Thursday, February 21, 2013

Weekly rundown

     Keplar 37b is the smallest exoplanet found outside our solar system. It is approximately 215 LY’s from earth. It is about the size of earth’s moon with a diameter of 2,400 miles (3,860 km), and has a year of 13.4 earth days. Due to its size, and high surface radiation, it is thought to be like mercury, with no atmosphere or water. Actually, all three planets found in the Kepler 37 system are all closer to their sun than mercury, and are all speedy little suckers too.  The longest year of the three being 39.8 earth days. There are two links to this, and both on, so here they both are.

     Lovely sun we have folks. There is a sunspot on it at the moment that is large enough to swallow six of our planet Earth.  The giant spot was captured on camera by NASA’s SDO, Solar Dynamics Observatory. It grew to this size in just less than 48 hours, and due to some of the magnetic fields within it pointing in opposite directions, creating an unstable configuration; it is a prime target to create solar flares. And being the loving and compassionate person I am, my first thought was the fun this would have created if it had happened last year, say on dec. 17th or 18th, with all the end of the world Mayan stuff going on with some people. Not that I would have laughed; forever. Okay, I’d still be laughing.

Are the secrets of dying stars being carried around by us in our technology every day of our lives now? Apparently it is.  Here is what is going on. We have recreated here on Earth, the way magnetic fields behave around the dying suns known as white dwarfs.  We actually managed to pull this off in a lab here on earth, using devices made of silicon laced with phosphorous, which is quite similar to computer microchips. These are rated in Tesla strength. Earth’s surface puts out 30 – 60 millionths of a tesla, where as a white dwarfs field can reach 100,000 tesla.  So basically, if you put something like a magnet in the middle of new york city, with this field, everyone with a pace maker would have to evacuate immediately. Even creating a field in a lab at 1,000 tesla, lasts for only a fraction of a second, and you end up buying all new equipment, as it basically gets fried beyond repair. They used a 30 tesla field to see how atoms react in such a field. Very interesting article actually. Well worth checking out as well.

     Speedy little stars aren't they. By last reckoning, our star is moving through space at around 52,000 mph. Not too bad for a big flaming ball of burning gas. But she’s slow, especially compared to what has just been found. Now imagine a binary star system getting sucked in by a black hole. The one star gets eaten, while the other gets thrown out. That is the theory of six stars recently found with masses similar to that of our star Sol. Now these are moving at a bit faster speed. Like around 2 million mph. They are hoping that by studying these stars, they can learn more about the type of stars that are formed at the galactic heart of our galaxy, and help estimate the size of the black hole that resides there. Any way you look at it though, those are moving at a pretty fair clip by our reckoning. The speed of these stars actually makes them gravitationally unbound from the galaxy itself.

     The Klingons will apparently be showing up in the new Star Trek Into Darkness.  J.J. Abrams talks about it shortly in a video segment which I will post a link to. And thankfully, it sounds like they will be only enemies, and not any of this Worf stuff. I like Worf, but lets keep at least a bit of the original timeline in effect here. I mean, come on now, they are klingons. 

     And for all interested, here is a pic of Princess Leia in a supposedly never before seen picture in that slave costume. Same site, different page is all. Okay, even I have to admit, she looks freaking hot in this picture. Really hot. But green slave girls, and half cat women still look better in my book. I did warn you all that I was weird. Enjoy the link.

That's it for this week folks. I could go on as usual, but I can only do so much on a page, so I look around for things I think will be interesting, in the areas of space science, science fiction and fantasy. 


kallamis said...

And the reason I don't have the mars rover update, is that I am waiting for the tests to be done before I dealt with that one.
Thought I'd better clear that up, since it is a highlight, but just no info yet.

Beam Me Up said...

NP Kall, the run down as a whole works for me.