Three Things on Thursday #16

Hello, and welcome to the 16th edition of Three Things on Thursday.

This week, our things include: The Space X Starlink satellite train, 10 Things Einstein Got Right, and Generating Cat Names with Artificial Intelligence.

Let’s go check them out!

1. The SpaceX Starlink satellite train

On 24 May 2019 at 2:30 UT, SpaceX launched STARLINK, a series of 60 satellites that is the first launch of many that will create a large constellation of satellites meant to provide global internet access.

Just short of a day after the launch, near 22:55 UT on May 24, this resulted in a spectacular view over NW Europe, when a “train” of bright satellites, all moving close together in a line, moved across the sky.

Video Credit: Marco Langbroek, Leiden, the Netherlands

Learn more on the SatTrackCam Leiden Blog.

2. 10 Things Einstein Got Right

One hundred years ago, on May 29, 1919, astronomers observed a total solar eclipse in an ambitious effort to test Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity by seeing it in action. Essentially, Einstein thought space and time were intertwined in an infinite “fabric,” like an outstretched blanket. A massive object such as the Sun bends the spacetime blanket with its gravity, such that light no longer travels in a straight line as it passes by the Sun.

This means the apparent positions of background stars seen close to the Sun in the sky — including during a solar eclipse — should seem slightly shifted in the absence of the Sun, because the Sun’s gravity bends light. But until the eclipse experiment, no one was able to test Einstein’s theory of general relativity, as no one could see stars near the Sun in the daytime otherwise.

The world celebrated the results of this eclipse experiment — a victory for Einstein, and the dawning of a new era of our understanding of the universe.

General relativity has many important consequences for what we see in the cosmos and how we make discoveries in deep space today. The same is true for Einstein's slightly older theory, special relativity, with its widely celebrated equation E=mc2.

Discover the 10 things that result from Einstein’s theories of relativity in Elizabeth Landau full article

3.Generating Cat Names with Artificial Intelligence

In her own words, Janelle Shane: “...trains neural networks, a type of machine learning algorithm, to write unintentional humor as they struggle to imitate human datasets.”.

As if that didn't already sound fun enough, it turns out that she's been training a neural network to name cats.

From “fancy” names, like, Taffeta, Pompompur, and Monocle, to names that are the “opposite of fancy”, like The Cream, Meatbag, and Dr Fart .If you have a cat in need of a name, the neural network has you covered.

Read more on Janelle’s Tumblr, AI Weirdness.

Edition #16 done!

See you next week, for more Three Things on Thursday.

Chris ~ Resident Collector of Things

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