Examination of ancient text reveals details of Ibn Sinas sighting of supernova

first_img Ibn Sina was a Persian scientist and philosopher, who as part of his observations, traveled a lot and wrote about what he saw, along with his interpretations of subjects ranging from medicine to astronomy. It was one of those texts, called Kitab al-Shifa, about physics, meteorology, and especially astronomy that caught the attention of the researchers—most particularly a section that described a bright object appearing in the sky in the year 1006. The section had been studied before, but the account had been attributed to a discussion of a comet. In this latest look, the researchers suggest that the description was actually that of SN 1006. In addition to the timing, the detailed description, they note, sounds more like the sudden appearance of an exploding star. In their translation, Sina describes an object that was very bright and that changed color over time before fading away—even noting at one point that the object threw out sparks.SN 1006 was noted and described by others around the world, from places as far-flung as Morocco, Japan, Yemen and China, but none of those descriptions included information about the object changing colors. Sina wrote that the object started out as faint greenish-yellow, that it twinkled a lot, especially at its brightest, and that it became whitish before it disappeared altogether.Most modern astronomers believe that SN 1006 was not just a Ia supernova (which occur when a white dwarf is pulled into another star causing it to blow up due to the overabundance of matter), but that it was the result of two white dwarfs colliding. This new information from an ancient part-time astronomer, the researchers suggest, may help to better understand an event that occurred over a thousand years ago. © 2016 Phys.org Explore further Journal information: arXiv New study suggests long ago brightest star explosion was rapid type Ia supernova The Arabic text from the report of SN 1006 of Ibn Sina in al-Shifa from the Arabic edition by Madkur et al. (1965), page 73. The relevant text starts in the middle of the second line from the top and ends almost at the (leftmost) end of the 3rd-to-last line from the bottom of the main text. The writing in the left margin is the Arabic line number 15. The 4th line (line 14) reads (starting from the right) for the 2nd to 4th word kawkab min al-kawakib , i.e. a star among the stars, and at the end of that line it specifies the year (the leftmost word is hijra). The lines at the bottom indicate variant readings in different manuscripts, none of which change the content and meaning of the relevant text about the new star: the words for long and hijra are missing in one or two manuscripts. Credit: arXiv:1604.03798 [astro-ph.SR]center_img (Phys.org)—A trio of German researches has uncovered evidence of the Arabic scholar Ibn Sina’s sighting of supernova 1006 (SN 1006). The new evidence will sit alongside that of others around that globe that reported details of what has been described as the brightest stellar event ever recorded by human beings. In their paper uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, Ralph Neuhaeuser, Carl Ehrig-Eggert and Paul Kunitzsch describe the text under study, their translation of it and the relevance of the information recorded by the ancient skygazer. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Examination of ancient text reveals details of Ibn Sina’s sighting of supernova (2016, April 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-04-ancient-text-reveals-ibn-sina.html More information: An Arabic report about supernova SN 1006 by Ibn Sina (Avicenna) arXiv:1604.03798 [astro-ph.SR] arxiv.org/abs/1604.03798v1AbstractWe present here an Arabic report about supernova 1006 (SN 1006) written by the famous Arabic scholar Ibn Sina (Lat. Avicenna, AD 980-1037), which was not discussed in astronomical literature before. The short observational report about a new star is part of Ibn Sina’s book called al-Shifa’, a work about philosophy including physics, astronomy, and meteorology. We present the Arabic text and our English translation. After a detailed discussion of the dating of the observation, we show that the text specifies that the transient celestial object was stationary and/or tail-less (“a star among the stars”), that it “remained for close to three months getting fainter and fainter until it disappeared”, that it “threw out sparks”, i.e. it was scintillating and very bright, and that the color changed with time. The information content is consistent with the other Arabic and non-Arabic reports about SN 1006. Hence, it is quite clear that Ibn Sina refers to SN 1006 in his report, given as an example for transient celestial objects in a discussion of Aristotle’s “Meteorology”. Given the wording and the description, e.g. for the color evolution, this report is independent from other reports known so far.last_img read more

Intels Futurist Well Soon Be Living In Computers

first_imgOctober 29, 2013 With technology changing at a rapid pace, the thought of tomorrow and all the tomorrows after it can be hard to process. Scary, even. For Brian David Johnson, the resident “futurist” at Intel, however, the prospect of what tomorrow will bring is thrilling.”What I tell people is No. 1: they shouldn’t be worried about the future,” Johnson said at The Feast social innovation conference in New York City. “The future is going to be awesome because people build the future. Technology doesn’t get to decide. People get to decide.”Projecting the future, or future-casting, is the work of combining social science, research, technical data, economic trends and, yes, even science fiction, to model a prediction of the future. In his position at Intel, Johnson looks specifically at how humans will interact with technology 10 to 15 years out.Related: In Nanotech’s Small World, Big Opportunities Abound (Video)To hear Johnson tell it, he has always been a futurist, even before landing his gig at Intel 10 years ago. Johnson, whose father was a radar tracking engineer and mother was an IT specialist, was teaching computer courses at a community college in Manassas, Va., by the time he was 10. He worked on interactive television in Scandinavia and the U.K. before the Internet existed, developing technology to give viewers the option to vote and buy things on their television monitors. Johnson has also directed movies, written books and is an acrylic painter. It is his combination of technical expertise and affection for storytelling that make Johnson uniquely qualified to be a futurist.Jimmy the robot being designed and built.Image courtesy: IntelIn Johnson’s vision of the future, humans will be in control, but living in a world drastically changed by new technology. The biggest driver in tech will be the ever-shrinking size of the computer chip, which he predicts will effectively approach zero by 2020. Five years ago, the average computer chip was approximately 22 nanometers across. Now, it is 14 nanometers across on average. By 2020, the computer chip will be 5 nanometers across, projects Johnson. A chip that is 5 nanometers wide is 12 atoms across.Johnson says smaller computer chips means almost anything can be turned into a computer. “We will be surrounded by computational power. So for average people, for average users and consumers, you will be living in a world where you are essentially living in a computer, where you are surrounded by intelligence.”Related: Your Next Cocktail Could Be Concocted By This Robotic BartenderOn the micro side, computers will be inserted in all manner of health-care related devices, says Johnson, dreaming up a Band-Aid that has a computer chip built in. “We can actually monitor our health on an hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute basis,” he says. For instance, if a child has the flu, then a stickable computer embedded into a Band-Aid will allow a parent to monitor a child’s temperature, blood pressure and heart rate.From a macro perspective, Johnson says that the computational powers available a decade from now will allow us to build more sophisticated, nuanced and larger cities – what Johnson calls megacities. “We can actually put computation in the infrastructure of the city so that we can make the city not only greener but more efficient,” he says, referencing innovations that could prevent the waste of electricity and water from cracks in building architecture. “Our cities could become computers and when our cities become computers we can tune them,” he says.As Band-Aids and cities become computers, so too will some of our companions, says Johnson. His favorite technical gadget, in a manner of speaking, is Jimmy, his walking and talking robot. Jimmy is a 3D-printed robot, “born” about a month ago, with open-source code, available for updates, personalization and iteration. There are two other “Jimmys” in various stages of production currently: One in Portland, Ore., and two in Boston. A prototype for a 21st century robot, Jimmy represents a first step toward social robots.Related: How Google, Apple, Facebook and Others Use Your Personal Data (Infographic)  Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globalcenter_img 4 min read Register Now »last_img read more