On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.
"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs." --San Antonio Express-News
The uncertainty of science: In May 2020 scientists using the LIGO and VIGO gravitational waves telescopes detected evidence of a merger from two giant black holes, one of which was of a size that according to all theories had been considered “impossible.”
The short gravitational wave signal, GW190521, captured by the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave observatories in the United States and Europe on 21 May last year, came from two highly spinning, mammoth black holes weighing in at a massive 85 times and 66 times the mass of the Sun, respectively.
But that is not the only reason this system is very special. The larger of the two black holes is considered `impossible’. Astronomers predict that stars between 65 – 130 times the mass of the Sun undergo a process called pair instability, resulting in the star being blown apart, leaving nothing behind.
With a mass of 85 solar masses, the larger black hole falls squarely in that forbidden range, referred to as the upper black hole mass gap, and should be `impossible’.
The explanation the scientists propose is that this black hole initially formed with a mass smaller than 65 solar masses, and then sucked in matter, including a possible additional black hole merger, that raised its weight to 85 solar masses.
My July fund-raiser for Behind the Black is now over. The support from my readers was unprecedented, making this July campaign the best ever, twice over. What a marvelous way to celebrate the website's tenth anniversary!
Thank you! The number of donations in July, and continuing now at the beginning of August, is too many for me to thank you all personally. Please forgive me by accepting my thank you here, in public, on the website.
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