Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

2/21/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It's esoteric knowledge, so it's hard to care, but you should and here's why.

Scientists have calculated the rotation rate of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) using a combination of old and new scientific techniques. The result is a better understanding of how the Milky Way's closest companion is behaving.

The LMC as seen from Australia.

The LMC as seen from Australia.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/21/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: LMC, Large Magellanic Cloud, map, Hubble, humans, nature, future, science, astronomy


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Astronomers using a combination of old-school methods and new technology have managed to precisely calculate the rate at which the Large Megallanic Cloud (LMC) a galaxy close to ours, is rotating.

The LMC is a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way and is gravitationally bound to ours. It is our closest companion galaxy and is visible only from the southern hemisphere.

Saint Dominic de Guzman, patron saint of astronomers


Scientists used redshift, which helps them to determine the relative motion of stars. As stars on one side of the galaxy move towards Earth, their light waves are compacted, which gives their light a distinctive "blue shift" when viewed through a prism and measured. Conversely, stars on the other side of the galactic disk, moving away from Earth, have their light "stretched" which gives them a "red shift."

This technique is nearly a century old and helps astronomers to determine which way objects are moving in space. Astronomers have now combined this with observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope use to track the minute movements of stars against the background of deep space. Those measurements combined with the red-shift measurements gave scientists what they needed to answer a very basic question about the LMC.

The LMC rotates once every 250 million years.

Okay, so what?

The measurements allow astronomers to build an accurate 3D model of the stars in the LMC and their motion. While the knowledge is inherently valuable to astronomers, it will also help them to prefect mapping techniques that will be used on stars much closer to our own.

Astronomers hope to map at least a billion stars in 3D within the next several years. Those billion stars, which will be the closest ones to Earth, make just 1 percent of the galaxy. They will also be star systems around which emerging technologies will allow us to hunt for planets as well as signs of life on those planets.

So the techniques practices on the LMC will eventually help us to study stars and planets closer to home and assist in the search for habitable world beyond our own. Eventually, in the next few million years, or even much less, humans will need to leave the Earth and colonize other worlds around other stars, if the human species is to survive indefinitely.

Although this may seem like impractical science fiction, we should remember there were times, over 2,400 years in the past, when people thought the Earth was flat and impermanent. To adopt a short-sighted view of the world and cosmos, and to ignore that which is beyond, is against our fundamental human nature, and contrary to the spirit which has allowed our species to flourish over tens of thousands of years.

We explore because it is in our nature; as a species, we simply cannot imagine not exploring, not traveling.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Technology

'That is an extremely important goal that has not been achieved yet' - Vatican talks to scientists about Power and Artificial Intelligence Watch

Image of Artificial Intelligence has come under scrutiny by the Vatican.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

This week the Vatican hosted a high-level discussion in the world of science, gathering experts to discuss the progress, benefits and limits of advances in artificial intelligence. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - A new conference at the Vatican drew experts in ... continue reading


The speed of light may have been MUCH faster in the past, but WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? Watch

Image of Einstein's theory is about to be challenged. Will it survive the test?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not. This maxim from Galileo Galilei is part of the basis of modern science. The work of a scientist is to make things measurable and devise tests. Such a test has now been developed for a possible modification to ... continue reading


DOOMSDAY - experts calculate the odds and they're scary Watch

Image of The odds of doomsday are worse than most think.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What are the odds of the world coming to an end in any year? According to experts, those odds are more likely than most assume. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Experts have calculated the odds of global catastrophe and concluded there's a better chance of the ... continue reading


Turns out YOU are the reason we can't have nice things! The real reason why self driving cars still aren't for sale Watch

Image of Yep, that's the reason we can't have nice things.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It turns out you are the reason we can't have nice things. Mercedes Benz CEO, Deitmar Exler told people at AutoConference LA, that humans, not technology, are the reason why self-driving cars are not quite available now. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Scientists to celebrate 'Gold Mass' - Science and Faith are compatible Watch

Image of Scientists at MIT will celebrate their first Gold Mass on Nov. 15.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists at MIT are about to celebrate a 'Gold Mass' as a way to affirm the compatibility of faith and science. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - There has been a long debate for the past few centuries over the compatibility of faith and science. Science deals ... continue reading


'We are building the technology to give anyone the power to share anything they want' - Facebook has a 10-year-plan you don't want to miss! Watch

Image of Where is Facebook headed?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook CEO Mike Schroepfer unveiled the social media giant's 10-year plan - and you're not going to believe what they have in store! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At the F8 conference, Zuckerberg and Schroepfer took the stage to announce ... continue reading


Elon Musk proposes universal basic income, but there's a hidden dark side nobody thinks about Watch

Image of When the robots do all the work, what is there left for the people to do? What do you do with billions of people you don't need?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Another day brings another warning from someone in the know that the robots are coming to steal your jobs. What will people do when all labor is performed by robots? How will people support themselves and feed their families? Elon Musk proposed universal basic income. ... continue reading


What happens when humans fall in love with robots? We're about to find out. Watch

Image of What happens when humans and robots do more than work together?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The robot revolution is troubling enough with its anticipated impact on jobs. But there may be an even greater problem on the horizon. People are likely to fall in love with their robots. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - What happens when your spouse starts ... continue reading


EPIC! A massive cloud of gas is on a collision course with our galaxy - here's what happens next... Watch

Image of As interstellar gas is compressed by gravity, stars are formed. A similar phenomenon is being observed at the heart of our galaxy where a supermassive black hole is compressing gas to form stars.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

There is a massive cloud of gas on a collision course with our galaxy, closing in at 700,000 MPH. What happens when this cloud arrives? NASA has the answer. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - In 1963, a Dutch astronomer discovered a massive cloud of gas in space ... continue reading


Hate cooking? Good! First robotic chef to arrive in 2018! Watch

Image of The Moley Robot can cook over 100 meals and learn from you.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Do you hate cooking, but love gourmet food? Then we have good news for you. The world's first robotic chef is coming to market and it can cook fully gourmet meals and even clean up after itself. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The world's first commercially ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 40:1-11
1 'Console my people, console them,' says your God.2 'Speak to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 96:1-2, 3, 10, 11-12, 13
1 Sing a new song to Yahweh! Sing to Yahweh, all the earth!2 ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 18:12-14
12 'Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 6th, 2016 Image

St. Nicholas
December 6: The great veneration with which St. Nicholas has ... Read More