Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

Off-topic => The rest => Topic started by: Pmt111500 on November 17, 2018, 02:46:17 PM

Title: Astronomical news
Post by: Pmt111500 on November 17, 2018, 02:46:17 PM
Thought "The Rest"-section of ASIF could use some science, astrometrical data has revealed a new companion galaxy to Milky Way, located on the far side, south of Vela constelllation. Very dim of course: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/large-strangely-dim-galaxy-found-lurking-far-side-milky-way
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Pmt111500 on November 22, 2018, 02:05:01 PM
Couldn't find astronomy-thread so might use this thread for extraterrestrial news  8) ::). Just thought some might find it fun to read of other scientics than those related to climate. Similar threads for genetics, archeology, inorganic chemistry, medicine could be made here. The threads for science that is little to none related to climate change, that is. The wolf-rayet thread can be deleted so it won't be a single post thread.

Supernova candidate re-interpreted as potential gamma-ray burster by Aussie astronomers. The cone of the burst is not expected to hit earth:  https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2018/11/20/doomed-star-in-milky-way-threatens-rare-gamma-ray-burst.html
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on November 22, 2018, 03:12:05 PM
We can either go with multiple threads or change the thread title to something more general and keep it in one thread.

I think Neven should pick because it is his site.  ;)

I do like your idea.

We found a new Tabbies-star like star:

stronomers Have Detected a New 'Alien Megastructure' Star, And It Might Give Us The Missing Answers

Between Earth and the galactic core, there's an old, faint star that appears to have something orbiting it, something that's confusing astronomers.

...

Astronomers first noticed VVV-WIT-07's odd periodic flickering during a 2012 survey of the inner Milky Way using the VISTA telescope in Chile. Now they're reporting their find, without being all that sure of what's causing it.

...

In 2012, VVV-WIT-07's amplitude was found to dim slowly for around 11 days, and then rapidly fade to next to nothing over the next 48 days.

The eclipse blocked a whopping 80 percent of the measured light, providing the astronomers with a real mystery. None of the usual explanations accounted for the eclipse.

...

The media attention might well come in handy, but Boyajian dismisses notions that alien ingenuity might be behind it.

"The new data shows that different colours of light are being blocked at different intensities," she said recently.

"Therefore, whatever is passing between us and the star is not opaque, as would be expected from a planet or alien megastructure."

That could mean it's a megastructure with tinted windows. Or maybe it's just time to let the idea go. Sorry.

and more on
https://www.sciencealert.com/a-new-alien-megastructure-has-been-found-and-it-might-soon-give-us-answers

BTW i like the last cited bit. I really dislike the idea of advanced alien societies building Dyson spheres.


Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Neven on November 22, 2018, 04:20:39 PM
Thought "The Rest"-section of ASIF could use some science, astrometrical data has revealed a new companion galaxy to Milky Way, located on the far side, south of Vela constelllation. Very dim of course: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/large-strangely-dim-galaxy-found-lurking-far-side-milky-way

Perfect, thanks!
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: icefisher on November 23, 2018, 11:05:24 PM
Changing light densities may indicate light being reflected by rings of ice crystals (similar to Saturn but much larger) prior to passage of a large gas giant 2-3 times the size of Jupiter.  Another possibility is a binary system with one of them being a young dim star.  Taking gravity, tilt, rotational speed, mass ... etc into account.  Lots and lots of possibilities.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Pmt111500 on November 25, 2018, 02:55:45 PM
One of the oldest stars found. According to some theories old stars were massive and short-lived, this star is way smaller than most population III stars yet found, so it presents some problems for some models of the early universe.
 http://www.astronomy.com/news/2018/11/red-dwarf-is-one-of-the-oldest-in-the-universe
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: oren on November 25, 2018, 07:56:57 PM
pmt, thanks for starting this thread and keeping us updated. It's not ASI or geophysical sciences, but it's interesting.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on November 26, 2018, 10:06:58 PM
NASA's InSight lander has touched down on Mars
https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/26/world/nasa-insight-mars-landing-today/index.html

NASA InSight lander nails Mars touchdown after scary six minutes
https://twitter.com/NASAInSight/status/1067147649386598400/photo/1

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/timeline/landing/status/

Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on November 27, 2018, 02:39:43 PM
New simulation of a black hole by astrophysicist Jordy Davelaar:

https://www.sciencealert.com/this-incredible-simulation-of-a-black-hole-is-getting-us-closer-to-what-one-might-look-like
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: magnamentis on November 27, 2018, 05:40:57 PM
to all german speakers i recommend to to watch all those videos to get an idea:

https://www.br.de/mediathek/sendung/alpha-centauri-av:584f4cc13b467900117c476e

there are many more of those on the initial page, a great crash course in astronomy and astro-physics for noobs and those who love it always like myself, watching every night since 16 years LOL
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on November 30, 2018, 03:48:51 PM
Scientists Have Measured All the Photons Ever Produced in the Observable Universe

The team found that the amount of starlight, or the number of photons (particles of visible light) that stars have emitted throughout the history of the observable universe is 4×10^84 photons. Or, alternatively, 4,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 photons.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2018/11/29/photons-starlight-universe-ever-produced

Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: gerontocrat on November 30, 2018, 09:38:35 PM
The team found that the amount of starlight, or the number of photons (particles of visible light) that stars have emitted throughout the history of the observable universe is 4×10^84 photons. Or, alternatively, 4,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 photons.

Big universe, I found a figure for the observable universe volume as roughly 4×10^32 cubic light-years. Also a cubic light year is is a cube that is 10 trillion kilometers on each side. That is 8.23x10^38 cubic kilometers.
Life of the universe (so far)   13,800,000,000

Doing a bit of arithmetic says (if I got it right)

Photons emitted over life of the universe                                         4E+084
Size of observable universe in Km3                                               3.3E+071
Photons emitted over life of the universe per km3                12,150,668,286,756
Photons emitted over life of the universe per m3                                   12,151
Average Photons emitted per annum by the universe per km3                880
Average Photons emitted per annum by the universe per m3            0.00000088
   

Isn't the universe a dark place.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on December 05, 2018, 05:32:02 PM
Dark matter mystery solved? Oxford University scientists may have solved one of the biggest questions in the universe

...

Dr Farnes suggests that both dark energy and dark matter are a fluid that possess "negative mass". That means in effect that it would be the inversion of normal mass: if you pushed it, it would be propelled towards you.

"We now think that both dark matter and dark energy can be unified into a fluid which possesses a type of 'negative gravity', repelling all other material around them," said Dr Farnes. "Although this matter is peculiar to us, it suggests that our cosmos is symmetrical in both positive and negative qualities."

That proposed fluid appears to work exactly as dark energy does.

"The outcome seems rather beautiful: dark energy and dark matter can be unified into a single substance, with both effects being simply explainable as positive mass matter surfing on a sea of negative masses," he said.


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/dark-matter-energy-solution-theory-negative-mass-astronomy-astrophysics-a8668476.html

Not sure if this will work but it would be nice to fill in the darks.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on December 05, 2018, 06:59:42 PM
Add this to the Black Sea Deluge Hypothesis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sea_deluge_hypothesis) for scientific support of biblical myths (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2000/sep/14/internationalnews.archaeology).

Exploding Meteor 3,700 Years Ago, May Have Obliterated Communities Near the Dead Sea
https://phys.org/news/2018-12-meteor-air-years-obliterating-dead.html

Quote
A meteor that exploded in the air near the Dead Sea 3,700 years ago may have wiped out communities, killed tens of thousands of people, and provided the kernel of truth to an old Bible story. The area is in modern-day Jordan, in a 25 km wide circular plain called Middle Ghor. Most of the evidence for this event comes from archaeological evidence excavated at the Bronze Age city of Tall el-Hammam located in that area, which some scholars say is the city of Sodom from the Bible.

Archaeologists have been digging at the Tall el-Hamman site for 13 years, and have unearthed some pretty convincing evidence supporting the air-burst idea. The findings were presented on November 15th at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research, by archaeologist Phillip Silvia of Trinity Southwest University.

Tall el-Hammam was a thriving city state occupying Middle Ghor. The civilization had occupied the area for over 2,500 years. The city itself held the administrative center of the kingdom, and was protected by a perimeter wall up to 30m (100 ft) thick and up to 15m (50 ft.) high, for a linear distance of over 2.5km. The wall held multiple gates, towers, and likely other defensive features. But all that was obliterated when the meteor pierced the atmosphere and exploded over the area.

Evidence gathered at the Tall el-Hammam site tells the story of the event. When the meteor air-burst occurred, there was an intensely hot and powerful shock wave. The shock wave wiped out all settlements in the area and destroyed an area of 500 sq. km. And the area remained uninhabited for a remarkable 700 years after the event. Several lines of evidence support the likelihood of this event.
Quote
Silvia and Collins say in their paper that the destruction and the damage on walls and other structures in the city is directional, supporting the idea of a shock wave. In the past, archaeologist have wondered if an earthquake could have caused the collapse of the region, but an earthquake would not have caused the type of directional damage that the remaining structures and fortifications display.

A pottery shard was found in the city that had one side melted to glass. Only extreme heat can do that. Examination revealed zircon crystals inside a bubble in the glass which could only have been formed by temperatures over 4000 Celsius. Additionally, the layer of melted clay that turned to glass is only 1 mm, not the entire depth of the shard. This indicates only a short burst of intense heat, rather than long exposure from something like burning petro-chemical eruptions. The research team concluded that the shard was exposed to temperatures between 8,000°C and 12,000°C for less than a few milliseconds. That certainly supports the idea of an airburst.

Signature markers of an airburst event include high levels of platinum, typically 600% above normal background levels, and a high platinum-palladium ratio. (Both of these occur in asteroids and meteors, but are not common on Earth.)

Researchers at the site also found what's called a "melt rock" weighing over 600 grams. It's an agglomeration of three different rocks melted together by extreme heat and covered with a layer of glass. This also contained zirconium crystals, and further analysis of the melt rock concluded that it had probably been exposed to 12,000 degree Celsius temperatures for a few seconds.
(https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-t2nEv0JDb0U/WYZNKc8-bOI/AAAAAAAAFUI/1WjcoFsRK80Dvi98zHG0cXWZHGuI0ZNQQCLcBGAs/s1600/Screenshot_2017-08-05-18-54-44-1.png)

The final piece of evidence concerns what happened to the Tall el-Hammam area after the destruction. This region is considered the best-watered agricultural area in the region, yet after the Tall el-Hammam city-state was destroyed, the area remained unoccupied for about 700 years. What could have caused this, if the extreme heat from the air burst lasted only a few seconds?

The answer lies in the soil, according to the researchers. Six samples from above, through, and below the soil layer from the time of the event were analyzed geochemically. The results showed "salt and sulfate levels > 6 percent (60,000 ppm) in the ash layer and > 5 percent (50,000 ppm) in the soil layers immediately above and below the ash layer," according to the paper. The source of these contaminants had to be the Dead Sea, which borders the Middle Ghor area.

The two scientists say that the massive shockwave and heat wave not only destroyed the settlements, but the shock wave deposited a layer of salts onto the top soil, destroying it and making it unable to support agriculture for hundreds of years. It only takes a salt content of 12,800 ppm to prevent wheat from germinating, and a salt content of 17,900 ppm to prevent barley from growing. Those thresholds were easily exceeded.

The researchers concluded that an airburst with a yield equivalent to a 10 mt nuclear warhead occurred about 1 km above northeast corner of the Dead Sea. They say this adequately explains all of the evidence gathered at Tall el-Hammam.

Open Source: Steven Collins, Phillip Silvia, The Civilization-Ending 3.7KYrBP Event: Archaeological Data, Sample Analyses, and Biblical Implications. (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Phillip_Silvia/publication/286450259_The_Civilization-Ending_37KYrBP_Event_Archaeological_Data_Sample_Analyses_and_Biblical_Implications/links/5669f41208ae430ab4f75280/The-Civilization-Ending-37KYrBP-Event-Archaeological-Data-Sample-Analyses-and-Biblical-Implications.pdf),

The Bible is interesting from a historical perspective, because it sometimes interweaves actual events from history with the Christian mythology. Now that it seems reasonable that a meteor airburst did destroy the area that may have contained Sodom, we can lay to rest the idea that the Christian God sent down fireballs to punish homosexuality. It looks like once again, it was a perfectly natural event that led to an apocalyptic, mythological story, and that what people once attributed to Gods and Goddesses is just nature.

And maybe god was really an alien that gave Lot the heads-up about some 'incoming' heading his way. Who knows?

also BBC: The Mystery Of The Egyptian Desert Glass - BBC Documentary (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_9KnjNtwlA)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_9KnjNtwlA

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libyan_desert_glass
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: SteveMDFP on December 05, 2018, 07:59:40 PM
Dark matter mystery solved? Oxford University scientists may have solved one of the biggest questions in the universe
 

That proposed fluid appears to work exactly as dark energy does.

"The outcome seems rather beautiful: dark energy and dark matter can be unified into a single substance, with both effects being simply explainable as positive mass matter surfing on a sea of negative masses," he said.


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/dark-matter-energy-solution-theory-negative-mass-astronomy-astrophysics-a8668476.html

Not sure if this will work but it would be nice to fill in the darks.

Popular press never gets the explanations right.  The actual paper is here:
https://arxiv.org/abs/1712.07962 (https://arxiv.org/abs/1712.07962)

Seems completely bonkers.  Dark matter exhibits a kind of negative gravity here, repelling ordinary matter.  But nevertheless moves towards normal matter, because its motion is opposite to gravity.  It exerts a positive gravitational *force* on other dark matter, but direction of motion/acceleration is again opposite to that force. 

A theoretical dense dark matter object and ordinary object would accelerate in the same direction, without bound, by gravity.  Bonkers.



Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: sidd on December 05, 2018, 09:33:56 PM
Yes, negative mass is a wonderful thing, we covered this example in class many decades ago. The paper lays it out quite clearly.

"One of the more bizarre properties of negative mass is that which occurs in positive–negative mass particle pairs. If both masses have equal magnitude, then the particles undergo a process of runaway motion. The net mass of the particle pair is equal to zero. Consequently, the pair can eventually accelerate to a speed equal to the speed of light, c . Due to the vanishing mass, such motion is strongly subject to Brownian motion from interactions with other particles. In the alternative cases where both masses have unequal magnitudes, then either the positive or the negative mass may outpace the other – resulting in either a collision or the end of the interaction."

Heeheehee. I like it. I don't believe the paper will hold, but I like it.

sidd
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: pikaia on December 06, 2018, 09:54:45 AM
A physicist talks about the hypothesis and its implications here:-

http://www.astronomyforum.net/astrophysics-forum/258999-new-theory-postulates-de-dm-same.html
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on December 06, 2018, 04:55:19 PM
Not knowing what 96% of the universe is made of is kind of bonkers too.

We will see.

In this way mass is more like the other stuff with a positive and negative side and that makes sense on the idea level. Bit hard to think about because we only live in the positive side here.

PS: Nice summary by notFritz.

Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on December 06, 2018, 07:18:15 PM
Quote
... There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Shakespeare - Hamlet (1.5.167-8)

And yet Quantum Physics is bonkers relative to classical physics. Somehow I think we haven't exhausted all there is to know in physics  ...

Cosmologists Prove Negative Mass Can Exist In Our Universe
https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/cosmologists-prove-negative-mass-can-exist-in-our-universe-250a980320a7

University of Rochester: Device Creates Negative Mass — and a Novel Way To Generate Lasers
http://www.rochester.edu/newscenter/vamivakas-microcavity-negative-mass-generate-lasers-290202/

Quote
University of Rochester researchers have succeeded in creating particles with negative mass in an atomically thin semiconductor, by causing it to interact with confined light in an optical microcavity.

... “By causing an exciton to give up some of its identity to a photon to create a polariton, we end up with an object that has a negative mass (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_mass) associated with it,” Vamivakas explains. “That’s kind of a mind-bending thing to think about, because if you try to push or pull it, it will go in the opposite direction from what your intuition would tell you.”

Other research groups have been experimenting with similar devices, Vamivakas says, but this is the first device to produce particles with negative mass.

The research was funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory.

https://www.nature.com/articles/nphys4303
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: sidd on December 06, 2018, 10:00:08 PM
I should note here that there are many examples of excitations which can have momentum in a different direction than (group) velocity. One famous example is rotons in liquid helium. Another is phonons in a crystal. But that takes us rather far afield.

sidd
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Pmt111500 on December 10, 2018, 07:20:42 PM
Voyager 2 has exited heliosphere, reports NASA. The interstellar probe no longer observes the solar wind. Still, it's a very long way away from the gravitational borders of Sol System. The 41 years old, still working, instrument, that measures the energy and direction of the plasma particles hitting it, has noted the expected change in the direction as the galactic winds of particles start to hit it.

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2018-283
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on December 11, 2018, 06:05:56 PM
Supernovae May Have Killed Off Large Ocean Animals at Dawn of Pleistocene
https://phys.org/news/2018-12-supernovae-large-ocean-animals-dawn.html

About 2.6 million years ago, an oddly bright light arrived in the prehistoric sky and lingered there for weeks or months. It was a supernova some 150 light years away from Earth. Within a few hundred years, long after the strange light in the sky had dwindled, a tsunami of cosmic energy from that same shattering star explosion could have reached our planet and pummeled the atmosphere, touching off climate change and triggering mass extinctions of large ocean animals, including a shark species that was the size of a school bus.

The effects of such a supernova—and possibly more than one—on large ocean life are detailed in a paper just published in Astrobiology.

A supernova 2.6 million years ago may be related to a marine megafaunal extinction at the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary where 36 percent of the genera were estimated to become extinct. The extinction was concentrated in coastal waters, where larger organisms would catch a greater radiation dose from the muons.

Melott said recent papers revealing ancient seabed deposits of iron-60 isotopes provided the "slam-dunk" evidence of the timing and distance of supernovae.

"As far back as the mid-1990s, people said, 'Hey, look for iron-60. It's a telltale because there's no other way for it to get to Earth but from a supernova.' Because iron-60 is radioactive, if it was formed with the Earth it would be long gone by now. So, it had to have been rained down on us. There's some debate about whether there was only one supernova really nearby or a whole chain of them. I kind of favor a combo of the two—a big chain with one that was unusually powerful and close. If you look at iron-60 residue, there's a huge spike 2.6 million years ago, but there's excess scattered clear back 10 million years."

Melott said cancer and mutations would be the most obvious consequences for Earth's biology of a supernova's cosmic rays.

"There isn't a mass extinction, but there is kind of a lot of extinction going on at that time and species turnover," he said. "It's not quite severe enough to call it a mass extinction."

Adrian L. Melott et al, Hypothesis: Muon Radiation Dose and Marine Megafaunal Extinction at the End-Pliocene Supernova (https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/ast.2018.1902), Astrobiology (2018).

(https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0004/galacticneighborhood_frisch.gif)
https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/26aug_localbubble

According to the team, other evidence for a series of supernovae is found in the very architecture of the local universe.

"We have the Local Bubble in the interstellar medium," Melott said. "We're right on its edge. It's a giant region about 300 light years long. It's basically very hot, very low-density gas—nearly all the gas clouds have been swept out of it. The best way to manufacture a bubble like that is a whole bunch of supernovae blows it bigger and bigger, and that seems to fit well with idea of a chain. When we do calculations, they're based on the idea that one supernova that goes off, and its energy sweeps by Earth, and it's over. But with the Local Bubble, the cosmic rays kind of bounce off the sides, and the cosmic-ray bath would last 10,000 to 100,000 years. This way, you could imagine a whole series of these things feeding more and more cosmic rays into the Local Bubble and giving us cosmic rays for millions of years."
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: uniquorn on December 21, 2018, 04:57:37 PM
Mars Express beams back images of ice-filled Korolev crater
A composite picture of the Korolev crater in the northern lowlands of Mars, made from images taken by the Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera overlaid on a digital terrain model. Photograph: Björn Schreiner/FU Berlin/DLR/ESA

The stunning Korolev crater in the northern lowlands of Mars is filled with ice all year round owing to a trapped layer of cold Martian air that keeps the water frozen.
The 50-mile-wide crater contains 530 cubic miles of water ice, as much as Great Bear Lake in northern Canada, and in the centre of the crater the ice is more than a mile thick.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/dec/21/mars-express-beams-back-images-of-ice-filled-korolev-crater
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on December 27, 2018, 05:38:26 PM
New Evidence Suggests a Ninth Planet Lurking At the Edge of the Solar System (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/01/20/new-evidence-suggests-a-ninth-planet-lurking-at-the-edge-of-the-solar-system/)

Quote
Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology announced Wednesday that they have found new evidence of a giant icy planet lurking in the darkness of our solar system far beyond the orbit of Pluto. They are calling it "Planet Nine."

Their paper, published in the Astronomical Journal, describes the planet as about five to 10 times as massive as the Earth.

...  They have inferred its existence from the motion of recently discovered dwarf planets and other small objects in the outer solar system. Those smaller bodies have orbits that appear to be influenced by the gravity of a hidden planet – a "massive perturber." The astronomers suggest it might have been flung into deep space long ago by the gravitational force of Jupiter or Saturn.
Quote
... Brown notes that the putative ninth planet—at 5,000 times the mass of Pluto—is sufficiently large that there should be no debate about whether it is a true planet. Unlike the class of smaller objects now known as dwarf planets, Planet Nine gravitationally dominates its neighborhood of the solar system. In fact, it dominates a region larger than any of the other known planets—a fact that Brown says makes it "the most planet-y of the planets in the whole solar."

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Faoi.com.au%2FExtracts%2F%5B1%5D%2520Planet_Nine_animation.gif&hash=b96d502a4087dee53413b51772f1ccca)
Researchers find evidence of a real ninth planet (http://phys.org/news/2016-01-evidence-real-ninth-planet.html)
Quote
Batygin and Brown realized that the six most distant objects from Trujillo and Shepherd's original collection all follow elliptical orbits that point in the same direction in physical space. That is particularly surprising because the outermost points of their orbits move around the solar system, and they travel at different rates.

"It's almost like having six hands on a clock all moving at different rates, and when you happen to look up, they're all in exactly the same place," says Brown. The odds of having that happen are something like 1 in 100, he says. But on top of that, the orbits of the six objects are also all tilted in the same way—pointing about 30 degrees downward in the same direction relative to the plane of the eight known planets. The probability of that happening is about 0.007 percent. "Basically it shouldn't happen randomly," Brown says. "So we thought something else must be shaping these orbits."
Quote
After examining the orbital periods of these six Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) – Sedna, 2010 GB174, 2004 VN112, 2012 VP113, and 2013 GP136 – they concluded that a hypothetical planet with an orbital period of about 17,117 years (or a semimajor axis of about 665 AU), would have the necessary period ratios with these four objects. This would fall within the parameters estimated by Batygin and Brown for the planet's orbital period (10,000 – 20,000 years).

Their analysis also offered suggestions as to what kind of resonance the planet has with the KBOs in question. Whereas Sedna's orbital period would have a 3:2 resonance with the planet, 2010 GB174 would be in a 5:2 resonance, 2994 VN112 in a 3:1, 2004 VP113 in 4:1, and 2013 GP136 in 9:1. These sort of resonances are simply not likely without the presence of a larger planet.

"For a resonance to be dynamically meaningful in the outer Solar System, you need one of the objects to have enough mass to have a reasonably strong gravitational effect on the other," said the research team. "The extreme Kuiper belt objects aren't really massive enough to be in resonances with each other, but the fact that their orbital periods fall along simple ratios might mean that they each are in resonance with a massive, unseen object."

(https://www.universetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Planet-9-zones-Mine_FEA-580x381.jpg)
Estimates of Planet Nine’s “possible” and “probable” zones. by French scientists based on a careful study of Saturn’s orbit and using mathematical models.
Constraints on the location of a possible 9th planet derived from the Cassini data http://arxiv.org/pdf/1602.06116v3.pdf 

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

Planet 9 Takes Shape (http://phys.org/news/2016-04-planet.html)
https://phys.org/news/2016-04-planet.html

Quote
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.kinja-img.com%2Fgawker-media%2Fimage%2Fupload%2Fs--TrhupTxv--%2Fc_scale%2Cfl_progressive%2Cq_80%2Cw_800%2Fwubx3wqmmitex9tlv8xl.jpg&hash=8a2e9a35290eeb4e52a362b72565814c)

... “For me candidate Planet Nine is a close object, although it is about 700 times further away as the distance between the Earth and the Sun,” noted Linder in a statement. The “ideal” Planet Nine, according to the models, features a mass ten times heavier than Earth, and a radius 3.7 times wider than our planet. Similar to Uranus and Neptune, it has an outer envelope of helium and hydrogen, a layer of gas (also consisting of helium and hydrogen), a water ice layer, a silicate mantle, and an iron core.

The models also projected a temperature of 47 Kelvin (-374 degrees Fahrenheit, -226 degrees Celsius). Planet Nine is bitterly cold—but this data suggests that it’s being heated from the inside.

This means that the planet’s emission is dominated by the cooling of its core, otherwise the temperature would only be 10 Kelvin,” explained Linder.“Its intrinsic power is about 1,000 times bigger than its absorbed power.

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

Was Planet Nine Captured By The Sun During The Cluster Phase? (http://phys.org/news/2016-05-theft-planet-solar.html)

Quote
(https://images.sciencedaily.com/2016/05/160531082201_1_540x360.jpg)

Video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVSEK9yvr3s) Through a computer-simulated study, astronomers at Lund University in Sweden show that it is highly likely that the so-called Planet 9 is an exoplanet. This would make it the first exoplanet to be discovered inside our own solar system. The theory is that our sun, in its youth some 4.5 billion years ago, stole Planet 9 from its original star.

An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is by definition a planet located outside our solar system. Now it appears that this definition is no longer viable. According to astronomers in Lund, there is a lot to indicate that Planet 9 was captured by the young sun and has been a part of our solar system completely undetected ever since.

"It is almost ironic that while astronomers often find exoplanets hundreds of light years away in other solar systems, there's probably one hiding in our own backyard", says Alexander Mustill, astronomer at Lund University.

Stars are born in clusters and often pass by one another. It is during these encounters that a star can "steal" one or more planets in orbit around another star. This is probably what happened when our own sun captured Planet 9.

In a computer-simulated model, Alexander together with astronomers in Lund and Bordeaux has shown that Planet 9 was probably captured by the sun when coming in close contact while orbiting another star.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spaceflightnow.com%2Fnews%2Fn0412%2F01passingstar%2Fpassingstar1.jpg&hash=0c8ef782d0738634f4f97d89e198aefd) (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spaceflightnow.com%2Fnews%2Fn0412%2F01passingstar%2Fpassingstar2.jpg&hash=bf6df6d8881e5bbecb9dbbed4e3f188f) (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spaceflightnow.com%2Fnews%2Fn0412%2F01passingstar%2Fpassingstar3.jpg&hash=db0f0b8a302b30636ad04474ef892ac9)

Simulations show that the glancing flyby shown here in a computer image best explains the current structure of our outer solar system. As the star and sun drew nearer, gravity began to take hold of objects in both systems. As the sun and passing star approach each other, gravity can yank small objects from one solar system to the other. Once the stellar encounter is complete, the disk of each solar system contains a mixture of indigenous and captured dust and planets, as shown in the final computer image. Credit: University of Utah and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

"Planet 9 may very well have been 'shoved' by other planets, and when it ended up in an orbit that was too wide around its own star, our sun may have taken the opportunity to steal and capture Planet 9 from its original star. When the sun later departed from the stellar cluster in which it was born, Planet 9 was stuck in an orbit around the sun", says Alexander Mustill.

"This is the only exoplanet that we, realistically, would be able to reach using a space probe", he says.

Alexander J. Mustill et al. Is there an exoplanet in the Solar system? (http://arxiv.org/pdf/1603.07247.pdf), Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters (2016).

Two Planets Beyond Pluto? (http://earthsky.org/space/two-or-more-planets-beyond-pluto)

Some Stars Capture Rogue Planets (https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/2012-12)

Grand Theft Sedna: How the Sun Might Have Stolen a Mini-Planet (https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27757-grand-theft-sedna-how-the-sun-might-have-stolen-a-mini-planet/?cmpid=RSS%2525257CNSNS%2525257C2012-GLOBAL%2525257Conline-news#.VYfmuPnF8y5)

Quote
Over four billion years ago, our sun stole hundreds of frozen mini-planets from a passing star – and the peculiar planetoid Sedna is one of them.

With its extremely elongated orbit taking it 200 times further from the sun than Neptune every 11,400 years, Sedna has been a mystery ever since its discovery in 2003. Its nearest neighbours, the thousand-plus “ice dwarfs” that populate the Kuiper belt beyond Neptune, are believed to be the frozen remnants of our solar system’s formation.

But Sedna, and a dozen other objects with similarly wonky orbits, are harder to explain. A gravitational kick from a planet in our solar system could never have thrown them into such orbits.

One idea was that Sedna could have been jolted out of place by a passing star, but there was little evidence to back it up.

... Using a low-cost, custom-built supercomputer, the team simulated over 10,000 possible encounters to find out which combination of a star’s mass, fly-by distance and velocity would lead to ice dwarfs being gravitationally captured into Sedna-like orbits.

They conclude that the passing star would have been 80 per cent more massive than the sun, and that it came as close as 34 billion kilometres – 51 times Neptune’s distance. The encounter probably took place when the sun was very young and still a member of a newly born star cluster.

The passing star would itself have stolen hundreds of ice dwarfs from the sun’s Kuiper belt, and flung hundreds more into interstellar space.

Scott Kenyon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who together with Ben Bromley of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City was one of the first to propose the idea, says the simulations are “pretty convincing”.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: ivica on December 27, 2018, 05:53:37 PM
Quote
We are entering the greatest era of discovery in human history, an age of exploration that the thousands of Kepler planets, both confirmed and candidate, only hint at.

Exoplanet Imaging from Space: EXCEDE & Expectations (https://www.centauri-dreams.org/2018/12/26/exoplanet-imaging-from-space-excede-expectations/)
by Paul Gilster on December 26, 2018
at Centauri Dreams

< long read >
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on December 27, 2018, 06:09:29 PM
NASA Wants You — To Find a Missing Planet (http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2017/02/16/planet-9-nasa/98007144/)

Quote
Want to work for NASA from the comforts of your couch? The space agency is looking to fulfill an amateur astronomer's dream — credit for the discovery of a new planet.

NASA is looking for help to find the mysterious and as-yet undiscovered Planet 9, which astronomers think may be the most distant planet in our solar system.

A new website — Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 (https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/marckuchner/backyard-worlds-planet-9) — lets people comb through footage captured by the agency's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/main/index.html) (WISE) mission a few years ago.

The footage shows objects gradually moving across the sky. "There are too many images for us to search through by ourselves," NASA said.

In this case, people are better than computers at spotting and identifying objects, such as a planet, in the footage. Human eyes can easily recognize the important moving objects while ignoring the background stars and other objects that computer programs would flag.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd1jqu7g1y74ds1.cloudfront.net%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F05%2F2852631998QE2_T30_Q62_17_May_2013_zpsfa800503.gif&hash=a824b8205f86d9538f4637c815de6fdc)

If an average citizen spots something that leads to a discovery, he or she will get shared credit with the professional astronomers.

Hunt for Ninth Planet Reveals New Extremely Distant Solar System Objects (http://phys.org/news/2016-08-ninth-planet-reveals-extremely-distant.html)

Quote
...The new objects they have submitted to the Minor Planet Center for designation include 2014 SR349, which adds to the class of the rare extreme trans-Neptunian objects. It exhibits similar orbital characteristics to the previously known extreme bodies whose positions and movements led Sheppard and Trujillo to initially propose the influence of Planet X.

Another new extreme object they found, 2013 FT28, has some characteristics similar to the other extreme objects but also some differences. The orbit of an object is defined by six parameters. The clustering of several of these parameters is the main argument for a ninth planet to exist in the outer solar system. 2013 FT28 shows similar clustering in some of these parameters (its semi-major axis, eccentricity, inclination, and argument of perihelion angle, for angle enthusiasts out there) but one of these parameters, an angle called the longitude of perihelion, is different from that of the other extreme objects, which makes that particular clustering trend less strong.

Another discovery, 2014 FE72, is the first distant Oort Cloud object found with an orbit entirely beyond Neptune. It has an orbit that takes the object so far away from the Sun (some 3000 times farther than Earth) that it is likely being influenced by forces of gravity from beyond our Solar System such as other stars and the galactic tide. It is the first object observed at such a large distance.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.phys.org%2Fnewman%2Fcsz%2Fnews%2F800%2F2016%2F1-huntforninth.jpg&hash=b045bf8b87c948a908a4f509e8adac21)

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

Curious Tilt of the Sun Traced to Undiscovered Planet (http://www.caltech.edu/news/curious-tilt-sun-traced-undiscovered-planet-52710)

Quote
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com%2Fwww-prod-storage.cloud.caltech.edu%2Fstyles%2Farticle_photo%2Fs3%2FPlanet-9-Art-NEWS-WEB.jpg%3Fitok%3D2yZkJdQk&hash=d6da2c8ac344ae25f18d1bebd9edcb87)

Planet Nine—the undiscovered planet at the edge of the Solar System that was predicted by the work of Caltech's Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown in January 2016—appears to be responsible for the unusual tilt of the sun, according to a new study.

The large and distant planet may be adding a wobble to the solar system, giving the appearance that the sun is tilted slightly.

"Because Planet Nine is so massive and has an orbit tilted compared to the other planets, the solar system has no choice but to slowly twist out of alignment," says Elizabeth Bailey, a graduate student at Caltech and lead author of a study announcing the discovery.

All of the planets orbit in a flat plane with respect to the sun, roughly within a couple degrees of each other. That plane, however, rotates at a six-degree tilt with respect to the sun—giving the appearance that the sun itself is cocked off at an angle. Until now, no one had found a compelling explanation to produce such an effect. "It's such a deep-rooted mystery and so difficult to explain that people just don't talk about it," says Brown, the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of Planetary Astronomy.

Brown and Batygin's discovery of evidence that the sun is orbited by an as-yet-unseen planet—that is about 10 times the size of Earth with an orbit that is about 20 times farther from the sun on average than Neptune's—changes the physics. Planet Nine, based on their calculations, appears to orbit at about 30 degrees off from the other planets' orbital plane—in the process, influencing the orbit of a large population of objects in the Kuiper Belt, which is how Brown and Batygin came to suspect a planet existed there in the first place.

"It continues to amaze us; every time we look carefully we continue to find that Planet Nine explains something about the solar system that had long been a mystery," says Batygin, an assistant professor of planetary science.

More Evidence for Ninth Planet Roaming Solar System's Outer Fringes (http://phys.org/news/2016-10-evidence-ninth-planet-roaming-solar.html)

Quote
... In their paper, "Corralling a Distant Planet with Extreme Resonant Kuiper Belt Objects (http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8205/824/2/L22)," Malhotra and her co-authors, Kathryn Volk and Xianyu Wang, point out peculiarities of the orbits of the extreme KBOs that went unnoticed until now: they found that the orbital period ratios of these objects are close to ratios of small whole numbers. An example of this would be one KBO traveling around the Sun once while another takes twice as long, or three times as long, or four times as long etc., but not, say, 2.7 times as long.

According to the authors, such ratios could arise most naturally if the extreme KBOs' orbital periods are in small whole number ratios with a massive planet, which would help to stabilize the highly elliptical orbits of eKBOs

The findings bolster previous work by other scientists that showed that six of those bodies travel on highly eccentric orbits whose long axes all point in the same direction. This clustering of orbital parameters of the most distant KBOs suggested a large, planetary size body shepherding their orbits.

"Our paper provides more specific estimates for the mass and orbit that this planet would have, and, more importantly, constraints on its current position within its orbit," Malhotra said.

The team's calculations also suggest two likely orbital planes for the planet: one moderately close to the mean plane of the solar system and near the mean plane of the four eKBOs at about 18 degrees, and one steeper plane, inclined at about 48 degrees.
Quote
Abstract

The four longest period Kuiper Belt objects have orbital periods close to integer ratios with each other. A hypothetical planet with an orbital period of ~17,117 years and a semimajor axis ~665 au would have N/1 and N/2 period ratios with these four objects. The orbital geometries and dynamics of resonant orbits constrain the orbital plane, the orbital eccentricity, and the mass of such a planet as well as its current location in its orbital path.

Newly Discovered Solar System Objects Resonate with Neptune (http://phys.org/news/2016-07-newly-solar-resonate-neptune.html)

Quote
In their paper, the team members describe the discovery of the two new objects, and how these two new objects have very distant perihelia but don't have extreme semi-major axes or eccentricities like the other high-perihelion extreme trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) such as Sedna and 2012 VP113. In fact, these newly found worlds occupy a region of space just beyond what is known as the "Kuiper Belt edge," which lies about 50 AU from the Sun. Until this most recent discovery, only one object was known to have a low-to-moderate semi-major axis and a perihelion beyond this edge. The team discovered several more of these objects with high perihelion but moderately eccentric orbits. Their semi-major axes are in the range of about 60 to 100 AUs.

What was surprising is that these new objects are all near Neptune Mean Motion Resonances (that is, the locations of their orbits have specific period ratios with respect to that of Neptune). One of the new objects goes around the Sun once every time Neptune goes around 4 times, while the other new objects go around once every time Neptune goes around 3 times. The new objects also have significant inclinations in their orbits and thus are affected by the Kozai resonance, which was first shown to affect high inclination objects by Yoshihide Kozai in 1962. This finding suggests these worlds were captured into this rare orbital region through interactions with Neptune while that planet was migrating outwards in the solar system in the distant past. Neptune was born much closer to the Sun than its current position, and its migration outwards disturbed other, smaller objects into these distant orbits we see today. Thus, these objects give us insights into the movement of Neptune during the very early history of the solar system.

Beyond Neptune, a 200 Km Chunk of Ice is Orbiting the Sun In the Wrong Direction (http://phys.org/news/2016-08-neptune-chunk-ice-orbiting-sun.html)

Quote
... Whatever the cause of Niku's strange orbit (or those TNOs that share its orbital pattern) may be, it is clear that there is more going on in the outer solar system than we thought. And with every new discovery, and every new object catalogued by astronomers, we are bettering our understanding of the dynamics that are at work out there.

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

Is Planet Nine a Rogue Planet?  (https://www.inverse.com/article/26075-rogue-planets-captured-planet-nine)

Quote
Researchers testing whether a much-mythologized object called Planet Nine might indeed be a captured rogue planet found it certainly looks like one. They also performed simulations of various different kinds of rogue encounters with our solar system; they found that if the rogue had a mass equal to or greater than that of Jupiter, it could subsequently leave a physical impact on the configuration of the entire system. James Vesper of New Mexico State University presented the research Friday at the 229th American Astronomical Science meeting in Grapevine, Texas. 

Vesper said their data showed 60 percent of all rogue encounters being “slingshotted” into the galaxy — they come in close to the sun and then shoot right back out. About ten percent of these encounters take one or more planets out with them. If two or more planets are knocked out — but the rogue is captured — Vesper refers to the exchange as a “kick and stay.”
 
(https://fsmedia.imgix.net/b6/75/5d/2d/0869/4b1d/8c23/b7c0b339d0ca/suffice-it-to-say-rogue-planets-can-mess-things-up-in-a-variety-of-ways.png?dpr=2&auto=format,compress&q=75) 

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

New Wrinkles in the Search for “Planet X”: Unseen 'Planetary Mass Object' Signalled by Warped Kuiper Belt (https://phys.org/news/2017-06-unseen-planetary-mass-warped-kuiper.html)

Quote
(https://3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn.net/newman/csz/news/800/2017/unseenplanet.png)

... An unknown, unseen "planetary mass object" may lurk in the outer reaches of our solar system, according to new research on the orbits of minor planets to be published in the Astronomical Journal. This object would be different from—and much closer than—the so-called Planet Nine, a planet whose existence yet awaits confirmation.

In the paper, Kat Volk and Renu Malhotra of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, or LPL, present compelling evidence of a yet-to-be- discovered planetary body with a mass somewhere between that of Mars and Earth. The mysterious mass, the authors show, has given away its presence—for now—only by controlling the orbital planes of a population of space rocks known as Kuiper Belt objects, or KBOs, in the icy outskirts of the solar system.

While most KBOs—debris left over from the formation of the solar system—orbit the sun with orbital tilts (inclinations) that average out to what planetary scientists call the invariable plane of the solar system, the most distant of the Kuiper Belt's objects do not. Their average plane, Volk and Malhotra discovered, is tilted away from the invariable plane by about eight degrees. In other words, something unknown is warping the average orbital plane of the outer solar system.

... A possible alternative to an unseen object that could have ruffled the plane of outer Kuiper Belt objects could be a star that buzzed the solar system in recent (by astronomical standards) history, the authors said.

"A passing star would draw all the 'spinning tops' in one direction," Malhotra said. "Once the star is gone, all the KBOs will go back to precessing around their previous plane. That would have required an extremely close passage at about 100 AU, and the warp would be erased within 10 million years, so we don't consider this a likely scenario."
http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/solar-system/new-wrinkles-in-the-search-for-planet-x/

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

Evidence is Growing for Existence of Planet Nine (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/go-for-launch/os-nasa-says-planet-nine-does-exist-20171016-story.html)

Quote
Astronomers announced in 2016 that a Planet 9 might exist. Their theory was based on the way some trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs behave.

The new research announced on October 17 works with the orbits of trans-Neptunian objects, too. It’s led by Juliette Becker, a graduate student in the Department of Astronomy at University of Michigan. Becker’s work consists of a large set of computer simulations, which, the researchers say, uncovered two findings about trans-Neptunian objects, also known as TNOs. Their statement explained:
Quote
First, the researchers established a version of Planet 9 that would most likely cause our solar system to look the way it currently does, by preventing the TNOs from being destroyed or thrown out of the solar system.

Second, the simulations predict that there is a process that they call resonance hopping by which a TNO jumps between stable orbits. This process can prevent the TNOs from being ejected from the solar system.
There are now five different lines of observational evidence pointing to the existence of Planet 9. If you were to remove this explanation and imagine Planet 9 does not exist, then you generate more problems than you solve. All of a sudden, you have five different puzzles, and you must come up with five different theories to explain them.

… it is now harder to imagine our solar system without a Planet 9 than with one.


Evaluating the Dynamical Stability of Outer Solar System Objects in the Presence of Planet Nine (http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-3881/aa7aa2/pdf), https://arxiv.org/abs/1706.06609
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on December 27, 2018, 06:15:08 PM
A Million Years From Now, Another Star Will Visit Our Solar System
https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/close-stellar-encounters-surge/
https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/solar-system/news/a28043/two-suns/

Quote
(https://cdna.artstation.com/p/assets/images/images/010/188/366/large/gimena-ferrari-tattoinebinarysunset.jpg?1523042202)

This may be a problem for any humans still around.

Dwarf star Gliese 710, which we've known about for some time, could now arrive in 1.29 million years, instead of the previously calculated 1.36 million years.

Berski and Dybczyński found that Gliese 710 would enter the Oort cloud to pass by the Sun a distance of about 13,365 astronomical units (each astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and the Sun).

According to the new research, it will graze us at a distance of 4,303 AU. That's not actually very close - it's over 100 times the distance to Pluto, which orbits the Sun at an average of 39.5 AU. But it still has the potential to disrupt the Solar System.

That'll put it 24 light days, or 400 billion miles, away from us, 4,300 times farther from Earth than the sun. But that's close enough to have an impact. At that time, Gliese 710 will shine three times brighter than Mars. More importantly, its gravity could shoot comets and frozen planet into our solar system, putting them on a potential collision course with Earth.

And that's not everything. Gliese 710 is not the only star that’s coming our way. Gaia, launched in 2013, has measured the positions and trajectories of millions of stars. Using this data, we now know that out of 300,000 trajectories, 16 will travel within 37 trillion miles around the sun
 (1 light year) in the next 1,000,000 years, close enough to have an impact on our solar system. And there are many trajectories yet to be measured. Calculations show the systems are massive enough to give the Oort Cloud a good stir.

https://arxiv.org/abs/1805.07581

That's the sort of thing that caused the Late Heavy Bombardment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Heavy_Bombardment)

A Visiting Star Jostled Our Solar System 70,000 Years Ago
https://gizmodo.com/a-visiting-star-jostled-our-solar-system-70-000-years-a-1823954398

Quote
(https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--4eWxOKtu--/c_scale,f_auto,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/iuatbcdzpfjug80ulc59.jpg)

Around the same time our ancestors left Africa, a dim red dwarf star came to within 0.8 light-years of our Sun, marking the closest known flyby of a star to our Solar System. New research suggests Scholz’s Star, as it’s known, left traces of this interstellar encounter by perturbing some comets in the outer Oort Cloud.

Though Scholz’s Star (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholz%27s_Star) visited the outer reaches of our Solar System some 70,000 years ago, awareness of this celestial meet-and-greet first emerged three years ago in a study published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

According to this research, a dim red dwarf star, along with its even dimmer brown dwarf companion—a kind of bloated gas giant that failed to ignite into a full-blown star—came to within 0.8 light-years of our Sun (4.7 trillion miles, or 50,600 AU, where 1 AU is the average distance of the Earth to the Sun), and possibly as close as 0.6 light-years (3.53 trillion miles, or 37,900 AU). That’s a close shave, at least by cosmological standards. By comparison, MU69, a Kuiper Belt object that will be visited by the New Horizons spacecraft on New Year’s Day 2019, is about 43 AU from the Sun.

(https://images.derstandard.at/img/2018/03/23/sternenhimmel.jpg?tc=501&s=f02705ae)

A Newly Discovered Solar System Object Hints at Hidden Planet Nine (https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-new-worlds-extraordinary-orbit-points-to-planet-nine-20180515/)

Quote
Astronomers found a strange dwarf world that provides even more evidence that a giant planet is lurking at the edge of our solar system.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ilgiornale.it%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fstyles%2Flarge%2Fpublic%2Ffoto%2F2016%2F01%2F20%2F1453322463-nuovi-indizi.jpg&hash=bafa74d01c09b15cf1f0d917523c4114)

... observations suggests the gravitational influence of another planet is altering the distant objects' orbits. Now additional findings of a newly discovered planetary object with an odd orbit support the case for an undiscovered Planet Nine. The new object, called 2015 BP519, takes an elliptical journey around the Sun spanning from 35 to 862 times the radius of Earth’s own orbit. 2015 BP519 orbits at a 54 degree angle compared to nearly everything in the inner solar system, and the theory is that Planet Nine is responsible.
Quote
In the new paper, they describe how they ran many simulations of the object within the known solar system, letting the clock run forward and backward 4.5 billion years at a time. Nothing could explain how the object landed in such a tilted orbit. It wasn’t until they added in a ninth planet — a planet with characteristics that perfectly match Batygin and Brown’s predictions — that the wacky orbit finally made sense.The second you put Planet Nine in the simulations, not only can you form objects like this object, but you absolutely do,” said Juliette Becker, a graduate student at Michigan and the lead author on the new paper. A strong and sustained interaction with Planet Nine appears to be the only way to pump up the object’s inclination, pushing it away from the plane of the solar system.There is no other reasonable way to populate the Kuiper belt with such highly inclined bodies,” Batygin said. “I think the case for the existence of Planet Nine is now genuinely excellent.”

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1805.05355.pdf 

(https://imagens.canaltech.com.br/206312.429920-orbita-do-Planeta-9.jpg)
https://twitter.com/dAArkEnergy/status/994593248017514497

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

Search for Planet X Gets a Boost with the Discovery of a Super Distant Object (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/oct/02/dwarf-planet-the-goblin-discovery-planet-nine-oort-cloud)

Quote
Massively elongated orbit suggests object is influenced by theoretical giant Planet Nine in Oort Cloud region

An extremely distant dwarf planet, named The Goblin, has been discovered in observations that are redefining the outer reaches of the solar system.

Astronomers made the discovery while hunting for a hypothetical massive planet, known as Planet Nine, that is suspected to be in orbit far beyond Pluto in a mysterious region known as the Oort Cloud. Planet Nine has not yet been seen directly, but The Goblin appears to be under the gravitational influence of a giant unseen object, adding to astronomers’ certainty that it is out there.
Quote
... “Each time we find another one of these smaller objects, it will lead us to constrain where the bigger planet could be”
The newly discovered icy world, estimated to be just 300km across, is in an extremely elongated orbit. At its closest, it gets about two and a half times as far from the sun as Pluto. Then it heads off to the outermost fringes of the solar system, to almost 60 times further out than Pluto, taking an astounding 40,000 years to loop once around the sun. For 99% of its orbit, it would be too faint to see.

The tiny rock — eloquently named TG387 and nicknamed “The Goblin” — was spotted by astronomers at the Carnegie Institution of Science using a giant Japanese observatory in Hawaii called Subaru.

(https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/831bc784e19bae5941a00dbad644f76e1e6384d1/0_0_1400_788/master/1400.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=fc8bd9f49677589fc4f8c410a2aacc92)

Intriguingly the orbits of the three objects discovered so far appear to be clustered together, suggesting that they are being shepherded by a giant, unknown object. This has pointed astronomers to the existence of a ninth, super-Earth sized planet.

Right now, there are 14 far-out space rocks that all share similar orbit patterns, suggesting that this planet is out there. Their paths are all super elongated, and they all cluster together in the same area when they approach the Sun. Plus, their orbits are all tilted alike, and they point in the same general direction, as if something big has pushed them into similar places. These objects are the strongest lines of evidence astronomers have for Planet X, and finding a new one that matches this pattern reinforces that idea that this planet is more than just a theory.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on December 27, 2018, 07:59:31 PM
NASA Is Taking a New Look at Searching for Life Beyond Earth (https://phys.org/news/2018-09-nasa-life-earth.html)

Quote
... Technosignatures are signs or signals, which if observed, would allow us to infer the existence of technological life elsewhere in the universe. The best known technosignature are radio signals, but there are many others that have not been explored fully.

In April 2018, new interest arose in Congress for NASA to begin supporting the scientific search for technosignatures as part of the agency's search for life. As part of that effort, the agency is hosting the NASA Technosignatures Workshop (https://www.seti.org/event/nasa-technosignatures-workshop) in Houston on Sept. 26-28, 2018, with the purpose of assessing the current state of the field, the most promising avenues of research in technosignatures and where investments could be made to advance the science.

The Search for Directed Intelligence: https://arxiv.org/abs/1604.02108

Plenty of places to visit close by ...

Quote
(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XyweNCjH_ps/Vvi0Jgb1f6I/AAAAAAAAAxM/OO-4MrmzhkMbRlBQvJ2ehiCBqHgWoZjow/s600/Exoplanets%2Bwithin%2B20%2Bpc-2016-dimmer-names.gif)
73 exoplanetary host stars sorted by distance from our Sun. Spectral types are indicated by the color key at lower right. The inner circle has a radius of 5 parsecs, and each successive ring represents an increment of 5 parsecs.

Our Neighborhood: (http://www.astro.gsu.edu/~riedel/10pc2011.html)

Image: http://www.astro.gsu.edu/~riedel/images/10pc2010_pub.gif
Image: http://www.astro.gsu.edu/~riedel/images/25pc2012.0104.gif

Number of ExoPlanets - Range: 20 Parsecs
http://backalleyastronomy.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-nearest-20-parsecs.html

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

Say Goodbye to Saturn’s Rings: Saturn is Losing Its Rings at 'Worst-Case-Scenario' rate
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181217120032.htm

Quote
... The new research suggests that the rings are recent and temporary. Like some previous studies, it suggests a much younger age for the rings than 4 1/2 billion years. The new research indicates that they are unlikely to be older than 100 million years. Research suggests an even shorter timeframe for the rings survival, giving them less than 100 million years to live.

Maybe it played at part in the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on December 28, 2018, 02:14:46 PM
Ice and dust particles from Saturns ring...i don´t see how.



Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on December 29, 2018, 04:52:30 PM
Ice and dust particles from Saturns ring...i don´t see how.

Let's look at it backwards.

65 million years ago a 6 mile chuck whacked the Yucatan and that was an E.L.E. for the dominant species, dinosaurs.

That chunk came from somewhere.

The dinosaur killer might have arrived from the main asteroid belt, though NOT from the Baptistina asteroid family (http://Baptistina).

Quote
Ejection from the asteroid belt is thought to normally take many tens of millions of years. Resonances (http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/cosmos/K/Kirkwood+Gaps) are areas in the main belt where gravity nudges from Jupiter and Saturn can act like a pinball machine to fling asteroids out of the main belt and into the region near Earth from time to time.

Or, it might have arrived from farther out

Here's my hypothesis with a couple of cognitive leaps thrown in.

Based on the the recent article, Saturn didn't have rings prior to 100 (+/- 20) million years ago. So where did 3 × 10^19 kg of ice and dust come from?

Quote
Based on Voyager observations, the total current mass of the rings are estimated to be about 3 × 10^19 kg (3 quintillion kg). Wikipedia

First, based on the rate of erosion of the rings, the mass of the rings was 3-5 times larger 100 million years ago (e.g. 1.0-1.5 x 10^20 kg - close to the mass of Enceladus)

Quote
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/83/PIA17202_-_Approaching_Enceladus.jpg/280px-PIA17202_-_Approaching_Enceladus.jpg)
Enceladus is about 500 kilometers (310 mi) in diameter - mass = 1.1×10^20.

Second; to end up with 1.0-1.5 x 10^20 kg of rock and ice particles (~ mass of Enceladus) we would need to slam 2 objects with ~ mass of Enceladus together with enough force such that both are pulverized and have enough deltaV to avoid reconstituting into another moon.

Why 2?

Quote
Because ~ 1/3 of the debris of the resulting collision will be aimed (down) at Saturn's gravity well and fall onto the planet; 1/3 of the debris will retain the orbital path of the original moon; and 1/3 of the debris the will be aimed away (up) from Saturn and leave the system.

That leaves a lot of debris that has the potential to make it's way sun-ward (toward Earth), even if 99.99999% of it is not heading in our general direction.

So maybe one of those chucks had our name on it and, after 20-40 million years, it fell into Earth's gravity well.

The rest is history. Or not.  ;)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on December 30, 2018, 02:38:03 PM
Fair enough although i don´t think there is a way to prove or disprove the hypothesis or my rival one that it was just a rock from space.  ;)


The new year will bring the first close up pictures from a Kuiper belt object...if the camera is pointed correctly:

History will be made on Tuesday when Nasa's New Horizons probe sweeps past the icy world known as Ultima Thule.

Occurring some 6.5 billion km (4 billion miles) from Earth, the flyby will set a new record for the most distant ever exploration of a Solar System object by a spacecraft.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46699737
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on December 30, 2018, 03:40:27 PM
Just like with the Pluto flyby, the New Horizons mission team is gathered at John Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, where they will monitor the spacecraft from the facility’s mission operations center.

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/Where-to-Watch.php
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/index.php#News

“It’s ironic: NASA is doing the farthest exploration in its history and they got their hands tied behind their back by being caught in the government shutdown,” Alan Stern, the principal investigator for the New Horizons mission, said. “We have malfunction procedures for almost everything, but we didn’t think of a malfunction procedure for the government shutting down during the flyby.”

In a last minute win, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced on Twitter that the events will be shown on NASA TV

NASA's Live Stream

https://youtu.be/21X5lGlDOfg

New Horizons won’t send a signal back to Earth until a few hours after it whizzes past the rock, called Ultima Thule. So sometime between 9:45 and 10:45AM ET, January 1, the mission team should receive that signal confirming a success.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on December 31, 2018, 10:45:03 PM
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fpluto.jhuapl.edu%2Fwhereisnh%2FPlutoFlyby%2Fnhpf20181201_0742.svg&hash=6eb5fafc09aa53353aae2fc1a63c6d2c)

7 hours to intercept
400,000 km to intercept
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on January 01, 2019, 05:16:43 PM
New Horizons: Nasa Probe Survives Flyby of Ultima Thule 
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/science-environment-46729898

Quote
The US space agency's New Horizons probe has made contact with Earth to confirm its successful flyby of the icy world known as Ultima Thule.

The encounter occurred some 6.5bn km (4bn miles) away, making it the most distant ever exploration of an object in our Solar System.

New Horizons acquired gigabytes of photos and other observations during the pass.

It will now send these home over the coming months.
https://media.tenor.com/images/1ec915eb76dcff7edf9e5c195b70363f/tenor.gif 

Quote
Images taken during the spacecraft's approach — which brought New Horizons to within just 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometers) of Ultima at 12:33 a.m. EST — revealed that the Kuiper Belt object may have a shape similar to a bowling pin, spinning end over end, with dimensions of approximately 20 by 10 miles (32 by 16 kilometers).

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fpluto.jhuapl.edu%2FGalleries%2FFeatured-Images%2Fpics800wide%2FJan1-2018_press-lease_Image1.png&hash=617491b4451b225d8868cae4c3bd1f12)

Flyby data have already solved one of Ultima's mysteries, showing that the Kuiper Belt object is spinning like a propeller with the axis pointing approximately toward New Horizons. This explains why, in earlier images taken before Ultima was resolved, its brightness didn't appear to vary as it rotated.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fpluto.jhuapl.edu%2FGalleries%2FFeatured-Images%2Fpics800wide%2Frotation.gif&hash=5b9e3c33a6bc486194a553af5dbe4429)

Hi-res images will be downloaded over the next 20 month's.
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=20190101
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on January 02, 2019, 10:31:50 PM
NASA's New Horizons Mission Reveals Entirely New Kind of World 
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=20190102

We are seeing a physical representation of the beginning of planetary formation, frozen in time 

The new images — taken from as close as 17,000 miles (27,000 kilometers) on approach — revealed Ultima Thule as a "contact binary," consisting of two connected spheres. End to end, the world measures 19 miles (31 kilometers) in length. The team has dubbed the larger sphere "Ultima" (12 miles/19 kilometers across) and the smaller sphere "Thule" (9 miles/14 kilometers across).

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fpluto.jhuapl.edu%2FGalleries%2FFeatured-Images%2Fpics%2F20190102-pr.png&hash=1cbd77a637c476969b1e96bb6925fb82)

https://twitter.com/i/status/1080542930991865856
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: johnm33 on January 07, 2019, 11:04:18 PM
Eugene Bagashov on Oumuamua, it's curious trajectory amongst other things.
https://youtu.be/p3JhEYnsJQs
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on January 17, 2019, 06:56:22 PM
Some diversions until NASA government shutdown is over...

... Interesting list of papers written for Defense Intelligence Agency’s Advanced Aerospace Threat and Identification Program (http://amp.timeinc.net/thedrive/the-war-zone/20797/the-pentagon-paid-for-these-reports-on-warp-drive-extra-dimensions-anti-gravity-and-more?source=dam) program. The list was declassified at the request of the Federation of American Scientists:
https://fas.org/irp/dia/aatip-list.pdf

Sample:

- Traversable Wormholes, Stargates and Negative Energy;
- Anti-gravity for Aerospace Applications;
- Positron (Anti-matter) Aerospace Propulsion;
- Concepts for Extracting Energy from the Quantum Vacuum;
- Aerospace Applications of Programmable Matter;
- Negative Mass Propulsion
- Aneutronic Fusion Propulsion;
- Cognitive Limits on Simultaneous Control of Multiple Unmanned Spacecraft
- Invisibility Cloaking


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

What U.S. Submariners Actually Say About Detection Of So-Called Unidentified Submerged Objects
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/25784/what-u-s-submariners-actually-say-about-detection-of-so-called-unidentified-submerged-objects

Quote
... “I was sitting there zoning out a little because I was sea sick and all of a sudden the sonar kid shouts 'fast mover, fast mover' and I’m jolted awake – thinking ‘What’s happening? Is it a torpedo?’

“The executive officer comes out and the operator shows him the path of the object and the officer says 'How fast is that going?'

And the kid said 'several hundred knots'. I start to lean forward to listen in – and the officer said ‘Can you confirm it?’

“So he goes to another sonar machine and confirmed it wasn’t a machine anomaly - it was real. I thought ‘Wow that is incredible’.

“When the sonar guy said ‘What do I do with this?’ the officer said ‘log it and dog it’ - in other words log it and bury it.”

Four years later Marc said he was doing some more contract work for the Navy when he spoke to a senior naval figure about what he saw.

“I asked him ‘Can you tell me about the Fast Mover Programme?'" Marc explained.

“He looked at me and said 'Sorry Marc I can’t talk about that programme'.

“So he basically confirmed to me that the programme exists - he said everything without seeing anything.

“What that told me was that USOs are common – we even have a programme in place to classify and log and determine the speed of them and it goes into a vault.” ...


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

Swarms of Tiny Satellites Could Act Like One Giant Space Telescope
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-01/aabu-nns010319.php
https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/04/swarms-of-tiny-satellites-could-act-like-one-giant-space-telescope/

Quote
New research suggests that in the near future giant telescopes like the Webb might be replaced (or at least augmented) by swarms of tiny spacecraft working in concert.

... As documented in a paper published today in Optica, the team leapfrogs existing methods in an interesting way. Two satellites move in synchrony around the edge of a circle, collecting data as they go and beaming it to a third stationary one; this circle describes the synthetic aperture the two cameras are creating.

“We found that you only need a small part of a telescope lens to obtain quality images,” explained BGU grad student Angika Bulbul, who led the research, in a news release. “Even by using the perimeter aperture of a lens, as low as 0.43 percent, we managed to obtain similar image resolution compared to the full aperture area of mirror/lens-based imaging systems.”

In other words, they were basically able to get the results of a camera 50 times the size. That would be impressive anywhere, but up in space it’s especially important.

(https://mk0nextbigfuturj5ioe.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/nanosat2.jpeg?w=350)

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

New paper Indicates Potential for Primitive Life on Icy Barnard b Super-Earth Planet if Geothermal Activity Exists
https://phys.org/news/2019-01-paper-potential-primitive-life-icy.html

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

Habitable Planets Around Red Dwarf Stars Might Not Get Enough Photons to Support Plant Life
https://phys.org/news/2019-01-habitable-planets-red-dwarf-stars.html

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

Citizen Scientists Find New World with NASA Telescope
https://phys.org/news/2019-01-citizen-scientists-world-nasa-telescope.html

Quote
Using data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, citizen scientists have discovered a planet roughly twice the size of Earth located within its star's habitable zone, the range of orbital distances where liquid water may exist on the planet's surface. The new world, known as K2-288Bb, could be rocky or could be a gas-rich planet similar to Neptune. Its size is rare among exoplanets—planets beyond our solar system.

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

TESS Discovers Its Third New Planet
https://phys.org/news/2019-01-tess-planet-longest-orbit.html

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

Scientists Predict Sun Will One Day Turn Into Giant Crystal Ball
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/someday-our-dying-sun-will-turn-massive-cosmic-crystal-180971255/

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

Elon Musk Shows Off Prototype of Mars-Bound Rocket, Starship
https://phys.org/news/2019-01-elon-musk-prototype-mars-bound-rocket.html

(https://www.thebaghdadpost.com/Content/Upload/Editor/Image1_12019615589352965080.png) (https://i.pinimg.com/236x/00/10/87/001087e3ca9944c70756b5abbfd601ad--pulp-fiction-science-fiction.jpg)

Musk noted that the final rocket has a pointier tip................................................... 1947 ... all aboard!

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

Steam-Propelled Spacecraft Prototype Can Theoretically Explore Celestial Objects "Forever"
https://phys.org/news/2019-01-steam-propelled-spacecraft-prototype-theoretically-explore.html

Quote
UCF planetary research scientist Phil Metzger worked with Honeybee Robotics of Pasadena, California, which developed the World Is Not Enough spacecraft prototype that extracts water from asteroids or other planetary bodies to generate steam and propel itself to its next mining target.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: johnm33 on January 17, 2019, 10:11:55 PM
"Elon Musk shows off -----" Very Dan Dare (https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-dan-dare-1950s-assembled-1694822649)
 Interesting read on Venus, nice animations too.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07919-y
added link
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on January 18, 2019, 01:15:29 AM
Very 'Dan Dare' ...

? ... I had to look that up. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Dare

(https://www.toytent.com/TrueReplica/pics/4078.jpg)

On this side of the pond it's more Flash Gorden and Rocketship Ajax ...

Quote
Flash! Ah-aah
Savior of the universe
Flash! Ah-aah
He'll save everyone of us…

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/85/67/4a/85674ae417a3b50ab6806d73a7378ff3.gif)

Re: Venus - Interestng (but I like our weather here)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on January 23, 2019, 05:05:37 PM
Planetary Scientists Puzzle Over the Mysterious Slope Streaks on Mars
https://phys.org/news/2019-01-planetary-scientists-puzzle-mysterious-slope.html

Quote
Since they were first observed in the 1970s by the Viking missions, the slope streaks that periodically appear along slopes on Mars have continued to intrigue scientists.

Despite the progress that has been made in studying these features, the scientific community remains divided into two camps when it comes to what causes Martian slope streaks. Those who belong to the "wet" mechanism school of thought believe that liquid water could be responsible for their creation, possibly as a result of groundwater springs, melting surface ice, or the formation of brines (salt solutions).

In contrast, those who fall into the "dry" mechanism school theorize that dust avalanches are responsible. These, in turn, could be caused by air fall deposits, subsurface melting, or localized disturbances – ranging by rockfalls, meteorite impacts, or tectonic activity ("marsquakes"). Both of these explanations have limitations when it comes to explaining observed slope streaks.

(https://wol-prod-cdn.literatumonline.com/cms/attachment/189fb208-d730-4b64-9ac4-90db77f4d28c/rog20180-fig-0006-m.png)

Using a terrestrial analog from Bolivia, a research team from Sweden recently conducted a study that explored the mechanisms for streak formation and suggest that wet mechanisms appear to account for more, which could have serious implications for future missions to Mars.

The subject of what causes these streaks and other transient surface features is important for many reasons, not the least of which has to do with planetary protection. In Sept. 2016, the Curiosity rover encountered dark streaks while driving along the sloping terrain of Mount Sharp, which required that it alter its path to avoid contact and possible contamination of the site.

This decision was based on the possibility that subsurface water was responsible for the streak, and could be an indication of subsurface life. If slope streaks are indeed linked to seasonal water flows, then we proper measures will need to be put in place for future missions, especially crewed ones.

The study, titled "Are Slope Streaks Indicative of Global Scale Aqueous Processes on Contemporary Mars? (http://)" recently appeared in the Reviews of Geophysics
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on January 23, 2019, 08:18:10 PM
Mysterious Galaxy Measured Exquisitely, And Contains No Dark Matter At All

...

DF2 is strange, even for a dwarf galaxy. For starts, it’s ultra-diffuse, with no central core, no spiral arms, and no beehive-like elliptical structure. An instrument like Dragonfly is optimized for finding structures like this one with such low surface brightnesses; DF2 is one of only three or four known ultra-diffuse galaxies. It looks like a puffed-up ball of stars, and nothing more.

It is surrounded by a halo that’s populated with globular clusters, except its globular clusters are weird: they’re twice as large as the globulars we see in other galaxies. They’re also old: at least 9 billion years have passed since new stars have formed in them. But the strangest thing of all is that the motions of the stars inside of it, as well as the motions of the globular clusters around it, are so small. If dark matter were abundant, they’d move around at speeds of ±30 km/s, give or take a little. But that’s not what we see at all.

...

The stars and the globular clusters aren’t moving at ±16 km/s, as the prior team indicated, but at a mere ±7-or-8 km/s. By measuring the stars directly, they found a stellar velocity dispersion of ±8.4 km/s, while the globular clusters gave a slightly lower value of ±7.8 km/s. These values are consistent with what you’d expect from the mass of stars inside the galaxy alone; there appears to be no dark matter present inside this galaxy at all.

The globular clusters are found farther out than the stars by about a factor of 4, which is where the effects of a dark matter halo should be more significant. The fact that the the velocity dispersion remains unchanged between the stars and globular clusters, at least to the best resolution of our instruments, indicates that this galaxy may be the first example of a new population whose existence was predicted by theory: of ultra-diffuse, dark-matter-free galaxies.

For details and pictures:
https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/mysterious-galaxy-measured-exquisitely-and-contains-no-dark-matter-at-all-753338968df6
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on January 24, 2019, 05:15:07 PM
Top Half of SpaceX's Mars Test Rocket Blew Over and Will Take 'A Few Weeks to Repair'
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/23/elon-musk-spacex-starship-rocket-blew-over-a-few-weeks-to-repair.html

Quote
SpaceX is facing a bit of a setback in the development of its Martian rocket prototype, after high winds blew over the top half of the vehicle.

(https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/valleymorningstar.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/cc/5ccc39c9-8c22-5b92-a39c-63753f1de474/5c49019077b15.image.jpg?resize=320%2C187)
... It's just a flesh wound

CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet Wednesday that winds of 50 miles per hour "broke the mooring blocks late last night" and blew over the rocket's "fairing" – the large nosecone at the top of the rocket. The damage "will take a few weeks to repair," Musk added.

(https://news-24.fr/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/starshipmariapointer2-450x300.jpg)
What would Dan Dare do? ...

(https://markbould.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/the-quatermass-xperiment-crashed-rocket.jpg)

A ball peen hammer and a little Bondo®, and she'll be right as rain.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on February 02, 2019, 02:49:51 PM
Meteorites Strike Western Cuba
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/02/01/americas/meteorite-cuba/index.html

Quote
Havana, Cuba (CNN) A meteor broke apart over western Cuba on Friday, hurtling numerous pieces of various sizes to the ground in several towns in Pinar del Rio province, the state-run Granma newspaper reported.

One meteorite landed with a "loud explosion" in the town of Viñales, Granma said.

Researchers from several Cuban agencies, including the Institute of Geophysics and Astronomy, confirmed the meteorite strikes, Granma reported.

Quote
@NWSKeyWest
 radar may have detected the meteor that affected western Cuba earlier today. At 121 pm, a signature was detected near Viñales, Cuba, at a height of over 26,000 ft above ground level. 
https://mobile.twitter.com/NWSKeyWest/status/1091469022925852673

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DyXCfFqUYAAPXKz?format=jpg&name=medium)

In the video below, what seems to be a sonic boom can be heard at 0:46. Objects moving faster than the speed of sound produce these loud shockwaves, which are powerful enough to break glass

https://youtu.be/23nXImqaGoc
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on February 08, 2019, 05:30:06 PM
Fireball Over Cuba Exploded With the Energy of 1,400 Tons of TNT, NASA Says
https://gizmodo.com/fireball-over-cuba-exploded-with-the-force-of-1-400-ton-1832346993

Quote
... According to new data posted by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies and flagged by CNET, the object’s collision with the atmosphere released the energy of around 1.4 kilotons (1,400 tons) of TNT.

the detonation over Cuba was one of the more notable fireballs since the meteor that hit Chelyabinsk, Russia near the nation’s border with Kazakhstan in 2013. Scientists say that explosion detonated with the force of over 470 kilotons of TNT, or nearly as strong as the MK-18 “Ivy King” in 1952, the largest pure-fission bomb ever tested by the U.S. at 500 kilotons. According to a Tulane University fact sheet, the Chelyabinsk object was probably around 56-65 feet (17-20 meters) in diameter.

The object that exploded over Cuba was likely much smaller, probably around the size of a van. Only minor property damage such as shattered windows—probably from the sonic boom generated by the object surpassing the speed of sound—was reported to have resulted, with no injuries.

(https://orig00.deviantart.net/f332/f/2012/105/3/7/ivy_king___animated_gif_by_thehappyspaceman01-d4wau39.gif)
Ivy King - 1952
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on February 11, 2019, 08:08:00 PM
NASA Finds Possible Second Impact Crater Under Greenland Ice
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-02/nsfc-nfp021119.php

A NASA glaciologist has discovered a possible second impact crater buried under more than a mile of ice in northwest Greenland.

His follows the finding, announced in November 2018, of a 19-mile-wide crater beneath Hiawatha Glacier - the first meteorite impact crater ever discovered under Earth's ice sheets. Though the newly found impact sites in northwest Greenland are only 114 miles apart, at present they do not appear to have formed at the same time.

If the second crater, which has a width of over 22 miles, is ultimately confirmed as the result of a meteorite impact, it will be the 22nd largest impact crater found on Earth.

https://youtu.be/2AFq2rti3-4

... Following the finding of that first crater, MacGregor checked topographic maps of the rock beneath Greenland's ice for signs of other craters. Using imagery of the ice surface from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instruments aboard NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites, he soon noticed a circular pattern some 114 miles to the southeast of Hiawatha Glacier. The same circular pattern also showed up in ArcticDEM, a high-resolution digital elevation model of the entire Arctic derived from commercial satellite imagery.

To confirm his suspicion about the possible presence of a second impact crater, MacGregor studied the raw radar images that are used to map the topography of the bedrock beneath the ice, including those collected by NASA's Operation IceBridge. What he saw under the ice were several distinctive features of a complex impact crater: a flat, bowl-shaped depression in the bedrock that was surrounded by an elevated rim and centrally located peaks, which form when the crater floor equilibrates post-impact. Though the structure isn't as clearly circular as the Hiawatha crater, MacGregor estimated the second crater's diameter at 22.7 miles. Measurements from Operation IceBridge also revealed a negative gravity anomaly over the area, which is characteristic of impact craters.

"The only other circular structure that might approach this size would be a collapsed volcanic caldera," MacGregor said. "But the areas of known volcanic activity in Greenland are several hundred miles away. Also, a volcano should have a clear positive magnetic anomaly, and we don't see that at all."

Although the newly found impact craters in northwest Greenland are only 114 miles apart, they do not appear to have been formed at the same time. From the same radar data and ice cores that had been collected nearby, MacGregor and his colleagues determined that the ice in the area was at least 79,000 years old. The layers of ice were smooth, suggesting the ice hadn't been strongly disturbed during that time. This meant that either the impact happened more than 79,000 years ago or -- if it took place more recently -- any impact-disturbed ice had long ago flowed out of the area and been replaced by ice from farther inland.

Open Access: Joseph A. MacGregor et al. A Possible Second Large Subglacial Impact Crater in Northwest Greenland (https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2018GL078126), Geophysical Research Letters (2019).

(https://wol-prod-cdn.literatumonline.com/cms/attachment/1b031f4b-bf09-4fa4-afb7-ba4c80e8b95e/grl57593-fig-0001-m.jpg)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on February 13, 2019, 11:19:38 AM
G-objects may have come from supermassive black hole, study reports

Strange celestial structures that look like dust clouds but act like stars may have been created by the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, according to unpublished research set to be presented at the American Astronomical Society.

Scientists have spent a lot of time studying the odd bodies -- known as G-objects -- in order to figure out how they operate. In the recent analysis, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles discovered three additions to the class and may have shed light on how the odd objects first formed.

Scientists first noticed two of the objects in 2004 and 2012. Further study revealed the bodies, which produce red light and appear to be quite cool, are likely surrounded by dust.

However, the first two G-objects have wandered near the Milky Way's supermassive black hole without being torn apart. As a result, they have to be denser than a dust cloud. That property is why scientists believe they are actually stars surrounded by gas.

"They're weird because they are not gas nebulae, they're not stars, so we think they're something in the middle, a stellar object surrounded by gas and dust," study author Anna Ciurlo, an astronomer at the University of California Los Angeles, told Newsweek, "like a star that's been puffed up."

As the objects sit so close to the black hole, astronomers also believe that is where they came from. Previous research suggests black holes can encourage closely-paired stars to collide more quickly than they would normally. It is possible such collisions create G-objects.

and more on
https://thespacereporter.com/article.php?n=g-objects-may-have-come-from-supermassive-black-hole-study-reports&id=151063

A interesting new class of objects.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on February 15, 2019, 05:22:05 PM
From Chelyabinsk to Cuba: The Meteor Connection
https://phys.org/news/2019-02-chelyabinsk-cuba-meteor.html

... According to the reconstruction made by the Colombian astronomers, the object producing the meteor over Cuba starts its trajectory inside the atmosphere at an altitude of about 76.5 km above the caribean sea, over a point 26 km to the southwest of the San Felipe Keys (Cuba).

The speed of the rock at its contact with the atmosphere was 18 km/s (64,800 km/h). With such a velocity, the thin air of the high atmosphere was not enough to stop the object, although it was enough to heat it until the rock became bright.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fastronomia-udea.co%2Fprincipal%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Frepositorio%2Fpicture-havana-vp.png&hash=d678ecb6543c265a91d804a6895d2ebb)

The rock continued its path in an almost straight line until a height of around 27.5 km. It was at about that altitude that the smoke trail, observed by thousands in Cuba and in satellite images, started to develop. Zuluaga and coauthors estimate that the cloud seen in Pinar del Rio corresponds to a small part of the trajectory of the meteor (corresponding to altitudes between 26 and 22.5 km). According to the footage on that city and the reconstruction of the Colombians, the airburst ended at about 22 km.

After reconstructing the trajectory in the atmosphere, the Colombian astronomers played back the impact and found that the culprit, a rock with an estimated size of several meters and a weight of about 360 tons, came from an eccentric orbit around the sun with an average distance of 1.3 astronomical units (1 astronomical-unit = 150 million km). Before impacting the Earth, the rock completed a turn around the sun every 1.32 years. All that came to an end on February 1, 2019, when the rock and the Earth found themselves at the same point in space at the same time.

... "We should be prepared for the next projectile."

(https://media.giphy.com/media/B0uWmk25IRCCY/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on February 16, 2019, 07:35:15 PM
Nice GIF.  :)

The method the researchers use is pretty interesting.

From the article above:

Quote
In GRT, the Earth is not hit by asteroids but it is a source of them. Many rocks are launched (in a simulated environment) into thousands of directions in the sky and with different speeds, from a certain geographical location (a beach in the northwest of Cuba or a valley on the moon). The rocks that end up in orbits around the sun, similar to already discovered asteroids, are flagged as potential impactors. The rocks with orbits that are not typical of near-Earth objects (NEOs) are flagged as unnatural objects.

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


Tunguska and Chelyabinsk impact events occurred inside a geographical area of only 3.4 per cent of the Earth's surface. Although two events hardly constitute a statistically significant demonstration of a geographical pattern of impacts, their spatial coincidence is at least tantalizing. To understand if this concurrence reflects an underlying geographical and/or temporal pattern, we must aim at predicting the spatio-temporal distribution of meteoroid impacts on Earth. For this purpose we designed, implemented, and tested a novel numerical technique, the ‘Gravitational Ray Tracing’ (GRT) designed to compute the relative impact probability (RIP) on the surface of any planet.

...

Locations at 60–90° from the apex are more prone to impacts, especially at midnight. Counterintuitively, sites close to apex direction have the lowest RIP, while in the antapex RIP are slightly larger than average. We present here preliminary maps of RIP at the time of Tunguska and Chelyabinsk events and found no evidence of a spatial or temporal pattern, suggesting that their coincidence was fortuitous.

https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article-abstract/477/2/1970/4937817

Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on February 16, 2019, 07:46:38 PM
First evidence discovered of a gigantic remnant around an exploding star

A San Diego State University astrophysicist has helped discover evidence of a gigantic remnant surrounding an exploding star--a shell of material so huge, it must have been erupting on a regular basis for millions of years.

When a white dwarf, the core of a dead star, is in a close orbit with another star, it pulls gas from the other star. The gas becomes heated and compressed, eventually exploding to create a nova. This explosion causes the star to brighten by a millionfold and eject material at thousands of miles per second. The ejected material forms a remnant or shell surrounding the nova.

Allen Shafter and former SDSU postdoc. Martin Henze, along with a team of astrophysicists led by Matthew Darnley at Liverpool John Moores University in England, have been studying a nova in the nearby Andromeda galaxy known as M31N 2008-12a. What makes the nova unusual is that it erupts far more frequently than any other known nova system.

"When we first discovered that M31N 2008-12a erupted every year, we were very surprised," said Shafter. A more typical pattern is about every 10 years.

...

Type Ia supernovae are among the most powerful and luminous objects in the universe and are believed to occur when a white dwarf exceeds its maximum allowable mass. At that point, the entire white dwarf is blown apart instead of experiencing explosions on the surface as other novae do. These are relatively rare and unseen in our own galaxy since the early 1600s.

Theoretical models show that novae experiencing frequent explosions surrounded by large remnants must harbor massive white dwarfs that are nearing their limit. This means M31N 2008-12a is behaving precisely the way astronomers believe a nova does before it potentially explodes as a supernova.

and more on:
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-02/sdsu-fed021519.php

So there is a thin line between being blown apart and blowing huge bubbles. The donor star must be huge and the process gradual enough to not cross that line.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on February 17, 2019, 12:28:38 AM
Wouldn't want to get closer than 100 light-years of that puppy when it blows.

https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/supernove-distance
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fen.es-static.us%2Fupl%2F2018%2F11%2Finsight-e1543276864689.png&hash=0e106313368fa7860ba696fadebadbec)

NASA's newest lander is offering daily reports (https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/weather/) on the red planet's frigid winter. 

Starting Tuesday, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is  posting the highs and lows online (https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/weather/) , 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/

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

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

(https://rogueworlds.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/rebootexample_animation.gif?w=304&zoom=2)
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 (https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/marckuchner/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
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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.

(https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/insight_marsweather_white-980x551.png)
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.

(https://i.pinimg.com/236x/96/b5/09/96b50915d7d2e7ae1326acc240d2812e--dune-film-frank-herbert.jpg)
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.

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

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.

(https://www.sciencealert.com/images/2018-07/12_new_jupiter_moons.gif)

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."

(https://www.sciencealert.com/images/2018-07/new-jovian-moons_700.jpg)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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.

(https://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01623/hawking-aliens-07a_1623221c.jpg)

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

(https://3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn.net/newman/gfx/news/2019/3-signsofancie.jpg)

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

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

(https://3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn.net/newman/gfx/news/2019/2-scientistsho.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: oren 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 (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.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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/

(https://img.youtube.com/vi/kmPG0Hqhay8/0.jpg)

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

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

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

(https://theapachepowwow.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/spacex-475x300.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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 (https://www.archmission.org/billion-year-archive), 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,”

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn.parabolicarc.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F02%2FArch_Mission_lunar_library.jpg&hash=470402caecd767c902ee2012e4a59e63)

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.

(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0047/2639/0877/files/2018-12-07_20.52.35_808b4b06-a865-40f9-ac7c-577633e7d856_900x.jpg?v=1550556906)

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
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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.

(https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JulK-NUVFmA/XHYwx0K9WFI/AAAAAAAABio/wHkUU-4MVxgwAYMwa6X6ZbexJQwXB0KLQCLcBGAs/s640/Konstantin_Planet9_Sketch_v3-01.jpg)

... 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 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physrep.2019.01.009), Physics Reports (2019)

Michael E. Brown et al. Orbital Clustering in the Distant Solar System (http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/aaf051), 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.

(https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/myzs3zkfvzcxijsbtjjm.jpg)

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.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/tweet_video_thumb/D0CVZ-zXgAACdKi?format=jpg&name=small)

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

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.

(https://www.esa.int/var/esa/storage/images/esa_multimedia/images/2019/02/evolution_of_water-filled_basins_over_time/19267637-1-eng-GB/Evolution_of_water-filled_basins_over_time_large.jpg)

Open Access: F. Salese, et.al., Geological Evidence of Planet‐Wide Groundwater System on Mars (https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2018JE005802), Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets  21 January 2019
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: oren 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.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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?

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.leonarddavid.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2018%2F01%2FCuriosity-ChemCam-Remote-Micro-Imager-photo-of-novel-features-taken-on-Sol-1921-December-31-2017-350x350.png&hash=31bc641b453f5ce4b36b72dafc398c97)

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?"

(https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/LUrsPeVFoD5s8hfeBFdSg6-320-80.jpg)

... 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]...

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/43/Trace_fossils_Bull_Fork_Ordovician_OH.JPG/340px-Trace_fossils_Bull_Fork_Ordovician_OH.JPG)

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

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.

(https://www.sciencenews.org/sites/default/files/2018/06/main/articles/060718_lg_methane-mars_inline_730_rev.png)

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

Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy 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.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Sigmetnow 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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuXPLtJXd14
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: b_lumenkraft 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
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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

(https://media.springernature.com/m685/springer-static/image/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41598-018-38089-y/MediaObjects/41598_2018_38089_Fig12_HTML.png)

... 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."

(https://media.springernature.com/m685/springer-static/image/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41598-018-38089-y/MediaObjects/41598_2018_38089_Fig4_HTML.png)

"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 (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-38089-y), Scientific Reports (2019)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy 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
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy 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
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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

(https://media.springernature.com/m685/springer-static/image/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41598-019-39632-1/MediaObjects/41598_2019_39632_Fig3_HTML.png)

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 (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-39632-1), Scientific Reports (2019)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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.

(https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/15915031/2019_03_06_15_10_01.gif)

... 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.

(https://i.imgur.com/NJ5beDgh.jpg)
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 (https://arxiv.org/pdf/1902.04652.pdf), 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.

(https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/free-floating-planet-illustration-royalty-free-illustration-956348738-1552332920.jpg)

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

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcommentarytrack.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2011%2F11%2FAnother-Earth.jpg&hash=ed976f14d14caf309d25cdf70c5a412e)

Cool Video - Discovery Channel - Large Asteroid Impact Simulation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU1QPtOZQZU

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/

(https://i.stack.imgur.com/gCihG.jpg)(https://i.stack.imgur.com/aUMBz.jpg)
11 minutes post impact                                         29 minutes post impact
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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

(https://i.pinimg.com/236x/77/b9/63/77b96363085af0570c85093577dbce5d--dinosaurs-extinction-dinosaur-dinosaur.jpg)

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 (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6429/866), Science  22 Feb 2019

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/4b/5f/85/4b5f85c0802fbd88ae616d8c72ad38cb.gif)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-5tMfGtoiqAc%2FVe14Rot_ATI%2FAAAAAAAACuQ%2F7CdS_Rn1fmY%2Fs1600%2Fdinosaur-ark.jpg&hash=bde2f97a264f58ca2a27baec36a260fb)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on March 18, 2019, 08:04:00 AM
US Detects Huge Meteor Explosion 
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47607696

(https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/375/cpsprodpb/20EA/production/_106062480_gettyimages-1127790125.jpg)

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.

(https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/375/cpsprodpb/9520/production/_106067183_fireball_chart_640_2x-nc.png)

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

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/
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: b_lumenkraft 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
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on March 25, 2019, 09:17:04 PM
(https://img.purch.com/h/1400/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzEwNC84NzEvb3JpZ2luYWwvYmVyaW5nLXNlYS1tZXRlb3IuZ2lm)

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.sciencedaily.com/images/2019/03/190322105706_1_540x360.jpg)
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 (http://[b), 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.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy 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
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Sam 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
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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

(https://3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn.net/newman/csz/news/800/2019/newevidenceo.jpg)

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 (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0327-5), 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."

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fadvances.sciencemag.org%2Fcontent%2Fadvances%2F5%2F3%2Feaav7710%2FF4.medium.gif&hash=a45c7c1cb910322fd2eb71f042f0e039)

Open Access: E.S. Kite el al., "Persistence of intense, climate-driven runoff late in Mars history, (http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/3/eaav7710)" 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.”

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=I0m-Sj4KuTg
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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

(https://accuweather.brightspotcdn.com/dims4/default/8644725/2147483647/resize/590x/quality/90/?url=http%3A%2F%2Faccuweather-bsp.s3.amazonaws.com%2F3b%2Fd8%2F6921b3b84fbb817d75ab7148cf40%2Fflorida-fireball.12.02%20PM.png)

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

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D29jEvFX0AAkF7R?format=jpg&name=small)
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://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/190331_goes16_visible_glm_FL_meteor_anim.gif)
https://mobile.twitter.com/CIMSS_Satellite/status/1112373569068171269
Zoom in on box at center right
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: gerontocrat 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
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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? (https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/astro.2019.28.issue-1/astro-2019-0002/astro-2019-0002.xml), Open Astronomy (2019)

(https://i.pinimg.com/236x/60/99/08/609908da8c5c793b4a86f507d369a13c.jpg)
Who knew they had Fox News on Mars.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: oren on April 05, 2019, 07:37:46 AM
https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/04/israels-beresheet-spacecraft-enters-lunar-orbit-and-prepares-for-landing/ (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.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Pmt111500 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.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: b_lumenkraft 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.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy 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
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: gerontocrat 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!
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: b_lumenkraft 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/
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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)

(https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/proj/msl/redops/ods/surface/sol/02438/opgs/edr/ncam/NRB_613927056EDR_S0760832NCAM00595M_-br2.jpg)
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-raw-images/proj/msl/redops/ods/surface/sol/02438/opgs/edr/ncam/NRB_613927069EDR_S0760832NCAM00595M_-br2.jpg)
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)

(https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/proj/msl/redops/ods/surface/sol/02438/opgs/edr/ncam/NRB_613927082EDR_S0760832NCAM00595M_-br2.jpg)
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.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.quickmeme.com%2Fimg%2Fbe%2Fbead363502f8e7564038c7072c490cfc0da55bf30c42bb1f04983157e9ae7125.jpg&hash=b2d40c1b607c4fb966159eda30e1983e)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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://www.gizmocrazed.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Curiosity_Profile.jpg)

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. 

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d9/Mars01.gif)

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

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,
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/df/84/cd/df84cdfc1fdf2dc9e7e510bae20680dc.jpg)

... 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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdYeWN9ZivE

... 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.

(https://the-drive-3.imgix.net/https%3A%2F%2Fs3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com%2Fthe-drive-cms-content-staging%2Fmessage-editor%252F1561665730424-sheehyletter.jpg?auto=compress%2Cformat&ixlib=js-1.2.1&s=daeff18f807909f2dea2767755ab717b)

Remarkably, it seems to boil down to the ol' "we must not allow an Inertial Mass Reduction Device gap!"
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy 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.  ::)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on June 29, 2019, 08:13:16 PM
(https://i0.wp.com/s3.amazonaws.com/churchplantmedia-cms/spry_church_york/xfiles-rotator.jpg?w=400)

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."

(https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/13C21/production/_88892908_greenglow-sketch.jpg)

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 (https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19980201240.pdf). 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 (https://books.google.com/books?id=OXYo4mrq9Q4C&pg=PA40&lpg=PA40&dq=popular+mechanics+-+taming+gravity&source=bl&ots=ESA41O7VXp&sig=ACfU3U30MJG2uqWaLBlLFqZQMatmS6zMdg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwioj-D5pY_jAhXMq1kKHVXMDzMQ6AEwBHoECAgQAQ)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy 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.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: oren 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?
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on June 29, 2019, 09:27:02 PM
And 3. Loved the Hoover Dam on Continents map too...
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi 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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigarette_Smoking_Man) lie?

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/34/The_Smoking_Man_%28X-Files%29.jpg)

Anyway - back on topic.

OBTW, I saw one.

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

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

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fresizer.shared.arcpublishing.com%2FOCLZ2eLSH9DB5Xzg5sOXDjz6oDw%3D%2Farc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-bostonglobe%2Fpublic%2FOQ2ZV7XBEMI6RHBFQS2LUS2GPA.jpg&hash=cc35dde80e66d3542d31fee83dab9d6b)

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 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stz1505), 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

(https://s22380.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/Tunguska-art-Davis-m.jpg)

... "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.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: b_lumenkraft on June 30, 2019, 05:21:38 PM
Delta Flight captured in video flying past a Lunar Eclipse


Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on June 30, 2019, 06:14:33 PM
Kool!  :)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: b_lumenkraft on June 30, 2019, 06:38:06 PM
Kool!  :)

Indeed! This might be one of the coolest things i've ever seen. :)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Tor Bejnar 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.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: b_lumenkraft 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 (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2449.0;attach=125049)

No need for duplicates on the forum harddrive. :)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Tor Bejnar 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 (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,417.msg204835.html#msg204835) for examples.) Although this happens for off-site images more than previously posted ones.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: b_lumenkraft 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. :(
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: b_lumenkraft on July 07, 2019, 03:35:53 PM
This one blew my mind.

Are Alien Civilizations Sending Signals in Bacteria? with Dr. Robert Zubrin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_i3VdxhRLQ
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: gerontocrat on July 07, 2019, 04:29:13 PM
This one blew my mind.

Are Alien Civilizations Sending Signals in Bacteria? with Dr. Robert Zubrin

If they are, they are even dumber than wot we is.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: b_lumenkraft on July 07, 2019, 04:33:33 PM
LOL! ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: pikaia on July 07, 2019, 05:01:41 PM
Jodrell Bank becomes World Heritage site. About time, too.

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2019/jul/07/jodrell-bank-observatory-becomes-world-heritage-site
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on July 07, 2019, 06:09:25 PM
Cool!

Regarding the bacteria you would have to send generalized bacteria everywhere which precludes adding extra info and you cannot really edit stuff when you do not know what is there.

The mind was blown by the colorfulness of the theory?
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: SteveMDFP on July 07, 2019, 07:04:56 PM
Cool!

Regarding the bacteria you would have to send generalized bacteria everywhere which precludes adding extra info and you cannot really edit stuff when you do not know what is there.

The mind was blown by the colorfulness of the theory?

It strikes me as quite plausible that life was seeded across the galaxy, possibly naturally, possibly intentionally.  A life form could use amino acids of the D-isomer variety, but all life here uses L isomers.  Similar handedness preference applies to sugar molecules.  All life here uses the C-A-T-G alphabet for DNA coding, but other "languages" are perfectly feasible.

If life arose on Earth in multiple places, one might expect descendants to have competing alphabet systems.  There's no sign of that today. 

As mirror-image building blocks would likely have toxic effects on consumers of plant life, any eater of plants (or higher on the food chain) would have trouble surviving.  Only those having the same "language" as plants would likely survive.  But why should today's plants be uniform?  Either life arose only once (or maybe a few times), or the planet was seeded with organisms having our currently universal "language."

It's quite remarkable that some life forms (e.g., tardigraves) are well-adapted to survive in space, and resume life functions when in a suitable environment.  Why should evolution favor such traits?
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on July 07, 2019, 09:49:49 PM
All life that evolved here came from the same source so that is why they are uniform, they have a shared ancestor somewhere.

Chemical mirroring is very different from processes like matter antimatter destruction.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: uniquorn on July 11, 2019, 09:18:47 PM
Marine scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Insti­tution who explore Earth’s hydrothermal vents have been working with NASA to devise autonomous underwater vehicles that could work on both Earth and Europa. The agency just announced a $7.6 million, five-year collaboration with WHOI to have space and ocean researchers brainstorm the science and technology needed for future Europa missions.

https://www.wired.com/story/forget-the-moon-we-should-go-to-jupiters-idyllic-europa/
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: b_lumenkraft on July 11, 2019, 09:30:32 PM
Wow, that's great! \o/
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: b_lumenkraft on July 13, 2019, 01:28:51 PM
Quote
Today (July 11), the Hayabusa2 spacecraft performed a 2nd touchdown on the surface of asteroid Ryugu. The touchdown occurred at 10:06 JST at the onboard time and was successful. Below we show images taken before and after the touchdown. As this is a quick bulletin, more detailed information will be given in the future.
Link >> http://www.hayabusa2.jaxa.jp/en/topics/20190711e_PPTD_ImageBulletin/
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on July 22, 2019, 05:57:22 PM
Astronomers Map Vast Void In Our Cosmic Neighborhood
https://phys.org/news/2019-07-astronomers-vast-void-cosmic-neighborhood.html

(https://3c1703fe8d.site.internapcdn.net/newman/csz/news/800/2019/3-astronomersm.jpg)

An astronomer from the University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy (IfA) and an international team published a new study that reveals more of the vast cosmic structure surrounding our Milky Way galaxy.

https://vimeo.com/326346346

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71TgqgDCsCL._SX425_.jpg)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on July 25, 2019, 05:12:33 PM
India Farmers Shocked as 15 kg Meteorite Crashes into Rice Paddy
https://phys.org/news/2019-07-india-farmers-meteorite-rice-field.html
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/15kg-meteorite-crashes-into-madhubani-paddy-field/articleshow/70351611.cms

MADHUBANI/PATNA: Farmers working in a paddy field at a village in Madhubani district were left shaken when a meteorite-like object weighing around 15kg fell from the sky, leaving a crater at the spot where it crashed.

Madhubani DM Shirsat Kapil Ashok told TOI that the incident took place around 2.30pm on Monday. “Agriculture labourers working the paddy field where the meteorite struck claimed that they saw a fireball-like object coming down from the sky and made a deep crater where it hit the ground. The farmers also saw smoke coming out from the spot in the water-filled agriculture field,” Shirsat said.

(https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/07/25/10/wire-16483734-1564047003-305_636x382.jpg)

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

Researchers Seeking Fragments of Fireball in Ontario
https://phys.org/news/2019-07-fragments-fireball-ontario.html

Researchers are seeking the public's help in locating fragments of a fireball that shone as bright as the full moon observed by Western's All-Sky Camera Network across at 2:44 a.m. ET this morning.

Initial analysis of the video data by Steven Ehlert at the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office suggests the recent meteorite fragments are likely to have fallen to the ground near Bancroft, Ont.

"This fireball likely dropped a small number of meteorites in the Bancroft area, specifically near the small town of Cardiff. We suspect meteorites made it to the ground because the fireball ended very low in the atmosphere just to the west of Bancroft and slowed down significantly. This is a good indicator that material survived," Brown said.

https://youtu.be/Do7OImiskuw

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

Cosmic Pearls: Fossil Clams in Florida Contain Evidence of Ancient Impact
https://phys.org/news/2019-07-cosmic-pearls-fossil-clams-florida.html

Researchers picking through the contents of fossil clams from a Sarasota County quarry found dozens of tiny glass beads, likely the calling cards of an ancient meteorite.

Analysis of the beads suggests they are microtektites, particles that form when the explosive impact of an extraterrestrial object sends molten debris hurtling into the atmosphere where it cools and recrystallizes before falling back to Earth.

They are the first documented microtektites in Florida and possibly the first to be recovered from fossil shells.

(https://www.sun-sentinel.com/resizer/X-6-yJct93fX0yvruHRJGUAHQoA=/415x325/top/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-tronc.s3.amazonaws.com/public/OMQSTZFC5RDGPK6YCSDU7QWKQ4.jpg)

Open Access: Mike Meyer et al, A first report of microtektites from the shell beds of southwestern Florida (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/maps.13299), Meteoritics & Planetary Science (2019)

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

An Asteroid Just Missed Earth, and We Barely Noticed in Time
https://phys.org/news/2019-07-asteroid-earth.html

A 100-metre-wide asteroid passed just 70,000km from Earth on Thursday, Australian time. It was discovered by the Brazilian SONEAR survey just days ago, and its presence was announced mere hours before it zoomed past our planet. The lack of warning shows how quickly potentially dangerous asteroids can sneak up on us.

The asteroid, reassuringly designated 2019 OK, is not a threat to Earth right now. However, 2019 OK and other near-Earth asteroids do pose a genuine risk.

Both 2019 OK and Apophis are far larger than the Chelyabinsk meteor, which was just 20m across. The risk of them hitting Earth may be small, but they would be devastating if they did.

Other near-Earth asteroids are also on track to make close approaches to our planet. The 400m-wide Apophis will pass roughly 30,000km from Earth on Friday April 13, 2029, which will only come as bad news if you're particularly superstitious.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0c/Barringer_Crater_aerial_photo_by_USGS.jpg/500px-Barringer_Crater_aerial_photo_by_USGS.jpg)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: SteveMDFP on July 25, 2019, 05:58:21 PM
India Farmers Shocked as 15 kg Meteorite Crashes into Rice Paddy
https://phys.org/news/2019-07-india-farmers-meteorite-rice-field.html

Not too surprising.  We are in the midst of the annual meteor peak:

MAJOR METEOR SHOWERS
https://www.amsmeteors.org/meteor-showers/major-meteor-showers/ (https://www.amsmeteors.org/meteor-showers/major-meteor-showers/)

"June to mid-July has fair rates. The last half of July has rates increasing steadily as the Delta Aquariids (July 29/30) and Alpha Capricornids (July 27-28) have maxima at month’s end. Even the Perseids are beginning to show a little.

Overall, late July to mid-August is very rich in meteors. The Perseid maximum, just before mid-August (August 12/13), is fairly prolonged and quite rich."


So, if meteorology is the study of weather, what is the study of meteors?
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on July 31, 2019, 09:31:04 PM
TESS Satellite Uncovers 'First Nearby Super-Earth'
https://phys.org/news/2019-07-tess-satellite-uncovers-nearby-super-earth.html

An international team of astronomers led by Cornell's Lisa Kaltenegger has characterized the first potentially habitable world outside of our own solar system.

Located about 31 light-years away, the super-Earth planet—named GJ 357 d—was discovered in early 2019 owing to NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a mission designed to comb the heavens for exoplanets, according to their new modeling research in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

"This is exciting, as this is humanity's first nearby super-Earth that could harbor life.

The exoplanet is more massive than our own blue planet, and Kaltenegger said the discovery will provide insight into Earth's heavyweight planetary cousins. "With a thick atmosphere, the planet GJ 357 d could maintain liquid water on its surface like Earth, and we could pick out signs of life with telescopes that will soon be online," she said.

https://youtu.be/6bWra2Wvudk

R. Luque et al. Planetary system around the nearby M dwarf GJ 357 including a transiting, hot, Earth-sized planet optimal for atmospheric characterization (https://www.aanda.org/component/article?access=doi&doi=10.1051/0004-6361/201935801), Astronomy & Astrophysics (2019)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Gumbercules on August 04, 2019, 07:34:37 PM
India Farmers Shocked as 15 kg Meteorite Crashes into Rice Paddy
https://phys.org/news/2019-07-india-farmers-meteorite-rice-field.html
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/15kg-meteorite-crashes-into-madhubani-paddy-field/articleshow/70351611.cms


Lol, meteorites of that size don't smoke. If anything they would be ICE cold. Meteorites of that size go through something called a dark phase, after they stop ionizing the air around them because they are slow enough for that to stop. Unless the rock is HUGE, the fireball phase stops miles up.

During entry through the atmosphere, the parts of the rock that get hut, ablate away, and that carries away almost all of the heat of re-entry. The interior is of the temperature it was when it was in space. So likely very cold.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Rod on August 08, 2019, 05:50:49 AM
Well ...... That was unfortunate! 😝

A CRASHED ISRAELI LUNAR LANDER SPILLED TARDIGRADES ON THE MOON

Quote
IT WAS JUST before midnight on April 11 and everyone at the Israel Aerospace Industries mission control center in Yehud, Israel, had their eyes fixed on two large projector screens. On the left screen was a stream of data being sent back to Earth by Beresheet, its lunar lander, which was about to become the first private spacecraft to land on the moon. The right screen featured a crude animation of Beresheet firing its engines as it prepared for a soft landing in the Sea of Serenity. But only seconds before the scheduled landing, the numbers on the left screen stopped. Mission control had lost contact with the spacecraft, and it crashed into the moon shortly thereafter.

Quote
Half a world away, Nova Spivack watched a livestream of Beresheet’s mission control from a conference room in Los Angeles. As the founder of the Arch Mission Foundation, a nonprofit whose goal is to create “a backup of planet Earth,” Spivack had a lot at stake in the Beresheet mission. The spacecraft was carrying the foundation’s first lunar library, a DVD-sized archive containing 30 million pages of information, human DNA samples, and thousands of tardigrades, those microscopic “water bears” that can survive pretty much any environment—including space.

Quote
But when the Israelis confirmed Beresheet had been destroyed, Spivack was faced with a distressing question: Did he just smear the toughest animal in the known universe across the surface of the moon?

Quote
In the weeks following the Beresheet crash, Spivack pulled together the Arch Mission Foundation’s advisers in an attempt to determine whether the lunar library had survived the crash. Based on their analysis of the spacecraft’s trajectory and the composition of the lunar library, Spivack says he is quite confident that the library—a roughly DVD-sized object made of thin sheets of nickel—survived the crash mostly or entirely intact. In fact, the decision to include DNA samples and tardigrades in the lunar library may have been key to its survival.

“For the first 24 hours we were just in shock,” Spivack says. “We sort of expected that it would be successful. We knew there were risks but we didn’t think the risks were that significant.”

https://www.wired.com/story/a-crashed-israeli-lunar-lander-spilled-tardigrades-on-the-moon/
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: SteveMDFP on August 08, 2019, 04:17:10 PM
Well ...... That was unfortunate! 😝

A CRASHED ISRAELI LUNAR LANDER SPILLED TARDIGRADES ON THE MOON
 

Tardigraves, and a few other identified organisms, have a mind-boggling ability to survive dehydration, vacuum, radiation, and extreme cold.  Their existence is part of why I favor panspermia as an explanation for life on earth.

However, they weren't released into deep space, where they might eventually find their way to Proxima Centauri (or wherever), they were deposited on the moon.  "Daytime the temperature can reach 260 degrees Fahrenheit (127 degrees Celsius)."  Poor little water bears will be cooked.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: crandles on August 08, 2019, 05:00:10 PM


However, they weren't released into deep space, where they might eventually find their way to Proxima Centauri (or wherever), they were deposited on the moon.  "Daytime the temperature can reach 260 degrees Fahrenheit (127 degrees Celsius)."  Poor little water bears will be cooked.

maybe not quite cooked?

https://www.google.com/search?q=tardigrades+temperature+survival&oq=tartigrades+temperature&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l3.12403j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
Quote
They can survive a wide range of temperatures and situations. Research has found that tardigrades can withstand environments as cold as minus 328 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 200 Celsius) or highs of more than 300 degrees F (148.9 C), according to Smithsonian magazine.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: SteveMDFP on August 08, 2019, 05:10:56 PM


maybe not quite cooked?

https://www.google.com/search?q=tardigrades+temperature+survival&oq=tartigrades+temperature&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l3.12403j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
Quote
They can survive a wide range of temperatures and situations. Research has found that tardigrades can withstand environments as cold as minus 328 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 200 Celsius) or highs of more than 300 degrees F (148.9 C), according to Smithsonian magazine.

Dang, the little beasts are even tougher than I realized.  They just need to be kicked to lunar escape velocity by some meteorite, and next stop is Proxima Centauri!!  (in maybe a million years or so).
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: crandles on August 08, 2019, 06:29:01 PM
IIUC, we have revived them after 10 years of dehydration but not longer. While techniques might improve, after 100 years of high radiation, I think chances of revival would be low and natural revival after randomly arriving at some planet other than Earth with liquid water are remote enough.  ;) :D

More risk of Aliens visiting Earth and Moon and deciding that some long lost civilisation either worshipped such creatures for some unknown reason or decided they were the Earth species most worth attempting to save for prosperity.  ;)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Tor Bejnar on August 08, 2019, 08:26:38 PM
Nicely said Crandles!  After getting the Strictly Germ-proof (https://www.bartleby.com/104/50.html) treatment, they may turn into some super-creature wherever they land, worthy of saving.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on August 14, 2019, 05:40:35 PM
How Many Earth-Like Planets are Around Sun-Like Stars?
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-earth-like-planets-sun-like-stars.html

... Based on their simulations, the researchers estimate that planets very close to Earth in size, from three-quarters to one-and-a-half times the size of earth, with orbital periods ranging from 237 to 500 days, occur around approximately one in four stars. Importantly, their model quantifies the uncertainty in that estimate. They recommend that future planet-finding missions plan for a true rate that ranges from as low about one planet for every 33 stars to as high as nearly one planet for every two stars.

(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/3NbsDt_jros/maxresdefault.jpg)

Danley C. Hsu et al. Occurrence Rates of Planets Orbiting FGK Stars: Combining Kepler DR25, Gaia DR2, and Bayesian Inference (https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-3881/ab31ab), The Astronomical Journal (2019)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: blumenkraft on August 14, 2019, 08:20:32 PM
So, where is everybody?
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Renerpho on August 14, 2019, 08:34:23 PM
A 100-metre-wide asteroid passed just 70,000km from Earth on Thursday, Australian time. It was discovered by the Brazilian SONEAR survey just days ago, and its presence was announced mere hours before it zoomed past our planet. The lack of warning shows how quickly potentially dangerous asteroids can sneak up on us.

While approaches like that of 2019 OK are quite a routine occurrence (happening many times per year with no consequence), this one had some unusual characteristics. It revealed some flaws with our asteroid detection systems, which have already led to changes made by the big asteroid surveys. I wrote about it here: https://www.quora.com/How-did-we-miss-detecting-asteroid-2019-OK/answer/Daniel-Bamberger-1 (https://www.quora.com/How-did-we-miss-detecting-asteroid-2019-OK/answer/Daniel-Bamberger-1)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: SteveMDFP on August 14, 2019, 08:43:58 PM
So, where is everybody?

Probably in quite a few places.  But possibly the other intelligent species hadn't evolved with hands.  It's hard to develop an industrial civilization with only paws or tentacles or flippers.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: petm on August 14, 2019, 09:25:00 PM
Don't you guys read? They're everywhere!  ;D

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_reported_UFO_sightings
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: blumenkraft on August 14, 2019, 09:56:24 PM
But possibly the other intelligent species hadn't evolved with hands.  It's hard to develop an industrial civilization with only paws or tentacles or flippers.

Yes, one perfectly fine answer to the Fermi paradox. We are missing us in time.

But then there is the big number of possibilities and you start thinking again...
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Renerpho on August 14, 2019, 10:13:17 PM
Yes, one perfectly fine answer to the Fermi paradox. We are missing us in time.

But then there is the big number of possibilities and you start thinking again...

My favourite solution to the Fermi paradox was given by Terry Bisson, in his short story "They're Made Out of Meat".
The universe is full of intelligent species, but the aliens find us so disgusting, they have decided to forget about humanity, and marked the Solar System "unoccupied".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/They%27re_Made_Out_of_Meat (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/They%27re_Made_Out_of_Meat)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tScAyNaRdQ
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Grubbegrabben on August 14, 2019, 10:34:40 PM
But possibly the other intelligent species hadn't evolved with hands.  It's hard to develop an industrial civilization with only paws or tentacles or flippers.

Yes, one perfectly fine answer to the Fermi paradox. We are missing us in time.

But then there is the big number of possibilities and you start thinking again...

The lower probability, an earth-like planet in 1 out of 33 star systems, yields about 3 billion earth-like planets in our galaxy...

Even if there are a million explorers out there that travel at near light speed, they will only look in our solar system once every 15-50 000 years or so (avg distance between stars is 5 light years, 3 billion places to look, yes my calculation is probably wrong).

The number of possibilities is so large that another intelligent spieces out there is very likely. However, the vastness of space makes it unlikely to meet them anytime soon. A bit sad, who wouldn't like to shake the flipper or tentacle of another species?
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: petm on August 14, 2019, 10:46:24 PM
There's a lot more than size and sun distance that may be required for life to evolve. Water. Magnetosphere. Even our unusual (large, close-in) moon may have had an important role (tides). Just to name a few.

Earth has only just evolved a species capable of interstellar communication. Say, ~100 years / 5 billion years of Earth's existence. And we've almost wiped ourselves out already with nukes, and here comes global environmental devastation... Seems to me that the great filter is highly plausible.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Filter
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: oren on August 15, 2019, 04:46:18 AM
So, where is everybody?
So obvious IMHO. They ran out of their planet's finite resources and/or polluted it to extinction, before they managed to create a true spacefaring civilization.
The Fermi paradox is not a paradox, but a warning that humanity disregards.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Renerpho on August 15, 2019, 04:52:36 AM
<snip>
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Filter

Kurzgesagt have made an interesting video about the Great Filter. If you don't know their Youtube channel, it's worth checking out. The idea they present in this video is that the discovery of alien life would spell doom for our own - for reasons that are not at all obvious...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjtOGPJ0URM
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: TerryM on August 15, 2019, 01:06:08 PM
So, where is everybody?
So obvious IMHO. They ran out of their planet's finite resources and/or polluted it to extinction, before they managed to create a true spacefaring civilization.
The Fermi paradox is not a paradox, but a warning that humanity disregards.
Ramen!
We quite recently polluted the moon with lifeforms - and we haven't even set up an outpost!
We're a filthy species that will die in our own pollution. :-[
Terry
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: budmantis on August 17, 2019, 07:45:19 AM
I wish that it was not so, but I have to agree with you Terry!
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on August 17, 2019, 09:30:25 AM
A Massive Star Completely Destroyed by a Supernova is Puzzling Scientists

In November of 2016, the sharp-eyed Gaia spacecraft spied a supernova that exploded some billion light-years from Earth. Astronomers followed up with more telescopes, and quickly realized that this supernova – dubbed SN2016iet – was an odd one in many ways.

And this star was extremely massive, starting life as some 200 times the mass of the sun, near the upper limit of what scientists think is possible for a single star to weigh.

The supernova itself also left what appeared to be the signature of two explosions, separated by about 100 days. Astronomers think this isn’t actually due to multiple explosions, but from the explosion hitting different layers of material the star lost in the years leading up to its death and left scattered around it in a diffuse cloud.

The star meets many of the criteria for something called a pair instability supernova, a kind of explosion that some extremely massive stars should theoretically undergo. Such an event leaves the star completely destroyed, leaving nothing behind. But finding examples of these rare stellar explosions has been difficult, and this is still one of the first scientists have discovered. And even in that rare company, SN2016iet remains an oddball find.

and more on:
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2019/08/16/a-massive-star-completely-destroyed-by-a-supernova-is-puzzling-scientists
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: gandul on August 17, 2019, 09:45:09 PM
So, where is everybody?
So obvious IMHO. They ran out of their planet's finite resources and/or polluted it to extinction, before they managed to create a true spacefaring civilization.
The Fermi paradox is not a paradox, but a warning that humanity disregards.
Ramen!
We quite recently polluted the moon with lifeforms - and we haven't even set up an outpost!
We're a filthy species that will die in our own pollution. :-[
Terry
I did not come for the astronomy, but sir, please, cheer up! We can colonize Siberia, Sahara, and the North American Southwest without polluting more than we already pollute. Plus, there's oxygen and we do not need CO2 increasing rockets.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on August 21, 2019, 05:02:30 PM
A Step Closer to Solving Methane Mystery on Mars
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-closer-methane-mystery-mars.html

Last year, scientists learned that methane concentrations changed over the course of the seasons with a repeatable annual cycle.

"This most recent work suggests that the methane concentration changes over the course of each day,"
Dr. Moores said.

"We were able—for the first time—to calculate a single number for the rate of seepage of methane at Gale crater on Mars that is equivalent to an average of 2.8 kg per Martian day."

Dr. Moores said the team was able to reconcile the data from the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and the Curiosity Rover, which appeared to contradict each other with wildly different detections of methane.

"We were able to resolve these differences by showing how concentrations of methane were much lower in the atmosphere during the day and significantly higher near the planet's surface at night, as heat transfer lessens," he said.

John E. Moores et al. The methane diurnal variation and micro‐seepage flux at Gale crater, Mars as constrained by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and Curiosity observations (https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2019GL083800), Geophysical Research Letters (2019)

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

Abstract
The upper bound of 50 parts per trillion by volume (pptv) for Mars methane above 5 km established by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, substantially lower than the 410 pptv average measured overnight by the Curiosity Rover, places a strong constraint on the daytime methane flux at the Gale crater. We propose that these measurements may be largely reconciled by the inhibition of mixing near the surface overnight whereby methane emitted from the subsurface accumulates within meters of the surface before being mixed below detection limits at dawn. A model of this scenario allows the first precise calculation of micro‐seepage fluxes at Gale to be derived, consistent with a constant 1.5 x 10‐10 kg m‐2 sol (5.4 x 10‐5 tonnes km‐2 year‐1) source at depth. Under this scenario, only 2.7 x 104 km2 of Mars’ surface may be emitting methane, unless a fast destruction mechanism exists.

Key Points
- Night‐time SAM‐TLS seasonal cycle enrichment measurements and TGO sunset/sunrise measurements are not in opposition
- Micro‐seepage fluxes must be local to Gale, range from 0.82 to 4.6 kg per sol, and are consistent with a constant source at depth
- Little of Mars experiences micro‐seepage unless a fast destruction mechanism exists or Gale is very unusual


(https://i.pinimg.com/170x/10/f6/1a/10f61ab3936ffb86ddec011989e69447--what-to-do-today-things-to-do-today.jpg)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on August 30, 2019, 12:47:51 AM
https://youtu.be/QAzMIeSdZD0

This animated flyover of each of the four candidate sample collection sites on asteroid Bennu, selected by NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, was produced using close-range data from the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA), an instrument contributed by the Canadian Space Agency. It illustrates the location of each site on Bennu, the topography of each site, and the potential sampling regions that the spacecraft will target, which are 10 meters in diameter.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: blumenkraft on September 01, 2019, 03:29:28 PM
The pulse of the gas thrusters on SpaceX's Falcon 9, as the rocket's boost stage guides it back to Earth

via reddit/r/space

Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on September 08, 2019, 06:59:16 PM
Not news per se but a sundays light reading suggestion:

Are We All Wrong About Black Holes?

A philosopher of science worries that the analogy between black holes and thermodynamics has been stretched too far.

https://www.wired.com/story/are-we-all-wrong-about-black-holes/

I think he makes some strong points.

Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: sidd on September 08, 2019, 08:48:32 PM
I was disappointed to find the wired interview with callender did not touch upon Jacobson's work in deriving GR from thermo/stat mech.

sidd
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on September 08, 2019, 09:18:41 PM
It was in the Quanta article I read yesterday

https://www.quantamagazine.org/craig-callender-are-we-all-wrong-about-black-holes-20190905/
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: sidd on September 09, 2019, 05:58:49 AM
I looked at the qunta article, found no mention of jacobson.

Here is his 1995 paper deriving the Einstein equation as an equation of state (like Boyle's law)

"it may be no more appropriate to canonically quantize the Einstein equation than it would be to quantize the wave equation for sound in air."

"For sufficiently high sound frequency or intensity one knows that the local equilibrium condition breaks down, entropy increases, and sound no longer propagates in a time reversal invariant manner. Similarly, one might expect that sufficiently high frequency or large amplitude disturbances of the gravitational field would no longer be described by the Einstein equation, not because some quantum operator nature of the metric would become relevant, but because the local equilibrium condition would fail. It is my hope that, by following this line of inquiry, we shall eventually reach an understanding of the nature of “non-equilibrium spacetime”."

https://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/9504004

And here he is from 2015 on entanglement entropy and the Einstein equation , also on arxiv but i dont have the reference handy

"Entanglement Equilibrium and the Einstein Equation"

sidd
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on September 11, 2019, 07:47:44 PM
First Water Detected on Potentially 'Habitable' Planet
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-potentially-habitable-planet.html

(https://scx2.b-cdn.net/gfx/news/2019/5d7906f4cfc69.jpg)

K2-18b, which is eight times the mass of Earth, is now the only planet orbiting a star outside the Solar System, or 'exoplanet', known to have both water and temperatures that could support life.

The discovery, published today in Nature Astronomy, is the first successful atmospheric detection for an exoplanet orbiting in its star's 'habitable zone', at a distance where water can exist in liquid form.

... The planet orbits the cool dwarf star K2-18, which is about 110 light years from Earth in the Leo constellation. Given the high level of activity of its red dwarf star, K2-18b may be more hostile than Earth and is likely to be exposed to more radiation.

Co-author Dr. Ingo Waldmann (UCL CSED), said: "With so many new super-Earths expected to be found over the next couple of decades, it is likely that this is the first discovery of many potentially habitable planets. This is not only because super-Earths like K2-18b are the most common planets in our Galaxy, but also because red dwarfs—stars smaller than our Sun—are the most common stars."
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: philopek on September 11, 2019, 10:56:13 PM
First Water Detected on Potentially 'Habitable' Planet


This is still interesting don't get me wrong, but this kind of info belongs to any mention of so called "earth-like" exoplanets.

IMO this kind of exoplanet is not even worth to mention in the context of finding "Earth II" or habitability. It's clearly NOT habitable because it's obvious for several reasons that it is not suitable for the kind of life we're ultimately looking for and habitable means "FOR US HUMANS" and not for germs and bacteria etc.

It takes way more than the right temps and then gravitation eight times earth level would crush all things we know are necessary for intelligent and/or human life.

A planet so close to it's sun cannot even considered inside the habitable zone, despite perhaps the right temps.

Further planets that are to close to their sun usually stopped rotating long ago and therefore would have very small band of "right" temps while the rest would be burning or freezing and in the process produce extremely strong winds, way beyond what we consider strong on planet earth.

And what you said, radiation without being protected due to lack of magnetic field due to lack of rotation etc. etc.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on September 11, 2019, 11:35:59 PM
Do Super-Earths Trap the Civilizations On Them?
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/world-wide-mind/201211/do-super-earths-trap-the-civilizations-them

Super-Earths are massive, but that doesn't mean their gravity is crushing. In fact, bigger planets may be even better for space travel than Earth is.

... the formula for calculating a planet’s surface gravity: mass divided by the radius squared. That is, SG=M/R^2.

Let’s try it with HD 40307g, using data from the Habitable Exoplanet Catalog. Mass, 8.2 Earths. Radius, 2.4 times that of Earth. That gets you a surface gravity of 1.42 times Earth.

It seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? How can a planet be so much more massive than Earth yet have only 1.42 times the gravity at the surface? The answer lies in the radius. The further you are from the planet’s center, the less its gravity pulls at you. Another way of putting it is that the greater the planet’s radius is for its mass, the less dense it is.

So it’s all about the radius.

That just leaves tornado-like winds and UV & radiation from flares. Which may not be a 'given'

It doesn't follow that a tidally-locked planet would not have a magnetic field. If anything, it would have a very strong field.

Exoplanet, Mass, Radius, Surface Gravity

Gliese 581g    2.60   1.4   1.33

Gliese 581d    6.90   2.2  1.43

Gliese 667Cc  4.90  1.9   1.36

Kepler 22b      6.40   2.1   1.45

HD40307g      8.20   2.4    1.42

HD85512b      4.00    1.7    1.38

Gliese 163c    8.00    2.4    1.39

Fictional Planet 8.00  2.83   1.00

Escape velocity, however, would be higher.

It’s a function of both mass and size. If Fictional Planet was four times Earth’s mass and had two Earth radii, its surface gravity would still be 1g, but you’d need to go only 41% faster to get away from it permanently.

Surface gravity and escape velocity are both related to size and mass, but differently. Fictional Planet would be just as comfortable as Earth in terms of gravity, but more expensive to leave.

Far from being gravitational traps, super-Earths should be positive incubators of spacefaring civilizations. They have 8 times the resources.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: gandul on September 11, 2019, 11:46:15 PM
First Water Detected on Potentially 'Habitable' Planet


This is still interesting don't get me wrong, but this kind of info belongs to any mention of so called "earth-like" exoplanets.

IMO this kind of exoplanet is not even worth to mention in the context of finding "Earth II" or habitability. It's clearly NOT habitable because it's obvious for several reasons that it is not suitable for the kind of life we're ultimately looking for and habitable means "FOR US HUMANS" and not for germs and bacteria etc.

It takes way more than the right temps and then gravitation eight times earth level would crush all things we know are necessary for intelligent and/or human life.

A planet so close to it's sun cannot even considered inside the habitable zone, despite perhaps the right temps.

Further planets that are to close to their sun usually stopped rotating long ago and therefore would have very small band of "right" temps while the rest would be burning or freezing and in the process produce extremely strong winds, way beyond what we consider strong on planet earth.

And what you said, radiation without being protected due to lack of magnetic field due to lack of rotation etc. etc.
Agree to your comment (well 8 times earth mass does not imply 8g at surface).
But I think water is important.
Problem with Mars, water is not there in quantities, so why don’t we colonize Sahara? As hard but no need of space travel...
If we cannot even fill Sahara with massive viable solar energy plants...
Billionaire dreams ... space travel.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on September 12, 2019, 12:46:47 AM
Have Astronomers Just Spotted Another Interstellar Object?
https://gizmodo.com/have-astronomers-just-spotted-another-interstellar-obje-1838052026

An amateur astronomer named Gennady Borisov first spotted the object on August 30, using a telescope he built himself. Other observations (and hype) have followed. Today, the Minor Planet Center at the Center for Astrophysics released an official circular on the object, now provisionally called C/2019 Q4 (Borisov). If scientists confirm its interstellar nature, it will receive a new name that begins with 2I, denoting it as the second interstellar object.

... Initial observations already reveal that the object is an active comet with a big temporary atmosphere, or coma, Holman said.

“Absent an unexpected fading or disintegration, this object should be observable for at least a year,” according to the circular.

https://minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K19/K19RA6.html
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: blumenkraft on September 12, 2019, 08:36:56 AM
this object should be observable for at least a year,

Hmmm, a very slow interstellar object, meaning it's traveling somehow in the same direction than our solar system, right?

That would be amazing!


No, it's not. :)

Link >> https://www.projectpluto.com/temp/gb00234.htm
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on September 13, 2019, 05:41:17 PM
Newly Discovered Comet is Likely Interstellar Visitor
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-newly-comet-interstellar-visitor.html

(https://scx1.b-cdn.net/csz/news/800/2019/newlydiscove.gif)

The comet is currently 260 million miles (420 million kilometers) from the Sun and will reach its closest point, or perihelion, on Dec. 8, 2019, at a distance of about 190 million miles (300 million kilometers).

Currently on an inbound trajectory, comet C/2019 Q4 is heading toward the inner solar system and will enter it on Oct. 26 from above at roughly a 40-degree angle relative to the ecliptic plane. That's the plane in which the Earth and planets orbit the Sun.

"The comet's current velocity is high, about 93,000 mph [150,000 kph], which is well above the typical velocities of objects orbiting the Sun at that distance," said Farnocchia. "The high velocity indicates not only that the object likely originated from outside our solar system, but also that it will leave and head back to interstellar space."

Observations completed by Karen Meech and her team at the University of Hawaii indicate the comet nucleus is somewhere between 1.2 and 10 miles (2 and 16 kilometers) in diameter.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on September 18, 2019, 01:46:59 AM
U.S. Air Force Warns There's a Chance an American and Russian Satellite Could Collide Overnight
https://gizmodo.com/u-s-air-force-warns-an-american-and-russian-satellite-1838195500

Earlier today, the private American firm Bigelow Aerospace was notified by the U.S. Air Force that its Genesis II spacecraft has a slim chance of smashing into a dead Russian spy satellite.

https://mobile.twitter.com/BigelowSpace/status/1174007949863211008

Quote
... “Today, we were notified by the US Air Force that there is a 5.6% chance that Genesis II will collide with dead Russian satellite Cosmos 1300 in 15 hours,” says the tweet. “Although this is a relatively low probability, it brings to light that low Earth orbit is becoming increasingly more littered.”

Bigelow Aerospace posted its tweet at 1:30 p.m. ET. The collision, should it happen, would occur around 4:05 a.m. ET tomorrow (September 18, 2019), according to the company.

The defunct Kosmos 1300 surveillance satellite, built and operated by the former Soviet Union, dates back to 1981.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: pikaia on September 18, 2019, 11:38:49 AM
There have already been a number of collisions:-

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-worst-collision-of-orbiting-satellites-and-space_b_59406ffee4b04c03fa26166e
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on September 18, 2019, 09:48:13 PM
Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event: Asteroid Dust Cloud Sparked Explosion in Primitive Life on Earth
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-giant-asteroid-ancient-ice-age.html

(https://www.history.com/.image/ar_16:9%2Cc_fill%2Ccs_srgb%2Cfl_progressive%2Cg_faces:center%2Cq_auto:good%2Cw_768/MTU3OTIzNTc5MzQxMTg2NzA2/dinosaur-asteroid-may-have-sent-life-into-spaces-featured-photo.jpg)

About 466 million years ago, long before the age of the dinosaurs, the Earth froze. The seas began to ice over at the Earth's poles, and the new range of temperatures around the planet set the stage for a boom of new species evolving. The cause of this ice age was a mystery, until now: a new study in Science Advances argues that the ice age was caused by global cooling, triggered by extra dust in the atmosphere from a giant asteroid collision in outer space.

When the 93-mile-wide asteroid between Mars and Jupiter broke apart 466 million years ago, it created way more dust than usual. "Normally, Earth gains about 40,000 tons of extraterrestrial material every year," says Philipp Heck, a curator at the Field Museum, associate professor at the University of Chicago, and one of the paper's authors. "Imagine multiplying that by a factor of a thousand or ten thousand." To contextualize that, in a typical year, one thousand semi trucks' worth of interplanetary dust fall to Earth. In the couple million years following the collision, it'd be more like ten million semis.

The levels stayed high for 2m-4m years. “The grains come with the dust so when you see an increase in these, you know there’s been an increase in the dust,” said Schmitz.

Further tests on the ancient limestone revealed a similar spike in levels of an isotope of helium that streams out of the sun in the surge of particles known as the solar wind. The researchers believe that the helium was brought to Earth when it became embedded in the finer space dust particles as they travelled through the solar system.

(https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/advances/5/9/eaax4184/F4.large.jpg?width=800&height=600&carousel=1)

Open Access: B. Schmitz el al., "An extraterrestrial trigger for the Mid-Ordovician ice age: Dust from the breakup of the L-chondrite parent body," (https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/9/eaax4184  ) Science Advances (2019)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 18, 2019, 10:03:49 PM
Great read. There is a mature planetary system with millions of times our dust level... implying collision of Earth sized planets.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on September 18, 2019, 10:27:13 PM
Great read. There is a mature planetary system with millions of times our dust level... implying collision of Earth sized planets.
What 'read' are you talking about?
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 18, 2019, 11:22:48 PM
I was talking about the article you posted right above me.
The system I meant was BD +20 307.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on September 19, 2019, 12:27:47 PM
Within Months, 6 Quiet Galaxies Became Blazing Quasars And Scientists Don't Know How

...

when a team of astronomers led by astronomer Sara Frederick of the University of Maryland went over the first nine months' worth of data from the Zwicky Transient Facility automated sky survey, they found six LINER galaxies doing something… odd.

"For one of the six objects, we first thought we had observed a tidal disruption event, which happens when a star passes too close to a supermassive black hole and gets shredded," Frederick said.

"But we later found it was a previously dormant black hole undergoing a transition that astronomers call a 'changing look,' resulting in a bright quasar. Observing six of these transitions, all in relatively quiet LINER galaxies, suggests that we've identified a totally new class of active galactic nucleus."

https://www.sciencealert.com/six-galaxies-transformed-from-mild-mannered-liners-to-wildly-blazing-quasars

New data set immediately gives us a new puzzle.  :)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on September 22, 2019, 02:26:34 AM
Mysterious Magnetic Pulses Discovered on Mars
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/09/mars-insight-feels-mysterious-magnetic-pulsations-at-midnight/

At midnight on Mars, the red planet’s magnetic field sometimes starts to pulsate in ways that have never before been observed. The cause is currently unknown.

That’s just one of the stunning preliminary findings from NASA’s very first robotic geophysicist there, the InSight lander, since touching down in November 2018.

In addition to the odd magnetic pulsations, the lander’s data show that the Martian crust is far more powerfully magnetic than scientists expected. What’s more, the lander has picked up on a very peculiar electrically conductive layer, about 2.5 miles thick, deep beneath the planet’s surface. It’s far too early to say with any certainty, but there is a chance that this layer could represent a global reservoir of liquid water.

If these results bear out, a liquid region at this scale on modern Mars has enormous implications for the potential for life, past or present.


(https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/insight/20180222/PIA22228-16.jpg)

InSight’s magnetometer, the first placed on the Martian surface, gave scientists their best look yet at the crustal magnetic field, and it gave them a bit of a shock: The magnetic field near the robot was around 20 times stronger than what had been predicted based on past orbital measurements.

Perhaps even more puzzling, InSight also found that the crustal magnetic field near its location jiggled about every now and then. These pulses are fluctuations in the strength or direction of the magnetic field, and they are not entirely unusual.

What’s strange is that these Martian wobbles happen at local midnight, as if responding to the demands of an unseen, nocturnal timer.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on September 22, 2019, 03:44:38 PM
Edgar Rice Burroughs might have been on to something ...

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

Could Venus Have Been Habitable?
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-venus-habitable.html

(https://scx2.b-cdn.net/gfx/news/2019/5d874cee3681c.jpg) (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B9v7c7oIYAAn8FV.jpg)
Venus in its halcyon days?

Venus may have been a temperate planet hosting liquid water for 2-3 billion years, until a dramatic transformation starting over 700 million years ago resurfaced around 80% of the planet. A study presented today at the EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2019 by Michael Way of The Goddard Institute for Space Science gives a new view of Venus's climatic history and may have implications for the habitability of exoplanets in similar orbits.

To see if Venus might ever have had a stable climate capable of supporting liquid water, Dr. Way and his colleague, Anthony Del Genio, have created a series of five simulations assuming different levels of water coverage.

In all five scenarios, they found that Venus was able to maintain stable temperatures between a maximum of about 50 degrees Celsius and a minimum of about 20 degrees Celsius for around three billion years. A temperate climate might even have been maintained on Venus today had there not been a series of events that caused a release, or 'outgassing', of carbon dioxide stored in the rocks of the planet approximately 700-750 million years ago.

Although many researchers believe that Venus is beyond the inner boundary of our Solar System's habitable zone and is too close to the Sun to support liquid water, the new study suggests that this might not be the case.

Quote
... "Venus currently has almost twice the solar radiation that we have at Earth. However, in all the scenarios we have modelled, we have found that Venus could still support surface temperatures amenable for liquid water"

... "Something happened on Venus where a huge amount of gas was released into the atmosphere and couldn't be re-absorbed by the rocks. On Earth we have some examples of large-scale outgassing, for instance the creation of the Siberian Traps 500 million years ago which is linked to a mass extinction, but nothing on this scale. It completely transformed Venus," said Way.

Open Access: Michael Way and Anthony Del Genio, A view of the possible habitability of ancient Venus and similar exoplanetary worlds (https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EPSC-DPS2019/EPSC-DPS2019-1846-1.pdf), EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2019
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on September 25, 2019, 11:59:29 PM
NASA Visualization Shows a Black Hole's Warped World
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-nasa-visualization-black-hole-warped.html

(https://scx2.b-cdn.net/gfx/news/2019/nasavisualiz.gif)

This new visualization of a black hole illustrates how its gravity distorts our view, warping its surroundings as if seen in a carnival mirror. The visualization simulates the appearance of a black hole where infalling matter has collected into a thin, hot structure called an accretion disk. The black hole's extreme gravity skews light emitted by different regions of the disk, producing the misshapen appearance.

Seen nearly edgewise, the turbulent disk of gas churning around a black hole takes on a crazy double-humped appearance. The black hole's extreme gravity alters the paths of light coming from different parts of the disk, producing the warped image. The black hole's extreme gravitational field redirects and distorts light coming from different parts of the disk, but exactly what we see depends on our viewing angle. The greatest distortion occurs when viewing the system nearly edgewise.

(https://scx2.b-cdn.net/gfx/news/2019/1-nasavisualiz.jpg)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: blumenkraft on September 27, 2019, 09:35:17 PM
‘Planet Nine’ may actually be a black hole

Link >> https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/09/planet-nine-may-actually-be-black-hole?rss=1
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: philopek on September 27, 2019, 10:34:12 PM
‘Planet Nine’ may actually be a black hole

Link >> https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/09/planet-nine-may-actually-be-black-hole?rss=1

There is a critical mass for black holes to be stable and that makes the idea linked above far fetched to say it nicely.

As per now the most probably smallest black hole would have between 3.8 and 5 times the mass of our sun that is XTE J1650-500.

Smaller masses are possible but have not yet been found somewhere in the 2.x sun masses.

The smallest theoretically possible black holes would be non-stellar and there existence in the wild is not realistically possible due to the age of the universe, it would take more time for them to come into existence (in theory) and then they would not be stable.

Chances that the solar system contains a black hole with a size larger than the sun is negligible (speak: impossible) and the existence of a black hole that is smaller than 2.x sun masses is "not probable" (speak: impossible at this moment in time) as well.

The 2.x sun masses black hole would hardly form from a collapsing star (super nova) but in theory could form from two merging neutron stars (in theory)

Should we ever want to find significantly smaller than 2.x sun mass "natural" black holes we have to give them way more time to form.

Black holes lose mass over time! Because of the fact that the Universe is quantum in nature, producing particle-antiparticle fluctuations all the time both inside, outside and on the event horizon of black holes, these objects aren’t completely static in time. Although it happens very slowly, black holes evaporate thanks to a process known as Hawking radiation!
This isn’t a stream of particles and/or antiparticles that emanate from black holes, but rather some very low-energy, almost constant flux of blackbody radiation.

Over huge timescales — something like 10^68 or 10^69 years — these lowest mass black holes will evaporate, decreasing in mass slowly at first and then incredibly rapidly, losing the last few tonnes in just microseconds!

So if you want to see an even smaller black hole than what we’ve got in the Universe today, stick around for a while. And if you want them to be smaller NOW, no way.

The absolute minimum thinkable mass of a black hole should be not much greater than the Planck mass
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 27, 2019, 11:33:49 PM
One dark horse way you could have a Black Hole less than two solar masses in the present universe is if they are primordial...compressed local inhomogeneities in the Big Bang.
But even if they are possible, they would almost certainly not be in orbit around a present day star.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: philopek on September 28, 2019, 03:15:08 AM
One dark horse way you could have a Black Hole less than two solar masses in the present universe is if they are primordial...compressed local inhomogeneities in the Big Bang.
But even if they are possible, they would almost certainly not be in orbit around a present day star.

The absolute minimum thinkable mass of a black hole should be not much greater than the Planck mass but as mentioned above that would not be stable, hence to say it can exist in the present universe is correct in one way but as you correctly pointed out, in short, not really in the common meaning of "existing" in a form that could be observed other than under laboratory conditions like i.e. the LHC would be one.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 28, 2019, 03:56:20 PM
A Planck Mass BH lasts for a Planck Time. A solar mass BH lasts for something like a google ages of the universe. Nor BH is "stable".
I believe the minimum primordial mass BH that could still exist now is one that was about the mass of a typical asteroid at the Big Bang.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on September 30, 2019, 03:26:43 AM
Life on Mars Could be Found Within Two Years But World is ‘Not Prepared’, NASA’s Chief Scientist Says
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/nasa-mars-life-discovery-space-exomars-rover-chief-scientist-jim-green-a9125076.html?amp

NASA is close to finding life on Mars but the world is not ready for the “revolutionary” implications of the discovery, the space agency’s chief scientist has said.

Dr Jim Green has warned that two rovers from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) could find evidence of life within months of arriving on Mars in March 2021.


Dr Green compared the potential discovery to when the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus stated that the Earth revolves around the Sun in the 16th century.

“It will start a whole new line of thinking. I don’t think we’re prepared for the results,” he told The Sunday Telegraph. “I’ve been worried about that because I think we’re close to finding it and making some announcements.”

... “What happens next is a whole new set of scientific questions. Is that life like us? How are we related?” he said. “Can life move from planet-to-planet or do we have a spark and just the right environment and that spark generates life – like us or do not like us – based on the chemical environment that it is in?”

Earlier this year, scientists discovered that there may be a vast and active system of water running underneath the surface of Mars.

... “There is no reason to think that there isn’t civilisations elsewhere, because we are finding exoplanets [planets outside the solar system] all over the place,” he said.

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

We Should Deliberately Contaminate Mars With Our Microbes, Controversial Study Argues
https://gizmodo.com/we-should-deliberately-contaminate-mars-with-our-microb-1838496474/amp

A research team is proposing a major philosophical shift in our thinking about the spread of Earthly microbes in space and on Mars in particular. Believing interplanetary contamination to be “inevitable,” the team argues that future Martian colonists should use microorganisms to reshape the Red Planet—a proposition deemed grossly premature by some experts.

In a paper published last month in FEMS Microbiology Ecology, microbiologist Jose Lopez, a professor at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, along with colleagues W. Raquel Peixoto and Alexandre Rosado from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, proposed a “major revision” to current philosophies behind space exploration and planetary protection policies as they pertain to the spread of microorganisms in space.

Quote
...“Microbial introduction should not be considered accidental but inevitable.”

Rather than worry about contaminating foreign celestial bodies—something NASA and other space agencies take great care to avoid—Lopez and his co-authors make the case that we should deliberately send our germs to outer space and that the dissemination of our microbes should be part of a larger colonization strategy to terraform the climate on Mars. A key argument proposed by the researchers is that the prevention of contamination is a “near impossibility,” as the authors phrase it in the study.

Open Access: Jose V Lopez, et.al., "Inevitable future: space colonization beyond Earth with microbes first" (https://academic.oup.com/femsec/article/95/10/fiz127/5553461), FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Volume 95, Issue 10, October 2019

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

Resistance is futile!
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: sidd on September 30, 2019, 06:26:31 AM
This seems quite irresponsible. Our microbes might wipe out life native to other planets. I suppose it's a version of Manifest Destiny.

sidd
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: etienne on September 30, 2019, 06:36:15 AM
Irresponsible but difficult to avoid if you send humans on mars. Maybe it would be a good reason not to do it.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Aporia_filia on September 30, 2019, 12:21:53 PM
"Manifest Destiny" You're one of my idols here Sidd. But this is an idea where I'm not that sure. Why? Because we cannot know how free our free will is. We're always talking as if our brains could rationalise everything, but we know that our behavior is more hormone based than rational. How unnatural that Manifest Destiny behavior is?
Probably very unnatural if you think of individuals, but how about Humanity?
We are so proud of our free will and our intelligence that we don't consider what is a must when studying other spicies: the effects and behavior of the Superorganism.
And I bring back something that even had a thread in this forum (if remembered correctly); we should consider the size of human groups as a fundamental characteristic  of its nature.
This could be applied to nanning hypothesis; we are evolving, we are not equal (no one better than other), but those who are selfish have easier time into big groups of people than into 'tribes'.
There are so many evolutionary studies with pigeons, foxes, daisys... about all this, why not about us?
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: gerontocrat on September 30, 2019, 12:30:02 PM

We Should Deliberately Contaminate Mars With Our Microbes, Controversial Study Argues


Since we are doing the best we can to wipe out life on Earth, we might as well make sure the rest of the Solar System is dead as well.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: TerryM on September 30, 2019, 08:14:48 PM
^^
Raman!!


+ a Martian Marshall Plan, to keep Intergalactic Corporations from gaining an appendage hold in "our" solar system. 8)


Terry, & the Planetary Pirates INC.

Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 02, 2019, 12:34:09 AM
Scientists Are Starting to Take Warp Drives Seriously, Especially One Specific Concept
https://www.uah.edu/news/news/standing-room-only-crowd-engages-in-student-s-warp-drive-theory-speech

Warp drive, as Star Trek fans know, is the ability to fly through space at speeds faster than light. A report on University of Alabama in Huntsville student Joseph Agnew’s work succinctly explained the value of speeds like that: Unless we can do it, we’re not going very far from home.

In recent years, the scientific community has become understandably excited and skeptical about claims that a particular concept – the Alcubierre Warp Drive – might actually be feasible.

(https://assets3.thrillist.com/v1/image/2270049/size/sk-2017_04_article_main_mobile.jpg)

This was the subject of a presentation made at this year's American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Propulsion and Energy Forum, which took place from August 19th to 22nd in Indianapolis.

This presentation (https://www.uah.edu/news/news/standing-room-only-crowd-engages-in-student-s-warp-drive-theory-speech) was conducted by Joseph Agnew – an undergraduate engineer and research assistant from the University of Alabama in Huntsville's Propulsion Research Center (PRC).

As part of a session titled "The Future of Nuclear and Breakthrough Propulsion", Agnew shared the results of a study he conducted titled "An Examination of Warp Theory and Technology to Determine the State of the Art and Feasibility (https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/10.2514/6.2019-4288)".

Quote
... "Mathematically, if you fulfill all the energy requirements, they can’t prove that it doesn’t work"

"Warp drive theory is at the point where the mathematics needs more development and the technologies need more development," Agnew says.

The field is where radio, television, radar, microwaves, computing, cellular communications, human flight, space exploration and travel by automobile all once were. It’s ahead of the current cutting edge, theoretically possible, but limited by its prodigious energy requirements and scalability issues as well as the current state of supporting technologies.

But even if it has doubters, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

... Engage!

J. Agnew, An Examination of Warp Theory and Technology to Determine the State of the Art and Feasibility (https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/10.2514/6.2019-4288), AIAA Propulsion and Energy 2019 Forum

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

Maybe they could tap into the energy all around us ...

Physicist Suggests 'Quantum Foam' May Explain Away Huge Cosmic Energy
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-physicist-quantum-foam-huge-cosmic.html

... Conventional theory suggests that spacetime should be filled with a huge amount of energy—perhaps as much as 10120 more than seemingly exists. Over the years, many theorists have suggested ideas on why this may be—most have tried the obvious approach, trying to figure out a way to make the energy go away. But none have been successful. In this new effort, Carlip suggests that maybe all that energy really is there, but it does not have any ties to the expansion of the universe because its effects are being canceled out by something at the Planck scale.

The new theory by Carlip is based very heavily on work done by John Wheeler back in the 1950s—he suggested that at the smallest possible scale, space and time turn into something he called "spacetime foam." He argued that at such a small scale, defining time, length and energy would be subject to the uncertainty principle. Since then, others have taken a serious look at spacetime foam—and some have suggested that if a vacuum were filled with spacetime foam, there would be a lot of energy involved. Others argue that such a scenario would behave like the cosmological constant.

Thus, to explain their ideas, they have sought to find ways to cancel out the energy as a way to make it go away. Carlip suggests instead that in a spacetime foam scenario, energy would exist everywhere in a vacuum—but if you took a much closer look, you would find Planck-sized areas that have an equal likelihood of expanding or contracting. And under such a scenario, the patchwork of tiny areas would appear the same as larger areas in the vacuum—and they would not expand or contract, which means they would have a zero cosmic constant. He notes that under such a scenario, time would have no intrinsic direction.

(https://miro.medium.com/max/784/1*Lyy-LZ3lWUNdLA1vGK4uPA.png)
https://medium.com/@aleksejskonovaliks/how-quantum-foam-unites-quantum-field-theory-with-string-theory-false-wave-particle-duality-7eebc1ef8516

S. Carlip. Hiding the Cosmological Constant (https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.131302), Physical Review Letters (2019).
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: blumenkraft on October 02, 2019, 05:39:11 AM
Quote
Warp drive, as Star Trek fans know, is the ability to fly through space at speeds faster than light.

Well, as a Star Trek fan, i know warp drive does nothing of sorts. It wraps the space and therefore moves the vessel relative in space. Nothing is faster than light. ;)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: blumenkraft on October 02, 2019, 08:25:58 AM
First alien gases detected from interstellar comet

Quote
Just weeks after the discovery of the second-ever comet from outside of our solar system (the first was the cigar-shaped ‘Oumuamua), astronomers have detected gas emitted from its surface—the first hint of what an interstellar traveler is made of.

Sadly, it’s not kryptonite, or even unobtanium, but cyanogen, a simple but toxic molecule made up of two carbon and two nitrogen atoms. The comet, dubbed 2I/Borisov, was first spotted on 30 August by Ukrainian astronomer Gennadiy Borisov. Later observations showed it was moving in an orbit not bound by the sun’s gravity. Since then, many astronomers have studied the object including a team using the 4.2-meter William Herschel Telescope (WHT) in Spain’s Canary Islands.

Link >> https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/10/first-alien-gasses-detected-interstellar-comet
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 02, 2019, 05:19:25 PM
Quote
Warp drive, as Star Trek fans know, is the ability to fly through space at speeds faster than light.

Well, as a Star Trek fan, i know warp drive does nothing of sorts. It wraps the space and therefore moves the vessel relative in space. Nothing is faster than light. ;)

Quote
... There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

 Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167

Both a STNG 'Warp Drive' and the 'Alcubierre Drive' use a 'Warp Bubble' within which, as you say, the speed of light (c) is not violated (no local space/time violation). However, the 'Warp bubble' can move through space at faster than light speed. This does not violate general relativity.

The most credible way of sending signals faster than light is via negative matter. You can do this by compressing the space in front of you and expanding the space behind you, so that you surf on a tidal wave of warped space. You can calculate that this tidal wave travels faster than light if driven by negative matter. (... this is the method I posted, and the way the Enterprise apparently travels.)  ;)

Negative Matter Propulsion
https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/3.23219?journalCode=jpp

Cosmologists Prove Negative Mass Can Exist In Our Universe
https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/cosmologists-prove-negative-mass-can-exist-in-our-universe-250a980320a7

Negative Mass Bubbles In De Sitter Space-Time
http://arxiv.org/abs/1407.1457

Faster Than the Speed of Light: New Model Proposes Jets Go Superluminal in Gamma-Ray Bursts
https://scitechdaily.com/faster-than-the-speed-of-light-new-model-proposes-jets-go-superluminal-in-gamma-ray-bursts/

Superluminal Light Pulse Propagation
https://www.physics.byu.edu/faculty/peatross/Superluminal.aspx

Gain-Assisted Superluminal Light Propagation
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10917523

Testing the Speed of ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’
https://www.nature.com/articles/nature07121

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

Hypothetical Speed & Energy Constraints of Warp Drive ...

(https://i.stack.imgur.com/QxLjt.gif)

(https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-dcd781c0c8f8c6490ff685027c105f17-c)

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

Black Holes As We Know Them May Not Exist
https://www.livescience.com/black-holes-may-not-exist.html

K. S. Croker, J. L. Weiner, Implications of Symmetry and Pressure in Friedmann Cosmology. I. Formalism (https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/ab32da), The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 882, Number 1, Aug. 2019

... Researchers were looking at Friedmann's equations, which are simplified from Einstein's theory of general relativity. (Relativity describes how mass and energy warp space-time.) Physicists use Friedmann's equations to describe the expansion of the universe, in part because the math is simpler than in Einstein's body of equations describing relativity. The team found that, in order to properly write down Friedmann's equations, ultradense and isolated regions of space, like neutron stars and black holes, had to be treated in the same mathematical way as all other areas. Previously, cosmologists believed it was reasonable to ignore the internal details of ultradense and isolated regions, such as the inside of a black hole.

"We showed there's only one way to [construct these equations] correctly," Croker told Live Science. "And if you do it that one way, which is the correct way to do it, you find some interesting things."

The new results suggest that all the dark energy required for the accelerated expansion of the universe could be contained in these alternatives to black holes. The researchers discovered this in the math, after they had corrected the way to write out Friedmann's equations. And in a follow-up paper submitted to The Astrophysical Journal and posted Sept. 7 on the preprint journal arXiv, they showed that these alternatives to black holes, called Generic Objects of Dark Energy (GEODEs), could also help explain peculiarities in gravitational-wave observations from 2016.

The math from Friedmann's equations showed that over time, these ultradense objects gain weight simply due to the expansion of the universe, even when there is no nearby material for them to consume. Just as light traveling through expanding space loses energy — an effect known as redshift — matter also loses weight as space expands. The effect is usually so tiny it cannot be seen. But in ultradense material with very strong pressures inside, known as relativistic material, the effect becomes noticeable. Dark energy is very relativistic, and its pressure acts oppositely to normal matter and light — so objects made of it (like these hypothetical GEODEs) gain weight over time.

"Light is sort of a weird thing. It behaves counterintuitively, in many ways," Croker said. "People didn't expect that this behavior could also be exhibited in other objects. But we showed, yes, you can see it in another object," namely inside GEODEs.

it turns out these weird objects could also provide a simple explanation for observed large black hole mergers. In 2016, members of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)-Virgo collaboration announced they had the first-ever observations of a black hole merger, but the calculated masses of the supposed black holes was unexpected — scientists expected the masses to be either much higher or lower.

But GEODEs, unlike traditional black holes, gain weight over time. If two GEODEs that had formed in the younger universe eventually collided, by the time they collided, they would have grown larger than typical black holes. By that point, the GEODEs' masses would match the masses seen in the collision observed by LIGO-Virgo. Instead of having to conceive of a highly specific situation that led to the merger, GEODEs could provide a simpler solution to explain the observations. (See also: Occam's razor)

Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 02, 2019, 05:34:55 PM
Add this to the pile Terry ...

New Research Supports Hypothesis that Asteroid Contributed to Mass Extinction During the Younger Dryas
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-hypothesis-asteroid-contributed-mass-extinction.html

(https://scx2.b-cdn.net/gfx/news/hires/2019/africanevide.jpg)

A team of scientists from South Africa has discovered evidence partially supporting a hypothesis that Earth was struck by a meteorite or asteroid 12 800 years ago, leading to global consequences including climate change, and contributing to the extinction of many species of large animals at the time of an episode called the Younger Dryas.

The team, led by Professor Francis Thackeray of the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, discovered evidence of a remarkable "platinum spike" at a site called Wonderkrater in the Limpopo Province, north of Pretoria in South Africa. Working with researcher Philip Pieterse from the University of Johannesburg and Professor Louis Scott of the University of the Free State, Thackeray discovered this evidence from a core drilled in a peat deposit, notably in a sample about 12 800 years old. This research was published in Palaeontologia Africana.

Noting that meteorites are rich in platinum, Thackeray said "Our finding at least partially supports the highly controversial Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis (YDIH).

... Human populations may have been indirectly affected at the time in question. In North America there is a dramatic termination of the stone tool technology of Clovis people. Remarkably, archaeologists in South Africa have detected an almost simultaneous termination of the Robberg stone artifact industry associated with people in some parts of the country, including the area around Boomplaas near the Cango Caves in the southern Cape, close to the town of Oudshoorn.

... "We cannot be certain, but a cosmic impact could have affected humans as a result of local changes in environment and the availability of food resources, associated with sudden climate change."

At Wonderkrater, the team has evidence from pollen to show that about 12 800 years ago there was temporary cooling, associated with the "Younger Dryas" drop in temperature that is well documented in the northern hemisphere, and now also in South Africa. According to some scientists, this cooling in widespread areas could at least potentially have been associated with the global dispersal of platinum-rich atmospheric dust.

This is the first evidence in Africa for a platinum spike preceding climate change. Younger Dryas spikes in platinum have also been found in Greenland, Eurasia, North America, Mexico and recently also at Pilauco in Chile. Wonderkrater is the 30th site in the world for such evidence.

A large crater 31 kilometers in diameter has been discovered in northern Greenland beneath the Hiawatha Glacier. "There is some evidence to support the view that it might possibly have been the very place where a large meteorite struck the planet earth 12 800 years ago."

(https://images.theconversation.com/files/294976/original/file-20191001-173364-1egasoj.JPG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=320&h=426&fit=crop)

Open Access: Thackeray, J. Francis; Scott, Louis; Pieterse, P, The Younger Dryas interval at Wonderkrater (South Africa) in the context of a platinum anomaly (http://wiredspace.wits.ac.za/handle/10539/28129), Palaeontologia Africana 2019-10-02
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on October 02, 2019, 07:40:37 PM
How would we store the negative matter and what would that do to the ship?

The warp drive was wasted in the first series. All that tech for some intergalactic womanizing. Worst episode was when they beamed down to Olympus. But at least the rest was a lot better (until the timewarp in the prequel series).

Thanks for the GEODE and YD articles.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on October 03, 2019, 08:23:20 PM
Already posted and sicussed in #160 and on.

Aside that graphic in post #159 is really cool.  8)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on October 03, 2019, 08:50:33 PM
Sorry, kassy.
How do I get to post #159 (or whatever #)?
Also, could you translate your signature?
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 03, 2019, 09:34:32 PM
If you observe closely (under the title), your last reply was #179. The one above it was #178, ergo, Q.E.D.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: kassy on October 04, 2019, 10:37:24 AM
For the sigs text see:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,416.1500.html
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 05, 2019, 01:46:41 AM
Double Protostar Caught in Process of Forming
http://www.sci-news.com/astronomy/double-protostar-07662.html

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have captured a stunning image of two circumstellar disks in which two protostars are growing, fed by a complex network of filaments of gas and dust.

https://youtu.be/PH3lPcegj0A
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 06, 2019, 08:38:50 PM
Building a Galaxy: Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/10/building-andromeda-galaxy-ended-up-with-stars-orbiting-at-right-angles/

In a paper published on Wednesday in Nature, the Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey team describes uncovering some of our nearest galactic neighbor's violent past. The paper shows that Andromeda was built in part by two major collisions that have left clusters of stars occupying two perpendicular orbits. In the process of writing their paper, the researchers also uncover a bit of a mystery about an unexpected alignment between some of these clusters and Andromeda's satellite galaxies.

... The researchers identified 92 globular clusters in the halo of the galaxy, orbiting at least 25,000 parsecs from its core. These were imaged to determine their motion relative to Earth using the Doppler shift. That information could be converted to the clusters' local motion relative to the rest of Andromeda.

The analysis indicated there were two distinct populations. One group of clusters was associated with previously identified structures within Andromeda during its orbits. A second group, orbiting in a plane that's 90° off from this one, doesn't appear to be associated with anything in the galaxy itself. Notably, neither of these planes match that of Andromeda's disk.

... Structures like the ones here have to be a product of a relatively recent event—an event like a galaxy merger. "These clearly represent debris from one or more accretions that must have occurred relatively recently," the authors write, "in order for the underlying structures to be still coherent."

This, they suggest, may be related to a merger with a relatively large galaxy that occurred about a billion years ago ("recent" means something different in astronomy.)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SDuXAHuc7W0

The orbit of the older group of globular clusters roughly lined up with the orbits of many of Andromeda's satellite galaxies. That makes sense if we assume these globular clusters were stripped from some of the satellites. But it makes less sense when you consider that the satellites shouldn't stay in the same plane for long, as gravitational interactions among themselves and with Andromeda's dark matter halo should skew them out of the plane they started in.

The authors are at a loss to explain this part of their results

Two major accretion epochs in M31 from two distinct populations of globular clusters Nature, 2019
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1597-1

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

Not Long Ago, the Center of the Milky Way Exploded
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-center-milky.html

A titanic, expanding beam of energy sprang from close to the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way just 3.5 million years ago, sending a cone-shaped burst of radiation through both poles of the Galaxy and out into deep space.

The phenomenon, known as a Seyfert flare, created two enormous 'ionisation cones' that sliced through the Milky Way—beginning with a relatively small diameter close to the black hole, and expanding vastly as they exited the Galaxy.

In Galactic terms, that is astonishingly recent.

(https://scx2.b-cdn.net/gfx/news/2019/notlongagoth.gif)

A schematic diagram modelling the ionizing radiation field over the South Galactic Hemisphere of the Milky Way, disrupted by the Seyfert flare event.

The blast, the researchers estimate, lasted for perhaps 300,000 years—an extremely short period in galactic terms.

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

Could this have impacted life on Earth?
E.L.E.?
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 06, 2019, 08:44:35 PM
Jonathan McDowell: "After an 11 year mission the Jason 2 oceanographic altimetry satellite was retired on Oct 1 and will be finally turned off on Oct 10. Its orbit is 1305 x 1317 km x 66 deg (lowered from 1332 x 1344 km in Jul 2017)"
https://mobile.twitter.com/planet4589/status/1180867782638030848

Quote
Like its two predecessors, OSTM/Jason-2 used high-precision ocean altimetry to measure the distance between the satellite and the ocean surface to within a few centimeters. These very accurate observations of variations in sea surface height—also known as  ocean topography—provide information about global sea level, the speed and direction of ocean currents, and heat stored in the ocean.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSTM/Jason-2
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: philopek on October 06, 2019, 09:26:42 PM
Building a Galaxy: Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey

Thanks for all the extremely interesting posts of yours.

Beside anything sea-ice related they are, for me at least, the most interesting input found on this forum, well worth a forum of it's own, because after all that's about the greatest possible picture and IMO astronomy and astrophysics should be compulsory subjects in everyone's education plan,
so to give every human being an impression/clue about self-non-importance and what it really is
that matters and moves the world(s).

The part I like most about astrophysics is that fact that there is no way to negotiated with
laws of nature/physics. People cannot discuss facts to death like they do all over the place
and in the process put an endless number of obstacles in any possible path to solutions.

What we end up with are an endless loop of self-destructive/destructive workarounds just to
find confirmed that there is nothing to be negotiated, live with the facts or pay the price.

For the religious among us I would recommend to change "The word of god" into "the laws of nature" and there we go, but without killing each other.

Interestingly to understand that, would keep people from fighting each other because there is nothing to fight because laws of physics are the boundaries non of us can breach.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 07, 2019, 05:54:18 PM
Thanks philopek

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

Extreme Solar Storms May Be More Frequent Than Previously Thought
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-extreme-solar-storms-frequent-previously.html

New research in AGU's journal Space Weather indicates storms like the Carrington Event (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859) are not as rare as scientists thought and could happen every few decades, seriously damaging modern communication and navigation systems around the globe.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fpm1.narvii.com%2F7104%2Ff378d851b7e3e8e11fad66fc48ceb50e4c7ca338r1-800-533v2_uhq.jpg&hash=775f03d903db28ff47a4a4621b520eea)

Depending on a coronal mass ejection's strength and trajectory, they can significantly distort Earth's magnetic field, causing an intense magnetic storm, global auroras and damaging any technology that relies on electromagnetic waves.

... newly recovered historical documents suggest the Carrington sunspot group had probably launched multiple outbursts from early August to early October, including a preceding solar storm in late August 1859. The researchers estimate this event happened around August 27th, 1859 and sent out separate coronal mass ejections that were strong enough to impact Earth's magnetic field. The August storm may have played a role in making the September Carrington Event so intense.

After reconstructing the storms around the Carrington Event, the researchers compared the solar storm to other storms in 1872, 1909, 1921, and 1989 and found two of them—those in 1872 and 1921—were comparable to this event. The 1989 event caused a serious blackout throughout all of Quebec, Canada. This means events like the Carrington may not be as legendary and elusive as once thought, and scientists need to consider the hazards of such events more seriously than before, according to Hayakawa.

"The Carrington Event was considered to be the worst-case scenario for space weather events against the modern civilization… but if it comes several times a century, we have to reconsider how to prepare against and mitigate that kind of space weather hazard," said Hisashi Hayakawa, lead author of the new study and an astrophysicist at Osaka University in Osaka, Japan and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the United Kingdom.

Hisashi Hayakawa et al. Temporal and Spatial Evolutions of a Large Sunspot Group and Great Auroral Storms around the Carrington Event in 1859 (https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2019SW002269), Space Weather (2019)

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

A Massive Solar Storm Could Cost the US Economy $40 Billion per Day
https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/243255-massive-solar-storm-cost-us-economy-40-billion-per-day

The new report, aptly titled “Space Weather,” seeks to determine the total economic losses to the United States in various scenarios, ranging from an indirect strike to a geomagnetic storm capable of disrupting the power grid across the United States. As we’ve discussed before, the power grid in America is potentially quite vulnerable to this type of disruption, since the grid literally isn’t designed to handle this type of problem and doesn’t contain any safeguards that would protect directly against it. In fact, some of the strategies you use to mitigate against certain terrestrial problems in the power grid are exactly the opposite of what you might want to do if the power grid was hit by a geomagnetic storm.

The US is vulnerable to some of these disruptions because we make heavy use of high-voltage, low-resistance power lines, with transmission voltages in the 200-700 kV range. These types of lines are more vulnerable to geomagnetically induced current, or GIC.

(https://www.extremetech.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Damage-Scale.jpg)

The long restoration periods for damage to EHV transformers arise from the average lead time for a bespoke domestically manufactured transformer of 5 to 12 months and for internationally manufactured transformers, of around 6 to 16 months… Moreover, there can be a protracted lead time before their manufacture and delays in physically installing them in place due to their size and weight, which require specialist transport and permits to move them along their chosen route.

The secondary effect of transformer damage, including delayed failure in the weeks or months following an event… would cause problems in energy-constrained economies, since the transformers most likely to be affected are generator step-up units and the generator capacity will not be available until the transformer is replaced. In addition to having to replace damaged transformers within the region of the extreme GMD, transformers beyond the region might also be damaged. Units in which damage has been initiated will degrade over weeks or months until they fail, well after the GMD event is over. The failure of these transformers in adjacent regions will increase the pressure on manufacturing replacement transformers.

In short, it could take five to 16 months to completely restore electrical service after a major solar flare. The economic consequences of such an event could bring US GDP to a near-standstill. It might be tempting to write off the prospect of another solar flare as just another example of doom-and-gloom projections that aren’t likely to happen, like the idea of a huge meteor striking Earth.

This, I think, would be a mistake. Unlike civilization-destroying meteors, which don’t show up very often, massive solar flares are well represented in the historical record.

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016SW001491
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on October 07, 2019, 06:34:47 PM
We almost had a solar apocalypse in 2012, vox_mundi:
Near Miss: The Solar Superstorm of July 2012
https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/23jul_superstorm
Quote
July 23, 2014: If an asteroid big enough to knock modern civilization back to the 18th century appeared out of deep space and buzzed the Earth-Moon system, the near-miss would be instant worldwide headline news.
Two years ago, Earth experienced a close shave just as perilous, but most newspapers didn't mention it. The "impactor" was an extreme solar storm, the most powerful in as much as 150+ years.
"If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces," says Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 08, 2019, 12:37:40 AM
Saturn Overtakes Jupiter as Planet With Most Moons
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49962134

Saturn has overtaken Jupiter as the planet with the most moons, according to US researchers.

A team discovered a haul of 20 new moons orbiting the ringed planet, bringing its total to 82; Jupiter, by contrast, has 79 natural satellites.

(https://b.marfeelcache.com/statics/i/ps/cdn.zmescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/109131346_mediaitem109131345.jpg)

Each of the newly discovered objects in orbit around Saturn is about 5km (three miles) in diameter; 17 of them orbit the planet "backwards".

This is known as a retrograde direction. The other three moons orbit in a prograde direction - the same direction as Saturn rotates.

Two of the prograde moons take about two years to travel once around the ringed planet. ... The more-distant retrograde moons and one of the prograde moons each take more than three years to complete an orbit.

Scientists think the retrograde and prograde moons are the broken up remnants of at least three larger bodies. These bigger objects were smashed up by collisions, either between distinct moons or with outside objects such as passing asteroids

... The team has initiated a contest to name the moons. They have to be named after giants from Norse, Gallic or Inuit mythology, corresponding to the three different clusters

Rules at: https://carnegiescience.edu/NameSaturnsMoons

Tweet your suggested moon name to @SaturnLunacy and tell us why you picked it. Photos, artwork, and videos are strongly encouraged. Don't forget to include the hashtag #NameSaturnsMoons
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 08, 2019, 12:55:10 AM
Curiosity Rover Finds an Ancient Oasis on Mars
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-curiosity-rover-ancient-oasis-mars.html

Looking across the entirety of Curiosity's journey, which began in 2012, the science team sees a cycle of wet to dry across long timescales on Mars.

... Given that Earth and Mars were similar in their early days, Rapin speculated that Sutton Island formation in Gale Crater might have resembled saline lakes on South America's Altiplano. Streams and rivers flowing from mountain ranges into this arid, high-altitude plateau lead to closed basins similar to Mars' ancient Gale Crater. Lakes on the Altiplano are heavily influenced by climate in the same way as Gale.

https://youtu.be/Q-uAz82sH-E

... Up until now, the rover has encountered lots of flat sediment layers that had been gently deposited at the bottom of a lake. Team member Chris Fedo, who specializes in the study of sedimentary layers at the University of Tennessee, noted that Curiosity is currently running across large rock structures that could have formed only in a higher-energy environment such as a windswept area or flowing streams.

Wind or flowing water piles sediment into layers that gradually incline. When they harden into rock, they become large structures similar to "Teal Ridge," which Curiosity investigated this past summer.

"Finding inclined layers represents a major change, where the landscape isn't completely underwater anymore," said Fedo. "We may have left the era of deep lakes behind." ...

(https://scx2.b-cdn.net/gfx/news/2019/curiosityrov.gif)
This animation demonstrates the salty ponds and streams that scientists think may have been left behind as Gale Crater dried out over time. The bottom of the image is the floor of Gale Crater, with the peak being the side of Mount Sharp.

An interval of high salinity in ancient Gale crater lake on Mars (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0458-8), Nature Geoscience (2019)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 08, 2019, 10:39:51 PM
Re: Building a Galaxy

https://vimeo.com/109836809
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Planet Factory Floor

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=A8LRxIANzQs
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Sebastian Jones on October 09, 2019, 07:48:43 AM
Aaah, Earth Mark 2. I wonder how far back in time they can reset it?
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on October 13, 2019, 04:07:55 AM
Astronomy in a Low-Carbon Future
(A White Paper prepared for the Canadian Long Range Plan 2020)
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1910.01272.pdf

Abstract:
The global climate crisis poses new risks to humanity, and with them, new challenges to the practices of
professional astronomy. Avoiding the more catastrophic consequences of global warming by more than 1.5
degrees requires an immediate reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. According to the 2018 United Nations
Intergovernmental Panel report, this will necessitate a 45% reduction of emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. Efforts are required at all levels, from the individual to the governmental, and every discipline
must find ways to achieve these goals. This will be especially difficult for astronomy with its significant reliance
on conference and research travel, among other impacts. However, our long-range planning exercises provide
the means to coordinate our response on a variety of levels. We have the opportunity to lead by example, rising
to the challenge rather than reacting to external constraints.
We explore how astronomy can meet the challenge of a changing climate in clear and responsible ways, such
as how we set expectations (for ourselves, our institutions, and our granting agencies) around scientific travel,
the organization of conferences, and the design of our infrastructure. We also emphasize our role as reliable
communicators of scientific information on a problem that is both human and planetary in scale.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 26, 2019, 06:00:45 PM
US Army Will Study ‘Metamaterials’ Collected by UFO Study Group
https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2019/10/army-partners-ufo-researchers-study-active-camouflage-and-other-sci-fi-tech/160815/

The Army Combat Capabilities Development Command recently partnered with the TTSA to study a wide variety of different technologies and materials, most of which sound like they were pulled straight from a sci-fi movie. The cooperative research and development agreement is set to last five years and could ultimately help the Army develop new capabilities for its fleet of ground vehicles. The service has pledged to spend $750,000 to examine the futuristic materials and technologies.

... Specifically, the Army wants to explore a handful of futuristic materials and technologies the group has either studied or has in its possession, including inertial mass reduction, quantum communications, beamed energy propulsion, active camouflage and directed photon projection. The Army also plans to study the “mechanical and [electromagnetic] sensitive” metamaterials—a type of synthetic material that can manipulate light and other waves—the group collected “as part of its field operations.”

... these metal samples displayed anti-gravitational or levitational properties when exposed to certain frequencies of electromagnetic radiation.

Army Contract Aggrement: https://www.nextgov.com/media/gbc/docs/pdfs_edit/ng_ttsa_crada.pdf

The Army here is presenting as a simple statement that TTSA has "materiel and technology innovations," not that they might have them.

Halleaux was quick to dismiss any claims that the Army was studying “alien technology.” TTSA may purport the metamaterials and other tech in their possession came from UFOs, but for the Army, those claims are irrelevant, he said. ... “Speculation … as to the origin of materials really to our researchers isn’t what matters,” Halleaux said. “The reason TTSA was taken seriously is the credentials of the people on their team. These are folks that have backgrounds in industry and backgrounds in materials science and defense work. [They’re] serious professionals with respect to backgrounds.

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

(https://asc.army.mil/web/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/OND19-COVER.png)
U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Magazine - Fall 2019

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

Scientist Behind The Navy's "UFO Patents" Has Now Filed One For A Compact Fusion Reactor
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/30256/scientist-behind-the-navys-ufo-patents-has-now-filed-one-for-a-compact-fusion-reactor

... While Lockheed Martin’s compact fusion reactor designs have garnered quite a bit of media attention and internet buzz in recent years, it appears one of the Skunk Works' major clients is also hard at work in this field. The U.S. Navy has filed a potentially revolutionary patent application for a radical new compact fusion reactor that claims to improve upon the shortcomings of the Skunk Works CFR, and judging from the identity of the reactor’s inventor, it's sure to raise eyebrows in the scientific community.

This latest design is the brainchild of the elusive Salvatore Cezar Pais, the inventor of the Navy’s bizarre and controversial room temperature superconductors, high energy electromagnetic field generators, and sci-fi-sounding propulsion technologies that The War Zone has previously reported on. The patent for Pais’ “Plasma Compression Fusion Device” was applied for on March 22, 2018, and was just published on September 26, 2019.

... It is claimed in the patent application that this plasma compression fusion device is capable of producing power in the gigawatt (1 billion watts) to terawatt (1 trillion watts) range and above with input power only in the kilowatt (1,000 watts) to megawatt (1,000,000 watts) range. By comparison, America's largest nuclear power plant, the Palo Verde nuclear power plant in Arizona, generates around 4,000 megawatts (4 gigawatts), and the A1B nuclear reactors designed for the Navy's Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers generate around 700 megawatts. The patent even claims that the device can "possibly lead to ignition plasma burn, that is self-sustained plasma burn without need for external input power."

... The Navy has vouched for some of his designs in the past going so far as to claim these inventions actually exist in an operable form and that they are needed for national security purposes, most notably to keep pace with adversaries like China. But unlike some of Pais’ patents, this application sailed through the United States Patent and Trademark Office without rejection and subsequent appeal.

Curiously, the patent states that “the invention will be discussed in a space, sea, or terrestrial environment” but notes that “this invention can be utilized for any type of application that requires the use of energy generation.” It is unclear what type of application may exist other than space, sea, or land.

... With all this in mind, is the Navy building some sort of incredible craft based on science that remains foreign to the larger scientific community? Did they already do this years ago and are just slowly lifting the veil now? Are they clumsily trying to emulate what their pilots are seeing in the field, but can not yet fully explain? Could these patents just represent gross mismanagement of resources on the Navy's behalf? Or is this all some sort of elaborate disinformation play by the Navy—one that seems to have emerged right in step the rise of major peer-state competition from the likes of Russia and China, and the biggest expansion of advanced aerospace development programs in decades?
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 26, 2019, 06:44:45 PM
New Research on Giant Radio Galaxies Defies Conventional Wisdom
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-giant-radio-galaxies-defies-conventional.html

Conventional wisdom tells us that large objects appear smaller as they get farther from us, but this fundamental law of classical physics is reversed when we observe the distant universe.

Astrophysicists at the University of Kent simulated the development of the biggest objects in the universe to help explain how galaxies and other cosmic bodies were formed. They expected to find that as they simulated objects farther into the distant universe, they would appear smaller, but in fact they found the opposite.

Professor Smith said: "When we look far into the distant universe, we are observing objects way in the past—when they were young. We expected to find that these distant giants would appear as a comparatively small pair of vague lobes. To our surprise, we found that these giants still appear enormous even though they are so far away."

Professor Smith said: "We already know that once you are far enough away, the Universe acts like a magnifying glass and objects start to increase in size in the sky. Because of the distance, the objects we observed are extremely faint, which means we can only see the brightest parts of them, the hot spots. These hot spots occur at the outer edges of the radio galaxy and so they appear to be larger than ever, confounding our initial expectations."

Michael D Smith et al, The morphological classification of distant radio galaxies explored with three-dimensional simulations (https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article-abstract/490/1/1363/5566346?redirectedFrom=fulltext), Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2019)

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

Strange 'Methuselah' Star Appears Older Than the Universe
https://www.space.com/how-can-a-star-be-older-than-the-universe.html

For more than 100 years, astronomers have been observing a curious star located some 190 light years away from Earth in the constellation Libra. It rapidly journeys across the sky at 800,000 mph (1.3 million kilometers per hour). But more interesting than that, HD 140283 — or Methuselah as it's commonly known — is also one of the universe's oldest known stars.

In 2000, scientists sought to date the star using observations via the European Space Agency's (ESA) Hipparcos satellite, which estimated an age of 16 billion years old. Such a figure was rather mind-blowing and also pretty baffling. As astronomer Howard Bond of Pennsylvania State University pointed out, the age of the universe — determined from observations of the cosmic microwave background — is 13.8 billion years old. "It was a serious discrepancy," he said.

... Matthews believes the answers lie in greater cosmological refinement. "I suspect that the observational cosmologists have missed something that creates this paradox, rather than the stellar astrophysicists," he said, pointing to the measurements of the stars being perhaps more accurate. "That's not because the cosmologists are in any way sloppier, but because age determination of the universe is subject to more and arguably trickier observational and theoretical uncertainties than that of stars."
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 28, 2019, 05:32:54 PM
ESO Telescope Reveals What Could Be the Smallest Dwarf Planet Yet In the Solar System
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-eso-telescope-reveals-smallest-dwarf.html

Astronomers using ESO's SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) have revealed that the asteroid Hygiea could be classified as a dwarf planet. The object is the fourth largest in the asteroid belt after Ceres, Vesta and Pallas. For the first time, astronomers have observed Hygiea in sufficiently high resolution to study its surface and determine its shape and size. They found that Hygiea is spherical, potentially taking the crown from Ceres as the smallest dwarf planet in the Solar System.

https://youtu.be/VBi-KeZABl4

The team used the SPHERE observations to constrain Hygiea's size, putting its diameter at just over 430 km. Pluto, the most famous of dwarf planets, has a diameter close to 2400 km, while Ceres is close to 950 km in size.

P. Vernazza, et.al. A basin-free spherical shape as an outcome of a giant impact on asteroid Hygiea (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-019-0915-8  ), Nature Astronomy (2019)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Pmt111500 on October 29, 2019, 02:51:48 PM
Even Independet reports of this, so it is pretty much settled, i guess
Hygiea to become a dwarf planet, skipping larger Pallas and Vesta, which have had a more battered past, Hygiea is sufficiently rounded and smooth, I guess. I'd promote also Vesta in this class since it's just malformed currently... Then all sections of asteroid belt would have their own dwarf planet. I've not seen good photos of Pallas, but maybe even it is one.

 https://astronomynow.com/2019/10/29/vlt-images-suggest-fourth-largest-asteroid-may-be-a-dwarf-planet/

Note: thsnk you vox_mundi for the correction below, it turns out Hygiea might have been battered too.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 30, 2019, 12:33:50 AM
Collision Liquified the 4th-Largest Asteroid, Turning It Into a Dwarf Planet
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/10/collision-liquified-the-4th-largest-astroid-turning-it-into-a-dwarf-planet/

... To figure out how the asteroid family could have formed, the researchers built a model that allowed them to try out different collisions, testing different impactor sizes and angles of impact. After using these collision models to generate debris, the researchers let gravity take over and figure out what the re-formed Hygiea and its remaining debris (which would go on to form the asteroid family) would look like.

https://youtu.be/qhTEQsH2xMA

Rather than forming a large crater, the collisions that worked instead completely shattered the asteroid. This could be done either by a head-on collision with a 75km object or an off-center collision with a 150km object. The off-center collisions, however, tended not to leave any large bodies in the debris (other than Hygiea itself); since some members of the resulting asteroid family are larger, the researchers conclude that a head-on collision is most likely.

In addition to liberating a debris field, the collision turned the remains of Hygiea into a fluid, which underwent large-scale oscillations for about four hours after the event. This allowed the debris to evenly mix and equilibrate, producing the body's current spherical shape. This was probably enabled by the relatively low density of the material; the researchers estimate that Hygiea is less than twice as dense as water.

This is similar to the density of Ceres, the largest body in the asteroid belt. The authors suggest that the two formed further out than the "snow line" of water, the point where material was far enough from the Sun for water to remain frozen.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on October 30, 2019, 05:01:12 PM
Cosmic Triangles Open a Window to the Origin of Time
https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-origin-of-time-bootstrapped-from-fundamental-symmetries-20191029/

Like fossils, astronomical objects are not randomly strewn throughout space. Rather, spatial correlations between the positions of objects such as galaxies tell a detailed story of the ancient past.

... One curious pattern cosmologists have known about for decades is that space is filled with correlated pairs of objects: pairs of hot spots seen in telescopes’ maps of the early universe; pairs of galaxies or of galaxy clusters or superclusters in the universe today; pairs found at all distances apart. You can see these “two-point correlations” by moving a ruler all over a map of the sky. When there’s an object at one end, cosmologists find that this ups the chance that an object also lies at the other end.

The simplest explanation for the correlations traces them to pairs of quantum particles that fluctuated into existence as space exponentially expanded at the start of the Big Bang. Pairs of particles that arose early on subsequently moved the farthest apart, yielding pairs of objects far away from each other in the sky today. Particle pairs that arose later separated less and now form closer-together pairs of objects. Like fossils, the pairwise correlations seen throughout the sky encode the passage of time — in this case, the very beginning of time.

(https://d2r55xnwy6nx47.cloudfront.net/uploads/2019/10/FossilsInSpace_560.jpg)

Cosmologists believe that rare quantum fluctuations involving three, four or even more particles should also have occurred during the birth of the universe. These presumably would have yielded more complicated configurations of objects in the sky today: triangular arrangements of galaxies, along with quadrilaterals, pentagons and other shapes.

Theorists have found it challenging even to calculate what the signals would look like — until recently. In the past four years, a small group of researchers has approached the question in a new way. They have found that the form of the correlations follows directly from symmetries and other deep mathematical principles. The most important findings to date were detailed in a paper by Arkani-Hamed and three co-authors that took its final form this summer.

... Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the work, Silverstein and others said, is what it implies about the nature of time. There’s no “time” variable anywhere in the new bootstrapped equation. Yet it predicts cosmological triangles, rectangles and other shapes of all sizes that tell a sensible story of quantum particles arising and evolving at the beginning of time.

Quote
... This suggests that the temporal version of the cosmological origin story may be an illusion. Time can be seen as an “emergent” dimension, a kind of hologram springing from the universe’s spatial correlations, which themselves seem to come from basic symmetries. In short, the approach has the potential to help explain why time began, and why it might end.

As Arkani-Hamed put it, “The thing that we’re bootstrapping is time itself.”

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

A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics
https://www.quantamagazine.org/physicists-discover-geometry-underlying-particle-physics-20130917/

(https://d2r55xnwy6nx47.cloudfront.net/uploads/2013/09/amplutihedron_2000.jpg)

Physicists have discovered a jewel-shaped geometric object that challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental constituents of nature.

The amplituhedron reconceptualized colliding particles — ostensibly temporal events — in terms of timeless geometry. When it was discovered in 2013, many physicists saw yet another reason to think that time must be emergent — a variable that we perceive and that appears in our coarse-grained description of nature, but which is not written into the ultimate laws of reality.

The new geometric version of quantum field theory could facilitate the search for a theory of quantum gravity that would seamlessly connect the large- and small-scale pictures of the universe. Attempts thus far to incorporate gravity into the laws of physics at the quantum scale have run up against nonsensical infinities and deep paradoxes. The amplituhedron, or a similar geometric object, could help by removing two deeply rooted principles of physics: locality and unitarity.

Locality is the notion that particles can interact only from adjoining positions in space and time. And unitarity holds that the probabilities of all possible outcomes of a quantum mechanical interaction must add up to one. The concepts are the central pillars of quantum field theory in its original form, but in certain situations involving gravity, both break down, suggesting neither is a fundamental aspect of nature.

In keeping with this idea, the new geometric approach to particle interactions removes locality and unitarity from its starting assumptions. The amplituhedron is not built out of space-time and probabilities; these properties merely arise as consequences of the jewel’s geometry. The usual picture of space and time, and particles moving around in them, is a construct.

... Recently, a strange duality has been found between string theory and quantum field theory, indicating that the former (which includes gravity) is mathematically equivalent to the latter (which does not) when the two theories describe the same event as if it is taking place in different numbers of dimensions. No one knows quite what to make of this discovery. But the new amplituhedron research suggests space-time, and therefore dimensions, may be illusory anyway.

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1312.2007.pdf
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 31, 2019, 02:05:44 PM
Did it hit a sand worm? :o

The 'Mole' on NASA's Mars Lander Just Popped Out Of Its Hole (and That's Not Good)
https://www.livescience.com/nasa-mars-lander-mole-pops-out-of-hole.html
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on November 01, 2019, 02:23:04 PM
Devon Island: Mars on Earth ...

https://youtu.be/BcFSFQUmmkw
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on November 05, 2019, 12:01:27 AM
Look Far Enough and You'll See the Back of Your Head: The Universe Might Be a Giant Loop
https://www.livescience.com/amp/universe-may-be-curved.html

Everything we think we know about the shape of the universe could be wrong. Instead of being flat like a bedsheet, our universe may be curved, like a massive, inflated balloon, according to a new study.

If the universe is curved, according to the new paper, it curves gently. That slow bending isn't important for moving around our lives, or solar system, or even our galaxy. But travel beyond all of that, outside our galactic neighborhood, far into the deep blackness, and eventually — moving in a straight line — you'll loop around and end up right back where you started. Cosmologists call this idea the "closed universe."

(https://images.newscientist.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/04151147/c0150405-closed_universe_artwork-spl-1.jpg)

That's the upshot of a new paper published today (Nov. 4) in the journal Nature Astronomy, which looks at data from the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the faint echo of the Big Bang.

... There's an anomaly in the CMB. The CMB is the oldest thing we see in the universe, made of ambient microwave light that suffuses all of space when you block out the stars and galaxies and other interference. It's one of the most important sources of data on the universe's history and behavior, because it's so old and so spread throughout space. And it turns out, according to the latest data, that there's significantly more "gravitational lensing" of the CMB than expected — meaning that gravity seems to be bending the microwaves of the CMB more than existing physics can explain.

To explain that extra lensing, the Planck Collaboration has just tacked on an extra variable, which the scientists are calling "A_lens," to the group's model of the universe's formation, "This is something that you put there by hand, trying to explain what you see. There's no connection with physics," Melchiorri said, meaning there's no A_lens parameter in Einstein's theory of relativity. "What we found is that you can explain A_lens with a positively curved universe, which is a much more physical interpretation that you can explain with general relativity."

Melchiorri pointed out that his team's interpretation isn't conclusive. According to the group's calculations, the Planck data point to a closed universe with a standard deviation of 3.5 sigma (a statistical measurement that means about 99.8% confidence that the result isn't due to random chance). That's well short of the 5 sigma standard physicists usually look for before calling an idea confirmed.

Eleonora Di Valentino, et.al. Planck evidence for a closed Universe and a possible crisis for cosmology, (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-019-0906-9) Nature Astronomy (2019)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Tor Bejnar on November 05, 2019, 01:21:41 AM
And I thought the universe was like a Möbius strip, well actually a kleinbottle.  Nevin's response to the question "Is the universe like a Möbius strip? (https://www.quora.com/Is-the-universe-like-a-M%C3%B6bius-strip)" - (3rd response quoted)
Quote
Craig Nevin - Answered Jan 13, 2017

A Mobius strip has one edge. Does the universe have an edge? Probably not. Two Mobius strips of opposite chirality, however, can be combined into an edgeless surfce known as a kleinbottle. A kleinbottle has no inside nor outside. Therefore you can never be outside such an universe. Since the word universe means everything in space without edge, this makes logical sense. A model of the universe that imagines it as a sphere or torus or topological equivalent, raises the issue of there being a place outside of the universe, which quite frankly deflates the everday notion of the word “universe”. My answer is therefore definitely YES.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on November 05, 2019, 02:56:46 AM
I'm going with multidimensional brane cosmology ...

(https://images.slideplayer.com/13/4137892/slides/slide_21.jpg)

or multiverse ...

(https://www.thoughtco.com/thmb/zsbzRj09Y-xEhREnGy_EBLSPrG0=/768x0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc():format(webp)/artwork-of-bubble-universes-117453174-f2d41bd7419544fe9342a7571ab07d8d.jpg)

Of course, both of them are as easy to illustrate as a Klien bottle.

Maybe it's turtles all the way down.  ;)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: wili on November 05, 2019, 05:03:22 AM
"Look Far Enough and You'll See the Back of Your Head"

This is not a new idea. I remember talking about it with my nerdy friends in HighSchool in the very early '70s (friends who went on to  become astrophysicists, mathematicians, and computer program designers, while I wallowed in the humanities :) ).
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Tor Bejnar on November 05, 2019, 02:38:35 PM
I remember a children's story about some siblings, one with eyesight so keen, their eyes could see things clearly a few times 'round the world.  Or something like that.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: wili on November 05, 2019, 03:01:54 PM
Me too. I remember them being animals. The rabbit, as I recall, could also hear things from a very far distance. The moral of the story is now lost to me, though.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: johnm33 on November 05, 2019, 03:21:58 PM
We're clearly inside a black hole watching the energetic em storm being brought to order by integration of all it's information and the shock into conciousness that the phase shift to singularity caused. Give it another week, in outside time, and it'll all start to make sense. Though from here we should be able to see the axis of rotation if not the backs of our heads.
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: Ranman99 on November 06, 2019, 01:36:18 PM
;-) It will happen but no sense is true sense ;-)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on November 06, 2019, 06:25:28 PM
https://youtu.be/P3KevBr4go4

A new mosaic of the southern sky produced from a year of observations by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on November 07, 2019, 04:13:40 PM
Galactic Order Emerges from Chaos
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-galactic-fountains-carousels-emerging-chaos.html

Scientists from Germany and the United States have unveiled the results of a newly-completed, state of the art simulation of the evolution of galaxies. TNG50 is the most detailed large-scale cosmological simulation yet. It allows researchers to study in detail how galaxies form, and how they have evolved since shortly after the Big Bang. For the first time, it reveals that the geometry of the cosmic gas flows around galaxies determines galaxies' structures, and vice versa. The researchers publish their results in two papers in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

... In a simulated cube of space that is more than 230 million light-years across, TNG50 can discern physical phenomena that occur on scales one million times smaller, tracing the simultaneous evolution of thousands of galaxies over 13.8 billion years of cosmic history.

https://youtu.be/O674AZ_UKZk

The formation of a single massive galaxy through time, from early cosmic epochs until the present day, in the TNG50 cosmic simulation. The main panel shows the density of the cosmic gas (high in white, low in black). Insets show large-scale dark matter and then gas (lower left), and small-scale stellar and gaseous distributions (lower right). This TNG50 galaxy will be similar in mass and shape to Andromeda (M31) by the time the movie reaches the current epoch. Its progenitor experiences rapid star formation in a turbulent gas reservoir which settles into an ordered disc after a couple of billion years of cosmic evolution. A rather quiet late time assembly history without major mergers allows the galaxy to relax into an equilibrium balance of gas outflows from supernova explosions and gas accretion from its surroundings

Annalisa Pillepich et al. First results from the TNG50 simulation: the evolution of stellar and gaseous discs across cosmic time, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2019)

Dylan Nelson et al. First results from the TNG50 simulation: galactic outflows driven by supernovae and black hole feedback, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2019)
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on November 08, 2019, 05:39:50 PM
Researchers Investigate Interstellar Bodies Originating from Beyond Our Solar System
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-interstellar-bodies-solar.html

https://youtu.be/qT20L208ZoY

The Dynamics of Interstellar Asteroids and Comets within the Galaxy: an Assessment of Local Candidate Source Regions for 1I/`Oumuamua and 2I/Borisov (https://arxiv.org/abs/1911.02473)

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

Hubble Captures a Dozen Sunburst Arc Doppelgangers
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-hubble-captures-dozen-sunburst-arc.html

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have observed a galaxy in the distant regions of the Universe which appears duplicated at least 12 times on the night sky. This unique sight, created by strong gravitational lensing, helps astronomers get a better understanding of the cosmic era known as the epoch of reionisation.

https://youtu.be/uS6yhSw2mlI
Title: Re: Astronomical news
Post by: vox_mundi on November 12, 2019, 09:57:32 PM
With Mars Methane Mystery Unsolved, Curiosity Serves Scientists a New One: Oxygen
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-mars-methane-mystery-unsolved-curiosity.html

(https://scx2.b-cdn.net/gfx/news/2019/withmarsmeth.jpg)

Over the course of three Mars years (or nearly six Earth years) an instrument in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) portable chemistry lab inside the belly of NASA's Curiosity rover inhaled the air of Gale Crater and analyzed its composition. The results SAM spit out confirmed the makeup of the Martian atmosphere at the surface: 95% by volume of carbon dioxide (CO2), 2.6% molecular nitrogen (N2), 1.9% argon (Ar), 0.16% molecular oxygen (O2), and 0.06% carbon monoxide (CO). They also revealed how the molecules in the Martian air mix and circulate with the changes in air pressure throughout the year. These changes are caused when CO2 gas freezes over the poles in the winter, thereby lowering the air pressure across the planet following redistribution of air to maintain pressure equilibrium. When CO2 evaporates in the spring and summer and mixes across Mars, it raises the air pressure.

Within this environment, scientists found that nitrogen and argon follow a predictable seasonal pattern, waxing and waning in concentration in Gale Crater throughout the year relative to how much CO2 is in the air. They expected oxygen to do the same. But it didn't. Instead, the amount of the gas in the air rose throughout spring and summer by as much as 30%, and then dropped back to levels predicted by known chemistry in fall. This pattern repeated each spring, though the amount of oxygen added to the atmosphere varied, implying that something was producing it and then taking it away.

Quote
... "We're struggling to explain this," ... "The fact that the oxygen behavior isn't perfectly repeatable every season makes us think that it's not an issue that has to do with atmospheric dynamics. It has to be some chemical source and sink that we can't yet account for."

- Melissa Trainer - planetary scientist - NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

... They considered the possibility that CO2 or water (H2O) molecules could have released oxygen when they broke apart in the atmosphere, leading to the short-lived rise. But it would take five times more water above Mars to produce the extra oxygen, and CO2 breaks up too slowly to generate it over such a short time. What about the oxygen decrease? Could solar radiation have broken up oxygen molecules into two atoms that blew away into space? No, scientists concluded, since it would take at least 10 years for the oxygen to disappear through this process.

"We have not been able to come up with one process yet that produces the amount of oxygen we need, but we think it has to be something in the surface soil that changes seasonally because there aren't enough available oxygen atoms in the atmosphere to create the behavior we see," ... "We're beginning to see this tantalizing correlation between methane and oxygen for a good part of the Mars year," Atreya said. "I think there's something to it. I just don't have the answers yet. Nobody does."

(https://media1.giphy.com/media/krP2NRkLqnKEg/giphy.gif)