Thursday, 16 July 2015

basking in the sun (as seen from different planets)

This image below was published by a fellow called Burton MacKenzie. He made this image and posted it onto his page in 2009 ( however that server seems gone now, so only references are found today. So in a nod to his work I thought I'd publish it here.

So assuming that you know the size of the sun looking out the window, then it'll look bigger on Venus, huge on Mercury and by the time its out to Neptune it's but a bright star.

The New Horizons page reports:
The latest spectra from New Horizons Ralph instrument reveal an abundance of methane ice, but with striking differences from place to place across the frozen surface of Pluto. "We just learned that in the north polar cap, methane ice is diluted in a thick, transparent slab of nitrogen ice resulting in strong absorption of infrared light, said New Horizons co-investigator Will Grundy, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona. In one of the visually dark equatorial patches, the methane ice has shallower infrared absorptions indicative of a very different texture. "The spectrum appears as if the ice is less diluted in nitrogen," Grundy speculated or that it has a different texture in that area."

As Nitrogen melts at about -210°C it means that the surface there will be bloody cold.

So the sun which heats our world nicely (thank you very much) is shedding so little heat out there that as its size suggests, its not giving much more radiation than a star. Who knows, maybe Jupiter gives is something too...

Saturday, 11 July 2015

reading into things

Sometimes in life little things happen to make one wonder if some sort of message is being sent. One of the things that Atheists like to point out is that the human mind is designed to see patterns where there may be none.

Of course there may be a pattern and what is dismissed by one is observed by another.

When I was in Alberta some years ago I was struck by the way people love to stack rocks on the shore. As it happens I never saw anyone stacking the rocks, but noone had to tell me that this was done by a person

It was obvious to me that this was not a natural formation. Yet to many animals who walked amid it I would doubt that they'd give it a second thought.

People have in the past recognized enough patterns to take us from whacking things with rocks to being able to deftly control electrons and make entirely new molecules.

Recently other creations of ours (machine learning) have begun to see patterns which have been ignored or missed by humans (in this case pathologists) for some time. These new observers (the AI machines) have seen things we missed or dismissed. This TED talk is an excellent example of this.

In this pathology case, the computer system actually discovered that the cells around the cancer are as important as the cancer cells themselves in making a diagnosis. This is the opposite of what pathologists had been taught for decades.

So when you feel something may be a message to you from your loved ones who are not in this universe anymore, perhaps it is something from them. Perhaps they did not alter the environment, perhaps tfhey are only able to touch at your mind to get you to observe something differently and see something in a new way. Perhaps they are more impartial but who knows?

The computers saw the same histology slides as people and recognised some new patterns, yet we don't call them crazy.

Perhaps there is no way to externally validate the feelings I've had and the small things which have come to my attention.

Perhaps they are just errant observations ... but if seeing them helps me to adjust to life with out Anita by my side then its only a good thing ...

I hope some good comes in your world too