Sunday, September 30, 2012

Carbon on Mars

Mars, the Red Planet
In the previous post I introduced Robert Hurt's article on the study of PAHs in the Spitzer Space Center.

There I asked myself a simple question - is there carbon on Mars. After all, galactic clouds of space dust have PAHs and they contain carbon-hydrogen molecules. Carbon is the fundamental chemical element in all Organic Chemistry.

Well, I asked the question from wikipedia where an anonymous article tells us about the atmosphere of Mars
The atmosphere of Mars is relatively thin and is composed mostly of carbon dioxide (95.32%). There has been interest in studying its composition since the detection of trace amounts of methane, which may indicate the presence of life on Mars, but may also be produced by a geochemical process, volcanic or hydrothermal activity.

So, if already Mars atmosphere has carbon, the matter called organic by chemists, surely also it is present in the elements that constitute the planetary body of the intriguing rocky planet in our neighbourhood.

But carbon is not taken as proof of life - scientists are more interested in the quest of life on the traces of methane present in the atmosphere of Mars. Where does it come from?

PAH - organic elements in Space

PAH - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon
Image from a Spitzer feature article
Another Space Theology bookmark - Understanding Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Robert Hurt from Spitzer Science Center wrote in 2005 clearly and interestingly about Spitzer's detection of PAHs in galactic cirrus clouds and elsewhere explaining their great significance to our understanding of the origins of life in the Universe.
...The "hydrocarbon" refers to its composition of carbon and hydrogen atoms. "Polycyclic" indicates that these molecules consist of multiple loops of carbon atoms, while "aromatic" refers to the kinds of strong chemical bonds that exist between the carbon atoms.

... Chemists classify PAHs as "organic" compounds because of their carbon atoms. By definition, any molecule containing carbon is "organic," regardless of whether or not it originated from a biological process. To an astronomer, PAHs are powerful tools for exploring the building blocks necessary for the origins of life in the stars and galaxies beyond the Earth.
R. Hurt Spitzer feature article
Astronomers deal with rather complex matters so they simplify the language where possible by the nature of the subject studied. For example, any element heavier than helium is for them some metal.

Such nomenclature would not make sense when discussing planetary compositions because rocky planets have many different elements from the periodic table. The processes in planet formation have banged together all kinds of materials from cosmic dust present in the deep clouds of star formation. But metals are less dominant in discussions about star formations, spectral analyses of light from distant galaxies and so on where usually plain hydrogen gas rules.

Similarly, anything containing carbon is by definition organic. Such a definition in planetary astronomy would be rather confusing. Curiosity rover is desperately seeking for signs of biological life on planet Mars. Presumably there is no difficulty in finding carbon there, or is there? Yet, calling carbon deposits organic on Mars would be confusing at least to the general public.

Detection technique used with the instruments on Spitzer
Like all molecules, PAHs have a characteristic manner of interacting with light that allows them to be identified remotely. When molecules are energized, or elevated to excited energy states, they settle back down by emitting light at very specific colors of light. The exact set of colors is different for every compound, providing a unique "fingerprint" that can be identified even from great distances.

When PAH molecules are energized by absorbing photons of light, they then re-emit them at lower energies. . This process is known as "fluorescence" and is the same process by which a fluorescent dye will glow under a black light. In that example, the dye absorbs the ultraviolet photons that we cannot see and re-emits them in any of a variety of visible colors that we can see.
R. Hurt Spitzer feature article

Important results from the research on PAHs
Astronomers have learned that in interstellar space, the processes that give rise to dark clouds of dust, composed largely of silicon (like earthly sand), also produce organic PAHs.

Stars are born deep within dark, dense cores of gas and dust. And while the stars are composed primarily of hydrogen and helium gas, any Earth-like planets in surrounding solar systems will be built from the solid dust and organic compounds in these clouds. PAHs provide a useful probe into such regions, and provide clues to the abundance of potentially life-bearing chemicals.
In the distant universe, where galaxies are seen as no more than specks, spectra help astronomers trace out the earliest origins of organic chemistry. Since all of the elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, like carbon, were forged in the hearts of supernova explosions, early observations of PAH features help astronomers understand more about the origins and fates of the earliest generation of stars.
R. Hurt Spitzer feature article

This is so interesting!

I warmly recommend reading the entire article by Robert Hurt.

Better instruments for observation, better evidence for scientific analysis and so gradually approaching the greatest questions humanity is asking about the Universe - what is life!

Mock crash of galaxies - understanding Space in 3D

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-
ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and W. Keel (University of Alabama)
The rare Hubble Space Telescope image is very helpful in understanding the reality of the three-dimensional world seen in astrophotography

Telescope images have nothing to suggest visual perspective to our brain so everything appears to be on the same plane. This was the perception of the night sky that was common to all humanity looking at stars without the aid of optical instruments invented in late 16th century.

It took some serious research and development of mathematical techniques even to begin to understand the astronomic distances to the nearest stars.

For a view how a real collision of galaxies looks check this jewel like APOD image of a galaxy collision in NGC 6745.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hubble eXtreme Deep Field

Previous champion was Hubble Ultra Deep Field image 2004.
Taken towards constallation Forax
Hubblesite downloads
The XDF project with the amazing picture is described in the Space Telescope Science Institute HST projects page.

Another Space Theology bookmark Extraordinary view of Universe
In the bookmarked article dated 6 September 2012 BBC Science correspondent Jonathan Amos writes interestingly (and in good English) about the Hubble Space Telescope eXtreme Deep Field project that has now released a deep space image.
It incorporates more than 2,000 separate exposures over 10 years using Hubble's two main cameras - the Advanced Camera for Surveys, installed by astronauts in 2002, and the Wide Field Camera 3, which was added to the observatory during its final servicing in 2009.
Jonathan Amos BBC
The purpose of the XDF project is to get an image that surpasses in depth the Hubble Ultra Deep Field composite photo shown above.

The UDF image "required 800 exposures taken over the course of 400 Hubble orbits around Earth. The total amount of exposure time was 11.3 days, taken between Sept. 24, 2003 and Jan. 16, 2004" (UDF news release).

Better than the XDF Hubble cannot!

The next instrument of observation that is expected to penetrate even more deeply towards the early days of the Universe is  James Webb Space Telescope that NASA schedules for launch in 2018.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vela Supernova Remnant

Wide field X-ray image. Rosat Observatory, NASA

Space Theology bookmark Bill Blair's Vela Supernova Remnant Page

A massive star exploded in our Galaxy in the direction of the Southern constellation Vela some 11.000 years ago. Vela Supernova explosion took place only 815 ly from the Sun. In the heart of the expanding cloud is what remains of the once mighty star, a tiny but powerful pulsar.

We may assume that there was some serious cosmic radiation on Earth from that short distance. Today the remnant so dramatically visible in the Rosat Observatory X-ray image shown above is about 16 times the size of full moon.

The remarkable Pencil Nebula seen in this APOD image is located in the Vela SNR.

Year 9.000 before Christ there was absolutely no artificial light pollution so the new bright star on the sky must have been quite a spectacular sight. It was so bright that for some days it must have been clearly visible also during the day.

At the time of the massive star explosion the Neolithic Revolution was just starting in the Near East bringing with it the rise of early agriculture. It would still take some 6000 years before the time of the first high civilizations in the great river valleys of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China.

Archaeologists no very little about the religion and cosmology of Neotlithic people. We may assume, however, that the great interest given to heavenly objects in the earliest civilizations leaving written documents reflect very ancient traditions.

For comparison to the Vela SNR, a modern record of a supernova explosion in the constellation of Cassiopeia was made by Danish astronomer Tycho Brache in 1572. It also took place in the Milky Way but at much greater distance of 13.000 ly from the Sun. It was so bright that it remained visible during the day. In comparison, Vela supernova was just in the neighbourhood and must have been a brilliant and awesome sight.

Tycho's Supernova has been photographed by Chandra X-ray Observatory  - today the diameter of the SNR cloud is about 55 ly.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Light on Dark energy

Dark Energy Camera was activated 12 Sept 2012
Image NOAO
BBC Science & Environment has another excellent - but this time anonymous - article informing the public about CTIO Dark Energy Survey. It has now activated it's very very very high resolution digital camera to allow careful examination of light reaching Earth from distant galaxy clusters.
The Dark Energy Survey's 570-million-pixel camera will scan some 300 million galaxies in the coming five years.

The goal is to discover the nature of dark energy, which is theorised to be responsible for the ever-faster expansion of the Universe.

Its first image, taken 12 September, focussed on the Fornax galaxy cluster.

This enormous survey is a collaboration between US, UK, Brazilian, Spanish and German astronomers.

The phone box-sized Dark Energy Camera or DECam is mounted on the 4m Victor M Blanco telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile's Atacama desert.
Read the entire article in BBC website Sept 19 2012

Another Space Theology bookmark BBC Science - Dark energy camera

Monday, September 17, 2012

His Sun in action

This recently erupted filament is about 300.000 km long
Spectacular UV image of an erupting filament tells more about His sun than thousand words!
But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father who is in Heaven. For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Jesus Christ
Matthew 5:44-45 KJ21
Another Space Theology bookmark A Solar filament erupts

Friday, September 14, 2012


Good projects usually have good project names, as well!

Space explorers have chosen names that honour important scientists: Hubble space telescope, James Webb space telescope (his family name alone would not do!), Cassini-Huygens probe, Galileo satellite navigation system and so on.

Making an exception from this tradition NASA has given the following names to the Mars rovers
  • Curiosity
  • Opportunity
  • Spirit
We can try to imagine the lively discussions that have been taking place on NASA corridors and around coffee tables as alternative names have been suggested, weighted and perhaps even voted for. Naming a thing is creative and fun task but it is not always easy to find a suitable identifier that is not something as obvious - and boring - as Mars Science Laboratory as the host of Curiosity is officially called.

Curiosity is an excellent name for the Mars rover. It reminds us about a fundamentally significant characteristic in humanity that it is so strong that American tax payers are ready to accept spending billions of dollars to satisfy our curiosity about the Red Planet and its ancient waters and life forms.

As wikipedia writes
Curiosity (from Latin curiosus "careful, diligent, curious," akin to cura "care") is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning, evident by observation in human and many animal species. The term can also be used to denote the behavior itself being caused by the emotion of curiosity. As this emotion represents a thirst for knowledge, curiosity is a major driving force behind scientific research and other disciplines of human study.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

In Sweden September 2012...

In Sweden September 2012
Some lovers of humanity
rejecting worship of God of Israel
the only real God there is

Set up an alternative
non-religion of Scientific Knowledge
Fête de la Raison veritable
(Liberté, égalité, fraternité)
with Professors as Prophets of Truth.

Thank God
the Stockholm Cathedral
was full of Swedes worshiping the real God
congregation including many Professors
who know much
about what today is considered to be true.

And in the Autumn sky above Stockholm
the stars of the night proclaimed the glory of God
As is written in the ancient Book
(also in Swedish
by the command of the King and the king).

För sångmästaren; en psalm av David.
Himlarna förtälja Guds ära, och fästet förkunnar hans händers verk;
den ena dagen talar därom till den andra, och den ena natten kungör det för den andra;
det är ej ett tal eller språk vars ljud icke höres.

De sträcka sig ut över hela jorden, och deras ord gå till världens ändar. Åt solen har han gjort en hydda i dem;
och den är såsom en brudgum som går ut ur sin kammare, den fröjdar sig, såsom en hjälte, att löpa sin bana.
Vid himmelens ända är det den går upp, och dess omlopp når intill himmelens gränser, och intet är skylt för dess hetta.
Psaltar 19:1-7 SV1917

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ulf Danielsson and Swedish Parliament opening 2013

Coat of arms of Swedish Parliament

The opening of Swedish Parliament Riksdag traditionally includes divine service in Stockholm Cathedral Domskyrkan. The preacher this year is Pentecostal preacher Niklas Piensoho.

Signe Hassler reports that Swedish humanists arrange an alternative for the Parliament opening service in a local restaurant. Professor Ulf Danielsson speaks there about scientific creation stories.
I stället för att få lyssna till predikan från pingstpastor Niklas Piensoho så har Humanisterna anlitat Ulf Danielsson, professor i astrofysik som ska tala om den vetenskapliga skapelseberättelsen.
Kyrkans Tidning

Professor Ulf Danielsson
Photo Sverige Radio 

Ulf Danielsson (1964) is Professor of Theoretical Physics, Decan and Vice President of Uppsala University.

It is significant that this eminent professor has accepted invitation by Swedish humanists to speak in a  setting where Astrophysics are presented an alternative to Christian worship of God of Israel, the only real God there is.

Top scientists believe or do not believe just like the rest of humanity and Sweden watches over freedom of religion, even freedom from religion.

This high-profile political provocation underlines the significance and even urgency of themes that I from my part have raised in Astrotheology (Space Theology) blog postings. For nothing in the subjects dealt so far contradicts the claim made by the God of Israel that He has created everything, including Ulf Danielsson.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Red life forms on Mars - Halophiles?

Opportunity on Meridiani Planum Mars  NASA

BBC Science correspondent Rachel Buchanan wrote an article about a research project in pink life led by Dr Bonnie Baxter in which Dr Shil DasSharma has participated:
The Great Salt Lake in Utah has an otherworldly quality to it. It is a pink-tinged hyper-saline lake trimmed with a halo of salt that encrusts everything it touches.

This inland sea is home to dozens of species of salt-loving micro-organisms - so called halophiles - that thrive in the sodium-chloride-rich soup.

The lake and surrounding Bonneville Salt Flats are the remnants of a much larger, ancient body of water - Lake Bonneville - which drained away thousands of years ago.

But despite the lake's historic existence, little is known about its curious inhabitants, and that is something Dr Bonnie Baxter, of Salt Lake City's Westminster College, plans to change.

She has teamed up with leading halophile experts, including Dr Shil DasSarma of the University of Maryland, to take the first inventory of the lake's microbes.
Dr Baxter has similar aspirations for her Salt Lake inhabitants.

They employ solar-powered salt pumps to keep their internal salt concentrations lower than the water around them. But to drive those pumps, the microbes need to be at the surface which means basking in the Sun's damaging ultraviolet light all day.

But therein lies their powerful secret. The pink colour of the lake is due, in part, to the pigments - carotenoids - that the lake's microbes produce.

These shield their DNA from damage, like an in-built sunscreen, a characteristic Dr Baxter believes could be exploited.

Bonneville Salt Plains Utah

In Dr DasSarma, she has a partner of impeccable pedigree for the project. He was the first to sequence the genome of a halophile - Halobacterium species NRC-1 - in 2000.

Work on its Utah cousins has only just begun but Dr DasSarma says their initial results are showing just how novel these organisms are.

When you compare the DNA of a new species to a gene bank to see if their genes resemble those of known organisms, "normally, three out of four times you find something similar," Dr DasSarma said.

"But when you do this with the Salt Lake, the majority of genes are novel - they are like nothing on Earth."

It is appropriate then that parallels are being drawn between locations like this and Meridiani Planum on Mars. This is where Nasa's Opportunity rover has discovered it is parked on top of an evaporate basin like Utah's Bonneville flats, the remnants of an ancient Martian salty sea.

As the conditions on early Mars got colder and harsher, it lost liquid water through evaporation or sequestration into permafrost.

Remaining bodies of water would have been increasingly salty places, and then finally all liquid water disappeared, and the salt deposits eventually lithified into the evaporate rocks the rover sees today.

Any early Martian microbe would have had to withstand a high salt environment and intense UV radiation. Sound familiar?

In 2000, researchers actually managed to revive 250-million-year-old halo-tolerant bacteria found on Earth in underground salt crystals. Could we possibly do the same with Martian microbes?

As she sits on a salt-frosted rock looking out over the Great Salt Lake, Dr Baxter admits to fantasising about such a prospect.

"When I see this lake, I think 'why is it any different to an evaporated saline lake on Mars? What if I had a chunk of that lake bed on Mars - what kind of things could I grow from that?'"

Rachael Buchanan
Read the entire article in BBC NEWS Science/Nature May 18 2004

See also my blogs on chlorophyll in God and Molecular Biology

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Spectacular image from Star Shadow Remote Observatory

Hydrogen a glow around the Horseshoe nebula.

Another Space theology bookmark

An absolutely spectacular photo about the grandeur of Nature.

Praise the Lord!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Gold in the Bible

Romangoldcoins are worth their weight in gold!
In fact, in many cases they are worth a lot more.
Buy gold!
Gold is made by God of Israel in the brightly exploding supernovas. It is buried deep in Earth's core, gold has rained from heavens in meteorites and eroded from mountains into the waters of rivers and oceans. Humans have found gold since prehistoric times in exposed Precambrian rocks and considered it the most precious metal of all. In fact, your engagement or wedding ring is probably also made of gold showing the high respect the yellow metal has as a symbol - not to mention Olympic gold metals!

The Bible has plenty of gold and gives this precious metal extraordinary importance. Nevertheless, both Jesus of Nazareth and Saint Peter were paupers!

[Hebrew word for gold is זהב (zahav) and New Testament Greek word χρυσος (chrysos).]

Gold in the beginning - Paradise
Pure gold is greatly valued even in Paradise!
A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.)
Genesis 2:10-12 NIV

King Solomon's gold

Menorah, the seven branched candelabrum in Solomon's Temple was solid gold, the Ark of Covenant was made of acacia tree covered by gold leaf and ...
The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents, not including the revenues from merchants and traders and from all the Arabian kings and the governors of the territories.

King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred shekels of gold went into each shield. He also made three hundred small shields of hammered gold, with three minas of gold in each shield. The king put them in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.

Then the king made a great throne covered with ivory and overlaid with fine gold. The throne had six steps, and its back had a rounded top. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them. Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom.

All King Solomon’s goblets were gold, and all the household articles in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Nothing was made of silver, because silver was considered of little value in Solomon’s days.

The king had a fleet of trading ships at sea along with the ships of Hiram. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons.

King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift—articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.
1 Kings 10:14-25 NIV
“Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?
Jesus in Matthew 23:16-17 NIV

Gold to the newborn King!
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2:11 NIV

Saint Peter the Pauper
When we are looking at the golden treasures in St Peter's Church in Rome let us not forget ...
Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
Acts 3:6 NIV

Jesus borrows a coin 
Jesus of Nazareth had to borrow a coin in order to make a point about the sensitive political matter of paying taxes to the Roman Emperor... not even a single silver dinar in His purse not to mention gold coins.
Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

And they were amazed at him.
Mark 12:3-17 NIV

Gold in Heaven
For us modern believers Heaven is a highly spiritual and rather ephemeral place. But the description of the golden crowns of the Elders as well as the walls and streets of New Jerusalem are very material, indeed!
The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.

The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.

The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
Rev 21:16-21 NIV

Yes, there is plenty of gold in the Bible - these are just some examples.

There is much more gold in the Holy Scriptures - go and dig for free!


Mojave Nugget, a gold nugget weighing 156 ounces (4.9 kg).
From the Stringer district, Kern County, California.

Gold - my precious!
Pure gold (Old English gulth "bright", ghol "yellow", Sanskrit jval "shaining") has an attractive bright yellow color and luster which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. It is a chemical element with the symbol Au (from Latin aurum) and atomic number 79 which makes it one of the higher atomic number elements which occur naturally.

Gold is one of the least reactive chemical elements solid under standard conditions. The metal therefore occurs often in free elemental (native) form, as nuggets or grains in rocks, in veins and in alluvial deposits. Less commonly, it occurs in minerals as gold compounds, usually with tellurium.

Like all elements with atomic numbers larger than iron, gold is thought to have been formed from a supernova nucleosynthesis process. Their explosions scattered metal-containing dusts (including heavy elements like gold) into the region of space in which they later condensed into our solar system and the Earth. Because the Earth was molten when it was just formed, almost all of the gold present on Earth sank into the core.

Where to look for gold on Earth?

  • Gold is found in ores in rock formed from the Precambrian time onward.It most often occurs as a native metal, typically in a metal solid solution with silver.
  • Most of the gold that is present today in the Earth's crust and mantle was delivered to Earth by asteroid impacts during the late heavy bombardment.
  • Native gold occurs as very small to microscopic particles embedded in rock, often together with quartz or sulfide minerals such as "Fool's Gold", which is a pyrite.
  • The metal in a native state is also found in the form of free flakes, grains or larger nuggets that have been eroded from rocks and end up in alluvial deposits called placer deposits.
  • Microbes can sometimes play an important role in forming gold deposits, transporting and precipitating gold to form grains and nuggets that collect in alluvial deposits.
  • The world's oceans contain gold. Measured concentrations of gold in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific are 50–150 fmol/L or 10–30 parts per quadrillion (about 10–30 g/km3).

From Widipedia, text heavily rearranged by me.
Read the original article from here.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Blue moon
Photo Simon Smith NASA APOD
Click here to admire the spectacular photo of full moon over Nottingham, UK by Simon Smith. The bluish areas on Moon's surface are more clearly visible in the original APOD photo. These areas are coloured by titanium oxide and iron.

Titanium on Earth
Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It has a low density and is a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant (including sea water, aqua regia and chlorine) transition metal with a silver color.

The element occurs within a number of mineral deposits, principally rutile and ilmenite, which are widely distributed in the Earth's crust and lithosphere, and it is found in almost all living things, rocks, water bodies, and soils. It is also found in coal ash, plants, and even the human body. 

Titanium is always bonded to other elements in nature. It is the ninth-most abundant element in the Earth's crust (0.63% by mass) and the seventh-most abundant metal. It is present in most igneous rocks and in sediments derived from them (as well as in living things and natural bodies of water). Of the 801 types of igneous rocks analyzed by the United States Geological Survey, 784 contained titanium. Its proportion in sois is approximately 0.5 to 1.5%
Titanium in Space
Titanium is contained in meteorites and has been detected in the sun and in M-type stars; the coolest type of star with a surface temperature of 3,200 °C (5,790 °F). Rocks brought back from the moon during the Apollo 17 mission are composed of 12.1% TiO2.

Searching evidence about gravitational waves

Spacetime curvature was suggestsed by Einstein
BBC Future 31. August 2012 has an article by award winning science writer Philip Ball that tells with admirable clarity about current search for proof of the existence of gravitational waves predicted by Einstein in 1916 in his general theory of relativity.

There is a fascinating new European Union project to build an Einstein telescope that would be able to catch such extremely difficult to measure ripples of cosmic waves caused by gravity curving the spacetime continuum.

Philip Ball also tells about the theory that detectable gravitational waves might be created under the extreme conditions in the collapsed remains of stars called neutron stars. Following are some excerpts of the article(with my subtitles).Read the entire text in this link

Fundamental unity of micro- and macro-cosmos
"One thing physics has taught us is that events at the smallest possible scales can have consequences of cosmic proportions. And, in turn, studying some of the universe’s most spectacular astrophysical phenomenon can reveal a lot about physics at its most elementary level.

The latest example of this has been proposed by a team of researchers in Europe – they say that studying the contours of burned-out remnants of stars thousands of light years away could provide concrete evidence for two of the most sought-after phenomena in fundamental physics."

Gravitational waves by analogy
"The first phenomenon, gravitational waves, was predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which explained the force of gravity as a curvature in spacetime induced by mass. Einstein’s theory is typically illustrated by depicting spacetime as if it resembled a rubber sheet, which a heavy object (such as a star or planet) bends down into a dimple, into which other objects can roll. In this analogy, a disturbance of the heavy mass can produce a ripple in the sheet, radiating outwards like a splash in a pond. This is a gravitational wave, which carries away some energy from the source. When a gravitational wave passes by, it distorts spacetime so that distances get very slightly shorter or longer in the direction of the wave."

Is there quark matter?
"The second sought-after phenomena in fundamental physics. It supposes that the incredibly high density of the star could squash its atoms not into neutrons but into a sea of the still more fundamental particles of which atomic nuclei are made: quarks.

It’s not known if this “quark matter” can really exist. Some hope that it might be sighted in the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator at CERN in Geneva, but a better bet could be to search for its signature in neutron stars – which would then in fact be quark stars, most probably with a core of quark matter coated with ordinary matter such as neutrons."
Philip Ball BBC Science