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Old 06-19-2017, 01:32 AM
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Granny says, "Dat's right - dey need to update it to account for God creatin' man...

Theory of Evolution Needs Update, Scientists Say
June 16, 2017 - Scientists from several U.S. and Chinese universities say new findings about microbes and their interaction with other species show that Darwin's theory of evolution needs an update.
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Their contention is based on discoveries that all plants and animals, including humans, evolved in interaction with a huge number of microscopic species — bacteria, viruses and fungi — not only in harmful but also in beneficial ways. In a paper published by the scientific journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, scientists from the University of Colorado, Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, and several other universities say Darwin's tree of life fails to recognize that many forms of life are linked physically and evolved together in so-called symbiomes.


Test tubes filled with samples of bacteria to be tested are seen at the Health Protection Agency in north London

The authors propose creating a working group that would use advanced computational methods to create a multidimensional evolutionary tree describing our complex interaction with microbes. For centuries, mythologies around the world used the so-called tree of life as a metaphor for diversity stemming from a single source.

In 1859, Charles Darwin used the same concept to explain his theory of evolution, depicting it as a two-dimensional tree with individual species evolving independently of other branches. Scientists say an updated view on symbiomes could have a profound effect not only on biology but also on many areas of science, including technology and even on society.

https://www.voanews.com/a/theory-of-...y/3903621.html
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:08 PM
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Uncle Ferd believes in lil' green men - he's seen `em...

NASA telescope finds 10 more planets that could have life
Jun 19, 2017, WASHINGTON — NASA's planet-hunting telescope has found 10 new planets outside our solar system that are likely the right size and temperature to potentially have life on them, broadly hinting that we are probably not alone.
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After four years of searching, the Kepler telescope has detected a total of 49 planets in the Goldilocks zone. And it only looked in a tiny part of the galaxy, one quarter of one percent of a galaxy that holds about 200 billion of stars. Seven of the 10 newfound Earth-size planets circle stars that are just like ours, not cool dwarf ones that require a planet be quite close to its star for the right temperature. That doesn't mean the planets have life, but some of the most basic requirements that life needs are there, upping the chances for life. "Are we alone? Maybe Kepler today has told us indirectly, although we need confirmation, that we are probably not alone," Kepler scientist Mario Perez said in a Monday news conference.

Outside scientists agreed that this is a boost in the hope for life elsewhere. "It implies that Earth-size planets in the habitable zone around sun-like stars are not rare," Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb, who was not part of the work, said in an email. The 10 Goldilocks planets are part of 219 new candidate planets that NASA announced Monday as part of the final batch of planets discovered in the main mission since the telescope was launched in 2009. It was designed to survey part of the galaxy to see how frequent planets are and how frequent Earth-size and potentially habitable planets are. Kepler's main mission ended in 2013 after the failure of two of its four wheels that control its orientation in space.


It's too early to know how common potentially habitable planets are in the galaxy because there are lots of factors to consider including that Kepler could only see planets that move between the telescope vision and its star, said Kepler research scientist Susan Mullally of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. It will take about a year for the Kepler team to come up with a number of habitable planet frequency, she said. Kepler has spotted more than 4,000 planet candidates and confirmed more than half of those. A dozen of the planets that seem to be in the potentially habitable zone circle Earth-like stars, not cooler red dwarfs. Circling sun-like stars make the planets "even more interesting and important," said Alan Boss, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution, who wasn't part of the Kepler team.

One of those planets — KOI7711 — is the closest analog to Earth astronomers have seen in terms of size and the energy it gets from its star, which dictates temperatures. Before Kepler was launched, astronomers had hoped that the frequency of Earth-like planets would be about one percent of the stars. The talk among scientists at a Kepler conference in California this weekend is that it is closer to 60 percent, he said. Kepler isn't the only way astronomers have found exoplanets and even potentially habitable ones. Between Kepler and other methods, scientists have now confirmed more than 3,600 exoplanets and found about 62 potentially habitable planets . "This number could have been very, very small," said Caltech astronomer Courtney Dressing. "I, for one, am ecstatic."

NASA telescope finds 10 more planets that could have life - ABC News
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:56 AM
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Granny says, "Dat's right - dey need to update it to account for God creatin' man...

Theory of Evolution Needs Update, Scientists Say
June 16, 2017 - Scientists from several U.S. and Chinese universities say new findings about microbes and their interaction with other species show that Darwin's theory of evolution needs an update.
Very interesting article.
Can someone correct me here though? It seems that... Like the " tree of life" the scientist are making an assertion and claiming "its evolution" or "this IS how Evolution (as a foregone conclusion ) happens.
Rather than pointing to EVIDENCE that evolution DID or IS happening in the way described.

Seems just as Darwin MADE UP a " tree of life" that is now acknowledged as false.
These scientist are MAKING UP a new story that they want to "test" by mapping the many known symbiotic relations of living organisms.... Then try to extrapolate backwards to assumed evolutionary paths.

Still assumptions. And still not taking into account the myriad of biological roadblocks to evolution and the problem of NEW information needed to make any/all of the changes to each organism.... Symbiotically timed and orchestrated no less.
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:09 AM
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possum thinks it'd be fun to surf a light wave...

Stephen Hawking: Humans Should Ride a Beam of Light to Other Planets
June 22, 2017 - Humanity should focus its efforts on exploring other worlds that we might inhabit, and to get there, Earthlings may need to ride on a beam of light, famed physicist Stephen Hawking says.
Quote:
Hawking made his remarks today (June 20) at Starmus, an arts and science festival in Norway whose advisory board he sits on. In his speech, he reiterated his belief that humans need to explore space to avoid the dangers of our own finite world. And then he described how humans could one day travel on a beam of light, harnessing the power of Einstein's theory of relativity to reach mind-bogglingly distant planets.

Earth in peril

The human imagination has led us to peer ever deeper into the universe with scientific tools, Hawking said. Yet despite this ability to investigate the most distant reaches of the universe without leaving our backyards, humans shouldn't be content with this sedentary approach. "Shouldn't we be content to be cosmic sloths, enjoying the universe from the comfort of Earth? The answer is, no," Hawking said in his address. "The Earth is under threat from so many areas that it is difficult for me to be positive."


Stephen Hawking has a long list of warnings about threats to humanity.

What's more, humans are naturally curious explorers who are driven to push into the unknown. Hawking described the looming threats of a too-crowded world facing climate change, the collapse of animal species and the draining of physical resources. (Hawking has previously mentioned his conviction that humanity is doomed in the next millennium unless people can come up with an escape plan.) "When we have reached similar crises in our history, there has usually been somewhere else to colonize. Columbus did it in 1492 when he discovered the New World. But now there is no new world. No Utopia around the corner," Hawking said.

Explore the unknown

The easiest targets are the places closest to home: the moon and Mars, Hawking said in his Starmus address. The moon is nearby, but it's small, has no liquid water and lacks a magnetic field to shield people from radiation. Mars may once have had liquid water and an atmosphere, but no longer. But an even more promising idea is to explore some of the planets in the vicinity of our nearest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri, at a distance of about 4.5 light-years from Earth, where 1 light-year is nearly 6 trillion miles (10 million kilometers). A planet circling Proxima Centauri, called Proxima Centauri b, may be somewhat similar to Earth, at least in a few respects, Hawking said. However, we'll never know how hospitable Proxima b is unless we can get there. At current speeds, using chemical propulsion, it would take 3 million years to reach the exoplanet, Hawking said. [Interstellar Space Travel: 7 Futuristic Spacecraft to Explore the Cosmos]

Thus, space colonization requires a radical departure in our travel technology. "To go faster would require a much higher exhaust speed than chemical rockets can provide — that of light itself," Hawking said. "A powerful beam of light from the rear could drive the spaceship forward. Nuclear fusion could provide 1 percent of the spaceship's mass energy, which would accelerate it to a tenth of the speed of light." Going faster than that would require harnessing matter-antimatter annihilation or as-yet-undreamed-of technology, he added. (When matter and antimatter come into contact, they annihilate, releasing gobs of energy.)

Tiny space probes
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:38 AM
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Emergent gravity may explain dark matter...

New theory of gravity might explain dark matter
November 8, 2016 - A new theory of gravity might explain the curious motions of stars in galaxies. Emergent gravity, as the new theory is called, predicts the exact same deviation of motions that is usually explained by invoking dark matter. Prof. Erik Verlinde, renowned expert in string theory at the University of Amsterdam and the Delta Institute for Theoretical Physics, published a new research paper today in which he expands his groundbreaking views on the nature of gravity.
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In 2010, Erik Verlinde surprised the world with a completely new theory of gravity. According to Verlinde, gravity is not a fundamental force of nature, but an emergent phenomenon. In the same way that temperature arises from the movement of microscopic particles, gravity emerges from the changes of fundamental bits of information, stored in the very structure of spacetime.

Newton's law from information

In his 2010 article (On the origin of gravity and the laws of Newton), Verlinde showed how Newton's famous second law, which describes how apples fall from trees and satellites stay in orbit, can be derived from these underlying microscopic building blocks. Extending his previous work and work done by others, Verlinde now shows how to understand the curious behaviour of stars in galaxies without adding the puzzling dark matter. The outer regions of galaxies, like our own Milky Way, rotate much faster around the centre than can be accounted for by the quantity of ordinary matter like stars, planets and interstellar gasses. Something else has to produce the required amount of gravitational force, so physicists proposed the existence of dark matter. Dark matter seems to dominate our universe, comprising more than 80 percent of all matter. Hitherto, the alleged dark matter particles have never been observed, despite many efforts to detect them.


No need for dark matter

According to Erik Verlinde, there is no need to add a mysterious dark matter particle to the theory. In a new paper, which appeared today on the ArXiv preprint server, Verlinde shows how his theory of gravity accurately predicts the velocities by which the stars rotate around the center of the Milky Way, as well as the motion of stars inside other galaxies. "We have evidence that this new view of gravity actually agrees with the observations, " says Verlinde. "At large scales, it seems, gravity just doesn't behave the way Einstein's theory predicts." At first glance, Verlinde's theory presents features similar to modified theories of gravity like MOND (modified Newtonian Dynamics, Mordehai Milgrom (1983)). However, where MOND tunes the theory to match the observations, Verlinde's theory starts from first principles. "A totally different starting point," according to Verlinde.

Adapting the holographic principle

One of the ingredients in Verlinde's theory is an adaptation of the holographic principle, introduced by his tutor Gerard 't Hooft (Nobel Prize 1999, Utrecht University) and Leonard Susskind (Stanford University). According to the holographic principle, all the information in the entire universe can be described on a giant imaginary sphere around it. Verlinde now shows that this idea is not quite correct—part of the information in our universe is contained in space itself. This extra information is required to describe that other dark component of the universe: Dark energy, which is believed to be responsible for the accelerated expansion of the universe. Investigating the effects of this additional information on ordinary matter, Verlinde comes to a stunning conclusion. Whereas ordinary gravity can be encoded using the information on the imaginary sphere around the universe, as he showed in his 2010 work, the result of the additional information in the bulk of space is a force that nicely matches that attributed to dark matter.

On the brink of a scientific revolution

Gravity is in dire need of new approaches like the one by Verlinde, since it doesn't combine well with quantum physics. Both theories, crown jewels of 20th century physics, cannot be true at the same time. The problems arise in extreme conditions: near black holes, or during the Big Bang. Verlinde says, "Many theoretical physicists like me are working on a revision of the theory, and some major advancements have been made. We might be standing on the brink of a new scientific revolution that will radically change our views on the very nature of space, time and gravity."

https://phys.org/news/2016-11-theory...-dark.html#jCp
See also:

Emergent Gravity and the Dark Universe
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:25 AM
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Emergent gravity may explain dark matter...

New theory of gravity might explain dark matter
November 8, 2016 - A new theory of gravity might explain the curious motions of stars in galaxies. Emergent gravity, as the new theory is called, predicts the exact same deviation of motions that is usually explained by invoking dark matter. Prof. Erik Verlinde, renowned expert in string theory at the University of Amsterdam and the Delta Institute for Theoretical Physics, published a new research paper today in which he expands his groundbreaking views on the nature of gravity.


See also:

Emergent Gravity and the Dark Universe
so basically the answer to the question why the universes is the way it is,
is they don't really know.
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Old 08-07-2017, 12:51 AM
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The US is getting prime viewing for the total solar eclipse coming up on Aug. 21...

US in rare bull's-eye for total solar eclipse on Aug. 21
Aug 5, 2017 | It will be tough eclipsing this eclipse. The sun, moon and Earth will line up perfectly in the cosmos on Aug. 21, turning day into night for a few wondrous minutes, its path crossing the U.S. from sea to shining sea for the first time in nearly a century.
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Never will a total solar eclipse be so heavily viewed and studied — or celebrated. "We're going to be looking at this event with unprecedented eyes," promises Alex Young, a solar physicist who is coordinating NASA's education and public outreach. And the party planning is at full tilt from Oregon to South Carolina. Eclipse Fests, StarFests, SolarFests, SolFests, Darkening of the SunFests, MoonshadowFests, EclipseCons, Eclipse Encounters and Star Parties are planned along the long but narrow path of totality, where the moon completely blots out the sun. Vineyards, breweries, museums, parks, universities, stadiums — just about everybody is getting into the act. The Astronomical League for amateur astronomers is holing up at Casper, Wyoming. Minor league baseball teams will halt play for "eclipse delays" in Salem, Oregon, and elsewhere.

By a cosmic quirk of the calendar, the Little Green Men Days Festival will be in full swing in Kelly, Kentucky, as will the American Atheists' annual convention in North Charleston, South Carolina. And where better to fill up on eclipse T-shirts and safety glasses — and eclipse burgers — than the Eclipse Kitchen in Makanda, Illinois. Scientists are also going gaga. "This is a really amazing chance to just open the public's eyes to wonder," says Montana State University's Angela Des Jardins, a physicist in charge of a NASA eclipse ballooning project . The student-launched, high-altitude balloons will beam back live video of the eclipse along the route. Satellites and ground telescopes will also aim at the sun and at the moon's shadow cutting a swath some 60 to 70 miles wide (97 to 113 kilometers) across the land. Astronauts will do the same with cameras aboard the International Space Station.


David Chrismon, left, a member of Guilford Technical Community Colleges student astronomy club, the Stellar Society, watches as Steve Desch, an astronomy instructor, sets up a telescope in Jamestown, N.C.

Ships and planes will also catch the action. "It's going to be hard to beat, frankly," says Thomas Zurbuchen, head of NASA's science mission office. At the same time, researchers and the just plain curious will watch how animals and plants react as darkness falls. It will resemble twilight and the temperature will drop 10 to 15 degrees. Expect four hours of pageantry, from the time the sun begins to be eclipsed by the moon near Lincoln City, Oregon, until the time the moon's shadow vanishes near Charleston, South Carolina. NASA will emcee the whole show, via TV and internet from that coastal city. The total eclipse will last just 1 1/2 hours as the lunar shadow sweeps coast to coast at more than 1,500 mph (2,400 kph) beginning about 1:15 p.m. EDT and ending at 2:49 p.m. EDT. The sun's crown — the normally invisible outer atmosphere known as the corona — will shine forth like a halo.

Sure, full solar eclipses happen every one, two or three years, when the moon positions itself smack dab between the sun and Earth. But these take-your-breath-away eclipses usually occur in the middle of the ocean somewhere, though, or near the sparsely populated top or bottom of the world. In two years, Chile, Argentina and the empty South Pacific will share top billing. The United States is in the bull's-eye this time. It will be the first total solar eclipse in 99 years to cross coast-to-coast and the first to pass through any part of the Lower 48 states in 38 years. NASA's meteor guru, Bill Cooke, was in Washington state for that one in 1979. This time, he's headed to his sister's farm in eastern Tennessee. "It is the most weird, creepy, awe-inspiring astronomical event you will experience," Cooke says.

MORE: US in rare bull's-eye for total solar eclipse on Aug. 21
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:09 PM
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Granny says, "Dat's right - buy the real kinda solar eclipse glasses...

How to avoid buying counterfeit solar eclipse glasses
August 11, 2017 - Experts are urging Americans watching the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse to buy smart when purchasing the necessary protective eyewear.
Quote:
With counterfeit eclipse glasses hitting the market, NASA and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) suggest that consumers purchase off their long list of verified products to ensure safe viewing. Retired NASA astrophysicist and photographer Fred Espenak told ABC News that he has heard rumors of counterfeit glasses being sold online.

It is unclear if there are counterfeit glasses also being sold in stores or by street vendors. "The only way you can be sure that they're not fake glasses is to buy them from a reliable source," Espenak said.


Espenak recommends that people stick to the AAS's approved list of 12 companies that manufacture and/or sell eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers, which have been verified by an accredited testing laboratory to meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. "They've been put through a testing procedure to demonstrate that they're dark enough to prevent visible as well as ultraviolet and infrared light from passing through it," Espenak said. "They've gone through various laboratory testing in order to be certified for ISO testing. Filters have to be validated by the same standard."

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/avoid-buyi...opstories.html
See also:

Total solar eclipse 2017: Everything to know about the upcoming celestial event
Aug 3, 2017, The countdown is on for Aug. 21, when a total solar eclipse will arc across the continental United States for the first time in decades. Here's everything you need to know about this rare and striking astronomical event that you won't want to miss.
Quote:
What is it?

A total solar eclipse is when the moon moves between the sun and Earth, lasting for up to about three hours from beginning to end, according to NASA. The lunar shadow will darken the sky, temperatures will drop and bright stars will appear at a time that is normally broad daylight. Retired NASA astrophysicist and photographer Fred Espenak said the experience usually lasts for just a couple minutes, but it's truly out of this world. "It is unlike any other experience you've ever had," Espenak, popularly known as Mr. Eclipse, told ABC News. "It's a visceral experience; you feel it. The hair on your arms, on the back of your neck stand up. You get goosebumps." "You have to be there," he added.


This map shows the globe view of the path of totality for the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse.

Espenak said a total solar eclipse can last as long as seven minutes. For the Aug. 21 eclipse, NASA anticipates the longest period when the moon obscures the sun's entire surface from any given location along its path to last about two minutes and 40 seconds.

What makes it so special?

There are four main types of solar eclipse: partial, annular, total and hybrid. According to NASA, total solar eclipses occur once every 12 to 18 months while partial solar eclipses, when the moon blocks only part of the sun, occur more frequently, though visibility varies. The total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 is particularly rare because it's the first time the path of totality exclusively crosses the continental United States from coast to coast since June 8, 1918. It's also the first continent-wide eclipse to be visible only from the United States since 1776. "That's the really unique thing," Espenak told ABC News. "It's not a particularly long total eclipse. It's not an especially wide path of totality, but it crosses the U.S. and no other country."


The diagram shows the earth-sun-moon geometry of a total solar eclipse.

The last time the contiguous United States saw a total solar eclipse was Feb. 26, 1979, when the path of totality only crossed the Pacific Northwest. ABC News' Frank Reynolds anchored a special report on the celestial phenomenon at the time and pledged that the network would cover the next total solar eclipse in 2017. “So that’s it -- the last solar eclipse to be seen on this continent in this century. And as I said not until August 21, 2017, will another eclipse be visible from North America. That’s 38 years from now. May the shadow of the moon fall on a world in peace. ABC News, of course, will bring you a complete report on that next eclipse 38 years from now.” Reynolds said before signing off.

Who can see it?

NASA estimates more than 300 million people in the United States potentially could directly view the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. The relatively thin path of totality will sweep across portions of 14 U.S. states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. However, a partial solar eclipse will be visible in every U.S. state on Aug. 21. In fact, everyone in North America, as well as parts of South America, Africa and Europe, will see at least a partial eclipse, according to NASA.

Where can you witness it?
Related:

Best US cities to watch 2017 total solar eclipse
Aug 3, 2017, A partial solar eclipse will be visible from all of North America on Aug. 21. But only certain cities within 14 U.S. states will be able to see the total eclipse, the brief phase of the celestial event when the moon completely blocks out the sun.
Quote:
Here are the best U.S. cities within the eclipse's path of totality to watch the spectacular sky show:

Salem, Oregon
The solar eclipse starts at 9:05 a.m. PDT and totality begins at 10:17 a.m. PDT, lasting for nearly two minutes. The city of Salem is already making plans for the big event. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry will host a viewing party at the State Fairgrounds in the city. Life Church is offering dry RV parking on a large field at its property in West Salem for people looking for a spot to watch the eclipse.

Madras, Oregon
The solar eclipse starts at 9:06 a.m. PDT and totality begins at 10:19 a.m. PDT, lasting for about two minutes. The 2017 Oregon Solarfest and eclipse viewing will take place in Madras. The festival, which runs from Aug. 18 through Aug. 21, will have a three-day lineup of music and entertainment.

Idaho Falls, Idaho
The solar eclipse starts at 10:15 a.m. MDT and totality begins at 11:33 a.m. MDT, lasting for just under two minutes. The city of Idaho Falls is planning to host many guests in the region for the celestial phenomenon. According to NASA, the city will have four designated viewing locations -- Old Butte Park, Tautphaus Park, Freeman Park and Community Park -- where there will be public restrooms, public parking and plenty of wide open space to watch the eclipse.

Jackson, Wyoming
The solar eclipse starts at 10:16 a.m. MDT and totality begins just before 11:35 a.m. MDT, lasting for a little over two minutes. The centerline of the total eclipse will pass over the southern part of Grand Teton National Park in the Jackson Hole valley, making it one of the best places in the country to experience the astronomical event.


Eclipse Path August 21, 2017

Steven Hawley, a former astronaut and senior manager at NASA, told ABC News he plans to travel from his home in Lawrence, Kansas, about 1,000 miles to Jackson to watch the eclipse. It will be his first time seeing a total eclipse from the ground. In 1979, Hawley witnessed a total solar eclipse from an airplane at an altitude of 43,000 feet. "We were flying through the [lunar] shadow. You could kind of see the shadow on the Earth's surface," Hawley told ABC News. "It's a unique perspective."

Casper, Wyoming
Additional:

How to watch the solar eclipse
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