SCIENCE! and stuff

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SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Casey on Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:42 pm

I love science.

Scientists find Earth-sized world in orbit friendly to life (link)


Now we just need to figure out a way to get to that Class M planet.  Very Happy



(Reuters) - For the first time, scientists have found an Earth-sized world orbiting in a life-friendly zone around a distant star.


The discovery, announced on Thursday, is the closest scientists have come so far to finding a true Earth twin. The star, known as Kepler-186 and located about 500 light years away in the constellation Cygnus, is smaller and redder than the sun.

The star's outermost planet, designated Kepler-186f, receives about one-third the radiation from its parent star as Earth gets from the sun, meaning that high noon on this world would be roughly akin to Earth an hour before sunset, said astronomer Thomas Barclay, with NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

The planet is the right distance from its host star for water -- if any exists -- to be liquid on the surface, a condition that scientists suspect is necessary for life.

"This planet is an Earth cousin, not an Earth twin," said Barclay, who is among a team of scientists reporting on the discovery in the journal Science this week.

NASA launched its Kepler space telescope in 2009 to search about 150,000 target stars for signs of any planets passing by, or transiting, relative to the telescope's point of view. Kepler was sidelined by a positioning system failure last year.

Analysis of archived Kepler data continues. From Kepler's observational perch, a planet about the size and location of Earth orbiting a sun-like star would blot out only about 80 to 100 photons out of every million as it transits.

The pattern is repeated every 365 days and at least three transits would be needed to rule out other possibilities, so the search takes time.

"It's very challenging to find Earth analogs," Barclay said. "Most candidates don't pan out, but things change as we get more measurements."

Scientists don't know anything about the atmosphere of Kepler-186f, but it will be a target for future telescopes that can scan for telltale chemicals that may be linked to life.

"This planet is in the habitable zone, but that's doesn't mean it is habitable," Barclay said.

So far, scientists have found nearly 1,800 planets beyond the solar system.

"The past year has seen a lot of progress in the search for Earth-like planets. Kepler-168f is significant because it is the first exoplanet that is the same temperature and is (almost) the same size as Earth," astronomer David Charbonneau, with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, wrote in an email.

"For me the impact is to prove that yes, such planets really do exist," Charbonneau said. "Now we can point to a star and say, "There lies an Earth-like planet.'"
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:02 pm


Now we just need to figure out a way to get to that Class M planet.

Yeah, does someone have a warp nacelle or an entanglement transportation device in their pocket?

TARDISs anyone? Anyone?  Sad Sad Sad 

Please?
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Casey on Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:00 pm

Oh please. I'd be happy to see some advancement in more mundane space exploration themes. Ideas that already have a founding in modern, understood science, but have yet to be put into practice.

But, the politics isn't right, I suppose. Sad
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:17 pm

Oh please. I'd be happy to see some advancement in more mundane space exploration themes. Ideas that already have a founding in modern, understood science, but have yet to be put into practice.

But, the politics isn't right, I suppose.

Oh, but I want to go see an Exo-Planet now. I wanna, I wanna, I wanna. If someone doesn't produce a good interstellar conveyance right this moment, I'll hold my breath until I die. Then they'll be sorry.
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Casey on Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:39 pm

Here's a great piece showing many of the new planets discovered over the years. Take a look at #12. I find it amazing that they can discover such an incredibly small piece of rock so far away.


http://news.msn.com/science-technology/amazing-planets-discovered-over-the-years
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Casey on Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:44 pm

Oh, and that itty bitty piece of rock is about 65 parsecs away from Earth. Think of that in Traveller terms: 65 jumps (i.e. 65 weeks, more than a year) for a Beowulf class starship to get there.
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:02 pm

Oh, and that itty bitty piece of rock is about 65 parsecs away from Earth. Think of that in Traveller terms: 65 jumps (i.e. 65 weeks, more than a year) for a Beowulf class starship to get there.

That might seem like a long distance to us; but, in terms of the overall size of the Milky Way, that's a stroll from your house to the local neighborhood grocer.
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Casey on Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:12 pm

Ok yeah it's all relative, especially when you're talking about the vast emptiness of space. The Milky Way? Please. Tiny by comparison to the immensity of the known Universe, which may (or may not) be utterly dwarfed by the expanses of the unknown Universe.

To me, the knowledge of modern cosmology is impressive and more amazing than my puny mind can ever know. I find such phrases as "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light" to be just as amazing and beautiful as any current research paper on the cosmic background radiation or theories on post-bang spacetime.
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:57 pm

Ok yeah it's all relative, especially when you're talking about the vast emptiness of space. The Milky Way? Please. Tiny by comparison to the immensity of the known Universe, which may (or may not) be utterly dwarfed by the expanses of the unknown Universe.

To me, the knowledge of modern cosmology is impressive and more amazing than my puny mind can ever know. I find such phrases as "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light" to be just as amazing and beautiful as any current research paper on the cosmic background radiation or theories on post-bang spacetime.

Yeah. I agree.

Are you unsure about how to put an arrogant man in his place? First explain to him the unpredictable and often times violent nature of the universe and then hit the nail on the head by telling him how insignificantly minute he is when compared to the whole.

That will humble if not break his frail psyche.

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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Casey on Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:10 pm

We are getting closer and closer to cybernetics. Heck, we're already there, albeit in a crude and primitive manner compared to that seen in science fiction.

Michigan man among 1st in US to get 'bionic eye'
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Casey on Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:28 pm

How amazing is it that they can direct-image an exoplanet so well that they can determine doppler shift from each side of the planet as it rotates?


Exoplanet's Rapid Spin (link)
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:39 pm

How amazing is it that they can direct-image an exoplanet so well that they can determine doppler shift from each side of the planet as it rotates?


Exoplanet's Rapid Spin (link)

It's incredibly amazing. That's how amazing it is.
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Casey on Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:05 pm

Since you're a member of the Planetary Society, you probably already know this:


http://news.msn.com/science-technology/privately-funded-solar-spacecraft-to-launch-in-2016-1
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:45 pm

That I do. This is a project the Planetary Society has been trying to get off the ground for years. And now, it is all coming to fruition. Too exciting.
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Casey on Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:50 pm

Oh, and also, I got my name put on the flight to Bennu.  And I didn't even have to join. cheers 
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:28 pm

Oh, and also, I got my name put on the flight to Bennu. And I didn't even have to join

Good to hear. You could even enter the name of your cats to the asteroid list if you like. Then we'll all be happy space travelers. At least in name.
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Casey on Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:59 pm

Alpha Centauri wrote:
Oh, and also, I got my name put on the flight to Bennu.  And I didn't even have to join

Good to hear. You could even enter the name of your cats to the asteroid list if you like. Then we'll all be happy space travelers. At least in name.  

Eh, not likely. I might ask Meagan if she wants her name to be put on the asteroid, but I'll draw the line there.

Tangentially, an asteroid hunter found a new one. Per the rules of the IAU, he was allowed to name the asteroid after it was confirmed. He named it after her cat, Mr. Spock.

Double irony.  Wink

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2309_Mr._Spock
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:28 pm

Eh, not likely. I might ask Meagan if she wants her name to be put on the asteroid, but I'll draw the line there.

Tangentially, an asteroid hunter found a new one. Per the rules of the IAU, he was allowed to name the asteroid after it was confirmed. He named it after her cat, Mr. Spock.

It appears that humans make illogical decisions, Captain. I find their illogic and tacky pet names a constant irritant.
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:16 pm

Thanks to the awesome nature of Nasa's Kepler space telescope, scientists have discovered 715 new planets outside the Solar System, bringing the total number to approximately 1,700. And this on the heels of discovering a Neptune-sized planet with water vapor in its atmosphere. Awesome times for planetary science (and sentence fragments too).

http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-discovered-715-planets-193710924.html

http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/09/water-found-in-a-neptune-sized-exoplanets-atmosphere/
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Casey on Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:20 pm

Did you get a chance to see the lunar eclipse last week? It was magnificent. I took some pictures with my fancy work camera that allows the shutter speed to be adjusted. Sadly, I forgot my tripod. This is the best picture I got, which does not do justice to the spectacle.


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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:30 pm

So, what great scientific achievement can we as humans engrave upon the tablets of awesome? Oh, yeah. I suppose there was this small thing:






Yeah, we have so many problems back here on Earth like endless wars, detestable egoism, and misdirected money funding (A near billion dollars spent on pet toys, for example). But in spite of humanity's numerous flaws, we can say that at some point in the year of our Lord 2014, the humans of Terra landed a robot on a comet, which looks a bit like a rocky rubber ducky floating in space. And we did it all before said comet goes plunging into the Sun's cosmic heat. If there is something cooler that we as a collective species have done, I'd like to hear it.
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Casey on Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:44 pm

Alpha Centauri wrote:If there is something cooler that we as a collective species have done, I'd like to hear it.


Sadly, this mission was somewhat of a disappointment. First the thruster didn't work, then the harpoon didn't deploy and the craft bounced a full kilometer and came to rest in the shadow of a cliff. Not a very good start for a machine that depends on solar energy to do its work.

So as far as "cooler" things that we have done, I'd look somewhere else. The Apollo missions - despite being dated now - were certainly a much more successful endeavor than these unmanned asteroid probes.
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:30 pm

Sadly, this mission was somewhat of a disappointment. First the thruster didn't work, then the harpoon didn't deploy and the craft bounced a full kilometer and came to rest in the shadow of a cliff. Not a very good start for a machine that depends on solar energy to do its work.

So as far as "cooler" things that we have done, I'd look somewhere else. The Apollo missions - despite being dated now - were certainly a much more successful endeavor than these unmanned asteroid probes.

Yes, but the point is we landed landed on the blasted thing. That should be reason enough to pat ourselves on the back.

I mean we made it from our seats to the buffet in the Interstellar stuff your gob cafe. Sure we tripped and fell face first into the mashed potatoes and landed half an arm in the boiling soup bin. But we made it. The point is, we managed to get there.
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:13 pm

Now this may not be hard science but the visuals are inspiring and the narration provided by Mr. Carl Sagan himself strikes that deep human propensity to explore the Cosmos.

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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

Post by Casey on Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:10 pm

Wow. That's really quite impressive. I truly enjoy realistic yet imaginative CGI reproduction of space locales.
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Re: SCIENCE! and stuff

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