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Equipment Failure May Cut Kepler Mission Short

mrtommyb Re:Primary mission already over (76 comments)

Kepler has very likely found al the hot Jupiters in the field of view. Almost all hot Jupiters were found in the first few weeks of the mission. The mission may be able to continue to search for Jupiter-sized planets on Earth-like orbital periods. However, it's not clear whether this is either possible or worth the expense. The cost will be high given an entirely new mode of operations will need to be designed in a relatively short space of time.

about a year ago

Astronomers Find Planet Barely Larger Than Earth's Moon

mrtommyb Re:A planet or a dwarf planet? (71 comments)

Hi, I wrote this paper: We actually looked very carefully whether this planet has cleared its neighborhood. The smallest reasonable mass we can assume for this planet is 0.01 Earth masses. With this mass it would clear its orbit of other bodies. However, if it were much further away from its star (like at the distance Pluto is from the Sun) then it would probably be considered a dwarf planet.

about a year and a half ago

Kepler Discovers 'Phantom' Exoplanet

mrtommyb Re:Binary planet? (78 comments)

The interpretation which seems most likely is that there is a planet on an outer orbit which is causing the transit timing variations. For the unseen companion to cause these transit timing variation it needs to be in an orbital resonance with the transiting planet. The most likely orbital period ratio is 4/3 for the two planets. We can rule out any stellar mass companion to the star Kepler-19 because we do not see any stellar wobble - radial velocity variation in the stellar spectrum.

about 3 years ago

Kepler to Investigate Newly Discovered Nebula

mrtommyb Re:Weird (38 comments)

Kepler looks at a region of the say covering around 115 square degrees. However, due to bandwidth limitations we are only able to download data for a limited number of pixels. We predefine around 150k pixel masks and download the data for these. While our primary mission is to find dips in brightness of stars caused by planets passing in front of them we also observe other types of time variable astrophysics. Scientists from around the world write proposals to observe interesting astrophysical phenomena and the best are chosen to have a pixel mask places around. This source was part of a proposal by a team lead by an astronomer called George Jacoby to observe planetary nebulae. There is no intention to do any planetary science with these observations.

more than 3 years ago

Fastest (and Most Compact) Stellar Spinner Confirmed

mrtommyb Re:Tidal bulges (47 comments)

Actually the less massive donor star is really quite non-spherical. The shape will will what is known as a Roche Lobe, this is a 3D teardrop shape. The donor will also be several time larger than the more massive primary star.

more than 4 years ago

Fastest (and Most Compact) Stellar Spinner Confirmed

mrtommyb Re:Oh my God... (47 comments)

The total mass is almost certainly less than 1.4 time the mass of the sun and therefore does not have enough total mass to create supernova and a neutron star (its nowhere near massive enough to form a black hole).

more than 4 years ago

Dark Matter Particles May Have Been Detected

mrtommyb Re:1:4? (156 comments)

They need a 1:1000 to have a valid argument.

Well, the IPCC report into climate change only reported a 9:1 chance of global warming being due to humans. I think most people would agree that climate change being anthropogenic is a valid arguement, even those who sceptical of the science.

more than 4 years ago

In 100 Years, Health Care Won't Be An Issue Because ...

mrtommyb Re:Singularity? (804 comments)

Change "brilliant medical ethicist" to "faceless bureaucratic peon"

Change "faceless bureaucratic peon" to members of the community who voluntarily work on ethics panels.

If I can afford to pay for a private doctor and the private equipment to keep my "vegetable" family member alive for an extra week at home, completely out of the health system should I be "allowed"

Who ever said that?! Thats fine. You can do whatever you want with your money. Personally I would be horrified if I found out that I would be kept as a vegetable for an extended period of time. There is such a thing as dying with dignity

what's to stop the rich from hiring all the best doctors privately for themselves?

Shock, Horror. Some people go into the the medical profession to help people, not keep vegetables alive and pander to the rich.

Totalitarian is the best word to describe the NHS and any model that places heavy restrictions on doctors practising privately

Where an Earth did you get this? It is simply not true. This idea that the NHS is awful is totally wrong. Is it perfect, no, would we like to get rid of it, hell no! Yeah we complain about the NHS all the time but we are British, we complain about everything!

more than 4 years ago

Publisher Whining Prompts Italian Investigation of Google

mrtommyb What a coincidence (91 comments)

The Prime Minister of Italy owns the largest Italian publishing house

about 5 years ago

Global Warming To Be Put On Trial?

mrtommyb Re:"Scientific Consensus Over Climate Change" ? (1100 comments)

On that point I would certainly not disagree, the fact that the proof is not conclusive does not mean we should not act upon best available evidence. In any case reducing our reliance on oil can only be a good thing.

about 5 years ago

Global Warming To Be Put On Trial?

mrtommyb Re:"Scientific Consensus Over Climate Change" ? (1100 comments)

If you read a little further into the report they state that global warming is due to human activities at a 90% confidence level. Now, in the real world this seem definative but as a scientist this is certainly not conclusive. This is less than a 2 sigma detection, if I want to publish anything I need at least 99.7% confidence (3 sigma) that my result is correct.

about 5 years ago

Lawyer Offers $1M For Proof His Client Could Have Done It; Oops

mrtommyb Re:Technically.. (362 comments)

If the dumbass lawyer wins the case I'll give everyone on slashdot a million dollars

more than 5 years ago

Shuttleworth's Take On GNOME 3.0, Coordination with Debian

mrtommyb Re:Not the KDE4 way, plase (320 comments)

What KDE4 proofed is that you can also sit down and have really interesting conceptual changes that get introduced as big shifts.

What KDE4 proofed is that if you make really awful software that is full of bugs even long term fans will switch to using an alternative.

more than 5 years ago

"Burning Walls" May Stop Black Hole Formation

mrtommyb Re:observational tests? (100 comments)

Sagittarius A* object at the center of our galaxy has a mass of at least 3.7 million solar masses

What the author is refering to is stellar mass black holes, ie. black holes that form from core collapse in star. The Supermassive black holes such as the one in our galaxy are a different beast entirely.

more than 5 years ago


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