A graph showing our best knowledge of star cycles
Backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth’s atmosphere, the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Discovery as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation. Earlier the STS-119 and Expedition 18 crews concluded 9 days, 20 hours and 10 minutes of cooperative work onboard the shuttle and station. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 2:53 p.m. (CDT) on March 25, 2009.
Astronomers now know that the Big Bang occurred 13.7 billion years ago. For the first few hundred million years, the entire Universe was too hot any stars to form. But then the Universe cooled down to the point that gravity could start pulling together the raw hydrogen and helium into the first ever stars.
The first generation of stars, which astronomers call Population III stars, would have lived short violent lives. They probably lasted just a million years or so, and then detonated as supernovae. But in their lives, these Population III stars would have created heavier and heavier elements at their cores, and in their violent deaths, they would have created the even more exotic heavier elements, like gold and uranium. It’s possible that the first stars went through a few quick cycles, pulling in material, detonating and seeing the region with heavier elements. Eventually the first long-term stars would have gotten going, stars with the amount of heavier elements we see today.
What is a Pulsar?
Neutron stars are small (about 20km across), rotate rapidly and are incredibly dense. They are mostly made of neutrons that formed as electrons combined with protons in the atomic nuclei of the dying stars’ collapsing cores. Their powerful magnetic fields lead to radio pulses that can be detected on the Earth each time they rotate. These objects are known as pulsars when the pulses can be detected on the Earth.1
The British astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered pulsars while completing her PhD at Cambridge University in the late 1960s. Using a radio telescope designed by her adviser Anthony Hewish and Martin Ryle (both men later shared a Nobel prize for their work), Bell Burnell found strange radio pulses coming from a single point in the sky.
After a period of confusion about what was causing the pulses, Bell Burnell and her colleagues confirmed that pulsars, as the sources of pulses came to be known, are emitted by rapidly spinning neutron stars.2
The Vela Pulsar (watch here)
The Crab Pulsar
Bonus: Pulsar Sounds (Listen Here)
23 May 2013
To cure a disease you need to first understand its cause. Cancers come in all shapes and sizes, but genetic mutations – a few small changes in pivotal DNA sequences – play a role in almost every case. Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is an aggressive cancer of the blood that kills thousands of people worldwide each year. In a bid to understand what genes might be sparking the disease, scientists sequenced the genomes of over 200 AML patients, comparing the genetic sequences in their cancerous cells with those in their healthy cells. The result? A list of which genes and pathways contribute to the cancer. In this interactive graphic each dark line represents a single patient, connecting the mutations that appear in their cancer and revealing which mutations are most common. By identifying the genes that commonly cause the cancer, the researchers hope to dig up new ways to fight AML.
Written by Anthony Lewis
Look, I made a gif of this most awesome wizard at the Leaky Cauldron!
DUDE IS READING ‘A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME’ BY STEPHEN HAWKING
I NEVER REALIZED
are you serious
I always assumed wizards just ignored science, because the fact that “magic” exists, can explain anything. But there are MuggleBorn wizards, ones who, until they were eleven, lived in the real world and learned science and things. Did they all just abandon that normal, muggle knowledge, like Harry did? It’s always been there, itching in the back of my mind.
FOUR FOR YOU SCIENCE WIZARD
YOU GO SCIENCE WIZARD
can we point out that he’s doing wandless magic too
like voldemort couldnt even do that shit
molly fuckin weasley couldnt fuckin do that
who are you
pretty sure this whole series has been about the wrong wizard guys
Plot Twist: He is able to do wandless magic because his comprehensive understanding of quantum physics means that he is the only wizard/witch to actually understand how magic works.
You could not possibly understand how happy this makes me.
I have hope for the wizarding world again.