Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Doubts of Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos

From today's Science News Online, a few top-notch physicists, in two independent studies, have raised doubt (if not actually yelling "NO, YOU'RE WRONG"!!) about the CERN OPERA results that reported faster than light speed neutrinos. In the December 06 issues of Physical Review Letters, Xiaojun Bi, a particle astrophysicist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of High Energy Physics in Beijing, cries foul. Not only would superluminal particles slap Einstein in the face, they would also break the sacred Laws of Conservation of Energy and Momentum. Direct link to APS article. Membership required. Direct link to Cornell Archives PDF - FREE.

See, the CERN neutrinos had parents. Like most of us, these were unstable parents. However, unlike my dysfunctional Mother, the neutrinos from CERN were born from unstable pions. Turns out, these pions had an energy of about 3.5 times that of the resulting daughter neutrinos they decayed into. The energy and momentum laws dictate the resulting particles had to have subluminal (slower than light) speeds. This was reported by physicist Ramanath Cowsik of Washington University in St. Louis and colleagues in the Dec. 16 Physical Review Letters. Direct link to Cornell Archive PDF - FREE.

So, what does this all mean? "Achieving the mind-boggling velocities measured by OPERA would have required pions with energies 20 times greater than their offspring, Cowsik’s team calculates. At such energies, though, the lifetimes of pions would be six times longer, which has been ruled out by measurements from OPERA and other experiments."

For Cowsik and other researchers, these problems and contradictions suggest that the laws of physics as currently understood are correct. But physicists will still be watching other neutrino experiments that can check OPERA’s result, which may be clouded by some unknown source of error. “No one is saying that the OPERA result is impossible, even though it would require extreme revisions to what we know about physics,” says Sheldon Glashow, a Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist at Boston University. “But if it turns out to be true, I would say to Nature, ‘You win.’ Then I’d give up, and I’d retire.”

Stay tuned. Same Bat Time. Same Bat Channel.

Top-Notch Meteor Shower This Week!

Bundle up warmly and head on outside between 1AM and 5AM Wednesday January 04 2012! The annual Quadratid Meteor shower promises to be a great show this year. This shower, although much briefer than some of its more famous cousins like the Leonids and Perceids, this one is bold and loud. Predictions range from 60 to 200 meteor streaks per hour during peak. Even the average of 120/hr yields a breathtraking 2 streaks per minute! WOWZERS!

Here are a few factoids and tips for watching:
1. BUNDLE UP! According to, Tuesday night/Wednesday morning is going to be bone-chillingly cold! Low temps are to be around 13oF. However, claims it'll be serious Three Dog Night at only 9oF! Yes, that's cold enough to freeze your coffee and your little toes. So, be prepared! Lots of proverbial layers and a few "heat packs" wouldn't hurt.
2. The peak hour is expected to be 2-3AM. However, the waxing gibbous moon (what the heck is it waxing?) won't set till right around 3AM. The Moon's light will inhibit some viewing in areas where optimal conditions (See #3) don't exist.
3. Optimal Viewing? Find a spot away from bright lights. The darker the area, the better. Make it a family adventure. Pack a warm drink and several dozen good buffalo wings and head out to a park or secluded area.
4. The shower’s radiant (its apparent perspective point of origin) is in the not-well-known constellation Quadrans Muralis about halfway from the end of the Big Dipper handle to the head of Draco, as shown above. Quadrans Muralis is not one of the "modern" 88 constellations recognized by the IUA; it's an older However, if you aren't in my Astrology class, who'd know where the heck Draco is? So, I look for both Dippers; Big and Little. Make an imaginary line between them and then complete an imaginary equilateral triangle downwards so the third vertx is UNDER the Dippers. That 3rd vertex is the radiant. It’s fairly high up in the northeast after about 1 AM local time and keeps rising higher until dawn. The higher a shower’s radiant, the more meteors appear all over the sky. Watch whatever part of your sky is darkest, probably straight up.
5. The Quads are the result of an asteroid, not specifically from a comet like most other showers; Asteroid 2003 EH1.

So, bundle up and lead out to a dark place and have some fun with this! Next major metweor shower isn't till April's Lyrids.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Earth's Twin Found?

This news from NASA' Kepler Planet-finding Mission: Kepler Mission has confirmed the existence of an "earth-like" planet in our Galactic Backyard. This is just one of many possible planets they have found within the "habitable zone," or "Goldilocks Zone", the region around a star where liquid water could easily exist on a rocky planet's surface. Kepler has discovered more than 1,000 new planet candidates, nearly doubling the previously known count. Ten of these candidates are "near-Earth-size" and orbit in the habitable zone of their host star. Candidates require follow-up observations to verify they are actual planets and not just balls of gas or dwarfs.

According to Science News 12/05/2011 ; "The newly confirmed planet, Kepler-22b, is the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. The planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth. Scientists don't yet know if Kepler-22b has a predominantly rocky, gaseous or liquid composition, but its discovery is a step closer to finding Earth-like planets. Kepler-22b is located 600 light-years away. While the planet is larger than Earth, its orbit of 290 days around a sun-like star resembles that of our world. The planet's host star belongs to the same class as our sun, called G-type, although it is slightly smaller and cooler."

So, it seems less and less likely every day that we are alone in this hugely huge vastly vast Universe...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oct. 19, 2011: NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected signs of icy bodies raining down in an alien solar system. The downpour resembles our own solar system several billion years ago during a period known as the "Late Heavy Bombardment," which may have brought water and other life-forming ingredients to Earth.

So, what does this mean? It adds another feather to the proverbial hat of the current theory of where the earth got so much water; comet bombardment in its early life. Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md, found a star system (meaning it has planets!) that is experiencing a huge bombardment of icy comets just like we think the earth did some 4 Billion yrs ago. So, we are seeing it in action around Eta Corvi which lies in our galactic back yard at only 59 light years! Cool stuff!

See NASA Science News for more info and links for further readings.

Weekend Meteor Shower!

Not a major deal, but a nice little meteor shower is happening right now. This is the annual Orionids shower. It occurs when the earth passes through the trail of debris and particles left behind by Halley's Comet. Yes, THAT Halley's Comet. It's not a major shower like the earlier Perseids, but at an estimated 15 visible meteors per hour, it's worth a look-see.

So, head on out and look for Orion. That's where the earth is headed toward and it looks like all the meteors are coming from that direction, hence the name Orionids. Have patience. I took a look last night around 2AM and waited a good 30 minutes before seeing my 1st one, but then BAM! Saw about 10 within a few minutes; one was big enough to leave a visible smoke trail behind that lingered for a few moments.

See NASA's Science News site for more info.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

From a NY Times article this morning (and a very early morning radio report...), three US Fizzicists won the Nobel for their work on the expansion of the Universe! Quite cool stuff!

These guys (U.S.-Australian Brian Schmidt and U.S. scientists Adam Riess & Saul Perlmutter), who also won the prestigious Shaw Prize in Astronomy in 2006, won for their work in the early '90's studying distant supernovae. Now, Hubble, back in 1929, discovered the Universe was indeed expanding. However, till these guys came along, that expansion was believed to be slowing down due to gravitational attraction over time. They studied a specific kind of supernova, essentially an exploding large star, Type IA. This discovery lead to the conclusion that gravity was losing the battle and some other mysterious force was causing the Universe to grow faster and faster as time went by. This mysterious force was dubbed Dark Energy; not to be confused with Dark Matter.

Monday, October 3, 2011

You've got to see this!

Aurora Borealis in Finnish Lapland 2011 from Flatlight Films on Vimeo.

Make full screen for full effect! Thanks to Universe Today & Phil Plait for posting this.

Well, lots of science news to catch you up on; Neutrinos faster than light, Michelle Bachman abuses science yet again, and sadly, the Tevatron shuts down. Lets do the Neutrino thing here and tackle those others later.

You've probably heard that the good physicists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, arguably the biggest and baddest lab on the planet, reported last month that they measured a batch of neutrinos (weird little buggers) moving faster than light. Well, this would certainly put a damper on our understanding of the Universe, because a basic tenant of modern physics and cosmology is that nothing can go faster than light. Not neutrinos. Not Jeff Gordon. Not the USS Enterprise. Nothing.

See CERN FINDS faster than light particles for more info. And here is the CERN press release.

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail after realizing that the entire mess was a bad media interpretation of a CERN press release stating "Speed of Light Exceeded by Neutrinos"! Seems the "Neutrinos" were the winning relay race team at CERN's annual picnic. Speed of Light came in 3rd...

Seriously, lets hold our collective hats on this. Even the authors of the paper claim the results are crazy and they are not claiming that the speed of light has been broken. They are simply asking for help from the scientific community in finding an error or omission in their results that would explain this wacky thing.

Basically, they shot neutrinos in a straight line through the earth to another lab. The experiment is called OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus), and lies 1,400 meters underground in the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy. Neutrinos are weird little sub-atomic particles that virtually never interact with matter since they are electrically neutral and have an incredibly idiodically small mass if any, so they basically "don't see" all that rock and stuff in the way; just go zipping through unimpeded. Some of them got to their target in France 730 km away 60 nano-seconds faster than light would have. Seems crazy. Probably is. My money is on someone somewhere finding an error or two in the data or assumptions made. Some of the basic measurements, like the exact distance to the target, were based on other folks' data. If they were wrong, then this result is wrong.

It's also not the 1st time this type of thing has made the news. Seems that every few years, someone "finds" something that they say might indicate Einstein was wrong. Only to be shot down upon scrutiny of peers. In 2007, the Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search (MINOS) experiment in Minnesota saw neutrinos from the particle-physics facility Fermilab in Illinois arriving slightly ahead of schedule. At the time, the MINOS team downplayed the result, in part because there was too much uncertainty in the detector's exact position to be sure of its significance, says Jenny Thomas, a spokeswoman for the experiment. Also, astrophysics argues with the CERN results. If this is correct, then the most studied supernova in history, 1987A, would have shown neutrinos streaming in from the supernova, some 168,000 light years away, years before the light got here. However, the light got here and then the neutrinos got here a few hrs later...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Texas Is Doomed Yet Again!

This just came across my desk from Dr. Kevin McLin of NASA at Sonoma State U in sunny Calif; arguably the 5th or 6th smartest guy I've ever met. (I'm the 1st, of course...) It is to weep. I thought I was done picking on the stupidity and closed mindedness of Texas educational system, but guess not. Seems the state of Texas has decided to cut 60% of the physics programs in the Texas state university system. I'll let that sink in for you, my gentle flowers... Yes, this is decidedly anti-education. Here's my take on this... Since G. Dubbya, we have been "striving for mediocrity" in this country educationally. No Child Left Behind, NCLB, is the single most dangerous legislation ever placed on the public's plate. It has seriously wounded the pursuit of excellence. As much as the politicians and the politically oriented and appointed Secretaries of Ed have tried to tell us that NCLB does not put more emphasis on a single test, it does. Simply as that. Anyone who tells you differently is either totally ignorant of the inner workings of NCLB AND the educational system or he/she is a politician; meaning he/she is clueless. Every state, every district, every individual school is evaluated on a single "one-size-fits-all" test. In CT, it's the CAPT. In NJ, it's the HSPA. In W VA, it's a sobriety test. In CT, GHS is compared to other schools in our "DRG", DemoGraphicGroup. We fair so-so on the CAPT in some areas. We fair not-so-so in some areas. THAT is what the public sees; the lack of our school population attaining a 100% mastery on every single part of the CAPT. Mind you, the CAPT here at GHS is not, I repeat, NOT a graduation requirement. At most of the other schools, it is. Now, it shouldn't matter, but it does; Duh! Kids know it's not required for them to pass this poorly written test. So, the kids who couldn't possibly care less don't. (Care less, that is...) Since they don't care, they do poorly. I've proctored exams where a kid or two close the exam booklets within 3 minutes after starting a 60 minute exam. Duh! However, if anyone is interested in looking, GHS beats the snot out of just about everyone else in CT on the advanced exams that actually get kids into colleges. The Texas decision bites right into that "advanced" group of kids that we as a nation point to as evidence that we as a nation actually do something right! Get rid of the options for the highest level kids, what do they have left? When I started college back in 1971, yes there were colleges that long ago, there were 96 physics majors in the Freshman class. By the time I graduated, there were 4 of us. Yes, it's a tough major. Yes, it's challenging. Yes, there are easier majors if you want to go that route. However, just because there are only 10 Seniors left at UT as physics majors does not mean the money spent on them (THEIR OWN FRIKKIN' TUITION MONEY, by the way) was a waste. Those 10 kids will go on to grad school and invent something that will help us or find the Higgs Boson or be the first human standing on Mars or be a drag on the welfare system because he's a lazy no good for nothin... Oh, sorry. I digress... Advanced kids NEED us! As far as I'm concerned, there is no more important issue facing American education than this. We are cheating our bright kids out of a truly challenging worthwhile education. C'mon, Obama. Do the right thing and help these bright kids! Secede Texas! Original article.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Visible Supernova in our Galactic Backyard!

Seems on Aug 25, a new supernova popped out in the Pinwheel Galaxy; a mere 21 Million light years away. Some techno-nerd info is at Astronomy Now Online, but a more down-to-earth layman explanation can be had at Science News.
With a good pair of binoculars or any size telescope, you can see it yourself! It's above the handle of the Big Dipper. A boring, yet informative, video of where look is at Berkeley Labs .

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New Moon Theory!

Well, I guess my Astro kids can call me a liar! I've been preaching for years about the "Big Crash" moon theory where a Mars-sized planet(oid) did a demolition derby thing with the earth long ago and the ejecta formed the moon. Well, there's a slightly new theory in town.

In Nature Magazine this month, comes an explanation on why the two "sides" of the moon are so different. The near-side, the one we see from earth, is mostly smooth while the far-side, the daunted "dark" side, is rough and mountainous and cratered and icky.

Following are images of near and far sides:

So, according to these guys, a Mars-sized panetoid did hit the earth, but formed TWO moons; one larger than the other. After a long time of gravity tugs at Lagrange points, the little guy smashed into the big guy and formed the back side. Also explains, differently than conventional theory, the tidal lock and why it faces us all the time. The little guy hit the big guy "slowly" so not much rock melted and no huge crater was formed. Just sorta covered one side with a thick layer of rock. This agrees with observation that the moon's crust is thicker on the back side.

Something to ponder.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Another Cause Of Asthma?

You may have seen a recent study in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, doesn't everyone read that?, about a link between asthma in children and the mother's exposure to magnetic fields. Synopsis report is at Study found 20% of their subject kids developed asthma versus 13% of general population kids.

What I found amazing is, on the same page as this report, under "Related Stories" were the following:

Use of Acetaminophen in Pregnancy Associated With Increased Asthma Symptoms in Children (Feb. 4, 2010)

Evidence of Link Between Acetaminophen Use in Pregnancy and Childhood Asthma, Researchers Say (Nov. 11, 2010)

Low Vitamin E Intake During Pregnancy Can Lead To Childhood Asthma (Sep. 4, 2006)

Obese Moms, Asthmatic Kids (May 21, 2009)

So, if your Mom is an overweight Tylenol-popper who lacks Vitamin E and lives under high-voltage wires and stood in front of the microwave over when pregnant with you, you have a 7 Bajillion% chance of having asthma.

Abstruse Goose!

Great online usually science-based comic. Here's an example.

Click comic to embiggenate and link to website...

Vesta Up Close & Personal

From Phil Plait's BA Blog, NASA's Dawn mission released new photos and a video of the approach to the 2nd largest asteroid, Vesta. It's a main belt member 500km, that's 300 miles, wide. According to Phil, that's the size of Colorado. Big rock. Note the cool "Snowman" crater system on left side.

Dawn will, after orbiting and probing Vesta for a while, head on over to the BIGGEST asteroid in the solar system, Ceres. At almost 1000km (600 miles) wide, it's quite large; like maybe two Coloradoes (Colorados? Coloradii?). Can't wait!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hate to do this, but...

More news on AGW... From Science Daily, it seems that only 20% of the world's actual climate data is accessible even to the climatologists. SAY WHAT?

Well, according to the lead author, Manola Brunet of the URV's Centre for Climate Change, published July 20 2011 in Climate Research, "Some climate data in Europe go back to the 17th Century, but not even 20% of the information recorded in the past is available to the scientific community." Now, what does that mean?

It means to me that the climatologists and computer geeks who program the climate change computer models that all this AGW Bru-Ha-Ha is based on only have about 20% of the data to use... I'd never accept a LAB report in Fizzix or Astro class from one of my students who only used 20% of the available data. DUH!

"If we had access to all the historical data recorded, we would be able to evaluate the frequency with which these phenomena are likely to occur in the future with a higher degree of certainty," the expert explains.

Dramatic Climate Change is Unpredictable...

Just to back up two recent posts so you don't think I'm that whacky, this study from Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen shows climate change is due to a series of chaotic parameters and as such is almost impossible to predict. It was published in Geophysical Research Letters in October 2010.
Two interesting statements from the study:

"For millions of years the Earth's climate has alternated between about 100,000 years of ice age and approximately 10-15,000 years of a warm climate like we have today." Hmm. So, do you think that the stuff that happened 100,000 years ago has anything to do with what is happening today? If you don't, you are ignoring a Bajillion years of paleoclimatology. Most folks just don't get it that the earth is "old" and it has done this heating and cooling thing way before we were even little splotches of gooey slime on a beach front somewhere. There are astronomical factors (Milankovitch Cycles and Hale (Sun) Cycles to name two big ones), localized earth based cycles (El Nino/Nina/Nota Oscillations, Pacific decadal oscillation, Arctic Oscillation, and both the North Atlantic & North Pacific Oscillations) and plenty of positive/negative feedbacks that the climatologists themselves argue about which comes first.

"The most pronounced climate shifts besides the end of the ice age is a series of climate changes during the ice age where the temperature suddenly rose 10-15 degrees in less than 10 years. The climate change lasted perhaps 1000 years, then -- bang -- the temperature fell drastically and the climate changed again. This happened several times during the ice age and these climate shifts are called the Dansgaard-Oeschger events after the researchers who discovered and described them. Such a sudden, dramatic shift in climate from one state to another is called a tipping point. However, the cause of the rapid climate change is not known and researchers have been unable to reproduce them in modern climate models."
Wow. Nice summary of real paleoclimatology. Let me emphasize a few individual points from this one paragraph...
1. The most pronounced climate shifts besides the end of the ice age is a series of climate changes during the ice age where the temperature suddenly rose 10-15 degrees in less than 10 years. So, in the past, temps suddenly rose 10-15 whole degrees within 10 years! And the AGW alarmists have been hand-waving and pounding their fists on the floor in tantrums over the mere 0.7 (+-0.4) degrees since 1880! C'mon. When are we going to stop blindly believing these 22 or so computer models that can't even fit the CURRENT climate data. It is to weep. 10-15 degrees within 10 years is a drastic life-altering change, to be sure. However, we really shouldn't get our panties in a bind over this current questionable 0.7 degrees in 130 years...
2. "...the cause of the rapid climate change is not known and researchers have been unable to reproduce them in modern climate models." What did I say in the preceding paragraph? These past dramatic climate change shifts are caused by something and the 22 or so computer models can't shed any light on them! One reason? ALL, let me repeat that just in case you went to the bathroom for a minute, ALL the computer models are stuck on inputs of man-made CO2 as the culprit and they won't even LOOK in other places... sigh...

The researchers, via he image above, explained the two scenarios they investigated. One was the "tipping point" scenario where some external factor (Yes, like increased CO2) would cause the climate to seesaw back and forth and finally tip over into a different climate. The other scenario - the climate is like a ball in a trench, which represents one climate state. The ball will be continuously pushed by chaos-dynamical fluctuations such as storms, heat waves, heavy rainfall and the melting of ice sheets, which affect ocean currents and so on. The turmoil in the climate system may finally push the ball over into the other trench, which represents a different climate state. What was their conclusion?

"Peter Ditlevsen's (a climate researcher at the Niels Bohr Institute) research shows that you can actually distinguish between the two scenarios and it was the chaos-dynamical fluctuations that were the triggering cause of the dramatic climate changes during the ice age. This means that they are very difficult to predict."

Ta Da...

Absolutely Gorgeous ALL Sky Photo Mosaic

From APOD (Astronomy Picture Of the Day). This is a great composite image of both the northern and southern skies. Cool stuff!

Friday, July 29, 2011

AMATEUR Astronomer Finds Really Cool Nebula!

I saw this image of a newly discovered nebula a week or so ago. What I didn't know was that it was discovered back in January by an AMATEUR, not a PRO! That is SO KEWL!

According to and Sky & Telescope Mag, this "Soccer Ball" nebula "Kronberger 61, 'Kn 61' for short, is named after its discoverer, Austrian amateur astronomer Matthias Kronberger, who found the object after poring over data provided by the Digital Sky Survey. Kronberger and other amateur skywatchers were encouraged by professional astronomers to look specifically in the star field covered by Kepler [NASA's planet-seeking satellite]." It was found near Cygnus, The Swan, if that's interesting to you.

Ain't Astronomy grand!

Another Body Blow To AGW Alarmists

Oh, wait! You mean we need real observable DATA when we make a scientific claim? What a novel approach to science! In still another gaping hole blown into the Global Warming Machine, NASA's own data shows the computer models that all the AGW hype is based on and keep screaming doom and gloom and we're all gonna die are... well... how should I say?... terribly wrong!

Roy Spencer, principal research scientist in the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, and colleague Dr. Danny Braswell "...oompared what a half dozen climate models say the atmosphere should do to real honest-ta-goodness NASA satellite data showing what the atmosphere actually did during the 18 months before and after warming events between 2000 and 2011." [Quote from Science Daily] Emphasis added mine. Notice this scientific paper dares actually compare the computer model predicted "what should happen" to actual NASA satellite "what really happens". How dare anyone question the powerful computer models? Well, I've been screaming of this for years...

Spencer's original paper (a good read is you have nothing to do with a few billion neurons today), available here, points to a much more efficient heat release mechanism our atmosphere has than the mechanism proposed and predicted by the computer models. Why such a huge difference? Well, according to Spencer, the computer models treat the atmosphere as a closed system where the Ideal Gas Law (PV=nRT, beloved equation for all high school Chem kids) holds dominion. As any high school Chem kid knows, the atmosphere first is NOT A CLOSED SYSTEM and the Ideal Gas Law is ONLY TRUE for... ready?... IDEAL gases! The atmosphere is anything but 'ideal'.

Along with the aerosol problem research I posted earlier this weak, AGW has a couple black eyes and a few cracked ribs now... What's missing in the computer models? Aerosols, cloud formation, THE SUN, real science data, and the LAWS of Thermodynamics. Yeah, good model...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Yet Another Cellphone Study Says "NO"!

When Will People Get It? Cellphone use DOES NOT cause any physical harm to humans or any other known carboniferous life form! In yet another of a Bajillion real scientific studies, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel reports, "We did not find that young mobile phone users have an increased risk for brain tumors when regularly using mobile phones..." and "We did not see that the risk increased after five years or more since the first use of mobile phones."
The study is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

There have been no, let me repeat that for the slow readers, NO scientific link found between cellphone use and cancer. None. Nota. Zilch. Goose Egg. Empty Set. There's a huge difference between 12 idiots on a jury awarding BIG $$$ to a grieving widow of a guy who dies from brain cancer who just happened to also use a cellphone and having a real scientific conclusion. A jury decision is usually not indicative of scientific thought; as seen recently in the Casey Anthony trial. Sheeze! Remember what the forman of the OJ trial said after they let him go? "I never heard of this DNA stuff before and I'm not sure I believe in it." BELIEVE in DNA?

Meanwhile, back on planet earth...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hubble Bubble Popped!

According to, cosmologists from US and China have dispelled the Hubble Bubble alternative to Dark Energy.

This "Hubble Bubble" was proposed to explain away the strange teeth-grinding hair-pulling Tums-popping world of Dark Energy, DE. DE is the mysterious force that is causing the Universe to expand at an accelerated rate, beating up on the better understood gravity. The Bubble was a supposed large "area" around the earth that was proposed to be expanding at a constant rate, but slightly slower than the rest of the Universe was expanding. This would give the appearance that the far away parts of the U were moving away faster thus the illusion of an accelerating expansion overall.

So, RIP Hubble Bubble.

Aerosols & Anthropogenic Global Warming

Paper in Science Magazine finally addresses the atmospheric aerosol problem in global warming, GW. It's been known for a long time that the predictions made by the GW alarmists are based solely on computer models and not on any reliable scientific data. This is the primary reason I'm a semi=proud AGW skeptic. Not "denier". Skeptic. These computer models do not include parameters like aerosols (dust and large molecules) and cloud formation and have minimal sun effects.

According to the authors, "Climate model projections neglecting these changes would continue to overestimate the radiative forcing and global warming in coming decades if these aerosols remain present at current values or increase."

So, paraphrasing, the computer models have been and will continue to exaggerate any AGW effects because they simply do not include enough parameters. Climate change, yes, climate changes, is so complex it simply cannot be accounted for yet. Paper is a nice read if you want your head to hurt.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why do we do what we do in science?

This guy is nuts! Watch till the end... YIKES!

Stolen from Phil Plait's BadAstronomy Blog.