Copious Amounts Of Carbon Found In A Galaxy Far Far Away!

Something surprising, but not quite revolutionary. A galaxy far far away is giving strong carbon signature from throughout its surface. Using the recently upgraded IRAM (standing for Institute for Radio Astronomy in Millimeter Range) array of radio telescopes, researchers were able to observe the galaxy and the supermassive blackhole at its center.

Astronomers have named the galaxy J1120+0641 and what they are observing now is the state the galaxy was more than 13 billion years ago, just 740 million years after the Big Bang! That’s how far it is from us. During this time, almost the entire Universe was made up of hydrogen or helium.

J1120+0641: Left - Seen in visual. Right - Seen in the submillimeter radio range using IRAM. (Photo Courtesy: IRAM)

Encoded Messages Tell A Fascinating Tale

The copious signals of carbon, given by the spectrum of carbon, and of UV indicate that the galaxy is undergoing – or rather had undergone – a very active carbon-forming phase. The UV is due to the fact that the photon is heating up the dust in the interstellar medium and causing ionization. The sheer amount of carbon is mind-boggling, telling us that a lot of massive stars are burning their way through.

This leads to one conclusion – a lot of star formation must have been going on in this region since the Big Bang, but then that’s pretty strange. Though it doesn’t contradict any of the stellar formation theories known, this is still pretty surprising that we should be seeing so much activity so soon after the Big Bang.

Bram Venemans, of Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, says:

The presence of so much carbon confirms that massive star formation must have occurred in the short period between the Big Bang and the time we are now observing the galaxy.

The researchers owe a debt to the IRAM facility, which has just upgraded its signal processing capabilities, allowing the observers to observe on more number of channels and thus cut out noise. This makes seeing faraway galaxies possible.

Samsung Galaxy Beam Announced; Its A Phone And A Projector!

Along with the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Samsung also unveiled the first phone in the Galaxy series that comes equipped with a projector. Samsung’s earlier efforts at releasing a phone with a projector has failed miserably, but the company aims to attain some degree of success this time with its Galaxy brand.

The Galaxy Beam comes with a 4-inch TFT display with WVGA (800×480) resolution, a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot, a 5MP camera at the back aided by an LED flash with the ability to record videos in 720p resolution, and a 1.3MP camera in the front. The usual bunch of connectivity features and sensors like Bluetooth 3.0+HS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Accelerometer, Compass and Gyroscope etc. A beefy 2000mAh battery also powers the Beam, which runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with TouchWIZ on top of it.

Inspite of packing in a projector, the Beam is pretty thin at 12.5mm. The mini projector on the Beam is capable of beaming a wide range of multimedia content up to 50″ wide.

The press release from Samsung does not mention anything as to when the handset will be available to the general public!

Chandra, Spitzer and VLT Find Large Galaxy Cluster From Very Early Universe

A composite image reveals a thing of utter beauty! The Chandra X-Ray Telescope, the Spitzer and the Very Large Telescope (VLT) have stitched together an image of a large Galaxy cluster that dates back right to the Early Universe, when galaxy formation was just starting to happen. The composite image is given below.

Image 1: The El Gordo Galaxy - the composite image. Blue represents the X-Rays, while the red and orange represent infrared and optical. (Courtesy: NASA/CXC/JPL/ESO)

Enter the Fat Man

Named El Gordo, Spanish for ‘fat man’, this structure appears bloated in X-Ray and infrared images. The most interesting structure is the core, which is extremely bright in X-Rays. Chandra has mapped the central part and has come up with two distinct tail-like structures, indicating that two previously large structures have merged to form the El Gordo.

The object is located in the constellation Pheonix, but this is a very difficult constellation to spot, being both very faint and extremely southerly. El Gordo is located 7.17 billion light years from Earth, which is way further than the well-known Bullet Cluster that lies about 4 billion light years away.

Stitching together to form an image

The following two images are the ones obtained by Spitzer and VLT (Image 2) and by Chandra (Image 3).

Image 2: The El Gordo in Optical and Infrared frequencies. The data has been obtained from Spitzer (IR) and VLT (Optical). (Courtesy: Optical - ESO/VLT; IR - NASA/JPL)
Image 3: The El Gordo in X-Ray. Data obtained by the Chandra X-Ray Telescope. Notice the two distinct tails and the very X-Ray hot core. (Courtesy: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/J.Hughes et al)

The composite image (Image 1) is made by combining data from the Chandra X-Ray Telescope, which gives the X-Ray data, the Spitzer telescope, which provides the infra-red (i.e. thermal) data and the Very Large Telescope (VLT), which maps the optical frequencies. The infrared and X-Rays are false coloured, with the X-Rays being represented by blue and the infrared by orange and red. The El Gordo’s central region is blue in the X-Ray, indicating that some violent X-Ray generating processes are afoot.

Dark Matter ripping out hot gases

El Gordo also shows signatures of gas which have been dispersed by dark matter, not unlike the Bullet cluster. Dark matter has not been stopped by collision, due to feeble interactions with the mass outside, but the hot gas has been. Dark matter has then ripped apart the hot gas and this forms the halo, which is incandescent in both Optical and X-ray frequencies, and presumably even in Radio. In fact, the X-Ray emitting hot gas, forming the halo-like structure around El Gordo, account for more than 90% of the visible mass of the galaxy cluster as compared to just about 1-3% contribution from actual stars. The number of stars is, however, massive – there are about 4 quadrillion (a million billion) of them!

Samsung Sold 35 Million Smartphones in Q4 2011

Samsung recently reported preliminary earnings for the fourth quarter of 2011. It beat Apple to become the top smartphone maker in Q3 2011, and will likely beat it again in Q4 2011 too. According to reports, it sold a total of approximately 35 million smartphones this quarter, a 25% jump from Q3. Its operating profit jumped to around $4.5 billion, backed by record sales of its Galaxy smartphones and tablets. Its mobile division is its most profitable business now.

Part of its Q4 operating profit was due to the sale of its hard drive business to Seagate, which will give it a chance to focus on its more profitable businesses.

Apple will announce its earnings in the next two weeks. It is expected to post a record quarter too, owing primarily to the massive sales of the iPhone 4S. Even if Samsung beats it in terms of total devices sold, Apple will likely win in terms of total profit generated.

Samsung’s Galaxy S 2 and Galaxy Note have been the most popular Android devices this year. It is rumored that Samsung may announce the Galaxy S 3 at CES 2012 next week. Samsung is expected to sell around 170 million smartphones in 2012, a significant increase from the 95 million smartphones sold in 2011.

Samsung Announces Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Upgrade for Galaxy Devices

Samsung has officially announced the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade schedule for its range of Galaxy devices. Today, it stated in a press release that it will upgrade the Samsung Galaxy S 2 and the Galaxy Note to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in Q1 2012, and will upgrade other Galaxy Devices after that.

It also released a list of Galaxy devices which will be eligible for Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades:

“The ICS-upgradable devices are the GALAXY S II, GALAXY S II LTE, GALAXY Note, GALAXY R, GALAXY Tab 10.1, GALAXY Tab 8.9, GALAXY Tab 7.7, and GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus.”

Samsung will be announcing the schedules for each upgradeable model separately. The update availability may vary depending on market and carrier requirements.

Currently, only the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus S support Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich officially. Developers are working to bring ICS to most smartphones unofficially, but most phones don’t have a stable ICS build yet.

Being the best Android smartphone of 2011, the Samsung Galaxy S 2 was expected to be one of the first devices to receive the ICS upgrade.

Samsung UK had already announced an ICS upgrade for the Galaxy S 2 on Twitter, but today it announced it officially.

Stay tuned for further updates, we will let you know as soon as we receive more information regarding the ICS roll-out.

Samsung Galaxy S II vs. iPhone 4S Drop Test; The Former Survives Again!

Even before the iPhone 5 err…iPhone 4S was announced, it was being compared to the hottest Android phone on the planet the Samsung Galaxy S II. Interested readers can find our spec comparison of both the phones here.

Now, some people were not content with just the spec comparison, and decided to do a drop test of both the phones. While the Samsung Galaxy S II is mainly made of plastic and gorilla glass, the iPhone 4S like its predecessor (iPhone4) is made up primarily of glass.

Below is the drop-test video (Faint hearted readers or die-hard Apple lovers are recommended not to watch this video):

In the drop test, both the phones were dropped from waist height and shoulder height. In all the cases, the Samsung Galaxy S II survived the fall with just minor scratches. Sadly, in all the cases the iPhone 4S glass gave away way too easily. iPhone 4S owners, I will strongly recommend you to use a bumper case with your handset, if are not already doing so.

If the above drop test is not enough for you, around a month back I did an unintentional drop test on my Galaxy S II, where the phone fell 15foot down straight onto a cemented floor. Thankfully, the phone survived the drop with just a minor scratches. Absolutely, no dents or broken glass like the iPhone 4S.

It does not matter how much one remains careful with his or her phone, it will fall down once from your hand, intentionally or unintentionally. While the Samsung Galaxy S II will easily survive such a drop, iPhone 4S owners better get ready to buy a new phone.

Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy S II Sell 30 Million Units Worldwide

Today, in a press release Samsung announced that two of its most popular handsets, the Galaxy S and its successor the Galaxy S II, have collectively managed to sell 30 million units worldwide.

SGS22

Launched last year in April-May, the Samsung Galaxy S marked the beginning of the popular Galaxy S series of phone from Sammy. Now, nearly 1.5 years after its launch the handset alone has managed to sell more than 20 million units. This makes the Galaxy S the highest selling phone in Samsung’s portfolio.

Since its launch only five months ago, GALAXY SII has seen tremendous sales success and garnered enthusiastic reviews from consumers and mobile industry watchers across the globe. This is in addition to the continued sales momentum behind GALAXY S, which we launched at Mobile World Congress 2010 as continues to be a run-away success with consumers,said JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business.

The phenomenal success of these smartphones once again demonstrates how the GALAXY S smartphones is setting the standard for smart mobile technology around the world.

Its successor, the Galaxy S II, has been one of the most popular Android handsets this year, and has also managed to break quite a few records. Sammy sold 10million units of the handset in just 5 months, making it the fastest selling handset in the company’s history. The phone has also managed to bag quite a lot of awards, including being selected by T3 as the best smartphone of the year. The handset also bagged five out of ten Mobile Choice Consumer 2011 awards.

With its recent launch in the U.S, the Samsung Galaxy S II is all set to become one of the highest selling handset this year.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus Announced; Runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb

Samsung has just announced the successor to the Galaxy Tab 7, the Tab 7.0 Plus. The original 7-inch Tab was the first ever Android tablet, which was a worthy’ competitor to the iPad. With a weight of 345gms, and a thickness of only 9.96mm, the Tab 7 Plus is among the lightest and the most portable tablet out there. Its light weight and slim factor ensures that the tablet can easily fit inside a jacket or a handbag.

Galaxy_Tab_7_plus

The Tab 7.0 Plus sports a 7-inch PLS LCD display with WSVGA (1024×600) resolution, and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. The device also packs in 1GB of RAM, and will come in 16GB and 32GB variants. Other key features of the Tab 7.0 Plus include a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi b/g/n (2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 3.0, HSPA+, USB host support, and a microUSB port. There are also a bunch of sensors like Accelerometer, Gyroscope and Proximity sensor etc. on-board.

The back of the tablet sports a 3MP camera with LED flash, with a 2MP camera in the front accompanying it. The Tab 7.0 Plus also packs in a microphone and a speaker, so some people can use it as a rather large phone. It can also record videos in 720p HD resolution, and can playback Full HD (1080p) HD videos.

This 7-inch Tab will run on Honeycomb 3.2, with Sammy’s TouchWIZ UI on top of it. A beefy 4000mAh battery powers this tablet. The tablet will be available in Indonesia and Austria from end-October, and will be gradually available in Southeast and Southwest Asia, US, Europe and Latin America. Sammy did not mention anything about the pricing of the device though.

Samsung Galaxy Note Announced; Blurs The Line Between A Handset and Tablet!

Along with the Galaxy Tab 7.7, Samsung also unveiled a new phone…err…tablet…umm…something in between, the Galaxy Note.  Samsung calls the Galaxy Note a handset, and this device comes with a gigantic 5.3-inch display! The 5.3-inch Super-AMOLED display has a WXGA (1280×800) resolution. With a 5.3-inch display, the Note successfully manages to blur the line between a handset and a tablet.

The Note is powered by a 1.4GHz dual core processor (Exynos SoC), and packs 1GB of RAM. The handset is also pretty thin and light at just 9.65m thick, and weighing in at 178 grams. The usual Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS, HSPA+, microSD card slot, FM radio, 3.5mm audio jack and a bunch of sensors are all present.

Being called a handset’ by Sammy, the Note runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with TouchWiz 4.0 on top of it. The back of the device sports an 8MP camera with an LED flash, and a 2MP camera resides in the front of the phone. A beefy 2500mAh battery powers the Galaxy Note.

The highlight of the Note is the S-Pen, which comes with the Note. This pressure sensitive stylus will help Note users to easily take down notes on their handset. Samsung will also release the S-Pen SDK to developers, to that more applications can make use of this feature.

With the Galaxy Note, Sammy is trying to open a new segment, residing between the handsets and tablets market. The Note will be ideal for businessmen’s and college going students, for taking down quick notes. While some people may like the Note, I highly doubt it’s going to be a major success. Nonetheless, it is still nice to see Sammy innovating, instead of just releasing run-of-the-mill Android handsets and tablets.

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Announced; Packs 7.7-inch of Super-AMOLED+ Goodness!

Samsung has just announced a new Galaxy branded tablet at the ongoing IFA 2011 event. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 is the slimmest (7.89mm) and lightest (339gms) tablet in the market, even besting the iPad 2 vital stats. The tablet is mainly made up of plastic, with a metal casing running around its edges.

As the name suggests, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 comes with a 7.7-inch screen. The drool-worthy thing about this tablet is that the 7.7-inch screen is a Super-AMOLED Plus one, with WXGA (1280×800) resolution. Yes, that’s 7.7-inch of Super-AMOLED Plus goodness for your eyes to feast upon! This 7.7-inch tab is powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core processor made by Samsung (Exynos 4210 SoC). The usual tablet features including dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n support, Bluetooth 3.0, DivX/Xvid support, GPS with A-GPS, HSPA+ support, microSD card slot and the usual sensors.

The tablet is backed up by a 5100mAh battery, which can power the tab for up to 10 hours. There are also two-3MP cameras in the back and a 2MP camera in the front of the Tab 7.7. It is also capable of recording and playing back full HD (1080p) videos. The tablet will come in various capacities ranging from 16GB to 32GB. Sadly, the tablet comes with the same 30-pin  proprietary  connector as found on the Galaxy Tab 7 and 10.1.

Like all other Android tablets, the Tab 7.7 runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb, with Samsung’s TouchWiz UX running on top of it.

At the moment, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is possibly the most ‘different’ tablet from all other 7-inches Android tablets in the market. The Super-AMOLED+ display alone is a compelling reason to buy the tablet. The Tab 7.7 will also be more powerful than other Tegra 2 powered Honeycomb tablets, mainly thanks to the Exynos 4210 SoC!

Sadly, Samsung has not mentioned anything about the pricing and availability of the Galaxy Tab 7.7. Hopefully, Samsung will not be stupid enough to price the tablet at anything more than $550.

One crucial reason behind the success of the Apple iPad is its price point. Samsung, like all other Honeycomb tablet manufacturers, needs to realize this and price their tablet  competitively.