Author Topic: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.  (Read 52739 times)

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Offline Chino

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #140 on: March 01, 2013, 10:51:54 AM »
I just got a few texts from my buddy at SpaceX. He's having a shitty day over there. Apparently the Dragon Capsule is having a little trouble and they have "minimal thruster control". He said that four of them were not responding properly and that prevented them from opening the solar panels. They got two back online and the solar panels have since been opened. He and his team are working frantically to try and find the problem. According to him, Dragon can still dock successfully with the ISS even if all thrusters are not at 100%.

This was SpaceX this morning. I got an exclusive tour of this facility when it was filled with minimum staff. It was pretty cool. I think that it's awesome how mission control is right on site and in the middle of everything.

(These are all employees)
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 11:36:54 AM by Chino »

Offline wasteland

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #141 on: March 01, 2013, 11:47:08 AM »
Looks like you are extremely well connected, Mr. Chino  :lol
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Offline Chino

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #142 on: March 01, 2013, 12:04:36 PM »
I am  :lol. This guy has been so lucky in how his career turned out. Granted he worked his ass off, but an unplanned series of events lead him down a path he didn't expect.  He's always been really into/awesome at computer programming, but he went to the Florida Institute of Technology to study electrical engineering. He wanted to build automated robots that were used in car manufacturing facilities and stuff like that. He was selected (among a select few students) to do a week long student program at the Kennedy Space Center (which I also got an exclusive tour of). He made a really good connection there and landed an internship at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. He took time off from school and went there for six months. A connection there lead him to another internship back at NASA in Florida. It was there where he decided to go into Software. He ended up getting a job there writing test code for the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. They were already on Mars at this point, but he worked with the mock vehicles back on Earth. Whenever a rover got stuck, he was part of the team that would recreate the scenario in their giant sandboxes and work on the getting unstuck procedures. Really awesome stuff if you ask me. He loved California when he was out there working at JPL and wanted to return. With the help of a connection back at JPL, he left NASA in late 2011 and got a job at SpaceX. He doesn't actually write the initial code himself. He works in the "test beds" (basically all the computer systems laid out on a table) and puts all the code through its paces. It's his job to try and make the systems fail or malfunction, and when he manages to do so he advises what needs to be done to correct the errors and will some times modify the code if it's a simple enough problem. On the first Dragon mission, two of the engines were being under-powered and the rocket started to yaw. The rocket eventually recognized there was a problem and automatically made changes to compensate in order to get it on course again. That's due to the work he does. He has to simulate literally thousands of potential errors, basically anything that could could wrong, and try to prevent them from happening. I'm super jealous. He's 22 and puts stuff in space.   

Offline wasteland

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #143 on: March 01, 2013, 01:41:46 PM »
He is 22? :o Did he start working for NASA at 16? From what you wrote it sounds like he has alread two decades of career behind him!
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Offline Chino

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #144 on: March 01, 2013, 01:50:50 PM »
He is 22? :o Did he start working for NASA at 16? From what you wrote it sounds like he has alread two decades of career behind him!

Nah, I think he was 19 or in his early 20's at the time. He's always been above average in terms of technological capabilities. I was on the high school robotics team with him. His freshman year, the robotics kit included a vision camera for the first time. It could be used to find game pieces and scoring zones on the play floor. One of the rules of the game that year was (this probably wont make any sense) "if you score a tetra on the center goal during the 15 second autonomous period, you receive a X amount of bonus points.". The only way to do this was with the camera. Long story short.. It was very difficult. He programmed about 95% of the robotics overall functionality and we were one of five teams in the country to accomplish this out of hundreds of rounds played over dozens of regional competitions. Being on the robotics team really helped him. Tech schools and employers love that stuff on resumes and applications. I still volunteer as a mentor during the build season, and everywhere I have looked for internships eats that shit up.

Offline wasteland

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #145 on: March 01, 2013, 02:58:08 PM »
I was once able to simulate what happens to a non-existent material when it is heated to 7 Kelvin (call it hot!). The results were at best very very imprecise. I was given the highest mark, then forgot about programming. :blush
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Offline MrBoom_shack-a-lack

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #146 on: March 07, 2013, 12:25:48 PM »
No new life on other planets yet but something similar:

http://phys.org/news/2013-03-russia-bacteria-antarctic-lake.html

Quote
"After putting aside all possible elements of contamination, DNA was found that did not coincide with any of the well-known types in the global database," he said. "We are calling this life form unclassified and unidentified," he added.

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Offline Azyiu

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #147 on: March 07, 2013, 07:07:47 PM »
He's 22 and puts stuff in space.

OMG, I think I was useless, and was doing nothing but jamming, partying and getting laid when I was 22... your friend is awesome!  :hat
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Offline Chino

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #148 on: March 08, 2013, 08:29:42 AM »

Offline MrBoom_shack-a-lack

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #149 on: March 08, 2013, 08:33:01 AM »
 :tup
There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing. They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him. And now he's died for real. Without me. Selfish bastard.

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Offline wasteland

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #150 on: March 10, 2013, 01:20:19 PM »
So, I went out today with a friend to try and see a glimpse of comet Panstarrs on its perihelion day.

This is what I should have seen and that I obviously didn't see at all  :laugh:

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Offline BlackInk

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #151 on: March 10, 2013, 03:01:21 PM »
^ Speaking of comets, the comet Ison has my curiosity at the moment. A comet that will, provided it stays intact, be visable to the naked eye for a few months towards the end of 2013. It is believed that it at some point will be brighter than the full moon.
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Offline Zeltar

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #152 on: March 10, 2013, 03:03:26 PM »
Does anyone else that views this thread have a love for the mathematical side of astronomy? I'm studying to be an astrophysicist and I'd be thrilled if there were other people here that share that same passion. I'll read through the thread eventually to see for myself, but my lazy ass is asking NOW.

Offline wasteland

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #153 on: March 11, 2013, 12:30:48 AM »
^ Speaking of comets, the comet Ison has my curiosity at the moment. A comet that will, provided it stays intact, be visable to the naked eye for a few months towards the end of 2013. It is believed that it at some point will be brighter than the full moon.

The problem is that at that point it will be so close to the sun to be invisible.
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Offline BlackInk

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #154 on: March 11, 2013, 01:28:51 AM »
Yeah, and that's a damn shame... But it will at least be visable (even if it's less) earlier when it's farther away from it.
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Offline wasteland

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #155 on: March 11, 2013, 02:40:01 PM »
Yeah, and that's a damn shame... But it will at least be visable (even if it's less) earlier when it's farther away from it.

The hope is that it survives the fly by the Sun to emerge in the northern skies. Comets are always much more spectacular after the closest approach.

http://i.space.com/images/i/000/002/177/original/070105_mcnaught_pic_02.jpg?1292265185  (pre perihelion)
http://astronomyonline.org/aoblog/uploads/2007/01/mcnaught_jan_20_2007.JPG (after)
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Offline Chino

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #156 on: March 12, 2013, 02:07:21 PM »
Coooooooool.


NASA Rover Finds Conditions Once Suited for Ancient Life on Mars


http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-092

Offline MrBoom_shack-a-lack

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #157 on: March 12, 2013, 07:16:54 PM »
Yea that is really cool.

Quote
"A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment," said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "From what we know now, the answer is yes."

Awesome stuff but as usual news media and general public let it pass like a tiny fart.
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Offline Chino

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #158 on: March 12, 2013, 07:38:37 PM »
Yea that is really cool.

Quote
"A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment," said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "From what we know now, the answer is yes."

Awesome stuff but as usual news media and general public let it pass like a tiny fart.

I saw it mentioned in a 10 second clip on CNN just before the 6 minute segment on twinkies.

Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #159 on: March 12, 2013, 08:04:13 PM »
Yea that is really cool.

Quote
"A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment," said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "From what we know now, the answer is yes."

Awesome stuff but as usual news media and general public let it pass like a tiny fart.

I saw it mentioned in a 10 second clip on CNN just before the 6 minute segment on twinkies.

I know this is big news...that it is 'confirmed'....but has it really ever been a question that there used to be life on Mars? I guess I always just assumed from everything that has been written and all the programs I've watched about Mars that it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Mars once has thriving life? Or is this 'big' news because it's official now?
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Offline TioJorge

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #160 on: March 12, 2013, 08:16:46 PM »
I am about %293827394871343399999999999 positive that an on-air 'tiny fart' would get so much more airtime than this.

P.S. AwesomeIwannadieonMars

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Offline Implode

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #161 on: March 12, 2013, 09:41:16 PM »
That is awesome. Just in this one solar system, there are at least 2 bodies that were at one point able to sustain life. Where is everyone else?

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #162 on: March 13, 2013, 03:34:14 AM »
I am about %293827394871343399999999999 positive that an on-air 'tiny fart' would get so much more airtime than this.

P.S. AwesomeIwannadieonMars
:facepalm: Yea you're absolutly right, a tiny fart on air would infact make more noise than some crappy story about life on mars.  :|
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Offline wasteland

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #163 on: March 13, 2013, 04:43:27 AM »
My astrophysics book introduces black holes as: "The Dracula of stellar corpses, it lies in wait hoping to ensnare more matter to share its fate. This would represent an ultimate victory for self-gravity."
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Offline Chino

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #164 on: March 13, 2013, 05:12:42 AM »
That is awesome. Just in this one solar system, there are at least 2 bodies that were at one point able to sustain life. Where is everyone else?

And if there's life on Europa and Titan, then the universe gets really interesting.

I am about %293827394871343399999999999 positive that an on-air 'tiny fart' would get so much more airtime than this.

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Offline BlackInk

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #165 on: March 13, 2013, 07:03:10 AM »
For some reason I'm not overly psyched about thise whole life on Mars thing..
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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #166 on: March 13, 2013, 07:14:07 AM »
For some reason I'm not overly psyched about thise whole life on Mars thing..

I almost never get excited for space exploration. I'm all about observation and comprehension, and I vastly prefer deep space astronomy to our tiny Solar System matters. :)
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Offline Chino

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #167 on: March 13, 2013, 07:43:13 AM »
For some reason I'm not overly psyched about thise whole life on Mars thing..

I think it's because the scientific community has been pretty certain about it for a decade+ now.

For some reason I'm not overly psyched about thise whole life on Mars thing..

I almost never get excited for space exploration. I'm all about observation and comprehension, and I vastly prefer deep space astronomy to our tiny Solar System matters. :)

You have to admit though, if fossilized life were to be found on Mars (or better yet living life in the caves), that would strongly impact everyone on this planet in one way or another.

Offline BlackInk

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #168 on: March 13, 2013, 11:27:43 AM »
I almost never get excited for space exploration. I'm all about observation and comprehension, and I vastly prefer deep space astronomy to our tiny Solar System matters. :)

Solar System stuff can be cool too though. I'd be very excited for a manned mision to Mars and I was even a little excited when I heard the rediculous rumours that the chines or something were planning on setting up a base on the moon.

But otherwise I pretty much agree with you.
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Offline Chino

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #169 on: March 13, 2013, 11:40:05 AM »
I almost never get excited for space exploration. I'm all about observation and comprehension, and I vastly prefer deep space astronomy to our tiny Solar System matters. :)

But otherwise I pretty much agree with you.

I think a manned Mars mission is necessary. Granted we might not get a lot a return from the planet itself, but I think it's definitely needed if humans ever really want to do deep space exploration. The amount of new technologies that will be needed to pull that off will be the foundation for all future exploration. The 8-9 month trip will be a true test of astronaut isolation in psychological realm. A manned Mars mission will require new technologies such as force fields (or shields) that help living organisms survive the solar radiation that will be bombarding the passengers aboard. The Mars rovers have returned great finding, but more importantly, they have given us great insight into what rovers are capable of.

There is also the whole genetics element. I think it would be great if we could learn to engineer plants, and maybe even organisms, that could survive on Mars. Not necessarily for the sake of creating an ecosystem on Mars (which would be awesome as hell), but for the sake of deep understanding of the genome as well as the ability to manipulate it. There are many scientists that believe we could engineer species of that could survive and thrive on Mars, and over tens of thousands of years without human intervention, be completely self sustaining on the Red Planet. 

I'm completely on board with deep space observation. I reach a state of euphoria whenever I look at images from Hubble and the James Webb telescope, but human exploration (to me) is just as important.

I think the main reason why I support the exploration of Mars to be so important is because I have a finite time on this Earth. While there is no doubt in my mind that life exists all over the cosmos, I don't think were are going to find it outside of our solar system in my lifetime. I strongly believe there was once (and still could be) life on Mars, and I'd love to die knowing that it's there. We have organisms that live in our polar icecaps. They secrete a natural antifreeze that keeps them in water bubbles within the ice, and use the water as energy. If life took hold on Mars while it was wet, life may have been able to evolve in time to make it to the ice. It could have also retreated underground where it could hide from the radiation that roasts the planet. The lack of geologic activity and the presence of seasonal methane plumes is really intriguing. I would love to know what is causing that.

Quote
Solar System stuff can be cool too though. I'd be very excited for a manned mision to Mars and I was even a little excited when I heard the rediculous rumours that the chines or something were planning on setting up a base on the moon.

I hope the Chinese pull it off. The more countries exploring space the better. If they were to plant a Chinese flag right next to the American's flag, think of the attention it would generate. I think people would be furious and suddenly have that interest in space travel reignited.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 11:48:19 AM by Chino »

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #170 on: March 17, 2013, 06:46:52 AM »
I think most people doubt this project will ever happen but if it really does I for one will be watching. I hate reality shows in general but goddamn, if I had the opportunity to choose a reality format that i would like to watch this would be the one.

Mars One introduction film
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Offline MajorMatt

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #171 on: March 21, 2013, 11:06:09 AM »
This is pretty mind blowing:

http://htwins.net/scale2/

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #172 on: March 21, 2013, 11:25:37 AM »
This is pretty mind blowing:

http://htwins.net/scale2/

That is really cool, but I have always found this one to be better:

http://www.numbersleuth.org/universe/

No flashy music in this one though..  ;)
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Offline wasteland

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #173 on: March 21, 2013, 01:12:56 PM »
It's stunning, isn't it? :)

Seeing those scales is really a humbling experience. I'm sure most if not all of you know this already, but I want to post the Pale Blue Dot speech by Carl Sagan:

Quote from: Carl Sagan
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
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Offline MrBoom_shack-a-lack

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Re: The Official Space and Astronomy Thread v. Well, this is weird.
« Reply #174 on: April 03, 2013, 03:03:13 AM »
^^Yea i love that.

Ever wondered what the Big Bang would sound like? Well here you go.....in a way:

http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/2013/04/02/new-sound-recording-of-the-big-bang
There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing. They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him. And now he's died for real. Without me. Selfish bastard.

/Ade Edmondson