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Apr
23rd
Fri
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New Eye on the Sun Delivers Stunning First Images | NASA

NASA released the first new images today from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO),a probe launched on Feb. 11 to examine the layers of the sun, monitor solar storms and investigate the mysteries of the sun’s inner workings.

SDO is the most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the sun.

The observatory has spent the past two months moving into a geosynchronous orbit and activating its instruments.

As soon as SDO’s telescope doors opened, the spacecraft began beaming back breathtaking images so beautiful and amazing that even seasoned observers were stunned.

Soon after the instruments opened their doors, the Sun began performing for SDO with this beautiful prominence eruption. This AIA data is from March 30, 2010, showing a wavelength band that is centered around 304 Å. This extreme ultraviolet emission line is from singly ionized Helium, or He II, and corresponds to a temperature of approx. 50,000 degrees Celsius.

These initial images show a dynamic sun that I had never seen in more than 40 years of solar research.

SDO will change our understanding of the sun and its processes, which affect our lives and society.

This mission will have a huge impact on science, similar to the impact of the Hubble Space Telescope on modern astrophysics.

Richard Fisher, director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington

— Johnny Kelly, Amazing first images of the sun from the SDO released by NASA More: SDO | Solar Dynamics Observatory | NASA

Apr
8th
Thu
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Our universe at home within a larger universe? So suggests physicist’s wormhole research | ScienceDaily (Apr. 7, 2010), (Image courtesy of Indiana University)
"Such a scenario in which the universe is born from inside a wormhole (also called an Einstein-Rosen Bridge) is suggested in a paper from Indiana University theoretical physicist Nikodem Poplawski in Physics Letters B. (…)
Poplawski takes advantage of the Euclidean-based coordinate system called isotropic coordinates to describe the gravitational field of a black hole and to model the radial geodesic motion of a massive particle into a black hole.
In studying the radial motion through the event horizon (a black hole’s boundary) of two different types of black holes — Schwarzschild and Einstein-Rosen, both of which are mathematically legitimate solutions of general relativity — Poplawski admits that only experiment or observation can reveal the motion of a particle falling into an actual black hole. But he also notes that since observers can only see the outside of the black hole, the interior cannot be observed unless an observer enters or resides within.
"This condition would be satisfied if our universe were the interior of a black hole existing in a bigger universe," he said. "Because Einstein’s general theory of relativity does not choose a time orientation, if a black hole can form from the gravitational collapse of matter through an event horizon in the future then the reverse process is also possible. Such a process would describe an exploding white hole: matter emerging from an event horizon in the past, like the expanding universe."
A white hole is connected to a black hole by an Einstein-Rosen bridge (wormhole) and is hypothetically the time reversal of a black hole. Poplawski’s paper suggests that all astrophysical black holes, not just Schwarzschild and Einstein-Rosen black holes, may have Einstein-Rosen bridges, each with a new universe inside that formed simultaneously with the black hole.
Einstein-Rosen bridges like the one visualized above have never been observed in nature, but they provide theoretical physicists and cosmologists with solutions in general relativity by combining models of black holes and white holes.
"From that it follows that our universe could have itself formed from inside a black hole existing inside another universe," he said.
By continuing to study the gravitational collapse of a sphere of dust in isotropic coordinates, and by applying the current research to other types of black holes, views where the universe is born from the interior of an Einstein-Rosen black hole could avoid problems seen by scientists with the Big Bang theory and the black hole information loss problem which claims all information about matter is lost as it goes over the event horizon (in turn defying the laws of quantum physics).
This model in isotropic coordinates of the universe as a black hole could explain the origin of cosmic inflation, Poplawski theorizes. (…)” (More here)

Our universe at home within a larger universe? So suggests physicist’s wormhole research | ScienceDaily (Apr. 7, 2010), (Image courtesy of Indiana University)

"Such a scenario in which the universe is born from inside a wormhole (also called an Einstein-Rosen Bridge) is suggested in a paper from Indiana University theoretical physicist Nikodem Poplawski in Physics Letters B. (…)

Poplawski takes advantage of the Euclidean-based coordinate system called isotropic coordinates to describe the gravitational field of a black hole and to model the radial geodesic motion of a massive particle into a black hole.

In studying the radial motion through the event horizon (a black hole’s boundary) of two different types of black holes — Schwarzschild and Einstein-Rosen, both of which are mathematically legitimate solutions of general relativity — Poplawski admits that only experiment or observation can reveal the motion of a particle falling into an actual black hole. But he also notes that since observers can only see the outside of the black hole, the interior cannot be observed unless an observer enters or resides within.

"This condition would be satisfied if our universe were the interior of a black hole existing in a bigger universe," he said. "Because Einstein’s general theory of relativity does not choose a time orientation, if a black hole can form from the gravitational collapse of matter through an event horizon in the future then the reverse process is also possible. Such a process would describe an exploding white hole: matter emerging from an event horizon in the past, like the expanding universe."

A white hole is connected to a black hole by an Einstein-Rosen bridge (wormhole) and is hypothetically the time reversal of a black hole. Poplawski’s paper suggests that all astrophysical black holes, not just Schwarzschild and Einstein-Rosen black holes, may have Einstein-Rosen bridges, each with a new universe inside that formed simultaneously with the black hole.

Einstein-Rosen bridges like the one visualized above have never been observed in nature, but they provide theoretical physicists and cosmologists with solutions in general relativity by combining models of black holes and white holes.

"From that it follows that our universe could have itself formed from inside a black hole existing inside another universe," he said.

By continuing to study the gravitational collapse of a sphere of dust in isotropic coordinates, and by applying the current research to other types of black holes, views where the universe is born from the interior of an Einstein-Rosen black hole could avoid problems seen by scientists with the Big Bang theory and the black hole information loss problem which claims all information about matter is lost as it goes over the event horizon (in turn defying the laws of quantum physics).

This model in isotropic coordinates of the universe as a black hole could explain the origin of cosmic inflation, Poplawski theorizes. (…)” (More here)

Mar
21st
Sun
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The view from Earth (via buddhabrot)
"The ancients had it wrong: The Earth is not the center of the universe. But the Earth is at the center of the part of the universe that we can see. A being on a planet orbiting, say, a star in the galaxy M87 would see a different part of the universe, one centered on him. In a universe thought to be 11 to 15 bilion years old, we can see out a distance of 11 to 15 bilion light-years in all directions. From the Earth’s viewpoint at midnight GMT, January 1, 2000, the elements of the cosmos appeared as they do here. Distance are not shown to scale but increase dramatically as they become more remote. The farther out we look, the farther back in time we see. Light takes 50 milion years to arrive from M87, so we see it as it appeared 50 milion years ago. The limit of our view is the time when the universe emerged from a state of hot plasma and became transparent, some 300, 000 years after the big bang. That period is seen as the glow of the microwave background (shown in red and blue). If we could look beyond that veil, we would see-according to the standard models - the big bang intself, no matter in which direction we looked."

The view from Earth (via buddhabrot)

"The ancients had it wrong: The Earth is not the center of the universe. But the Earth is at the center of the part of the universe that we can see. A being on a planet orbiting, say, a star in the galaxy M87 would see a different part of the universe, one centered on him. In a universe thought to be 11 to 15 bilion years old, we can see out a distance of 11 to 15 bilion light-years in all directions. From the Earth’s viewpoint at midnight GMT, January 1, 2000, the elements of the cosmos appeared as they do here. Distance are not shown to scale but increase dramatically as they become more remote. The farther out we look, the farther back in time we see. Light takes 50 milion years to arrive from M87, so we see it as it appeared 50 milion years ago. The limit of our view is the time when the universe emerged from a state of hot plasma and became transparent, some 300, 000 years after the big bang. That period is seen as the glow of the microwave background (shown in red and blue). If we could look beyond that veil, we would see-according to the standard models - the big bang intself, no matter in which direction we looked."

Mar
20th
Sat
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(Pythagoras reading the book, Hypatia and Parmenides? to the right of her - fragment of The School of Athens by Raffaello Santi (Raphael), 1509-1510)
Hypatia (Greek: Ὑπατία, Hypatía, pronounced /haɪˈpeɪʃə/ in English; born between AD 350 and 370; died March 415) was a Greek scholar from Alexandria in Egypt, is the earliest woman scientist whose life is well documented; she was also the last scientist of the Golden Age of Pericles, considered the first notable woman in mathematics, who also taught philosophy and astronomy. She lived in Roman Egypt, and was killed by a Christian mob who falsely blamed her for religious turmoil. Some suggest that her murder marked the end of what is traditionally known as Classical antiquity, although others such as Christian Wildberg observe that Hellenistic philosophy continued to flourish until the age of Justinian in the sixth century.
A Neoplatonist philosopher, she belonged to the mathematical tradition of the Academy of Athens represented by Eudoxus of Cnidus; she followed the school of the 3rd century thinker Plotinus, discouraging empirical enquiry and encouraging logical and mathematical studies. The name Hypatia derives from the adjective ὑπάτη, the feminine form of ὕπατος (upatos), meaning “highest, uppermost, supremest”.
Hypatia was the daughter of Theon, who was her teacher and the last known mathematician associated with the Museum of Alexandria. She traveled to both Athens and Italy to study, before becoming head of the Platonist school at Alexandria in approximately 400. According to the 10th century Byzantine encyclopedia the Suda, she worked as teacher of philosophy, teaching the works of Plato and Aristotle. It is believed that there were both Christians and foreigners among her students. Although Hypatia was herself a pagan, she was respected by a number of Christians, and later held up by Christian authors as a symbol of virtue. The Suda controversially declared her “the wife of Isidore the Philosopher" but agreed she had remained a virgin. Hypatia rebuffed a suitor by showing him her menstrual rags, claiming they demonstrated that there was "nothing beautiful" about carnal desires.  Hypatia maintained correspondence with her former pupil Synesius of Cyrene, who in AD 410 became bishop of Ptolemais. Together with the references by Damascius, these are the only writings with descriptions or information from her pupils that survive. The contemporary Christian historiographer Socrates Scholasticus described her in his Ecclesiastical History:
 “There was a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions. On account of the self-possession and ease of manner, which she had acquired in consequence of the cultivation of her mind, she not unfrequently appeared in public in presence of the magistrates. Neither did she feel abashed in going to an assembly of men. For all men on account of her extraordinary dignity and virtue admired her the more.”
(More: Hypatia, daughter of Theron, Librarian of Alexandria)
 Documentary on Hypatia and the city of Alexandria

This documentary shows footage of Alejandro Amenábar's last film “Agora" proving the historical accuracy of the movie. — Bettany Hughes’ TV Tour of the Ancient World, Channel 4, Full playlist

(Pythagoras reading the book, Hypatia and Parmenides? to the right of her - fragment of The School of Athens by Raffaello Santi (Raphael), 1509-1510)

Hypatia (Greek: Ὑπατία, Hypatía, pronounced /haɪˈpeɪʃə/ in English; born between AD 350 and 370; died March 415) was a Greek scholar from Alexandria in Egypt, is the earliest woman scientist whose life is well documented; she was also the last scientist of the Golden Age of Pericles, considered the first notable woman in mathematics, who also taught philosophy and astronomy. She lived in Roman Egypt, and was killed by a Christian mob who falsely blamed her for religious turmoil. Some suggest that her murder marked the end of what is traditionally known as Classical antiquity, although others such as Christian Wildberg observe that Hellenistic philosophy continued to flourish until the age of Justinian in the sixth century.

A Neoplatonist philosopher, she belonged to the mathematical tradition of the Academy of Athens represented by Eudoxus of Cnidus; she followed the school of the 3rd century thinker Plotinus, discouraging empirical enquiry and encouraging logical and mathematical studies. The name Hypatia derives from the adjective ὑπάτη, the feminine form of ὕπατος (upatos), meaning “highest, uppermost, supremest”.

Hypatia was the daughter of Theon, who was her teacher and the last known mathematician associated with the Museum of Alexandria. She traveled to both Athens and Italy to study, before becoming head of the Platonist school at Alexandria in approximately 400. According to the 10th century Byzantine encyclopedia the Suda, she worked as teacher of philosophy, teaching the works of Plato and Aristotle. It is believed that there were both Christians and foreigners among her students. Although Hypatia was herself a pagan, she was respected by a number of Christians, and later held up by Christian authors as a symbol of virtue. The Suda controversially declared her “the wife of Isidore the Philosopher" but agreed she had remained a virgin. Hypatia rebuffed a suitor by showing him her menstrual rags, claiming they demonstrated that there was "nothing beautiful" about carnal desires. Hypatia maintained correspondence with her former pupil Synesius of Cyrene, who in AD 410 became bishop of Ptolemais. Together with the references by Damascius, these are the only writings with descriptions or information from her pupils that survive. The contemporary Christian historiographer Socrates Scholasticus described her in his Ecclesiastical History:

“There was a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions. On account of the self-possession and ease of manner, which she had acquired in consequence of the cultivation of her mind, she not unfrequently appeared in public in presence of the magistrates. Neither did she feel abashed in going to an assembly of men. For all men on account of her extraordinary dignity and virtue admired her the more.”

(More: Hypatia, daughter of Theron, Librarian of Alexandria)

Documentary on Hypatia and the city of Alexandria


This documentary shows footage of Alejandro Amenábar's last film “Agora" proving the historical accuracy of the movie. Bettany Hughes’ TV Tour of the Ancient World, Channel 4, Full playlist

Feb
28th
Sun
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Diagram of the multiverse from What Is Time? One Physicist Hunts for the Ultimate Theory - interview with Sean Carroll, a senior research associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology, Wired.com, February 26, 2010
"Sean Carroll: (…) I’m fitting in with a line of thought in modern cosmology that says that the observable universe is not all there is. It’s part of a bigger multiverse. The Big Bang was not the beginning.  And if that’s true, it changes the question you’re trying to ask. It’s not, “Why did the universe begin with low entropy?” It’s, “Why did part of the universe go through a phase with low entropy?” And that might be easier to answer.
Q: In this multiverse theory, you have a static universe in the middle. From that, smaller universes pop off and travel in different directions, or arrows of time. So does that mean that the universe at the center has no time?
Carroll: So that’s a distinction that is worth drawing. There’s different moments in the history of the universe and time tells you which moment you’re talking about. And then there’s the arrow of time, which give us the feeling of progress, the feeling of flowing or moving through time. So that static universe in the middle has time as a coordinate but there’s no arrow of time. There’s no future versus past, everything is equal to each other.
 So it’s a time that we don’t understand and can’t perceive?
Carroll: We can measure it, but you wouldn’t feel it. You wouldn’t experience it. Because objects like us wouldn’t exist in that environment. Because we depend on the arrow of time just for our existence.
Q: So then, what is time in that universe?
Carroll: Even in empty space, time and space still exist. Physicists have no problem answering the question of “If a tree falls in the woods and no one’s there to hear it, does it make a sound?” They say, “Yes! Of course it makes a sound!” Likewise, if time flows without entropy and there’s no one there to experience it, is there still time? Yes. There’s still time. It’s still part of the fundamental laws of nature even in that part of the universe. It’s just that events that happen in that empty universe don’t have causality, don’t have memory, don’t have progress and don’t have aging or metabolism or anything like that. It’s just random fluctuations.
Q: So if this universe in the middle is just sitting and nothing’s happening there, then how exactly are these universes with arrows of time popping off of it? Because that seems like a measurable event. (…)
So what happens to the arrow in places like a black hole or at high speeds where our perception of it changes?
Carroll: This goes back to relativity and Einstein. For anyone moving through spacetime, them and the clocks they bring along with them – including their biological clocks like their heart and their mental perceptions – no one ever feels time to be passing more quickly or more slowly. Or, at least, if you have accurate clocks with you, your clock always ticks one second per second. That’s true if you’re inside a black hole, here on Earth, in the middle of nowhere, it doesn’t matter. But what Einstein tells us is that path you take through space and time can dramatically affect the time that you feel elapsing.  The arrow of time is about a direction, but it’s not about a speed. The important thing is that there’s a consistent direction. That everywhere through space and time, this is the past and this is the future.”

Diagram of the multiverse from What Is Time? One Physicist Hunts for the Ultimate Theory - interview with Sean Carroll, a senior research associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology, Wired.com, February 26, 2010

"Sean Carroll: (…) I’m fitting in with a line of thought in modern cosmology that says that the observable universe is not all there is. It’s part of a bigger multiverse. The Big Bang was not the beginning. And if that’s true, it changes the question you’re trying to ask. It’s not, “Why did the universe begin with low entropy?” It’s, “Why did part of the universe go through a phase with low entropy?” And that might be easier to answer.

Q: In this multiverse theory, you have a static universe in the middle. From that, smaller universes pop off and travel in different directions, or arrows of time. So does that mean that the universe at the center has no time?

Carroll: So that’s a distinction that is worth drawing. There’s different moments in the history of the universe and time tells you which moment you’re talking about. And then there’s the arrow of time, which give us the feeling of progress, the feeling of flowing or moving through time. So that static universe in the middle has time as a coordinate but there’s no arrow of time. There’s no future versus past, everything is equal to each other.

So it’s a time that we don’t understand and can’t perceive?

Carroll: We can measure it, but you wouldn’t feel it. You wouldn’t experience it. Because objects like us wouldn’t exist in that environment. Because we depend on the arrow of time just for our existence.

Q: So then, what is time in that universe?

Carroll: Even in empty space, time and space still exist. Physicists have no problem answering the question of “If a tree falls in the woods and no one’s there to hear it, does it make a sound?” They say, “Yes! Of course it makes a sound!” Likewise, if time flows without entropy and there’s no one there to experience it, is there still time? Yes. There’s still time. It’s still part of the fundamental laws of nature even in that part of the universe. It’s just that events that happen in that empty universe don’t have causality, don’t have memory, don’t have progress and don’t have aging or metabolism or anything like that. It’s just random fluctuations.

Q: So if this universe in the middle is just sitting and nothing’s happening there, then how exactly are these universes with arrows of time popping off of it? Because that seems like a measurable event. (…)

So what happens to the arrow in places like a black hole or at high speeds where our perception of it changes?

Carroll: This goes back to relativity and Einstein. For anyone moving through spacetime, them and the clocks they bring along with them – including their biological clocks like their heart and their mental perceptions – no one ever feels time to be passing more quickly or more slowly. Or, at least, if you have accurate clocks with you, your clock always ticks one second per second. That’s true if you’re inside a black hole, here on Earth, in the middle of nowhere, it doesn’t matter. But what Einstein tells us is that path you take through space and time can dramatically affect the time that you feel elapsing. The arrow of time is about a direction, but it’s not about a speed. The important thing is that there’s a consistent direction. That everywhere through space and time, this is the past and this is the future.

Feb
19th
Fri
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Astronomy (via quantumpossibility)

Astronomy (via quantumpossibility)

Feb
13th
Sat
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Feb
12th
Fri
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Feb
10th
Wed
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 The Voynich Manuscript cosmological example, undeciphered illustrated book thought to have been written in the 15th or 16th century. Described as a magical or scientific text, nearly every page contains botanical, figurative, and scientific drawings of a provincial but lively character. The author, script, and language of the manuscript remain unknown.
The mysterious book was once bought by an emperor, forgotten on a library shelf, sold for thousands of dollars, and later donated to Yale. Possibly written in the 15th century, the over 200-page volume and it is named after its discoverer, the American antique book dealer and collector, Wilfrid M. Voynich, who discovered it in 1912. More informations here.

The Voynich Manuscript cosmological example, undeciphered illustrated book thought to have been written in the 15th or 16th century. Described as a magical or scientific text, nearly every page contains botanical, figurative, and scientific drawings of a provincial but lively character. The author, script, and language of the manuscript remain unknown.

The mysterious book was once bought by an emperor, forgotten on a library shelf, sold for thousands of dollars, and later donated to Yale. Possibly written in the 15th century, the over 200-page volume and it is named after its discoverer, the American antique book dealer and collector, Wilfrid M. Voynich, who discovered it in 1912. More informations here.

Feb
8th
Mon
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Precession of Earth’s rotational axis (The Earth’s Wobble) takes approximately 26,000 years to make one complete revolution. Through each 26,000-year cycle, the direction in the sky to which the Earth’s axis points goes around a big circle. In other words, precession changes the “North Star” as seen from Earth. Nothing’s fixed. Not even a fixed star. More

Precession of Earth’s rotational axis (The Earth’s Wobble) takes approximately 26,000 years to make one complete revolution. Through each 26,000-year cycle, the direction in the sky to which the Earth’s axis points goes around a big circle. In other words, precession changes the “North Star” as seen from Earth. Nothing’s fixed. Not even a fixed star. More

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Sceno Systematis Ptole 
The original image is a scan of an old map from “Harmonia Macrocosmica” (1661) and shows the geocentric universe of Ptolemy.  For most ancient astronomers, accurately predicting the positions of the planets was tantamount to understanding the workings of the universe. The far more distant stars were simply the backdrop against which planetary action took place. Ptolemy, the last of the great Greek astronomers of antiquity, developed an effective system for mapping the universe.  Basing much of his theory on the work of his predecessor, Hipparchus, Ptolemy designed a geocentric, or Earth-centered, model that held sway for 1400 years. This system of explaining the apparent motion of the moon, sun, planets and stars around the earth - the “geocentric” (Greek ge or gea = “earth”) was current until overturned by the Galilean - Copernician heliocentric (Greek helios = “sun”) in the 17th century. The Roman Catholic church did not officially abandon it until the beginning of the 19th century.
Read more about Geocentric model

Sceno Systematis Ptole

The original image is a scan of an old map from “Harmonia Macrocosmica” (1661) and shows the geocentric universe of Ptolemy. For most ancient astronomers, accurately predicting the positions of the planets was tantamount to understanding the workings of the universe. The far more distant stars were simply the backdrop against which planetary action took place. Ptolemy, the last of the great Greek astronomers of antiquity, developed an effective system for mapping the universe. Basing much of his theory on the work of his predecessor, Hipparchus, Ptolemy designed a geocentric, or Earth-centered, model that held sway for 1400 years. This system of explaining the apparent motion of the moon, sun, planets and stars around the earth - the “geocentric” (Greek ge or gea = “earth”) was current until overturned by the Galilean - Copernician heliocentric (Greek helios = “sun”) in the 17th century. The Roman Catholic church did not officially abandon it until the beginning of the 19th century.

Read more about Geocentric model

Jan
29th
Fri
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The Big Bang
The Big Bang is the cosmological model of the initial conditions and subsequent development of the Universe that is supported by the most comprehensive and accurate explanations from current scientific evidence and observation. As used by cosmologists, the term Big Bang generally refers to the idea that the Universe has expanded from a primordial hot and dense initial condition at some finite time in the past (best available measurements in 2009 suggest that the initial conditions occurred around 13.3 to 13.9 billion years ago), and continues to expand to this day.

The Big Bang

The Big Bang is the cosmological model of the initial conditions and subsequent development of the Universe that is supported by the most comprehensive and accurate explanations from current scientific evidence and observation. As used by cosmologists, the term Big Bang generally refers to the idea that the Universe has expanded from a primordial hot and dense initial condition at some finite time in the past (best available measurements in 2009 suggest that the initial conditions occurred around 13.3 to 13.9 billion years ago), and continues to expand to this day.

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Voyager Golden Record 
The Voyager Golden Record are phonograph records which were included aboard both Voyager spacecraft, which were launched in 1977. They contain sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, and are intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or far future humans, who may find them. The Voyager spacecraft are not heading towards any particular star, but Voyager 1 will be within 1.6 light years of the star AC+79 3888 in the Ophiuchus constellation in about 40,000 years.
This gold aluminum cover was designed to protect the Voyager 1 and 2 “Sounds of Earth” gold-plated records from micrometeorite bombardment, but also serves a double purpose in providing the finder a key to playing the record. The explanatory diagram appears on both the inner and outer surfaces of the cover, as the outer diagram will be eroded in time. Flying aboard Voyagers 1 and 2 are identical “golden” records, carrying the story of Earth far into deep space. The 12 inch gold-plated copper discs contain greetings in 60 languages, samples of music from different cultures and eras, and natural and man-made sounds from Earth. They also contain electronic information that an advanced technological civilization could convert into diagrams and photographs. Currently, both Voyager probes are sailing adrift in the black sea of interplanetary space, having left our solar system years ago.

Voyager Golden Record

The Voyager Golden Record are phonograph records which were included aboard both Voyager spacecraft, which were launched in 1977. They contain sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, and are intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or far future humans, who may find them. The Voyager spacecraft are not heading towards any particular star, but Voyager 1 will be within 1.6 light years of the star AC+79 3888 in the Ophiuchus constellation in about 40,000 years.

This gold aluminum cover was designed to protect the Voyager 1 and 2 “Sounds of Earth” gold-plated records from micrometeorite bombardment, but also serves a double purpose in providing the finder a key to playing the record. The explanatory diagram appears on both the inner and outer surfaces of the cover, as the outer diagram will be eroded in time. Flying aboard Voyagers 1 and 2 are identical “golden” records, carrying the story of Earth far into deep space. The 12 inch gold-plated copper discs contain greetings in 60 languages, samples of music from different cultures and eras, and natural and man-made sounds from Earth. They also contain electronic information that an advanced technological civilization could convert into diagrams and photographs. Currently, both Voyager probes are sailing adrift in the black sea of interplanetary space, having left our solar system years ago.