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Ep. 30, Page 36
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Comic 2285 - Ep. 30, Page 36

30th Nov 2016, 7:45 AM in Episode 30 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)

Author Notes:

smbhax 30th Nov 2016, 7:45 AM edit delete
Space news round-uuuuuuuup!

- Schiaparelli: Esa gives update on Mars crash investigation (BBC) - More info on what caused the ESA's attempted Mars rover to crash instead of landing safely: "the probe misinterpreted sensor data, which made it think it was below ground level, when in reality the module was still at an altitude of around 3.7km."

- Black Hole Makes Material Wobble Around It (NASA) - NASA declared this past Friday "Black Hole Friday," linking to a full fancy page of black hole articles; one I found particularly interesting was this wobble one, saying that "the European Space Agency's orbiting X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, has proved the existence of a 'gravitational vortex' around a black hole." Since the '80s, X-ray telescopes have observed periodic flickering in X-rays coming from stellar-mass black holes: the flickering starts in 10 second cycles, and ends, perhaps months later, after 1/10th of a second cycles. It was theorized this was light reflecting off the accretion disc of matter falling into a black hole, which was oscillating due to the space-warping properties of the gravitational vortex of a rotating black hole—something predicted by Einstein's theory of General Relativity. And it's finally been proven: this light would be reflecting off matter moving very quickly away and then very quickly toward us as the disc wobbles up and down in its rapid spin, so the light (as X-rays) would be alternately red shifted, then blue shifted—and this is exactly what XMM-Newton found when it took its measurements. Good job, Einstein! : D And physicists are excited about this, because if, by further observation of the phenomenon, they can understand more about the motion of this matter as it falls into the black hole, it will offer an environment for testing General Relativity in a strong gravitation field—and perhaps show us things about gravity that Einstein—who was famously uncomfortable, and for a while even in denial, about the collapse of matter in a black hole, predicted by his own theory—never had a chance to learn.

- Astronaut eye problems blamed on spinal fluid (BBC) - Nearly 2/3rds of astronauts who have made long-term stays aboard the International Space Station have developed "blurry vision, [and, additionally] the astronauts exhibited flattening at the back of their eyeballs and inflammation at the head of the optic nerve." Yikes! A NASA-commissioned study theorized that this could be due to the pooling of cerebrospinal fluid—which normally "helps cushion the brain and spinal cord"—"within the bony cavity of the skull that holds the eye" among those who spend extended time in microgravity. The observed flattening of the eye could potentially cause permanent far-sightedness. : o


cattservant 30th Nov 2016, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
An offer?
smbhax 30th Nov 2016, 10:08 PM edit delete reply
: o