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About This Club

The name explains it : This club is meant for discussions of any sort of physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy, whatever science you want you comment about. This might be a good place for sharing hypothesis or complete theories as well, so suit yourself and imagine all the crazy things you can imagine, science knows the way! Anyone may join, however the privacy is set on 'closed' to avoid spam, hopefully this will keep that at bay. Upon entering the club, I strongly encourage you to write a short introduction to tell others about what your interests in science are and what experiments you've made happen (if you have), and of course, if you're working on any project/hypothesis that needs discussion, this will be the place too.
  1. What's new in this club
  2. This post will contain spoilers for the anime Madoka Magica, the 12 episode anime. I just recently finished watching the anime episodes of Madoka Magica, which gives a take on many philosophical questions, one of them being related to physics and I really thought it was worth exploring. The problem is as follows: In this universe, there's a civilisation of seemingly advanced magical creatures that are described as feeling no emotion (or those that do are considered mentally ill), and they wish to make 'progress'. They have sought means to harvest energy to make up for the rise of entropy for a long time, and their answer was to harvest the emotions of the human race. Their sadness, rage, happiness, their whole souls, basically. They do this by providing each person who makes a contract with them magical powers, turning them into a magical girl. Once they give up their soul, the human is subject to harvest energy from distorsions in reality that corrupt and cause the suffering and death of people. It doesn't sound too bad... does it? Later, it is revealed that the humans are eventually destined to return the good they've done for the world, in the opposite way. Because of giving up their soul, they are prone to losing themselves and becoming the very distorsions they used to destroy, only this time causing all the pain back that they once thought they avoided. The advanced civilisation creatures don't care, for their lack of emotions, and they've been thriving off of humanity's suffering for as long as history knows. My personal belief is that when the question comes up, 'what's the price of an eternal civilisation?', my firm answer is that there is none that are worth the exploitation of other beings. The exploitation of other planets, living creatures. I believe the universe should die at one point. Entropy does its thing, and that will be the end of it. If you were given the choice, would you accept to extend the life of the universe? If so, what's your purpose and reasons?
  3. A new asteroid named "2022WJ1" was detected.. and just a few hours later detonates in the air over Niagra falls. Barely even enough time to say, "oh, shit!" Fortunately it was only a few feet across. The real news here of course is that it was detected before impact. This is only the 6th time we've managed to do that. As usual Scott Manley has some good coverage of it in this week's space summary.
  4. “It is surprising that people do not believe that there is imagination in science. It is a very interesting kind of imagination, unlike that of the artist. The great difficulty is in trying to imagine something that you have never seen, that is consistent in every detail with what has already been seen, and that is different from what has been thought of; furthermore, it must be definite and not a vague proposition. That is indeed difficult.” —Richard Feynman The Quotable Feynman (ed. Princeton University Press, 2015) - ISBN: 9781400874231
  5. "Here we present 4.5 yr, 16-band photometry of Betelgeuse between 2017 and 2021 in the 0.45–13.5 μm wavelength range making use of images taken by the Himawari-8 geostationary meteorological satellite." Cool stuff, at least for a space nerd like myself. (And yes, this is what I do for recreational reading these days. I might need professional help. ) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-022-01680-5
  6. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA14033 https://www.vice.com/en/article/78kwjd/why-the-first-close-up-image-of-mars-was-hastily-painted-in-pastels
  7. Just a concept at this point but wouldn't that be cool? The mission would even include a probe to drop into the planet's atmosphere. I'd want to see Triton close-up too, though with its orbit it might be difficult to get anything more than a few awkward flybys.
  8. (Been looking at latency numbers for the past couple weeks at work. Nice to see results.)
  9. Interesting theory. Nice tie-in with string theory too. Is ST finally becoming useful?
  10. Impressive explosion no doubt, but quite a lot of interesting science to be done as well. No doubt there will be more info coming out momentarily but as usual Scott Manley does a pretty good job of putting together a summary and initial commentary on the event..
  11. So, any geologists in the room? I'm not but I've been following this volcanic eruption in Iceland and I must say it has me hooked. Some very good stuff being posted on places like Youtube, including 4k video from drone overflights of the vigorously-boiling lava as it overflows the vent and flows out to fill the surrounding caldera. Very photogenic if nothing else. I'm in the habit now of queuing up the latest and just having it running as background while I'm doing other things. There's also cool stuff like this 3d/GIS model/dataset online if you want a more interactive experience.
  12. So now there's at least two experiments that are hinting that there's something odd going on with muons. Still needs more supporting data - and a testable hypothesis about what's going on would be nice as well - but it already seems pretty solid.
  13. What we know now, what we'd like to know, and some ideas for learning more about TNOs, KBOs, and dwarf planets in the outer solar system...
  14. While I'm excited to see people working on these sorts of things I have to say, ESA, you need to work a bit harder on picking your names.
  15. Not quite The Expanse but good practice for converting all those other dwarf planets in the outer solar system into habitats. If the field of such bodies extends out into the Oort cloud as well then we have a LOT of habitat-building to do. https://arxiv.org/abs/2011.07487
  16. This is painful to watch. I just hope this is the catalyst for building a new radio telescope that's even better.
  17. That's being worked on too. A fully-fueled Starship in orbit is halfway to anywhere in the solar system. Speaking of which, there's currently something of a 24/7 watch on Elon's little Boca Chica project at the moment. They've done a number of engine test-firings with the Starship prototype (serial number 8 ) in the past couple weeks and the FAA has given clearance to 15km altitude for the next "hop", which is expected to happen any day now. Elon has said there's about a 1 in 3 chance of everything going smoothly. We'll see. Should be exciting either way. And after that there's SN9 already being built in the nearby high-bay.
  18. I considered that actually when the Pluto flyby happened and we saw that Pluto had an atmosphere. That said, I think we should focus on getting established on Mars first before we dream too far ahead. Right now all eggs are in the Blue Planet's basket and a single planetwide extinction event will end us all. One colony at a time
  19. "There is a case that habitability on Pluto may be just as good as on the closer icy moons. In fact, if Pluto is the standard for dwarf planets found in the Kuiper Belt generally there may be many more habitable worlds out there." https://youtu.be/GMIbZ2k_OtQ There's a lot of real estate out there in dwarf planets too. Even just in our Solar system there are hundreds of known dwarf planets, and probably hundreds more that we haven't seen yet. (Even Hubble couldn't see much further than the inner bit of the Kuiper Belt.) Yes, I said hundreds of planets in our own system, and each able to be the resource base for its own swarm of habitats. How about this for another thought.. If the Kuiper Belt isn't enough then there is also the Oort cloud. No reason to expect there not to be thousands of more planets - dwarf and otherwise - out in the Oort cloud, which some models say extends out to over 120,000 AU. 64,000 AU is 1 light-year. The nearest star system to our own is less than 4 LY away. If it is similarly constructed then by the time we're reaching the limits of our system we should be inside the outer edges of the next system over. Up the side of one gravity well and down the other. All accessible without having to resort to magic technology like "warp" drives, though building all those colonies and expanding the frontier that far might take us a while. Rome wasn't built in a day after all.
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