News

Apollo 1 Disaster (1967)

posted Monday, 27 January 2014

27 January 1967: Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee died in the Apollo 1 command module during testing after a fire started. The command module was pressured with pure oxygen to 2 atmospheres making it an obvious fire hazard. Since the door was designed to open inward and the interior pressure was 1 atmosphere greater than the exterior, the door was held firmly shut. Toxic smoke asphyxiated the astronauts and the intense oxygen-fueled flames roasted them.

In memory
of
those who made the ultimate sacrifice
so others could reach for the stars

Ad astra per aspera
(A rough road leads to the stars)

God speed to the crew
of
Apollo 1

Launch Complex 34 Launch Complex 34 Launch Complex 34
Launch Complex 34 In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so others could reach for the stars - Ad astra per aspera (A rough road leads to the stars) - God speed to the crew of Apollo 1 Abandon In Place
12/1/60 Graffito Launch Complex 34 Saturn III Blast Deflectors

physics.info/news/?p=1040

Thomas Edison receives patent for light bulb (1880)

posted Monday, 27 January 2014

Thomas Edison received US Patent 223,898 for the "Electric Lamp" on this day in 1880.

Edison’s device is an incandescent light source — an object so hot that it emits visible light. It also emits copious amounts of infrared (often called "heat rays"). Only 10% of the electric energy put into an Edison-style "Electric Lamp" comes out as useful illumination. The rest is invisible, wasteful heat.

The traditional light bulb is destined to fade away in popularity as newer, more efficient technologies take over. What will we use as the icon for a brilliant idea in the future?

Incandescent Light Bulb
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physics.info/news/?p=1039

Voyager 2 reaches Uranus (1986)

posted Friday, 24 January 2014

Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Uranus on 24 January 1986. It is the only space probe to have visited this planet so far. Voyager 2 is one of five space probes currently on a solar system escape trajectory.

departing crescent view of uranus

physics.info/news/?p=1020

Last signal detected from Pioneer 10 (2003)

posted Thursday, 23 January 2014

Pioneer 10 was launched 2 March 1972 from Cape Canaveral on a three stage Atlas Centaur rocket. It visited Jupiter for a few days in December 1973 and was flung out of the solar system by the massive planet. After more than 30 years the venerable spacecraft sent its last signal to Earth on 22 January 2003. At last contact Pioneer 10 was 82 astronomical units away from the sun (more than twice the average distance from the sun to Pluto). The last detectable radio signal (which was too weak to be decipherable) took 11 hours and 20 minutes to reach the earth. Pioneer 10 is currently 105 astronomical units from the sun and is traveling at 12 km/s.

Position of Pioneer 10 in 2010
[animate]


[magnify]

physics.info/news/?p=984

Robert F. Scott arrives at the South Pole (1912)

posted Saturday, 18 January 2014

English explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition arrive at the South Pole on 18 January 1912, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had gotten there first. Everyone in the expedition died on the return journey. See my post on Amundsen’s arrival for more info.

physics.info/news/?p=901

Columbus leaves Hispaniola (1493)

posted Thursday, 16 January 2014

16 January 1493: Columbus leaves Hispaniola on his first voyage. They will not see land again until they arrive at the Azores on 15 February — 30 days later.

physics.info/news/?p=891

Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn’t let you into heaven for

posted Wednesday, 8 January 2014

N6MAC41717 Batty (Roy)
Replicant (M) Des: BATTY (Roy)
NEXUS 6 N6MAA10816
Incept Date: 8 JAN., 2016
Func: Combat, Colonization Defense Prog.
Phys: LEV. A Ment: LEV. A
Batty: I’ve done… questionable things.
Tyrell: Also extraordinary things; revel in your time.
Batty: Nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn’t let you into heaven for.


physics.info/news/?p=2910

Merry Newtonmas Everyone!

posted Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Sheldon holding a bust of Sir Isaac Newton
From "The Maternal Congruence" episode of The Big Bang Theory.
Watch the video clip on YouTube.

December 25th 1642 Julian calendar: Sir Isaac Newton is born. Jesus on the other hand was actually born in the summer. His birthday was moved to coincide with the traditional pagan holiday that celebrated the winter solstice with lit fires and slaughtered goats.

Sheldon Cooper, 2009

physics.info/news/?p=746

Earthrise (1968)

posted Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Earthrise, 24 December 1968
Source: NASA

Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders became the first humans to orbit the moon. On 24 December 1968, as they came from behind the Moon on their fourth orbit they saw the earth rise above the horizon. Anders snapped the now famous photo.

physics.info/news/?p=790

Winter Solstice

posted Saturday, 21 December 2013

21 December 2013 17:11 UTC (12:11 PM EST)

physics.info/news/?p=3052