Are you familiar with the multiverse theory? It states that our universe is one of the countless parallel universes which can possibly interact with each other but have different physical laws.
Could we be living in such an infinite series of universes? This idea has fascinated scientific (and not-so-scientific) minds for quite a while.
A recent study, published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, offers new evidence in favor of the multiverse hypothesis. British astronomers studied the so-called “Cold Spot,” one of the most mysterious places in our universe which was detected back in 2004. It is an abnormally cold region in the microwave background radiation, an electromagnetic radiation which fills all space and is basically a leftover light from the early universe.
It is considered to be the most important evidence of the Big Bang cosmological model.
As you can see in the map below, the cosmic microwave background (CMB) exhibits multiple variations of temperatures throughout the universe (red color depicts warmer areas and blue stands for cooler ones). The Cold Spot, however, has an unusually low temperature in comparison with its surroundings and the rest of the cosmos.
This abnormality has puzzled astrophysicists since the moment the Cold Spot was found as its existence doesn’t seem to fit any of the known cosmological models. Many researchers believe that it is nothing but a void formed as a result of the expansion of the universe, according to the Big Bang theory.
In fact, the Cold Spot is estimated to have 10,000 fewer galaxies than other regions of the universe and for this reason, it is often referred to as a “supervoid.”
However, the new study claims to disprove this idea and suggests that this enigmatic place in our universe is actually full of smaller voids which are surrounded by galaxy clusters. Moreover, these small voids wouldn’t be able to lower the temperature in the area to this extent and something else must be responsible for that.
Here is when the hypothesis of the multiverse comes into play – the authors of the study believe that the Cold Spot may have been formed as a result of a collision between our universe and a parallel universe during the early period. They think that such a collision would release enough energy to create this abnormally cold region.
“If further, more detailed, analysis of CMB [Cosmic Microwave Background] data proves this to be the case, then the Cold Spot might be taken as the first evidence for the multiverse – and billions of other universes may exist like our own,” said Professor Tom Shanks who participated in the study.
While at the moment the multiverse remains just a theory, further study of the CMB may reveal surprising facts about our universe we had no idea about. For example, that it is not the only one and there are multiple other universes like our own.
Who knows, maybe there even is an alternate Earth with a kinder version of humans on it.
This article (The Mysterious ‘Cold Spot’ in our Universe Could Be a Sign of a Parallel Universe, Say Scientists) is a free and open source and can be re-published anywhere with proper attribution to the author and Themindunleashed.com.
Chinese Military Satellite Smashed by Russian Rocket in “Major Confirmed Orbital Collision”
In an incident that is likely illustrative of things to come, Chinese military satellite 1-02 was smashed after it appears to have collided into the debris from a disintegrating Russian rocket.
The collision, which occurred earlier this year, shows the increasing danger of space junk such as satellite parts and other miscellaneous jetsam littering the Earth’s orbit. An estimated 8,000 metric tons of space debris pose the risk of destroying functional equipment such as weather forecasting systems, telecoms and GPS systems – and even manned space travel missions – if the problem isn’t reined in.
The fate of the Chinese satellite was uncovered by Harvard astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell.
The breakup of Yunhai 1-02 was initially reported by the U.S. Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron (18SPCS). However, it wasn’t until recently that McDowell found out what caused the breakup.
The astrophysicist soon found that it was destroyed by space junk that originated from a Russian Zenit-2 rocket that had launched a spy satellite in 1996. On Aug. 14, McDowell found a strange entry in a database on Space-Track.org: “Collided with satellite.”
“This is a new kind of comment entry — haven’t seen such a comment for any other satellites before,” McDowell tweeted.
“A quick analysis of the TLEs show that Yunhai 1-02 (44547) and [the debris object] passed within 1 km of each other (so within the uncertainty of the TLEs) at 0741 UTC Mar 18, exactly when 18SPCS reports Yunhai broke up,” he added, noting that this “looks to be the first major confirmed orbital collision in a decade.”
However, the Yunhai satellite still remains functional and is transmitting radio signals, notes Space.com.
The incident shows the growing likelihood of such collisions in the high-traffic, littered near-Earth orbital zone.
“Collisions are proportional to the square of the number of things in orbit,” McDowell explained. “That is to say, if you have 10 times as many satellites, you’re going to get 100 times as many collisions.”
He added: “So, as the traffic density goes up, collisions are going to go from being a minor constituent of the space junk problem to being the major constituent. That’s just math.”
A worst-case scenario of such collisions is known as the “Kessler Syndrome,” and describes the possibility of one collision setting in motion a chain of collisions. Such a disaster was the premise of the 2013 film “Gravity.”
One hopes that things don’t reach that point.
In the meantime, however, there have been a number of initiatives meant to tackle the growing problem of space debris, such as the ELSA-d spacecraft launched in a demonstration mission earlier this year.
Boston Dynamics Drops New Video Of 5-Foot Atlas Humanoid Robot Effortlessly Doing Parkour
Robot maker Boston Dynamics has released new video of its two-legged Atlas robot effortlessly completing a parkour obstacle course, offering a new display of its humanoid machines’ unsettling repertoire.
In the video, a pair of Atlas robots can be seen leaping over large gaps, vaulting beams, and even performing backflips. The robot can even be seen jumping over a board while using its arm to remain steady.
While the display seems like anything but “free” running – as the original developers of parkour had envisioned – the routine does seem like an impressive, if terrifying, display of effective coding that took months to perfect, according to the Hyundai-owned robotics firm.
“It’s not the robot just magically deciding to do parkour, it’s kind of a choreographed routine, much like a skateboard video or a parkour video,” said Atlas control lead Benjamin Stephens.
See for yourself:
Unlike its robotic dog Spot, which controversially hit New York City streets last year before being pulled, Atlas isn’t a production robot. Instead, it’s a research model meant to see how far the limits of robotics can be pushed.
In the past, Boston Dynamics has displayed the robot’s feats with videos of Atlas jogging and even busting out some cool dance moves.
Team lead Scott Kuindersma said in a statement that in about two decades, we can expect to coexist with robots that move “with grace, reliability, and work alongside humans to enrich our lives.”
Until then, some of us will continue to reserve our right to feel a bit queasy about the prospect of people being chased down by these skilled free-running (and dancing) machines.
South Korean Toilet Turns Poo Into Green Energy and Pays Its Users Digital Cash
What if your morning #2 not only powered your stove to cook your eggs, but also allowed you to pay for your coffee and pastry on the way to class?
It seems like an absurd question, but one university in South Korea has invented a toilet that allows human excrement to not only be used for clean power, but also dumps a bit of digital currency into your wallet that can be exchanged for some fruit or cup noodles at the campus canteen, reports Reuters.
The BeeVi toilet – short for Bee-Vision – was designed by urban and environmental engineering professor Cho Jae-weon of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), and is meant to not only save resources but also reward students for their feces.
The toilet is designed to first deliver your excrement into a special underground tank, reducing water use, before microorganisms break the waste down into methane, a clean source of energy that can power the numerous appliances that dorm life requires.
“If we think out of the box, feces has precious value to make energy and manure,” Cho explained. “I have put this value into ecological circulation.”
The toilet can transform approximately a pound of solid human waste – roughly the average amount people poop per day – into some 50 liters of methane gas, said Cho. That’s about enough to generate half a kilowatt hour of electricity, enough to transport a student throughout campus for some of their school day.
Cho has even devised a special virtual currency for the BeeVi toilet called Ggool, or honey in Korean. Users of the toilet can expect to earn 10 Ggool per day, covering some of the many expenses students rack up on campus every day.
Students have given the new system glowing reviews, and don’t even mind discussing their bodily functions at lunchtime – even expressing their hopes to use their fecal credits to purchase books.