Science news of the day thread.

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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:30 pm

Bart Stewart wrote:Not to disparage our post writer of the same name, but it looks as if Nessie may be about to finally go away for good. I base this wild claim on the fact that the media, including the Daily Mail, has given big exposure to a skeptical viewpoint on the matter, maybe for the first time.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07 ... reloaded=1

There's really nothing new here, but an Italian researcher is saying that many of the sightings of serpentine disturbances in the water may be caused by a geologic fault running along the floor of the loch, releasing bubbles. The fault line is known to all students of the mystery, but few ever gave it much credit for causing the phenomenon. It would not account for surface sightings of humps, etc. Those I think we can ascribe to fakes, and mistakes based on otters, water birds, and floating tree trunks. (Ben Radford makes a compelling case that what Ms. Mansi photographed at Lake Champlain was a tree limb that had filled with gas while rotting on the lake bottom, and then briefly floated.)

Anyway, the prominence given to a skeptical explanation may be a sign that after 80 monster-less years, the media may be seeing that Nessie stories draw more jokes and yawns than intrigue. They may be finally ready to retire this one and move on to newer, greener fields of hooey. It won't be the end of my writing on this subject, though, because the Ness mystery is a classic example of wishful thinking and faulty conclusions. It is a teachable object lesson for skepticism in all other fields. I still recommend getting a copy of The Loch Ness Mystery: Solved, by Ronald Binns. This book sums up the entire case, exhaustively, in an entertaining, readable form.
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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by Ayaan » Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:50 pm

Ian wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Just go watch this.
:shock: :o
Impressive.
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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by MiM » Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:21 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Heinlein would have been proud.
Sure would. Have you read that new-old book already? any good?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool - Richard Feynman

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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by Xamonas Chegwé » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:08 am

Ayaan wrote:
Ian wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Just go watch this.
:shock: :o
Impressive.
:o :tup:
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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:19 am

MiM wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Heinlein would have been proud.
Sure would. Have you read that new-old book already? any good?
Just found out about it today. Ordering it tomorrow.
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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:25 pm

Larger habitable zone suggests 60 billion planets could sustain water, life -

By Steve Koppes
JULY 1, 2013
A new study that calculates the influence of cloud behavior on climate doubles the number of potentially habitable planets orbiting red dwarfs, the most common type of star in the universe. This finding means that in the Milky Way galaxy alone, 60 billion planets may be orbiting red dwarf stars in the habitable zone.
Researchers at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University based their study, which appears in Astrophysical Journal Letters, on rigorous computer simulations of cloud behavior on alien planets. This cloud behavior dramatically expanded the estimated habitable zone of red dwarfs, which are much smaller and fainter than stars like the sun.
Current data from NASA’s Kepler Mission, a space observatory searching for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars, suggest there is approximately one Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of each red dwarf. The UChicago-Northwestern study roughly doubles that estimate. It also suggests new ways for astronomers to test whether planets orbiting red dwarfs have cloud cover.
“Most of the planets in the Milky Way orbit red dwarfs,” said Nicolas Cowan, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern’s Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics. “A thermostat that makes such planets more clement means we don’t have to look as far to find a habitable planet.”
Cowan joins UChicago’s Dorian Abbot and Jun Yang as co-authors on the study. The scholars also provide astronomers with a means of verifying their conclusions with the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018.
The habitable zone refers to the space around a star where orbiting planets can maintain liquid water at their surface. The formula for calculating that zone has remained much the same for decades. But that approach largely neglects clouds, which exert a major climatic influence.
“Clouds cause warming, and they cause cooling on Earth,” said Abbot, an assistant professor in geophysical sciences. “They reflect sunlight to cool things off, and they absorb infrared radiation from the surface to make a greenhouse effect. That’s part of what keeps the planet warm enough to sustain life.”
A planet orbiting a star like the sun would have to complete an orbit approximately once a year to be far enough away to maintain water on its surface. “If you’re orbiting around a low-mass or dwarf star, you have to orbit about once a month, once every two months to receive the same amount of sunlight that we receive from the sun,” Cowan said.

Continues...
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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:47 pm

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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by Xamonas Chegwé » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:22 pm

I found this article particularly fascinating. Giant viruses - 1000 times bigger than a flu virus and containing 200 times as many genes - many of which are unknown to science! Just when you start to think that terrestrial biology has very few surprises left... :tea:
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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:03 am

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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by Xamonas Chegwé » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:03 pm

One for you, Zilla. Identifying wolves by their howls...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/23263266
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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:16 pm

Xamonas Chegwé wrote:One for you, Zilla. Identifying wolves by their howls...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/23263266
8-)

I can ID a few wolves by name now, and distinguish between reds and greys and shitbirds coyotes.
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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:24 pm

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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:12 pm

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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:24 pm

'Stoned wallabies make crop circles'
Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite", a government official has said.
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Re: Science news of the day thread.

Post by Daedalus » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:53 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:'Stoned wallabies make crop circles'
Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite", a government official has said.
Just when you thought a wallabie couldn't get any cuter... those clever fuzzy bastards!
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