Science Tidbits #5

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:40 pm

^For all we know these guys might be from Mars. If something like this is found elsewhere in the solar system it will be interesting to compare the DNA. If they're life-spans are as long as is supposed they should be nearly identical to their Martian or Venusian cousins if they are in fact related.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:43 pm

Good point. Living things of that vintage could certainly prove the panspermia theory-- although it might be a while before we can dig that deep on Mars.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:12 pm

Far out!

A record breaker for sure, but one that probably won't last long.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:10 pm

Oh, yeah, I meant to post this and forgot. "Encounter at Farout." :D It's because of little guys like this that the IAU created such a restrictive definition of planet. There's got to be hundreds, if not thousands, of them out there. And the discovery was made as part of the search for Planet X-Large, so they might be closing in on it.

I also meant to post this. The first private spaceplane successfully crossed the threshold of space. We're getting closer to economical spaceflight. :cooldude:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:29 pm

^Though with the price tag it will be awhile before the average joe can have a go at it.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:29 pm

Well, yeah, I won't be going any time soon-- or ever-- but at least it's the beginning of an infrastructure. At some point, like the Internet, it will reach a critical mass and take on a life of its own.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:48 pm

An article I came across about some of the year's discoveries in human origins.
The one about Little Foot isn't too much of a surprise as I've always thought that researchers have read too much into the fossil as it pertains to human evolution.
And actually the Neandertal art discoveries shouldn't be shocking either as I've yet to see any strong evidence that Neandertals were dramatically different intellectually from moderns. And there's even evidence of simply "art" among Homo Erectus.
"Denny" is an exciting discovery. And since I (and many others) have both Neandertal and Denisovan ancestry, Denny could very well be one of our direct ancestors.
And as for humans roaming out of Africa much earlier than suspected that is actually the culmination of years of evidence that supported earlier migrations (though I wonder if Neandertal critics will use it to discredit their art).

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:05 pm

I don't know why the idea of earlier migrations out of Africa is controversial. We're talking about very long spans of time, and the farther back you go the less likely it is that evidence will still exist. Since humans and close relatives clearly have always had the wanderlust, it seems to me that constant waves of migration should be the assumption awaiting confirmation.

The idea of Neandertals and other human-like species making art is very exciting. I wonder if we'll ever have a large enough body of evidence to tease out indications of any psychological differences in the art itself. That would be amazing.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:24 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:05 pm
I don't know why the idea of earlier migrations out of Africa is controversial. We're talking about very long spans of time, and the farther back you go the less likely it is that evidence will still exist. Since humans and close relatives clearly have always had the wanderlust, it seems to me that constant waves of migration should be the assumption awaiting confirmation.
It started in the early days of DNA testing and the so-called "molecular clock" in mtDNA. Each study and computer model kept pushing the dates for human/chimp divergence, the arrival of modern humans, and the migration out of Africa further up in time. And despite the fossil evidence coming into increased conflict with the stated dates the geneticists held their ground until things became untenable.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:58 pm

NASA just discovered a giant bowling pin in space! :eek:

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:42 pm

Obviously a remnant of a collision with Planet X. The only question is: Was it a strike or a spare?

So it's 21 miles long and spinning like a propeller. I wonder how fast it's spinning, and if it's enough to create any substantial pseudo-gravity in the lobes. Also, they don't seem to have specified if it's an asteroid or a comet remnant.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:04 pm

Comet would be my guess being that far out. The most recent pictures make it look like a snowman gone wrong. Seems oddly lacking in craters.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:06 pm

Ooh, Frosty the Indeterminate Outer Solar System Object. A comet wannabe maybe. The lack of craters may be just the resolution of the picture, or maybe due to the fact that stuff is so far apart out there there are few collisions. I can't wait to see those higher-res photos that are coming.

And now I've also learned that I've been pronouncing Ultima Thule wrong. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:31 pm

I've been pronouncing it "Thuly".

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Orpheus » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:02 am

Ah, like that Savage Garden song "Thule, Madly, Deepspace"

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:35 am

Lupine wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:31 pm
I've been pronouncing it "Thuly".
Same here. :lol:
Orpheus wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:02 am
Ah, like that Savage Garden song "Thule, Madly, Deepspace"
That would be a good episode title for Orville. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:48 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:35 am
Lupine wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:31 pm
I've been pronouncing it "Thuly".
Same here. :lol:
I do believe that's the correct way.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:00 pm

Meanwhile, there's now life on the Moon.. :unsure: :eek:

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:54 pm

Wow, there's a terrarium on the Moon. What a great experiment. I wonder if the Chinese will release photos and videos of the plants and silkworms.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:56 pm

TESS is finding new planets! The article describes the newest as a "sub-Neptune" but the description sounds rather like a Mega-Earth. A really hot one, so we're probably talking a Mega-Venus.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:00 pm

Where do Sub-Neptunes end and Mega-Earths begin? :lol:

It's a shame that TESS isn't that good at finding planets that are farther away from their star. That seems to rule out finding anything in the habitable zone.

This one is definitely weird, though. The star must be a Red Dwarf if the planet has an orbit of 36 days, but has a surface temperature of only 300 degrees. And that's kind of an odd temperature, too. It seems like we don't see many that are just a little bit hotter than Earth like that. And if it's three times bigger than Earth, then it's atmosphere is probably denser, so that means the boiling point of water would be higher, so it's possible that this place has wicked hot liquid oceans. I wonder if that would save it from becoming a Mega-Venus.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:35 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:00 pm
Where do Sub-Neptunes end and Mega-Earths begin? :lol:
That's actually a big question here. Since we have no planets in our system in that size range it is a bit of a mystery where "Earths" end and "Neptunes" begin. It might have to do with water content or the amount of heat from their primary.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:00 pm
It's a shame that TESS isn't that good at finding planets that are farther away from their star. That seems to rule out finding anything in the habitable zone.
TESS is using the same transiting technique as Kepler, so it will likely be years before it starts to detect planets in the Goldilocks Zone. Kepler broke down just as it was on the verge of doing so.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:00 pm
This one is definitely weird, though. The star must be a Red Dwarf if the planet has an orbit of 36 days, but has a surface temperature of only 300 degrees. And that's kind of an odd temperature, too. It seems like we don't see many that are just a little bit hotter than Earth like that. And if it's three times bigger than Earth, then it's atmosphere is probably denser, so that means the boiling point of water would be higher, so it's possible that this place has wicked hot liquid oceans. I wonder if that would save it from becoming a Mega-Venus.
HD 21749 is a red dwarf, but you're right about the temperature. At .68 Solar Masses you'd think that the planet would be hotter than that.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:11 pm

Lupine wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:35 pm
That's actually a big question here. Since we have no planets in our system in that size range it is a bit of a mystery where "Earths" end and "Neptunes" begin. It might have to do with water content or the amount of heat from their primary.
True. In this case, it's not just as simple as mass. It's a matter of composition.
TESS is using the same transiting technique as Kepler, so it will likely be years before it starts to detect planets in the Goldilocks Zone. Kepler broke down just as it was on the verge of doing so.
Coincidence? I think not!
HD 21749 is a red dwarf, but you're right about the temperature. At .68 Solar Masses you'd think that the planet would be hotter than that.
Yeah, that's a pretty tight orbit. Maybe they meant to say 3000.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:09 am

And here we have evidence of more Dyson structures in the galaxy. Aliens are everywhere!
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Post by Lupine » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:52 pm

Lack of aliens aside it's interesting that they're finding so many such stars out there.

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