Grossman: “… since 2006, we’ve learned that Pluto has an atmosphere and maybe even clouds. It has mountains made of water ice, fields of frozen nitrogen, methane snow–capped peaks, and dunes and volcanoes. “It’s a dynamic, complex world unlike any other orbiting the sun,” journalist Christopher Crockett wrote in Science News in 2015 when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto.”
Does the next 30 years of astronomy in the U.S. depend on a single report? So they say. And all isn’t well.
Lisa Grossman: This model assumes that when you look at large enough volumes of space — above about 1 billion light-years — matter is distributed evenly.
The remarkable thing is that we haven’t found so much as a fossil bacterium in recent Mars samples. The belief that whatever’s weird out there must be aliens is a sheer act of faith. The same people who would dismiss massive evidence for design in the universe and life forms believe in ET with no evidence at all. That’s probably because, at heart, their commitment is one of the few types of religion that naturalism permits.
Newton. The latest year zero reset target, as Telegraph reports: Sir Isaac Newton has been labelled as a potential beneficiary of “colonial-era activity” in draft plans to “decolonise” the engineering curriculum at Sheffield University. Students learning about the mathematician and scientist’s three laws of motion, the core of modern physics, could see changes in their Read More…
A pair of researchers with Indiana University and Illinois University, respectively, has developed a theory that suggests crystalizing uranium “snowflakes” deep inside white dwarfs could instigate an explosion large enough to destroy the star. (No, it doesn’t matter much but it’s Saturday night.)
Researcher: “It’s like going into a boutique shop and just browsing the inventory on the front-end without ever knowing there was a back room. We’ve been collecting little molecules for 50 years or so and now we have discovered there’s a back door. When we opened that door and looked in, we found this giant warehouse of molecules and chemistry that we did not expect,” said McGuire.
It’s curious how folklore can prevail for ages in science as long as it has a naturalistic origin. Maybe Top People shouldn’t count on everyone just forgetting that now.
Okay re the importance of reproducibility but it was never clear why Oumuamua was supposed to be ET anyway. More Oumuamuas would not make it more likely.
At Nature: The researchers found that the objects’ orbits could be explained without the presence of a nearby planet.
Classically, it shouldn’t have happened.
Researchers: At this distance, PSO J0309+27 is seen as it was when the universe was less than a billion years old, or just over 7 percent of its current age.
From Max Planck Society: “There is as yet no explanation as to how a body as flat as Arrokoth could emerge from this process,” says Rezac. ” Note: No one has so far claimed that it an “extraterrestrial lightsail.” Or a space alien’s experiment. What’s going wrong here? 😉
Among other sources, the Daily Mail hails it as the Star of Bethlehem.
The stuff that comes out of Harvard these days and gets published in Scientific American used to be tabloid news. What has changed?