Sunday, January 22, 2012

usagov:

Video transcript: (Music) NASA’s Kepler Mission has made the first detection of a planet orbiting two stars. About 200 light years away from our solar system, the planet Kepler-16b orbits two of the 150,000 stars that the spacecraft is monitoring between the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra. Kepler detected the planet directly through what is known as a planetary transit, an event where the brightness of a star dims as a result of a planet crossing in front of it.

Planets orbiting double stars have been a favorite of science fiction writers for a long time, the most famous of which is from the 1977 movie “Star Wars,” which showed a double sunset viewed from the fictional planet of Tatooine. Until now, astronomers did not know if such planetary systems could actually exist. Because of Kepler-16, astronomers have confirmed that the double sunset seen by Luke Skywalker is possible.

(Music) The planet Kepler-16b is cold, gaseous, and about the size of Saturn. Its stars are both smaller than the Sun and about 2 billion years younger than our Solar System. They orbit around each other, so from our vantage point they take turns eclipsing each other about every 41 days. The planet Kepler-16b orbits around both stars every 229 days. It is outside of the habitable zone of the stars, which is the region where temperatures are right for liquid water to exist on the surface of the planet. Since it is made of gas, Kepler-16b may not harbor life, but there is evidence that rocky planets with double sunsets are common in our galaxy. And the discovery of these by the Kepler mission are helping to turn science fiction into science fact. (Music)

blogbuzzter:

simply wow!
royalrights:

Vintage Pegasus? 

blogbuzzter:

simply wow!

royalrights:

Vintage Pegasus? 

(Source: 9gag)

Once we have computer outlets in every home, each of them hooked up to enormous libraries where anyone can ask any question and be given answers, be given reference materials, be something you’re interested in knowing, from an early age, however silly it might seem to someone else… that’s what YOU are interested in, and you can ask, and you can find out, and you can do it in your own home, at your own speed, in your own direction, in your own time… Then, everyone would enjoy learning. Nowadays, what people call learning is forced on you, and everyone is forced to learn the same thing on the same day at the same speed in class, and everyone is different. Isaac Asimov (via igrigorik)

(Source: brainpickings.org)

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Steve Jobs (via tmblg)

(Source: tmblg)