An intriguing documentary has caught my eye with its slick teaser trailer.
We like the moon. Because it is close to us.
I can’t wait to see this doc when it’s out. I’ve had a long-standing love affair with the moon and its effects on our planet. I’ve posted quite a bit about it in the past, a number of times in fact.
Apparently, Cosmic Journeys has a number of such documentaries online, each about half an hour minus commercial time, making it ripe for syndication to a real network. Why nobody’s picked this up to fill a time slot somewhere is completely beyond me. They’re slickly produced, engaging, have an excellent narrator, and are completely free. And they’re about one of the most engaging and important topics we as humans could ever study: the universe itself, on a macroscopic scale far beyond our transient and provincial lives.
I’ve posted this before, but it’s worth seeing again in light of the Earth-sized planets Kepler just found.
Continue reading “The Kepler destroys the fine-tuning argument”
NASA reports that the Kepler mission has discovered the first Earth-sized exoplanets ever discovered. What’s even wilder: they found the pair of them in the same damned system.
Continue reading “First Earth-sized exoplanets found!”
A milestone find by the Kepler mission: a planet a little over twice the size of Earth, situated in the Goldilocks zone of its star where liquid water can exist at the surface. Which by extension means that, if this planet is terrestrial and has water, there’s the possibility of life as we know it.
Continue reading “Kepler confirms: Super-earth found in star’s habitable zone!”
Via Universe Today, some news regarding the long-held belief that a stable axial tilt requires a large enough moon to provide stabilization — a study suggests it’s less necessary than previously believed.
Ever since a study conducted back in 1993, it has been proposed that in order for a planet to support more complex life, it would be most advantageous for that planet to have a large moon orbiting it, much like the Earth’s moon. Our moon helps to stabilize the Earth’s rotational axis against perturbations caused by the gravitational influence of Jupiter. Without that stabilizing force, there would be huge climate fluctuations caused by the tilt of Earth’s axis swinging between about 0 and 85 degrees.
But now that belief is being called into question thanks to newer research, which may mean that the number of planets capable of supporting complex life could be even higher than previously thought.
Anything that widens the scope of potential planets where life might have arisen is welcome news. We’re finding new exoplanets every damn day nowadays, so the search for extraterrestrial life-harboring planets is simply a matter of time, I’m willing to wager.
Via Astronomy Picture of the Day, my premier space porn site, comes this amazing time-lapse video shot from the International Space Station.
Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.
Some random other links below the fold.
Continue reading “RCimT: some space porn!”
Welcome to the first Random Crap in my Tabs posted to Freethought Blogs! Every once in a while, my browser’s tabs get far too full of “stuff that must be blogged”, stuff that I figured was too interesting to just read and close, and in order to free up resources so I can do other things, once in a while I aggregate a bunch of similarly themed items into a post with links and short commentary. It’s something like a blog carnival, but usually to non-bloggy stuff.
This one’s about some sciencey bits and bobs, and it’s all over the map. Allons-y!
Continue reading “RCimT: a quick science news roundup”