Last-minute technical problem delays NASA’s flight to sun

Parker Solar Probe will travel through the Sun's atmosphere, closer to the surface than any spacecraft before it. (Bill Ingalls/NASA/Reuters)
Updated 13 August 2018
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Last-minute technical problem delays NASA’s flight to sun

  • The $1.5 million mission is already a week late because of rocket issues
  • Thousands of spectators gathered in the middle of the night to witness the launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla: A last-minute technical problem has delayed NASA’s unprecedented flight to the sun.
Saturday’s launch countdown was halted with just one-minute, 55 seconds remaining, keeping the Delta IV (four) rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida, with the Parker Solar Probe. This followed earlier trouble in the countdown.
NASA says it will try again Sunday.
Once on its way, the Parker probe will venture closer to our star than any other spacecraft. The $1.5 million mission is already a week late because of rocket issues.
Thousands of spectators gathered in the middle of the night to witness the launch, including the University of Chicago astrophysicist for whom the spacecraft is named. Eugene Parker predicted the existence of solar wind 60 years ago. He’s now 91 and eager to see the solar probe soar.


What We Are Reading Today: The Art of Philosophy by Susanna Berger

Updated 20 February 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: The Art of Philosophy by Susanna Berger

  • The Art of Philosophy shows that the making and study of visual art functioned as important methods of philosophical thinking and instruction

Delving into the intersections between artistic images and philosophical knowledge in Europe from the late 16th to the early 18th centuries, The Art of Philosophy shows that the making and study of visual art functioned as important methods of philosophical thinking and instruction. From frontispieces of books to monumental prints created by philosophers in collaboration with renowned artists, Susanna Berger examines visual representations of philosophy and overturns prevailing assumptions about the limited function of the visual in European intellectual history.

Rather than merely illustrating already-existing philosophical concepts, visual images generated new knowledge for both Aristotelian thinkers and anti-Aristotelians, such as Descartes and Hobbes. Printmaking and drawing played a decisive role in discoveries that led to a move away from the authority of Aristotle in the 17th century. Berger interprets visual art from printed books, student lecture notebooks, alba amicorum (friendship albums), broadsides, and paintings, and examines the work of such artists as Pietro Testa, Léonard Gaultier, Abraham Bosse, Dürer, and Rembrandt.

In particular, she focuses on the rise and decline of the “plural image,” a genre that was popular among early modern philosophers. Plural images brought multiple images together on the same page, often in order to visualize systems of logic, metaphysics, natural philosophy, or moral philosophy.