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Our nearest potentially habitable exoplanet may be a water world…

Water is life….?

 

Credits: AFP

 

From Futurism,

 

One of Earth’s Closest Alien Planets Appears to Be An “Ocean World”

 

The case for Proxima b
“Proxima b’s proximity to Earth — about 4.2 light years away — makes it the nearest exoplanet that is potentially habitable and could contain life. While it may be tidally locked (meaning one side of Proxima b perpetually faces its star as it completes its 11.2 year revolution), Proxima b’s proximity to the star it orbits, the red-dwarf Proxima Centauri, puts it right in the Goldilocks Zone. This means there’s a strong possibility that water exists on this exoplanet.

 

A team from the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France believes Proxima b may not just contain water; it could be covered in it. “The planet could be an ‘ocean planet’, with an ocean covering its entire surface, and similar water to some icy moons around Jupiter or Saturn,” the team says.

 

Water = Life
To figure out just how much water may be on Proxima b, the CNRS team used simulations that play with the estimated range of the planet’s radius, between 0.94 and 1.4 times that of the Earth. At the lowest limit, the simulations suggest a dense planet with a metallic core surrounded by a rocky mantle, and surface water of about 0.05% of the planet’s total mass.

 

With the maximum limit, however, the simulations show the planet’s radius at 8,920 km (5,542.6 miles), with a mass that’s equally divided between a rocky core and surrounding water. “In this case, Proxima b would be covered by a single, liquid ocean 200 km deep,” the researchers explained…”

 

For the rest, click here.

 

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The Forgotten Victims of Jack the Ripper

We are fascinated by the Ripper – he is a legend, with countless books and films dedicated to his mystery. There’s an entire field dedicated to the study of his crimes: Ripperology.

 

But who were his tragic victims? Let’s find out…

 

 

The Forgotten Lives Of Jack The Ripper’s Victims
By Elisabeth Sherman

 

Because he was the first celebrity serial killer, Jack the Ripper’s victims and their tragic lives were always overshadowed by the man himself.

 

“Head to London for a dose of the macabre, and you won’t be disappointed. Guided tours of the Whitechapel district — where in 1888 legendary serial killer Jack the Ripper brutally cut the throats of five prostitutes and removed their organs — continue to draw in droves of tourists to this day.

 

There’s the Jack the Ripper museum, too, which opened last year to controversy. According to historian Fern Riddell, the museum intended to tell the “history of women in the East End,” but activists said the museum mainly “glamorises sexual violence against women.”

 

Beyond the outcry, it’s not entirely surprising that the museum shifted focus away from Jack the Ripper’s victims and back onto the killer himself. After all, the mystery surrounding who he was and his motivations never ceases to captivate an audience — so much so that there’s a whole field dedicated to the study of his crimes: Ripperology.

 

As some have noted, though, at its core this “thriving Ripper industry” is misogynistic, and “commercially [exploits] real-life murder victims.”

 

Regardless of the truths these criticisms may highlight, fascination with Jack the Ripper and serial killers like him endure — and experts don’t see that changing any time soon. As appears in Psychology Today, “the incomprehensibility of such actions drives society to understand why serial killers do incredibly horrible things…serial killers appeal to the most basic and powerful instinct in all of us—that is, survival.”

 

This, coupled with media market dynamics, helps cement sustained public interest in figures like Jack the Ripper…”

 

For the rest, click here. And if you’re interested, here are The Ripper Letters.

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Einstein said this was impossible, but the Hubble just proved him wrong

This is how amazing the Hubble is (it’s even proving Einstein wrong lately) —

 

“Imagine a firefly moving from one side of a U.S. quarter to the other side. You have to detect this movement from 1,500 miles away,” he says. “Second, there is a bright light bulb [the white dwarf] next to the firefly. And you have to detect the small movement of the firefly in the glare of the bright light bulb.”

 

 

From National Geographic,

 

Einstein’s ‘Impossible’ Experiment Finally Performed
The Hubble telescope just weighed a star using a technique the famed physicist described but said humanity would have “no hope” of using.

 

By Nadia Drake

 

“Leave it to the Hubble Space Telescope to prove Albert Einstein wrong. Or at least, unnecessarily pessimistic.

 

Recently, Hubble spied a dead star about 18 light-years away warping the light of a more distant star that appeared to pass behind it. Einstein predicted this effect would happen based on his general theory of relativity, but he then claimed scientists had “no hope” of actually seeing it.

 

Of course, he wrote that dour phrase nearly 60 years before humans launched a rather impressive piece of hardware into Earth’s orbit.

 

Now, Hubble has managed to witness the spectacle, and astronomers were able to read clues carried in the curved starlight and discern the mass of the dead star, called Stein 2051B. The result perfectly matches a prediction of the star’s mass made a century ago…”

 

For the rest, click here.

 

 

 

 

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