sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, March 15, 2018

It's About Space

Sudden Impact

China’s Tiangong-1 spacecraft has been flying above Earth, completely out of control, since September 2016. Since then, agencies around the world have been monitoring the vehicle, trying to project where it will crash -- on or about April 3. Many experts have predicted that it might hit Detroit. 

Of all the places the 8 ton space hulk, filled with toxic chemicals, could hit, a Detroit impact would cause the least damage, and might even help restore the place if it wiped out the city's leadership and their minions.

Sifting out debris from the toxic Chinese space station from the local landscape in the post-Apocalyptic-looking City of Detroit might take some time. There are a lot of Iraqi immigrants living in that area. The toxic strike could make the place feel even more like home for them.

That Pesky Sun

New research from the University of New Hampshire's Space Science Center cautions that the exposure to radiation is much higher than previously thought and could have serious implications on both astronauts and satellite technology.
"The radiation dose rates from measurements obtained over the last four years exceeded trends from previous solar cycles by at least 30 percent, showing that the radiation environment is getting far more intense," said Nathan Schwadron, professor of physics and lead author of the study. "These particle radiation conditions present important environmental factors for space travel and space weather, and must be carefully studied and accounted for in the planning and design of future missions to the moon, Mars, asteroids and beyond."
In their study, recently published in the journal Space Weather, the researchers found that large fluxes in Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) are rising faster and are on path to exceed any other recorded time in the space age. They also point out that one of the most significant Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) events happened in September 2017 releasing large doses of radiation that could pose significant risk to both humans and satellites. Unshielded astronauts could experience acute effects like radiation sickness or more serious long-term health issues like cancer and organ damage, including to the heart, brain, and central nervous system.
Journal Reference:
N. A. Schwadron, F. Rahmanifard, J. Wilson, A. P. Jordan, H. E. Spence, C. J. Joyce, J. B. Blake, A. W. Case, W. de Wet, W. M. Farrell, J. C. Kasper, M. D. Looper, N. Lugaz, L. Mays, J. E. Mazur, J. Niehof, N. Petro, C. W. Smith, L. W. Townsend, R. Winslow, C. Zeitlin. Update on the worsening particle radiation environment observed by CRaTER and implications for future human deep-space exploration. Space Weather, 2018; DOI: 10.1002/2017SW001803
For most of the space age, the sun's activity ebbed and flowed like clockwork in 11-year cycles, with six- to eight-year lulls in activity, called solar minimum, followed by two- to three-year periods when the sun is more active. However, starting around 2006, scientists observed the longest solar minimum and weakest solar activity observed during the space age.

Despite this overall reduction, the September 2017 solar eruptions produced episodes of significant Solar Particle Events and associated radiation caused by particle acceleration by successive, magnetically well-connected coronal mass ejections. The researchers conclude that the radiation environment continues to pose significant hazards associated both with historically large galactic cosmic ray fluxes and large but isolated SEP events, which still challenge space weather prediction capabilities.

Despite the differences in heat coming off the Sun and striking the Earth, progressives cling to the notion that only man causes changes in the climate -- ignore historical science. 10,000 years ago Detroit was under 4,000 feet of ice...

Tabby's Star

A team of more than 200 researchers, including Penn State Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Assistant Professor Jason Wright and led by Louisiana State University's Tabetha Boyajian, is one step closer to solving the mystery behind the "most mysterious star in the universe." KIC 8462852, or "Tabby's Star," nicknamed after Boyajian, is otherwise an ordinary star, about 50 percent bigger and 1,000 degrees hotter than the Sun, and about than 1,000 light years away. However, it has been inexplicably dimming and brightening sporadically like no other. Several theories abound to explain the star's unusual light patterns, including that an alien megastructure is orbiting the star.

The mystery of Tabby's Star is so compelling that more than 1,700 people donated over $100,000 through a Kickstarter campaign in support of dedicated ground-based telescope time to observe and gather more data on the star through a network of telescopes around the world. As a result, a body of data collected by Boyajian and colleagues in partnership with the Las Cumbres Observatory is now available in a new paper in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
"We were hoping that once we finally caught a dip happening in real time we could see if the dips were the same depth at all wavelengths. If they were nearly the same, this would suggest that the cause was something opaque, like an orbiting disk, planet, or star, or even large structures in space" said Wright, who is a co-author of the paper, titled "The First Post-Kepler Brightness Dips of KIC 8462852." Instead, the team found that the star got much dimmer at some wavelengths than at others. 
"Dust is most likely the reason why the star's light appears to dim and brighten. The new data shows that different colors of light are being blocked at different intensities. Therefore, whatever is passing between us and the star is not opaque, as would be expected from a planet or alien megastructure," Boyajian said.
Now there are more answers to be found. "This latest research rules out alien megastructures, but it raises the plausibility of other phenomena being behind the dimming," Wright said. "There are models involving circumstellar material -- like exocomets, which were Boyajian's team's original hypothesis -- which seem to be consistent with the data we have." Wright also points out that "some astronomers favor the idea that nothing is blocking the star -- that it just gets dimmer on its own -- and this also is consistent with this summer's data."
Penn State. "Tabby's Star: Alien megastructure not the cause of dimming of the 'most mysterious star in the universe'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2018. 


  1. News ou need to know:

  2. Some perspective---

  3. Who's got the range dates next month at PMRF? They might get a shot! :-)

  4. One of the interesting ideas out there is that he higher number of cosmic rays by itself contributes to cooler temperatures. As solar activity goes down, the solar wind goes down, which makes it less effective at keeping cosmic rays away.

    The lower solar irradiance itself from low solar activity isn't as big a factor, but the cosmic rays help seed cloud formation. The global climate models really suck at handling clouds and it turns out cloud formation is a bigger contributor.

    Google Svensmark hypothesis. Last I heard there was good experimental confirmation of it.

    1. I've heard that, but I have never seen the math or details of the science behind it. It doesn't make sense that "cosmic rays" would seed cloud formation - but when you get down to the minute size of neutrinos and so forth, the rules change.


    3. The cloud chamber is used to track positrons, possibly also free neutrons? But it's not about cloud seeding. That's another issue. I don't dispute that it might happen because I don't know, but normally cloud seeding takes place with particulate matter much larger than I would associate with ionized particles punching through the Earth's radiation belt (or non-ionized material such as neutrinos).

    4. This article goes into the theory and experimental confirmation for Svensmark. It has led to new understandings about how clouds form.

      This one is a little newer and talks about CERN results backing his work.

      I think Anon @10:30 there was saying that the same process that causes the trails in a cloud chamber is what Svensmark is talking about.

    5. The theory that less solar wind creates more cosmic rays striking the atmosphere. That should be even more profound on Venus or Mars (less active liquid core creating radiation belts). If I could clone myself and live another 100 years or so (providing that we don't end ourselves), it would be an interesting research project and PhD dissertation. Comparing solar activity and cloud formation on the three rocks with different atmospheres.

  5. Your explanation of natural processes will upset the climate change gaggle.

    1. I doubt it. If Al Gore or Barack tell them something, they swallow a turd believing that it's a candy cane.

  6. I am reminded that we nuked Horoshima and Nagasaki in
    WWII. Both cities are now thriving, while Chicago and
    especially Detroit are now crime infested ruins. With
    its decaying orbit, the estimated point of impact
    places both cities in in peril. This may not be the
    Sweet Meteor Of Death, but the political damage will
    dwarf any possible physical damage.

    This is only wishful damage on my part, but the mass
    is not great enough to survive the friction heat of
    reentry. Decades of Demo☭rat governance is far more
    destructive than a nuclear weapon!

  7. Wishful thinking, not damage. I gotta do a better job
    of proofreading!

  8. While we're chatting about ions (free electrons), check this out from Nat Geo:

  9. As for "Tabby's Star", in my limited knowledge of such stuff, if the dimming happen on a regular, tamable bases like the earth's 365 1/4 revolutions around the sun, I could see it being a planet. But if the planet is large enough to dim the light, like like our solar eclipse, couldn't we see the thing?

    1. Yes, it's more of a dimming - like a fog/dust cloud. Alien theorists chalked it up to a mega-space port...but the dust cloud theory holds more weight.


It's virtual - it's a mirage - it's life