The Advent of Parallax Distance to Measure Immense Distances in Space

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Stellar parallax is a measurement technique developed by Friedrich Bessel to measure far away objects in deep space. The process of stellar parallax involves measuring an object from two separate vantage points hinging upon the fact that the object being observed will appear to move a lot more than objects further behind it (e.g. if an observer closes one eye and views their finger in front of a building, and then repeats this act with their second eye closed and the first eye open, the observers finger will appear as though it has moved much further left or right, relative to the other objects behind it). Because Bessel developed a method of calculation to take advantage of this phenomena, astronomers now have the ability to map grand distances with relative accuracy. Bessel worked out that if an observer took an image of a star when the Earth was at either side of its orbit around the sun, it would be possible to observe the star shifting in its position. By knowing how much a star shifts, it is possible to calculate the distance the star is from its observation point on Earth. Bessel surmised that the relatively close star 61 Cygni must be 100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion) kilometers away from the Earth because of his parallax distance method. This technique unfortunately is severely limited as the diameter of the Earth’s orbit is only 300,000,000 (300 million) kilometers which means that the parallax method can only measure objects up to a factor of 1,000,000x (1 million) the Earths orbital rotation, allowing for a maximum distance of 300,000,000,000,000 (300 trillion) kilometers which is only a tiny fraction of the size of the Milky Way Galaxy or the universe as a whole

The Ancient History of Damascus Steel

Damascus-steel-swordDamascus, Syria, the birthplace of Damascus steel was prized in the ancient world for its durability but unbeknownst to the craftspeople who forged Damascus steel, the region from which the iron ore was taken had naturally occurring nickel which meant that Damascus metalsmiths had composite steel 3000 years before the rest of the world as the idea to mix different kinds of metals had not yet been invented. Damascus steel was shatter resistant and could be sharpened to become sharper than any other type of steel. Having first encountered it during the Crusades of the 11th century, European forgers attempted for centuries to recreate what their Middle Eastern counterparts had already perfected

The Reason Why Hurricanes and Thunderstorms Form

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Hurricanes are caused by clusters of thunderstorms consolidating together, developing over warm, tropical seawater, typically in late summer. These storms merge together into a spiral shape to form a hurricane. Because intense pressure draws in warm, moist winds towards the center of the storm, this wind spiral upwards and spin faster and faster. The rapidly rising air then cools, forming towering storm clouds and torrential rains. Thunderstorms form in large cumulonimbus clouds which carry water vapor high into the atmosphere where it condensed into hail and ice. The movement of hail and ice in thunderclouds causes an electric charge to build up which zaps down as lightning

The End of the Universe and the Big Crunch Theory

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The likelihood of a Big Crunch in which the universe expands to the point that it then collapses inward upon itself is not very probable as mathematical calculations demonstrate that there simply isn’t enough mass in the entire universe to be able to revert into into an enormous compaction. The idea of the universe folding in upon itself can be visualized by imagining a person throwing a ball in the air. The Earth has enough mass to bring a thrown ball back down to the ground but if thrown faster than the speed of escape velocity which is 11.186 kilometers per second, a thrown ball would never come back down, in fact, it would travel an infinite distance over an infinite timespan before the Earth mathematically had enough time and mass to pull the ball back to its starting position. The universe is represented by the Earth in that it acts as a force upon other objects and the ball represents all matter throughout the universe in this thought experiment

The Danger of Air Pollution Gaining Access to the Brain

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The reason pollution has a metallic taste and scent and that it burns the eyes when exposed to it is because the particles of air pollution are tiny enough that they can travel through nerve cells, and gain direct entry to the brain, where the olfactory bulbar meets the frontal cortex, as there is no blood-brain barrier at this point. The body protects itself through the blood-brain barrier, which means that particles within the bloodstream, cannot get directly into the brain. This system has a slight flaw however as the nose acts as a direct conduit for incredibly tiny particles to bypass this security mechanism

The Physics of the Pac-Man Universe

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The game of Pac-Man allows players to exit the world on one side, and re-enter upon a completely different side without delay. Pac-Man’s universe appears to be a flat, two dimensional, rectangular shape, but in reality it must be cylindrical like a pipe, only with the 2 ends of the pipe touching, making Pac-Man’s universe actually in the shape of a donut