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  1. First images of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot reach Earth July 12, 2017 William Harwood STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS & USED WITH PERMISSION An enhanced color view of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot from the Juno spacecraft flyby Monday. Credit: NASA / SWRI / MSSS / Greg Smye-Rumsby / Astronomy Now Two days after NASA’s Juno spacecraft streaked over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, pictures of the solar system’s largest, most powerful storm, have been transmitted to Earth, giving eager scientist close-up views of the 10,000-mile-wide anticyclone where 400-mph winds have been howling for at least 187 years and possibly much longer. The solar-powered Juno reached the low point of its 53-day orbit around Jupiter, at 9:55 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) Monday, passing within about 2,200 miles of the planet’s cloud tops. Eleven-and-a-half minutes later, it made its first pass directly over the Great Red Spot at an altitude of about 5,600 miles and a velocity of some 130,000 mph. The spacecraft’s camera — JunoCam — and its eight other science instruments were all operating at close approach and the first raw, unprocessed pictures were posted on the camera website early Wednesday. Additional processing is expected to bring out much more detail in the images that, when coupled with data from Juno’s other instruments, will shed more light on the nature of the storm and presumably help answer questions that have baffled scientists for nearly two centuries if not longer. Despite long-term observations by ground-based telescopes and a variety of spacecraft, including the Hubble Space Telescope, the Voyager probes and the Galileo orbiter, scientists still do not understand what powers the storm, how deep it extends below Jupiter’s cloud tops, how long it has swirled or even the source of its reddish hue. Likewise, no one knows why the Great Red Spot has shrunk over the past several decades, becoming more circular than oval, whether the reduction is a transient phenomenon or an indicator that the storm may be dissipating. “Not a lot is known,” Scott Bolton, principal investigator with NASA’s Juno probe, told CBS News in an interview Monday. “Here’s the largest and most fierce storm in the entire solar system and it’s lasted hundreds of years, so that’s a lot different than anything else we’ve ever studied. “The question is, how can it last that long? What’s powering it, how’s it really working inside?” With any luck, the Juno spacecraft might may provide at least some of the answers to Bolton’s questions. This illustration depicts NASA’s Juno spacecraft soaring over Jupiter’s south pole. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech While NASA’s Voyager spacecraft captured spectacular zoomed-in images of the Great Red Spot during flybys in 1979, as did the Galileo orbiter in the 1990s and the Cassini probe during its voyage to Saturn, they were not nearly as close to Jupiter as Juno is at the low point of its orbit. JunoCam is a relatively wide-angle camera intended to provide context for Juno’s other instruments and it was added to the mission primarily to engage the public. Because Juno is spinning, the camera’s images show thin strips of the cloudscape below that can be stitched together later to form a full picture. Juno will make repeated passes over the Great Red Spot and “we’re so close, I think we’re going to blow their stuff away,” Bolton said of earlier missions. “We’ll see when we see it. Eventually, we’ll be able to make a bit of a movie, I’m hoping, that you won’t have been able to see before. We’ll definitely get an up-close-and-personal view, and hopefully be able to provide something that lets the viewer feel like they’re riding along.” Launched Aug. 5, 2011, the solar-powered Juno picked up a gravitational boost during a close flyby of Earth in October 2013, putting the craft on a trajectory to intersect Jupiter. Six years later, on July 4, 2016, Juno’s main engine fired to put the craft into an initial 53-day polar orbit. Mission managers originally planned to maneuver Juno into a 14-day “science orbit,” but they opted not to use the main engine again because of a potential problem with the propellant pressurization system. That will stretch out the time needed to complete the mission’s planned observations, but it has no impact on the quality of the data. The unprocessed JunoCam images of the Great Red Spot will be enhanced to bring out subtle details and other data. Scientists are especially eager to learn how far down into the atmosphere the huge storm might extend. Juno’s microwave radiometer can detect radiation coming from six cloud levels, allowing scientists to get an indirect view of what’s going on as deep as 340 miles below the visible cloud tops. Earlier Juno observations of other regions show “there are motions going on deep in Jupiter … that we did not expect,” Bolton said. “Even 50 kilometers down it doesn’t seem to be behaving the way we thought,” he said. “Most scientists believed that as soon as you drop below the sunlit clouds and you got into where the sunlight didn’t reach that everything would kind of be uniform and boring. And that’s not the case. We see quite a bit of variability.” As for how deep the Great Red Spot might extend, “nobody knows,” Bolton said. “Juno’s equipped to see below the cloud tops,” he said. “We will compare how Jupiter looks underneath its cloud tops at different latitudes with the part where you go right over the Great Red Spot and see if it looks any different. We’ll look several hundred kilometers down in this first pass.” During future passes over the Great Red Spot, Bolton said Juno will map out the gravitational field below and around the storm to find out if there might be a “blob of mass” far below the cloud tops that could play a role in the storm’s persistence. “We will not look at that on this flyby but some future one,” Bolton said. “The first (pass) is just look remotely, we’ll see down a few hundred kilometers. … We’ll sort of just investigate how does the veneer of Jupiter match with what’s underneath. “We’ll also see the dynamics and the sheer beauty of the Great Red Spot for the first time,” he added. “We’ll search for lightning, signals of maybe water clouds or ammonia ice coming up through this region, we just don’t know what to expect. And one of the things I’ve learned from Juno already, even if I thought I knew what to expect, don’t believe it too much.” https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/07/12/first-images-of-jupiters-great-red-spot-reach-earth/
  2. Salam and hello everyone, I apologize from the get go if this sounds like a Tumblr post but I genuinely want to hear from other Shiachat lurkers regarding the titular question. Over the past few years I've had the opportunity to meet people from a multitude of backgrounds and diverse schools of thought and I was shocked by how fragile the structural integrity of my beliefs was. Everything that I've ever known was challenged, and I started to question the very nature of my existence. Now of course one could blame it on my upbringing, maybe I didn't attend enough lectures or didn't pray hard enough. It's possible, but I urge you to approach this topic pragmatically and with an open mind. Have you ever considered that there is no God and we're really the consequence of...coincidence? A magnificent one on a celestial scale, but a coincidence nonetheless? There way as well may be infinite multiverse a out there, is it really that special to have life spring up on the tiniest of planets in the tiniest of solar systems in some so and so galaxy? And if we're to put aside the sheer awesomeness of the world for a minute, what really is there to compel a belief in a God? Many of us claim that God has a destiny for us, and there's a grand plan. Things have a way of working out in the end, don't they? But what if that's all just the human mind trying to rationalize the unexplainable, or attempting to live with the fact that ultimately nothing is under its control? Haven't there been countless events in history where powerful folk used religion for political agendas such as conquer and control? Hell, some religions were born from purely those motives. Gods all around the world have similar attributes and godly stories similar themes, and I feel like the differences in belief systems only reflect the differences in circumstances, geography, history etc. The Sumerians in ancient Mesopotamia believed in Gilgamesh's Epic (origins of Noah's Ark story, some say) because their livelihood depends so deeply on the rise and recede of the Tigris and Euphrates. The Roman Empire eventually adopted Christianity because it was better suited for its imperialistic needs. The point is, each society in history had molded the concepts of a higher deity(ies) as was needed by the people of its time. Too many times I've seen Muslims poking fun at say, Hindus, for having one too many gods, but I'm a little tired of my brethren walking around like it's their birthright to walk straight into Heaven. Why should you be any more proud to be a Muslim than if you're proud to be tall or have ten fingers? The only reason I haven't completely abandoned the idea of a God is because I don't understand death. It certainly makes it easier to fathom my inevitable doom by thinking that we have a purpose. I want to, nay, I need to believe in a grand scheme if I'm to live my life not in a state of a constant existential crisis. Who's to say anyone of us is right?
  3. I recently did an article on the existence of god on one of the threads which I think would benefit everyone: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem al-Mustafa Muhammad and upon his immaculate, pure and chosen household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth. So the topic here is about Atheism, which as an Ex-Atheist myself can say is like relying on elephants to walk on a spiders web, but unfortunately nowadays "Atheism" or how I label it as "Lack of common logic" has been equalled with being enlightened or somehow intelligent. Leaving out of course the great Muslim and Christians Scientists and Philosophers like Isaac Newton, Mullah Sadra, Ibn al-Haytham etc. out of the picture completely but nevertheless let us dive into this. First Question: Is the universe Eternal? Well there are many reasons why the universe cannot have existed forever: The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: The Second Law of Thermodynamics is about the quality of energy. It states that as energy is transferred or transformed, more and more of it is wasted. (https://www.livescience.com/50941-second-law-thermodynamics.html) So if the universe was eternal how come we still find ourselves with energy? Why has it not been wasted already if our universe had existed for ever? The Theory of relativity: Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity means that the universe had a beginning and was not eternal as he had previously believed (Einstein was originally a pantheist). His theory proved that the universe is not a cause, but instead one big effect—something brought it into existence. Einstein disliked his end result so much that he introduced a “fudge factor” into his theory that allowed for an eternal universe. But there was only one problem. His fudge factor required a division by zero in his calculations—a mathematical error any good math student knows not to make. When discovered by other mathematicians, Einstein admitted his error calling it “the greatest blunder of my life.” After his acknowledgment, and upon confirming further research that showed the universe expanding just as his theory of relativity predicted, Einstein bowed to the fact that the universe is not eternal. Galaxy seeds: Scientists believe that, if the Big Bang is true (first, there was nothing, then, BANG, something came into being), then temperature “ripples” should exist in space, and it would be these ripples that enabled matter to collect into galaxies. To discover whether these ripples exist, the Cosmic Background Explorer – COBE – was launched in 1989 to find them, with the findings being released in 1992. What COBE found was perfect/precise ripples that, sure enough, enable galaxies to form. The radiation echo: Bell Labs scientists in 1965. What is it? It is the heat afterglow from the Big Bang. Its discovery dealt a death blow to any theory of the universe being in a steady state because it shows instead that the universe exploded. Hydrogen turning into helium: In the basic Hydrogen fusion cycle, four Hydrogen nuclei (protons) come together to make a Helium nucleus. If the universe is eternal then how come we still have hydrogen? Why has it not already turn into helium? This is as far science can go with my argument, since now on it is based on Mathematics, Logic and Philosophy. Some Atheists insist that energy could have exited at a quantum level, however there are 3 major flaws in this: 1) How can the laws of the universe apply before the universe even existing? 2) How can this simple quantum energy create such precision in the universe we reside in? There is something interesting they point out by saying ' This energy could've needed some time to heat up and BOOM! Flaws: 1) Time is an aspect that governs this universe. 2) This is implies an impossible infinity. For example, if someone tells you he has been counting down since infinity for ever and has recently reached the number 2,1,0,-1 etc. How come he has reached these numbers now? Has he not had a infinite amount of time to reach this level? There are many Mathematical and logical aspects to this, I do not have the knowledge to further delve into this matter therefore I move on. Could the universe have come out of nothing? This is as absurd as saying that my glass of water came into existence out of nothing, but let us look at the law of non-contradiction: In classical logic, the law of non-contradiction (LNC) (or the law of contradiction (PM) or the principle of non-contradiction (PNC), or the principle of contradiction) is the second of the three classic laws of thought. It states that contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_noncontradiction) So how can there be nothing but then out of absolute nothingness get something like mass or laws etc? Could the universe have been merely by simple chance? The word renowned math mathematician Roger Penrose who is a friend of Stephen Hawkings delved into this and found out this was the number: 1/10 to the power of 10 to the power of 123. Let me point out that mathematically a number is 1/10 to the power of 50 it is regarded as 0 probablity. As Penrose puts it, that is a “number which it would be impossible to write out in the usual decimal way, because even if you were able to put a zero on every particle in the universe, there would not even be enough particles to do the job.” A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.” –Cambridge University astrophysicist and mathematician Fred Hoyle . “Fred Hoyle and I differ on lots of questions, but on this we agree: a common sense and satisfying interpretation of our world suggests the designing hand of a superintelligence.” –Former Harvard University Research Professor of Astronomy and the History of Science Owen Gingerich, who is now the senior astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Gingerich is here reflecting on Fred Hoyle’s above comment. For those in search of truth I recommend this website: http://godevidence.com If you want me to continue with these kind of posts on this thread please leave a reply saying yes or no.
  4. This Is What Will Happen in the Next 100 Trillion Years
  5. He is free of any Need. His Essence can't be known. He is Independent. He is Ever Living. He does not undergoes any state of change. His Attributes are known only to Him in the real Essence. I know He created us to know Him, to Love Him, not because He needs our Love and Devotion but because We need to know Him and to become best of His creations. But I had one Question, Why did He decided to create us? Why did He decided to shower His blessings upon a creation like us? Why? Why us? Any ahadeeth? Because this is a very basic Question of Tawheed. Any I suppose I can get as many as more than hundred thousand ahadeeths on this Question of mine. Please do a favor if you have some explanatory ahadeeth to this Question.
  6. Many people know this verse. Few however have understand its true meaning. My goal in this post is to offer an understanding of this verse which is compliant with modern scientific understanding. First let's look at the traditional understanding and test its validity. Is everything created in pairs on this planet? The answer is no. Asexual organisms, hermaphrodites, arthenogenetic organisms, schizophyllum commune (which has 26000 different sexes) are all studied topics in biology which contradict this understanding. Then what could it possibly mean? The first hint is the use of the verb "to create". This verse is relating to the creation of the universe. The big bang theory is accepted among scientists and this is where we should look to unravel the true meaning of this verse. In nature there is an element known as heavy hydrogen, also known as deuterium. The deuterium isotope's name is formed from the Greek deuteros meaning "second", to denote the two particles composing the nucleus. It's the most simple "pair" in nature. The nucleus of deuterium, called a deuteron, contains one proton and one neutron. Now this element played a very important role in the creation of this universe and the big bang. The explanation is very complex so I'll try to keep it as simple as possible. Deuterium played a huge role in the first minutes after big bang. It defined the number and ratios of the elements that were formed in the Big Bang. Especially the formation of helium. Helium can only be formed with an in between step of forming deuterium. As you know helium is what fuels stars like our sun and every other star in this universe. As we know every living thing on this planet is composed of elements created in stars. And here we have in Quran a verse stating, "And of everything We have created pairs, that you may remember" Isn't this mind-blowing? Indeed everything "the universe" was created by an element known as a pair "deuterium", which later formed helium, fueled the stars and created life.
  7. Salam can you explain the following quote from allamah tabatabai: "The universe is temporal (in constant change and movement) and each particular part of it can become nonexistent. Therefore, it (the particulars) are not the existence that cannot be made nonexistent. This world depends on a reality which cannot be made nonexistent and it is in the light of that reality that the world becomes existent. If that reality did not existent, this world and whatever in it would not have existed. Of course, it does not mean that the reality unites with the thing in a way such that they become one thing. It does not permeate or indwell in them either or that a part of the reality separates and joins things; in fact, it is like light with which dark objects become bright and without which they remain dark." How does cosntant change and movmenet mean that things become non-existence, if I throw a ball, how does the change of ball make stuff go from existence to non-existence. "Therefore, it (the particulars) are not the existence that cannot be made nonexistent." If they can't become non-existant then why did you say particular parts of it become non-existent "This world depends on a reality which cannot be made nonexistent and it is in the light of that reality that the world becomes existent. If that reality did not existent, this world and whatever in it would not have existed." How did he reach that conclusion
  8. Some people tend to argue that God created the universe from nothing, since prior to the universe nothing could exist. However, this can be easily disprove. Photons transcend time so they could have easily existed beyond the universe. So could have quantum vacuums. If these two things as well as other things can transcend time; why do philosphers claim there was absolutely nothing prior to the conception of the universe
  9. Some people tend to argue that eternal inflation could have been the cause of the universe, Why must it necessitate that the cause of the universe be a personal being. How does agent causation prove that the cause of the Universe is conscious. What do people mean when they say that the only two possible things which could have caused the universe are, an abstract object or an unembodied mind.
  10. Salams This documentary is worth watching. It seems as though the idea of multiverse only gained acceptance because the scientists could not accept the explanations accompanying fine tuned cosmological constant. For those who cannot watch the documentary: " For a while it was possible to believe that the laws of nature were not so precisely set so as to require the hand of a creator but then a completely new fundamental property of the universe was discovered. An antigravity force present in space itself. It is called the cosmological constant and when cosmologists calculated it's fact on the evolution of the universe, they realised it had to be very finely tuned indeed. Leonard Susskind @ 17:18: "The fine tunings.... how fined tuned are they...most of them are 1% sort of things. In other words if things are 1% different everything is bad and the physicists could say, maybe those are luck. On the other hand this cosmological constant thats tuned to 1 part and 10 to the 120...120 decimal places...nobody thinks thats accidental. That is not a reasonable idea that something is tuned to 120 decimal places just by accident. Thats the most extreme example of fine tuning". No force in the history of cosmology has ever been discovered to be that finely tuned. The cosmological constant needs to be set to 1 part in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion TRILLION otherwise the universe will be so drastically different that it would be impossible for us to evolve. That the cosmological constant arrived at such a tiny value by chance seem to be out of the question. But the alternative explanation was also impossible to contemplate. Leonard Susskind @18:46: "Physicists did not want to accept the idea that the laws of nature might be controlled by the well benevolence of nature. There should be no reason why the luck should just have it that we can exist. It's a stretch". It seemed that hidden in the laws of nature was a value so precise that it was impossible to deny that our universe was designed. But a designed universe required the existence of a designer. A notion that even the anthropic scientists did not want to entertain. The scientists were between rock and a hard place.Their own discoveries were pointing them towards an inteligent designer. Leonard Susskind @20:17 "Physicists dislike the mixing of religion with physics. I think they were somewhat afraid that if it was admitted that the reason the world is like it is has to do with our own existence, that could be hijacked by the creationists...by the intelligent designers...and ofcourse what they would say is, "Yes we always told you so, there is the benevolent somebody who created the universe exactly so that we could live"". "
  11. (bismillah) "We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their ownselves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Quran) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things?" (The Qur'an 41:53) (salam) Visit this site to see the Scale of the Universe, Subhanallah Subhanallah there are things unknown to us smaller than the neutron, the neutron is nothing compared to the atom, the atom is nothing compared to the virus, the virus is nothing compared to the bacteria, the bacteria is nothing compared to an ant, the ant is nothing compared to the egg, the egg is nothing compared to the shoe, the shoe is nothing compared to the size of a baby, the size of the baby is nothing compared to the size of the adult, you are nothing compared to a mountain, the mountain is nothing compared to the state, the state is nothing compared to the country, the country is nothing compared to the world, the world is nothing compared to the sun, the sun is nothing compared to the largest stars, the largest stars are nothing compared to the galaxy.... the galaxy is nothing compared to the largest galaxy.... keep zooming out and see how nothing you really are. "He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth." (The Qur'an, 6:101) "And the heaven (is also a sign). We have built it with (Our) Hands (i.e., Capability) and surely We are indeed extending (it) wide." (The Qur'an, 51:47) "All that are in the heavens and the earth entreat Him. Every day He exerciseth (universal) power." (The Qur'an 55:29) "And (remember) the Day when We shall roll up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books, as We began the first creation, We shall repeat it, (it is) a promise binding upon Us. Truly, We shall do it." (The Qur'an 21:104) "Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, "Be," and it is." (The Qur'an 2:117) "So He ordained them seven heavens in two periods, and revealed in every heaven its affair; and We adorned the lower heaven with brilliant stars and (made it) to guard; that is the decree of the Mighty, the Knowing." (The Qur'an 41:12) Then He Istawa (rose over) towards the heaven when it was 'Dukhan' (دخان), and said to it and to the earth: "Come both of you willingly or unwillingly." They both said: "We come, willingly." (Al-Qur'an, سورة فصلت , Fussilat, Chapter #41, Verse #11) Therefore keep waiting for the day when the heaven shall bring an evident 'Dukhan' (دخان), (Al-Qur'an, سورة الدخان , Ad-Dukhan, Chapter #44, Verse #10) To me, these two ayat are very amazing because they inform us of something about the Universe which we have only recently discovered, and by informing us of this, Allah is encouraging us to continue our investigations and scientific pursuits, and then to reflect on our findings, so that we can understand our reality and the true greatness of Allah which is infinitely greater than we can never imagine. Subhanallah, this information, from the Qur'an, hadith, and our current understanding of the Universe, really sheds light on the following narration: Subhanallah... All of the things we know about the Universe, how small we are, how small the atoms are, how large the stars are, how large the galaxies are, how large the visible universe is, and steadily expands... the speed of a turtle, the speed of light... the weight of a feather, the weight of a mountain, the weight of an asteroid.... the darkness of a closet, the darkness of the depths of space.... All of these are but drops in an ocean of wisdom held by our Prophets and Imaams (sa). Consider the following hadith, which is included as part of the Foreword of Al-Kafi: Allahumma sullee `3la Muhammad wa alee Muhammad wa a'jill farajahum Peace be upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and may Allah hasten their reappearance (salam)
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