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bonnjer

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It's about time that we had a thread devoted to cool science news. I'm always seeing interesting articles about various science related news and I know I'm not seeing half of what's out there. Let's kick it off with this tough bug:

 

guidomerkinsrules

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The whole terraform Mars idea is so baffling to me. We currently live on a planet that is absolutely perfect for life. Life can't help but naturally thrive here under all kinds of conditions. So what's the obsession with a desolate wasteland like Mars? It seems like all the time and money on this, in my opinion, foolish project to terraform Mars could be spent on improving quality of life on Earth. I mean we can't even deal with our own global climate crisis as it is. Like we're gonna create an artificial self-sustaining atmosphere and climate on a planet 40 million miles away?

I feel like too often in science and tech the question asked is "can we do it" and not "should we do it".
1. Sure/ maybe
2. Pretty clear migration/exploration is hard-wired in us
3. I think the oceans are a much better ‘next frontier’ but that leads us to
4. When science comes up with a new idea/question, it doesn’t abandon the others — it’s not like everyone stopped looking for a cancer cure when Covid popped up
 

jboss

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1. Sure/ maybe
2. Pretty clear migration/exploration is hard-wired in us
3. I think the oceans are a much better ‘next frontier’ but that leads us to
4. When science comes up with a new idea/question, it doesn’t abandon the others — it’s not like everyone stopped looking for a cancer cure when Covid popped up
Hard, hard agree on ocean exploration. To think of the vastness of our oceans and how little of it has been explored is incredible. I think there's plenty of more interesting and useful things to be discovered in the oceans than space. Space is so Cold War-era, oceans are what's hot right now.
 

SoggyBottomBoy

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Not to step on the beetle but...

Space is science right?

I missed this as a news story, but last night while channel flipping I saw this NOVA episode on PBS about this story, the Bennu asteroid, and got caught up in it. They went through the entire story of the project with a timeline. Then they showed the team celebrating the successful capture of particles and it occurred on October 20, 2020. I had to check my phone to see what the current date was and it was the 21st. I just found it interesting that this NOVA episode included an event from the day prior to it airing. I know it was planned to do so, but still surprising.

NOVA programs rock.
 

SystemShock

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So, someone told me this the other day, and I thought he was joking. But apparently, we know how to make planes fly, but we don't know why they stay in the air.

Think about that when you are cruising at 35,000 feet :hihi:
 
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bonnjer

bonnjer

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I missed this as a news story
This is one of the main reasons I started this thread. There are just so many cool science news items that it's impossible to see more than a fraction of them. I know we've got plenty of science nerds around here, so I hope that this thread will stay busy. I know I'll be posting stuff to it often.
 

Optimus Prime

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Since exoplanets are a dime a dozen now here's the first intergalactic planet
====================
Since the first detection of the first exoplanet in 1992, astronomers have found thousands of others. Indeed, they estimate that the Milky Way is home to 40 billion worlds.

So it’s easy to imagine that planets must be common in other galaxies, particularly those that seem similar to our own. But when it comes to spotting these planets, there is a problem.

Other galaxies are so far away and the stars crammed into such a small region of space, as seen from Earth, that it is hard to identify individual ones let alone the effects of any planets around them. So extragalactic planets have sadly eluded astronomers.

Now Rosanne Di Stefano at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics along with several colleagues, say they have found a candidate planet in the M51 Whirlpool Galaxy some 23 million light years from Earth near the constellation of Ursa Major.

This alien world, christened M51-ULS-1b, is probably slightly smaller than Saturn and orbits a binary system at a distance of perhaps ten times Earth’s distance from the Sun..............

 

Taurus

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Overpopulation is a largely a myth. There's plenty of room and resources for the current population and future populations for the foreseeable future. The problem with "overpopulation" isn't the population itself but with how to use the land and resources we have available. And the problem with that is mostly who controls that land and those resources, i.e. the very powerful and wealthy. The terraforming of Mars at this point really just looks like it would only be accessable to those people. It's also worth noting that the problems facing the viability of life on Earth are also far and away caused by these people.

Really how I see the prospect of terraforming Mars or other planets is basically like an Elsyium type of scenario. The rich and powerful allowing the Earth to be degraded to the point of no return and hightailing it out of here. That's the big reason why even considering doing something this far out of our reach technologically at this point, foresaking plenty of better uses for our research and technological capabilities, is a fool's endeavor.
The next extinction level event is out there. Whether it's Captain Trips, the Yellowstone caldera, nuclear war or an asteroid, something will end us as a species. The only way to survive is to have already colonized another planet.
 

DaveXA

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The next extinction level event is out there. Whether it's Captain Trips, the Yellowstone caldera, nuclear war or an asteroid, something will end us as a species. The only way to survive is to have already colonized another planet.
May the odds be ever in our favor! :hihi:
 

porculator

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The whole terraform Mars idea is so baffling to me. We currently live on a planet that is absolutely perfect for life. Life can't help but naturally thrive here under all kinds of conditions. So what's the obsession with a desolate wasteland like Mars? It seems like all the time and money on this, in my opinion, foolish project to terraform Mars could be spent on improving quality of life on Earth. I mean we can't even deal with our own global climate crisis as it is. Like we're gonna create an artificial self-sustaining atmosphere and climate on a planet 40 million miles away?

I feel like too often in science and tech the question asked is "can we do it" and not "should we do it".
On face value, yea its dumb. So was going to the moon to prove a point to the Soviets.

But the real value of missions like this is the innovations that we will use forever. I would like to think that experimenting with Mars will open doors to the innovation we desparately need to fix climate change here.

NASA is basically just a gigantic grant to some of the smartest people in the country to dick around with stuff until they invent awesome things.

 

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