M Thomas Apple Author Page

Science fiction, actual science, history, and personal ranting about life, the universe, and everything

New Earth discovered only 70,000 years away

March 24, 2019
MThomas

new-earth-2

Welp, it’s official. NASA announced they have confirmed another “Earth” (really, an “Earth-like planet” simply means it has enough water and is in the right orbit from its star to hypothetically support life).

Too bad it’s 500 light years away, which currently would take us a mere 70,000 years to reach.

But it’s a start…

http://www.scienceinsanity.com/2019/03/its-official-astronomers-have.html?m=1&fbclid=IwAR0l7pzDPR1XQvk7Ka4CDZafWuoB6q0RxqTBmb5Yleu0Lx0rAPs3tWKB0sM

Water moves on the Moon — well, molecules do, at any rate

March 13, 2019
MThomas

NASA and other scientific groups have discussed the potential of using the Moon as a sort of jumping-off point for missions deeper into space. If water could be collected on the Moon it could prove to be a great resource for manned missions headed deeper into the solar system.

Interesting, but I have a feeling that Lunar Base occupants will need slightly more than a few “bouncing” molecules to drink (or to create hydrogen for rocket fuel or colony energy needs).

bgr.com/2019/03/11/water-on-the-moon-surface-lunar-regolith/

Black holes, Hawking radiation, and quantum physics: Feeling dense yet?

March 8, 2019
MThomas

Modern physics dictates that, after being consumed, information about this matter should be forever lost to the universe. But a new experiment suggests that there might be a way to use quantum mechanics to gain some insight into the interior of a black hole.

Black hole sun / won’t you come / to drive away the rain? 🎶

www.space.com/black-hole-information-paradox.html

Why bother looking for aliens? Because we’re probably not all that smart

March 5, 2019
MThomas

[A]n obvious obstacle to identifying our neighbors is the tendency to limit our imagination to what we already know. But this should not necessarily remain the case in the future.

Frankly, I think it’s high time that somebody invent the warp drive so that the Vulcans will finally notice us.

blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/are-we-really-the-smartest-kid-on-the-cosmic-block/

Enter the Dragon! It’s a new mating ritual?

March 3, 2019
MThomas

“Attachment was made to a new type of mating adaptor on the ISS’s Harmony module. ”

Yes, we’ve matured so much as a species that we still insist on resorting to sexual metaphors to describe intricate technological details on our space vehicles.

But anyways, good for Space X and NASA. Now let’s hope other companies get into the act so we can kickstart this whole expand and populate the galaxy thing.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-47430432

Barnard’s Star has a Hoth. No Tauntauns, though.

February 12, 2019
MThomas

In their presentation, the researchers jokingly compared the planet to Hoth – the icy planet made famous in one of the “Star Wars” movies, when Luke Skywalker’s steed (a fictional lizard species called a Tauntaun) dies and he must stay warm by burrowing into its intestines.

Yay, science. And only six light years away!

Which, since Alpha Centauri at four light years away only takes 137,000 years to get to, would only take…er…just a few ten thousand more years…Hmm…

So when do we invent warp drives?

www.seeker.com/space/newly-found-planet-could-host-primitive-life-study-suggest

Planet Nine may not be a planet? Um. Right.

February 2, 2019
MThomas

A new paper suggests that the so-called “Planet Nine” – thought responsible for the screwy orbits of Trans-Neptune objects – might actually be a really big disc.

Um. Yeah. Okay.

How about we actually focus on technology that will allow us to construct spaceships so we can go out that far in person to find out? Theoretical astrophysics is all fine and dandy, but how does this help our species expand out into space?

link.medium.com/dzXxC7X8YT

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