Astronomers have discovered the largest known structure in the universe, a clump of active galactic cores that stretch 4 billion light-years from end to end. The structure is a light quasar group (LQG), a collection of extremely luminous Galactic Nulcei powered by supermassive central black holes.
So that’s cool and everything, but maybe some of you would be interested to know why this is a significant find? Beyond just its record-setting bigness.
Since Einstein, physicists have accepted something called the Cosmological Principle, which states that the universe looks the same everywhere if you view it on a large enough scale. You might find some weird shit over here, and some other freaky shit over there, but if you pull back the camera far enough, you’ll find that same weird and/or freaky shit cropping up over and over again in a fairly regular distribution. This is because the universe is (probably) infinite in size and (we are pretty darn sure) has, and has always had, the same forces acting on it everywhere.
So why is this new LQG so radical? (It stands for ‘Large Quasar Group,’ btw, not ‘Light Quasar Group.’)
Well, let’s try to comprehend the scale we’re dealing with. A ‘megaparsec,’ written Mpc, is about 3.2 million light years long. The Milky Way is about 0.03 Mpc across (or 100,000 light years). The distance between our galaxy and Andromeda, our closest galactic neighbor, is 0.75 Mpc, or 2.5 million light years. LQGs are usually about 200 Mpc across. Assuming a logarithmic distribution of weird shit outliers (if you don’t know how logarithmic distribution curves work, don’t worry about it), cosmologists predicted that nothing in the universe should be more than 370 Mpc across.
This new LQG is 1200 Mpc long. That’s four billion light years. Four BILLION LIGHT YEARS. Just to travel from one side to the other of this one thing. I mean for fuck’s sake, the universe is only about 14 billion years old! How many of these things could there be?
Right now it looks like the Cosmological Principle might be out the window, unless physicists can find some way to make the existence of this new LQG work with the math (and boy, are they trying). And that’s totally baffling. It would mean—well, we don’t have any idea what it would mean. That the universe isn’t essentially uniform? That some ‘special’ physics apply/applied in some places but not in others? That Something Happened that is totally outside our current ability to understand or quantify stuff happening?
By the way, no one lives there. The radiation from so many quasars would sterilize rock.
are you telling us astronomers have discovered something which is literally fucktuple the size of anything else previously estimated to exist
Anything that fucking rewrites all of what we know about the universe needs to get its ass on my blog. It’s giant, glowy, black hole filled ass.
Reblogging for the totally legit usage of the mathematical term “fucktuple.”
This gives me just about all of the science horn. I love space.
this was too cool not to reblog
Boobies + science (f)
Go ahead and think we’re the only intelligent life out there. You go right ahead.
Fuck yeah Science
I turned seven that day…
hell yes ASTRONOMY
THIS IS SO FUCKING COOL I WANNA CRY
BUT WAIT, THIS IS JUST WHAT THE HUBBLE TELESCOPE COULD SEE IN THAT SPOT, AND JUST LOOK AT THE SIZE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IT AND THE JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE
ALL OF THAT STUFF FROM NOTHING PROBABLY ISN’T EVEN HALF OF THE STUFF THERE
Internal anatomy of the snake
"Arms and legs gone, no ears, only one functional lung, voiceless, eyelids missing…a human being under these conditions would be institutionalized and under constant care…" James A. Peters, Encyclopedia Britannica 15th edition
The internal anatomy of snakes shows their obvious relation to other vertebrates; their organs, tissues, and germ cell layers are all very similar to those of other scaled reptiles (order Squamata), and even to other vertebral species (subphylum Vertebrata).
However, their differences from other vertebrates are even more distinct than their similarities. The body of a snake is long and elongated, like a tube, and certain adaptations have been made along the evolutionary chain in order to fit their organs into this form.
Other adaptations have also been developed in the evolutionary history of the suborder Serpentes, with the result of this highly specialized carnivore. Here are a few of those adaptations:
Lungs: All snakes are essentially one-lunged. Their left lung is usually vestigial, sometimes completely absent, and their right lung is enlarged and elongated, and has much less cartilage in it than other vertebrates. In aquatic snakes, the left lung’s anterior portion still functions, albeit not for gas exchange. It works as buoyancy organ during swimming.
Jaws: The lower jaw of snakes is loosely attached, with ligaments connecting the anterior left and right halves of the mandible. The left and right halves are generally also connected with a relatively loose ligament, allowing separation and movement of both halves. When the snake ingests a large meal, the jaw easily pops out of its hinge, to allow food to enter the esophagus. After swallowing its prey, the snake will “yawn” widely, and snap its mandible back into place.
Spine: Snakes generally have between 200 and 400 vertebrae. The “tail” vertebrae usually make up less than 20% of the total, and are the only vertebrae without ribs attached. The ribs and vertebral column of the snake provide solid anchoring points for the strong muscles required for limbless locomotion, and are necessary much farther down the torso than in other vertebrates.
Skin: It’s not slimy, for one! Despite some snakes looking like they have a sheen to their scales, no snakes secrete “slime” or mucous to coat their skin. Only amphibians and worm-type creatures do that. Snake skin is incredibly flexible, to accommodate the large meals that are consumed, and is comprised of scales, which are a protective extension of the epidermis. Scales also allow snakes to grip the ground or trees they’re climbing. Snake eyes are covered in clear scales, allowing them to be protected without eyelids.
Ears: Obviously, snakes have no external ears. However, they still have inner ears. When soundwaves hit their skin, the vibration is transferred through the muscle and bone, and into the inner ear, where it’s processed. Though the ability to sense directional vibration in snakes is generally highly developed, the sense of “hearing” as humans know it is relatively poor.
Sight: This is one trait that varies widely between snake species. Some are nearly blind, sensing only light and dark, while some can spot prey from far away. No snakes can see in color, but some snakes (the pythons, pit vipers, and some boas) can see infrared images - that is, they can sense the heat radiating from warm-blooded animals, allowing them to hunt prey at night.
Tongues: Snakes do not have a sense of taste, in the way that humans think of “taste”. Instead, their tongues “test” the air for certain compounds, bringing the air particles back into their mouth, into their vomeronasal (Jacobson’s) organ, which can tell if there are predators or prey in the area. Some snakes that live in aquatic environments, such as sea kraits and boas, can also use this sense underwater.
All images: Brehms Tierleben, Allgemeine Kunde des Tierreichs. Dr. Otto zur Strassen, 1913.
Snake info from: Snakes: In Question. Carl H. Ernst, George R. Zug, 1996.
This is awesome!
I failed my nerd social skill roll. What movie is this from?
I bought this top today, thought it was ideal, being a chemist and all! Be prepared for a couple more photos, I’m indecisive and for once decided to spoil you lovely lot ;) <3
p.s it says “science geek”
Coming Technology: Stop Abdominal Bleeding With Foam
Foam is used for everything. Firefighting. Impact resistance. Law enforcement. Now a company working with DARPA has developed a foam to slow intra-abdominal bleeding until the patient can get to a definitive care hospital. This concept has been used successfully in pigs and slows uncontrolled liver hemorrhage, increasing survival from 7% to 72%.
It is hoped that the foam can be used in the battlefield, and is simple enough to be administered by a combat medic. A small plastic trochar is introduced into the abdominal cavity and two liquids are injected, like epoxy. They react and fill the abdomen with foam, which slows active bleeding.
Like so many military innovations, this may ultimately work its way down to urban EMS units for use in penetrating trauma. Keep an eye on this interesting technology.
Mind=whirling with potential. Also wondering how this added internal pressure (along with fluid loss and abdominal pressure from abdominal bleeding) impacts circulation distal to trauma.
But…wow, how things could change.
First Ever Porn shot with Google Glass. James Deen and Andy San Dimas
When Glass was announced last year at Google i/O, the first thing that crossed everyone’s mind was Google Glass Porn. Sadly, last month, Google banned sexually explicit material on Glass at the same time we released the device’s first porn app, Tits & Glass. We’ve since revised the app to remain compliant with their new terms.
Then we realized something. While the tech giant has restricted sexually explicit material in Glass apps, or Glassware, there is no current restriction on the sort of content created with the innovative device. And when we picked up our device late May, they even encouraged us to let folks play with it in Demo mode. It just so happens the folks we know get naked a lot, soo….
Well, self.getPornstar().install(self.getGlass()), we have. MiKandi has collaborated with leading adult entertainment media organization, XBIZ, to release the first Google Glass porn. The video features porn superstar James Deen, and 2011 XBIZ Female Performer of the Year, Andy San Dimas, each donning a device to record the first-ever, two-way POV Glass porn. What better way to put the device through the ultimate test than with two of the biggest stars in the adult entertainment industry, right?
Shooting the first porn video for Glass was exciting, yet challenging. We discovered technical limitations with the device that makes shooting POV videos in general, but porn in particular, cumbersome. Ms. San Dimas put it well when she pointed out that trying to get a sexy shot while looking sexy while having sex is not the easiest task. But what makes up for these challenges are the personal and intimate shots created by James and Andy. We found the best footage came when they were completely unscripted and just having fun.
In addition to the adult video is a censored comedy sketch. The sketch follows the performers as they uncover some pretty powerful hidden capabilities of Google Glass. The video ends with a cameo from none other than porn legend, Ron Jeremy.
The censored comedy sketch is available to view on MiKandi’s YouTube channel,http://youtube.com/mikandistore. The uncensored, 18-and-over version will available later today to view for free at http://mikandi.com/google-glass-porn.
Behind the Scenes of the First-Ever Google Glass Porn
About XBIZ™: XBIZ is the adult industry’s leading publisher of business news and information, providing up-to-the-minute coverage of the industry at XBIZ.com and in three trade publications — XBIZ World for the digital media market, XBIZ Premiere for the retail market and XBIZ Sensuals for the intimate products market. In addition, XBIZ hosts five annual trade events including the industry’s top awards event of the year, the annual XBIZ Awards show. XBIZ is frequently cited in the media for coverage of the multi-billion dollar adult entertainment industry and has been published in CNN, Fox News, Newsweek, MSNBC, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, CNET, ABC, USA Today and Los Angeles Times among others.
Oh, infrared heating furnace. You glow so good.
A lot of the materials we make here at Brookhaven are too small and too precise for traditional tools — good luck trying to hammer atoms into place or screw nanoscale films together. So sometimes we don’t build materials, we grow them.
Case in point: that glowing chamber above is used to grow superconducting crystals. The infrared image furnace focuses infrared light onto a rod, melting it at temperatures of about 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Under just the right conditions, that liquefied material recrystallizes as a single uniform structure. One of our physicists, Genda Gu, actually pioneered techniques that grow some of the largest single-crystal high-temperature superconductors in the world.
The clincher is that these sensitive crystals aren’t in a hurry to take shape. The materials grown by those gold-lined instruments typically take a month to form.
The newly discovered planets named Kepler-62e and -f are super-Earths in the habitable zone of a distant sun-like star. The largest planet in the image, Kepler-62f, is farthest from its star and covered by ice. Kepler-62e, in the foreground, is nearer to its star and covered by dense…
University of Washington researchers and scientists at a Redmond-based space-propulsion company are currently building components of a fusion-powered rocket, which could enable astronauts to travel to Earth’s neighboring planet Mars within weeks instead of months, at speeds considerably faster than feasible until now. The current travel speeds using fuel rockets make Mars travel a journey of about four years but the new fusion technology being tested by researchers at the University of Washington promises that in 30 to 90 days.
The lab tests have proven to be successful on each part of the process and the scientists are now planning to combine the sections into a one final and overall test.
“Using existing rocket fuels, it’s nearly impossible for humans to explore much beyond Earth,” said lead researcher John Slough, a UW research associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics. “We are hoping to give us a much more powerful source of energy in space that could eventually lead to making interplanetary travel commonplace.”
The team has developed a technology using a special type of plasma that will be encased in a magnetic field. When the plasma is compressed with high pressure by the magnetic field, nuclear fusion takes place.
The process has successfully been tested by researchers and they plan on having the first full test to be done by the end of this summer.
In practice the powerful magnetic field causes large metal rings surrounding the plasma to implode which will compress it to the point of fusion. The process takes only a few microseconds but that will be enough to release heat and ionize the rings that form a shell around the plasma. The super-heated ionized metal, in turn, ejects out from the rocket at a high velocity pushing the rocket forward. Repeating the process in intervals of about 30 seconds or more can propel a spaceship.
The research was funded by NASA in hopes that the technology would ultimately replace rocket fuel and yield to much faster spacecrafts that ever built before. Scientist say that just a grain size of the material from the plasma used can equal to a gallon of rocket fuel. That by itself will reduce the size of the spacecraft and the payload considerably making deep space travel much more cost effective.
In a book coming out next week called The Bonobo and the Atheist, primatologist Frans de Waal argues that morality is built into our species. Rather than coming to us top-down from God, or any other external source, morality for de Waal springs bottom-up from our emotions and our day-to-day social interactions, which themselves evolved from foundations in animal societies.
For 30 years, de Waal has authored books about apes and monkey that open our eyes to the bottom-up origins of our human behaviors, ranging from politics to empathy. In this, his 10th volume, he extends that perspective by writing, “It wasn’t God who introduced us to morality; rather, it was the other way around. God was put into place to help us live the way we felt we ought to.”
"The way we felt we ought to" has a long evolutionary history, so that de Waal’s thesis depends crucially on numerous and convincing examples from our closest living relatives.