Science Tidbits 3

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:43 pm

Yeah, some of those old passages from scholarly texts are pretty insulting. :lol: Of course, the conclusions they reached were understandable. But the scientific process works. As more evidence comes to light, views change. There's always going to be a certain amount of perception that's influenced by political thinking-- the view of supremely intelligent humans who succeeded in a Darwinian contest was supplanted by a view of supremely evil humans who committed deliberate genocide-- but the process always moves things along. I'm sure the current view is highly Romanticized, but I like it. We should always emphasize how we relate to other life, not how we contrast with it.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:31 pm

I downloaded the MEanderthal app, but it doesn't work. It seems to have last been updated in 2010, so it's probably not compatible with IOS updates. It's also got a lot of bad reviews....
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:42 pm

^Pity. I would like to have seen that. I fear I wouldn't look too different though. :lol:

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:39 pm

Well, you are 3.4% Neandertal. :angel: :D
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:41 pm

^ :lol: Touche.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:49 pm

:D
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:33 pm

My Exoplanet app notified me of a new planet discovery-- well, technically, a new solar system, since there's two. But one of them is comfortably inside the Goldilocks Zone. TYC-1422-614-1 c is about ten times as massive as Jupiter and has a beautifully circular orbit just inside the orbit of Mars-- the Goldilocks Zone extends from just outside the orbit of Earth to the asteroid belt (this star is about 15% more massive than the sun). The app lists the distance from Earth as 476 light years, plus or minus 590 light years. So, theoretically, it could be in beautiful downtown Burbank. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:09 pm

I think I saw it in my backyard. :veryhappy:

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:25 pm

Quite a margin for error there. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:21 pm


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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:18 am

Yeah! I was reading this earlier today (CNN felt it newsworthy enough to send me updates on my iPhone). Trouble with the stabilizing rocket and trouble with the harpoons, but it made a nice landing, and may have screwed itself in securely. The surface of the comet looks pretty freaky (as does the comet itself). I can't wait to see more pictures. :D
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:22 pm

Yeah the most recent picture I've seen looks like it was taken on the set of an old B movie. :lol:

I'm surprised by the amount of press this is getting. Usually science stories get ignored in favor of Kim Kardashian's butt. They're worried currently that the lander has come down in a shaded region- no word if Kim Kardashian is involved in it though.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:50 pm

Yeah, I saw some pictures today, too, and they're very B-Movie. In one, it looks like you can see a spot where there was some major outgassing. Very cool. :D

I wonder why they're worried about it being in a shaded region. If it's in a sunny region and it's not anchored securely, it might blow away.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:38 pm

They're worried about the solar panels not getting enough light.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:16 pm

Ah, of course. I should have guessed.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:12 pm

Well the poor lander has been suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune. As of last night it was looking downright gloomy, but an update this morning does shine some hope on this mission.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:12 pm

Oh, boy. Well, the move was successful, so hopefully it will be able to charge up. The article seems to imply that it's still in contact with Rosetta, so it's not dead. According to Wiki it has a rotation period of twelve hours, so hopefully it's had a few hours of sunlight by now.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:45 pm

It sounds like they're not expecting Philae to wake up. :(
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:25 pm

No major news, just some Europa love.
Really a mission to Europa should really be a priority. If there's life anywhere else in the solar system it will be in Europa's oceans and ice lakes. It's always possible we'll find life in isolated biomes on Mars, Enceladus, and Titan- bit I think our best bet is Europa. The only downside is that it will likely takes decades to organize a mission- in the meantime we just might get lucky and stumble across one of those said biomes.
And I also saved that hi-res image of Europa. It's just begging to be wall-paper.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:17 pm

Wow. His optimism for a near-future Europa mission surprises me. I hope he's right, but it will be a colossal technological undertaking to get to that ocean. Not only will the probe have to be designed to travel through miles of rock-hard ice, but it will have to be capable of surviving that alien ocean, and be able to communicate with the surface. I agree that Europa is the best bet for current life in the Solar System, but it's also the hardest to get to. Even Mars could be easier. Enceladus would surely be the easiest to find definitive evidence of life, if not actually observe living things, but it's as dicey a prospect as Mars. Nevertheless, I would love to see a dedicated Europan mission.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:25 pm

Actually I think life could be found on Europa without digging through the ice. There are areas of up-welling (namely those red cracks). If anything is alive down there it's almost certain that some would be brought up to the surface. A lander could find dead organisms just laying there- though it's more likely that microscopic life would be found.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:13 pm

Yeah, I wondered about that. The thing is that the ice is miles thick, so stuff may well up from the liquid sea but it seems like it would undergo a lot of grinding on the way up, so there might be nothing recognizable when it gets to the surface. And the high radiation once it gets there might break down any cellular remains. The compounds would still exist, perhaps providing enough evidence to confirm life, but I don't know. :unsure:
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Nov 27, 2014 3:37 pm

This week we got two new Exoplanets, both in their habitable zones, and one in a system where we already knew of a planet in the habitable zone.

HD 5319 c is in orbit of a star 1.51 solar masses, 372 light years away. The planet is 1.15 Jupiter masses, with a year of 886 days, and an eccentric orbit that takes it from right at the inner edge of the habitable zone out to about a quarter of the way into it (which is the equivalent of the asteroid belt). Already known in this system is HD 5319 b, which is 1.76 Jupiter masses, a year of 641 days, and a perfectly circular orbit at the very inner edge of the habitable zone. At its inner approach, the orbit of the outer planet comes very close to the inner one.

Also announced today was HD 10442 b, in orbit of a star of 1.56 solar masses, no distance from Earth stated. The planet is 2.1 Jupiter masses with a year of 1043 days, the equivalent of the middle of the asteroid belt, which in this case is well into the habitable zone. The orbit is circular, but slightly off center.
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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by Lupine » Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:29 pm

HD 5319c is a bit odd. You'd think that an orbit like that would disturb the other planet :conf: . HD 10442b is more promising. Neutral buoyancy life on the planet itself aside, the moons could be habitable.

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Re: Science Tidbits 3

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:46 am

Yeah, that's quite a fascinating arrangement. Theoretically, there could be living moons around both worlds-- if there's intelligent life on either, the other would make for an enticing and accessible target. At the very least, these places have interesting skies.
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