I am what is called a skeptic. This is not mean that I just put skeptic in front of something I do not like, like some people put that word in front of global warming or vaccines. It actually means making up your mind on each issue because of the evidence.It is like everything is a court case, you are presented with the evidence and hear the experts explain the evidence and make up your mind on the issue. Lets say there is a murder trail where you present with a video of the suspect in the area, DNA evidence and their finger prints on the murder weapon. You probably conclude the suspect performed the murder.
Scientist apply this in their work. The notice the average temperature of the Earth is rising, some areas might be getting cooler from time to time but overall the temperature is raising, Glaciers all over the world keep melting, giant sheets of ice keep coming off the polls and the temperature of the oceans keeps raising. the obvious solution is that the Earth is getting warmer.
Today NASA announce that the Kepler space mission found a planet a closer to a twin of our own planet. This Planet orbits the star Kepler 452 and is named Kepler 452b. The star is 1.5 billion years older than the sun, about 20%bright than the sun and also 10% brighter. The planet orbits 5% further out than what the Earth orbits the sun, 1.6 times the radius of the Earth and orbits the star in 285 days. This mean it is within the goldilocks zone that is where water is likely to be in the liquid form. Right now we do not even know that there is water on the planet, We now need to find out what is in the atmosphere such as water. But we are getting closer to finding a twin to our own planet and maybe other civilizations.
Every once and while my interest in astronomy wanes and then there is something that sucks me back in like a black hole and today was one of those days. Today was the press conference from the team that sent the New horizons probe to Pluto. The discovered that there are mountains in southern part of the are they called the Tombaugh Regio (The heart shaped region on the Pluto), in this region are mountains 11.,000 ft tall that are made from rock hard ice covered with methane and other organic compounds. Also on Pluto and Charon there does not appear to be any impact craters which means the surface is relatively new covering up older impact craters. Since this means water must have flowed over the impact craters. But where is Pluto getting the energy to heat the water. The heat from the sun is too weak to do it, no tidal heating because you need something larger to tug on Pluto or Charon to create the tidal forces needed to do that. With organic molecules , an unknown energy source and possible liquid water in the interior could Pluto be on the same list of Europa, Titan and few other places in the solar but that is highly speculative.
Also on Charon there is a canyon that is about 4 miles deep. And the moon Hydra is a 28 x 19 miles long and highly reflective which means it mostly water ice.
About 4.5 billion orbits of the third planet around the main source of heat and light, clumps of mostly of ice and rock formed in the system. In this region the pieces of ice and rock collided, some broke into smaller and smaller pieces others formed larger and larger pieces. When some these pieces gained enough mass the force of gravity from one side attracted pieces from the other and these objects started to become spheres. Some of formed planets in the inner system, these were mostly made from rock. The next region of this system formed planets of rocky cores and layers and layers of hydrogen and helium. In between the objects of mostly rocky materials and the ones of mostly gas a belt of loss material formed. Further out another belt of small objects formed. These objects further out were composed of mostly of frozen substances that would be gases closer to the star in the center of the system. Some of these objects once and while would be nudged towards the center of the center of the system and when they got close to the star the ices would be released as gases. Particles of the star would be pushed away from the star and when the particles of the star hit particles of gases from the icy body a tail would form. One object in the outer belt formed into a sphere and a number of objects orbit around it, This object orbited the star once for every 217 the third rock from the star orbited the star once.
After about 4.5 billion orbits of the third rock living beings came about that could think about things around them. Some looked up at the sky at the many lights that would appear when the bigger light would go away. After time they noticed some these objects moved differently then the others. These lights wandered around while the others moved around in a regular way. After a long time they realized that they found more objects wondering around in the space around them and actually predicted where some of these objects should be before they found them. One of these objects a was a small icy sphere at the edge of the system. The beings began to send machines to the planets to get even a better look at them. The even sent a handful of beings to the object that orbited them. They eventually found more and more icy bodies out near icy body. The classification of the object was changed by the beings but the icy body didn’t notice. The beings sent a machine that would fly by the icy body with a little sample of the ashes of the being that found it only 85 years ago. As New Horizons fly by with a little bit Clyde. Pluto would care what is called, it will keep orbiting around the Sun.
While listening to latest episode of the skeptic zone I was reminded of an incident with my oldest niece. She at the time was in grade 4 so she was about 8 or 9. We were walking in the woods and all of a sudden she asks, “Davey, do you think birds evolved from dinosaurs?” This took me completely by surprise. Firstly her mother and grandmother are religious and don’t like evolution so I wondered where did she find out about that and how to approach this subject. I just answered that the evidence says yes but she said she believed god created them, A few moments later she goes.”since the trees are older than god. I think the trees made god.”
The other night I was listening to The Merseyside skeptics podcast Be Reasonable hosted by Michael Marshall interviewing Alan Butler. Mr. Alan idea is that the moon and the asteroid Ceres are artificial satellites designed and placed in their current orbits by time travelling future humans who are trying teach modern humans a lesson of some kind. These time travellers destroyed a planet 4 billon years ago called Vulcan and re-assembled some of these pieces to create the Moon and Ceres. One claim is that Ceres orbit is 2.73 more distance than the Earth to Sun distance. The distance between the Earth and Sun is 1 astronomical unit or AU. The distance of Ceres from the Sun changes as it goes through its orbit from its closest approach of 2.56 AU to 2,98 AU It does go through a point were it is 2.73 Au from the sun but that is a small part of its orbit. The reason that 2.73 is significant is that the moons orbital period around the Earth is 27.322 days and Mr. Butler claims that this means that the time travelling humans did this on purpose as a clue for us to figure out. Another clue is that the Earth is 81 times the mass of the moon and the moon is 81 times the mass of Ceres. The moon is actually 78.58 times the mass of Ceres. The densities of these objects are different which accounts for the difference in mass. There was a theoretical planet called Vulcan in the 1800’s to describe some issues with Mercury’s orbit but has been scrapped since general relativity showed you did not need any such planet. In the beginning of the solar system there could of been one or more planets in the region of the asteroid belt but these planets if they did exist were torn apart by Jupiter’s and the Sun’s gravity pulling in opposite directions. Also most of the mass of the asteroid belt has been ejected out of the solar system by these gravitational forces. Ceres is thought to have an rocky core a layer of liquid water and an icy crust which might allow life under the crust like the moons of Europa, Ganymede, Titan and Enceladus. The moon itself was formed after a Mars sized object collided with the Earth about 4.5 billion years ago. After the collision there was a cloud of molten rock that gathered together to form the moon. There could of been smaller objects that either joined with the moon or fall back to the Earth. Most of these facts and theories can be easily looked up on the internet. Mr Butler seems more interested in tying together ancient units together and numerology than anything else.
I am thinking of changing the name of the website one thought is astrotimer, combination of astronomy and maritimer.
For the two or three people who read this thing do you think it is a good idea share your thoughts in the comments.
The other night I was watching Dragons Den on the CBC. Dragons Den is a series where people who have businesses who need investment go one to pitch to five potential investors. One the pitchers were pitching an astrology system. Astrology is based on the idea that your life is determined by where the stars and planets are located on the day of your birth. The gravity from the stars would not actually effect you because it would be to weak to do anything. The further away you are from an object the less gravity it will have on an object because it obeys the inverse distance law. that is if an object is twice as far as it was in different location it will have one quarter the gravity. So a star which is light years away will have almost zero effect on an individual here on Earth. Also gravity is a vector so the gravity pulling on an object here on Earth is probably being counteracted by the gravity of an object on the other side Earth. The planets effect would be very similar as to the stars. The investor did invest in the company because astrology is held to high esteem is culture. There are a lot of people in all different cultures that do believe in astrology but that does not make it right, The investor probably will make money out of this scheme just for this fact but it is still bad science but probably a good investment.
The underlying premise of the series is very insulting, ancient peoples could not figure things out without alien intervention. No human farmer while he is out of doors for most of the day could figure out that the sun rises or sets in a different location each day. No one would notice that round objects move much better than flat objects or that the fats from plants or animals make thing slippery so you can move very large objects a lot easier. Some rocks fall into a fire or arranged around a fire to create a fire pit and some parts of the rocks get melted and people figure out that these materials are useful or just pretty. It was not instant it took thousands of years Humans have been around for over a million years, people have only lived in cities for about six thousand years, It humanity that long to get the point where they could grow enough food to support large groups of people. There probably have been thousands of dead ends that have not been recorded, just imagine all the dead from eating the wrong food, the wrong part or eating it the wrong way. A good example would be the potato which is part of nightshade family so it leaves are poisonous but part of the roots are edible when cooked. How many tries did it take to figure it out. The pyramids which were a huge achievement of ancient Egypt took several tries before the ones I Giza, they are several others which show how the design changed over time. A lot of civilizations said gods gave the people the knowledge but it was people who figure out things out so far in the past the ancients even forgot who found the knowledge. What we should do is to celebrate the people who figured everything out and not belittle their achievements by saying it was all giving to us by aliens.
With measles outbreaks in the US and in Canada we have what we really need to fight the disease. The disease is caused by weakened versions of the disease being injected into kids arms also this also helps spreads autism, not. But now an off license day care in the Ottawa area is now offering a vaccine free zone to prevent the spread of the disease.