Science Tidbits #4

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby scottydog » Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:10 pm

^^ Super cool! The April fools joke is on me. :thumbsup:
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby RJDiogenes » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:53 pm

^^ Good one. :lol:

The earliest example of this idea-- not counting religious mythology involving the sun-- that I'm aware of was Arthur C Clarke's short story "Out Of The Sun," which was written sometime prior to 1957. I read it in one of his anthologies back in the 60s or 70s. Basically scientists on a solar space station observe a solar flare and see what appears to be a life form inside, dissipating along with the flare.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby huggle » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:57 am

why shouldn't there be some sort of life? It might just be so different from our carbon and water based lifeforms that we don't recognize it.
In my experience, nature always thrives to people every possible habitat. For example, there are certain bacteria (archaea) that inhabit smoldering coal stockpiles. No april joke. Others live in incredible high pressure in volcanic fissures at the deepest bottom of the sea. Tardigrades can survive vacuum and hard radiation in space unprotected. They can be freeze dred and simply go on living once they get into contact with moisture again. The possibilities on our planet alone are endless. It'd be illogical to assume that other celestial bodies would bear no life at all. And why should the sun be an exception?
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby RJDiogenes » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:52 pm

Extremophiles do give hope to finding life on other planets. The only reason that the sun may be different is that the forces and energies there can tear things apart at the subatomic level. Any form of life would presumably need a level of organization that allows for both the storage of information and the abilities to respond to the environment and reproduce. I wonder if that is possible inside a star.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby Lupine » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:02 pm

^Maybe not inside a star but in the coronasphere.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby RJDiogenes » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:51 pm

Could be, I suppose. Maybe sunspots are are conventions or something. :D
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby huggle » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:06 pm

I'd rather say inside the star, since compared to the the sun's surface its inside is much colder (15.6 million K) and far less turbulent due to the high pressure. 50% of the core's mass is electrons so that a flux of information seems possible if we assume that alien brains would use electrical impulses like our nerves do. A magnetic brain would also be imaginable as the sun contains quite a lot of iron. Both systems would very likely be shifting with the core's electrical and magnetical currents (assuming there are any) so that no long-term memory could be achieved and they'd completely cease to work if the organism left the sun's core and entered the hotter layers with a lower pressure - they'd vaporize.

Hmm, this might make a rather nice background for a SciFi story. What if the core itself is a sort of brain and the sun gradually develops the equivalent of Altzheimer's desease while it is burning out?
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby RJDiogenes » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:54 pm

^^ That's what I was thinking when you mentioned the core. The sun might be a brain. :eek:

Of course, then we'd have to figure out what it's thinking about. Unless it has some kind of senses, it would live in isolation with no motivation to develop language or philosophy or anything. But what if it is somehow in communication with other stars?
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby huggle » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:18 am

Without communication, the brain would sooner or later go mad (assuming stellar psychology works like terrestrian one). If we follow that line of thought we might conclude that brown dwarfs would all be insane.
Solar flares and outbreaks of radiation could serve as a means of communication. Like morse code or data packets. This would also explain the high flux of microwaves throughout the galaxy. The jet streams coming out of both sides of the black hole in the middle of galaxies might connect them, like servers in a network or a series of relay stations.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby RJDiogenes » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:22 pm

We're onto a cool idea here. The universe is really a network of ancient atomic brains, communicating unknowable thoughts across the light years, and probably not even aware of us.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby huggle » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:15 am

we're probably considered a sort of mites. Something that keeps itching and that you will tolerate only for so long.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby RJDiogenes » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:46 pm

We're Cootie Sapiens. :unsure:
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby RJDiogenes » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:04 pm

Well, this is pretty exciting. Astronomers have detected evidence of an atmosphere around Gliese 1132b, the Earth-like planet that was announced recently. More details aren't likely to be forthcoming until the new space telescope goes up next year, but it's encouraging to know that it has an atmosphere at all, given that they kind of expected the powerful stellar winds to have degraded it by now. Also, the observations are consistent with a water world and a steamy atmosphere. That really increases the possibility of life. :yes:
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby Lupine » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:20 pm

Still it's a pretty warm place that had been dismissed earlier because of the heat. However the water vapor is intriguing since at the predicted temps water should have broken into hydrogen and oxygen- like what happened to Venus eons ago.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby scottydog » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:36 am

That's really exciting. Someone had better invent the warp drive so that we can realistically travel to these class-M planets.

And speaking of aliens, here's a NY Post article about astronauts who are convinced that intelligent life has already visited us. http://nypost.com/2017/04/06/these-nasa ... 19e3a2d0d6
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby Lupine » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:06 pm

Of course astronauts have been known to drive across the country in diapers to try and kill someone. :lol:
But seriously, astronauts are regular people who can hold unusual opinions like everyone else.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby RJDiogenes » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:36 pm

scottydog wrote:That's really exciting. Someone had better invent the warp drive so that we can realistically travel to these class-M planets.

Set course for the planet Sauna. Bring a towel.

And speaking of aliens, here's a NY Post article about astronauts who are convinced that intelligent life has already visited us. http://nypost.com/2017/04/06/these-nasa ... 19e3a2d0d6

"[T]heir appearance is bizarre from any type of traditional materialistic Western point of view.” I wonder what this means. :unsure:

Lupine wrote:Of course astronauts have been known to drive across the country in diapers to try and kill someone. :lol:

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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby Lupine » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:08 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:"[T]heir appearance is bizarre from any type of traditional materialistic Western point of view.” I wonder what this means. :unsure:

That he's nuts would be my first guess. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby RJDiogenes » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:57 pm

About sums it up. :lol:

And Phil Plait has written about the planet Sauna.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby Lupine » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:09 pm

I don't get to his site much now that he moved. I'm still curious about the water vapor and where it might be coming from. The day side I'm assuming is where the 700 degree heat is, but I wonder about the night side.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby RJDiogenes » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:11 pm

Yeah, planets just are not behaving the way we expected them to. :unsure:

The site he's at now is the Sciffy Channel news site (formerly Blastr). I have the app on my iPhone. They publish genre-related news items, mostly having to do with TV and movies. It's depressing to note that I am completely uninterested in 99% of it.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby scottydog » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:56 am

Yeah, that 700 degree temperature worries me a little. Chocolate melts at 80 degrees, and I begin to melt at 90. So let's find planets that are between 60 and 80 degrees at all times. :lol:
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby RJDiogenes » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:07 pm

The high temperature is disappointing, since the planet is supposed to be in the habitable zone, but that doesn't preclude life. And if it's really tidally locked, then the atmosphere may redistribute the heat between the day and night sides, lowering the average temperature.

In other news, the Hubble team has apparently observed Europa venting. It went something like, "Forget about Enceladus-- I have a much bigger and more stable ocean and much better tidal forces, so I'm much more likely to have life. Sorry, just had to get that off my chest."
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby Lupine » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:19 pm

^ :lol:

A lot of hoopla about Enceladus today about its ocean, but nothing that we didn't really know already- except maybe for the molecular hydrogen. However it's been mentioned that microbes often consume molecular hydrogen so I think this may actually diminish the chances of life there.
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Re: Science Tidbits #4

Postby RJDiogenes » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:23 pm

Of course, we don't know what other biological processes may evolve in other environments. But there are definitely more encouraging gases than hydrogen. I still have high hopes for those plumes of methane that are detected on Mars in the Springtime.
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