Communicating Across the Cosmos, Part 2: Petabytes from the Stars?

The Allen Telescope Array is the first radio telescope designed specifically for SETI Photo by Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill

The Allen Telescope Array is the first radio telescope designed specifically for SETI Photo by Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill

Since it was founded in 1984, the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, California has been a principle American venue for scientific efforts to discover evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations. In mid-November, the institute sponsored a conference; ‘Communicating across the Cosmos’ on the problems of devising and understanding messages from other worlds. The conference drew 17 speakers from numerous disciplines, including linguistics, anthropology, archeology, mathematics, cognitive science, philosophy, radio astronomy, and art.

This is the second of four installments of a report on the conference. Today, we’ll look at the SETI Institute’s current efforts to find an extraterrestrial message, and some of their future plans. If they find something, just how much information can we expect to receive? How much can we send?
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Research examines an emerging issue: Treatment of transgendered prison populations

Prison policies vary on treating transgendered inmates, which could put inmates and institutions at risk. Gina Gibbs, a University of Cincinnati criminal justice doctoral student, will present a synopsis of the legal issues posed by such inmates at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology. The national conference runs from Nov. 19-22 in San Francisco. —> Read More Here

How Does Training Yourself to Be Ambidextrous Affect Your Brain?

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Answer by Logan Forbes, left or right, either way

This is an interesting question and there are conflicting theories on whether training ourselves to be ambidextrous has any real benefit. Some researchers even believe it can ultimately cause us harm.

One possible benefit is improving communication between our left and right brain hemispheres which might improve creative and abstract thinking.

Einstein is often cited as an example of unusual brain development. He was observed to be right-handed, but his brain hemispheres were nearly symmetrical which is the case in some left-handed and all ambidextrous persons. Other examples are Tesla and DaVinci, both ambidextrous/left-handed and both considered creative geniuses.

Imaging studies show our brain will adapt in shape and size in response to training. Training the non-dominant side is going to help increase the connections on that side and develop and grow the brain in general.

These same scans show the right-handed have much larger left hemispheres and the ambidextrous/left-handed have nearly symmetrical hemispheres.

Ninety-five percent of righties have brains that divide up tasks equally, but only about 20 percent of lefties do.

Michael Corballis, professor of cognitive neuroscience and psychology at the University —> Read More Here

Subaru Telescope Spots Galaxies From The Early Universe

The expansion of the universe over most of its history has been relatively gradual. The notion that a rapid period "inflation" preceded the Big Bang expansion was first put forth 25 years ago. The new WMAP observations favor specific inflation scenarios over other long held ideas.

A team of astronomers have used the Subaru Telescope to look back more than 13 billion years to find 7 early galaxies. Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team

It’s an amazing thing, staring into deep space with the help of a high-powered telescope. In addition to being able to through the vast reaches of space, one is also able to effectively see through time.

Using the Subaru Telescope’s Suprime-Cam, a team of astronomers has done just that. In short, they looked back 13 billion years and discovered 7 early galaxies that appeared quite suddenly within 700 million years of the Big Bang. In so doing, they discovered clues to one of astronomy’s most burning questions: when and how early galaxies formed in our universe.(…)
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