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Aftermath of Distant Planetary Collision?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the two-plus-two-equals-weird dept.

Space 97

gazurtoid writes "Astrobiology Magazine is reporting that astronomers have announced a mystery object orbiting the 8-million-year-old brown dwarf 2M1207 170 light-years from Earth might have formed from the collision and merger of two protoplanets. The object, known as 2M1207B, has puzzled astronomers since its discovery because it seems to fall outside the spectrum of physical possibility. Its combination of temperature, luminosity, and age do not match up with any theory. 'Hot, post-collision planets might be a whole new class of objects we will see with the Giant Magellan Telescope', said Eric Mamajek of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics."

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most amazing occurances yet to come (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22110596)

some of us will witness the fruition of the creators' newclear powered planet/population rescue initiative, as the lights are coming up all over now. see you there? let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

You're doing it wrong (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22110634)

You just need to say "first post". Random and semi-illiterate political essays are for when the article has a few more comments

Re:You're doing it wrong (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22110646)

I noticed the aftermath of CowboyNeal dripping from CmdrTaco's "brown dwarf" last night.

Re:You're doing it wrong (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22110698)

I thought it was more of a "red giant"* when CowboyNeal had finished with him?

*Or a pink sock, but there's no astronomy pun to make there, sadly.

Re:You're doing it wrong (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22111826)

Last night, CowboyNeal had explosive diarrhea and thought it would be funny to shit all over Malda's 3" stub. So I was referring to shit dripping off his cock (he rickrolled me with the pics). I can see how you might think I meant CmdrTaco's gaping ass dripping sperm after CowboyNeal double fisted and buttfucked him, though.

Re:You're doing it wrong (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22112182)

Oh, no. I thought "brown dwarf" was the nick name CmdrTaco gave that poor African American midget that he hired for office after party sexcapades that included the discovery that after anal sex, peeing can some times be difficult if one's dick hole is clogged with a peanut from CowboyNeal's poop.

Old Earth (4, Informative)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110630)

Maybe these planets are similar to Earth after the collision that resulted in the Moon. If so it would be incredibly useful for learning about the formation of the Earth and the Moon. as well as our geologic history.

Re:Old Earth (4, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110704)

Sounds like what they're talking about here is a gas giant formed by the collision of two smaller gas giants, so it wouldn't shed much light on the history of Earth and the Moon directly.

Re:Old Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22111254)

i think that one was hit by a death star.....so sad

Re:Old Earth (2, Funny)

TimboJones (192691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22114216)

That's no moon!

Re:Old Earth (3, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#22111544)

I've been modeling the physics for this using an old lava lamp and a Cray 1 supercomputer. It's strangely compelling.

Re:Old Earth (1)

aqk (844307) | more than 6 years ago | (#22115172)

Huh!

And I suspect neither of them are plugged in.
Am I right?



Re:Old Earth (3, Funny)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112550)

> ...it wouldn't shed much light on the history of Earth and the Moon directly.

Well yeah, that's the problem.

FTA: "Given its temperature, astronomers would expect a certain luminosity for 2M1207B, but it is 10 times fainter than expected."

Re:Old Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22115208)

.... but it is 10 times fainter than expected."

Much as your parents remarked about you....

Re:Old Earth (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22111550)

Earth after the collision that resulted in the Moon
That hypothesis has been challenged.

http://metaresearch.org/solar%20system/origins/original-solar-system.asp [metaresearch.org]

IMO, solar fission is a better theory than dust accretion, where "better" is defined as:

1. Provides genuine insight.
2. Does not contradict existing data.
3. Makes predictions that, if falsified, would disprove the hypothesis.

Short version: in order for a collision to produce a moon in a stable orbit, the impacting body must fall into a very narrow range of mass, velocity, and impact angles. This could have happened for one or two moons, but there are simply too many in the solar system to have all formed in this way. Furthermore, there is little evidence of all the failed attempts that must have also occurred. It is far more likely for candidate collisions to simply do damage, scatter some mass perhaps, or even shatter the unlucky planet.

Solar fission hypothesizes that planets are a necessary consequence of stellar evolution, and moons are a necessary consequence of planetary formation. As they age, heavier elements build up in their cores, causing a spinup - like a figure skater tucking their arms in. At first the parent body would swell at its equator, due to gravity being partially cancelled by centripetal force. Eventually the surface velocity exceeds escape velocity, and a chunk of matter is thrown. Stars and gas giants would throw chunks in pairs, one from each side, whereas rocky planets such as Earth and Venus would only create one moon at a time, since the planet would spin down before the second chunk can breach the crust.

Poke fun all you want. The physics are valid.

Cheers.

Re:Old Earth (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22111964)

Nobody claims that moons forming via collision is a common occurrence.

Re:Old Earth Soviet (1)

aqk (844307) | more than 6 years ago | (#22115246)

Hey...
On Earth here we use fission to produce fusion (Thermonclear weapons - ask your mom)...

But your pungent post suggests that our planetary overloads (perhaps Soviet) use fusion to produce fission!

Well, I for one... aw, forget it!

Re:Old Earth (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22121486)

Hmm ... how about 'doesn't require any new physics' as a criterion?

I don't recall seeing any papers, containing actual equations, numbers, and stuff on this 'solar fission hypothesis'; do you know of any AC?

It's not that rotational instability may lead to 'fission'; it's that such instability is relatively well-understood, and that no one, AFAIK, has published a plausible model ... that "[d]oes not contradict existing data".

File this in the round file, alongside TVF's other wild ideas.

I don't see that. (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 5 years ago | (#22131144)

Hmm ... how about 'doesn't require any new physics' as a criterion?
What requires new physics? Any help in not wasting my time would be appreciated, but so far TVF's page looks like the work of a bona fide scientist, who knows that what he is describing is not mainstream, ie, requires a lengthy discussion of current Theory, and what I have read is at least plausible, so far. Again, if there's an Invisible Pink Unicorn or other deus ex machina waiting for me, after I read ??? pages of dry "background info," I'd appreciate any explanation you can offer about the invalidity of TVF's hypothesis. Thanks in advance.

Re:I don't see that. (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22133118)

It's been a while since I immersed myself in TVF's 'exploding planet hypothesis', but what I recall is that he has his own ideas about gravity.

Nothing wrong with that of course, the more seriously testable hypotheses on what gravity is, the better!

However, if he is (or was; that webpage hasn't been changed for quite a while) serious about this idea, he'd get more traction showing that it passes the same direct experimental and observational tests the General Theory of Relativity (GR) does*, rather than exploring some esoteric implications.

Just as the Auger observatory recently announced results that open a new window on the universe (crudely, cosmic ray astronomy), so LIGO and other gravitational wave radiation detectors may soon open one more (crudely, GWR astronomy). Now if TVF were to make some testable predictions concerning the GWR signals LIGO (etc) will (or won't) detect ...

* Here's a recent compilation: The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment (http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0510072 [arxiv.org] )

before reading the hyperlinked article ... (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22133256)

I did notice that TVF's falsifiable prediction was conveniently -- we may not say "deliberately" so, but it is curious, isn't it? -- set far into the future, although understandably. He is correct, to the extent that twin-planet pairs would be much easier to identify by orbital wobble after a few centuries. But, would it really be impossible, for a solar system only ~100LY from here? I'll have to check my CRC Handbook for wavelengths & distances, but it seems to me his claims should be provable/falsifiable -- with great effort, admittedly, but no greater than that demanded of Galileo, whose claim was similarly unwelcome, +/- one order of magnitude.

;-)

It's been a while ... (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22133380)

As I said, since I last looked in detail at his stuff ...

The link in my comment is to the arXiv preprint of Will's latest compilation; it can be quite daunting to read through all xxx pages, and unless you've mastered the math behind GR the formalist framework will likely be nigh impossible to grasp.

However, I find the ingenuity of some of the tests breathtaking, and the sheer doggedness of some of those experimenters ...

On top of that, think of how odd many of the tests would have seemed to 19th (and earlier) century physicists. Or this: what does a scintillation detector, a bit of radioactive iron, a loudspeaker, and a tower have to do with the cosmic microwave background?? The astonishing connection is that the former (crudely) describes the famous Pound-Rebka experiment (confirming gravitational redshift, just as Einstein ordered); the latter is a key test of the 'Big Bang theory', which at its heart is the application of GR to the universe as a whole.

Can you please point me to his falsifiable prediction? The tremendous progress in weak lensing, this last decade or so, and plans for GAIA (etc), may mean such tests may come much, much sooner.

Re:It's been a while ... (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22133540)

Falsifiable prediction: http://metaresearch.org/solar%20system/origins/original-solar-system.asp [metaresearch.org]

Conclusion

If we make allowance for special cases that have most probably been altered from their original condition since the solar system's beginning, as judged by lines of evidence existing before this analysis began, we may conclude that the undisturbed solar system members provide a spectacularly good match to the predictions of the tidal fission theory. That includes major planets and large, regular moons.

At one point I began to wonder about the inference in Table 1 that the Earth was much closer to the Sun in the early solar system than it is now. Would Earth at that distance have been too hot to have oceans? Then I opened the May 23rd (1997) issue of Science magazine and found an article on "the early faint Sun paradox," trying to figure out what kept the Earth from freezing four billion years ago, when the Sun had 25%-30% less luminosity than it does today (Sagan and Chyba, 1997).[190] A good theory should always provide pleasant surprises, not new mysteries; and this one had just produced a very pleasant one--a solution to the early faint Sun paradox.

But to be a scientific theory, a model must be falsifiable; and to be useful it must make successful predictions. So we conclude with an important prediction, the failure of which will falsify the hypothesis. The astronomy news has been filled over the past two years with announcements of discoveries of planets orbiting other stars. The fission theory predicts that such planets will tend to occur in twin pairs, with some exceptions, as we have seen in our solar system. However, extra-solar planets cannot be viewed directly, even with the Hubble Space Telescope. Their existence must be inferred by indirect means, such as looking for a periodic wobble in the position of a visible parent star.

If extra-solar planets do occur as twins, that will not be immediately evident in the earliest observations because it is difficult to separate out periods for bodies of similar mass that are either close to the same value or are in resonance with one another. The first data will reveal just a single member of each pair. Observations over a longer time span will make it appear that the orbit is highly eccentric, when in reality the wobble of the star reflects the beating of two near-resonance periods. But with a still longer time span of data, the dual nature of the planets will be revealed. We predict that many of the discoveries of extra-solar planets recently announced will follow that course as the span of observations lengthens in the coming years.
But that was posted by AC, and I owe apology to AC and/or pln2bz for incorrectly conflating their unfamiliar [to me] ideas with one anothers' [gr?].

Shite, I h8 the Internet when I question my gr/sp!

May already have been falsified! (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22137124)

Thanks.

The TVF page was written in 1997, with an update to a table in 2004.

According to this IAU "Working Group on Extrasolar Planets" webpage (http://www.dtm.ciw.edu/boss/planets.html [ciw.edu] ), only a pulsar had a detected planetary system in 1997, with the first 'regular' system detected in 1999 (Ups And).

According to this tracking website (http://exoplanet.eu/catalog.php [exoplanet.eu] ), ~25 multiple planet systems have now been discovered, of which eight have three or more planets.

While this - likely - isn't enough to do a statistically rigorous test of the TVF's idea, the rate of discovery, and the number and quality of soon-to-be-onstream new projects, suggests that such a test may be possible in less than a decade.

TVF's assessment ("it is difficult to separate out periods for bodies of similar mass that are either close to the same value or are in resonance with one another") is unduly pessimistic ... at the time, 'radial velocity' was the only game in (detection) town; today, microlensing and transits are both proven, and neither is affected by the difficulty TVF mentions.

And a correction: I wrote 'weak lensing'; I should have written 'microlensing'.

Re:Old Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22127820)

This is electric universe, hidden and wrapped up without using the words "electric universe". Mod parent down (or up if you are a believer).

reaction after first glance (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 5 years ago | (#22131034)

The Titius-Bode equations referenced before the Introduction imply a systematic "planet source" acting according to a similarly straightforward arithmetical relationship. Orderly emission from the sun of planet-moon pairs is, at least qualitatively, more consistent with Titius' observations than disorderly planetary collisions as the source of moons.

The Titius-Bode Law or Rule is the observation that orbits of planets in the solar system follow a simple arithmetic rule quite closely. It was discovered in 1766 by Johann Daniel Titius and "published" (without attribution) in 1772 by Johann Elert Bode, thus the name.
More fundamentally, the Big Bang Theory states [or does it just imply it very, very strongly? If I'm wrong & you have a PhD in physics, correct me on that all you want.] that all complex elements are the product of stellar fusion, or possibly other high-energy phenomena such as nova/supernova, I'm not that into astronomy. But, the path from pure energy to electrons to hydrogen molecules generally traveling away from one another is well-known, even among scientists who don't specialize in astronomy, as is the general concept that complex elements are and have been formed later, in separate locations, not at the Bang itself. I'm interested in reading more of TVF. Thanks, AC.

I don't see that. (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 5 years ago | (#22131590)

Each pair is notably dissimilar to its adjoining pair or pairs. Now there is no particular reason under the "primeval solar nebula" hypothesis of planetary formation why this should be so. The nebula from which the planets allegedly condensed should have been rather homogeneous in most respects, and planet masses should have had a smooth radial gradient with solar distance. On the other hand, Chapter 19 argued that origin of planets by fission from the Sun should be reconsidered because it elegantly solves several problems the standard model does not. For example, if planets fission from the Sun due to overspin while the Sun is still accreting, this more easily explains how 98% of the solar system's angular momentum ended up in the planets. That fact has always been considered significant for understanding solar system formation since all the planets combined have less than 0.002 of the mass of the Sun. The fission hypothesis would also solve the mystery of the dominance of prograde rotation for these original planets, since they would have shared in the Sun's prograde rotation at the outset. J.J. Lissauer[185] summarizes the latest results on this puzzle for the standard model: "Almost all the previous calculations were wrong ... If you accrete planets from a uniform disk of planetesimals, the observed prograde rotation just can't be explained."
Under either the "primeval solar nebula" hypothesis of planetary formation or the fission hypothesis, I would not expect retrograde rotation. Also, I see no essential reason to expect anything to have angular momentum, so I don't see a need for an explanation of "how 98% of the solar system's angular momentum ended up in the planets," only of how some angular momentum ended up in each. If they all got there by a conceptually similar process, good, that's convenient to calculate, but Occam's Razor is only to be invoked ceteris paribus. The mistake of the ancient, non-empirical "natural philosophers" was their expectation that Occam's Razor (unnamed, but the very same concept) is the Law Of Nature, rather than a convenient tendency and helpful approximation, in various analyses. I might have to agree that this is fundamentally flawed, but I'm still too early in my research to throw it out with the bathwater, or as bathwater, as the case may be.

Species 2M1207B... (3, Funny)

MacarooMac (1222684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110688)

Sounds like Borg Cube to me.

Perhaps they'll get me the hell outa here. I start dual booting Vista and linux to hedge my compatibility bets.

Re:Species 2M1207B... (0, Redundant)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110710)

If you want total compatibility, you should consider XP, too.

How to beat the Borg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22111314)

1. When they say they're here to assimilate us and our technology, we comply and tell them they're welcome to it.

2. Convince them that our most sacred piece of technology is Windows ME, and give them many copies to assimilate.

3. Point and laugh.

Re:How to beat the Borg (3, Funny)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112186)

If you really want to beat the Borg, send in the Vogons!

af
"Resistance is futile!"

"No! Resistance is USELESS!"

Lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseum.

Mod parent up, Funny (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 5 years ago | (#22131954)

I might not always be in a mood to actually do it, but if the same joke were told with "Linux" instead of "Windows ME," I should mod it up as funny. Anyway, crippling alien computers with our own worst computer programs, whatever you happen to think they are, is indisputably a funny update to the computer virus cliché.

I SAID "INDISPUTABLY"!!

Just kidding. You have every right to your stupid, contrary opinion. Just kidding. Sort of.

It's a whatsit? (1, Troll)

eyenot (102141) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110720)

I hope astronomy never goes the way of Egyptology and Archaeology in failing to address or acknowledge the existence of any anomaly. Or has it already?

OT, but... AstroBIOLOGY Magazine? (4, Funny)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110726)

Is Astrobiology Magazine slumming with the astrophysicists while waiting for someone to find life outside of Earth's biosphere?

Re:OT, but... AstroBIOLOGY Magazine? (1, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110922)

Is Astrobiology Magazine slumming with the astrophysicists while waiting for someone to find life outside of Earth's biosphere?
Nah... in fact, I think it was founded in Roswell some time ago by a very pale midget.

Re:OT, but... AstroBIOLOGY Magazine? (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22113382)

Hmmm, 2 "overrated" mods in a row, for posts that were not otherwise rated. Sounds like someone has modpoints and a grudge!

Re:OT, but... AstroBIOLOGY Magazine? (1)

armareum (925270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22117334)

Or they thought your joke wasn't funny..

a pattern emerged (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22117968)

Or they thought your joke wasn't funny..
They need to read the faq then. But you see, "overrated" doesn't get metamoderated, so I get sporadic bursts of un-metamoderable downmods lasting no more than 3 days and never exceeding 5 in a row.
Considering that there are losers pathetic enough to stalk me here for years with their unrequited homosexual advances, it is not surprising that one or some of them would extend their petty obsession beyond the comment system and onto the moderation system.

Re:a pattern emerged (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22146754)

You think people are stalking you?

They need to read the faq then. But you see, "overrated" doesn't get metamoderated, so I get sporadic bursts of un-metamoderable downmods lasting no more than 3 days and never exceeding 5 in a row. Considering that there are losers pathetic enough to stalk me here for years with their unrequited homosexual advances, it is not surprising that one or some of them would extend their petty obsession beyond the comment system and onto the moderation system.
LOL, what a way with words! I'd say it's plausible that you've ticked somebody off so much that they're harassing you! It's such a nuisance.

Anyway, about the moderation system, considering that self-selection based on interest in Slashdot topics is really the only membership criterion, I'm surprised the moderation system works as well as it does. I've seen very few scenarios where the "honor system" has even a ghost of a chance, and the designers of this site have done reasonably well with it.

Re:a pattern emerged (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#22148182)

You think people are stalking you?
One guy is, he actually bragged about having been at it for one whole year when he'd been at it for about a year. Check out the comments in my journal, he posted shit in most of them and his username is a dead giveaway. But the end result of his obsessive actions are that his stalker account went from posting at 2 when he started it to posting at one (below my threshold, which means that I don't see his posts, making his stalking hilariously pointless), and my karma remained excellent. He bragged about using sockpuppets, so he probably karma whores his way into some mod points to misuse, or it's any of the the other lower intellects that I insult around here, whatever.

I point out aberrant moderations to give any metamoderators that check out the context some info, in case the system works.
There's a few idiots putting some effort into breaking the system, but they're outnumbered by decent folk.

Re:OT, but... AstroBIOLOGY Magazine? (0)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22111484)

Hey, if it's Hot, Planet-on-Planet Action, who are you to complain?

Re:OT, but... AstroBIOLOGY Magazine? (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22111664)

Which raises the question, If you are growing bean sprouts on the ISS (FOR SCIENCE!!!) are you a biologist or an astrobiologist?

Re:OT, but... AstroBIOLOGY Magazine? (2, Funny)

Some guy named Chris (9720) | more than 6 years ago | (#22111850)

That would be astrobotanist in that case.

Re:OT, but... AstroBIOLOGY Magazine? (2, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22111900)

Augh, fine

Brine shrimp and mice!

I should have just left it at Astro != Xeno but there we are =D

Re:OT, but... AstroBIOLOGY Magazine? (0, Troll)

N Nomad (1198231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22111982)

Holy dick not one of you faggots is funny.

Don't they know... (1)

omghi2u (808195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110814)

That playing pool with planets [wikipedia.org] is a perfectly good way to plug up a white hole.

During the collision (-1, Offtopic)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22110946)

While they speculate about the possible aftermath of some collision of planets, we are living the (to borrow from Chomsky) 500+ years of collision of the West onto the countries it underdeveloped. If there was such a feature, I would rate the item as both "Irrelevant" and "Ironic".

Re:During the collision (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22121190)

The problem with "underdevelop" as the crux of one's view of international relations is that overly rapid development is also harmful, basically because it compresses even more of the deleterious side-effects of development into even shorter periods than they were/are/have been given in the West to mix & re-stabilize.

Long ago . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22111682)

It's the remains of Alderaan

Adam and Eve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22111878)

"... Earth might have formed from the collision and merger of two protoplanets." ... explains why Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus?

Those were the aliens you know... (2, Funny)

Rycochet (1006897) | more than 6 years ago | (#22112286)

...170 years ago we sent out an accidental radio signal - 30 years before we discovered what radio was. Unfortunately those aliens had their own version of SETI (called TTFA - Trying To Find Aliens), which picked up the signal. Due to their recent invention of the internet and the subsequent panic over "proof" of alien life they panicked and sadly ended wiping themselves out in a nuclear war. The planet itself survives as a nuclear wasteground, still too hot to support life, but now noticeable by the very planet that accidentally caused it's destruction all that time ago...

Re:Those were the aliens you know... (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122820)

...170 years ago we sent out an accidental radio signal - 30 years before we discovered what radio was. Unfortunately those aliens had their own version of SETI (called TTFA - Trying To Find Aliens), which picked up the signal. Due to their recent invention of the internet and the subsequent panic over "proof" of alien life they panicked and sadly ended wiping themselves out in a nuclear war. The planet itself survives as a nuclear wasteground, still too hot to support life, but now noticeable by the very planet that accidentally caused it's destruction all that time ago...
For thousands more years the mighty ships tore across the empty wastes of space and finally dived screaming on to the first planet they came across - which happened to be the Earth - where due to a terrible miscalculation of scale the entire battle fleet was accidentally swallowed by a small dog.

What Is the *REAL* Story in this Image? (0, Flamebait)

pln2bz (449850) | more than 6 years ago | (#22114412)

Turn your cosmology filter off for a few moments people. Temporarily drop all of the assumptions about what you're seeing here, and consider carefully what you are seeing in the article's image. Look at the star, and notice the structure of the infrared filaments -- the star's corona -- coming off of it.

It is a legitimate question to ask:

Doesn't this star look like a ball of lightning?

People may not be aware of the significance of this, but within the Plasma Universe perspective, planetary birthing is the result of a fissioning process that results from the star experiencing more electrical stress than it can handle. It responds by splitting into two objects in order to increase its surface area. If the electrical stress is only minor, you get a planet. If it's major, you get two stars. The expulsion will travel some distance away from its ejection point before settling into an orbit.

Within this other paradigm, there's a chance that if they continue watching this thing that they may observe it spit another one out right before their eyes in a bright flash.

Re:What Is the *REAL* Story in this Image? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22115996)

Doesn't this star look like a ball of lightning?

Doesn't a windmill look like a giant?

Re:What Is the *REAL* Story in this Image? (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22117814)

Doesn't this star look like a ball of lightning?
Impossible to tell. Due to the image's low resolution I can't tell whether it's an a regular solar corona, a star sitting in a wispy gas cloud, a star sitting in a debris field, a star sitting behind a cloud/debris field, extremely large protuberances, giant lightning bolts... Heck, it could be a giant glowing amoeba.

That image looks like it was about 30x30 pixels before scaling. With that kind of resolution being able to tell that it's a star is about as far as we get.

Re:What Is the *REAL* Story in this Image? (1)

pln2bz (449850) | more than 6 years ago | (#22118632)

Impossible to tell. Due to the image's low resolution I can't tell whether it's an a regular solar corona, a star sitting in a wispy gas cloud, a star sitting in a debris field, a star sitting behind a cloud/debris field, extremely large protuberances, giant lightning bolts... Heck, it could be a giant glowing amoeba.

That image looks like it was about 30x30 pixels before scaling. With that kind of resolution being able to tell that it's a star is about as far as we get.

It is a little bit hard to tell what it is. But that doesn't mean that we cannot ask the question. Most people on Slashdot have grown quite comfortable with ridiculing plasma-based cosmologies (even though plasma makes up 99.999% of the visible universe). This is a mistake. We should consider what that alternative theory says when we see enigmas like this hot planet next to this star. If we only apply skepticism towards against-the-mainstream ideas, then skepticism stops being a philosophy and instead becomes just a support for whatever is popular. If you guys spent more time learning about what the Electric Universe said, you'd see that there is nothing at all enigmatic about this hot planet within that framework. In fact, it is exactly what we would expect to see shortly after a planet has been birthed by a star. And I'd go one step further and even make the prediction that we will one day likely image in exquisite, undeniable detail a sequence of shots demonstrating that hot planets like this are in fact expelled from highly electrical stars like this one superficially appears to be.

I've been following the Slashdot crowd closely for almost two years on this issue, and I can offer a unique perspective on this: The Slashdot audience is going to eventually be quite humbled by their refusal to consider alternative cosmologies. Consensus is not the most effective tool for identifying truth within the natural sciences, where interpretations of observations are extremely important. The first step in identifying which cosmology is correct is to drop all assumptions and learn what the various competing cosmologies argue. The fact that the Electric Universe is basically an extension of laboratory plasma physics should induce people to pay more attention around these parts. But, people continue to ridicule the theory even as it gathers additional predictive successes (Check Thornhill's site for a summary of 2007: http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=66b0jzyh [holoscience.com] ) and even though the Plasma Universe is supported by IEEE (the largest scientific institution on the planet), the Los Alamos National Laboratory and elements of NASA. LANL has an entire website devoted to Plasma Universe (http://public.lanl.gov/alp/plasma/TheUniverse.html). IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science links to it from its main page (http://www.ieeetps.org/). More importantly, IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci.
has already devoted seven Special Issues to Plasma Universe, the latest one in August 2007. Here's the editorial:

http://plasmascience.net/tpu/downloads/Editorial-IEEETPSAug07-CosmicPlasma.pdf [plasmascience.net]

The guest editors for that issue are: Dr. Peratt, a student of Alfven, a member of the Associate Directorate of LANL, a former Science Advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy, etc. etc.; and Dr. Eastman of NASA.

Re:What Is the *REAL* Story in this Image? (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22121282)

I was about to ask for more info about this "Plasma Universe" model, but then, luckily, I scrolled down before I opened a Reply windows and erased all doubt.
"Great thinkers have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein

Re:What Is the *REAL* Story in this Image? (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22121356)

And I'd go one step further and even make the prediction that we will one day likely image in exquisite, undeniable detail a sequence of shots demonstrating that hot planets like this are in fact expelled from highly electrical stars like this one superficially appears to be.
I think that it's best to wait until then, then. Or at least until we have data that gives us a bit more insight. I'm not an astrophysicist and my armchair speculations on how the universe works are going to be wildly inaccurate at best. Basing them on a very low-res image of something that looks like a cheap particle effect in a 3D game (at least at this resolution it does) is unlikely to provide any new insight. Similarly, saying "hey, that looks highly energetic! This might or might not tell us anything about the Plasma Universe" is unlikely to reveal anything new.
Maybe that's why so many people on /. are tired of the PU theory - it's unlikely that we'll get anything more definitive than "maybe it's true, maybe it isn't".

By the way, I fail to see how the IEEE's opinion has much weight in astrophysics, apart from the engineering required to build instruments and the like. NASA and LANL, okay, but IEEE? They probably know a lot about plasma, but do they also know a lot about the universe?

By the way, the fact that the IEEE is the largest scientific institution on the planet doesn't say much - Microsoft is one of the largest software houses om the planet, but they're hardly competent to speak on the topic of which programming language industrial robots should be controlled with. It's not entirely their field and they're going to come up with some .NET language because that's what they know; even if they have a couple industrial robot experts, they're hardly oing to be the minority.
Once again, I'm armchairing here and in reality IEEE could (counter-intuitively) actually be one of the core forces behind space exploration, but it seems to me that their size is rather irrelevant as their work is mostly unrelated to astrophysics.

Re:What Is the *REAL* Story in this Image? (0, Troll)

pln2bz (449850) | more than 6 years ago | (#22121796)

Basing them on a very low-res image of something that looks like a cheap particle effect in a 3D game (at least at this resolution it does) is unlikely to provide any new insight.

Were the information as sparse as you suggest here, I would wholeheartedly agree with you. But what's happening is that there is an entirely new cosmology being constructed right before our eyes, and it works *very* well -- in fact, far better than the conventional theories are working. You wouldn't know it if you weren't paying attention -- and very few people on Slashdot in fact are.

If I can digress for a moment, I'd like to point out something somewhat subtle and very important for the Slashdot scene. There is a psychological phenomenon called "jeer pressure", and you can see it in action on the Slashdot forums whenever the subject of a plasma-based or electric universe comes up:

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 26, No. 4, 474-485 (2000)
DOI: 10.1177/0146167200266006
© 2000 Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

Jeer Pressure: The Behavioral Effects of Observing Ridicule of Others
Leslie M. Janes
University of Western Ontario

James M. Olson

University of Western Ontario, jolson@julian.uwo.ca

Two experiments examined "jeer pressure," which is a hypothesized inhibiting effect of observing another person being ridiculed. Jeer pressure was expected to induce conformity to others? opinions; concern about failing or standing out; and conventional, uncreative thinking. In both experiments, participants observed videotapes containing either other-ridiculing humor, self-ridiculing humor, or nonridiculing or no humor. Participants then completed tasks that assessed conformity, fear of failure, and creativity. Results of both experiments showed that participants who viewed ridicule of others were more conforming and more afraid of failing than were those who viewed self-ridicule or no ridicule. Creativity was not influenced by the humor manipulation. Experiment 2 also included a lexical decision task to assess whether salience of potential rejection mediated the obtained behavioral effects. Salience of rejection mediated the effects of humor on fear of failure but not the effects of humor on conformity.

http://psp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/26/4/474 [sagepub.com]

What's happening is that every time that I try to educate people on Slashdot about what the Electric Universe states, people inevitably ridicule me. This ridicule is basically acting as a normalizing force that results in conformity on this board.

The Slashdot forums have been taken over by "bullies". These people have no problem with ridiculing things that they've actually read very little of. They believe that they can judge competing theories in about ten minutes of reading. What they are actually doing is reading far enough to learn what the theory's conclusions are, and basing their own willingness to read any further on whether or not they appreciate the conclusions.

The Plasma Universe theory, perspective or point of view -- whatever you want to call it -- is real, very alive, relatively rich in detail and history, and supported by multiple unrelated disciplines. It is a true synthesis of all of the natural sciences, but what it concludes is that plasmas in space are being mathematically modeled incorrectly. And this is where people tend to turn off. In plasma-based cosmologies, plasmas are electrodynamic entities that, like in the lab, respond with electrical resistance and luminosity to changes in their charge density. In conventional cosmologies, astrophysicists *assume* that plasmas are "perfect conductors", they *assume* that space is "quasi-neutral" -- that a given volume of space essentially has equal numbers of positive and negative charges -- and they *assume* that magnetic fields are "frozen-in place" within a plasma (as opposed to being affected by the mechanics and electrodynamics of the plasma itself). Very importantly, this would all be true were it not for the natural behavior of plasmas within the laboratory. Within the laboratory, we see clear indications that all three of these assumptions are invalid. In the laboratory, plasmas will naturally form filaments. These filaments have long-range attraction and short-range repulsion, which means that they twist around one another, and yet never fully combine. These braided ropes are observed all over the place in space, and astrophysicists have a rich lexicon to pull from for describing them: magnetic ropes, flux tubes, or even elephant trunks. But one thing they greatly resist calling it is an "electric current", for if electric currents can exist in space on large scales, then they would certainly do things of importance. They would cause forces. This is a big problem for conventional theories because they have been assuming that space is not electrically connected as much as possible for centuries now. It's like an addiction that they just can't shake. The box keeps getting bigger for their closed electrical systems over time, but only at a snail's pace. The idea that the entire universe might be electrically connected is something that they refuse to consider even when presented with evidence that it is so.

Maybe that's why so many people on /. are tired of the PU theory - it's unlikely that we'll get anything more definitive than "maybe it's true, maybe it isn't".

Plasma-based theories are far more inherently testable than the current theories. In the conventional thinking, we don't even get rock-solid definitions for gravity and mass. And we're constantly barraged with pseudo-scientific ideas like multiple dimensions and string theory. What you have to realize is that the Plasma Universe is almost entirely based upon laboratory experience, whereas the conventional theories are largely the result of equations tinkering. The concept of "magnetic reconnection", for instance, which presumably demonstrates a mechanism for explaining the fact that the Sun's corona is 100x hotter than its surface (!), has never been validated within a laboratory despite being discussed for decades now. And importantly, there is no reason for why we cannot validate magnetic reconnection within the lab.

All attempts to rationalize the behavior of the Slashdot audience that leave out any mention of human psychology and mob behavior will invariably be unsuccessful and off the mark. This group makes group decisions that are not supported by the evidence -- largely because they have not read the evidence. A big part of what I observe is that people here do not have the time to dig deeper into the issues. In other words, they don't have time to read about alternative cosmologies. It seems like a waste of time to them, and coming from the semiconductor industry myself, I know what it feels like when you get off of your 9-5 job. The last thing you want to do is to think about something technical!.

By the way, I fail to see how the IEEE's opinion has much weight in astrophysics, apart from the engineering required to build instruments and the like. NASA and LANL, okay, but IEEE? They probably know a lot about plasma, but do they also know a lot about the universe?

Please don't take it personally, but I find this funny. It appears that you are not aware that the visible universe consists of 99.999% matter in the *plasma* state. The only places in the universe where you will typically see gases, solids and liquids is on planets like Earth, where they are shielded from the otherwise-pervasive space plasma. The universe essentially *is* plasma. So, questions of how plasma behaves within the laboratory are critically important to our understanding of space.

You seem like you have good intentions. If you are open to being presented evidence that might convince you of what is going on in space and explain many great mysteries like dark matter, then you should pick up a copy of Don Scott's "The Electric Sky". That aside, and you will remember these words one day: there is a major paradigm shift that's going to happen in science. Most people who read Slashdot know relatively little about the history and philosophy of science (that stuff is irrelevant to engineering), so they just *assume* that it is not possible or probable. But, I'm here to tell you that for the person who is willing to read about it, the facts are plainly clear. We will probably see a great number of innovations within our lifetimes, including a unification of EM and gravity, as well as anti-gravitation. I wouldn't even be surprised if we hear more about Tesla in the future (I've seen some very interesting materials myself that explain Tesla through the Electric Universe). There is this sense amongst the public that there will be no such paradigm shifts. But that's been instilled within them. They weren't hard to convince because most engineers do not know much about science other than the stuff they need to know to get their jobs done, and whatever else is popular.

I'll leave it at that. Believe me or not, you've been told, and it's up to you to decide if you are curious. We all decide what data and arguments that we will expose ourselves to, and in this way, we ultimately control our own belief systems. The problem is that few people realize that, or even act as if it is true.

Accuracy, please! (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122512)

(my emphasis)

What's happening is that every time that I try to educate people on Slashdot about what the Electric Universe states, people inevitably ridicule me.
Hmm ... maybe if you paid more attention to what at least some of those who respond to your comments actually write you might get a more sympathetic hearing?

For example, among the replies to your >400 comments are some which are very thoughtful, respectful, and detailed. The authors seem to have taken a great deal of trouble to understand what you wrote, and replied accordingly.

Then there's the apparent disconnect between what you have written (and what folk can read for themselves, by following the links you provided) and what many (most?) SD folk recognise - from their day-to-day work* - as science: the role of hypotheses, models, theories, and so on, and the paramount importance of (quantitatively) testing these against (all) good, pertinent experimental results and (astronomical) observations.

IIRC (if I recall correctly), you were very clear that you rejected the standard scientific paradigms as legitimate methods for testing these 'Electric Universe' ideas.

Yet you have yet - IIRC - to provide an alternative framework by which those ideas may be checked and tested.

Perhaps there is a paradigm shift under way; perhaps 'picture science' and 'mythology trumps physics' will one day rule the world.

But if such a shift does occur, who will design, build, launch, operate (etc) the next Hubble Space Telescope?

* remember, quite a few of those who have responded to your comments declared themselves to be working scientists

Would you like to take part in a real discussion? (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122714)

The Plasma Universe theory, perspective or point of view -- whatever you want to call it -- is real, very alive, relatively rich in detail and history, and supported by multiple unrelated disciplines. It is a true synthesis of all of the natural sciences, but what it concludes is that plasmas in space are being mathematically modeled incorrectly. And this is where people tend to turn off. In plasma-based cosmologies, plasmas are electrodynamic entities that, like in the lab, respond with electrical resistance and luminosity to changes in their charge density. In conventional cosmologies, astrophysicists *assume* that plasmas are "perfect conductors", they *assume* that space is "quasi-neutral" -- that a given volume of space essentially has equal numbers of positive and negative charges -- and they *assume* that magnetic fields are "frozen-in place" within a plasma (as opposed to being affected by the mechanics and electrodynamics of the plasma itself). Very importantly, this would all be true were it not for the natural behavior of plasmas within the laboratory. Within the laboratory, we see clear indications that all three of these assumptions are invalid. In the laboratory, plasmas will naturally form filaments. These filaments have long-range attraction and short-range repulsion, which means that they twist around one another, and yet never fully combine. These braided ropes are observed all over the place in space, and astrophysicists have a rich lexicon to pull from for describing them: magnetic ropes, flux tubes, or even elephant trunks. But one thing they greatly resist calling it is an "electric current", for if electric currents can exist in space on large scales, then they would certainly do things of importance. They would cause forces. This is a big problem for conventional theories because they have been assuming that space is not electrically connected as much as possible for centuries now. It's like an addiction that they just can't shake. The box keeps getting bigger for their closed electrical systems over time, but only at a snail's pace. The idea that the entire universe might be electrically connected is something that they refuse to consider even when presented with evidence that it is so.

        Maybe that's why so many people on /. are tired of the PU theory - it's unlikely that we'll get anything more definitive than "maybe it's true, maybe it isn't".

Plasma-based theories are far more inherently testable than the current theories. In the conventional thinking, we don't even get rock-solid definitions for gravity and mass. And we're constantly barraged with pseudo-scientific ideas like multiple dimensions and string theory. What you have to realize is that the Plasma Universe is almost entirely based upon laboratory experience, whereas the conventional theories are largely the result of equations tinkering. The concept of "magnetic reconnection", for instance, which presumably demonstrates a mechanism for explaining the fact that the Sun's corona is 100x hotter than its surface (!), has never been validated within a laboratory despite being discussed for decades now. And importantly, there is no reason for why we cannot validate magnetic reconnection within the lab.
There you go again, oodles of words that (sometimes) correspond well to what's in the collective body of scientific studies of the IPM (inter-planetary medium), magnetospheres of planets, stars, the ISM (inter-stellar medium), galaxies, AGN (active galactic nuclei), and so on, but (mostly) are distortions, mis-understandings, mis-characterisations, and (let's be honest here) outright falsehoods.

Why not engage in a 'on the merits' discussion, in an internet discussion forum where LaTeX is implemented? Where we can write down the equations, look at the statistical tests, examine the actual data, (and so on)?

Why not tell us all the URL of such a forum which presents these 'Electric Universe' ideas, in the form of hypotheses models numbers equations data etc ... and permits an open discussion of how good the match between theory and observation actually is?

Or, seeing as how you consider lab results to be so important, why not tell us all the name of the lab(s) in which Birkeland, Alfvén, Peratt, Tesla, etc conducted experiments with a 2x10^30 kg ball of plasma (of any baryonic matter composition)? Or the labs in which they investigated the green [O III] 495.9 and 500.7 nm lines ('nebulium', a term Birkeland was, no doubt, familiar with), by direct observation of such lines?

Re:Would you like to take part in a real discussio (1)

pln2bz (449850) | more than 5 years ago | (#22123298)

Nereid, you seem to think that I *really* care about responding to your interruptions. But you present nothing for my mind to chew on. You are little more than a pest to me, and I've unfortunately stopped actually caring what you write. If I respond to you, consider it your lucky day, and don't expect twice in one day (unless you finally decide to send something that contradicts the ideas I speak of). I will only respond to your "meat" -- never the wasted typing that you fill screens with. Your comments are generally so unimpressive that I'm quite sure that the people who discuss them with you see straight through them, and wish you would spend more time discussing the actual issues. You come off as somebody who believes that they are having an impact on something, but so long as interest in plasma-based cosmologies is increasing, your problem is actually growing. It's the rate of growth one way or another that ultimately matters. And being in the majority doesn't mean anything if grad students are flocking to the alternative theory; you've set course for becoming a relic. At some point in time, you will probably decide to actually pick up a copy of the "The Electric Sky" yourself. But, you will hold out as long as possible. The irony is that the decision to not be open-minded will ultimately make yourself obsolete. One day, you'll overhear two people talking about how various observations are interpreted for the two major cosmologies, and you won't even understand their conversation. You will have intentionally taken yourself out of the discussion, and over time, you will come to find that your static pool of knowledge is archaic and no longer commonly accepted. This is the inevitable result of allowing yourself to become fixated on any particular idea to the exclusion of all others. In the engineering world, things can change *very* fast. It seems like you've come to "appreciate" the slow rate at which things change within astrophysics, but your problem is that you've misinterpreted it to be a *natural* pace.

Within the Plasma Universe, we only believe things that are supported by observation; and if it has not been done in a lab, we will always remain somewhat dubious. We feel no need to conform to any consensus, and people do disagree on some of the basics. This is a healthy way to be. It keeps us on our toes, constantly searching out for a better explanation. Consensus is *great* for religion, but not so much for science.

It's not going to be so great for your career either in the long run.

just hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22124436)

Apologies to APODNereid; I have my own response to the incredible hubris in the parent post.

you seem to think that I *really* care about responding to [responses critical of EU].
You've said yourself (on other internet forums) that you think it is important never to allow comments casting doubt upon your writings to go uncontested. Your behavior as revealed by your long-term comment history on this and other places on the web is extremely consistent with this too.

I will only respond to your "meat" -- never the wasted typing that you fill screens with.
From pln2bz? The king of the 5-page Slashdot posting, who has referred to these in other forums as "my articles"? What hypocrisy. If you're not willing to talk about why the EU claims are dubious, spurious, and outright invalid, fine. You're the one who interprets silence (or even brevity of response) as weakness of argument, and thinks most other people do too.

Your comments are generally so unimpressive that I'm quite sure that the people who discuss them with you see straight through them, and wish you would spend more time discussing the actual issues.
Your comments are generally so poorly-reasoned and hypocritical that I'm quite sure people see right through them. You always talk about things you find important to EU arguments, but you have essentially no understanding of the mainstream science you seek to supplant. You use the phrase "plasma physics laboratory" to bludgeon your readers' minds into plasma ideas to the exclusion of the entire body of physics. You disparage "mainstream scientists" as merely speculative theorists, and by extension the role of actual theory (hint: it requires mathematics) in what you call theory. You have misunderstood and/or misinterpreted literally scores, maybe hundreds of scientific observations from many scientific fields, in none of which do you possess expert knowledge.

You come off as somebody who believes that they are having an impact on something
You come off the same way, and in fact you're overt and explicit that it is your intention to drum up interest in EU material.

...so long as interest in plasma-based cosmologies is increasing, your problem is actually growing.
Support for Creationism is also increasing, and that too is a problem. Increasing interest levels are not an increasing indication of correctness.

you've set course for becoming a relic.
This is a persistent misconception that you have about mainstream science. It is *not* homogeneously orthodox, and its practitioners are *not* (in most cases, fortunately) proud but dim bulbs shaded even dimmer by their pride. It is you who have set course for becoming a relic by failing continually to understand the strengths and weaknesses of modern cosmologies, including plasma cosmologies.

You will have intentionally taken yourself out of the discussion, and over time, you will come to find that your static pool of knowledge is archaic and no longer commonly accepted.
That's the position you presently occupy. In science, the pool of knowledge does not remain static, even if a few practitioners fail to accommodate new knowledge. That's why science works in the first place. You're just fantasizing about the opponents you've chosen (by virtue of your willful ignorance) suffering through it later as you do now.

This [scientific/intellectual irrelevance] is the inevitable result of allowing yourself to become fixated on any particular idea to the exclusion of all others.
I hope the irony in your stating this fact is not lost upon you. You probably haven't had a scientifically open-minded moment since Scott/Thornhill/Talbott/Cardona made your mind up. You've probably read every published piece (and some unpublished) about the EU subject and many tangential materials, none of which offer any scientific rigor. At the same time, even if you've read a *single* similar account (let alone the deeper available accounts) of any other cosmology/gravity/star/galaxy/comet/planet theory, not one bit rubbed off. Your belief in the EU story remains completely entrenched. Worse still, the logic-breaking needed to adopt it in the first place remains to hamper your reasoning not only with your "personal cosmology" that you think everyone should have, but everywhere else too. Belief in EU is the symptom and not the malady. The malady is your broken version of science, on which EU seems to have gotten a footing in your mind. Perhaps you can modify this, but you have not made any effort. You seem to defend EU with your every spare moment, and have done so for years already.

A little knowledge of a subject is a dangerous thing, and that's exactly how much grasp of the many disciplines of "space science" you seem to possess. The same is true of everyone in the Saturnian/EU camp.

Within the Plasma Universe, we only believe things that are supported by observation...
1) The term "Plasma Universe" is not equivalent to "plasma cosmology", let alone "plasma cosmologies". The word "electric" is just a label; it's your camp's ideas that carry the stigma. Saying "Plasma Universe" will not make the ideas any more correct, and consequently the ideas will not be made any more palatable.

2) You *say* you only trust observations, but:

if it has not been done in a lab, we will always remain somewhat dubious[you mean "doubtful" as in "unconvinced" rather than "worthy of doubt"].
All observations are made in "labs". Telescopes collect photons right there where the telescope is! In the sense you mean it, "lab work" is argument by analogy: 'this lab-lightning zap mark looks like craters look, so craters must also be lightning zap marks.' Use as much creative bandaging as you like, because speculation in prose is not subject to invalidation the way solid, unfriendly mathematical speculation is, and if you find yourself in trouble you can always rescue your words by more creativity like "if physics is wrong".

We feel no need to conform to any consensus, and people do disagree on some of the basics. This is a healthy way to be. It keeps us on our toes, constantly searching out for a better explanation.
That's a false, disingenuous claim. Being rid of any need to conform to consensus is indeed a healthy thing, but dismissing the methods of science outright and claiming you are "open minded" is incorrect: your mind is still closed, even the ideas it encloses are not popular. It is closed-mindedness that traps you in "Electric Universe", not open-mindedness.

It's not going to be so great for your career either in the long run.
Big talk from a layperson pushing a farcical and widely discredited subset of a largely ineffective class of cosmologies. Besides; the political and "political" nature of government jobs and tenure in academic jobs means that people like Peratt and Arp keep their positions no matter how spurious their work (federal positions, even grants...) and no matter what they say (the point of tenure). In any event, the scientific endeavor is about science; not finding a cushy job.

I guess the answer is 'NO WAY!' (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 5 years ago | (#22125984)

you present nothing for my mind to chew on
How about my question, about where one can go to get more information about Electric Universe/Plasma Universe ideas?

Here it is again: Why not tell us all the URL of [...] a forum which presents these 'Electric Universe' ideas, in the form of hypotheses models numbers equations data etc ... and permits an open discussion of how good the match between theory and observation actually is?

Within the Plasma Universe, we only believe things that are supported by observation; and if it has not been done in a lab, we will always remain somewhat dubious
Then surely you would be only too pleased to answer my questions!

Here they are again: [T]ell us all the name of the lab(s) in which Birkeland, Alfvén, Peratt, Tesla, etc conducted experiments with a 2x10^30 kg ball of plasma (of any [...] composition)?

[Tell us] the labs in which they investigated the green [O III] 495.9 and 500.7 nm lines ('nebulium', a term Birkeland was, no doubt, familiar with), by direct observation of such lines?


I thought these were very simple, straight-forward questions, of the kind you'd be only too pleased to answer. What part of 'if it has not been done in a lab, we will always remain somewhat dubious' did I fail to understand?

Do you know who wanted DC powerlines? (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 5 years ago | (#22131812)

Hint: it was not Birkeland, Alfvén, Peratt, or Tesla. He is much more well-known in the United States for "inventing" the light bulb. OMG, heat it, and it glows. For this, Edison is bestowed the title "genius" alongside Tesla & Einstein? Pfft, not in my book!

Setting the record straight (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 5 years ago | (#22126364)

It is a true synthesis of all of the natural sciences, but what it concludes is that plasmas in space are being mathematically modeled incorrectly. And this is where people tend to turn off. In plasma-based cosmologies, plasmas are electrodynamic entities that, like in the lab, respond with electrical resistance and luminosity to changes in their charge density. In conventional cosmologies, astrophysicists *assume* that plasmas are "perfect conductors", they *assume* that space is "quasi-neutral" -- that a given volume of space essentially has equal numbers of positive and negative charges -- and they *assume* that magnetic fields are "frozen-in place" within a plasma (as opposed to being affected by the mechanics and electrodynamics of the plasma itself).

The concept of "magnetic reconnection", for instance [...] has never been validated within a laboratory despite being discussed for decades now. And importantly, there is no reason for why we cannot validate magnetic reconnection within the lab.
If asked to guess, I'd say you wrote this without critically thinking about it, and certainly without investigating the work of the scientists who study the Earth's magnetosphere and the IPM (inter-planetary medium).

Last month, the AGU (American Geophysical Union) held its Fall 2007 meeting in San Francisco. I think I recall reading that some 15,000 people attended.

Just from the titles of the sections (http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm07/?content=program&show=glance [agu.org] ), I'd guess that this would have been an extremely important meeting for all Plasma Universe/Electric Universe groupies - 'Atmospheric and Space Electricity', 'Planetary Sciences', 'Solar and Heliospheric Physics', 'Magnetospheric Physics', and so on.

Within Solar and Heliospheric Physics (http://www.agu.org/cgi-bin/sessions5?meeting=fm07&sec=SH [agu.org] ) it would seem there were quite a few sessions that would have been of intense interest to you. Some examples:

SH41C - Magnetic Reconnection in Laboratory, Magnetospheric, and Solar Plasmas I (http://www.agu.org/cgi-bin/sessions5?meeting=fm07&part=SH41C&maxhits=400 [agu.org] ), with such sessions as:
* "Causes and Consequences of Reconnection in the Laboratory" (abstract is here: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUFMSH41C..06P [harvard.edu] ), and,
* "Experimental merging, coalescence, reconnection, and bouncing of two flux ropes" (abstract: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUFMSH41C..07I [harvard.edu] - note that the six authors seem to work in the same lab as Peratt; interesting, don't you think?)

SH44A - Magnetic Reconnection in Laboratory, Magnetospheric, and Solar Plasmas IV Posters (http://www.agu.org/cgi-bin/sessions5?meeting=fm07&part=SH44A&maxhits=400 [agu.org] ), which featured posters with such interesting titles as:
  "Magnetic reconnection with multiple X-lines in an open system: Two fluid simulations with finite electron inertial effects"
  "Breakdown of the Frozen-in Condition and Plasma Acceleration: Dynamical Theory"
  "Self-regulation of the reconnecting current sheet in relativistic pair plasmas"
  "Fast Reconnection in Electron-Positron Plasmas via Turbulent Outflow Jets"
  "Universal Method for Describing Magnetic Reconnection"

From a different pln2bz comment:

Nereid, you seem to think that I *really* care about responding to your interruptions. But you present nothing for my mind to chew on. You are little more than a pest to me, and I've unfortunately stopped actually caring what you write.
I wonder if this comment of mine presents something for your mind to chew on?

I wonder if you care about what a dozen or three plasma physicists have written about magnetic reconnection (in the lab, in space) is something you actually care about?

Oh, and BTW, my handle is "APODNereid"

"Plasma Universe" busted, by its own criteria? (2, Informative)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 5 years ago | (#22129372)

It took me a while to find this, but pln2bz referenced an older SD comment, by leokor (http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=388752&cid=21836590 [slashdot.org] ), which contains some material pertinent to this comment (of pln2bz's); I added the emphasis:

(4) Normally, I wouldn't have to say it, since experiment is a necessary part of scientific method--remove experiment, and you've got no science (and I mean it). But seeing the prevalence of purely theoretical approach in the mainstream astrophysics, I want to emphasize that Plasma Universe places a heavy emphasis on experiment. No matter who's the author of a theory--even Alfven himself--even a couple of contrary experiments may be grounds for reconsidering the theory's hypotheses. Plasma Universe does not construct no epicycles. No does it care how beautiful a theory is. As someone once said, the greatest tragedy of science is the slaying of a beautiful theory by an ugly fact.
So, in light of the dozens (hundreds?) of papers reporting 'magnetic reconnection' found in lab experiments, may we thus conclude that Alfvén's 'beautiful theory' has been 'slain'?

Based on what you have written, here in SD, pln2bz, I imagine that you (and Thornhill, and Scott, and Peratt, and ...) would be delighted to examine these experiments, in detail, to learn just how badly slain Alfvén's 'beautiful theory' is.

Would readers of this comment be interested to have these PU promoters join such a discussion? Of necessity, any internet discussion forum would have to support the relatively straight-forward posting of the symbols (etc) in the equations in Alfvén's theory, together with those in the papers reporting magnetic reconnection in the lab ... Slashdot does not (AFAIK) have this capability.

(3) General: Preference is given to the "actualistic" approach, as defined by Alfven in opposition to the "prophetic" approach. The former starts in the here-and-now and works its way outward and back in time. The latter proposes a very detailed knowledge about the origin of the universe and works its way in the opposite directions. Particular: As a result, Plasma Universe is stronger in the near-space science, as evidenced even by the now-wide acceptance of the Alfven-Birkeland theory of auroras. But it is fuzzier in the department of cosmology (not to say that the greater detail of the Big Bang theory necessarily means that it's correct). For more on this dichotomy, see the Alfven's paper where he introduces it:
Leaving aside the mis-characterisations*, the Alfvén paper cited is now nearly 20 years old.

Maybe a review of the advances in observational cosmology over those 20 years might be of interest?

Perhaps a more detailed look at this "actualistic" vs "prophetic" dichotomy could prove insightful?

For example, how accurate a characterisation was it in 1990? How accurate today?

To what extent would such a detailed examination inform readers about this Plasma Universe idea?

* for example "The latter proposes a very detailed knowledge about the origin of the universe", "the Alfven-Birkeland theory of auroras"

Re:"Plasma Universe" busted, by its own criteria? (1)

pln2bz (449850) | more than 5 years ago | (#22130054)

So, in light of the dozens (hundreds?) of papers reporting 'magnetic reconnection' found in lab experiments, may we thus conclude that Alfvén's 'beautiful theory' has been 'slain'?

Actually, Michael Mozina has been performing an in-depth review of magnetic reconnection for the past couple of months, and he holds to his belief that there continues to be no laboratory demonstration of magnetic reconnection within any of these studies. He lays out his arguments and thinking in this regard in great detail on the Thunderbolts forums. I have no interest in re-posting the materials here or even going into any greater depth with you in the same manner that I find no logical reason to smash my head against a wall repeatedly.

Re:"Plasma Universe" busted, by its own criteria? (3, Informative)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 5 years ago | (#22130728)

Actually, Michael Mozina has been performing an in-depth review of magnetic reconnection
Is this, perchance, the same Michael Mozina who posted to this Einstein@Home thread (in the Science Message Board)?
[How the Sun shines: http://einstein.phys.uwm.edu/forum_thread.php?id=6058 [uwm.edu] ]

The guy who is co-author of a paper which claims the Sun was formed when a super-massive neutron star fragmented into smaller pieces, and one such fragment became a ~0.1 sol neutron star core of the Sun*?

The same one who has been particularly vehement, in many internet discussion fora, that a) the concept of 'neutron stars' violates his fundamental rule of science (that every theory must be tested, empirically, in controlled conditions, in earthly labs^), and b) the Sun has a solid (mostly iron?) surface?

The same one who is a co-author of a paper claiming that the Sun is powered (~67%) by the decay of excited neutrons in its core and (~34%) by standard fission reactions*? Yet who is also on record, in many fora, as claiming that "the bulk of the total energy release of the sun comes from an external energy source (flowing electrons)"?

The same one who claims that the mass of the Sun is under-estimated because the solar system is accelerating in the z-direction (or something like this)? That the 'missing matter' in galaxies is largely due to stars being more massive than estimated because they are composed largely of iron?

If so, then I wonder if you can ask him from which university he got his PhD in plasma physics? In which laboratories has he done plasma science experiments?

And when does he plan to publish a paper, based on his review, in a relevant IEEE journal (the one Peratt is editor of perhaps)?

Oh, and how many equations are presented in the laying out of his arguments?

* This idea resembles nothing like any 'Electric Universe' idea I've ever come across, nor do the papers he is a co-author of reference Birkeland, Alfvén, currents, Peratt, Thornhill, ... (at least, not that I remember). Maybe it's a different Michael Mozina.

^ You can find many lots of instances of him insisting that 'a gram' of something be produced in a lab before that something can be said to have been 'scientifically qualified'. Curiously, he has continued to say this long after the paper he co-authored went up on the arXiv preprint server.

Update: can't find it; help pls (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 5 years ago | (#22131210)

pln2bz, I went looking for this "in-depth review of magnetic reconnection for the past couple of months" at the site you named, but the only thing I could find that vaguely resembled this was a thread started by MM on 21 December, 2007 (barely a month ago, not two), and that concentrates on this arXiv preprint: http://arxiv.org/abs/0712.3452 [arxiv.org] *.

Not once, anywhere in that thread, are any papers on the study of magnetic reconnection in lab plasmas (i.e. lab experiments) mentioned.

In fact, the thread resembles a scripture study class - what did Alfvén have to say about X? are the words written in this wikipedia page an accurate reflection of what Alfvén wrote?

There are no equations, no theory, no models, no analyses, and none of the participants seems to have even tried to find papers reporting the study of magnetic reconnection in lab plasmas, much less read them and try to understand them!

But perhaps I got the wrong thread?

* You will see, of course, that this preprint is not about presenting the results from lab studies, but rather interpreting observations of solar phenomena.

Re:Update: can't find it; help pls (0, Troll)

pln2bz (449850) | more than 5 years ago | (#22132088)

Nereid --

You don't deserve to be alerted to it, but you should check the January 2008 issue of Astronomy Magazine. Although I don't have a copy, there is apparently an article in there that asks the question if Jupiter is powered by a Z-Pinch. Perhaps you should write *them* a letter demanding the equations!

How many people must be talking about it before you decide to actually investigate it and contemplate it for yourself, Nereid?

Not sure how that answered the question ... (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22153532)

check the January 2008 issue of Astronomy Magazine. Although I don't have a copy, there is apparently an article in there that asks the question if Jupiter is powered by a Z-Pinch
Is it an article entitled "The biggest planet's 5 deepest mysteries", written by Michael Carroll?

In any case, Astronomy Magazine is hardly a relevant peer-reviewed journal is it! I mean, they almost never have any equations, do they?

Do you know which (published) paper(s) present a case for this?

How many people must be talking about it before you decide to actually investigate it and contemplate it for yourself, Nereid?
I'm not sure why you keep thinking this is in any way relevant.

I mean, tens or hundreds of millions of people (or more) talk about astrology, and have been doing so for a long time.

Back to the same question I've asked many a time; in the pln2bz view of alternative science:

What constitutes evidence?

What methods are legitimate wrt investigating such evidence?

What methods are legitimate wrt presenting, reviewing, critiquing, (and so on) conclusions drawn from investigations of evidence?

Oh, and the handle is APODNereid, if you please.

Double oh, may we expect to see, sometime soon, a preprint on the arXiv server, with you as an author, showing that all those plasma physics lab experiments on magnetic reconnection are fatally flawed?

Returning the favour (but do be careful) (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22176612)

In light of your interest in filaments, you may find this preprint interesting "Structure of the interstellar medium around Cas A" (http://arxiv.org/abs/0801.3267 [arxiv.org] ).

Here is the abstract:

We present a three-year series of observations at 24 microns with the Spitzer Space Telescope of the interstellar material in a 200 x 200 arcmin square area centered on Cassiopeia A. Interstellar dust heated by the outward light pulse from the supernova explosion emits in the form of compact, moving features. Their sequential outward movements allow us to study the complicated three-dimensional structure of the interstellar medium (ISM) behind and near Cassiopeia A. The ISM consists of sheets and filaments, with many structures on a scale of a parsec or less. The spatial power spectrum of the ISM appears to be similar to that of fractals with a spectral index of 3.5. The filling factor for the small structures above the spatial wavenumber k ~ 0.5 cycles/pc is only ~ 0.4%.
In light of your less than electrifying (shall we say) track record re the NACO/VLT observations of 2M1207 (A and b), you may wish to consider taking the trouble to understand the observations ("evidence") reported in this preprint, including the long chains of theory-based logic, before you write something you may later regret.

Also, note that this is a preprint (though the Comments include "accepted by The Astrophysical Journal").

Jupiter, Z-pinches, and Tristan Guillot (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22187342)

there is apparently an article in there that asks the question if Jupiter is powered by a Z-Pinch
I think the background to the meat in this article may be found partly on Tristan Guillot's Home Page: http://www.oca.eu/guillot/ [www.oca.eu] .

Click on the "Preprints & online articles" link, and explore! You may find the morning, afternoon, or more, that you spend reading both educational and rewarding.

My speculative guess is that the connection between Z-Pinches and Jupiter is that an Earthly lab with a powerful Z-Pinch has been used to explore regions of materials/matter parameter space, otherwise inaccessible, that have some correspondence to those hypothesised to occur in Jupiter's interior.

Nothing to do with "Electric Universe theories", as far as I understand such speculative prose (to borrow an AC's colourful term).

But, I could be wrong; when you've had a chance to read over this material, please let SD readers know what you found.

Two more arXiv preprints of interest (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22200106)

Cosmic rays and the magnetic field of the nearby starburst galaxy NGC 253 http://arxiv.org/abs/0801.3542 [arxiv.org] , abstract (my emphasis):

Using radio polarimetry we study the connection between the transport of cosmic rays (CR's), the three-dimensional magnetic field structure, and features of other ISM phases in the halo of NGC 253. We present a new sensitive radio continuum map of NGC 253 obtained from combined VLA and Effelsberg observations at lambda 6.2 cm. We find a prominent radio halo with a scaleheight of the thick radio disk of 1.7 kpc. The linear dependence between the local scaleheight of the vertical continuum emission and the cosmic ray electron (CRE) lifetime requires a vertical CR bulk speed of 270 km s^-1. The magnetic field structure of NGC 253 resembles an ``X''-shaped configuration where the orientation of the large-scale magnetic field is plane-parallel only in the inner regions of the disk and at small distances from the galactic midplane. At larger galactocentric radii and further away from the midplane the vertical component becomes important. This is most clearly visible at the location of the ``radio spur'' southeast of the nucleus, where the magnetic field orientation is almost vertical. We made a simple model for the dominant toroidal (r,phi) magnetic field component using a spiral magnetic field with prescribed inclination and pitch angle. The residual poloidal (r,phi,z) magnetic field component which was revealed by subtracting the model from the observations shows a distinct ``X''-shaped magnetic field orientation centered on the nucleus. The orientation angle of the poloidal magnetic field is consistent with a magnetic field transport described by the superposition of the vertical CR bulk speed and the rotation velocity. Hence, we propose a disk wind which transports cosmic rays, magnetic field, and (partially) ionized gas from the disk into the halo.
First optical detection from the supernova remnant G 15.1-1.6 http://arxiv.org/abs/0801.3591 [arxiv.org] , abstract (my emphasis):

Deep optical CCD images of the supernova remnant G 15.1-1.6 were obtained and filamentary and diffuse emission has been discovered. The images, taken in the emission lines of Halpha+[N II], [S II] and [O III], reveal filamentary and diffuse structures all around the remnant. The radio emission at 4850 MHz in the same area is found to be well correlated with the brightest optical filaments. The IRAS 60 micron emission may also be correlated with the optical emission but to a lesser extent. The flux calibrated images suggest that the optical emission originates from shock-heated gas ([S II]/Halpha > 0.4), while there is a possible HII region ([S II]/Halpha ~0.3) contaminating the supernova remnant's emission to the east. Furthermore, deep long-slit spectra were taken at two bright filaments and also show that the emission originates from shock heated gas. An [O III] filamentary structure has also been detected further to the west but it lies outside the remnant's boundaries and possibly is not associated to it. The [O III] flux suggests shock velocities into the interstellar "clouds" ~100 km/s, while the [S II] 6716/6731 ratio indicates electron densities up to ~250 cm^{-3}. Finally, the Halpha emission has been measured to be between 2 to 7 x 10^{-16} erg/s/cm^2/arcsec^2, while the lower limit to the distance is estimated at 2.2 kpc.
Not bad, eh? Three preprints with EU hot-button words in their abstracts, posted in a period of only three days!

Of course, the extent to which any subset of these provides support for any EU ideas is surely impossible to determine ... if only because no "Electric Universe theory" has been published, in a form sufficiently quantitative to even begin such a mini-project.

Heh, I don't think conformists need my help. (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 5 years ago | (#22131754)

In fact, I think they need my opposition, to set them straighter, if you get my meaning. They don't easily re-conform to new facts, but eventually, they do, just as conformist as ever. I don't always see the humor in it, either, but when I do, I try to share the humor. You look like you could use a helping.

Anyway, regardless of what I decide about EU generally or the fission theory of planet formation specifically, it's a pleasure to see somebody posting material like that from Olson. There is certainly far too little attention -- even on "for Nerds" Slashdot -- to the arbitrary, and therefore often-wrong [usually?], nature of many [most?] "normative" forces in social interactions. Being scientific thinkers, you and I know well that generalizations are useful, ie good, only when correct.

More playing fast and free with facts? (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22121710)

1) 'the Plasma Universe' is NOT 'supported by IEEE! At least, not in the sense that you imply. In fact, I hear that this claim has caused some IEEE members to get quite upset, and they are now taking steps to stop this kind of nonsense.

Here's the lowdown on the part of the IEEE that DOES cover plasma physics (my emphasis): "NPSS [Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society] IS...
- The IEEE Technical Society that covers the fields of Fusion Technology, Nuclear Medical and Imaging Sciences, Particle Accelerator Science and Technology, Pulsed Power Systems, Radiation Effects, Radiation Instrumentation, Plasma Sciences and Applications, Standards for Nuclear Instruments and Detectors, and Computer Applications in Nuclear and Plasma Sciences.
" [source: http://ewh.ieee.org/soc/nps/aboutnpss.htm [ieee.org] ]

2) Isn't time we hear from proponents of the weak force? the strong force?

I mean, proponents of 'the Electric Universe' claim, falsely, that astrophysicists regard gravity as the only force worth studying, and counter-claim that 'electricity'* is really the only one (odd though that while 99.{insert more 9's here, to your taste}% of the universe is plasma, 100% is mass-energy, so gravity wins).

Surely there must be folk who believe that a plague should visit both houses; that the strong force is {insert your favourite number here} orders of magnitude stronger than electromagnetism, and that only the inconsequential neutrinos can escape the grip of the strong force (see, true believers of this cult can make just as many false claims as 'EU theorists'!)? There must be a Nobel Laureate whose work can be picked over to find juicy morsels that support these obvious truths!

And let's not neglect the weak force ... it may be weak in name, but its effects are profound, its wingéd messengers can leap tall buildings in a single bound! not only can they pass through solid walls, but even a light-year of solid lead is but tissue paper to them! Its flock vastly outnumber those of the baryons, and when the truth about dark matter (DM) is finally discovered (any day now, promise), the awesome reality of the dominance of the universe by the weak force will become clear - DM is neutralinos, the supreme embodiment of the weak force!!!! {feel free to continue adding exclamation marks here}.

Oh, and let's not forget that the weak force IS ('could be' only to doubters) responsible for CP violating events, and thus, the reason for our very existence in our universe today (why we have matter-antimatter asymmetry, and all that).

* Of course, they don't mean that; they really mean electromagnetism.

Re:More playing fast and free with facts? (1)

pln2bz (449850) | more than 6 years ago | (#22121930)

1) 'the Plasma Universe' is NOT 'supported by IEEE! At least, not in the sense that you imply. In fact, I hear that this claim has caused some IEEE members to get quite upset, and they are now taking steps to stop this kind of nonsense.

Nereid, you're trying to convince people that IEEE acts as a single individual. That's absurd. Consensus is great for things like religion, but less so for things like science. We do a disservice to science when we act as though people can be voted off of the island like in a reality TV show. You unfortunately have to live with the fact that the IEEE does publish Wallace Thornhill's and Anthony Peratt's papers on occasion. I'm sorry that they do, but get over it already.

More people now visit the www.thunderbolts.info site than the BAUT Forum. As of December, the ratio of unique site visits was 2:1. And not only that, but check out how the stats break down further:

Not long ago I mentioned that in November our Quantcast figures showed
a U.S. reach of over 35,000 "monthly uniques." That means over 35,000
individuals coming to Thunderbolts.info at least once in November.

A while back, before Bad Astronomy merged with the Universe Today
forum, I had predicted that we would surpass their combined numbers.
So on Friday I checked the Quantcast figures on BAUT. The monthly
uniques figure is 25,169.

Then I found that the Thunderbolts figures are now in for December.
Estimated monthly uniques: 68,151. Looks like 2008 may indeed by the
year of critical mass.

Putting words in the mouths of the BAUT forum defenders, this simply
means we're getting an army of uneducated folks to our site. But
here's another interesting figure. Quantcast includes a chart on the
education levels of the "head of household," a significant indicator
considering that a large majority of our visitors are the head of a
household. Quantcast includes three categories: no college, college,
and graduate work. BAUT shows a significantly higher percentage with
NO COLLEGE than Thunderbolts. And Thunderbolts beats BAUT in both
COLLEGE and GRADUATE SCHOOL. For Thunderbolts, the largest percentage
of visitors have graduate work, and the percentage is almost 25
percent higher than is the case for BAUT. Check it out for yourself:
Quantcast.com


Times are changing. Grad students -- and many of them I'm quite sure are from IEEE -- appreciate the Plasma Universe because it is inherently testable, has had a great track record lately, and to be honest, because it is not fully quantified. It gives them something to do! But probably a lot of people just appreciate lab work over playing with equations. We guess how the universe could be with equations, but it's the lab work that let's us know that we're getting close.

Nereid, will you allow yourself to become an old cranky man like Sydney Chapman, who refused to look at Hannes Alfven's reconstruction of Birkeland's terrella? Your arguments about formalism never actually deal with what is being said. You never actually try on your own to give EU an honest chance because you never actually "touch the meat" of what's being argued -- and I believe that people see this more clearly in your statements than you realize. People realize that the loudest person in the room is not always saying the most interesting thing. Many people *want* a rational dialogue on forums like this and all you do is deprive them of that by countering *every* statement I make with attempts at making me look ridiculous. In the process, you leave the impression with people that it's just *me* who's arguing this stuff. But in fact, the facts are getting out loud and clear. This small group of scientists has doubled BAUT's traffic without a single press release or positive printed article on their behalf, and they're going up against the PR beast of the conventional theories. If you don't see the significance of this, then you are in complete denial.

Re:More playing fast and free with facts? (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22122340)

I rather doubt a poll of people on their familiarity with QED (this wikipedia page will do: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_electrodynamics [wikipedia.org] ) would tell you much about how good a job it does, as a theory, in accounting for the relevant experimental results.

Science - thank goodness - is not some version of American Idol.

Plasma physics is pretty darn quantitative, and it has been applied (quantitatively) to astronomical observations, in order to develop hypotheses and models, to explain (in terms of mechanisms and processes) the fine details of the data that comes from the instruments attached to telescopes ... as the thousands of papers on MHD (magnetohydrodynamics - what Alfvén got his Nobel for) in databases such as ADS will attest [source: http://adswww.harvard.edu/ [harvard.edu] )*.

If you - or any other reader of this comment - are interested in learning why Peratt's 'astronomy' papers (on galaxies, for example) are not cited by anyone (except himself), why not join an internet discussion forum where lots of folk with degrees in physics (including plasma physics), astronomy, etc hang out^? It would surely be interesting, wouldn't it? I mean, we could have a discussion on his papers, in terms of how well he has applied plasma physics and tested hypotheses against the actual astronomical observations .... quantitatively!

Surely this is how science is done? By developing (testable) hypotheses ... and actually testing them?

Or do you think the only people in the world who know enough about plasma physics, as applied to 'things we see in the sky' (beyond the Earth's atmosphere), to be able to do this kind of science are Peratt and Thornhill (despite the thousands who have PhDs in just this)?

* If you need some help finding these thousands of papers, just say so; I'd be only to pleased to help you.
^ For avoidance of doubt, none of the 'Electric Universe' fora I am aware has any quantitative discussions (equations, numbers, estimated uncertainties, etc), of astronomical phenomena ... I'd love to be proven wrong.

Re:More playing fast and free with facts? (1)

pln2bz (449850) | more than 5 years ago | (#22123368)

mean, we could have a discussion on his papers, in terms of how well he has applied plasma physics and tested hypotheses against the actual astronomical observations .... quantitatively!

What's amazing is that you have the cahones to argue anything about quantification. Your favored theories can only identify 4-5% of the universe. What good is a calculation with that sort of an error rate? Typically, people who only understand 4-5% of something are not so arrogant about their supposed knowledge. Most people would accept that they don't actually understand anything in that sort of a situation. Your refusal to be humble is a destructive force which only results in the silencing of rational discussion. I frequently wonder about your motives. Why do you care, Nereid? If you really think I'm so crazy, then why do you waste your time on me? If the ideas are so absurd, then shouldn't people see that for themselves? I'm arguing about facts, and you're constantly arguing against arguing about facts.

Same old, same old (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 5 years ago | (#22125844)

I ask if you'd be interested in having a discussion on the plasma physics in Peratt's (galaxy) papers, and the extent to which it matches the relevant (astronomical) observations, a discussion that would, of necessity, by quantitative (with equations, numbers, and so on), and you reply with a tirade about "[my] favored theories can only identify 4-5% of the universe"!

Would you be so kind as to tell all readers just what APODNereid's "favored theories" are? Be sure to use only APODNereid's comments in Slashdot as your source material.

Back to the invitation: may I ask, again, if you'd be interested and willing in having a discussion of Peratt's published papers on galaxies, which discussion to focus on the plasma physics in those papers and the relevant astronomical observations?

I'd appreciate an unequivocal 'yes' or 'no'.

If the ideas are so absurd, then shouldn't people see that for themselves? I'm arguing about facts, and you're constantly arguing against arguing about facts.
Another, all too common, theme in your SD comments.

First, I feel it is important for readers to see for themselves just how inaccurate your portrayal of the 'facts' is. And for them to have a good set of primary source URLs so they can go check for themselves, independently.

An example: "Look at the star, and notice the structure of the infrared filaments -- the star's corona -- coming off of it." The 'facts' are somewhat different than you portray them, and I made a suggestion on where readers may go to get more details (the primary source in this case being an ESO website, and the papers linked to therefrom: http://www.eso.org/instruments/naco/overview.html [eso.org] ).

Second, almost all the scientific 'facts' you introduce contain intricate webs of theory-based logic. The ideas you are promoting seem to me (based on my own reading of the websites etc to which you have provided links) to reject many of the theories in these logic trains. Ergo, the 'facts', as stated by you, are equivalent to "1 = 2" in some way ... an internal contradiction. I suspect that many SD readers know this at some level, but they may not be aware of just how intimately the astronomical images you so often reference are meaningful only if key parts of the theories you explicitly reject are accepted (if only provisionally).

Third, I would hope that my most potent critiques are those directed at the explicit or implicit methods which underlie the 'Electric Universe' ideas.

To repeat: this is the Science part of Slashdot. To have a meaningful discussion, we need a certain minimum of mutual comprehension. For most folk, 'Science' carries the baggage of things like peer-reviewed papers, hypothesis-model-theory, quantitative testing, internal consistency, and so on.

Yet you yourself have said, more than once, that you reject most of these fundamentals.

That's fine, there's nothing sacred about any of these.

However, I have yet to see anything of substance from you on what you propose to take the place of these fundamentals.

How does one do science, in the brave new world of 'the Electric Universe paradigm'?

Re:Same old, same old (1)

pln2bz (449850) | more than 5 years ago | (#22128576)

Nereid, I will never commit to a formal discussion with you. That would be like throwing away days of my life, and I have nothing to prove to you whatsoever. You represent a dying paradigm and you don't realize it because you refuse to consider evidence unless it meets your own strict requirements. You will surely deny the possibility of things like anti-gravitation until somebody demonstrates it directly to you, and only then will you realize that your core philosophy of science is in fact nothing more than a herd mentality.

Sometimes the world is not so tidy as an astrophysical textbook. Sometimes we don't know the equations. Sometimes the equations are wrong. Mathematics is nothing more than a language for describing things. It is not a weapon that you should attempt to brand and strike down people you disagree with. Like all languages, we can write science fiction and fantasy with mathematics. It is the job of us humans to decide what mathematics is *physical* and what is a fairy tale, and we do this best when we're given options for what to believe. This is why it is my right and duty to explain to people an alternative perspective on the materials that you have been taught: because contrary to your own high esteem in yourself, you and other conventional thinkers are not infallible. Both James Maxwell and Michael Faraday clearly understood and espoused the role of being humble in science; it was a critical part of both of their core scientific philosophies.

Dialogue is incredibly important within science. Before there is a paradigm change, there are a bunch of people talking about alternative ways of thinking about observations in places where people are not criticized for saying something that violates the conventional thinking. You obstinately refuse to see that you have the order reversed and cling to the belief that there can be no paradigm change because you've decided that mathematics will be your ultimate litmus test. You appear to not realize that your frequent arguments for a lack of quantification are both circular and meaningless. It is nothing more than a statement of the obvious and for those of us who still get excited about science, a challenge to be taken up. It says absolutely nothing about what is physical or even interesting, and we humans are endowed (to varying capacities apparently) with the ability to understand what something is without having to mathematically model it. And, just for the record, something doesn't start "being" when it is mathematically modeled.

Perhaps you should redirect your demands to nature or some higher power to reveal itself better? The rest of us are going to continue sorting through the mess that you guys have left for us to clean up.

Re:Same old, same old (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 5 years ago | (#22129708)

you refuse to consider evidence unless it meets your own strict requirements
I do?

I mean, these 'strict requirements' are my own, personal, ones?

Hmm ... could you do me a favour please? Would you mind pointing out the comments, by me, here in Slashdot, which describe these? I mean, as personal requirements, not those of the tens of thousands who have written astronomy, astrophysics, space/plasma physics, and cosmology papers.

Concerning evidence.

Would you be kind enough to give some examples of such evidence, concerning observable phenomena beyond the Earth's atmosphere?

I am interested - in the first instance - only in evidence that has not been independently verified by observation using the unaided eye. A quick skim of a site you have linked to, many times (it contains many 'pictures of the day'), turned up no such evidence ... all the 'beyond the Earth's atmosphere' phenomena (images) are the result of lots of number crunching of data from instruments, the operation of which can yield images only if you accept that several modern theories in physics are a sufficiently stable and accurate characterisation of how the universe works. A particularly spectacular example is the one featuring "Supernova remnant RJX1713.7-3946".

it is my right and duty to explain to people an alternative perspective on the materials that you have been taught
And I don't think I have ever suggested, or even hinted, that you are not free to speak in any way you wish.

What I have been trying to do is get at least an outline of how science, in this 'alternative perspective', is (or should be) conducted:
-> what is the role of independent review?
-> how should 'evidence' be evaluated?
-> what are the equivalents of 'hypotheses', 'models', and 'theories'?
-> what is the nature of testing?
-> may the 'beautiful theories' of Birkeland, Alfvén, Peratt, Thornhill, Scott, etc be slain?
-> if so, how (in principle)? ... and so on.

For some reason, you seem extremely reluctant to address these; why?

pseudo-science, hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22123690)

That response is hypocritical:

you're trying to convince people that IEEE acts as a single individual. That's absurd.
You're the one who often says on this forum the following:
"astrophysicists* refuse to consider X", inaccurately portraying the mainstream scientific community as heterogeneously incurious
(* you've yet to become rid of your years-long bad habit of saying "astrophysics" to conflate everything to do with space from planetary science to astronomy to astrophysics to cosmology)

"mainstream science is blinded by its own education/indoctrination/knowledge/etc.", inaccurately portraying mainstream science as heterogeneously inept in its own element

We guess how the universe could be with equations, but it's the lab work that let's us know that we're getting close.
Now you're getting somewhere. We theorize, then interrogate nature. We can interrogate nature by observation and experimentation. You seem only to accept what you call "lab work" or "laboratory experimentation" but never observation! There is no fundamentally no difference between *observing* an experiment at arm's length and *observing* phenomena across the street and *observing* phenomena many light years distant. In a scientific inquiry, the critical difference is that an experiment allows you to interrogate nature in (at least a few) ways of your choosing instead of in ways of nature's choosing. That's why it's correct to say, as you often do, that "it's perfectly legitimate to try to explain the universe in terms of plasmas." However, plasma cosmologies are less successful at describing the phenomena we observe than are other cosmologies even though some of *those* cosmologies often contradict one another. When you and the other Saturnian Configuration / Electric Universe proponents try to call your "soup-to-nuts" (mythology-to-stars-to-weather-to-matter-itself-etc) approach with plasma cosmology, you bastardize the phrase "plasma science" because it's just not.

You never actually try on your own to give EU an honest chance because you never actually "touch the meat" of what's being argued...
I can't speak for APODNereid, but I certainly have (by now, thanks to your long nuisance here on Slashdot and elsewhere) investigated EU and the nebulously-related Saturnian outgrowth of Velikovskian ideology. I find them both imaginative (a plus) but utterly unconvincing in every detail I have investigated, including both those from within my own area of expertise and those outside it. They're bad science in every respect. It is ironic that You (EU/SC camp) complain that nobody pays attention to Your hand-waving speculation about phenomena but it is You who pay no attention (through ignorance or dismissal) of the reasons "mainstreamers" are uninterested in plasma cosmologies. I'll give You a hint: they tend to be invalid at describing scientific data both past and present.

...and I believe that people see this more clearly in your statements than you realize.
It is quite possible for a person to investigate what EU says and yet be thoroughly unconvinced by it. I think it is also likely that many observers would conclude about your own comments that You do not give "mainstream" science an honest chance, and think it obvious that you have little understanding of "mainstream" science. This is certainly my appraisal.

Many people *want* a rational dialogue on forums like this and all you do is deprive them of that by countering *every* statement I make with attempts at making me look ridiculous.
If that's not the pot calling the kettle black, nothing is. Your behavior on Slashdot shows that you basically never allow even a *single* disparaging comment to go unchallenged; you always have to have the last word, and you typically write many-page responses in an effort to awe by-standers and spam-out the opposition. This strategy is ongoing, and here we are. Some of your recent discussions have raged for weeks after being deserted by everyone but you and your opponents.

If you don't see the significance of this [the enormous influx of EU website visitors], then you are in complete denial.
Yeah. New is exciting whether it's right or wrong, and as you alluded sometimes precisely because even that much is unknown. There are zillions of mainstream sites that attract new visitors slowly precisely because they are mainstream and the information has been known to most of the human population, except new humans, for years. There are very few Electric Universe websites, and the EU subject is unknown to almost all humans, new and otherwise. Your analysis of the significance of EU's web growth is both wrong and hypocritical. As you pointed out, correctness and loudness are inequivalent. Increasing loudness is not an indicator of correctness, yet you still try both to use it as a weapon when it suits you and cry foul when it's used against you.

OK, but EM force does more to massless energy (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 5 years ago | (#22131346)

I mean, proponents of 'the Electric Universe' claim, falsely, that astrophysicists regard gravity as the only force worth studying, and counter-claim that 'electricity'* is really the only one (odd though that while 99.{insert more 9's here, to your taste}% of the universe is plasma, 100% is mass-energy, so gravity wins).
First, I wouldn't put any stock at all in any theory that says that just one of the four forces "wins." I'm also not familiar with this particular "EU Theory" or with nearly as much of the work of astronomers/astrophysicists as I'd like, and I certainly don't plan to inject myself into what is obviously a passionate disagreement. I wouldn't mind if my questions about the science distract you from this feud, but that isn't my goal. Anyway, please don't get the impression I'm arguing [generally] for this "Plasma Universe" model. I don't even understand it, and only noticed it a couple days ago on Slashdot. [I do think I just began reading about an attractively elegant theory for solar system formation, but that is only a first impression.] I'm just asking questions right now about parts of your counter-argument that lead me to conclude, as you evidently have, that certain conclusions are total bunk, if you'll forgive the paraphrase. Feel free to use it, if you wish. If you're right, and this theory is a waste of time, I'd appreciate your assistance in wasting less of mine. Thanks in advance.

Questions are ALWAYS welcome! :-) (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22133052)

My comment, the second part anyway, was intended as a bit of a joke - if you ever get the pleasure of reading some 'Electric Universe' material, you'll see what I mean about 'the universe is 99.999% plasma, therefore electricity rules!'

You'll also quickly discover the amount of venom, vitriol, and so on proponents of these ideas hurl at what they call 'mainstream astrophysicists'.

I'd be happy to suggest resources on theories of planetary formation, be they webpages, books, papers, blogs, or discussion fora ... just ask! :-)

Re:Questions are ALWAYS welcome! -- I thought so! (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22133200)

Thanks, and I'm now asking; please "suggest resources on theories of planetary formation, be they webpages, books, papers, blogs, or discussion fora ... :-)"

I have 3 years down on a BS in physics, which I had to abandon for financial reasons, and I'm pleasantly surprised to find my own curiosity about phenomena parsecs away as strong as ever, or more so. I'd still like to see more voters having a realistic cost/benefit-rooted appraisal of nuclear energy's value to themselves, but I'm too grown-up to believe in Miracles.

:-(

Resources, first pass (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22133308)

Icarus, "International Journal of Solar System Studies"; unfortunately it's a subscription publication (though with some ingenuity you can find at least the abstracts of many Icarus papers through ADS; papers with preprints on arXiv are, of course, free) http://icarus.cornell.edu/ [cornell.edu] . This is the best, deepest, etc resource (IMHO).

ADS Abstract service, for finding papers relevant to planetary formation (click on Physics and Geophysics Search http://adsabs.harvard.edu/ads_abstracts.html [harvard.edu] )

General, diffuse website: Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD, most have at least some good links; not specific to planet formation though http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html [nasa.gov] )

General astronomy discussion forum (LOTS of very knowledgeable and helpful people): BAUT (http://www.bautforum.com/ [bautforum.com] )

General physics discussion forum (not much on planetary formation however): Physics Forums (http://physicsforums.com/index.php [physicsforums.com] )

I'll suggest some of the other resources in a later comment ...

Re:Resources, first pass (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22133336)

Bookmarked for future reference, thanks!

Resources, second pass (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22138978)

Unlike astronomy, where there are just a few journals that cover most of the field, it seems that papers on the general topic of planetary system, and planets/moons/etc, formation are found in many.

In addition to Icarus, there is MNRAS (Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society), ApJ (Astrophysics Journal), JGRE/JGRA (Journal of Geophysical Research), P&SS (Planetary and Space Science), GeoRL (Geophysical Research Letters), E&PSL (Earth and Planetary Science Letters), ... as well as the big guns such as Nature and Science.

There are also at least two regular meetings/conferences; examples from recent ones: 39th DPS meeting, session 32 (Planet and Satellite Creation and Evolution, on 10 October 2007) http://www.abstractsonline.com/viewer/viewSession.asp [abstractsonline.com] (link may not work); Fall 2007 AGU meeting, session P54A (Planetary Formation and Evolution) http://www.agu.org/cgi-bin/sessions5?meeting=fm07&part=P54A&maxhits=400 [agu.org] .

Somewhere among all these there must be a good review paper or three, published in the last year or so .... however I couldn't find any.

A very readable, recent, book, with oodles of references is The Big Splat (Or How Our Moon Came to Be), by Dana Mackenzie. Of course, its focus is much narrower than the topic of this thread!

And that'll have to do for now.

Re:Resources, first pass -- PS (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22133350)

As if it isn't already obvious, I won't have anything else to say about planetary formation or Plasma Model/Electric Universe/??? vs. Standard Model/??? until, at least, the next thread.

No worries! (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22139040)

As if it isn't already obvious, I won't have anything else to say about planetary formation or Plasma Model/Electric Universe/??? vs. Standard Model/??? until, at least, the next thread.
Enjoy your reading and research!

*REAL* Story in this Image - know thy source! (1)

APODNereid (1203758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22121556)

The 'significance' of the apparent similarity is far more mundane.

What you 'see' in the image is a representation of data from an instrument attached to a telescope in Chile.

That data itself is the result of a great deal of number crunching, based on long chains of logic, based on theories of physics.

The "the structure of the infrared filaments -- the star's corona -- coming off of it" is nothing of the sort!

If you are REALLY interested in those 'infrared filaments', I would be happy to recommend a few papers on 'the NACO adaptive-optics facility' (the instrument used in this case); you might be interested to learn how much of these are exactly what you'd expect from a point source imaged through the atmosphere above the VLT.

Speculation can be fun; speculation based on such gross mis-understanding of the input data surely isn't.

What a great time to be alive (1)

XNine (1009883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22114522)

Imagine all of the things we have seen and learned about in our lifetimes? The whole prospect of finding other objects out there in the universe still amazes me, even though my cereal doesn't come with Haley's Comet matchbox cars and Nasa patches aren't cool anymore. Damn you trendy space-lovers! Damned you all!

(sigh) You racist Americans.... (1)

aqk (844307) | more than 6 years ago | (#22115294)

All I ever hear from you is stuff about
"White holes", "Black Holes", etc etc.

Now, north of the border, a good Canadian Asstrophysical lad would simply say
"Up Uranus!"
and be done with it!


Mod Parent ... Sideways (1)

gr8scot (1172435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22121308)

Off Topic, and Funny; Insightful, and Troll; etc.
Check for New Comments
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