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[Science] A thread of good guesses, bad guesses and telling the difference.

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  • Desktop HippieDesktop Hippie This is NOT normalRegistered User regular
    edited March 16
    Time for some good (and bad) guesses

    From 'Popular Science'

    "Humpback whales are organizing in huge numbers, and no one knows why."


    Submit your theories below!

    (Mine is "so long and thanks for all the fish!")

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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    If they start actively sinking whaling ships it'd make things easier.

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    I'm guessing not selected behavior, since it seems to be a sudden emergence in adults. Possibly smart enough to recognize dangers of being alone and know that visibility protects against things like ship strike.

    A sadder guess (but still kind of happy in a way) is that as populations continue to recover from near extinction we are seeing the effect of lost "culture" - things that used to be taught to young rather than driven by instinct died with generations of heavy whaling and now rebounding populations need to learn how to whale all over again, and won't necessarily learn the same ways.

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    I'm guessing not selected behavior, since it seems to be a sudden emergence in adults. Possibly smart enough to recognize dangers of being alone and know that visibility protects against things like ship strike.

    A sadder guess (but still kind of happy in a way) is that as populations continue to recover from near extinction we are seeing the effect of lost "culture" - things that used to be taught to young rather than driven by instinct died with generations of heavy whaling and now rebounding populations need to learn how to whale all over again, and won't necessarily learn the same ways.

    Alternately we never really knew the culture to begin with, low population numbers meant that small pods were a necessity rather than a choice.

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    That is a good point. A lot of what we know about whales from before their populations were devastated comes from the people killing them. Modern science has only gotten to study the leftovers.

  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    One thing that we only just recently discovered was just how connected whale populations were. According to top scientists, whale songs were capable of carrying tremendous amounts of information (like entire libraries of congress) over thousands of miles. There is a layer of the ocean that's at just the right density to carry these songs all over the world. Modern shipping is super noisy and basically destroyed the ability for isolated populations to communicate using this method.

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  • Zilla360Zilla360 21st Century. Surreal. Immersive. Earth.Registered User regular
    Has to be a group recital of 'So long and thanks for all the fish!' IMO. :P

    Also, maybe plotting how to deal with a bunch of bipedal apes with nukes?

    https://arstechnica.co.uk/gaming/2017/03/these-recently-declassified-nuclear-test-videos-are-utterly-mesmerizing-terrifying/

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  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Time for some good (and bad) guesses

    From 'Popular Science'

    "Humpback whales are organizing in huge numbers, and no one knows why."


    Submit your theories below!

    (Mine is "so long and thanks for all the fish!")

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  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    More of an elemental, or eframe than mech.
    Still cool.

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  • evilbobevilbob Registered User regular
    SES-10 launch (first reuse of a falcon 9 first stage) currently set for the 29th, 1659–1929 EDT. Was 27th but got bumped by an Atlas V launch.

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  • SyngyneSyngyne Registered User regular
    evilbob wrote: »
    SES-10 launch (first reuse of a falcon 9 first stage) currently set for the 29th, 1659–1929 EDT. Was 27th but got bumped by an Atlas V launch.

    For some reason I am picturing this whole series of events taking place via Outlook meeting notifications

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  • Zilla360Zilla360 21st Century. Surreal. Immersive. Earth.Registered User regular

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  • Desktop HippieDesktop Hippie This is NOT normalRegistered User regular
    edited March 23
    Dinosaurs!

    It turns out some of the very basic facts we know about them are wrong. Way, way wrong. Recent research is radically changing the way we classify dinosaurs. The Atlantic has a great article about it.

    As they put it, "It's like if someone told you everything you knew about cats and dogs were wrong, and that some things you call 'dogs' are actually cats."

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  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    Dinosaurs!

    It turns out some of the very basic facts we know about them are wrong. Way, way wrong. Recent research is radically changing the way we classify dinosaurs. The Atlantic has a great article about it.

    As they put it, "It's like if someone told you everything you knew about cats and dogs were wrong, and that some things you call 'dogs' are actually cats."

    Man, I remember being at a talk Dr. Robert Bakker did in the summer of 1993 where he ended the thing with the fucking mindblowing idea that the great T-Rex could possibly maybe be the long lost ancestor to the Chicken.

    Compared to how Dinosaurs were thought of for the previous 100 years or so, it is rather amazing how quickly science can change things.

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    So tonight was apparently a "3-star" opportunity to watch the ISS pass overhead, and it was close enough to just past their bedtimes, so I made my kids stand outside with me and watch "the spaceship."

    My 5-year-old wanted to know if 1) aliens were going to come visit, and when I told him it was people up there, he changed his questions to 2) whether or not the spaceship had toilets, and 3) whether or not they had to wear helmets all the time.

    My 18-month-old waved and said, "oooooh."

    So. Damn. Cool.

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  • chrisnlchrisnl Registered User regular
    So hey, whatever happened to that plan to launch a cubesat into orbit with one of those magic reactionless engines? I still want to believe!

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  • SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit At the edge of spacetime lies a path with no end.Registered User regular
    edited March 30
    chrisnl wrote: »
    So hey, whatever happened to that plan to launch a cubesat into orbit with one of those magic reactionless engines? I still want to believe!

    I don't know, but for historic leaps, SpaceX is going to (try!) to launch one of their "flight proven" rockets today.

    If this works, spaceflights is going to keep getting cheaper.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/03/live-today-spacex-attempts-to-launch-a-flight-proven-rocket/

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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    chrisnl wrote: »
    So hey, whatever happened to that plan to launch a cubesat into orbit with one of those magic reactionless engines? I still want to believe!

    Should be launching soon. No dates were given before but we're nearing the end of the window they discussed.

    China has claimed to have sent one up into space and produced results but everybody is kinda "eh" on that.

  • Temporal ParadoxTemporal Paradox Registered User regular
    They fuckin did it!!!!!!

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  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero Registered User regular
    edited March 31
    I love how those SpaceX employees go nuts for their rocket launches. I wish I could get that excited about my job.

    Edit: Holy moly they landed it too!

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  • Desktop HippieDesktop Hippie This is NOT normalRegistered User regular
    So a while back something called the TimPix project was launched by the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS), which gives students across the UK the chance to work on data from the International Space Station, looking for anomalies and patterns that might lead to further discoveries.

    A 17 year old was going over the data in class when he noticed an error.

    He and his teacher e-mailed NASA and are now helping them to figure out the source of the problem.

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    ALRIGHT SPACEX!!!!

    WOOOHOOO!

    #afewhourslate

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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 1

    Re-using part of a rocket has gone straight to Elon's head. He really wants the Falcon Heavy concept video to be completely true -

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  • SyngyneSyngyne Registered User regular

    Re-using part of a rocket has gone straight to Elon's head. He really wants the Falcon Heavy concept video to be completely true -


    Next step- SpaceX manages to reuse rocket fuel

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  • HonkHonk Honk is this poster. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    The song in that video made me think spaceflight is less cool.

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  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    Mute that video, @honk .
    play this over it.

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  • DacDac Registered User regular
    What's the issue with the upper stage that makes it harder than the first stage? More re-entry heat?

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  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    edited April 2
    Dac wrote: »
    What's the issue with the upper stage that makes it harder than the first stage? More re-entry heat?
    Ya, even for LEO missions it's going over three times as fast as the stage 1 booster. And with the fairing and payload gone it's not much more aerodynamic than a brick with a big fragile vacuum engine sticking out like a sore thumb. I can't imagine a way to do it that doesn't involve using a large chunk of its fuel to slow down which would dramatically reduce its payload capacity its able to boost into orbit. Maybe they can install a heat shield in between the main body and the payload and just Kool-Aid man their way through the atmosphere? Plus there's the issue of where you're going to land, do a full orbit and drop down into the atlantic?

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  • chrisnlchrisnl Registered User regular
    Dac wrote: »
    What's the issue with the upper stage that makes it harder than the first stage? More re-entry heat?

    Partially that, I would think, and also partially that it has traveled farther than the first stage and so might need a different landing spot. It would also presumably require more fuel to land from higher up / further away, which would cut into payload I bet. The technical hurdles are probably fairly significant, but worth looking into at the very least.

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  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    Also don't vacuum nozzles have exhaust instability problems at sea level?

  • chrisnlchrisnl Registered User regular
    Seal wrote: »
    Also don't vacuum nozzles have exhaust instability problems at sea level?

    Certainly a nozzle optimized for vacuum isn't going to perform as well at sea level. I wouldn't be surprised if there were stability issues as well. Technical hurdles abound! Then again, there are plenty of technical hurdles to even landing the first stage, but they managed that, so I wouldn't be confident saying it is impossible. For all we know, Elon Musk has a design for a variable geometry rocket nozzle in his back pocket.

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  • TynnanTynnan My other car is a Mako Registered User regular
    cross-posted from SE++:

    Multiple views of SpaceX B1021 (SES-10 mission) landing on Of Course I Still Love You:

    (loud and distorted, because rocket)

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    It's kinda cool to be living in the future.

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  • Zilla360Zilla360 21st Century. Surreal. Immersive. Earth.Registered User regular
    When Plankton do battle! Like little ships firing harpoons at each other. :)

    https://arstechnica.co.uk/science/2017/04/watch-militarized-microbes-use-some-sophisticated-weapons-to-snare-prey/

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  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    NO SCIENCE, YOU'VE GONE TOO FAR!
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170419091616.htm
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  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    Look, Science, we gotta talk. Can we just agree to not test out the genetic mutation technique on creatures that resemble real world chestbursters? I know it's safe, but all the same you gotta know this isn't going to go over well outside the community.

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Awesome - color coordinates well with your av and .sig, too!

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  • DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    we do not need Cazadores! Even in the context of a post apocalyptic video game, we do not need cazadores!

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  • chrisnlchrisnl Registered User regular
    So a friend linked me this article http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/fluid-negative-mass-1.4073937 which talks about a negative mass fluid. I seem to recall that the Alcubierre Drive requires negative mass to function (in addition to rather large amounts of energy) but are they talking about the same thing? I know sometimes terms can mean different things depending on who you are talking to.

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