Where did Saturn's Giant Invisible Ring come from? The Spitzer Space Telescope spotted something new recently around Saturn. An enormous new ring, literally dwarfing the rest and most everything else in the solar system. you could fit a billion Earths inside this new ring, it is the second largest object in the solar system. The largest is Jupiter's magnetosphere. While the new ring is larger than life, it does not fall into the visible spectrum so we can not see it with just a telescope, the Spitzer spotted it in infrared light. NASA has officially stated that they believe the ring was created by space rocks or asteroids that have collided with Saturn's moon Phoebe. Phoebe orbits just inside the newly discovered ring and this would seem to be a reasonable explanation. Material from Phoebe has been theorized to have caused the red coloration of the duo toned moon Iapetus which is the next closest moon to Saturn. I, however, am unsatisfied with this explanation. For starters, it has long been thought that Phoebe is just a captured asteroid, it isn't very big, it is irregular in size and shape and while it is covered like swiss cheese with impact craters the material that makes up the ring is so small in size that mere collisions don't seem to account for how large the ring is. Because the moon is so small, it doesn't have an atmosphere to burn up the larger pieces nor sufficient gravity to bring them back to the surface. Wouldn't we see larger chunks of rock and debris floating nearby or at least within the ring itself? I am also questioning if the two toning of Iapetus is indeed from native material of Phoebe, I have little doubt that Phoebe is involved though as my theory should explain. My theory is that the ring is remnant material left over from the formation of Saturn. When the cloud of hydrogen, helium and other various rocky and icy material were collapsing to form Saturn, there must have been a point when Saturn stopped growing. At that point, planetesimal material that was too distant to be pulled into Saturn's mass and yet not far enough to escape Saturn's orbit completely would have been left to settle into the ring we are now referring to as the Phoebe ring. This would explain why we cannot see the ring in the visible spectrum, the pieces are so small because they were just clumps of hydrogen and helium left out to freeze into an icy ring of dust. The material beyond a certain point could avoid Saturn's grip and would be dispersed into the solar system. So here we have this giant ring of icy remnant dust and along comes Phoebe, captured by Saturn's gravity, falling right into a comfy orbit alongside the remnant ring. Phoebe, being a larger object, attracted much of the material in this ring over it's life span. I think the remnant ring would have been more dense and perhaps even visible before Phoebe's influence. However upon the arrival of Phoebe, larger material would have been drawn by Phoebes gravity and over time build up a hefty amount of reddish colored dust on the surface. What was left was the smaller pieces that we see or rather detect today. Subsequently the process by which Phoebe settled into it's current orbit could have spread the remnant ring material to Iapetus. Or collisions with Phoebe and other objects after the moon settled could have also contributed to Iapetus's spotty paint job. So that's pretty much it, I'm calling it the Remnant Material Theory. While it sounds great to me, I do not hold any degrees to which I can say give me expertise, therefore I'd love to know what someone who does thinks of my theory.
So I love the video mode on my new T1i, even though it doesn't do true 1080. 720 looks great for what I'm using it for. However the one annoying thing about it is that it can be shaky when hand held, especially if using a zoom lens. I'm really interested in taking more video, but I don't want to drag a tripod around with me. It's bulky and hard to manage, and a monopod is not has stable and just as big. I needed something that could attach to a backpack or even better my camelback. So I remembered that I had some old flash mounts and extenders. 3 years in a plastic bag under my bed, I had no idea why I kept them. Until now, that is. A few minutes later and a quick trip to home depot and this is what I came up with.
The M2One The camera can be removed and the arm folded when not needed. The arm weighs less than a pound and can be kept on the strap while folded or removed and stored in the backpack. As you can see in the test shot, at 1/8 of a second at f/3.5 I'm able to maintain focus while the same shot at hand held would've certainly produced blur caused by handshake. __________________________________________ For as good as this does still pictures, it handles video even better. With the mount arm braced against my body and shoulder I can turn any direction my body can to get smooth video. It's lightweight, portable and very inexpensive. This one cost me nothing, I got the parts for free from a friend. Even if I had to manufacture this, the cost would be minimal. I call this prototype the M2One, or Mobile Mount 1. Considering that steadicam harness rigs can cost anywhere from $100 - $8,000, the M2One is lighter and cheaper and produces results comparable to those without gyroscopes. This is perfect for people who are looking to add stability without losing mobility and without garnering too much attention.
I sold my xSi, and picked up the upgrade. The Canon T1i 500D. 15.1 effective megapixels, a sensor that mirrors almost exactly that of the 50D. Records HD video and can snap pictures during recording. Though I knew that some of the advertised features were too good to be true, true HD video at 1080i is at a minimum 30 fps. The T1i falls shy at 20 fps, but I'm hopeful someone will devise a firmware hack that will allow 1080 at 30 fps. Everything else about the camera is excellent, i'm even super impressed with it's expansion ISO, 12800. The grain at 12800 isn't too bad considering what you're asking for. Compared to pushing film to 12800 something i've only read of and hardly believe that anyone sees any good results from. I remember pushing t-max to 6400 in development and getting pictures with grain the size golfballs. So yeah compared to those days, the T1i's 12800 is a miracle. Highlight tone priority works only up to ISO 3200 which is a good warning as 3200 is the most the camera should be pushed for practical purposes. 1600 looks marvelous though and 100 looks perfect. I also upgraded my lense from the stock 18-55mm to a 18-200mm. A nice upgrade considering I used to have to carry around 2 lenses to get the same range. And considering that the quality of the canon stock 18-55mm is less than admirable. Constant aborations plague that horrid lens and I often remember wishing that it was as sharp as my tamron was. I sold my stock 18-55 when i sold my xSi, I thought it added insult to injury that very same lens cost $150 on its own. Considering the piss poor quality i would expect this cheap glass to sell for around $50. I at first simply wanted to replace the same lens so as not to have to spend more. However I couldn't justify the price for the quality and opted to spend much more on a decent lense.
Some Test Shots: 55mm 1/60 f/4.0 ISO 12800 at 12% magnifaction 55mm 1/60 f/4.0 ISO 12800 at 100% magnifaction
Fast Ass Rocket "Officially, it's known as the X-51, but folks like to call it the WaveRider because it stays airborne, in part, with lift generated by the shock waves of its own flight." That's just cool, this thing goes six times faster than the speed of sound, clocking in around 7000 mph. On regular old rocket fuel mind you. Now this is still way way shy of light speed, so don't go getting your hopes up skywalker. Light speed is still another 670,609,700 mph away. Anyway just something cool to look at.
It's hard to believe in today's drab economy, but we are actually at the dawn of a new era of robotics. Metamaterials, artificial intelligence, and the ever decreasing size of everything electronic has made the next phase of robotics seem less like the clunkers we're used to and more like the beginning of the matrix. Take the robot from the following video, while its appearance may not conjure up images of doomsday, what it does is very impressive. It is the first robot to make a scientific discovery by carrying out tests and forming conclusions on it's own.
The next video is truly a breakthrough, especially for creating the kind of robots we're so used to seeing in movies. Carbon Nano tubes just may prove to be the most useful invention of this century. Todays androids are clunkers to say the least. Moving parts, arms legs, joints on todays andorids are all made from 20th century ideas of how to make a robot. Hydrolics and gears that take up way too much space. In order to make an android that can pass for a human, we'll need much smaller and much lighter materials. Enter Carbon Nano Tubes.
These nanotube muscles could very well make their way into this planned deep sea exploring squid robot. As the carbon nano tubes provide the perfect material for the robots muscle tissue. Once built robots like this can be used to get into places once unimaginable in the deep sea, or possibly they could be used to explore the oceans beneath distant moons encleadus or europa.
While these robots and discoveries seem insignificant they are no small feat. And while they may still be a long way away from an android that I can have an engaging conversation with, one thing is for sure, if and when that day does come robots will enter a society that will welcome them as equals. Well that part may be unknown but there is positive evidence that we will accept man made life as we do natural life. A study released several months ago and conducted on children showed that humans can feel attachment to machines. When toddlers were placed in a play area with robots that displayed several different factors, robots that responded with laughter when touched and those that did not respond, for instance. The children bonded with robots that displayed human emotions, while they felt no sympathies for the robots that showed no human qualities. The study shows that humans are able accept a robot as an equal. Until then I will wait quietly for someone to invent Bender from futurama.
Hey reader, whoever the hell you are, reading my rants about politics, religion.... god you must be bored? Well this here website I'm about to drop in your lap will cure you of your boredom.-------> Mint is easily the best website of 2008. If you've ever had trouble managing your finances then this is for you. It takes all of your credit card and bank accounts and puts them into one spot. You can see pie charts and bar graphs on your spending trends, track your spending against other cities and states, you can view all of your transactions, put them into categories, attach custom labels and notes and much more, it has given me everything I need to maintain and manage my budget. The best part is it's all free and you can even set it up to give you email or text message reminders when bills are due or when balances get low. Free! It has truly earned this shameless plug on my little read blog.