* Posts by Spherical Cow

278 posts • joined 10 Aug 2018

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Remember that black hole just 1,000 light years from Earth? Scientists queue up to say it may not exist after all

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Re: Who is stealing the stars?

You don't need to check EVERY iron, only one. The tricky part is knowing which one.

UK government shakes magic money tree, finds $500m to buy a stake in struggling satellite firm OneWeb

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Re: It Could Be Made to Work ???

LORAN? I'd prefer Decca if you don't mind.

Boffins baffled as supergiant star just vanishes – either it partially blew itself apart or quietly turned into a black hole

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Joke

Did they forget to take the lens cap off the telescope? I hate it when I do that.

Come glide with me: Virgin Galactic gives Unity some fresh air, looks forward to rocket-powered flight

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Headmaster

*alone

US starts sniffing around UK spaceports – though none capable of vertical launches actually exist right now

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Joke

Re: Why here?

Don't worry, British rocket scientists are working on plans to fit rockets with umbrellas.

No longer a planet and left out in the cold, Pluto, it turns out, may have had hot beginnings

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Exoplanets are not planets!

Of course they are. The IAU definition is stupid to exclude them just because they don't orbit the Sun. Exoplanets are planets.

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Re: It'll be a planet again

If Earth has cleared its orbit, what is Cruithne doing there???

NASA to send Perseverance, a new trundle bot, and Ingenuity, the first interplanetary helicopter, to sniff out life on Mars in July

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Re: World's largest supersonic-rated parachute

I think it's currently Earth's largest, then for about seven months* it will be space's largest, then it will become Mars's largest.

*Earth months

Looking for a home off-world? Take your pick: Astroboffins estimate there are nearly 6bn Earth-likes in the Milky Way

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The real Goldilocks zone

At last, an exoplanet hunter who is steering clear of those myriad pesky red dwarves with their tight planetary orbits and harsh tidal locking.

NASA shoves Astrobotic $199.5m to sling water-hunting VIPER trundlebot at Moon

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Re: Yes, there's ice on the moon.

How much ice? How is it distributed? Is it easy to get at? We need some way of answering these and other questions, maybe we should send a rover to explore.

What could possibly make a cranky crocodylomorph more terrifying? How about one that chases you on its hind legs?

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Re: Pretty obvious really...

The resident aliens would have made tentaclebags, Shirley.

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There is a lizard in Australia called the Eastern Water Dragon which can run on its back legs only. It runs so fast it can even run across water without sinking! It grows to 1m long, so not as big a a croc, thankfully.

Russia drags NASA: Enjoy your expensive SpaceX capsule, our Soyuz is the cheap Kalashnikov of rockets

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Re: Endeavour war the wrong name

Musk did mention the trampoline: https://www.wionews.com/world/trampoline-is-working-musk-taunts-russian-space-agency-chief-302172

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A couple of points:

There has been actual useful science done in space which has benefited us down here on the ground.

Having all humans on one planet is like putting all your eggs in one basket: if something goes wrong you can lose them all.

Japan to test self-destructing satellite to shrink space junk with string and an inanimate carbon blob

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Re: Just a bit late maybe

The SpaceX ones are low enough to deorbit in a few years just from atmospheric drag. In fact we have no way to _stop_ them from deorbiting.

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I thought the idea of a coaxial cable was to have zero net electromagnetic effect. The central core has its field centred at the centre (obviously) and because the outer sheath surrounds the centre the outer sheath also has its total field centred in exactly the same spot. So when one is positive and the other is negative the total is zero.

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Re: What is the chance

A million to one... uh-oh!

SpaceX is about to launch its first Starlink internet satellite sporting a sun visor following complaints by astronomers

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Re: Seebeck effect

How is the cool side staying cool?

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Re: Solution?

He could even send up a constellation (or "array") of many radio telescopes with enough total receiving area to add up to, say, a square kilometre. I'm not sure what you'd call it though.

SpaceX Crew Dragon docks at International Space Station

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Re: this is only half the trip

Musk has said he's more worried about re-entry than launch. Something about the Dragon being asymmetrical which might cause a spin which might allow hot plasma into the emergency Draco thruster vents.

After 30 years of searching, astroboffins finally detect the universe's 'missing matter' – using fast radio bursts

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Re: I can lend you a tape measure if you like.

Volume is measured in grapefruit (or for really big things Olympic swimming pools).

Watch SpaceX's Starship SN4 prototype accidentally self-destruct in a rocket test burn

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Mushroom

That's a big bang!

In the compilation video watch the Proton M from 2013, camera 4. Start at 31:17. Wait for the shock wave to arrive.

Turns out Elon can't control the weather – what a scrub: Rain, clouds delay historic manned SpaceX-NASA launch

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"Flying at a different time may have prevented the crew capsule from reaching orbit"

...from reaching the correct orbit, Shirley.

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon cleared to hoist real live American astronauts into space

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S'ok. ISS will still be there.

Well, that's something boffins haven't seen before: A strange alien streaks around Jupiter

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Re: That far away ?

Atmospheric friction at L4???

UK takes a step closer to domestic launches as Skyrora fires up Skylark-L

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Re: Top Gear?

Am I the only person to suspect that everything went exactly to plan? The "failure" was deliberate and the spectacular and amusing RUD was intended (so I'd better call it a RSD instead).

India opens its space industry to private companies

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That all sounds great! Except for the bit about "ending the government's coal mining monopoly". The last thing this planet needs is more coal mining.

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An orbital spacecraft is just an ICBM which goes sideways fast enough to keep missing the ground as it falls.

Two weeks before the first US commercial crew launch, NASA spanks more cash on an autumn Soyuz seat

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Nice simulator.

Bloody tricky at the end though.

Psst... Wanna buy some stock in a spaceplane company? Virgin would like a word

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Front row seats to re-entry?

Is HDEV now transmitting from the Cygnus? Because there's still a feed going. Could be (briefly) interesting.

Russia admits, yup, the Americans are right: One of our rocket's tanks just disintegrated in Earth's orbit

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Re: Hopefully time limited

It's already been up for nine years and it spends most of its time much higher than 400. These fragments are going to be around for a while.

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Irresponsible?

Why was this useless thing still up there since 2011? With an apogee of 3,606 km and perigee of 422 km it wouldn't have taken much oomph to de-orbit itself, if someone had given it the capability. That's pretty crappy design.

There's a black hole lurking within 1,000 light years of Earth – and you can see stars circling it with the naked eye

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Re: 1,000 light years away is a bit too far ...

tbh twenty metres up would be enough. It's not the fall which gets you...

Virgin Galactic takes another step towards blasting Richard Branson into space

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Re: Priorities?

Mandate that airlines must use biofuel. Ticket prices will go up a bit but not a lot, and we can all enjoy guilt-free holidays again. The biofuel industry will ramp up to meet increased demand as soon as demand is increased.

Bye, Russia: NASA wheels out astronauts, describes plan for first all-American manned launch into orbit since 2011

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Re: All auto?

Well, the first stage can already park itself.

Bezos to the Moon: Blue Origin joins SpaceX and Dynetics in a three-horse lunar lander race

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Boffin

"I wouldn't want to be the poor SOB trying to climb a rope all the way back up that monster, let alone doing it with a sackful of moon rocks over his shoulder"

I'd tie the sack of rocks to the bottom of the rope then pull it up after me.

ATLAS flubbed: Comet heading our way takes one look at Earth, self-destructs into house-sized chunks

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Re: That's not a comet...

> ... wipe out your supplies of Tea, Coffee, Wine and Beer!

I brew my own :-)

How's your night sky looking? The Reg chats to astroboffin Mark McCaughrean about Starlink and leaving a mark

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winking dots

I watched the ISS fly over my house last night. I always get a big thrill from seeing it. Smaller satellites give a smaller thrill, but there's always a thrill no matter how small they are.

There's no accounting for taste.

Kepler telescope is dead but the data lives on: Earth-sized habitable zone planet found after boffins check for errors

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Re: Age?

"Tidal locking could still leave a habitable zone between the hot and frozen hemispheres."

A tad windy though.

NASA makes May 27 its US independence day from Russian rockets: America's back in the astronaut business after nearly nine years

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Re: Thanks To A South American Immigrant

You don't need to adjust ratios per capita ;-)

Do you want to be an astronaut when you grow up? Yeah, you and 12,000 others: NASA flooded with folks hoping to visit Moon, Mars

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Re: That degree...

@Chris G

You should check Dolph and Brian's credentials.

Hailing frequencies open, sir... America's Space Force hurls its first military comms satellite into Earth's orbit

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First?

First launch under the name Space Force but really just a continuation of an existing project. Space Force has yet to do the first thing of their own.

BEHOLD! Japan's Hayabusa2 probe left human imprints on ASTEROID SAND

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Re: Sand? Distant places?

More importantly: wormsign?

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That was a big hit!

I'm impressed that a 5m rock was moved several metres, presumably by not much more than a blast of sand. I know the gravity is low but the impactor must still have packed a hell of a punch to do that.

Corona coronavirus hiatus: Euro space agency to put Sun, Mars probes in safe mode while boffins swerve pandemic

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Re: Why bother putting them into safe mode?

You need a screen, a keyboard, and a mouse to control a satellite*. And a whole heap of clever computer stuff and some very impressive antennae etc as well but they don't have to be in the same place as you, and that's the point: you could work from home just as well as at the office.

*most people anyway, there are some who have other ways to do what's needed.

Bad news: Coronavirus is spreading rapidly across the world. Good news: Nitrogen dioxide levels are decreasing and the air on Earth is cleaner

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It was only a matter of time.

No joy for all you Rover McRoverface fans: NASA's next Mars bot is christened Perseverance

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Re: Needs two names

Everyone will call it Kate for short.

If you're struggling to keep new year resolutions, try NGTS-10b, a mere 1,000 LY away. One year is just 18 hrs

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Short-lived

I suspect planets like this are rare because they don't last long when orbiting so close to their suns. Solar winds and tidal forces must be intense.

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