Lucius Fox

Chief Executive Officer of Wayne Enterprises

sagansense:

Scientists Discover System with Three Planets in Habitable Zone

A team of scientists recently confirmed six, and possibly seven, planets orbiting a star system a mere 22 light-years from Earth. More importantly, three of those planets are super-Earths, lying in the Goldilocks Zone where liquid water could exist, making them possible candidates for the presence of life. This is the first system found with a fully-packed habitable zone. The findings will be published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on June 26.

Previous studies of the triple star system called Gliese 667C showed the star hosts three planets with one of them in the habitable zone. Now, a team of astronomers has reexamined the system by re-mining existing European Southern Observatory’s HARPS data and combining it with data collected from the W. M. Keck Observatory and the Magellan Telescope to find evidence for up to seven planets around the star. These planets orbit the third faintest star of a triple star system. The two other suns would look like a pair of very bright stars visible in the daytime and at night they would provide as much illumination as the full Moon.

While the HARPS data has been available since 2006, the team re-examined the data using a set of algorithms called HARPS-TERRA developed by the paper’s lead-author Guillem Anglada-Escudé of the University of Göttingen, and Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institute for Science.

Those new findings were then combined with more than 12 years of data collected on one of the world’s largest telescopes, Keck I, fitted with the successful planet-hunting instrument HIRES.

“We started observing GJ 667C from Keck Observatory way back in 2000, six years before the Swiss HARPS team started observing it,” said University of California, Santa Cruz, astronomer and team member Steve Vogt. “And though the HARPS team was able to hit the star with much higher cadence over the past 6 years, our early observations more than doubled the overall time base of the data set, enabling much stronger constraints to be placed on the planet solutions.” Vogt’s work at the Keck Observatory was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“These new results highlight how valuable it can be to re-analyze data in this way and combine results from different teams on different telescopes,” Anglada-Escudé said.

Three of these planets are confirmed to be super-Earths — planets more massive than Earth, but less massive than planets like Uranus or Neptune — that are within their star’s habitable zone, a thin shell around a star in which water may be present in liquid form if conditions are right. This is the first time that three such planets have been spotted orbiting in this zone in the same system.

“We knew that the star had three planets from previous studies, so we wanted to see whether there were any more,” said Mikko Tuomi of the University of Hertfordshire, who also led the team. “By adding some new observations and revisiting existing data we were able to confirm these three and confidently reveal several more. Finding three low-mass planets in the star’s habitable zone is very exciting!”

Co-author Rory Barnes of the University of Washington noted the discovery suggests habitable planets may be more numerous than previously thought. “The number of potentially habitable planets in our galaxy is much greater if we can expect to find several of them around each low-mass star. Instead of looking at ten stars to look for a single potentially habitable planet, we now know we can look at just one star and have a high chance of finding several of them,” Barnes said.

“This discovery is really the start of a whole new era studying Earth-like planets which may have liquid water on the surface,” said Maria Womack, National Science Foundation program officer. “This is a result of more than a decade of hard work using the best tools to do cutting-edge science — just the kind of research NSF loves to be a part of.”

The study used measurements from the HARPS spectrograph (European Southern Observatory, Chile), Keck I-HIRES (W. M. Keck Observatory, Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA), and the PFS (Las Campanas Observatory, Chile).

via abcstarstuff

Stay Curious!

Watch: Super-Earths: New Planets Found! via SpaceRip

(Source: starstuffblog)

Posted at 9:30am and tagged with: Astronomy, Science, Technology, Astrophysics, Goldilocks Zone, HARPS, Keck I-HIRES, PFS, NSF, National Science Foundation,.

n-a-s-a:

Venus’ Once Molten Surface

Image Credit: E. De Jong et al. (JPL), MIPL, Magellan Team, NASA

Posted at 2:45pm and tagged with: Science, Astronomy, Solar System, Venus, NASA, JPL, MIPL, Magellan,.

n-a-s-a:

Venus’ Once Molten Surface
Image Credit: E. De Jong et al. (JPL), MIPL, Magellan Team, NASA

n-a-s-a:

A Super Moon’s Halo

Image Credit & Copyright: Luis Argerich

Posted at 11:15am and tagged with: NASA, Astronomy, Science, Lunar, Moon,.

n-a-s-a:

A Super Moon’s Halo
Image Credit & Copyright: Luis Argerich

June 24th 2013

Reblogged from npr|6,976 notes

latimes:

Behold! The supermoon!

Thanks to its close proximity to Earth over the weekend, the moon appeared up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than its everyday self, providing photographers a perfect opportunity to take some stunning photos - a selection of which can be seen above.

Photos: Aris Messinis, Menahem Kahana, Monte Fortefilippo / AFP/Getty Images, Kay Neitfeld / EPA, Scott Eisen / Associated Press, David Roark / Getty Images

Posted at 1:29pm and tagged with: Astronomy, Science, Photography, Lunar, Moon, Supermoon,.

pappubahry:

Moons and some rings of Saturn, photographed by Cassini, 1 June 2004.  Enceladus is the largest moon seen here (the four diffraction spikes from the narrow-angle camera are unusually clear).  Prometheus sneaks into a couple of frames at the end, just inside the F Ring.  Outside the F Ring are the co-orbital moons Janus and Epimetheus, and I’ve chosen the end-point of the gif so that one loops almost seamlessly into the other.

Posted at 2:45pm and tagged with: Science, Astronomy, Solar System,.

pappubahry:

Moons and some rings of Saturn, photographed by Cassini, 1 June 2004.  Enceladus is the largest moon seen here (the four diffraction spikes from the narrow-angle camera are unusually clear).  Prometheus sneaks into a couple of frames at the end, just inside the F Ring.  Outside the F Ring are the co-orbital moons Janus and Epimetheus, and I’ve chosen the end-point of the gif so that one loops almost seamlessly into the other.

wired:

Two weeks ago, Jack Dongarra flew to Changsha, China for a meeting with researchers at the National University of Defense Technology, home to the country’s top supercomputing program. He expected an update on their plans for a new mega-machine, but they had a little surprise for him: The system was already up and running.

It’s called Tianhe-2, and with more than 3 million processor cores, it’s the world’s most powerful supercomputer.

[MORE: China Could Supplant U.S. as the Supercomputing Superpower]

(Source: Wired)

Posted at 1:15pm and tagged with: 长沙, Changsha, Chángshā, Hunan, 湖南, Húnán, China, People's Republic of China, PRC, 中华人民共和国, Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó, Technology, Computing, Supercomputing, Tianhe-2, Science, Innovation,.

wired:

Two weeks ago, Jack Dongarra flew to Changsha, China for a meeting with researchers at the National University of Defense Technology, home to the country’s top supercomputing program. He expected an update on their plans for a new mega-machine, but they had a little surprise for him: The system was already up and running.
It’s called Tianhe-2, and with more than 3 million processor cores, it’s the world’s most powerful supercomputer.
[MORE: China Could Supplant U.S. as the Supercomputing Superpower]

wildcat2030:

Greater strength and endurance. Enhanced thinking. Better teamwork. New classes of genetic weaponry, able to subvert DNA. Not long from now, the technology could exist to routinely enhance — and undermine — people’s minds and bodies using a wide range of chemical, neurological, genetic and behavioral techniques. It’s warfare waged at the evolutionary level. And it’s coming sooner than many people think. According to the futurists at the U.S. National Intelligence Council, by 2030, “neuro-enhancements could provide superior memory recall or speed of thought. Brain-machine interfaces could provide ‘superhuman‘ abilities, enhancing strength and speed, as well as providing functions not previously available.” Qualities that today must be honed by years of training and education could be installed in a relative instant by, say, an injection or a targeted burst of electricity to the brain. Rapid advancements in neurology, pharmacology and genetics could soon make such installations fairly easy. These modifications could give rise to new breeds of biologically enhanced troops possessing what one expert in the field calls “mutant powers.” But those troops may not American. So far, the U.S. military has been extremely reluctant to embrace human biological modification, or “biomods.” And that could result in a veritable mutant gap. In this new form of biological warfare, the U.S. could find itself outgunned. But not if Andrew Herr can help it. A 29-year-old Georgetown-trained researcher with degrees in microbiology, health physics and national security, Herr is one a handful of specialists in the defense community preaching greater U.S. investment in biomods. First as a consultant with the Scitor Corporation, a Virginia-based firm whose clients include top military and intelligence agencies, and later as the head of his own research organization, Herr’s job has been to think about biological modifications whose effects he says are “more than evolutionary.” Another word for that: revolutionary. Whether positive or negative, the impact of routine biomods could be huge. “The best-case scenario is extraordinary increases in quality of life in the First World and beyond,” Herr says. The worst-case scenario, he adds, is people being biologically modified “without them knowing it.” That is, an evolutionary sneak attack. But it’s not clear how closely the government is listening.

Posted at 9:30am and tagged with: Technology, Science, Medicine, Biology, Warfare, Biological Warfare,.

Technology education, then, should not just be about teaching skills, it should really be about instilling a set of values. A way of thinking, taught as part of a broad, diverse curriculum.

n-a-s-a:

Cosmic Bubble NGC 6781 

Credit: ESO 

Posted at 6:15pm and tagged with: NASA, Space, Science, Astronomy, ESO, Cosmic Bubble NGC 6781, NGC 6781,.

n-a-s-a:

Cosmic Bubble NGC 6781 
Credit: ESO 

nationalpost:

Scientists discover potentially habitable planet less than twelve light years from Earth
Scientists have potentially discovered five new planets orbiting Tau Ceti, one of our solar system’s nearest neighbours, including one that could be in the star’s “habitable zone.”

“This discovery is in keeping with our emerging view that virtually every star has planets, and that the galaxy must have many such potentially habitable Earth-sized planets,” said Steve Vogt, one of the scientists behind the study, in a statement.

Of the five discovered planets, the one in the “habitable zone” has a minimum mass of about 4.4 times that of Earth (it is impossible to know what gravity would be like on the planet without also knowing its density). Planets in the “habitable zone” are ones that have the possibility of forming liquid water. In fact, the planet might be nothing but water. (J. Pinfield for the RoPACS network at the University of Hertfordshire, 2012)

Posted at 7:45am and tagged with: Science, Astronomy, Space, Tau Ceti,.

nationalpost:

Scientists discover potentially habitable planet less than twelve light years from EarthScientists have potentially discovered five new planets orbiting Tau Ceti, one of our solar system’s nearest neighbours, including one that could be in the star’s “habitable zone.”“This discovery is in keeping with our emerging view that virtually every star has planets, and that the galaxy must have many such potentially habitable Earth-sized planets,” said Steve Vogt, one of the scientists behind the study, in a statement.Of the five discovered planets, the one in the “habitable zone” has a minimum mass of about 4.4 times that of Earth (it is impossible to know what gravity would be like on the planet without also knowing its density). Planets in the “habitable zone” are ones that have the possibility of forming liquid water. In fact, the planet might be nothing but water. (J. Pinfield for the RoPACS network at the University of Hertfordshire, 2012)