31 January 2006

Today in the Science News: Part 1: Space News

"Bobaloo" and "Dagger" are really stupid nicknames:
Also see the Space.com story, which has a bit more information. These fellows are two F-16 pilots who still fly with the Air Force reserves, and have just formed the first team for the Rocket Racing League.

If y'all recall, when I first mentioned the Rocket Racing League, I inquired as to where they were going to get pilots, because I had a feeling experience with a fighter jet would be required. I also thought that surely there wouldn't be very many people interested in risking their lives for a silly race.

But I didn't take into account the fact that they're fighter pilots. Risking their lives is what they do. Every single day.

Model developed to predict Titan's clouds:
Apparently, this model forecasts weather on Titan pretty accurately. That's useful because it will help scientists determine when to train their telescopes on Titan.

Massive neutrino detector array may provide support for string theory:
The array is called "IceCube." It's going to be buried in the ice fields of Antarctica.

Cue Dave in Texas and his "Antarctica Now" scenes...

Anyway, I would have more commentary on this article, but frankly, I don't understand string theory well enough to mock it properly. So you'll just have to read it for yourself. The gist, as I understand it, is that this array may be large enough to detect some extraordinarily rare neutrinos that may or may not exist, but if they do exist and the array is large enough to detect them, then they might get detected at the rate of one a year and then we would learn all kinds of new stuff. Or something.

Singin' in the cosmic rain:
Apparently, cosmic rays striking the Earth increase the likelihood of cloudy days by about 20%.

But keep in mind that the effect of cosmic rays on climate is infinitesimal compared to the effects of humans. Infinitesimal, I say!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted a mission. And for my sins they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service.

D in T

you know, after I did that I tooled around some other ninny for days with Thomas Jefferson quotes.

what next? what next?

6:11 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

I know, that was hilarious. I couldn't believe how gullible the guy was. Not to mention humorless...which is the main reason I suspect Jersey is the same person as Mike/Mary.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Shawn, Neo Con War Commenter said...

Honestly Dave, that will be tough to beat. You were on frickin' fire, that's for sure.

About Ice Cube, I find this to be a interesting project. I would suggest reading "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene, which would seem to be the primer on String Theory best suited for non-physicists. At least, I understood. Or you could try and find the NOVA special based on the book. A good way to spend two hours.

I've heard of experiments being discussed similar to this. The goal is to try and prove string theory by proving as many of the the theorized small parts as possible, since it would be near impossible to prove string theory in it's entirety.

It's a little like dropping a rock into a pond, then trying to observe a water droplet coming up from the surface of the water. All of this to prove that there is a pond there.

Except you don't know the pond is there in the first place. Did that make sense at all?

9:30 PM  
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3:04 PM  

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