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Ring Around the Dwarf Planet Says ‘I’m Young’

first_imgYou can’t declare something old just because your worldview requires it to be old.New Scientist declared in bold print, “Distant dwarf planet near Pluto has a ring that no one expected.” Reporter Ken Croswell, however, never explains why it was unexpected to find a prominent ring around the dwarf planet Haumea, located about 2 billion miles beyond the orbit of Pluto. When surprised by something that shouldn’t last for billions of years around a body smaller than Pluto, one strategy astronomers employ is to look excited:“This is a landmark discovery,” says Alan Stern at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. “It’s very exciting.”“It was really an amazing surprise,” says Santos-Sanz.“This is fabulous. It’s a really great discovery,” says William McKinnon at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri.The smiles distract from the blushing at having discovered something that “no one expected” – why? because delicate things like rings cannot last for billions of years. Nature News & Views explains why even Saturn’s rings remain an age-old problem:Saturn’s are the most studied of all rings, and yet they remain enigmatic. Data from the Cassini spacecraft revealed that gravitational interactions between the planet’s rings and moons shepherd the ring material, and that one of the rings is produced entirely from matter that spews from the moon Enceladus. However, the formation mechanisms responsible for the other rings remain uncertain — possibilities include co-formation with the planet, break-up of a captured body or satellite and collisions between the planet and other bodies.A key factor in differentiating between these possibilities is the age of Saturn’s rings, but this is difficult to determine. The timescale for creating such massive rings, and the lack of dust, suggest an age of billions of years. However, the rings’ brightness, which is expected to lessen over time, points to a relatively young age of 150 million years. It is even possible that some parts of the rings are old but others are young.Composite explanations are generally unsatisfying in science. Why are you fat? Well, it might be your genes, or your diet, or your lack of self-control. Or it might just be normal for your ethnicity. Well, which is it? Are Saturn’s rings young, old, or ‘yold‘? If Saturn’s rings remain “enigmatic” after centuries of study, how much more surprising is it to find a little world with far less gravity holding on to a ring of particles! Sound the bugles: it must have been an impact! Maybe a finely-tuned impact hit Haumea just right to send rocks out and yet keep them within the dwarf planet’s sphere of gravitational influence. Read between the lines when Nature says,With the authors’ discovery of a ring around a small body in the outer Solar System, which is in a completely different environment from the rings around the giant planets, the fundamental questions of how planetary rings form and evolve have become even more intriguing.Egg-shaped Haumea with ring. Credit: IAA-CSIC/UHUThe article proceeds to disclose that two Centaurs one tenth the diameter of Haumea also have rings (Centaurs are asteroids orbiting between Jupiter and Neptune). The astronomers’ paper in the same issue of Nature talks about those cases, the Centaurs named Chariklo and Chiron, which unexpectedly were found to have rings. Another strategy for dealing with the unexpected is to postulate that the unexpected is the New Normal:These discoveries directed our attention to Centaurs and phenomenology related to them to explain our unexpected findings. The discovery of a ring around Haumea—a much more distant body, in a completely different dynamical class, much larger than Chariklo and Chiron, with satellites and with a very elongated triaxial shape—has numerous implications, such as rings being possibly common also in the trans-Neptunian region from which Centaurs are delivered, and opens the door to new avenues of research.Does one normally give new research to folks who goofed in their expectations? Other facts militating against old ages include Haumea’s rapid rotation and the presence of an outer moon that should disrupt delicate ring particles over long ages. The authors of the paper do not attempt to age-date the ring or explain its formation. The summary article, however, repeats the ‘New Normal’ talking point:Centaurs are thought [by whom?] to have originally been located farther out in the Solar System, and then gradually moved inward to their current orbits. Because these orbits are intertwined with those of the giant planets, they are gravitationally unstable and last for only millions of years. Numerical simulations have counter-intuitively demonstrated that rings around a Centaur are likely to survive the transition from the outer Solar System, including close encounters with the giant planets. The authors’ discovery prompts speculation that ring systems in the outer Solar System are not uncommon, and that we can anticipate more discoveries in this region.That’s a third strategy to avoid shame: look forward to more surprises. That makes being wrong part of the job.What happened to accountability? Once planetary scientists accepted the A.S.S. (age of the solar system, assumed to be 4.5 billion years) as their consensus (the Law of the Misdeeds and Perversions, which cannot be altered), they expected everything to look old. Take note that 150 million years represents three percent of the A.S.S. That leaves 97% of the A.S.S. unexplained and contrary to observations. If this were the only case of a young-looking object, it might be excusable as a rare anomaly. For years, though, we have reported young-looking phenomena at just about every planet and class of object in the solar system: a magnetic field at little Mercury, sudden resurfacing at Venus, Io’s volcanoes, the decay of Earth’s magnetic field, small moons about to crash into Mars, Saturn’s rings, the Phoebe Ring, the geysers of Enceladus, Titan’s atmosphere and lack of ethane oceans, Miranda’s surface, Triton’s activity, Pluto’s geology, and much more (search on Solar System or Dating Methods in our topical categories for lots of evidence). Their origin models are forever wrong about accretion, disk instabilities, migrations and finely-tuned impacts. It’s hard to think of any job whose ‘experts’ have been more consistently wrong about the ages of things than the moyboys of planetary science (well, maybe cosmologists, too). The only thing they are good at is distracting attention from their mistakes with tactics like hydrobioscopy and the other three strategies mentioned above (acting excited, turning the unexpected into the New Normal, and making surprises part of the job). They are outstanding at math and jargon, and know their physics. Individually they can be pleasant, but they act like members of a tight-knit club of experts who all agree that the solar system is old. They attend conferences where nobody dares stray too far out of line. All must wear D-Merit Badges to be tolerated. Non-moyboys are forbidden, even when the evidence is on their side.* The reason: King Charlie needs those billions of years. Moyboy planetary scientists play a crucial role as enablers of his cult.*Don’t believe this? Imagine one of them saying, “You know, guys, it appears that Saturn is young, and maybe all the planets are a lot younger than we thought.” (Visited 530 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Eskom repairing Koeberg unit

first_imgSapa 17 May 2011 There was no interruption of electricity supply as a result of the trip. “The cause of the trip was a faulty electronic component. The fault has been rectified. The Unit One reactor is in a safe and stable condition,” Eskom said in a statement. Eskom is in the process of returning Unit One of its Koeberg power station near Cape Town, to service, after the unit tripped in the early hours of Saturday morning. “Eskom will make use of its open cycle gas turbines if needed to assist it to maintain an uninterrupted supply of power to the Western Cape. We urge all South Africans to use energy efficiently.” Unit Two, which was shut down for scheduled refuelling and maintenance will return to service this week.last_img

Formtek: Orion Access 5.1 Available

first_imgVersion 5.1 of Formtek | Orion 5 Access is available and now shipping.Formtek | Orion 5 Access, Version 5.1 provides:• Integration with the Java API that eliminates the use of CORBA• Improved Access server startup and Windows service capability• Support for hybrid document representation types at check-in• Support for remote Formtek | Orion Event Triggers• Support for Additional Database Connection Pooling (DBCP) Parameters• Support for Solaris 10• Support for Windows Internet Explorer 7.0Access 5.1 supports the following server platforms:• Windows Server 2003 SP1 (32-bit)• Windows 2000 Server SP4• Solaris 9, 10 (SPARC)Access 5.1 supports the following client platforms:• Windows XP Professional SP2• Windows 2000 Professional SP 4last_img

News Flash: Steve Jobs Bullied Rivals And Was Kind Of A Dick

first_imgApple fanblogger John Gruber seems to think this letter is just the coolest thing ever, a “stone cold” message that shows “the man did not beat around the bush.”But wait a minute. Let’s look at what happened here.Jobs proposed something to Palm that was “not only wrong,” but also “likely illegal,” as Colligan put it.Colligan refused to do something illegal.As punishment, Jobs threatened to drag Palm into years of bogus patent lawsuits. He was perfectly willing to use (abuse?) the court system to hurt a rival.And we’re supposed to see Jobs as some kind of hero?Keep in mind that the real victims of what Jobs was proposing are front-line engineers whose incomes would be constrained because their bosses had struck a deal not to poach from one another. This was rich guys making deals to screw their engineers and boost their own profits.This was Saint Steven of Cupertino.Worse, Jobs was stupid enough to put this all into writing. Forgive me for being less than impressed.And forgive me for thinking that this casts Apple’s crazy legal war against Samsung in a new light. Maybe isn’t all about “principles,” as Tim Cook likes to say. Do you reckon the CEO at Samsung has threatening letters just like this one somewhere in his files? Behind The ScenesAs it happens, back in 2007 when this was taking place I knew some of the parties involved and they were regaling me with stories about how Jobs losing his nut over Palm. The paper trail that is coming to light now barely touches the surface of what Jobs was doing.The stories I heard involved epic temper tantrums, angry phone calls, screaming matches, people from Palm being summoned to Jobs’s office at Apple and shouted at, threatened, insulted, belittled, by a grown man acting like a spoiled 5-year-old. And why? Just because Steve Jobs thought he should have the smartphone market all to himself.Just, wow. Image courtesy of Reuters. Apple, Google and Intel are being sued for striking a secret agreement among themselves not to poach employees from each other. Which is, um, how should we put this? Not kosher? “Likely illegal,” is how Ed Colligan, former CEO of Palm, described it when they asked him to join the devil’s bargain. Because, yeah. Turns out it’s frowned upon when companies collude to keep workers from making as much money as they can.The pact now may come back to haunt these companies as employees are suing them over lost wages. The damages could run into the hundreds of millions.But the best part, as always, is the treasure trove of documents coming out in discovery. The best ones are the ones that show Apple CEO Steve Jobs throwing temper tantrums and threatening lawsuits when competitors hire away his engineers.  (The Verge has a great rundown with lots of documents.)The best one, reproduced below, is a threatening letter Jobs wrote to Colligan in 2007. Jobs was furious because Jon Rubinstein, a former top engineering exec at Apple (he led development of the iPod) had joined Palm to create a new smartphone platform and was recruiting talent out of Apple. Never mind that Ruby, as he’s known, had left Apple more than a year before, and was semi-retired and living in Mexico when Palm lured him off the beach to come run their team. Jobs viewed Ruby as a traitor. Because, apparently once you’ve worked at Apple you can never compete with Apple, ever again. Who knew?Thermonuclear, Part OneIn a statement he provided for the lawsuit, Colligan says that in August 2007 Jobs called him and said that if Palm did not strike a no-hire pact with Apple, Apple would sue Palm for patent infringement. Wait, patents? Apple was going to use patents as a weapon? Who’da thunk it? Colligan told Jobs to get stuffed, and reminded him that Palm, a longtime phone maker, had patents of its own. Jobs fired back with the following letter reminding Colligan of the “asymmetry in the financial resources of our respective companies,” which when translated into English means, We have way more money than you do and can tie you up in court forever and destroy you financially. Check it out: Tags:#Apple#Google#Intel#Palm#Steve Jobs 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting dan lyonslast_img read more