Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Is there anybody out there?

One of the radio dishes of the VLBA looks out into space from Mauna Kea, Hawai`i.

The futuristic looking Mauna Kea Atmospheric Monitor, MKAM. I think I saw something like this in a Star Wars movie except it was walking!

3 comments:

Protege said...

I love the radio dishes. And I love their purpose, how extraordinary and fascinating.
I will never forget Arecibo in Puerto Rico, what an experience it was to see that.
I also like very much the movie "Contact".

Protege said...

On another note Tom, what is your take on the whole purpose of the Hadron Collider in CERN? Do you think they are playing with fire or are any fears concerning its safety and possible ill effects far-fetched?
Have you heard about this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/13/science/space/13lhc.html?pagewanted=all

I would very much like to hear your opinion on this subject, even if you are not a nuclear physicist.;)

Tom said...

Protege,

The book "Contact" by Carl Sagan is very good, better than the movie I think, but it's almost twenty years since I last read it!

As for the LHC, no, they are not playing with fire. It's very expensive and I think given today's economic crisis there are going to be funding issues, but this experiment will answer many questions we have about the universe and why it exists the way it does now.

There have been several scare stories about it creating a black hole or even worse, but these are nonsense. The particle collisions that the LHC will create happen every day in out atmosphere, it's just that we will now control and make them happen when and where we want them so can look at the results.

Please ignore the media hype about the end of the world or the universe and especially the utter crap about the link to terrorism, it's just media sensationalism.

Tom