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Comment: Re:That's no Moon (Score 1) 49

by mister_playboy (#48039579) Attached to: Earth Gets Another Quasi-Moon

Quote triple play.

It can be either all dark or all light at certain locations...

The Moon's axial tilt with respect to the ecliptic is only 1.5424 degrees, much less than the 23.44 degrees of Earth. Because of this, the Moon's solar illumination varies much less with season, and topographical details play a crucial role in seasonal effects. From images taken by Clementine in 1994, it appears that four mountainous regions on the rim of Peary crater at the Moon's north pole may remain illuminated for the entire lunar day, creating peaks of eternal light. No such regions exist at the south pole. Similarly, there are places that remain in permanent shadow at the bottoms of many polar craters, and these dark craters are extremely cold: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter measured the lowest summer temperatures in craters at the southern pole at 35 K (238 C) and just 26 K close to the winter solstice in north polar Hermite Crater. This is the coldest temperature in the Solar System ever measured by a spacecraft, colder even than the surface of Pluto.

Comment: Re:Profitable, if self-contradictory (Score 1) 499

Even just considering the Solar System we can already foresee some hard time limits. Many people might point to the Sun going red giant in ~4.5 billion years as a limit, but the Sun's energy output increases over time even while it is on the main sequence and within a billion years will likely already be enough to boil the Earth's oceans. The time of life on Earth is already mostly past to the best of our knowledge.

A billion years is of course an extremely long time in the context of human evolution, so who knows what we might be able to accomplish in that timespan.

Comment: Re:uhh (Score 2) 499

Never aspire to be Henry Ford, he was a horrible evil man.

Not to Godwin the thread, but I happened to have stumbled upon this yesterday...

" The relationship of Ford and GM to the Nazi regime goes back to the 1920s and 1930s, when the American car companies competed against each other for access to the lucrative German market. Hitler was an admirer of American mass production techniques and an avid reader of the antisemitic tracts penned by Henry Ford. "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration," Hitler told a Detroit News reporter two years before becoming the German chancellor in 1933, explaining why he kept a life-size portrait of the American automaker next to his desk.

Although Ford later renounced his antisemitic writings, he remained an admirer of Nazi Germany and sought to keep America out of the coming war. In July 1938, four months after the German annexation of Austria, he accepted the highest medal that Nazi Germany could bestow on a foreigner, the Grand Cross of the German Eagle. The following month, a senior executive for General Motors, James Mooney, received a similar medal for his "distinguished service to the Reich."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

Now, as then, we have lots of overlap between government and corporate power structures.

Comment: Re:Can we even detect ourselves from beyond LEO? (Score 1) 496

by mister_playboy (#48035729) Attached to: Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

Exactly what I was thinking, especially since a story about Cassini is on the front page as well. Could Cassini ascertain that life exists on Earth from its orbit around Saturn? I would think the answer is surely no.

Using the lower bar set by the parent post, I did find a experiment was run by Galileo during its Earth flyby:

The cosmologist Carl Sagan, pondering the question of whether life on Earth could be easily detected from space, devised a set of experiments in the late 1980s using Galileo' s remote sensing instruments during the mission's first Earth flyby in December 1990. After data acquisition and processing, Sagan et al. published a paper in Nature in 1993 detailing the results of the experiment. Galileo had indeed found what are now referred to as the "Sagan criteria for life". These included strong absorption of light at the red end of the visible spectrum (especially over continents) which was caused by absorption by chlorophyll in photosynthesizing plants, absorption bands of molecular oxygen which is also a result of plant activity, infrared absorption bands caused by the ~1 micromole per mole (mol/mol) of methane in Earth's atmosphere (a gas which must be replenished by either volcanic or biological activity), and modulated narrowband radio wave transmissions uncharacteristic of any known natural source. Galileo' s experiments were thus the first ever controls in the newborn science of astrobiological remote sensing.

Also relevant:
http://www.popsci.com/science/...

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