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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2019, 12:04:35 AM »
And Now For the Weather On Mars 
https://m.phys.org/news/2019-02-weather-mars-courtesy-nasa-lander.html



NASA's newest lander is offering daily reports on the red planet's frigid winter. 

Starting Tuesday, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is posting the highs and lows online , along with wind speed and atmospheric pressure from the InSight lander.

On Sunday, InSight recorded a high of 2 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 17 Celsius) and a low of minus 138 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 95 Celsius).

Scientists need to know the local Mars weather to determine if InSight's seismometer is registering real marsquakes or simply wind or pressure changes.

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/weather/

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Citizen Scientists Invited To Join Quest for New Worlds 
https://m.phys.org/news/2019-02-citizen-scientists-quest-worlds.html


Nearby Y dwarf WISE 0855 before and after the reboot. The brown dwarf (moving red dot, upper left) moves farther and faster in the reboot flipbook (right), and the stars dance less. 

The Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project re-launches this week, with a call to volunteer citizen scientists to join the search for cold worlds near the Sun.

With its newly revamped online interface and equipped with twice as much data as before, the project offers new opportunities to discover planets lurking yet unseen in the outer reaches of the Solar System (e.g., Planet 9, Planet X) as well as cold nearby "failed stars" (a.k.a. brown dwarfs).

The re-launch coincides with the publication of the project's latest discovery: a record-setting white dwarf star encircled by mysterious dusty rings that challenge astronomers to rethink the long-term evolution of planetary systems. 

https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/marckuchner/backyard-worlds-planet-9
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 01:34:07 AM by vox_mundi »
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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #51 on: February 20, 2019, 08:19:21 PM »
With the Best Air Pressure Sensor Ever On Mars, Scientists Find a Mystery
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/02/some-weird-things-are-happening-with-air-pressure-on-mars/

This feature is repetitive, and "slightly strange."

Since InSight landed in November of last year, Banfield and other scientists have been eagerly studying data from the air pressure sensor, and they've made a few discoveries. Some were expected, such as gravity waves in the Martian atmosphere. The instrument has measured these repetitive oscillations in the atmosphere most evenings. Such gravity waves are also observed in Earth's atmosphere, particularly when a uniform air mass is perturbed by a mountain or island.

But scientists have also found something of a mystery in the pressure data on the surface of Mars. Twice a Martian day, at around local 7am and 7pm, there are hiccups in what otherwise should be a smooth rise and fall in surface pressures. Initially, the scientists believed this must be caused by something on the lander, but eventually they were able to rule out a cause due to an instrument anomaly or heating source on InSight.


Martian hourly weather data for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Note the kinks in the air pressure curve at 07:00 and 19:00 daily.

This feature is repetitive and "slightly strange," said Banfield. It wasn't predicted in any of the global or regional weather models for Mars. Currently, the scientists believe the feature must be some kind of atmospheric wave related to sunrise and sunset on Mars. Perhaps there are downslope air flows moving off steep topography, related to the Sun's movement, that briefly upset the atmospheric changes.


Sandworms?

------------------------------

Neptune’s Newly Discovered Moon May Be the Survivor of an Ancient Collision
https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/20/18233029/neptune-moon-hippocamp-proteus-hubble-space-telescope

A newly discovered small moon of Neptune is coming into clearer focus as astronomers have now pinpointed this tiny rock’s orbit and where it might have come from. The moon’s existence heightens the possibility that there are even more tiny worlds around Neptune that we just haven’t seen yet.

Astronomers first spotted this moon in 2013 by combing through images of Neptune that were taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The discoverers have now dubbed the world Hippocamp, the name of a horse-like sea monster from Greek mythology.

... Based on its orbit, Showalter and his team now have a pretty good idea of where this moon came from. Hippocamp’s orbit brings the moon very close to a much bigger moon of Neptune called Proteus, which is 130 miles across. And based on their analysis, Showalter believes that Hippocamp is probably a piece of Proteus that was broken off billions of years ago by a passing comet. “Now we see a very real example of what happens when a comet hits a moon,” he says. “In the case of Proteus, it doesn’t quite break it apart but breaks off a piece and there’s the Hippocamp we see today.”

... 4 billion years ago, after the birth of the Solar System, Proteus was probably about 10,000 kilometers closer to Neptune than it is now. “If you look at the system today and play it back 4 billion years, suddenly Hippocamp and Proteus are practically on top of each other,” says Showalter.

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Astronomers Just Announced The Discovery of 12 New Moons Around Jupiter
https://www.sciencealert.com/12-new-moons-discovered-orbiting-jupiter-valetudo-collision-sheppard-et-al

This brings the total of known Jovian moons to 79. The newly discovered satellites increase Jupiter's lead in the Solar System as the planet with the most moons - although the space around Saturn is pretty crowded, too.



Nine of them, found in the most distant orbits of Jupiter, are in three distinct groups, taking around two Earth years to orbit Jupiter.

They also have a retrograde orbit, or the opposite direction to the spin of Jupiter on its axis. This is not unusual - in fact, most of Jupiter's known moons are retrograde, and are thought to be asteroids or comets originally formed near the gas giant and captured when they got too close.

"These moons are the last remnants of the building blocks of the giant planets as all other material in the giant planet region likely fell into the planets to help form them," Sheppard said.

"We think there were originally only three retrograde moons and they were each broken apart through collisions with other objects. What these other objects were has been a mystery."

« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 08:40:02 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #52 on: February 22, 2019, 01:37:34 AM »
Research Creates DNA-like Molecule to Aid Search for Alien Life 
https://m.phys.org/news/2019-02-dna-like-molecule-aid-alien-life.html

In a research breakthrough funded by NASA, scientists have synthesized a molecular system that, like DNA, can store and transmit information. This unprecedented feat suggests there could be an alternative to DNA-based life, as we know it on Earth – a genetic system for life that may be possible on other worlds.



The synthetic DNA includes the four nucleotides present in Earth life – adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine – but also four others that mimic the structures of the informational ingredients in regular DNA. The result is a double-helix structure that can store and transfer information.

Benner's team, which collaborated with laboratories at the University of Texas in Austin, Indiana University Medical School in Indianapolis, and DNA Software in Ann Arbor, Michigan, dubbed their creation "hachimoji" DNA (from the Japanese "hachi," meaning "eight," and "moji," meaning "letter"). Hachimoji DNA meets all the structural requirements that allow our DNA to store, transmit and evolve information in living systems.

----------------------

Signs of Ancient Flowing Water on Mars
https://phys.org/news/2019-02-ancient-mars.html



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Japan Probe Hayabusa2 Set for Asteroid Landing 
https://phys.org/news/2019-02-japan-probe-hayabusa2-asteroid.html



The Hayabusa2 probe is scheduled to touch down at 8:25am local time (2325 GMT Thursday) on the Ryugu asteroid, some 300 million kilometres from the Earth, according to officials at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

If the landing is successful, Hayabusa2 will fire a projectile at Ryugu's surface to stir up surface matter, which the probe will then collect for analysis back on Earth.

The asteroid is thought to contain relatively large amounts of organic matter and water from some 4.6 billion years ago when the solar system was born.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 01:46:19 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

oren

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #53 on: February 22, 2019, 03:44:43 AM »
The Israeli Moon Lander has just been deployed to space. Actual landing expected in 8 weeks.

https://www.space.com/spacex-israeli-moon-lander-satellites-launch-success.html

Quote
A used SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched an Israeli moon lander along with an Indonesian communications satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida tonight (Feb. 21). After deploying its two payloads into orbit, the Falcon 9's first stage returned to Earth and aced a landing (the third for this booster) on SpaceX's drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You," which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Liftoff occurred at 8:45 p.m. EST (0145 Feb. 22 GMT) just as the moon rose above the horizon here.

Although the primary payload for this mission was Indonesia's satellite, named Nusantara Satu, the tiny moon lander that hitched a ride with the satellite as a secondary payload stole the show today. It became not only the first Israeli spacecraft to venture beyond Earth's orbit, but also the first-ever privately funded moon mission.

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #54 on: February 24, 2019, 07:33:56 PM »
Virgin Galactic Spaceplane Reaches Space With First Passenger On Board
https://qz.com/1557225/virgin-galactic-flies-three-astronauts-in-test-flight/



Today’s flight marks the fifth powered flight test of VSS Unity, and Virgin Galactic plans to continue with these flights throughout the year. Eventually, the company will move to a new location in New Mexico called Spaceport America where it will conduct its future commercial flights. An official date for that move hasn’t been set yet. However, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson has said he hopes to fly on VSS Unity by the summertime, potentially on the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing in July.

Cool Video: https://twitter.com/TheSpaceshipCo/status/1099109560910921728

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NASA Gives SpaceX the Okay to Launch New Passenger Spacecraft on Uncrewed Test Flight
https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/22/18236771/nasa-spacex-dragon-commercial-crew-dm-1-test-flight



It’s official: the first uncrewed flight of SpaceX’s new passenger capsule, the Crew Dragon, is set to launch on March 2nd out of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Both NASA and SpaceX agreed to move forward with the flight today after doing a full day of reviews, determining that the vehicle was ready to see space and travel to the International Space Station. If the capsule successfully makes it to orbit, SpaceX will be one crucial step closer to putting the first humans on board its spacecraft.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #55 on: February 25, 2019, 10:54:03 PM »
Reminds me of something from an old Sci-fi short story ...

Backing Up Human History: Thirty-million Page Copy of Our Achievements to be Placed on the Moon 
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2019/02/25/arch-mission-foundation-announces-launch-lunar-library-aboard-beresheet-lander/

The Arch Mission Foundation today announced the launch of the first installment of their Lunar Library™, a 30 million page archive of civilization, created as a backup to planet Earth. The library will be delivered to the Moon as part of SpaceIL’s lunar mission, which was launched on Thursday, February 21st aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The Lunar Library is an instance of The Billion Year Archive™ initiative, which aims to build a solar-system wide library system that can preserve, connect, and share humanity’s knowledge for billions of years.
https://www.archmission.org/billion-year-archive

In addition to the English version of the Wikipedia (approximately 7.5M printed pages), the Library contains more than 25,000 books and other resources, including collections from Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive, and the Long Now Foundation Rosetta and PanLex datasets, which provide a linguistic key to 5000 languages with 1.5 billion cross-language translations. The Library also holds a long-duration duplicate of SpaceIL’s Israeli Time Capsule, and several other private archives and special collections.

“Our goal is to provide a backup of human civilization,”



The Library is housed within a 100 gram nanotechnology device that resembles a 120mm DVD. However it is actually composed of 25 nickel discs, each only 40 microns thick, that were made for the Arch Mission Foundation by NanoArchival.
https://nanoarchival.com

The first four layers contain more than 60,000 analog  images of pages of books, photographs, illustrations, and documents - etched as 150 to 200 dpi, at increasing levels of magnification, by optical nanolithography.

The first analog layer is the Front Cover and is visible to the naked eye. It  contains 1500 pages of text and images, as well as holographic diffractive logos and text, and can be easily read with a 100X magnification optical microscope, or even a lower power magnifying glass.

The next three analog layers each contain 20,000 images of pages of text and photos at 1000X magnification, and require a slightly more powerful microscope to read. Each letter on these layers is the size of a bacillus bacterium.

Also in the analog layers of the Library is a specially designed “Primer” that teaches over a million concepts in pictures and corresponding words across major languages, as well as the content of the Wearable Rosetta disc, from the Long Now Foundation, which teaches the linguistics of thousands of languages.

Following the Primer, are a series of documents that teach the technical specifications, file formats, and scientific and engineering knowledge necessary to access, decode and understand, the digital information encoded in deeper layers of the Library.



Beneath the analog layers of the Library are 21 layers of 40 micron thick nickel foils, each containing a DVD master.

Collectively, the digital layers contain more than 100GB of highly compressed datasets, which decompress to nearly 200GB of content, including the text and XML of the English Wikipedia, plus tens of thousands of PDFs of  books — including fiction, non-fiction, a full reference library, textbooks, technical and scientific handbooks, and more.

The digital layers also contain the Panlex datasets from the Long Now Foundation, a linguistic key to 5000 languages, with 1.5 billion translations between them.

All the necessary specifications for extracting the file formats and content within the digital layers are provided in the analog layers above.

But this is only the beginning of the story - there is in fact much more in the Lunar Library. This will be revealed in coming months and years.

https://www.archmission.org/spaceil
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 11:06:38 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #56 on: February 28, 2019, 05:03:10 PM »
More Support for Planet Nine
https://www.caltech.edu/about/news/more-support-planet-nine

Corresponding with the three-year anniversary of their announcement hypothesizing the existence of a ninth planet in the solar system, Caltech's Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin are publishing a pair of papers analyzing the evidence for Planet Nine's existence.

The papers offer new details about the suspected nature and location of the planet, which has been the subject of an intense international search ever since Batygin and Brown's 2016 announcement.



... Based on the new models, Batygin and Brown—together with Fred Adams and Juliette Becker (BS '14) of the University of Michigan—concluded that Planet Nine has a mass of about five times that of the earth and has an orbital semimajor axis in the neighborhood of 400 astronomical units (AU), making it smaller and closer to the sun than previously suspected—and potentially brighter. Each astronomical unit is equivalent to the distance between the center of Earth and the center of the sun, or about 149.6 million kilometers.

"At five Earth masses, Planet Nine is likely to be very reminiscent of a typical extrasolar super-Earth," says Batygin, an assistant professor of planetary science and Van Nuys Page Scholar. Super-Earths are planets with a mass greater than Earth's, but substantially less than that of a gas giant. "It is the solar system's missing link of planet formation. Over the last decade, surveys of extrasolar planets have revealed that similar-sized planets are very common around other sun-like stars. Planet Nine is going to be the closest thing we will find to a window into the properties of a typical planet of our galaxy."

Konstantin Batygin et al, The planet nine hypothesis, Physics Reports (2019)

Michael E. Brown et al. Orbital Clustering in the Distant Solar System, The Astronomical Journal (2019)

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2019-02-planet.html#jCp

------------------------------------------

Astronomers Just Discovered 'Farout,' the Most Distant Known Object in the Solar System
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181217120054.htm

A team of astronomers has discovered the most extreme trans-Neptunian object in the outer reaches of the Solar System. Dubbed “Farout,” the object is more than 120 times farther from the Sun than Earth is (120AU). Excitingly, given preliminary estimates about its size, it could actually be a dwarf planet—but it’s still too small to qualify as the elusive Planet X.



Farout is so far out that light from the Sun takes 16 hours and 40 minutes to travel the 11-billion-mile (18-billion-kilometer) distance. Based on its brightness and distance, it is likely about 500 to 600 km (310 to 372 miles) in diameter.

2018 VG18 is the first object found beyond 100 AU in our Solar System,” Sheppard told Gizmodo. “It moves so slow, that it will take a few years to see enough motion of the object to determine its orbit around the Sun.” Sheppard and his colleagues wouldn’t be surprised if a single year on Farout lasts more than 1,000 Earth years.

In October, the same group of researchers announced the discovery of another distant Solar System object, called 2015 TG387 and nicknamed "The Goblin," because it was first seen near Halloween. The Goblin was discovered at about 80 AU and has an orbit that is consistent with it being influenced by an unseen Super-Earth-sized Planet X on the Solar System's very distant fringes.
https://gizmodo.com/astronomers-just-discovered-farout-the-most-distant-kn-1831152968

---------------------------------

FarFarOut: The New Most Distant Object In Our Solar System
https://www.sciencealert.com/astronomers-have-discovered-an-even-farther-outer-object-than-dwarf-planet-farout

The newly discovered object is called, appropriately, Farfarout. It replaces Farout as the furthest known object in our solar system. The previous record holder orbited the sun at about 120 AU (one AU, or astronomical unit, is the distance from the Earth to the sun). Farfarout is a stunning 140 AU away.



------------------------------------

Spacecraft Spots Evidence That Groundwater Once Saturated Mars
https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express/First_evidence_of_planet-wide_groundwater_system_on_Mars

Scientists report finding evidence for an ancient planet-wide groundwater system on Mars, according to a new study. The clues appeared in images taken by Mars orbiters.

The researchers analyzed a sample of images of impact craters in Mars’ northern hemisphere taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) and Context Camera (CTX) on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter. They identified 24 craters 1.4 to 3.1 kilometers (0.9 to 1.9 miles) deep, which they analyzed for evidence of groundwater’s influence.

Several lines of evidence appeared in the analysis. Some of the craters had valleys that appeared to be formed by erosion from water. Some had channels carved into their walls. Some had “terraces,” platforms that could have been formed by the presence of standing water. Fifteen of the craters had fan shapes that looked like river deltas. Some had cones that looked like branching tributaries. Their floors were flat, possibly from the settling of sediments from water. Sixteen of the craters had debris piles that looked like they were caused by landslides.

Taken together, these data points all occurring at similar depths made the researchers infer that the features they saw in these craters “contained water that progressively receded, leaving behind landforms in a specific chronological order,” according to the study. More importantly, the same features seen across the planet’s northern hemisphere suggested to the researchers that Mars could have been saturated with groundwater in order to produce the results seen in the paper. The water level also aligns with existing evidence of an ancient Martian ocean.



Open Access: F. Salese, et.al., Geological Evidence of Planet‐Wide Groundwater System on Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets  21 January 2019
« Last Edit: February 28, 2019, 06:07:57 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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oren

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #57 on: March 01, 2019, 01:32:32 PM »
I would be very surprised if we don't eventually find some trace of past microbial life on Mars.

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #58 on: March 01, 2019, 06:20:04 PM »
I would be very surprised if we don't eventually find some trace of past microbial life on Mars.

We may already have ...

NASA: Curiosity Rover Spots Weird Tube-Like Structures on Mars
https://www.space.com/39294-mars-rover-curiosity-weird-tube-structures.html

Have trace fossils been found on Mars?



In browsing the first new batch of 2018 photos taken by the Curiosity rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), researcher Barry DiGregorio speculated on whether the Red Planet robot found trace fossils on Mars. DiGregorio is a research fellow for the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology in the United Kingdom and author of the nonfiction books "Mars: The Living Planet" and "The Microbes of Mars."
Quote
... "They look remarkably similar to Ordovician trace fossils I have studied and photographed here on Earth,"


DiGregorio told Inside Outer Space. "If not trace fossils, what other geological explanations will NASA come up with?"



... Vasavada reported that the eye-catching features are very small, probably on the order of a millimeter or two (0.04 to 0.08 inches) in width, with the longest of the features stretching to roughly 5 millimeters (0.2 inches). "So, they are tiny"

Examples of Ordovician trace fossils [from Earth]...



--------------------------------------

On Mars, Atmospheric Methane—A Sign of Life on Earth—Changes Mysteriously with the Seasons
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/curiosity-finds-mars-methane-changes-seasons

NASA’s Curiosity rover has found evidence that methane in Mars’ thin atmosphere varies during the year. Higher concentrations appear in late summer and early autumn in the northern hemisphere and lower concentrations in the winter and spring, researchers report in the June 8 Science.

What’s more, Curiosity also spotted organic molecules previously unseen on Mars preserved in mudstone, some of the same researchers report in another study in the same issue of Science. Although neither methane nor organics alone are signs of life, the implications for astrobiology are “potentially huge,” says planetary scientist Michael Mumma of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., who was not involved in the studies.



Finding methane in Mars’s atmosphere is intriguing because chemical reactions should destroy the gas after about 300 years. Its presence today suggests that something on the planet is still sending the gas into the atmosphere. The source could be geological processes, such as reactions between certain types of rock and water — or, more intriguingly, buried microbes or other forms of life. Most of the methane in Earth’s atmosphere comes from living things.

A set of geological results recently delivered courtesy of Curiosity's drill bit provides a deeper understanding of the organic chemistry of the 300-million-year-old mudstone in two separate parts of Gale crater.

The samples were found to contain thiophene, 2- and 3-methylthiophenes, methanethiol, and dimethylsulfide.

These chemicals might not mean a great deal to most of us, but to areologists (that's Martian geologists) it's an indication that the organic chemistry in Martian mudstone is extremely similar to our own.

With water, clay, and seasonal methane spikes it's possible that microbial life is currently resident on the Red Planet

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

kassy

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #59 on: March 02, 2019, 10:19:45 AM »
A while ago i read an article in which exobiologists complained that the devices we send to Mars are all for exogeology. We can send a rover with much better devices for detecting current life there.

I think we should send one of those over before people go there to visit.
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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #60 on: March 02, 2019, 10:16:44 PM »
NASA’s Commercial Crew program takes off.  Docking with the ISS occurs tomorrow morning.

Elon Musk & Team Discuss SpaceX Dragon 2 Launch Success - YouTube
Some of the most important discussion occurs towards the end of the video.

People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #61 on: March 05, 2019, 09:29:49 AM »
An Asteroid the Size of a Jumbo Jet Just Buzzed Safely By Earth

Quote
An asteroid as big as a jumbo jet made a close flyby of Earth today (March 4).

The space rock, named asteroid 2015 EG, posed no threat during the encounter as it passed by at a safe distance of about 274,400 miles (441,600 kilometers), or 1.1 times the average distance between Earth and the moon, at 4:03 p.m. EST (2103 GMT).

As its name implies, asteroid 2015 EG was discovered in 2015. NASA estimates that the space rock measures between 63 and 141 feet (19 to 43 meters) across and is currently barrelling through the solar system at 21,545 mph (9.63 km/h). It's actually one of five near-Earth asteroids on NASA's radar today, but asteroid 2015 EG made the closest approach of them all, according to NASA's Asteroid Watch.
Link >> https://www.space.com/asteroid-2015-eg-earth-flyby-march-2019.html

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #62 on: March 11, 2019, 10:19:17 PM »
Traces of Giant, 2,700-Year-Old Solar Storm Detected in Greenland Ice   
https://gizmodo.com/traces-of-giant-2-700-year-old-solar-storm-detected-in-1833205336

Evidence of an unusually strong solar storm that hit Earth in 660 BCE has been detected in Greenland ice cores—a finding which shows we still have lots to learn about these disruptive events.

An extreme form of solar storm, known as a solar proton event (SPE), struck our planet 2,679 years ago, according to new research published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. If an event of such magnitude were to happen today, it would likely wreak havoc on our technological infrastructure, including communications and navigation. Lund University geologist Raimund Muscheler and his colleagues presented evidence in the form of elevated levels of beryllium-10 and chlorine-36 isotopes embedded within ancient Greenland ice cores.

It’s now the third massive SPE known to scientists, the others occurring 1,245 and 1,025 years ago. This latest discovery means solar storms of this variety are likely happening more frequently than we thought—perhaps once every 1,000 years—but more data is required to create more reliable estimates. 

https://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1815725116
« Last Edit: March 11, 2019, 11:06:21 PM by vox_mundi »
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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #63 on: March 14, 2019, 12:03:10 AM »
Geologic Evidence Supports Theory that Major Cosmic Impact Event Occurred Approximately 12,800 Years Ago   
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-geologic-evidence-theory-major-cosmic.html



... in a paper published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, Kennett and colleagues, led by Chilean paleontologist Mario Pino, present further evidence of a cosmic impact, this time far south of the equator, that likely lead to biomass burning, climate change and megafaunal extinctions nearly 13,000 years ago.

"We have identified the Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB) Impact Hypothesis layer at high latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere at near 41 degrees south, close to the tip of South America," Kennett said. This is a major expansion of the extent of the Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB) Impact Hypothesis event." The vast majority of evidence to date, he added, has been found in the Northern Hemisphere.

Investigators recognized changes known to be associated with YDB impact event. They included a "black mat" layer, 12,800 years in age, that coincided with the disappearance of South American Pleistocene megafauna fossils, an abrupt shift in regional vegetation and a disappearance of human artifacts.

... the group decided to run analyses of impact-related proxies in search of the YDB layer," Kennett said. This yielded the presence of microscopic spherules interpreted to have been formed by melting due to the extremely high temperatures associated with impact. The layer containing these spherules also show peak concentrations of platinum and gold, and native iron particles rarely found in nature.

"Among the most important spherules are those that are chromium-rich," Kennett explained. The Pilauco site spherules contain an unusual level of chromium, an element not found in Northern Hemisphere YDB impact spherules, but in South America. "It turns out that volcanic rocks in the southern Andes can be rich in chromium, and these rocks provided a local source for this chromium," he added. "Thus, the cometary objects must have hit South America as well."



"The plant assemblages indicate that there was an abrupt and major shift in the vegetation from wet, cold conditions at Pilauco to warm, dry conditions," Kennett said. According to him, the atmospheric zonal climatic belts shifted "like a seesaw," with a synergistic mechanism, bringing warming to the Southern Hemisphere even as the Northern Hemisphere experienced cooling and expanding sea ice.

The rapidity—within a few years—with which the climate shifted is best attributed to impact-related shifts in atmospheric systems, rather than to the slower oceanic processes, Kennett said. 


Open Access: Mario Pino et al, Sedimentary record from Patagonia, southern Chile supports cosmic-impact triggering of biomass burning, climate change, and megafaunal extinctions at 12.8 ka, Scientific Reports (2019)
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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #64 on: March 14, 2019, 02:59:00 PM »
Astronomers Have Detected an 'Impossible' Dust Ring at The Heart of Our Solar System

Our Solar System is filled with dust from crumbling asteroids and comets, but only some planets are honoured with a grainy ring to call their own. Both Venus and Earth have this pleasure, escorted around the Sun by a band of cosmic matter.

The little planet of Mercury, on the other hand, was once thought to be all alone. Pressed right up against the Solar System's only heat source, scientists didn't even dream that dust could survive here. But it turns out we were wrong.

A new study has now identified a vast trail of fine cosmic dust in Mercury's orbit, forming a ring nearly 15 million kilometres wide (9.3 million miles).

Unbeknownst to us, it appears that Mercury has been wading through this sea of ancient matter, three times bigger than itself, for likely billions of years.

...

Using pictures of interplanetary space from NASA's STEREO satellite, the team built a model that separates both kinds of light, calculating how much dust there really is out there.

What they noticed was an enhanced brightness circling all the way around Mercury's orbit, implying "an excess dust density of about 3 percent to 5 percent at the centre of the ring."

The results have pushed our understanding right to the brink. Because if Mercury really does wade through cosmic dust, then this material must be able to get far closer to the Sun than we ever thought possible.

...

The massive dust ring that co-orbits Venus is a good start. Just this month, a new paper claims to have figured out the true source of Venus's massive dust ring, which is made up of grains no bigger than coarse sandpaper.

Using dozens of different modelling tools and simulations, the researchers think the dust comes from a group of previously unseen asteroids co-orbiting with the planet.

What's more, the authors argue that this population of crumbling asteroids has been feeding Venus's dust ring ever since the Solar System's infancy.

https://www.sciencealert.com/our-inner-solar-system-has-been-hiding-a-dust-ring-in-an-unepx
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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #65 on: March 15, 2019, 02:36:31 PM »
XTE J1810–197 is back!


A Strange, Sleeping Magnetar Just Woke Up After a Decade of Silence

...

This particular magnetar is called XTE J1810–197. It's one of only 23 magnetars and one of just four radio magnetars ever discovered, and it first turned up in 2004. Then, in late 2008, it went dormant and no longer emitted radio waves. On Dec. 8, 2018, it woke up again, and it''s a bit changed. The researchers who spotted its awakening reported their finding in a paper uploaded March 6 to the preprint server arXiv.

...

When XTE J1810–197 last flashed across human telescopes, it acted erratically, wildly shifting its pulse profile over relatively short time periods. Now, its behavior is more stable, the astronomers reported. At the same time, the torque spinning the star has seemed to increase significantly — a trait the researchers said is common to pulsars after their dormant periods.

https://www.livescience.com/64999-sleeping-magnetar-wakes-up.html
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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #66 on: March 15, 2019, 03:40:00 PM »
NASA spacecraft Explored the Edges of an Early Mars Sea in 1997
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-nasa-spacecraft-explored-edges-early.html



NASA's first rover mission to Mars, the Pathfinder, imaged an extraterrestrial marine spillover landscape 22 years ago, according to a new paper by Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Alexis Rodriguez.

... "The basin is covered by sedimentary deposits with a distribution that precisely matches the inferred extent of inundation from potential catastrophic floods, which would have formed an inland sea," Rodriguez said. "This sea is approximately 250 kilometers upstream from the Pathfinder landing site, an observation that reframes its paleo-geographic setting as part of a marine spillway, which formed a land barrier separating the inland sea and a northern ocean.

"Our simulation shows that the presence of the sea would have attenuated cataclysmic floods, leading to shallow spillovers that reached the Pathfinder landing site and produced the bedforms detected by the spacecraft," Rodriguez said.

The team's results indicate that marine spillover deposits contributed to the landscape that the spacecraft detected nearly 22 years ago, and reconcile the mission's in situ geologic observations and decades of remote-sensing outflow channel investigations.

The sea bears an uncanny resemblance to the Aral Sea on Earth in that in both instances they lack distinct shoreline terraces. Its rapid regression over shallow submerged slopes resulted in rates of shoreline front retreat too fast for the terraces to form. The same process could partly account for the long-recognized lack of northern plains shorelines.

... "Unlike on Earth, this sea was likely groundwater fed. If the ancient source aquifers hosted life, the proposed marine sedimentary materials at the Pathfinder landing site might contain a record of that life, a location easily accessible by future missions," Rodriguez said.

"An exciting observation is that the inland sea and the previously proposed northern plains ocean share a maximum paleo-shoreline elevation, implying a subsurface connection, perhaps through conduits, between the two marine bodies soon after they formed. This elevation match forms a new powerful observation that strongly favors the northern ocean hypothesis," said PSI Senior Scientist Dan Berman, a co-author in the paper.

Open Source: J. A. P. Rodriguez et al. The 1997 Mars Pathfinder Spacecraft Landing Site: Spillover Deposits from an Early Mars Inland Sea, Scientific Reports (2019)
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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #67 on: March 16, 2019, 04:02:20 PM »
We're going to need a Bigger Bomb ...

Asteroids are Stronger, Harder to Destroy than Previously Thought
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-asteroids-stronger-harder-previously-thought.html

A popular theme in the movies is that of an incoming asteroid that could extinguish life on the planet, and our heroes are launched into space to blow it up. But incoming asteroids may be harder to break than scientists previously thought, finds a Johns Hopkins study that used a new understanding of rock fracture and a new computer modeling method to simulate asteroid collisions.



... The new model showed that the entire asteroid is not broken by the impact, unlike what was previously thought. Instead, the impacted asteroid had a large damaged core that then exerted a strong gravitational pull on the fragments in the second phase of the simulation.

The research team found that the end result of the impact was not just a "rubble pile—a collection of weak fragments loosely held together by gravity. Instead, the impacted asteroid retained significant strength because it had not cracked completely, indicating that more energy would be needed to destroy asteroids.


Armageddon (1998) - RockHound

-------------------------------

There May Be 50 Billion Rogue Planets in Our Galaxy
https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/deep-space/a26788244/milky-way-rogue-planets/

According to a new simulation of star behavior, a staggering number of planets aren’t orbiting any star at all. Instead, there could be 50 billion rogue planets are adrift in the Milky Way.

Rogue planets have been known to science for a while. Astronomers for centuries have suspected that rogue planets exist, and in recent years we’ve even found a few of them. But as a class, rogue planets are still somewhat of a mystery.



To get past these hurdles, a group of astronomers at the University of Leiden built a simulation of 1,500 stars in a real place called the Orion Trapezium star cluster. About 500 of these simulated stars contained between four and six planets, giving the sim a grand total of 2,522 planets. When the scientists ran the simulation forward, they found that gravitational effects from the closely packed stars kicked about 350 of those planets outside their respective star systems.

If that’s the case, and you extrapolate that result across the Milky Way, then there could be billions of rogue planets careening throughout the galaxy undetected.

------------------------------

Exiled Planet Linked to Stellar Flyby 3 Million Years Ago
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190228093551.htm

Two binary star systems narrowly missed one another, but left behind a smoking gun

Paul Kalas of UC Berkeley was puzzled by the tilted but stable orbit of a planet around a binary star -- an orbit like that of our solar system's proposed Planet Nine. He calculated backwards in time to see if any of the 461 nearby stars ever came close enough to perturb the system. One star fit the bill. The stellar flyby 2-3 million years ago likely stabilized the planet's orbit, keeping it from flying away.

------------------------------------

Astronomers Just Discovered Two Rogue Planets in Our Galaxy
https://www.sciencealert.com/these-lonely-planets-drift-through-space-without-orbiting-stars

Polish astronomers just discovered two new planets in our galaxy. That's cool news on its own, but these planets are different from most. Unlike almost all known planets, New Scientist reports, these two planets don't orbit a star.

To spot these two new wanderers, Warsaw University astronomers used a technique called gravitational microlensing.

Their research, published last week on the preprint server ArXiv, describes how they used the technique to find points where the light of faraway stars was warped and distorted by the gravitational pull of a planet that had drifted in that light's path.

Because the evidence of these two planets is so circumstantial, scientists aren't sure how large they are. Depending on how far away they are, New Scientist noted that one of the planets could be anywhere from two to 20 times the mass of Jupiter.

The other one is anywhere from 2.3 to 23 times more massive than Earth.

---------------------------------------------

This Massive "Rogue" Planet is Our Solar Neighbor
https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/a22705121/this-massive-rogue-planet-is-our-solar-neighbor/

In 2016, scientists discovered a massive floating object in our galactic neighborhood. It was more than 12 times the size of Jupiter (the biggest planet in our solar system), with a magnetic field that was 200 times more powerful. The mass lived just 20 light years outside of our solar system. Unlike Jupiter and other planets that orbit around a parent star, this space oddity was completely rogue.

------------------------------------

... and because you always wanted to know ...

What Would It Feel Like On the Surface of Earth if It were to Collide with Another Planet?
https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/40193/what-would-it-feel-like-on-the-surface-of-a-planet-while-it-collides-with-anothe



Cool Video - Discovery Channel - Large Asteroid Impact Simulation:


Assumption: A planet the size of Mars slams into the Earth:

The slowest possible approach of the rogue to the earth would occur with a Hohmann transfer orbit, and in this case orbital energies dictate a closing speed of about 3 km/sec. However, this ignores the gravitational attraction between the earth and the rogue, which will boost this closing speed to about 9.5 km/sec. Time to contact from 10 times the moon's orbit is about 14 days. At this distance, the area of the rogue's disk is about 1/50 that of the moon. Time to impact from crossing the moon's orbit is about 27 hours. A this point tides are about 8 times greater than normal. So, no massive tsunamis until a few hours before impact, and this will affect only small part of the earth. There will be a tidal bulge at impact of about 100 km.

Furthermore, since the orbit is essentially tangent to the earth's orbit, it will appear in the sky at 90 degrees from the sun, directly overhead at dusk, and will present a "half-moon" appearance.

Since the earth's atmosphere is about 30 km deep, the rogue will not appreciably affect the earth's atmosphere until less than 5 seconds before impact. No vortex. With a relative velocity near 10 km/sec, a tangent path from sea level to 30 km is about 2,000 km, so for a near-miss the atmosphere will be affected for a duration of (at most), about 3 minutes. No hoovering. Just an enormous shock wave.

Since Mars' surface gravity is about 40% that of earth, just at contact the apparent gravity at ground zero will be reduced to about 27% of normal. No floating. And on the other side of earth things get heavier by about 3%. No crushing gravity, I'm afraid.

Centrifugal force will be irrelevant, and there will be no swirling water. A head-on collision (well, head to tail) will simply liquefy the two bodies. The collision zone will be, especially at first, expanding hypersonically away from the point of impact. The folks on the far side of the planet will not have to wait a day to feel things, as the shock wave will propagate through the planet in less than 20 minutes.

Well, OK, everybody dies.


If, somehow, the rogue is thrown into an orbit which meets the earth head-on, the closing speed will be about twice the earth's orbital velocity (plus a bit for gravitational attraction), or about 60 km/sec. This is even quicker and more spectacular. But in the end, everybody dies.

Since the actual impact will only last minutes, on the far side it will be kinda like this as the shockwave approaches:

T-10 minutes: 20C and sunshine
T-5 minutes: 20C and sunshine
T-4 minutes: 20C and sunshine
T-3 minutes: 20C and sunshine
T-2 minutes: 20C and sunshine
T-1 minute: 20C and sunshine (is that a shadow on the horizon?)
T-0 minutes: 4,000 C and death.


--------------------------------------------

http://universesandbox.com/


11 minutes post impact                                         29 minutes post impact
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 04:31:18 PM by vox_mundi »
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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #68 on: March 16, 2019, 04:04:41 PM »
How the Dinosaurs Went Extinct: Asteroid Collision Triggered Potentially Deadly Volcanic Eruptions
https://phys.org/news/2019-02-dinosaurs-extinct-asteroid-collision-triggered.html



Two of the largest mass extinctions in the geological record both coincide with the largest exposed continental flood basalt events in the past 542 million years. They are the end of the Permian 251 million years ago, and – as today's Science paper highlights – the dinosaur extinction at the end of the Cretaceous 66 million years ago.

In understanding the link between flood volcanism, meteorite impacts and extinctions, timing is everything.

In the new Science paper, a team from the United States and India present some of the most precise dates yet for the enormous eruptions in India, in a unit known as the Deccan Traps—an enormous flood basalt province in Western India that covers more than 500,000km2 and in places is more than 2km thick.

They found that the best date for the Chicxulub impact – at 66.052 million years ago – was within 50,000 years of the peak eruption period of the Deccan Traps, meaning that the impact, and the ramp-up in volcanism, were essentially simultaneous.

At the same time as the Deccan volcanic ramp-up, the global mid-ocean ridge system in the Pacific and Indian Oceans seems to have experienced increased activity.

Analysis of global gravity has indicated anomalously thick crust at the K-Pg boundary, formed due to excess volcanic activity. This effect is only seen in the fastestspreading, and thus most volcanically active, systems in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Together, these observations suggest a global pulse of volcanic input at the time of the Cretaceous mass extinction, driven by the shock wave of the Chicxulub impact.

Volcanism can warm the Earth, due to eruption of greenhouse gases like methane and carbon-dioxide. It can, along with impacts, also cool the atmosphere by adding sulfur aerosols or dust, respectively.

It's not precisely clear how all these combined to decimate terrestrial and marine ecosystems, but an accurate timeline of events is critical to unravelling these interactions.

Courtney J. Sprain, et.al., The eruptive tempo of Deccan volcanism in relation to the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, Science  22 Feb 2019



« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 11:14:29 AM by vox_mundi »
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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #69 on: March 18, 2019, 08:04:00 AM »
US Detects Huge Meteor Explosion 
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47607696



A huge fireball exploded in the Earth's atmosphere in December, according to Nasa.

The blast was the second largest of its kind in 30 years, and the biggest since the fireball over Chelyabinsk in Russia six years ago.


But it went largely unnoticed until now because it blew up over the Bering Sea, off Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula.

The space rock exploded with 10 times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Lindley Johnson, planetary defence officer at Nasa, told BBC News a fireball this big is only expected about two or three times every 100 years.

At about noon local time on 18 December, the asteroid barrelled through the atmosphere at a speed of 32km/s, on a steep trajectory of seven degrees.

Measuring several metres in size, the space rock exploded 25.6km above the Earth's surface, with an impact energy of 173 Kilotons. 


Military satellites picked up the blast last year; Nasa was notified of the event by the US Air Force.



-----------------------

See what it would do to a city near you ...
https://impact.ese.ic.ac.uk/ImpactEarth/ImpactEffectsMap/
https://impact.ese.ic.ac.uk/ImpactEarth/ImpactEffects/

https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 01:45:12 PM by vox_mundi »
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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #70 on: March 22, 2019, 07:58:15 AM »
A solar storm hits Earth this week, pushing northern lights south

Quote
After a prolonged quiet period, the sun let off an explosion Wednesday when a new sunspot fired a small solar flare lasting over an hour.

The high-energy blast caused disruptions for some radio operators in Europe and Africa, but it was accompanied by a slower-moving, massive cloud of charged particles known as a coronal mass ejection (CME) that will deliver Earth a glancing blow this weekend.

All those particles colliding with Earth's magnetic field could turn up the range and the intensity of the aurora, also known as the northern and southern lights. Aurora are caused by particles from the sun that are constantly flowing toward our planet, but a CME delivers an extra large helping that can really amp up the display.

In North America, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that the aurora borealis could be visible as far south as New York and Chicago on Saturday, likely in the early morning hours.
Link >> https://www.cnet.com/news/a-solar-storm-hits-earth-this-week-pushing-northern-lights-south/?ftag=COS-05-10aaa1e&utm_source=reddit.com

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #71 on: March 25, 2019, 09:17:04 PM »


A meteor that snuck by the world's telescopes and exploded over the Bering Sea was caught on camera after all.

Two instruments on NASA's Terra satellite caught images of the fireball explosion on Dec. 18, 2018. The meteor's trail is visible in the top portion of the photo as a dark, streak-like shadow on the cloud tops. Toward the lower right of the image is an orange cloud of superheated air created by the explosion.

NASA scientists estimate that the meteor was 32 feet (10 meters) in diameter and weighed 1,500 tons (1,360 metric tons). It blasted through the atmosphere at 71,582 mph (115,200 km/h) and exploded 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) above the surface of the ocean. It exploded with the power of 173 kilotons of TNT, 10 times the energy of the atomic bomb dropped by the United States over Hiroshima in 1945.

https://www.livescience.com/65062-bering-sea-meteor-explosion-photos.html

-------------------------------

Jupiter's Unknown Journey Revealed
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-03/lu-juj032219.php

It is known that gas giants around other stars are often located very near their sun. According to accepted theory, these gas planets were formed far away and subsequently migrated to an orbit closer to the star.

Now researchers from Lund University and other institutions have used advanced computer simulations to learn more about Jupiter's journey through our own solar system approximately 4.5 billion years ago. At that time, Jupiter was quite recently formed, as were the other planets in the solar system. The planets were gradually built up by cosmic dust, which circled around our young sun in a disk of gas and particles. Jupiter was no larger than our own planet.

The results show that Jupiter was formed four times further from the sun than its current position would indicate.

... According to the calculations, Jupiter's migration went on for around 700 000 years, in a period approximately 2-3 million years after the celestial body started its life as an ice asteroid far from the sun. The journey inwards in the solar system followed a spiralling course in which Jupiter continued to circle around the sun, albeit in an increasingly tight path. The reason behind the actual migration relates to gravitational forces from the surrounding gases in the solar system.

The simulations show that the Trojan asteroids were drawn in when Jupiter was a young planet with no gas atmosphere, which means that these asteroids most probably consist of building blocks similar to those that formed Jupiter's core. In 2021, NASA's space probe Lucy will be launched into orbit around six of Jupiter's Trojan asteroids to study them.

The authors of the study also suggest that the gas giant Saturn and the ice giants Uranus and Neptune could have migrated in a similar way.


https://www.lu.se/article/forskare-avslojar-jupiters-okanda-resa

S. Pirani et al, Consequences of planetary migration on the minor bodies of the early solar system[/b]]Consequences of planetary migration on the minor bodies of the early solar system, Astronomy & Astrophysics (2019)

-------------------------------------------

Kazakh Meteorite Reveals Signs of Ancient Solar 'Superflare'
https://gizmodo.com/kazakh-meteorite-reveals-signs-of-ancient-solar-superfl-1833548512

Scientists have found evidence of an ancient solar “superflare” hidden in a meteorite that was first found in Kazakhstan in 1962, according to a new paper.

Meteorites here on Earth can be useful for telling the story the Solar System’s history, specifically through the elements they contain. By analyzing the Efremovka meteorite, a pair of researchers determined that a superflare that occurred around 500,000 years after the Sun’s birth could have emitted as many x-rays as the largest solar flare each second, but for perhaps an entire year.

Specifically, the study focused on how meteorites ended up containing beryllium-10, a radioactive isotope with a half life of 1.386 million years, where after one half life, half of the radioactive material decays. This isotope is thought to arise either from oxygen or carbon breaking up from increased solar energy, or from low-mass stars exploding in a supernova.

On analyzing a calcium-aluminum-rich inclusion from the Efremovka meteorite, the researchers found an excess of two other isotopes, called beryllium-9 and lithium-7. These elements signal the former presence another isotope called beryllium-7, which has a half life of only 53 years. They reasoned that in order to recreate the radioactive signature they were seeing and to explain the beryllium-10, the meteorites must have been hit with a series of short, quick pulses of solar radiation.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2019, 10:06:35 PM by vox_mundi »
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kassy

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #72 on: March 28, 2019, 01:32:16 PM »
In a follow up to number 41 in this thread the team has found another galaxy without dark matter.

Unusual galaxies defy dark matter theory

...

In the first study, the team confirmed their initial observations of NGC 1052-DF2, or DF2 for short, which show dark matter is practically absent in the galaxy. Using W. M. Keck Observatory’s Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI), they gathered more precise measurements and found that the globular clusters inside the galaxy are indeed moving at a speed consistent with the mass of the galaxy’s normal matter. If there were dark matter in DF2, the clusters would be moving much faster.

“KCWI is unique because of the combination of its large survey area,” said lead author Danieli. “The instrument not only allows us to see the whole galaxy at once, its high spectral resolution also enables us to measure the mass accurately. There is no other instrument in the world that has those two properties!”

In the second study, the team used Keck Observatory’s Low Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (LRIS) to find another galaxy devoid of dark matter, named NGC 1052-DF4, or DF4 for short.

“Discovering a second galaxy with very little to no dark matter is just as exciting as the initial discovery of DF2,” said van Dokkum, who is the lead author on the DF4 paper. “This means the chances of finding more of these galaxies are now higher than we previously thought. Since we have no good ideas for how these galaxies were formed, I hope these discoveries will encourage more scientists to work on this puzzle.”

http://www.spacenewsfeed.com/index.php/news/2887-unusual-galaxies-defy-dark-matter-theory
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Sam

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #73 on: March 28, 2019, 06:34:25 PM »
It is important to remember the origins of the theories of "dark matter" and "dark energy". These are claimed to exist not based on their discovery, but rather solely as a curve fitting exercise using Newtonian dynamics (Keplerian) and the universal law of gravitation as applied to the velocity curves of galaxies and the estimated masses of the visible objects in those galaxies.

The most notable case is M31, the Andromeda galaxy. The light curve for Andromeda shows a central region (the bulge), a transitional region, a region containing the bulk of the galactic disk, and then the region beyond the seeming edge of the galaxy as viewed by human minds.

The central region behaves with a velocity curve that is linear with distance from the center. The transitional region includes a narrow band rotating retrograde to the rest of the galaxy. The main disk shows a velocity curve that looks like a superposition of a linear velocity with distance (with a much lower slope than the bulge) combined with a keplerian falloff with distance added on top of that. In other words, the inner half of the disk portion has a bulge somewhat faster than a linear relation would suggest. The region beyond the visible edge transitions to a velocity curve of near constant value for considerable distance that then falls off slowly with increasing distance. See page 617 of "Exploration of the Universe" by George Abell, 1969 edition for example.

More distant galaxies are harder to resolve their detailed velocity profiles. The inner details are entirely lost.  Most often then, they show velocity curves that rise to a maximum value (disk region), then flatten for considerable distance before falling off.

This is not at all what would be expected from keplerian considerations.

It is these descrepancies that led to the postulation that there must be unseen "dark matter". As that theory was refined, it was realized that "dark matter" alone did not make the velocity curves fit keplerian requirements. Something seemed to be pushing the stars and objects faster. This led to the theory of "dark energy". Today, under the combination of these theories (cold dark matter or CDM), the vast majority of the "mass" of galaxies is proposed to be "dark energy". A minority of the "mass" is "cold dark matter", and a very small portion is the known actual mass of stars, nebulae, gas clouds,  etc...

This theory though widely held and "studied" is pure speculation. No direct evidence of "dark matter" or "dark energy" has ever been found, despite intense efforts to find them. It is only inferred. What most scientists have not done is to consider that some other physical law or difference in physical laws are implied. Also, there is no basis at all in all of physics for a force exemplied by "dark energy", or for particles to support "dark matter", or the force of "dark energy". Adding these would break all of the theories of particle physics. Yet, rather than being taken as a fantasy theory, CDM is often taken as true none the less.

But that is not universally true. One group of scientists and researchers proposed modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND) to explain it all. MOND is likewise not a proven theory, and lacks an original explanation as well. However, tests of CDM versus MOND have not ruled either out.  There are other theories as well. MOND does accurately predict the velocity curves of thousands of galaxies using a single parameter change in its theory compared to universal gravitation.  CDM requires the a priori development of an inferred dark matte distribution for each galaxy to work. I.e. Curve fitting.

As theories go, MOND better fits the data with less fiddling. Occam's razor would suggest that of the two MOND is likely right. And MOND has the added benefit of fitting into existing theories. The background acceleration proposed in MOND may well be a measure of the stretching of space-time itself, or viewed differently as the growth of the universe, or ...., or as the integration constant in relativity, the C constant that Einstein added.

DF2 and DF4 are interesting low mass diffuse galaxies that put both theories to the test. And as it turns out, they don't rule either out.

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1804.04167.pdf
https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/a-second-galaxy-with-no-dark-matter.964636/

What none of the current theories explain is the rotational curves of M31 and our own Milky Way in the visible light region of the galaxies.

There is much more to be learned about how the universe actually works.

We humans repeatedly make the same errrors through time of assuming that we know everything important to know (to explain everything), and that we as individuals, we as a species, our home - the Earth, our sun, our galaxy, our theories, our philosophies, our deities are the center of everything, and that everything depends on us.

We assume too that we are the peak and end goal of the process that led to us, whatever that process is. On the one hand this is simply pure hubris. On another, it is pure arrogance, ignorance and stupidity. On yet another it is a complete failing to apply the things we know such as logic, physics, ...  We never seem to generalize these lessons or to learn from them. We fall into the same holes time after time, not even understanding we have fallen into a hole, and utterly refusing to listen to people outside the hole trying to tell us we have fallen into a hole, even though it is they who are trying to help us extricate ourselves.

The application of that to human caused climate change and the disasters rapidly crashing in on us at accelerating speed is just one more exemplar. A large portion of humanity has fallen into their comfortable holes. They cannot see out. Worse, they do not want to see out. They like their cozy holes. As far as they are concerned, the people trying to warn them of the impending catastrophes are crazy. From their perspective in their cozy little holes, they both literally and figuratively cannot see the problem. Note here that seeing isn't just a matter of the optics of they eye, but is rather that plus the entire brain process that goes into building our internal map of what we think we "see". Much of what we "see" is a construct created in our brains. It is all too easy for a system built in this way to suffer aberrations in what we "see".

Sam
« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 06:57:32 PM by Sam »

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #74 on: March 29, 2019, 02:33:33 AM »
New Evidence of Deep Groundwater on Mars   
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-evidence-deep-groundwater-mars.html



In mid-2018, researchers supported by the Italian Space Agency detected the presence of a deep-water lake on Mars under its south polar ice caps. Now, researchers at the USC Arid Climate and Water Research Center (AWARE) have published a study that suggests deep groundwater could still be active on Mars and could originate surface streams in some near-equatorial areas on Mars.

The researchers at USC have determined that groundwater likely exists in a broader geographical area than just the poles of Mars and that there is an active system, as deep as 750 meters, from which groundwater comes to the surface through cracks in the specific craters they analyzed

"The experience we gained from our research in desert hydrology was the cornerstone in reaching this conclusion. We have seen the same mechanisms in the North African Sahara and in the Arabian Peninsula, and it helped us explore the same mechanism on Mars," said Abotalib Z. Abotalib, the paper's first author.

The two scientists concluded that fractures within some of Mars' craters, enabled water springs to rise up to the surface as a result of pressure deep below. These springs leaked onto the surface, generating the sharp and distinct linear features found on the walls of these craters. The scientists also provide an explanation on how these water features fluctuate with seasonality on Mars. ...

A deep groundwater origin for recurring slope linea on Mars, Nature Geoscience (2019

------------------------

Rivers Raged on Mars Until 1 Billion Years Ago 
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-rivers-raged-mars-late-history.html

A new study by University of Chicago scientists catalogued these rivers to conclude that significant river runoff persisted on Mars later into its history than previously thought. According to the study, published March 27 in Science Advances, the runoff was intense—rivers on Mars were wider than those on Earth today—and occurred at hundreds of locations on the red planet.

This means that there were rivers throughout Mars' history, rather than at certain moments, and that they survived even as shallow seas and lakes dried up. That lasted right up until the end of Mars' more wet era, which ended around a billion years ago   

... The size of the rivers implies the water was flowing continuously, not just at high noon, so climate modelers need to account for a strong greenhouse effect to keep the planet warm enough for average daytime temperatures above the freezing point of water.

The rivers also show strong flow up to the last geological minute before the wet climate dries up. "You would expect them to wane gradually over time, but that's not what we see," Kite said. The rivers get shorter—hundreds of kilometers rather than thousands—but discharge is still strong. "The wettest day of the year is still very wet."



Open Access: E.S. Kite el al., "Persistence of intense, climate-driven runoff late in Mars history," Science Advances (2019)

---------------------

NASA Is Working With Blue Origin on a Lunar Lander 
https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/aerospace/space-flight/nasa-has-been-working-with-blue-origin-on-a-lunar-lander

In October, NASA signed a previously unreported Space Act Agreement “for the purpose of collaboration with Blue Origin to advance medium-to-large commercial lunar surface lander systems.”

Under the agreement, Blue Origin promised to pay NASA nearly US $50,000 to “leverage the unique capabilities, expertise, and knowledge of NASA in multiple technology areas to help to optimally design and develop such capabilities for both NASA and commercial missions.”

Blue Origin revealed its plans for a robotic lunar lander, called Blue Moon, in early 2017. Jeff Bezos has long dreamed of shifting heavy industry into space and wrote last October that “the next logical step in this path is a return to the moon. To do this we need reusable access to the lunar surface and its resources.”

In the Space Act arrangement, NASA would provide Blue Origin with the in-space trajectory analysis software called Copernicus, to help plan Blue Moon’s journey. The agency would also supply reports and studies about a return to the moon, including surveys of potential landing sites.

This was not the first agreement between NASA and Blue Origin concerning spacecraft beyond Earth orbit. In late 2017, the two organizations signed a vaguely worded $750,000 agreement to “[accelerate] the development and testing of critical technologies for emerging space system capabilities.” Although the agreement itself did not specify the work involved, a spreadsheet summarizing NASA’s contracts describes the project as a liquid oxygen/methane “lander propulsion collaboration.”

« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 03:21:41 AM by vox_mundi »
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Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #75 on: April 01, 2019, 02:35:37 AM »
Meteor Lights Up the Night Sky Over Northern Florida
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/03/31/us/meteor-florida-trnd/index.html



A meteor was caught on GOES Lightning Mapper (GLM) around 3:52Z or 11:52 PM ET!


https://mobile.twitter.com/NWSTallahassee/status/1112215533871681537

The National Weather Service said it heard unconfirmed reports that the meteor landed near Perry, Florida, some 55 miles southeast of Tallahassee.


https://mobile.twitter.com/CIMSS_Satellite/status/1112373569068171269
Zoom in on box at center right
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

gerontocrat

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #76 on: April 02, 2019, 09:16:17 PM »
DOOMED!!! WE ARE ALL DOOMED !!!!                    (perhaps not)

https://www.skepticalscience.com/1April2019Post.html
   
Asteroid to hit Earth in August 2046 - Emergency IPCC UN panel formed
Posted on 1 April 2019 by scaddenp
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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #77 on: April 04, 2019, 06:37:25 PM »
Life on Mars?
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-04/dg-lom040419.php

Researchers from Hungary have discovered embedded organic material in a Martian meteorite found in the late 1970s. The scientists were able to determine the presence of organic matter in mineralised form such as different forms of bacteria within the meteorite, suggesting that life could have existed on the Red Planet.

Officially named ALH-77005, the Martian meteorite was found in the Allan Hills on Antarctica during the mission of the Japanese National Institute of Polar Research between 1977 and 1978. The new study proposes the presence of active bacteria on Mars. Their research also suggests that there may have been life on other planets.

Open Access: Ildikó Gyollai et al, Mineralized biosignatures in ALH-77005 Shergottite - Clues to Martian Life?, Open Astronomy (2019)


Who knew they had Fox News on Mars.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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oren

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #78 on: April 05, 2019, 07:37:46 AM »
https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/04/israels-beresheet-spacecraft-enters-lunar-orbit-and-prepares-for-landing/
Quote
Beresheet, Israel’s privately funded, engineered and launched mission to the Moon’s surface, has successfully entered lunar orbit after a month and a half in transit. The craft will now adjust its orbit in preparation for landing on April 11.

Pmt111500

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #79 on: April 10, 2019, 06:43:30 PM »
The image is a bit fuzzy but it's been on the way for 53,5 million years. For that it's of astonishing quality and by that it in part shows how little there's stuff between galaxies. SagA* image might be coming too but as this M87 one is in active phase this, i guess, was easier to process from the background noise which is significant in the nucleai of galaxies.
Cooling the outside by heat pump.

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #80 on: May 09, 2019, 03:59:24 PM »
Black, Hot Ice May Be Nature’s Most Common Form of Water

Quote
A new experiment confirms the existence of “superionic ice,” a bizarre form of water that might comprise the bulk of giant icy planets throughout the universe.
Link >> https://www.quantamagazine.org/black-hot-superionic-ice-may-be-natures-most-common-form-of-water-20190508/

The day the Arctic is going ice-free, i'll call it 'black, hot ice' too.

kassy

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #81 on: June 10, 2019, 03:44:53 PM »
Scientists have been delving into the galaxy with no black matter i posted about in #40 and look what they found:


In this study the researchers, perplexed because all the parameters that depended on the distance of the galaxy were anomalous; have revised the available distance indicators. Using five independent methods to estimate the distance of the object they found that all of them coincided in one conclusion: the galaxy is much nearer than the value presented in the previous research.

The original article published in Nature stated that the galaxy is at a distance of some 64 million light years from Earth. However, this new research has revealed that the real distance is much less, around 42 million light years.

Thanks to these new results, the parameters of the galaxy inferred from its distance have become "normal" and fit the observed trends traced by galaxies with similar characteristics.

The most relevant datum that has been found via the new distance analysis is that the total mass of this galaxy is around a half of the mass estimated previously, but the mass of its stars is only about quarter of the previously estimated mass. This implies that a significant part of the total mass must be made up of dark matter.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190606133737.htm
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

gerontocrat

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #82 on: June 10, 2019, 06:04:29 PM »
Summer Solstice 21st June 16hrs :54mins GMT (UTC is a vile invention by a bunch of mad, evil scientists)

For those who will be dancing around the fire before genuflecting to the rising sun, here is how to make woad.

Quote
WOAD DYE – ISATIA TINCTORIA
You can make a beautiful blue woad dye from the leaves of the woad plant.

Woad belongs to the brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower etc). It is a biennial plant, which means it grows for 2 years before dying off.

In the first year it grows as a small cluster of broad leaves and in the second year large sprays of yellow flowers form on its long woody stems. After flowering, a woad plant will produce seeds and then die back. You can harvest these seeds for sowing the next crop.

However – for our purpose – we need to harvest the woad plant in it’s first year, as it is these leaves that give us the beautiful blue dye extracted from woad.

Creating Woad Dye
Woad plants are ready for harvest in the summer months.

Take the leaves from the base of the plant and then cut them into small pieces. Submerge the torn or cut leaves in a stainless steel pan of water and bring up to a temperature of 175F (80C). Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Cool the woad dye down as quickly as possible, so that the leaves don’t breakdown too much. If they do, they will go through the strainer and pollute your dye bath. Partially submerging your saucepan in cold or icy water is the easiest way to do this.

Strain off the liquid and – whilst wearing gloves – gently squeeze as much liquid as possible from the leaves.

When you are sure your woad dye is below 120F (50C), add 3 teaspoons of soda ash. At this stage your lovely blue dye will be a greeny-brown color.

Aerate the liquid with an electric or hand-held beater. You will notice it foam up a fair bit. Leave the – now bluey-green – woad dye for a few hours, during which time the foam will evaporate and any pigment will settle.

Gently scoop or siphon off all the water, leaving only the pigment in the bottom of your saucepan. If you are having trouble seeing the sediment in your contained, pour the dye into a glass jar.

Fill with water again and repeat 2 or 3 times. Soon you will have clear water at the top and thick pigment in the bottom.

This is your blue woad dye!
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #83 on: June 10, 2019, 06:55:41 PM »
YEY!

James Webb telescope undergoes vacuum testing, finally moving toward launch

Link >> https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/james-webb-telescope-vacuum-testing/

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #84 on: June 21, 2019, 09:08:15 PM »
Now You See It; Now You Don't: Mysterious Glowing Light on Mars Captured by Nasa's Curiosity Probe
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/mars-white-light-nasa-curiosity-rover-aliens-space-a8969021.html

A photograph taken by Nasa’s Curiosity rover on Mars has captured a mysterious bright glow on a distant Martian hillside.

The black and white photograph shows the desert landscape with high rocky hills in the background.

In front of the larger rock formations, a tiny elongated white blob appears to be streaking past.

Nasa has previously admitted to similar anomalies in pictures taken by the probe. This image was taken on 16 June, and while conspiracy theorists have said the photograph is evidence of extra-terrestrials on the Red Planet, it appears more likely to have been a cosmic ray, some kind of camera lens flare or sunlight reflecting on rocks. (... or maybe swamp gas reflected off a weather balloon rising on Venus)


This image was snapped by Curiosity at 3:53:46 UTC, June 16, 2019 or Sol 2438 (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?rawid=NRB_613927056EDR_S0760832NCAM00595M_&s=2438


https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?rawid=NRB_613927069EDR_S0760832NCAM00595M_&s=2438.52223036413
The navcam snapped the picture at 03:53:59 UTC, June 16, 2019 or Sol 2438 (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


This image was snapped by Curiosity at 03:54:12 UTC, June 16, 2019 or Sol 2438 (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?rawid=NRB_613927082EDR_S0760832NCAM00595M_&s=2438

-------------------------

Trump, Senators Receive Classified Briefing on UFO Sightings
https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/20/politics/ufo-sightings-navy-briefs-us-senators/index.html

Washington (CNN) A group of US senators, including the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence committee, received a classified briefing Wednesday about a series of reported encounters by the US Navy with unidentified aircraft, according to a congressional aide.

« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 11:51:00 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #85 on: June 22, 2019, 06:53:47 PM »
Life on Mars? NASA Rover on Mars Detects Puff of Gas That Hints at Possibility of Life 
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/22/science/nasa-mars-rover-life.html

In a measurement taken on Wednesday, NASA’s Curiosity rover discovered startlingly high amounts of methane in the Martian air, a gas that on Earth is usually produced by living things. The data arrived back on Earth on Thursday, and by Friday, scientists working on the mission were excitedly discussing the news, which has not yet been announced by NASA.

Quote
... “Given this surprising result, we’ve reorganized the weekend to run a follow-up experiment,” Ashwin R. Vasavada, the project scientist for the mission, wrote to the science team in an email that was obtained by The Times.

The mission’s controllers on Earth sent new instructions to the rover on Friday to follow up on the readings, bumping previously planned science work. The results of these observations are expected back on the ground on Monday...



https://mobile.twitter.com/Dr_ThomasZ/status/1142534817877282816

----------------------

Curiosity Detects Unusually High Methane Levels
https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7433

This week, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover found a surprising result: the largest amount of methane ever measured during the mission - about 21 parts per billion units by volume (ppbv).   

The SAM team organized a different experiment for this weekend to gather more information on what might be a transient plume. Whatever they find - even if it's an absence of methane - will add context to the recent measurement.

Curiosity's scientists need time to analyze these clues and conduct many more methane observations. They also need time to collaborate with other science teams, including those with the European Space Agency's Trace Gas Orbiter

----------------------

NASA Rover May Have Just Discovered Life on Mars 
https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/22/nasas-curiosity-rover-finds-levels-of-gas-on-mars-that-could-suggest-possibility-of-life/

NASA’s Curiosity Rover has detected high levels of methane output during its mission on the Martian surface, the New York Times reports. The discovery, found during a measurement taking on Wednesday by the robot and observed by NASA researchers, could indicate that microbial lifeforms may have taken up residence underground on Mars.

...  For now, NASA has instructed Curiosity to put all its other duties on the back burner while it continues to examine the areas where the methane was registered.


Scientists expect the findings returned to Earth by Monday so they can start analyzing and making further determinations.

Curiosity was tasked with searching for methane when it initially landed on Mars in 2012, and the following year saw a small spike that soon dissipated.

The recent readings are apparently 3x higher than the first, so scientists are excited about the possible implications.

Any measurable amount of methane detected by Curiosity would be a tripwire for Mars researchers, since the gas would likely have to have been produced recently by an organism if the reading is accurate, because otherwise it would’ve naturally broken down in a relatively short timespan into its component parts. 



-------------------------

Experiments with Salt-Tolerant Bacteria in Brine have Implications for Life on Mars   
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-06/asfm-ews061719.php

... While parched, Mars' surface has abundant sulfate salts of calcium, iron, and magnesium which could form saturated brines--even at some of the frigid temperatures that prevail on the red planet's surface--that could be compatible with terrestrial microorganisms, or that could harbor Martian microbes.

Despite the red planet's apparent aridity, humidity is thought to reach 80% to 100% at night and then plummet during the daytime as temperatures rise.

"The likelihood is high that at times surface salts may be able to attract sufficient water to form brines that can support microbial growth," said Dr. Schneegurt. "The current research may also help redefine what constitutes a habitable zone,
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 02:43:15 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #86 on: June 29, 2019, 07:24:47 PM »
With a Poof, Mars Methane Is Gone
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/25/science/mars-methane-nasa.html



... Curiosity’s keepers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, canceled the rover’s weekend plans to repeat the experiment, hoping for clues that might point to the existence of life on the planet. But the second reading indicated that the methane had fallen to its normal level in the Martian air — less than one part per billion, all but nonexistent.

Only a few days earlier, the methane level had spiked to 21 parts per billion, according to the rover’s Sample Analysis at Mars experiment.

“A plume came and a plume went,” Paul Mahaffy, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said on Sunday during a presentation at an astrobiology meeting in Bellevue, Wash. ...“The methane mystery continues,” ...

-----------------------------

Dragonfly: Drone Helicopter to Fly on Saturn's Moon, Titan
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48799315



... The eight-rotor drone will be launched to the Saturnian moon in 2026 and arrive in 2034. It will take advantage of Titan's thick atmosphere to fly to different sites of interest.

The average temperature of -179C (-290F) means that mountains are made of ice, and liquid methane assumes many of the roles played by water on Earth.

Dragonfly will first land at the "Shangri-La" dune fields, which are similar to the linear dunes found in Namibia in southern Africa.

The drone will explore this region in short flights, building up to a series of longer "leapfrog" flights of up to 8km (5 miles), stopping along the way to take samples.

"Flying on Titan is actually easier than flying on Earth," said the mission's principal investigator Elizabeth "Zibi" Turtle, from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland. "The atmosphere is four times denser at the surface than the atmosphere at the surface of Earth and the gravity is about one-seventh of the gravity here on Earth."

She added: "Its the best way to travel and the best way to go long distances so that we can make measurements in a variety of different geologic environments."

-----------------------------

Docs Show Navy Got 'UFO' Patent Granted By Warning Of Similar Chinese Tech Advances
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/28729/docs-show-navy-got-ufo-patent-granted-by-warning-of-similar-chinese-tech-advances

The United States Secretary of Navy is listed as the assignee on several radical aviation technologies patented by an aerospace engineer working at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) headquarters in Patuxent River, Maryland. One of these patents describes a "hybrid aerospace-underwater craft" claimed to be capable of truly extraordinary feats of speed and maneuverability in air, water, and outer space alike thanks to a revolutionary electromagnetic propulsion system.

Sound far fetched? You’re not alone.

A primary patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) thought so too. But then the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of the Naval Aviation Enterprise personally wrote a letter addressed to the examiner claiming that the U.S. needs the patent as the Chinese are already “investing significantly” in these aerospace technologies that sound eerily similar to the UFOs reported by Navy pilots in now well-known encounters.
This raises the question, are the Chinese developing or even already flying craft leveraging similar advanced technology and is the Navy now scrambling to catch up?

... Pais, an aerospace engineer for NAWCAD at Naval Air Station, is named as the inventor on four separate patents for which the U.S. Navy is the assignee: a curiously-shaped “High Frequency Gravitational Wave Generator;” a room temperature superconductor; an electromagnetic ‘force field’ generator that could deflect asteroids; and, perhaps the strangest of all, one titled “Craft Using An Inertial Mass Reduction Device.” While all are pretty outlandish-sounding, the latter is the one that the Chief Technical Officer of the Naval Aviation Enterprise personally vouched for in a letter to the USPTO, claiming the Chinese are already developing similar capabilities.

The hybrid aerospace-underwater craft in Pais’ patent, is described as being capable of incredible feats of speed and maneuverability and can fly equally well in air, water, or space without leaving a heat signature. This is possible, Pais claims in the patent, because the craft is able to “engineer the fabric of our reality at the most fundamental level” by exploiting the laws of physics.

... The unorthodox circumstances surrounding the approval of this patent have us wondering why the Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Naval Aviation Enterprise, Dr. James Sheehy, personally vouched for the legitimacy of this beyond-revolutionary aerospace technology in the Navy’s appeal to the USPTO. Sheehy assured the patent examiner in charge of this application that the aircraft propulsion method described in the patent is indeed possible or will be soon based on experiments and tests NAWCAD has already conducted.



Remarkably, it seems to boil down to the ol' "we must not allow an Inertial Mass Reduction Device gap!"
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

kassy

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #87 on: June 29, 2019, 07:37:32 PM »
claiming that the U.S. needs the patent

Why not patent the Cure for Cancer while we are at it +2 happy citizens do wonders.  ::)
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #88 on: June 29, 2019, 08:13:16 PM »


Project Greenglow and the Battle with Gravity
https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35861334

When, in the late 1980s, the aerospace engineer Dr Ron Evans went to his bosses at BAE Systems and asked if they'd let him attempt some form of gravity control, they should probably have offered him a cup of tea and a lie down. Gravity control was a notion beloved of science fiction writers that every respectable theoretical physicist said was impossible.

Pushing against gravity with wings and jets was BAE's multi-billion pound business, why dabble in scientific heresy? Because, as Evans puts it: "The potential was absolutely enormous. It could totally change aerospace."



Some theorists are now breaking ranks to offer radical explanations, among them Dr Dragan Hajdukovic at Cern, who has developed a theory that gravitational polarity does exist.

... In the US, NASA aerospace engineer Marc Millis began a parallel project - the Breakthrough Physics Propulsion Program. Nasa had committed to getting beyond the solar system within a generation, but knew conventional rockets would never get them there.

Popular Mechanics - Taming Gravity
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

kassy

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #89 on: June 29, 2019, 08:49:21 PM »
Since we don´t have anything for gravity control but huge masses i wonder what else you would use. Second page did not help.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

oren

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #90 on: June 29, 2019, 09:20:00 PM »
claiming that the U.S. needs the patent

Why not patent the Cure for Cancer while we are at it +2 happy citizens do wonders.  ::)
Civ 2?

kassy

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #91 on: June 29, 2019, 09:27:02 PM »
And 3. Loved the Hoover Dam on Continents map too...
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #92 on: June 29, 2019, 09:54:04 PM »
Aw, c'mon kassy;  ;) Don't you want to believe they're hiding the truth.

Would the Cigarette Smoking Man lie?



Anyway - back on topic.

OBTW, I saw one.

-------------------------------

Planet Seeding and Panspermia
http://astrobiology.com/2019/06/planet-seeding-and-panspermia.html



Planets are formed in protoplanetary disks, mostly made of gas and dust. The dust grains are thought to grow into pebbles, coagulate into bigger planetesimals, and finally, form planets. Once the objects reach km-size, they can survive and eventually coagulate and accrete smaller rocks/pebbles as to form planetary embryos and full-fledged planets. The main obstacle for such growth appears to occur before km-size objects form, in the stage when smaller rock and pebbles initially form. Indeed, several culprits conspire to destroy pebbles and meter-sized boulders before they can ever grow into larger planetesimals. Such pebbles and rocks move through the gaseous disk in which they are initially embedded, and experience a headwind that slows them down.

The continuous push of the headwind might eventually lead them to quickly spiral inward into the Sun and be destroyed. In addition, collisions between small pebbles can lead to their fragmentation into smaller pieces halting their growth into larger planetesimals. In other words, pebbles and small rocks encounter a so-called "meter-size barrier" in their ability to grow into even larger planetesimals.

Several models were suggested as to overcome the meter-size barrier, but these typically require fine-tuned conditions that are unlikely to exist in most planetary systems; nevertheless, it is common knowledge that most if not all stars host planetary systems. The question is than how this came to be.

In their recently published paper in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Grishin and collaborators showed that interstellar objects are the key. They suggested that most systems do not need to go through the difficult stage of forming km-size planetesimals. Instead, most systems can capture interstellar km-size planetesimals that were originally ejected from other planetary systems. But how can an object moving at tens of km per second velocity through a Solar system be captured? It turns out the answer is simple—the same headwind that drives small rocks to inspiral into their sun can slow down bigger, km-size interstellar planetesimals and thereby capture them into a newly formed protoplanetary disk.

In this way, even a single planetary system can eject km-size planetesimals that then serve as seeds for the formation of many new planetary systems. As a result, even a very small number of planetary systems can seed the formation of many other systems—all it requires is just a few lucky rare cases to begin the process, and then these systems can spawn planetesimal "seeds" across the galaxy, which in turn can be captured into a newly forming protoplanetary disks and provide them the basic km-size building blocks needed for planetary growth.

Planet formation no longer occurs in isolation; no planetary system is an island, but rather the reservoir of ejected rogue interstellar planetesimals serves to continuously initiate the birth of new planetary systems. In turn, any newly formed planetary systems ejects its own rogue planetesimals and help rebuild the reservoir of interstellar planetesimal seeds. The question the becomes: what are the odds of capturing these planetesimals, and how many successful formations are required to populate the entire birth cluster with planetesimals?

... The researchers summarize that only a small fraction of the stars in a cluster (less then 1 percent) are required to form the primordial planetesimals, which eventually seed the entire birth cluster of ~1000 stars. Roughly similar numbers are expected also for field environments. Both estimates are conservative. The interstellar reservoir therefore works in tandem with the main planet formation models, providing the initial seeds for many of the planetesimal formation models.

Another interesting side aspect is that biologically active material, in the form of bacteria, can survive the tough interstellar environment if the rock in which it is embedded is large enough (larger than a few cm scale). Although only a minute fraction of ejected rocks might harbor these hardcore bacteria, a large number of such potentially biologically active rocks can be captured. This gas-assisted capture is far more efficient mechanism for widespread panspermia, and most systems have probably gained their first life building blocks from somewhere else.

Evgeni Grishin et al. Planet seeding through gas-assisted capture of interstellar objects, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2019).

-------------------------

Tunguska Revisited: 111-Year-Old Mystery Impact Inspires New, More Optimistic Asteroid Predictions
https://phys.org/news/2019-06-tunguska-revisited-year-old-mystery-impact.html



... "Because there are so few observed cases, a lot of uncertainty remains about how large asteroids break up in the atmosphere and how much damage they could cause on the ground," said Lorien Wheeler, a researcher from Ames, working on NASA's Asteroid Threat Assessment Project. "However, recent advancements in computational models, along with analyses of the Chelyabinsk and other meteor events, are helping to improve our understanding of these factors so that we can better evaluate potential asteroid threats in the future."

... Aided by computer resources and the records from surveys of the devastated region made in the previous century, instead of predicting the likelihood of impact rates based on size alone, modelers performed a statistical study of over 50 million combinations of asteroid and entry properties that could produce Tunguska-scale damage when breaking apart at Tunguska-like altitudes.

Some of these new models focused on scenarios that could reproduce the Tunguska treefall pattern plus tree and soil burn distribution. A second looked at combining the recorded atmospheric pressure waves with the seismic signals recorded on the ground at the time.

These new approaches, alongside the validation of the models when applied to the Chelyabinsk event, led to revised estimates of what may have happened on that fateful day in 1908. Four different computer modeling codes led to similar conclusions, strengthening confidence in understanding how rocks break apart in our atmosphere.

The most promising candidate was a stony (not icy) body, between 164 and 262 feet in diameter, entering the atmosphere at around 34,000 miles per hour, depositing the energy of a 10 to 30 megaton explosion, equivalent to the blast energy of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption, at 6 to 9 miles altitude.

When combined with the most recent asteroid population estimates, the researchers concluded the average interval between such impacts to be on the order of millennia—not centuries as had been thought previously, based on prior population and smaller size estimates.

------------------------

Earth is approaching the same "meteor swarm" that may have caused an entire forest to explode in 1908
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/earth-is-approaching-taurid-meteor-swarm-tunguska-event-1908-caused-an-entire-forest-to-explode/

A swarm of meteors heading toward Earth could have the potential to cause a catastrophic impact, a new study from Western Ontario University says. The so-called Taurid swarm is a recurring event that some scientists believe could have played a role in the biggest Earth impact of modern times, in 1908, when a space rock slammed into Siberia with enough force to destroy an entire forest.

What has become known as the Tunguska explosion of 1908 was so powerful that the blast leveled 80 million trees over an 800-square-mile area. It's considered to be a one-in-1,000-year event, according to Western Ontario University. But while the Tunguska explosion occurred just over a century ago, another such phenomenon could occur much sooner than its 1,000-year expectancy, the researchers say. That's why they're focusing new attention on the Taurid swarm.

... This summer, Earth will approach within 30,000,000 km of the center of the Taurid swarm, the study says. That would be Earth's closest encounter with the swarm since 1975 and the best viewing opportunity we'll have until the early 2030s.

This closeness will not only benefit star-gazers, but it also allows the researchers to study the Taurid swarm and its potentially risks.

"There is strong meteoric and NEO evidence supporting the Taurid swarm and its potential existential risks, but this summer brings a unique opportunity to observe and quantify these objects," said David Clark, a Western Ontario University graduate student and first author of the study.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 10:00:06 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #93 on: June 30, 2019, 05:21:38 PM »
Delta Flight captured in video flying past a Lunar Eclipse



vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #94 on: June 30, 2019, 06:14:33 PM »
Kool!  :)
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #95 on: June 30, 2019, 06:38:06 PM »
Kool!  :)

Indeed! This might be one of the coolest things i've ever seen. :)

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #96 on: July 05, 2019, 06:03:09 PM »
cross post...
I saw an alarmist story on an asteroid in the Express and looked up this year's possible problems.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_QV89

The above is actually a very high number, with European scientists estimating a 1 in 7300 chance of impact (1 in 9100 other estimate).

I couldn't find an asteroid thread so I figured this was probably the next best fit. An exceedingly unlikely event, but we will apparently have a better idea of trajectory by the end of this month, so something to keep an eye on. The body is only 100 feet wide but that would still make quite a bang if it did end up impacting.
[Hint:  anybody can cross post an article to another thread, if you're so inclined.  1st: "Quote" button the original, copy all, then close thread without posting.  2nd: open destination thread, "Reply" button, type "cross post" and paste.  Post.    Added step if there are attached images/gifs in the original.  Copy them to your hard drive and attach to the cross post.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #97 on: July 05, 2019, 06:47:01 PM »
Added step if there are attached images/gifs in the original.  Copy them to your hard drive and attach to the cross post.

Or just put the link of the media into img tags.

Like this

No need for duplicates on the forum harddrive. :)

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #98 on: July 05, 2019, 07:15:00 PM »
Sometimes, B_, that doesn't work for me, for some reason.  Other times, the 'original' gets removed and the image is 'lost forever'.  (View the Arctic Maps thread for examples.) Although this happens for off-site images more than previously posted ones.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #99 on: July 05, 2019, 08:29:05 PM »
Shouldn't happen with on-site files unless Neven deletes them manually.

For off-site files, of course, there can never be a guarantee unless it's your own server.

What do people do when Imgur or bit.ly or whatever public service close their doors? Half of the internet would be borken. :(