Planets Seen Forming! (or Dust Spreading )

first_imgScience headline writers were almost beside themselves with joy at the prospect of watching other planetary systems in the process of forming.  Science Daily nearly set a record with a large-print, bold, 22-word headline: “Zooming in on an Infant Solar System: For the First Time, Astronomers Have Observed Solar Systems in the Making in Great Detail.”  PhysOrg, which regurgitated the same press release from University of Arizona, headlined only the first 7 words.  A quick internet search showed this press release reverberating throughout the web, with little modification, usually accompanied by the same artwork.  What on other earths was going on?    The press release was based on a paper by J. A. Eisner et al published in Astrophysical Journal, available online in an open-access PDF at Los Alamos National Laboratory.1  The title talks about spectra of hydrogen around certain stars – nothing about planets.  The paper itself only makes a brief, data-free, theory-laden statement about planets in the introduction: “Protoplanetary disks play an integral part in the formation of both stars and planets.  Disks provide a reservoir from which stars and planets accrete material, and a knowledge of the structure of inner regions of disks is needed to understand the star/disk interface as well as planet formation in disk ‘terrestrial’ regions.”  That was it.2  Wading through the hype about planets in the press release to get to the data, though, took a strong machete.  The claims were audacious from the first sentence.  Not only did the press release deliver planets; it outfitted them for life:For the first time, astronomers have observed solar systems in the making in great detail.A team led by University of Arizona astronomer Joshua Eisner has observed in unprecedented detail the processes giving rise to stars and planets in nascent solar systems. The solar systems the astronomers chose for this study are still young, probably a few million years old.“These disks will be around for a few million years more,” Eisner said.  “By that time, the first planets, gas giants similar to Jupiter and Saturn, may form, using up a lot of the disk material.”More solid, rocky planets like the Earth, Venus or Mars, won’t be around until much later.“We are going to see if we can make similar measurements of organic molecules and water in protoplanetary disks,” he said.  “Those would be the ones potentially giving rise to planets with the conditions to harbor life.”Surely claims of this magnitude were based on incredibly hard evidence.  Did Eisner and his colleagues actually see any planets?  Actually, no.  They saw dust and hydrogen.  They looked at 15 stars with dust disks around them, and measured things like mass, rotation, and magnetic fields.  They saw some of the dust getting sucked into the stars.  They saw some dust disks getting pushed back by magnetic field lines.  They saw violent process, like hydrogen flung out by magnetic field lines: “the gas is being funneled along the field lines arching out high above and below the disk’s plane,” Eisner said.  “The material then crashes into the star’s polar regions at high velocities.”  The press release explained what happens next: “In this inferno, which releases the energy of millions of Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs every second, some of the arching gas flow is ejected from the disk and spews out far into space as interstellar wind.”  Notice that this environment forms the boundary conditions for the story.Question: where are the planets?Answer: in Eisner’s imagination.“‘But the building blocks for those could be forming now,’” he said, which is why this research is important for our understanding of how solar systems form, including those with potentially habitable planets like Earth.”    Summing it up, here’s the score.  Observations of planets: zero.  (This includes habitable planets.)    Uh, what was that headline again?  “Zooming in on an Infant Solar System: For the First Time, Astronomers Have Observed Solar Systems in the Making in Great Detail.”    Incidentally, their work was funded by a Major Research Instrumentation Grant from the National Science Foundation.1.  Eisner et al, “Spatially and Spectrally Resolved Hydrogen Gas within 0.1 AU of T Tauri and Herbig Ae/Be Stars,” Astrophysical Journal Vol. 718, July 20, 2010 (scheduled); preprint at Los Alamos Natl Laboratory.2.  The paper talks much about accretion, but it’s apparent both from the paper and the press release that the accretion being spoken of is material getting swept into the star – not material building up planets.  Planet formation (not even mentioned in the technical paper) was not spoken of in terms of data or observations, but only as theoretical possibilities: “gas giants similar to Jupiter and Saturn, may form, using up a lot of the disk material,” and “More solid, rocky planets like the Earth, Venus or Mars, won’t be around until much later, ‘But the building blocks for those could be forming now,’…”Calling on all skeptics who respect science.  Will you let this pass?  Those of you whose mission is to expose pseudo-science and skewer crackpots, do you ever turn your energies on the likes of these?  They’re not your usual targets, but look at what these people have done.  Don’t be distracted by the fact that they work for major universities, like the University of Michigan, Caltech, Berkeley, and Max Planck.  Don’t be impressed by the fact that they used observations from Keck, one of the finest observatories in the world.  Don’t be intimidated by the fact that they got a major research grant from the NSF.  Who cares?  If someone says a dumb thing, it’s dumb, no matter who says it.    If you could, in your mind’s eye, transport yourself to the middle ages, and find the King of France funding alchemical or astrological research, and all the esteemed academics of the University of Paris thinking it was a great idea, would you endorse it on those bases alone?  Surely, science must be about more than (1) equipment, (2) prestige, (3) money, (4) consensus, (5) power and authority, (6) publicity, (7) rhetoric, (8) hype, (9) enthusiasm, (10) imagination, (11) some of the above, (12) all of the above.  Presumably, science has at least something to do with truth.  It has something to do with gaining knowledge about the world through rigorous, testable, empirical methods, and applying what is gained logically, consistently, and conservatively – avoiding the exaggerations to which our natures incline us.  Can we agree on that?    But look what these scientists, intelligent as they are, educated as they are, privileged as they are to work on the world’s greatest telescopes, honored as they are with taxpayer dollars, did in this press release.  They observed spectra of hydrogen around a few T Tauri and Herbig Ae/Be stars.  From these spectra, it was reasonable to infer some violent processes at work: hydrogen being accelerated along magnetic field lines, and dust disks apparently either spiralling all the way in to the star or being compressed outward.  That’s it.  But look at their inferential equation in the press release:Dust + violence = planetsPlanets + time = lifeLook at the absurd teaser in the headline.  Look at the suggestive artwork.  If that isn’t pseudo-science, if that isn’t an example of wild swings of speculation way out of bounds beyond what the data can bear, then please, pray tell, what is?  Why is it that the world’s press just laps up this garbage and barfs it back out for the public?  Why is Creation-Evolution Headlines the only site with the guts to call this disgusting?  Look; even fell for it hook, line and sinker – no critical analysis whatsoever.  Not a hint of questioning.  None of the debate or dispute or controversy that should characterize good science.  The media just fall in lockstep like a bunch of gutless, mindless lemmings.    If you agree, then do something about it (this is for skeptics).  Write some letters to the editors of news sources that regurgitated this press release uncritically and complain.  Write the University of Arizona and say that this press release was very unscientific.  Tell them it violated your skeptical sensibilities.  Tell them it gives the creationist wackos occasion to mock science.  Tell them it is illogical to extrapolate from hydrogen and dust to earth-like planets and life.  Point out that such talk only encourages the critics of evolution to keep up their rhetoric and grow more bold.  Tell them that if they keep publishing thoughtless press releases like this one, intelligent design is going to continue to grow and proliferate, because evolutionary science is going to continue looking like a lunatic fringe of laughable pseudo-science the way it is being exaggerated beyond all logic.  Further, tell them that when it gets spoon-fed to the public this way, with no critical analysis, the public becomes skeptical that they are being led down the primrose path.  (It might be effective to tack on the quote at the top right of this page.)    Do it.  Read them the riot act for a change.  Then at least we will know you are consistent.  Then we will at least know you are an honest skeptic.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Getting people to help themselves

first_imgIn January 2016, Musa Mathebula established the NPO Musa Projects. His organisation aims to create hope and empower those who cannot provide for themselves so as to improve the quality of life in these affected communities.Musa Projects’ mission is to partner with both private and public sectors and find ways to improve the quality of life in impoverished communities. (Image Musa Projects)In just over a year since its establishment, Musa Mathebula’s NPO Musa Projects has collected and distributed sanitary pads to schools in rural communities; provided school shoes and toiletries to students; collected and handed out clothing to destitute families; assisted families with food parcels and other household items; and helped homeless people with clothing and open day gatherings.Some of the work Musa Projects has been involved in includes donating cement and tiles to Mbabalana Primary School in Port St. Johns in the Eastern Cape; donating baby formula and clothing to a family in Soweto in Gauteng; offering food to the victims of flash floods in Alexandra in Gauteng and handing out sanitary pads, shoes and toiletries to schools in Barseba Village in the North West.Go to to play your part in this generous movement.last_img read more

Cherry-on-Top Hair Combs Plastic Hair Slides 12 Pack Of Budget Brown Or Clear 7Cm Combs, Arrived quickly

first_imgBought these for an elderly neighbour, who has a tendency to break them on a regular basis. Tried finding low cost slides in shops near me but struggled. Good value have bought this item a few times. Great product super fast service and loved supporting a small business. Key specs for Hair Combs Plastic Hair Slides 12 Pack Of Budget Black Brown Or Clear 7Cm Combs Black:12 Pack of Combs7cm WidthChoice of ColoursValue CombsComments from buyers“Not the greatest , Excellent value. Bought these for an elderly neighbour , Hair combs “ These arrived safe and sound and promptly. The picture is an excellent representation of them. My only worry is that they are rather flimsy but at £2. 45 for 12 of them they are almost disposable and certainly very reasonable. They also keep my long hair back without difficulty. Arrived quickly, as expected perfect for crafting. These budget combs are good value for the money. Really pleased and have ordered another pack. I’m making poppies to sew onto the slides for the rbl and they are turning out better than expected. Great hair slides, love the clear as it goes with everything, happy with purchase. Ok but after a few weeks the slides have broken as quite flimsy. They may be budget combs but there’s a lot of them for the money and i have fine hair yet they hold any hairstyles and don’t fall out. A bit flimsy and the teeth of the combs are very sharp, but they will work for now. Next time i will try to find better quality. Does what it says on the tin. Ideal to pin hair back in a hurry and a great price. Good qualty and such a bargain. I know where to go now if i need more. Cheap and cheerful, and fits the bill exactly. Sharp ends that grip my fine hair with very little slipping, over the course of the day. Cheap enough to have all three colours, of which i have. I’m most satisfied, came promptly and well packaged. Good value, points are a little sharp but work really well. Arrived early, good packaging, great bargain for price. Fab just what iv been looking for,clear slides. Thin bit as good as any other, cheap price,. Will definitely use this derive again soon for more things,thanks. Well, everyone takes the mick out of me for these. Hey, if they work for me and i like them, then. Great for what i use them for. Fast delivery, well packaged, have purchased more and will do so again. Yes, i was very pleased with them, thank you. I am growing my hair back into an old style and sometimes need to keep it off my face. These combs are great for just that. I use this type of hair comb to pin back my hair in hot weather and had despaired of ever finding any after the local market stall i bought them from closed down, but here they are and a good product at a very fair price. SummaryReviewer Nathalie DuboisReview Date2019-04-17 09:57:00Reviewed Item Hair Combs Plastic Hair Slides 12 Pack Of Budget Black Brown Or Clear 7Cm Combs BlackRating 5.0 / 5  stars, based on  42  reviews Posted on April 17, 2019Author Nathalie DuboisCategories Hair Comb SlidesTags Cherry-on-Toplast_img read more

Roborace autonomous car steps it up for Formula E Paris ePrix

first_imgTags:#automotive#Autonomous#cars#driverless#Formula 1#Formula E#motorsport#robocar#Roborace#Self-Driving For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Related Posts 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… David Currycenter_img Roborace, a collaborative autonomous development that uses Formula E tracks to test the robocar, managed to complete a full lap at Paris ePrix last week.The robocar is built from scratch, tires are provided by Michelin and Nvidia supplies the Drive PX2 processing unit, capable of 24 trillion operations per second.See Also: First autonomous Roborace event ends with a self-driven crashIt can reach speeds of up to 200 mph, although on the track it barely went over 20 mph, as seen in the video below. The robocar also had to stop a few times to figure out its next move.Roborace is seeing better performance off track, it said the car reached a speed of 115 mph. The robocar and other test vehicles have also been in a few crashes.Congratulations @roborace ! ? #fia #FormulaE #ParisEprix #robocar— Geraldine Gaudy (@GeraldineGaudy) May 20, 2017The original plan for Roborace was to have 10 teams of engineers build software and compete in a race during the Formula E championship. The engineers would change the software week-by-week, learning from past mistakes and fine-tuning to make the car perfect for track racing.We are unfortunately not there yet. Only one robocar has taken to the track and the results tend to be a little less exciting than one would hope. Roborace has not said when it plans to invite teams of engineers to compete or if that is even the plan anymore.There are still six races to go before the end of the Formula E championship in July, enough time for Roborace to maybe add competitors or at least reach full speed. Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A…last_img read more


first_imgSioux City Police are searching for a male suspect they say stabbed four people in an  altercation early Sunday morning in the downtown area.Police responded to the disturbance in the 1000 block of 4th Street around 2:15am.Investigators say an altercation happened between a man and a woman, and the four victims tried to come to her assistance.All four suffered stab wounds from the suspect, who then drove away from the scene.Police say they know who the assailant is, but he had not been located as of Sunday night.The four victims were treated and released from Mercy Medical Center.last_img

Playboy is Up for Sale Sources Say

first_img The move comes in the midst of an identity crisis for the 62-year-old men’s lifestyle brand. Average circulation has slid from over three million in 2005 to just over 750,000 last year, according to the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM). The shift to a potential sale marks the continuation of a difficult few months for men’s magazines. 2015 saw the end of both Condé Nast’s Details and Bauer’s FHM, and Maxim has been in a state of near-constant flux since being purchased by entrepeneur Sardar Biglari in 2014. In October, Playboy announced the decision to cut nudity from its print edition, repeating a similar move it had made on its website that dropped the average age of its audience considerably and increased traffic by 400 percent. The Wall Street Journal reports that Playboy earned $38 million in revenue from media last year, and another $55 million through licensing agreements allowing third parties to use the brand’s recognizable bunny logo. The company also owns the famous Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, which was put up for sale for $200 million last week.  The revamped print edition, featuring an increased trim size and heavier paper stock, debuted in March with a Snapchat-inspired cover—a not-so-subtle attempt at catching the eyes of male millennials. Just weeks after the debut of its revamped, nudity-free print edition, Playboy is up for sale. Investment bank Moelis & Co. is advising Playboy on the potential sale, according to WSJ. Citing people familiar with the situation, The Wall Street Journal reports today that Playboy Enterprises’ principle stakeholders, founder Hugh Hefner and private equity firm Rizvi Traverse Management, are exploring a sale that those same sources—who may or may not be within the company—speculate could bring in more than $500 million at auction. “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free,” Playboy CEO, Scott Flanders, who took over for Hefner’s daughter Christie in 2009, told the New York Times. “It’s just passé at this juncture.”last_img read more

VIDEO Watch The Back Track Band Perform A Concert On The Common

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Recreation Department’s 2019 Concerts on the Common series continued on Wednesday, July 24 with a performance from The BackTrack Band. BackTrack featured a wide selection of classic songs from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.Wilmington Community Television was on hand to record the event. Watch the concert the below:—Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.—Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedVIDEO: Watch ‘Jimmy & The Jesters’ Perform A Concert On The CommonIn “Videos”Wilmington Concerts On The Common Series Continues With ‘BackTrack’ On July 24In “Community”VIDEO: Watch ‘Ball In The House’ Perform A Concert On The CommonIn “Videos”last_img read more

NASA telescope spies unusual galaxies from dawn of the universe

first_img Share your voice Spitzer’s deep-field view of the sky awash with galaxies. Circled in red are incredibly faint, distant galaxies that the telescope observed for over 200 hours.  NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/Spitzer/P. Oesch/S. De Barros/I.Labbe Astronomers surveying the sky with NASA’s Spitzer space telescope have been able to peer back to the early universe, 13 billion years in the past, and find some of the very first galaxies. They look like tiny, orange dots aglow in a sea of darkness — not too dissimilar to the famed first image of a black hole — but the miniscule lights imaged by Spitzer contain a host of young stars, composed mostly of hydrogen and helium. The discovery of these unexpectedly-bright galaxies could provide new clues about one of the most important cosmic events in history: the “Epoch of Reionization.”The new research, published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in April, required Spitzer to stare into the same region of sky for over 200 hours, studying the ancient cosmos as part of a campaign known as the GOODS Re-ionization Era wide-Area Treasury from Spitzer (GREATS). Another great, the Hubble Space Telescope, also contributed to the data. Post a comment More space news Tags NASA Space With Spitzer trained on a region of the sky for so long, it was able to gather light that had traveled across the universe to reach us. In what amounts to a cosmic staring contest, Spitzer didn’t blink. The telescope detected faint infrared signals from 135 distant galaxies, produced by high levels of ionizing radiation. It’s a particularly important finding, because ionizing radiation is believed to have contributed to the Epoch of Reionization in the early universe — a cosmic transformation that shaped the universe as we know it today. Astronomers are still stumped as to what exactly caused these changes, but the early galaxies detected by Spitzer may provide some clues.”Our latest Spitzer result reveals how different these early galaxies are to those at later times and pinpoints our sample as a key set for providing insights into how galaxies so efficiently reionized the universe,” said Garth Illingworth, a co-author on the new study. The results were surprising for Michael Werner, project scientist with Spitzer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.”We did not expect that Spitzer, with a mirror no larger than a Hula-Hoop, would be capable of seeing galaxies so close to the dawn of time,” he said in a statement. “But nature is full of surprises, and the unexpected brightness of these early galaxies, together with Spitzer’s superb performance, puts them within range of our small but powerful observatory.”  Spitzer, launched in 2003, is an infrared observatory in an Earth-trailing orbit operated by NASA and the California Institute of Technology. It carries three instruments that allow it to “see” across the wavelengths of infrared light, providing spectacular views of the gaseous, dusty distant cosmos.center_img Sci-Tech 0 Your wedding ring came from a neutron star explosion, 4.6 billion years ago Scientists just observed a crash between two neutron stars Gravitational wave detectors upgraded to hunt for ‘extreme cosmic events’ NASA Spitzer telescope celebrates 15 years of astounding images 15 Photoslast_img read more

3 city restaurants fined for unhygienic food

first_imgA Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) mobile court led by its executive magistrate Moshiur Rahman has fined Tk 200,000 to three restaurants in city’s Farmgate area for preserving and selling unhygienic food items, reports news agency BSS.”Of the restaurants, Chandrima Restaurant and Mini Chinese was fined Tk 100,000, Kasturi Chayanir and Thai Chinese Restaurant and New Star Kebab were fined Tk 50 thousand each yesterday,” a DMP release said.The activities of DMP’s mobile courts against food adulteration, preserving and selling unhygienic foods throughout the capital in the holy month of Ramadan are being lauded by the city dwellers.DMP has promised to continue the activities of its mobile courts in this regard.last_img