Category Archives: Science / Discovery

The height of flight

What do you think? http://pin.it/qFUaOhr

Simon ☺️

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Humans on Mars – My view on the Logic and Insanity

The concept of human colonising Mars isn’t new – it’s decades old and has been talked about since space travel started in the 1950’s and 60’s. Since the Moon landings the science community has viewed that travelling to Mars as being the next logical step in manned space exploration. The science and engineering behind this effort is staggering and while no actual missions are definitely planned in, the discussions have not ended and will carry on until we finally achieve this.

the martian 8

The way in which we travel to Mars has modified over time, I can remember when then missions talked about would last for some months on the Red Planet in order to make it worth the effort. I recent years though this has slowly changed to the realisation that missions to Mars are going to be one way only. You go to live the rest of your days there. This ties in nicely with the ethics of the colonisation of Mars, the preservation and advancement of the human race seems to be important right now. While I get this and there are those that have volunteered for this which is amazing, but do they really know what it’s going to be like? I’m sure a few months will be brilliant fun, but let’s face it 10 years down the line you might well have gone completely insane – if you haven’t starved to death.

Starvation and human preservation is kind of what brings me to some of the insanity around this. I’ve seen people talking about Mars being the next place the hum races goes to once we’ve finished ruining the Earth.

Seriously… WTF?!?

Do you seriously think that it’s all going to be ok to plunder the Earth until it’s a wasteland and then park up on Mars? When was the last time you saw this place?

mars 4

This is it. It doesn’t change much. Nothing grows here, there is no atmosphere to breathe despite what science fiction movies tell us (it’s called fiction for a reason). If we reduce Earth to a wasteland we won’t find anything better on Mars. Colonising Mars is a huge step towards human living permanently off Earth but it’s not a second option to Earth. Earth must be preserved!

The other insane idea is that of Elon Musk’s to create a martian atmosphere by detonating nuclear warheads at the poles, melting them and creating an atmosphere. This is so flawed it’s not funny. Mars has a tiny magnetic field, so it cannot keep much of an atmosphere. But even if it could – everyone would be breathing radioactive air for the next 1000 years! There is also his vision to make travel to Mars accessible to all, costing around $200,000 a trip.

As in every huge project, there is insanity that rides with it. Travelling to Mars is going to be expensive. Living on Mars will be even more expensive and will be very hard! The rewards could be unimaginable and ultimately so will the costs.

Simon 🙂

Seven Earth-size Planets Have Been Discovered Orbiting A Potentially Habitable Solar System

An exciting discovery from NASA that the world is talking about (via Sparkonit)

Seven Earth-size planets that could potentially harbor life have been spotted orbiting a dim dwarf star called Trappist-1, which is located at 39 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius. According to NASA, all seven could potentially support liquid water, on the surface, but only three represent the “holy grail for planet-hunting astronomers,” because they are…

via Seven Earth-size Planets Have Been Discovered Orbiting A Potentially Habitable Solar System — Sparkonit

Credit for this post to: http://sparkonit.com/2017/02/23/seven-earth-size-planets-discovered-orbiting-potentially-habitable-solar-system/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Sparkonit+%28Sparkonit%29

Simon 🙂

Scary look at Earth’s dwindling resources

Most of the resources we have on Earth cannot be replaced. We’re often told in the media about how this or that is running out. This graphic shows a sample of the resources we’re using – it’s interesting and a little scary.

See the link for the full information.

bbc-stockcheck-02

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120618-global-resources-stock-check

Simon 🙂

No ownership claimed on image. Credit IIB Studio and the BBC.

Black Holes – Time dilation and messing with my head

My mind is getting a bit fried right now. Maybe it’s to do with this time of year, but I’ve been thinking about time dilation, black holes and that kind of thing. This has all come about from the film Interstellar where a group of astronauts try to find a new home for the human race in a far away galaxy.

They get there through a wormhole that’s in the area of Saturn and find themselves in a star system where three planets orbit a black hole. Things are ok so far, this is good old fashioned Sci-Fi stuff.

interstellar1

The first world they visit is closest to the black hole and they work out that an hour on the surface for them will mean seven years will pass from the point of view of their mother ship, the Endurance. This is also ok, this is now not only science fiction but thanks to the theory of relativity also science fact (or as good as becasue no one has yet verified this fact).

This time dilation was demonstrated in the story when an unscheduled delay meant that rather than the mission to the planet taking a mere seven years, it in fact took 23 years. To them they were only a few hours, but the guy left behind on Endurance had aged 23 years and Joseph Cooper’s kids had turned into mature adults who had thought he was either dead or had abandoned them.

interstellar-gargantua

Towards the end of the film, the pilot Cooper ejects himself and his spacecraft from Endurance. He ejects so that the rest of the Endurance can escape to the third planet carrying Anne Hathaway’s lone survivor. In the film it gets weird and there’s a kind of 3D thought / reality  thing going on and this is where I split from the plot to my thinking.

 


 

By ejecting, Cooper has essentially given himself to the black hole (called Gargantua). Our understanding is that spectacularly intense gravity would kill him, crushing anything physical completely and utterly to mere atoms. From his point of view this would happen quickly, but probably not quickly enough thinking about it.

Getting to the point here – if Anne Hathaway could watch Copper falling into the black hole and past the event horizon (again another problem with this as light has a little trouble escaping a black hole – hence it’s name) things would be happening  slowly. Whereas for Cooper looking back up things would be happening  very quickly.

The first thing is that this is a total brain fuck in itself.

The second thing kinda blew my mind away, I’ve been picking up the pieces all week! Cooper may never, ever reach the physical entity of the black hole. If time is moving so fast outside the black hole what may actually kill Cooper (he’s not going to be too bothered by this I think) is the end of the universe.

Think about it… while he’s merrily (Ha!) falling towards his doom, the universe is speeding by up there. So much so that it ends before he reaches it?!?!

Damn – my mind blew again. Sometimes I wish I didn’t think so much!


 

This is some purely wildly out there thinking – this would mean that falling into a black hole could be a bath to living forever. Firstly it wouldn’t you would die from the gravity crush, but it’s the possibility. When the kind of concepts can be thought of in mathematics and proved in theories on relativity it begs the question – what the hell else can we discover?

The only limits are the limits that our human mind can actually perceive and cope with and maybe even accept.

That’s kinda big.

Simon 🙂

No ownership claimed on images – found on Google from the film Interstellar.

 

Seasons -How are they worked out?

One of the things that’s always puzzled me is when each of the seasons are supposed to start and end. This is typical of someone that over thinks things, really it should be when it’s cold and wet it’s Winter, when the flowers start appearing and the wet is thawing out it’s Spring. Summer is the season of sun, interrupted by heavy rain, with Autumn being the time when one picks blackberries and apples – yup, you guessed it, in the rain!

But when are each of these season’s really supposed to start and finish? I’ve looked at this and there are at least two versions, the meteorological and the astronomical seasons.

 

Meteorological Seasons

The meteorological seasons are divided up by meteorologists to make weather forecasting easier. The seasons dates are split up as such:

  • Spring – from March 1 to May 31.
  • Summer – from June 1 to August 31.
  • Autumn (Fall) – from September 1 to November 30.
  • Winter – from December 1 to February 28 (February 29 in a leap year).

 

Astronomical Seasons

The astronomical seasons are a little different.

Spring starts at the March equinox, this is when the length of night and day are almost equal. This happens on either the 19th, 20th or 21st of March. At this point the Sun is directly over the equator.

Summer starts in the June Solstice, this is the longest day in the Northern hemisphere and the shortest day in the southern hemisphere. This normally between June the 20th – the 22nd.

 

Equinox and solstice illustration.

The September equinox heralds the arrival of Autumn and is the date that again night and day are about equal and this happens on the 22nd, 23rd or 24th of September. This is where the sun is directly over the equator.

This lastly leaves the December solstice, where the shortest day of the year takes place in the Northern hemisphere and the longest day in the southern hemisphere. This takes place between the 20th – 23rd of December.

http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/aboutseasons.html

The seasons are of course opposite between the northern and southern hemispheres as the tilt of the Earth defines the seasons and will be opposite between the north and south.

Simon 🙂

No ownership claimed on image, credit to timeanddate.com for information.