Author Archives: Mel Acheson

More Stars Than the Eye of Theory Can See

  Jun 19, 2014 A second generation of stars in the globular cluster NGC 6752 stopped evolving. Perhaps they’re waiting for a better theory. The idea that stars evolve is one of those unjustifiable preconceptions with which observations are interpreted and … Continue reading

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Misbehaving Gas

  Mar 17, 2014 Astronomers have found a lot of misbehaving gas around an elliptical galaxy in a galaxy cluster: It’s too hot to form stars. The elliptical galaxy must be big because it’s far away—because: high redshift! The gas … Continue reading

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Blast of Gas

  Feb 27, 2014 The large ALMA radio telescope in Chile has discovered that “billowing columns” of “gas” are “fleeing” from gravitational forces that would snare them into new stars. The size of the Sculptor Galaxy depends on the outcome. … Continue reading

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The Hairy Universe

Feb 25, 2014 Popular accounts of nebulas usually omit mention of their “hairy” structure. Because gravity can’t produce long, evenly spaced filaments of matter, astronomers don’t talk about them. Perhaps they don’t even see them. This double nebula is located in the … Continue reading

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Butterflies on a String

  Feb 06, 2014 Modern astronomy has a planetary nebula (PN) problem: Gravity can’t do what PNs do. Astronomers invent a kind of pseudo-magnetism to fill the explanatory holes. This pseudo-magnetism is a reified presumption that’s unplugged from the electric … Continue reading

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Magnetic Mystery

  Feb 04, 2014 Radio-wave observations of a Herbig-Haro (jetted) star at the edge of an opaque plasma cell reveal the wiring harness that drives it. In visible light, a spiraling filament jets toward the upper left of the image. It … Continue reading

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Gravitation as Frog

  Jan 30, 2014 A gravity-only Universe cannot explain certain discrepancies. Ilya Prigogine, from a young age, was concerned that accepted physical theory had a couple of glaring discrepancies from observation: determinism and time symmetry. Most observations are of contingency … Continue reading

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The Color Purple

  Jan 28, 2014 Rediscovering F. A. Hayek’s The Sensory Order has been exciting. Hayek began his inquiry into the foundations of theoretical psychology in 1919 before specializing in economics (and winning a Nobel Prize in that latter field in … Continue reading

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Adolescent Galaxy

  Jan 09, 2013 NGC 4666 is one of the younger additions to the Virgo cluster of galaxies. It has also apparently given birth to another generation. The galaxy lies eight degrees south of M49, the great-grandmother of the Virgo … Continue reading

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More Stars Than the Eye of Theory Can See

  Dec 24, 2013 A second generation of stars in the globular cluster NGC 6752 stopped evolving. Perhaps they’re waiting for a better theory. The idea that stars evolve is one of those unjustifiable preconceptions with which observations are interpreted … Continue reading

Posted in picture of the day |