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 Post subject: Re: Space Is Deep
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:08 am 
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Pluto might become a planet again because astronomers can’t make up their mind
Mike Wehner
3 hrs ago

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Hey, remember Pluto? Of course you do! When most of us were brought up in school we learned that there were eight known planets in the Solar System, and Pluto was the one that hung out on the outskirts. Then, in 2006, everything changed and astronomers from around the world declared the Pluto didn’t meet the criteria for being called a planet.

The issue at hand was Pluto’s mass, which just wasn’t high enough to give it what astronomers claimed was necessary for all true planets: a clean orbital path around its host star. Pluto had everything except for this “clear neighborhood” requirement, since debris from the nearby Kuiper belt spilled over into Pluto’s own orbit and the much larger Neptune occasionally tugged on Pluto.

Now, over a decade after that messy list of criteria was cemented, planetary scientist Philip Metzger of the University of Central Florida in Orlando says astronomers should seriously rethink their decision to snub Pluto.

“The IAU definition would say that the fundamental object of planetary science, the planet, is supposed to be a defined on the basis of a concept that nobody uses in their research,” Metzger said in a statement. “And it would leave out the second-most complex, interesting planet in our solar system.”

Metzger’s argument isn’t that Pluto meets the stated requirements for being considered a planet — everyone agrees that Pluto doesn’t fit the description set forth by the International Astronomical Union — but rather that the list of criteria is just plain broken.

“We now have a list of well over 100 recent examples of planetary scientists using the word planet in a way that violates the IAU definition, but they are doing it because it’s functionally useful. It’s a sloppy definition,” he says.

His stance is that the one sticking point for those who wanted to strip Pluto of its planetary status — the “clear” orbit requirement — isn’t useful in determining status at all. Instead, Metzger says, the real defining feature of a planet should be whether or not it is massive enough, and creates enough gravitational force, that it becomes spherical.

“It turns out this is an important milestone in the evolution of a planetary body, because apparently when it happens, it initiates active geology in the body,” he explains.

Whether or not the IAU will take this new argument into account is anyone’s guess. Pluto is presently classified as a “dwarf planet,” but Metzger’s reasoning regarding the seemingly arbitrary definition of a planet seems pretty solid. Perhaps Pluto will once again become the eighth planet in the Solar System.

http://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/techandsc ... ocid=ientp

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 Post subject: Re: Space Is Deep
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:03 pm 
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You've never seen Pluto like this

https://www.wgal.com/article/youve-never-seen-pluto-like-this/23068432

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Using photos taken from the New Horizons spacecraft, NASA has created a virtual "flyby" of Pluto's surface.

Video:
https://ht.cdn.turner.com/cnn/big/us/2015/07/18/new-horizons-pluto-flyby-nasa-orig.cnn_131037_1280x720_3500k.mp4


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 Post subject: Re: Space Is Deep
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:19 pm 
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That was cool...TY... :smoke:


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 Post subject: Re: Space Is Deep
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:22 pm 
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I love that stuff.....

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 Post subject: Re: Space Is Deep
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:49 pm 
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Alien signals spotted from a galaxy 3 billion light years away
11 hrs ago
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© Getty The Green Bank Telescope is seen in Green Bank, West Virginia on May 29, 2018. - Green Bank is part of the US Radio Quiet Zone, where wireless telecommunications signals are banned to prevent transmissions interfering with a number of radio telescopes in the area. The largest steerable telescope in the world, the Green Bank Telescope, enables scientists to listen to low-level signals from different places in the universe. (Photo by ANDRE CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP)

Scientists searching for extraterrestrial life say they have spotted 72 mysterious signals from an alien galaxy using artificial intelligence (AI).

The researchers at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute discovered the unusual signals when examining 400 terabytes of radio data from a dwarf galaxy three billion light years away from Earth.

Almost all artificial intelligence technology involves automating data analysis, combing through huge data sets to identify patterns or unusual occurrences.

The signals they spotted - fast radio bursts (FRBs) - are bright and quick pulses which were first discovered in 2007 and are believed to come from distant galaxies, although it is not yet know what causes them.

"The nature of the object emitting them is unknown," SETI said, adding: "There are many theories, including that they could be the signatures of technology developed by extraterrestrial intelligent life."

Last year, scientists at Harvard University suggested that FRBs could result from energy leaks from powerful transmitters built by alien civilisations in order to send giant light sail ships on interstellar voyages.

A light sail would use the tiny amount of pressure exerted by light to produce a small but constant acceleration which allows a spacecraft to reach a great speed.

The FRBs were detected in data collected by the Green Bank Telescope, part of the US Radio Quiet Zone, where wireless communications signals are banned to prevent interference with the telescopes.

Gerry Zhang, a PhD student at Berkeley, developed the machine-learning algorithm used to examine the 400tb of data, in which another researcher had already identified 21 FRBs.

"Gerry's work is exciting not just because it helps us understand the dynamic behavior of FRBs in more detail," said SETI's Dr Andrew Siemion, "but also because of the promise it shows for using machine learning to detect signals missed by classical algorithms."

Dr Siemion added: "These new techniques are already improving our sensitivity to signals from extraterrestrial technologies."

The results of their research have been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.

http://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/ali ... ocid=ientp

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 Post subject: Re: Space Is Deep
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:57 am 
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^ Very Cool!


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 Post subject: Re: Space Is Deep
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:23 am 
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'It's all very fishy': A New Mexico solar observatory was closed without warning for a 'security threat.' No one knows why

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900032503/its-all-very-fishy-a-new-mexico-solar-observatory-was-closed-without-warning-for-a-security-threat-no-one-knows-why.html

SALT LAKE CITY — A solar observatory in New Mexico reopened Monday after a 10-day closure for reasons that haven’t been thoroughly explained, according to CNN.

Aliens, though, weren’t involved.

What happened: On Sept. 6, the Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico was shut down by its operator, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, according to NPR.

- No reason was given for the closure. Later, it was reported that a security threat led to the closure. The security threat remains unclear.

-Those who work at the observatory and who live on the campus were randomly asked to leave. The location’s post office also shut down for the 10 days.

- Local newspapers reported suspicious activity at the facility involving government agents and military vehicles.


Confusion: Local officials and residents were bewildered by the sudden closure.


- “Nothing really happens here very much. And since nobody knows, it could be almost anything,” one resident told KRQE.

The Otero County sheriff told The Alamogordo Daily News he was made aware of the closure. But he didn’t receive any official reason.

- "The FBI is refusing to tell us what's going on," Sheriff Benny House told The Alamogordo Daily News shortly after the closure. "We've got people up there (at Sunspot) that requested us to standby while they evacuate it. Nobody would really elaborate on any of the circumstances as to why. The FBI were up there. What their purpose was nobody will say."

- "But for the FBI to get involved that quick and be so secretive about it, there was a lot of stuff going on up there," House added. "There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers but nobody would tell us anything."

John Varsik, a data scientist and telescope operator at California's Big Bear Solar Observatory, told BuzzFeed News that, "nothing like this has ever happened before at an observatory.”

- “It’s all very fishy," he said.

Reason for closure: AURA, the consortium and the National Science Foundation, released a statement that said a security threat led to the closure.

- "AURA has been cooperating with an ongoing law enforcement investigation of criminal activity that occurred at Sacramento Peak. During this time, we became concerned that a suspect in the investigation potentially posed a threat to the safety of local staff and residents. For this reason, AURA temporarily evacuated the facility and ceased science activities at this location.

- "The decision to vacate was based on the logistical challenges associated with protecting personnel at such a remote location, and the need for expeditious response to the potential threat. AURA determined that moving the small number of on-site staff and residents off the mountain was the most prudent and effective action to ensure their safety."

Back to normal: The observatory returned to normal operations on Monday.


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 Post subject: Re: Space Is Deep
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:14 am 
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NASA's New Planet Hunter Just Found Its 1st Alien World — an Evaporating 'Super-Earth'

https://www.space.com/41882-nasa-tess-first-exoplanet-evaporating-super-earth.html

by Charles Q. Choi, Space.com Contributor | September 19, 2018 07:31pm ET
NASA's newest planet-hunting mission has reported detecting its first alien world — a "super-Earth" that is likely evaporating under the heat from its star, a new study finds.


The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched to Earth orbit on April 18 atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The space telescope is analyzing several hundred thousand of the brightest stars in the sun's neighborhood, looking for tiny dips in brightness caused by the passage (or "transit") of orbiting planets as small as Earth across the faces of those stars.

The scientists have used TESS data to discover a new planet around the star Pi Mensae, also known as HD 39091, which is located about 59.5 light-years from Earth in the constellation Mensa, the table. Pi Mensae is a yellow dwarf star like the sun and the second-brightest among stars known to have transiting exoplanets.

Previous research had already spotted a gas giant around Pi Mensae that's about 10 times more massive than Jupiter. This exoplanet, named Pi Mensae b, has a highly oval-shaped "eccentric" orbit that carries it up to 3 astronomical units (AU) nfrom its star. (One AU is the average distance between Earth and the sun — about 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers.)


Now, scientists have detected a new world around Pi Mensae — one about 2.14 times Earth's diameter and 4.82 times Earth's mass. This super-Earth, h dubbed Pi Mensae c, orbits about 0.07 AU from its star, or more than 50 times closer than Mercury does the sun. (As the name implies, Super-Earths are planets a bit bigger than our own, harboring from about 2 to 10 Earth masses.)

Pi Mensae c is a super-Earth, a class of planets slightly larger and more massive than our own world.


The density of Pi Mensae c is consistent with a picture where "the entire planet is made of water," study lead author Chelsea Huang, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told Space.com. However, "it is more likely to have a rocky core and an extended atmosphere made of hydrogen and helium," she said. "We also think this planet might be evaporating right now, given the intense irradiation it gets from its host star."

Future research can investigate the odd configuration of Pi Mensae's two known planets. The oval-shaped orbit of Jupiter-like Pi Mensae b stands in stark contrast to the circular orbit of Jupiter. This suggests that "something must have happened in the history of this planetary system to excite the orbit of the distant Jupiter-like planet," Huang said. "If so, how did the inner system survive? These questions still need further investigation, and understanding them will tell us a lot of planet-formation theory."

TESS follows in the footsteps of NASA's iconic Kepler space telescope, which has discovered about 70 percent of the 3,800 known exoplanets to date, also using the transit method. TESS will exceed Kepler's exoplanet haul if all goes according to plan, TESS team members have said.

The scientists detailed their findings online Sept. 16 in a paper submitted to The Astrophysical Journal Letters. You can read it at the online preprint site arXiv.org.


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 Post subject: Re: Space Is Deep
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:47 pm 
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Hayabusa 2 lands not one, but two, hopping rovers on Asteroid ! Futur pictures should be amazing.

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 Post subject: Re: Space Is Deep
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:56 am 
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Spooky Skull-Like ‘Death Comet’ Asteroid To Zip Past Earth Just After Halloween
It’s also been called “The Great Pumpkin” asteroid.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/skull-asteroid-death-comet-halloween_us_5bac637be4b082030e782564?ncid=engmodushpmg00000006

By Ed Mazza
09/27/2018 05:03 AM ET
Updated 8 hours ago

There’s a different kind of Halloween sequel in the works, and it’s coming soon to the skies near Earth.

A skull-like asteroid that passed Earth in October 2015 is coming back for another visit in early November. Officially named 2015 TB145, the asteroid has been called The Great Pumpkin by NASA because of its Halloween flyby three years ago.

2015 TB145 has also been described as a “death comet” because it’s believed to be a dead comet and because of its skull shape, which was picked up on radar images from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico:

“We found that the object reflects about 6 percent of the light it receives from the sun,” Vishnu Reddy, a research scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, said in a 2015 news release. “That is similar to fresh asphalt, and while here on Earth we think that is pretty dark, it is brighter than a typical comet which reflects only 3 to 5 percent of the light. That suggests it could be cometary in origin ― but as there is no coma evident, the conclusion is it is a dead comet.”

Despite the spooky appearance and nicknames, 2015 TB145 will pose no threat to life on Earth. After flying within 310,000 miles of the planet three years ago, the closest the comet will come this time around is 24 million miles on Nov. 11, Mother Nature Network reported.
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 Post subject: Re: Space Is Deep
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:52 pm 
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Tonight SpaceX did another twilight launch from Vandenberg. It deployed some satellites into orbit, and the first stage landed back at the launch complex.

You could see it where I was, but the sky was somewhat hazy due to smoke from a nearby fire. A buddy of mine got a good view from his house in L.A.:

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 Post subject: Re: Space Is Deep
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:16 am 
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What a shame his house was on fire... :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Space Is Deep
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Here's a time lapse video of the 7 October launch, from downtown Los Angeles:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OikIfj7Hh9Y

Toward the end of the clip, you can see the first stage returning to Vandenberg.

They also posted a version of this on Facebook. It doesn't have the watermark, but it may not be available to everyone:

https://www.facebook.com/EmericTimelapse/videos/550418238741729/

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