Fredrick Law olmsted: Landscape Architect of NYC Central Park, Frontier Explorer of Wild West & South pacific
The tragic life of Frederick Law Olmsted is arguably the most important historical figure that the average American knows the least about. Best remembered for his landscape architecture, from New York's Central Park to Boston's Emerald Necklace to Stanford University's campus, Olmsted was also an influential journalist, early voice for the environment, and abolitionist credited with helping dissuade England from joining the South in the Civil War. This momentous career of public service in now retold.
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, AWARD- WINNING SPACE HISTORIAN
Cool image time! The image on the right, reduced to show here, provides an overall summary of what astronomers know about the atmospheres of many gas giant exoplanets that also orbit very close to their suns and are tidally locked. The view is of the planet hemisphere facing away from the star, which is also where most of the clouds are thought to be. These results come from Kepler data combined with computer modeling, and show what scientists thinks happens with different cloud compositions at different temperatures.
“Hot Jupiters are exoplanets that orbit their stars so tightly that their temperatures are extremely high, reaching over 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit (1600 Kelvin). They are also tidally locked, so one side of the planet always faces the sun and the other is in permanent darkness. Research suggests that the "dayside" is largely free of clouds, while the "nightside" is heavily clouded.
This illustration represents how hot Jupiters of different temperatures and different cloud compositions might appear to a person flying over the dayside of these planets on a spaceship, based on computer modeling.
Cooler planets are entirely cloudy, whereas hotter planets have morning clouds only. Clouds of different composition have different colors, whereas the clear sky is bluer than on Earth. For the hottest planets, the atmosphere is hot enough on the evening side to glow like a charcoal.
Figure 1 shows an approximation of what various hot Jupiters might look like based on a combination of computer modeling and data from NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. From left to right it shows: sodium sulfide clouds (1000 to 1200 Kelvin), manganese sulfide clouds (1200 to 1600 Kelvin), magnesium silicate clouds (1600 to 1800 Kelvin), magnesium silicate and aluminum oxide clouds (1800 Kelvin) and clouds composed of magnesium silicate, aluminum oxide, iron and calcium titanate (1900 to 2200 Kelvin).”
“Breakthrough Listen recently entered into a partnership with FAST and the National Astronomical Observatory of China,” which built and operates the telescope, said Andrew Siemion, director of the SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, who is also a co-director of Breakthrough Listen.
"The dips found by Kepler are real. Something seems to be transiting in front of this star and we still have no idea what it is." confirms German astronomer Michael Hippke. Even if aliens are not involved, Tabby's star remains "the most mysterious star in the universe" as Yale astronomer Tabetha Boyajian described it in a TED talk.
“…SpaceX today released an update on its investigation of the September 1 Falcon 9 launchpad explosion.
Previously, we announced the investigation was focusing on a breach in the cryogenic helium system of the second stage liquid oxygen tank. The root cause of the breach has not yet been confirmed, but attention has continued to narrow to one of the three composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) inside the LOX tank. Through extensive testing in Texas, SpaceX has shown that it can re-create a COPV failure entirely through helium loading conditions. These conditions are mainly affected by the temperature and pressure of the helium being loaded.
SpaceX’s efforts are now focused on two areas – finding the exact root cause, and developing improved helium loading conditions that allow SpaceX to reliably load Falcon 9. With the advanced state of the investigation, we also plan to resume stage testing in Texas in the coming days, while continuing to focus on completion of the investigation.
The report suggests that they are starting to pin down the very specific temperature and pressure conditions during loading of the helium tank that cause the problem, which also suggests they will soon also be able to adjust their procedures to avoid those conditions. This also suggests that they repeated assurances that they will be able to fly before the end of the year are not unreasonable….”
“First reported in September 2015 by Boyajian, then a postdoc at Yale University, Tabby’s star – more properly called KIC 8462852 – had been flagged by citizen scientists because of its unusual pattern of dimming. These volunteers were looking at stars as part of the internet project Planet Hunters, which allows the public to search for planets around other stars in data taken by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, which has been monitoring 150,000 stars for regular dimming that might indicate a planet had passed in front of it.
But while most such dimming by transiting planets is brief, regular and blocks just 1 or 2 percent of the light of the star, Tabby’s star dims for days at a time, by as much as 22 percent, and at irregular intervals.
While Boyajian speculated in her 2015 paper that the irregular dimming might be explained by a swarm of comets breaking up as it approached the star, subsequent observations show the star, which is located about 1,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus, is far more irregular than a comet swarm would produce. In fact, it seems to have been dimming at a steady rate for the past century.
Speculation eventually arose that the dimming was caused by a Dyson structure: a massive orbiting array of solar collectors that physicist Freeman Dyson once proposed would be a natural thing for a civilization to build as it needed more and more energy to power itself. Theoretically, such a structure could completely surround the star – what he termed a Dyson sphere – and capture nearly all the star’s energy….”
If intelligent aliens actually do live around Tabby's star, astronomers are determined to find them.
The Breakthrough Listen initiative, which will spend $100 million over the next 10 years to hunt for signals possibly produced by alien civilizations, is set to begin studying Tabby's star with the 330-foot-wide (100 meters) Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, project team members announced Tuesday (Oct. 25).