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  #991  
Old 04-17-18, 08:08 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Originally Posted by BlackHawk View Post
The TESS launch was postponed. Tentatively re-scheduled for Wednesday.
Here's some more on the delay and let's hope Wednesday is the lucky day:

https://www.space.com/40322-spacex-n...nch-delay.html
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  #992  
Old 04-18-18, 07:55 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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We need to STOP being surprised by this sort of thing:

http://zeenews.india.com/space/huge-...y-2100709.html

If you are not aware that a giant asteroid the size of a football field flew past Earth over the weekend, you are not alone as even NASA scientists got to know about the flyby only a few hours before it happened, media reported.

NASA scientists noticed the massive asteroid at an observatory in Arizona just 21 hours prior to the flyby, ScienceAlert reported on Tuesday.


And it would have been an even BIGGER surprise had it's course been just a little different!

Travelling around 106,000 kilometres per hour, the asteroid was as far away from our home planet as half the average distance between Earth and the Moon.

NASA has estimated that the asteroid is somewhere between 47 to 100 metres wide, meaning it is roughly 3.6 times the size of the one that cleared 2,000 square kilometres of forest when it exploded over Russia's Tunguska region in Siberia in 1908.


The Tunguska event is NOT something I want happening over the US:

http://earthsky.org/space/what-is-th...uska-explosion
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  #993  
Old 04-19-18, 08:22 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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And it's off!

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43790557
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  #994  
Old 04-19-18, 06:17 PM
BlackHawk BlackHawk is offline
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Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
Success!

It's always exciting watching a successful rocket launch. With a rocket launch, there is always some degree of uncertainty. There's something like a 5-6% overall failure rate for rockets launched to outer space (about 100 kilometers above sea level). That rate has improved in recent years, but we still see plenty of failures...luckily, almost all failures have been unmanned rockets!
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  #995  
Old 04-21-18, 07:52 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Success!

It's always exciting watching a successful rocket launch. With a rocket launch, there is always some degree of uncertainty. There's something like a 5-6% overall failure rate for rockets launched to outer space (about 100 kilometers above sea level). That rate has improved in recent years, but we still see plenty of failures...luckily, almost all failures have been unmanned rockets!
Yes it is.

And here's a nice article that explains in detail what the gizmo the SpaceX rocket put into space will do:

https://www.space.com/40357-nasa-tes...oundtable.html

A NEW ERA IN THE SEARCH FOR EXOPLANETS — and the alien life they might host—has begun. Aboard a SpaceX rocket, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched on April 18, 2018, at 6:51 p.m. EDT. The TESS mission, developed with support from The Kavli Foundation, is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research.

Over the next two years, TESS will scan the 200,000 or so nearest and brightest stars to Earth for telltale dimming caused when exoplanets cross their stars' faces. Among the thousands of new worlds TESS is expected to discover should be hundreds ranging in size from about one to two times Earth. These small, mostly rocky planets will serve as prime targets for detailed follow-up observations by other telescopes in space and on the ground. [NASA's TESS Exoplanet-Hunting Mission in Pictures]

The goal for those telescopes will be to characterize the newfound exoplanets' atmospheres. The particular mixtures of gases in an atmosphere will reveal key clues about a world's climate, history, and if it might even be hospitable to life.



And there's an excellent Q&A with the TESS mission leaders about the goals of their work in this article.
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  #996  
Old 04-21-18, 02:53 PM
BlackHawk BlackHawk is offline
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^^^ It's hard to imagine, but TESS is just a warmup act for the main show, the James Webb Space Telescope....if the JWST ever launches...launch delayed now until May 2020.

The JWST will provide even far more answers (and cool pictures!) about our universe than the Hubble telescope, if that's possible. We have some amazing technology in an incredible time to live.
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  #997  
Old 04-24-18, 08:36 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Interesting speculation on the struggles an alien civilization would face in reaching space from a super sized earth like planet:

https://www.space.com/40375-super-ea...ns-launch.html

"Super-Earth" planets are giant-size versions of Earth, and some research has suggested that they're more likely to be habitable than Earth-size worlds. But a new study reveals how difficult it would be for any aliens on these exoplanets to explore space.

To launch the equivalent of an Apollo moon mission, a rocket on a super-Earth would need to have a mass of about 440,000 tons (400,000 metric tons), due to fuel requirements, the study said. That's on the order of the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

"On more-massive planets, spaceflight would be exponentially more expensive," said study author Michael Hippke, an independent researcher affiliated with the Sonneberg Observatory in Germany. "Such civilizations would not have satellite TV, a moon mission or a Hubble Space Telescope."



IMO the article makes to much of a "Super Earth's" high gravity limiting launches because they would need massive rockets to boost stuff into space. I think the authors underrate the power of evolution on a high gravity world where a civilization is going to have to work harder to lift anything off the ground. This could lead to a culture that perfects big & strong! My guess is that they would view HUGE rockets as the norm and be quite capable of developing them.
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  #998  
Old 04-25-18, 11:31 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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It's a BIG, BIG Galaxy out there!

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/...hape-milky-way

“It’s like waiting for Christmas,” said Vasily Belokurov, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom last week. Today, the gifts arrived: the exact positions, motions, brightnesses, and colors of 1.3 billion stars in and around the Milky Way, as tracked by the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) €750 million Gaia satellite, which after launch in 2013 began measuring the positions of stars and, over time, how they move. On 25 April, ESA made Gaia’s second data set—based on 22 months of observations—publicly available, which should enable a precise 3D map of large portions of the galaxy and the way it moves. “Nothing comes close to what Gaia will release,” Belokurov says.

I can't wait to see those 3D maps!
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  #999  
Old 04-26-18, 06:32 PM
BlackHawk BlackHawk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post

...

IMO the article makes to much of a "Super Earth's" high gravity limiting launches because they would need massive rockets to boost stuff into space. I think the authors underrate the power of evolution on a high gravity world where a civilization is going to have to work harder to lift anything off the ground. This could lead to a culture that perfects big & strong! My guess is that they would view HUGE rockets as the norm and be quite capable of developing them.
Or maybe they have some unknown technology, other than huge brute force rockets, to zip them around the galaxy. Who knows what technologies ET's might have? Gravity-escaping rockets may not be needed. We're limited by our own anthropocentric thinking.

But, if the article is correct, this is partial solution for the Fermi Paradox ("where are they?").
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  #1000  
Old 04-27-18, 08:36 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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It's been a while since we've had news on the weird science front but this is pretty big:

https://www.sciencealert.com/einstei...for-first-time

For the first time, scientists have managed to show quantum entanglement – which Einstein famously described as "spooky action at a distance" – happening between macroscopic objects, a major step forward in our understanding of quantum physics.

Quantum entanglement links particles in a way that they instantly affect each other, even over vast distances. On the surface, this powerful bond defies classical physics and, generally, our understanding of reality, which is why Einstein found it so spooky. But the phenomenon has since become a cornerstone of modern technology.


Now their idea of a "massive" object may be different then yours - but 15 micrometers is in fact massive on the scale they operate in.

I suspect that this is how we will develop teleportation and defeat the limits of the speed of light.
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  #1001  
Old 04-28-18, 11:56 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Like they say, bigger is better:

https://phys.org/news/2018-04-evolvi...starships.html

A group of students and researchers at Delft University of Technology are designing a starship capable of keeping generations of crew alive as they cross the gulf between stars – and they've turned to ESA for the starship's life support.

DSTART, the TU Delft Starship Team, is bringing together a wide variety of disciplines to perform advanced concepts research for a resilient interstellar space vehicle, to be constructed from a hollowed-out asteroid. The aim is not just to focus on the necessary technology, but also to consider the biological and social factors involved in making such a gargantuan voyage feasible.


Can you say very cool!
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  #1002  
Old 04-28-18, 06:30 PM
BlackHawk BlackHawk is offline
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Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
It's been a while since we've had news on the weird science front but this is pretty big:

https://www.sciencealert.com/einstei...for-first-time

For the first time, scientists have managed to show quantum entanglement – which Einstein famously described as "spooky action at a distance" – happening between macroscopic objects, a major step forward in our understanding of quantum physics.

Quantum entanglement links particles in a way that they instantly affect each other, even over vast distances. On the surface, this powerful bond defies classical physics and, generally, our understanding of reality, which is why Einstein found it so spooky. But the phenomenon has since become a cornerstone of modern technology.


Now their idea of a "massive" object may be different then yours - but 15 micrometers is in fact massive on the scale they operate in.

I suspect that this is how we will develop teleportation and defeat the limits of the speed of light.
"I totally understand quantum entanglement,"

said no one.
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  #1003  
Old 04-29-18, 03:16 AM
Crusaders Crusaders is offline
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I don't think it would be that useful for travel, assuming we managed to figure out how to utilize it for large objects, since we would still require extremely fast travel to set up the entanglement stations in a timely manner.

If I had to put my money in a basket it would be something like a warp drive that manipulates space-time rather than something that propels people through it conventionally.
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  #1004  
Old 04-29-18, 08:11 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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I don't think it would be that useful for travel, assuming we managed to figure out how to utilize it for large objects, since we would still require extremely fast travel to set up the entanglement stations in a timely manner.

If I had to put my money in a basket it would be something like a warp drive that manipulates space-time rather than something that propels people through it conventionally.
I suspect that you're right from a practical perspective Crusaders. The real value of this is likely going to be in the creation of an entirely new field of science. What we're seeing here is the first forays into the exotic physics that will form the foundation for future work that will one day provide practical benefits.
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  #1005  
Old 05-01-18, 07:12 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Here is a spectacular picture of the surface of Mars:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/spa...-mars-orbiter/
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  #1006  
Old 05-01-18, 07:16 AM
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Space BEER!

https://www.forbes.com/sites/eustaci.../#7a2f2a4078a2

This seems more complicated then Quantum entanglement:

Clearly, this wasn’t easy. To achieve the three key qualities held dear by the master brewer—alcohol absorption, comfort, and taste—there were several challenges posed by space’s zero-gravity condition, according to the founders.

First, gasses and liquids don't separate in space. Since bubbles stick together and form a big ball of gas surrounded by a shell of beer, this creates an extremely uncomfortable (yet thankfully harmless) condition called “wet burp” where gas and liquid come out together. Which is why, any carbonated drink—beer or cola—could cause discomfort.

Second, head naturally swells when there’s no gravity to pool blood to the feet, resulting in muted sense in the tongue and reduced ability to distinguishing flavors.

Therefore, to make a beer that meets Mitchell’s universal standards (literally), the duo must come up with a way to reduce enough carbonation to make the drinker feel comfortable, all the while strengthening the flavor that complements the smaller bubbles.

Another key consideration is the bottle itself. Without gravity, just getting the beer into a person’s mouth is a challenge. Since surface tension causes the beer to stick to the glass as opposed to going anywhere else, Mitchell inevitably found himself asking, “How do you get the beer out of the bottle without squeezing it or sucking from it through a straw?”


Translation = Beer will be expensive in orbit!
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  #1007  
Old 05-02-18, 04:10 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Jeff Bezos is optimistic about our future in space. Real optimistic!

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/01/jeff...twitter%7Cmain

Alternatively, says Bezos, humanity can expand into space, allowing for exponential growth.

"Now take the scenario, where you move out into the solar system. The solar system can easily support a trillion humans," says Bezos. "And if we had a trillion humans, we would have a thousand Einsteins and a thousand Mozarts and unlimited, for all practical purposes, resources and solar power unlimited for all practical purposes. That's the world that I want my great-grandchildren's great-grandchildren to live in."


A trillion people!


As humanity expands into space, the Earth will remain the crown jewel, says Bezos.

"By the way, I believe that in that timeframe we will move all heavy industry off of Earth and Earth will be zoned residential and light industry. It will basically be a very beautiful planet," says Bezos. "We have sent robotic probes to every planet in this solar system now and believe me this is the best one."


My only quibble with the Bezos vision is that by the time a trillion folks inhabit the solar system we'll be heading out to the stars and the Earth will not be the crown jewel.
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  #1008  
Old 05-02-18, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
Space BEER!
A very worthy cause.
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  #1009  
Old 05-02-18, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
Jeff Bezos is optimistic about our future in space. Real optimistic! ...


A trillion people! ...

My only quibble with the Bezos vision is that by the time a trillion folks inhabit the solar system we'll be heading out to the stars and the Earth will not be the crown jewel.
Some big thinking entrepreneurs with big money are keeping space exploration alive: Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin), Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic) and Elon Musk (SpaceX), among others.

Sometimes they do get carried away and are overly optimistic, but the recent privatization of space exploration has been a real boon. NASA can't do it all with their limited budget. Will we have a manned Mars landing by 2024 as Elon Musk hopes? Probably not, but I'm glad these guys keep pushing and challenging everyone, including themselves. Keeping dreams alive!
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  #1010  
Old 05-03-18, 08:10 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Some big thinking entrepreneurs with big money are keeping space exploration alive: Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin), Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic) and Elon Musk (SpaceX), among others.

Sometimes they do get carried away and are overly optimistic, but the recent privatization of space exploration has been a real boon. NASA can't do it all with their limited budget. Will we have a manned Mars landing by 2024 as Elon Musk hopes? Probably not, but I'm glad these guys keep pushing and challenging everyone, including themselves. Keeping dreams alive!
Honestly I didn't see this coming and I read about this stuff all the time. Ten years ago I never would have predicted the incredible growth of the private space exploration sector. The profit motive when combined with exploratory passion is a powerful force.

The idea that we'll have functioning colonies on Mars, the Moon and in the asteroid belt by the middle of this century is not farfetched. I think we're about to experience an explosion in manned space flight on the order of what we saw between 1960 - 1970 when we went from the first human to orbit the earth to repeated moon landings.
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  #1011  
Old 05-03-18, 10:17 AM
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This seems like it should be bigger news than it is at the moment:

https://www.engadget.com/amp/2018/05...clear-reactor/
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  #1012  
Old 05-03-18, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Crusaders View Post
This seems like it should be bigger news than it is at the moment:

https://www.engadget.com/amp/2018/05...clear-reactor/
sounds like a little "Nuke-u-lar Strategery"

GW
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  #1013  
Old 05-03-18, 04:44 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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This seems like it should be bigger news than it is at the moment:

https://www.engadget.com/amp/2018/05...clear-reactor/
I agree. This is potentially a game changer.
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  #1014  
Old 05-05-18, 06:33 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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And it's off! The Mars InSight mission blasted off from California this morning:

https://www.floridatoday.com/story/t...nia/583381002/

A little bit about the mission:

https://www.space.com/40067-mars-insight-lander.html

InSight has two major science goals, according to NASA. The first is to examine the interior — what it is made of, and what processes occur. The lander will provide information on the size and composition of the Martian core, crust and mantle. It also will show "how warm the interior is and how much heat is still flowing through," NASA said. The second goal is to learn if Mars is tectonically active (including where seismic activity is located), and how frequently meteorites slam into its surface.
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  #1015  
Old 05-06-18, 04:04 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Climate debates are not restricted to Earth as one is now raging about what Mars was like in the past:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0502094638.htm

A recent study by Ramses Ramirez from the Earth-Life Science Institute (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan) and Robert Craddock from the National Air and Space Museum's Center for Earth and Planetary Studies (Smithsonian Institution, USA) suggests that the early Martian surface may not have been dominated by ice, but instead it may have been modestly warm and prone to rain, with only small patches of ice.


My goodness it almost sounds like the Midwest!
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  #1016  
Old 05-08-18, 10:38 AM
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Pluto lives!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.1a359731c94d

Three years ago, NASA’s New Horizons, the fastest spaceship ever launched, raced past Pluto, spectacularly revealing the wonders of that newly seen world. This coming New Year’s Eve — if all goes well on board this small robot operating extremely far from home — it will treat us to images of the most distant body ever explored, provisionally named Ultima Thule. We know very little about it, but we do know it’s not a planet. Pluto, by contrast — despite what you’ve heard — is.

Why do we say this? We are planetary scientists, meaning we’ve spent our careers exploring and studying objects that orbit stars. We use “planet” to describe worlds with certain qualities. When we see one like Pluto, with its many familiar features — mountains of ice, glaciers of nitrogen, a blue sky with layers of smog — we and our colleagues quite naturally find ourselves using the word “planet” to describe it and compare it to other planets that we know and love.

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced an attempted redefinition of the word “planet” that excluded many objects, including Pluto. We think that decision was flawed, and that a logical and useful definition of planet will include many more worlds.


Planetary scientists can't be wrong - welcome back as a planet Pluto!
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  #1017  
Old 05-09-18, 09:22 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Here is compelling evidence that earth's climate is even more complicated then we thought:

https://www.sciencealert.com/jupiter...s-milankovitch

Scientists have confirmed a longstanding hypothesis that Earth's orbit is warped by the gravitational pull of Jupiter and Venus in an epic cycle that repeats regularly every 405,000 years.

"It's an astonishing result because this long cycle, which had been predicted from planetary motions through about 50 million years ago, has been confirmed through at least 215 million years ago," says geomagnetics researcher Dennis V. Kent from Rutgers University.

"Scientists can now link changes in the climate, environment, dinosaurs, mammals, and fossils around the world to this 405,000-year cycle in a very precise way."



My guess is this will be the first of many cycles to be discovered in which the earths orbit around the sun is impacted by the gravitational pull of the other members of the solar system and that these cycles exert big effects on both our short & long term climate.

Throw in the likely existence of cycles within the sun that we don't understand as well as the effects of the entire solar system moving through interstellar space and it's not surprising that earth based climate models have been so poor at predicting future climate conditions.
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  #1018  
Old 05-12-18, 08:07 AM
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Now this seems promising:

https://www.space.com/40543-season-c...lien-life.html

Seasonal changes in an alien planet's atmosphere could signal the presence of extraterrestrial life, new research suggests.

Researchers aim to expand our ability to hunt for aliens by creating a new search protocol to be used with next-generation telescopes. As described in a paper published yesterday (May 9) in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, a research team at University of California, Riverside's (UCR) Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center has used the way Earth's atmosphere changes from season to season to develop a model for chemical signs that could indicate life.

Searching for life in the universe is tricky — clearly, since we have yet to find concrete evidence of extraterrestrials. Since exoplanets that we suspect could hold life are too far to visit, scientists study their atmospheres instead, hoping that biological clues in the atmosphere could indicate the presence of life. These clues, known as biosignatures, will be observed with specialized, next-generation telescopes like the James Webb Space Telescope, which is currently being assembled and will measure the various gaseous components that make up these far-off atmospheres.



The rationale seems sound to me:

By observing seasonal changes in these biosignatures, instead of the biosignatures alone, you have more information about the potential for life, according to lead author Stephanie Olson, a graduate student in UCR's Department of Earth Sciences.
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  #1019  
Old 05-13-18, 08:07 AM
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Predicting space weather around the earth - I hope they're better at it then on the earth!

https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0509135414.htm

Magnetic reconnection is one of the most important processes in the space -- filled with charged particles known as plasma -- around Earth. This fundamental process dissipates magnetic energy and propels charged particles, both of which contribute to a dynamic space weather system that scientists want to better understand, and even someday predict, as we do terrestrial weather. Reconnection occurs when crossed magnetic field lines snap, explosively flinging away nearby particles at high speeds. The new discovery found reconnection where it has never been seen before -- in turbulent plasma.


The article also coins a new term - the Magnetosheath! It sounds like a new gizmo you might find in Star Trek.
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  #1020  
Old 05-14-18, 06:56 AM
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Scientists have finally discovered the purpose of Jupiter in the Solar System:

https://www.sciencealert.com/jupiter...mation-junocam





It's the solar system's lava lamp!
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