Lights All Askew in the Heavens … But Nobody Need Worry

Lights all askew in the heavens…

Lights all askew... The hilarious headline provided by the New York Times after Einstein's relativity theory proved based on Arthur Eddington's eclipse observations in 1919. Lights all askew in the heavens. Men of science more or less agog over results of eclipse observations. Einstein theory triumphs. Stars not where they seemed of were calculated to be, but nobody need worry. A book for 12 wise men. No more in all the world could comprehend it, said Einstein when his daring publishers accepted it.
New York Times headline about Einstein’s theory of the curvature of space time.

This hilariously-headlined New York Times article describes the results of the observational experiment performed during the 1919 eclipse. It highlights that the expedition proved Einstein’s prediction. But the writer claims that only 12 men on Earth can really understand the result: that light’s path is curved by space time.

The delightful headline reads:

“Lights all askew in the heavens. Men of science more or less agog over results of eclipse observations. Einstein theory triumphs. Stars not where they seemed of were calculated to be, but nobody need worry. A book for 12 wise men. No more in all the world could comprehend it, said Einstein when his daring publishers accepted it.”

Einstein was a theoretical scientist. That means he dreamed up bold theories without direct experimental evidence. His science was one of the imagination. However, in order to succeed in science, a theory must be able to be proven false.

So, in 1919 an expedition went in search of observational evidence that would confirm or falsify the prediction of the “bending” of light in spacetime. The adventure was led by Arthur Eddington. They found proof of light’s bending rays by measuring the light of a star as it passed the mass of the Sun. The path of the light of a distant star bent in a curve around the edge of the Sun. This result did not falsify the theory and therefore indicated that Einstein’s theory was solid.

Can you understand space-time as Einstein did? Would you like to understand the ideas of light speed, and the observational reference frame that can speed or slow time?

Reference:

The New York Times scanned newspaper article from 1919.

https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1919/11/10/118180487.pdf

 

Super Moon December 3rd, 2017

Super Moon

The closest approach that the moon will make on its monthly orbit around the Earth coupled with a Full Moon. The December 3rd Super Moon is here!

Here is an image showing how the arrangement of the Moon’s “Perigee” with the Full Moon results in the Super Moon.

Supermoon arrangement of moon's orbit around the Earth
Schematic showing how the “Super Moon” happens and the change in apparent size of the moon. The Moon appears about 14% larger during a Super Moon event.

The Full Moon + Orbit at Perigee = Super Moon.

A new star will appear in the sky in 2022

Binary star merge to form a new star - a star in a starAn amazing thing is about to happen! A Star in a Star will be born.

You  can witness the birth of a new star in the night sky.  The new Star already has a birthday: 2022!

According to scientists, the new star will form when two stars that are orbiting each other grow so close that they merge into one.

The new star will appear in the constellation Cygnus. You can see the approximate location marked by a red circle in the Stellarium screenshot here:

A screenshot of Stellarium showing the new star location under the constellation Cygnus's left wing

The image of the two blue stars on the home page of this Star in a Star site shows what scientists think it looks like now. This impressive video shows an artist’s rendering of the star merge.

In the pair, one star is larger than the other so in the end, there will be a new star…  A Star in a Star.