Other Than Mars Thread

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September 5th, 2016 at 3:14:20 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
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Seems as though scientists feel like they can eventually get a handle on dark matter. Confounding as it is, the thinking seems to be that it *must* consist of some kind of particle.

They have no real idea what the dark energy phenomenon could be. One off the wall thing I was viewing seemed to say that one theory is that intervening space is being created out of nothing, giving the effect of seeming to propel the distant galaxies, but it was way over my head to understand [so don't quote me]

For sure, once we leave our own solar system, what we really understand diminishes. Which is not to say there aren't mysterious things within it. I'm not sure if scientists are really comfortable with Saturn's polar hexagon yet, but for sure that cloud that revolves around in it has stumped them, as it has proved to persist. It was seen by Voyager [81/82] and when Cassini was to visit in 2009 this cloud was expected to have gone away or been replaced by several clouds, or a bigger or smaller one, or no cloud at all. But that same cloud was still there.

wikipedia image



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn%27s_hexagon
The light at the end of the tunnel is often a freight train coming the other way! per Fleastiff
October 5th, 2016 at 9:06:47 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 119
Posts: 5248
Quote:
Newly analyzed observations by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope show that the star KIC 8462852 — whose occasional, dramatic dips in brightness still have astronomers scratching their heads — has also dimmed overall during the last few years.
"The steady brightness change in KIC 8462852 is pretty astounding," study lead author Ben Montet, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in a statement. [13 Ways to Hunt Intelligent Alien Life]

Our highly accurate measurements over four years demonstrate that the star really is getting fainter with time," Montet added. "It is unprecedented for this type of star to slowly fade for years, and we don't see anything else like it in the Kepler data."

KIC 8462852 hit the headlines last September, when a team of astronomers led by Tabetha Boyajian of Yale University announced that the star had dimmed dramatically several times over the past few years — in one case, by a whopping 22 percent.

These brightness dips are too significant to be caused by an orbiting planet, so scientists began suggesting alternative explanations. Perhaps a planet or a family of orbiting comets broke up, for example, and the ensuing cloud of dust and fragments periodically blocks the star's light. Or maybe some unknown object in the depths of space between the star and Earth is causing the dimming.

"It's a big challenge to come up with a good explanation for a star doing three different things that have never been seen before," Montet said. "But these observations will provide an important clue to solving the mystery of KIC 8462852."


http://www.space.com/34303-alien-megastructure-star-strange-dimming-mystery.html
No one has ever proven I am not God.
October 5th, 2016 at 9:09:36 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 119
Posts: 5248
Quote: rxwine
Quote:
Newly analyzed observations by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope show that the star KIC 8462852 — whose occasional, dramatic dips in brightness still have astronomers scratching their heads — has also dimmed overall during the last few years.
"The steady brightness change in KIC 8462852 is pretty astounding," study lead author Ben Montet, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in a statement. [13 Ways to Hunt Intelligent Alien Life]

Our highly accurate measurements over four years demonstrate that the star really is getting fainter with time," Montet added. "It is unprecedented for this type of star to slowly fade for years, and we don't see anything else like it in the Kepler data."

KIC 8462852 hit the headlines last September, when a team of astronomers led by Tabetha Boyajian of Yale University announced that the star had dimmed dramatically several times over the past few years — in one case, by a whopping 22 percent.

These brightness dips are too significant to be caused by an orbiting planet, so scientists began suggesting alternative explanations. Perhaps a planet or a family of orbiting comets broke up, for example, and the ensuing cloud of dust and fragments periodically blocks the star's light. Or maybe some unknown object in the depths of space between the star and Earth is causing the dimming.

"It's a big challenge to come up with a good explanation for a star doing three different things that have never been seen before," Montet said. "But these observations will provide an important clue to solving the mystery of KIC 8462852."


http://www.space.com/34303-alien-megastructure-star-strange-dimming-mystery.html



If something is dimming, it could be traveling away from us much faster than anything else. Well, I don't know. I wonder how they will ever figure this out.
No one has ever proven I am not God.
October 6th, 2016 at 6:40:00 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
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Quote: rxwine
If something is dimming, it could be traveling away from us much faster than anything else. Well, I don't know. I wonder how they will ever figure this out.


It's rather straightforward to determine the speed of any luminous object relative to Earth. You just measure the red-shift or blue-shift in it's spectrum. I have to assume this has been done already.

This is the time to summon J.B.S. Haldane: The universe isn't stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we can imagine.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 11th, 2016 at 12:53:10 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 119
Posts: 5248
Quote:
Gerdes is part of an international team of scientists working on the Dark Energy Survey — an effort to map the universe and elucidate some of its mysteries, particularly, why the expansion of the universe is accelerating.

A few years ago, Gerdes told NPR, some undergrads were visiting Cerro Tololo, and he wanted to give them a challenge. He handed them one of the camera's maps of the entire galaxy and asked whether they could pinpoint which objects were in our own solar system.

The secret was to identify the ones that moved. Viewed against the vast backdrop of the Milky Way, close-by planets and other bodies appear to move more quickly in relation to everything else. Gerdes figured that the students would trace the objects across the night sky and identify the orbits of some known objects in our solar system.

Instead, the students came to Gerdes with something astronomers hadn't seen before.

It took two years of careful tracking to confirm the discovery and map out 2014 UZ224's orbit. Its exact path is still unclear, because the planet takes more than 1,000 years to complete a single loop of the sun. But it's believed that 2014 UZ224 is the third most-distant object in the solar system.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/10/11/pluto-gets-a-buddy-a-new-dwarf-planet-is-discovered-in-our-solar-system/
No one has ever proven I am not God.
December 14th, 2016 at 4:57:15 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 73
Posts: 1571
"Verlinde's idea"

The discovery that there is strong gravity where gravity was unexpected - the dark matter theory - has had scientists speculating hard over what kind of new particle could be providing it, and why those particles are so unknown otherwise.

This article, link below, does a pretty good job of going into an alternate theory that involves no particles at all. It still is over my head, but I think I get the gist of it: that the accelerating expansion of the universe at large creates a conflict with visible matter systems that have an "elastic memory" - a local resistance to such expansion.

"Put another way, gravity may just be nature trying to fill a void with chaos, much like air rushing to fill a vacuum"

How that comes from quantum mechanics is totally over my head.

https://de.finance.yahoo.com/nachrichten/astronomers-found-evidence-dark-gravitational-223650982.html
The light at the end of the tunnel is often a freight train coming the other way! per Fleastiff
January 8th, 2017 at 9:52:12 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 119
Posts: 5248
No idea how good this prediction is, but here it is.

Quote:
A team of astronomers is making a bold forecast: A binary star found in the summer constellation Cygnus the swan will burst into a red nova sometime in 2022.
When the two stars in the binary system crash into one another, they will create a brick-red beacon so bright that sky gazers will see it with the naked eye, Larry Molnar of Calvin College said Friday at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Grapevine, Texas.

As the constellation Cygnus glides gracefully along the Milky Way every late spring and summer, the cosmic bird’s left wing houses a faint binary star called KIC 9832227. The two stars spinning around one another are merging, on a path to an explosion that will result in a red nova, said Mr. Molnar and his colleagues.
For KIC 9832227, the orbital period is currently just under 11 hours, he said, and “as that period gets shorter, we infer that the separation between the stars is getting smaller. Hence they are spiraling in together.”


http://www.post-gazette.com/news/science/2017/01/09/A-bright-new-star-will-burst-into-the-sky-in-five-years-astronomers-predict/stories/201701090093

Now this would be cool enough (to me anyway) to travel to catch it at nighttime, if possible. OTOH, this might be something, that could only be predicted in a general manner of days. I couldn't stare at the sky 24/7 for days. Even a few hours would be tricky. You could easily miss the beginning.
No one has ever proven I am not God.
January 9th, 2017 at 6:11:07 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
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Quote: rxwine
No idea how good this prediction is, but here it is.


We'll all know within 3 to ten years, won't we?

Asimov used to look for minutes at a time at red giant stars, hoping to catch one going Super Nova.

It might pay to keep the system under constant watch, but that's incredibly difficult to do with any of the big telescopes available. Amateurs with backyard gear could organize and do it, and hope the pair don't blow up while they aren't visible.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
February 8th, 2017 at 1:24:37 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 119
Posts: 5248
Minor trivia:

Which planet is named after a Greek god?
Which planet is not named after any gods?
No one has ever proven I am not God.
February 8th, 2017 at 1:30:23 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
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Quote: rxwine
Which planet is named after a Greek god?


Many. Though some have Roman names rather than Greek ones, so I don't know :)

And most extrasolar planets have no real names at all.


[q[Which planet is not named after any gods?


It's really nearby!

Assuming "gods" is used a gender-neutral term. If not, there are two.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
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