Planet Earth


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Our Universe, and Planet Earth

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Anyone else in with me? 2 Replies

Started by Jacqueline Keller. Last reply by Jacqueline Keller Jul 16, 2012.

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Comment by Harold Davis on October 15, 2014 at 3:57pm

The Detailed Universe

Comment by Harold Davis on October 15, 2014 at 3:29pm

Cosmic Journeys - When Will Time End?

The answer to this question may depend on whether Stephen Hawking was right in his theory that describes how black holes shed mass and eventually decay. Time is flying by on this busy, crowded planet as life changes and evolves from second to second. At the same time, the arc of the human lifespan is getting longer: 67 years is the global average, up from just 20 years in the Stone Age.

Modern science provides a humbling perspective. Our lives, indeed even that of the human species, are just a blip compared to the Earth, at 4.5 billion years and counting, and the universe, at 13.7 billion years.

It now appears the entire cosmos is living on borrowed time. It may be a blip within a much grander sweep of time. When, we now ask, will time end? 

Our lives are governed by cycles of waking and sleeping, the seasons, birth and death. Understanding time in cyclical terms connects us to the natural world, but it does not answer the questions of science.

What explains Earth's past, its geological eras and its ancient creatures? And where did our world come from? How and when will it end? In the revolutions spawned by Copernicus and Darwin, we began to see time as an arrow, in a universe that's always changing. 

The 19th century physicist, Ludwig Boltzmann, found a law he believed governed the flight of Time's arrow. Entropy, based on the 2nd law of thermodynamics, holds that states of disorder tend to increase.

From neat, orderly starting points, the elements, living things, the earth, the sun, the galaxy. are all headed eventually to states of high entropy or disorder. Nature fights this inevitable disintegration by constantly reassembling matter and energy into lower states of entropy in cycles of death and rebirth. 

Will entropy someday win the battle and put the breaks on time's arrow? Or will time, stubbornly, keep moving forward? 

We are observers, and pawns, in this cosmic conflict. We seek mastery of time's workings, even as the clock ticks down to our own certain end. Our windows into the nature of time are the mechanisms we use to chart and measure a changing universe, from the mechanical clocks of old, to the decay of radioactive elements, or telescopes that measure the speed of distant objects. 

Our lives move in sync with the 24-hour day, the time it takes the Earth to rotate once. Well, it's actually 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds if you're judging by the stars, not the sun. Earth got its spin at the time of its birth, from the bombardment of rocks and dust that formed it. But it's gradually losing it to drag from the moon's gravity.

Comment by Harold Davis on November 8, 2013 at 2:18pm

Cosmic Journeys Earth in 1000 Years

This edition of COSMIC JOURNEYS explores the still unfolding story of Earth's past and the light it sheds on the science of climate change today. While that story can tell us about the mechanisms that can shape our climate. it's still the unique conditions of our time that will determine sea levels, ice coverage, and temperatures. 

Ice, in its varied forms, covers as much as 16% of Earth's surface, including 33% of land areas at the height of the northern winter. Glaciers, sea ice, permafrost, ice sheets and snow play an important role in Earth's climate. They reflect energy back to space, shape ocean currents, and spawn weather patterns. 

But there are signs that Earth's great stores of ice are beginning to melt. To find out where Earth might be headed, scientists are drilling down into the ice, and scouring ancient sea beds, for evidence of past climate change. What are they learning about the fate of our planet... a thousand years into the future and even beyond?

Comment by Harold Davis on October 20, 2013 at 9:39am

What is the Universe Expanding Into?

By popular Space Fan request, I offer this video to help answer some of your questions regarding the expanding universe. Many of you consistently ask: If the universe is expanding, then what is it expanding into?

This concept is non-trivial to try and explain in a 5 minute YT video, but I do my best. I hope this helps!

Thanks to all of you space fans for watching this channel, it means a lot to me.

Music from Kevin MacLeod:

Comment by Harold Davis on October 2, 2013 at 5:23pm

The History of the Universe in 10 Minutes

Comment by min on September 12, 2013 at 11:16am

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Comment by Harold Davis on September 11, 2013 at 8:17pm

ISS Astronaut Remembers 9/11

Frank Culbertson, the commander of Expedition 3 on the International Space Station, recalls what it was like being the only American not on Earth at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Culbertson's comments are showcased by the Sinead O'Connor ballad, "One More Day."

Comment by Harold Davis on September 11, 2013 at 6:10am

Journey Through Space Vibrant HD

A marvelous  more than an hour Vibrant Journey through Space with a paranormal view of the Planet's and our beautiful inspiring Universe.

Comment by Harold Davis on August 13, 2013 at 2:08pm

Hyper Earth: the New World in 4k UHD

Comment by Harold Davis on July 31, 2013 at 4:49pm

How Large is the Universe?

The universe has long captivated us with its immense scales of distance and time. How far does it stretch? Where does it end, and what lies beyond its star fields and streams of galaxies extending as far as telescopes can see?

These questions are beginning to yield to a series of extraordinary new lines of investigation and technologies that are letting us to peer into the most distant realms of the cosmos. But also at the behavior of matter and energy on the smallest of scales. Remarkably, our growing understanding of this kingdom of the ultra-tiny, inside the nuclei of atoms, permits us to glimpse the largest vistas of space and time. In ancient times, most observers saw the stars as a sphere surrounding the earth, often the home of deities. The Greeks were the first to see celestial events as phenomena, subject to human investigation rather than the fickle whims of the Gods. 

One sky-watcher, for example, suggested that meteors are made of materials found on Earth... and might have even come from the Earth. Those early astronomers built the foundations of modern science. But they would be shocked to see the discoveries made by their counterparts today. The stars and planets that once harbored the gods are now seen as infinitesimal parts of a vast scaffolding of matter and energy extending far out into space. 

Just how far began to emerge in the 1920s. Working at the huge new 100-inch Hooker Telescope on California's Mt. Wilson, astronomer Edwin Hubble, along with his assistant named Milt Humason, analyzed the light of fuzzy patches of sky... known then as nebulae. 

They showed that these were actually distant galaxies far beyond our own. Hubble and Humason discovered that most of them are moving away from us. The farther out they looked, the faster they were receding. This fact, now known as Hubble's law, suggests that there must have been a time when the matter in all these galaxies was together in one place. 

That time, when our universe sprung forth, has come to be called the Big Bang. How large the cosmos has gotten since then depends on how long its been growing and its expansion rate. Recent precision measurements gathered by the Hubble space telescope and other instruments have brought a consensus... 

That the universe dates back 13.7 billion years. Its radius, then, is the distance a beam of light would have traveled in that time ... 13.7 billion light years. That works out to about 1.3 quadrillion kilometers. In fact, it's even bigger.... Much bigger. How it got so large, so fast, was until recently a deep mystery.


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