Data from the James Webb Space Telescope
You have likely seen the incredible images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST); if you haven’t seen them and you want to, click here. These JWST images are available to you, if you have the time and interest to download the images and you have an appropriate image processing software. The JWST data can be found on the MAST (i.e., the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes) along with data from other space telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope.
In the news
I provide links below to a few of the news articles that I find to be especially interesting.
- Dark Energy, Dark Matter (NASA Science) https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy
- Ask Ethan: What are white holes, and do they really exist? (Ethan Siegel, February 3, 2023, BigThink.com) https://bigthink.com/starts-with-a-bang/white-holes-exist/
- Will machine learning help us find extraterrestrial life? (SETI Institute, January 30, 2020) https://www.seti.org/press-release/will-machine-learning-help-us-find-extraterrestrial-life
- Do quantum universes really exist? (Paul Sutter, January 2, 2023, LiveScience) https://www.livescience.com/do-parallel-quantum-universes-really-exist
- The case for dark matter has strengthened (Don Lincoln, January 6, 2023, BigThink) https://bigthink.com/hard-science/dark-matter-evidence/
- What happens at the center of a black hole? (Paul Sutter, February 09, 2022, Space.com) https://www.space.com/what-happens-black-hole-center
- Researchers reveal a galaxy sparkling with the universe’s oldest star clusters (Josslyn Johnstone, November 2, 2022, Phys.org) https://phys.org/news/2022-11-reveal-galaxy-universe-oldest-star.html
- Shortly Before They Collided, two Black Holes Tangled Spacetime up Into Knots (Matt Williams, October 17, 2022, Universe Today) https://www.universetoday.com/158086/shortly-before-they-collided-two-black-holes-tangled-spacetime-up-into-knots/. See original manuscript here: What does a binary black hole merger look like? (Andy Bohn, William Throwe, François Hébert, Katherine Henriksson, Darius Bunandar, Nicholas W. Taylor, Mark A. Scheel, General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology, arXiv) https://arxiv.org/abs/1410.7775
- Without Einstein, we might have missed General Relativity (Ethan Siegel, BigThink.com) https://bigthink.com/starts-with-a-bang/einstein-missed-general-relativity/
- The discovery of the Kuiper Belt revamped our view of the solar system (Katherine Kornei, Science News) https://www.sciencenews.org/article/kuiper-belt-discovery-solar-system-planets-space
- Why NASA Wants to Go Back to the Moon https://www.wired.com/story/why-nasa-wants-to-go-back-to-the-moon/
- What Is NASA’s Artemis Program? https://www.rmg.co.uk/stories/topics/nasa-moon-mission-artemis-program-launch-date
- At Long Last, Mathematical Proof That Black Holes Are Stable (Steve Nadia, August 4, 2022, Quanta Magazine) https://www.quantamagazine.org/black-holes-finally-proven-mathematically-stable-20220804/
- James Webb telescope reveals galaxies far, far away (audio recording) (CBC News, July 18, 2022, Shannon Stirone) https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/james-webb-telescope-reveals-galaxies-far-far-away-1.6523650
- First images from the James Webb Space Telescope (NASA, July 12, 2022) https://www.nasa.gov/webbfirstimages
- NASA’s Webb Delivers Deepest Infrared Image of Universe Yet (NASA, July 12, 2022) https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/2022/nasa-s-webb-delivers-deepest-infrared-image-of-universe-yet
- Download the Webb deep-field image here: Webb’s First Deep Field Unveiled (NIRCam Image) https://webbtelescope.org/contents/media/images/2022/038/01G7JGTH21B5GN9VCYAHBXKSD1?news=true
- Webb Telescope Will Look for Signs of Life Way Out There (Carl Zimmer, The New York Times, July 2, 2022) nytimes.com/2022/07/02/science/webb-telescope-exoplanets-atmosphere.html
- Record-Breaking Voyager Spacecraft Begin to Power Down (Tim Folger, Scientific American, July 1, 2022) https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/record-breaking-voyager-spacecraft-begin-to-power-down/
- World’s oldest trees reveal the largest solar storm in history (Ethan Siegel, BigThink, June 29, 2022) https://bigthink.com/starts-with-a-bang/oldest-trees-solar-storm/
- Uranus by 2049: Here’s why scientists want NASA to send a flagship mission to the strange planet (Jamie Carter, Space.com, April 21, 2022) https://www.space.com/nasa-uranus-orbiter-probe-mission-science
- SETI Institute and National Radio Astronomy Observatory Team Up for SETI Science at the Very Large Array (SETI Institute, February 13, 2020) https://www.seti.org/seti-institute-and-national-radio-astronomy-observatory-team-up-for-seti-science-at-very-large-array
Articles and books of interest
I discuss a number of astronomy-related concepts, events and programs in my novel, The Kairos Codex, including the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), radio telescopes, interstellar radio messages, the Drake equation, and the Roswell incident. Below I have included links to articles and books that provide additional relevant information.
- 10 Places to Search for Life Beyond our Earth Learn more about places to search for life in SETI’s downloadable ebook (SETI)
- Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) (Wikipedia)
- The SETI Institute and History of the SETI Institute (SETI Institute)
- Allen Telescope Array Overview (Seth Shostak, SETI Institute, 2022)
- The Wow! Signal: An alien missed connection? (Eric Betz, Astronomy.com, September 30, 2020)
- Drake equation (Wikipedia)
- Drake equation (SETI Institute)
- Drake equation:Estimating the Odds of Finding E.T. (Elizabeth Howell, Space.com, April 05, 2018)
- Are we alone in the universe? Revisiting the Drake equation (Leonor Sierra, University of Rochester, May 19, 2016)
- What Really Happened at Roswell (Kal Korff, Skeptical Inquirer Volume 21, No. 4. July/August 1997) Note that the above will link to the full article here
- Messages to the Universe: A Short History of Interstellar Communication (Ella Morton, November 14th, 2014, Slate)
- Interstellar radio messages: List of interstellar radio messages (Wikipedia, accessed July 8th, 2022)
- Is There Any Difference Between Astronomy and Astrophysics? (Jeff Mangum, NRAO, March 31, 2020)
- Paul Wesson and Space-Time-Matter Theory (James Overduin, 2018) (This is an appendix in the book “Principles of Space-Time-Matter: Cosmology, Particles and Waves in Five Dimensions” available here)
- Asimov, I. (1950). I, Robot. Doubleday & Company, Inc. (A novel, and a fictional account of the emergence of Artificial Intelligence, AI, in robots.)
- Sagan, C. (1980). Cosmos. First edition. Published by Random House, USA. ISBN 0-394-50294-9. 365 pages. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmos_(Sagan_book) (A popular science and astronomy book with 13 chapters that correspond to 13 episodes of the Cosmos TV series.)
- Sawyer, R.J. (2007). Rollback. Tor books. (A novel, and a fictional account of interstellar communication with realistic timelines.)
Selected publications (for J.A. Secker)
The references below are to a subset of my research publications, mostly those related to astronomy and astrophysics, which some may find interesting.
- Mallory, S. and Secker, J. (2001). Upgrading Your Campus Observatory. Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 95, p.8. February 2001.
- Secker, J., Gomulkiewicz, R. and McPeek, M.A. (1998). Interstellar transport and local establishment dynamics of spaceborne propagules. Proc. SPIE Vol. 3441, p. 290-300, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology, Richard B. Hoover; Ed. July 1998. DOI: 10.1117/12.319843
- Harris, W.E., Durrell, P.R., Pierce, M.J. and Secker, J. (1998). Constraints on the Hubble constant from observations of the brightest red-giant stars in a Virgo-cluster galaxy. Nature, Vol. 395(6697), pages 45-47, September 1998. DOI: 10.1038/25673
- Secker, J. Harris, W. E., Cote, P. and Oke, J. B. (1997). Photometry and spectroscopy of Coma dwarf ellipticals. Untangling Coma Berenices: A New Vision of an Old Cluster, Proceedings of the meeting held in Marseilles (France), June 17-20, 1997, Eds.: Mazure, A., Casoli F., Durret F. , Gerbal D., Word Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd, p 115.
- Secker, J. and Harris, W.E. (1997). Dwarf Galaxies in the Coma Cluster. I. Detection, Measurement and Classification techniques. Proceedings of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 109, pages 1364-1376.
- Secker, J., Harris, W.E. and Plummer, J.D. (1997). Dwarf Galaxies in the Coma Cluster. II. Photometry and Analysis. Proceedings of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 109, pages 1377-1393.
- Secker, J. and Harris, W.E. (1996). The Early-Type Dwarf-to-Giant Ratio and Substructure in the Coma Cluster. Astrophysical Journal Vol. 469, p.623. October 1996. DOI: 10.1086/177810
- Secker, J. (1996). A Constraint on the Formation of Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies in the Dense Coma Cluster Core. Astrophysical Journal Letters Vol. 469, p.L81. October 1996. DOI: 10.1086/310280
- Secker, J., Wesson, P.S. and Lepock, J.R. (1996). Astrophysical and biological constraints on radiopanspermia. Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 90, p.184. August 1996.
- Secker, J., Lepock, J.R. and Wesson, P.S. (1994). Damage due to ultraviolet and ionizing radiation during the ejection of shielded micro-organisms from the vicinity of 1M ⊙ main sequence and red giant stars. Astrophysics and Space Science, Vol. 219, Issue 1, pp.1-28. September 1994. DOI: 10.1007/BF00657856
- Secker, J. (1993). A statistical investigation into the shape of the globular cluster luminosity distribution. Astronomical Journal, Vol. 104, p. 1472-1481. October 1992. DOI: 10.1086/116332
Theses (for J.A. Secker)
My M.Sc. and Ph.D. theses were both written at and published by McMaster University.
- SECKER, J. (1995). Deep CCD photometry of the rich galaxy cluster Abell 1656: characteristics of the dwarf elliptical galaxy population in the cluster core. Ph.D. Thesis, McMaster University. 234 pages.
- SECKER, J. (1992). A statistical analysis of globular cluster luminosity functions in selected large galaxies. M.Sc. Thesis, McMaster University. 117 pages.