sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, March 13, 2015

Are UK Anglicans Playing for the Other Team?

This isn't my standard sermonette, and in the end it will be for you, the reader to decide. God judges all men, all I can offer to do is act as His travel agent and arrange the meeting. Slotting rag-heads in a sight picture is not an act of malice. It's an act of self preservation. Apparently the Anglicans in England have lost that survival instinct that was honed over 800 years...interesting.

At first I thought that it must be an Islamic publicity stunt. However absurd the claim, it couldn't be true...but apparently it is and with the exception of a hand full of dissenting voices, the Church of England is OK with it.

The Daily Mail (Link) A leading liberal clergyman has come under fire from traditionalist Anglicans after allowing a full Muslim prayer service in his church. Reverend Giles Goddard, vicar of St John’s in Waterloo, central London, joined in the event by reading a passage from the Bible at the ‘Inclusive Mosque’ event. 
He then asked the congregation to praise ‘the god that we love, Allah’.
Why would Muslims want to hold a prayer service inside a Christian church? It has a lot of historical precedent as a symbol of conquest when they tear the cross off the cathedral and put up the crescent moon - but that's about it as far as precedent goes. Has the Church of England congregation been invited to hold mass in the local mosque? Don't hold your breath for that one.
"It was organised to coincide with the run-up to International Womyn’s Day last weekend."
Isn't that special?

Enceladus Rising

(blogger) Brighid's near rabid enthusiasm for news of the Jovian satellites caused me to springboard outward to Saturn for this bit of news from Enceladus, the moon of Saturn, which is creating its own rings by spewing water, methane and silica from the surface (not unlike water from the Old Faithful geyser).

NASA's Cassini first revealed active geological processes on Enceladus in 2005 with evidence of an icy spray issuing from the moon's south polar region and higher-than-expected temperatures in the icy surface there. With its powerful suite of complementary science instruments, the mission soon revealed a towering plume of water ice and vapor, salts and organic materials that issues from relatively warm fractures on the wrinkled surface. Gravity science results published in 2014 strongly suggested the presence of a 6-mile- (10-kilometer-) deep ocean beneath an ice shell about 19 to 25 miles (30 to 40 kilometers) thick.

Saturn's moon Enceladus exhibits signs of present-day hydrothermal activity which may resemble that seen in the deep oceans on Earth. The implications of such activity on a world other than our planet open up unprecedented scientific possibilities.
"These findings add to the possibility that Enceladus, which contains a subsurface ocean and displays remarkable geologic activity, could contain environments suitable for living organisms," said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "The locations in our solar system where extreme environments occur in which life might exist may bring us closer to answering the question: are we alone in the universe."
Hydrothermal activity occurs when seawater infiltrates and reacts with a rocky crust and emerges as a heated, mineral-laden solution, a natural occurrence in Earth's oceans. According to two science papers, the results are the first clear indications an icy moon may have similar ongoing active processes.

The first paper, published this week in the journal Nature, relates to microscopic grains of rock detected by Cassini in the Saturn system. An extensive, four-year analysis of data from the spacecraft, computer simulations and laboratory experiments led researchers to the conclusion the tiny grains most likely form when hot water containing dissolved minerals from the moon's rocky interior travels upward, coming into contact with cooler water. Temperatures required for the interactions that produce the tiny rock grains would be at least 194 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius). 

"It's very exciting that we can use these tiny grains of rock, spewed into space by geysers, to tell us about conditions on -- and beneath -- the ocean floor of an icy moon," said the paper's lead author Sean Hsu, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The second paper, recently published in Geophysical Research Letters, suggests hydrothermal activity as one of two likely sources of methane in the plume of gas and ice particles that erupts from the south polar region of Enceladus. The finding is the result of extensive modeling to address why methane, as previously sampled by Cassini, is curiously abundant in the plume.

The team found that, at the high pressures expected in the moon's ocean, icy materials called clathrates could form that imprison methane molecules within a crystal structure of water ice. Their models indicate that this process is so efficient at depleting the ocean of methane that the researchers still needed an explanation for its abundance in the plume.
Journal References:
Hsiang-Wen Hsu, Frank Postberg, Yasuhito Sekine, Takazo Shibuya, Sascha Kempf, Mihály Horányi, Antal Juhász, Nicolas Altobelli, Katsuhiko Suzuki, Yuka Masaki, Tatsu Kuwatani, Shogo Tachibana, Sin-iti Sirono, Georg Moragas-Klostermeyer, Ralf Srama. Ongoing hydrothermal activities within Enceladus. Nature, 2015; 519 (7542): 207 DOI: 10.1038/nature14262 
Alexis Bouquet, Olivier Mousis, J. Hunter Waite, Sylvain Picaud. Possible evidence for a methane source in Enceladus' ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, 2015; DOI: 10.1002/2014GL063013

Ganymede Update

Science that is distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.

Almost every sci-fi movie that features alien invasions have them here to steal water from Earth in a classic (nuke their ass and steal their gas) scenario. Somebody needs to get the word to Hollywood that Earth isn't the largest supply of liquid saline water in the Solar System.

And if Aliens started pumping water from Ganymede, would we care?

Observation of Aurorae on Ganymede. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope observed a pair of auroral belts encircling the Jovian moon Ganymede. The belts were observed in ultraviolet light by the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and are colored blue in this illustration. They are overlaid on a visible-light image of Ganymede taken by NASA's Galileo orbiter. The locations of the glowing aurorae are determined by the moon's magnetic field, and therefore provide a probe of the moon's interior, where the magnetic field is generated. The amount of rocking of the magnetic field, caused by its interaction with Jupiter's own immense magnetosphere, provides evidence that the moon has a subsurface ocean of saline water. Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Saur (University of Cologne, Germany)
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has the best evidence yet for an underground saltwater ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon. The subterranean ocean is thought to have more water than all the water on Earth's surface.

Ganymede is the largest moon in our solar system and the only moon with its own magnetic field. The magnetic field causes aurorae, which are ribbons of glowing, hot electrified gas, in regions circling the north and south poles of the moon. Because Ganymede is close to Jupiter, it is also embedded in Jupiter's magnetic field. When Jupiter's magnetic field changes, the aurorae on Ganymede also change, "rocking" back and forth.

By watching the rocking motion of the two aurorae, scientists were able to determine that a large amount of saltwater exists beneath Ganymede's crust, affecting its magnetic field.

If a saltwater ocean were present, Jupiter's magnetic field would create a secondary magnetic field in the ocean that would counter Jupiter's field. This "magnetic friction" would suppress the rocking of the aurorae. This ocean fights Jupiter's magnetic field so strongly that it reduces the rocking of the aurorae to 2 degrees, instead of 6 degrees if the ocean were not present.

Scientists estimate the ocean is 60 miles (100 kilometers) thick -- 10 times deeper than Earth's oceans -- and is buried under a 95-mile (150-kilometer) crust of mostly ice.