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  • Interstellar Visitor

    by coldwarrior ( 67 Comments › )
    Filed under Academia, Astronomy, Open thread, Science, Space Exploration at November 20th, 2017 - 5:53 pm

    From our friends at Space Weather:


    INTERSTELLAR ASTEROID “LIKE NOTHING SEEN BEFORE”: In Oct. 2017, the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawai’i picked up a faint point of light moving across the sky. At first it appeared to be an ordinary asteroid–but astronomers quickly realized it was something entirely different. The hurtling object, since named “‘Oumuamua,” came from interstellar space. At the time of its discovery, ‘Oumuamua had just swung around the sun. Telescopes around the world swiveled to observe it before it could leave the Solar System. Findings from those rapid observations were published in today’s issue of Nature, and they reveal a very strange object indeed:

    Above: an artist’s concept of interstellar asteroid ‘Oumuamua [more]

    According to a European Southern Observatory (ESO) press release, ‘Oumuamua is “like nothing seen before.” It is red, made of dense rock or metal, and is shaped roughly like a giant cigar at least 400 meters long.

    These are the findings of a team of astronomers led by Karen Meech (Institute for Astronomy, Hawai`i, USA) who combined images from the ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile with other large telescopes. ‘Oumuamua varies dramatically in brightness by a factor of ten as it spins on its axis every 7.3 hours. “This unusually large variation in brightness means that the object is highly elongated: about ten times as long as it is wide, with a complex, convoluted shape,” says Meech.

    The asteroid’s dark red color is probably caused by cosmic rays irradiating its surface for millions of years in deep space. Cosmic rays have a similar coloring effect on asteroids and comets native to our outer Solar System.

    Extrapolating ‘Oumuamua’s trajectory back in time, it seems to come from the direction of the star Vega. However, Vega itself moves and was not in the area when ‘Oumuamua was last there ~300,000 years ago. ‘Oumuamua may well have been wandering through the Milky Way, unattached to any star system, for hundreds of millions of years before its chance encounter with the Solar System.

    Researchers estimate that interstellar asteroids similar to ‘Oumuamua pass through the inner Solar System about once per year, but they are faint and so have been missed until now.Only recently have survey telescopes such as Pan-STARRS become powerful enough to discover them.

    “We are continuing to observe this unique object,” says team member Olivier Hainaut from the ESO in Garching, Germany. “And now that we have found the first interstellar rock, we are getting ready for the next ones!” Stay tuned.

    NFL Wake 11! Jerry! Jerry! He’s Our Man!

    by Deplorable Barbarian ( 47 Comments › )
    Filed under Uncategorized at November 19th, 2017 - 12:45 pm

    ….and other things that make you think you’ve landed in Bizarro World. Or the Twilight Zone (I’ll take the latter, have had a school girl crush on Rod Serling and not George Reeves).

    I’d like to think that right after this photo snapped, Roger Dodger was the recipient of a backhand bitchslap.

    No.1:  Not being a Cowboys fan, except insofar as I thought Tom Landry was the quintessential image of a coach and that Danny White was too damn cute to be real, I don’t pay much attention to them except when they are piling on the Saints.  My introduction to Jerry Jones was via a 60 Minutes profile talking about his new stadium, and he came off like….well, like a narcissic jerk.   But today, Jerry Jones is the hero of many football fans this week for his efforts to take out the odious Roger Goodell.  I hope he succeeds.  And other NFL owners are proud to display all the lack of awareness of the national climate that the Congressional majority leaders have been displaying since January, when they “threaten” him with the NFL version of the “nuclear option” to try and take his team away if he does.  Perhaps they should think about doing a little polling.  Because if they do this to Jones, start tolling the bell at Independence Hall.

    No. 2:  San Francisco won for the first time, after the despicable Eric Reid took a knee. He’s “carrying the [Krapperdick] banner.” Hope he carries it straight to the unemployment line. Maybe the Niners could offer him a $15 million contract and he could walk away from it as well. Then he and the GQ “Citizen of the Year” (still trying to nail down what country they might have been referrring to) can room together in the Tenderloin. Might be crowded with SJW “fiance” in the mix and never shutting up – oh and prayer rugs being hauled out .

    In keeping with the upcoming holiday theme….
    These Turkeys will be suiting up today: (Turkeys not suiting up? Jets, Colts, 49ers, and Panthers)

    Lions @ Bears
    Jaguars @ Browns
    Ravens @ Packers
    Cardinals @ Texans
    Buccaneers @ Dolphins
    Rams @ Vikings
    Chiefs @ Giants (you lost to the 9ers, guys, anything you do now is a comeback)
    Redskins @ Saints
    Bills @ Chargers
    Bengals @ Broncos
    Patriots @ Raiders (this may actually get Football Savant Offspring to Mass this morning)
    Eagles @ Cowboys

    Monday’s Game:
    Falcons @ Seahawks

    NASCAR brings its 36-race season to a close at Homestead-Miami Raceway, and it just occurred to me that the sport begins and ends its season in Florida.  Probably because it’s one of the few states that has decent weather in February and November.  I will never understand the NASCAR points system, no doubt because they keep changing it and I’ve never been good with numbers.  Here’s why.  Last week, Martin Truex Jr. was 50 points ahead in the points race, had a decent finish in Phoenix and yet there is a four-way tie for the lead.  This actually means the likely Champion will change throughout the race.  I dunno….I’m smelling collusion and manipulation.  Let’s go look for the Russkies!  In any event, it will be fun to watch, even if you DON’T believe the race is won or lost in the “pits”.

    The NHL has a nice slate, so check your local listings.  Can someone explain “blue line” and “icing” to me?   Wierd quetsions becuase I used to watch the Bruins faithfully in their Stanley Cup year in 1970.  I didn’t really understand the rules, you understand.  I just wanted to moon over Bobby Orr…

    Islanders @ Hurricanes
    Avalanche @ Red Wings
    Senators @ Rangers
    Kings @ Golden Knights
    Panthers @ Mighty Ducks

    The Golden Knights hail from “Vegas” – not LAS Vegas; just “Vegas”  Why disrespect the “Las”?  You don’t shorten the City 270 miles west to “Angeles”.   Yeah, but I’m on the case and in the current climate, I figured it out.  “Las” is female; “Los” is male.  It’s misogyny.  Has to be.  It can’t be White Supremacy or Homophobia, so it has to be the choice from Column C.

    And if If no one is saying “Las” anymore, just change the name of the town to “Vegas.”

    In the PGA – final round in the RSM classic from Sea Island Golf Club in Georgia.

    In the NBA, I imagine that they must be beside themselves with joy that three potential future players were released from China this week.  They should be welcome with open arms since they already have a head start on a criminal record, with bonus points for criminal activity in a foreign country hostile to the U.S.

    And this is your open thread for Sunday.  And your reminder to start defrosting the turkey if you haven’t started already.

    NCAA D1 College Football Week 12 2017 Open

    by coldwarrior ( 53 Comments › )
    Filed under College Football at November 18th, 2017 - 7:00 am

    This has been a CRAZY year! Great stuff! Except, Miami is undefeated and the press are making them out to be the second coming of Jimmy Johnson’s Criminal Element from back in the 90’s. They are unbelievable ranked #3 in the playoff picture! Sorry boys, you haven’t had the strength of schedule to hang up there and you will be destroyed in the playoffs by ‘Bama or by Clemson on December 2nd. I see ONE quality win for the Hurricanes, ONE. The rest of their wins are against losers.

    For the playoffs as of last week: 1 Alabama, 2 Clemson, 3 Miami. 4 Oklahoma State

    It’s been so crazy that I am barely above 50%! This is why I don’t bet with real money.



    12:00 PM

    Why? Vegas isn’t even posting a spread for this ridiculous mismatch.

    #24 Michigan

    12:00 PM

    The Badgers are 8 point favorites at Home. W is #5 and undefeated for a reason, they haven’t played anybody yet. Well, except last week, they went to Iowa and beat the tough #20 Hawkeye team at home. A big win here might get them into the top 4.


    The Citadel

    12:20 PM

    Again, WHY?


    #11 USC

    8:00 PM

    It’s the annual battle of LA! AKA the battle of the cheerleaders! If you haven’t seen a USC v UCLA game then you are missing out on some lovely scenery. UCLA is getting 16 and they stink. The QB match-up between Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold will be the other highlight of the game, these two WILL be playing on Sunday, the over/under is 72! These aren’t squirrel brained read/option idiots. They are both Dan Marino big and accurate. I think UCLA can beat this spread.


    8:00 PM

    And farther up the coast the Berkeley Bears are playing the geniuses at Stanford. Cal is getting 16 in Reno and I think that they can beat that spread.

    Questions for the USNI

    by Bunk X ( 108 Comments › )
    Filed under Immigration, Military, U.S. Navy at November 17th, 2017 - 1:35 am

    Dad was a LTJG Navy veteran, long-standing member of the Glow-In-The-Dark Society for his participation in Operation Ivy. He passed away a few years ago. He had a membership with USNI (United States Naval Institute) and I prepaid on his behalf, mainly for it’s monthly publication entitled PROCEEDINGS that Dad enjoyed receiving, even though it was apparent that he couldn’t read it in his later years.

    PROCEEDINGS is a tough ride for anyone not familiar with military acronyms and jargon, but some of it is fascinating. The articles are unclassified, so if you want to find out what’s really going on, you need to realize that we’re years beyond what is allowed to be published. Some of the uncensored OpEds are excellent.

    Because my deceased father’s account is still active, being prepaid and all, I get notifications from USNI of upcoming highlights via email, like this one:

    This is an unusual image posted by USNI and it doesn’t have a lot to do with the essay by Dr. Linton Wells, PhD, entitled “Prepared for the Battle But Not for the War.” Or maybe it does. What bothers me is the image posted by USNI is not of U.S. Soldiers. An image search results in this:

    Rigonce, Slovania: Migrants mainly Syrians arriving from Croatia are escorted by Slovanian police.–balkan-route-towards–eu

    Okay. But when you download the image you get an entirely different .jpg title: “REF Hungary-Serbia.”

    So, according to USNI, the countries involved are probably Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Syria and Slovania, but not the United States.

    What ever happened to the concept of honesty?

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