Friday, March 4, 2016

Pestaño: Astronomy at Handuraw

THERE will be an exhibit tomorrow at Handuraw Mango (beside National bookstore) featuring the works of Christopher Go from 6-10 p.m.
Christopher is a Cebuano Astro- photographer since 1990. His detailed images of the eclipses of the Galilean moons of Jupiter attest to the excellent quality of his work using a 0.28m telescope and discovered the red spot jr. of Jupiter in 2006. He has a minor planet named after him ( 30100 Christophergo).
Christopher was also given the Presidential Order of Lakandula for his contribution to astronomy. He also received the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO) Walter Haas Award.
Astronomy is a favorite study and subject among chess players and grandmasters. I became a member of the Philippine Astronomical Society in the 70s and still remember Fr. Victor Badillo of the Ateneo Observatory and Hans Arber.
Top chess players, who are astronomy buffs have been honored by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) by naming minor planets after them. The latest is former world champion Vishy Anand (4538 Vishyanand).
Grandmasters with minor planes named after them are Alexander Alekhine (1909 Alekhin), Vassily Smyslov (5413 Smyslov), Anatoly Karpov(90174 Karpov), Mikhail Chigorin (7268 Chigorin) and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov(5570 Kirsan). There is also 17612 Whiteknight, named after a chess piece, and 26661 Kempelen, named after the maker of the Turk, a chess automation.
Other chess players, who are amateurs astronomers are Hans Moritz Bruehl , Paul Morphy, Dr. John Nunn, David Levy, Wolfgang Pauly (1876-1934 – chess problemist and credited with the discovery of a comet), Fred Reinfeld (wrote a book on astronomy).
The universe is almost beyond comprehension. Astronomers estimate that the observable universe has more than 100 billion galaxies. A recent German super-computer simulation estimates that the number may be as high as 500 billion. Our own Milky Way is home to around 300 billion stars.
According to the “Bubble Theory” our universe is just one bubble in a frothy sea of bubbles.
Common observational wisdom among astronomers is that there are 17 billion Earth-sized planets in our galaxy alone.
The implicatons of this discovery are astounding. Simply put: If there are 17 billion Earth-sized worlds in our galaxy, it’s clear that the Universe has the potential to be teeming with life, some of whom maybe billions of years more advanced.
On Aug. 15, 1977, Jerry Ehman witnessed a startlingly strong radio signal from an artificial, extraterrestrial source, but it has not been detected again.
In 2015, “remains of biotic life” were found in 4.1 billion-year-old rocks in Western Australia, when the young Earth was about 400 million years old. “If life arose relatively quickly on Earth ... then it could be common in the universe.”
Last year , Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner announced a well-funded effort, called the Breakthrough Initiatives to expand efforts to search for extraterrestrial life.
According to scientists such as Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking,  it would be improbable for life not to exist somewhere other than Earth.
There are two incredible events in the future that are fraught with dangers. The first would be contact with extra terrestrial intelligence that might be hostile and artificial robotic intelligence (AI). The short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all. Both are expected to happen in 100 years.
If you want to scan the universe using top of the line telescopes, you can do so using the internet. Contact Global -Rent-A-Scope Network.

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