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Explaining the Undetectable: Science or Faith?

Scientists routinely portray themselves superior to religious people who (in their estimation) accept things on faith.  This ignores the fact that many theories in science walk by faith, too.  Theories frequently posit entities that cannot be detected by any means – and may not exist at all, except as props for the consensus.  When a […]

New Planet, or Dusty Brown Dwarf?

A planet has been found associated with a dusty disk, reported National Geographic News and Astrobiology.com.  This is “one of the most exciting discoveries in the study of extrasolar planets,” a Max Planck Institute researcher said, because they “have directly proven” that planets form from dust disks.  Moreover, they must form rapidly, because the planet […]

Understanding the Sun – Not

Exclusive  The star we understand best should be the closest – our own – right?  Despite a revolution in solar observations, there is much we don’t know about Ol’ Sol.  That was the flavor of a talk by Dr. Alan Title (Stanford) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Monday.  At one point, he showed a […]

Hubble Telescope Celebrates 15th Birthday with Stunning Images

Fifteen years old this month, the Hubble Space Telescope showed off new images of the Whirlpool Galaxy and Eagle Nebula (see ESA press release).  Engineers at JPL who built the WFPC-2 (Wide Field and Planetary Camera), the camera that took most of those famous images that adorn our walls and calendars, took great satisfaction today […]

Galaxy Evolution Explorer Finds Living Fossils

Some galaxies are 10 times brighter in ultraviolet than others, and are thought to be “young” galaxies undergoing violent star formation with frequent supernova explosions.  In theory, they populated the early universe but should have quieted down by now.  The Galaxy Evolution Explorer, an ultraviolet wide-field orbiting telescope, launched April 2003, has just made a […]

Are We Lost on a Speck of Cosmic Dust?

A new Copernican revolution seems to be in the works, not another “demotion” of man from the center of the universe, but a promotion back to the ancient idea of plan or purpose for our existence.  The demotions reached their nadir with Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and other books that declared we are nothing special, that […]

Milky Way Center Bathed in Unexplainably Hot X-Rays

The Chandra X-Ray Observatory found more heat at the center of the Milky Way than astronomers can explain.  Astronomers observed a tiny angle around the Milky Way’s center for 170 hours.  After subtracting out known sources, a diffuse gas cloud remains that is radiating X-rays at 100 million degrees.  Star counts capable of heating the […]
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