Observations of Theory of General Relativity

During this week in 1919, Sir Arthur Eddington profoundly changed the way we view the Universe.

Eddington watched stars near the Sun during a total solar eclipse on the African island of Principe. When the Sun was in front of the stars, they appeared to move away from their true positions, which Eddington had recorded in Oxford, three-and-a-half months earlier

During this week in 1919, Sir Arthur Eddington profoundly changed the way we view the Universe.

Eddington watched stars near the Sun during a total solar eclipse on the African island of Principe. When the Sun was in front of the stars, they appeared to move away from their true positions, which Eddington had recorded in Oxford, three-and-a-half months earlier.

This was the first observational proof of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Interestingly, Einstein’s first celebration was, like Eddington, to write to his mum. There must be a moral to take from this common theme.

General relativity describes how any massive object, such as the Sun, produces gravity by bending space and time around it. Everything in that space is also bent: even rays of light, and these get deflected.

Light doesn’t always travel in straight lines

Einstein’s prediction of this effect was used to determine the nature of gravity. But now that it is well understood, the effect of “gravitational lensing” has become one of the most powerful tools used by astronomers to probe the Universe.

Infographic (BBC)

Google Wave

Google has once again launched a new product called “Googe Wave “. Its supposed to be a tool for communication and collaboration on the web.

Google has once again launched a new product called “Googe Wave “. Its supposed to be a tool for communication and collaboration on the web. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and many more. Its a real time collaboration with concurrency technology (whatever it means !! )

It promises to be an exciting new product. Here is a sneak preview…

Broadband speeds across the world

I managed to get a graph of the Advertised Broadband speeds across the world and speeds in Japan are staggering ~90Mbps . WOW!!!
Its also sad not see the Asian Giants, China & India.

I managed to get a graph of the Advertised Broadband speeds across the world and it shows that speeds in Japan are staggering ~90Mbps . WOW!!!

Its also sad not to  see the Asian Giants, China & India.  But its a fact that highest domestic speeds in India are around 8Mbps. So still we are couple of Ice ages behind Japan.

Global broadband speeds

New Gamma-Ray Burst Record

NASA’s Swift satellite and an international team of astronomers have found a gamma-ray burst from a star that died when the universe was only 630 million years old–less than five percent of its present age. The event, dubbed GRB 090423, is the most distant cosmic explosion ever seen.

NASA’s Swift satellite and an international team of astronomers have found a gamma-ray burst from a star that died when the universe was only 630 million years old–less than five percent of its present age. The event, dubbed GRB 090423, is the most distant cosmic explosion ever seen.

The burst occurred at 3:55 a.m. EDT on April 23rd. Swift quickly pinpointed the explosion, allowing telescopes on Earth to target the burst before its afterglow faded away. Astronomers working in Chile and the Canary Islands independently measured the explosion’s redshift. It was 8.2, smashing the previous record of 6.7 set by an explosion in September 2008. A redshift of 8.2 corresponds to a distance of 13.035 billion light years.

Chintamani Ragoonathachari and contemporary Indian astronomy

Chintamani Ragoonathachari1 (1840–80)served the Madras Observatory under various cadres. His meticulous contributions fetched him the honour of membership of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Credits : B. S. Shylaja [shylaja.jnp@gmail.com]

Chintamani Ragoonathachari1 (1840–80)served the Madras Observatory under various cadres. His meticulous contributions fetched him the honour of membership  of the Royal Astronomical Society. He conducted two solar eclipse expeditions  in 1868 and 1871, and was the first Indian to be credited with the discovery of two variable stars, R Ret and V Cep. The transit of Venus which occurred in 1874, was a great astronomical event observed by many Indian and European teams on the Indian soil. Ragoonathachari prepared a treatise on this subject sometime in the early part of 1874. The English and Kannada versions are available at the archives of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore. Here a comparative study of the two texts is done to demonstrate the new light it throw son the status of contemporary Indian astronomy.
The two texts It is widely publicized that Ragoonathachari1authored a book on the Transit of Venus in English and Indian languages. The archival collection has the coverage of the Persian version. The entire texts of the English and Kannada versions are available2,3. A couple of pages are missing in the Kannada version. They correspond to the diagrams at the end of the text. Since these diagrams are identical with the English version according to the figure captions, the text may be considered as complete. At the outset the two versions appear to be one and the same; however, a careful study shows that there is a variation. It is interesting to note that the same content has been presented differently to suit different readers. The English version has the text in the form of a dialogue, where a Siddhanti (scientist, astronomer aware of modern/European astronomy)answers and convinces the Indian pundit on the importance of the event. The Kannada version The mode of presentation in the Kannada version is different. It is not in the form of a dialogue, but a smooth reading text.

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