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  • Water On Earth Is Older Than The Sun

    09/27/2014 4:51:07 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 51 replies
    Science 2.0 ^ | 09/27/2014
    It's no surprise that water was crucial to the formation of life on Earth. What may surprise you is that water on earth is older than the sun itself. Identifying the original source of Earth's water is key to understanding how life-fostering environments came into being and how likely they are to be found elsewhere. A new paper in Science says that much of our Solar System's water likely originated as ices that formed in interstellar space. Water is found throughout the Solar System, not just on Earth; on icy comets and moons, and in the shadowed basins of...
  • Solar System Ice: Source of Earth's Water

    07/14/2012 6:12:51 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    Carnegie Institution ^ | Thursday, July 12, 2012 | unattributed
    Scientists have long believed that comets and, or a type of very primitive meteorite called carbonaceous chondrites were the sources of early Earth's volatile elements -- which include hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon -- and possibly organic material, too. Understanding where these volatiles came from is crucial for determining the origins of both water and life on the planet. New research led by Carnegie's Conel Alexander focuses on frozen water that was distributed throughout much of the early Solar System, but probably not in the materials that aggregated to initially form Earth... It has been suggested that both comets and carbonaceous...
  • Kansas scientists probe mysterious possible comet strikes on Earth

    12/14/2009 5:27:46 AM PST · by decimon · 35 replies · 981+ views
    University of Kansas ^ | Dec 14, 2009 | Unknown
    An investigation by the University of Kansas' Adrian Melott and colleagues reveals a promising new method of detecting past comet strikes upon Earth and gauging their frequencyLAWRENCE, Kan. — It's the stuff of a Hollywood disaster epic: A comet plunges from outer space into the Earth's atmosphere, splitting the sky with a devastating shock wave that flattens forests and shakes the countryside. But this isn't a disaster movie plotline. "Comet impacts might be much more frequent than we expect," said Adrian Melott, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas. "There's a lot of interest in the rate...
  • Did Comets Contain Key Ingredients For Life On Earth?

    06/06/2009 10:52:58 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 51 replies · 817+ views
    ScienceDaily ^ | April 29, 2009 | Adapted from materials provided by Tel Aviv University
    While investigating the chemical make-up of comets, Prof. Akiva Bar-Nun of the Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences at Tel Aviv University found they were the source of missing ingredients needed for life in Earth's ancient primordial soup. "When comets slammed into the Earth through the atmosphere about four billion years ago, they delivered a payload of organic materials to the young Earth, adding materials that combined with Earth's own large reservoir of organics and led to the emergence of life," says Prof. Bar-Nun.
  • Comet put on list of potential Earth impactors

    06/02/2005 9:04:31 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 46 replies · 3,184+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 1 June 2005 | David L Chandler
    On 26 May, JPL's unique orbital calculation software determined that Comet Catalina was on what could possibly be a collision course with Earth, though the odds of such an impact were small: just 1 chance in 300,000 of a strike on June 11, 2085. Based on the 980-metre size estimate, that would produce a 6-gigaton impact - equivalent to 6 billion tonnes of TNT. Astronomers expected the addition of further observations to the calculations to rule out any possibility of a collision, as happens with most newly-seen objects. But that did not quite happen. The comet's predicted pathway actually drew...
  • Did comets flood Earth’s oceans?

    06/16/2004 2:30:59 PM PDT · by ckilmer · 43 replies · 512+ views
    EurekaAlert ^ | 16 June 2004
    Did comets flood Earth’s oceans? Did comets flood Earth's oceans? 16 June 2004 Did the Earth form with water locked into its rocks, which then gradually leaked out over millions of years? Or did the occasional impacting comet provide the Earth’s oceans? The Ptolemy experiment on Rosetta may just find out… The Earth needed a supply of water for its oceans, and the comets are large celestial icebergs - frozen reservoirs of water orbiting the Sun. Did the impact of a number of comets, thousands of millions of years ago, provide the Earth with its supply of water? Finding hard...
  • We are all made of comet dust

    06/16/2013 12:50:32 AM PDT · by nickcarraway · 35 replies
    The National ^ | Jun 16, 2013
    Man owes a lot to chunks of rock and ice floating through space. From ancient jewellery to water and possibly even the beginnings of life itself, scientists are discovering that comets have contributed in many ways to the development of life on the planet, Robert Matthews writes Since their discovery in an Egyptian cemetery more than a century ago, a handful of metal beads have perplexed archaeologists. As jewellery, the beads seem decidedly downmarket, being made of nothing more glamorous than iron. Yet clearly their owner, dead for more than 5,000 years, held them in great esteem - as do...
  • Man Captures Video Of Strange Explosion In The Sky

    01/03/2013 2:55:34 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 31 replies
    CBS13) ^ | December 30, 2012 11:59 PM
    SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento man scanning the night sky caught a sudden burst of light through his telescope. He recorded that strange sight with his smart phone. CBS13 shared the video with experts to see if they could solve the mystery. This mysterious little tale begins earlier this week when Good Day Sacramento’s Cody Stark got this message on Facebook: “I have something on video no one has ever seen. I had my telescope out, caught an explosion in space. Wanna see the video?” Cody’s response? Absolutely! The video was shot with an iPhone through the eyepiece of a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- All the Water on Planet Earth

    05/15/2012 4:39:34 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 35 replies
    NASA ^ | May 15, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How much of planet Earth is made of water? Very little, actually. Although oceans of water cover about 70 percent of Earth's surface, these oceans are shallow compared to the Earth's radius. The above illustration shows what would happen is all of the water on or near the surface of the Earth were bunched up into a ball. The radius of this ball would be only about 700 kilometers, less than half the radius of the Earth's Moon, but slightly larger than Saturn's moon Rhea which, like many moons in our outer Solar System, is mostly water ice. How...
  • Amazingly, the earths water is really a miniscule amount

    05/15/2012 10:58:01 AM PDT · by central_va · 41 replies
    nasa.gov ^ | 5/15/12 | mother earth
    The blue ball represents all of the earths water. Not that much...
  • Clandestine comets found in main asteroid belt - Earth oceans origin

    03/24/2006 2:26:05 AM PST · by S0122017 · 10 replies · 901+ views
    newscientist space ^ | 23 March 2006
    Clandestine comets found in main asteroid belt 19:00 23 March 2006 NewScientist.com news service Kimm Groshong You do not have to look to the outer edges of the solar system, or even out beyond Neptune to observe a reservoir of comets. A bevy of the ice-containing bodies lies disguised as main-belt asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, claim astronomers from the University of Hawaii, US. David Jewitt and Henry Hsieh have dubbed the new population "main belt comets". They describe three objects with near circular, flat orbits in the asteroid belt that stream volatile materials, producing an observable tail for weeks...
  • Cosmic Hole-in-One Captured Over Antarctica

    09/05/2005 9:36:19 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies · 727+ views
    RedNova ^ | Monday, 5 September 2005, 20:43 CDT | staff / press release
    What a powerful telescope had picked up as it stretched towards the night sky over Antarctica was the trail of dust left in the wake of the death of an asteroid... "What he didn't know at the time was that seven hours earlier an asteroid had crashed to Earth in another part of Antarctica, about 1500 kms west of Davis. The closest it got to human habitation was around 900 kms west of Japan's Syowa station," Dr Klekociuk said... Dr Klekociuk said that it was thought that the asteroid had come from what is known as the Aten group somewhere...
  • So, where did the water on Mars come from?

    03/07/2004 2:21:58 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 95 replies · 991+ views
    The Toronto Star ^ | 3/7/04 | Terence Dickinson
    The Mars rover Opportunity's examination of Martian rocks last week provided the first convincing evidence that our neighbour world was once "awash" in water, as one NASA scientist described it. But where did the water come from? And why does Mars have no liquid water now, while Earth apparently has been covered with the stuff for 4 billion years? Scientists are just beginning to piece the story together, and it goes right back to the beginning. Mars, like Earth, was formed from dusty and rocky debris left over after the sun was born 4.57 billion years ago. Initially, there were...
  • Small Comets and Our Origins

    10/19/2004 11:13:25 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 80 replies · 1,857+ views
    University of Iowa ^ | circa 1999 | Louis A. Frank
    Given the reality of the dark spots, which soon became known as "atmospheric holes" because of their appearance in the images, there is only one explanation which has endured over all these years to present. That is, the holes are due to the shadowing of the atmospheric light by an object above the atmosphere. This object simply cannot be a stony or iron meteor because the holes are very large, tens of miles in diameter. A rock of this size would provide a disastrous impact on the Earth's surface. As it turns out, water vapor is very good at absorbing...
  • An Argument for the Cometary Origin of the Biosphere

    09/06/2004 8:16:38 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 71 replies · 1,110+ views
    American Scientist ^ | September-October 2001 | Armand H. Delsemme
    Abstract: The young Earth appear to have been bombarded by comets for several hundred million years shortly after it was formed. This onslaught, perhaps involving hundreds of millions of comet impacts, is currently the best explantion for the origin of the Earth’s oceans, atmosphere and organic molecules. Although historically a controversial idea, there is now a considerable amount of physical and chemical evidence supporting the theory. Comet scientist Armand Delsemme reviews the evidence and argues that comets from the vicinity of Jupiter contributed the bulk of the constituents found in Earth’s biosphere.
  • Comet's water 'like that of Earth's oceans'

    10/05/2011 6:41:44 PM PDT · by decimon · 39 replies
    BBC ^ | October 5, 2011 | Jason Palmer
    Comet Hartley 2 contains water more like that found on Earth than prior comets seem to have, researchers say. A study using the Herschel space telescope aimed to measure the quantity of deuterium, a rare type of hydrogen, present in the comet's water. The comet had just half the amount of deuterium seen in comets. The result, published in Nature, hints at the idea that much of the Earth's water could have initially came from cometary impacts. Just a few million years after its formation, the early Earth was rocky and dry; something must have brought the water that covers...
  • Telescope shoots video of heavenly halo ("mystery flash" filmed from Mauna Kea, Hawaii)

    07/01/2011 1:24:50 PM PDT · by Islander7 · 41 replies
    Star Advertiser ^ | July 2, 2011 | By Jim Borg
    The pre-dawn phenomenon, which looks like a huge bubble expanding and then popping, was recorded June 22 by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and the Subaru Telescope. Since then, speculation has run rampant about the source of the early morning flash. Ichi Tanaka, a support astronomer at Subaru Telescope, describes it as "a huge halo of light above the eastern horizon," adding, "It was slowly expanding to over 45 degrees in five minutes or more."