Nobody Cares! (Science & Tech Edition)

Argent Stonecutter

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UV absorption in mammals is generally to prevent skin damage from sunlight. Perhaps there is some advantage to converting the energy to light rather than heat?
 

CronoCloud Creeggan

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Don't some predators see a bit into the ultraviolet? That might make it harder for them, or perhaps frighten them off.
 

danielravennest

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So the most recent static test of the #8 prototype (SN8) had an engine failure a few days ago. They figured out that the ceramic-epoxy coating on the concrete below the test stand, which is supposed to protect the concrete from the extreme heat, shattered and sent slivers up into the engine area, cutting some of the wiring. Basically the engine threw a ceramic knife at itself at high speed and committed suicide. Now they have to figure out how to prevent this next time. In the video you can see hot chunks flying off in the first second or two of the test. With the wiring gone, they lost control of the engine and melted some of it. You can see it "bleeding out" after it shut off.

 
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Dakota Tebaldi

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End of the line for the storied Arecibo radio telescope

Sad face.

"
The National Science Foundation (NSF) will decommission Arecibo Observatory's massive radio dish after damage has made the facility too dangerous to repair, the agency announced today (Nov. 19).

The announcement came as scientists awaited a verdict about the fate of the iconic observatory after damage to the complex cabling supporting a 900-ton science platform suspended over the dish. In August, a cable slipped out of its socket, but engineers evaluating the situation deemed it stable; earlier this month, a second cable unexpectedly snapped, leaving Arecibo's fate much more perilous. After considering three separate engineering reports, the NSF, which owns the property, has decided the facility is unstable enough that there is no way to repair the damage that does not put personnel at undue risk.

"Our goal has been to find a way to preserve the telescope without placing anyone's safety at risk," Sean Jones, assistant director for the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate at the NSF, said in a news conference today. "However, after receiving and reviewing the engineering assessments, we have found no path forward that would allow us to do so safely. And we know that a delay in decision making leaves the entire facility at risk of an uncontrolled collapse, unnecessarily jeopardizing people and also the additional facilities."

"The telescope is currently at serious risk of an unexpected, uncontrolled collapse," Ralph Gaume, director of NSF's Division of Astronomical Sciences, said. "According to engineering assessments, even attempts of stabilization or testing the cables could result in accelerating the catastrophic failure. Engineers cannot tell us the safety margin of the structure, but they have advised NSF that the structure will collapse in the near future on its own."

During the news conference, officials emphasized that the decision was based on prioritizing safety, not a reflection of the scientific work that Arecibo has done over the past decades or could continue to do in the future, and that some hoped-for science will be lost with the facility.

"This decision has nothing to do with the scientific merits of Arecibo Observatory," Gaume said. "That is not a consideration. It's all about safety."

Guame added that the agency will work with scientists who had been planning to use the Arecibo telescope and its other facilities in order to relocate those planned research projects wherever possible. However, the facility was unique, particularly in its radar capability, which was heavily used to study near-Earth asteroids and other solar system objects.

"Some of the Arecibo science will transfer; some of it will not," Gaume said.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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Wow! TIL. I consider myself a geology enthusiast, and already knew about the recent use of tomography to image the Earth's interior...but I never knew this about Mount Paektu. A new mechanism for volcanism...wet mini-plumes!

 
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danielravennest

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Puerto Rico has been horribly mistreated during the Trump administration, to the point that around 14% of the population has moved away. They are US citizens, despite him thinking they aren't, so they moved to other parts of the country.

My suggestion is to include rebuilding Arecibo as part of an overall rebuilding America plan. We can use carbon fiber or other radio-transparent pylons this time, which didn't exist 60 years ago when it was first built. They would lean together at the center rather than use suspension cables. We could probably extend the dish beyond the rim to make it larger. Something like this:

 

Dakota Tebaldi

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Holy effing bleep!


Entombed in sediment in Montana, they were discovered by professional fossil hunters – a cattle rancher cowboy and two pals.
Incredibly, their body outlines, skin impressions, and injuries – including tyrannosaur teeth stuck in the triceratops body – can still be seen.
 

Pamela

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Are we just doomed??? Scroll through.