Archive for January, 2010

The Universe – Biggest Blasts

Today on Discovery Enterprise we exam the most powerful explosions and blasts in the universe. Today’s video selection looks at the Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula and the impact which caused the Chicxulub crater. We will also investigate Super Novae and finally the greatest explosion ever that gave rise to our Cosmos.

The Universe – Biggest Blasts

Death Stars and Gamma Ray Bursts

Today on Discovery Enterprise we explore a very real cosmic danger and a devastating Extinction Level Event Facing (E.L.E.) from the depths of deep space that could potentially wipe out humanity and our entire biosphere. Namely, Death Stars and the Gamma Ray Bursts associated with them.

Gamma ray bursts are the most luminous electromagnetic events in the universe since the Big Bang.

They are flashes of gamma rays emanating from seemingly random places in deep space at random times. The duration of a gamma-ray burst is typically a few seconds, but can range from a few milliseconds to several minutes, and the initial burst is usually followed by a longer-lived “afterglow” emitting at longer wavelengths (X-ray, ultraviolet, optical, infrared, and radio). Gamma-ray bursts are detected by orbiting satellites about two to three times per week, but the number of GRBs that could be observed from Earth is about three times this and is currently limited by the efficiency of the instruments.

Most observed GRBs appear to be collimated emissions caused by the collapse of the core of a rapidly spinning, massive star into a black hole. All known Gamma Ray Bursts originate from outside our own galaxy; though a related class of phenomena, SGR flares, are associated with Galactic magnetars. Thus the sources of most GRBs are billions of light years away.

It was reported in March, 2008 that our planet currently lies in the line of sight of such a star designated WR-104, a mere 8,000 light years away in the constellation of Sagittarius, roughly a quarter of the way to the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Even whole galaxies may be a source of potentially lethal gamma blasts. The discovery of Death Star Galaxy in the binary galaxy system known as 3C321 was announced by NASA back in December 18, 2007. In this system two galaxies are in orbit around one another. A supermassive black hole at the core of the system’s larger galaxy is spewing a jet in the direction of its smaller companion.

If such an event happen in our corner of the Milky Way the gamma ray blast would strip away the ozone layer and generate chemical smog, producing a widespread chill that grips the Earth. And the associated electromagnetic pulse will zap all of our electronics.

How would humankind and the entire biosphere hold up in the face of such a global catastrophe and how can we hope to defend ourselves in the face of such a devastating danger? Today’s feature videos highlight these awesome but, potentially deadly phenomena.

The Universe – Death Stars

Death stars are in the final stage of life before they explode into a supernova and, occasionally, the biggest blast in the universe–the gamma ray burst (GRB). One death star, named WR104, lurks 8,000 light-years from Earth and some believe its GRB arrow is aimed directly at us. A death star galaxy named 3C321 is a terrifying vision of what could one day befall the Milky Way galaxy: a companion galaxy’s black hole is hammering it with a constant blast of high-energy particles, wreaking havoc with its celestial bodies.

Mega Disasters – Gamma Ray Burst

Scientists believe gamma ray bursts were responsible for a mass extinction 450 million years ago. The gamma rays strip away the ozone layer and generate chemical smog, producing a widespread chill that grips the Earth. An expected electromagnetic pulse will zap all of our electronics. How will our modern cities hold up in the face of a such a global catastrophe?

Changes to website

Haloscan is being abolished and the only way to remove from the blog  it was to change the template. So I have reverted to a classic template and will be installing something more flashy soon.

Miracle Planet – Episode 1: The Violent Past

Our planetary home the Earth was born out of chaos and disaster. Today’s documentary is part of the five part series the “Miracle Planet” co-produced by Japan’s NHK and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), and narrated by Christopher Plummer.

This series transports us back through time to the breathtaking genesis of our planetary abode – the Earth. Today’s instalment, “The Violent Past” explores the stupendous Cosmic forces that created and shaped our world and made possible the fragile conditions for life itself to come into being and flourish . This series features some of the most astounding high-definition visuals ever conceived in a documentary series and interviews with pre-eminent scientists in the fields of Astronomy, Geology and Biology, Today’s episode reveals the startling earliest history of life on Earth – its microscopic manifestations and the unimaginable challenges to its survival.

Miracle Planet – Episode 1: The Violent Past

Hubble: The Ultimate Telescope

Today on Discovery Enterprise we present an outstanding documentary about the Hubble Space Telescope which is proving to be quite a hit with the critics. It is fascinating look at one of the most advanced space telescopes ever conceived. Positioned outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, the Hubble Space Telescope has probed the depths of our universe, out over billions of light years, to the far-reaching corners of the Cosmos. It is regarded as one of the most important scientific instruments ever built, deepening our understanding of the cosmos. Today we will meet the scientists and engineers who put the telescope into space, the astronauts who fixed its faulty eyesight and the astronomers who use Hubble to unlock the secrets of the Cosmos which we call home.

Hubble: The Ultimate Telescope

Eye on the Universe

Imagine looking up into the night sky and seeing so clearly you could spot an astronaut walking on the moon. Imagine peering back to the beginning of time and seeing stars form before your very eyes or black holes in galaxies billion of light years away. Imagine being able to look into other solar systems and finding Earth like planets that hold the possibility of life.

An eye this powerful was built and operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) at the Paranal Observatory on Cerro Paranal, a 2,635 m high mountain in the Atacama desert in northern Chile. Each telescope has an 8.2 metre aperture. The V.L.T. – The Very Large Telescope consists of four separate telescopes that act together as one giant eye. The V.L.T. is one of the most powerful telescope arrays on earth. It is one of the most powerful tools in humanity’s scientific arsenal for unlocking the secrets of the cosmos. This is The Eye on the Universe.

Eye on The Universe

Complete Cosmos – The Solar System and Beyond

Today on Discovery Enterprise we will take a journey through the Solar System and beyond. In today’s first documentary we will explore the eight planets of our Solar System (nine if you are one of those diehards that still insist on counting Pluto as a major planet). This documentary gives detailed descriptions of each of the planets including what planet is made of and other interesting facts.

In today’s second video offering “Complete Cosmos-Secrets of the Solar System” we learn how Astronomers measure distance in the Cosmos. And, also learn about the different Stars, Nebulas, and Dark Matter that make up our awesome Cosmos. We will also explore the phenomena of Colliding Galaxies and much, much more.

Complete Cosmos – Secrets of The Solar System

Complete Cosmos – Beyond The Solar System