science

How cool could it be to play and play a bit of tennis? And I thought, ‘This is so cool that I might as well do it myself.’” I remember being so excited to have that moment. I felt like I was there watching the magic happen. And with the magic, the two of us, our coaches and our tennis players had met our destiny of playing together on a daily basis for the next 8 years.

After tennis, I played on the team of an awesome high energy girl that also happened to be from an upper grade soccer program. She got me good to the point where I could run and jump and play in varsity leagues. It was the high school level and I was the senior, but I was pretty good. So I was pretty good at soccer. Even though, at 18, I hadn’t played and really had no idea what I was doing. I figured it would all work out in the end!

So, despite not really thinking about my career path as much as I should have, it didn’t happen (I think I just started at the same time and was in my first year of high school). But it happened somehow and that’s when I realized the power of sports, of the chance to make a difference or maybe just be helpful. Not that long after that, I was the first ever person in the world to win the Grand Slam while playing soccer.

That second year of playing soccer was fun, especially the whole “I’m not playing for my school” problem, but it also exposed me to so many other things I missed out on when I was growing up playing a sport at an elite level, seeing my favorite celebrities, and seeing other people who weren’t doing it, like my sister and my best friend. And having to play soccer in the same year as my son’s birthdays, birthdays, and graduations.

After high school, I studied business at a regional university, but didn’t really enjoy what I was doing I was pretty bored and had no interest in reading, writing or studying.

I was a fairly successful business owner before I realized how hard it was in business to make a living at something, especially when you run your own business. And I could have never been successful as a coach had I stuck with it like I did.

When I read that article about how the team that I coached at one time played tennis in the Olympicsand that was the first time that I made such an attempt to help my teams get to the Olympic level, even though they’re not even top 25 on the RPI, well, that was just one more one of those moments when everyone becomes aware that the greatest joy in life is making a difference for others.

We are all heroes and no-one says it better than Mark Twain.

There’s only one way to see it: to be that hero.

————————– THE BLACK HOLE Theories ————————–

“As the Universe’s largest black hole, it would hold the imprint of an entire universe stretching almost infinite distances into the distant past. It would also have been endowed with the same amount of mass as our sun! “The existence of a vast black hole would have required a cosmic event many orders of magnitude greater than the Big Bang. A few minutes to millions of years later and all that structure would have vanished, leaving the surface of a rapidly expanding bubble where the black hole could gradually fill in over time and create the present Universe. But what would become of the matter of this massive, chaotic system? What might it do to create all the life on Earth? This would be the largest black hole ever, and the most powerful - the black hole would be able to destroy all life on Earth.” http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/120411/srep01078.html

Hugh Ross

“Black holes can be very damaging objects: their gravitational influence, if not quite powerful enough, can destroy the universe, and they are huge. However, as all black holes we know exist (except for the one in our own solar system) are really black holes, so they can be very difficult to detect (for the same reason it is very hard to see anything in a black hole). The last time we saw one of these was in 2008, when one took a huge chunk, known as LIGO-Virgo, from the sky and was observed for a few seconds. A year on and it is still very hard to see anything on LIGO-Virgo, but the fact that it continues to be visible and that there has always been some detectable signal from it suggests that our knowledge and technology are improving, and that there is a future for astronomers to study black holes.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/2006091603164.htm

“It is widely thought that the giant black hole thought to be at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy harbors a mass of about 100 times that found in the nearby supermassive black hole at the centre of our own galaxy.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12270073

To begin an explanation of the black hole concept -

In 1919, the Swiss physicist Rudolf Busemann realised that the universe had a ‘cosmic nucleus’. Busemann said this would be at the centre of large galaxies, and it would be a point where the material which makes up the galaxy’s structure also made up its size. This nucleus, Busemann concluded, was ‘like a black hole’. He named it a black hole and it has been identified for billions of years as the source of most of light and energy in the universe. Theoretically it can no longer be located. However, the very process of looking for it is what scientists call cosmic probing. It is an exercise in finding out whether or not an object that normally would be invisible would be a black hole. It takes a lot of effort and persistence, and a lot of experience knowing that the information is out there and very exciting. Busemann showed that it actually took less energy to throw a neutron, which the physicists call a particle of dark energy, than a proton which is called a particle of light. Since there were only a few trillion neutrinos in the Universe, this shows that it can now be found - something that is very exciting and exciting to a lot of researchers. The black holes also require very powerful telescopes, as their effects are so magnified. In addition, they need to be in a special place or conditions. This is the best way to find a black hole.

The biggest ever experiment in astronomy is searching for the supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy called Sagittarius A* (Sag, for short). Black holes are the extreme ends of a very large spectrum of stars, where not even light can escape. A supermassive black hole is 1 million times smaller than an ordinary black hole. It eats up any energy in the star’s core and causes it to cool down to near absolute zero. Although the temperature and pressure of the supermassive black hole could cause fusion reactions to break out, they are unlikely. Instead the black hole probably emits the energy.

Many scientists believed that the best place for the black hole to be is in our own galaxy. This is because they believed that it would not be able to escape from its own gravity. This view is based on mathematical modelling that says a small, but still significant amount of energy must be released, similar to the way that a car will stall on a busy road when it loses all traction.

However, all of this does not seem true in practice. Observations from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope on Mount Wilson in California are showing evidence for mass loss in the black hole. They have identified a


What we can say about Planet X, the planet that’s circling our sun but isn’t

Astronomers hope to catch a glimpse of the elusive planet beyond Jupiter by measuring its brightness and detecting radio emissions and other clues, but they’re so far away that it will take decades for them to reach their destination.

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will enter its closest approach to Pluto on July 14 and approach the dwarf planet in September. Astronomers aim to use New Horizons’ historic data to get a “giant leap” closer to the Sun-like planet.

The new NASA and New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology’s (NMIT) Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s LRO orbiter will get an unprecedented look at the region of space where the dwarf planet is and that are likely to become our first targets.

The researchers want to see if there’s an atmosphere on the other side of the sun-size planet as well as for clues about what causes it.

The area where New Horizons passes through will probably be warmer than most Earth’s orbits, similar to the outermost edge of our solar system, according to the proposal.

The LRO data and any other information obtained from the probe could help scientists figure out when the planet formed and when it became tidally locked, with one side facing the Sun. The team’s goal is to learn as much as possible about how it formed.

It’s an icy and mysterious world that’s in line with theories about the formation of our solar system. The team estimates that it was born about 4.5 billion years ago, making it the youngest planet in the solar system. The planet’s atmosphere likely covered the planet from the time of formation during an epoch when most stars were still relatively bright.The proposal also hints at a possible link between the exoplanet and a relatively recent outburst in the Milky Way, a star-forming explosion that causes the loss of gas clouds from other stars.

The researchers hope to learn more about the chemistry of water on Pluto and perhaps how many other giant planets there may be.

Bill Kurth, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, said that the idea for the project is an exciting one. “A planet like these is something we can only imagine.”

Pluto, Kuiper Belt object and the inner solar system has an estimated mass of about 9 times that of the earth and is about the size of Jupiter, said the proposal’s lead author, William Gray, in an interview with NASA TV on Monday. Pluto’s atmosphere is approximately 60,000 Earth-equivalent tons. “We want to learn what it might feel like on our planet, what it’s like to live on it,” Gray said.

The plan is to take detailed measurements of the planet before its most distant approach in September, and again before its closest approach in October, according to New Horizons plan author Dr. Lori Thaler.The new LRO orbiter will be able to capture images of the planet at various distances from the sun. “That’s the next step before we can see Pluto truly,” Thaler said.

The plan also includes a novel method called adaptive optics that will be used to figure out where Earth-size objects like Earth are in space from an image, Thaler said. “We use adaptive optics to get you, if it’s a close-approach target, closer so we can measure it.”

The concept includes the concept of making a series of images of the planet so that they all look the same and then looking back to check if any particular object was captured and how close is that object compared to the Earth.

My husband can’t believe how cool it is out here. “Look, I’m in the tropics, and temperatures are dropping by 4 or 5 to 6 degrees per year. Maybe it was a big solar flare.” If this were actually caused by humans, a huge meteor strike might have been a big deal, but it’s not. The planet isn’t on the up-and-up. We’ve seen this exact same thing with climate change. It doesn’t make much sense to call the changes in temperatures due to greenhouse gases, when we’re seeing temperatures plummeting by 4 or 5 degrees per year. Some scientists think that warming might well be happening due to that.

“In other words, the planet is in this weird place … It’s an illusion that global warming is caused by greenhouse gases. It’s really the result of an intense Sun,”

The sun is not a greenhouse gas. There was a very nice and brief period in the 1990’s where the sun got super intense. We saw a huge increase in the amount of solar energy reaching the earth. That was a good thing for our plants and the earth’s climate. What happened? The atmosphere warmed, and as a result, the earth cooled by about 0.1C. After that, it cooled back down about 0.8C or so.

However, when the sun returns in about 15, 20, 25 years, there might be a slight cooling, causing the planet to cool back down by a little more than 0.1C. The sun is a big natural (or manmade) source of energy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t do some damage. As we saw over the past few months, those solar storms could take out power. So can the effects of global warming.

“Climate change is the worst example of anthropogenic climate change.” In the past few years, the planet has warmed up a lot. This was caused by CO2, as well it seems. It’s really hard to tell from the heat content of air. But there IS a lot of CO2. So for all to date, humans have contributed about 2/3 of the energy to the earth’s atmosphere. We humans can and will continue to play a role, but it’s been quite passive, at least compared to the energy sources described above. For some reason that just doesn’t fit with global warming. It’s an illusion.

“Climate change has been ongoing for the past twenty years. Why is it so slow? “

Oh geez. This is a good one. You’ve all been very patient so far. The IPCC had no clue as to why the climate was doing and wasn’t doing so hot last century. It had no idea about any of the “global warming.” The reason for the slow warming? Humans are not heating up the planet as much, as quickly as would be needed to keep pace with the runaway greenhouse effect. A lot of it might have to do with the large difference between the Earth’s radiative forcing (the heat trapping effect of other stars in the solar system) and the total amount of energy that the greenhouse effect can pull out of the air. But it doesn’t mean greenhouse gases don’t have any warming effect. Just that the heat trapping effect can’t be seen. All humans can do is make sure they try to take as much carbon out of the atmosphere as possible . Which is why in the past few years, people have been driving cars that are about 50 percent more efficient than they were 20 years ago (which will be done over the next decade or so), because they’re really trying.

“It is a very slow warming, and so the planet is not in a lot of trouble because it could be ice melting and the air is not being warmed.”

For a while there it looked like it might be ice melting. It’s possible. The warming might last a while, but it’s not like we don’t just need to do more to address this. The atmosphere needs to warm. It’s the earth’s core that has to warm up to bring in the planet’s carbon. Or the heat in the ocean is going to be released into the atmosphere quickly. You do think it’s warming slower as a result of that, or a “pump” in the ocean?

“People are now starting to understand that our greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to climate change, which is a positive contribution, but we don’t need to do that much to be doing some good by it. And by that, they are referring to the human effect on climate. We’re not responsible for climate change if, for example, human emissions

This story will focus on the North Atlantic Gyre, the subtropical gyre that fills the middle of the ocean. This region is not only not influenced by the oceanographic oscillations in the North Pacific or the Atlantic, it is very stable. There are two main factors that determine the stability of a gyre at different basins. These factors are the size and relative surface currents. These two factors are discussed, along with the influence of other factors, in The Influence of the North Atlantic Gyre on the Atlantic Multi-decadal Variability, by Zuberi, et al. in the Journal of the Oceanophysical Society, vol. 71, no. 1, pages 1261-1271.

And the North Atlantic Gyre’s influence is likely not just limited to the North Atlantic.

While there is a positive relationship between the size of the North Atlantic gyre and the number of hurricanes in a tropical storm’s central pressure area, the influence of the North Atlantic Gyre is not as great as was originally believed. In the 1970s researchers theorized that, since wind strength and size are inversely related, the number of hurricanes in a tropical storm’s circulation region influences the size of the pressure region in which that storm forms and thus influences the overall strength of the storm. However, this was the only study that investigated just the North Atlantic, and also not with hurricanes that were at the center of such a belt. … The strongest (strongest) hurricane systems of the past have all formed in the Central Atlantic. And, indeed, we have some very strong hurricanes, including Rita and Lee, on the American East Coastbut they’re not located in the central part of the belt (which means that the number of hurricanes along the Atlantic coast must be very, very low…) . Now, if you want to have strong storms in the region, you’re going to have to have a storm that has a large central pressure. If you have a hurricane that’s at the center of a strong current where there aren’t any strong winds and no storm-fighting storm operations underway, it’s almost certainly not going to form over the most intense part of the belt (the middle of the Atlantic). A hurricane that’s near the Gulf of Mexico is unlikely to form, as the high pressure areas around the northern islands and low in the tropics allow hurricanes to form around the Gulf and Caribbean. However, if a hurricane is near the center of a large circulation area, where there’s already a lot of activity going on, there’s a good chance that we might see it move into a strong circumpolar jet. Indeed we do: there are a couple of super-hurricanes that happened in the Gulf of Mexico when the jet was present in their circulation path. For example, Hurricane Katrina tore off a half million square miles (over 700,000 km2) of Louisiana in less than 72 hours. The hurricane also created the equivalent of about 0.2% of Louisiana’s landmass (or about 600,000 sq mi or 1 m2).

These examples, of course, aren’t the only examples. In fact there are so many examples to illustrate that I don’t think it’s possible to list them. But my point was that these hurricanes were not all spawned by the North Atlantic. There are two reasons this is the case. First, you have to look at specific regions of the North Atlantic, and the second reason is that in most regions of the North Atlantic, small-scale internal variability is stronger than regional pressure variability. As a result, the strong internal variability that is present in most regions is also strong enough to help a hurricane form.

So back to the story. What explains the Atlantic Multi-decadal Variability? The long-term changes seen across the Atlantic Ocean indicate a weakening of the circulation that originates about 40S of the equator and crosses the continent across North Africa. This means that the northern circulation is weaker and more numerous in the Atlantic today. Given the long-term trend, it’s not at all clear why it’s weaker this season. But there’s only limited correlation between oceanographic changes and the change in the North Atlantic Multi-decadal Variability. And there’s one crucial factor that determines an influence on the Multi-decadal Variability: the influence of the North Atlantic. Now, the current direction of the ocean currents that lead to these cycles may be affected by climatic conditions. Since the beginning of the 20th century, Europe has become drier than usual due to its climate change caused by human-caused carbon dioxide increases. These changes in the eastern Atlantic have been associated with the presence of colder water in the North Atlantic, a result of the reduced evaporation from the subsurface. Thus, when the Eastern European Current, or EEC, passes by the North Atlantic, there’s potential for an event in the central region of the North Atlantic (the middle of the Atlantic) where cold, colder water

“ We have no reason to think about our biological ancestors as the closest of ‘species’; to be as distinct as possible from our modern descendants. Yet our species is the most successful species in modern history. It makes no sense that we have not lived up to this promise. Our brain is a great example of a device that is too big, too complicated, and too specialized to survive for long periods of time…. Our ancestors, too, had to develop novel ways of seeing before we could adapt to the modern world.” (Caucasus, The Origins of Human Sociability: Theories and Methods of Archaeology, 2000, Vol. 2.)

“ “ We are in fact in deep evolutionary trouble; but the evolutionary consequences of such trouble are not clear…. What is clear is that the new science of human behavior shows us that we are not the descendants of Homo sapiens: and we must be the descendants of Neanderthals or some other species. … [There is] no way that human behavior would have evolved, so radically, without the influence of the evolution of Neanderthals…. Our ancestors were, at the edge of the African continent, already in contact with the various other species…. Since they were close enough to man to be intimately familiar with his actions and speech, and could have absorbed and used most of those words–our words–the ancestors of ourselves could have transmitted certain ideas to us. … Neanderthals were probably an extended family, sharing more than one name…. Our parents and grandparents may have borrowed many new words from Neanderthals–namely, tool-using. … Our ancestors would have made us tools–and, once they did, we would have used these tools to make other things. And, at this point, we are in deep trouble. We are doomed. In the process, one species replaced another…. Homo sapiens, whose ancestors were more primitive than Neanderthals, must find itself outside the circle of life. It would have to live in caves; where the only food they would have would be the leaves of trees…. Our best estimate is that Homo sapiens has a higher rate of intelligence than any other species. However, our intelligence is only part of our evolutionary potential. Our capacity for learning is only a small part. Our capacity for complex movement is an even smaller part. We are only just coming into the developmental stage of the capacity for knowledge or perception…. In part, of course, this makes for an interesting story. History is filled with attempts to solve some hard problems by applying a few of our psychological ideas to the new problems. It seems more than likely that, under certain circumstances, we would choose to solve problems differently. If the problems are in fact hard–as they’re claimed to be…. they are not the sort of problems that a child will have to solve; nor the sort that a child who is mature and intelligent will have to solve.” (Bennett 1998 and 2006: 22-23)

“ “ If we think of ourselves as evolutionary descendants, we have a choice: We can continue to view ourselves as the living product of evolution, with all the potential we have had to become something new and valuable and make an impact in a changing world, or we can start to feel sorry for ourselves, and see all our ancestors as we do. And if we can find something that is a better, or even a similar, way to live, we can do it…. Nowhere is this more true than in our attitudes about our own mortality. The notion that our lives deserve to end is a relic of our more primitive days. We only live to a ripe old age, and after that, as our years get shorter, we think that we’re gonna die. We want our life to be just long enough to finish all of our obligations. We think it is important that we should go out with a happy, full life…. … It is probably true, as Freud suggested, that people with higher levels of intelligence have an ability to imagine that they are destined to live a very long life… We have a tendency to imagine that we’ll always be alive. …If we think of ourselves as the inheritors of the same culture, with all the qualities that come with belonging to a particular social group, then it is reasonable to suspect that we too will begin to imagine that we have a life to last.” (Dennett, 2000: 6)

“ “ If we believe the idea of our own mortality is an important force that guides our behavior, then at heart we are in a culture that will not have any place for a person like us. To accept such a theory would mean recognizing that our values and our beliefs about the future have no basis in facts, that there are no stable rules that might give us any sense of direction for the future. To accept the idea would mean that there is nothing we can do to stop our culture from dying. For we want to find the way out of it, to find an alternative that will make us happy and successful. We want something that will make us

The galaxy is also home to numerous large supermassive black holes which are often just as big as our Sun. Here are six images of the black hole, which was discovered last October, showing a strong signature of radiation, about 50.7 billion times brighter than it should be given the distance to the central black hole.

The image shows how distant this object is from the centre of the Milky Way, and how massive it is. The source of the radiation is a jet of material from the galactic centre which has stretched out to fill this particular location. Other than that, nothing special happens but the image clearly shows that it cannot be there naturally. Here is another image of the black hole in space. When the source is too close (the red line), the glare of a foreground light source is too strong to be seen. When it is too far away (the blue line), such a shadow is produced, and we can see a jet of bright material streaming towards the black hole. The jets are produced by collisions of supermassive black holes in galaxy clusters. The image shows the position of the black hole, which can be seen in the bottom-left corner of the panel. It is located at 3.2 million light years from Earth. It is also about as far away as is possible given our limited solar system. Here is an additional image of the galaxy. It has been created using Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. The light from this galaxy is coloured red, indicating it comes from the nearby galaxy NGC 1337. We see that NGC 1337 itself has a massive black hole which is also the most massive one known. The image can be seen here , but you should also turn on your low-light setting if possible before seeing the image.

Now for a view of the Milky Way galaxy in the night sky using the Hubble Space Telescope’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). The image above shows the Milky Way in full daylight as viewed by Hubble via the STIS Telescope in 2011. When looking away from the central black hole from the centre of the galaxy, the light is blue and the image has been corrected for the effect of the Earth’s atmosphere by reducing the brightness of an observer’s eye. The image shows the location of the central black hole from which a jet stream of material is moving towards the galaxy – similar to how the jets are produced by collisions of supermassive black holes in clusters. While that is the case, it is clearly not the case for the black hole because it is situated so far off the central black hole’s star. The black hole is just one of over 2 billion such objects in the centre of the Milky Way galaxy. The star is located just inside the circle for the Milky Way galaxy. Here is one of the images of the Milky Way galaxy from Hubble in 2012. The red line shows the position of the black hole. The yellow line shows the location of the stars in the galaxy, and where you can see the Earth and the Milky Way. The image is shown in colour here.

Back in the day, before we can look forward to another galaxy, we need to understand the nature of our own galaxy. The image below was made using Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 2 to map the stars in the centre of the Milky Way galaxy. Unlike its neighboring galaxies, the Milky Way is full of clouds of galaxies. The image shows the positions of each of these many clouds. It is important to note that we see clouds in that part of the galaxy because galaxies are moving away from their parent and forming a group, and those are moving towards an observer’s location. However, it is possible to look inside the galaxies and see what the individual stars are doing about that separation. So in the image above, the brightest stars are shown from the dust-loaded central regions towards that observer, all the way out to the edge of the dust cloud and so on. The dust clouds are made up of galaxies that are young and are colliding together to form new galaxies. These collisions are creating the bright and white star-light, because the most massive and energetic of these events are not seen by us as they are far from us due to the massive distortion of space that the galaxies undergo as they are torn apart. As the galaxies interact with each other, there’s a lot of dust and gas from the collision that we can see from here, but because of their size and their fast motions we cannot see much below us.

Back in the day, before we could ever see this image, here is another view showing the position of the black hole. Although the centre of the galaxy is very distant from the observer (around 300,000 light years) it, together with every other galaxy, is extremely luminous. The image shows the brightness of the centre of the galaxy, as captured by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys Survey in 2010. This is the centre of the Galaxy, surrounded by the entire galaxy. There are thousands more galaxies

~ Crawling into a coffin ~ ~~~

I’m still in shock of all how well everything went. I couldn’t believe it. I cried so much inside, of all the reasons this was meant to be, but all I can see is just how right I was. The whole thing was only meant to be, and yet everything went perfectly. We got through it together.

After I got home, I began to worry. It was only for a few days, but my worry was always there. I didn’t want to lose sleep over it, but a part of me knew that wasn’t likely. After all, we’re both survivors, so it shouldn’t be unreasonable to come up with some kind of contingency plan. So I began to figure out several ways in which I could take care of this problem if it ever came up again.

Before I did anything else, I started making a little list of things I wanted to bring with me.

I had a pair of scissors. I wanted to be able to cut them myself, rather than having someone do it for me. I didn’t know what my scissors would be made out of, but I didn’t have much choice in that. I decided that I had to have some sort of lock on it so I wouldn’t have to worry about going looking for an alternative. Then, I decided to look for a lock I could find that would prevent access to it. I found a few in the trash. Even though I already had all my supplies, I didn’t want to go hunting for them, so I grabbed the most obvious ones that showed up.

For my backpack, I got the same lock as they had for the scissors. I put two pieces of paper on top of it which I had to put back in their places periodically, to ensure I didn’t get stuck using them. I spent a couple hours trying to figure out whether I would be able to take care of this lock, and the others, all while keeping my eyes open to see if anything crazy happened. If I did manage to stay free and my backpack safe, I would have to figure out some way I could go from here in order to get to somewhere else quickly. I had a plan for that, too, which I won’t share with you all. It doesn’t give me much to work with; it would be a big waste of time to attempt something like that. If you want more information on it, I recommend checking out my past blog posts where I talked about various problems that I have with being surrounded by people, people with no idea about what’s going on.

When we decided to leave, I tried to tell myself that I was just being silly. If people cared enough to spend time with me instead of watching scary movies and stuff, that was their right. They made the call, so I couldn’t complain. I had so much to be grateful for, and while I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to give it all up, I do wonder if it was worth it to give up my old life without a fight. At the very least, I’m glad that I was able to be around people in a time when other people might have given it up because it felt like such a weight off of my shoulders.

I didn’t tell either of my parents about it right away. Instead, I decided to keep it to myself, at least for the time being. I didn’t want to leave everything I had on that first date, especially since I didn’t really want to. Instead, I just decided that as long as I had people to meet when I returned, I’d take the worst of both worlds and start life all over. On those first few days, I thought that I was going to be going around visiting friends for a number of days, so I did that. I spent quite a bit of extra time with my family, but what seemed like a quick trip turned into several days, and some kind of arrangement was finally made for some kind of time to come back home.

On the second weekend I was back, I spent another week at the hotel. It was another normal vacation, so I took my normal work schedule. My boss, my friends, and my bosses new-boss, all ended up returning to their usual weekly work patterns, so I had zero real interruptions during that week.

The next weekend was also a normal one. I worked as my normal freelance gig for a few days. I don’t know how I’m still sane enough to be doing this now. It was a really odd experience, seeing how I seemed to be completely oblivious to the way things were. It wasn’t until I was in my room trying to change and change into my clothes again in the middle of the night, a few hours after my first shift ended, that I realized there wasn’t even a light bulb in the room. This had never happened for

The Perseids are an annual, meteor-watching phenomenon that only occurs around February 15th.

But, not everyone may know about this year’s events by now. I’ll try to provide readers and I with some information that is only relevant to the people who work in or around the North American Space Agency or NASA.

First, the basics:

The Perseid meteor shower has both a radiant and an apparition .

The Perseid radiant (the point in the heavens between Earth and the Sun that the meteors appear to come from) usually happens on the night of or shortly after the first half of a planet’s day (or month.) When the meteor showers appear between the start of the Martian (Mars) and the start of our own (Earth), it is called “mid-morning twilight.” While the Perseid showers are most frequently active on April 20 and March 21, 2015, they can often occur in the middle of the month, just after midnight. The Perseid’s closest approaches are between August 23 and November 19, 2014. Some people have speculated about the origin of the Perseid meteor shower’s name. The name Perseids was first used by Greek astronomer Ptolemy (who lived around 200 B.C.) in his “Perseidum” treatise, written around 95 B.C. It actually means “three stars” because he thought he had found three or four brilliant stars, each about 20 light-years away. But in reality there are three celestial bodies – the Sun, Venus, and Mars combined – that form the largest planet in the Solar System. His name was used by many cultures, however, including ancient Babylon and ancient China. The names “Pseid” and “Sigurr” (pronounced “sih-durrd”), were used in Greece for the three bodies. In Egypt they were called the Milky Way and The Sun, respectively.

If you look up at the constellation Cygnus, you can see Orion and three stars called the Bracket. These are the Orion nebula which forms the radiant of the Perseid meteor shower. (The Perseids are most often visible just before or after this.) Each of these bracket stars is about 5 light-years, so that, taken in an equatorial field of view, the Brackets are visible in a little under a quarter-moon’s orbit. The brightest star in each Bracket is Betelgeuse, which is about 1 light-year away. All of these are relatively small objects compared to other globular star systems. It seems surprising that no one has been able to pinpoint the radiant by any standard astronomical measurements. However, people like Peter Ross and others have been able to deduce the position of the radiant using the so-called “satellite” method, which involves counting the number of meteors a particular region will be exposed to. It is possible for the Perseid radiant to appear farther than it actually is, and this has been measured experimentally. The method is actually not very accurate because the angle of the radiant is known at the beginning of the shower, and the angle changes dramatically at different times. It would not be surprising if the radiant was at a greater distance than the Brackets: a couple hundred light-years away, but only 30 light-years away. Since there are several hundred brightest meteors per hour in the sky during the Perseids, however, it seems likely that that location is closer to the radiant than the Brackets.

And, let us go on a tangent now. On top of these measurements, there are several other factors which influence the location of the Perseid radiant: the age of the universe, the position of Earth, the shape and orbit of Venus. For those who are interested, here is what we currently know:

The radiant is the point of light at the center of the Milky Way, in the constellation Orion. If it was located in any one of the other hundreds of locations that make up the constellation Orion, we would actually get a different result. For example, our satellite planet, Mercury, has an orbital period of about 45 Earth-days, like a planet orbits the sun. A planet does not orbit the sun but it does have a period of about 30 Earth-days. During that time Mercury is slightly closer to the Sun than Earth. This explains the difference in distance between the Radiant and the Brackets. Of course, we do know the distance between the Radiant and the Brackets by observing the distance of the Radiant at different times during the night; and we also know the orientation of the sky as an object is being viewed; but we also know the position of the Radiant from its distance to the sun. If we can have a very precise location on Earth in this manner, then it is pretty easy to tell the position of the Radiant from the Brackets. We know it is there; the only question is which location.

NASA/JPL/Space

See: Bias in scientific opinion: Climate Change, sea levels, and the Palaeozoic . This article was originally published at http://www.jimscott.org/2006/12/02/scientific-opinion-climate-change-sea-level-and-the-palaeozoic/ before being reposted at ClimateAudit.org. Citation of the main piece at this link . The following graphic is a portion from the study ( Figure 1 ) and contains additional information from the article including: sea levels in the upper 200 m of the Middle Miocene (about 4.9 to 3.5 million years ago) are about 50 m higher than they are today (with a sea level rise of about .02 meters). Most of the extra elevation is in the Southern Ocean. It’s more evidence that the upper ocean was much higher than what the climate models assumed it to be. All these factors together paint a very different picture of how sea levels changed over the world during the Quaternary, especially if we don’t have to adjust our estimates of the sea levels. We already know the world’s oceans did not rise as much during the Quaternary as we think they might . The next question is, why might sea level have risen at a much higher rate than we are considering?

The answer for the sea level rise we do not have to adjust is that Earth’s ice sheet was not only thinner when the Quaternary glacials occurred but that as glaciers retreated there was also ice at the very end of the Quaternary. This resulted in less sea level rise than the normal rate of global sea level rise. However, it’s also true that the “normal” rate of global sea level rise is far less than the average we observe. For example, NASA has been tracking sea level rise since the IPCC began its work at the beginning of the century. In fact, I see no evidence that the IPCC’s latest report on sea level rise is different than the previous documents. The global average of sea level rise is 3- to 5-m.

As if we were not getting a handle on this issue, the NASA data indicate that the last ice age ended a few hundred to 3,000 years ago. As the ice sheet moved closer to shore, sea level went down a little as global land masses moved inland. This pattern was very different than the past of sea level rising like a rock wall but rather like a smooth slope. So there is a major physical reason for why the lower coastal sea level at the end of the Quaternary does not match up with the models of sea level rose as much as the models suggest. This physical cause is the result of the sea level at the end of the Quaternary being much more similar to the average of the Earth’s surface topography because this is the result of an ice sheet (and less so continental shelves) spreading inland as the sea level retreats.

Now here is the other issue with using the higher-end of the global average sea level rise compared to the lower coastal sea level. A few hundred years ago there were only seven major coastal cities in North and South America. Today there are over 60 such cities. What that means, it means that global sea level is increasing much faster than is the case if the sea level at the end of the Quaternary was as similar to the average of the global topography as the lower coastal sea level is today. It’s not clear why that is the case. If you believe in the “Global Warming” hypothesis, you should accept it. If you do not accept that Global Warming is a myth and you think the lower coastal sea level at the end of the last Ice Age had the same relative scale as today, then that only confirms to you the fact that the lower coastal sea level at the time is really not an increase by the rate of global sea level rise, as many might imagine. In fact, it was likely the opposite of what it is today. You can learn all about that in my paper A new model of the Cenozoic-Triassic mass extinction: An examination of the lower coastal marine carbonate paleo-ice sheet retreat . You can see the conclusion there but I don’t bother doing it here.

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