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Dave Snyder

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A second gravitational wave event.
A few months ago, on February 11, there
was an announcement from LIGO. It had detected a signal from a pair
of a black holes - the first direct detection of gravitational waves.
The signal was actually detected the previous September, but
announced in Febru...

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Mercury Transit
Tomorrow May 9 is the Mercury Transit. A Mercury Transit occurs when Mercury passes directly between the Sun and the Earth. And that takes place approximately once every ten years or so. To observe the transit you must use proper equipment (otherwise you mi...

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1. Before
LIGO made their discovery of gravitational waves public, the LIGO
team worked with SXS, a project with the goal of simulating black
holes and other extreme phenomena. In
the process, SXS produced a number of animations. They are fun to
watch, but ...

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Gravitational Waves Detected!
An earlier blog post discusses rumors of the detection of gravitational time. At the time we had no official confirmation. Now we do. Early today, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced that it had made a direct observation...

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Rumor of Gravitational Wave Detection.
One of the predictions of General Relativity (Einstein's theory of gravity) is the existence of gravitational waves. In theory, anytime a massive object accelerates (that is any motion other than constant straight line motion) it should generate gravitation...

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The Pentaquark
Recently the discovery of a “pentaquark”
has been in the news. To explain what a pentaquark is, I first
have to explain the standard model. The standard model is a theory of
sub-atomic particles. It states that all the matter in the universe is composed of ...

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New Horizon approaches Pluto
The  New Horizons spacecraft is nearing its encounter with Pluto. New Horizon is a spacecraft with the primary mission to flyby Pluto and collect photographs and other data. The closest approach is expected to occur on Tuesday. I've discussed the issue of w...

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Help name an exoplanet
Last year, the International Astronomical Union (IAU for short) decided that exoplanets deserve names. The IAU is the organization responsible for assigning names to astronomical objects and for demoting Pluto from a planet to a dwarf-planet. Exoplanets are...

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Rare Triple Shadow Transit on January 24/January 25.
During the evening of Friday January 24/Saturday January 25 there will be a triple shadow transit. This is a rare occurrence where three of Jupiter's moons (Europa, Callisto and Io) pass between Jupiter and the Earth. For a period of time the shadow of the ...
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