Astronomy

Is it possible to witness a star's death?

Is it possible to witness a star's death?


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Given that the stars' distances to Earth are measured in light-years (for example, Sirius is 8.6 light-years away from Earth), what we are seeing as Sirius now is actually its state 8.6 years ago, right?

So it is possible that a star (maybe not Sirius, I don't know, it's just an example) somehow explodes and creates a supernova, and if this is the case, we will see this event 8.6 years later (I assume everything is right up to this point).

So my question is, is it possible for me while looking at the sky on a lucky day, suddenly see the explosion of a star that happened x years ago and be the first eye witness of this event? In other words, is there a technology on Earth (emphasis on "on Earth" here, the satellites or space shuttles do not count since they might be slightly closer to the star than the Earth is) that can see this before me?

My logic is that even the greatest telescope "sees" whatever light it receives. So since a telescope cannot increase the speed of light it receives, it shouldn't be more fast than me. And since light is the fastest way of transferring information, I assume that I am as possible as NASA to see such an event. Is there any way this assumption is wrong?


Naked eye nova are fairly common, several per year. Here's one. Naked eye supernova are far rarer. SN1987a in the large Magellanic cloud was naked eye visible (vid). From this list, it appears the supernova in 1987 was the most recent naked eye supernova. There was a naked eye gamma ray burst in 2008, but I don't think anyone actually got outside in time to see it.

If you have 50 years to look at the stars, you might see a supernova. If you have a small telescope, you can pick them up pretty regularly in nearby galaxies.


Supernova create huge spikes in neutrino emissions. Since neutrinos pass through a stellar mass mostly unimpeded, they're visible up to 3 hours before the shockwave even starts to affect the star's surface.

Since neutrinos travel at the speed of light, they will always keep their 3 hour head start. Thus, unless you have a neutrino detector buried a few miles below your house, you're unlikely to be the first to observe a naked eye supernova, even with a telescope pointed directly at the star.

The first supernova definitively detected by a neutrino spike before it was visible was SN 1987A.

As more neutrino detectors come online, and as their ability to pinpoint the exact direction that neutrinos come from is improved, it's almost certain that the next naked eye supernova will have dozens of observatories and thousands of amature telescopes pointed at it before it's even possible for these telescopes to detect the event.


What would it have been like to witness the beginning of the universe?

Timeline of the universe. Credit: NASA

Something wonderful happened about 13.8 billion years ago. Everything in the universe was created in an instant as an infinitesimally small point of energy: the Big Bang. We know that this event happened, as the universe is constantly expanding and galaxies are moving away from us. The more we peer into the past, the smaller it gets – that's how we know it must have once been infinitesimally small, and that there must have been a beginning.

But of course there weren't any humans around to see how it all started. What would it have been like – what would we have seen and felt? Now new research posted on the open science repository ArXiv, has investigated the amount of light available in the newborn universe to offer some clues.

The universe may seem dark and cold now, but there is a lot of light around. Humans can see some of this, but there's also light at frequencies that we can't see. The night sky, for example, appears dark but in fact glows at a frequency of light invisible to human eyes. Still, we can see this light using microwave detectors and it is a light that fills space and is practically exactly the same wherever we look.

The light that fills space now only warms the universe to on average 2.7 degrees above absolute zero – or -270°C. In the future, as the universe continues to expand at an ever-increasing rate, the light will dilute away and the cosmic weather forecast predicts that the temperature will slowly approach the coldest possible temperature of -273°C.

The night sky in microwaves. COBE Satellite view of the current microwave sky, in false colour and uncorrected for the motion of the sun about our galaxy.

However, run the clock back and it turns out that we arrived here from much warmer climes. In the past, when the universe was smaller and more compressed, the light that filled space was squeezed to higher frequencies and hotter temperatures.

Almost everyone has experienced the physics behind this cooling: when you use a spray can of deodorant it feels cold because the gas has cooled as it expands. This is similar to what happened to the light in the universe as it expanded. That means that if we go all the way and start at the beginning we'll find that the night sky would have looked and felt very different to what we are now so familiar with.

In the Big Bang, space was suffused with light. A fraction of a second after the event, the universe was over a million trillion times smaller than an atom. It was also hot: a septillion (one followed by 24 zeroes) times hotter than the centre of the sun.

From this small and hot beginning, the expansion and cooling started. In this early stage, the universe was extremely bright and at frequencies of light that humans cannot see. There were no stars, only a uniform and formless soup of particles. In opening your eyes to the night sky – if such a thing were possible in the moment before you burned up – you would have been instantly blinded by the intensity of the light (even light outside visible frequencies can harm our eyes).

Familiar view: the Milky Way.

This would have been the case until the universe became tolerable to human eyes after about 1.2m years. At this point, there were atoms around. They began to form about 370,000 years after the Big Bang. This may seem like a long time, but it isn't really when you consider that the universe is nearly 14 billion years old. At this time, the sky would have glowed with the colour and temperature of a candle (the hottest part of a candle is 1,400°C). So while we could have read by the light of the night sky, we would still have been burnt to a crisp while doing so.

The sky would have glowed, slowly becoming dimmer and redder for another 4.6m years, before finally becoming black to human eyes. There were still no stars, so the night sky would have been uniformly and totally dark. However it would have still been very hot and baked any human observer with heat like a very hot oven.

As the universe continued to expand, the sky would have remained dark but the temperature would have become more tolerable. It would take another 4.3m years, until the universe was about 10m years old, for the temperature to become bearable – about the same as a sauna. Then another 1m years to reach the temperature of a nice cup of tea, or a warm bath.

The first stars in the universe turned on about 400m years after the Big Bang. Animation frame by WMAP.

You could have worn summer clothes for another 5m years, but it would have started to get a bit chilly around 15m years after the Big Bang, and a jumper would be required. Freezing temperatures – minus figures – began at about 16m years. After about 110m years, the universe had cooled to the temperature of liquid nitrogen.

But if you could have somehow survived these freezing temperatures and an ever cooling universe, then after about 150m years the night sky would have changed. From its uniform and formless beginnings, matter was slowly clumping together, because of gravity, in the dark. In the clumps of matter, a twinkling would have appeared and, at least in some small patches, like the one we now live in, light and warmth returned for a second time. This was when the first stars began to form, and our familiar night sky was born.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


Saw this tonight in Reunion Island, what is it .

Spacex had a launch into polar orbit, and tried and failed to re-light the second stage. When that happens it usually makes a cloud from propellant leaking out.

Was it going due north or south?

Edit: Ok, so the DANDE satellite posted TLE (two line orbital elements) which makes it possible to track the satellite. It was one of the ones launched on the Falcon 9, and it should be relatively close to the upper stage.

The TLE was malformed, which was a pain, but after fixing them I got GPREDICT to open them. GPREDICT is an open source satellite tracker, used mostly by amateur radio people to talk to amateur radio satellites.

Opened the DANDE elements file, set GPREDICT to show its current location, then rewound time to see if it would have been visible from Eastern Africa.

Indeed it was! Goes nearly straight over Reunion Island. Looks like we have a winner. That cloud is almost definitely propellant from the Falcon 9 upper stage after it failed to restart the engine.

Was it highest in the sky right near 9PM? Did it go from south to north? Can you link to more photos you have seen?


The moment of death - and rebirth - of a supergiant star captured by Australian astronomers

AUSTRALIAN astronomers have seen the very conception of a new nebula — the last breaths of a supergiant star, the flash of it going nova, and the building blocks it left behind.

Australian scientists discover fast-burning cocooned supernova.

Australian scientists discover fast-burning cocooned supernova

This image of the Stingray nebula, a planetary nebula 2700 light-years from Earth, was taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) in 1998. Picture: ESA/HUBBLE Source:Supplied

IT’S a moment of conception on an interstellar scale. Australian astronomers have watched the death — and rebirth — of a distant solar system. Now they’re watching its embryonic nebula form.

Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith of the CSIRO has told the annual meeting of the Astronomical Society of Australia hosted at Swinburne University this week that the opportunity to observe the climactic phase in the life cycle of a star was extraordinary.

The cycle of a star’s life begins as it ends.

From a supergiant’s last ragged breaths comes a planetary nebula — a cloud of gas made from the very stuff that forms new stars and worlds.

“We decided to watch one of these 𠆋orn again’ episodes as it happened,” Professor Harvey-Smith told the gathering.

She and other astronomers like her have been watching this reproductive process ‘live’ for the past 30 years.

𠇊 lot of astronomy takes places over millions of years, so it’s rare, but extremely interesting when you see things change over the course of a human lifetime,” commented Swinburne University astrophysicist and the Royal Institution of Australia’s Lead Scientist Dr Alan Duffy.

“This is called a ‘helium flash’, as helium in the star ignites and burns brightly before fading again, Professor Harvey-Smith says. “It is extremely rare to catch a star going through one of these events, so we grabbed the opportunity and used our giant radio telescopes to follow its evolution.”

The first radio-telescope images of the newly conceived Stingray nebula. Picture: Australia Telescope Compact Array Source:Supplied

The object of the astronomers’ attention was initially a somewhat sickly supergiant star, SAO 244567.

It was identified as a hot supergiant back in 1971. A check-up in 1988 indicated that it was under some stress.

By 1991, spectral analysis proved something big was about to happen.

Observations of SAO 244567 over the past 45 years showed that the surface temperature of the star increased by almost 40,000 degrees Celsius. Picture: ESA/HUBBLE Source:Supplied

The star’s fusion process had destabilised. Its outer layers were heating rapidly. The resulting helium-fusion flash would cause the gas envelopes of the star to be blown out into space.

The peak of just such an event was recorded in 2002.

By 2015 the star had cooled once again, though it had left behind an immense glowing cloud of dust and gas. It now seems to be holding steady.

“The born-again event is over,” Dr Harvey-Smith says. “The nebula is now cooling and expanding”.

What is left behind is an embryonic planetary nebula.

It’s been dubbed the Stingray Nebula.

And an analysis of data gathered from the Australia Telescope Compact Array data is casting new light on what’s been going on.

The first optical and radio images of what’s going on appear to reveal the origins of the swirling clouds of gas that may eventually form new stars and planets.

The structure of the brand-new Stringray Nebula. Picture: Bobrowsky et al (1999) Source:Supplied

“It is remarkable because it is the youngest known planetary nebula and we can watch it actively evolving,” Professor Harvey-Smith says.

“In this work, we made the first ever image of the Stingray nebula in radio waves, which we photographed using the CSIRO’s Australia Telescope Compact Array near Narrabri in NSW.

“One of the reasons we wanted to study this object is to figure out why this planetary nebula is not spherical but has a complex shape.”

There’s a bright inner ring around the star. Both show what Harvey-Smith describes as �rs’, possibly linked to the behaviour of the dying star’s surface.

“The radio images and spectrum lead us to believe it may be starting to shoot a fast ‘outflow’ of gas from the star,” she says. “If so, this will likely have an impact on the way the nebula’s shape is evolving.”

This could be related to the appearance of ‘non-thermal’ emissions — charged particles emitted by the star.

“These beautiful radio observations are only possible thanks to the exquisite sensitivity of Australian radio telescopes,” Dr Duffy says.


Is Death an Illusion? Evidence Suggests Death Isn’t the End

After the death of his old friend, Albert Einstein said "Now Besso has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us . know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."

New evidence continues to suggest that Einstein was right, death is an illusion.

Our classical way of thinking is based on the belief that the world has an objective observer-independent existence. But a long list of experiments shows just the opposite. We think life is just the activity of carbon and an admixture of molecules: we live awhile and then rot into the ground.

We believe in death because we've been taught we die. Also, of course, because we associate ourselves with our body and we know bodies die. End of story. But biocentrism, a new theory of everything, tells us death may not be the terminal event we think. Amazingly, if you add life and consciousness to the equation, you can explain some of the biggest puzzles of science. For instance, it becomes clear why space and time—and even the properties of matter itself—depend on the observer. It also becomes clear why the laws, forces, and constants of the universe appear to be exquisitely fine-tuned for the existence of life.

Until we recognize the universe in our heads, attempts to understand reality will remain a road to nowhere.

Consider the weather ‘outside': You see a blue sky, but the cells in your brain could be changed so the sky looks green or red. In fact, with a little genetic engineering we could probably make everything that is red vibrate or make a noise, or even make you want to have sex, as it does with some birds. You think its bright out, but your brain circuits could be changed so it looks dark out. You think it feels hot and humid, but to a tropical frog it would feel cold and dry. This logic applies to virtually everything. Bottom line: What you see could not be present without your consciousness.

In truth, you can't see anything through the bone that surrounds your brain. Your eyes are not portals to the world. Everything you see and experience right now‚ even your body, is a whirl of information occurring in your mind. According to biocentrism, space and time aren't the hard, cold objects we think. Wave your hand through the air—if you take everything away, what's left? Nothing. The same thing applies for time. Space and time are simply the tools for putting everything together.

Consider the famous two-slit experiment. When scientists watch a particle pass through two slits in a barrier, the particle behaves like a bullet and goes through one slit or the other. But if you don't watch, it acts like a wave and can go through both slits at the same time. So how can a particle change its behavior depending on whether you watch it or not? The answer is simple, reality is a process that involves your consciousness.

Or consider Heisenberg's famous uncertainty principle. If there is really a world out there with particles just bouncing around, then we should be able to measure all their properties. But you can't. For instance, a particle's exact location and momentum can't be known at the same time. So why should it matter to a particle what you decide to measure? And how can pairs of entangled particles be instantaneously connected on opposite sides of the galaxy as if space and time don't exist? Again, the answer is simple: because they're not just ‘out there'—space and time are simply tools of our mind.

Death doesn't exist in a timeless, spaceless world. Immortality doesn't mean a perpetual existence in time, but resides outside of time altogether.

Our linear way of thinking about time is also inconsistent with another series of recent experiments. In 2002, scientists showed that particles of light "photons" knew, in advance,what their distant twins would do in the future. They tested the communication between pairs of photons. They let one photon finish its journey—it had to decide whether to be either a wave or a particle. Researchers stretched the distance the other photon took to reach its own detector. However, they could add a scrambler to prevent it from collapsing into a particle. Somehow, the first particle knew what the researcher was going to do before it happened, and across distances instantaneously as if there were no space or time between them. They decide not to become particles before their twin even encounters the scrambler. It doesn't matter how we set up the experiment. Our mind and its knowledge is the only thing that determines how they behave. Experiments consistently confirm these observer-dependent effects.

Bizarre? Consider another experiment that was recently published in the prestigious scientific journal Science (Jacques et al, 315, 966, 2007). Scientists in France shot photons into an apparatus, and showed that what they did could retroactively change something that had already happened in the past. As the photons passed a fork in the apparatus, they had to decide whether to behave like particles or waves when they hit a beam splitter. Later on - well after the photons passed the fork - the experimenter could randomly switch a second beam splitter on and off. It turns out that what the observer decided at that point, determined what the particle actually did at the fork in the past. At that moment, the experimenter chose his past.

Of course, we live in the same world. But critics claim this behavior is limited to the microscopic world. But this 'two-world' view (that is, one set of physical laws for small objects, and another for the rest of the universe including us) has no basis in reason and is being challenged in laboratories around the world. A couple years ago, researchers published a paper in Nature (Jost et al, 459, 683, 2009) showing that quantum behavior extends into the everyday realm. Pairs of vibrating ions were coaxed to entangle so their physical properties remained bound together when separated by large distances ("spooky action at a distance," as Einstein put it). Other experiments with huge molecules called ‘Buckyballs' also show that quantum reality extends beyond the microscopic world. And in 2005, KHC03 crystals exhibited entanglement ridges one-half inch high, quantum behavior nudging into the ordinary world of human-scale objects.

We generally reject the multiple universes of Star Trek as fiction, but it turns out there is more than a morsel of scientific truth to this popular genre. One well-known aspect of quantum physics is that observations can't be predicted absolutely. Instead, there is a range of possible observations each with a different probability. One mainstream explanation, the "many-worlds" interpretation, states that each of these possible observations corresponds to a different universe (the 'multiverse'). There are an infinite number of universes and everything that could possibly happen occurs in some universe. Death does not exist in any real sense in these scenarios. All possible universes exist simultaneously, regardless of what happens in any of them.

Life is an adventure that transcends our ordinary linear way of thinking. When we die, we do so not in the random billiard-ball-matrix but in the inescapable-life-matrix. Life has a non-linear dimensionality it's like a perennial flower that returns to bloom in the multiverse.

"The influences of the senses," said Ralph Waldo Emerson "has in most men overpowered the mind to the degree that the walls of space and time have come to look solid, real and insurmountable and to speak with levity of these limits in the world is the sign of insanity."


Is it possible to witness a star's death? - Astronomy

20 June 2007
updated 20 July 2009

It is a drawing of what the Earth's sky would look like during the daytime if the atmosphere did not scatter sunlight.

And would astronauts see stars as they traveled to and from the moon? Would astronauts in the space shuttle be able to see stars?

NASA has been claiming for decades that it is nearly impossible for astronauts to see stars, but now the Astronomy Picture of the Day admits that without an atmosphere, we would see stars even when the sun is shining.

Have you seen the Apollo press conference when Neil Armstrong and Mike Collins said they didn't see stars? The video is on this page at the video icon :
MoreInfoForScienceChallenge.html

The man who drew the picture is Jerry Lodriguss. He is a professional photographer, and his website is full of photographs of the universe:
astropix.com/INDEX.HTM

In my more detailed PDF file about the Apollo moon landing hoax, he mentioned this particular man on page 15:
ApolloMoonHoax.pdf

I sent him an e-mail a couple years ago to "Get a clue!" Has Jerry Lodriguss finally figured out that the Apollo moon landing was a hoax? Or has he known it was a hoax for many years?

Why would NASA put this on their website and admit that stars would be seen during daytime when there is no atmosphere to scatter the sunlight?

Is it possible that people are starting to rebel against the corruption? Is it possible that people are tired of maintaining the Apollo moon landing hoax? Are American men finally behaving like men rather than frightened children ?

Or didn't NASA realize what they were doing when they put this page on their site? Will this particular page be deleted as soon as they realize what they just did? Will they frantically struggle to devise a flimsy excuse to explain this page?

NASA to crash a probe into moon in 2008

They call it LCROSS. NASA wants to analyze the moon to see if there is water on it. Why don't they just analyze the hundreds of kilograms that they claim the Apollo astronauts brought back from the moon? NASA's excuse is that the astronauts only took samples near the surface! KQED has a video describing the LCROSS program:
kqed.org/quest/television/view/26

Anthony Colaprete is the LCROSS "Principal Investigator". Does he and other people at NASA actually believe that they sent people to the moon? Or do they all realize that NASA is just a big hoax?
nasa.gov/centers/ames/research/2007/colaprete.html

What has NASA done in their decades of existence besides lie to us and waste our money? Are the two Mars rovers (Opportunity and Spirit) really on Mars? Or are they in an Australian desert?

Would you like to be an astronaut?

Have you noticed that none of the astronauts who travel to the space station ever mention what the stars look like? Or what Mars or Venus looks like?

If you were to travel to the space station and spend a few weeks up there, would you look out the windows? If you had an Internet site, would you post some photos and descriptions of your trip?

People who visit Disneyland post more photos and descriptions of their trip than the astronauts! Doesn't this seem strange to you?

Update July 2009: recently an anonymous person told me that one astronaut did indeed take some photos. I put the information into this article.

Armstrong foolishly chose to work with Zionist criminals, and as a result, he wasted his life hiding from the public and feeling guilty. He ruined his life for a group of criminal Jews. When you sleep with dogs, you get bit by fleas. Why doesn't he abandon the criminals and become honest? Is he afraid that the Jews will kill him, and that nobody will care?

Did you read the report at newsmax.com that the son of astronaut Virgil Grissom accused NASA of murdering his father and two other Apollo astronauts? That article was erased or moved, but a Zionist propaganda site has a copy here, and this page points out that his family was ignored by NASA and the government.

If the police don't care enough, or are too frightened, to investigate the death of Apollo astronauts Virgil Grimson, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee, would they care about, or be brave enough, to investigate the death of Neil Armstrong? Do you see any policemen in your city who have the concern or bravery to admit that Jews are responsible for 9/11? Or to complain about the Jewish lies and involvement in the world wars and HoloHoax?

Buzz Aldrin admits to mental problems

Aldrin recently admited to having problems with depression and alcoholism. It's interesting that his mother committed suicide a year before her son faked the moon landing. Other relatives also committed suicide. (Some info here and here.)

It's possible that Aldrin's family is mentally ill, which would explain why they suffer from depression, alcoholism, suicides, and who knows what other problems. It's also possible that some of the suicides were murders that were intended to keep the crazy astronauts under control. Will we ever find enough people who care that NASA is a group of criminals, murderers, and freaks?

Update 20 July 2009: a monolith on Mars moon!

Astronauts must join a crime network

In other words, the astronauts are lunatics . This is why they exhibit so much psychotic behavior. (The photo is the mug shot of astronaut Lisa Nowak).

Have you seen this pathetic astronaut named Ed Mitchell try to convince us of aliens on the Larry King television show?

In July 2008, Larry King had this group ( new link) of people "debate" whether UFOs are real. If that video gets deleted again, here is another of his UFO programs from November 2007.

Will you ever get tired of their toilet humor ?

You ought to wonder what television, books, and magazines would be like if we could get the Zionist Jews out of our societies. They are using the media to manipulate, deceive, and confuse. Furthermore, these criminals have the mind of a child, so they fill our media with toilet humor .

For example, this report from National Geographic News tells us that Buzz Aldrin was the first man to pee on the moon. Perhaps next they'll write a report about which astronaut was the first to poop on the moon, or burp, or pick his nose. People who are subscribing to National Geographic, or any of the other Jewish publications, are funding these disgusting criminals! Don't give these freaks any of your money, if you can avoid it.

Follow the rats to their nest

Remember, whenever you find a deceptive site, take a look at who they promote, and who promotes them, and you can find other deceptive sites. The Jewish crime network is gigantic, and they promote one another, and once you understand this, you can identify other members in their network.

For example, AngelsForTruth promote the criminal astronaut McClelland and his lies about aliens. That site is from the same woman who creates Mothers For Truth. Notice that Jews try to manipulate us with subliminal messages, such as posting images of American flags, and implying that they are providing us with the truth .


5 Times Animals Served As Witnesses In Criminal Cases, From Talkative Parrots To Blood-Stained Cats

The boundaries of the judicial process and who can and cannot serve as a witness in a criminal case are being tested in a recent murder trial where a parrot named Bud could serve as a murder witness. When the dead body of 45-year-old Martin Duram was originally discovered in Michigan last spring, his wife, Glenna Duram (who also had gun wounds but ultimately survived), was considered the first and only witness to the crime. However, the authorities began to suspect Glenna was responsible for her husband’s death and her own injuries after she relayed several different accounts of the night, at times claiming she remembered nothing, while other times vehemently denying that she was the murderer.

This is where the couples’ African grey parrot, Bud, was brought into the judicial process. Like most parrots, Bud is known for his loud-mouthed emulation of the human beings around him, and according to a video the police found the bird consistently repeated the words “Please don’t fucking shoot!” The video of Bud yelling could serve as potential proof that Glenna did indeed shoot her husband Martin, with a plan to kill herself afterwards. Even Martin’s mother placed faith in the bird as a witness, telling Wood TV’s Ken Kolker: “That bird picks up anything and everything, and it’s got the filthiest mouth around.”

At this point, it’s still being decided whether or not Bud will take the stand in court as a witness. Either way, the video of Bud yelling will be used as evidence.

Probably one of the most fascinating things about the case of Bud the parrot (which is still unfolding), is that it wouldn’t be the first time an animal served as a witness for a crime. Fascinated by the bizarre logic involved in using a parrot as a witness, I rounded up five more cases in which animals helped solve the crime at hand.

The Case Of Echo The Parrot, The Pet Of A New Orleans Crime Boss

Back in the mid-1990s, a parrot named Echo was one of the first animals to enter the witness protection program. Because the witness protection program still doesn’t include a branch for animals, the bird was sent to a wildlife rehab given explicit instructions to keep hush. Owned by the former New Orleans crime boss Anthony Corolla, Echo witnessed vile instances of child abuse (the jury is still out on whether Echo witnessed a murder) and reached a point of trauma where she would rock and repeat vile things her mob owner said. After Corolla was brought to trial and Echo served as a witness, authorities sent her into hiding. Because there are no public pictures of the bird, the parrot pictured here is a different, less traumatized parrot also named Echo.

The Case Of Scooby The Dog, Who Served As A Murder Witness

Making history as the first dog to testify in court in France, a dog appropriately nicknamed Scooby served as a witness for a murder trial in 2008. The dog’s 59-year-old owner’s dead body was discovered hanging from the ceiling of her apartment. Originally assumed to be a suicide case, investigators brought Scooby onto the witness stand to see if any suspects would elicit excessive barking. Sure enough, it worked.

The Case Of Snowball The Cat, Whose Hair Told The Whole Story

When 32-year-old Shirley Duguay was discovered missing from her Sunnyside, Canada home in 1994, the blood stains on her cat provided the DNA needed for investigators to narrow down possible suspects. Her body was later found near a man’s leather jacket that was also splattered with blood and stray hairs from her cat, Snowball. Investigators even took samples of Snowball’s blood and compared it to other cats to make sure the DNA was consistent. Long live Snowball, who not only managed to outlive his owner, but also helped bring about justice when Duguay’s ex-husband Douglas Beamish was found guilty.

The Case Of Tango The Labrador, Who Witnessed His Owner’s Murder

A 9-year-old Labrador named Tango was brought into a French court in 2014, following the death of his owner during a violent fight. After Tango was called to the stand, the suspect was ordered to threaten Tango with a bat (or present it in a threatening manner), in order to see if it would elicit a reaction from the dog. Unfortunately for the prosecution, Tango proved to be of no help in pinning down the murderer.

The Case Of Sal The Cat, Who Was Summoned For Jury Duty

Family pet Sal Esposito quickly became a viral sensation when he was summoned for jury duty back in 2010, despite being a cat. Apparently, there was confusion surrounding the census paperwork filled out by his owner, Anna Esposito, who listed him as a family member but vehemently claimed she listed him as a pet. Regardless, the court ordered Sal the cat to carry out jury duty, which honestly doesn’t sound half as horrifying as many of the human beings who have served as jury members.

If nothing else, I hope this list inspired you to TRUST NO ANIMAL when carrying out criminal affairs.


Notes for editors

High-resolution images, including an artist&rsquos impression of the developing star/cloud system, are available through the Manchester press office. (Credit: David A. Hardy/www.astroart.org)

A copy of the paper, entitled &lsquoGlobal collapse of molecular clouds as a formation mechanism for the most massive stars,&rsquo published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, is also available ahead of publication.

The research team comprised of N. Peretto (CEA/AIM Paris Saclay, France University of Cardiff, UK), G. A. Fuller (University of Manchester, UK Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics and UK ALMA Regional Centre Node), A. Duarte-Cabral (LAB, OASU, Université de Bordeaux, CNRS, France), A. Avison (University of Manchester, UK UK ALMA Regional Centre node), P. Hennebelle (CEA/AIM Paris Saclay, France), J. E. Pineda (University of Manchester, UK UK ALMA Regional Centre node ESO, Garching, Germany), Ph. André (CEA/AIM Paris Saclay, France), S. Bontemps (LAB, OASU, Université de Bordeaux, CNRS, France), F. Motte (CEA/AIM Paris Saclay, France), N. Schneider (LAB, OASU, Université de Bordeaux, CNRS, France) and S. Molinari (INAF, Rome, Italy).

Astronomers use the expression &ldquomassive stars&rdquo to mean those with roughly ten or more times the mass of the Sun. It refers to the star&rsquos mass, not its size.

This star formation region is forming many stars. The 500 solar mass core is the most massive of several.

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), in North America by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan. ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of the telescope. ALMA, which was officially inaugurated in March this year, is operated by a worldwide collaboration that includes the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and is expected to come in to full operations in late 2014.

ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world&rsquos most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world&rsquos most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory, and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world&rsquos largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning the 39-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become &ldquothe world&rsquos biggest eye on the sky&rdquo.

Access to ESO telescopes is made possible for UK astronomers by a subscription paid for by STFC.


How Much Science Is Behind Star Wars' Starkiller Base?

Is there any real science behind the weapon, "Star Killer" from Star Wars: Force Awakens?

Artist’s impression of a black hole feasting on matter from its companion star in a binary system. . [+] Material flows from the star towards the black hole and gathers in a disc, where it is heated up, shining brightly at optical, ultraviolet and X-ray wavelengths before spiralling into the black hole. Part of the disc material does not end up onto the black hole but is ejected the form of two powerful jets of particles. On 15 June 2015, the black-hole binary system V404 Cygni started showing signs of extraordinary activity, something that had not happened since 1989. The system consists of a black hole about twelve times more massive than the Sun and a companion star about half as massive as the Sun. The renewed activity is likely caused by material slowly piling up in the disc, until eventually reaching a tipping point that dramatically changes the black hole's feeding routine for a short period. Since the first signs of such unusual activity, astronomers worldwide have been observing this exceptional system with ground-based telescopes and space-based observatories, monitoring the source at many different wavelengths across the electromagnetic spectrum. Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab

Here’s the thing with looking for science in the Star Wars universe: you’re already in a world where lightsabers work, The Force is a real thing, and faster-than-light travel is possible. This is not a universe where our laws of physics are consistently applied, so a healthy dose of suspension of belief is required. When I go into a Star Wars movie I’m not really looking for perfect physics. So what I’m going to do here is lay out a couple of issues with Starkiller Base, were it to be found in our Universe, which it isn’t. Star Wars fans, please feel free to invoke your favorite technobabble to get around any/all of these problems.

With that caveat out of the way, we can certainly look at the feasibility of Starkiller Base. Starkiller Base, in a nutshell, is a planet which has had some of its planetary innards removed and replaced with a fairly sizable weapon. This weapon is charged by finding a star, and vacuuming the star in its entirety into the planet. This star-energy is held inside the planet by plot devices, and then the star’s energy is fired out of the planet to vaporize unsuspecting planets.

The puzzling, fascinating surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa looms large in this newly-reprocessed . [+] color view, made from images taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

Firstly even though Starkiller Base is covered in ice, it’s still a rocky planet, which we know because we saw it starting to come apart at the seams towards the end of the movie. There’s no explicit size for the planet given, so I’m going to assume that it’s about Earth-size. I have two justifications for this assumption: the first is that everyone is walking around on it normally, which means its gravity has to be about normal, and second, it makes my life easy.

If Starkiller Base is about Earth sized, then that trench going around its equator is really deep. I did some rough math, based on the size of the planet in images and the depth of the trench in images, and scaling to the size of the earth. If Starkiller is Earth-sized, that trench is 581 miles deep. For scale, if you started at the southern border of Colorado, and drove north until you had hit the northern edge of Wyoming, you would have driven 560 miles. Google Maps informs me that’s over an 8 hour drive.

Fun fact: The Earth’s crust, at its deepest, is a little under 44 miles thick. This trench, if we were to install it on our own Earth, would be more than ten times deeper than our deepest rock, and would plant the base of it firmly in the mantle, which is made of a plastic-y form of melted rock. Installing this on the Earth would almost definitely cause some havoc with our plate tectonics, assuming of course that we can insulate such a structure from our planetary heat to keep it from melting immediately. But perhaps Starkiller Base doesn’t have tectonics (or an internal mantle), as it’s covered in ice and we didn’t see any volcanoes lurking on the horizon.

Secondly Starkiller base can absorb an entire star in a pretty short period of time. Our universe does contain an object which can siphon material away from a star, but that object is a black hole. Starkiller base is definitely not a black hole, even at its core. A black hole would be gravitationally distressing to walk near, and it is a terrible place to put spacecraft, which would have to spend a huge amount of energy to escape its gravitational influence. Furthermore, even a black hole, as the most extreme gravitational object possible, is not very good at killing stars.

Artist's rendering showing the black hole and its accretion disk with a disk wind fully established. . [+] Image credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab

Black holes are frequently found in binary systems with other stars in our universe. This happens if two stars have spent their whole lives circling each other, having formed near each other, but one of them was slightly more massive than the other. The more massive the star, the shorter its lifespan. The more massive star can go through its death throes and create itself again as a black hole, all without moving from its orbital dance with the other star. These binary black holes do drain the outer layers of their companion stars away, but it is a long, slow, tedious, & inefficient process, which drags on over millennia. It’s certainly not the quick deflation of the star we saw in the movie.

I’m going to skip over the whole “storing of an entire star’s worth of energy within a much smaller planet” bit, because that’s even less plausible than the rest of the premise of Starkiller Base. The movie seems to recognize this, so there’s a whole plot device dedicated to fixing this problem the thermal oscillator. In the movie it’s a handy device that lets you not destroy the planet with all the matter/energy you’re storing, while also not compressing your matter/energy into a black hole. Thermal oscillators do not exist, so we’re well into Star Wars Physics and not our own Universe’s physics with this part of the story.

However, there was one piece of glorious physics to Starkiller base- right at the end. After the heroes manage to explode all possible mechanisms of keeping a whole star contained within the planet, physics as we know it returned to the scene. If you have a star’s worth of matter, no longer contained artificially, in a region of space which is dense enough to create a star, but not dense enough to collapse into a black hole, what you get is a star! So as soon as all of the pieces keeping Star Wars physics operational were removed, it makes perfect sense for Starkiller Base to be consumed in the making of a brand new star, right next to where the old one had been.


Slaying of murder witness reveals security problems at Prince George’s jail

Nicoh Mayhew was about to be the state’s star witness in a double-murder trial when he visited his brother in the Prince George’s County jail last fall.

The two met in a narrow cinder-block visiting booth, separated by a wall with a window, a metal vent and a coat of faded teal paint. As they began to talk, the door behind Mayhew’s brother swung open. Two familiar faces — the men that Mayhew had fingered in the killings — crowded inside.

It was the kind of face-to-face encounter between witness and accused that is supposed to wait until court. It was not supposed to happen at the jail, and certainly not to Mayhew, who had been offered a spot in a witness protection program to remain shielded from the two murder suspects.

One of them — a nephew of Mayhew’s — leaned toward the glass and asked his uncle if he had “decided” what he would do. It was a clear reference, prosecutors allege in new court filings, to the testimony Mayhew could offer about the night in 2011 when he said he was called to a remote site and asked to help cover up the killing of two men.

In December 2012, weeks after the encounter in the jail and as the trial for his nephew neared, Mayhew, 25, was executed — ambushed and shot repeatedly in the face as he carried his 2-year-old son up a flight of stairs to his mother’s apartment.

Prosecutors have charged the nephew with murder in Mayhew’s death, alleging that he orchestrated a hit from behind bars.

But the case has also sparked administrative and criminal investigations that have revealed security flaws at the Prince George’s jail in Upper Marlboro, according to court records and several law enforcement officials with knowledge of the inquiries. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the case against Mayhew’s nephew has yet to go to trial, and investigative work into jail operations is ongoing, they said.

The security issues at the Prince George’s jail are coming to light after federal prosecutors alleged widespread collusion between guards and violent gang members at a state-run detention center in Baltimore.

In the Prince George’s jail, another of the busiest jails in Maryland, administrators have little information about inmates’ contact with the outside world. Unlike at most jails in the D.C. area, Prince George’s does not directly monitor or record visits with friends or family, and inmates routinely shield their calls from investigators monitoring recorded phone lines.

Yolanda Evans, a spokeswoman for the Prince George’s Corrections Department, said that jail officials have cooperated with police investigating Mayhew’s killing, but that she is unaware of any ongoing probe of jail operations.

Evans acknowledged that the episode in the visiting booth should not have happened, saying an internal investigation revealed that a corrections officer who had been on the job just two months mistakenly violated jail protocol. She declined to say whether the officer had been reprimanded, saying the issue was a personnel matter.

Before and after that encounter, however, there were other problems at the jail, court records and interviews indicate. Jail administrators for some time failed to separate Nicoh Mayhew’s nephew, Brian Mayhew, 21, from his co-defendant in the double slaying. As Brian Mayhew allegedly plotted his uncle’s killing, he was able to talk daily with Kenan Myers, 26, in a common area, according to two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation.

Brian Mayhew’s attorney did not return calls seeking comment.

Jail operators also allowed Myers to share a cell with Nicoh Mayhew’s brother, who was awaiting trial in an unrelated case, one of the officials said. That might have made it possible for Myers to learn that Nicoh Mayhew planned to visit, the official said.

Evans said the jail depends on prosecutors to file court orders when co-defendants or family members should not be boarded together. She said there was no direction to keep Brian Mayhew and Myers separated until this spring, when prosecutors asked that Mayhew be moved to another county.

Evans acknowledged, however, that the jail conducts interviews with incoming inmates to assess family connections and other affiliations as officials decide where to house people.

The investigations also revealed a pattern of deception by inmates to foil monitoring of their recorded phone calls, officials said. Prince George’s inmates make calls using debit cards with distinct authorization codes that allow detectives to track calls of particular defendants. But in Prince George’s, inmates routinely swap cards.

When Brian Mayhew allegedly told hit men where and when to find his uncle in December, he used another inmate’s authorization code, law enforcement officials said. It took a series of covert efforts, including asking inmates to wear wires, to unravel how those calls were made, the officials said.

The investigations have also found instances of county corrections officers smuggling cellphones to inmates, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation.

The fallout from the Mayhew case has raised questions about the thoroughness of security improvements promised by Prince George’s officials after a 2008 incident in which an inmate accused of killing a police officer was found asphyxiated in his cell.

A year-long investigation followed, but it never became clear whether Ronnie L. White, 19, who authorities said had run down the officer with a pickup, was killed or took his own life, a federal judge said at a recent hearing. One guard was convicted of obstruction of justice. But because 175 jail cameras were then incapable of recording any video, it was impossible to review what occurred around White’s cell.

After White’s death, the jail nearly doubled — to 345 — the number of cameras, and each now records video that is saved for at least seven days.

But the Mayhew case revealed that the jail’s surveillance system still has at least one major blind spot. There is no audio or video surveillance of visiting booths, which are nearly soundproof to corrections officers stationed outside.

Most other jails in the region have the technology to record conversations between inmates and visitors. In the District, family and friends are directed to a room with 54 desktops with video monitors, and inmates have access to similar terminals. Each video-conference is recorded. In neighboring Montgomery County, inmates and visitors speak through phones that can be recorded.

Despite the visiting-booth encounter between the Mayhews, Evans said the jail has no plans to install cameras or to otherwise update its visiting procedures. She also said that tightening procedures for phone calls is not a priority and that officials are spending limited funding on other improvements, such as a new kitchen for the jail, which opened in 1985 and houses 1,300 inmates.

Seeking to prosecute the murder cases with no recording of the alleged intimidation in the visiting booth, Prince George’s assistant state’s attorneys Christine Murphy and Jason Knight recently asked the court to allow them to play Nicoh Mayhew’s grand jury testimony at trial.

That testimony, they said, would explain why Brian Mayhew would want his uncle dead. Nicoh Mayhew was the only witness to his nephew’s alleged involvement in the 2011 double killing, and if convicted, Brian Mayhew could have faced life in prison.

Brian Mayhew’s trial for the 2011 killings had been scheduled for this week, but the merging of that case with the new charges of witness intimidation and the killing of Nicoh Mayhew pushed it into next year.

According to court filings, Nicoh Mayhew had told the grand jury that on the night of May 30, 2011, he was at a family cookout when he received a call to help Brian Mayhew.

Nicoh Mayhew was asked to buy gasoline and a bottle of bleach and meet his nephew near a quarry in Capitol Heights. As he arrived, he later testified, he heard gunshots and saw a car containing two bodies.

His nephew and Myers allegedly loaded boxes from one of the victim’s cars into Nicoh Mayhew’s car, and doused the car holding the bodies with gasoline. They stopped short of igniting it, however, because neither had a match or lighter.

Months later, and not long after the jailhouse encounter with his nephew, Nicoh Mayhew told family members that he feared for his life.

On the day before Nicoh Mayhew was killed, Brian Mayhew called two convicted bank robbers and told them where and when to find his uncle, according to police. Brian Mayhew spoke in code, police said. The time period is “9-11,” and look for a “white girl named Kia,” he said, according to a recording of a jail phone call.

Nicoh Mayhew’s girlfriend drove a white Kia on the day of his killing, which occurred at 9:54 a.m.

In a call later that day, court papers and officials say, one of the alleged gunmen laughed when he reported back to Brian Mayhew.

“Your man lost his mind,” he said. “Your man lost his mind all over the place.”


Watch the video: The Witness and Objective Subjectivity (January 2023).