May 172011
Sombrero Galaxy (ESO)

M104, the Sombrero Galaxy, is a fine sight through our Time Machine.  Unfortunately, our Time Machine doesn’t do well in the rain, and so we haven’t gone outside to see it, nestled in the constellation Virgo.  Maybe this weekend…

In the meantime, if you want to see a wonderful image of it, check out this one from the ESO, the European Southern Observatory.

May 112011

Do you know how big one square centimeter is?  Point your index finger at your eye.  The end you see is about a square centimeter.  Do you know how big 65,000,000,000 is?  It’s 6.5E10 in scientific notation.  It looks big.  Considering that there are about 1E19 atoms of air in a cubic centimeter of air at sea level, 65,000,000,000 starts to look small.  But what if I said that every second, about 65 billion solar neutrinos pass through every square centimeter of the Earth that is aimed at the sun?  Seems like a pretty big number now, doesn’t it?

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