Science Tidbits 3

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:31 pm

Maybe those bright spots really were crashed alien spaceships. :lol:

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:10 pm

My mind cannot help but go there. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:46 pm

And here we have the best evidence yet for an ocean on Ganymede. And quite an ocean it is, too. :D
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:04 pm

I somehow missed this post. :unsure:

I did see something on this on the Bad Astronomy website and there's also evidence of hydrothermal vents on Enceladus. This is looking like it might be the most common liquid water environment in the universe.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:01 pm

Ah, they have evidence that the Enceladian ocean is in contact with the seabed. That does sound promising. The problem that I've heard with the ocean on Ganymede is that it may exist between two layers of ice, so there's none of the thermal vent activity that would probably be necessary for life. The Europan ocean seems to be in contact with the seabed, too.

Funny how the article blames Mars' current condition on a catastrophic collision rather than gradual environmental erosion; I don't think I've heard that before.
Lupine wrote:This is looking like it might be the most common liquid water environment in the universe.
It's amazing. We think of Earth as a water world with our vast oceans that cover most of the planet-- and yet both the small moons Europa and Ganymede likely have oceans that are far vaster.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:37 pm

If no life is ever found on these worlds, it would probably be a good idea to transplant some of Earth's hydrothermal life there. Even when the sun becomes a red giant and eventually dies, life could persist in these environments for eons.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:10 pm

I'll bet that there would be people who would object to that, even if these worlds are as sterile as a neutron. :lol: It's a great idea, though. It's also a cool story seed for a story set in deep time, when the sun has swelled up.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:55 pm

Another case of "the solar system is weird! Round up the usual suspects!"
The problem I have with this argument is primarily that far too many theories over the years have revolved around Jupiter. "The Earth has water! Jupiter must have hurled comets at us!" Or "We haven't been wiped out my asteroid! Jupiter must have shielded us!" And while migrating Jupiter seems reasonable it does seem like just another in the line of Jupiter made us theories. I've always been a little skeptical about migrating planets as it's seems pretty certain that Earth has more or less maintained its position in the system. If Earth has generally stayed put, why not Jupiter?
But it is odd that our system does appear to be unusually sparse. I've wondered if there was once a Hot Jupiter in the inner solar system that prevented Super Earth's from forming. It's also possible that the size and mass estimates for many exo-planets may be wrong. This is a new science after all. Maybe the cloud where the sun formed just had limited materiel from which to build planets. There may be some other factor that we haven't even considered yet.
Who knows?

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:27 pm

Yeah, same thing with the Moon. There are those who claim that life on Earth would not be possible without the Moon stabilizing our wobbles, giving us tides, and protecting us from impacts.

I think the reason we're finding a lot of compact Solar Systems is that those are the easiest to find. And we're finding Super-Earths and Super-Jupiters because they're easier to find. I think as technology improves, Asimov's Law of the Small will become evident.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:00 pm

NASA is predicting finding evidence of life before 2025, which is only off my estimate by five years. :yes:

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:09 pm

Unfortunately, I think their estimates of finding life within the Solar System are highly optimistic, but I don't doubt at all that we'll have strong evidence of extrasolar life within ten years. Ironically, it will be easier to get the extrasolar evidence than the local evidence. As they say, it would have to be something easy, like a Super-Earth, at first-- I don't think we'll be detecting life on Super-Jovian moons any time soon.

Speaking of which, we got some new planets this week, one of which is in the habitable zone. HD 1605 b is 276 light years from Earth and has a year of 578 days. It's just under the mass of Jupiter and has a slightly off-center orbit approximately equal to Mars. The star is a bit larger than the Sun, so that puts it right at the inner edge of the Goldilocks Zone. Any large satellites would be pretty well positioned.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:42 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:I don't think we'll be detecting life on Super-Jovian moons any time soon.
I don't know. They might be able to tease something out of the existing data.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:47 pm

"Nyah nyah. Bet you're too chicken to show us your oxygen absorption spectrum. Bet you don't even have any oxygen absorption spectra. Haha."
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Madeliaette » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:32 pm

um...here is something i came across when searching for articles on Tibet....
http://metro.co.uk/2015/04/11/this-monk ... s-5145251/ :eek:

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:53 pm

Well, that's certainly an interesting attribute to be known for. :lol: Hopefully there will be protections put in place before all that new activity in the area endangers them. It sounds like there's the possibility of other new species, too. :yes:

I found this link on Jack McDevitt's website when I was checking for new books. It's probably just an artifact of a small sample, but it's an interesting phenomenon in any case.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:55 pm

I just got pinged that Messenger has died. It ran out of fuel and crashed into Mercury. :bye:
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Fri May 01, 2015 3:27 pm

Now we're going to be invaded by angry Mercurians thinking we attacked them. :Ahhh:

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri May 01, 2015 11:36 pm

The invasion will be televised live, Saturday night at 9pm, on Sciffy. :saucer:
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Sun May 03, 2015 3:46 pm

We got some beauty shots of Ceres.. :sweetlove:

I hope the coming pics of Pluto are as good.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun May 03, 2015 9:29 pm

Wow, she is a beauty indeed. :sweetlove:

And that's a fascinating tidbit that she's so dark-- only 9% versus 43%. I wonder why. That bright spot might not be so bright after all, but that doesn't make it any less mysterious and intriguing.

We should be getting some good Pluto pictures pretty soon now. :yes:
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Tue May 05, 2015 3:52 pm

And elsewhere in space volcanic activity may have been observed on an exo-planet. It's interesting that this world was once thought to be a carbon-planet, then a water world. Now it's looking like a volcanic world.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue May 05, 2015 10:35 pm

Amazing that we're already able to glean information like this from Exoplanets. The idea of massive volcanism makes sense. They theorize that something like that happens on Venus every couple of million years or whatever, because of the lack of plate tectonics, so something similar may be happening here and we're lucky enough to be looking at the right time. I wonder what indications they had previously that it was a carbon planet or a water planet.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Wed May 06, 2015 3:26 pm

^I'm not sure, but it does mean that such claims with a grain of salt.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Wed May 06, 2015 10:27 pm

That's certainly true. It's all indirect evidence and very subject to misinterpretation. But it's amazing that we're able to get any clues at all. Temperature fluctuations and clouds on Exoplanets-- I'm lovin' it. :D
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