Sun, Moon and Stars in the News

first_imgWhat’s up in astronomy?  Surprises, by heavens.Spherical sun:  The sun is too close to a perfect sphere than expected theoretically, a finding “baffling” to astronomers.  “Definitive” measurements by the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) show that “if the Sun were shrunk to a ball one meter in diameter, its equatorial diameter would be only 17 millionths of a meter larger than the diameter through its North-South pole,” according to PhysOrg.  The shape is also remarkably constant over time.  Even with its slow rotation, it should flatten into an oblate shape more than is observed; besides, it is a turbulent surface filled with magnetic disturbances and flares.  “For years we’ve believed our fluctuating measurements were telling us that the sun varies, but these new results say something different,” the team leader of the observations said. “While just about everything else in the sun changes along with its 11-year sunspot cycle, the shape doesn’t.”Another new moon theory:  How long have the textbooks said that a glancing blow from a Mars-size object hit the earth and formed the moon?  Time for another revision.  Science Now entertained a new theory that it might have been a direct hit.  The article, “Moon Formed From Head-On Collision,” came ready-made with new artwork.Some 4.53 billion years ago, a Mars-sized impactor slammed into Earth, forming a young, molten moon. But was it a head-on collision or a glancing blow?  New computer simulations argue for the former, indicating that the impactor scored a direct hit, crashing into Earth at a steeper angle and with a higher velocity than previously thought. The resulting smashup would have ejected far more Earth debris into space than other models have indicated, with much hotter temperatures. And that would mean the moon formed from more Earthlike material than previously thought. The origin of the impactor itself remains an open question.As usual, the phrase “than previously thought” avoids stating who thought such notions.  Note: a smashup is not like a mashup; no intelligent design is involved.Lunar helium:  Helium, a slippery molecule that should not have long lifetimes above the moon, has been detected in the moon’s tenuous atmosphere by the Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter, according to PhysOrg.  It’s too early to say if it comes from the interior or is added by the solar wind; observers of lunar origin theories may want to take note and follow up on the developing story.Creation by destruction:  Theorist Alan Boss is pretty sure a supernova led to the formation of our solar system, even though the idea is highly speculative.  This is because gas clouds need a shove to form planets, explained Space.com: “In particular, the shock wave from the explosion is thought to have compressed parts of the nebula, causing these regions to collapse.”  Boss’s computer model was programmed to make sure that short-lived radionuclides got into the nebula before they decayed, because they show up in meteorites.  It’s all work in progress: “the researchers are still trying to find various combinations of supernova shock wave parameters that will line up with observations of exploding supernovas.”Solutions:  Not to worry: two solar system puzzles have been solved at once, according to PhysOrg: the origin of comets and asteroids.  Perhaps your textbook didn’t tell you they were puzzles.  The puzzles relate to the origin of calcium-aluminum inclusions (CAIs) in meteorites.  If you are willing to accept some complexity, a solution is at hand:  “CAIs are thought to have formed at the very beginning of the Solar System,” one said.  “Our results show that they must have experienced remarkably complex histories as they were transported chaotically all over the disk.”  Whether that is a good solution, the reader can judge.Getting the dates right:  “Dating features on the Moon and Mars is guesswork. Scott Anderson is building a tool to change that.”  So begins a Nature News feature about Anderson’s cool new tool to date meteorites that can fit on a spacecraft.  But he has his critics, who reveal some dirty laundry about radiometric dating methods:Anderson will have to show not only that his chronometer is fast and light, but also that his dates make sense. Radiometric dates are some of the trickiest, most delicate and most disputed measurements on Earth. Anderson wants to transform what has been a laborious process of chemical extraction and analysis into a laser-based system, automate it and shrink it into a robot small and reliable enough to send to another planet. “We’re extremely sceptical of these things working,” says Lars Borg, a chemist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, whose three-person lab usually produces just two dates a year. “We really struggle to get these ages ourselves.”Monster mash: A previous announcement about stars too big for theory now has an explanation: smaller stars did the Monster Mash.  Details at Live Science.Primitive star?  A puzzling star thought to be among the “second generation” of stars was announced in Nature News.  “The chemical content of a star that was born relatively shortly after the formation of the Milky Way calls into question conventional understanding of how stars formed in the early Universe.”  The problem is that this low-mass Milky Way star has one of the lowest metallicities (elemental abundances heavier than lithium) of any star at a time when such stars should have been massive.  This and other problems call into question star formation theories and their progress since the Big Bang; the astronomers do not yet see a pattern.Plasma puzzle:  We’ll just reproduce the opening sentence of this entry on PhysOrg, typical of the “everything you know is wrong” genre: “The first controlled studies of extremely hot, dense matter have overthrown the widely accepted 50-year old model used to explain how ions influence each other’s behavior in a dense plasma. The results should benefit a wide range of fields, from research aimed at tapping nuclear fusion as an energy source to understanding the inner workings of stars.”The dark rulers of all:  For an entertaining story, read the book review on black holes at Nature August 16. The book is Gravity’s Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos (Caleb Scharf Scientific American: 2012).  Mario Livio lavished in the speculation: “Scharf speculates that black holes rule everything in the cosmic landscape — from the large-scale structure of the Universe to life. Using rich language and a brilliant command of metaphor, he takes on some of the most intricate topics in theoretical and observational astronomical research. He weaves a wonderfully detailed tapestry of what modern astronomy is all about, from the complexities of cosmic microwave background studies to the X-ray mapping of galaxy clusters.”  But then he had some quibbles.  Scharf tends to overstate things.  “I have quibbles, too, with the passages in which Scharf attempts to support his argument that black holes are the main engines driving everything from re-ionization and cosmic star formation to galactic evolution and the emergence of life.”  Far be it from astronomers to exaggerate.All this culminates with his intriguing statement that “the entire pathway leading to you and me would be different or even nonexistent without the coevolution of galaxies with supermassive black holes and the extraordinary regulation they perform”. Scharf admits that many steps remain uncertain and that numerous questions have yet to be answered. But he proposes that because the cosmic and galactic environments leading to the rise of complexity and life are part of black holes’ galactic evolution, it is reasonable to ask what special things link us directly to that history.However, I feel less certain than Scharf about the answer. He explains that the tight correlation between the masses of supermassive black holes and of stellar bulges at galaxies’ centres reveals a co-evolution. It is equally certain that feedback from supermassive black holes had an important role in the ensuing star-formation history in the bulges of galaxies. But was this the key factor in determining whether life-bearing planets should exist or not? I doubt it. Still, the idea makes for a very interesting journey.In short, read Scharf as a nice story, not as solid science.Within much of astronomy these days, what you thought you knew is wrong, and what you think you know now is likely to be proved wrong in the future, but what scientists tell you they know at the moment is a sure thing.  Does the fable of the Blind Men and the Elephant come to mind? (Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Crude Oil in One Hour, Not Millions of Years

first_img(Visited 82 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 A slurry of algae with the right heat and pressure can produce crude oil in one hour.The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has succeeded in producing crude oil in an hour and is now working on making the process run continuously for rapid production. The process is actually faster than an hour, Science Daily reports:Engineers have created a continuous chemical process that produces useful crude oil minutes after they pour in harvested algae — a verdant green paste with the consistency of pea soup….In the PNNL process, a slurry of wet algae is pumped into the front end of a chemical reactor. Once the system is up and running, out comes crude oil in less than an hour, along with water and a byproduct stream of material containing phosphorus that can be recycled to grow more algae.Science Daily contrasts the rapid oil-producing process with the “millions of years” nature supposedly used.  The headline reads, “Million-Year Natural Process Takes Minutes in the Lab.”  Engineer Douglas Elliott believes that, too:“It’s a bit like using a pressure cooker, only the pressures and temperatures we use are much higher,” said Elliott. “In a sense, we are duplicating the process in the Earth that converted algae into oil over the course of millions of years. We’re just doing it much, much faster.“As our entry five years ago indicated, though (11/25/08, #7), scientists are not really sure how the earth produces crude oil.  Experiments with fungi back then were so efficient at producing fuel from plant matter, a spokesperson said it “calls into question the whole theory of how crude oil was made by nature in the first place.”When you hear the moyboys tossing around their millions of years recklessly like this, realize they don’t know.  They never experienced a hundred years, let alone a million.  They are just creatures of habit, breathing out their assumptions like smokers puffing smoke.  How long does it take to make oil?  Minutes.  Was there plant material after the Flood?  Lots of it.  Was there heat and pressure?  Plenty.  If you like your science built on empirical data, there it is.last_img read more

18 days agoArsenal defender Calum Chambers: Much more to come from us

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal defender Calum Chambers: Much more to come from usby Paul Vegas18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal defender Calum Chambers has no doubts about the potential of their young team.Even though Arsenal sit in the Champions League places, with just one defeat so far this season which came away to early pace-setters Liverpool, Chambers feels there is still room for improvement in the coming weeks.Asked if there was still more to come from the team, the defender replied: “Yes, we have got a really strong squad, a lot of quality players.”We know we have got quality and we can see that, we have just got to keep working hard and believing in ourselves and the results will keep on coming.” last_img read more

Groom Had Awesome Kentucky Basketball Cake For His Wedding Saturday Night

first_imgKentucky cheerleaders on the court at Rupp Arena.LEXINGTON, KY – DECEMBER 10: Kentucky Wildcats cheerleaders perform during the game against the Boise State Broncos at Rupp Arena on December 10, 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)It’s a great time to be a Kentucky fan. The Wildcats, who arguably have one of the greatest college basketball teams ever assembled, are sporting a 31-0 record heading into both the SEC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. One UK supporter apparently wanted to celebrate both his upcoming marriage and Wildcats hoops in the same day.Saturday, a meteorologist named T.G. Shuck tweeted out a photo of his friend’s groom’s cake. It’s made in the shape of a basketball with the Kentucky logo and some cut-down [email protected] Grooms cake at my best friend’s wedding tonight! 31-0! pic.twitter.com/LbfrcMoEER— T.G. Shuck (@TGweather) March 8, 2015The groom would have quite a year if he both got married and saw his favorite team win the NCAA Tournament.last_img read more

Baseball bat attack outside mall may have been racially motivated police

first_imgST. THOMAS, Ont. – A 36-year-old man is facing charges in what police in St. Thomas, Ont., say may have been a racially motivated attack.Police say they were called Thursday afternoon to a mall parking lot on reports of a man attacking another man with a baseball bat.They say the man was later arrested in London, Ont., and charged with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.A video posted online shows a man getting out of a white car with a baseball bat in hand and repeatedly yelling “terrorists” and “ISIS.”Mariuxis Zambrano says she and her family had just arrived at the Elgin Mall when they were approached by a man hurling insults.She says her husband suffered severe bruising and a cracked rib as a result of the attack.(CFPL)last_img read more

Ohio State womens basketball holds on for 9793 win at Michigan

OSU sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell (3) drives to the hoop while Purdue freshman guard Tiara Murphy (3) drives to slow her down in a game on Jan. 17 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 90-70. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Asst. Photo EditorBeing questioned as one of the nation’s true elite teams for its paltry 2-3 record on the road before Thursday, No. 7 Ohio State came into Ann Arbor, Michigan, wanting to prove to the country, the conference and more importantly, itself that it can play as well away as it can in Columbus.While it wasn’t an entirely convincing performance, the Buckeyes (14-4, 6-1) were able to overpower Michigan (11-7, 3-4) 97-93 behind a very efficient 27 points from sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell.The game belonged to the Buckeyes at the beginning. Coach Kevin McGuff incorporated a full-court press to the Scarlet and Gray’s defensive scheme, which helped force a total of 18 turnovers that led to easy baskets.In the first quarter, along with having problems against the press, Michigan was unable to produce strong defensive possessions. When the high-scoring Buckeyes were able to move the ball around, they had no trouble finding open looks.The Wolverines woke up in the second quarter, making smarter decisions and slowing down OSU. Senior forward Kelsey Mitchell — of no relation to OSU’s Kelsey Mitchell — dropping 12 points in the first half fueled their offense.Michigan was able to keep the Buckeyes from making a shot for nearly four minutes, propelling the Wolverines to a scoring run. Once the Wolverines were able to produce on offense, they were able to focus and decrease the deficit to seven points going into the locker room.The Buckeyes first-half scoring was led by their typical leader, Mitchell, who was on fire and dropped 20 points with a slew of 3-pointers. Although the sophomore was the overall leader, OSU had five players that surpassed double-figure scoring, showcasing the depth of its roster.Michigan continued to battle in the second half, but the Buckeyes weren’t planning on letting another road game slip away. Each time the Wolverines began to cut down the lead, OSU would turn around and come right back with its attack.When Michigan began to shut down OSU’s Mitchell, OSU junior forward Shayla Cooper picked up the scoring load. Cooper attributed her fifth double-double of the season, the 12th of her career, and finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Nineteen of those points Cooper scored came in the second half. The two rivals went back and forth throughout the third and fourth quarters, exemplifying strong defense and sinking shots from all over. When the final buzzer went off, the Buckeyes were the ones celebrating the victory. Only winning by four, it might have been a little too close for comfort for McGuff and OSU, but it stood as a solid win on the road nonetheless.Along with Mitchell’s and Cooper’s strong performances, senior guard Ameryst Alston and sophomore guard Asia Doss each netted 15 points, and sophomore forward Alexa Hart chipped in 10.Sharpshooting sophomore guard Katelynn Flaherty was the top scorer for the Wolverines, netting five of eight attempts from downtown and tallying 22 points.The Wolverines received a hefty contribution from another underclassman in freshman center Hallie Thome, joining Cooper in the double-double club. Thome piled up 22 points and 12 rebounds on the night.With the win, the Buckeyes are tied for first in the Big Ten with the No. 5 Maryland Terrapins. They are set to continue their road trip Sunday at Rutgers, with tip-off set for 3 p.m. read more

Football Ohio State running back Mike Weber healthy and will play against

Ohio State redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber (left) speaks with running backs coach Tony Alford (right) prior to the Buckeyes’ season-opening 49-21 win over Indiana on Aug. 31 in Bloomington, Indiana. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorOhio State will have both its top two running backs, freshman J.K. Dobbins and redshirt sophomore Mike Weber, for its Week Two matchup against Oklahoma Saturday evening. Coach Urban Meyer said Weber is healthy and will suit up and play against the Sooners.“Mike had a good practice today, and he went full speed today,” Meyer said.Weber, last year’s starter, missed the Buckeyes’ season-opening 49-21 victory against Indiana due to a hamstring injury. Meyer said he has not determined how he will rotate the backfield duo.Dobbins started in his debut against Indiana, rushing for 29 times for 182 yards. He was the sixth true freshman to ever start for Ohio State and rushed for more attempts and yards than Weber had in any game last year.In 2016, Weber gained 1,119 rushing yards on 182 attempts, scoring nine touchdowns. He added 23 catches for 91 yards. read more

OFFICIAL Girona accepts to play against Barcelona in the USA

first_imgThe club is the first team in the Spanish La Liga tournament to accept to play an official match in the United States this seasonAfter all the polemic caused by La Liga’s decision to take at least one official match to be played at the United States, teams are starting to respond.And the first club to accept this opportunity is Girona FC.The team accepted the proposal to play Barcelona in the USA, thinking it could be a great benefit to their fan growth.“The club confirms that it has received this proposal from LaLiga and is working in this line together with La Liga and Barca, although there is no official confirmation that the game is will be played in Miami,” a statement read on Girona’s website as reported by Sportskeeda.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“The club has accepted the proposal understanding that it is a great possibility of expansion and growth, not only for Girona but also for our city and our territory.”“A little over three years ago, the club fought against disappearing entirely and now our goal is to consolidate ourselves in La Liga,” the press release added.“This action would be another step within the idea of competing in the elite of football after the effort we have all made in recent years and that has led us to La Liga.”There has not been official confirmation by the Spanish league or Barcelona yet.last_img read more

Karamoh is showing qualities Bordeaux coach

first_imgFor Eric Bedouet, the Internazionale Milan loanee is making a name for himself in the French Ligue 1 competition20-year-old forward Yann Karamoh is making sure his loan to Bordeaux in the French Ligue 1 is giving him results.The footballer was made the man of the match in the 2-2 draw against Paris Saint-Germain.“He is showing some really outstanding qualities,” coach Eric Bedouet was quoted by Gianluca Di Marzio.PSG, Neymar, Ligue 1PSG ultras sent a warning letter to Neymar Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Brazilian superstar Neymar might play today his first game of the season for Paris Saint-Germain and the team’s ultras have warned him.“He is able to put great intensity in his football.”“He has also the quality to track back when the team requires you to, and that’s not common among players,” he explained.“[Edinson] Cavani, for instance, is great at tracking back. Yann, who is also unbelievable at dribbling past the opponents, is working on the defensive aspect of his game and he is developing quite well”.last_img read more

Cesc Fabregas to leave Chelsea in January – reports

first_imgChelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas is set to leave Chelsea in the January transfer window after falling out of favour with new manager Maurizio Sarri.The Spanish midfielder has started just one of the West London club’s 19 Premier League matches to date this campaign, appearing as a substitute just four times, according to Football EspanaFabregas has been linked with a number of European clubs including Milan, Valencia and Atletico Madrid, but the report gives no indication of his next destination.Sacchi explains Sarri, Conte, and Ancelotti Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Arrigo Sacchi talked about how Sarri has a tougher time at Juventus than Conte at Inter; while Ancelotti’s “blood is boiling” at Napoli.Arrigo Sacchi…Fabregas moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2014 from Barcelona and was key to the Chelsea squad that won the Premier league in the 2015/2016 season.He is due to celebrate his 32nd birthday in May and will be looking forward to join a club before then.Sarri, since his arrival has made his intention not to use some players known to the public.last_img read more