Monday, May 30, 2011

First Habitable Exoplanet?

Climate Simulation Reveals New Candidate That Could Support Earth-Like Life

ScienceDaily (May 16, 2011) — The planetary system around the red dwarf Gliese 581, one of the closest stars to the Sun in the galaxy, has been the subject of several studies aiming to detect the first potentially habitable exoplanet. Two candidates have already been discarded, but a third planet, Gliese 581d, can be considered the first confirmed exoplanet that could support Earth-like life. This is the conclusion of a team of scientists from the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (CNRS, UPMC, ENS Paris, Ecole Polytechnique) in Paris, France, whose study is published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Schematic of the global climate model used to study Gliese 581d. Red / blue shading indicate hot / cold surface temperatures, while the arrows show
wind velocities at 2 km height in the atmosphere. (Credit: © LMD/CNRS - Source)

Are there other planets inhabited like Earth, or at least habitable? The discovery of the first habitable planet has become a quest for many astrophysicists who look for rocky planets in the "habitable zone" around stars, the range of distances in which planets are neither too cold nor too hot for life to flourish.

In this quest, the red dwarf star Gliese 581 has already received a huge amount of attention. In 2007, scientists reported the detection of two planets orbiting not far from the inner and outer edge of its habitable zone. While the more distant planet, Gliese 581d, was initially judged to be too cold for life, the closer-in planet was thought to be potentially habitable by its discoverers. However, later analysis by atmospheric experts showed that if it had liquid oceans like Earth, they would rapidly evaporate in a 'runaway greenhouse' effect similar to that which gave Venus the hot, inhospitable climate it has today. A new possibility emerged late in 2010, when a team of observers led by Steven Vogt at the University of California, Santa Cruz, announced that they had discovered a new planet, which they dubbed Gliese 581g, or 'Zarmina's World'. This planet, they claimed, had a mass similar to that of Earth and was close to the centre of the habitable zone. For several months, the discovery of the first potential Earth twin outside the Solar System seemed to have been achieved. Unfortunately, later analysis by independent teams has raised serious doubts on this extremely difficult detection. Many now believe that Gliese 581g may not exist at all. Instead, it may simply be a result of noise in the ultra-fine measurements of stellar 'wobble' needed to detect exoplanets in this system.

Today, it is finally Gliese 581g's big brother -- the larger and more distant Gliese 581d -- which has been shown to be the confirmed potentially habitable exoplanet by Robin Wordsworth, François Forget and co-workers from Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (CNRS, UPMC, ENS Paris, Ecole Polytechnique) at the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace in Paris. Although it is likely to be a rocky planet, it has a mass at least seven times that of Earth, and is estimated to be about twice its size. At first glance, Gliese 581d is a pretty poor candidate in the hunt for life: it receives less than a third of the stellar energy Earth does and may be tidally locked, with a permanent day and night side. After its discovery, it was generally believed that any atmosphere thick enough to keep the planet warm would become cold enough on the night side to freeze out entirely, ruining any prospects for a habitable climate.

To test whether this intuition was correct, Wordsworth and colleagues developed a new kind of computer model capable of accurately simulating possible exoplanet climates. The model simulates a planet's atmosphere and surface in three dimensions, rather like those used to study climate change on Earth. However, it is based on more fundamental physical principles, allowing the simulation of a much wider range of conditions than would otherwise be possible, including any atmospheric cocktail of gases, clouds and aerosols.

To their surprise, they found that with a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere -- a likely scenario on such a large planet -- the climate of Gliese 581d is not only stable against collapse, but warm enough to have oceans, clouds and rainfall. One of the key factors in their results was Rayleigh scattering, the phenomenon that makes the sky blue on Earth. In the Solar System, Rayleigh scattering limits the amount of sunlight a thick atmosphere can absorb, because a large portion of the scattered blue light is immediately reflected back to space. However, as the starlight from Gliese 581 is red, it is almost unaffected. This means that it can penetrate much deeper into the atmosphere, where it heats the planet effectively due to the greenhouse effect of the CO2 atmosphere, combined with that of the carbon dioxide ice clouds predicted to form at high altitudes. Furthermore, the 3D circulation simulations showed that the daylight heating was efficiently redistributed across the planet by the atmosphere, preventing atmospheric collapse on the night side or at the poles.

Scientists are particularly excited by the fact that at 20 light years from Earth, Gliese 581d is one of our closest galactic neighbours. For now, this is of limited use for budding interstellar colonists -- the furthest-travelled human-made spacecraft, Voyager 1, would still take over 300,000 years to arrive there. However, it does mean that in the future telescopes will be able to detect the planet's atmosphere directly. While Gliese 581d may be habitable there are other possibilities; it could have kept some atmospheric hydrogen, like Uranus and Neptune, or the fierce wind from its star during its infancy could even have torn its atmosphere away entirely. To distinguish between these different scenarios, Wordsworth and co-workers came up with several simple tests that observers will be able to perform in future with a sufficiently powerful telescope.

If Gliese 581d does turn out to be habitable, it would still be a pretty strange place to visit -- the denser air and thick clouds would keep the surface in a perpetual murky red twilight, and its large mass means that surface gravity would be around double that on Earth. But the diversity of planetary climates in the galaxy is likely to be far wider than the few examples we are used to from the Solar System. In the long run, the most important implication of these results may be the idea that life-supporting planets do not in fact need to be particularly like Earth at all.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The end of the World


Ok.. here we go again with a filthy rich american lunatic, Harold Camping a self entitled religious pastor, saying that the world would end today, 21 May 2011. This is just another profitable hoax like many others, taking advantage of milions of stupid people. I mean, come on, there's gotta be something better than this story... and there is :)

I present you a series of scenarios:

The return of NIBIRUis a supposed disastrous encounter between the Earth and a large planetary object (either a collision or a near-miss) which certain groups believe will take place in the early 21st century. Believers in this doomsday event usually refer to this object as Planet X or Nibiru. The idea that a planet-sized object could possibly collide with or pass by Earth in the near future is not supported by any scientific evidence and has been rejected as pseudoscience by astronomers and planetary scientists.

NEMESIS (hypothetical star)The Sun may have an as yet undetected companion star, a Death Star, in a highly elliptical orbit that periodically disturbs comets in the Oort cloud, causing a large increase in the number of comets visiting the inner solar system with a consequential increase in impact events on Earth

GLIESE 710, a variable orange dwarf star, which is currently about 63.0 light years from Earth, but its proper motion, distance, and radial velocity indicate that it will approach within a very small distance - perhaps under one light year - from the Sun within 1.4 million years. The mass and close approach distance will cause the greatest gravitational perturbation of our solar system.

Pole shift (1) and/or Geomagnetic reversal (2) 

(1) The cataclysmic pole shift hypothesis states that there have been geologically rapid shifts in the relative positions of the modern-day geographic locations of the poles and the axis of rotation of the Earth, creating calamities such as floods and tectonic events.

(2) geomagnetic reversal is a change in the Earth's magnetic field such that the positions of magnetic north and magnetic south are interchanged. The Earth's field has alternated between periods of normal polarity, in which the direction of the field was the same as the present direction, and reverse polarity, in which the field was in the opposite direction. These periods are calledchrons. The time spans of chrons are randomly distributed with most being between 0.1 and 1 million years.

GRB (Gamma Ray Bursts). It's just like the lottery and it could happen anytime... tomorrow or in a million years. Very hard to predict and very dangerous.. in just a flash the world as we know it, could come to an end.

Sun Burnout (The Death of the Sun)The Sun is about 4.5 billion years old. it has used up about half of its nuclear fuel (hydrogen). In about 5 billion years from now, the sun will begin to die. The increase in solar temperatures is such that in about another billion years the surface of the Earth will likely become too hot for liquid water to exist, ending all terrestrial life.

Andromeda-Milky Way Collisionis a predicted galaxy collision that could possibly take place in approximately 3 to 5 billion years' time between the two largest galaxies in the Local Group – the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way, which contains Earth.

Asteroids and MeteorsThe collision between Earth and an asteroid a few kilometers in diameter may release as much energy as several million nuclear weapons detonating simultaneously causing mass extinctions or even the end of life on Earth. 

Stay tuned for Apophis in 2029 or 2036 :)

The Sun is a bit tricky, as it has periods of Geomagnetic Storms and Coronal mass ejections. Such cases might wreak havoc on Earth with huge consequences.

All these scenarios alongside with the Big Crunch ending with a black hole singularity or the Big Freeze/Expansion where the Universe will continue forever becoming too cold to sustain life. 

If you think this doesn't convince you, try some technological evolution featurign nanobots, economic based wars, conflicts, or the non-stopping pollution and green house effect.
Spreading diseases, Mass Suicide, Impotence, Oil Peak, Natural Disasters like Volcanoes, Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Climate Shift, etc.

Yeah, beat that ! and I'm sure I still forgot something :))

Untill then... Have a party, buy a Porsche, forget work, avoid taxes, don't get married, forget diet, retire now.. But hurry ! Time is running out ! Cheers

Thursday, May 12, 2011

American Idol

You tought the hillbillies and 'cocalari' exist only in Romania, right? Well you definetly didn't live the American dream ! Yeah, in the magnificent USA. It's good to hear all the douchebags, some of them even around here, talking about this country and how cool it is, and how the people are open-minded and shi!t :)) 
They are just foreign idiot fillers in that country full of retards :D
Let's say I also do like America.. but only the continent, the nature, the unique sights like the Meteor Crater and The Grand Canyon. Uh, and the skyscrapers in both New York and Miami.

I'm sick with the majority of stupid people, I'm tired of most american movies... like in the apocaliptyc ones, where the asteroid always hit Manhattan.. the justice is always beeing made in L.A. and so on :))
Not to mention their politics, 'the democracy' and huuuuge quantities of propaganda through the media. Whatever...

I present you some of the nation's giant idols:

You think 1 million $ are not enough? Check out this valuable guy.. stashing ~ 2 million dollars :))

People like these ones get along very well, in fact they are good friends with all that money linking them apart :D


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Interview Series

Hi. This is the last post of the J.Z. mini-series, for a period now, let's hope not very long..meh, who cares...
In the first two videos there are some nice tracks like Prodigy's Omen and Sasha's remix for Earthquake. This guy is fabulous.. always a pleasure listening him, because he's sooo like me, we think alike and have the same hobbies etc...

Untill next weekend from me, see ya :)

And a flashy interview for a glossy channel ... the A|X Music presents the exclusive Dj interview series with James Zabiela, talking about Pioneer gadgets. Enjoy !

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A day in the life of James Zabiela

For those who ever asked how a day in the life of this God of Music passes by

Last night I went out shopping and while browsing between the items I was surprised to hear a tune from J.Z.'s mixes, Groove Armada - History. At this instant, a smile was drawn on my face and the whole world seemed more beautifull :)

Well let's get back to the video.. you can see a perfectly normal person playing like a bedroom dj, uh.. in a way, just like me :D

The music in the background contains his latest songs: 

James Zabiela - Burnt Bridges

James Zabiela - Blame