March Moon Madness Arrives Early

first_imgSome of the most interesting bodies in the solar system are the objects not big enough to be called planets.  Moons, asteroids and comets continue to yield their secrets and surprises.  Here’s a quick rundown on recent findings.    Why do some asteroids look so fresh?  It’s because they get a facelift, Space.com reported last month.  As some asteroids wander close to earth, the tides can produce tremors and landslides.  “This process could explain why many space rocks orbiting nearby appear pristine, as if they were covered in a new and clean surface, researchers said.”  Normally, space weathering would redden the surfaces.  Like humans, though, it would seem asteroids can only get a facelift a finite number of times.  Clark Chapman at Nature News and Views indicated that this is only the latest suggestion to explain youthful surfaces on some near-earth asteroids (NEAs).  “Our perceptions of NEAs are rapidly changing,” he said.  “Perhaps soon, robotic or piloted docking missions to some of these NEA rubble piles will reveal the beautiful complexity of their evolving behaviour.”    Pluto belongs in this entry because it is no longer a planet, but a plutoid, or a minor planet, or a dwarf planet, or the IAU’s term du jour.  It made the news recently for its seasonal changes.  BBC News shows Hubble pictures of a mottled surface that has changed in just a few years as the angle of sunlight migrates.  The article says that some astronomers have expressed “shock” at the observations.  “It’s a little bit of a surprise to see these changes happening so big and so fast,”said Marc Buie, of the Southwest Research Institute.  “This is unprecedented.”    The Cassini team, invigorated by the approval of its 7-year solstice mission (see Feb 3 press release from JPL), continues to explore the Saturn system with zest.  The little moon Mimas, barely visible in an image released Feb 15, was a prime target for a Feb 13 flyby.  The unprocessed images are now posted at the Imaging Team site.  They show good views of its 140-km Herschel crater with its Everest-height central peak.  Prometheus, one of the F-ring shepherd moons, gave Cassini its best-ever portrait last month.    The active moon Enceladus continues to be a newsmaker.  Space.com repeated last month’s suggestion that the eruptive periods are episodic over billions of years (see 01/11/2010).  Latest findings of negative ions in its geyser plumes (see JPL press release) strengthen the case for liquid water under its surface.  Some scientists cannot resist the knee-jerk reaction of associating water with life.  Science Daily made that angle its centerpiece; Space.com was only slightly more reserved.  The water-means-life equation was presented ad nauseum in a new planet TV series from National Geographic, The Traveler’s Guide to the Planets, which aired beginning Feb 14.  The visually-rich series includes new dazzling animations of the spacecraft and the best of the Cassini images, despite the obsession with evidence-free astrobiology.    Speaking of astrobiology, the BBC News declared that the Murchison meteorite that landed in Australia in 1969 contains an “organic molecular feast.”  A new analysis by a German team counted 14,000 organic molecules so far; they estimate millions may exist in the rock’s innards.  They think the rock predates the sun itself and picked up organics from the molecular clouds that became the sun.  Somehow it titillates the astrobiological sense: “Where did we come from and what happened before?  We all have that question inside us,” the lead researcher commented.    The biggest moons of the solar system made news recently.  Some scientists think they have figured out the surface differences between Jupiter’s Ganymede and Callisto, reported Science Daily.  The theory brings in the “Late Heavy Bombardment” hypothesis (LHB) and sees Ganymede getting the brunt of the energy by being closer to Jupiter’s gravity well.  The extra energy led to Ganymede melting and getting a differentiated interior while Callisto just got pummeled on the surface.    It’s not clear if the theory explains Io and Europa also, which are smaller and have very few craters due to internal activity.  Richard Kerr at Science News of the Week for Jan. 29 quoted a Caltech astronomer calling this “an interesting idea” that’s “promising.”  The Late Heavy Bombardment seems to be being employed as both an assumption and an explanation: Kerr said, “to the extent that it proves to be an attractive explanation of the dichotomy, it also lends support to the reality of the LHB.”    Titan, Saturn’s titanic moon, continues to get radar-scanned five years after the historic landing of the Huygens probe (see JPL feature story).  The landing was dramatically animated in the National Geographic series mentioned earlier.  Science Daily echoed a JPL press release showing strange grooved hills in the latest swath.  PhysOrg and Space.com reported on work to reproduce the strange organic chemistry that produces flows, cryovolcanos and rivers on Titan’s surface.  It’s hard to find stories about Titan without the L-word close at hand: “This study could also tell us about the chemistry that led to the origin of life on early Earth.”  Three major papers on Titan’s atmosphere and surface appeared in this month’s Icarus; they will be reported here if time permits.  Titanophiles will be glad to know a major hardback science book, Titan from Cassini-Huygens, has been released and is available from Amazon.com.  It’s a companion of another book summarizing all of Cassini’s scientific results about Saturn, the rings, and the icy satellites (especially Enceladus), also available at Amazon.com, Saturn from Cassini-Huygens.  Written by the Cassini scientists themselves, these two books contain the most current and authoritative information to date on the Saturn system.Observations and hypotheses these days are so intertwined it becomes hard to separate them.  Consider the suggestion that the Late Heavy Bombardment explains the Ganymede-Callisto dichotomy.  One has to assume the LHB and the long ages.  And consider the idea that tidal landslides explain the youthful surfaces of asteroids.  How many times in 4 billion years can this occur before there is no more youthful skin underneath the rubble to expose?  There is essentially no way to test these ideas without assuming the long ages of the consensus secular view of the solar system.  Science will never establish the long ages this way.  That’s the problem with assumptions.  They are assumed, not demonstrated.  Because the long ages are never allowed to become vulnerable to falsification, they become part of a self-perpetuating belief system that sometimes requires improbable contortions to maintain.  The talk about life every time water is mentioned is fact-free speculation.  It’s logic-free, too, because it would be just as corny to go off on tangents about life every time protons are found, because they also are building blocks of life.  In the TV series, Chris McKay waxed eloquent about all the ingredients for life that exist at Enceladus: a heat source, organics, and water.  We challenge him to put water, ammonia, ethane and carbon dioxide in a very cold sterile refrigerator, stir it occasionally, and wait for a very long time.  At least he could give us some experimental evidence to back up his rhetoric.  As long as one can filter out the speculative fluff in scientific stories, the rich discoveries about such varied and interesting worlds should be a delight to all who maintain a spirit of exploration.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Historic Day For Touch Football

first_img“The women’s match between the Roosters and the Sea Eagles couldn’t be a more fitting curtain-raiser leading into the second match of Saturday between the Roosters and Sea Eagles.” The game will commence at 6:06pm. “Rugby League is moving into our finals series and the Touch Football season has just started. “Tomorrow’s match is a great demonstration of why the new partnership between the NRL and Touch Football Australia works so well,” NRL General Manager League Integration and Game Development, Mr Andrew Hill. The reigning Vawdon Cup champions will play an exhibition match against the Manly Sea Eagles, just a month after the NRL and Touch Football Australia announced an historic sporting partnership representing the biggest boost to participation and game development in the history of either sport.center_img “People can now get involved in our sport all year round. For the first time, women’s Touch Football will be played during an NRL Finals Series with the champion Eastern Suburbs Sydney Roosters taking centre-stage tomorrow during the NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series double-header at Allianz Stadium. Related LinksWomen’s Game at NRL Finalslast_img read more

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10 months agoDONE DEAL: Leicester midfielder Iborra says ‘right time’ to join Villarreal

first_imgDONE DEAL: Leicester midfielder Iborra says ‘right time’ to join Villarrealby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester midfielder Vicente Iborra has joined Spanish side Villarreal for an undisclosed fee.The 30-year-old Spaniard joined the Foxes from Sevilla in July 2017 after winning the Europa League three times.Iborra made 37 appearances, scoring four goals, but started only three league games this season. “We feel that it’s time to come back home,” he said. “I’ve felt privileged for wearing this jersey and playing beside these great supporters. “You made me feel one of yours, thanks from my heart for your unconditional support.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

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Vine: Duke’s Justise Winslow High-Fived A Guy In An Ohio State Shirt After An And-1 During Today’s Game

first_imgDuke and UNC get set for the tip.DURHAM, NC – FEBRUARY 07: A general view of the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Duke University Blue Devils tip off at center court to begin their game on February 7, 2007 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. North Carolina won 79-73.(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)No. 4 Duke routed Clemson 78-56 at Cameron Indoor Stadium this afternoon. Freshman forward Justise Winslow was a force for the Blue Devils, scoring 20 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. In the first half, Winslow racked up 17 of his points. He was unstoppable in the open court, and on one occasion, he converted a fast break bucket and was fouled. That’s where things got interesting. Take a look at the shirt on the fan Winslow celebrates with. It’s an Ohio State shirt.An OSU shirt in Cameron is a random sight. Perhaps the man was just at the game with friends who are Duke fans, and he decided to mesh with the crowd and root for the home team. Either that, or he’s a legitimate Duke supporter, which makes him an exceptionally fortunate college sports fan who has seen a wealth of success from his favorite teams this century.last_img read more

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NBA Playoffs Pacers Paul George Has Concussion Status in

Paul George, the Indiana Pacers all-star forward, suffered a concussion Tuesday when he was accidentally knocked in the head by the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, and his status for Saturday’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals is in question.The two were battling for a loose ball when they collided. George remained in the game for the duration of the Pacers’ 87-83 loss, but afterward he told reporters that he had blacked out and then had blurred vision in the contest’s final four or five minutes.In a statement, the Pacers said George initially “exhibited no symptoms of a concussion” after the game, and “in response to questions from the Pacers’ medical staff, he denied dizziness, nausea and issues with his vision. He was also active and aware of his surroundings. As a result, the Indiana medical staff did not suspect a concussion.”But when George later said he “blacked out” on the play, the team “conducted the NBA-mandated concussion assessment, which did not reveal any active symptoms of concussion.”George, though, had follow-up tests Wednesday morning, at which point he was diagnosed by the Pacers’ consulting neurologist with a concussion because he said he had briefly lost consciousness during the game.“The Indiana Pacers medical team followed the NBA concussion protocol and there was no indication of concussion during the game,” Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, the director of the NBA concussion program, said in a statement. “This case illustrates that concussion evaluation is an ongoing process and manifestations of the injury may not always present immediately.”Under the NBA’s return-to-participation protocol for concussions, players must go through “several steps of increasing exertion — from a stationary bike, to jogging, to agility work, to noncontact team drills. With each step, a player must be symptom-free to move to the next step.”The final decision on whether he can return is made by the player’s team physician in conjunction with Kutcher. read more

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We Should Have Seen FedererNadal At The US Open By Now

The men’s semifinals of the U.S. Open are annually appointment television for tennis fans around the world. But in the case of Friday’s second semifinal, it’s the tennis match that no tennis fan on the planet wanted to see — except, perhaps, for those in Argentina. To be sure, all signs point to Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro having a highly competitive, entertaining semifinal — del Potro is actually a respectable 5-8 all-time against the No. 1-seeded Nadal. But this one was supposed to be Nadal versus his longtime rival Roger Federer, on the hard courts of Flushing for the first time ever.Federer-Nadal at the U.S. Open is tennis’s white whale — and once again, it slipped away.On Monday, Federer and Nadal appeared to be on a collision course; both reached the quarterfinals, and both were in the same side of the bracket. Nadal held up his end of the bargain, beating Andrey Rublev in straight sets to secure a semifinal berth. But late Wednesday, Federer was unceremoniously defeated by the Argentinean del Potro, ending his bid for a third Grand Slam championship of 2017 — and crushing the hopes of everyone who has followed the game in the past 15 years.Along with Novak Djokovic, Federer and Nadal are the two most successful players of their era.1If not any era. Between them, the pair have won 34 Grand Slam titles and appeared in the semifinals of 33 other major tournaments. They’ve gone head-to-head 12 times at the other three Slams — three times at Wimbledon, four at the Australian Open and five times at Roland Garros. So it’s astonishing that their paths have never crossed at the U.S. Open. Do the math, and the odds of the colossal clash never happening are minuscule.Let’s focus on Grand Slam semifinals, since all of the actual Rafa-Fed matchups have happened at that stage of a major or later. Federer first made the semifinals of a Grand Slam in 2003, and since then, he’s advanced at least that far in 74 percent of all non-U.S. Open majors. Nadal made his semifinal debut in 2005 and has made it that far in 53 percent of non-U.S. Open majors ever since. So, if we simply used the other three majors as a guide, we’d expect Federer and Nadal to have about a 39 percent chance of simultaneously making the semifinals of any given U.S. Open. And in non-U.S. Opens when both made the semis, they ended up facing each other 86 percent of the time, whether in that round or the final.Based on those numbers, then, we’d expect there to be a 34 percent chance that Federer and Nadal would end up facing each other at a given U.S. Open. (Indeed, they’ve faced each other 12 times in the 38 non-U.S. Open Slams since 2005, including their first head-to-head meeting at Roland Garros — good for a rate of 32 percent.) If we apply that 34 percent mark to each of the 13 U.S. Opens staged since 2005, we would expect there to be only a 1-in-204 chance (0.5 percent) that they wouldn’t end up facing each other at least once in that span. So the odds that we would never get this U.S. Open matchup are truly microscopic.Now, some of this can be attributed to both Federer and (especially) Nadal enjoying comparatively less semifinal success at the U.S. Open than at the other three majors. Since his first semifinal breakthrough at a Slam, Federer has only made the semis 67 percent of the time on the Flushing hardcourts, and Nadal has only made it that far 38 percent of the time. If you use those rates instead of the non-U.S. Open numbers as your baseline, the odds against ever seeing a Federer-Nadal clash rise to 4 percent.Still, even that is a fairly small probability. Any way you cut it, it’s positively shocking that American audiences have never been treated to seeing two of the greatest players ever play each other in person before. read more

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Barcelona boss explains why Messi played against Spurs after all

first_imgEven though Barcelona was already through to the next round, Valverde subbed Messi into a squad full of bench players already winning the game.Following the 1-1 draw between Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur, Valverde explained why he randomly subbed Lionel Messi into the match when his team was ahead on the scoreboard. Messi came on at the 63rd minute when the Catalan squad was still winning the tie.“It’s better for him to play for a while and to be in motion, he likes it,” Valverde said, as quoted by FourFourTwo.David Villa, FC BarcelonaTop 10 players who played for both Barcelona and Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to talk about the best players who represented both Barcelona and Valencia, prior to their La Liga encounter at Camp Nou this evening.“We also, and I don’t have to tell you about the fans, there have been players who were not there because we had an intense match three days ago.“We wanted to see players like [Carles] Alena or [Juan] Miranda in difficult situations, as well as the response of [Jasper] Cillessen, [Thomas] Vermaelen, Arthur or Munir, we did not want to lose competitive level against a very strong team.”last_img read more

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