Jodrell

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I still think this is one of the most exciting places to visit.  Jodrell Bank in Cheshire. It is a massive structure whuch us dedicated to looking at the universe in the radio part of the spectrum. It has been responsible for some of the mist important radio astronomy since it was built in the mud twentieth century.

The telescope was built by the university of Manchester and is out in the countryside because it was away from the radio frequency noise of cities in the North and Midlands of England.

The complex has a beautiful visitor centre, cafe, lecture halls and science space full of fascinating information about the dolar system, our galaxy, and into the far out reaches of the universe. There is also an amazing arbouretum full of specimen trees and a map of the planet’s. I don’t have all the details or the prices for entry, but if you are ever in the area its worth a visit.

Sunshine

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Dear Sun, sweet heat,

giver of light, fire starter,

Star of our solar system,

GREAT gravity grabber.

Giant who makes us look small.

A speck, nothing at all?

Without you we would freeze,

Star less day is night.

One day you will bloat,

as you cool and burn yourself out?

Expanding to our orbit or more,

In a few billion years or so,

By then humans will have changed, evolved or become extinct,

Farewell Sun. Light of my life.

 

Time Ticks

PicsArt_1536439451689It does! I started writing this over 12 hours ago but then the battery on my tablet went flat so I had to wait until now .

Anyway, time does tick by, sometimes I know exactly when the alarm is going to go off, and it does. I can wake up a second before the alarm clock goes off….nothing is clicking or whirring or spinning to give me a cue or a clue. Same with the alarm on our oven, last night I got up from my chair to check it just before it went off.

One explanation is the brain has tiny cells beating regularly giving us a sense of time. There are also electric nodes in your heart that regulate your heartbeat, and your breathing is a regular rhythm allowing you to get just the right amount of air.

But what is time, why do we feel times arrow? Why does a cup fall and then break as it hits the floor? Why isn’t it on the floor then bouncing back up onto the table, reforming from smashed to solid in a second? There is something called entropy, everything breaks down over time. Everything tends towards chaos. The Universe is cooling, as space expands. Astrophysicists speak of the heat death of the universe as everything spreads out and cools towards absolute zero. Galaxies are flying away from each other. If things continue, in many billions or trillions of years, we would have completely black skies, no stars in sight. Our Sun will have cooled to a husk of burnt matter and all the other Stars will fly off away for us. There is something called red shift, as galaxies move away their light shifts towards the red end of the spectrum, the larger the red shift the faster they are moving. There are theories about things called dark energy and dark matter that try to explain this, but I wouldn’t know where to start with that aspect of space time.

Time ticks for everything, although time may not actually exist, it might just be our way of measuring the passing of things happening, but not understanding the universe. But if it is real there may be an advantage of time. The end of the universe or more likely its continuous, infinite existence, will not happen in our time. But a long long long time in the future.

 

In Space..

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No one can hear you scream!

So why add sound to movies set in space?…..I think the best film I saw was 2001 a Space Odessy, because instead of having the sound of engine noises the film has music playing over the space scenes. It is so atmospheric   (pun intended) because space is a vacuum and sound cannot propagate in a vacuum. There are not enough molecules for one to hit or push against the next and transfer sound vibrations to your ears. In any case if you were in space you would need a suit, so all you would hear is your own breathing and perhaps tinnitus or a rumbling stomach!

I know I’m being pedantic but I get bothered by mistakes or wrong assumptions. If you are going to watch a space film I think it should be made correctly.

There was an old man called Luke,

a flight into space he took…

No  squeak of a sound

in the vacuum surround

Could be heard, so he read a book.

I’m not saying there would not be sounds inside a space craft either, there will be an atmosphere so noise can travel through that. Which is why Apollo 13 could hear the gas tank rupture when they were on their way to the moon. But if you were outside …well you would not hear it, and if you tried to put your ear to it you would be dead without a suit on!

Anyway enough of my pet peeves.

night x