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Keyword: astronomy

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  • Liquifying a rocky exoplanet

    10/15/2019 4:32:05 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    Science Daily ^ | October 9, 2019 | University of Bern
    A hot, molten Earth would be around 5% larger than its solid counterpart. The difference between molten and solid rocky planets is important for the search of Earth-like worlds beyond our Solar System and the understanding of Earth itself. Rocky exoplanets that are around Earth-size are comparatively small, which makes them incredibly difficult to detect and characterise using telescopes. What are the optimal conditions to find such small planets that linger in the darkness? ... In the characterization of exoplanets outside our solar system and the search for potentially habitable worlds, researchers at the University of Bern are among the...
  • Why NASA's Annoyed About Elon Musk's Giant Rocket [not]

    10/15/2019 12:46:03 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    Space dot dumb, er, com ^ | Monday, October 7, 2019 | Rafi Letzter
    The Starship MK1 assembled at SpaceX's build and launch facility in Texas. On Sept. 30, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, told CNN that the Crew Dragon would be ready to carry astronauts into space in three to four months. But NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told CNN he wasn't convinced, and due to delays from SpaceX and Boeing (which is at work on a similarly delayed, competitor capsule called Starliner), he anticipated NASA buying more seats aboard Russian capsules... "I am looking forward to the SpaceX announcement. In the meantime, Commercial Crew is years behind schedule. NASA expects to see...
  • Former NASA scientist says they found life on Mars in the 1970s

    10/15/2019 6:30:55 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 42 replies
    CNN ^ | Updated 0809 GMT (1609 HKT) October 15, 2019 | By Jessie Yeung
    We may have already discovered the essence of life on Mars 40 years ago, according to a former NASA scientist. Gilbert V. Levin, who was principal investigator on a NASA experiment that sent Viking landers to Mars in 1976, published an article in the ScientificAmerican journal last Thursday, arguing the experiment's positive results were proof of life on the red planet. The experiment, called Labeled Release, was designed to test Martian soil for organic matter. "It seemed we had answered that ultimate question," Levin wrote in the article. In the experiment, the Viking probes placed nutrients in Mars soil samples...
  • NASA Gets a Rare Look at a Rocky Exoplanet's Surface [LHS 3844b]

    10/14/2019 8:02:31 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory Spitzer Telescope site ^ | August 19, 2019 | Calla Cofield
    A new study using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope provides a rare glimpse of conditions on the surface of a rocky planet orbiting a star beyond the Sun... the planet's surface may resemble those of Earth's Moon or Mercury: The planet likely has little to no atmosphere and could be covered in the same cooled volcanic material found in the dark areas of the Moon's surface, called mare. Discovered in 2018 by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Satellite Survey (TESS) mission, planet LHS 3844b is located 48.6 light-years from Earth and has a radius 1.3 times that of Earth. It orbits...
  • Model offers explanation for universe's most powerful magnets [magnetars]

    10/10/2019 9:31:09 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 22 replies
    UPI ^ | Oct. 10, 2019 / 8:54 AM | By Brooks Hays
    New research suggests magnetars are produced by the deaths of massive stars that were formed by stellar mergers. Photo ESO/L. Calçada Oct. 10 (UPI) -- With the help of computer simulations, scientists have come up with an explanation for the formation of the strongest magnets in the universe, magnetars. Models suggest stellar mergers can produce strong magnetic fields. When the magnetic star produced by a merger dies, a magnetar can form. Magnetars are neutron stars -- collapsed stellar cores -- with extremely powerful magnetic fields. The sun features an outer layer of convective activity that produces strong magnetic fields, but...
  • What If Planet Nine Is a Bowling-Ball-Sized Black Hole?

    10/01/2019 6:44:19 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 29 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | September 28, 2019 | Ryan F. Mandelbaum
    Some of the most distant rocks in our solar system act in a way that suggests there’s some massive object out there we haven’t been able to see. A planet? Maybe. But why not a small black hole? That’s a scenario a pair of scientists describe in a new paper. Of course, they recognise that a planet is more likely than an ancient black hole unlike any we’ve directly observed. But they simply want astronomers to think creatively while hunting for whatever this hypothetical object, often called Planet Nine, might be. “By simply focussing on the concept of a planet,...
  • Navy Pilot Says ‘Dark Mass’ Made Torpedo Disappear

    10/08/2019 11:29:47 AM PDT · by C19fan · 28 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | October 8, 2019 | Andrew Daniels
    You might not know the name David Fravor, but you probably know what he saw … even if he’s still not sure what that was. Fravor is the retired U.S. Navy Commander who in 2017 told the New York Times that he spotted a Tic Tac-shaped UFO from the cockpit of his F/A-18F Super Hornet—“around 40 feet long and oval in shape”—100 miles off the coast of San Diego in 2004. There’s video, of course, of Fravor’s now-legendary encounter, originally released for public viewing by The New York Times and To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science, a UFO...
  • The Weird History of Unidentified Submerged Objects

    10/09/2019 4:52:26 PM PDT · by RoosterRedux · 31 replies
    PopularMechanics.com ^ | Kyle Mizokami
    This past weekend, former U.S. Navy Commander David Fravor was a guest on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Fravor, who was the subject of a New York Times article about his 2004 UFO sighting, discussed a spooky new sighting a fellow pilot revealed to him after they were both out of the Navy. According to Fravor, the eyewitness was a former pilot of the MH-53E Sea Dragon, the Navy version of the Marine Corps’ CH-53E Sea Stallion, based at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, on the island of Puerto Rico. Twice while recovering spent practice munitions out of the water, the...
  • Any other fans out there of "Fabric of the Cosmos?"

    01/07/2012 4:45:46 AM PST · by PJ-Comix · 40 replies
    Self | January 6, 2012 | PJ-Comix
    Are there any other fans of FABRIC OF THE COSMOS out there? I found it to be perhaps the most fascinating science show ever produced. The information in the show is nothing less than stunning and definitely changed my view of the universe. Some of the information is so stunning that it is hard to comprehend. But guess what? Even physicists have a hard time getting their minds around it. And an oatmeal cookie to the first person who can post who the major backer of this series is.
  • Dismantling Space and Time [Review of book by Brian Greene]

    07/15/2004 7:52:36 AM PDT · by PatrickHenry · 135 replies · 1,755+ views
    Tech Central Station ^ | 09 March 2004 | Kenneth Silber
    Space and time are pervasive in our everyday experience, and yet it is hard to say exactly what they are. They resist definition in terms other than themselves. Moreover, they have various subtle and elusive properties, with which science continues to grapple. Relativity and quantum mechanics, the physics breakthroughs of the 20th century, revolutionized scientific thinking about these subjects. And this revolution has not played itself out, since cutting-edge physics today involves further radical rethinking of time and space. The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality, by Brian Greene (Knopf, $28.95), is an excellent guide...
  • The Universe Made Simple

    05/25/2004 8:01:29 PM PDT · by Ronzo · 70 replies · 670+ views
    Atlantic Monthly ^ | 5/20/2004 | Bradley Jay
    <p>Can you access the flash of emancipation you felt the first time you were able to stay up on a bike or propel yourself through the water? Can you remember the way your new knowledge enhanced your life? And can you recall the gratitude you felt toward those people who had the skill and the patience to pass that knowledge along to you?</p>
  • Is String Theory About to Unravel?

    12/22/2014 7:40:57 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 52 replies
    smithsonianmag.com ^ | Brian Greene
    The idea underlying string unification is as simple as it is seductive. Since the early 20th century, nature’s fundamental constituents have been modeled as indivisible particles—the most familiar being electrons, quarks and neutrinos—that can be pictured as infinitesimal dots devoid of internal machinery. String theory challenges this by proposing that at the heart of every particle is a tiny, vibrating string-like filament. And, according to the theory, the differences between one particle and another—their masses, electric charges and, more esoterically, their spin and nuclear properties—all arise from differences in how their internal strings vibrate. Much as the sonorous tones of...
  • String Theory 'blog

    08/18/2006 8:55:42 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 116 replies · 6,962+ views
    various ^ | before, during, and after 2006 | various
    String Theory site:freerepublic.com Google
  • String Theory Does Not Win a Nobel, and I Win a Bet

    10/09/2019 8:12:24 AM PDT · by C19fan · 19 replies
    Scientific America ^ | October 9, 2019 | John Horgan
    I just won a bet I made in 2002 with physicist Michio Kaku. I bet him $1,000 that “by 2020, no one will have won a Nobel Prize for work on superstring theory, membrane theory, or some other unified theory describing all the forces of nature.” This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics, which recognized solid work in cosmology (yay Jim Peebles!) and astronomy, was Kaku’s last chance to win before 2020. Kaku and I made the bet under the auspices of Long Bets, a “public arena for enjoyably competitive predictions, of interest to society, with philanthropic money at stake.” Long...
  • Astronomers find cyanide gas in interstellar object 2I/Borisov

    10/08/2019 8:22:09 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 21 replies
    phys.org ^ | 10/07/2019 | Mat Williams
    C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) this summer provided renewed opportunities to study material left by outgassing. Using data gathered by the William Herschel Telescope (WHT), an international team of astronomers found that 2I/Borisov contains cyanide. Since comets and asteroids are essentially material left over from the formation of a planetary system, these studies will allow scientists to place constraints on the physical and chemical processes involved in the formation of extrasolar planets. Basically, it's like being able to study extrasolar planets without having to go there physically. Prof. Fitzsimmons told Universe Today, materials from other planetary systems, delivered to our doorstep—or at...
  • Let's Think About Using Hot Air Balloons to Get to Space

    10/07/2019 7:44:43 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 38 replies
    www.popularmechanics.com ^ | By David Grossman October 4, 2019
    The idea is surprisingly old school. This company wants to modernize it. Launching into space is more popular than ever. But the big companies often come with big price tags. That allows for smaller competitors to try and break into smaller markets. Leo Aerospace wants to launch microsatellites from a surprising place: hot air balloons. Sending balloons close to the atmosphere has some history in the military, but reusability is a big challenge for the group. So is funding. The second space race is in full effect. And while well-heeled organizations like SpaceX and Blue Origin often hog the headlines,...
  • Search for aliens poses game theory dilemma (old but interesting piece)

    10/05/2019 12:05:15 PM PDT · by DoodleBob · 87 replies
    New Scientist ^ | December 12, 2012 | Jacob Aaron
    SENDING messages into deep space could be the best way for Earthlings to find extraterrestrial intelligence, but it carries a grave risk: alerting hostile aliens to our presence. Game theory may provide a way to navigate this dilemma. So far the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) has mostly been restricted to listening for signs of technology elsewhere. Only a few attempts have been made to broadcast messages towards distant stars. Many scientists are against such “active” SETI for fear of revealing our presence. If all aliens feel the same way then no one will be broadcasting, and the chance of...
  • Strange lights off the Outer Banks spark UFO debate: Was it aliens or the military?

    10/04/2019 7:43:52 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 33 replies
    MSN ^ | 10/04/2019 | Mark Price
    Commenters on YouTube are divided as to whether the lights are UFOs or just flares used by the military. The latter is plausible, given the proximity of the Outer Banks to multiple military facilities, including Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg in Eastern North Carolina. “I know what those lights are,” posted Derrick Chennault on YouTube. “As a former Marine based at the 2nd Marine Air Wing in Cherry Point, N.C. ... we used to regularly drop flares out of the back of our plane in the evenings for military exercises... Glad to see the Marines are still spooking people.” Guy...
  • First-Ever Image of the 'Cosmic Web' Reveals the Gassy Highway That Connects the Universe

    10/03/2019 2:13:11 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 23 replies
    www.livescience.com ^ | 03 October 2019 | By Brandon Specktor
    In the cold wilderness of space, galaxies huddle together around the campfires of stars and the assuring pull of supermassive black holes. Between these cozy clusters of galaxies, where empty space stretches on for millions of light-years all around, a faint highway of gas bridges the darkness. This gassy, intergalactic network is known in cosmological models as the cosmic web. Made of long filaments of hydrogen left over from the Big Bang, the web is thought to contain most (more than 60%) of the gas in the universe and to directly feed all of the star-producing regions in space. At...
  • Beyond Einstein: Mystery Surrounding Photon Momentum Solved With Super COLTRIMS Apparatus

    10/03/2019 8:17:05 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 25 replies
    SciTech Daily ^ | October 2, 2019 | Goethe University Frankfurt
    Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize for explaining the photoelectric effect: in its most intuitive form, a single atom is irradiated with light. According to Einstein, light consists of particles (photons) that transfer only quantized energy to the electron of the atom. If the photon’s energy is sufficient, it knocks the electrons out of the atom. But what happens to the photon’s momentum in this process? Physicists at Goethe University are now able to answer this question. To do so, they developed and constructed and new spectrometer with previously unattainable resolution. Doctoral student Alexander Hartung became a father twice during...