Author Archives: Mel Acheson

Paradigm and Perception

  May 26, 2015 Some thoughts upon re-reading Thomas Kuhn’s 1962 essay, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. His thesis was an instance of itself. The prevalent opinion was that scientific knowledge accumulates incrementally toward ever more accurate approximations of “the truth”, embodied in facts … Continue reading

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Gravity vs. Plasma

  May 25, 2015 Kuhn’s 1962 essay (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions) exploring the nature of changes in scientific theories, and a plethora of commentaries since, have made it out to be a Big Deal and to be also somewhat … Continue reading

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Blindness, Stupidity and Speculation

  May 11, 2015 Ignorance is not bliss. In discussing the question of progress in scientific revolutions, Kuhn noted: “There are losses as well as gains [in a paradigm shift]…, and scientists tend to be peculiarly blind to the former.” … Continue reading

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Playing the Jokers

  May 6, 2015 The house of cards which is modern astronomy contains two jokers. Both lie in the foundation; both are being played; and the house is doomed to collapse. The first joker is the assumption that redshift is … Continue reading

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Plasma Star

Mar 16, 2015 Recent images of the star CH Cygni reveal the electrical circuitry that drives it. Radiation in radio (blue), optical (green), and X-ray (red) highlight the several inner components of the plasma discharge. The outer red circle (large … Continue reading

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The Basics

  Mar 11, 2015 Imagine a rock. Now, imagine breaking it into pieces. Break the pieces into smaller pieces. Continue breaking until your eyes can no longer resolve the pieces. Get a microscope. Now you can distinguish the pieces. Break … Continue reading

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Electric Helix

  Mar 2, 2015 An image of the Helix Nebula in the constellation Aquarius exposes more details of its electrical structure. The infrared image shows radial Birkeland currents (called “strands” in the press release) crossing the concentric rings and converging … Continue reading

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Dark Dreams

  Feb 2, 2105 An apparently empty patchwork of darkness strung across this field of stars is actually full—of dust and gas and Other Things. The dust and gas doesn’t show up because there’s not sufficient light that we can … Continue reading

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Consequence-free Cosmology

  Jan 30, 2015 These two galaxies appear to be elbowing each other with their spiral arms. The consensus interpretation is that they’re colliding and generating shock waves that initiate gravitational collapse of gas clouds. The collapsing clouds become stars, … Continue reading

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The Colors of Thought

  Jan 28, 2015 M47 is an open cluster of fewer-than-usual stars. The contrasting colors of blue and red have an aesthetic appeal. One can even detect a few orange and yellow stars. A person may glimpse an occasional green … Continue reading

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