Science Tidbits #5

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:13 pm

Phil Plait weighs in on the Oumuamua paper: He's not impressed.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:11 pm

^Not surprised. I would really, really love for Oumuamua to be alien but like Sagan said. "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof".

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:41 pm

I wonder if anybody will ever chase it down and take a real look at it.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:25 pm

It'd take a ferocious amount of energy to do it. Probably not any time in the near future.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:55 pm

Yeah, you'd first have to catch up with it, and it's going pretty fast, and then slow down to rendezvous with it, doubling the fuel requirements. And the longer you wait, the farther outside the Solar System it gets. Still, it might make a nice scenario for a story....
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:08 pm

Yeah, the astronauts spend months catching up to it only to find that it's a giant tartigrade. :eek:

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:39 pm

Actually, that would be worth the trip. :lol:

I've been doing a little thinking and researching to imagine what they might find out there, and it's actually not very promising. I was thinking that it could be tumbling that way to provide artificial gravity at the two "floors" at either end of the cylinder. The good news is that the floors of a quarter-mile cylinder with a 10-1 ratio would be over an acre in area-- the bad news is that the rate of it's tumble would not create any significant artificial gravity (I found an online utility that does the calculation). My alternate scenario is that there is a disc at either end with a centrifuge inside, spinning in opposite directions to balance out the torque (imagine a giant dumbbell-shaped vehicle with drums instead of spheres). The area available would depend on the thickness of the centrifuge, so I'll have to calculate that next. And figure out the purpose of the tumbling.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:39 pm

^Part of some exotic form of propulsion perhaps? The tumbling motion in a sense "crawling" through space/time.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:59 pm

That's a good line of thought. I was thinking in terms of cosmic radiation-- maybe tumbling spreads the exposure evenly, rather than concentrating it in the direction of acceleration or something.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:11 pm

Oh, and I also realized that, between Tabby's Star and Oumuamua, my story "Photo Finish" has almost kind of come true. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:02 pm

^ :lol:

Hopefully "Supernumerary" won't come true however. :peekaboo:

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:54 pm

Yeah, that would be kinda bad. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:14 pm

Banards Star has a Super-Earth!
I'll have to incorporate this into my work as one story of mine takes place at Banards Star.

And Space.com's take on it.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:45 pm

That's a great find. Too bad it's just about a tenth of an AU outside the habitable zone. I wonder if the possible density of its atmosphere would make a difference there-- plus it could be tectonically active. And I find it hard to believe that there can be a solar system with only one planet, so there may be more closer in.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:59 pm

As big as it is though and coupled with the low temps I'm wondering how they decided it was a Super-Earth rather than a Exo-Neptune. :conf:

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:31 am

Clearly, the IAU needs to be far more specific in their planetary definitions. :warn:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:06 pm

^They can't even handle that in our own solar system. Any day now Uranus will be redefined as a snow-globe.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:48 pm

Well, according to their definition, planets don't exist anyway so it might as well be. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:40 pm

Speaking of planets, Zooniverse has a new project where you can help look for planets using TESS data.
I toyed with it yesterday though I'm still not entirely sure how this works. At times it seems too easy and it seems like some of the data fields are repeats, but who knows? Maybe we can find a planet.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:18 pm

Interesting. I wonder if we can name the planets we find.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by huggle » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:06 pm

would that be similar to SETI? Downloading a data package, analyzing it and sending it back?

a bit off-topic: by the end of this week comet 46P Wirtanen will reach its closest point relatively to both the Earth and the Sun. Unfortunately, its tail will point away from us, so that it won't be visible. But the comet iself should be visible with the unaided eye.
To see its current position go to https://www.heavens-above.com/comet.asp ... t=0&tz=UCT
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Once you entered your location and clicked update, you'll be rerouted to the start page. There, scroll down to Astronomy, click on Comets and then select 46P Wirtanen to get back to the map with the comet's current position. It'll now display your local time and correct angle.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:08 pm

huggle wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:06 pm
would that be similar to SETI? Downloading a data package, analyzing it and sending it back?
You mean that screen saver? I don't know, but I think this involves more user interaction, like examining light curves visually or something.
a bit off-topic: by the end of this week comet 46P Wirtanen will reach its closest point relatively to both the Earth and the Sun. Unfortunately, its tail will point away from us, so that it won't be visible. But the comet iself should be visible with the unaided eye.
Cool. I was able to use that to find where the comet should be using my Sky Map app. Unfortunately, the traffic lights next to my house are exactly in the way at the moment, but it should move higher in the sky as the night wears on.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:17 pm

Yeah I've been waiting for the comet and wondering if I'll be able to get a pic of it. :camera:
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Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:08 pm
huggle wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:06 pm
would that be similar to SETI? Downloading a data package, analyzing it and sending it back?
You mean that screen saver? I don't know, but I think this involves more user interaction, like examining light curves visually or something.
Yeah, no downloads. Just looking at light curves.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:12 pm

And Ultima Thule is coming into sight of the New Horizon's probe. :yes:

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:35 pm

And the flyby will be right on New Year's Day. This should be very interesting. I hope it's a contact binary. That would be really cool.

And here is something pretty amazing that I came across today. Ancient, almost immortal, bacteria deep in the Earth, with implications not only for the origins of life here, but for the likelihood of finding life on other worlds. It would surprise if there's not something like this on Mars, and maybe even some other bodies in the Solar System.
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