On a High Note

30 06 2021

Melbourne, Australia

Housekeeping note: Prime time for me is about to start. Tomorrow evening, I hit the road for what will be the start of three months of constantly being on and off the road. So my discretionary time, which was already scant enough, will be virtually zero for the next three months. Which means for those of you who follow my social feeds, you won’t have much to follow for awhile. Just don’t think something bad has happened, unless something bad does happen, in which case you’ll eventually find out. I’m going to try to be at or close to home around the end of August to be there when my nephew arrives. If for no other reasons, I want to see my father-in-law come unhinged, and also I want to find out in short order how this name thing will turn out.

Now, onward and upward.

As many of you know, astronomy has been one of my nearly life long hobbies. So much so that, even during my cognitive purgatory when I couldn’t think about much, I still had enough ability to focus on the August 2017 eclipse, as I had been anticipating it for 29 years. And when I finally returned to cognitive coherence enough in mid-November of that year, and looked over the big news that accumulated while I couldn’t pay that much attention, there was quite a bit of astronomy news in that stack.

As you can see, one of the items was the first ever confirmation of two neutron stars colliding into each other.

Now, we’ve got confirmation of a black hole eating a neutron star.

Just to keep things simple, a neutron star is the last stop before black hole, when it comes to object density. And it’s the most dense thing that can be directly observed in some way, as (until two years ago) black holes were only inferred from mathematics.

Just as the observational data from the two colliding neutron stars will keep astrophysicists busy for years, so too will this two-for-one deal of black holes and neutron stars colliding. Let a thousand dissertations bloom.

Maybe I should have entitled this post “On a Dense Note.”



5 responses

30 06 2021
Behind Enemy Lines

Dateline Melbourne – is that where you are, for now?

30 06 2021

The university on the masthead of the research is in Melbourne. Monash University. My only trip outside of Germany so far this year has been one fruitless waste of time, money and gas trip to Paris.

30 06 2021
Behind Enemy Lines

Yes, there for a moment I thought there must’ve been a very big surprise.

30 06 2021

2021 is already half over.

Last year at this time, we were getting ready to depart on our honeymoon. This year at this time, I’m getting ready for travel of a more mundane variety. I wrote at the beginning of this year that I was anticipating 2021 to be the year reality reasserted itself, and now that it’s halfway done, it certainly has. And, as you know, it didn’t take long after the start of 2021 for reality to reassert itself in a big way.

30 06 2021

One amendment I can make from the old post of mine: Highly unlikely I’ll be able to see the April 2024 reprise. The next two totals from this continent will be August 2026 and August 2027, the first best visible from northern Spain and southern France, and the second from far southern Spain.

It's your dime, spill it. And also...NO TROLLS ALLOWED~!

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