Skip to main content

Optical Illusions

Our brain works faster than we can imagine. However, it often cannot process all the data coming from the environment. He applies some kind of patch method to cover this defect. What is this patch method? Let’s explain it briefly: It completes the objects where we cannot clearly see all the details (roughly similar to what it resembles) according to the capacity of your visual memory. Optical illusions are divided into three groups: physiological, cognitive and invariant optical illusions. Physiological illusion: It occurs as a result of the effect on the brain or eyes when you focus on brightness, tilt, color or a movement for a certain period of time. Cognitive Illusion: Also called unconscious inferences. It occurs when your perspective is distorted by your assumptions about the world. This is the most common type of illusion. Invariant optical illusion: It looks different from the object that creates it. It is the simplest of optical illusions. It is often used in art. Let’s take a look at these illusions, which are divided into different types.

1. Illusions Based on Eye Movements

This type of illusion manipulates the fact that your eyes can never look at a fixed point, and when you focus on a point, your eyes move left and right thanks to the muscles that shake the eye, this is called “micro wobble”. Since these are very small movements, the lines or patterns in the illusion you are looking at give the impression of movement designed to take these micromovements into account. In this way, you can see a flat photo as an animated GIF.

2. Illusions Based on the Working and Fatigue of the Cells in the Eye

This type of illusion occurs when you focus your eyes on a point on a moving background and see various illusions as a result of confusing your brain’s perception management.

3. Movement and Vibration Misconceptions

Focus on the flashing green light below for a while and you will see the yellow balls disappear. It doesn’t actually disappear. It’s just that the cone cells in your eyes get tired from the green stimulus. Since yellow is the equivalent of green, you feel like you can’t see.

4. Illusons Due to Angular Orientation

Our brain cannot perceive depth very well. For this reason, it produces a simple answer for visual stimuli that are not clear, using the most appropriate information in our memory.

Illusions of Parallelism

The orange circles on the right look bigger than the orange circles you see in the first picture, right?

However, as you can see, they are both the same size.

As you can see in the example we gave, if the gray circles surrounding the orange circles are closer to the central circle, the central circle appears larger; if the surrounding circles are farther away, the central circle appears smaller.

Discoveries of 85 New Planets Suitable for Life

Researchers discovered 85 new exoplanets with TESS (NASA’s Exoplanet Research Satellite) whose temperatures are cold enough to sustain life and which are conducive to life in space. TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) allows astronomers to observe and conduct research on the brightness dips of exoplanets in transit. Of course, TESS’s discovery of these planets is not easy. We mentioned that planets are observed in transit. At least three transits must be observed for each planet to be discovered. In this way, they can determine how long it takes to orbit stars. 60 of the 85 exoplanets are new discoveries, and the remaining 25 were discovered in the TESS data as a result of another team using different techniques.
“After a painstaking process of checking, we narrowed it down to 85 systems in the data set that appeared to host exoplanets that transited only twice,” said Faith Hawthorn, a PhD researcher at the University of Warwick, UK. They first created an algorithm that looked for transits in a sample of 1.4 million stars. Another researcher, Professor Daniel Bayliss, said on finding temperatures suitable for life: “It’s very exciting to find relatively cold planets like the ones we’ve just discovered, which may actually have temperatures that would be conducive to human life.” said.

The First Wooden Satellite to be Launched in Summer 2024

In the ever-evolving space sector, research is always underway to find more effective and cost-efficient solutions. NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have been designing the first wooden satellite to be sent into space alongside LignoSat, aiming to make satellites more sustainable. The wooden satellite, planned to be launched in the summer months of 2024, could potentially revolutionize the field if it meets expectations. This is because wood has a structure that does not burn, decay, or deteriorate from environmental factors in space. However, once it enters Earth’s orbit, it begins to burn and disintegrate in the atmosphere, becoming organic waste, which is significant in the context of space debris, as we’ve highlighted in our previous bulletins.

In experiments conducted on the International Space Station earlier last year, wooden satellite prototypes were tested, yielding successful results.

Utilization of Magnolia Tree

In studies conducted by scientists in May 2023, it was reported that three species of trees were tested, and all three showed no signs of damage under space conditions. Scientists tested cherry, birch, and magnolia trees, ultimately choosing the magnolia tree. The reason for this choice is that the magnolia tree shows less deformation and bending compared to other trees in satellite production.

If the use of wood in space becomes widespread, it could alleviate the issues of space observation and space debris. It’s estimated that space debris has reached up to 9300 tons. These debris, often containing materials like titanium and aluminum, reflect light and negatively impact space observations. Additionally, the use of wood is expected to have a significantly positive effect on costs.

The Sun Experiencing Its Largest Flares in Recent Years

In the past week, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory detected three X-class solar flares occurring within a 24-hour period. The flares were classified as X1.9, X1.6, and X6.3, respectively. The X-class designation indicates their dangerous magnitude.

What are solar flares and the classification system?

Solar flares are evaluated in 5 categories: A, B, C, M, and X. Flares of M and X magnitude are the most dangerous. These flares typically originate from sunspots. As the Sun approaches the peak of its 11-year solar cycle, more sunspots emerge, and it’s expected that Cycle 25, currently ongoing, will reach its peak this year. As sunspots increase, so do the flares. Solar flares can pose risks to electrical grids, satellite signals, and spacecraft.

In addition to solar flares, coronal mass ejections (CMEs) can also occur simultaneously. CMEs can trigger atmospheric events on Earth. The three recent flares caused interruptions in radio signals but did not produce a CME. According to, due to the sunspot where the flares originated, we may expect more flares and similar disruptions in the coming days.

You can also examine the image below depicting the largest flares observed in history.

This Week in Our Art Corner

Pale Blue Dot

This iconic photo of Earth, called the Pale Blue Dot, was taken by NASA’s spacecraft Voyager 1. Voyager 1, which shows the photo, was so far away that from its perspective the Earth was a single dot. Carl Sagan, one of the important scientists of the US Space program and an investor of NASA since the 1950s, was also a member of the Voyager Imaging Team. The use of the Voyager 1 spacecraft camera to image the Earth in 1881 has been suggested as prominent. Voyager 1 was planned to work only on the Saturn survey, but it passed Saturn in 1980 and wrote down Carl Sagan’s special request and faxed it to NASA. On February 13, 1990, Voyager 1’s cameras were prepared and its eyes turned to Neptune, its science platform. Observations began to be made. Other planets were later imaged. Earth records were taken 34 minutes before Voyager 1 turned off its cameras for good. It took from February 13, 1990 to May 1, 1990 for all images to return to the other recorded Earth. When taking the photographs, a narrow-angle lens was used and blue, green and purple filters were applied. In fact, Carl Sagan told the eager researchers that this did not happen because the spacecraft would be too far away, but he and his team’s purpose was precisely chosen. They wanted to show the current singularity and spread of our Earth in the universe, where other planets would not be visible too much because of the help of the vehicle. The intended emphasis was that we are a small and single piece in cosmic infinity.