Betelgeuze
Betelgeuze
Have you ever been late up and watched the sky above you ? Did you ever wondered whats all about There ? Well with my little telescope I’ve (picture below) been many times awake during several nights, even with temperatures like this (-15 degrees below zero). Yes, perhaps I am a dreamer, but it does not harm anyone. So a few days ago I spotted Orion in all its beauty….You guessed it already, my favorite constellation is Orion, with the mighty Betelgeuze. The giant red star Betelguese – the red star in the shoulder of the constellation Orion – is 700 million km across, about 800 times larger than the Sun. Light takes 1 hour to travel from one side of the giant star to the other. The name of this star means “The Armpit of the Central One” in Arabic, which shows that like many other constellations, Orion was recognized across many cultures. Ever wondered how to pronounce it? This is how: Be7tel7geuse (btl-jz, btl-jz). Betelgeuse is the 12th brightest star in the sky. It is called Alpha Orionis even though it is fainter than Beta Orionis (Rigel). This is because Betelgeuse, a variable star, was misclassified.
Betelgeuse is also known as:
@ Betelguex; Betelgeuze; Beteiguex; Al Mankib.
@ Alpha Orionis
@ HR 2061
@ HD 39801

So, you have problably heard of the Southern Cross, but this constellation is not to be seen at this side of the northern hemisphere. Its a pitty. Two years ago, my daughther and I where in the Namibian desert called “Sosusvlei” where we had the privilege to adore the milkyway in al its enourmus beauty , and within it the constellation very faint the Southern Cros. The Southern Cross constellation is eagerly sought by travellers from the North, visiting the Southern Hemisphere. The cross has four main stars marking the tips (alpha, beta, gamma and delta). These four stars are also on the New Zealand flag. A smaller star (epsilon), separate from the cross, is included on the Australian flag. Two bright stars, alpha and beta Centauri, are pointers to the head of the cross. Do not be confused by three crosses in the Southern sky. Only the smallest and brightest, with two pointers aimed at the head of the cross, is the true cross. The brightest star (alpha Crucis) is at the foot of the true cross. The pointers lie to the east. The diamond cross has no pointers and is fainter than the other two. The head of the diamond cross is just below (north of) a very bright part of the milky way, which includes numerous star clusters and the amazing eta carina nebula. Many clusters and the nebula are visible in binoculars. The head of the diamond cross (theta carina) is actually in a star cluster, which makes the head look fuzzy to the naked eye. In binoculars you can see many of the cluster stars around theta carina. So its a very stange constellation.

Telescope Maza
Telescope Maza

“A star’s primary source of energy, during its lifetime, is the fusion of hydrogen occurring in its core. As the hydrogen is used up, the helium which is produced fills up the core. But the temperature is not high enough for helium fusion to occur, so core energy production slows down, its outward pressure decreases, and the gravitational forces cause the core to contract. As the core contracts the atoms bunch closer together causing an increase in density and temperature. When the core temperature is high enough, helium fusion begins. At the same time as the helium core is contracting and heating up, an outer hydrogen shell expands and begins fusing to form more helium. It is this expansion and fusion reaction in the hydrogen shell which pushes the star’s envelope out into space. The surface of the now giant star is so far away from the hot core that it cools down and turns red (hence the name red giant).”
So enough talked abouth stars, and go on reading and listening to a personal favourite of mine with this poem and song about the Southern Cross by Jason Webly, just click on the player below and enjoy……..:

Southern Cross (c)2002 by Jason Webley

Jason Webly

Hey, do you know where you’re going?
Have you noticed its snowing,
Although it is June?
They, said your weakness was growing,
That your rapture was showing,
Just a little too soon.
But under these mountains,
The nights and the shadows grow long.
The stars up above you feel wrong.
This is not your sky.
Pray, to a strange constellation.
Thank God for your isolation,
This forever goodbye.
Dawn, throws its light on the covers.
In this bed there’s another,
Asleep at your side.
Gone, the embrace of a lover,
And the fire you discovered,
Already has died.
Her body recoils,
As your hand goes to touch her again.
She’s a temple that won’t let you in.
At her side you’re alone.
On her back is the same constellation,
Confirming your alienation.
No this flesh is not home.
You, carry a vague conviction,
This life rose from an eviction,
Out of your homeland.
True, but it’s also addiction,
To this soft crucifixion,
Under these foreign hands.
And like all Christs before you,
You kneel down beneath the night sky,
To look into your father’s eyes,
And only feel lost.
Crucified to a strange constellation,
A new king awaits coronation,
But there will be no great revelation,
Your journey is your destination,
And discomfort could be your salvation,
Here, under the Southern Cross.



So, you have problably heard of the Southern Cross, but this constellation is not to be seen at this side of the northern hemisphere. Its a pitty. Two years ago, my daughther and I where in the Namibian desert called “Sosusvlei” where we had the privilege to adore the milkyway in al its enourmus beauty , and within it the constellation very faint the Southern Cros. The Southern Cross constellation is eagerly sought by travellers from the North, visiting the Southern Hemisphere. The cross has four main stars marking the tips (alpha, beta, gamma and delta). These four stars are also on the New Zealand flag. A smaller star (epsilon), separate from the cross, is included on the Australian flag. Two bright stars, alpha and beta Centauri, are pointers to the head of the cross. Do not be confused by three crosses in the Southern sky. Only the smallest and brightest, with two pointers aimed at the head of the cross, is the true cross. The brightest star (alpha Crucis) is at the foot of the true cross. The pointers lie to the east. The diamond cross has no pointers and is fainter than the other two. The head of the diamond cross is just below (north of) a very bright part of the milky way, which includes numerous star clusters and the amazing eta carina nebula. Many clusters and the nebula are visible in binoculars. The head of the diamond cross (theta carina) is actually in a star cluster, which makes the head look fuzzy to the naked eye. In binoculars you can see many of the cluster stars around theta carina. So its a very stange constellation. This is one of the first constellations learnt by children in Australia. If you can find the Southern Cross in the night sky then you know your are looking towards the south. The vertical axis of this constellation points towards the South Celestial Pole. It is usually way up there with Orion and Scorpio in terms of the constellations initially picked up by kids in the Southern Hemisphere. This is of course before the advent of the Simpsons, Playstations and the Internet.

Just as if they had been dotted on top of the myriads of glowing suns in the Milky Way, this image depicts some of the brightest stars of the southern sky: on the right, in a rhomboidal shape reminding that of a kite, are the four stars of the constellation Crux, the Southern cross; in the lower left part, instead, shine the two most brilliant stars of the constellation Centaurus, the Centaur.

‘Crux’, being Latin for ‘cross’, commonly known as the ‘Southern Cross’ (in contrast to the Cygnus (constellation) Northern Cross), is the smallest of the 88 modern constellations, but nevertheless one of the most distinctive. It is surrounded on three sides by the constellation Centaurus while to the south lies the ‘Fly’ (Musca). Crux was originally thought of by ancient Greeks as part of Centaurus, but was defined as a separate asterism in the 16th Century after Amerigo Vespucci’s expedition to South America in 1501. Vespucci mapped the two stars, Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri as well as the stars of the Crux. Although these stars were known to the ancient Greeks, gradual precession had lowered them below the European skyline so that they were forgotten.

Beyond Einstein in 2005, the year of the Physics…

Michio Kaku
Michio Kaku

A very readable book even voor non beta people. The new string-theory suggest things beyond your dreams and so weired that you do not believe what you read. Just after my shock of reading about the quantum-theory the M-theory and String Theory is even weirder. The search for an Theory of Everything is a very exciting story. According to Dr. Michio Kaku. Dr. Michio Kaku, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City University of New York, is the author of VISIONS: HOW SCIENCE WILL REVOLUTIONIZE THE 21ST CENTURY and the best-seller HYPERSPACE.
When I was a child, I used to visit the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco. I would spend hours fascinated by the carp, who lived in a very shallow pond just inches beneath the lily pads, just beneath my fingers, totally oblivious to the universe above them. I would ask myself a question only a child could ask: What would it be like to be a carp? What a strange world it would be! I imagined that the pond would be an entire universe, one that is two-dimensional in space. The carp would only be able to swim forwards and backwards, and left and right. But I imagined that the concept of “up”—beyond the lily pads—would be totally alien to them. Any carp scientist daring to talk about “hyperspace”—i.e., the third dimension “above” the pond—would immediately be labelled a crank. I wondered what would happen if I could reach down and grab a carp scientist and lift it up into hyperspace.

Beyond Einstein
Beyond Einstein

I thought, what a wondrous story that scientist would tell the others! The carp would babble on about unbelievable new laws of physics: beings who could move without fins; beings who could breathe without gills; beings who could emit sounds without bubbles. I then wondered: How would a carp scientist know about our existence? One day it rained, and I saw the rain drops forming gentle ripples on the surface of the pond. Then I understood. The carp could see rippling shadows on the surface of the pond. The third dimension would be invisible to them, but vibrations in the third dimensions would be clearly visible. These ripples might even be felt by the carp, who would invent a silly concept to describe this, called “force.” They might even give these “forces” cute names, such as light and gravity. We would laugh at them, because, of course, we know there is no “force” at all, just the rippling of the water. today, many physicists believe that we are the carp, swimming in our tiny pond, blissfully unaware of invisible, unseen universes hovering just above us in hyperspace. We spend our life in three spatial dimensions, confident that what we can see with our telescopes is all there is, ignorant of the possibility of 10-dimensional hyperspace. Although these higher dimensions are invisible, their “ripples” can clearly be seen and felt. We call these ripples gravity and light. The theory of hyperspace, however, languished for many decades for lack of any physical proof or application. But the thoery, once considered the province of eccentrics and mystics, is being revived for a simple reason: It may hold the key to the greatest theory of all time, the “theory of everything.” Einstein spent the last 30 years of his life futilely chasing after this theory, the Holy Grail of physics. He wanted a theory that could explain the four fundamental forces that govern the universe: gravity, electromagnetism, and the two nuclear forces (weak and strong). It was supposed to be the crowning achievement of the last 2000 years of science, ever since the Greeks asked what the world was made of. He was searching for an equation, perhaps no more than one-inch long, that could be placed on a T-shirt, but was so powerful it could explain everything from the Big Bang, exploding stars, to atoms and molecules, to the lilies of the field. He wanted to read the mind of God. Ultimately, Einstein failed in his mission. In fact, he was shunned by many of his younger compatriots, who would taunt him with the thought, “What God has torn asunder, no man can put together.” But perhaps Einstein is now having his revenge. For the past decade, there has been furious research on merging the four fundamental forces into a single theory, especially one that can meld general relativity (which explains gravity) with the quantum theory (which can explain the two nuclear forces and electromagnetism). The problem is that relativity and the quantum theory are precise opposites. General relativity is a theory of the very large: galaxies, quasars, black holes, and even the Big Bang. It is based on bending the beautiful four-dimensional fabric of space and time. The quantum theory, by contrast, is a theory of the very small, i.e. the world of sub-atomic particles. It is based on discrete, tiny packets of energy called quanta. Over the past 50 years, many attempts have been tried to unite these polar opposites, and have failed. The road to the Unified Field Theory, a.k.a. the “Theory of Everything,” is littered with the corpses of failed attempts. The key to the puzzle may be hyperspace. In 1915, when Einstein said space-time was four-dimensional and was warped and rippled, he showed that this bending produced a “force” called gravity. In 1921, Theodr Kaluza wrote that ripples of the fifth dimension could be viewed as light. Like the fish seeing the ripples in hyperspace moving in their world, many physicists believe that light is created by ripples in five-dimensional space-time. But what about dimensions higher than 5? In principle, if we add more and more dimensions, we can ripple and bend them in different ways, thereby creating more forces. In 10 dimensions, in fact, we can accomodate all four fundamental forces! Actually, it’s not that simple. By naively going to 10 dimensions, we also introduce a host of esoteric mathematical inconsistencies (e.g., infinities and anomalies) that have killed all previous theories. The only theory which has survived every challenge posed to it is called superstring theory, in which this 10-dimensional universe is inhabited by tiny strings. In fact, in one swoop, this 10-dimensional string theory gives us a simple, compelling unification of all forces. Like a violin string, these tiny strings can vibrate and create resonances or “notes.” That explains why there are so many sub-atomic particles: they are just notes on a superstring. (This seems so simple, but in the 1950s physicists were drowning in an avalanche of sub-atomic particles. J.R. Oppenheimer, who helped build the atomic bomb, even said, out of sheer frustration, that the Nobel Prize should go to the physicist who does NOT discover a new particle that year!) Similarly, when the string moves in space and time, it warps the space around it, just as Einstein predicted. Thus, in a remarkably simple picture, we can unify gravity (as the bending of space caused by moving strings) with the other quantum forces (now viewed as vibrations of the string). Of course, any theory with this power and majesty has a problem. This theory, because it is a theory of everything, is really a theory of Creation. Thus, to fully test the theory requires re-creating Creation! At first, this might seem hopelessly impossible. We can barely leave the Earth’s puny gravity, let alone create universes in the laboratory. But there is a way out to this seemingly intractable problem. A theory of everything is also a theory of the everyday. Thus, this theory, when fully completed, will be able to explain the existence of protons, atoms, molecules, even DNA. The key is to fully solve the theory and test the theory against the known properties of the universe. At present, no one on Earth is smart enough to complete the theory. The theory is perfectly well-defined, but, you see, superstring theory is 21st-century physics that accidentally fell into the 20th century. It was discovered purely by accident, when two young physicists were thumbing through a mathematics book. The theory is so elegant and powerful, we were never “destined” to see it in the 20th century. The problem is that 21st-century mathematics has not been invented yet. But since physicists are genetically predisposed to be optimists, I am confident that we will solve the theory someday soon. Perhaps a young person reading this article will be so inspired by this story that he or she will finish the theory. I can’t wait! 🙄