Search results for: fractals

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A Galactic Particle Collider And An Image Of 10,000 Galaxies

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I just got back from a local art fair, so it occurs to me that the Hubble is kind of like its own ready-made exhibit. I get lost in those images more than any paintings or sculptures, and space never fails to generate paradoxes and mind-boggling patterns. Today’s space news involves two such offerings: a particle collider and the best picture of the Milky Way, along with thousands of other galaxies.

While we have painstakingly created our own impressive particle colliders, the cosmos can do us one better. Five billion light years away, there’s a collision of galaxy clusters that are forming an accelerator estimated to be a million times stronger than the Large Hadron Collider. Clusters of this sort are the largest structures in the universe, and can consist of thousands of galaxies that continue piling up over billions of years as a result of collisions between smaller groupings.

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Black Hole At The Milky Way’s Center Will Soon Devour A Gas Cloud

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SGR A*For something that doesn’t exist — at least, not the way Stephen Hawking originally postulated — black holes certainly are generating a lot of space news these days. These cosmic badasses sure are busy, and as usual, they’re doing terrifying and awesome stuff, including annihilating gas clouds and, in the process, growing skins that look like fractals.

As with many galaxies, there’s a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, and apparently, it’s about to lay waste to the G2 space cloud. Astronomers first identified the space cloud, as well as its fate, in 2011, and they’ve been waiting excitedly for the black hole to gobble it up ever since. The black hole, named Sagittarius A* (that’s A-star), has a mass four million times greater than that of the sun. The gas cloud is tiny by comparison — about three times as massive as Earth, and scientists predicted that the two cosmic entities would begin their dance in March of this year.

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This Ain’t Your Mama’s 3D Printer

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HyperformI first heard of 3D printing when a student in my sci-fi research writing class bounded into class one day talking about this crazy machine he saw in the CAD Lab that could make replicas of simple objects. The machine was huge, and though he didn’t get near enough to touch it, it was one of the most amazing things he’d ever seen, and the nearest humans had come to building a replicator. Achievements like this incredible room continue to dazzle, and MIT researchers have come up with an even better way to 3D print.

The biggest drawback with conventional 3D printing is that the printer size dictates the scale of what you can make. Sure, as with the case of the 3D printed room, or even this 3D printed TARDIS, you can print all the pieces separately and then assemble them (though that might limit functionality), but wouldn’t it be a lot easier if the printer could do all of that itself?