Sunday, December 13, 2009

530)New NASA Craft, With Infrared Power, Will Map The Unseen Sky; Quotes From Blogpost Four Hundred.

"All human beings, by their nature, desire to know."(Aristotle, The Metaphysics, circa 322BC)

"One hour of contemplation on the works of the Creator is better than a thousand hours of prayer"(Prophet Muhammad, circa 632CE)

Chapter 51, verse 47: We built the heavens with might, and We expand it wide(Noble Quran, 7th Century CE)

Chapter 21, Verse 30: Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together before We clove them asunder, and of water fashioned every thing? Will they not then believe?(Noble Quran, 7th Century CE)

Chapter 30, Verse 27: He originates creation; then refashions it - for Him an easy task. His is the most Sublime Symbol in the heavens and the earth(Noble Quran, 7th Century CE)

"Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth; (Here) indeed are Signs for the people of intellect"(Noble Quran)

Kathalika yubayyinu Allahu lakum ayatihi la'allakum ta-'aqiloona: "Allah thus makes clear to you His Signs that you may intellect"(Holy Quran 2:242)

"In fact this world is a book in which you see inscribed the writings of God the Almighty"(Nasir Khusraw, 11th century Fatimid Ismaili cosmologist-philosopher-poet)

"The God of the Quran is the One whose Ayats(Signs) are the Universe in which we live, move and have our being"(Aga Khan III, April 4th 1952, Karachi, Pakistan)

"Islam is fundamentally in its very nature a natural religion. Throughout the Quran God's signs (Ayats) are referred to as the natural phenomenon, the law and order of the universe, the exactitudes and consequences of the relations between natural phenomenon in cause and effect. Over and over, the stars, sun, moon, earthquakes, fruits of the earth and trees are mentioned as the signs of divine power, divine law and divine order. Even in the Ayeh of Noor, divine is referred to as the natural phenomenon of light and even references are made to the fruit of the earth(Aga Khan III, April 4th 1952, Karachi, Pakistan)

"God has given us the miracle of life with all its attributes: the extraordinary manifestations of sunrise and sunset, of sickness and recovery, of birth and death, but surely if He has given us the means with which to remove ourselves from this world so as to go to other parts of the Universe, we can but accept as further manifestations the creation and destructions of stars, the birth and death of atomic particles, the flighting new sound and light waves. I am afraid that the torch of intellectual discovery, the attraction of the unknown, the desire for intellectual self-perfection have left us"(Aga Khan IV,Speech, 1963, Mindanao, Phillipines)

"Astronomy, the so-called “Science of the Universe” was a field of particular distinction in Islamic civilization-–in sharp contrast to the weakness of Islamic countries in the field of Space research today. In this field, as in others, intellectual leadership is never a static condition, but something which is always shifting and always dynamic"(Aga Khan IV, Convocation, American University of Cairo, Cairo, Egypt, June 15th 2006)

The above are 12 quotes and excerpts taken from Blogpost Four Hundred, a collection of around 100 quotes on the subjects of Knowledge, Intellect, Creation, Science and Religion:

December 8, 2009

New NASA Craft, With Infrared Power, Will Map the Unseen Sky


Most of the light from stars and other objects like planets in the universe is doubly invisible. It comes in the form of infrared, or heat radiation, with wavelengths too long for our eyes to pick up. Moreover, most infrared wavelengths do not penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere to get to our unseeing eyes.

So to take a proper inventory of cosmic shenanigans, astronomers have had to take to space. On Friday, they will get a little more help when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is scheduled to launch the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California as early as 9:09 a.m., Eastern time.

Circling the Earth in a polar orbit 300 miles high, the spacecraft, equipped with a 16-inch telescope and infrared detectors, will photograph the entire sky every six months.

WISE is a successor to the Infrared Astronomy Satellite, or IRAS, which was launched in 1983 and made the first heat maps of the sky. And it is a trailblazer for the giant James Webb Space Telescope due in 2014.

But whereas IRAS had 62 pixels in its camera, WISE has 4 million, said Edward L. Wright of the University of California, Los Angeles, principal investigator for the spacecraft. As a result, WISE will be hundreds of times as sensitive as its predecessor and able to survey a vastly larger volume of space.

Dr. Wright said he and his colleagues expected to see millions of new infrared sources, including ultraluminous galaxies that are breeding stars copiously inside shrouds of dust, and a thousand of the cool almost-stars known as brown dwarfs, which are bigger than Jupiter but too small to ignite thermonuclear reactions.

“We should find out how many old, cold brown dwarfs are out there,” Dr. Wright said.

The other prime targets include asteroids, especially so-called near-Earth objects that might one day pose a threat to civilization. The WISE astronomers hope to measure the diameters of hundreds of thousands of asteroids to get a better sense of how dangerous they are.

Dr. Wright said the project had been almost 12 years in the making and cost $320 million, including operations and launching.

“What we hope to do is find the most interesting objects for next-generation telescopes to look at,” he said.

“If we don’t find something totally unexpected,” he added, “I’ll be surprised.”

Easy Nash

The Qur'an itself repeatedly recommends Muslims to become better educated in order better to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
The Quran tells us that signs of Allah's Sovereignty are found in the contemplation of His Creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
This notion of the capacity of the human intellect to understand and to admire the creation of Allah will bring you happiness in your everyday lives: Aga Khan IV(2007)
Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2006)
The Holy Qu'ran's encouragement to study nature and the physical world around us gave the original impetus to scientific enquiry among Muslims: Aga Khan IV(1985)
The first and only thing created by God was the Intellect(Aql): Prophet Muhammad(circa 632CE)