Three interesting things I found today: Ain't you lucky I got snowed in this morning?
1) Cassini Solstice Mission :
I've been watching - and confused by - Saturn's Aurora for years. Yes, I study aurora and I know a ton about them, but Saturn is still odd. Also beautiful. Red, Purple, gorgeous.
There is a movie on the site, it is interesting. Note the upper air cloud pattern of Saturn is in a constant Hexagram around the north pole around the edges of the aurora. In the infrared it looks circular, but I think it is constant. Again, some astronomer might need to correct me. Weird.
2) Awaiting Jade Rabbit's Call:
The Chinese have a lunar lander, the Yutu or Jade Rabbit. It didn't shut down properly at the last sunset, so its instrumentation may have frozen up and ... well ... it may be a deader. We'll find out soon.
3) Oldest Star in the Milky Way:
For this one I have to defer to my more experienced astronomy buddies. Apparently, they can determine a star's age by the composition. I get how this is possible, assuming a consistent mix of elements from each subsequent nova. Slowly, the galaxy is poisoned by heavy metals. A star containing no iron, didn't "see" all the nova which occurred in the last 10 billion years.
However, it seems like there should be pure (reasonably) hydrogen clouds which have avoided interacting with the dirty dozen nova types like us. For a star to be alive for 13 billion years... seems far fetched. Yes, we can see galaxies which are 13 billion light years away, dating back to the first few hundred millennia of the universe. But the light is 13 billion years old! Those galaxies were full of stars, now are dead husks which have been consumed by other galaxies or ... God only knows. They aren't still putting out like 13 billion years later. I mean, stars are efficient but a billion years is a long time.(Maybe they have a few, newer, stars which have formed from the corpses of their elders, but for a star to survive 13 billion years seems ... against physics.) Our sun is a long lived fellow, but 5 billion is probably his limit. What kind of star lives 10 billion years?
Well, maybe Naz or Steph will tell me where I go wrong here.
I watched this new "reality show" the other week with my wife and son. We were interested, at first, but I think we picked up the real game here.
This isn't a reality show about the people on the screen, but about the people watching it.
First off: They are all freaking models. Ok, most "Reality" shows can have at least one non-perfect human.
Second: Team 1 breaks a member of Team 2 with an illegal move. They continue the contest and Team 1 wins. Ok, all reasonable. Then the winner gets to decide who goes to the past and who goes to the future. (nothing else that I can see.) So, they pick the future... It appears to be a unanimous decision. REALLY? Can not one person give a sympathy vote for Team 2?
Team 1 is given Sloth, Wrath, Gluttony, and Greed right off the bat. I assume they'll work in Lust and Pride in future episodes.
Team 2 has envy, which they work to tamp down.I'm sure they'll expose all their virtues in future episodes.