From millennium-skipping Victorians to phone booth-hopping teenagers, the term time travel often summons our most fantastic visions of what it means to move through the fourth dimension. But of course you don’t need a time machine or a fancy wormhole to jaunt through the years.
As you’ve probably noticed, we’re all constantly engaged in the act of time travel. At its most basic level, time is the rate of change in the universe — and like it or not, we are constantly undergoing change. We age, the planets move around the sun, and things fall apart.
We measure the passage of time in seconds, minutes, hours and years, but this doesn’t mean time flows at a constant rate. Just as the water in a river rushes or slows depending on the size of the channel, time flows at different rates in different places. In other words, time is relative.
But what causes this fluctuation along our one-way trek from the cradle to the grave? It all comes down to the relationship between time and space. Human beings frolic about in the three spatial dimensions of length, width and depth. Time joins the party as that most crucial fourth dimension. Time can’t exist without space, and space can’t exist without time. The two exist as one: the space-time continuum. Any event that occurs in the universe has to involve both space and time.
- This is what exploration is all about, says Nasa researcher Alan Stern, who is responsible for the project, to Business Insider.
New Horizons will take several hundred photographs of Ultima Thule at the passage in order for the researchers to be able to study its geography and surface.
When the nuclear-powered space probe began its journey in 2006, the mission was to study Pluto, 500 million miles from the earth. Nasa then did not know Ultima Thule's existence. Only in 2014 could the celestial body, located 160 million miles beyond Pluto, be documented via the Hubble telescope.
Early history of the solar system
After exploring Pluto in 2015, New Horizons has continued in the unknown.
- If we knew what to expect, we would never have gone to Ultima Thule. It's an object we've never encountered before, says Alan Stern to Business Insider.
Both Pluto and Ultima Thule are in the so-called Kuiper belt - which consists of millions of frozen objects in orbit around the sun beyond Neptune. It is a cold part on the edge of the solar system.
According to the researchers, the Kuiper Belt hides secrets about the solar system's early history. It is hoped that Ultima Thule will reveal something about how planets such as the Earth were formed.
Nasa describes Ultima Thule as a seed, or a building block, to a planet that has not developed further.
Like a time capsule
Alan Stern is similar to the celestial body at a 4.5 billion-year-old time capsule.
- It's like when someone first opened and went into Pharaoh's tomb and discovered a 1,000-year-old culture. The difference is that this is about exploring the beginning of the solar system, he says to Business Insider.
We know who’s been naughty now, thanks to Blizzard’s new website outing Overwatch pros for violating the Overwatch League’s rules and code of conduct.
The Overwatch League’s “discipline tracker” is a public list of players who broke league rules, such as by boosting other people’s accounts or being toxic. Next to their infractions, Blizzard lists the punishment due to them. Today is the tracker’s first day online and, already, seven pros have received suspensions or fines before the next season has even started:
The Overwatch League previously released single posts when a player had done something bad. Now, there’s an official catalogue of evil deeds!
Blizzard’s post introducing the tracker reads:
This isn’t totally outlandish for sports—both the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) detail participant suspensions for doping and the like. But in esports, which is still on its path toward mainstream legitimacy, Blizzard’s list seems ahead of its time.
Gaming in front of a huge audience might be many pros’ first job. A lot of them were grinding out their skill rating in LAN cafes and their parents’ houses before they made it big. The responsibility to behave on par with their level of fame may be hard for pros to metabolize at first—but, hey, nothing like a little public shaming to put them in the mindset.
- Source: Kotaku via Cecilia D'Anastasio
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