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  1. #1411
    Nascar Pool Diecast Two Time Winner 4me2c's Avatar
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    Just saw this :

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    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nasa-astronomers-active-galaxy-star-wars-tie-fighter-supermassive-black-hole/

  2. #1412
    Moderator at Work ilan's Avatar
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    Astronomy and the climate crisis: Scientists make some connections
    Chelsea Gohd, Space | 11 August 2020

    Climate change affects astronomy, and vice versa.


    In a new study, astronomers investigated the relationship between astronomy and climate change. (Image: © NASA)
    As astronomers look out to the universe, they use planet Earth as an important reference point. This has created a growing relationship between astronomy and the evolving study of climate change, which an international team of scientists explores in three new studies.

    Over the years, scientists have found an incredible variety of planets out in the cosmos, but none quite like Earth. But by studying far-off exoplanets, researchers can better understand our own planet (and vice versa.) So it's no surprise that astronomers are heavily involved in studying Earth's climate crisis. In these new studies, researchers examine how climate change is affecting astronomy and how the field is connected to the mounting global crisis.

    "As astronomers, we are immeasurably lucky to work in a fascinating field. With our unique perspective on the universe, it is our responsibility to communicate, inside and outside our community, about the disastrous consequences of anthropogenic climate change on our planet and our society," Faustine Cantalloube, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) and lead author of one of the new studies, said in a statement.

    For the new research, an international team of astronomers banded together to examine how climate change and astronomy interact — specifically, to see how astronomical observations are affected by climate change and how astronomy as a field contributes to the growing climate crisis.

    Venus: Lessons from a Climate Catastrophe:

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  3. #1413
    Moderator at Work ilan's Avatar
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    'Giant impact' theory of moon's formation gets another boost
    Elizabeth Howell, SPACE | 24 September 2020

    Scientists have found yet more differences between Earth and moon rocks.


    Earth's moon is thought to have formed when a Mars-sized object, called Theia, slammed into the early Earth 4.4 billion years ago, blasting out material that later coalesced in to a large satellite as depicted in this artist's illustration.
    (Image: © NASA/JPL-Caltech)
    Scientists have found fresh evidence in lunar rocks showing that the moon was likely formed after a Mars-sized planet crashed into the proto-Earth more than 4 billion years ago.

    A NASA-led team examined moon rocks brought back to Earth by Apollo astronauts more than 50 years ago. Investigating the samples with advanced tools not available to researchers in the 1960s and 1970s, the team found further evidence of the "giant impact theory" by focusing on the amount and type of chlorine in the rocks, a new study reports.

    The researchers discovered the moon has a higher concentration of "heavy" chlorine compared to Earth, which sports more "light" chlorine. The terms "heavy" and "light" refer to versions of the chlorine atom, known as isotopes, that contain different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei.

    Shortly after the mammoth collision occurred, Earth was just able to stay together while pieces of both planets that were blasted into space coalesced to form the moon. Both of these blobby bodies had a mix of light and heavy chlorine isotopes at first, but that mix began to change as Earth's gravity pulled on the newly forming moon.

    As the cosmic bodies continued taking new shape after the crash, Earth tugged away the lighter chlorine toward itself, leaving the harder-to-move heavy chlorine on the moon. This left the moon depleted of lighter chlorine compared to the heavier isotope.

    "There’s a huge difference between the modern elemental makeup of the Earth and moon, and we wanted to know why," study co-author Justin Simon, a NASA planetary scientist, said in a statement. "Now, we know that the moon was very different from the start, and it's probably because of the 'giant impact' theory."

    The scientists also checked their understanding by looking at other elements that are halogens, in the same chemical family as chlorine. Other "light" halogens are also less abundant on the moon, and the team could not see any pattern that would suggest a later event caused the loss.

    The new study was published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It was led by Anthony Gargano, a graduate fellow at NASA's astromaterials research and exploration science division at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

    The research adds to a growing mountain of chemical evidence to support the giant impact hypothesis, which was first suggested decades ago. For example, a study released in March of this year used high-precision measurements of oxygen isotopes to show that Earth and moon rocks are probably even more different from each other than previously thought.

    _______________________________________________

    From Science with a Twist, a video highlighting Moon formation theories:

    Last edited by ilan; 09-27-2020 at 11:43 AM.
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  4. #1414
    Moderator at Work ilan's Avatar
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    Aaron Rodgers shares his UFO sighting experience on the Pat McAfee Show
    Julia Marshall, WTMJ-TV Milwaukee | Sep 30, 2020

    GREEN BAY — Have you ever seen a UFO? Well, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has and he shared his experience on the Pat McAfee Show Tuesday.

    That's right, 15 years ago Rodgers saw a UFO in the sky and he's still talking about it to this day.

    "It was a snowy night. It was orange and moving in the clouds from left to right and the bizarre part that was attached to it was after it was out of sight we were frozen looking at each other wondering what the hell just happened... 30 seconds after that we heard fighter jets," said Rodgers.

    Rodgers said there were three fighter jets that appeared to be chasing after whatever it was that he saw.


    From then on, Rodgers started researching and looking into what he may have seen.

    "After that, I really got into researching that because we had a story that we couldn't explain," said Rodgers. "It was something that I definitely got into and was interested more in. I've done some research over the years, and I've had some other interesting experiences as well but that was probably the most vivid."

    Pat McAfee then asked Rodgers what those other interesting experiences were. However, Rodgers said those stories are for another time.
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  5. #1415
    Moderator at Work ilan's Avatar
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    Astronomers see a star ‘spaghettified’ by a black hole
    Deborah Byrd in SPACE | October 13, 2020

    Astronomers have spotted a rare blast of light from a star being ripped apart by a supermassive black hole. The phenomenon – known as a tidal disruption event – is the closest such flare recorded to date at just over 215 million light-years from Earth.


    It must be wonderful for astronomers when a concept they learned about in school as theory is seen in the real universe. That’s happened a lot in recent decades, but nowhere so interestingly as on Monday, October 12, 2020, when astronomers announced they’ve witnessed a star undergoing spaghettification. That is, the star is being ripped apart as it falls into a supermassive black hole, in a galaxy only 215 million light-years away. They didn’t see the star up close as it was being shredded; our earthly technologies don’t extend that far. But they did capture the star’s last moments, just before it was ripped apart by the black hole, in what astronomers call a tidal disruption event. The event created a flare of light, which they said is the closest such flare recorded to date.

    Spaghettification is sometimes called the noodle effect. We in astronomy have long heard about the intrepid astronaut who ventured too near a black hole’s event horizon (the point beyond which no light can escape) and was “stretched like spaghetti” by the hole’s powerful gravity. It’s not just that the hole’s gravity is strong. It’s that – because gravity is inversely proportional to distance, and because a black hole’s gravity is so exceedingly strong – the pull on the falling astronaut’s legs is substantially greater than the pull on his or her upper torso. Thus – as the astronaut approaches the event horizon, the point of no return (assuming they’re falling in feet first) – the astronaut is vertically stretched, as illustrated in the image below, until at last disappearing (again feet first) over the event horizon. This is spaghettification.
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  6. #1416
    Moderator at Work ilan's Avatar
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    Smile, wave: Some exoplanets may be able to see us, too
    Cornell University | 21 October 2020

    Three decades after Cornell astronomer Carl Sagan suggested that Voyager 1 snap Earth's picture from billions of miles away -- resulting in the iconic Pale Blue Dot photograph -- two astronomers now offer another unique cosmic perspective: Some exoplanets -- planets from beyond our own solar system -- have a direct line of sight to observe Earth's biological qualities from far, far away.


    Lisa Kaltenegger, associate professor of astronomy at Cornell University and director of Cornell's Carl Sagan Institute; and Joshua Pepper, associate professor of physics at Lehigh University, have identified 1,004 main-sequence stars (similar to our sun) that might contain Earth-like planets in their own habitable zones -- all within about 300 light-years of Earth -- and which should be able to detect Earth's chemical traces of life.

    The paper, "Which Stars Can See Earth as a Transiting Exoplanet?" was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

    "Let's reverse the viewpoint to that of other stars and ask from which vantage point other observers could find Earth as a transiting planet," Kaltenegger said. A transiting planet is one that passes through the observer's line of sight to another star, such as the sun, revealing clues as to the makeup of the planet's atmosphere.

    "If observers were out there searching, they would be able to see signs of a biosphere in the atmosphere of our Pale Blue Dot," she said, "And we can even see some of the brightest of these stars in our night sky without binoculars or telescopes."

    Transit observations are a crucial tool for Earth's astronomers to characterize inhabited extrasolar planets, Kaltenegger said, which astronomers will start to use with the launch of NASA's James Webb Space telescope next year.

    But which star systems could find us? Holding the key to this science is Earth's ecliptic -- the plane of Earth's orbit around the Sun. The ecliptic is where the exoplanets with a view of Earth would be located, as they will be the places able to see Earth crossing its own sun -- effectively providing observers a way to discover our planet's vibrant biosphere.

    Pepper and Kaltenegger created the list of the thousand closest stars using NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) star catalog .

    "Only a very small fraction of exoplanets will just happen to be randomly aligned with our line of sight so we can see them transit." Pepper said. "But all of the thousand stars we identified in our paper in the solar neighborhood could see our Earth transit the sun, calling their attention."

    "If we found a planet with a vibrant biosphere, we would get curious about whether or not someone is there looking at us too," Kaltenegger said.

    "If we're looking for intelligent life in the universe, that could find us and might want to get in touch" she said, "we've just created the star map of where we should look first."

    This work was funded by the Carl Sagan Institute and the Breakthrough Initiative.
    Last edited by ilan; 10-24-2020 at 02:28 PM.
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