Volume 9 –May 18, 2009
From the Desk of Anousheh Ansari
Recently, Anousheh had the opportunity to travel to Jerusalem with the Relief International Organization to visit some Palestinian youth centers. She had the chance to talk to the young people at the center, and have a window onto the daily life of residents of Jerusalem.
This trip and the deep feelings it evoked, persuaded Anousheh to share her experience in a piece called "My Trip to the City of Peace". It 's a thought-provoking, emotion-stirring report of her encounter with the wonderful young men and women of the youth centers.
To read "My Trip to the City of Peace", please visit:
The Portal to the Universe
The Portal to the Universe or PTTU is another Cornerstone Project for the International Year of Astronomy 2009. This project with its website is designed to be a one-stop Universe of news.
The goals of the project can be categorized in:
- "Enabling access: To aggregate from content providers, including all astronomy-related dynamic content and distribute to users.
- Indexing and archiving: To collect and maintain a central repository of useful information, including resources such as educational materials and addresses for all astronomy stakeholders such as amateur clubs, planetariums and observatories.
- Enabling communication and collaboration: To create and maintain a network of all stakeholders, including a social network for everyone interested in astronomy."
There will exist an option to customize a "MyPortaltotheUniverse" with the widgets that users wish. To learn more please visit: http://www.portaltotheuniverse.org/
Falling Down a Black Hole
Ever wonder what it would be like to fall into a black hole? Would it be total darkness as the name suggests? How many eyes do we need to fully appreciate the experience?!!! Of course we would also be pulled/crushed/vaporized by the gravitational force of a black hole. However through a computer simulation, scientists can demonstrate what the sight would be like for such a fall.
for more information and videos please visit:
Herschel and Planck
After undergoing more tests, Ariane 5 launcher launched Herschel and Planck on Thursday may 14.
Herschel, ESA's "giant infrared observatory", will be the first space observatory to cover the full far infrared and submillimetre waveband. Its telescope will provide the largest mirror ever launched in space. Herschel will collect long-wavelength radiation from some of the coldest and most distant objects in the universe to investigate and study:
- Galaxy formation in the early universe and its evolution
- Star formation and its interaction with the interstellar medium
- chemical composition of atmospheres and surfaces of solar system bodies
- Molecular chemistry across the universe
Planck, on the other hand will strive to answer some important questions about the beginning of the Universe and its evolution to the present state and in the future. By mapping the Cosmic Microwave Background anisotropies, the goal of this project is to analyze the remnents of the radiation that filled the Universe immediately after the big bang which is observed today as the Cosmic Microwave background.
For more information please visit: