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Universe Guide Blog Articles Archive 2

ULAS J1342+0928, Furthest Quasar Discovered

Quasars in brief are extremely active galactic nucleus surrounded by dust, gas and stars. Quasars are located billions of light years away from our galaxy. Most were formed not long after the creation of the universe, 13.8 billion years ago.

Our Milky Way galaxy is inactive at the moment, its not to say that our galaxy was never a Quasar in its early life nor could it become a quasar again. It is theorized that when the Andromeda Galaxy collides with our galaxy, the supermassive black hole at the centre could become active again due to having consumed a lot of materials. This might be scary but you need to realise that this won't happen for billions of years. The Andromeda Galaxy is only moving at about 75 miles a second towards us and its a long way away. Universe Today

The furthest quasar at the time of writing, February 2018 is ULAS J1342+0928, it is in the constellation of Bootes, the Bear Driver or Herdsman. The Quasar is about 29.36 Billion Light Years away and what we are seeing now is what it looked like a mere 690 million years after the The Big Bang when the Universe was formed. If we were to travel to quasar now, it will probably be inactive and be a regular galaxy like our own having finished feasting.

The previous record holder of furthest quasar was ULAS J1120+0641, a quasar that is located in Leo constellation. It was discovered in 2011 and therefore held the title for nearly seven years. The quasar is about 28.85 million light years away and we are observing it as it looked 770 million years after the big bang. Wiki

The numbers in the names are the RA and Dec locations of the coordinates. ULAS stands for UKIDSS Large Area Survey with UKIDSS standing for UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey. UKIRT in turn stands for United Kingdom Infra-red Telescope which is situated on Mauna Kea dormant volcano in Hawaii.

The quasar has a mass that 800 times the mass of our own star, the Sun. The location of the Quasar is R.A. 13h 42m 08.10 and Declination +09d 28' 38.61. The estimated location of the quasar is shown below. It is too faint to see the quasar with the naked eye.

Location of ULAS J1342+0928

Comments24/02/2018 09:42

First Han Solo Movie Trailer Released

You wait ages for a trailer then two come along at the same time. The first trailer was released during the Superbowl where the Philadelphia Eagles took on the New England Patriots. If you're interested, the Eagles won for the first time and it was a shock as many expected the Patriots to win. Back to Star Wars. During the half time, a number of trailers were released, some sci-fi such as Solo - A Star Wars Story and others such as Mission Impossible : Fallout.

We got to see a minute snippet of the film where we got to see Han Solo, Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian. We also saw Thandie Newton's character but we aren't sure of her role and character name at the time of writing. New characters were Tobias Beckett who is Han's mentor and business contact. It is Tobias that first hires and gives Han a job.

We see that the main female lead is Qi'ra pronounced Kira played by Emelia Clarke. In the trailer, we do see the Millennium Falcon and how pristine it looks compared to how it looked in other films. Although we see the Imperial Navy and a Star Destroyer chasing the heroes, its unlikely we'll see Darth Vader like we did in Rogue one.

A theory on the film is that Han fails the Imperial Navy examination, gets kicked out. Han meets with Chewbacca and they go off adventuring together. Along the way, they meet Tobias and Qi'ra who offer a job which involves the Kessel Run which he completes in 12 Parsecs presumably being chased by the Star Destroyer. A Parsec is 3.26 light years and not time.

Han Solo Movie Trailer

Comments05/02/2018 07:05

Han Solo Movie Trailer

Promotional picture of the Han Solo Movie

Its not long now, five months to go before the next Star Wars movie is due but still no trailer. The film has had a chequered past, the original directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from the production with Ron Howard taking up the mantle to finish the film. There were reports that Alden Ehrenreich needed acting lessons because his acting was so poor. Movieweb

There's very little in the way of shots from the movie and hardly any promotionals except the odd Lego pictures. Here at U.G. won't be surprised if the film is pushed back, it won't be cancelled, there's too much interest in the film to cancel it. Besides, Disney has to make a healthy return on the $4 Billion that it splashed out on the film franchise.

An official synopsis has been released but it doesn't tell you much. The now official picture virtually confirms that Qira as played by Emelia Clarke will have a substantial or an important role especially as the lead female. The synopsis along with the now official picture is below. The synopsis doesn't give away a lot. What we guess though will happen is Han Solo will meet Chewbacca and will win the Millennium Falcon off his best friend, Lando Calrissian.

Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story,
an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy,

Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld,
Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian,
in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.

Everyday there's a new story that the trailer is coming but our hopes are dashed. U.G. hopes that when the film does finally arrive, its as a good as Rogue One, the other un-aligned prequel.

Comments25/01/2018 20:40

The Universe's Most Important Question Ever Asked Answered

Astronauts and Cosmonauts are well known for answering questions about the space and what is it like in space. N.A.S.A. has produced a pamphlet on the subject to answer some of the questions such as :-

However when one strange question was asked, Cosmonaut decided to answer it tongue firmly in cheek and answer it. Is it possible to fly a vacuum cleaner in space? Well, the answers in the video.

The <a href=/fact/universe>universe</a>s most important question ever answered.

Comments24/01/2018 19:55

What are the Largest Moons in the Solar System?

You'll be surprised to hear that the largest moon in the Solar system is not the Moon that orbits Earth. The largest moon in the solar system is Ganymede which orbits Jupiter, the fifth planet from the Sun.. Ganymede's radius is 2,631.2 km which is larger than our Moon which is 1737.5 km. In comparison, the Earth's radius is 6,371km so roughly it is a third the size of our planet.

Our Moon is the largest in comparison to the planet it orbits. Ganymede when compared to the Jupiter which is 69,911km, it is considerably much smaller comparably than our moon. Below are some moon facts of other planets.

Top 20 Largest Moons in the Solar System, Largest First

PositionMoonRadius (km)PlanetPlanet Equatorial Radius

As for what is the largest moon in the galaxy. We've not got many contenders outside the solar system so we can't answer that yet. As for the universe, we could never know what is the largest moon in the universe as we could never see and measure every moon around every planet around every star in every galaxy. You could say at the moment, the largest moon we know of in the galaxy and the universe is Ganymede.

Comments23/12/2017 11:28

What is the Largest Planet?

The question is very ambiguous as there are a number of different types of planets, there are planets in the solar system, gas planets, exoplanets etc. So below is the largest in each group of planets.

Comments22/12/2017 16:26

Why are there no moons orbiting Mercury and Venus?

The only planets that are in orbit round the Sun that don't have moons are the two innermost planets of Mercury and Venus. If you've ever wondered why, here are some reasons why that might be the case.

Comments20/12/2017 18:41

Is the Earth Slowing Down?

Before the answer is given, you must realise just how slow slowing down is. It won't mean an abrupt stop today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. The rate at which the Earth is slowing down is miniscule, you won't even notice it. We're talking in the magnitude of millionths of a second. It would take 140 million years before the length of the day became a 25 hour day, we'd be long gone unless of course this website has been archived for life and still read.

The Moon is moving away from us at about 3 cms a year and the moon has been a stabalising effect on us. The moon was discovered to be moving away when N.A.S.A. conducted an experiment by placing mirrors on the moon and then timing how long they took to be returned. The Moon is said to be a factor in why our planet is slowing down.

At the very beginning when the Earth was very young. The Earth would've been rotating very fast, talking a few hours or so. Fast forward a few (cough, hundreds) million years to the age of the Dinosaurs. When the dinosaurs ruled the planet, the planet was rotating at a speed that is greater than it is today. A day would have been longer than 21 hours but less than 23 hours. Either way, the day for a dinosaur would have been shorter than it is today. A.B.C.

If you go back further in time, say 620 Million Years ago, the day would have been about 21 days. 620 Million years ago equates to the Vendian Period when there was life on the planet but not as we know it. In the Vendian Period, there was only microscopic bacteria and algae according to fossilised records. Berkeley

There is a theory and it is only a theory that says next year (2018), the Earth will experience a lot more earthquakes than it did the previous year. In 2016, there were 14,421 geological earthquakes. Most of those earthquakes were so minor that they were never reported in the media. The only way you would know about them if you weren't from the quake community is from the media. Being, not from the quake community, i got the figure from Wikipedia.

The Earth day is extending by 1.7 milliseconds a 100 years. If the Earth continued onto forever, the Earth would stop spinning in about 1.9 trillion years. The Sun is expected to have gone supernova in five billion years and life on Earth will have been wiped out in a billion years time when the Sun starts to turn into a red giant as it depletes it hydrogen fuel and moves into the next stage of evolution. Hopefully by that time, we'll have moved off and colonised other planets. Whats Up With That?

Comments20/12/2017 17:49

What is the Alien "WOW" signal?

In 1977, the Big Ear observatory was listening to the stars when it recorded a signal that would later be known as the WOW Signal. The Big Ear Observatory is run and controlled by the Ohio State University in the United States. Its site is a bit basic to look at and hasn't been updated since 2008 according to a note on the page. The actual telescope was demolished in 1998 by land developers.

The signal was noticed by Jerry Ehman on August 15th, 1977 when he was pouring over the information that had been received. Jerry noticed successive values of intensity and circled them and wrote WOW on the print out hence how it got its name.

Decoding the WOW Signal

Signals were encoded in numbers and letters so that they could be deciphered easily enough. A 1 is any value of intensity between 1.0 to 1.9999 and then following that 2 meaning 2.0 etc.... etc... When the numbers were exhausted, they turned to letters so A meant any intensity between 10.0 and 10.9999 and so on up the alphabet. The "U" was the highest intensity ever recorded. There was nothing for over 35 which would have been for Z.

The signal was identified as coming from a three star star cluster that included Chi Sagittarii in the constellation of the archer, Sagittarius. This is the same constellation that contains the Galactic Centre, the supermassive black hole at the centre of the milky way.

The signal was only heard once, it was not heard of again. Scientists and astronomers all listened in on that area of space but nothing was heard again. Some joked that it might have been Aliens telling us that they aren't interested and they don't want to hear from us again which would go some way to explaining why we only heard from them the once.

Aliens -The Exotic Explanation

The record set off a chain of events that went round the world. Some people saw it as being a sign that aliens were out there and they were communicating back. Our radio signals have been travelling through space since roughly the beginning of the last century and maybe an alien race had picked them up and responded. People were hopeful that it was a sign that there was intelligent life out there who had responded back to us.

Comets - The Mundane Explanation

In 2016, a new explanation was put forward, one that ruled out aliens. the explanation was that the signals came from hydrogen gas encompassing two comets that were found to be in the vicinity of the star at the time. The comets were 266P/Christiansen and P/2008 Y2 (Gibbs). Both of these comets were discovered in 2006 and 2008 which why they were identified as a possible source back when the news first broke.

Christiansen will next come close (Perihelion) in April 2020 when Professor Antonio Paris is hoping to have a radio telescope trained on the object to see if it creates the same sort of noise as it did in 1977. He started a crowd funded venture but when it was checked, it no longer existed. Christiansen has been and gone (Jan 2017) but Gibbs is expected on or about the 7th January 2018 but probably won't be visible to the naked eye sadly. If anyone knows of any results or anything, do share by putting comments it the box below.

WOW Signal

Further Reading :- The Guardian, New Scientist

Comments20/12/2017 15:11

Star Wars - The Last Jedi Review

*Spoilers*, before you read further, you should know there will be spoilers which if you hadn't seen the film already, you shouldn't read. This film take place immediately after the events of Star Wars VII- The Force Awakens where the Resistance had successfully destroyed the First Order's new Death Star style weapon which was in fact a hollowed out planet that drew power from a nearby star and then ejected it to destroy any solar system that they wished.

The previous years film, Star Wars - Rogue One was a prequel to the first film to come out and is not part of the new trilogy. One of the big criticisms of the previous episodic film (TFA for short) was that it was a clone of sorts to the original films in particular Star Wars IV - A New Hope with an orphan realising that he or in this case her could effect the future of the galaxy far far away. The main criticism of that film also applies to this one too.

The film is similar to Star Wars V - The Empire Strikes Back when you step back and look at it.

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it but it felt like Empire Strikes Back 2 rather than the prequels. Although people diss the prequels, at least they had original storylines. Ok, with the Phantom Menace, a lead character died in the first film like a lead character also died in Star Wars IV - A New Hope and also in Force Awakens.

Some of the rumours of the film that I had heard about,

Its a lot funnier than the previous films. In all, its a good film but just don't go expecting originality. The Porgs, the cute bird-like creatures don't ruin the film at all, they're just a gimmick in the film.

The Last Jedi Poster

Comments16/12/2017 11:25

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