001"The drum in a dream pounds loud to the dreamer." ~ Carl Sandburg

Anisotropy: This term is frequently used to describe the temperature fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background. The word means not uniform, or not the same. Like if you dressed a calico cat with a plaid kilt then filled it with dark energy and exploded it for 13.76 billion years.

Belief: something YOU do not believe.

Big Bang Theory: Explanation for the overall growth of the current state of the Universe from something extremely small and quiet. Also a TV show.

Cosmic Microwave Background: This is the electromagnetic radiation "leftover" after the decoupling of photons from matter about 300,000 years after the Big Bang. Patterns in the microwaves probably hold the secret true nature of our Universe but they are useless for reheating leftovers.

Cosmology: An area of research restricted to the Universe and everything in it.


Critical Density: The minimum density needed for gravity to be critical. If the density of the Universe is this dense then it has already overcome the expansion of the Universe and collapsed in a "Big Crunch" and killed us all deader than hell.

Decoupling: Term that describes the event 300,000 years after the Big Bang where the Universe had finally cooled enough so that ordinary matter could form and photons could travel in a free path. During decoupling the Universe goes from opaque and clandestine to transparent with full disclosure. Terms and conditions may apply.

Event Horizon: Term relating either to the outer perimeter of a black hole, or to how far we can see into the Universe. The overall sphere of observability is known as the "Hubble Bubble." Because the Universe has a finite age, we cannot observe any part of the Universe that is farther away than its age in light years which boggles the mind. To even imagine seeing further requires Boggle Goggles.

Pharaoh Cops a Feel

Galaxy Cluster: A collection of galaxies that is held together by gravity and/or chocolate. Galaxy clusters are the largest objects in the Universe that have a gravitational pull strong enough to overcome the Hubble expansion, and thus galaxies in a cluster do not expand away from each other. If anything they get closer over time, uncomfortably close, sometimes downright inappropriate.

motherearth_literalGeocentric Universe: A model of the Universe that puts Earth at its center. Everything else is small and painted onto a plastic sphere just above the atmosphere. Many Geocentarians believe the world was created entirely for their personal exploitation of all the damned non-Geocentarians.

Half-life: Saturday night in Fresno.

Heliocentric Universe: A model of the Universe that puts our Sun at the center. What other star compares to our Sun? With the Sun's help we will destroy the Moabites. We will bury them on the mountain where our Sun lives. Then we will destroy the Ammonites. But not the Hittites because you know, iron chariots and stuff.


Hubble Expansion: Used to describe the expansion of the Universe based primarily on the redshifted light of distant galaxies. The relationship between recession velocity and distance is described by Hubble's Law which says that the farther something is away, the less chance we have of catching it.

219972763019686524_WqgKvOio_fHomogeneous: When we talk about a homogeneous Universe, we are making the assumption that the Universe is uniform, or has the same large-scale makeup throughout. This means that the matter density of a large-scale region, the amount of galaxies, stars, gas, dust, magazine re-subscribe notices, per given volume, is pretty much the same anywhere in the Universe. Cosmologists say if we lived in a non-homogeneous Universe the cream would have risen to the top by now.

Infinite: And so on forever etc...

Isotropic: An isotropic Universe has no preferred direction. It behaves the same in every direction. For example, infomercials on one side of the Universe are just as uninteresting as those on the other.

Primordial Soup: The name for the time in the evolution of the Universe when it was too hot to form ordinary matter, possibly from being left in the microwave too long.

Quark: Sound made by a durk.

coffegroundsRedshift: When a radiating object moves away from us, we observe a redshift in its light, the light waves it emits are getting longer. Objects moving towards us are blue-shifted. Objects that are green-shifted don't appear to move, or exist.

Steady State Theory: A dumbass theory of the Universe that no significant scientist believes has any credibility but might well turn out to be true. It basically states that the good old days never were what they used to be and that the future is no better or worse than it ever will be.

"You can be in my dream if I can be in yours." ~ Bob Dylan

Carpe Noctem.
Skywise Unlimited

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Comment by _Robert_ on March 9, 2014 at 5:20pm

My engineering school had this big dish antenna on the roof hooked up to an expensive receiver. I was playing around with digitized samples and wrote an auto-correlation routine using FFT's, and actually picked up some low frequency periodic signals. I was all excited because I had heard that quasars and galaxies can be "radio loud". Turned out the main signal I had discovered (that was buried in noise) was actually some navigational transmitter out in the Mid Pacific Ocean.

Comment by Brad Snowder on March 9, 2014 at 8:45pm

We have barely audible low freqs at my place (rural pacific northwest) that are hard to ignore at night, at least in the winter. Now the frogs are awake and cover them up with their chorus. Any idea what they could be? I've seen on the web that it is a common complaint throughout the country, maybe the world.


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