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Comment Re:I'm probably too cynical (Score 1) 260

How does you Occam's Razor calculation change when you consider that this is based on chemical analysis of the same suspected flowing water streaks that were observed years ago (and published in Science 4 years ago ). These streaks (called RSLs) have been continuously studied - and results published - since then with everyone being almost sure that the best explanation (Occam's Razor!) has to be flowing water. And yet, the scientists and NASA waited for the final clinching confirmation based on spectroscopy before making this announcement. You think they hastily concocted some story to get funding? You have no idea how these things work!

Comment Re:Do they really mean "chaotic"? (Score 1) 92

I had never bothered to make this calculation, but always sort of assumed that the Sun would look like a disc from those distances... very small but still with a disc shape easily discernible by naked eye. This made me do the calculation. Turns out that the Sun looks almost exactly the same size from Pluto (at perihelion) as Venus does from Earth (at their closest distance)! However, venus at its closest is bright enough to cast discernible shadows and Sun's absolute brightness is a LOTTTT more than venus. So, yes, you are right. just another star in the sky that is however *much* brighter than anything else. For religions starting on pluto, you can easily bet against anything other than the Sun or Charon being their chief deity.

Comment Re:Wait.. HALF THE WORLD?!? (Score 1) 48

I agree that it is a bit confusing. That number seems impossibly large. Perhaps they mean "number of passengers" which means that the same person making 2 return trips might be counted as 4 passengers? It is like saying "New York City's subway serves X million passengers per week", where every single person is probably counted multiple times based on the number of trips they make.

Submission + - India enters its deep space exploration era successfully (

rahultyagi writes: With Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission) successfully completing the final stage of its voyage to the red planet, ISRO — Indian Space Research Organization — now joins the US, Russian and European space agencies in a small club of deep space exploration capable entities. Entering Martian orbit just 2 days after NASA's MAVEN, Mangalyaan cost only about a tenth of the cost, thus demonstrating India's capability to successfully complete space missions at highly competitive costs to exploit the fast expanding space industry.

Comment Re:Is this the missing "dark matter"? (Score 1) 85

Here is something to boggle your mind. You think your argument is strong with Sun containing 98% of the Solar system's total mass? It is actually something like 99.8%!! to think that stray jupiter-size brown dwarves can weigh anywhere near the total stellar masses that we see betrays complete lack of understanding of the difference of scales involved.

Submission + - India's Mars Mission back on track after hiccup!

rahultyagi writes: After running into some problems in its 4th orbit raising maneuver 2 days ago, Mangalyaan (India's Mars Orbiter Mission) seems back on track now. A supplementary burn lasting ~304 seconds was completed today, raising the apogee of MOM to 118642 km — the intended apogee after the original 4th orbit raising maneuver. After the glitch two days ago, ISRO again seems to be on track to become the first entity to have a successful mars mission on its first attempt. Though, of course, there are quite a few things that might still go wrong before this can be called a successful mission. Let's all hope that a year from now we are all celebrating the entry of another nation into the small club capable of successful interplanetary missions.

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