sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Stand or Don't

Irrespective of how successful Donald Trump's Presidency may be, he is an enemy of the powers-that-be and they will not rest until he is destroyed. This is war and there can be only one winner, the American Republic or the elites who control it. 

As I write here in the Spring of 2017, that contest is far from over and the outcome remains in the balance, however there are some encouraging signs. Elsewhere on the planet, there are people trying to take back their governments. BREXIT was a good sign. A change of sentiment across all of Europe has the elites concerned. It's not just the USA that stands at the brink, but since I live here, I'm more impacted by the 'war' more personally.

The propaganda machine (the corrupt, progressive, elite, smug, self-satisfied, lying mainstream media) has a 24/7 news cycle that is dedicated to pushing their agenda at the expense of the public. Hillary Clinton was their choice and they are sifting through political puppets to find a new one since she let them down. Whoever it is must be completely devoid of ethics, lacking any devotion to the Constitution or to the people...but we have a lot of those in public life.

Propaganda works. It's called by different names, but fake news is a good one and so is 'very fake news'. The media operates under that you can throw enough mud that some of it will stick with some people and their reach is deep and pervasive. There are only two political parties and one is the mainstream media, which stopped reporting the news and started making their own news some time ago. They represent the elites, your betters, and they are bound and determined to school you (and me).

By all measures, Trump's first thirty days have been a triumph. Look at the stock market, look at wealth creation that trickles down to us all, look at the effort to uphold laws that have been on the books for decades. But you will never see that on a mainstream news outlet.

Individually, we either stand with those who believe in freedom and democracy or those who wish to live off the facade of freedom and democracy to keep us forever divided, afraid and dispossessed.

And there is always the third way - going Galt and retiring to a defensive posture far from the trampling elephants and donkeys.


NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid water -- key to life as we know it -- under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone.
Michaël Gillon, Amaury H. M. J. Triaud, Brice-Olivier Demory, Emmanuël Jehin, Eric Agol, Katherine M. Deck, Susan M. Lederer, Julien de Wit, Artem Burdanov, James G. Ingalls, Emeline Bolmont, Jeremy Leconte, Sean N. Raymond, Franck Selsis, Martin Turbet, Khalid Barkaoui, Adam Burgasser, Matthew R. Burleigh, Sean J. Carey, Aleksander Chaushev, Chris M. Copperwheat, Laetitia Delrez, Catarina S. Fernandes, Daniel L. Holdsworth, Enrico J. Kotze, Valérie Van Grootel, Yaseen Almleaky, Zouhair Benkhaldoun, Pierre Magain, Didier Queloz. Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. Nature, 2017; 542 (7642): 456 DOI: 10.1038/nature21360
At about 40 light-years (235 trillion miles) from Earth, the system of planets is relatively close to us, in the constellation Aquarius. Because they are located outside of our solar system, these planets are scientifically known as exoplanets.

This exoplanet system is called TRAPPIST-1, named for The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile. In May 2016, researchers using TRAPPIST announced they had discovered three planets in the system. Assisted by several ground-based telescopes, including the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, Spitzer confirmed the existence of two of these planets and discovered five additional ones, increasing the number of known planets in the system to seven.
"This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "Answering the question 'are we alone' is a top science priority and finding so many planets like these for the first time in the habitable zone is a remarkable step forward toward that goal."
Using Spitzer data, the team precisely measured the sizes of the seven planets and developed first estimates of the masses of six of them, allowing their density to be estimated. Based on their densities, all of the TRAPPIST-1 planets are likely to be rocky. Further observations will not only help determine whether they are rich in water, but also possibly reveal whether any could have liquid water on their surfaces. The mass of the seventh and farthest exoplanet has not yet been estimated -- scientists believe it could be an icy, "snowball-like" world, but further observations are needed.

In contrast to our sun, the TRAPPIST-1 star -- classified as an ultra-cool dwarf -- is so cool that liquid water could survive on planets orbiting very close to it, closer than is possible on planets in our solar system. All seven of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary orbits are closer to their host star than Mercury is to our sun. The planets also are very close to each other. If a person were standing on one of the planet's surface, they could gaze up and potentially see geological features or clouds of neighboring worlds, which would sometimes appear larger than the moon in Earth's sky.
A Few More Details: TRAPPIST-1 is 8% the mass of and 11% the radius of the Sun. It has a temperature of 2550 K (Kelvin) and is at least 500 million years old. In comparison, the Sun is about 4.6 billion years old and has a temperature of 5778 K.
Owing to its mass, the star has the ability to live for up to 4–5 trillion years, meaning that TRAPPIST-1 may remain a main sequence star when the Universe is much older than it is now, and when the gas needed to make stars will have been used up. The star is metal-rich, with a metallicity ([Fe/H]) of 0.04, or 109% the solar amount. This is particularly odd as such low-mass stars near the boundary between brown dwarfs and hydrogen-fusing stars are expected to have considerably less metallic composition than the Sun. Its luminosity is 0.04% of that of the Sun.
The planets may also be tidally locked to their star, which means the same side of the planet is always facing the star, therefore each side is either perpetual day or night. This could mean they have weather patterns totally unlike those on Earth, such as strong winds blowing from the day side to the night side, and extreme temperature changes.

Spitzer, an infrared telescope that trails Earth as it orbits the sun, was well-suited for studying TRAPPIST-1 because the star glows brightest in infrared light, whose wavelengths are longer than the eye can see. In the fall of 2016, Spitzer observed TRAPPIST-1 nearly continuously for 500 hours. Spitzer is uniquely positioned in its orbit to observe enough crossing -- transits -- of the planets in front of the host star to reveal the complex architecture of the system. Engineers optimized Spitzer's ability to observe transiting planets during Spitzer's "warm mission," which began after the spacecraft's coolant ran out as planned after the first five years of operations.
"This is the most exciting result I have seen in the 14 years of Spitzer operations," said Sean Carey, manager of NASA's Spitzer Science Center at Caltech/IPAC in Pasadena, California. "Spitzer will follow up in the fall to further refine our understanding of these planets so that the James Webb Space Telescope can follow up. More observations of the system are sure to reveal more secrets."
However interesting these planets are, the distance (close in astronomical terms) is thousands of years distant for even the most (realistic) futuristic projections for spacecraft.