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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘astronomy

[NEWS] Five space science links: Moon, Mars, Planet Nine, white dwarfs, black holes

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  • Quanta Magazine looks at the latest theories seeking to explain the origins of the Moon. (At the very least, the collision that did form the Moon may have ben much more violent than originally thought.)
  • Mars may be smaller than Venus and Earth because, in the early solar system, much mass was directed away from its orbit by the gas and ice giants. Universe Today reports.
  • Gizmodo notes the discovery of another Kuiper Belt object with a strange orbit pointing to the possibility of Planet Nine.
  • The Gaia satellite has turned up evidence for nearly fourteen thousand white dwarfs within 100 parsecs of our sun, a huge increase in numbers. Universe Today reports.
  • The work and the thinking that went into proving the idea of thousands of black holes in close orbit of Sagittarius A* at the heart of our galaxy is impressive. Universe Today reports.
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[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Anthrodendum recommends design researcher Jan Chipchase’s Field Study Handbook for anthropologists interested in field practice.
  • Architectuul investigates strange similarities between buildings built in far-removed parts of the world.
  • Centauri Dreams takes a look at TESS, the next generation of exoplanet-hunting satellite.
  • Crooked Timber investigates the connections between the spiritualism of the 19th century and the fiction of the uncanny.
  • D-Brief notes the many names, often delightful, that newly-discovered locations on Mercury and Charon have received.
  • Cody Delistraty investigates two exhibitions of French satirists, including Charlie Hedo’s Georges Wolinski, to examine the nature of satire.
  • The Dragon’s Tales considers the possibility of cryomagna leaving marks on the surface of Europa.
  • Drew Ex Machina takes a look at the strangely alien skies of TRAPPIST-1e. What would its sun look like? How would the other planets appear?
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog takes a look at the new prominence of multigenerational households in the United States. While a response to economic strains, it also looks back to past traditions.
  • Hornet Stories notes how, on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Monet X Change gave a decent explanation behind the surprisingly recent birth of the modern British accent.
  • Imageo notes how a massive blob of warm water is rising to the surface of the Pacific.
  • At In A State of Migration, Lyman Stone explores the unique population history of Maine, to my eyes easily the most Atlantic Canadian of the fifty American states.
  • JSTOR Daily links to a paper exploring why modern video games can produce such rewarding experiences for players. (We can get meaning from many places.)
  • Language Log takes a look at the complexity of Chinese language classifications with a song by Yishi Band. What exactly is Yibin Sichuanese?
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money takes a look at an interesting question: When did Jews in the United States become white?
  • The LRB Blog takes a look at the baffling reasons behind the poisoning of the Skribins with Novichok, and the science behind it.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that this year, GDP per capita measured at PPP in Spain is higher than in Italy. (This probably says more about the disarray in Italy.)
  • The NYR Daily shares an interesting interview with cartoonist Art Spiegelman.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw tells of his experiences on a trip to the small Australian city of Armidale, in the region of New England.
  • Justin Petrone reflects on the tidy and clean, minimalist even, rural landscape of Estonia.
  • Progressive Download’s John Farrell notes brain scans that provide evidence of consciousness even in very young infants.
  • Drew Rowsome praises the Toronto production of the musical Fun Home, based on the Alison Bechdel graphic novel. I, for one, can’t wait to see it.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that, although Proxima Centauri is far too active a star for Proxima Centauri b to be Earth-like, that world could still plausibly host life-supporting environments.
  • Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy suggests a recent deal at the federal level in the US between Trump and Cory Gardner has created space for states to legalize marijuana without fear of federal intervention.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Centauri Dreams shares a cool design for a mid-21st century Triton landing mission.
  • Crooked Timber argues American conservative intellectuals have descended to hackwork.
  • D-Brief notes the surprisingly important role that eyebrows may have played in human evolution.
  • Dead Things notes how a hominid fossil discovery in the Arabian desert suggests human migration to Africa occurred almost 90 thousand years ago, longer than previously believed.
  • Hornet Stories notes that biphobia in the LGBTQ community is one factor discouraging bisexuals from coming out.
  • At In Media Res, Russell Arben Fox gives a favourable review to Wendell Berry’s latest, The Art of Loading Brush.
  • JSTOR Daily explores the connections between Roman civilization and poisoning as a means for murder.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how the early 20th century American practice of redlining, denying minorities access to good housing, still marks the maps of American cities.
  • The LRB Blog notes how the 1948 assassination of reformer Gaitan in Bogota changed Colombia and Latin America, touching the lives of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Fidel Castro.
  • The Map Room Blog notes that Spacing has launched a new contest, encouraging creators of inventive maps of Canadian cities to do their work.
  • The NYR Daily notes a new exhibit of Victorian art that explores its various mirrored influences, backwards and forwards.
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Jason Davis explores TESS, the next generation of planet-hunting astronomy satellite from NASA.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel shares photos of planetary formation around sun-like star TW Hydrae.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that a combination of urbanization, Russian government policy, and the influence of pop culture is killing off minority languages in Russia.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • ‘Nathan Burgoine at Apostrophen links to a giveaway of paranormal LGBT fiction.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares some stunning photos of Jupiter provided by Juno.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly looks at the desperate, multi-state strike of teachers in the United States. American education deserves to have its needs, and its practitioners’ needs, met.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at PROCSIMA, a strategy for improving beamed propulsion techniques.
  • Crooked Timber looks at the history of the concept of the uncanny valley. How did the concept get translated in the 1970s from Japan to the wider world?
  • Dangerous Minds shares a 1980s BBC interview with William Burroughs.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper tracing the origin of the Dravidian language family to a point in time 4500 years ago.
  • JSTOR Daily notes Phyllis Wheatley, a freed slave who became the first African-American author in the 18th century but who died in poverty.
  • Language Hat notes the exceptional importance of the Persian language in early modern South Asia.
  • Language Log looks at the forms used by Chinese to express the concepts of NIMBY and NIMBYism.
  • Language Hat notes the exceptional importance of the Persian language in early modern South Asia.
  • The NYR Daily notes that, if the United States junks the nuclear deal with Iran, nothing external to Iran could realistically prevent the country’s nuclearization.
  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at the latest findings from the Jupiter system, from that planet’s planet-sized moons.
  • Roads and Kingdoms notes that many Rohingya, driven from their homeland, have been forced to work as mules in the illegal drug trade.
  • Starts With A Bang considers how early, based on elemental abundances, life could have arisen after the Big Bang. A date only 1 to 1.5 billion years after the formation of the universe is surprisingly early.
  • Strange Maps’ Frank Jacobs notes how the centre of population of different tree populations in the United States has been shifting west as the climate has changed.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little takes a look at mechanisms and causal explanations.
  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative’s Frances Woolley takes a look at an ECON 1000 test from the 1950s. What biases, what gaps in knowledge, are revealed by it?

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait suggests that strange markings in the upper atmosphere of Venus might well be evidence of life in that relatively Earth-like environment.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly raves over Babylon Berlin.
  • Centauri Dreams considers, fifty years after its publication, Clarke’s 2001.
  • Crooked Timber considers Kevin Williamson in the context of conservative intellectual representation more generally.
  • D-Brief considers “digisexuality”, the fusion of the digital world with sexuality. (I think we’re quite some way off, myself.)
  • The Dragon’s Tales considers evidence suggesting that the agricultural revolution in ancient Anatolia was achieved without population replacement from the Fertile Crescent.
  • Drew Ex Machina takes a look at the flight of Apollo 6, a flight that helped iron out problem with the Saturn V.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas is not impressed by the idea of the trolley problem, as something that allows for the displacement of responsibility.
  • Gizmodo explains why the faces of Neanderthals were so different from the faces of modern humans.
  • JSTOR Daily considers if volcano-driven climate change helped the rise of Christianity.
  • Language Log considers, after Spinoza, the idea that vowels are the souls of consonants.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money engages in a bit of speculation: What would have happened had Clinton won? (Ideological gridlock, perhaps.)
  • Lovesick Cyborg explores how the advent of the cheap USB memory stick allowed North Koreans to start to enjoy K-Pop.
  • Russell Darnley considers the transformation of the forests of Indonesia’s Riau forest from closed canopy forest to plantations.
  • The Map Room Blog shares some praise of inset maps.
  • Neuroskeptic considers how ketamine may work as an anti-depressant.
  • The NYR Daily considers student of death, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.
  • Justin Petrone of north! shares an anecdote from the Long Island coastal community of Greenport.
  • Personal Reflection’s Jim Belshaw considers the iconic Benjamin Wolfe painting The Death of General Wolfe.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Casey Dreier notes cost overruns for the James Webb Space Telescope.
  • pollotenchegg maps recent trends in natural increase and decrease in Ukraine.
  • Roads and Kingdoms talks about a special Hverabrauð in Iceland, baked in hot springs.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel shares his own proposal for a new Drake Equation, revised to take account of recent discoveries.
  • Vintage Space considers how the American government would have responded if John Glenn had died in the course of his 1962 voyage into space.
  • Window on Eurasia considers the belief among many Russians that had Beria, not Khrushchev, succeeded Stalin, the Soviet Union might have been more successful.

[NEWS] Five science links: Ukraine in space, Archean Earth, oceans of Mars, looking for life, Icarus

  • Ukraine is interested in funding spaceport developments in Australia. Transitions Online reports.
  • National Geographic notes evidence that the influx of oxygen into the Archean atmosphere more than two billion years ago was–geologically, at least–quite sudden.
  • Universe Today notes that volcanism on early Mars may have helped fill that planet’s primordial oceans.
  • National Geographic takes a look at the various strategies hypothetical extraterrestrial civilizations could adopt to find life–even us–from a great distance.
  • The discovery of Icarus, a discrete blue supergiant star detected nine billion light-years away, is a triumph of modern astronomy. VICE reports.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Kambiz Kamrani at Anthropology.net notes new research suggesting that all modern Australian Aborigine languages descend from a single ancestor more than ten thousands years ago.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly considers the search for one’s spiritual home.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the planned ESA ARIEL mission, intended to study exoplanet formation and atmospheres.
  • Crooked Timber considers the prospects for the university in the United Kingdom, post-strike.
  • D-Brief notes a study suggesting the worlds of TRAPPIST-1 might be too wet, too water-rich, to sustain life.
  • Cody Delistraty shares an interview with Nancy Jo Sales on everything from childhood to Facebook.
  • Dead Things notes the discovery of human footprints on the seafloor off of British Columbia, predating the Ice Age.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes the possibility that ocean worlds in the “ice cap zone” could manage to support life
  • Drew Ex Machina takes a look at the observations to date of near-Jovian analogue world Epsilon Indi Ab.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes ambitious plans by one private space development company to set up a functioning cislunar economy.
  • Hornet Stories notes the upcoming re-release of Garbage’s second album, Version 2.0.
  • In A State of Migration’s Lyman Stone takes a look at the regional origins of German immigrants to the US in the mid-19th century.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Grindr shares private user data with third parties that, among other things, would allow them to determine the HIV status of different individuals.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the struggle for equal civil rights in Alaska, as indigenous people fought for equality.
  • The NYR Daily reports on an interesting exhibit of post-Second World War modern art from Germany.