SPACE!!!!

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SPACE!!!!

Postby professor science » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:50 pm

I needed to start an entirely new topic for this. The realm outside of our little blue sphere is undeniably magnificent.

Here's a composite/time lapse video made from photos taken by the Messenger space craft as it passed by Earth on its way to Mercury.




The Mercury-bound MESSENGER spacecraft captured several stunning images of Earth during a gravity assist swingby of its home planet on Aug. 2, 2005. Several hundred images, taken with the wide-angle camera in MESSENGER's Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS), were sequenced into a movie documenting the view from MESSENGER as it departed Earth.

Comprising 358 frames taken over 24 hours, the movie follows Earth through one complete rotation. The spacecraft was 40,761 miles (65,598 kilometers) above South America when the camera started rolling on Aug. 2. It was 270,847 miles (435,885 kilometers) away from Earth - farther than the Moon's orbit - when it snapped the last image on Aug. 3.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/s...


These are real pictures, people. :shock:
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Re: SPACE!!!!

Postby wide_load » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:39 am

I can see my house!
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Re: SPACE!!!!

Postby mushroom_curry » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:04 am

"Never forget one's own insignificance"


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Re: SPACE!!!!

Postby professor science » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:13 am

Went outside this morning to see this beautiful arrangement of the waning crescent Moon and Venus.

Image
Image

Yes, these images were captured with a potato.
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Re: SPACE!!!!

Postby mushroom_curry » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:39 pm

so sick
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Exoplanets

Postby professor science » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:36 pm

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In this graphic, the coloured stars are all the stars within 100 light years of Earth with known planets orbiting them (click the pic to gigantise). The colours correspond to the stars spectral classification (they are classified by surface temperature: "cool" = red, "hot" = blue). [Here is a link to the source article with other graphics showing other stars with exoplanets (coloured by distance): http://phl.upr.edu/library/media/mapofn ... exoplanets]

Of the observed stars, the data averages to 1.6 planets per star. If this holds true and further research doesn't alter this average too significantly (which is possible, but would probably be unexpected) then there are 480 billion planets within our galaxy alone (~300 billion stars ± 100 billion). Earth is then 1/480 000 000 000.

Our galaxy is not typical, there are only 3 like ours in the 64 galaxies which make up our local group (the other two being Triangulum and Andromeda), so about 5% of the galaxies in our Local group are like ours.

Current estimates put the total number of galaxies in our universe at ~ 200 billion (low estimates are ~100 billion, a recent computer model estimates 500 billion, and this is only in our observable universe—a small fraction of the entire universe).

If we extrapolate and make some assumptions (like only stars in galaxies like ours will have planets - not likely, but done for the sake of working with known quantities) then there could be 10 billion galaxies like ours (5% of 200 billion). If there are 10 billion galaxies like ours, each with 300 billion stars, and each star has (on average) 1.6 planets, then Earth is one of 48 thousand billion billion (4.8 x 10^21) planets.

So far, NASA's Kepler telescope has been looking at a small fraction of the sky, has found 962 planetsand has confirmed that one is similar to Earth in size (about 10% larger). The allows us to make a conclusion that ~.1% of planets will be Earth-like (in terms of size and distance from the host star, I don't know if we know enough to determine atmospheric composition. I'd imagine that we do based on spectral data, but I'm not 100% sure on what we know of these planets).

THAT MEANS THERE ARE 4.8 BILLION BILLION EARTH-LIKE PLANETS! THAT'S SO FUCKING INSANE!
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Re: SPACE!!!!

Postby Dreamstate » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:44 pm

So assuming that a million monkeys with a million typewriters would eventually write Shakespeare, do you think there is another planet out there that is putting sawblades on mkIVs?
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Re: SPACE!!!!

Postby professor science » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:48 pm

The only thing is that with the universe being 13.82 billion years old and our Earth being only 4.6 billion years old, then the analog of MkIVs on Corvette sawblades could have long been destroyed, especially since modern civilization has been around for 100 years (cars have been on the earth for 2 micro percent of its existence).

If we assume that every Earth-like planet evolves in the same way, then for the first 4.6 billion years, things couldn't have been like they are now. Leaving 9.22 billion years where there is potential for some planets to evolve life to our current standard of life. This leaves 20 000 potential time periods between 4.6 billion years after universe formation and now.

That means that if planet formation is evenly distributed across the age of the universe then:

4.8 billion billion planets / 20 000 time periods = 240 thousand billion planets at the same point in their evolutionary history as Earth (assuming that my math is correct).

:shock:
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Re: SPACE!!!!

Postby Maraschino Larry » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:10 pm

Very interesting, but the real question is how can I exploit this knowledge for personal gain?
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Re: SPACE!!!!

Postby professor science » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:38 pm

That falls under step 2 of the 3 step guide to profit…

1. Find Planets around stars
2. ????
3. Profit
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Re: SPACE!!!!

Postby wide_load » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:41 am

This is why I love this forum. :heart:
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Re: SPACE!!!!

Postby Dreamstate » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:45 am

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Re: SPACE!!!!

Postby Dreamstate » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:47 am

The amount of planets out there that could potentially support life, or already have some form of life on it blows my mind.

Dear Science,

Please invent a space ship that can fold space so we can visit these places.

KTHX,
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Re: SPACE!!!!

Postby professor science » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:48 pm

Upgrade your grey matter 'cause one day it may matter.

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Re: SPACE!!!!

Postby Dreamstate » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:05 pm

10 times the speed of light is still soooo slow given the distance needed to travel. It saddens me that I will likely not see proper long distance space travel in my lifetime. :(
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Re: SPACE!!!!

Postby professor science » Fri May 02, 2014 9:29 pm

Upgrade your grey matter 'cause one day it may matter.

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