ActivismAfternoon InquisitionScienceSkepticism

AI: Space — It Sucks and Swallows

Can you identify the image at the top of the post?

It’s actually an elusive cosmic event. And I had to post it, along the animation from NASA, because it is pretty cool. For the first time, a black hole has been caught in the act of tearing apart and swallowing a star that got too close.

Do events like this one, and the announcement of the program Cosmos being produce again, ignite your interest in astro-physics/space/astronomy? Re-ignite? Were you always interested? Should events like this be flashpoints to promote science? How can they be further wedged into the reality show/pundit showcase/sports nation thick areas of the media?

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

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  1. I can see the video fine thanks.

    The Hubble was great at popularising cosmology as hopefullly the James Webb will be. An update of startrek or a new reality based Sci-fi that gets in amongst these events would be good too,

  2. This is exactly the type of thing that should be used to ignite interest in astronomy et al. Just like any once-in-a-lifetime event should be used to teach whatever subject it is connected to.
    As far as Cosmo being redone, anything makes more people aware of Neil deGrasse Tyson is good for us all.

  3. Not much to ignite. I’m already burning bright. I love stuff like this, and am completely energized by the thought of a new Cosmos. the original one changed me for life.

    As to how to get more attention for science? They used to show quality TV shows at my school. It only happened once a year or so. I remember watching the first shuttle launch, a presidential debate, 1776, and The Candidate. I think Cosmos would fit right in.

  4. Really the only reason I went to university was to study astrophysics. The other courses, degrees, etc., were just part of the path. I guess that makes me perpetually excited.

  5. so, I would say that doesn’t ignite at all, using your metaphor, but it certainly stokes the flames.

    I’m a particle-physics girl from way back. Think about all the kerfuffle over “solid state” vs “condensed matter” and “high energy” vs. “particle”…yeah, I was first really reading this stuff in the 80s when we were fighting over exactly what we should even call such things. There was a while when Michigan State had the most powerful accelerator around, so where did I go?

    Didn’t actually get to work on it (I actually didn’t stay at MSU that long) but there’s nothing needed to get me excited about the biggest questions that we face: why are we here/how did we get here.

    I was turned off to chemistry by a rather unfortunately bad teacher, so instead of going the biochem route, I kept my focus on astrophysics.

    Lately I’ve been more interested in the biochemical details of how life got kickstarted and then progressed from proto-cells to eukaryotes to colonial eukaryotes to specialized eukaryotes operating together as one organism.

    But black holes? Peering back into the depths of time? Super-novic mass production of trans-ferrous elements? Black-holes reversing the big bang by taking condensed matter and turning it into free energy through Hawking radiation? Heck, even the question of how the current terran crustal-heat flux is maintained (i.e. the question of the existence of an ongoing fission reaction occurring or not in regions of earth’s core, with heat convection carrying this warmth up to the crust as a way to explain earth’s current state of heat flux, tectonic shift and volcanism)?

    This stuff rocks my world. It’s what I don’t get to do for my job, so it’s NOTHING but fun.


  6. I feel like such a kill joy here, but I think that the interesting things that black holes are doing are flash points for folks who enjoy this sort of stuff already. I was always interested in this stuff and I am certain that if I was to post the black hole animation on facebook, I would get no response to it from my non-sciency friends. I think that by making the things that occur to people in their everyday lives sciency is a better way of reaching the public and igniting their curiosity. I post something like this and this grabs people’s attention.

  7. I am in the always interested in everything camp. As for the remake of Cosmos… unsure. I adored the original and still watch my dvds every now iand then so I’m not sure how I will take to the new version.

  8. Wow.

    So, yeah. This works for me. If something takes my breath away – whatever that something may be – that’ll inspire me ALWAYS!

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