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January 16, 2021, 05:51:36 AM
News: Chaos in the capitol: https://talkelections.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=422360

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Virginia Yellow Dog
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« Reply #350 on: September 08, 2020, 09:10:09 PM »

Ocean carbon uptake widely underestimated

Quote
The world's oceans soak up more carbon than most scientific models suggest, according to new research.

Previous estimates of the movement of carbon (known as "flux") between the atmosphere and oceans have not accounted for temperature differences at the water's surface and a few metres below.

The new study, led by the University of Exeter, includes this - and finds significantly higher net flux of carbon into the oceans.

It calculates CO2 fluxes from 1992 to 2018, finding up to twice as much net flux in certain times and locations, compared to uncorrected models.

"Half of the carbon dioxide we emit doesn't stay in the atmosphere but is taken up by the oceans and land vegetation 'sinks'," said Professor Andrew Watson, of Exeter's Global Systems Institute.
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Virginia Yellow Dog
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« Reply #351 on: September 15, 2020, 01:29:32 AM »

Experts reveal major holes in international ozone treaty
Major holes in ozone hole treaty must be addressed to avert stronger climate change and serious risks to human health, experts warn

Quote
A new paper, co-authored by a University of Sussex scientist, has revealed major holes in an international treaty designed to help repair the ozone layer, putting human health at risk and affecting climate.

Evidence amassed by scientists in the 1970s and 1980s showed that the depletion of the ozone layer in the stratosphere was one of the first truly global threats to humanity.

Chemicals produced through economic activity were slowly drifting to the upper atmosphere where they were destroying the ozone layer, which plays an indispensable role in protecting humanity and ecosystems by absorbing harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

In 1987, countries signed up to a treaty to take reparative action, known as the 'Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which was eventually ratified by all 197 UN member states.'

But in a paper published today in Nature Communications, experts have flagged major gaps in the treaty which must be addressed if the ozone layer is to be repaired and avert the risks posed to human health and the climate.
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NewYorkExpress
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« Reply #352 on: September 16, 2020, 12:42:45 PM »

https://scitechdaily.com/giant-100-million-year-old-sperm-cells-discovered-the-oldest-known-sperm-cells/

Quote
In another fascinating snapshot from deep time, an international team of paleontologists has reported the discovery of specimens of a minuscule crustacean that dates back to the Cretaceous (about 100 million years ago), conserved in samples of amber from Myanmar. The most spectacular find is a single female, which turns out on closer examination to contain giant sperm cells in its reproductive tract.

In fact, this is the oldest fossil in which sperm cells have been conclusively identified. Moreover, the specimen represents a previously unknown species of crustacean, which has been named Myanmarcypris hui. M. hui was an ostracod, as clearly indicated by the paired calcareous valves that form the carapace, whose form recalls that of a mussel shell.
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Virginia Yellow Dog
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« Reply #353 on: October 02, 2020, 08:12:53 PM »

Paradox-Free Time Travel Is Theoretically Possible, Researchers Say

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Virginia Yellow Dog
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« Reply #354 on: October 04, 2020, 01:47:05 AM »

I really hope this is not another one of those 'just around the corner' 'light at the end of the tunnel'-type stories regarding nuclear fusion...  Tongue

Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor Is ‘Very Likely to Work,’ Studies Suggest
A series of research papers renews hope that the long-elusive goal of mimicking the way the sun produces energy might be achievable.

Quote
Scientists developing a compact version of a nuclear fusion reactor have shown in a series of research papers that it should work, renewing hopes that the long-elusive goal of mimicking the way the sun produces energy might be achieved and eventually contribute to the fight against climate change.

Construction of a reactor, called Sparc, which is being developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a spinoff company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems, is expected to begin next spring and take three or four years, the researchers and company officials said.

Although many significant challenges remain, the company said construction would be followed by testing and, if successful, building of a power plant that could use fusion energy to generate electricity, beginning in the next decade.

This ambitious timetable is far faster than that of the world’s largest fusion-power project, a multinational effort in Southern France called ITER, for International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. That reactor has been under construction since 2013 and, although it is not designed to generate electricity, is expected to produce a fusion reaction by 2035.
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Virginia Yellow Dog
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« Reply #355 on: October 22, 2020, 05:34:00 PM »

So now we know that what made our species (Homo sapiens) so adaptable and innovative as we were evolving in Africa wasn't just (natural) climate change -it was plate tectonics as well:

Surprising leap in ancient human technology tied to environmental upheaval
Sediment core evidence reveals the critical factors that may have given rise to strikingly complex behaviors some 320,000 years ago, around the time the first members of our species appeared.

Quote
For 700,000 years, our species’ ancient relatives in East Africa led rather stable lives, relying on an enduring set of skills and survival strategies. They made large, simple hand axes from nearby stones, perhaps using them to slice up prey, cut down branches, or dig for tubers.

But by 320,000 years ago—around the same age as the earliest fossil evidence of Homo sapiens—these early humans drastically changed their ways. They began crafting smaller, more nimble points that could fly through the air as projectiles, some made from obsidian gathered from many miles away. They collected red and black pigments—substances later humans frequently used in symbolic ways such as cave painting.

Now a new study in Science Advances suggests that one major reason behind this sudden shift in behavior lies underground: tectonic activity that fragmented the landscape.

Scientists have long pointed to changes in climate, such as the onset of wet or dry periods, as the key driving force behind the adaptation of our early ancestors. The new study puts this idea to the test by examining a detailed record of environmental changes over almost a million years, etched into a 456-foot-long core of sediment layers extracted from an ancient lake.
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Blue3
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« Reply #356 on: October 26, 2020, 12:28:45 AM »



"Master plan of the universe revealed in new galaxy maps

In the renderings, our Milky Way galaxy is a tiny speck in the midst of other galaxies and colossal voids."

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/amp/ncna1040936
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Virginia Yellow Dog
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« Reply #357 on: November 08, 2020, 02:39:12 AM »

It wasn't only men doing the hunting, as evidence suggests that women were routinely hunting big game alongside them:

This Prehistoric Peruvian Woman Was a Big-Game Hunter
Some 9,000 years ago, a 17- to 19-year-old female was buried alongside a hunter’s toolkit

Quote
(...) Per the paper, the hunter was not a unique, gender nonconforming individual, or even a member of an unusually egalitarian society. Looking at published records of 429 burials across the Americas in the late Pleistocene and early Holocene epochs, the team identified 27 individuals buried with big-game hunting tools. Of these, 11 were female and 15 were male. The breakdown, the authors write, suggests that “female participation in big-game hunting was likely non-trivial.”

As Bonnie Pitblado, an archaeologist at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, who was not involved in the study, tells Science magazine’s Ann Gibbons, “The message is that women have always been able to hunt and have in fact hunted.”

The concept of “man the hunter” emerged from 20th-century archaeological research and anthropological studies of modern hunter-gatherer societies. In present-day groups like the Hadza of Tanzania and San of southern Africa, men generally hunt large animals, while women gather tubers, fruits and other plant foods, according to Science.
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Virginia Yellow Dog
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« Reply #358 on: November 27, 2020, 01:47:30 PM »

Slightly unnerving, no?

Earth faster, closer to black hole in new map of galaxy

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Earth just got 7 km/s faster and about 2000 light-years closer to the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. But don't worry, this doesn't mean that our planet is plunging towards the black hole. Instead the changes are results of a better model of the Milky Way Galaxy based on new observation data, including a catalog of objects observed over the course of more than 15 years by the Japanese radio astronomy project VERA.

VERA (VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry, by the way "VLBI" stands for Very Long Baseline Interferometry) started in 2000 to map three-dimensional velocity and spatial structures in the Milky Way. VERA uses a technique known as interferometry to combine data from radio telescopes scattered across the Japanese archipelago in order to achieve the same resolution as a 2300 km diameter telescope would have. Measurement accuracy achieved with this resolution, 10 micro-arcseconds, is sharp enough in theory to resolve a United States penny placed on the surface of the Moon.

(...) Based on the VERA Astrometry Catalog and recent observations by other groups, astronomers constructed a position and velocity map. From this map they calculated the center of the Galaxy, the point that everything revolves around. The map suggests that the center of the Galaxy, and the supermassive black hole which resides there, is located 25800 light-years from Earth. This is closer than the official value of 27700 light-years adopted by the International Astronomical Union in 1985. The velocity component of the map indicates that Earth is traveling at 227 km/s as it orbits around the Galactic Center. This is faster than the official value of 220 km/s.

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DINGO Joe
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« Reply #359 on: November 29, 2020, 12:46:09 PM »

Slightly unnerving, no?

Earth faster, closer to black hole in new map of galaxy

Quote
Earth just got 7 km/s faster and about 2000 light-years closer to the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. But don't worry, this doesn't mean that our planet is plunging towards the black hole. Instead the changes are results of a better model of the Milky Way Galaxy based on new observation data, including a catalog of objects observed over the course of more than 15 years by the Japanese radio astronomy project VERA.


Oh, they're lying to us
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Squidward500
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« Reply #360 on: December 16, 2020, 04:00:17 PM »
« Edited: December 16, 2020, 04:04:33 PM by Squidward500 »

I watched a video last night in which they think planet 9; a half of Uranus/Neptune sized ice giant is lurking keying the Kuiper belt snd is located near Orion’s bow currently. This is due to the peculiar inclined and eccentric orbits of scattered disc objects like Sedna. Astronomers believe it will be discovered in the next 10-20 years but is difficult due to how far and dim it is. Which brings us to this question... what would you name this dark giant world?

I would go with something like Minerva/Athena after the Greco-Roman goddess of wisdom. Because finding this planet requires a lot of smarts to hunt it down. Any moons could be named for famous scientists to fit this theme (Aristotle, Einstein, Newton, Copernicus, Galileo etc.) It fits the pattern of using Greco-Roman names and reflects something about the planet like all others have followed
Mercury- fast
Venus- beautiful
Mars- bloody
Jupiter-Saturn-Uranus  Big, the king. Followed by his dad and grandpa
Neptune- dark blue like the sea
Pluto- dark and cold

Eris- (once considered planet 10). Chaos and discord
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President Johnson
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« Reply #361 on: December 21, 2020, 04:39:10 AM »

Great Conjunction is expected to occur today, where Jupiter and Saturn appear closest together in the sky. The conjunction occurs approximately every 20 years when Jupiter "overtakes" Saturn in its orbit.

According to our local radio station, it should be visible on the night sky at about 5.30 pm. local time. As of now, we're under a cloud, but maybe we get a clear sky in a few hours. In case I see anything, I'll be taking some photos.
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President Johnson
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« Reply #362 on: December 21, 2020, 02:13:52 PM »

Great Conjunction is expected to occur today, where Jupiter and Saturn appear closest together in the sky. The conjunction occurs approximately every 20 years when Jupiter "overtakes" Saturn in its orbit.

According to our local radio station, it should be visible on the night sky at about 5.30 pm. local time. As of now, we're under a cloud, but maybe we get a clear sky in a few hours. In case I see anything, I'll be taking some photos.

Unfortunately, I was not able to see anything. I took on my coat and checked from balcony and the street. Too cloudy. Anyone noticed something on the sky?
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PSOL
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« Reply #363 on: December 22, 2020, 09:08:35 PM »

Microplastics found in human placentas
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Microplastic particles have been revealed in the placentas of unborn babies for the first time, which the researchers said was “a matter of great concern”.

The health impact of microplastics in the body is as yet unknown. But the scientists said they could carry chemicals that could cause long-term damage or upset the foetus’s developing immune system. The particles are likely to have been consumed or breathed in by the mothers.

The particles were found in the placentas from four healthy women who had normal pregnancies and births. Microplastics were detected on both the foetal and maternal sides of the placenta and in the membrane within which the foetus develops.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH
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Blue3
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« Reply #364 on: December 26, 2020, 05:01:22 PM »

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/12/21/2020-amazing-science-space-discoveries/3922477001/

The coronavirus vaccine wasn't the only amazing discovery: A look at all the ways science thrived in 2020

In 2020, incredible scientific discoveries didn't stop because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

First and foremost was the phenomenal work done by scientists to study the disease and develop vaccines in record time to put the brakes on the global pandemic. It was a truly Herculean effort by literally thousands of scientists around the world.

Otherwise, while nothing can compare to the vaccine effort for impact, we discovered there could be water on the sunlit surface of the moon, potentially life on Venus, "Marsquakes" on Mars, and the chance that dozens of intelligent civilizations could be scattered across our Milky Way galaxy.

Closer to home, we uncovered prehistoric evidence of a ferocious tyrannosaur in Canada, a car-sized turtle in South America, and the oldest bird fossil ever found, dubbed the "wonderchicken."

And as for us humans, we listened to a mummy speak after 3,000 years, found Africa's oldest human footprints, and even realized that Neanderthals were skilled fishermen.

Here are just a few of the amazing science stories of 2020:

We heard the voice of an ancient mummy
In January, scientists re-created the voice of an ancient, 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy using 3D printing, medical scanners and an electronic larynx, a study said. They were able to reproduce a single vowel sound, which sounds like something between the vowels in the words "bed" and "bad." Listen for yourself below.

detailed photos of the sun ever taken. One of the images showed a pattern of turbulent "boiling" plasma that covers the entire sun. The cell-like structures – each about the size of Texas – are the signature of violent motions that carry heat from the inside of the sun to its surface.

https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/01/29/USAT/f7985ac2-386f-44f7-ad5c-3dce9762f070-crop_the_image_with_scalebar_texas_medium_res.jpg?width=660&height=660&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp
Scientists discovered the fossil of a giant turtle
In February, paleontologists discovered what they called the "reaper of death," a fearsome new species of dinosaur that was the "oldest occurrence of a large tyrannosaur in Canada."

Also in February, scientists announced the discovery of a huge turtle fossil in South America. It's "one of the largest, if not the largest, turtle that ever existed," scientists said, noting that the colossal, long-extinct beast lived 5 million to 10 million years ago and measured 9½ feet, roughly the size and shape of a midsized car.

https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/02/14/USAT/482988b2-62ae-4118-a15e-59c1ef402330-223992.jpg?width=660&height=295&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp
NASA's robot detected hundreds of 'marsquakes'
And that month we also heard about "marsquakes," and the fact that our red neighbor planet had hundreds of quakes over the past year. The marsquakes were recorded by NASA's InSight, a robot spacecraft that landed on Mars in November 2018. "We've finally, for the first time, established that Mars is a seismically active planet," said NASA's Bruce Banerdt.

https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/02/24/USAT/269e0327-6e68-43d9-952f-b920ec6fb461-AFP_1P97K9.JPG?width=660&height=534&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp
'Wonderchicken' becomes oldest bird fossil ever
https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/03/18/USAT/e64034d7-e305-41ee-bde0-283be39b98aa-226987_web.jpg?width=300&height=389&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp
In March, our attention turned to a creature dubbed the "wonderchicken," a seagull-size shorebird with features of ducks, chickens and turkeys. The nearly complete skull was hidden inside nondescript pieces of rock, and it dates to more than 66 million years ago – which makes it the oldest bird fossil ever discovered. (That's less than 1 million years before the asteroid impact that killed off all the large dinosaurs.)

"The moment I first saw what was beneath the rock was the most exciting moment of my scientific career," said study lead author Daniel Field.

We also learned about an ancient wormlike creature that's the ancestor of all animals. The tiny thing, about the size of a grain of rice, lived about 555 million years ago.

We learned Neanderthals were actually skilled fishermen
Also in March, the reputation of Neanderthals got a boost when we found out that they weren't just the club-wielding brutes of popular legend, hunting and eating only woolly mammoths in frozen northern climates.

A study, for the first time, suggested that they were skilled fishermen and that seafood was a key ingredient in their diets.

A comet from outside our solar system paid a visit
In April, we tracked an unusual visitor from outer space: Comet 2I/Borisov, which astronomers described as a "snowman from a dark and cold place," because “comets are leftover building blocks from the time of planet formation."

“This is the first time we’ve ever looked inside a comet from outside our solar system,” said NASA astrochemist Martin Cordiner.

https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/04/20/USAT/93de9f37-2a7d-49a5-bb7f-f467eab2153c-nrao20in05_Borisov_ArtistImpression_SD.jpg?width=660&height=372&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp
Bizarre mammal called 'crazy beast' fossil discovered in Madagascar
Also in April, we learned about the fossil of a bizarre mammal, called "crazy beast," which was discovered in Madagascar. The skeleton is the most complete for any Mesozoic mammal yet discovered in the Southern Hemisphere.

The 66-million-year-old opossum-size fossil represented a new species, which the study authors have named "Adalatherium hui," from a Malagasy word meaning “crazy” and the Greek word for “beast.”

https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/04/28/USAT/6ff7d543-763e-4389-8f2e-027d8b8732a4-Image_two.jpg?width=660&height=387&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp
Scientists spot 'incredibly rare' Super-Earth
Meanwhile, in May, scientists announced the discovery of an incredibly rare "Super-Earth," which they said was a "one in a million" find. Also calling it "incredibly rare," New Zealand astronomers say the planet "is one of only a handful that have been discovered with both size and orbit comparable to that of Earth."

Africa's largest group of human fossil footprints, which were discovered in Tanzania. Thousands of years ago, a group of 17 people took a walk through the mud in eastern Africa. Amazingly, their footprints are still there today, and were recently identified by archaeologists.

https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/05/14/USAT/362fd7ea-dcf2-4452-8679-a1f4e52e4ae7-Image_2.jpg?width=660&height=439&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp
We learned there could be 'dozens' of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy
In June, we got the news that we're probably not alone in our galaxy: There could be "dozens" of intelligent civilizations scattered throughout the Milky Way.

“There should be at least a few dozen active civilizations in our galaxy under the assumption that it takes 5 billion years for intelligent life to form on other planets, as on Earth,” University of Nottingham astrophysicist Christopher Conselice said.

This estimate assumes that intelligent life forms on other planets in a similar way as it does on Earth.

https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/01/22/USAT/5047be77-c963-4b47-be22-9cce3903f549-GettyImages-1070687964.jpg?width=660&height=436&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp
An asteroid impact, not volcanoes, killed off dinosaurs
Also in June we learned for sure that an asteroid impact – not volcanic eruptions – killed off the dinosaurs. The asteroid strike would have released particles and gases high into the atmosphere, blocking out the sun for years and causing permanent winters, a study said.

"Our study confirms, for the first time quantitatively, that the only plausible explanation for the extinction is the impact winter that eradicated dinosaur habitats worldwide," said study lead author Alessandro Chiarenza of Imperial College London.

Scientists confirmed the universe is 13.8 billion years old
The discoveries continued in the second half of the year: Scientists confirmed in July that the universe is 13.8 billion years old. While this estimate had been known, in recent years other scientific measurements had suggested instead the universe may be hundreds of millions of years younger than that. The scientists studied an image of the oldest light in the universe to confirm its age of 13.8 billion years.

https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/07/15/USAT/71f12125-1e6a-4036-9d2d-6bc0de597de1-OldestLightMeasurement.png?width=660&height=264&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp
Comet Neowise made a rare appearance
Also in July, folks got a rare chance to spot another interstellar interloper: Comet Neowise. “Discovered on March 27, 2020, by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission, Comet Neowise is putting on a dazzling display for skywatchers before it disappears, not to be seen again for another 6,800 years,” NASA said in July.

https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/07/15/USAT/3470a041-5983-42e4-8d70-e4fc8b3a1a29-Comet_Neowise_01.JPG?width=660&height=457&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp
Greenland's melting ice sheet passed the point of no return
Also in August, in unsettling news, scientists said Greenland's melting ice sheet had passed the point of no return. In fact, glaciers on the island have shrunk so much that even if global warming were to stop today, the ice sheet would continue shrinking, a study suggested.

"Glacier retreat has knocked the dynamics of the whole ice sheet into a constant state of loss," said study co-author Ian Howat, an earth scientist from Ohio State University.

https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/08/17/USAT/29eebfb0-2edd-4d91-923f-06acc583ba0b-icebergs2.jpg?width=660&height=441&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp
Astronomers see hint of life on Venus
Scientists in September announced the discovery of a possible sign of life high in the clouds of Venus. Using telescopes based in Chile and Hawaii, astronomers spotted in Venus' clouds the chemical signature of phosphine, a noxious gas that on Earth is associated only with life. Based on the many scenarios the astronomers considered, the team concluded there is no explanation for the phosphine in Venus’ clouds other than the presence of life.

water had been discovered on the sunlit surface of the moon for the first time. NASA said this was an important revelation that indicates water may be distributed across the lunar surface – and not just limited to its cold, shadowed places such as the poles. This is good news for astronauts at future lunar bases who could tap into those resources for drinking and rocket fuel production.

“We had indications that H2O – the familiar water we know – might be present on the sunlit side of the moon,” said Paul Hertz, director of the astrophysics division in the science mission directorate at NASA headquarters in Washington. “Now we know it is there. This discovery challenges our understanding of the lunar surface and raises intriguing questions about resources relevant for deep space exploration.”

There's a metal asteroid out there worth $10,000 quadrillion
This isn't your typical space rock. Also in October, we found out that the asteroid 16 Psyche – one of the most massive objects in the main asteroid belt orbiting between Mars and Jupiter – could be made entirely of metal, according to a study.

Even more intriguing, the asteroid's metal is worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion (that's 15 more zeroes), more than the entire economy of Earth.

https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/10/29/USAT/ff91e33b-ebe9-425e-97d3-3f54d6b194e3-asteroid-16-psyche.jpg?width=660&height=511&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp
Radio bursts were detected from within our Milky Way for first time
For the first time, astronomers in November discovered a "fast radio burst" that came from within our own Milky Way galaxy.

They also believe they have found a source of one of the bursts, which are extremely bright flashes of energy that last for a fraction of a second, during which they can blast out more than 100 million times more power than our sun.

It appears the radio pulses were produced by a magnetar – a type of neutron star with a hugely powerful magnetic field.

https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/11/04/USAT/18605cc7-4afe-4cba-9887-d011cd135926-AP_CORRECTION_Space_Cosmic_Bursts.jpg?width=660&height=422&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp
A 50-year-old science problem was solved
And in December, we learned about the arcane field of "protein folding." A new discovery about the field could unlock a world of possibilities into the understanding of everything from diseases to drugs, researchers say. The breakthrough sent ripples of excitement through the science and medical communities because it deals with the shapes tiny proteins in our bodies – essential to all life – fold into.

The "protein-folding problem" has puzzled scientists for five decades, and the discovery  from the London-based artificial intelligence lab DeepMind was heralded as a major milestone.

"This computational work represents a stunning advance on the protein-folding problem, a 50-year old grand challenge in biology," said Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the U.K.'s Royal Society.

https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/12/03/USAT/dcb849fd-63f8-4bca-8b61-7b364eb808bc-ca_1204NID_Protein_Fold_large_online.jpg?width=660&height=372&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp
We learned mass extinctions of Earth's land animals follow a cycle
Also in December, we found out that mass extinctions of life on Earth appear to follow a regular pattern, according to a study. In fact, widespread die-offs of land-dwelling animals – which include amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds – follow a cycle of about 27 million years, the study reports. The study also said these mass extinctions coincide with major asteroid impacts and devastating volcanic outpourings of lava.

"The global mass extinctions were apparently caused by the largest cataclysmic impacts and massive volcanism, perhaps sometimes working in concert," said study lead author Michael Rampino of New York University.
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Spark
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« Reply #365 on: December 28, 2020, 05:10:10 PM »

What do ya'll think about string theory?
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Virginia Yellow Dog
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« Reply #366 on: December 29, 2020, 05:32:00 PM »
« Edited: December 29, 2020, 08:58:26 PM by Virginia Yellow Dog »

Greenland's melting ice sheet passed the point of no return
Also in August, in unsettling news, scientists said Greenland's melting ice sheet had passed the point of no return. In fact, glaciers on the island have shrunk so much that even if global warming were to stop today, the ice sheet would continue shrinking, a study suggested.

"Glacier retreat has knocked the dynamics of the whole ice sheet into a constant state of loss," said study co-author Ian Howat, an earth scientist from Ohio State University.



There are mitigating factors that show it's not all our fault:

Newly Discovered Greenland Plume Drives Thermal Activities in the Arctic

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Virginia Yellow Dog
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« Reply #367 on: December 29, 2020, 05:41:33 PM »

This should answer the question, 'where did we come from?' from a purely scientific perspective:

Discovery boosts theory that life on Earth arose from RNA-DNA mix

Quote
Chemists at Scripps Research have made a discovery that supports a surprising new view of how life originated on our planet.

In a study published in the chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, they demonstrated that a simple compound called diamidophosphate (DAP), which was plausibly present on Earth before life arose, could have chemically knitted together tiny DNA building blocks called deoxynucleosides into strands of primordial DNA.

The finding is the latest in a series of discoveries, over the past several years, pointing to the possibility that DNA and its close chemical cousin RNA arose together as products of similar chemical reactions, and that the first self-replicating molecules—the first life forms on Earth—were mixes of the two.

The discovery may also lead to new practical applications in chemistry and biology, but its main significance is that it addresses the age-old question of how life on Earth first arose. In particular, it paves the way for more extensive studies of how self-replicating DNA-RNA mixes could have evolved and spread on the primordial Earth and ultimately seeded the more mature biology of modern organisms.

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