of the changes (motion) of things"


Ernst Mach was an Austrian physicist and philosopher






Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: This term goes directly opposite to a natural state of a 1st law that is found in the Platonic world.

Everything in the real world of large objects like cups, to the heat is inside my cup of tea, is determined by mathematical models that use predictions based on Platonic methods which are within an arrow of forward time in one direction. The Platonic method is a system of works built around Euclidean geometry about solids in the normal space that you and I occupy and almost all big and small solid objects in space and systems of energy are fixed within the one direction in time. The predictive methods of law of Conservation of Energy are coupled with this mathematical Platonic method. The law of conservation of energy is to do with energy that cannot be destroyed or created but changes, or in other words, transforms over time. An object’s initial internal state, or how they start, also includes how the universe started and these are governed by the system of the 1st Law of thermodynamics. As things are always in a state of change, for example when heat flows out or in a cup of tea and in my case now, heat is flowing out of my cup of tea whilst I spend time in one direction working on this paragraph! To even think of the reverse of this Platonic world, is to imagine the opposite to how in the laws of physics works because it is about how imagining the opposite to how objects and systems behave, but whilst considering the 1st Law of thermodynamics (as it is a closed system of energy exchange in one direction) any entropy increase where entropy is disorder, or a system of progression in the direction of thermodynamic equilibrium, is literally in the real world quite difficult to reverse. It is also difficult because the process is on the fixed Platonic scale and for the very reason it is difficult to reverse the making of a cup of tea, it is also impossible to change the order of how things evolve in a closed internal system and thus this includes its quantum world too.



© Sinauer Assocaites, Inc. https://jahschem.wikispaces.com/First+Law


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: This term is its behaviour in 1 direction as a 2nd law when not observed, unless under one exception.

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics says entropy cannot decrease in an enclosed system. Taking into account a different initial state, or to put simply, if you start with a different set of events before entropy for example, boiling water for a cup of tea, but changing one aspect of its internal mechanism before being boiled, it could be argued that the systems within the tea’s entropy might not increase or its outcome is different. Again, in reality this cannot really be done in Platonic classical physics but there is one exception - when not observed on a classical scale but rather as a thought experiment on a quantum scale of the atomic process - a theory called Maxwell’s Demon. All this does, is suggest that entropy may actually decrease because its internal initial state is different but as with many theoretical physics experiments, it’s very difficult to prove at the moment.

A similar theory to how a law of thermodynamics could be interpreted as being reversed is a relatively new theory called T-Symmetry. This theory suggests having a type of reverse quantum theory but still firmly sitting within the large Platonic level. The main problem here is to do with invariance which takes into account larger scales of the Platonic method, that cannot mean reversing a system at all, even if it can be theorised on small scales, although there are exceptions to the exceptions and they are to do with the weak interaction of left-handed particles and right-handed antiparticles - their mirror particles and how they are assessed within the violation of symmetry and this idea leads to whether it includes anti matter and if it is really a reversed version of matter.



Don’t Look Black in Anger



A very old pic I did of perhaps a Black Hole


A black hole is a dense area of space-time where nothing can escape, even light. Now imagine time reversal near it. The effect would be the opposite of Black. Because time within a Black hole is pinched shaped (pinched - I made that word up because Black Holes pinch all the objects and light around them so they may as well pinch the shape of time) you would get a rather odd looking light area that you cannot get into to see what is even going on, but don’t worry it is just the reverse of a Black Hole so don’t look black in anger as it’s all white.


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: This term is a process used in engineering which re constructs no new components but meets new ends.

Engineering is a system that mostly evolves using new design elements that usually adds new materials and components to produce new outcomes. Reverse engineering is about using what is already there but is re-constructed with the aim of producing a different outcome. Often it is going backwards to re define what components can do. It is their different interaction that creates a different effect as opposed to using more of the same or creating new material to add to it. One example is the subject of CAD, or computer-aided design. There are many branches of science and engineering in industry that use reverse engineering to produce better results.


A Reverse Engineering in Learning

When I studied O level physics at night school in 1999, I used to read many of the harder equations around and higher than the subject level, but in reverse or backwards. The reason is I figured out that if an answer to a set of problems was narrowed and closed, because it gave one answer, then it converged any thinking of it and the opposite was that reversing your reading and study of problems also opened up and diverged your thinking along with it. Obviously the normal way is correct when using deductive logic to get an answer but if the thinking is also closed then it constricts the learners ability to think of alternatives (as divergent ideas) that might bring them back towards a better understanding later. It could be that it is a loop system that goes back to the answer but I haven’t really thought about the loop system I created for learning within education, in any depth yet but when I have I might do a larger piece on it here. The main thing to consider here it that, after being a tutor and being dyslexic, I am all for using any method that gets students (learners) to get something before they can answer something even if it means studying backwards in order to reverse their thinking a little. It worked wonders for me when I stumbled upon an equation in one of my text books based on Schrodinger's wave equation. One example I used is that I realised after studying in reverse, was that Maxwell's equations were wave equations for a photon but Schrodinger's wave equations were for a nonrelativistic electron. The problem then was to think back<- and ask, are they actually both different wave equations but have similar ends? They are different equations but have the same answer because they work within classical limits and the classical limit converged that answer. My reverse divergent method is to study the reason why they are different (reverse understanding) then re work any learning back the normal way which will close as a correct answer. My advice is if you are a lecturer, teacher, tutor or learning facilitator, don’t restrict any method of learning that allows the student to ‘think around’ ‘reverse’ or tinker with ideas even if at the start, they are in reverse.


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 0: This term makes u think about what would happen if everything went the way it doesn't go currently.

Think about the universe going into reverse. All systems and think about how living things could defy laws of entropy and how ad what it means of life evolved in reverse. Humans and animals become younger and the formation of the planets and stars start to reverse their previous motions and positions. It could mean all our lives become easier (or more difficult depending on how old age is perceived) if becoming younger. The cup of tea (my cup of tea which is probably now cold) on the kitchen worktop that was accidently knocked over, then smashed on the floor suddenly reconstructs itself back into a cup before your very eyes, and that’s after picking itself up from the floor. It goes warmer to boiling hot and the tea separates from the water etc…


Going back in reverse time

There are many theories that could suggest time travel back in time. One old method is using worm holes which would shift loads of physics laws out of synch, as well as the quantum world would could cause some strange effects. One subject to read upon is about the path histories of particles, like the Feynman diagrams that portray a kind of time reversal effect. Another area to look into is quantum computing that I think uses a kind of time reverse method as all the qubits resolve into a time entanglement of even more quantum weirdness. Maybe we can look there for a new quantum theory of time reversal happenings…


Art and Physics – not so different!



Left- and right-handed particles: p is the particle's momentum and S is its spin. Note the lack of reflective symmetry between the states.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month -1: This term is a trick that can be used in a subject, using a mirror, if wanting correct proportions. In the subject of art, when drawing a picture and getting the proportions correct, after thinking your drawing is right, try looking at your ‘finished’ artwork in a mirror – you might get a shock! The way the brain works is that you see things in one way due to repeated experience but looking at the same in a mirror changes your perception of the image. Talking of going in reverse from art in a mirror, reverse back to the paragraph on this page about atomic structures as seen from a hypothetical mirror and refer to atomic processes in mirror symmetry in physics and you will find that the subject of art isn’t really that far away!


Is the universe about free will or is it determined? Let the Black Swan fly… (in reverse)

This is a question more of philosophy than physics but has massive implications in physics. The debate is ongoing and it appears that there are numerous theories that play around with what can be predicted and what cannot. If referring to my earlier paragraph on methods using a system of mathematics used in physics that is concerned with prediction that is based more or less on a Platonic system that works well for forward time predictions in physics. I have often thought about how different the mathematics works in for example, the economy and have often referred to a very clever bloke called Dr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb who is a statistician that deals with complex maths problems for the every day world. He says that there is more to probability than the Platonic methods used in physics. He is also wildly famous for his theory called the ‘Black Swan’ which in a nut shell, says that there is an unaccounted for mathematical quadrant that predicts event of high impact but at low probability. Mr Taleb uses a different type of complex mathematics for his models of finance and the economy compared to the maths used in physics, so it is expected that his methods are a bit different to what is used in physics. He thinks the use of limited models in physics for prediction may result in constricting our understanding and prediction of the natural world. Because Nassim uses systems that are apparent in economic models for example, he says that his theory of the Black Swan opens our thinking about how we can see systems working. This leaves me with a very big question, if this is the case, that our most complex and powerful mathematics used in historical and recent physics cannot predict economic systems, it means we are leaving out a heck of a lot of maths that could be transferred back from his method of reasoning (reversed) that could be used to see if we can reverse engineer the physics of the universe. A lot to ask?


There is a choice of two songs this month and you can play them in the correct order I have put here, or in reverse:


This ace song called ‘The Scientist’ by group Coldplay shows a video in reverse<-



Brilliant Oasis group with the track ‘Don't Look Back In Anger’ (It’s inserted in the quote explanation…)






C-This Quote Of The Month April 1st 2014


“Astronomy is useful because it raises us above ourselves; it is useful because it is grand; …. It shows us how small is man's body, how great his mind, since his intelligence can embrace the whole of this dazzling immensity, where his body is only an obscure point, and enjoy its silent harmony.”


By, Physicist Henri Poincaré




When Is Midnight? (Part 1 a.m.)



This month’s quote is in two parts. The first is about what time is and its fuzzy man made definition of when clocks decide when it is , or when it is not, with the more concrete geometry and astronomy explanation meaning part of midnight, then the second part is about cognitive science, but I still use the same theme in the title.



Countdown to the Quote of The Month 3: It is the mid-point at dark, after a common event every day, occurring opposite another time.





Midnight is just at that time when it is dark, a few hours after the Sun has gone down and when one new day starts right after the last and opposite to where the Sun is on Earth. If referring to 12 o clock a.m. the before noon term of a.m. means ante meridiem and if referring to after noon, the term p.m. means post meridiem. But there is a bit of a problem about what actually defines the actual time the next day starts. It might seem correct to say that using the 12 hour digital clock, midnight is exactly from the point of 11:59 p.m. to exactly 12:00 (without an a.m. or p.m. abbreviation) or, it is right up until what defines the actual p.m. part, so in some ways it could go as far as 12:01 a.m. On the other (clock) hand, if refering to the diagram above this paragraph showing the digital method, it is this type of 24 hour clock that uses digits like 00:00 to define midnight and the term 12:00 is used to define the point at noon.




from twitter


Countdown to the Quote of The Month 2: It is not ruled by clocks and events in a sequence from human thinking but the position of objects.

The other more astronomical definition is to think about simply when it is the actual middle of the day on one part of the Earth; it is the middle of the night on the other. The Solar midnight which is the opposite of the Solar noon and using the Arabic term nadir, meaning a point that is directly below a point and when the Sun is its closest to it and opposite to the zenith, and from dawn to dusk, it is this, at the mid part of the night and equidistant from both, that says what Solar midnight is. In fact Solar midnight is also is defined by the time of the year and longitude and not actually about time zones at all and it is because of differences with daylight saving time all over the Earth and other man made events. Midnight is an actual concrete term about a position within a mathematical location and not referring to clocks times and is calculated from angles and tangents of geometry, which in this case is one of two vertical directions. Now imagine having to say all that lot at twelve o clock!




Just to go off on a tangent, if you look at this diagram above about the nadir and zenith, with the little blue man, have a go at changing him into a brick and try doing this little thought experiment I made up a few weeks ago that I tweeted on twitter, as you might find it an amusing idea:

On a geodesic plane (a curved surface like a sphere in the diagram) put a brick (like the blue man) next to a tall Building on the same geodesic. The brick will be ‘higher up’ than that tall building (true horizon). You did read that right. This only applies from the point of view of the brick and on contact on a curved surface. The tallness and size of the building or brick is irrelevant! Simply, from the point of view of the brick when it’s on a curved surface, it is ‘higher up’ than the building. This does not apply to a flat surface where both the brick and tall building will be both the same height at point of contact on surface (it’s like the astronomical horizon or right angle to the brick – or man) Interesting isn’t it?



Earth with Sun - an old space pic of mine



When Is Midnight? (Part 2 p.m.)


Countdown to the Quote of The Month 1: It is a question I created to answer a conundrum about the thinking based on when something occurs.

If you are interested in education and cognitive science, you might like this next part quite a lot. About 12 years ago I made up a question that I asked people in person and online, that would have one purpose which that was to find out how people think. I wanted to ask a question that gave me a general idea about how people used their cognitive abilities. The two realms I wanted to find out, that I later put their styles into were. 1) They thought like everyone else. And 2) They didn’t think like everyone else. It was as simple as that.

The two different styles can be broken down into about two simple and roughly organised categories of thinking. The first was methodological and the second was more unconventional. I don’t know what that says about me.

The idea was that if people think like other people, they use familiar and known patterns to reason. If on the other hand they didn’t think like other people, they would use non familiar patterns to reason. The first category was mostly likely how people use experience, education as knowledge and imitation to get an answer. The second category was mostly likely how people use different thought patterns, with different patterns. The idea of my mini hypothesis was that each type of thinking would produce a different answer to the other. It wasn’t about what the answer actually is, but more about whether people copy others to get the answer or not and what they might say if they don’t.


The question I asked was - When Is Midnight?





The reason why I asked this question was because when I found out that loads of people answered and said it was 12 o clock, I knew that they had learned to think like everyone else (most people think it is 12 o clock) but if someone answered with another time, they would not think like anyone else.

But before I asked anyone the question, I set out to answer the question myself and thought out an answer. It was this simple difference in how I thought that made me create the question. My answer to ‘when is midnight’ was 9pm. I thought that if the start of the night was from 6pm dinner time at tea time, like from the saying ‘good evening’ and up until 12 midnight in traditional terms, then 9 pm is the middle of those two times, so 9 pm is the middle part of the clock from 6pm to 12am. Later I asked other people to answer the same question I was fascinated by how many said 12 pm (even after considerable thinking!) and no one said 9 pm.

Have you clocked it yet?



I’m not religious but I do like a lot of Vangelis’s music. This track is called 12 O' Clock and it reminds me of the subject. It’s a very ethereal and beautiful song also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW5OhA3f3-8 and another version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwFTkooHnPs




C-This Quote Of The Month March 1st 2014



“The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.”



Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist and cosmologist.




Equilibrium and Fine Tuning (The Song of the Universe)



In last month’s quote I used a piece of text I had written years ago for twitter, about the Aurora. This is what I said (to quote),

“The Thermosphere has particles far apart and it is here in the lower regions that the Aurora Borealis displays its fascinating show of light and colour. The Aurora Borealis is caused by colliding energetic charged particles with atoms at high altitude. Auroras are emissions of photons in the Earth's upper atmosphere from ionized nitrogen atoms regaining an electron, and oxygen and nitrogen atoms returning from an excited state to ground state. As the solar wind collides, they become ionized or excited. There is an extraordinary dance between nitrogen and oxygen and the speed at which light is emitted from each to produce the various colours.”

See what I did just there? Last line - “There is an extraordinary dance between nitrogen and oxygen and the speed at which light is emitted from each to produce the various colours”


But what did they dance to?


Answer: The Song of the Universe.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: A unit requiring bits of another process that builds more parts to create a whole to be finely tuned.

If there was anything that sings of fine tuning to the frequency of space-time within our universe, it is in an individual unit called the Planck constant that is revealed within the quantum scale and which when more simply put, is about proportions and relations of units of energy and their frequency. These units create the basic building blocks of matter. In the atomic world this matter becomes an oscillator where the perfect place for fine tuning all of its values are a result of a specific states of equilibrium, that is, after the basic harmonics take place. These harmonics when narrowed down, called quantum harmonic oscillators, have qualities that can be anything from the electric charge of an electron to the values and numbers placed on individual quantum events, like atomic masses and all their ratios. The technical terms for these fine-tuned events are called the Hamiltonian and Eigenstates. Putting this in completely simple terms though, the Hamiltonian value is the totalling of the array of outcomes whereas the Eigenstates is likened to the equilibrium that is created within one of those outcomes. What the universe has done for us is to stabilise these outcomes as events, so much so, that at a quantum moment within this fuzzy world of quantum mechanics, things begin to finally take place and something gets done. An example is the photon that is emitted if changes in the state of an atom take place. For instance, the ionized nitrogen atoms within the Aurora regain an electron. Because the structure or equilibrium of an atom is changed by regaining an electron, a system of rebalance or fine tuning has to take place to equalise the event afterwards. In this context it releases a photon.

Another good example of this balance effect is called the Pauli Exclusion Principle. The Austrian physicist Wolfgang Pauli devised this system that is the basis of all chemistry and physics and it has a nice ring to it when simplified; particles with a different quantum number only exist if they are both in the same state and vice versa, if they have the same quantum number they can only exist in different states. It is like a ‘something’s got the give’ effect. Looking at is this way the particle events are equalled out just by the number value and the state value. What is completely weird about this Exclusion event is that even if a small fluctuation occurred, most of the process in our universe would not happen, in fact nothing would work and the universe would not even exist.

There are tons of scientific theories that suggest that the universe has a fine tuning effect, or favours equilibrium on many scales allowing various mechanisms and events to unfold that unleash harmonic operators all the way from the small units of the quantum world to the larger scale events taking place in the classical world.

Jumping up a scale, think about a tuning fork as a device for equilibrium that resonates at a constant pitch because it is based on how it is made and how it produces specific frequencies and harmonics.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: A place where if all the other events are in the correct place, increases chances for this occurrence



Earth with Sun space pic I did years ago


On an even greater astronomical scale, one place of fascinating equilibrium is called the Circumstellar Habitable Zone, or the Goldilocks zone. It is a place where a planet, like Earth has the just the right size and contain the right amount of atmospheric pressure enabling water to remain on its surface and maybe create life. Because of needing the correct positioning within a solar system like ours, it means creating a greater chance of an Earth like planet, but in order for a planet to support life, it has to be just right and don’t forget, we also have the Moon for the tides and due to the temperature of another star nearby. Much like the distance of our nearest star, the Sun to planet Earth, it makes our solar system just right that a planet like ours even exists. This zone has to create a chance of there being a planet and getting it just right sounds hard but including the amount of stars and planets in space this increases that chance a lot more. Recently a Kepler space mission detected quite a few such planets, in fact as many as around 40 billion Earth sized planets actually orbiting a star that are all in habitable zones.


Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: It is a combination of variables in the right proportions that enable a certain shape of the universe.

If studying this effect of equilibrium on a much larger scale, we arrive at a theory called the Cosmological Constant. It is basically the ratio between critical and energy density within the vacuum of space. The ratio and balance within the current system and effect of the vacuum describes the cosmological constant which includes Dark Energy and Dark Matter as constraining factors within the parameters for the theory.



Dark Matter - my old space pic on my website


The cosmological constant was derived from one of Einstein’s mistakes after it was realised that the galaxies where moving away from each other. Later the question was not just, was the universe expanding but what other way can we deduce about what was the basis of it. It is about the positive vacuum energy density and the equalling negative pressure and initially from Dark Energy that creates a flat value. And guess what? This flat value is pleasing like a harmonic note! Although on the surface it may appear that the expansion of the universe is an infinite constant, it actually might not be on larger spatial geometric scales.



From 'I Love Physics'


Being flat in a spatial geometry way doesn’t imply the universe will go on forever because it only implies it in a local sense (a very big local) because where we are at this time in the universe is only a result of a balance in our working out of the universes critical density - a flat spatial geometry where our universe needs dark energy and dark matter as a factor to do that in order to balance out the equation but there may be more we do not know. Dark energy and dark matter were later calculated in to stabilise the value that today we call the cosmological constant. Because we cannot see the effect of dark matter or dark energy but only what is does to describe how it fine tunes the equation to make the universe the flat shape it is, it only shows us that we are at the mid-point, or the equilibrium, that is our greatest attempt yet, at enabling our being to hear the universe sing.

How wonderful how life is, while we’re in the world. To sum up: all built from the simple units of atomic matter, from each size of each event there, from the smallest atom in the making of a molecule to the DNA in a microbe, to animals and humans and all life itself next to an object as big as a tree, from the size of the sea, to all the life on this planet, from a planet within the largest stars, to all parts of those stars and events after them, from within the observable universe and what is beyond, where in a vast space, at certain stages at each event, all suggests the finely tuned workings creating a wonderful balance. How incredible is that?

I have chosen a track that is in my top 5 best songs because it is almost perfectly balanced as far as technical and creative genius goes within a piece of music. It is timeless and a good reminder of what everything in this universe is about, namely a beautiful mixes of amazement and wonder - just enough to be explained in a song - ‘Your Song’ by Elton John. If Elton John had written a scientific paper about the universe that explained the fine tuning of it, but as a song, it would be this one. This song is by far one of the best written songs of all time, just because of its timing with its melodies, harmonies and rhythms. If you listen to it carefully you can hear something new each time. The fine tuning of arrangements and rhythm of high toned piano notes at the start lead and carry us along to the first verse, “It’s a little bit funny…” and we all want to know what that is. Next the accompanying mid tones of piano chords brilliantly changing at just the right time, taking us on a journey about what the song is for, which is a story all heard within the lyrics. All of a sudden we hear a subtle beat with a dash of harmony of base tones, and in the string section there is a brilliant change in chords again but with a sad vagueness then cheeringly with hope in good resolution, “How wonderful life is while you’re in the world”. This is like finding equilibrium within the universe. If you haven’t got that spine tingly effect from this song yet, listen to the song again with increased volume with a good set of speakers and now hear the perfectly chosen rhythms and melodies that play with each lyric, as they create a magnificent background to each one, and all in perfect balance. Later you will realise that it’s a very simple song with tenderly written words that are accompanied by the most superb balance of string section, with the best singing violins that end up dancing along to the lightest amount of sprinkle, all from a classical guitar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV3r8rDDmNs



C-This Quote Of The Month February 1st 2014



“You could warm Mars up, over time, with greenhouse gases.”



By South African, Canadian, American engineer, business magnate and inventor Elon Musk, now the CEO and CTO of SpaceX and CEO & Chief Product Architect of Tesla Motors.




The Importance of Fresh Air


I was inspired to use the topic about air because of a section in this old book I have that has always been stuck in my mind. I have the page open here now at ‘The Importance of Fresh Air’. The book it is from is called, ‘The Wonder Book of Science’ which was my first book and introduction to science when I was six years old. There is more about my first book of science here.




http://wayneburrowsnc.wordpress.com/scrapbook/attachment/111/ for now (will put my own pic of book here later)








Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: Two events are responsible for the balance of mechanisms that make up the one element vital to life.

A precise gas and gravity mix are so responsible for one of the most important substances on planet Earth, that if the composition of one of these events was even slightly increased or lessened, the balance that make up the mechanisms from each, would still not sustain the one vital element needed for life, that is air itself.

The Earth’s gravity is responsible for the atmosphere being just where it is, that is, protecting life from ultraviolet solar radiation whilst creating sufficient insulation to keep heat in from absorbing it from the Sun. What is often misunderstood is that fact that our air is not mostly made up of oxygen but nitrogen. Oxygen is second to other trace gases that also play an important role.

The upper atmosphere on Earth keeps all the appropriate gases working in order to make the air what it is above our ground. Briefly from the top, the Exosphere behaves more like space because the particles are far apart containing very low densities of hydrogen and helium.

Next down is the Thermosphere a large area that hosts the ISS (International Space Station). Gases here have particles far apart and it is here in the lower regions, that the aurora borealis displays its fascinating show of light and colour. The Aurora Borealis is caused by colliding energetic charged particles with atoms at high altitude. Auroras are emissions of photons in the Earth's upper atmosphere from ionized nitrogen atoms regaining an electron, and oxygen and nitrogen atoms returning from an excited state to ground state. As the solar wind collides, they become ionized or excited. There is an extraordinary dance between nitrogen and oxygen and the speed at which light is emitted from each to produce the various colours.

Further down still the Mesosphere hosts the show of noctilucent clouds caused by ice crystals that are lit by the Sun when it has gone below the Earth’s horizon.


Next the Stratosphere is heated up because it absorbs ultraviolet radiation and an amazing iridescent, or mother of pearl effect occurs here caused by a change in chemicals that are disturbed and supported by the nacreous clouds.



Nacreous Clouds, Wiki-piki


By a complex chemical reaction of gases, these polar stratospheric clouds contribute to ozone depletion and are yet another rare sight to be seen. The ozone depletion is directly related to greenhouse gases and ones that could occur somewhere else, that is later explained in this months quote explanation.

The Troposphere and further down to the ground is where there are all the gases which form the air responsable for much of life on Earth.



Room to Breathe



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: This substance is needed 1st to sustain a delicate and precarious system setting off chain reactions.

Even in the winter months I am always opening a window a small amount because I love the fresh air circulating in my rooms. It is so important to me to breathe fresh air that if it wasn’t for the cold and wet UK weather, I would live outside all the time, but of course that cannot be a realistic option! I can at least be thankful of the science behind how important fresh air is to our lives.

Without the ability to breathe, within a short period of time, life is at immediate risk. Without the breath of air within minutes, most mammals are at a brink of death and do not hang on long and as the notion goes; if something is not breathing, whatever life that was once there, slips away fast and if it is human, all our money won't another minute buy, unless someone is around to give the kiss of life. As humans we have measures in first aid and in an intensive medical situation can bring about the main function in biology and its corresponding physiology that will reverse this scary event. It is amazing that the kiss of life is enough to start a set of chain reactions bringing life back and all because of air being pumped back into the body.

The main composition of gas required for air breathing is oxygen because it is needed for the building blocks of cell processes called cell respiration. The breathing lung is there as gas exchange system where it absorbs mainly nitrogen and oxygen, then expels less of the same but with carbon dioxide. It is incredible to think, that everything else in the biological system relies upon this simple but delicately balanced mechanism.



Dust in the Wind



Globular Storm - a pic I did years ago on this site. It might be about atoms or particles in tiny storms or planets even...



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: Regardless of the compositions of gases there, this main substance cannot start when it is too thin.

If studying the atmosphere and finding out if there is air to breathe on Mars for example, it is best to take into account first of all, that its air is very thin. Although it is extremely cold on Mars, at about -63 C, an event called the thermal tide causes its atmosphere to expand up decreasing air pressure, as sunlight heats it on the side facing the Sun. The thermal tide creates a layer of protection too, enabling a shielding effect from radiation. Mars's atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide but with a small presence of methane, all suggesting geochemical dynamics or hydrothermal and volcanic activity. If its atmosphere could be warmed up by greenhouse gases there might be a chance to start off other events that would make it better to colonise there. The Phoenix lander returned data of Martian soil that showed it was slightly alkaline with elements of magnesium, sodium, potassium and chloride. The Martian soil has a basic pH of 8.3, which could contain traces of the salt perchlorate. Along with the water vapour and its ice composition, who knows what chemical reactions and atomic globular storms, along with a change in it atmosphere, could take place on planet Mars which when considering its red rust dust along with the Martian winds, all of the its future one Martian day, could set off the right systems required to sustain life as we know it, even if it didn’t happen once before…


Dust In The Wind by Kansas - but this version I love by Sarah Brightman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6lYSL_Gub0




C-This Quote Of The Month Jan 16th 2014



“Then we're going to want to learn how to grow crops on Mars using Martian water and Martian soil, Martian sunlight, Martian gravity to develop the craft of growing food on Mars.”






By Robert Zubrin an American aerospace engineer and author who is known for his advocacy of the manned exploration of Mars - on the subject of 'The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must' a nonfiction science book quoted from an interview from npr.org website.




Pop Star – Beyond The Future (Humans Off Mars - Extended)




Countdown to the Quote of the Month 3: Back at this time a space explorer probe discovered an event on the North Pole of a well-known planet

After the closest approach of gas giant Jupiter on March 1979, the Voyager 1 space probe went onto explore Saturn when it was nearest to the planet. On 12 November 1980 when Voyager 1 was at its closest to Saturn, it showed us Saturn’s North Pole with a strange system occurring there, which we now know as its famous Hexagon.


NASA - Cassini Space Imager


One of the most unintuitive but now well-known planets of our solar system is Saturn. Here is a little brief tour: Saturn is the 6th planet from the Sun and after Jupiter, the second largest. But like Jupiter, Saturn is also a gas giant. It is about nine times in its radius that is, of Earth. Although it is larger than Earth, it is not as dense; in fact it is at about one eighth of our density! Surrounded by rings, Saturn is very weird indeed. It has a reasonably dense core with hydrogen and helium gases surrounding it to make up its local atmosphere but on the outside of its atmosphere is a yellow tinged layer due to ammonia crystals. What makes it unique? It is its rings. It has nine rings that are continuous, with three discontinuous arcs that are mostly made up of ice and some dust particles. It also hosts sixty two Moons. In 1982 the space probe, Voyager 1 discovered its hexagon on its North Pole. It has since been studied by Cassini and in 2009 where it gave us clearer images within the visual field about the planet. About this strange event, which is like Earth’s jet stream, it is made up of a regulated system of air currents which describes the hexagons shape and is a fascinating weather system, all shaped by Saturn and its magical vortices.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 2: In the name of a well-known fruit (as an ACRONYM) this mission was to orbit our planet + India’s 1st

The APPLE or Ariane Passenger PayLoad Experiment was India’s first satellite launch. Then called a three-axis, stabilised experimental, Geostationary. It was a communication satellite that was to bring about relay of TV and radio networking and it marked another achievement in the science of the satellite market into Earth orbit.



Countdown to the Quote of the Month 1: Two rocket boosters propelled a well-known US space company into stellar orbit at around this time.

In the early 1980’s there was a new kind of order in science where optimism outweighed politics, for if politics was the lightest gas, it would float above the worry of risk and control and then take with it a chunk of space endeavour that would be the first ever to be discovered on our planet. It was when many space missions were about satellite launches, which included space probes and of course the famous Hubble Space Telescope. There were 4 test flights that launched after 1982, of which flights became operational in 1982 and 139 missions were used from 1981 to 2011 respectively. All of these were launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida in the USA and it was all a buzz, or a roar of rocket engines at the peak of space operational time. A unique fascination with what we could know more about was enough to set the rocket fires burning and the Kennedy Space Centre was to start its first space quest that would leave a mark on our deep space exploration timeline, forever.

Think back in time again for a moment, to the amazing 1969 event where humankind stood on the Moon. Back then its landing was not far from our minds. Now compare that as you jump forward a little, taking with you what we knew more about onto a new kind of launching in 1972, which by 1983, a non-manned space probe went beyond the orbit of Neptune. Much like the planetary probes, the Voyager missions that where just ebbing in their data and image gallery collection of our local Solar System, the Pioneer 10 mission was to send us the first and best beyond Solar System data that we could ever know and at least then, the most unique at the time. We waited in anticipation in order read and study about the wonders of these new realms of space. The Pioneer 10 probe was to send us the first high quality space data about the asteroid belt, cosmic rays and the solar wind. Cosmic rays are from the far reaches of deep space, that is outside our Solar System but the solar winds are caused by our nearest star the Sun, so this was new science, a 1980’s science and it started to give us a hint about the origins of our Solar System all the way from the asteroid belt, and then onto the science of the Sun and local solar system in particular. We needed it but this time and for the first time, it wasn’t just our local solar system we wanted to know about, it was also far beyond…

Around the early 1980’s we had longed to explore and land on the planet Mars but it was a distant dream, at least for a while. Humankind was still getting over the celebration of the Moon landings in 1969; we were largely complacent in some ways because of this great feat. The only legacy it made was to make us sit back and think about what the next mission was, but it was always in the back of our minds. Around early 1980 there where mutterings of how we would like to live on Mars but then they were only brought about in stories and films and sometimes songs to ignite our hearts. Later I will explain one of those songs. If anything, back then we all had a fear of Mars. One example were the warning signs from science fiction we knew much earlier than then. It was so blinding and powerful that one of the most famous science fiction writers, H. G. Wells wrote a story about how he would foresee Martians and their devastating effect on us. This was written around 1895 and was called ‘The War of the Worlds’. Wells saw the future being about how we could be invaded by Martians that would create conflict and war then our demise. Back then in 1895 this set off a long journey of caution when talking about survival and invaders, at least from outer space and in this case, it was Mars. At around 1978, Jeff Wayne created a concept album which was a musical version of ‘The War of the Worlds’ story. By about early to mid 1980’s we had a better idea from our technology then because we had more experience of space exploration. Even some pop stars of that time were starting to get inspired by Mars and the future.



Mars Mission (an old image I did years ago and you can actually tell)


If you read last month’s quote of the month (see the link to archive which was up to last year, Dec 2013) I explain the need of human space exploration to inhabit Mars and how we as a race, in the timeline of humankind are in our teenage years of space exploration and I suggest what we could do next. In the childhood and teenage years of the humankind timeline of space exploration, we were deluded by the grandeur of Mars settlement fame and we were the children needed feeding that received space exploration to Mars intentions with an instinctive human greed to explore. We didn’t know, in fact, you didn’t know, what would happen next. Imagine now jumping to forward to……..

…… a Mars that has been inhabited by us but this time we are thousands of years ahead and we have left it for another planet beyond our Solar System and the only thing that is left is -



- you.




Now you are all alone on Mars and any living thing other than you left there long ago. Once upon a time ago you wanted to be free, but now it’s a mystery. It is thousands of years after the human race had gone to Mars, but today they have all gone from Mars. You notice decay where there was once order. There is only you. You stand alone in a lost city of Mars. After flying above the ruins, you land on a boulder holding a skull in your left hand from a lost Martian tribe. You notice plumes of smoke from afar. These bits and pieces left behind are the only traces of the past and there are wisps of wind around you, with stumbling and crumbling apartment blocks, which in comparison to what once lived in them, seem more alive than the organic matter that set it all off in the first place. You can’t be sure, but you ask,


Is there only a derelict Mars?


You notice cogs, metal fatigue and odd looking androids that are part human as resemble pedestrians stuck to soda syphons. There are streams of Martian lakes containing metallic fluid and goo, with twelve foot pythons swimming up to the surface. You notice a clock work mouse walking out of the lake onto a spinning pea pod. And then out of nowhere, you catch a glimpse of a picture of our world, of our actual Earth – and it makes you feel nostalgic, perhaps once connected. This picture of our world is one of the very last pieces of history to Martian inhabitants, a once treasured item, but now it is just discarded by whatever would have bred on Mars. The picture of our world, our Earth, gently drifts onto the edge of the boulder you stand on, only to be blown away by the Martian wind never to be seen again. By the way, you are one of them; part android and part fly from a genetic experiment from a long time ago, and on Mars, like the others, you were grown to be a pet.

From nowhere you see a Gecko with metal legs suddenly clumsily running across the same resting boulder which then tumbles off. You ask, is that the only living thing left alive here? It was once warm and alive here on Mars; it was once a living Mars but this city has gone.

All there is now are cold corridors and pavements. They have gone and left you behind and you think this can’t be it. You are alone. You ask, what is next, where is next. You think to yourself, this is not the future… is it? But it’s too late. Everything has turned back to ice.



Jump to the future, a long time ago…






“I am alone, on this lost city of Mars. I have grown alone, among glass and stolen cars”

‘Pop Star’ from the album ‘Anthem’ by Toyah

(I had to use 2 quotes this month!)



My interest in science started in 1976 when I was age 6 old. Later around 1981, a pop star called Toyah was causing a lot of fuss (a bit like all the new space science) and although it wasn’t the main event to do so, it was this pop star that helped inspire much of my interest in space and the future in at the start of the 1908’s. Toyah’s music was in my collection and by the end of her music years, I had most of her albums (barring a few, I can’t remember but I collected the main ones and still have them on vinyl in my garage – they are Anthem and The Changeling, with some singles). It was only just recently in last Dec 2013 that I had to think of a theme for the New Year for this quote of the month. I knew I wanted to carry on the theme from the December 2013 quote of the month from last year but couldn’t quite get it right (for a change!) so it was about the second to last day of 2013 that I had an idea. I waited for a few days into the New Year, 2nd Jan 2014 to be exact because I decided to go back to the future, at least in the 1980’s and reminisce about, how back then the people, namely by referring to the singer song writer Toyah, where talking about what would occur with space exploration and science. I ordered a couple of Toyah albums which meant this quote theme explanation had to wait. As I decided that the theme was asking – In 1981 (or there abouts) what would people think of future space exploration of Mars and even beyond it, I thought if we fast forwarded time beyond inhabiting Mars, then Toyah at around 1981, was one of the first candidates within the few music circles then, that came to mind that could answer this question.

Toyah’s music inspired me again and a couple of days in this year when I decided for the first time to order the CD versions of all the albums I have of Toyah, hence the delay in writing this quote explanation, I properly wanted to wait until I got the music through the post and I knew I would listen to the track along with the artwork on the album cover first like I used to in the 1980’s, before commenting to get this text right. The album in question is ‘Anthem’ by Toyah and the track is called ‘Pop Star’ which is one of the best on that album! The lyrics are complex, as is her analysis and structure in the melodies. She used lots of imagination within the lyrics that brilliantly worked with the tunes but what stood out most of all was a very futuristic and extremely clever for the time, is that the songs even now, convey a timeless quality which is a bit like science in some ways.

I am quite sure had Toyah not been a musician, she would have been an astronaut or into science to some degree. Around the early 1980’s the theme for modern things where generally about the future of science technology, space and space flight being in the minds of many. For Toyah, technically at least, the songs were interesting but not in the same way other songs of that time. She was before the craziness of Madonna and Lady Gaga and the boldness of Cyndi Lauper, so way beyond her years. About a week later after Jan 1st this year, a well-known newspaper which is also online put a write up about Toyah which was ironic after deciding to use her songs for this month’s theme! It was all a bit weird and prompted me to think about how to re-write this piece yet again and as a result, I delayed the whole lot (not to mention that fact that I had problems uploading some pages) so it was important for me to get this just right. Going back to the 80’s again, I think we often go back to that time, much like fashion, to listen to music that was very techno oriented, especially with the space, astronomy and science going on, (refer to the countdowns earlier) so it was an even better way to get this piece together. It all came back to me weekend about Jan 10th – 12th 2014m after hearing the music again for the first time since long ago since I listened to this album and to think that in 1981 I was 11 years old!

If any Pop Star was unique in the early 1980s it WAS Toyah! She didn’t write about love in a direct sense, like other singer song writers, but rather about unusual future events and space and certainly about rebellion. This was a large part of my world then and of the wonders the future of space and astronomy that started in the mid 1970’s, along with the music before Toyah came along and from then on. It all went with the science right up until today, but in the 1980’s it was mostly thanks to Toyah.

The timeless song 'Pop Star' by singer song writer Toyah http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIPOEZnvhys



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