Science Tidbits #5

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Science Tidbits #5

Postby Lupine » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:25 pm

And starting off the new thread we have some cold water to throw.

Not unexpected but still slightly disappointing.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby huggle » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:58 am

Well, definitely not a signal from an intelligent civilisation :D
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby scottydog » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:53 am

I wonder when we will ever make first contact. Or if we already have.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby Lupine » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:56 pm

It might be fairly soon, though I'm certain that it won't be like people expect. The problem is that aliens will likely be so alien we'll have little point of reference to work with. That doesn't mean they'll be hostile, but it might mean that they'll ignore us.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby RJDiogenes » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:21 pm

Lupine wrote:And starting off the new thread we have some cold water to throw.

Not unexpected but still slightly disappointing.

Ah, well, it's always fun while it lasts. :(

huggle wrote:Well, definitely not a signal from an intelligent civilisation :D

It was probably a Trump tweet. :lol:

scottydog wrote:I wonder when we will ever make first contact. Or if we already have.

I think we'll find definitive proof of extraterrestrial life long before any contact with an alien civilization-- I expect they will be quite rare.

Lupine wrote:It might be fairly soon, though I'm certain that it won't be like people expect. The problem is that aliens will likely be so alien we'll have little point of reference to work with.

That's what I always wonder. We may make contact, but it could be centuries before we can communicate anything beyond "We both exist."

That doesn't mean they'll be hostile, but it might mean that they'll ignore us.

That's one of the things that occurred to me about Tabby's Star. If there really is a Dyson Sphere there, it's probably not a good bet for communicating-- any civilization that builds a Dyson Sphere is probably pretty introverted.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby huggle » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:49 am

I doubt we'd recognize an intelligent life form if we met it. After all, there are plenty of intelligent species on our own planet (whales, dolphins, ravens, crows, rats, gorillas, orang utans and chimpanzees and who knows how many more) and they still are being hunted, killed or kept in zoos.
Humans are sadly prejudiced and tend to think that in order to count as intelligent, a being needs to be able to do space travel and advanced mathematics + speak in an audible frequency and in whole sentences (a definition which excludes rather a lot of people I know).
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby RJDiogenes » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:55 pm

That's true. If we visited another planet, we may not recognize an intelligent species. On the other hand, if they do use technology, that would be a giveaway-- and that's pretty much the only chance we have of spotting them at interstellar distances.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby Lupine » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:22 pm

Just a reminder: There's an eclipse this month.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby RJDiogenes » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:40 pm

That was sexy. Yes, I'm weird. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby Lupine » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:51 pm

Nerdy with red hair, yeah I hear ya. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby RJDiogenes » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:51 pm

And a lab coat. :sweetlove:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby Lupine » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:17 pm

Looks like two planets I have been using in my books (Leandra and Grisgelée) have been Discovered. :unsure:

If one of them turns out to have a living atmosphere, I will faint. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby RJDiogenes » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:05 pm

Wow, Tau Ceti has Earth-like planets. That's great.

My alien species, the Hardshells, come from the planet Albumen at Tau Ceti. If that outermost planet spins three times as fast as Earth and has a single continent around the equator, then I'll faint. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby RJDiogenes » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:33 pm

Looks like TRAPPIST-1 is one to five billion years older than Earth. Which means that its alien civilizations are either way more advanced than us or killed themselves off before life even evolved here.

Also, this is pretty cool:

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby Lupine » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:04 pm

^Music of the spheres indeed.

RJDiogenes wrote:Looks like TRAPPIST-1 is one to five billion years older than Earth. Which means that its alien civilizations are either way more advanced than us or killed themselves off before life even evolved here.

Multiple civilizations could have come and gone in that time. The system might have quite an exciting history as one civilization arises, possibly colonizing and climateforming other worlds in the system. That civilization falling and a new one coming into existence and finding remnants of the previous civilizations on the other worlds. Or perhaps colonists to the other worlds being the only survivors of a calamity, rebuilding, and discovering to their shock that they originated from another planet.
Thrilling just to think about.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby RJDiogenes » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:19 pm

It really is. The history of Earth is overwhelming-- this one system could have several planets each with multiple times the history of Earth.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby huggle » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:34 pm

I happened to watch a short programme about entropy and that lead to a few questions.
In that programme they said that the whole universe strives to get more and more entropic. However, the first thermodynamic law states that everything strives to level its temperature with its surroundiungs, so that in a few gazillion years the whole universe has one and the same temperature throughout.
If everything had the same temperature, all the atoms would by definition swing at the same rate. This, however, would mean there is a marked lack of entropy and a maximum of order. It contradicts the basic axiom that everything strives to be at a maximum rate of disorder.

Second problem:
If the universe gets more entropic all the time, it can be concluded that once there was a time of minimal entropy. That's ok with me but in that programme they claimed that there was even a time of no entropy at all. A complete and absolute order and balance. They said that was the big bang (or perhaps a nanosecond earlier).
Yet, how can something that is in perfect balance explode? In my opinion that could only be the case if there was some sort of external influence that kicked the system off balance. However, if such an external force existed, it would automatically mean that not everything was in balance. The mere existance of said force or entity would already be an entropy in itself.

Do you have any ideas how these two paradoxons can be solved? It appears to be clear to the scientists but to someone who relies on common sense it all sounds pretty illogical.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby RJDiogenes » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:18 pm

In terms of entropy, it's probably just definitions of terms. The Wiki page on entropy will make your head explode with logarithms and joules and state changes and so on. But I read a story one time where the initial Big Bang was caused by a state of zero entropy and when the universe had expanded and cooled to the point where it had reached zero entropy again-- there was an even Bigger Bang.

As far as the cause of the Big Bang, that's the mystery. Personally, I think the only explanation is that the observable universe exists in a larger context and causality is just a local phenomenon.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby Lupine » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:07 pm

I heard one theory that the Big Bang was the result of a virtual particle coming into existence on a grand scale. But RJ's right: there's probably a super-reality out there we're unaware of.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby huggle » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:16 am

Since the universe does have a border, I think it's safe to assume that it's the contents of something bigger.
I hadn't thought of the possibility that our laws of physics might not apply to the universe's shell. Good idea and a pretty good basis for SciFi :)

LOL I really need more sleep - the idea of looking entropy up in the Wikipedia didn't appear to me at all. I just went on what I remembered of my physics and chemistry lessons at the university 30 years ago :blush:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby Lupine » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:47 pm

huggle wrote:Since the universe does have a border, I think it's safe to assume that it's the contents of something bigger.
I hadn't thought of the possibility that our laws of physics might not apply to the universe's shell. Good idea and a pretty good basis for SciFi :)

Yeah the concept of a Level 2 and/or a Level 4 Multiverse covers that area.
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby RJDiogenes » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:54 pm

Lupine wrote:I heard one theory that the Big Bang was the result of a virtual particle coming into existence on a grand scale.

Interesting theory. :D

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Lupine wrote:Yeah the concept of a Level 2 and/or a Level 4 Multiverse covers that area.

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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby Lupine » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:56 pm

^ :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby RJDiogenes » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:26 pm

There's my sequel. :thinking:
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Re: Science Tidbits #5

Postby Lupine » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:29 pm

Some 5.7 million year old tracks have been found.... in Crete! :jawdrop:
Granted as the author points out the Mediterranean had mostly dried at that point, allowing someone to literally walk from Africa to Europe, but this is likely evidence of the oldest Hominin (the group formally known as Hominids) outside of Africa. The article points to the possibility of Hominins originating in Europe but I think it's a little too early to assume that. Still this is a very early horizon and shows that our ancestors were far more cosmopolitan than previously assumed.
But it does bring the question to mind: These footprints were made just at the time the Mediterranean was flooding again. What came of those trapped on the island? :unsure:
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