Betelgeuse, the closest red giant to Earth, has long been understood to move between brighter and dimmer in 400-day cycles. But from late 2019 to early 2020, it underwent what astrophysicists called “the great dimming”, as a dust cloud obscured our view of the star.
Now, it is glowing at 150% of its normal brightness, and is cycling between brighter and dimmer at 200-day intervals – twice as fast as usual…It is currently the seventh brightest star in the night sky – up three places from its usual tenth brightest.
Betelgeuse is the closet red giant Star to our solar system, one of the shoulders of the Greek constellation of Orion.
The cultural information in the linked article was actually more interesting than the phenomenon observed. For instance, the fact that an Aboriginal people in Australia saw it long before the Greeks did was something I didn’t know.
Of all the asteroids they modeled, the one with the largest risk of impact was a kilometer-wide asteroid known as 1994 PC1. Over the next thousand years, the probability that 1994 PC1 will cross within the orbit of the Moon is a paltry 0.00151%, hardly worth worrying about.
Thanks to Glen Hill over at Engagin’ Science (formerly Scientia, which apparently was far too Latin- and science-esque for search engines to handle) for bringing this (not-so Earth-shattering) info to my attention.
Sorry, folks. Hollywood was once again wrong (sigh).
While not perfect, this is some seriously scary stuff.
FWIW the researchers themselves did recognize this…
Although it’s nowhere near being able to decode spontaneous thoughts in the real world, the advance raises concerns that, with improvement, the technology might mimic some type of mind reading. “Our thought when we actually had this working was, ‘Oh my God, this is kind of terrifying,’” Huth recalls.
The astronauts will be the first humans to fly in the vicinity of the moon in more than 50 years. They will also be the first to launch aboard NASA’s next-generation megarocket and Orion space capsule. The crew will not land on the moon but will swing around the celestial body, testing the performance of the Orion spacecraft, before returning to Earth.
Mercury is a planet that just doesn’t make sense. It’s incredibly small yet hosts a relatively massive core. Mercury is so strange that astronomers have not been able to explain its properties with simulations of the solar system’s formation. But now, researchers have found an important clue, and Mercury’s weirdness appears to be the fault of the giant planets.
Basically, Mercury is nearly as dense as the Earth despite being less than 6% the size. This is due to the gas giants in our solar system yanking material (“planetesimals” and protoplanets) and ejecting it from the solar system, leaving Mercury with very little material left to form itself.
It is this subsurface ocean, or rather its interaction with the ice shell that covers it, that a team of researchers led by the Catholic University of Louvain (UCLouvain) in Belgium hope to better understand. More specifically, they wish to understand how the ocean’s depth and the pressure exerted by the icy shell on the underground water body influence the formation of tidal motions and currents inside of it.
When I first heard of “Attack on Titan,” I was disappointed to learn that it didn’t take place actually on Titan. (The title in English is a mistranslation. It should be “Attack of the Titans” or “The Titans Attack” or even “Attacking Titans,” depending.) In any case, it’s a disgusting manga/anime with nothing to do with the icy moon of Saturn. Except for the name. And even that’s a misuse (they should have used “giant” as the storyline is very loosely based on Ymir and the frost giants of Scandinavian myth).
Concerned that the UA forces on Luna Base may use the quantum teleporter to send an unwelcome gift to the newly-declared independent United Mars Colonies, former Mars security chief Sergeant Major Hamels and former Artemis crew members Enoch Ryan and Brady Cooper attempted to disable the teleporter ahead of time.
Cooper could sense the radioactive isotopes within the canister. The explosive materials could kill them and most of this part of the colony due to sudden decompression of the building’s atmosphere. Fine radioactive dust spread everywhere. If it reacted with the cobalt in the boxes around them, the resulting dirty bomb could poison half or most of the planet for years. Decades, even. Who knows how long it would last.
If anyone were around to care.
“Fly-boy, you sense that?”
“Let me try something.”
“You want the rifle?”
“The energy discharge will just set it off. That’s probably what they were counting on. Or hoping we’d try to disable it.”
“Or send it back,” Hamels said. “No doubt their end has a rigged signal to reject contact, which also would set the thing off.”
“Then there’s only one option.”
With a sigh, Enoch set the rifle down next to the console. “Coop, something tells me you need me to help.”
“You read my mind.”
Now it was Hamels’ turn to back away. “What are you both doing?”
“Sergeant Major, we need you to focus on maintaining the force shield.”
The geist sat down crosslegged on one side of the platform. Enoch sat down likewise across from him on the opposite site. They stared into the force shield, concentrating on the cylindrical container.