space lectures


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    Edo Berger: Gamma-Ray Bursts: The Biggest Explosions Since the Big Bang

    58:51

    Representing nature's biggest explosions since the Big Bang itself, gamma-ray bursts were first accidentally spotted in the 1960s by Department of Defense satellites hunting for terrestrial nuclear blasts. In this talk Prof. Berger describes the ensuing decades-long quest to decipher the origin and energy source of these mysterious explosions. He explains how gamma-ray bursts are now used to probe the first generation of stars and galaxies formed less than a billion years after the Big Bang.

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    Death From Space — Gamma-Ray Bursts Explained

    7:14

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    There are cosmic snipers firing at random into the unvierse. What are they and what happens if they hit us?

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    Death From Space — Gamma-Ray Bursts Explained

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    Inside Black Holes | Leonard Susskind

    1:10:33

    Additional lectures by Leonard Susskind:

    ER=EPR:
    ER=EPR but Entanglement is Not Enough:
    Fractal Flows and the Arrow of Time:
    Working Group on Issues in de Sitter Space:
    Butterflies, Complexity, and Signals to Bob:
    Aspects of Eternal Inflation:
    Quantum Complexity Inside Black Holes:

    Find more lectures by Stephen Hawking, Edward Witten, Jim Gates, John Preskill, Sean Carroll, Joe Polchinski, Nima Arkani-Hamed, Donald Marolf, and many more on my channel
    ----------------------------------------------
    Leonard Susskind
    Stanford & KITP
    Aug 25, 2013

    'Inside Black Holes' lecture given by Lenny Susskind at the KITP Blackboard Lunch.

    Coordinators: Raphael Bousso (UCB), Samir Mathur (OSU), Rob Myers (PI), Joe Polchinski (KITP), Lenny Susskind (Stanford)
    Scientific Advisor: Don Marolf (UCSB)

    Video can also be found here:

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    Gamma Ray Bursts are the Deadliest Things in the Universe

    3:03

    #HowTheUniverseWorks
    Think of it like a cosmic ray gun. The energy released from a gamma ray burst is equivalent to a hundred trillion nuclear weapons going off every second for a hundred billion years. They can reduce planets to vapor.
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    The Birth Of A Black Hole, Masters of the universe Hypernovas, Gamma Ray burst etc YouTube

    6:44

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    Prof. Daniele Faccio: Black Holes, With A Twist - Inaugural Lecture

    48:08

    Inaugural Lecture of Professor Daniele Faccio at Heriot-Watt University.

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    A New Theory of Time - Lee Smolin

    23:43

    Is it possible that time is real, and that the laws of physics are not fixed? Lee Smolin, A C Grayling, Gillian Tett, and Bronwen Maddox explore the implications of such a profound re-think of the natural and social sciences, and consider how it might impact the way we think about surviving the future.

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    Something Big Came OUT Of A Black Hole Recently! Scientists Baffled 3/15/16

    6:39


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    Quasars: the Brightest Black Holes - Professor Carolin Crawford

    58:48

    Quasars are among the most dramatic objects anywhere in the cosmos. They emit prodigious amounts of energy, all due to a supermassive black hole at the heart of a galaxy. Visible far across the Universe, quasars can be used to trace both the early life of galaxies, and the properties of the intervening space.

    The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:

    Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 1,500 lectures free to access or download from the website.
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    Gamma Ray Bursts and Recent Results from the Fermi Mission - Peter Michelson

    1:4:41

    Dr. Michelson is the Principal Investigator of the Large Area Telescope on the Fermi Observatory.

    The Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi Observatory scans the entire sky once every three hours. It has revealed many types of high-energy sources including gamma-ray bursts, many types of pulsars, active galaxies, and binary systems.

    In this talk Dr. Michelson will give an overview of Fermi’s discoveries and offer speculation of what might be found next, including possible sources of gravitational radiation.

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    NASA Accidentally Discovers Giant Black Holes

    2:46

    A powerful NASA telescope has found not one, but ten supermassive black holes. And it did so on accident! Trace explains what exactly black holes are and why the discovery is so awesome.

    Read More:

    About NuSTAR: The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array

    The NuSTAR mission has deployed the first orbiting telescopes to focus light in the high energy X-ray (6 - 79 keV) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Our view of the universe in this spectral window has been limited because previous orbiting telescopes have not employed true focusing optics, but rather have used coded apertures that have intrinsically high backgrounds and limited sensitivity.

    Catching Black Holes on the Fly

    NASA's black-hole-hunter spacecraft, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has bagged its first 10 supermassive black holes. The mission, which has a mast the length of a school bus, is the first telescope capable of focusing the highest-energy X-ray light into detailed pictures.

    NASA discovers 10 supermassive black holes ... by accident

    These black holes hide in the center of galaxies, pulling in matter around them. As matter falls in, the supermassive black hole ejects a huge burst of X-ray radiation. That's what the NuSTAR telescope detected.

    Black Holes May Have Been Common in Early Universe

    Black holes may have been abundant among the first stars in the universe, helping explain the origin of the supermassive monsters that lurk at the heart of galaxies today, researchers say.

    Black Holes: Facts, Theory & Definition

    Black holes are some of the strangest and most fascinating objects found in outer space. They are objects of extreme density, with such strong gravitational attraction that even light cannot escape from their grasp if it comes near enough.

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    NASA | Colliding Neutron Stars Create Black Hole and Gamma-ray Burst

    3:27

    Armed with state-of-the-art supercomputer models, scientists have shown that colliding neutron stars can produce the energetic jet required for a gamma-ray burst. Earlier simulations demonstrated that mergers could make black holes. Others had shown that the high-speed particle jets needed to make a gamma-ray burst would continue if placed in the swirling wreckage of a recent merger.

    Now, the simulations reveal the middle step of the process--how the merging stars' magnetic field organizes itself into outwardly directed components capable of forming a jet. The Damiana supercomputer at Germany's Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics needed six weeks to reveal the details of a process that unfolds in just 35 thousandths of a second--less than the blink of an eye.

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    The Gamma Ray Burst of 775

    4:38

    About 1200 years ago, Earth may have experienced one of the rarest and most powerful cosmic events a planet can be exposed to: a gamma-ray burst. If it did, well, let’s just say that we, as living things on Earth, are lucky it wasn’t worse.

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    Gamma Ray Burst Stuns Astronomers | Space News

    8:21

    The most intense electromagnetic event known to occur in the heavens is the gamma ray burst. For many years, scientists have claimed that most gamma ray burst occur when stars run out of nuclear fuel then collapse to form a black hole, neutron star or quark star. However, a recently detected gamma ray burst has left astronomers openly baffled. Wal Thornhill weighs in.

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    SI-Q What animal looks like a fox, smells like a skunk and is called a wolf?

    1:45

    Nucharin Songsasen and Paul Marinari of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute share little known facts and smelly stories about maned wolves.

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    Neutron Star Collision and Gamma Ray Burst Discovery

    3:08

    From NASA Astrophysics and Goddard Space Flight Center. Every day or two, on average, satellites detect a massive explosion somewhere in the sky. These are gamma-ray bursts, the brightest blasts in the universe. They're thought to be caused by jets of matter moving near the speed of light associated with the births of black holes. Gamma-ray bursts that last longer than two seconds are the most common and are thought to result from the death of a massive star. Shorter bursts proved much more elusive.

    In fact, even some of their basic properties were unknown until NASA's Swift satellite began work in 2004. A neutron star is what remains when a star several times the mass of the sun collapses and explodes. With more than the sun's mass packed in a sphere less than 18 miles across, these objects are incredibly dense. Just a sugar-cube-size piece of neutron star can weigh as much as all the water in the Great Lakes.

    When two orbiting neutron stars collide, they merge and form a black hole, releasing enormous amounts of energy in the process. Armed with state-of-the-art supercomputer models, scientists have shown that colliding neutron stars can produce the energetic jet required for a gamma-ray burst. Earlier simulations demonstrated that mergers could make black holes. Others had shown that the high-speed particle jets needed to make a gamma-ray burst would continue if placed in the swirling wreckage of a recent merger.

    Now, the simulations reveal the middle step of the process --how the merging stars' magnetic field organizes itself into outwardly directed components capable of forming a jet. The Damiana supercomputer at Germany's Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics needed six weeks to reveal the details of a process that unfolds in just 35 thousandths of a second. The new simulation shows two neutron stars merging to form a black hole surrounded by super-hot plasma.

    On the left is a map of the density of the stars as they scramble their matter into a dense, hot cloud of swirling debris. On the right is a map of the magnetic fields, with blue representing magnetic strength a billion times greater than the sun's. The simulation shows the same disorderly behavior of the matter and magnetic fields. Both structures gradually become more organized, but what's important here is the white magnetic field. Amidst this incredible turmoil, the white field has taken on the character of a jet, although no matter is flowing through it when the simulation ends.

    Showing that magnetic fields suddenly become organized as jets provides scientists with the missing link. It confirms that merging neutron stars can indeed produce short gamma-ray bursts. At this moment, somewhere across the cosmos, it's about to happen again.

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    Mysterious Gamma-Ray Objects Baffle Astronomers | Video

    3:28

    The Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope detected almost 500 sources of gamma ray emitting objects in its field of view. But the sources for more then 30% of them are completely unknown. Black holes and neutron stars emit gamma-radiation.

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    Black Holes: The End of Time or a New Beginning?

    1:29:52

    November 14, 2012
    Dr. Roger Blandford (Kavli Institute, Stanford University)

    While black holes are popularly associated with death and doom, astrophysicists increasingly see them as creators, not destroyers — playing a major role in the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars, and planets. Dr. Blandford (whose research interests include black holes, galaxies, and cosmology) summarizes why scientists now think that black holes of various sizes actually do exist, describes some of their strange properties, and explains their environmental impact on the universe at large.

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    Gamma-Ray Burst Shatters Old Theories | Space News

    9:31

    A team of scientists studying the afterglow of a gamma-ray burst tell us that their findings will re-write scientific theories. Using the Very Large Array Telescope, the team examined the afterglow of a gamma ray burst which mainstream astronomers assume is formed by a so-called shockwave. What they observed does not match the theoretical predictions of the standard model. Wal Thornhill tells listeners how the Electric Universe paradigm would view the findings. Story:

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    Monster Gamma Ray Blast Biggest Cosmic Explosion Since Big Bang

    1:10

    NASA says its satellites picked up the biggest explosion since the Big Bang. It was a gamma ray blast that came from what scientists think is a star collapsing into a black hole 3.7 billion light years away. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports.

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    Overview Animation of Gamma-ray Burst

    56

    Gamma-ray bursts are the most luminous explosions in the cosmos. Astronomers think most occur when the core of a massive star runs out of nuclear fuel, collapses under its own weight, and forms a black hole. The black hole then drives jets of particles that drill all the way through the collapsing star at nearly the speed of light. Artist's rendering.

    Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

    This video is public domain and can be downloaded at:

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    The Birth of a Black Hole

    6:44

    How the Universe Works is a mini-series that originally aired on the Discovery Channel April 25, 2010 to May 24, 2010. It was narrated by Mike Rowe.

    This is just a small part from my favorite episode Black Holes (original air date May 2, 2010) directed by Peter Chinn.

    I can definitely recommend you to watch this amazing & fascinating TV Show. Definitely worth it. Recommended in High Definition!
    _________________________

    Black Holes Masters of the universe, Without black holes, we wouldn't be here!

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    Prehistoric Gamma Ray Burst

    3:53

    Current theories suggest that a gamma ray burst (GRB) caused the first mass extinction on Earth, about 450 million years ago.

    This sequence depicts a red giant star, approximately 6000 light years from Earth, exploding in a supernova explosion. High energy gamma rays are emitting from the poles of the star, slightly in advance of the explosion, and travel in a beam across space.

    We follow the gamma rays as they travel through space and overtake the camera. At near light speeds, everything would appear warped and in front of you, with objects directly in front being blue-shifted and objects behind being red-shifted. In this, objects behind the camera are seen along the edge of the frame.

    Finally, the GRB hits the solar system, passing Jupiter and then on to the Ordovician period Earth, ionizing the atmosphere and destroying the young ozone layer. Global auroras are shown to depict this, but in reality, the event would likely be invisible in daylight, other than the sudden appearance of an extremely bright star. The Gamma Ray Burst itself would only last a few seconds to a couple minutes at most, but the supernova would be visible for several days or months, even in broad daylight. In fact, at only 6000 light years away, it would be brighter than the full moon, and possibly painful to look at.

    The ozone layer would quickly be destroyed, turning into nitrous oxide, more commonly known as smog, which then kicked off a global warming period. Weather patterns changed, creating super hurricanes and eventually the planet's first ice age.


    The show got a major detail wrong, saying that only a couple GRBs have hit the earth. In fact, an average of 2 of these are detected by satellites every DAY. All of them are from very distant galaxies, where they pose no threat to us. And those are only the ones that we can see since only about 10% of the stars out there have one of their poles pointed in our general direction.

    This was done for the first episode of Radical 3D's miniseries, Animal Armageddon on Animal Planet.

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    Gamma-Ray Bursts: Crash Course Astronomy #40

    14:05

    Gamma-ray bursts are not only incredible to study, but their discovery has an epic story all its own. Today Phil takes you through some Cold War history and then dives into what we know. Bursts come in two rough varieties: Long and short. Long ones are from hypernovae, massive stars exploding, sending out twin beams of matter and energy. Short ones are from merging neutron stars. Both kinds are so energetic they are visible for billions of light years, and both are also the birth announcements of black holes.

    Crash Course Astronomy Poster:

    --

    Table of Contents
    Gamma-Ray Were Discovered During the Cold War 0:47
    Bursts Come in Two Varieties: Long and Short 8:35
    Long Bursts Are From Hypernovae, Massive Stars Exploding 6:46
    Short Ones Are From Merging Neutron Stars 9:00
    Both Are The Birthplace of Black holes 9:55

    --

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    PHOTOS/VIDEOS
    Nuclear Bomb Images via Wikimedia Commons:
    Operation Upshot Knothole
    Ivy Mike
    Castle Bravo
    Upshot Knothole GRABLE
    President Kennedy signs the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty [credit: Wikimedia Commons]
    Vela [credit: USAF]
    The Crab Nebula [credit: NASA, ESA, J. Hester, A. Loll (ASU)]
    Solar Flare [credit: NASA/SDO/AIA]
    Gamma Ray Burst [credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab]
    Four ALMA antennas on the Chajnantor plain [credit: ESO/José Francisco Salgado (josefrancisco.org)]
    Gamma Ray Burst 970228 [credit: Andrew Fruchter (STScI), Elena Pian (ITSRE-CNR), and NASA/ESA]
    HST/STIS Image of the optical afterglow of w:GRB 970508 [credit: STScI/NASA]
    Black Holes: Monsters in Space [credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]
    Naked-Eye Gamma-ray Burst Model for GRB 080319B [credit: NASA/Swift/Cruz deWilde]
    2008 GRB [credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler, et al.]
    GRB Data [credit: NASA]
    Imagine two massive stars born together as a binary star [credit: NASA/GSFC/D. Berry]
    Colliding Binary Neutron stars [credit: NASA/D.Berry]
    Black Hole Devours a Neutron Star [credit: NASA/D.Berry]
    Eta Carinae [credit: Jon Morse (University of Colorado) & NASA Hubble Space Telescope]
    WR 104: A Pinwheel Star System [credit: P. Tuthill (U. Sydney) & J. Monnier (U. Michigan), Keck Obs., ARC, NSF]
    Swift HD Beauty Shot [credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center]
    Swift's 500 Gamma-ray Bursts [credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center]

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    The Secret Life of Orchids – Part III: Conservation

    1:03

    Orchids account for 10 percent of the world’s plant species, making them the largest plant family. They act as indicators of the health of ecosystems and other species around them. That’s why understanding what’s necessary for their survival and investing in their conservation is important.

    To learn more about native orchid conservation, visit the North American Orchid Conservation Center at

    For 50 years, scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center have been leading research to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century.

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    The Violent Universe - Professor Ian Morison

    1:3:16

    A look at the most violent events that occur in our Universe, from supernovae and hypernovae to the cause of gamma ray bursts and what was the biggest explosion of all - the Big Bang origin of the Universe itself.

    The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:


    Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website.

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    Expanding Our Horizons: Matter, Space, and the Universe

    54:36

    This session explores the almost unfathomable scales of theoretical physics, from the mysterious properties of dark matter to the depths of our universe and beyond. Experiments, like the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva that smashes together protons at high energies, tell us about the smallest length scales we can observe today while measurements of the universe stretch our observations of large length scales to their limits. Theoretical physicists like Lisa Randall tie the results of these experiments to mysteries about our universe. Professor Randall will tell us about the Higgs boson discovery and its implications. She will also explore possibilities for the nature of dark matter and of space itself. Can there be an unseen extra dimension in our universe? Theoretical physics truly knows no bounds

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    Public Lecture—Black Holes, the Brightest Objects in the Universe

    1:11:13

    Lecture Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2009. Black holes are everywhere in the Universe. They form when massive stars end their life in a simultaneous violent collapse and energetic explosion. Galaxies end up littered with small black holes, each roughly the mass of ten Suns. Nearly every galaxy center ends up with a single huge black hole, with the mass of a million to a billion Suns. During their lifetimes, black holes chew up their surroundings and spew out ultra-energetic beams of radiation and matter that are visible from across the Universe. In this lecture, Prof. Jonathan McKinney discusses how black holes form, outlines how they are detected, and shows movies that illustrate how they work according to Einstein and state-of-the-art computer simulations. We will see that these blackest of all objects in the Universe actually shine the brightest. Lecturer: Prof. Jonathan McKinney, Stanford University.

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    SI-Q What ate the South?

    44

    Ashley N. Egan, research botanist and assistant curator at Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History answers: What ate the South?

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    Mission Juno - Great documentary on Jupiter and NASAs Juno probe

    1:4:23

    Great video explaining the science of Jupiter and the exciting Juno mission. Features interviews with scientists and engineers working on the probe with interesting computer-generated imagery of the mission.

    Explains the science of the solar system, why this mission matters, the instruments on board and the scientists and engineers behind this mission.

    Read much more at the source of this documentary,

    I downloaded hundreds of 1 minute videos and combined, so the documentary changes style a bit and is a little long-winded. Once it gets long-winded stop watching, skim through it or even better watch 2x speed!

    The probe arrived at Jupiter on July 4th 2016. (Launched August 5 2011)

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    Letters From Camp by Frank Chi

    2:32

    Sponsored by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and created by filmmaker Frank Chi, this short film features letters that young Japanese Americans in World War II incarceration camps sent to Clara Breed, a librarian in San Diego.

    Excerpts from the letters are read by contemporary Muslim American youth standing beside Japanese American camp survivors. The survivors remain silent as the young people read stories that parallel their own hopes and fears.

    This video will be featured in the center's event CrossLines: A Culture Lab on Intersectionality, on May 28 and 29 at the Arts & Industries Building. Learn more at

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    Fay Dowker Public Lecture - Spacetime Atoms and the Unity of Physics

    1:12:29

    Fay Dowker speaks at a Perimeter Institute Public Lecture on November 2, 2011.

    Black holes are hot! This discovery made by Stephen Hawking ties together gravity, spacetime, quantum matter, and thermal systems into the beautiful and exciting science of Black Hole Thermodynamics. Its beauty lies in the powerful way it speaks of the unity of physics. The excitement arises because it tells us that there is something lacking in our understanding of spacetime and, at the same time, gives us a major clue as to what the missing ingredient should be. Theoretical physicists at Perimeter Institute and elsewhere are pioneering a proposal, known as Causal Set Theory, for the structure held by these most fundamental atoms of spacetime. In this talk, Professor Dowker describes black hole thermodynamics and argue that it is telling us that spacetime itself is granular or atomic at very tiny scales.

    More Perimeter Public Lectures can be found at:

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    Our Galactic Center - Reinhard Genzel edited

    1:1:39

    Abstract: Evidence has been accumulating for several decades that many galaxies harbor central mass concentrations that may be in the form of black holes with masses between a few million to a few billion time the mass of the Sun.

    Dr. Genzel will discuss measurements over the last two decades, employing adaptive optics imaging and spectroscopy on large ground-based telescopes that prove the existence of such a massive black hole in the Center of our Milky Way, beyond any reasonable doubt. These data also provide key insights into its properties and environment. Most recently, a tidally disrupting cloud of gas has been discovered on an almost radial orbit that reached its peri-distance of ~2000 Schwarzschild radii in 2014, promising to be a valuable tool for exploring the innermost accretion zone. Future interferometric studies of the Galactic Center Black hole promise to be able to test gravity in its strong field limit.

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    CrossLines Trailer

    2:41

    Join the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center May 28-29 for CrossLines: A Culture Lab on Intersectionality, featuring over 40 artists and scholars in the historic Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building.

    The Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building opened in 1880 as the first United States National Museum. After a century in transition and over a decade under renovation, CrossLines transforms it for one weekend into a museum of the people.

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    Time Travel With Smithsonian Paleontologist: Nick Pyenson

    2:41

    Meet Nick Pyenson, one of our paleontologists at the National Museum of Natural History. His job as a time traveler is to make discoveries about the past that can help shape our future.

    For more information on Nick, our National Museum of Natural History or other Smithsonian work, check out:

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    2016 North American Ornithological Conference--Keith Gagnon, age 9

    1:37

    Why Birds Really Matter

    Step outside your house in the morning and one of the first things you will hear or see is a bird. They are such a ubiquitous part of our lives that most of the time we don’t even notice them. Yet the truth is that their numbers are declining. According to the State of North America’s Bird Report 2016 ( more than one-third of North American bird species are at risk of extinction without significant conservation action.

    The issue of conservations is not, in fact, for the birds. This week the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center ( is hosting the largest-ever North American Ornithological Conference ( in Washington, D.C., which brings together thousands of ornithological professionals to address the question of bird conservation.

    Birds are indicators of environmental health. They are the canary in the coal mine (pun intended) that let us know when something is not right in our ecosystem.

    In the following clips, 9 year-old bird enthusiast Keith Gagnon, talk about the importance of bird conservation and why birds really matter.

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    What Is Sidedoor?

    1:14

    More than 154 million treasures fill the Smithsonian’s vaults, but where public view ends, Sidedoor begins. With the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers and astrophysicists, host Tony Cohn sneaks listeners through Smithsonian’s side door to search for stories that can’t be found anywhere else. Check out si.edu/sidedoor and follow @SidedoorPod for more info.

    Subscribe to Sidedoor on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your shows.

    Animation and Illustration | Will McHenry:
    Illustration | René Moffatt:
    Music | Breakmaster Cylinder:

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    Monitoring Seafood Catch Data

    1:27

    Knowing what we take from our oceans matters. Smithsonian scientists are developing tools to better understand and protect our oceans. One project they are working on is a mobile app that collects catch data from remote fishing communities. Find out more at ourfish.org

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    The End of Space and Time? - Professor Robbert Dijkgraaf

    51:52

    Robbert Dijkgraaf's focus is on string theory, quantum gravity, and the interface between mathematics and particle physics, bringing them together in an accessible way, looking at sciences, the arts and other matters.

    The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:


    Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website.

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    The Art of Creation With Michael Joo

    2:01

    Meet Michael Joo, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow and creator of Collective, currently on display at the Freer Sackler Gallery of Asian Art. Learn where he draws inspiration and what it means to have his work displayed at the Smithsonian.

    For more information on Michael, our Freer Sackler Gallery or other Smithsonian work, check out:

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    Public Lecture - Black Holes and the Fate of the Universe - G. Hasinger

    1:6:05

    Fifty Years of Quasars: A Symposium in Honor of Maarten Schmidt
    Caltech, Pasadena, CA, USA - Sept. 9-10, 2013
    More info:
    Links to talks with video of speaker:

    Fifty years ago, the discovery of quasars transformed astronomy. Studies of quasars and other active galactic nuclei still are a major, vibrant, and developing part of astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology. This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this discovery, and honor Maarten Schmidt, whose insight into the nature of quasar spectra was a decisive milestone in the rise of this new field of research, in addition to his continued contributions ever since.

    The meeting consisted of invited talks only, covering various aspects of the history and the current state of quasar research.

    © 2013 California Institute of Technology

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    Phil Plait on Black Holes

    1:8:33

    Astronomer Phil Plait discusses Black Holes in his lecture Seven Ways a Black Hole Can Kill You at Launchpad 2009 in Laramie, Wyoming.

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    2016 North American Ornithological Conference, President Jimmy Carter

    2:14

    Why Birds Really Matter

    Step outside your house in the morning and one of the first things you will hear or see is a bird. They are such a ubiquitous part of our lives that most of the time we don’t even notice them. Yet the truth is that their numbers are declining. According to the State of North America’s Bird Report 2016 ( more than one-third of North American bird species are at risk of extinction without significant conservation action.

    The issue of conservations is not, in fact, for the birds. This week the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center ( is hosting the largest-ever North American Ornithological Conference ( in Washington, D.C., which brings together thousands of ornithological professionals to address the question of bird conservation.

    Birds are indicators of environmental health. They are the canary in the coal mine (pun intended) that let us know when something is not right in our ecosystem.

    In the following clip, President Jimmy Carter, an avid birder, talks about the importance of bird conservation and why birds really matter.

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    Hearts of Darkness: Black Holes in Space

    1:56:12

    May 19, 2010
    Dr. Alex Filippenko (University of California, Berkeley)
    Black holes are regions of space where gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape! No longer confined to the imaginations of science-fiction writers and theoretical physicists, black holes have recently been discovered in large numbers by observational astronomers. Learn about the remarkable properties of these bizarre objects from one of the finest explainers in the field of astronomy.

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    Professor Brian Cox Lecture on the universe

    51:29

    A lecture by Brian Cox on how the universe was created.
    If you like this video please help me grow my channel by hitting that like button. Thanks guys! Oh & dont forget all comments are welcome so leave one, or even ask a question & answer a few

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    Gamma-Ray Bursts and the Birth of Black Holes

    1:6:51

    Dr. Neil Gehrels discusses Gamma-Ray Bursts and the Birth of Black Holes as part of the Library's series in conjunction with NASA.

    Speaker Biography: Neil Gehrels is chief of the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and principal investigator for the SWIFT satellite mission.

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    The Smithsonian Women’s Committee

    4:48

    Dedicated to advancing the Smithsonian's mission to increase and diffuse knowledge. Founded in 1966. The Smithsonian Women’s Committee celebrates fine American crafts through two signature events: the Smithsonian Craft Show and Craft2Wear. From the funds raised at these shows, and through endowments, the Committee awards grants throughout the Smithsonian. Find out more about the Smithsonian Women’s Committee at swcmembers.si.edu.

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    The Oldest Question: Is There Life Beyond Earth?

    1:14:12

    Christopher D. Impey, Distinguished Professor, Astronomy/Steward Observatory, The University of Arizona. Presented March 8, 2011.

    Our reconstruction of the chronology of events that led to the origin of the Earth and subsequent chemical evolution on our planet informs us that nothing unusual was required for the origin and development of terrestrial life, and that therefore life may be pervasive throughout the cosmos. Whether extraterrestrial life exists is so ancient and beguiling a question that humankind is actively seeking the answer in its explorations of the planetary systems in our solar system. It may one day transpire that we discover that genesis has occurred, independently, not once but twice in our solar system. At that point, we could safely infer that life is a fundamental feature of our universe ... along with dark matter, supernovae, and black holes.

    Cosmic Origins is the story of the universe but it's also our story. Hear about origin of space and time, mass and energy, the atoms in our bodies, the compact objects where matter can end up, and the planets and moons where life may flourish. Modern cosmology includes insights and triumphs, but mysteries remain. Join the six speakers who will explore cosmology's historical and cultural backdrop to explain the discoveries that speak of our cosmic origins.

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    Pulsars, Magnetars, Black Holes : The Wickedly Cool Stellar Undead

    1:34:47

    The biggest stars burn the fastest and brightest, and when they die, they do so spectacularly, exploding as supernovae and leaving behind some of the most fantastic objects in the universe: neutron stars and black holes. In this public science talk recorded at James Madison University on April 17, 2014, Dr. Scott Ransom (NRAO/UVa) discussed how these crazy objects are created, some of their amazing properties and why we (probably!) don't need to worry about them too much here in our cozy homes on Earth.

    To learn more about our public science presentations, and to be informed, when our next ones will take place, please visit our website:

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