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I saw the Stars in my cereal this morning [SPACE](NSF ALIENS and 56K)

KadithKadith Registered User regular
edited February 2012 in Social Entropy++
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Space, it’s really big if you hadn’t noticed. Everything started in space, although it was a really long time ago so we’re not entirely clear on the specifics. I think this is a good figure which sums up what we do know however:
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Yeah, that’s a really long time ago like 13.8 Gigayears, and that’s one of the cool things about space, the time scale is huge! I mean I bet you think Druhim is old, but he’s just a baby compared to our Sun. Obviously the Sun has been around for a long time, I mean it had to be there to form the Earth and the rest of our solar system so it has to be a pretty old fogey right?
Wrong! The Sun is so young it hasn’t even gone through its midlife crisis yet! There aren’t too many really old stars though because they liked to live life hard and fast. But it’s thanks to these guys that we have Heavy Metal(s). In fact, all of the metals in your body were made in these stars, that we Astrophysicists like to call Population I stars, so you are actually a child of the stars in a very literal way isn’t that just the coolest shit??
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Keith’s long lost cousin?
Now every good thing has to end and stars are no exception. The hottest fattest stars get to go out in a pretty cool way though, and that gives us some cool structures to study and take pictures of.
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Star cores are like massive forges, with the pressure and heat inside of them, molecules are able to fuse and heavier elements are formed. In super massive stars you can form up to Iron (other stuff is formed but it’s not very stable). This Iron will eventually photodisintegrate into Helium nuclei and neutrons, this process accelerates until it reaches a point of collapse. When this happens the envelope of the star essentially “bounces” off of the super dense core and you have a Type II supernova. Thanks to this process even more heavy metals are scattered into the interstellar medium and we’re left with white dwarfs, pulsars, or even black holes at the core of the event. While everyone wants to walk away from an explosion because they’re a cool guy, this is not one you want to try that on because it also happens to release massive amounts of gamma rays.
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There’s a lot of things to study in space, those who study how everything fits together and things like the origin of the universe are known as Cosmologists. You might recognize a few of these notable characters:
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Tycho Brahe
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Carl Sagan
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Stephen Hawking
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Neil deGrasse Tyson
Now not everyone can study stuff as sexy as particle physics, and some of us just like to take pretty pictures of stuff. These guys are more observationalist astronomers; we’re in the real world taking real measurements not like those nerdy cosmologists with their stupid faces. Some of these gays may be less recognizable:
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Nikolaus Kopernikus: Possible father of modern astronomy.
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Henry Draper: The original astrophotographer
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Edwin Hubble: You know, of that one telescope, that took that picture up there. Might’ve heard of him.
Now maybe you already knew all this stuff because you’re a smart fella. So how about I show you some stuff you’ve never seen before?
Would you like that?
I bet you would.
Now I’m not cool enough to have access to the really good equipment but you’d be surprised at how useful a fully robotic mount is even with optics that are considered amateur level.
You see some nights I go and spend the night here:
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And besides getting drunk and jacking off I take pictures of stuff in that big ol’ mass of space out there.
Let’s start with the worst picture:
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This is M33, this is the third most prominent galaxy within the local group, and is approximately 2.7 million light years away. By studying this little guy we were able to figure out that our mass predictions of the black hole cores of galaxies were a bit too high. Most of the stars in here are about 7-8 Gigayears old, however all those red splotches in there? (I’ll get to why it is so ugly next) Those are most likely areas of strong star formation because they’re emitting H-alpha waves, which means the clouds of gas are about 8-10,000K, and that is some pretty hot gas. Okay so this picture doesn’t look that great, you might notice the lines traveling diagonally along the picture as well as all the ugly red noise in the picture. Well at the time we couldn’t figure out why because the noise seemed to show up in random images but now I’m pretty sure the fan on that camera was being a little bitch and letting the CCD overheat. So here is a picture that just shows the raw luminance and structure of the galaxy.
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Now I like to take pictures of galaxies because they’re just that cool so here’s four more:
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(galaxies that is)
Clockwise starting at the top right these are NGC 4402, M86, NGC 4438, and NGC 4435. Just by looking at NGC 4438 it was evident that the galaxy had undergone a massive gravitational structural change. Based upon distance and age it was assumed that M86 was the one influencing it and perhaps they had even collided. Further spectral analysis of these two lead to a confirmation of the strong possibility of a collision as the two had very similar dust signatures. Now you can’t actually see all that in this image, and it’s so raw I didn’t even take out the optical errors from the different filters but that’s really fucking cool bro.
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But we’re not done with galaxies yet bro, clockwise from top right, NGC 3384, NGC 3389, and M105. NGC 3384 is really dim but it is almost directly above the big blob that NGC 3389 if you can’t see it right away. Again these galaxies are really close to each other (relatively speaking) such that NGC 3389 and M105 are basically touching each other and sharing material between each other on their tidal boundary. Also the two are warping the structure of NGC3384 by being so close to it.
But that’s not all!
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I’ve got even more interacting galaxies! These two bad boys are M65 and M66, and if NGC 3628 was in frame you’d have the full Leo Triplet. Again these guys are like 4 year old siblings in the back seat, not touching but still bugging the shit out of each other. The angle of obliquity for these guys is almost the same so we should be seeing two very similar structures. However M65 is way more massive than M66 so it and NGC 3628 have clearly warped the spiral arms of M66. Don’t you just hate bigger older brothers?
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But galaxies aren’t the only cool thing out there. You’ve also got planetary nebulae, which are sometimes resulting from supernovae, but also come from less violent ejections of a star’s envelope. This guy is the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), it is the closest nebula, but yet it is quite dim, ain’t that weird?
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And this guy is the Cocoon nebula aka IC 5146, it is a giant stellar nursery. Bunch of baby stars up in there, crying and being babies and blowing all of that dust out with their baby start tantrums.
Also there’s stars I guess.
Did you know most stars out there are actually multi-star systems. Yup that’s a true fact, and if you look at something like a binary star and compare it to a lone wolf you end up with something that looks like this.
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Okay, that’s actually kinda boring, I’m sorry.
Oh and if you didn’t know all those letters and numbers have to do with star catalogs. Basically dudes just going around and labeling what and where everything is so that everybody has common reference points. Because let me tell you, one space is moving, and two dealing with astronomical coordinates can be a pain in the ass. I’ve used the Messier (the “best” and brightest galaxies), the New General Catalogue, and the Index Catalogue to identify these guys if you’re curious.
So that’s a small piece of space guys. Isn’t it cool? I think so.
What are your favourite stellar objects?
Or who do you like to listen to when it comes to soothing and amazing cosmology talks?
Are there aliens and will we ever talk to them?

Lesson 2: Exoplanets and the Search for life

Kadith on
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Posts

  • Indie WinterIndie Winter Nattravnen Registered User regular
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    I fucking love space

    come on scientists, build me a colony ship so I can get out there and start exploring the universe!

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    The coolest bit of space info is probably the stuff about the biggest known star being, like, thousands of times bigger than the sun

    And the heaviest star being hundreds of times heavier

    That shit is just, like, woah. The Sun is almost inconceivably massive, and yet there are stars that compared to it is minute

  • WeaverWeaver send help pirates have meRegistered User regular
    I had a telescope when I was growing up and a couple of times I saw flashes of light in moon craters. Years later, found out that was escaping gases causing little plums of moon dust that reflected the sunlight.

    ProfessionalandCommander_zps6c326307.jpg
  • KadithKadith Registered User regular
    Space travel is gonna be pretty impractical unless we find something that breaks physics as we know it.

    Not that the current theories of new tech to make it at least possible aren't really fucking cool.

    Oh yes scale here is that picture that everyone has probably seen but

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  • FishmanFishman I find your lack of Hail Hydra! disturbingRegistered User regular
    Wait, you took some of these? What equipment are you using?

    X-Com LP Thread I, II, III, IV, V
    That's unbelievably cool. Your new name is cool guy. Let's have sex.
  • DarmakDarmak Godking of the Snerkywizards Registered User regular
    outerspace.jpg

    Fuck yes, I love these threads. I actually bought a telescope a month or two ago to look at the moon and stars and planets and shit but it's been so cold and windy and I'm such a huge pussy so I haven't used it much. I should remedy that soon.

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  • KadithKadith Registered User regular
    Weaver wrote: »
    I had a telescope when I was growing up and a couple of times I saw flashes of light in moon craters. Years later, found out that was escaping gases causing little plums of moon dust that reflected the sunlight.

    That was actually the lizard people trying to communicate with you.

    But the cover up at least sounds like a cool space fact!

    There is a lot of cool space stuff right in our "backyard"

    I mean you've got sunspots, which are at the bases of plasma arches held together by magnetic fields which spew off the coronal envelope when they collapse in just the right way.

    And we could die from one of those.

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  • KadithKadith Registered User regular
    Fishman wrote: »
    Wait, you took some of these? What equipment are you using?

    Everything from the picture of the observatory onward is from my original research.

    We have a 14" Celestron reflector telescope mounted on a Paramount ME with an SBIG: STL-1001E camera in one dome and a refracting Takahashi telescope on yet another robotic mount with a CCD detector on it. (I don't use that one very often so I can't remember the actual specs on it)

    Most of the pictures are from the 14"

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  • The_ScarabThe_Scarab Registered User regular
    My bucket list has only one thing to do on it and that is meet Neil DeGrasse Tyson.



    Seriously, I want to be as happy about anything in my life as he is about his new rocket.

    scarab you have mental problems
  • JayKaosJayKaos Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I got a telescope for Christmas at the age of like 15. Clearly not an expensive or fancy telescope but I still went out trying to look at planets and what not, but could never really make anything out. Years later, in a college astronomy class, the professor was talking about quality versus cheap telescopes, and discussing how the cheap ones were at best useless and at worst could cause severe eye damage if used wrong. Then he held up the box from my telescope as an example of the cheap terrible ones.

    I would like to get a real, decent telescope some day, but I live in NYC so it would be pretty much useless.

    Also, a couple weeks back there was an application on the US government website for applying to be an astronaut. I filled out 90% of it, got to a part where you needed references and decided to do that tomorrow as it was getting late. I forgot to finish it, and the deadline ran out. I had basically no chance of ever even being considered, since I have a bachelor's degree in computer science and no experience that would ever be relevant to being an astronaut, but the fact that there was even the slightest chance I could have gone into space and I fucked up because I couldn't be arsed to fill out some paperwork is just the worst feeling.

    JayKaos on
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/jaykaos This is my steam profile.
  • WeaverWeaver send help pirates have meRegistered User regular
    The_Scarab wrote: »
    My bucket list has only one thing to do on it and that is meet Neil DeGrasse Tyson.



    Seriously, I want to be as happy about anything in my life as he is about his new rocket.

    8->

    ProfessionalandCommander_zps6c326307.jpg
  • UsagiUsagi Feminazgul ~*special snowflake*~Registered User regular
    Nice OP (and cool photos!) Kadith

    Don't know if anyone else is following the neutrino shenanigans at CERN, but apparently a poor wiring connection may be the reason they appeared to be traveling faster than light

    Jormungandr? Damn near killed 'er!
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Kadith wrote: »
    Space travel is gonna be pretty impractical unless we find something that breaks physics as we know it.

    Yeah, I find that kind of saddening. But at the same time, who's to say that in the future we won't be able to do thinks that now we call impossible? So I do live in hope!

  • KadithKadith Registered User regular
    JayKaos wrote: »
    I got a telescope for Christmas at the age of like 15. Clearly not an expensive or fancy telescope but I still went out trying to look at planets and what not, but could never really make anything out. Years later, in a college astronomy class, the professor was talking about quality versus cheap telescopes, and discussing how the cheap ones were at best useless and at worst could cause severe eye damage if used wrong. Then he held up the box from my telescope as an example of the cheap terrible ones.

    I would like to get a real, decent telescope some day, but I live in NYC so it would be pretty much useless.

    Also, a couple weeks back there was an application on the US government website for applying to be an astronaut. I filled out 90% of it, got to a part where you needed references and decided to do that tomorrow as it was getting late. I forgot to finish it, and the deadline ran out. I had basically no chance of ever even being considered, since I have a bachelor's degree in computer science and no experience that would ever be relevant to being an astronaut, but the fact that there was even the slightest chance I could have gone into space and I fucked up because I couldn't be arsed to fill out some paperwork is just the worst feeling.

    Oh man those could be pretty discouraging stories.

    Another option is to build your own telescope. Newtonian reflectors are incredibly simply designs, all you really need is a good mirror and a tube to mount it in. This what I plan on doing but I don't have the money to buy the size of mirror I want yet.

    But yes moving to somewhere in the middle of nowhere would be much more beneficial to sky viewing, you can see a lot of really interesting stuff with just a good pair of binoculars.

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  • JayKaosJayKaos Registered User regular
    Oh yeah sorry the telescope thing wasn't really discouraging to me, just kind of an anecdote. If I weren't in NYC I'd have gotten myself a much nicer telescope ages ago. Plus I was upstate for four years for college and didn't take advantage of it nearly enough for stargazing.

    http://steamcommunity.com/id/jaykaos This is my steam profile.
  • LuvTheMonkeyLuvTheMonkey High Sierra Serenade Registered User regular
    Kadith wrote: »
    Fishman wrote: »
    Wait, you took some of these? What equipment are you using?

    Everything from the picture of the observatory onward is from my original research.

    We have a 14" Celestron reflector telescope mounted on a Paramount ME with an SBIG: STL-1001E camera in one dome and a refracting Takahashi telescope on yet another robotic mount with a CCD detector on it. (I don't use that one very often so I can't remember the actual specs on it)

    Most of the pictures are from the 14"

    I am fucking jealous. Like, VY Canis Majoris could not contain my jealousy of that setup.

    Seriously that's like, fucking amazing hardware. You could buy a car (a shitty car but still) for the cost of a Paramount ME. I want to buy either a small ED refractor or something around an 8" Schmitt-Cassegrain, but even that's a good $1000+ investment.

    Molten variables hiss and roar. On my mind-forge, I hammer them into the greatsword Epistemology. Many are my foes this night.
    STEAM | GW2: Thalys
  • KadithKadith Registered User regular
    Usagi wrote: »
    Nice OP (and cool photos!) Kadith

    Don't know if anyone else is following the neutrino shenanigans at CERN, but apparently a poor wiring connection may be the reason they appeared to be traveling faster than light

    If I have learned anything, it is that it's always the engineers fault.

    Also as nice as it would be to see a major reworking of our theories within my lifetime, especially if it allows space travel, this never really looked that promising to me and was blown way out of proportion by some of the softer sciences journals.
    Kadith wrote: »
    Fishman wrote: »
    Wait, you took some of these? What equipment are you using?

    Everything from the picture of the observatory onward is from my original research.

    We have a 14" Celestron reflector telescope mounted on a Paramount ME with an SBIG: STL-1001E camera in one dome and a refracting Takahashi telescope on yet another robotic mount with a CCD detector on it. (I don't use that one very often so I can't remember the actual specs on it)

    Most of the pictures are from the 14"

    I am fucking jealous. Like, VY Canis Majoris could not contain my jealousy of that setup.

    Seriously that's like, fucking amazing hardware. You could buy a car (a shitty car but still) for the cost of a Paramount ME. I want to buy either a small ED refractor or something around an 8" Schmitt-Cassegrain, but even that's a good $1000+ investment.

    It'll probably make it even worse when I say that I don't even take advantage of these setups that often anymore.

    But yeah good optics are a hell of an investment, which is why I would like to end up working at some of the nicer observatories so that I can use taxpayer and other types of grant money to fund my hobby. Personally I'd lean more towards the Schmidt-Cassegrain, because you usually get more bang for buck with "lower" end reflectors, and also because I just love the design as an optical system.

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  • M.D.M.D. and then what happens? Registered User regular
    Usagi wrote: »
    Nice OP (and cool photos!) Kadith

    Don't know if anyone else is following the neutrino shenanigans at CERN, but apparently a poor wiring connection may be the reason they appeared to be traveling faster than light

    I read an article earlier about it saying it could be one of two issues. If it's the wiring then it accounts for it getting there too fast and if its the timing device then it should have gotten there faster or something like that.

  • LuvTheMonkeyLuvTheMonkey High Sierra Serenade Registered User regular
    Yeah I was leaning towards the SCG setup. Probably not this year (unless good things happen in the office), next year maybe.

    Molten variables hiss and roar. On my mind-forge, I hammer them into the greatsword Epistemology. Many are my foes this night.
    STEAM | GW2: Thalys
  • XehalusXehalus Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Buckyballs

    That is all.

    Xehalus on
  • SkeithSkeith Registered User regular
    Usagi wrote: »
    Nice OP (and cool photos!) Kadith

    Don't know if anyone else is following the neutrino shenanigans at CERN, but apparently a poor wiring connection may be the reason they appeared to be traveling faster than light

    Yeah my Astronomy teacher mentioned that yesterday, I was kinda bummed about that. Something that moves faster than light would be pretty damn amazing.

    mts wrote: »
    heres how i see it being a total win situation for you
    1. stay with your wife while she dog sits. this wins husband points since she knows its out of your comfort zone
    2. have sex all over her friends house so that the next time you see her friend look at you condescendingly, you can wink back knowing you did the freaky deaky where she eats her cheerios.
  • JayKaosJayKaos Registered User regular
    Xehalus wrote: »
    Buckyballs

    That is all.

    I love the illustration. Something about an orange crate full of buckyballs floating through space cracks me up.

    http://steamcommunity.com/id/jaykaos This is my steam profile.
  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    oh yes, hello

    I want to get me a really nice telescope to keep up in NH so I can use it somewhere with virtually no light pollution

  • KadithKadith Registered User regular
    Mother fucking planets.

    I am currently doing research work on a project involving the modeling of a solar system that could sustain life. If this thread is still around in a while after I've written up some other labs I may write up a post on what I know about exoplanets.

    In the mean time, check out these direct images of some planets that are out of this wooorld. Shamelessly stolen from various papers.

    6HC9L.jpg
    Look at all these planets around HR 8799
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    This is a massive planet around Beta Pictoris (HD 39060)
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    And finally there's this guy around 2MASSW J1207334−393254

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  • DarmakDarmak Godking of the Snerkywizards Registered User regular
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    oh yes, hello

    I want to get me a really nice telescope to keep up in NH so I can use it somewhere with virtually no light pollution

    Yeah, I'm glad I live in rural Texas because I don't have to drive far to get away from light pollution.

    PIZTDhW.jpg
  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    Darmak wrote: »
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    oh yes, hello

    I want to get me a really nice telescope to keep up in NH so I can use it somewhere with virtually no light pollution

    Yeah, I'm glad I live in rural Texas because I don't have to drive far to get away from light pollution.

    I live in NYC

    fuck this town

  • GarthorGarthor Registered User regular
    That's not a very big planet. I mean, it says right there it's like one and a half inches across, at most.

    Pony_Sig.png
  • Mr FuzzbuttMr Fuzzbutt Polar Warbear ˁ ͡° ᴥ ͡°ˀRegistered User regular
    there's a lot of space out there

    i guess that's why they call it that

    FYYss9j.png
  • KadithKadith Registered User regular
    Garthor wrote: »
    That's not a very big planet. I mean, it says right there it's like one and a half inches across, at most.

    that's the chronograph silly

    also arc seconds.

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  • GarthorGarthor Registered User regular
    Seconds are a measurement of time, not size, dummy.

    Pony_Sig.png
  • DarmakDarmak Godking of the Snerkywizards Registered User regular
    But time is the fourth physical dimension!

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  • DarmakDarmak Godking of the Snerkywizards Registered User regular
    I don't actually believe that

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  • KadithKadith Registered User regular
    Garthor wrote: »
    Seconds are a measurement of time, not size, dummy.

    i am going to rape you from 0-10 parsecs

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  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    where's my green ladies with three tits?

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  • KadithKadith Registered User regular
    Druhim wrote: »
    where's my green ladies with three tits?

    I think that's a question you should be asking Usagi

    :winky:

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  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Druhim wrote: »
    where's my green ladies with three tits?

    Only an acid trip away!

  • LuvTheMonkeyLuvTheMonkey High Sierra Serenade Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    PA capital region isn't TOO bad with light pollution. I can usually make out around 5 constellations from my house (right across the river from Harrisburg), a bit more if I get somewhat further away.

    Only 3 hours from the best dark skies on the east coast, too!

    LuvTheMonkey on
    Molten variables hiss and roar. On my mind-forge, I hammer them into the greatsword Epistemology. Many are my foes this night.
    STEAM | GW2: Thalys
  • KadithKadith Registered User regular
    The east coast.

    Heh.

    Z80BF.jpg

    I am right next to that big black splotch in western NM.

    zkHcp.jpg
  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    space is gay

    gayer than sex with other men

    STEAM
    Spoiler:
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