Tuesday 21st November 2017

Posted in Stuffed. on November 21, 2017 by uppyalf

Oumuamua 

Hawaiian for “a messenger from afar arriving first” It seems to have come from the direction of the constellation Lyra, but the asteroid’s exact origin is still unknown.

Astronomers are now certain that the mysterious object detected hurtling past our sun last month is indeed from another solar system. They have named it 1I/2017 U1(’Oumuamua) and believe it could be one of 10,000 others lurking undetected in our cosmic neighbourhood.

The certainty of its interstellar origin comes from an analysis that shows its orbit is almost impossible to achieve from within our solar system.

Its name comes from a Hawaiian term for messenger or scout. Indeed, it is the first space rock to have been identified as forming around another star. Since asteroids coalesce during the process of planet formation, this object can tell us something about the formation of planets around its unknown parent star.

The latest analyses with ground-based telescopes show that ’Oumuamua is quite similar to some comets and asteroids in our own solar system. This is important because it suggests that planetary compositions like ours could be typical across the galaxy.

It is thought to be an extremely dark object, absorbing 96% of the light that falls on its surface, and it is red. This colour is the hallmark of organic (carbon-based) molecules. Organic molecules are the building blocks of the biological molecules that allow life to function.

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It is widely thought that the delivery of organic molecules to the early Earth by the collision of comets and asteroids made life here possible. ’Oumuamua shows that the same could be possible in other solar systems.

Its characteristics have been published by two independent groups of astronomers. The first group, led by Karen Meech, University of Hawaii, also found that ’Oumuamua was extremely elongated and roughly 400 metres long. Using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope(VLT) they also found that it rotated once every 7.3 hours.

The other group of astronomers, led by David Jewitt, University of California Los Angeles, estimated how many other interstellar visitors like it there might be in our solar system.
Surprisingly, they calculate that another 10,000 could be closer to the sun than the eighth planet, Neptune, which lies 30 times further from the sun than the Earth. Yet these are currently undetected.

Each of these interstellar interlopers would be just passing through. They are travelling too fast to be captured by the gravity of the sun. Yet it still takes them about a decade to cross our solar system and disappear back into interstellar space.

If this estimate is correct, then roughly 1,000 enter and another 1,000 leave every year – which means that roughly three arrive and three leave every day.

Using robotic telescopes such as Pan-STARRS, the one that detected ’Oumuamua, to look for asteroids is a priority for astronomers as they concentrate on discovering potentially hazardous objects that could impact Earth.

Imminent upgrades to these survey telescopes and improvements in data processing techniques mean that astronomers will soon be able to detect smaller and fainter objects. They expect a number of these to be interstellar interlopers like ’Oumuamua.

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Wednesday 18th October 2017

Posted in Stuffed. on October 18, 2017 by uppyalf

Gold Was Likely Created By The Universe-Bending Explosion Between Two Neutron Stars

While it’s true that we are in fact all made of stars, tracing the origins of every element on the periodic table has led to us asking more questions than getting answers.

Gold, silver and platinum for example have always been hard to pin down, for them to be naturally created you need a cosmic event of frankly unimaginable power.

Well as it happens scientists have just been able to witness an event of this magnitude in the form of two neutron stars colliding.

Not only was the resulting explosion so powerful that it gave us our first live glimpse of gravitational waves, but it now appears as though it has answered one of the biggest questions in astrophysics. The gold we cherish and value so highly was almost certainly created from the explosion caused by two neutron stars colliding, also known as a kilonova.

In case you’re wondering just how much gold and precious metals are produced from an explosion like this, prepare yourselves.

The amount of gold produced was probably around 200 Earth masses, while the amount of platinum was even higher at 500 Earth masses.

Scientists are confident that in fact all the heaviest elements in the universe were probably created from explosions like this.

Tracking down the origins of the periodic table are easier said than done. We know that the lightest and simplest elements hydrogen and helium were created in the Big Bang, slightly heavier elements like carbon and oxygen were then formed in the cores of stars through fusion.

This process can only go as far as creating iron however. To go heavier you need a specialised environment where atoms are repeatedly bombarded by free neutrons.

To go as heavy as gold, platinum and uranium the science had to become theoretical as until earlier this year, we had no known event capable of producing these elements.
“For years the idea of a kilonova had existed only in our theoretical imagination and our computer models,” said Daniel Kasen, an associate professor of physics and of astronomy at UC Berkeley. “Given the complex physics involved, and the fact that we had essentially zero observational input to guide us, it was an insanely treacherous prediction ― the theorists were really sticking their necks out.” Of course the theory turned out to be right, something that for astrophysicists, is just about the best outcome you can hope for.

“No one had ever seen a neutron star merger up close before,” explained Brian Metzger, a professor of astrophysics at Columbia University.

“Putting together the complete picture of such an event involves a wide range of physics – general relativity, hydrodynamics, nuclear physics, atomic physics. To combine all that and come up with a prediction that matches the reality of nature is a real triumph for theoretical astrophysics.”

 

 

 

Monday 9th October 2017

Posted in Stuffed. on October 9, 2017 by uppyalf

The cradle of alien life’ discovery on Mars could prove the Red Planet was home to extraterrestrial organisms
Stargazers spot traces of underwater volcanos on the Martian surface. It’s believed life on Earth first developed in similar places at the bottom of our own oceans
NASA has made an astonishing discovery which could PROVE life once existed on Mars.

It has spotted what appears to be the remnants of ancient underwater volcanos in a basin in a region called Eridania, in southern Mars.

A Nasa image of Mars, which is believed to have once been covered with gigantic oceans

A Nasa image of Mars, which is believed to have once been covered with gigantic oceans
These structures may have once been similar to the volcanic “vents” at the bottom of oceans here on Earth.

Some scientists believe life on our planet originated near these vents, which spew out hot water and a soup of chemicals which may have led to the origin of the first lifeforms on our planet.

“Even if we never find evidence that there’s been life on Mars, this site can tell us about the type of environment where life may have begun on Earth,” said Paul Niles of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

“Volcanic activity combined with standing water provided conditions that were likely similar to conditions that existed on Earth at about the same time – when early life was evolving here.”

Currently, there is no water on Mars. Neither is there any volcanic activity.

But it’s believed the new discovery shows that volcanos were once active beneath a deep ancient ocean some 3.7 billion years.
This graphic shows what the sea might have looked like. The volcanos which may have been home to alien lifeforms can be seen at the bottom
The researchers believe the ancient Martian sea held about 50,000 cubic miles of water, which would have been “as much as all other lakes and seas on ancient Mars combined and about nine times more than the combined volume of all of North America’s Great Lakes”.

“This site gives us a compelling story for a deep, long-lived sea,” Niles added.

RED, BUT NOT DEAD Life DID exist on Mars and alien life forms may once have thrived on the Martian surface, shock discovery suggests

“It is evocative of the deep-sea hydrothermal environments on Earth, similar to environments where life might be found on other worlds – life that doesn’t need a nice atmosphere or temperate surface, but just rocks, heat and water.”

Scientists believe life on Mars may have been forced underground when a natural disaster turned the Red Planet into a “frigid desert”.

Dragons at China revealed yesterday Compton Verney.

Thursday 21st September 2017

Posted in Uncategorized on September 21, 2017 by uppyalf

We had a brilliant night out with the volunteer team at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

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The West Midlands Volunteer Awards were developed in 2016 to recognise and reward the invaluable role and significant contribution made by volunteers to the museums in the region. Volunteers are widely credited with being the life blood of many museums, generously giving their time, amounting to thousands of hours of support per year. They bring energy, enthusiasm and expertise to all areas of museum life and the awards are a chance for everyone to hear their stories and to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements.

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Cassini

A billion miles from home, running low on fuel, and almost out of time. After 13 years traversing the Saturn system, the spacecraft Cassini is plunging to a fiery death, becoming part of the very planet it has been exploring. As it embarks on its final assignment – a one-way trip into the heart of Saturn – Horizon celebrates the incredible achievements and discoveries of a mission that has changed the way we see the solar system.

Strange new worlds with gigantic ice geysers, hidden underground oceans that could harbour life and a brand new moon coalescing in Saturn’s magnificent rings. As the world says goodbye to the great explorer Cassini, Horizon will be there for with a ringside seat for its final moments.

The Cassini–Huygens mission commonly called Cassini, was a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to send a probe to study the planet Saturn and its system, including its rings and natural satellites. The Flagship-class unmanned robotic spacecraft comprised both NASA’s Cassini probe, and ESA’s Huygens lander which would be landed on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Cassini was the fourth space probe to visit Saturn and the first to enter its orbit. The craft were named after astronomers Giovanni Cassini and Christiaan Huygens.

Launched aboard a Titan IVB/Centaur on October 15, 1997, Cassini was active in space for more than 19 years, with 13 years spent orbiting Saturn, studying the planet and its system after entering orbit on July 1, 2004.[8] The voyage to Saturn included flybys of Venus (April 1998 and July 1999), Earth (August 1999), the asteroid 2685 Masursky, and Jupiter (December 2000). Its mission ended on September 15, 2017, when Cassini was commanded to fly into Saturn’s upper atmosphere and burn up in order to prevent any risk of contaminating Saturn’s moons, which might have offered habitable environments to stowaway terrestrial microbes on the spacecraft. (At that point Cassini lacked sufficient impulse to leave the Saturn system, so it could only be left in orbit, where it might collide with a moon, or be destroyed.) The mission is widely perceived to have been successful beyond expectation. Cassini-Huygens has been described by NASA’s Planetary Science Division Director as a “mission of firsts”, that has revolutionized human understanding of the Saturn system, including its moons and rings, and our understanding of where life might be found in the Solar System.

Cassini’s original mission was planned to last for four years, from June 2004 to May 2008. The mission was extended for another two years until September 2010, branded the Cassini Equinox Mission. The mission was extended a second and final time with the Cassini Solstice Mission, lasting another seven years until September 15, 2017, on which date Cassini was de-orbited to burn up in Saturn’s upper atmosphere.

The Huygens module travelled with Cassini until its separation from the probe on December 25, 2004; it was successfully landed by parachute on Titan on January 14, 2005. It successfully returned data to Earth for around 90 minutes, using the orbiter as a relay. This was the first landing ever accomplished in the outer Solar System and the first landing on a moon other than our own. Cassini continued to study the Saturn system in the following years.

At the end of its mission, the Cassini spacecraft executed the “Grand Finale” of its mission: a number of risky passes through the gaps between Saturn and Saturn’s inner rings. The purpose of this phase was to maximize Cassini’s scientific outcome before the spacecraft was destroyed. The atmospheric entry of Cassini effectively ended the mission.

Thursday 11th May 2017

Posted in Uncategorized on May 11, 2017 by uppyalf

From May Day at Compton Verney to Cuba and Mexico. we get around.

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Thursday 12th January 2017

Posted in Stuffed. on January 12, 2017 by uppyalf

Mysterious Planet 9 ‘is rogue world snared by our solar system’ and it could hold alien life
Newly discovered Planet 9 may have been captured by our Sun’s gravitational pull
ice planet that is so big it’s tilting our entire solar system may be a rogue world captured by our Sun’s gravitational pull.

Planet 9 is believed to be 15 times larger than Earth and is believed to be responsible for the odd behaviour of planets near to us.
Scientists have suspected that the hypothetical planet is disrupting the orbit of icy objects and could one day destroy Earth.

Although it is invisible to the naked eye, it can be spotted using advanced telescopes.

But now there are claims that the planet is a lone world that got caught up in our solar system – sparking hopes that it could hold alien life.

New Mexico State University said it was likely a “rogue planet” during a news conference.

James Vesper, an undergraduate at the University told the 229th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Grapevine, Texas: “It is very plausible’ that Planet Nine is a captured rogue, a world that cruises through space unattached to a star.”
Mystery planet Nibiru will ‘smash into Earth’ in OCTOBER
Evidence of a Ninth Planet which is 20 times the distance from the Sun as our planet and a year lasts around 10,000 to 20,000 Earth years
The discovery of Planet 9 was hailed as a great feat for science, but came with a fatal warning.

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The ice giant could destroy the solar system by causing devastating “death dance”, astronomers have warned.

It could one day hurtle through our solar system, sending planets “pinballing” into outer space or plunging into the Sun.

Dr Dimitri Veras of the Department of Physics said: “The existence of a distant massive planet could fundamentally change the fate of the solar system.
“The fate of the solar system would depend on the mass and orbital properties of Planet Nine, if it exists.”

Luckily for us, humanity has about seven billion years to prepare for this grim eventuality, which will take place when the Sun begins to die.

The Nibiru cataclysm is a supposed disastrous encounter between the Earth and a large planetary object (either a collision or a near-miss) which certain groups believe will take place in the early 21st century. Believers in this doomsday event usually refer to this object as Planet X or Nibiru. The idea that a planet-sized object will collide with or closely pass by Earth in the near future is not supported by any scientific evidence and has been rejected by astronomers and planetary scientists as pseudoscience and an Internet hoax.

The idea was first put forward in 1995 by Nancy Lieder, founder of the website ZetaTalk. Lieder describes herself as a contactee with the ability to receive messages from extraterrestrials from the Zeta Reticuli star system through an implant in her brain. She states that she was chosen to warn mankind that the object would sweep through the inner Solar System in May 2003 (though that date was later postponed) causing Earth to undergo a physical pole shift that would destroy most of humanity. The prediction has subsequently spread beyond Lieder’s website and has been embraced by numerous Internet doomsday groups, most of which linked the event to the 2012 phenomenon. Since 2012, the Nibiru cataclysm has frequently reappeared in the popular media; usually linked to newsmaking astronomical objects such as Comet ISON or Planet Nine. Although the name “Nibiru” is derived from the works of the ancient astronaut writer Zecharia Sitchin and his interpretations of Babylonian and Sumerian mythology, he denied any connection between his work and various claims of a coming apocalypse.

Christmas 2016

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Sunday 4th December 2016

Posted in Uncategorized on December 9, 2016 by uppyalf

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