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#2681 L. Marcus

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:57 PM

I call dibs!
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#2682 DShomshak

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 06:22 PM

In a radio interview about the TRAPPIST-1 system, a Belgian astronomer on the discovery team was asked if the planets had been named yet. He said no, and that his suggestion they be named after brands of Belgian beer was, unfortunately, not likely to be followed.

 

Too bad. An extravagant multi-planet system named for beers has an almost Jack Vance feel to it, like the Rigel Concourse from his "Demon Princes" novels. The Beer Worlds!

 

Dean Shomshak

 

ADDENDUM: A beer aficionado friend of mine explained the astronomer's joke more fully, along with supplying suitable names for the planets:

 

> Westmalle, Rochefort, Westvleteran, Chimay, Orval, Achel, and Koningshoeven.
>
> These are all Trappist beers. These planets are making me thirsty!

 

I guess many Belgian beers were originally brewed by Trappist monks, so it's all a play on the mission's name.



#2683 DShomshak

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 05:29 PM

The March, 2017 issue of Scientific American features an article about the Breakthrough Starshot proposal to send micro-probes to Alpha Centauri.

 

Dean Shomshak



#2684 Old Man

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 06:40 PM

Well, if it's ultra-cool it won't return our calls, anyway.


Still, 7 earth like planets around one star 40LY away. I predict that we will have over a million identified exoplanets by the end of the century.

 

But how many will we have invaded?


...and that's when the destruction began.

#2685 Christopher

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 06:45 AM

But how many will we have invaded?

0

Seeing them is easy, but the commute is a killer.


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#2686 tkdguy

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 05:01 AM

The gross part about space travel

 

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#2687 megaplayboy

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 12:31 PM

There's a NASA proposal to restore Mars' atmosphere, by putting up a satellite with a strong magnetic field to repel solar winds. Neat. When we recreate the dinosaurs we can put them there.
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#2688 Christopher

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 12:53 PM

There's a NASA proposal to restore Mars' atmosphere, by putting up a satellite with a strong magnetic field to repel solar winds. Neat. When we recreate the dinosaurs we can put them there.

Genetic Science experiment with Deadman Asteroid? Nice to finally see some concerns for safety.



#2689 tkdguy

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:50 AM

Guess what Cassini spotted?

 

http://www.sci-news....adus-04705.html


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#2690 DShomshak

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 05:04 PM

The April, 2017 issue of Scientific American has an article on Tidal Disruption Events (TDEs) -- when a star falls into the supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. These are emerging as an important way to determine the mass and spin of such distant black holes, and maybe other properties as well. (The basic difficulty in studying black holes being that you can only observe them through their interaction with other things.)

 

The article noted in passing that TDEs may also become useful for studying the internal composition and structure of the infalling stars, since the insides get smeared out and separated from the outsides. It is even possible that sufficiently sensitive and powerful telescopes might observe the planets of infalling stars as they too are disrupted, merge with the accretion disk and ultimately spiral into the black hole.

 

Dean Shomshak


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#2691 Christopher

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 05:43 AM

And stay out!
http://www.spacetele.../news/heic1706/


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#2692 Old Man

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 04:11 PM

SpaceX launching used rocket in 15 minutes


...and that's when the destruction began.

#2693 Old Man

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 04:37 PM

First stage landed successfully.  Second stage still copacetic and progressing toward deployment.


...and that's when the destruction began.

#2694 Christopher

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 01:28 PM

Not exactly space news, but it goes into SciFi.

 

Cancer Drugs tend to be kind of bad for the body. The best ones could be worse for the body then cancer itself. So one goal is it to get the drug right into the cancer cell itself. You need less because it is working at the spot you want it to work. And thus less damage to the body as a whole.

But Nanobots are still a bit off into the future to do that. So scientists are looking for workarounds. Two common approaches are:
Bacteriums tend to cause immune reaction and might form colonies, wich would cause their own issues.

Micelles tend to loose thier load before they get to the target.

 

Scientist in Dresden, Germany are looking into a 3rd carrier. One of the last ones you would expect. But one that also makes total sense in restrospect:

Spoiler


#2695 tkdguy

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 04:48 PM

Space Armor!


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#2696 DShomshak

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:20 PM

The March 18 issue of The Economist had a brief article about Fast Radio Bursts, which as their name suggests are extremely brief (milliseconds) bursts of radio waves. The first one detected -- or at least noticed in old radio astronomy data -- came from one of the Magellanic Clouds. As usual with very brief phenomena that do not repeat, it's hard to figure out what they are because by the time you detect them, they're gone.

 

All the mechanism so far proposed for FRBs are pretty weird, such as rapidly spinning stars collapsing to black holes. The point of the article, though, is that a couple astronomers (Manasvi Lingam and Abraham Loeb) have a paper due to be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters in which they suggested FRBs could be beams that alien civilizations use to propel solar sails. (Just radio instead of light.) Not all the radio beam hits the sail, and as the beam and the Earth both move through space, we intercept the beam for a fraction of a second.

 

The authors do not, of course suggest this *must* be the source of FRBs; just that it makes as much sense as anything else proposed so far. Maybe more, since they run some numbers on how to build such a radio beam projector. (It's really really big, but within known technology.)

 

Dean Shomshak


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#2697 DShomshak

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 04:52 PM

Also: the new May issue of Scientific American has an article about Boyagian's Star, a.k.a. the WTF ("Where's The Flux?) Star -- the one whose brightness dips irregularly, both in degree and duration. Just as strangely, Boyagian's Star shows a gradual 4% drop in brightness over the 4 years of its observation by the Kepler mission, and astronomers who looked back over old records see evidence of a 15% decline over the last century.

 

None of the explanations so far proposed have strong evidence for them, and most have pretty strong evidence against them. That includes the proposal that is the focus of the article: alien megastructures in orbit around the star -- perhaps vast light-collectors for a yet-incomplete Dyson shell. The authors point out that if an alien civilization is collecting this much starlight for energy, all that energy must eventually be re-radiated as heat. Or something. And Boyagian's Star doesn't show infrared anomalies, which incidentally rules out many of the natural explanations. OK, so maybe the aliens found a way to vent the heat in some way we don't detect (yet), such as lasers or radio beams or something we can't imagine yet. But it's a problem.

 

More plausible, perhaps -- but still strange -- is that an interstellar dust cloud is between us and Boyagian's Star, and denser portions cause the dips in brightness. One wild possibility is a black hole with a huge set of dust rings, like Saturn's but the size of our Solar System.

 

The article also mentions the suggestion that the star is dimming because something caused it briefly to get brighter, such as collision with a planet or brown dwarf. Now it's settling down to its normal luminosity. But it's not clear how this would explain the light dips.

 

Research continues, and Boyagian has obtained crowdfunding for time on a radio telescope to study the star further.

 

Dean Shomshak


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#2698 Old Man

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 02:37 PM

Transcript of enlightening interview with Tom Mueller, CTO of SpaceX


...and that's when the destruction began.