Posts Tagged ‘astronomy’


The chaos caused by supernovae does not remain static since it leaves its consequences. Interstellar medium or ISM is one such consequence.

If one star dies it is possible other stars shall die too whenever they run out of fuel.

A supernovae creates shockwaves through the interstellar medium, compressing the material there, heating it up to millions of degrees. Astronomers believe that these shock waves are vital to the process of star formation, causing large clouds of gas to collapse and form new stars. No supernovae, no new stars.

Think of space as one vast cemetery as well as a cradle.

Such accidents are in-built and conducive to overall development so much so we let the term accident in our usage on account of our limits to understanding.

What is interstellar medium but debris of stars floating about? How one war creates more wars in the history of nations is similar. War in Syria triggers war in Yemen and it shall in the end undo the very fabric of sectarian divide in the Middle East. Survival mechanism of ordinary person is not for satisfying some fools prattling things they have not seen or can live up to. Just as Europe learned to put the Holy See where it belongs and get on with their lives Moslems shall certainly get on past the tribal mindset and some foolish traditions associated with their nomadic way of living. It cannot be otherwise: Moslems or Christians are of the selfsame star materials calling themselves names just as the astronomers thought up names for the stars they discovered. The stars themselves have no need for such labels.


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 Astronomer Edwin Hubble demonstrated that all galaxies and distant astronomical objects were moving away from us, as predicted by a universal expansion. Using the redshift of their electromagnetic spectra to determine the distance and speed of remote objects in space, he showed that all objects are moving away from us, and that their speed is proportional to their distance.

Similarly how far each of us is far from the Truth absolute can be understood by scanning *Energy Profile of each. Like the red or blueshift our actions hold certain permanence in the Cosmos.

Permanence in this universe? One may ask. It all depends what you think of your soul. If my soul or essential Self is permanent my Energy profile also matters.

Nucleons have same mass as fermions and are two different states of the same particle. In similar fashion whether as spiritual being or as physical being each of us shall go on about the plane of soul till we are perfect. Pure energy as light in the Cosmos.

                  * I have already covered the topic of Energy profile. Any shift of truth of my actions from the absolute is set in space-time coordinates.


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JOHN FLAMSTEED (1646  –  1719)

The father of modern astronomy, who corrected all the astronomical tables in use in the 17th century, who made Newton’s discoveries possible, became an astronomer by chance. Unable to attend school because of rheumatism – which he suffered throughout his life – he began to teach himself. One of the books that came his way was Sacroboseo’s ‘De Sphaera’. It was the turning point.
In September 1662 he observed a partial solar eclipse and he made himself a rough quadrant. He compiled a table of the sun’s altitudes. It was not long before his talents attracted notice. This led to his meeting with Sir Jonas Moore in London. For a start he presented the boy with Townley’s micrometer and glasses for a telescope to be fitted. From London he journeyed to Cambridge where he made acquaintance of Isaac Newton. Next year, in 1671, Flamsteed began his systematic observations, which resulted in his discovery that the varying dimensions of the moon completely contradicted all the theories of Lunar Motion, except those of Horrocks. Flamsteed’s observatory validated Horrocks’ theory which he prepared with additional explenations for publication.
In 1673 he wrote a tract on the real and apparent diameters of the planets which gave Newton the data for the subject of his third book ‘Principia’.
Meanwhile a Royal Observatory at Greenwich was founded and he was made in charge. As the first ‘Astronomer Royal’ he achieved magnificent results despite of various difficulties. He took to himself to correct the existing astronomical theories and tables. His first observation for this purpose was made in September 1676 and by 1689 he had made 20,000.
To remedy the lack of instruments to determine the equinox, he constructed a mural arc a novel method which yielded interesting results.
Professional jealousies was to come in between Flamsteed and Newton. In 1681 his observations on the great comet were transmitted to Newton which he used in the ‘Principia’. Flamsteed maintained that the comet was the one which had appeared earlier in the year before, but Newton held that there were two comets, which he corrected after four years. The breach between them widened still further over the publications over his sextant observations during 1676 – 1689.
The committee of the Royal Society, of which Newton was the president, brought out Flamsteed’s observations incomplete and inaccurate.
Edmund Halley, who succeeded Flamsteed, was the editor of that controversial publication. Therefore Flamsteed set himself to publish independently a complete and proper account of his work, which however, was published posthumously in 1725.
The irritable old man had contributed to the sighting of 2935 stars, the proudest moment for the Royal Observatory at Greenwich.

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al BIRUNI  (Arab)  (973 – 1048)

Arab scholar and scientist, one of the most learned men of his age,  he was an outstanding intellectual figure. He was born in Khwarezm, now Khiva (Uzbeck). Possessing a profound and original mind of encyclopedic scope al-Biruni was conversant with Turkish, Persian, Sanskrit, Hebrew and Syriac in addition to the Arabic in which he wrote and applied his talents in many fields of knowledge, excelling particularly in astronomy, mathematics, chronology, physics, medicine and history. He corresponded with the great philosopher Ibn Sina (Avicenna). Sometime after 1017 he went to India and made a comprehensive study of its culture. Later he settled at Ghazna, in Afghanistan where he died on December 13, 1048.
His most famous works are ‘A history of India’, ‘The Chronology of Ancient nations’, ‘Elements of Astrology’, ‘The Masudi Canon’, a major work on astronomy which he dedicated to sultan Masud of  Ghazna. In his astronomical works he discussed with approval the theory of the earth’s rotation on its axis and made accurate calculations of latitude and longitude. In physics he explained natural springs by the laws of hydrostatics and determined with a remarkable degree of accuracy the specific weight of 18 precious stones and metals. In geography he advanced the daring view that the valley of Indus had once been a sea basin.
In retro: it is indeed one of the saddest cases where religion and culture of Arab people could produce great philosophers and scholars like al Biruni for example, should later enervate into obscurantism and subsequently develop a peculiar mindset; the very people who blazed their trail out of the medieval European intellectual stagnation in various disciplines like chemistry( the English words alchemy, algebra are derived from Arabs,the color Vermilion is by courtesy of them-think of Renaissance without this color!), mathematics, geography,astronomy, architecture should slip back into some rigid formula of observances and legalism where after having found safety and anonymity should stridently oppose every liberating idea from within and from abroad. Did religion pass its poison chalice to them or other way round? I wonder.
while writing the piece I thought a joke may be appropriate as endpiece:

Fatima the child minder: algebra, al chemie are derived from Arabic words. al is the clue.

the child takes out an album from the shelf and asks,’ Al bum must be from  Arabic?


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