Earth sized planet found orbiting our sun’s nearest neighboring star, Proxima Centauri

Watts Up With That?

From Nature (h/t to Dr. Leif Svalgaard)

Astronomers have discovered evidence of a small, rocky planet orbiting our nearest star – and it may even be a bit like Earth. Nobody knows whether the planet, called Proxima b, could ever sustain life. The little planet orbits our sun’s nearest neighboring star, Proxima Centauri, making it the closest exoplanet ever found.

proxima-centauri

Proxima Centauri, the star closest to the Sun, has an Earth-sized planet orbiting it at the right distance for liquid water to exist. The discovery, reported today in Nature1, fulfils a longstanding dream of science-fiction writers — a potentially habitable world that is close enough for humans to send their first interstellar spacecraft.

“The search for life starts now,” says Guillem Anglada-Escudé, an astronomer at Queen Mary University of London and leader of the team that made the discovery.

Humanity’s first chance to explore this nearby world may come…

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From Symmetry: “The $100 muon detector”

Science Springs

Symmetry Mag

Symmetry

08/19/16
By Laura Dattaro

1
Spencer Axani

A doctoral student and his adviser designed a tabletop particle detector they hope to make accessible to budding young engineering physicists.

When Spencer Axani was an undergraduate physics student, his background in engineering led him to a creative pipe dream: a pocket-sized device that could count short-lived particles called muons all day.

Muons, heavier versions of electrons, are around us all the time, a byproduct of the cosmic rays that shoot out from supernovae and other high-energy events in space. When particles from those rays hit Earth’s atmosphere, they often decay into muons.

Muons are abundant on the surface of the Earth, but in Axani’s University of Alberta underground office, shielded by the floors above, they might be few and far between. A pocket detector would be the perfect gadget for measuring the difference.

Now a doctoral student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology…

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Rainbow Cloud or Earthquake Light in the sky over Poland

Behind The Scenes 24 News

Rainbow Cloud earthquake lights Phenomenon PolandAccording to the video uploader a spectacular rainbow cloud appeared over the city Rybnik in southern Poland end of July 2016.

According to a meteorologist from a TV weather channel, the unusual shape and colors above the clouds is a so-called rainbow cloud, it arises as a result of the passage of sunlight which breaks down the ice particles in clouds at certain heights, but I am not sure if it is just an unusual optical sky phenomenon. Is it possible that this phenomenon is an earthquake light?

An earthquake light is an unusual luminous aerial phenomenon which takes many forms that reportedly appears in the sky before an earthquake and something afterwards and could provide an early warning sign. It is known that earthquake lights appear weeks up till minutes before an earthquake occurs.

Appearances of the earthquake light seem to occur when the quakes have a high magnitude, generally 5 or higher on the Richter…

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The Sun will Turn into a “Ring of Fire”

Behind The Scenes 24 News

The Sun will Turn into a Ring of FireOn September 1, 2016 the moon will block much of the sun in
a so-called annular solar eclipse, also known as a “ring of fire” solar eclipse.

On September 1st, skywatchers in parts of Africa will see the Moon pass directly in front of the Sun, creating an annular solar eclipse.

During an annular solar eclipse, the Moon is farther away from Earth than during a total solar eclipse, so it appears smaller and doesn’t completely cover the Sun.

A partial solar eclipse will be visible from most of the African
continent.

The annular solar eclipse will be visible from Madagascar and locations in Central Africa. The Moon’s shadow will also cross parts of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. For most viewers in Africa, the eclipse will be a partial solar eclipse.

The eclipse will begin at 06:13 UTC on September 1, 2016.
The maximum point will take place at 09:01…

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The Sun will Turn into a “Ring of Fire”

Behind The Scenes 24 News

The Sun will Turn into a Ring of FireOn September 1, 2016 the moon will block much of the sun in
a so-called annular solar eclipse, also known as a “ring of fire” solar eclipse.

On September 1st, skywatchers in parts of Africa will see the Moon pass directly in front of the Sun, creating an annular solar eclipse.

During an annular solar eclipse, the Moon is farther away from Earth than during a total solar eclipse, so it appears smaller and doesn’t completely cover the Sun.

A partial solar eclipse will be visible from most of the African
continent.

The annular solar eclipse will be visible from Madagascar and locations in Central Africa. The Moon’s shadow will also cross parts of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. For most viewers in Africa, the eclipse will be a partial solar eclipse.

The eclipse will begin at 06:13 UTC on September 1, 2016.
The maximum point will take place at 09:01…

View original post 41 more words

Astronomy shown to be set in standing stone

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Brodgar standing stones, Orkney [image credit: BBC] Brodgar standing stones, Orkney [image credit: BBC]

University of Adelaide research has for the first time statistically proven that the earliest standing stone monuments of Britain, the great circles, were constructed specifically in line with the movements of the Sun and Moon, 5000 years ago. H/T ScienceDaily

The research, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, details the use of innovative 2D and 3D technology to construct quantitative tests of the patterns of alignment of the standing stones.

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Darwin Award Candidates: TV viewers complain about missing “Bachelor in Paradise” due to Tornado Warning

Watts Up With That?

Indianapolis ABC television affiliate WRTV wanted its viewers to see the complaints it received after preempting Bachelor in Paradise last night for report on a series of tornadoes that touched down nearby, so it posted some on its website.

Bachelor in Paradise is where some of the rejected Bachelor/Bachelorette suitors go to drink, mingle and canoodle their way to another shot at love on national television. Source: TVSpy.

torwarning-WRTV-twitter1

But wait, there’s more…

torwarning-WRTV-twitter3torwarning-WRTV-twitter2

Maybe these folks didn’t know they could watch it online later, here. In today’s digital age, there’s no reason to think TV is a linear timeline anymore. They would rather risk getting mowed down by a tornado because they are unaware instead of waiting I suppose.

This is another clear cut case of “warning fatigue” (something NOAA recognizes) combined with fixation on something that is pointless entertainment. And, it isn’t just in the…

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NASA to land on asteroid that could have once seeded life, but may now destroy Earth

Earth Changing Extremities

Bennu © NASA
Bennu © NASA
NASA is about to launch a $1 billion 7-year mission to probe asteroid Bennu, which may carry the building blocks of organic life, but also has a chance of hitting Earth late in the next century.
 
“It may be destined to cause immense suffering and death,” Dante Lauretta, professor of planetary science at Arizona University and the lead researcher on the OSIRIS-REx mission, told the Sunday Times.
 
Discovered in 1999, Bennu measures about 500 meters across, weighs over 60 million tons, and travels at over 100,000 kilometers per hour.
 
Its trajectory is unpredictable due to what is known as the Yarkovsky effect, in which the asteroid absorbs the energy of sunlight and then gives it off as heat, which serves as a thruster that constantly makes slight shifts to its path.
 
Lauretta says that, if Bennu were to hit Earth, its impact would…

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