Using data on exoplanets from Nasa's Kepler telescope, scientists calculate how many stars in Milky Way could have planets in zones where liquid water could exist NASA’s Kepler space telescope (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/6934343/Nasa-telescope-detects-five-planets-outside-the-solar-system.html), launched in 2009 to search for so-called “exoplanets” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/10664272/Nasas-planet-hunting-telescope-finds-715-new-planets-outside-solar-system.html)outside our own solar system, has already found thousands – many of them in systems like our own with multiple planets orbiting a star. Using this data, researchers from the Australian National University and the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen attempted to calculate how many stars in the Milky Way could have planets in their habitable zones where liquid water could exist – the prerequisite for life whether primitive or complex. “The calculations show that billions of the stars in the Milky Way will have one to three planets in the habitable zone, where there is the potential for liquid water and where life could exist,” said a statement from the Niels Bohr Institute. Read more (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/11479690/Billions-of-stars-in-Milky-Way-have-planets-that-could-contain-liquid-water-and-life.html)
Posted: March 18, 2015, 2:53 pm
Fault lines dating back hundreds of millions of years in Oklahoma that have been recently reactivated could lead to a devastating quake in the state where many structures were not built to withstand major seismic activity, a report said. The state, which has seen several hundred seismic events over the past five years, has a high degree of potential earthquake hazards, according to the study accepted for publication this month whose authors include researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The majority of the recent earthquakes in central Oklahoma define reactivated ancient faults at shallow depths in the crust of less than 3.7 miles (6 km), said the report for the American Geophysical Union.
Posted: March 17, 2015, 4:14 pm
'For the first time ever, we might shift the planet from friend to foe.' Humanity has raced past four of the boundaries keeping it hospitable to life, and we're inching close to the remaining five, an Earth resilience strategist has found. In a paper published in Science in January 2015, Johan Rockström argues that we've already screwed up with regards to climate change, extinction of species, addition of phosphorus and nitrogen to the world's ecosystems and deforestation. We are well within the boundaries for ocean acidification and freshwater use meanwhile, but cutting it fine with regards to emission of poisonous aerosols and stratospheric ozone depletion. The planet has been our best friend by buffering our actions and showing its resilience, Rockström said. But for the first time ever, we might shift the planet from friend to foe. This table by Ted (http://ideas.ted.com/the-9-limits-of-our-planet-and-how-weve-raced-past-4-of-them/) shows where we're at according to his scale: READ MORE (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/earth-has-exceeded-four-of-the-nine-limits-for-hospitable-life-10111582.html)
Posted: March 17, 2015, 3:40 pm
So it's true: The early bird gets the fireballs. Coloradans who were up before the sun on Wednesday morning saw a bright green fireball soar across the sky before it burned out over the mountains. More than 60 eyewitnesses filed sightings on the American Meteor Society's website (http://www.amsmeteors.org/members/imo_view/browse_reports?event=PENDING). Greg Moore, an analyst and contributor at Weather5280 (http://www.weather5280.com/), told Mashable he was driving over the top of Vail pass, west of Denver, just before 6 a.m. local time when a bright green fireball caught my eye. The object had a flaming tail with a long trail behind it, Moore said. As it moved towards the far horizon it started to flame out, but even after the tail was gone a bright orange ball was still visible till it disappeared beyond the far mountain range. It was pretty incredible, he said. Snapchat user Joel Jimenez sent Mashable video he caught from a Home Depot parking lot in Fort Collins.
Posted: March 11, 2015, 5:21 pm
It remains a mystery how black holes could have grown so huge in such short time Astronomers have discovered the largest and most luminous black hole ever seen — an ancient monster with a mass about 12 billion times that of the sun — that dates back to when the universe was less than 1 billion years old. It remains a mystery how black holes could have grown so huge in such a relatively brief time after the dawn of the universe, researchers say. Supermassive black holes are thought to lurk in the hearts of most, if not all, large galaxies. The largest black holes found so far in the nearby universe have masses more than 10 billion times that of the sun. In comparison, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way is thought to have a mass only 4 million to 5 million times that of the sun. Read more
Posted: February 26, 2015, 2:16 pm