Wednesday, July 18, 2012

astro picture for the day

Credit & Copyright: Brad Moore

This is the tarantula nebula of large megallanic cloud and not a star factory of our own galaxy; it's considered the largest star factory, well, of our galactic system!  I've seen a comparable star factory from the Hubble space telescope of a galaxy like fifteen million light years away or thereabouts; so far, I havn't been able to find that picture; but, I'll keep looking!

- some recent reading of mine is Frederick Gauss's method of least squares; it's a method of scientific data analyses; and, it came from Frederick Gauss's effort to compute asteroid orbits. The history of the discovery of asteroids is even more interesting.

Kepler and others had found a arithmetic progression that fit the majority of planetary orbits except for a gap between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter.  After a hundreds of years of telescope making, astronomer's had started finding 'asteroids' in this gap.  And so, the theory was saved; it's called bode's law.  Bode's law also fit the recent discovery of Uranus by William Herschel.  Out of all this came Frederick Gauss's least squares law and science and technology development was made more practical.  Just one more curious development that shows that exploring the universe pays off.

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