A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘space science

[PHOTO] Three photos of two meteorites at the AMNH (@amnh)

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Ahnighito, a fragment of the massive Cape York meteorite that itself masses 31 tons, is immense. The fact that the museum was able to transfer this fragment from its Greenland home to here is itself an achievement. The displayed fragment of the similar Sikhote-Alin meteorite, which impacted the Russian Maritime Territory in 1947 is smaller, but the fact of these fragments’ existence–shards of solid iron bodies sheared into pieces by the force of impact–is humbling. The universe is so vast.

Me and Ahnighito #newyorkcity #newyork #manhattan #ahnighito #ahnighitometerorite #meteorite #iron #amnh #americanmuseumofnaturalhistory #latergram #greenland

Ahnighito #newyorkcity #newyork #manhattan #amnh #ahnighito #ahnighitometeorite #greenland #meteorite #americanmuseumofnaturalhistory #latergram

Fragment of Sikhote-Alin #newyorkcity #newyork #manhattan #amnh #sikhotealin #meteorite #iron #siberia #russianfareast #primorye #americanmuseumofnaturalhistory #latergram

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[NEWS] Five links on life and intelligence both near and far: ‘Oumuamua, ET, blue whales, orangutans

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  • Craig Welch at National Geographic notes how scientists, by carefully decoding the songs of blue whales, are figuring out how they are leading their lives.
  • Sarah Gibbens at National Geographic notes a new study suggesting that, since 1999, hunting and environmental devastation has reduced the orangutan population of Borneo by almost half, by 150 thousand individuals. This sounds almost like genocide.
  • Universe Today notes evidence that ‘Oumuamua had a very violent past.
  • Nadia Drake at National Geographic explores the recent study suggesting that, unless there were signs of menace, most people actually would react well to news of extraterrestrial life.
  • Vikram Zutshi at Open Democracy recently suggested that contact with extraterrestrial intelligence could be good for the Earth, might even help us save it. Certainly this civilization would have survived the Great Filter; certainly it’s a corrective to lazy assumptions of automatic menace.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • Caitlin Kelly at the Broadside Blog offers some advice as to how to cope with rejection.
  • Centauri Dreams shares Robert Zubrin’s take on the Drake Equation, and on ways it is lacking and could be improved.
  • Crooked Timber looks at a book examining (among other things) the interactions of libertarian economists with racism and racist polities.
  • D-Brief notes a study suggesting that, actually, people would react positively and with a minimum of panic to the discovery of extraterrestrial life.
  • Dangerous Minds takes a look at Chandra Oppenheim, an artist who at the age of 12 in 1980 released an amazing post-punk album.
  • Gizmodo responds to the news that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are roughly the same mass.
  • JSTOR Daily reports on the effects of the dingo fence in Australia on native wildlife there.
  • Language Hat notes a new statistical analysis of literature that has found one of the sources of Shakespeare’s language.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how Trump’s many affairs make him eminently blackmailable.
  • The LRB Blog reports on why academic workers in the United Kingdom are getting ready to strike on behalf of their pension rights, starting next week.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the sharp ongoing decline in the population of Bulgaria, and wonders what can be done. What need be done, in fact, if Bulgarians as individuals are happy?
  • Anastasia Edel writes about the Russian-American community, and what it is like being Russian-American in the era of Trump, over at the NYR Daily.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that there seems to be no periodicity in extinction events, that there is no evidence of a cycle.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares photos of rings around a distant galaxy’s central black hole.
  • Inspired by Finland’s Olympic team, the Toronto Public Library’s The Buzz shares some interesting books on knitting and for knitters.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the surprising news that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies actually have the same mass. This changes everything about what was thought about the future of the Local Group. D-Brief also reports on this news.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how the conversion of tobacco fields into solar farms is not just potentially life-saving but economically viable, too.
  • Language Hat rounds up links relevant to the discovery, by field linguists, of the Malaysian language of Jedek.
  • Lingua Franca, at the Chronicle of Higher Education, shares a story from Lucy Ferris of Paris of old and the bookstore Shakespeare and Company.
  • The LRB Blog notes that the privatization of military officers’ housing in the United Kingdom was another disaster.
  • Marginal Revolution considers if Los Angeles is the most right-wing major American city, and what that actually means.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that, even in the face of subsidence in Groningen around gas fields and cheap wind energy, even the Netherlands is not moving away from oil and gas.
  • Drew Rowsome reports on porn star/actor Chris Harder and his new show, Porn To Be A Star. (NSFW.)
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel examines the factors which distinguish a good scientific theory from a bad one.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy makes a decent argument that the politicized pop culture fandom around supreme court judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg is not good for the future of jurisprudence.
  • John Scalzi, at Whatever, reviews the new Pixel Buds from Google.

[NEWS] Five sci-tech links: cometary disasters, ET malware, Kepler, bird language, Canadian rockets

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  • Universe Today notes that, 12.8 thousand years ago, a disintegrating comet set a tenth of the Earth’s surface area on fire.
  • Should messages from extraterrestrial civilizations be automatically deleted on reception, for fear of their malware? Universe Today reports.
  • 14 different worlds detected by Kepler have been scanned for technological signatures of advanced civilizations. Universe Today reports.
  • Brandom Keim at National Geographic describes a fascinating study suggesting some birds–here, Japanese tits–have human-like rules for language and can picture in their mind’s eye the subjects of their communication.
  • CBC asks the perfectly sensible question why Canada does not have any indigenous rocket program.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • The Buzz recommends twenty-four different novels for Valentine’s Day, drawing on the recommendations of employees of the Toronto Public Library.
  • Centauri Dreams links to a new paper suggesting there are thousands of objects of extrasolar origin, some tens of kilometres in size, in our planetary system right now.
  • D-Brief notes that cryptocurrency is hindering the search for extraterrestrial life, as miners buy up the graphics cards SETI researchers need.
  • Lyman Stone at In A State of Migration notes how unbalanced the marriage market can be for professional women in the United States interested in similar partners, especially for African-American women.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how deeply the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. for racial equality in the United States were driven by anti-colonial nationalism in Africa.
  • The LRB Blog notes how the life and writing of Penelope Fitzgerald was influenced by two decades of living on the English coast, suspended between land and water.
  • At the NYR Daily, Melissa Chadburn tells of what she learned from counting, and queueing, and perservering in routines.
  • At The Numerati, Stephen Baker shares an excerpt from his new book, Dark Site, describing a teenager’s attempts to control a cognitive implant.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer takes issue with elements of the timing of Lyman Stone’s schedule for immigration controls imposed in the United Kingdom on Caribbean migrants.
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Emily Lakdawalla explains how scientists are keeping the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in good stead despite its age.
  • At Roads and Kingdoms, Timi Siytangco explains the history of the Philippines through nine Filipino foods.
  • Drew Rowsome is impressed by the power of The Assassination of Gianni Versace.
  • Ethan Siegel at Starts With A Bang explains why black holes have to contain singularities, not merely superdense normal matter.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the rather misogynistic essay of ideologue Vladimir Surkin about women and power, timed for Valentine’s Day.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Yesterday, James Bow celebrated the 16th anniversary of his blog.
  • Centauri Dreams shares some of the latest probe imagery from the Kuiper Belt.
  • D-Brief notes the amount of energy used in bitcoin mining in Iceland is set to surpass the energy used by Iceland’s human population. This cannot be a viable trajectory.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the steady expansion of China’s nascent space industry, with Wenchang on the southern island of Hainan being a particular focus.
  • Drone360 notes that, in certain conditions, drones can make parcel deliveries at a lower environmental cost than traditional courier methods.
  • io9 notes Wesley Snipes’ observations as to why Blade is not more generally recognized as the first big superhero film.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the various influences, from those of formal portraiture to African-American folk culture, in the recent Amy Sherald painting of Michelle Obama and her dress.
  • Language Hat notes the publication of a new collection of the poems of Juan Latino, an African slave in 16th century Spain who went on to become a free man and leading poet.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the appalling treatment that many national parks in the US are going to experience, deprived of professional management and opened to development.
  • Lingua Franca, at the Chronicle of Higher Education, notes how on Valentine’s Day there is such a close and visible link between hearts and ashes.
  • The LRB Blog notes outbursts of racism and fascism in Italy following a murder of an Italian by an immigrant.
  • Leon Aron at the NYR Daily looks at the past century of millennarianism in the politics of countries on the edge, from Lenin to ISIS.
  • Towleroad notes how Burberry has introduced the colours of the LGBTQ rainbow to its plaid in its February 2018 collection, as a fundraiser for charity.
  • Window on Eurasia notes a demographer who predicts, on the basis of reliable demographic trends, a sharp uptick in the Muslim proportion of the Russian population in coming decades.