Science Tidbits 3

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:02 pm

There's a possible exo-moon that's been found. Unfortunately it doesn't look like it can be confirmed anytime in the near future.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:40 pm

Wow, a rogue planet with a moon. It's too bad that they don't have a mass estimate for that scenario.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:53 pm

Speaking of moons, there's a lunar eclipse late tonight/early tomorrow (depending on where you're at). I might stay up, depending how tired I am tonight.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:50 pm

I think it's early in the morning here, but from the looks of things it will be pretty cloudy.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:34 pm

We got lucky with the clouds. There was a thick bank of high clouds (I almost wrote "clowns" :as: ) coming in from the west, but they didn't cover the moon until after totality. I took some pictures but I haven't looked at them yet.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:29 pm

I almost wrote "clowny" yesterday. :lol: It was stormy here, wind and rain all night, so no hope of seeing any eclipse. :no:
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:59 pm

It may not be "Earth's Twin", but "Earth's Cousin" has been found! :dance:
There's mention in the article that Kepler-186f may be far enough out that ice might form, but I don't see that as an impediment. After all, life on Earth survived one, and probably more, "snowball" events. Life actually does well under ice. And at 490 ly away it's relatively close so we might be able to see more detail with improved telescopes. I think this should be one of the James Webb Space Telescope's first targets.
Can't wait to hear more.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:48 pm

You beat me to it! My Exoplanet app pinged me about this about two hours ago. Very interesting indeed! It's orbiting a Red Dwarf, and it's the outermost of five planets (as far as we know now). They don't know the mass, so they can't guess at the gravity or composition or atmospheric density. It says here that the sunlight at noon is equal to the sunlight on Earth an hour before sunset-- that seems pretty good to me. I can't wait till they learn more about it. :D

It's a great place for SETI to focus attention on. Of course, they would have to be at least five hundred years ahead of us for us to find anything.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:48 pm

You beat me to it! My Exoplanet app pinged me about this about two hours ago. Very interesting indeed! It's orbiting a Red Dwarf, and it's the outermost of five planets (as far as we know now). They don't know the mass, so they can't guess at the gravity or composition or atmospheric density. It says here that the sunlight at noon is equal to the sunlight on Earth an hour before sunset-- that seems pretty good to me. I can't wait till they learn more about it. :D

It's a great place for SETI to focus attention on. Of course, they would have to be at least five hundred years ahead of us for us to find anything.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:21 pm

Yesterday, my Brother was telling me read a story theorizing that Pluto has a liquid ocean. I don't buy it. Somebody's just guilty about Pluto's demotion and is overcompensating. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:26 pm

^Depends on the kind of liquid. An ocean of methane or nitrogen is possible. Or if there's gravitational heating due to Charon's orbit there could be an Europa analogy.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:16 pm

He sent me the article (It's on the "I Fucking Love Science" page on Facebook). They claim it's leftover heat from a collision between Pluto and Charon-- four billion years ago.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:53 pm

A old, cold, and close brown dwarf has been found. At only 7 light years that makes it closer than most stars. I wonder if it will be possible to find moons/planets orbiting it.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:20 pm

That's not a Brown Dwarf, it's a Gas Giant. There are many Exoplanets more massive than that. It would probably be hard to determine if it has any moons-- or planets if we're going to call it a Brown Dwarf. I doubt if transiting would work for something that cold. It would probably be hard to detect a wobble, too.

But if a Brown Dwarf cools down from thousands of degrees to 9 degrees in a billion years, that pretty much takes the wind out of the liquid-ocean-on-Pluto theory. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:58 pm

I was wondering what made them think it was a brown dwarf and not a super-Jupiter.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:14 pm

Maybe the fact that it's free floating. But then why not call it a Rogue Planet? They're having an awful lot of trouble with terminology these days.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu May 08, 2014 10:27 pm

We've got another Exoplanet in the habitable zone. HD 141399 d is the third of four known planets in the system and has a mass of 1.22 Jupiters (the other three are also gas giants, two being inside the orbit of Venus and the other almost a match for Jupiter). It's orbit is out around the asteroid belt, but this star has a habitable zone that extends from Earth orbit to almost halfway between Mars and Jupiter-- this planet is comfortably inside the outer edge. The orbit is slightly off kilter, but not too much. Definitely a good candidate for habitable moons. It's 118 light years from Earth.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Sat May 10, 2014 3:17 pm

^Missed this post yesterday. :blush:

I wonder if it would be possible to tease the presence of moons from the data?

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat May 10, 2014 6:28 pm

I guess it would depend on how detailed the data is. If they're going by transit events, they might be able to detect a wobble. Or study the contours of the eclipsing body. I have a feeling it would take the next generation of space telescope to do that-- although they've detected evidence of clouds on a couple of these gas giants, so who knows?
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Gary » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:41 pm

You can have my Oxford comma when you pry it from my cold, dead, and lifeless hands.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:12 pm

^^ And dogs don't dare go near it. If they get within two feet, it yells, "I'm Spartacus!"

I got a notification from my Expoplanet app that sounded very exciting: "Oldest known potentially habitable planet found." Reading the rest of the story was less exciting. Kapteyn B is 11 billion years old-- almost three times as old as Earth-- and is only 4.8 Earth masses. And it's only 12.75 light years from Earth. The problem is that "potentially habitable" is stretching it. It has an off-center orbit, so it really only spends half of its time within the habitable zone. It's star is very small and it's orbit is well inside the orbit of Mercury. I suppose the things it has going for it is that it could have a very dense atmosphere because of the planet's mass, which could give it a strong greenhouse effect, keeping it warm while it is outsize of the zone-- which is only 24 days out of 48. And tidal effects could also keep it warm. So... maybe.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:31 pm

Life could survive if it hibernates during the cold spells. Who knows what life could do after 12 billion years, but still I wouldn't expect anything complex.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:08 pm

Yeah, I'm actually more optimistic after writing it all down. :lol: It's such a short orbit that it doesn't spend that much time out in the cold. Between that and the dense atmosphere-- who knows?
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:47 pm

Apparently a couple of potentially habitable exo-planets are illusions. Not too surprising as this has happened before, but still a little unnerving.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:10 pm

Well, that's a shame to lose a couple of planets, but they were controversial ones anyway. It's not all bad news. It's very interesting that they can study sunspot activity on other stars like this, especially stars that are very different from the sun-- it seems like sunspot activity on a Red Dwarf is not the same as it is here. And if they're right that this new knowledge will help find more new planets, then this is very good news. At the least, future announcements will be more reliable.
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