Archive for July, 2005

Space Saturday III

July 31st, 2005 No comments

This week’s Space Saturday will be hosted by Sunday! Wow, this is is just like my life as a student. Due on Saturday? Eh, Sunday will do! I won’t offer any excuses ’cause I really don’t have any. So here is Space Saturday!

This week I bring you NGC 1316 and it’s gaseous lobes on either side 75 million light years away in the Constellation Fornax (the Furnace). This is a composite radio and visual image. The radio wavelength lobes are formed by a very complex process of a smaller galaxy colliding with galaxy NGC 1316 (about 100 million years ago). As the galaxy collides matter falls towards the central black hole in NGC 1316 and the friction of that movement causes the material to heat up to extremely high tempertures. That heat (for reasons that are still not completely understood) create two polar opposite particle jets that then collide with surrounding material outside the giant elliptical galaxy. The turbulant, hot gas globes then emit in the radio end of the spectrum shown in the image. The two globes stretch an impressive million light years across, now that is big!

Space Saturday Archive

I also wanted to mention that NASA by way of the California Institute of Technology has discovered a 10th planet in the solar system!. The new planet is larger than Pluto (giving it the distinction of planet) while residing some 97 AU from the sun (1 AU is the distance from the Sun to the Earth, compared to Pluto’s highly elliptical orbit that varies from 30 to 50 AU) and is a typical object (except for size) in the Kuiper Belt. See here and here for additional information.

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Categories: Science Tags:

What if the Earth stopped spinning?

July 29th, 2005 10 comments

A funny question came up in Bible study the other day, what if the earth stopped spinning? Would we be flung into space? Well here is my 2:00am off the cuff, seat of the pants, fly by night, and any other cheesy saying, answer.

Escape velocity of the Earth due to gravity = 11.2 km / s
Maximum tangential velocity of the Earth (at the Equator) due to the Earth’s rotation = .46 km / s

If the Earth suddenly stopped spinning we would not have nearly enough speed to reach orbit or escape into space (horizontal speed of .46 km/s vs the required 11.2 km/s). Also, if we were just on the surface (walking around as we often do), we would never actually leave because gravity will still be pulling down on us, so we would probably just fall over and roll for quite a while. In order to escape there needs to be un upward force as well as a tangential force. Standing on the surface when the earth stopped would not have any upward force, hence, no launch.

If we had been at the height of the top of Mt. Rainier (4392 meters) it would take about 30 seconds to free fall to the surface. If the earth stopped rotating while we were standing on the top we would have an initial horizontal velocity of about 230 m / s (since we are about halfway between the equator and the north pole) and travel at that speed until we hit ground after 30 seconds of free fall (meaning we would travel almost 6900 m or about 4.3 miles) and land near the base of the snow line (not very far) - still at an elevation of about 2200 meters (more than halfway up Rainier).

Now lets say we had been on the roof of Seattle’s tallest building: the Bank of America Tower at 285m. If the Earth stopped spinning we would be flung to the east at 230 m / s and land about 7.6 seconds later (the free fall time) and 1750 meters away (landing about 4 blocks West of Garfield High School).

Now what if we were just standing on the ground (pavement?). As a rough estimate we can assume a high coefficient of friction between your shoes and the pavement, say .9. Well I have a mass around 80 kilograms so the frictional force (assuming the .9 coefficient of friction) would be just over 700 Netwons. If I was able to keep upright with my feet on the ground (remember we said we wouldn’t just fly off the surface because gravity still pulls us down and we would need some sort of upward force to get us off the ground) that means I would have a deceleration of about 8.8 m / s / s. With this deceleration, it would take approximately 26 seconds to come to a stop. In that time, I would have skidded about 3000 meters (about 1.8 miles) or the approximate distance from one end of Stanley Park (Vancouver, BC) to the other.

But the chances are I wouldnt be able to stay on my feet. I would probably fall over and tumble reducing my coefficient of friction. Lets assume it is reduced to .4 (no idea what it should actually be). With a coefficient of friction at .4, my frictional force would be around 310N. My deceleration would therefore be about 4 m / s / s. With my initial velocity of 230 m/s, it would take nearly 1 minute to roll to a stop. In that time I will have stumbled about 6600 meters (about 4 miles). I could roll from home plate at Safeco Field across I-90 to Mercer Island.

What is interesting to note is that skidding on the ground will have you travel a greater distance than falling off the Bank of America Tower. For all the new physics students out there, can you tell me why that is? Can you tell me why falling off of Mount Rainier takes half the time as the stumbling situation but goes a farther distance?

So how is that for a random physics lesson?
Map imagery from Google Earth
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Categories: Science Tags:

1 Peter 2 Revisited

July 28th, 2005 5 comments

I originally posted on this when I turned it in. My final paper for my BIBL 503: Biblical Exegesis class with Rikk Watts was turned in and forgotten. Well I got it back and got a 3.8 on it so I am pretty happy with that. I do think it was graded fairly easily considering it was the first exegesis paper most of the class has done, but that being said, I’ll take it! If you would like to read my thoughts on 1 Peter 2:24-25, head over to my 1 Peter 2 Exegesis Paper page.

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Categories: Regent College, Writings Tags:


July 28th, 2005 No comments

Google is doing for books what butter did for toast… what? I am serious. Just think if Google upgraded butter and toast! But I digress.

Google has done it yet again. Print.Google is a new project that aims to digitally scan every single book every printed into their database. Yes, that’s right, I said every.

The idea is that you can search for any book and any text in a book and be able to read portions of the book itself. Once you find the book you want to read, say Ender’s Game, you can then search the text for whatever you want, say Bean, and it will highlight the text on the scanned page. The pages are copyrighted scans and you aren’t able to select the text for copy (amazing that they can highlight the searched text!). Also, to keep copyrights protected, they are only scanning portions of books.

Google is currently in legal battles with publishers because of the copyright stuff but hopefully publishers will realize that this can only help book sales as people will be able to get a better idea about what they want to read / buy. This is an awesome endeavor that I think will really help with literacy, research, libraries, schools, publishers, teachers, authors, and on and on! Go check out what they have done so far at Google Print and be sure to read the Print.Google About Page.

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Categories: Daily Life Tags:

Space Saturday II

July 27th, 2005 4 comments

I know it is Wednesday, but I was busy this weekend. So for the next few seconds, pretend it is Saturday again…

I was going to post a picture of the Shuttle leftoff, but since this is Saturday, it hasn’t happened yet. I bring you this instead:

The image is clickable for a larger version

The Great Orion Nebula (or M42) near the sword of the constellation Orion has always been one of my favorites. In that nebula is an open cluster of stars called the Trapezium. This week’s Space Saturday image is of this region in the Orion Nebula.

This region includes many areas where gasses are “globbing” together in the “birthing” stages of stellar (planetary) systems called Proplyds.

I think this is such a beautiful region in such a beautiful nebula that I think is also extremely interesting! Enjoy!
So have a happy… Saturday!

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Space Saturday Archive

Categories: Blogging, Science Tags:

Woodsong 2005

July 26th, 2005 5 comments

Last Friday I drove up to Anacortes to catch a ferry over to Orcas Island in the beautiful San Juan Islands to attend the Woodsong Arts & Music Festival. I met up with Erin and her friend Jen for an evening of volleyball, relaxing, and listening. (I was pretty bummed that Jason Harrod couldn’t make it.) Erin and Jen were able to catch The Pale Pacific on Thursday but unfortunately I missed them because of work. (But I did get to play poker with them on the ferry ride home!) The music that I heard was quite enjoyable but the reason we were there was because of Late Tuesday. This is the first I had heard them with a full band so that was pretty fun as that allowed them to play from a wider setlist. My only complaint is that they didn’t play long enough! I really dig their new stuff (especially The Cure) so I look forward to their new album… whenever that might be… (soon, I think). So without further blabbering, here are some pictures (sorry for those with modems! All are clickable for larger versions):

Erin and Jen… cold? It was so nice out!

Late Tuesday:
the real reason for the trek!
Dana, Matt, Tara, and Jocelyn


Matt, Tara, and Dana

Tara and Jocelyn

Enjoy and Shalom
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Categories: Daily Life, Meaningful Song, Photoblog Tags: