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April 13, 2017

Open Thread

First, some more space stuff:

Gravitational lensing, which bends light around it, is said to have revealed massive "filaments" of the elusive, semi-hypothetical mystery substance called "dark matter" holding two galaxies together.

These results show that the dark matter filament bridge is strongest between systems less than 40 million light years apart, and confirms predictions that galaxies across the Universe are tied together through a cosmic web of the elusive substance.

Dark matter is a mysterious element said to make up around 84 per cent of the Universe.

That's wrong. About 2% of the universe is normal energy/radiation, 3% is regular matter, 25% is "dark matter," and 70% is so-called "dark energy" causing the acceleration of the expansion of the universe. Maybe the 84% is the fraction of energy/matter/dark matter caused by dark matter. But I don't see why you'd divide it up that way. Or maybe dark matter is 84% of all matter.

It's known as "dark" because it doesn't shine, absorb or reflect light, which has traditionally made it largely undetectable, except through gravity and gravitational lensing. Evidence for the existence of this form of matter comes, among other things, from the astrophysical observation of galaxies, which rotate far too rapidly to be held together only by the gravitational pull of the visible matter.

Astrophysics has long proposed the Universe's web of stars and galaxies is supported by a "cosmic scaffolding" made up of fine threads of this invisible dark matter. These threadlike strands formed just after the Big Bang when denser portions of the Universe drew in dark matter until it collapsed and formed flat disks, which featured fine filaments of dark matter at their joins. At the cross-section of these filaments, galaxies formed.

Astronomers have taken a lot of pictures with an array of telescopes (sort of like Charlie Sheen did in The Arrival with satellite dishes), and, after putting the mosiac together, they say they'll deliver to us the first (virtual) picture of a black hole.

"Instead of building a telescope so big that it would probably collapse under its own weight, we combined eight observatories like the pieces of a giant mirror," said Michael Bremer, an astronomer at the International Research Institute for Radio Astronomy (IRAM) and a project manager for the Event Horizon Telescope.

"This gave us a virtual telescope as big as Earth—about 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) is diameter," he told AFP.

The bigger the telescope, the finer the resolution and level of detail.

The targeted supermassive black hole is hidden in plain sight, lurking in the centre of the Milky Way in a region called the Sagittarius constellation, some 26,000 light years from Earth.

Dubbed Sagittarius A* (Sgr A* for short), the gravity- and light-sucking monster weighs as much as four million Suns.

Goldmann-Sachs has put together a report on mining an asteroid for metals, and they say it's economically plausible.

"Prospecting probes can likely be built for tens of millions of dollars each and Caltech has suggested an asteroid-grabbing spacecraft could cost $2.6 billion."

The bank added: "Space mining could be more realistic than perceived."

It is believed an asteroid the size of a football field could be worth up to $50 billion.


Earlier this year, NASA said it was planning a mission to an asteroid so valuable it could cause the world’s economy to collapse.

It is called 16 Psyche and is a massive hunk of the precious metals iron and nickel.


It is valued at $10,000 quadrillion, according to Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the lead scientist on the NASA mission.

They claim that would "crash the world economy," I guess because the world would suddenly be flooded with metals thus crashing their value, but you can't "crash an economy" by adding huge sums of value to it. You can only crash the accounts of some people holding stocks of those metals.

On to political stuff:

A Texas college student has committed suicide after being railroaded by a Title IX kangaroo court, the family is suing. He allegedly "harassed" a gay student, though that account is disputed.

Not that kangaroo court cared about such trifling details.

Jason Whitlock says the whole sports media is leftwing, including Fox Sports (just less left-wing than ESPN), and blames it on the Silicon Valley Viral Complex which now dictates our public morality.

Not only has sportswriting moved to the left, but the "entire media has moved far left," Whitlock says. Back in the day, the media used to cater to the New York market, but ever since social media came along and journalists became obsessed with getting their content to go viral, they've been catering to Silicon Valley, in his opinion. Or, as Whitlock calls it "the hub for revolutionary, far-left extremism."


In immigration:

Jeff Sessions unveils a get-tough point on immigration, vowing that those caught illegally re-entering the country a second time will be charged with a felony (rather than a misdemeanor) if "special circumstances" are present, which I imagine means some kind of other illegality. Kind of a three-strikes application, I guess.

Lansing, Michigan announces itself a sanctuary city then un-announces that nine days later, after objections from actual citizen voters.

Okay that's all I got. Night!

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posted by Ace at 07:43 PM

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