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Are We There Yet?
Data from Voyager 1 suggest the spacecraft is closer to becoming the first human-made object to reach interstellar space. Scientists have seen two of the three signs of interstellar arrival they expected to see: charged particles disappearing as they zoom along the solar magnetic field, and cosmic rays from far outside zooming in. Scientists have not yet seen the third sign, an abrupt change in the direction of the magnetic field, which would indicate the presence of the interstellar magnetic field.
Voyager 1 and its twin spacecraft, Voyager 2, were launched in 1977. They toured Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune before embarking on their interstellar mission in 1990. They now aim to leave the heliosphere. Measuring the size of the heliosphere is part of the Voyagers' mission.
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This is an excerpt from an article in Simons Science News.
"An unexplained feature appears in the Planck satellite image of the early universe. At the largest scales, temperature fluctuations are more extreme in the half of the sky to the right than to the left. The satellite image, released in March, confirmed what an earlier image suggested: Half of the young cosmos was slightly coarser than the other."
"Most of the cosmologists are quick to admit they could be following a false trail." However, Matthew Kleban and other theoretical cosmologists are trying to piece together the clues to reveal the cosmic origin story. The idea is that if our universe collided with another during an expansion, the collision would have left a mark. And the line that separates the two different regions to the right and left could be that mark.
" 'When they smack into each other, there's kind of a shock wave that propagates into our universe,' said Kleban, an associate professor of physics at New York University. Such a shock wave -if that's what the image shows- would be evidence in support of the multiverse hypothesis, a well known but unproven idea that ours is one of the infinite universes that bubbled into existence inside a larger vacuum." Or in the words of Marc Kaminkowski, a professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, it "might be a statistical fluke!"
To read the full article, learn about other explanations, and to see the satellite image, please visit:: https://www.simonsfoundation.org/features/science-news/in-lopsided-map-of-the-cosmos-a-glimmer-of-its-origins/
Internet is one of the most powerful tools of our time. To those of us with easy access to internet, it seems that we can be connected to anyone anywhere anytime as well as learn anything anywhere anytime! However, this is not life's reality for everybody on Earth. A fast and affordable internet is not accessible for 2 out of 3 people. Geographical difficulties (jungles, mountains, ...) and the cost are only two of the problems faced in parts of our planet.
The importance of internet accessibility could be highlighted further when we consider its role in disaster relief. On June 14, 2013, in an attempt to make internet more accessible in every corner of the world, Google initiated a balloon-powered project called Project Loon. This project is at the very early stages and has just launched 30 balloons from New Zealand's South Island to beam internet to a small group of pilot testers. They intend to use the results from this phase to refine their technology and to plan the following phases.
According to the introduction on their g+ page, "Project Loon is a network of balloons traveling on the edge of space, designed to connect people in rural and remote areas, help fill in coverage gaps and bring people back online after disasters."
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My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer: a book by Anousheh Ansari and Homer Hickam.
In her memoir, Anousheh recalls her long path to success and to achieving her dream. To learn more about the book, please visit: http://www.anoushehansari.com/book/
To find a book signing, please check the upcoming appearances section of this newsletter.
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