The world is not enough

The world is not enough April 12, 2019


Messier 87 black hole
Once again, here’s the enormous black hole at the heart of the distant galaxy Messier 87. (National Science Foundation and Event Horizon Telescope public domain image)


Scientists are still celebrating the black hole image that was released a few days ago, and pondering its significance:


“10 Deep Lessons From Our First Image Of A Black Hole’s Event Horizon”


“Meet one of the first scientists to see the historic black hole image: Making a portrait of a black hole led to sleepless nights and one big thrill”


“Black hole image validates imagining the unimaginable: Long dreamed of yet unseen, invisible stars intrigued scientists and the public as well”


Incidentally, one of the scientists mentioned in the third of the three articles above is the great John Archibald Wheeler (1911-2008), who popularized the phrase black hole.  In that context, you might be interested to read the testimony of B. Kent Harrison on the “Mormon Scholars Testify” website.  (Yes, I’ll eventually get around to changing the name of that site.  Don’t worry!)  Professor Harrison studied with Professor Wheeler at Princeton, and, as his biography at “Mormon Scholars Testify” indicates, co-authored a book with him:  Gravitation Theory and Gravitational Collapse (Chicago, 1965).


The article also mentions the German mathematical physicist and astronomer Karl Schwarzschild (1873-1916), who, in 1915, arrived at the first exact solution to the field equations of in Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which was itself introduced that year.  Effectively, Schwarzschild deduced the likely existence of black holes.  He accomplished this while he was serving in the German army during the First World War.  Unfortunately, he died the following year from an autoimmune disease that he had contracted on the Russian front, at the age of just 42.


Karl Schwarzschild represents yet another tragic example of human potential remaining unfulfilled in this life — and yet another reason to hope that there is a life beyond this one.  (See also “Beethoven is a study in hope, healing.”)




Was Mars once partially covered by a sea of liquid water, or was it not?


“The Paradoxes of a Martian Ocean”




“Climate change made the Arctic greener. Now parts of it are turning brown.  Warming trends bring more insects, extreme weather and wildfires that wipe out plants”




“The Denisovans May Have Been More Than a Single Species”


Write your family history now, before it becomes even more complex.




A bit more recent, though still quite ancient:


“Declassified photos from U2 planes are helping archaeologists unlock the past: Code-named CHESS, the flyover missions were meant to monitor military targets.”




Opinions vary about whether Netanyahu’s reelection was bad news for Israel.  But this definitely is:


“Israel’s first moon mission lost moments before landing: The spacecraft’s engine cut out just before it was to touch down in the Sea of Serenity”


Posted from San Diego, California



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