The stars truly aligned so that the Daily Editor majoring in Astrophysics would get this day. Today’s May 4th, aka Star Wars day (get it…may the fourth (force) be with you??). Celebrate this momentous occasion with an entire space edition of Bwoglines!
Happening in the World: The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), with the help of the instrument Virgo, has done it again! This time, the instruments have possibly detected a collision between a black hole and a neutron star. Neutron stars are some of the smallest stars in our Universe, around the size of Chicago, however, are incredibly dense (most are denser than our Sun!). Why is this event important? The collision of the objects create gravitational waves! And the more data that can be collected the better, since they were only discovered in 2015. This possible interaction needs to be rechecked multiple times before it can be confirmed, but our fingers our crossed that we captured something good! (CNN)
Happening in the US: LIGO has made headlines over the past few years due to its detection of gravitational waves (before they were only theorized) by capturing 11 binary black hole mergers and two neutron stars colliding. Corey Gray, a Senior Operations Specialist of LIGO-Washington, with the assistance of his mother, have begun translating LIGO press releases into Blackfoot, an indigenous language with around 8,000 speakers in southern Alberta and Montana. Gray wanted to see his family’s language represented in these historic findings. By doing this, Gray’s mother has begun to continue the Blackfoot Dictionary she began, as part of a revitalization project of the language. (NPR)
Happening in NYC: Want to celebrate May the Fourth? Well, you are in luck, New York has a plethora of options to choose from. In Queens, we have a STEM lego event, where anyone ages 5 and up get to build various Star Wars Lego sets! In Brooklyn, there’s a marathon of the four most recent movies (Episodes 7 and 8 plus Rogue One and Solo). In Staten Island, the St. George Library Center is hosting fun family-friendly events (as are many other branches of the NYPL). In the Bronx, the first 40,000 people into the Yankee’s Stadium tomorrow will get a CC Sabathia Jedi bobblehead. And, finally, in Manhattan, you can join in on the May the Fourth be With You Run! (NY Post)
Happening on Campus: Take a break from studying and on Friday, head on down to Pupin Hall to attend Columbia Astro Outreach’s lecture and stargazing event! This week, the lecture is titled “Black Holes and Einstein’s Shadow: The Event Horizon Telescope,” given by Seth Fletcher, chief features editor at Scientific American. And if the weather holds up (which is a toss up) you can go up on the roof (a gorgeous view!!!) and see some nifty stars. The lecture begins at 8:00 pm, don’t miss it! (Columbia Astro Outreach)
Documentary of the Week: For the first time in months, I give you a real documentary, The Farthest. This amazing feature goes through the launch and subsequent maintenance of the twin Voyager probes. These probes are around 13 billion miles away from Earth, and are on a quest to document what our solar system and beyond looks like, in addition to carrying a sweet Golden Record. I love this documentary! It’s nicely done and I love anything with space involving the human connection behind these projects!
the lovely Cats Paw Nebula (NGC 6334) via Wikimedia Commons