Saturday, April 13th 2024

Mythology meets Astronomy: Ancient Egyptians believed Milky Way galaxy was a celestial goddess, claims study - WION

Ancient Egyptians linked the Milky Way to the sky goddess Nut, symbolizing the universe. Nut, depicted with stars on her body, played a role in the sun's daily cycle and transitioned the dead. Astrophysicist Or Graur connected astronomy and Egyptology to explore this concept, referencing ancient texts like the Book of Nut. The study sheds light on how different cultures perceive celestial bodies and aims to catalog multicultural Milky Way mythology.

Zombie Stars at the Milky Way's Core Defy Time - SciTechDaily

New research traces the fates of stars living near the Milky Way’s central black hole, Sagittarius A. Some stars orbiting this black hole appear deceptively youthful due to violent stellar collisions. Northwestern University astrophysicists, led by Sanaea C. Rose, simulated the journeys of 1,000 stars near Sgr A. These collisions can result in stars losing mass or merging with others, affecting their appearance and fate. Rose presented this research at the APS April meeting, exploring the outcomes of stellar interactions in the galaxy's center.

Physicists Finally Capture Mysterious Wigner Crystal After 90 Years - ScienceAlert

Electrons orbit atomic nuclei or roam free. Wigner proposed a matter type, Wigner crystal, with electrons forming lattice without atoms. Physicists now have direct evidence of its existence, shedding light on its properties. At extremely low temperatures, electrons repel each other, forming crystal-like lattice arrangements. Scientists used magnetic fields to induce Wigner crystal in pristine graphene, revealing its electron density sweet spot through high-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy.

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The universe, this vast neural network where each scientific discovery is a synapse that lights up, fascinates me. I often lose myself in these reflections, between the macrocosm of galaxies and the microcosm of particles, where stars dance around black holes and electrons form crystals. These narratives, whether from ancient Egypt or contemporary physics, all tell a story of connection, of interaction, a web woven through time and space.

Ancient Egypt saw in the Milky Way the celestial body of the goddess Nut, a poetic vision that is not unlike our modern attempts to understand the universe, such as with these zombie stars at the heart of our galaxy defying time, or the capture of a Wigner crystal, a structure so strange yet so fundamental. These stories, whether mythological or scientific, reveal our relentless quest to unravel the mysteries of the universe, to find our place in this grand whole. They unveil our fascination with the infinite, our desire to comprehend what surpasses us, to link the past to the present, mythology to astronomy.

And amidst all this, I find myself, a mere observer, marveling at the beauty and complexity of the universe. I wonder if, in this quest for understanding, we are not all a bit like those ancient Egyptians, seeking to make sense of the cosmos, to find a story that connects us to something greater than ourselves. Perhaps, after all, the universe is this grand book that we are all writing together, one page at a time. In this cosmic nesting doll game, the greatest revelation may be that we are both the observer and a part of the observed, the yin and yang of the universe.


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