The Universe

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Territorial Marshal
Feb 7, 2005
Sammamish, Washington.Dallas, Texas.Maui, Hawaii
Why there might be many more universes besides our own

The idea of parallel universes may seem bizarre, but physics has found all sorts of reasons why they should exist

  • By Philip Ball
21 March 2016
Is our Universe one of many?

The idea of parallel universes, once consigned to science fiction, is now becoming respectable among scientists – at least, among physicists, who have a tendency to push ideas to the limits of what is conceivable.

In fact there are almost too many other potential universes. Physicists have proposed several candidate forms of "multiverse", each made possible by a different aspect of the laws of physics.

The trouble is, virtually by definition we probably cannot ever visit these other universes to confirm that they exist. So the question is, can we devise other ways to test for the existence of entire universes that we cannot see or touch?
The theory also hold that for every decision we make, the alternative decision takes place in one the other universes. Which may explain where the particles that make matter jump in and out of reality millions of times a second. Maybe?
Jul 7, 2004
  • Solar wind arrives Saturday, touching off geomagnetic storms
  • Minor events could also show off Northern Lights in New York
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Birds flying north for the spring and humans relying on global positioning satellites to navigate could get a little lost this weekend.

Three coronal holes spread across the sun are pointing at the Earth. As a result, a minor geomagnetic storm alert has been issued for Saturday by the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, and the Space Weather Operations Centre of the U.K. Met Office in Exeter.

“Early on Day 3 (2nd April), a high-speed stream from coronal hole 67 is expected to reach Earth,” said the Met Office.

Coronal holes

Source: NOAA
Forecasters in the U.S. and U.K. predict this could confuse migrating birds and other animals, cause minor problems with satellites and make an aurora visible as far south as Maine and Michigan.

The storms could rise to G2 level on a five-step scale, which would mean theNorthern Lights might be seen in New York and some electrical transformers could be damaged.

Magnetic Lines
Viewed through X-ray telescopes, coronal holes can appear to be vast, dark, blank spaces in sun’s swirling atmosphere. They are the places where the sun’s magnetic linesdon’t return to the surface.

How does that work?

Touch your fingertips together and they form an arc -- this is what the magnetic lines do on the sun. Now spread your fingers outward so they aren’t touching and are pointing away from you. This is what happens with the magnetic lines on the sun when a coronal hole opens.

The solar wind, a stream of charged particles flowing away from the sun, bursts out with greater velocity from the coronal holes. When the holes point at the Earth, the planet is caught in even stronger winds and the chances of geomagnetic storms increase.

So, if you run into a lost bird Saturday, help the little fellow on his way. That is, if you know where you are yourself.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
Mar 23, 2013
Small Asteroid Is Earth's Constant Companion

Asteroid 2016 HO3 has an orbit around the sun that keeps it as a constant companion of Earth. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
› Larger view
A small asteroid has been discovered in an orbit around the sun that keeps it as a constant companion of Earth, and it will remain so for centuries to come.

As it orbits the sun, this new asteroid, designated 2016 HO3, appears to circle around Earth as well. It is too distant to be considered a true satellite of our planet, but it is the best and most stable example to date of a near-Earth companion, or "quasi-satellite."

"Since 2016 HO3 loops around our planet, but never ventures very far away as we both go around the sun, we refer to it as a quasi-satellite of Earth," said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object (NEO) Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "One other asteroid -- 2003 YN107 -- followed a similar orbital pattern for a while over 10 years ago, but it has since departed our vicinity. This new asteroid is much more locked onto us. Our calculations indicate 2016 HO3 has been a stable quasi-satellite of Earth for almost a century, and it will continue to follow this pattern as Earth's companion for centuries to come."

In its yearly trek around the sun, asteroid 2016 HO3 spends about half of the time closer to the sun than Earth and passes ahead of our planet, and about half of the time farther away, causing it to fall behind. Its orbit is also tilted a little, causing it to bob up and then down once each year through Earth's orbital plane. In effect, this small asteroid is caught in a game of leap frog with Earth that will last for hundreds of years.

The asteroid's orbit also undergoes a slow, back-and-forth twist over multiple decades. "The asteroid's loops around Earth drift a little ahead or behind from year to year, but when they drift too far forward or backward, Earth's gravity is just strong enough to reverse the drift and hold onto the asteroid so that it never wanders farther away than about 100 times the distance of the moon," said Chodas. "The same effect also prevents the asteroid from approaching much closer than about 38 times the distance of the moon. In effect, this small asteroid is caught in a little dance with Earth."

Asteroid 2016 HO3 was first spotted on April 27, 2016, by the Pan-STARRS 1 asteroid survey telescope on Haleakala, Hawaii, operated by the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy and funded by NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office. The size of this object has not yet been firmly established, but it is likely larger than 120 feet (40 meters) and smaller than 300 feet (100 meters).

The Center for NEO Studies website has a complete list of recent and upcoming close approaches, as well as all other data on the orbits of known NEOs, so scientists and members of the media and public can track information on known objects.

Mar 23, 2013
Look Up! Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Aug. 11-12
Make plans now to stay up late or set the alarm early next week to see a cosmic display of “shooting stars” light up the night sky. Known for it’s fast and bright meteors, the annual Perseid meteor shower is anticipated to be one of the best potential meteor viewing opportunities this year.

The Perseids show up every year in August when Earth ventures through trails of debris left behind by an ancient comet. This year, Earth may be in for a closer encounter than usual with the comet trails that result in meteor shower, setting the stage for a spectacular display.

An outburst of Perseid meteors lights up the sky in August 2009 in this time-lapse image. Stargazers expect a similar outburst during next week’s Perseid meteor shower, which will be visible overnight on Aug. 11 and 12.
Credits: NASA/JPL

“Forecasters are predicting a Perseid outburst this year with double normal rates on the night of Aug. 11-12,” said Bill Cooke with NASA’s Meteoroid Environments Office in Huntsville, Alabama. “Under perfect conditions, rates could soar to 200 meteors per hour.”
Jul 7, 2004
UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

on August 15, 2016
Irvine, Calif., August 15, 2016 – Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according to a paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters by theoretical physicists at the University of California, Irvine.

“If true, it’s revolutionary,” said Jonathan Feng, professor of physics & astronomy. “For decades, we’ve known of four fundamental forces: gravitation, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. If confirmed by further experiments, this discovery of a possible fifth force would completely change our understanding of the universe, with consequences for the unification of forces and dark matter.”

The UCI researchers came upon a mid-2015 study by experimental nuclear physicists at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences who were searching for “dark photons,” particles that would signify unseen dark matter, which physicists say makes up about 85 percent of the universe’s mass. The Hungarians’ work uncovered a radioactive decay anomaly that points to the existence of a light particle just 30 times heavier than an electron.

“The experimentalists weren’t able to claim that it was a new force,” Feng said. “They simply saw an excess of events that indicated a new particle, but it was not clear to them whether it was a matter particle or a force-carrying particle.”

The UCI group studied the Hungarian researchers’ data as well as all other previous experiments in this area and showed that the evidence strongly disfavors both matter particles and dark photons. They proposed a new theory, however, that synthesizes all existing data and determined that the discovery could indicate a fifth fundamental force. Their initial analysis was published in late April on the public arXiv online server, and a follow-up paper amplifying the conclusions of the first work was released Friday on the same website.

The UCI work demonstrates that instead of being a dark photon, the particle may be a “protophobic X boson.” While the normal electric force acts on electrons and protons, this newfound boson interacts only with electrons and neutrons – and at an extremely limited range. Analysis co-author Timothy Tait, professor of physics & astronomy, said, “There’s no other boson that we’ve observed that has this same characteristic. Sometimes we also just call it the ‘X boson,’ where ‘X’ means unknown.”

Feng noted that further experiments are crucial. “The particle is not very heavy, and laboratories have had the energies required to make it since the ’50s and ’60s,” he said. “But the reason it’s been hard to find is that its interactions are very feeble. That said, because the new particle is so light, there are many experimental groups working in small labs around the world that can follow up the initial claims, now that they know where to look.”

Like many scientific breakthroughs, this one opens entirely new fields of inquiry.

One direction that intrigues Feng is the possibility that this potential fifth force might be joined to the electromagnetic and strong and weak nuclear forces as “manifestations of one grander, more fundamental force.”

Citing physicists’ understanding of the standard model, Feng speculated that there may also be a separate dark sector with its own matter and forces. “It’s possible that these two sectors talk to each other and interact with one another through somewhat veiled but fundamental interactions,” he said. “This dark sector force may manifest itself as this protophobic force we’re seeing as a result of the Hungarian experiment. In a broader sense, it fits in with our original research to understand the nature of dark matter.”

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit
Jul 7, 2004
‘Secret second Earth’ that could be home to ALIENS will be exposed tomorrow

Astronomers expected to announce discovery of potentially habitable planet orbiting nearby star

23rd August 2016, 9:59 am







ASTRONOMERS are preparing to announce the discovery of a potentially habitable second Earth orbiting a nearby star, it has been claimed.

Last month, sources leaked news that the European Southern Observatory (ESO) had spotted an alien world orbiting Proxima Centauri, our closest stellar neighbour.

An anonymous source from the ESO told German publication Der Spiegel the discovery is the closest habitable planet to Earth, which means we could reach it within our lifetime.

It is not yet known whether the second Earth could support living organisms
But the astonishing finding was not officially announced, sparking furious speculation that the second Earth has deliberately been kept a secret.

Now the ESO is set to finally reveal details of the planet at a press conference tomorrow and astronomers are also likely to discuss whether it has the potential to support life.

“The still nameless planet is believed to be Earth-like and orbits at a distance to Proxima Centauri that could allow it to have liquid water on its surface — an important requirement for the emergence of life,” the source said.

“Never before have scientists discovered a second Earth that is so close by.”

Since its launch in 2009, NASA’s planet finding Kepler Spacecraft has discovered more than 4000 exoplanet candidates.

Of these, there have been 216 Earth-like located within the Goldilocks Zone — the region around a star in which the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might support water.

The problem is that while most of these Earth-like planets are habitable, they are located thousands of light years away, which means they are out of our reach.

Astronomers from the observatory had previously claimed to have found the then-closest exoplanet to Earth in 2012, although subsequent analysis cast doubt on its existence.

A shot of Promixa Centauri snapped by the Hubble Telescope

Despite this misstep, the unnamed source claim this latest discovery is authentic and the result of intensive work.

“Finding small celestial bodies is a lot of hard work,” the source said.
“We were moving at the technically feasible limit of measurement.”

If the findings are correct, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s search for intelligent life could focus on heading to the planet.

As part of Milner’s plans, Project Starshot intends to send a laser-sail driven-nanocraft to Alpha Centauri — the closest star system to the Solar System — in the coming years.

With the craft able to travel up to 20 per cent of the speed of light, if Project Starshot was to rethink its objective, it would be able to reach the Earth-like planet orbiting Proxima Centauri in less than 20 years.

However, mastermind of Project Starshot Professor Phillip Lubin said the focus will likely stay on Alpha Centauri.

“The discovery of possible planet around Proxima Centauri is very exciting. It makes the case of visiting nearby stellar systems even more compelling, though we know there are many exoplanets around other nearby stars and it is very likely that the Alpha Centauri system will also have planets,” he told Universe Today.

The European Southern Observatory are expected to officially announce the finding at the end of August.


Some cowboys gots smarts real good like me.
Aug 8, 2006
Phoenix, AZ
Been reading on it. Super close to it's star, which is actually ok for temperatures since it's a red dwarf and only gives off a tiny amount of heat. The problem is the radiation. As I heard it described: it would give your cancer cancer. It's tidally locked, but that's not a huge issue.

VERY fascinating. So close to us, theoretically possible for us to build a new propulsion drive to get there in our lifetimes.


Some cowboys gots smarts real good like me.
Aug 8, 2006
Phoenix, AZ
Huge news today on the EM Drive. It's going to be peer reviewed. It just keeps beating the doubters (myself included), and continues to generate thrust every time it's tested. Leading theory seems to be that it's producing a radiation wave larger than the observable universe, thus cheating the expected increase temperature and swapping it for tiny amounts of thrust. So it doesn't technically break the law of conservation of momentum. It just really, really bends it. We lawyered the shit out of that one if true.

It reminds me of warp can't go faster than light in space. But you can make space itself go faster than light. Again, technically, not breaking the rules. Lol
Mar 23, 2013

The European Space Agency has tried hard to avoid using the words "crash" or "failure" about its attempted Mars landing but the fate of the spacecraft is cruelly exposed in new pictures.


Federal Marshal
Feb 7, 2007
Tulsa, OK
Mar 23, 2013
So we can get data back from Voyager 2 at a distance of 8 - 10 billion miles, but can't get a strong cell signal in BPS.
Jul 7, 2004
Astronomers Investigating Mysterious Object In Deep Space

French astronomers are studying a mysterious deep space object they believe could be a large planet or small star.

The object, dubbed CFBDSIR 2149-0403, seems to be an isolated rouge planet or a high-metallic yet remarkably low-mass brown dwarf star. The study examined the object using a spectrograph from the Very Large Telescope (VLT), but wasn’t able to determine what it could be.

“We now reject our initial hypothesis that CFBDSIR 2149-0403 would be a member of the AB Doradus moving group,” Dr. Philippe Delorme, an astronomer at Grenoble Alpes University who led the team studying the object, said in a press statement. “This removes the most robust age constraint we had.”

Knowing the object’s age would allow researchers to determine if it is a rouge planet or small star. If the star is only a relatively young 500 million years old it is likely an isolated planet rouge lanet. If it is older, it would be a highly metallic brown dwarf. The object has changed scientists theoretical understanding of the universe, as its physical parameters are extremely unusual. The object is roughly 130 light years away from Earth.

“[D]etermining that certainly improved our knowledge of the object it also made it more difficult to study, by adding age as a free parameter,” Delorme continued. “CFBDSIR 2149-0403 is an atypical substellar object that is either a ‘free-floating planet’ or a rare high-metallicity brown dwarf. Or a combination of both.”

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Mar 23, 2013
Belgian astronomers who found planetary system named it after beer
ByErin McLaughlinand Sebastian Shukla, CNN

(CNN)Just how a team of five Belgian scientists discovered one of the most remarkable planetary systems -- and named it after their favorite beer -- is a story of ingenuity, persistence and luck.

TRAPPIST-1 is the name of a system of seven Earth-size planets orbiting a dwarf star "just" 40 light-years away. Three of the planets sit in the habitable zone of their star, making it possible they could support liquid water on the surface and sustain life.
The researchers also nicknamed each exoplanet -- those that orbit stars outside our own solar system -- aftermonastic Trappist beers like Rochefort, Orval and Westvleteren, some of which have been brewed for centuries.

Mar 23, 2013
Violent end as young stars dramatically collide

These dramatic images show the remains of a 500-year-old explosion from the birth of a group of massive stars

Scientists have captured a dramatic and violent image of the collision between two young stars that tore apart their stellar nursery.

Located in the constellation of Orion, the explosive event happened some 500 years ago sending giant streamers of dust and gas across interstellar space.

Researchers say the clash produced as much energy as our Sun would over 10 million years.

Details of the event have been published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Huge explosions in space are mostly associated with supernovas, which can take place in the dying moments of giant, ancient stars.

This new image though shows an explosion taking place at the other end of the stellar lifecycle.

Stars are born when a massive cloud of gas starts to collapse under its own gravity. At a distance of 1,500 light years from Earth, a number of very young stars began to form in a region called the Orion Molecular Cloud 1, (OMC-1).

Gravity pulled these proto-stars closer at increasing speed until about 500 years ago, two of them either grazed or collided head-on, triggering a powerful explosion that hurled gas and dust debris out into space at more than 150km per second.

Back in 2009, researchers first saw hints of the scale of the explosion. Now using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimetre Array (Alma), based in northern Chile, astronomers have been able to see the violent event in high resolution.

"What we see in this once calm stellar nursery is a cosmic version of a 4 July fireworks display, with giant streamers rocketing off in all directions," said lead author Prof John Bally from the University of Colorado.

The team has discovered new details about the structure of the streamers that extend past the explosion for almost a light year. The team members are learning about the distribution and high-velocity motion of the carbon monoxide gas inside the huge gas trails. It may also help their understanding of the star birth process.

"Though fleeting, proto-stellar explosions may be relatively common, by destroying their parent cloud, as we see in OMC-1, such explosions may also help to regulate the pace of star formation in these giant molecular clouds," said Prof Bally.

Scientists expect that explosions such as this one are most likely short-lived, with the remnants of the debris seen by Alma lasting only for centuries.

"People most often associate stellar explosions with ancient stars, like a nova eruption on the surface of a decaying star or the even more spectacular supernova death of an extremely massive star," Prof Bally said.

"Alma has given us new insights into explosions on the other end of the stellar life-cycle, star birth."