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Only Earth Is a Life Haven

first_imgGalactic Habitable Zone, where a star must be located (09/29/2009);Circumstellar Habitable Zone, the right radius from the star where liquid water can exist (10/08/2010);Continuously Habitable Zone, because too much variety can be lethal (07/21/2007);Temporal Habitable Zone, because habitable zones do not last forever (10/27/2008);Chemical and Thermodynamic Habitable Zone, where water can be liquid (12/30/2003);Ultraviolet Habitable Zone, free from deadly radiation (08/15/2006);Tidal Habitable Zone, which rules out most stars that are small (02/26/2011).Stable Obliquity Habitable Zone (1/12/2012)Stellar Chemistry Habitable Zone (9/08/12)Stellar Wind Habitable Zone (9/19/13, 6/03/14)Inhabitants, creating a biosphere that can regulate the atmosphere (06/06/14)Rotation Habitable Zone (8/15/14)Electric Field Habitable Zone (this entry)Van Allen Shield Habitable Zone (this entry) Here are more discoveries that make it reasonable to think complex life is rare in the universe, and might be unique to Earth.UK Astronaut Tim Peake just returned to earth after six months in space (BBC News). His wobbly legs testify to the atrophy his muscles suffered in zero-G. Overcome by the smells of his native planet, and feeling queasy, he expects recovery to take some time. “It is going to be quite tricky for me to adapt,” he said in a news conference before landing. “It’s probably going to take me two or three days before I feel well. It will take me several months before my body fully recovers in terms of bone density.” Just half a year in space did this to him. Getting to sleep was hard and not particularly restful, Simon Archer says in The Conversation.Muscles wither, bones become lighter just as they do during the process of ageing and the cardiovascular system and vision are affected – all from the human body’s lack of adaptation to microgravity. No wonder: we have evolved over millions of years on Earth with its comforting gravitational pull.Astronauts are exposed to excessive radiation in space. How much? Martin Archer, a space plasma physicist, decided to find out. On The Conversation, he calculated that Peake faced the equivalent of a fatal X-ray dose up there (300 joules), but since it was spread out over months and partly protected by shielding in the international space station (ISS), he didn’t die. On the surface of the earth, we only get 0.07 joules in six months, less than four thousandths Archer’s calculation – and that’s at an altitude partly protected by the earth’s magnetic field. The implications are clear:Of course long-term exposure is very different from a short intense burst. Only astronauts who spent the entirety of those six months on a spacewalk would in fact get this lethal dose – the ISS itself helps shield them. In practice, this shielding helps limit their overall exposure to about a year’s worth of radiation that we get on Earth per day, meaning it is still some 365 times higher. Nevertheless, it’s a staggering comparison and really highlights the challenges to manned spaceflight that we’re currently facing. In interplanetary space, the radiation is even more dangerous. Here’s a concern that sci-fi screenwriters routinely ignore:But for missions further away from the Earth’s protective magnetic field, cosmic rays would be more of a problem. On its journey to Mars, the Curiosity rover provided crucial data on this and it was higher than expected. A round-trip manned mission to Mars would expose the astronauts to up to four times the advised career limits for astronauts of radiation due to galactic cosmic rays.OK, so astrobiologists will admit that life needs a planetary surface and possibly a magnetic field. What else? Science Daily adds a second rinse to the the widely-accepted requirement for water. If life is to have the complex molecules we know from living cells, water is needed to get them to fold properly. Proteins fold because the push-and-pull jostling of water molecules helps them find their native configurations quickly – assuming, of course, that the amino acids are properly sequenced. Dingping Zhong explains what his team at Ohio State found:“Here, we’ve shown that the final shape of a protein depends on two things: water and the amino acids themselves. We can now say that, on ultrafast time scales, the protein surface fluctuations are controlled by water fluctuations. Water molecules work together like a big network to drive the movement of proteins.“We’re down to rocky planets with magnetic fields and water. What else? Better have a quiet star. Joshua Sokol at New Scientist showed an artist conception of a star blasting a young planet with the kind of radiation sun-grazing comets get. An exoplanet named KIC 12557548b in Cygnus orbits so close to its star, he says, starspots with strong magnetic fields focus death rays at it. His description of the punishment the planet gets is not pretty.At the planet’s surface, radiation from the nearby star is hot enough to vaporise layers of exposed rock, after which a wind of charged particles – also from the star – blows that vapour into space.Star spots may increase the devastation. These dark patches, where the star’s magnetic field is concentrated, may act as death rays, blasting out more material when the planet passes in front of them. This could happen either because these patches emit high-energy radiation that can better chip into the rock, or because the swirling magnetic fields around them help yank the vapour into orbit.The star is peeling away the poor planet like the layers of an onion. It’s enough to make one cry.Venus, our planetary “twin”, is not a pretty place, either, as we found at the dawn of the space age. Here’s another factor that affects habitability: electric fields. In a video clip on Space.com, Goddard space scientist Glyn Collinson tells about his “amazing and shocking” discovery that Venus has “monster electric fields” strong enough to strip oxygen atoms from the planet. Even if Venus had started with water like Earth, therefore, it would have lost it all due to this process. His work was published in Geophysical Research Letters. In its review, Science Daily says that scientists don’t know why the electric field at Venus is so strong, five times that on Earth:Co-author, Professor Andrew Coates of the UCL MSSL, who leads the electron spectrometer team, said, “We’ve been studying the electrons flowing away from Titan and Mars as well as from Venus, and the ions they drag away to space to be lost forever. We found that over 100 metric tons per year escapes from Venus by this mechanism — significant over billions of years. The new result here is that the electric field powering this escape is surprisingly strong at Venus compared to the other objects.Titan loses 7 metric tons per year, by comparison. This adds another concern when assessing habitability of a planet:Understanding the role played by planet’s electric winds will help astronomers improve estimates of the size and location of habitable zones around other stars. “Even a weak electric wind could still play a role in water and atmospheric loss at any planet,” said Alex Glocer of NASA Goddard, a co-author on the paper. “It could act like a conveyor belt, moving ions higher in the ionosphere where other effects from the solar wind could carry them away.“Keeping score, we need a rocky planet with water, a weak electric field, and a safe distance from solar magnetic storms. What else? How about not one – not two – but three Van Allen belts? Science Daily tells about how the puzzling “third Van Allen belt” is created by a “space tsunami” of sorts. Intense solar storms create this third belt, resulting in the “transport [of] the outer part of the belt radiation harmlessly into interplanetary space.” We earthlings might suffer fluctuations in the power grid and damage to satellites, but we don’t die.The most numerous stars in the universe are the red dwarfs. We already knew that they were unlikely hosts for habitable planets, but more bad news was just announced by Astrobiology Magazine. New calculations show that “the width of the habitable zone around M-dwarf stars is not as wide as previously thought” due to Coriolis force heating as a function of orbital radius. That’s in addition to the problem that planets orbiting M-dwarf stars are likely to be tidally locked, with one hemisphere scorched by its star and the back side freezing cold. Ravi Kumar Kopparapu at Goddard Space Flight Center is trying to refine the habitable zones of these stars, and he’s not done yet. “His proposal will update our understanding of how water vapor can absorb incoming radiation from the star,” the article ends. “This can influence the warmth of a planet and further reduce the width of the habitable zone.” Goldilocks would have to get very, very lucky with the red dwarfs.OK, we didn’t prove Earth is unique, but these articles sure give food for thought about how perfect our planet is in every way… almost like it was designed. If the majority of stars lack the requirements to host life, how many are left?Let’s add #13 and #14 to the list of habitability requirements: (Visited 51 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Updates About Updates: Blackmagic Addresses Firmware Issues

first_imgBlackmagic updates will make BMCC & BMPCC better, but not perfect.A firmware update may be coming to your Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Pocket Camera. In an update posted on the BlackMagic’s forum, Kristian Lam of Blackmagic Design gave an overview of firmware updates coming to the two inaugural cameras. While the updates aren’t complete they definitely will make the cameras more useable.The UpdatesThe updates that are going to be released in the very near future are:New debayering for shooting directly to ProRes or DNxHD on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF and MFTImproved MFT lens support on the Pocket Cinema CameraCompressed RAW support on the Production Camera 4KAutofocus support for EF lenses on Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF and Production Camera 4KLam stated that he believes they are “very close” to releasing the update. A few beta testers have been selected to try out this new update and have been doing so for a few months now. He also stated an intent to add audio metering and a histogram display in future updates as well. Other features that are likely to happen either in this update or future updates are the ability to format cards in the camera and a time remaining indicator.The Black Sun EffectPhoto courtesy of NewShooterOne of the biggest problems facing Blackmagic users is the dreaded Black Sun effect. A big black spot is usually caused when shooting video of the sun and as Lam states, it “is a fundamental characteristic of CMOS sensors”. Lam states that they are trying to fix the problem but no fix seems to be coming in the near future.Some sensors have additional circuitry to try and overcome this and this was available in the Pocket Cinema Camera. Unfortunately, it is not in the 2.5K sensor. Also, black sun correct circuitry is also not an on/off switch and with some sensors, it may result in other unwanted artefacts so we have to be really careful about it. Another method of overcoming the black sun effect is via image processing after the image has been acquired and passed on from the sensor. This is basically running an algorithm to try and detect what looks like the black sun and just clipping the black areas. Again, this could result in false positives and if you have a pattern in the image that is similar to the black sun, it could mistakenly be “corrected” as well. As you can see, this is a tricky situation. We are not ignoring it, but working to see what is the best way to address this.We aren’t sure when the firmware updates are scheduled to be released, but Kristian Lam is hinting that it will be in the very near future. Keep coming back to the Premiumbeat blog to get the latest Blackmagic information.What do you think of Blackmagic’s update, update? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Rumble Strips and Feedback

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now You know how you are sometimes driving down the road and you run a little bit off course? Rumble strips are those lines carved into the side of the road that create a loud noise and vibration. They are they to provide you with the feedback that you’re slightly off the road. Without rumble strips you might run off the road–or far enough onto the shoulder–that something bad happens. Rumble strips also tell you to slow down on freeway off-ramps, that you are going too fast to safely exit.Rumble strips are annoying. They’re designed to get your attention and provide feedback when feedback is necessary.Your Rumble Strips Are QuietAll of the results that you’re generating in sales and business also come with feedback. But most of the feedback doesn’t easily command your attention.When things are working the feedback is positive. You’re winning opportunities. You’re improving. Things are moving forward for you fast. No alarm bells are sounding. But you’re also provided feedback when things aren’t working quite so well. Even this feedback may not garner your attention.When your dream clients aren’t responding to your attempts to capture their time and attention it’s feedback that what you’re doing isn’t creating value for them. Their silence is feedback. That silence should jar you to action just like rumble strips.When your pipeline is shallow, when you don’t have enough opportunities, it’s feedback that your prospecting efforts aren’t working. Maybe it’s feedback that what you’re doing isn’t working, but maybe it’s feedback that you just aren’t doing enough. Either way, it’s feedback that you need to make some adjustment to what you’re doing, that you’re off course.When your inside team struggles to execute on what you sold it might be feedback that you’re giving them a poor handoff. Or it might also mean that you’re selling something that your team can’t easily deliver. Maybe your team just needs your help selling inside to acquire the resources they need to execute. More feedback, if you are keen enough to observe the noise your team makes.The results that you’re producing, good or bad, come with feedback. That uncomfortable feeling you get when things aren’t working is like driving over rumble strips. It’s supposed to warn you, to jar you loose from your comfortable state and make you aware that you need to change. It means you’re slightly (or seriously) off course and need to make corrections.Pay attention to the rumble strips. Pay attention to the feedback (and remember sometimes the feedback is silence).QuestionsWhat kind of feedback are you receiving?How do you know when you’re slightly off course?What kind of warnings do yo get that you are going to fast for your client, that your speed is jeopardizing an opportunity?Like driving, are you normally way off course, or does a slight correction make an enormous difference?last_img read more

SMB seizes lead

first_imgCayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games The victory prompted coach Leo Austria to give his charges their first break in three weeks.The Texters will also take a much-needed breather on Monday, but coach Nash Racela has special instructions to his players after losing for the second straight game and looking very overmatched since winning the series opener by a hair.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSan Miguel wriggled out of a very tight first half as Alex Cabagnot spearheaded a dominant final 24 minutes with 18 of his 28 coming in the last two frames.And the San Miguel defense has clamped down hard on whoever it needs to stop, with rookie sensation RR Pogoy, after tossing in a career-high 27 points in a 104-102 series-opening win, held scoreless for the second straight game and Jason Castro limited to six points in the first three quarters. “It was a hard-fought game and we didn’t have any adjustments (for today),” Austria said. “All we did was keep our intensity high.”Color developed at halftime when standby TNT import Mike Myers and Governors’ Cup reinforcement Michael Craig got involved in a shoving encounter with San Miguel fans and team officials on the way back to the locker room.Austria dismissed that incident as something borne out of the intensity of both teams, but was quick to add that nothing can distract his Beermen from the real task at hand.“I told the players that we have to be focused,” Austria said. “We have a different agenda [and that is to win]. But we will not back down [from incidents like that].”TNT had 23 turnovers—10 of them by Castro—which resulted to 26 San Miguel points.ADVERTISEMENT Marcio Lassiter. PBA IMAGESThere’s rest for the weary, but only San Miguel Beer can afford it this time.After breaking down TNT KaTropa with clinical precision on both ends in the second half, the Beermen moved ahead in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup title playoffs, 2-1, with a 109-97 victory at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.ADVERTISEMENT What ‘missteps’? 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’center_img MOST READ Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage View comments World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Beermen bounce back and how Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’last_img read more

Sixers GM: ’Talk of playoffs is getting a little ahead of ourselves’

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Prized center Joel Embiid headlines the Sixers’ crop of young promising players.  APBetter days are certainly coming for the “City of Brotherly Love,” as many believe that the Philadelphia 76ers’ talented youth movement will be enough to push them into playoff contention this upcoming NBA season.With the likes of Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz in the fold—plus the fact that several big names have moved from the Eastern Conference to the West—a playoff run is becoming a more distinct possibility for the franchise.ADVERTISEMENT Jazz moving on from Hayward, but timing is ‘problematic’ “We want to take this a step at a time,”  Colangelo explained. “We want to go about it the right way, with patience and the proper focus, and the focus is on taking that next step forward.”Although the team’s talent pool is indeed something to marvel at, both Fultz and Simmons have yet to log in a minute in an official NBA game, while Embiid has battled injuries throughout his budding career.Still, the East seems to be wide open for new contenders this year, with stalwarts Paul George and Paul Millsap moving to the West coast.Aside from its promising core, the Sixers also recently picked up solid veterans like sharpshooter J.J Redick and dependable big man Amir Johnson.  Khristian Ibarrola /raADVERTISEMENT However, current Sixers General Manager and President of Basketball Operations Brian Colangelo is asking fans to temper their expectations for the time being.“I think any talk of playoffs is getting a little ahead of ourselves,” said Colangelo, according to NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“The East is definitely in flux right now and a lot of changes are happening,” he added. “A lot of changes are happening to this roster and we’re not going to know what we have until we actually play some games, when we get together in the fall and we go through a camp and we start to play live NBA games.”The entire city of Philadelphia, meanwhile, is fully embracing its “Trust the Process” mantra, which was popularized by former executive Sam Hinkie as a precaution for fans to be patient during the team’s consecutive losing seasons. Nikki Valdez rushes self to ER due to respiratory tract infection View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucenacenter_img LATEST STORIES MOST READ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’last_img read more