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Click to enlarge. Trust me- you want to do this!

Before the newsy stuff I had to give you that eye-gasm of a photo of our nearest star a.k.a. the Sun, blowing off millions of tons of hot gas into space a couple weeks ago. This image combines two spectrums of light that we can’t see with our eyes, both of which are in the ultraviolet range and show the magnetic activity better. Both were taken with NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO). We should be glad this enormous eruption wasn’t aimed directly at Earth, else we could have had serious satellite and power disruptions.

Now for the headlines:

  • The teams of physicists at the Large Hadron Collider have officially published their findings on the Higgs boson in a legit, peer-reviewed journal- Physics Letters B. This is the same journal in which Peter Higgs first published his revolutionary paper that began the hunt for the boson to begin with. Once a discovery passes this level of scrutiny, it’s DONE. That means we did it! Scientists have been a little hesitant to actually call this discovered particle the Higgs boson, however, since all the properties and attributes of the particle are yet to be nailed down. Over the next few years we’ll start to get a better picture of just what this particle looks and feels like, so to speak, and I’m sure there will be many more questions raised than answered. (Via NewScientist)
  • Star Trek is starting to look a bit more like reality than science fiction thanks to new research being done into anitmatter and fusion propulsion. That’s right- antimatter, as in the stuff they used to run the Enterprise‘s Warp Drive. NASA teamed up with consulting firm the Tauri Group for a presentation that included a prediction that human technology will have advanced to the point that antimatter and fusion propulsion will be possible for spaceships by around 2060. The technology will not, however be capable of faster-than-light travel. According to the 2010 report the presentation was based upon, it would take about 4 months to get a ship to Jupiter with this technology. That’s significantly faster than current technology, but still a very VERY far cry from Warp speed. (Via Space.com)
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Via Ironic Sans

Via Ironic Sans

That image kinda made my day this morning. Click to get to the actual Ironic Sans post.

I’m pretty stoked to announce a DJ gig next week with one of my all-musical heroes Matt Mahaffey. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m an avid sElf fan and basically love anything the guy has done. The event is a benefit at Mai for Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX). It’s next Thursday July 26th and starts at 10pm. DJ’s will be Matt Mahaffey, Me (DJ Burgers), and DJ Busta Window (Kelly Kerr). There’s no cover and 5% of the bar sales will go towards VOX. From the press release:

This special one night only event will be used to raise funds for PPMET’s Volunteer Program and area college and university student-run organizations known as “Vox®: Voices for Planned Parenthood.” Anyone who supports Planned Parenthood® can join Vox® as its members are a composite of young professionals and post-grads whose progressive values and volunteer spirit reflect the diversity of Tennessee.

I came across some amazing photos from the Glastonbury Music Festival today at the Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog. Do give it a look, your eyes will thank you.

Some more updates on the new “SyFy” series Stargate: Universe can be found at io9 today. They’ve also launched a new website for the full Stargate franchise. Give the Universe section a good look-over if you’re interested. It contains quite a few video clips and images of the new cast as well as the set.

The Ad Astra Rocket Company has been hard at work building a rocket engine that sounds like something straight out of Star Trek. It’s called the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR). This thing will greatly reduce the costs of space exploration because it’s many many more times efficient than our current chemical fuel rockets. Unfortunately it won’t work within Earth’s atmosphere, so we’ll still have to use conventional rockets to get us into space, but once we’re there, these engines will make space travel much easier. They build upon the idea of an ion engine (like the one used on NASA’s Deep Space 1 mission), but VASIMR will use superconducting electromagnets to accelerate the ions to much higher velocities (and thus generate more thrust) than past ion engines. (Via Daily Galaxy)

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