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Camera Obscura

Perhaps, it's a little weird for me to begin an article with a glimpse to a romantic movie, but I can't think of a cooler way to start today's topic. When I came up with the idea to write about "Camera Obscura", the first thought that came to my mind was a movie from 1997, called "Addicted to Love". Of all the movies in this genre only a few are on the top of my mind and this one, directed by Griffin Dunne with Matthew Broderick and Meg Ryan in lead roles is definitely the best one I remember. In short, Sam, an astronomer who, in an attempt to win back his girlfriend, turns his astronomical tools into specific spy equipment and by using his dark-chambered pinhole camera manages to observe what is happening in the building across the street in the real time. What he used to achieve this is a principle behind Camera Obscura - a method to project the light through a small hole and create an image on the opposite wall inside a dark room, tent, or box. Someth

Galilean Telescope

The knowledge and manufacture of lenses were known since the time of the old Greeks (the word optics came from the Greek word ὀπτικά, which means appearance) and later in the old ages with Egyptian scholar Alhazen who made important contributions to the study of optics in general. In Europe, the lenses arrived around 13th century and immediately triggered the invention of the first eyeglasses. However, one important discovery had to wait three centuries later in order to set off a wave of new discoveries in the field of astronomy. The invention was made by Hans Lippershey, the spectacle maker from the Dutch city of Middelburg in Netherlands, who in October 1608 tried to apply for a patent for a tool he described as an aid capable of "seeing faraway things as though nearby" . It consisted of a convex and concave lenses in a tube capable of magnifying objects three or four times. For strange reasons, the patent was rejected, but the new instrument immediately attracted attentio

The Only Martians

Up there, within our own Solar system (and beyond) everything is in motion. There is no space object that is standing still. Ever since the big bang. Even the black holes that are capturing things into singularity point are moving across the universe along with their own neighborhood. The same is with Earth and its first neighbor Mars. They are both orbiting the Sun in their own time schedule - Earth needs full year to complete the cycle, while Mars in its own distant orbit needs 322 more days to do it. While both, Earth and Mars travel around the Sun, sometimes they got closer to each other by the approximate 55 million kilometers (while the farthest distance between the two is about 400 million kilometers).

ZVIKTOR22: Jupiter Moons

Before we jump into premature conclusion with easy answers as 'nothing at all' or 'at least they are both orbiting the Sun' perhaps we could do some quick research for just in case... With equatorial radius of Jupiter almost thirty times bigger than the same property on Mercury, obvious composition difference between one gas giant and small rocky planet and all the other major difference in mass, density, temperature, orbital inclination, orbit period and with almost everything we could compare the two, it is very hard to find the slightest similarity. For more videos please visit ZVIKTOR22 YouTube Channel .

The Illusion of Time

Since time immemorial, scientific thought did not flow in a straight line. It was full of retrograde motion and ups and downs and many theories were debunked along the way. Take for instant Einstein’s static universe or theory about existence of small planet in the orbit between Mercury and the Sun. On the other hand, illusions originated in our brains were not uncommon either. For the biggest example, we are all aware that weirdly huge Moon right next to the horizon is coming strait from the trickery of our mind. But what about time? It is definitely something we are taking for granted for a vary long time. Could it be both, construct of our own brain and yet based on something more fundamental and still waiting for better understanding? The time from our daily experience, feels very much real. We are living in it's present state and it flows inevitably forward to the uncertain future and thanks to our memories and factual evidence all around us it came from the certain past.

Is Infinity Real?

Sooner or later computation hardware and artificial intelligence algorithms will inevitably reach the point of enough sophistication that creation of a simulation of enormous proportions, for example the size of entire universe, will be effortless. So to speak. These gods-like engineers of such future simulation will indeed face a decision point regarding which degree of limitation to create for their simulated entities or artificial intelligence units in order for them to never reach the point of finding the proof that their world is in fact nothing more than just a series of electrical or optical currents of one inconceivably powerful futuristic computer. If created right, there's no doubt that the inner world of all those hypothetical units would seem to be as real to them as our own very reality to us. So, considering the state of obvious, the question arises by itself - if our own reality is such simulation and we are nothing but AI units within some alien quantum computer, wh

ZVIKTOR22: International Space Station

One day build of Lego Ideas: International Space Station. For over 20 years, the International Space Station has welcomed cooperation from different nations to achieve common goals that benefit all mankind. The largest spacecraft ever built, it continues to unlock discoveries not possible on Earth—and push the boundaries of human space exploration further than ever before. For more videos please visit ZVIKTOR22 YouTube Channel .

What Jupiter and Mercury Have in Common?

Before we jump into premature conclusion with easy answers as 'nothing at all' or 'at least they are both orbiting the Sun' perhaps we could do some quick research for just in case... With equatorial radius of Jupiter almost thirty times bigger than the same property on Mercury, obvious composition difference between one gas giant and small rocky planet and all the other major difference in mass, density, temperature, orbital inclination, orbit period and with almost everything we could compare the two, it is very hard to find the slightest similarity. Not to say that Jupiter in its arsenal is in possession of moons equal or even bigger in size than the smallest planet of our Solar system. However within past couple of seasons, what they had in common was the fact that they were under the spotlight of all of us who from time to time enjoy gazing the sky with naked eyes or through modest telescopes with strong feeling of being the witnesses of our own Solar system

Choosing Planets

Let's turn our imagination to the edge and do something different today. We can call it thought experiment, childish game, day dream, science fiction, pure fantasy or whatever we want but let's move the boundaries far away from Earth, far away from our Solar system, even farther from our Galaxy and do something wild. Let's choose a planet. Or to be more precise, let's select one in the vastness of cosmos and move away from this Earth and start new life. Of course in day dreams we are allowed to do this just because the imagination is what our species differs from others on Earth. Ok, to begin this little endeavor, we need a little astronomy to start with. What we know for sure is that our galaxy alone contains more than 200 billion stars, majority of them not so much different from our Sun and by using basic statistical study based on planet finder's microlensing technique there are approximately 100 billion planets orbiting them. Perhaps more. Multiple that b

Cyberstorm vs Rogue Black Holes

Sometimes I think we are just like ants. Too small and with lifespan too short to make a valuable difference. Our civilization I mean. After reading another book or watching another movie or documentary it's difficult not to notice that there are far too many 'apocalyptic scenarios' capable to put 'the end' sign in the thin air. Far too many boots to step on our little fragile anthill. This november thanks to Matthew Mather, one of the definitely greatest stars of the Earth's science fiction realm, I am 'proud' to announce two more ways of how to kill the Earth. Two more latest addition to this blog Post-Apocalyptic thread. Black hole and Sun direct collision with Earth close by I know you are now wondering about this above image and already expressed couple of frowns and disbelief looks, but before diving into rogue black holes, let's first glimpse the first scenario from the title. If nothing else, then just to ease things a little bit and

Fringe Dream of Virtual Particles

Last night I had a vividly strange science fiction dream. Like with most of my dreams, and dreams in general I guess, it was hard to recall all the details in the morning and this one was no exception, but in the nutshell the scene started with me in some science lab, describing the idea of how to effectively make a tiny hole in the universe. It was pretty simple - I was using four Tesla coils, perfectly positioned in the corners of the large square with edges of abut couple of meters long and with a small, battery sized, two metal plates positioned in its center of the square. The experiment was that at the precise moment, Tesla coils fired four filaments of thunder, reaching the center point exactly between two metal plates in the same time, initiating a process that in the end created a tiny breach in the universe that I was describing in the dream as a brane between dimensions and within the void between multiverses. Anyway, in the process, one plate goes from metallic through dark

Solar System Weirdness

Do you know how big is our Solar system? I can't be sure of course, but there's a strong possibility that common knowledge about our planetary neighborhood ends with enumerating most of the planets, one dwarf planet and couple of named moons, asteroids and comets. Amazingly, the truth is far, far beyond that and believe it or not, if we include Oort cloud, the Solar system, with us representing its only living residents, is approximately 3 light years in diameter. This is, more or less, equal to 3e+13 kilometers or km. The distance about 100 million times bigger than the distance to the Moon. It is tremendously huge and just about one and a half light years shorter than the distance from our Sun to the nearest star! The layout of the solar system*

International Space Station

Until recently I had a toy-model of Russian space station Mir hanged in our living room settled nicely between two more common house decorations. It was small in size, no bigger than five cubic inches with two teeny tiny Soyuz spacecrafts docked at their designated locks and numerous solar panels all over the place. The plastic toy is long gone now but still from time to time it raises some nice memories, especially those moments when couple of our guests after close inspection from all directions asked questions like "What the heck is this?" or "Is this art?". Not many of them recognized the most challenging technological endeavor of the last two decades of previous century at first glance. On March 23, 2001, all the biggest Mir's fragments after surviving hellish re-entry through the atmosphere hit the Pacific ocean and ended 15 years of various scientific experiments performed by 28 long duration multinational crews with total of 104 people from 12

Science of Life in Solar System

There will come one day in the future. Relatively and astronomically speaking, it might come sooner than we think. It could happen way before we realize that there is no turning back. The day when mother Earth will simply say - sorry guys, I have no more energy to sustain this kind of life anymore and when most of biodiversity cocoons on Earth will reach the ultimate hazard and start imploding back into themselves. Air and water pollution will help a lot and not even planet's regular motions will be able to take us into another interglacial cycle. It is as much inevitable as what we are going to do next. We will take a long look toward the stars and say: "Well, we have to do this sooner or later. It's time to leave the Earth. Time to jump into Christopher Columbus's shoes again. And find the new home." But we will not get far. There will be no warp drives, "phasers on stun", robots, AIs or artificial gravity like in Sci-Fi blockbusters and there will b

Solar Eclipse

Moon travels around the Earth in elliptical orbit and logically there are two points in its path where it is closest and farthest from us. Today it was in "perigee-syzygy" of the Earth-Moon-Sun system or simply called "supermoon". Coincidentally, it happens that today it has the power to fully block the sunlight in northern Europe and made the biggest shadow one can do on Earth. In Serbia it only made partial eclipse covering somewhat less than 50% of the Solar disk. These are 12 photos I took in intervals of approximately 10 minutes from eclipse start at 9:40 until it went away around 11:58. The biggest shade was at 10:48. We were pretty lucky today since the nature gave us clear sky with just one stubborn cloud that covered the Sun-Moon kiss around 11AM. Above image is the composition of those 12 photos which I took through our Sky-Watcher telescope with solar filter. I still don't have proper camera or adapter for taking astronomical photos so I used

Giordano, Isaac, Albert and Stephen

Did you know that if you were standing on the near side of the Moon, and for your mass of 80kg and weight of 785N on Earth, due to Moon's lower gravity, you would not feel being heavier than 13kg (130N)? You knew? Ok, did you know that Earth's and Moon's gravities combined gave you different weight on near and far side of the Moon? Slightly yes, but true. Earth and Moon are relatively small celestial bodies but this difference goes even higher if you move from the Moon to the Io or Europe for example as they are also tidally locked by Jupiter just like our Moon is locked by Earth. This would most definitely not help mountains on Avatar's Pandora to float but still, within right conditions and with presence of large mass(es) nearby, considering appropriate composition of the ground I am sure there are solar systems out there with strange conditions to live with, to say the least. "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” - Isaac Ne