Archive for October, 2017

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.”

 

 

 

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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.