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pierredv : awe   4

Prepare to jump to light speed: Inside the mission to go interstellar | New Scientist issue 3225
"Proxima Centauri is 4 light years away. Ambitious space mission Breakthrough Starshot is developing a way to push spacecraft there at a fifth of the speed of light"
dreams  awe  NewScientist  inspiration  Space 
10 weeks ago by pierredv
Awesome awe: The emotion that gives us superpowers | New Scientist issue 3136, 29 Jul 2017
Dacher Keltner and Jonathan Haidt "described awe as the feeling we get when confronted with something vast, that transcends our frame of reference and that we struggle to understand. It’s an emotion that combines amazement with an edge of fear. Wonder, by contrast, is more intellectual – a cognitive state in which you are trying to understand the mysterious."

"... van Elk presented functional MRI scans showing that awe quiets activity in the default mode network, which includes parts of the frontal lobes and cortex, and is thought to relate to the sense of self."

“Awe produces a vanishing self,” says Keltner. “The voice in your head, self-interest, self-consciousness, disappears. Here’s an emotion that knocks out a really important part of our identity.” As a result, he says, we feel more connected to bigger collectives and groups.

"Instead, Keltner believes that awe predates religion by millions of years. Evolution-related ideas are tough to back up, but he argues that responding to powerful forces in nature and in society through group bonding would have had survival value. ... It’s an instinct that has been co-opted for political ends throughout history, for example in grandiose structures from the pyramids of Egypt to St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, or even Trump Tower. "

"Awe also seems to help us break habitual patterns of thinking. The Arizona team discovered that after experiencing awe, people were better able to remember the details of a short story."

"Through brain scanning, he and others have found that psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin and LSD reduce activity in the default mode network – just as awe does. In addition, boundaries between normally segregated bits of the brain temporarily break down, boosting creativity."
NewScientist  psychology  religion  emotion  feeling  awe  meditation 
december 2017 by pierredv
APOD: 2017 April 22 - Between the Rings
" On April 12, as the Sun was blocked by the disk of Saturn the Cassini spacecraft camera looked toward the inner Solar System and the gas giant's backlit rings. At the top of the mosaicked view is the A ring with its broader Encke and narrower Keeler gaps visible. At the bottom is the F ring, bright due to the viewing geometry. The point of light between the rings is Earth, 1.4 billion kilometers in the distance. Look carefully and you can even spot Earth's large moon, a pinprick of light to the planet's left."
APOD  awe  astronomy 
april 2017 by pierredv
APOD: 2017 April 21 - NGC 4302 and NGC 4298
" Seen edge-on, spiral galaxy NGC 4302 (left) lies about 55 million light-years away in the well-groomed constellation Coma Berenices. A member of the large Virgo Galaxy Cluster, it spans some 87,000 light-years, a little smaller than our own Milky Way. Like the Milky Way, NGC 4302's prominent dust lanes cut along the center of the galactic plane, obscuring and reddening the starlight from our perspective. Smaller companion galaxy NGC 4298 is also a dusty spiral. But tilted more nearly face-on to our view, NGC 4298 can show off dust lanes along spiral arms traced by the bluish light of young stars, as well as its bright yellowish core. In celebration of the 27th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope on April 24, 1990, astronomers used the legendary telescope to take this gorgeous visible light portrait of the contrasting galaxy pair.

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APOD  astronomy  photography  awe 
april 2017 by pierredv

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