Telescopes – redux

Understandably the BBC seem to be taken with the more colourful examples of the new clearer images taken by the 200 inch Mount Palomar Observatory using the Lucky Imaging technique. – more on adaptive optics here. But personally I find the above animation of the pulsar, with a 30 millisecond cycle, at the centre of the Crab Nebula, from images taken by NOT telescope at La Palma in 2005/6, to be equally more wondrous. Telescopes, eh? Adds Pulsars were, of course, first discovered by a certain Northern Star.Oh, ok then.. here are those more colourful examples..

The Cat’s Eye Nebula (also above)

And the M13 globular cluster

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  • Reminds me, I’ve to make an opticians appointment

    When I saw this on TV earlier I just knew you’d mention it here 🙂

  • Pete Baker

    Well, I did find the six degrees of separation connection to here, Cybez. ;op

  • joeCanuck

    Totally awesome.
    Keep it going Pete.

  • joeCanuck

    Oh and by the way, before anyone remarks, I just rechecked the map of the world in my atlas and, sure enough, Northern Ireland is there.

  • Awesome images, and ones you’d have thought would humble us all in terms of our place in the galactic scale, but then again we are a country that is going all redneck as we have had an MLA asking the Minister for Education about teaching alternative ‘theories’ to evolution in science classes in school…and the Minister saying that science curriculum allows ‘discussion’ about ‘alternatives’. Ho hum, guess NI won’t be producing too many leading edge scientists interpreting light that left these nebulae thousands if not millions of years ago when the children are allowed to discuss Archbishop Usher’s dating of the birth of Earth (4,000 years ago)without bursting into laughter.

    I would now like to apologise for that rant, but feel a lot better for getting it off me chest.

  • snakebrain

    “We have broken the speed of light”

    I knew I saw something about this experiment a while ago. I think it cropped up in a discussion of the impossibility of perpetual motion a while ago.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/08/16/scispeed116.xml&CMP=ILC-mostviewedbox

  • joeCanuck

    Snakebrain,
    I have subsequently read an article by another physicist debunking this claim.
    She used an analogy with two trains travelling along parallel tracks. Each starts off with say 10 wagons but one of the trains drops off one wagon at 10 intermediate stops. Both trains leave and arrive simultaneously. Therefore they travelled at the same speed.
    Not so fast (no pun) said one physicist. The average length of the train that dropped off the wagons is now shorter so on “average”, that train went further. Since they both took the same time, that means that the shorter train had to haved moved faster.
    The physicist debunking the idea explained that, just like one of the trains, the beam of light was manipulated when it was split during the experiment. The arrival times of each beam were seen to be the same, and since one beam travelled in a vacuum part of the way, it must have moved faster than the speed of light.
    She says that the two physicists making the claim just misunderstood what their experiment was actually measuring.