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Rats in the walls
crush, kill, destr
1,170 Posts

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November 28 2011 10:01 PM   QuickQuote Quote  
^well, i don't think we can travel past the speed of light, but i would be happy to be wrong. as it is, if i'm right, it's kind of a crowded but lonely universe; there might be an abundance of planets hosting intelligent life, but the most they could ever hope for in terms of communicating with one another is some form of message in a bottle, be it deliberate or some errant radio wave, most likely with the recipient getting such a message from a civilization long dead. the thought that we could travel faster than light or jump through wormholes or black holes or something is way more fun-sounding, so again, i would be more than happy to be wrong. i guess this is where my science brain helps me out, because it's still cool just knowing that they're out there, even if it is impossible to get to them.

as for 'humanity mimicking the galaxy', this is interesting, but i would simply describe the idea a different way, that is that they are both taking a form that is common in nature, like a theodorus or fermat's spiral, or even one of plato's forms. [although i do think skyscrapers mimic termite towers, but that's just because their respective populations tend to have the same consumptive/destructive effect on the land around them, but that's just me being bitter.]


carlos danger
23,443 Posts

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November 29 2011 3:05 AM   QuickQuote Quote  
you'll both like this.

Hail Caesar
3,756 Posts

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November 30 2011 11:51 AM   QuickQuote Quote  
Doesn't show up on my crappy phone :(
Time Cubin'
6,281 Posts

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November 30 2011 12:06 PM   QuickQuote Quote  
Peter SteeleyDan
19,190 Posts

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January 23 2012 11:23 AM   QuickQuote Quote  
Lol. Surprised no one played the weird sounds happening at different spots in the world, videos. Or the two black kids filming an object changing shape in mid air.
Rats in the walls
crush, kill, destr
1,170 Posts

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February 26 2012 10:42 AM   QuickQuote Quote  
Originally posted by: Joshua Porphy

also, they found a water based planet. apparently with water under such high pressure that it contains hot ice

seriously, ice that gives off heat. its wacky

that is really neat. and promising in the search for life to find so much water somewhere.


‘Nomad planets’ may fill the Milky Way

The State Column | Sunday, February 26, 2012

“Nomad planets” may fill the Milky Way, according to a new study by researchers at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC). “Nomad planets” are special because they do not orbit a star like Earth, but wander through space without a home. There may be as many as 100,000 times more “nomad planets” in the Milky Way than there are stars.

The researchers who conducted the study believe that the observation of “nomad planets” will probably impact how planet formation is understood. “If any of these nomad planets are big enough to have a thick atmosphere, they could have trapped enough heat for bacterial life to exist,” said Louis Strigari, the leader of the research team. “Nomad planets” may create enough heat through internal radioactive decay and tectonic activity to support bacterial life.

Although the discovery of planets that orbit stars is nothing new to the scientific community (500 planets outside our solar system have been found over the past 20 years), the unearthing of more “nomad planets” is still a cause for celebration. A Stanford University press release reveals that astronomers found approximately 12 “nomad planets” in 2011.

In 2011, TIME reported on the discovery of 10 rogue planets (another term for “nomad planets”). In the article, TIME said that “nomad planets” might have become homeless after extremely close gravitational encounters with other planets.

In order to detect the existence of “nomad planets” in the Milky Way, scientists utilized a technique called gravitational microlensing. The technique allows scientists to identify a planet by watching for the brief refocusing of a star’s light, which is caused by the gravity of passing planets.

The KIPAC team found that “nomad planets” are extremely common by considering various pieces of evidence, facts and theories. The researchers factored in the known gravitational pull of the Milky Way, the amount of matter available to form “nomad planets” and theories on how “nomad planets” might form.

“To paraphrase Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, if correct, this extrapolation implies that we are not in Kansas anymore, and in fact we never were in Kansas,” said Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., who wrote The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets and was not involved in the study. “The universe is riddled with unseen planetary-mass objects that we are just now able to detect,” Mr. Boss added.

At this point scientists cannot provide a more accurate estimate of the number of “nomad planets” in the Milky Way because they lack the necessary technology.

“Few areas of science have excited as much popular and professional interest in recent times as the prevalence of life in the universe,” said the study’s co-author and KIPAC Director Roger Blandford. “What is wonderful is that we can now start to address this question quantitatively by seeking more of these erstwhile planets and asteroids wandering through interstellar space, and then speculate about hitchhiking bugs,” Mr. Blandford added.

Eric Ford, a University of Florida astrophysicist who did not take part in the study, had his curiosity sparked by the results. “The art form here is what size clusters do most stars form in, and how are the clusters structured? There’s a crucial element of timing here,” said Mr. Ford, according to National Geographic.

Although some may interpret this study as evidence that “nomad planets” could be a threat to Earth, Mr. Ford said that a mid-space collision is highly unlikely. “Instead of thinking these planets are oddballs, we now think they’re common,” posited Mr. Ford. “There are lot of other things I’d be worried about before a free-floating planet collides with Earth,” said the astrophysicist, adding that “a good old-fashioned comet or asteroid wiping us out is something I’d be much more worried about.”

KIPAC says its mission is to “bridge theoretical and experimental physics communities, and bring their combined strengths to bear on some of the most challenging and fascinating problems in particle astrophysics and cosmology.” KIPAC is a joint institute of Stanford University and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) National Accelerator Laboratory.

The results of the study were published in a paper submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Man is Truth
sleeps on hills
5,530 Posts

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March 25 2012 3:58 PM   QuickQuote Quote  
I find it interesting how we use our concept of physics to determine what is possible and what is not.

that. I hear kids in like, community college, who have never even been out of their home-state dismiss the possibility of life in our own solar system beyond earth because "there is no water." As if LIFE is something that human beings and earth monopolize, like terrestrial forms alone must be the only mechanism by which an energy pattern can acquire a means to experience other forces. dumb
515 Posts

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March 26 2012 4:55 PM   QuickQuote Quote  
thats only because all life that we're aware of requires water to sustain. but im not dismissing the possibility that there are life forms somewhere out there that dont require water to survive.. for all we know aliens could be big glowing balls of gas.

but here on earth water=life
515 Posts

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March 26 2012 5:02 PM   QuickQuote Quote  
and why you dissin community college students dude..
Rats in the walls
crush, kill, destr
1,170 Posts

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June 13 2012 3:39 PM   QuickQuote Quote  

Alien Earths may be plentiful in our Milky Way galaxy
Smaller, terrestrial planets show no loyalty to metal-rich stars as believed, study finds

Small, rocky planets can coalesce around a wide variety of stars, suggesting that Earth-like alien worlds may have formed early and often throughout our Milky Way galaxy's history, a new study reveals.

Astronomers had previously noticed that huge, Jupiter-like exoplanets tend to be found around stars with high concentrations of so-called "metals" — elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. But smaller, terrestrial alien planets show no such loyalty to metal-rich stars, the new study found.

" Small planets could be widespread in our galaxy, because they do not require a high content of heavy elements to form," said study lead author Lars Buchhave of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Buchhave and his colleagues analyzed data from NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope, which has been continuously observing more than 150,000 stars since its launch in March 2009.

Kepler watches those stars for tiny brightness dips, some of which are caused by alien planets that cross the stars' faces from the telescope's perspective. To date, Kepler has flagged more than 2,300 exoplanet candidates. While just a small fraction have been confirmed, Kepler scientists estimate that at least 80 percent will end up being the real deal. [ Gallery: A World of Kepler Planets ]

In the new study, the researchers looked at Kepler observations of 226 planet candidates circling 152 different stars. More than three-quarters of these potential planets are smaller than Neptune — i.e., their diameters are less than four times that of Earth — and some of them are as diminutive as our own planet, researchers said.

The astronomers studied the stars' spectra and found that small, rocky worlds circle stars with a much broader range of metal content than do giant planets.

"Naively, one might think that the more material you have in the (protoplanetary) disk, the more likely you are to form (small) planets," Buchhave told via email. "What we see, though, is that small planets form around stars with a wide range in heavy element content, while the close-in Jupiter -type planets seem to predominantly form around stars with a higher metal content."

In fact, small, terrestrial planets can form around stars nearly four times more metal-poor than our own sun, researchers said. The results suggest that Earth-size worlds may be common throughout the Milky Way, perhaps providing many places for life to gain a foothold.

"Since small planets could be widespread in our galaxy, the chances of life developing could be higher, simply because there could be more terrestrial-sized planets where life could evolve," Buchhave said.

The team's results are published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
NASA / JPL-Caltech
This chart compares the smallest known alien planets to Mars and Earth. Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler space telescope announced the discovery of KOI-961.01, KOI-961.02 and KOI-961.03 on Jan. 11,; the Kepler team announced Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f in December 2011.

Early planets, early life?
Metals weren't present at the universe's birth. Rather, they're created inside stellar cores, implying that gas giants had a hard time forming until multiple generations of stars had been born, died and spread their innards throughout the cosmos in massive supernova explosions.

But the fact that rocky planets can take shape around metal-poor stars means the first roughly Earth-like worlds may have formed long, long ago.

"This work suggests that terrestrial worlds could form at almost any time in our galaxy’s history," co-author David Latham, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said in a statement. "You don’t need many earlier generations of stars."

Our solar system has been around for 4.6 billion years, and the earliest signs of life on Earth date from about 3.8 billion years ago. But the new study suggests that we may be relative latecomers as far as Milky Way biology goes.

"Knowing that the formation of rocky planets can occur in envi­ronments of lower metallicity than those of gas giants implies that there could be some places in the universe where rocky planets and life got an earlier start than did Earthlings," Debra Fischer, an astronomer at Yale University, wrote in a commentary accompanying the study in the same issue of Nature.

Rats in the walls
crush, kill, destr
1,170 Posts

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December 24 2012 10:21 AM   QuickQuote Quote  

Astronomers discover Earth-like planet next to our solar system

December 24, 2012

Astronomers have discovered an Earth-like planet located just twelve light years from Earth, the closet yet discovered.

An international team of scientists, including Carnegie’s Paul Butler, reportedly discovered that Tau Ceti, one of the closest and most Sun-like stars, may have five planets — one of which is located within the “habitable zone.”

“We are now glimpsing for the first time the secrets of our nearest companion stars and their previously hidden reservoirs of potentially habitable planets,” Butler said. “This work presages the time when we will be able to directly see these planets, and search them for water, carbon dioxide, methane, and other signposts of life.”

At a distance of twelve light years and visible with a naked eye in the evening sky, Tau Ceti is the closest single star with the same spectral classification as our Sun, according to astronomers. The star is thought to have five planets, which are estimated to have masses between two and six times the mass of the Earth. One of the planets lies in the habitable zone of the star and has a mass around five times that of Earth, making it the smallest planet found to be orbiting in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star.

The international team of astronomers, led by Mikko Tuomi from the University of Hertfordshire, announced the findings after combining more than six-thousand observations from three different instruments and applied intensive modeling to the data. Using new techniques, the team found a method to find signals half the size previously thought possible, which greatly improves the sensitivity of searches for small planets.

“We pioneered new data modeling techniques by adding artificial signals to the data and testing our recovery of the signals with a variety of different approaches,” Tuomi said. “This significantly improved our noise modeling techniques and increased our sensitivity to find low mass planets.”

The announcement comes as NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has discovered more than 2,000 planets orbiting other worlds. So far, hundreds of Earth-size planet candidates have been found as well as candidates that orbit in the habitable zone, the region in a planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of a planet. None of the candidates is exactly like Earth. So far, hundreds of Earth-size planet candidates have been found as well as candidates that orbit in the habitable zone, the region in a planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of a planet. None of the candidates is exactly like Earth.

Their work is published by Astronomy & Astrophysics and is available online.
Jason Voorheees
dogfood meatballs
6,455 Posts

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January 28 2013 1:01 PM   QuickQuote Quote  

We have come to eat your shit: Dung beetles guided by Milky Way

A new study shows that dung beetles navigate via the Milky Way, the first known species to do so in the animal kingdom.

The tiny insects can orient themselves to the bright stripe of light generated by our galaxy, and move in a line relative to it, according to recent experiments in South Africa.

“This is a complicated navigational feat—it’s quite impressive for an animal that size,” said study co-author Eric Warrant, a biologist at the University of Lund in Sweden.

Moving in a straight line is crucial to dung beetles, which live in a rough-and-tumble world where competition for excrement is fierce. (Play “Dung Beetle Derby” on the National Geographic Kids website.)

Once the beetles sniff out a steaming pile, males painstakingly craft the dung into balls and roll them as far away from the chaotic mound as possible, often toting a female that they have also picked up. The pair bury the dung, which later becomes food for their babies.

But it’s not always that easy. Lurking about the dung pile are lots of dung beetles just waiting to snatch a freshly made ball. (Related: “Dung Beetles’ Favorite Poop Revealed.”)

That’s why ball-bearing beetles have to make a fast beeline away from the pile.

“If they roll back into the dung pile, it’s curtains,” Warrant said. If thieves near the pile steal their ball, the beetle has to start all over again, which is a big investment of energy.

Seeing Stars

Scientists already knew that dung beetles can move in straight lines away from dung piles by detecting a symmetrical pattern of polarized light that appears around the sun. We can’t see this pattern, but insects can thanks to special photoreceptors in their eyes.

But less well-known was how beetles use visual cues at night, such as the moon and its much weaker polarized light pattern. So Warrant and colleagues went to a game farm in South Africa to observe the nocturnal African dung beetle Scarabaeus satyrus. (Read another Weird & Wild post on why dung beetles dance.)

Attracting the beetles proved straightforward: The scientists collected buckets of dung, put them out, and waited for the beetles to fly in.

But their initial observations were puzzling. S. satyrus could still roll a ball in a straight line even on moonless nights, “which caused us a great deal of grief—we didn’t know how to explain this at all,” Warrant said.

Then, “it occurred to us that maybe they were using the stars—and it turned out they were.”

Dapper Beetles

To test the star theory, the team set up a small, enclosed table on the game reserve, placed beetles in them, and observed how the insects reacted to different sky conditions. The team confirmed that even on clear, moonless nights, the beetles could still navigate their balls in a straight line.

To show that the beetles were focusing on the Milky Way, the team moved the table into the Johannesburg Planetarium, and found that the beetles could orient equally well under a full starlit sky as when only the Milky Way was present. (See Milky Way pictures.)

Lastly, to confirm the Milky Way results, the team put little cardboard hats on the study beetles’ heads, blocking their view of the sky. Those beetles just rolled around and around aimlessly, while beetles with clear hats in a control group behaved normally, according to the study, published recently in the journal Current Biology.

The scientists put hats on the dung beetles to block their ability to see stars. This beetle, which is wearing a clear hat, acted as a control in one experiment. Photograph courtesy Eric Warrant.

Dung beetle researcher Sean D. Whipple, of the Entomology Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said by email that the “awesome results …. provide strong evidence for orientation by starlight in dung beetles.”

He added that this discovery reveals another potential negative impact of light pollution, a global phenomenon that blocks out stars.

“If artificial light—from cities, houses, roadways, etc.—drowns out the visibility of the night sky, it could have the potential to impact effective orientation and navigation of dung beetles in the same way as an overcast sky,” Whipple said.

Keep On Rollin’

Study co-author Warrant added that other dung beetles likely navigate via the Milky Way, although the galaxy is most prominent in the night sky in the Southern Hemisphere.

What’s more, it’s “probably a widespread skill that insects have—migrating moths might also be able to do it.”

As for the beetles themselves, they were “very easy to work with,” he added.

“You can do anything you want to them, and they just keep on rolling.”

Fuck Nazis.
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January 28 2013 7:58 PM   QuickQuote Quote  
Originally posted by: Guenhwyvar.

and why you dissin community college students dude..

Yeah, this dipshit talks about others saying working class people have no intellecual autonomy and are less than human... and he himself says stupid shit like this about people who go to community colleges.
Jason Voorheees
dogfood meatballs
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August 24 2013 1:58 PM   QuickQuote Quote  
Originally posted by: riggard

Strange Dong
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August 25 2013 11:41 AM   QuickQuote Quote  
Let's be serious now.

They are going to come down, lay eggs, attach to our faces and burst from our chests. That being said, I'm stoked.
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