Tuesday, January 26, 2010

551)A New Telescope Will Scan The Entire Sky And See (Infra)Red; Quotes Of Aga Khan IV And Aga Khan III

"...As we use our intellect to gain new knowledge about Creation, we come to see even more profoundly the depth and breadth of its mysteries. We explore unknown regions beneath the seas – and in outer space. We reach back over hundreds of millions of years in time. Extra-ordinary fossilised geological specimens seize our imagination – palm leaves, amethyst flowers, hedgehog quartz, sea lilies, chrysanthemum and a rich panoply of shells. Indeed, these wonders are found beneath the very soil on which we tread – in every corner of the world – and they connect us with far distant epochs and environments.
And the more we discover, the more we know, the more we penetrate just below the surface of our normal lives – the more our imagination staggers. Just think for example what might lie below the surfaces of celestial bodies all across the far flung reaches of our universe. What we feel, even as we learn, is an ever-renewed sense of wonder, indeed, a powerful sense of awe – and of Divine inspiration"(Aga Khan IV, Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, Ottawa, Canada, December 6th 2008)
For the full version of this quote see:

"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"(Aga Khan III, April 4th 1952, Karachi, Pakistan)


Science News

A new telescope will scan the entire sky and see (infra)red

By Stephen Ornes

Monday, January 4th, 2010

EnlargeA WISE scientist
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer project scientist Peter Eisenhardt stands next to the fully assembled satellite.NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech.

Anyone on Earth can look up and see the moon or stars, but it takes a telescope to get a glimpse of planets and the other bright and strange things that share our universe. Astronomers are always finding new ways to observe far-off galaxies and study the mysteries of deep space.

That’s why, on December 14, NASA blasted a small but mighty telescope into space. The telescope is called WISE and is about as wide around as a trashcan. Don’t let its small size fool you: WISE has a powerful digital camera, and it will be taking pictures of some the wildest objects in the known universe, including asteroids, faint stars, blazing galaxies and giant clouds of dust where planets and stars are born.

“I’m very excited because we’re going to be seeing parts of the universe that we haven’t seen before,” Ned Wright told Science News. Wright is the scientist who directs the WISE project, which costs about $320 million.

Since arriving in space, the WISE telescope has been circling the Earth, held by gravity in a polar orbit (this means it crosses close to the north and south poles with each lap). Its camera is pointed outward, away from the Earth, and WISE will snap a picture of a different part of the sky every 11 minutes. After six months it will have taken pictures across the entire sky.

The pictures taken by WISE won’t be like everyday digital photographs, however. WISE stands for “Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer.” As its name suggests, the WISE camera takes pictures of features that that give off infrared radiation.

Radiation is energy that travels as a wave. Visible light, including the familiar spectrum of light that becomes visible in a rainbow, is an example of radiation. When an ordinary digital camera takes a picture of a tree, for example, it receives the waves of visible light that are reflected off the tree. When these waves enter the camera through the lens, they’re processed by the camera, which then puts the image together. VoilĂ ! We see a tree.

EnlargeScanning the skiesAn artist illustrated WISE in space, along with a depiction of infrared radiation behind it.JPL/NASA

Waves of infrared radiation are longer than waves of visible light, so ordinary digital cameras don’t see them, and neither do the eyes of human beings. But we can feel some types of infrared radiation, in the form of heat.

That’s a key idea to why WISE will be able to see things other telescopes can’t. Not everything in the universe shows up in visible light. Asteroids, for example, are giant rocks that float through space — but they absorb most of the light that reaches them. They don’t reflect light, so they’re difficult to see. But they do give off infrared radiation, so an infrared telescope like WISE will be able to produce images of them. During its mission WISE will take pictures of hundreds of thousands of asteroids.

Brown dwarfs are another kind of deep-space object that will show up in WISE’s pictures. These objects are “failed” stars — which means they are not massive enough to jump start the same kind of reactions that power stars such as the sun. Instead, brown dwarfs simply shrink and cool down. They’re so dim that they’re almost impossible to see with visible light, but in the infrared spectrum they glow.

These are just a few of the wonders that will show up in a gallery of WISE’s greatest photos. During its mission, WISE will take pictures of hundreds of millions of stars, asteroids, galaxies and brown dwarfs. Not bad for a flying trashcan!


The range of invisible radiation that extends from the long wavelength, or red, end of the visible-light range to the microwave range. Invisible to the eye, it can be detected as a sensation of warmth on the skin.

Emission and propagation of energy in the form of rays or waves.

Small celestial bodies that revolve around the sun, usually with orbits lying between Mars and Jupiter. They’re usually between a few and several hundred miles in diameter.

Any of numerous large-scale aggregates of stars, gas and dust that constitute the universe, containing an average of 100 billion (1011) solar masses and ranging in diameter from 1,500 to 300,000 light-years.

An arrangement of lenses or mirrors or both that gathers visible light, permitting direct observation or photographic recording of distant objects


Easy Nash

In Shia Islam, intellect is a key component of faith. Intellect allows us to understand the creation of God: Aga Khan IV(2008)
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)