In astronomy, the Pleiades , or Seven Sisters , is an open star cluster containing middle-aged hot B-type stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky. The celestial entity has several meanings in different cultures and traditions.The cluster is dominated by hot blue and extremely luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. Dust that forms a faint reflection nebulosity around the brightest stars was thought at first to be left over from the formation of the cluster , but is now known to be an unrelated dust cloud in the interstellar medium, through which the stars are currently passing. Computer simulations have shown that the Pleiades was probably formed from a compact configuration that resembled the Orion Nebula. Astronomers estimate that the cluster will survive for about another 250 million years, after which it will disperse due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighborhood. Wikipedia.
News Article | May 15, 2017
-- Judith Gale Mont's,is inspired by the molluscan seashell's manifold of colors, patterns, and textures. Mont has combined Abstract Realism with the universe of the shell to transform its natural beauty into high-energy mixed-media paintings. Through reworking colors and magnifying patterns, she adds to the shells' surreal qualities. The intricacies of the natural world that we typically overlook explode onto the canvas, and yet her work maintains the organic quality of marine life. Overall, an integrative technique of naturalism alongside her imagination illuminates the subtle wonders of these molluscan creations, while elevating the unique patterns into something phantasmagorical.In addition to illustrating the beauty of marine life, Mont's work serves as a highlight for environmental concerns. These hidden sources of wonder are gradually disappearing. With the devastation of coral reefs worldwide, mankind is losing some of its most precious spectacles. She encourages us to move beyond our own perspective to see the glories of the universe of molluscan life. Through this artistic rendering, she wants us to seek in every nuance of these shells, patterns of ourselves. Thus, her works serve a dual purpose: to magnify and to promote an appreciation for these hidden sources of wonder.____Reflections of my deep passion for nature captivated me towards discovering the infinite intricacies found in living things. This intrigue led me below the waters into the fascinating world of marine life. The architectural details, in the home where these molluscan animals dwell possess an abundance of diversity. I have spotlighted this beauty through close examination interlaced with imagination.Jun 13- Sat, Jul 8, 2017Location: Pleiades Gallery530 W 25th St #405, New York, NY 10001Jun 17- Aug 22, 2017Location: AMSTERDAM WHITNEY INTERNATIONAL FINE ART, INC.531 West 25th Street, Ground Floor, Suite 4, New York, NY 10001
News Article | May 1, 2017
Gaia is a space observatory parked at the L2 Lagrange Point, a stable place in space a million miles behind Earth as viewed from the sun. Its mission is astrometry: measuring the precise positions, distances and motion of 1 billion astronomical objects (primarily stars) to create a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way galaxy. Gaia's radial velocity measurements—the motion of stars toward or away from us— will provide astronomers with a stereoscopic and moving-parts picture of about 1% of the galaxy's stars. Think about how slowly stars move from the human perspective. Generations of people have lived and died since the days of ancient Greece and yet the constellations outlines and naked eye stars appear nearly identical today as they did then. Only a few stars—Arcturus, Sirius, Aldebaran—have moved enough for a sharp-eyed observer of yore to perceive their motion. We know that stars are constantly on the move around the galactic center. The sun and stars in its vicinity orbit the core at some half-million miles an hour, but nearly all are so far away that their apparent motion has barely moved the needle over the time span of civilization as we know it. This video shows more than 2 million stars from the TGAS sample, with the addition of 24,320 bright stars from the Hipparcos Catalogue that weren't included in Gaia's first data release back in September 2016. The video starts from the positions of stars as measured by Gaia between 2014 and 2015, and shows how these positions are expected to evolve in the future, based on the stars' proper motions or direction of travel across space. The frames in the video are separated by 750 years, and the overall sequence covers 5 million years. The dark stripes visible in the early frames reflect the way Gaia scans the sky (in strips) and the early, less complete database. The artifacts are gradually washed out as stars move across the sky. Using the map above to get oriented, it's fun to watch Orion change across the millennia. Betelgeuse departs the constellation heading north fairly quickly, but Orion's Belt hangs in there for nearly 2 million years even if it soon develops sag! The Pleiades drift together to the left and off frame and then reappear at right. Stars seem to move with a wide range of velocities in the video, with stars in the galactic plane moving quite slow and faster ones speeding across the view. This is a perspective effect: most of the stars we see in the plane are much farther from us, and thus seem to be moving slower than the nearby stars, which are visible across the entire sky. Some of the stars that appear to zip in and out of view quickly are passing close to the sun. But motion of those that trace arcs from one side of the sky to the other while passing close to the galactic poles (top and bottom of the frame) as they speed up and slow down, is spurious. These stars move with a constant velocity through space. Stars located in the Milky Way's halo, a roughly spherical structure centered on the galaxy's spiral disk, also appear to move quite fast because they slice through the galactic plane with respect to the sun. In reality, halo stars move very slowly with respect to the center of the galaxy. Early in the the visualization, we see clouds of interstellar gas and dust that occupy vast spaces within the galaxy and block the view of more distant suns. That these dark clouds seem to disappear over time is also a spurious effect. After a few million years, the plane of the Milky Way appears to have shifted towards the right as a consequence of the motion of the sun with respect to that of nearby stars in the Milky Way. Regions that are depleted of stars in the video will not appear that way to future stargazers but will instead be replenished by stars not currently sampled by Gaia. So yes, there are a few things to keep in mind while watching these positional data converted into stellar motions, but the overall picture is an accurate one. I find the video as mesmerizing as watching fireflies on a June night. The stars seem alive. Enjoy your ride in the time machine! Explore further: New, highly accurate positions and motions available for millions of stars
News Article | May 2, 2017
The researchers say the wave formed billions of years ago, after a small galaxy cluster grazed Perseus and caused its vast supply of gas to slosh around an enormous volume of space. "Perseus is one of the most massive nearby clusters and the brightest one in X-rays, so Chandra data provide us with unparalleled detail," said lead scientist Stephen Walker at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "The wave we've identified is associated with the flyby of a smaller cluster, which shows that the merger activity that produced these giant structures is still ongoing." A paper describing the findings appears in the June 2017 issue of the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Galaxy clusters are the largest structures bound by gravity in the universe today. Some 11 million light-years across and located about 240 million light-years away, the Perseus galaxy cluster is named for its host constellation. Like all galaxy clusters, most of its observable matter takes the form of a pervasive gas averaging tens of millions of degrees, so hot it only glows in X-rays. Chandra observations have revealed a variety of structures in this gas, from vast bubbles blown by the supermassive black hole in the cluster's central galaxy, NGC 1275, to an enigmatic concave feature known as the "bay." The bay's concave shape couldn't have formed through bubbles launched by the black hole. Radio observations using the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in central New Mexico show that the bay structure produces no emission, the opposite of what scientists would expect for features associated with black hole activity. In addition, standard models of sloshing gas typically produced structures that arc in the wrong direction. Walker and his colleagues turned to existing Chandra observations of the Perseus cluster to further investigate the bay. They combined a total of 10.4 days of high-resolution data with 5.8 days of wide-field observations at energies between 700 and 7,000 electron volts. For comparison, visible light has energies between about two and three electron volts. The scientists then filtered the Chandra data to highlight the edges of structures and reveal subtle details. Next, they compared the edge-enhanced Perseus image to computer simulations of merging galaxy clusters developed by John ZuHone, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The simulations were run on the Pleiades supercomputer operated by the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division at Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California. Although he was not involved in this study, ZuHone collected his simulations into an online catalog to aid astronomers studying galaxy clusters. "Galaxy cluster mergers represent the latest stage of structure formation in the cosmos," ZuHone said. "Hydrodynamic simulations of merging clusters allow us to produce features in the hot gas and tune physical parameters, such as the magnetic field. Then we can attempt to match the detailed characteristics of the structures we observe in X-rays." One simulation seemed to explain the formation of the bay. In it, gas in a large cluster similar to Perseus has settled into two components, a "cold" central region with temperatures around 54 million degrees Fahrenheit (30 million Celsius) and a surrounding zone where the gas is three times hotter. Then a small galaxy cluster containing about a thousand times the mass of the Milky Way skirts the larger cluster, missing its center by around 650,000 light-years. The flyby creates a gravitational disturbance that churns up the gas like cream stirred into coffee, creating an expanding spiral of cold gas. After about 2.5 billion years, when the gas has risen nearly 500,000 light-years from the center, vast waves form and roll at its periphery for hundreds of millions of years before dissipating. These waves are giant versions of Kelvin-Helmholtz waves, which show up wherever there's a velocity difference across the interface of two fluids, such as wind blowing over water. They can be found in the ocean, in cloud formations on Earth and other planets, in plasma near Earth, and even on the sun. "We think the bay feature we see in Perseus is part of a Kelvin-Helmholtz wave, perhaps the largest one yet identified, that formed in much the same way as the simulation shows," Walker said. "We have also identified similar features in two other galaxy clusters, Centaurus and Abell 1795." The researchers also found that the size of the waves corresponds to the strength of the cluster's magnetic field. If it's too weak, the waves reach much larger sizes than those observed. If too strong, they don't form at all. This study allowed astronomers to probe the average magnetic field throughout the entire volume of these clusters, a measurement that is impossible to make by any other means. Explore further: The arrhythmic beating of a black hole heart More information: S. A. Walker et al. Is there a giant Kelvin–Helmholtz instability in the sloshing cold front of the Perseus cluster?, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017). DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx640
Pleiades | Date: 2012-01-10
Systems and methods for collecting information about a students educational and social activities from a plurality of networked sources, storing the information, and providing access to the information are provided. A collection component receives information associated with a student, including at least educational activity information. A portfolio component then associates the information in a portfolio for the student, which is stored in a data store, and an access component provide access to the portfolio. In an aspect, the collection component receives the information from an external source, such as an interactive electronic application, over a network in response to receipt of the information by the external source.
Pleiades | Date: 2014-09-17
Current approaches to paperless books use single screen laptop computers or electronic paper display (EPD)-based book readers. Laptop computers consume too much power and cannot be used for extended periods of time, such as an entire school day, without recharging its battery. EPD devices are limited in functionality due to their slow refresh rate and grey-scale only images. An embodiment of the present invention integrates bi-stable display technology and refresh display technology into a single device and manages the use of these technologies to achieve power savings while providing a rich set of display functionalities to support user interaction with content in a synergistic manner. The power savings functionality enables the device to have a battery operating life between charges of many hours of operation, such as eight hours or more, while the display functionality enables users to access, display, and interact with content in ways users have become accustomed and in ways not before possible.
Pleiades | Date: 2012-01-13
Systems and methods for collecting information about a students educational and social activities from a plurality of networked sources, storing the information, and providing access to the information are provided. A collection component receives information associated with a student, including at least educational activity information. A portfolio component then associates the information in a portfolio for the student, which is stored in a data store, and an access component provide access to the portfolio. An educational activity component provides educational activities to the student and a social activity component provides a public interface and social activities for students.
Pleiades | Date: 2012-01-09
Apparatus, system and methods provide a first screen that displays interactive content and a second screen that displays media content corresponding to portions of the text. The interactive content includes text and contextual references that operate as links to the media content displayed on the second screen. The contextual references provide video, graphical illustration, voice, text and/or interactive media in order to further enhance and complement the portions of the interactive content in the first display. Various resources enable creation of the media content and/or the interactive content in order to further provide historical descriptions, pictures, videos, contemporaneous writings and so on that complement the text of the book by providing further content. Resource inputs from various device components are compiled and used to playback an interactive experience for a user.
Pleiades | Date: 2012-01-10
The interactive electronic book can be displayed on a dual-screen electronic device, with a first screen that displays the text of the book, and a second screen that displays the contextual references. Links to the contextual references can be displayed on the first screen alongside the text or embedded in the text. The contextual references can be historical descriptions, pictures, videos, contemporaneous writings and so on that help to put the text of the book in context. The contextual references can relate to the portion of the text that is displayed on the first screen. Different modes allow for the displayed text to be shown in marked mode, or unmarked mode. The interactive electronic book can also include testing software which tests the reader on their understanding of the text. The interactive electronic book can also be updated with new texts and contextual references.
Pleiades | Date: 2011-12-29
Systems, methods, and apparatus are described herein that facilitate education through an interactive illustration. The systems, methods and apparatuses can facilitate both the design of a course employing the interactive illustration at an instructor interface and education utilizing the course at an educational terminal. The design of the course can be based on a selection of an image, a selection of an activity, a selection of a development level of a student and selection of a work stage. The same image can be utilized for different activities, development levels and work stages. Additionally, tools utilized with the interactive image can be the same for different images, activities, development levels and work stages. The tools can also be the same for the design of the course and the study utilizing the course.
Pleiades | Date: 2011-01-21
Systems, methods, and apparatus that couple portable educational terminal(s) with an instructor interface by way of an interactive, real-time educational system are presented herein. An educational component can be configured to authorize, via a network computing environment, a first communication between the educational component and an educational terminal; authorize, via the network computing environment, a second communication between the educational component and an instructor interface; and transfer, via the network computing environment, educational path information between the educational terminal and the educational component in response to the second communication. The educational path information can include digitized textbook information and/or relate to a lesson plan associated with the educational terminal. Further, the educational component can be configured to authorize the first communication in response to at least one of an alphanumeric registration, a voice activated registration, a biometric registration, or first information associated with the educational terminal.