Author Topic: Space exploration thread  (Read 155079 times)

Online Zeb

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1840 on: October 29, 2016, 11:40:40 PM »
Maybe NASA and ESA should try to work more closely together; how many times have the Russians landed on Mars?

By the way, the next NASA/ESA Mars mission, InSight, will most likely succeed. It supposed to launch last March, but a vacuum issue in the seismometer postponed the mission. The window opens on May 5, 2018.

I remember it being postponed. Just read up again on the objectives of the mission. Very cool.

I'm still gutted that Space 1999 won't happen so I guess I don't mind the co-operation reaching as far as we can with stuff like the ISS. Obviously politics and all that fun there but does make sense to me that ESA shouldn't be bombarding Mars with exploding metal objects if there's obvious expertise to be shared.
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Offline Red Berry

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1841 on: November 1, 2016, 09:01:22 PM »
Geoffrey Landis made some interesting proposals about floating habitats on Venus:

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Landis has proposed aerostat habitats followed by floating cities, based on the concept that breathable air (21:79 oxygen/nitrogen mixture) is a lifting gas in the dense carbon dioxide atmosphere, with over 60% of the lifting power that helium has on Earth.[5] In effect, a balloon full of human-breathable air would sustain itself and extra weight (such as a colony) in midair. At an altitude of 50 kilometres (31 mi) above Venerian surface, the environment is the most Earth-like in the Solar System – a pressure of approximately 1000 hPa and temperatures in the 0 to 50 °C (273 to 323 K; 32 to 122 °F) range. Protection against cosmic radiation would be provided by the atmosphere above, with shielding mass equivalent to Earth's.[6]

At the top of the clouds the wind speed on Venus reaches up to 95 m/s (340 km/h; 210 mph), circling the planet approximately every four Earth days in a phenomenon known as "super-rotation".[7] Colonies floating in this region could therefore have a much shorter day length by remaining untethered to the ground and moving with the atmosphere, compared to the usual 243 Earth days it takes for the planet to rotate. Allowing a colony to move freely would also reduce structural stress from the wind.

At this moment in time there's no way to even practically get to the surface in anything other than small scale.  It would be easier to build habitats at the bottom of the deepest oceans of Earth.

If there was the technology I suppose you could rig a big enough solar shield to screen the sun from Venus and put it into permanent darkness; I suppose eventually the planet would cool enough for the Co2 to freeze.  If you could then chop it up - literally mine it - and take it off planet someplace else, then you might be able to do something with what was left.  But that technology is at least 500 hundred of years away and such a process would likely take a thousand years in any case.
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Offline smithng

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1842 on: November 8, 2016, 04:10:49 PM »

photograph of Phobos over Mars from @esa Mars Express. https://t.co/q0HItmJ6Pa



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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1843 on: November 8, 2016, 08:39:37 PM »
Simply incredible picture....


Stunning...
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Offline smithng

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1844 on: November 14, 2016, 12:37:22 PM »
Supermoon and Space Station

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap161114.html?utm_content=buffer5bd7d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer




The international space station crossing the moon, or is it a group of Tai Fighters returning to their dark side of the moon base  ;)

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1845 on: November 21, 2016, 12:37:45 PM »
So I'm guessing the giant blue thing near the sun was just a flare yes? and not an Alien invasion

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1846 on: November 27, 2016, 08:28:31 PM »
Been watching a few of this lass' videos past few days.  This one is well worth a share.  I knew about the Soviet space shuttle but didn't know they actually built five of them.  Her youtube vid includes links to images of the shuttles today - well worth a look.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1WUk6zmRr8



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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1847 on: December 4, 2016, 05:32:15 AM »
ESA gets its funding for the Mars Rover and more. Asked for around 11bn euros and the ministers have approved 10.3bn of that. 2021 it is then. Hopefully. ;)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38183188
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Offline Red Berry

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1848 on: December 5, 2016, 09:15:49 PM »
 :o

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1849 on: December 6, 2016, 09:38:33 PM »
I don't suppose anyone uses Starlink when they're analysing images who could help?  I've got about 1200 .fits/.sdf files I need to analyse for a particular variable star so I can create a light curve for it.  All I'm after is a way to process the images so it can track the magnitude of a certain object over all the images so it can be processed in something like Excel.

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Offline CornerFlag

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1850 on: December 8, 2016, 08:32:00 PM »
RIP John Glenn.  Passed away aged 95.
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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1851 on: December 8, 2016, 08:39:00 PM »
"If I can inspire young people to dedicate themselves to the good of mankind, I've accomplished something"


What a legacy
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Offline rafathegaffa83

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1852 on: December 9, 2016, 12:52:05 AM »
RIP

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1853 on: December 9, 2016, 09:48:09 AM »
Might have to give the Right Stuff a watch tonight in his honour.

RIP

Offline Barneylfc

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1854 on: January 9, 2017, 09:27:57 AM »
Not sure what's the most suitable thread, but this will do. Driving home from dropping my lad to school, and I notice these 2 white things in the sky. One disappeared before I could get my phone out, and the second gradually disappeared like the first one. What could they be?





« Last Edit: January 9, 2017, 09:30:06 AM by Brnylfc »

Online FiSh77

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1855 on: January 9, 2017, 09:59:10 AM »
something that disappeared in the space of a couple of minutes? sounds like everton's chances of winning a trophy

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1856 on: January 10, 2017, 03:08:23 PM »
something that disappeared in the space of a couple of minutes? sounds like everton's chances of winning a trophy

 ;D

Looks like a meteorite of some description.
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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1857 on: January 10, 2017, 04:26:44 PM »
;D

Looks like a meteorite of some description.

fuck off with sensible answers ;D


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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1858 on: January 10, 2017, 06:30:09 PM »
;D

Looks like a meteorite of some description.

That was my initial thoughts when I first noticed them. But they weren't moving.

Offline Barneylfc

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1859 on: January 10, 2017, 06:30:45 PM »
fuck off with sensible answers ;D



I haven't discounted aliens  ;D

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1860 on: January 12, 2017, 02:06:08 PM »
That was my initial thoughts when I first noticed them. But they weren't moving.

Definitely aliens then!
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Offline Red Berry

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1861 on: January 15, 2017, 08:17:51 PM »
That was my initial thoughts when I first noticed them. But they weren't moving.

Sure it wasn't just Lukaku?
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Offline smithng

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1862 on: January 20, 2017, 12:43:37 PM »
Saturn’s shepherd moon Daphnis makes waves in new images from the Cassini spacecraft. http://astronomynow.com/2017/01/19/saturns-shepherd-moon-daphnis-makes-waves/



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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1863 on: February 9, 2017, 01:40:31 PM »
If anyone's interested and has a clear night tonight, Jocelyn Bell Burnell will be holding a talk in the University of Liverpool this evening.

https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/events/event/?eventid=84480

Quote
Barkla Lecture 2017 - What pulsars (pulsating radio sources) have done to (and for) physics - Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell

This year's speaker is Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE FRS FRSE FRAS, Professorial Fellow Mansfield College and Visiting Professor, Astrophysics, University of Oxford.

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered, as a postgraduate student at the University of Cambridge, the first radio pulsars, for which her supervisor, Antony Hewish, received the Nobel prize in 1974, shared with Martin Ryle. She has held positions at the University of Southampton, University College London, the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh and the Open University. She was also visiting professor in Princeton and Dean of Science at the University of Bath. From 2002 to 2004 Jocelyn Bell Burnell was President
of the Royal Astronomical Society and from 2008 to 2010 President of the Institute of Physics. She is currently President of the Royal Society in Edinburgh and Pro-Chancellor of the University of Dublin.Barkla Lecture Website

As usual, refreshments will be available in the foyer outside the lecture theatre from 4:30 pm and there will be a wine and nibbles reception after the lecture. The lecture is aimed at a broad audience and everybody is welcome.
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Online Zeb

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1864 on: February 16, 2017, 09:42:35 PM »
This excites me greatly. 5th to 14th April for an attempt to picture our galaxy's black hole. Fingers crossed for the weather they need.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38937141

Quote
The strategy is to view the galactic centre at a wavelength of 1.3mm (230GHz). This has the best chance of piercing any obscuring gas and dust in the vicinity of the black hole. But if there is too much water vapour above the array's receivers, the EHT will struggle even to see through Earth's atmosphere.

Just getting a resolved view of Sagittarius A* would be a remarkable triumph in itself. But the real objective here is to use the imaging capability to go test aspects of general relativity.
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Offline Buggy Eyes Alfredo

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1865 on: February 20, 2017, 02:26:48 AM »

Drone view of the Blue Origin rocket landing.

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1866 on: February 20, 2017, 09:56:00 PM »
NASA to host a news conference on discovery beyond our solar system on Wednesday:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-host-news-conference-on-discovery-beyond-our-solar-system

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1867 on: February 20, 2017, 10:39:16 PM »
Bernard blows goats

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Offline Red Berry

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1868 on: February 21, 2017, 09:48:35 AM »
More exoplanets...

It's being described as a "major" news conference.  Unless they've rock solid confirmed a near-Earth sized world with liquid water and an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere, finding Exo-planets is (shockingly enough) a bit run of the mill these days.
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Offline bobadicious

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1869 on: February 21, 2017, 11:07:53 AM »
Football is a lie

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1870 on: February 21, 2017, 12:56:49 PM »
It's being described as a "major" news conference.  Unless they've rock solid confirmed a near-Earth sized world with liquid water and an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere, finding Exo-planets is (shockingly enough) a bit run of the mill these days.

Well, think of who NASA answers to now. They're going to be tremendous exoplanets. The best exoplanets, like you wouldn't believe. People are saying they're the biggest and most likely ever to support life anybody's ever seen.
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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1871 on: February 21, 2017, 01:29:52 PM »
Well, think of who NASA answers to now. They're going to be tremendous exoplanets. The best exoplanets, like you wouldn't believe. People are saying they're the biggest and most likely ever to support life anybody's ever seen.

and if there's already life on them they want them to pay for a big fuck off wall so they can't come here

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1872 on: February 22, 2017, 03:58:25 PM »
Announcement is 6pm today innit? Anyone know where to watch it live?
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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1873 on: February 22, 2017, 06:46:18 PM »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39034050

A multi exo planet system, several within the Goldilocks zone...

Quite a small star though...

However, good evidence of multi planet systems like our own..
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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1874 on: February 22, 2017, 06:48:01 PM »
Sounds like NASA is fighting to sustain life on NASA.
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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1875 on: February 22, 2017, 08:49:36 PM »


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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1876 on: February 23, 2017, 07:04:25 PM »
Seven Earth sized planets in a single system is quite the discovery.

Quote
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/science/trappist-1-exoplanets-nasa.html?_r=0

Not just one, but seven Earth-size planets that could potentially harbor life have been identified orbiting a tiny star not too far away, offering the first realistic opportunity to search for signs of alien life outside the solar system.

The planets orbit a dwarf star named Trappist-1, about 40 light-years, or 235 trillion miles, from Earth. That is quite close in cosmic terms, and by happy accident, the orientation of the orbits of the seven planets allows them to be studied in great detail.

One or more of the exoplanets in this new system could be at the right temperature to be awash in oceans of water, astronomers said, based on the distance of the planets from the dwarf star.

“This is the first time so many planets of this kind are found around the same star,” Michael Gillon, an astronomer at the University of Liege in Belgium and the leader of an international team that has been observing Trappist-1, said during a telephone news conference organized by the journal Nature, which published the findings on Wednesday.

Scientists could even discover compelling evidence of aliens.

“I think that we have made a crucial step toward finding if there is life out there,” said Amaury H. M. J. Triaud, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge in England and another member of the research team. “Here, if life managed to thrive and releases gases similar to that we have on Earth, then we will know.”

Cool red dwarfs are the most common type of star, so astronomers are likely to find more planetary systems like that around Trappist-1 in the coming years.

“You can just imagine how many worlds are out there that have a shot to becoming a habitable ecosystem,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s science mission directorate, said during a NASA news conference on Wednesday. “Are we alone out there? We’re making a step forward with this — a leap forward, in fact — towards answering that question.”

Telescopes on the ground now and the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit will be able to discern some of the molecules in the planetary atmospheres. The James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch next year, will peer at the infrared wavelengths of light, ideal for studying Trappist-1.

Comparisons among the different conditions of the seven will also be revealing.

“The Trappist-1 planets make the search for life in the galaxy imminent,” said Sara Seager, an astronomer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was not a member of the research team. “For the first time ever, we don’t have to speculate. We just have to wait and then make very careful observations and see what is in the atmospheres of the Trappist planets.”

Even if the planets all turn out to be lifeless, scientists will have learned more about what keeps life from flourishing.

Astronomers always knew other stars must have planets, but until a couple of decades ago, they had not been able to spot them. Now they have confirmed more than 3,400, according to the Open Exoplanet Catalog. (An exoplanet is a planet around a star other than the sun.)

The authors of the Nature paper include Didier Queloz, one of the astronomers who discovered in 1995 the first known exoplanet around a sunlike star.

While the Trappist planets are about the size of Earth — give or take 25 percent in diameter — the star is very different from our sun.

Trappist-1, named after a robotic telescope in the Atacama Desert of Chile that the astronomers initially used to study the star, is what astronomers call an “ultracool dwarf,” with only one-twelfth the mass of the sun and a surface temperature of 4,150 degrees Fahrenheit, much cooler than the 10,000 degrees radiating from the sun. Trappist is a shortening of Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope.

During the NASA news conference, Dr. Gillon gave a simple analogy: If our sun were the size of a basketball, Trappist-1 would be a golf ball.

Until the last few years, scientists looking for life elsewhere in the galaxy have focused on finding Earth-size planets around sun-like stars. But it is hard to pick out the light of a planet from the glare of a bright star. Small dim dwarfs are much easier to study.

Last year, astronomers announced the discovery of an Earth-size planet around Proxima Centauri, the closest star at 4.24 light-years away. That discovery was made using a different technique that does not allow for study of the atmosphere.

Trappist-1 periodically dimmed noticeably, indicating that a planet might be passing in front of the star, blocking part of the light. From the shape of the dips, the astronomers calculate the size of the planet.

Trappist-1’s light dipped so many times that the astronomers concluded, in research reported last year, that there were at least three planets around the star. Telescopes from around the world then also observed Trappist-1, as did the Spitzer Space Telescope of NASA.

Spitzer observed Trappist-1 nearly around the clock for 20 days, capturing 34 transits. Together with the ground observations, it let the scientists calculate not three planets, but seven. The planets are too small and too close to the star to be photographed directly.

All seven are very close to the dwarf star, circling more quickly than the planets in our solar system. The innermost completes an orbit in just 1.5 days. The farthest one completes an orbit in about 20 days.   :o That makes the planetary system more like the moons of Jupiter than a larger planetary system like our solar system.

“They form a very compact system,” Dr. Gillon said, “the planets being pulled close to each other and very close to the star.”

In addition, the orbital periods of the inner six suggest that the planets formed farther away from the star and then were all gradually pulled inward, Dr. Gillon said.

Because the planets are so close to a cool star, their surfaces could be at the right temperatures to have water flow, considered one of the essential ingredients for life.

The fourth, fifth and sixth planets orbit in the star’s “habitable zone,” where the planets could sport oceans. So far that is just speculation, but by measuring which wavelengths of light are blocked by the planet, scientists will be able to figure out what gases float in the atmospheres of the seven planets.

So far, they have confirmed for the two innermost planets that they are not enveloped in hydrogen. That means they are rocky like Earth, ruling out the possibility that they were mini-Neptune gas planets that are prevalent around many other stars.

Because the planets are so close to Trappist-1, they have quite likely become “gravitationally locked” to the star, always with one side of the planets facing the star, much as it is always the same side of Earth’s moon facing Earth. That would mean one side would be warmer, but an atmosphere would distribute heat, and the scientists said that would not be an insurmountable obstacle for life.

For a person standing on one of the planets, it would be a dim environment, with perhaps only about one two-hundredth the light that we see from the sun on Earth, Dr. Triaud said. (That would still be brighter than the moon at night.) The star would be far bigger. On Trappist-1f, the fifth planet, the star would be three times as wide as the sun seen from Earth.

As for the color of the star, “we had a debate about that,” Dr. Triaud said.

Some of the scientists expected a deep red, but with most of the star’s light emitted at infrared wavelengths and out of view of human eyes, perhaps a person would “see something more salmon-y,” Dr. Triaud said.

NASA released a poster illustrating what the sky of the fourth planet might look like.

If observations reveal oxygen in a planet’s atmosphere, that could point to photosynthesis of plants — although not conclusively. But oxygen together with methane, ozone and carbon dioxide, particularly in certain proportions, “would tell us that there is life with 99 percent confidence,” Dr. Gillon said.

Astronomers expect that a few decades of technological advances are needed before similar observations can be made of Earthlike planets around larger, brighter sunlike stars.

Dr. Triaud said that if there is life around Trappist-1, “then it’s good we didn’t wait too long.”

“If there isn’t, then we have learned something quite deep about where life can emerge,” he continued.

The discovery might also mean that scientists who have been searching for radio signals from alien civilizations might also have been searching in the wrong places if most habitable planets orbit dwarfs, which live far longer than larger stars like the sun.

The SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., is using the Allen Telescope Array, a group of 42 radio dishes in California, to scrutinize 20,000 red dwarfs. “This result is kind of a justification for that project,” said Seth Shostak, an astronomer at the institute.

“If you’re looking for complex biology — intelligent aliens that might take a long time to evolve from pond scum — older could be better,” Dr. Shostak said. “It seems a good bet that the majority of clever beings populating the universe look up to see a dim, reddish sun hanging in their sky. And at least they wouldn’t have to worry about sun block.”

Correction: February 22, 2017

An earlier version of this article named the wrong telescope that is trained on the Trappist-1 dwarf star. It is the Spitzer Space Telescope, not the Kepler. The article also misstated how many days it takes for the planet farthest from Trappist-1 to orbit the star. It is about 20 days, not 12.35.

Interesting that TRAPPIST 1 is described as an "ultra cool dwarf star" rather than a red dwarf.  Perhaps it is closer to a large brown dwarf rather than a small red dwarf.  I'm guessing the planets will be tidally locked.  Any life on these planets will be rather hectic, but the system is still only very young so I doubt there's anything there right now.
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Online Nitramdorf

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1877 on: February 24, 2017, 12:15:39 PM »
Seven Earth sized planets in a single system is quite the discovery.

Interesting that TRAPPIST 1 is described as an "ultra cool dwarf star" rather than a red dwarf.  Perhaps it is closer to a large brown dwarf rather than a small red dwarf.  I'm guessing the planets will be tidally locked.  Any life on these planets will be rather hectic, but the system is still only very young so I doubt there's anything there right now.

Thanks for posting that, very interesting. What a wonderful thing to be able to do that for a living, something worthwhile.

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1878 on: February 24, 2017, 03:04:12 PM »
Jürgen Klopp does not adapt to English Football.  English Football adapts to Jurgan Klopp.

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Re: Space exploration thread
« Reply #1879 on: February 25, 2017, 07:17:19 PM »
Can't escape from the overgrown umpa lumpa anywhere.  Potentially sending men to the moon on the first ever SLS launch to mark 50 years since Apollo 8?  Insanely risky.  It's the kind of thing the Russians would do.

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« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 07:21:29 PM by Red Beret »
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