This is what happens when Two Black Holes Collide.

This is the animation of the final stages of a merger between two black holes. What is particularly interesting about this animation is that it highlights a phenomenon known as Gravitational Lensing.

What is Gravitational Lensing?

Mass bends Light. What? 

Yeah, mass can bend Light. The gravitational field of a really massive object is super strong. And this causes light rays passing close to that object to be bent and refocused somewhere else.

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The more massive the object, the stronger its gravitational field and hence the greater the bending of light rays – just like using denser materials to make optical lenses results in a greater amount of refraction.

Here’s an animation showing a black hole going past a background galaxy.

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This effect is one of the predictions of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity 

PC: cfhtlensUrbane Legend

Looking at the universe Naked- An Ontological Awakening.

It was Stephen Hawking who said:

We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That’s what makes us special.

The pictures showcase the universe in its cosmic brilliance. Spanning the entire electromagnetic spectrum, these images have been false- colored to help us perceive the universe that lies beyond our visual cognizance.

Courtesy: Chromoscope.

Taming the sound from a Shuttle using water.

What purpose would a water tank have in the proximity of a space shuttle launch? 

Well, believe it or not, it is used to suppress the acoustical energy (sound and rocket exhaust reflected from the flame trench and Mobile Launcher Platform during launch.

Underlying Principle.

NASA came up with an ingenious way to suppress the sound- Bubbles!

Bubbles are excellent at absorbing the sound. They absorb the sound energy and as a consequence of which get heated up. NASA exploited this and sprayed water molecules in the air surrounding the Mobile Launcher Platform. This reduced the sound from the firing of the rockets by almost a half!

The Sound Suppression System.

The Sound Suppression System includes an elevated water tank with a capacity of 300,000 gallons (1,135,620 liters). The tank is 290 feet (88 meters) high and is located adjacent to each pad. 

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The water releases just prior to the ignition of the Shuttle engines, and flows through 7-foot-diameter (2.1-meter) pipes for about 20 seconds. Water pours from 16 nozzles atop the flame deflectors and from outlets in the main engines exhaust hole in the Mobile Launcher Platform, starting at T minus 6.6 seconds. 

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A rainbird nozzle in action

By the time the solid rocket boosters ignite, a torrent of water will be flowing onto the Mobile Launcher Platform from six large quench nozzles, or “rainbirds,” mounted on its surface. 

The peak rate of flow from all sources is 900,000 gallons (3,406,860 liters) of water per minute at 9 seconds after liftoff.

Exquisite, isn’t it? 

PC: NASA.

The New Horizon spacecraft is at Pluto!

New Horizons is an Interplanetary space probe launched by NASA on January 19, 2006. The primary goal of this space mission is to study the Kuiper belt and gather deeper insights about Pluto and it’s moons. 

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After travelling for 3463 days and 3 Billion miles, it is finally in at Pluto.It is the First ever spacecraft to visit Pluto and for the first time, we would be able to see the remarkable High-Resolution photographs Pluto by Wednesday afternoon. 

Why Wednesday? It is because the probe is busy collecting data and not transmitting any of it and since it take around 4.5 hours for the data to reach the earth from the probe, the wait for the images is inevitable.

Here is a photo of Pluto taken by the New Horizon on July 12 as it approaches Pluto.

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Setting the debate: How big is Pluto?

Although the seminal data from the data is yet to be received, scientists have already started to crunch on the available data.

The size of the previously known dwarf planet was always debated upon and now the New Horizon has sealed it. The mission scientists have found out that Pluto is 1,473 miles (2,370 kilometers) in diameter. 

This was determined from the images obtained from LORRI ( Long Range Reconnaissance Imager).

Pluto is Red!

In addition to determining the size of Pluto Images taken by the New Horizon also reveal that Pluto is Red is color. ( Is that a heart ? )

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Things would get really captivating once the core data starts pouring in. But till then hang on to your seats as one of the most remarkable events in the history of space exploration is about to transpire.

PC: NASA.

The Monstrous Active Galaxy NGC 1275

Active galaxy NGC 1275 is the central, dominant member of the large and relatively nearby Perseus Cluster of Galaxies. Wild-looking at visible wavelengths, the active galaxy is also a prodigious source of x-rays and radio emission. NGC 1275 accretes matter as entire galaxies fall into it, ultimately feeding a supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s core.

The reddish structure surrounding the galaxy are filaments.These filaments are cool despite being surrounded by gas that is around 55 million degrees Celsius hot. They are suspended in a magnetic field which maintains their structure and demonstrates how energy from the central black hole is transferred to the surrounding gas.

Credit: NASA, ESA and Andy Fabian (University of Cambridge, UK)

The Blue- Glowing Astronaut.

This photo was taken during the Apollo-12 mission way back in 1969. But the reason for the blue glow is still not conclusive. 

Orgonelab’s article – Astronaut Blues takes you on a journey. A journey alongside with physicists and their theories as they try to produce a rationale for this bizarre behavior. It is highly recommended that you read it.

The Week Amalgamation.

1.  Physics envy.

2. The acoustic sweet spot.

3. Why every ‘spot’ is not a ‘sweet’ spot?.

4. How is lift actually generated?.

5. A photographer and a few lenses.

6. Total Internal Reflection.

7. The fairy of the Eage Nebula- M16.