Fermi Paradox solved by invoking zombies

Drake’s Equation predicts that there should be plenty of alien life out there, so why haven’t we encountered any yet?

After modifying Drake’s Equation to take into account the likelihood of Spontaneous Necro-Animation Psychosis (SNAP), Kane and Zelziz find that, alarmingly, we’re very likely to encounter the undead amongst the stars. Thankfully however, they provide a method to detect zombie planets from the composition of the atmosphere, reducing the threat to human explorers. 

CERN to switch to Comic Sans

From today, all of CERN’s official communication channels are switching to exclusive use of the font Comic Sans. The move comes after weeks of deliberation by CERN management and top web designers about how best to update the image of the laboratory for this, its 60th anniversary year.  
"This is an important year for CERN and we wanted to make a bold visual statement," says CERN Head of Communications James Gillies.

(Source: astronemma)

purestformofexpression:

The first identified compact galaxy group, Stephan’s Quintet is featured in this remarkable image constructed with data drawn from Hubble Legacy Archive and the Subaru Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea. The galaxies of the quintet are gathered near the center of the field, but really only four of the five are locked in a cosmic dance of repeated close encounters taking place some 300 million light-years away. The odd man out is easy to spot, though. The interacting galaxies, NGC 7319, 7318A, 7318B, and 7317 have a more dominant yellowish cast. They also tend to have distorted loops and tails, grown under the influence of disruptive gravitational tides. The mostly bluish galaxy, NGC 7320, is in the foreground about 40 million light-years distant, and isn’t part of the interacting group. Still, captured in this field above and to the left of Stephan’s Quintet is another galaxy, NGC 7320C, that is also 300 million light-years distant. Of course, including it would bring the four interacting galaxies back up to quintet status. Stephan’s Quintet lies within the boundaries of the high flying constellation Pegasus. At the estimated distance of the quintet’s interacting galaxies, this field of view spans over 500,000 light-years.

purestformofexpression:

The first identified compact galaxy group, Stephan’s Quintet is featured in this remarkable image constructed with data drawn from Hubble Legacy Archive and the Subaru Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea. The galaxies of the quintet are gathered near the center of the field, but really only four of the five are locked in a cosmic dance of repeated close encounters taking place some 300 million light-years away. The odd man out is easy to spot, though. The interacting galaxies, NGC 7319, 7318A, 7318B, and 7317 have a more dominant yellowish cast. They also tend to have distorted loops and tails, grown under the influence of disruptive gravitational tides. The mostly bluish galaxy, NGC 7320, is in the foreground about 40 million light-years distant, and isn’t part of the interacting group. Still, captured in this field above and to the left of Stephan’s Quintet is another galaxy, NGC 7320C, that is also 300 million light-years distant. Of course, including it would bring the four interacting galaxies back up to quintet status. Stephan’s Quintet lies within the boundaries of the high flying constellation Pegasus. At the estimated distance of the quintet’s interacting galaxies, this field of view spans over 500,000 light-years.

(via astronomicalillusion)

Media Advisory: Press Conference in Brazil to Announce Discovery in Outer Solar System

I’ve been doing a lot of “expecting news” news recently but oh well - 

There’s been a discovery in the Outer Solar System! “This unexpected result raises several unanswered questions and is expected to provoke much debate”. Press conference will be at 17.30UTC tomorrow. 

Irritatingly, I can see on a FB thread that a lot of other astronomers have read the embargoed press release and say it’s gonna be a good one but are keeping quiet on the exact contents, grrr. 

I’m close to betting money that it’s something to do with Pluto - what else in the Outer Solar System provokes a lot of debate? Either that or a Mass Relay (#masseffectjoke)

Any guesses before we find out?

My observing run to JCMT, Hawai’i’s been confirmed for 25th of May to 1st of June which means I can start booking, and I want to make good on my promise to keep you up to date on the entire experience… Anyone want to know about the paperwork? 

BICEP2 detects imprint of primordial gravitational waves in Cosmic Microwave Background

parkysnewbrain:

The science team working for the BICEP2 (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) experiment have released their results. These show a statistically significant detection of B-mode polarization (the pattern of linear polarization is gradient-free, possessing only “curl” or…

Parky is an actual cosmologist, so have a read, guys! ^^

BICEP2: “First Direct Evidence of Cosmic Inflation”

The technical discussion is about to start [here] you better watch it!

If this is a strong detection, this is massive news. The department has got together to watch and some Cosmologists are literally bricking it in this room.

HA! Not a pundit but be prepared for spam today, trying to write a “what have they found and consequences” post at the moment, then about “how can you see it” before the briefing at 2.45pm UTC… 

HA! Not a pundit but be prepared for spam today, trying to write a “what have they found and consequences” post at the moment, then about “how can you see it” before the briefing at 2.45pm UTC… 

(Source: astromemes)