Brainy Quote of the Day

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Most Astonishing Fact...

An artist's impression of the James Webb Space Telescope observing the Universe. Credit: Northrop Grumman
The first video embed has the voice of Neil deGrasse Tyson (title credit); the second Nobel laureate John Mather.

The most astonishing fact is not just as Carl Sagan quipped we are made of "star stuff": is that we have within humanity persons threatened by that knowledge; re-fighting the war between the church and Galileo (which, by the way has yet to pardon him...just saying).

The most astonishing fact is we're more comfortable with telling our children of controversies that don't exists; information that could start careers in STEM fields; threatened by critical thinking skills while the rest of the world passes the US by.

NIRSpec (Near-Infrared Spectrograph) will be sensitive enough to pick out the light from the earliest stars and galaxies to form in the Universe, only about 400 million years after the Big Bang happened 13.8 billion years ago.

It will split infrared light from these objects into a spectrum, helping astronomers to find out their chemical make-up, physical properties, age and distance. NIRSpec will be able to carry out its observations on up to 100 such objects at a time.

Demonstrating its versatility, NIRSpec will also study the early stages of starbirth across our own Milky Way galaxy, and analyse the atmospheric properties of exoplanets orbiting other stars, checking the potential for life to exist there.

The most astonishing fact is that mere excerpt above to the link below (I found out Saturday to some) controversy.

SEN: Europe completes second instrument for James Webb Space Telescope

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