Entertain Your Brain

This is so last minute, but the NRAO announced a few days back that the Very Large Array and several NRAO employees will be included in a Discovery Channel special airing tonight at 10pm ET/PT (9 CT, ?? MT). It’s called “Cosmic Collisions: Galaxies” and is sure to “edutain.” You can find out more about cosmic collisions from the awesome people at the Discovery Channel Space blog, even if you miss the episode! Dave Mosher leads you through all the great content on Space Disco. What I find most fascinating about galaxy collisions is that when two galaxies smash together, no stars ever collide! That’s right, even with 100 billion* stars each, the galaxies are so huge and the stars so far apart, that a stellar collision is almost impossible. However, stars interact gravitationally, which can be simulated such as in this example by Chris Mihos (shamelessly linking to old class notes!) Gas can collide, however, forming new stars in a brilliant light show.

*Oops! Thanks, Dave :-)

And, for something a bit more local, at least to those in NY/NJ, my buddy is in a stage production of “Doubt” in the next few months, and they have a Youtube trailer! It’s going to be great, and I wish I could find a weekend to make it up there to see him.

3 comments for “Entertain Your Brain

  1. dmosher
    January 29, 2009 at 10:44

    10 billion = 100 billion? Just checkin’!

  2. Nicole
    January 29, 2009 at 11:09

    Oops, that’s why I shouldn’t write when I’m in a rush. I drop factors of 10! Well, it can be a small galaxy ;-)

    Thanks!

  3. ian_d
    January 29, 2009 at 17:28

    Very cool – galactic dynamics is an impressive thing indeed. Nice picture too!

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