Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 6-12, 2019

YouTube has invaded thoughty Thursday, this week, but it should get your mental corn popping, anyway 🙂

Erin Winick: get ready for these rocket milestones in 2019. MIT Technology Review

SciShow Space wonders if there are planets even more habitable than Earth out there. (Spoilers: the answer is yes!)

 

Veritasium looks at how we determine the spin of a black hole and why it’s important.

 

Ephrat Livni looks at how physics explains why time passes faster as you age. Quartz

Signs of high-functioning depression that you shouldn’t ignore. BetterHelp

 

Ferris Jabr: how beauty is making scientists rethink evolution. The New York Times

Solving the mystery of the Great Unconformity. SciShow

 

What women with autism want you to know. Iris

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

thoughtythursday2016

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WorldCon 2016: Two suns in the sky

Disclaimer: I am not perfect and neither are my notes. If you notice anything that requires clarification or correction, please email me at melanie (dot) marttila (at) gmail (dot) com and I will fix things post-hasty.

TwoSuns

Panellists: Eva Elasigue, Courtney Schafer, [Mel’s note: Joe Haldeman was unable to attend.]

Joined in progress …

CS: Kepler discovers exoplanets by observing the subtle signs of a planet passing in front of its star. It’s focused on a small area and it’s only covered 3% of that space in detail so far. The number of exoplanets discovered is large, but only a fraction of circum-binary systems have planets that might be habitable. The planets discovered in those systems are massive, though. It’s exciting that so many planets have been discovered.

EE: One of Larry Niven’s conjectures is that a planet in a binary system would have an off-center core.

CS: It’s possible that a planet in a binary system could have a figure eight orbit. It could also be more easily ejected from the system. Since circum-binary systems are fairly common, there might be a large number of rogue planets out there. To discover the composition of a planet, you need to use spectroscopy.

Q: Is there publicly accessible software for fact-checking the plausibility of an invented system?

A: There are solar system simulators.

CS: You can also check with your local amateur astronomy club.

Q: Is Alpha Centauri A, Rigil Kentaurus, a binary star?

CS: That’s the current understanding. One thing to keep in mind is the force that would be exerted on planets in these systems. If we look at the moons of Jupiter, they need to have their own magnetospheres to maintain an atmosphere. Otherwise, Jupiter strips it away.

EE: You should check out Galaxy Zoo. It’s a citizen science initiative.

[At this point, the ideas starting coming fast and furious. To be honest, I’m not sure who said what.]

The most favorable binary systems for planets are those in which both stars are around 80% of the sun’s size. They’re also fairly close to each other. The minimum stable radius for a planet in a binary system is 2-4 times larger than [… sorry didn’t catch this. I think it’s Jupiter. Wikipedia indicates this would be correct. If the planet is a gas giant, it may not support life, but its moons might. Smaller stars would accommodate smaller planets, but the planets may not be habitable, depending on their orbits and the relative light and heat they receive from their suns.]

They probably didn’t form in their current orbit. There’s an instability in binary systems which could result in the planet spiralling into one of the stars, or being flung out of the system. Planets in binary systems would move around unless they could find a stable orbit.

There are also mismatched binary systems. A blue giant with a red dwarf, for example, or a sun-type star with a black hole.

And that was time.

For more information: If you Google the term circum-binary systems, you will find a lot. Navigate to dependable sources, like NASA, or Space.com (unlike yours truly). Or head for fun but dependable sites like Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy column, currently hosted by Blastr.

Next week: we’re terraforming terra 🙂

Until next I blog, be well, be kind, and stay strong.

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Aug 21-27, 2016

Brain food for creatives.

Kayla Brandon shares Heather Cross’s letter to the media on their (non) response to the Louisiana flooding. Independent journal

Makare Chi rounds up the studies on police violence and racial bias for Vanity Fair.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau writes a letter in support of One’s #PovertyIsSexist campaign.

Watch Kristen McCrea create one of Sudbury’s newest murals for the Up Here Festival. The Northern Life

The Scotsman presents the history of Scotland in nine maps.

Rob Bricken invites you to find out what third-century China thought about the Roman Empire. i09

Lily Kuo reports that the destruction of historical artefacts is now a war crime and perpetrators are being charged. Quartz

The strange folk custom of telling the bees of a family death is explored on Ask A Mortician’s “Morbid Minute.”

 

This article on your aging muscles will terrify you, but it just might change your life. Ginny Graves for Prevention. I’m walking more, I’ll tell you what 😉

Want the secret of happiness? Stay curious. Laura Garnett for Inc.

The Right By You campaign created three videos busting the myths of youth suicide prevention. Important stuff.

Kendra Syrdal wrote this wonderful piece on what it means to love a woman who’s used to being on her own for Thought catalog. I shared it with a particular singleton friend in mind, but the applies to any woman who’s become her own person prior to embarking on a new relationship.

Captain Awkward answers a couple of letters from two women whose groups of friends inexplicably cling to creepy dudes despite the potential for harassment and abuse they present. Important reading for any feminist.

Rebecca Boyle covers the epochal discovery of a potentially habitable planet orbiting our neighbouring star. The Atlantic

Will genome editing transform the world? Oxford Academic

 

Do plants think? It’s okay to be smart.

 

Time to get that mental corn a-poppin’!

Write away until Saturday.

And be well.

Hugs.

Thoughty Thursday