Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Worst fears may have been realized in case of the planet Mars

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Worst fears may have been realized in case of the planet Mars

    BBC report on microbe survivability in conditions akin to those found on the Martian surface

    A group headed by Prof. Timothy Kral recently conducted a study to be published in the journal Science that ascertained the ability of certain microbes to survive on the martian surface. Results indicated that methanogens which are related to common bacteria managed to not only survive but thrive in a ~7 millibar atmosphere composed of mostly carbon dioxide and traces of hydrogen. They were also virtually uneffected by the UV radiation that would impinge on the Martian surface due to a lack of an ozone layer.

    Big deal you say? Actually it is. Both the USA and the Russian space agencies have sent over a dozen landers that may have unwittingly carried terrestrial microbes with them. The danger is especially great with the Russian missions since they have never abided by the strict standards of space craft sterilization set forth by the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) which requires a multi-step procedure to reduce the possibility of "forward contamination" i.e. the introduction of terrestrial micro organisms on other planets.

    Missions not carrying life-detection experiments must be cleaned to ensure that the spacecraft's total bioload does not exceed 300,000 spores and that the density of spores on the spacecraft's surfaces does not exceed 300 m-2. Missions with life-detection experiments must undergo additional procedures to ensure that the total bioload does not exceed 30 spores. Furthermore, each spacecraft must undergo a 30 hour heating cycle at a temperature of 389K to kill most bacterial agents.

    Although the COSPAR standards have proven to be effective for US and European spacecraft, the Russian standards have been much more lax in the past. The Russian space agency has sent a total of 4 lander missions - two of which successfully placed lander on the surface.

    The danger now is that future researchers trying to determine if microbial life currently thrives in the Marian soil may come across common e. coli bacteria and proclaim some nonsense such as life on Mars and Earth have a common root when in reality, the e. coli was merely a stowaway on one of the Russian or American landers that managed to do quite well in Martian conditions. The issue also raises ethical questions as what to do if we, in fact, unknowingly contaminate other planets with terrestrial life. Do we clean up our mess or live with the fact that we may have forever altered the developmental history of a planetary neighbor?

  • #2
    Contrary to you, my CREATIONIST field is virgin, with almost little litterature.

    [i]But a few critiques on the "Martian Fossils" were warranted.

    First, the
    "fossils"[b] are 100 to 1000 times smaller than Earth bacteria.

    Second, it can be the product of CONTAMINATION.

    Third, bacteria on earth can be carried into deep space by solar winds without human intervention.
    Hey, even tiny spiders can travel thousands of miles riding aloft in the stratosphere...
    .:Thus IF Mars has bacteria the HIGH PROBABILITY is that they came from Earth LONG AGO.

    So far, LIFE ONLY COMES FROM LIFE.
    There is no such thing as ABIOGENESIS .
    AND
    There is no such thing as SPONTANEOUS GENERATION .
    Now, how many champagne bottles did you drink while celebrating the Martian Fossils in 1996 ?

    Welcome to MATURITY .

    Comment


    • #3
      Ran

      Since Mars does not have a an atmosphere that can produce oxygen in abundance and does not have even the simplest eukaryotic organisms then why is contamination a factor? And also its orbit and gravity makes it a planet difficult for humanity to inhabit....radiation is a lot higher due to its being the closest planet in the solar system to the sun..and if there was an atmosphere conducive to people on Earth living there wouldn't we have accelarated aging? I mean the gravity pull is strong and the planet spins fairly fast compared to earth through its orbit, so wouldn't that make for accelerated aging? I know you will give me an interesting and accurate answer.

      Though it is true that biological matter from another planet might be catastrophic...human beings even from different regions on Earth can be a biological threat. And so many species of native trees, plants, birds, and animals from far off regions have made extinct in certain regions what was previously thriving...if that occurs on Earth, how devastating would it be to a biosphere of another planet in a different evolutionary stage than earth...say one who is in a Jurassic or miocene or earlier stage in its development and you throw in resistant bacteria or viruses who come from a biosphere that is a lot more complex and advanced....so many hollywood movies are made up of such improbable and highly unlikely premises...lol. But it is interesting to contemplate...if a species is selected against for environmental reasons then its extinction is part and parcel of the evolutionary process....but if it becomes extinct due to highly irregular and abnormal extraneous factors it could lead to chain reaction extinction or even the ultimate non-viability and survival of a planetary process for milenia. It is an awesome responsibility don't you think to explore other places outside our system no crees Ran? One has to be aware of all influences.

      Saludos calidos,

      Suki.

      Comment


      • #4
        Gracias por la respuesta, Suki

        Sabes que prefiero contestarle primero porque ese tipo el Jibaro me da no se que cosa.

        Although conditions on Mars, as far as we have been able to ascertain, are not conducive to more complex, multicellular lifeforms that we find on earth, certain anaerobic organisms could thrive in a reducing atmosphere (oxygen free). The two big questions regarding extremes in temperature and very low atmospheric pressures seem to have have been addressed in part by this recent study. Although onboard biological experiments carried aboard the Viking 1 & 2 landers yielded results not conducive to the existence of organisms in the soil, the two-location sampling does not rule out the possibility of native martian microbial life within the soil of more temperate regions.

        Furthermore, subsurface water ice recently detected by the Mars Odyssey spacecraft strengthens the argument that at some depth, water may exist in liquid form and as far as we know about chemicals needed for biological processes, liquid water is a requirement. Recent estimates by JPL planetary scientists predict that if the available ice reserviors on Mars were melted at once, a planet-wide 0.5 km ocean would form. Of course under current conditions, the water boil away instantaneously due to the low surface pressure.

        Really, the dangers that I am thinking about relate to the possibility that if microbial life does in fact exist, and this is a big if, then the introduction of an "alien" terrestrial microbe may irrevocably harm the existing subsurface ecosystem.

        If you are a fan of Star Trek TNG, you often hear Capt. Picard referring to the prime directive in which the ship and her crew is not to interfere with the natural evolution of a planet and its inhabitants. Well the introduction of terrestrial microbes on Mars may be a real if not facetious violation of the prime directive if there is life already present on Mars.

        The situation changes if it is in fact discerned, without a shadow of a doubt, that Mars is a sterile environment free from any living organisms. If this were the case, we would need to weigh our options. One day we may wish to terraform this planet so that humanity may have a second home but so much needs to be in place before making such a policy decision. This would be no 2 year process, by the way. It would take millenia to accomplish.

        Some more Mars facts:

        mean distance from the sun:

        ~228 million km (the 4th planet from the sun)

        gravity on Mars:

        1/3 g (1/3 of the gravitation acceleration found on the surface of the Earth)

        amount of light that impinges on the Martian surface:

        608.8 W/m^2 (less than 1/2 of the amount of light hitting the surface of the earth per square meter)

        Martian day:

        24 hours 37 minutes (remarkably close to the length of a day on earth) Being smaller, Mars needs to rotate on its axis at a slightly faster rate to maintain this time period.

        To address your questions, the Martian gravity, and rotation rate would do virtually nothing to the rate at which time flows. Relativistic effects only become important when travelling at very high velocities are when encountering massive gravitational fields. Neither of these criteria are met on Mars or any other planet for that matter. One would age at the same rate if one were to live on the smallest planet (Pluto) or the largest planet (Jupiter).

        Again these are good questions, Suki and it is a pleasure to have debates of this sort here.

        Comment


        • #5
          Jibaro, my good man

          Contrary to you, my CREATIONIST field is virgin, with almost little litterature.
          Not the strongest way to begin a rebuttal. Afterall, one would immediately ask why there is little creationist literature when science can only function as an investigational tool when results are published, examined and re-examined.

          First, the "fossils" are 100 to 1000 times smaller than Earth bacteria.

          Second, it can be the product of CONTAMINATION.
          Yes, meteorite ALH 84001 possesses structures that resemble what could have been fossils. But you missed the whole point of my original post. It had nothing to do with the contimination of martian meteorites that fell to earth but rather the possibility of we contaminating the martian environment with terrestrial microbes. Somewhere there is a disconnect in the way you process information.

          Third, bacteria on earth can be carried into deep space by solar winds without human intervention.

          Hey, even tiny spiders can travel thousands of miles riding aloft in the stratosphere...
          There is so much wrong with using these entirely disparate modes of transport in a rebuttal supposed to address microbes stowing away on spacecraft. And of course, you don't include a single published reference to support these claims.

          Thus IF Mars has bacteria the HIGH PROBABILITY is that they came from Earth LONG AGO.

          So far, LIFE ONLY COMES FROM LIFE.
          A prime example of specious reasoning if I have ever seen it. I can claim that the may calculator has the power to keep tigers away because not once have I seen a tiger barge into my office and roundly accost me.

          There is no such thing as SPONTANEOUS GENERATION
          Never having seen the term Spontaneous generation in any published biology paper, I can only venture that it is a "creation science" term. I have seen the word evolution a countless number of times so maybe that is a measure of the total contribution that "creation scientists" have made to our understanding of life and its development.

          Now, how many champagne bottles did you drink while celebrating the Martian Fossils in 1996 ?
          None. I was studying for my Ph.D. qualifying exams at that time.

          Welcome to MATURITY
          Thanks for the invite but if it requires the abandonment of reason that you have demonstrated on several occasions, I would be quite fulfilled thriving in ADOLESCENCE.

          Comment


          • #6
            I stand corrected...lol

            You are right I just remembered...Mercury is the closest then Jupiter or Venus I forgot...lol. And then Earth...I think...lol. Then Mars...so ofcourse it would be farther, slower and less gravity....lol. Hey no wonder it is a possibility...but what about bone loss stuff is that valid? I mean 1/3 less gravity are we facing massive osteoporosis...lol. Oh how I love your meticulate answers Ran. I kept confusing Mercury with Mars...lol. Mercury is impossible we would burn our butts out there. Is Pluto no longer a planet? I heard something about that recently...lol.

            I happen to like Star trek TNG very much....but my husband says 'si no hablan espanol en el espacio no me interesa' I tried to get him enthused....but hey his Chinese professor is an official fluent speaker of Klingon...lol. Maybe that is some kind of influence....lol. Do you think we would need to get a prime directive? For space travel?

            And Ran have you heard of that Hyperspace book by Michio Kaku, I read it and it had some interesting physics theories...some I do not think I understood very well...do you think atoms are bunched together and form all forms of matter in a chemical soup way....but why do they do what they do? And when they split one why does it release such energy if it is such a tiny thing Ran? I mean would that prove that even the smallest living thing has huge amounts of energy innately contained in its protons and neutrons and charges...or what? I always wondered how physicists come up with some of these theories...especially about energy? Why is energy shaped into so many different forms but made up of essentially the same elements and then molecules made up of compounds? I hope I do not tire you with my questions Ran? Is there a way to explain that there are rules that are natural and can we manipulate those rules to maybe bend space or release enormous amounts of energy using tiny atoms? Oh just ignore me Ran I am more curious than I should be with such a person as you..lol



            [Edited by Suki on 23rd August 2002 at 03:07]

            Comment


            • #7
              Dear Also-RAN, keep your "good man" to your Grand-PA.

              [i]Originally posted by RAN
              Jibaro, my good man

              Contrary to you, my CREATIONIST field is virgin, with almost little litterature.
              Not the strongest way to begin a rebuttal. Afterall, one would immediately ask why there is little creationist literature when science can only function as an investigational tool when results are published, examined and re-examined.
              I did begin with this line because you usually cut and paste from a plethora of websites, and I don't have the time or the resources to go and seek a counter-point to post from another PhD . Here I am, an M.S. debating with a pompous PhD.
              Originally posted by RAN
              First, the "fossils" are 100 to 1000 times smaller than Earth bacteria.

              Second, it can be the product of CONTAMINATION.
              Yes, meteorite ALH 84001 possesses structures that resemble what could have been fossils. But you missed the whole point of my original post. It had nothing to do with the contimination of martian meteorites that fell to earth but rather the possibility of we contaminating the martian environment with terrestrial microbes. Somewhere there is a disconnect in the way you process information.
              I admit, I had been waiting for you to mention the so-called Martian "fossils", and it turned out to be that the post you made was just a plain complaint on Space Travel. So I made a mistake in sharing knowledge when you are just complaining. So what.
              Originally posted by RAN
              Third, bacteria on earth can be carried into deep space by solar winds without human intervention.

              Hey, even tiny spiders can travel thousands of miles riding aloft in the stratosphere...
              There is so much wrong with using these entirely disparate modes of transport in a rebuttal supposed to address microbes stowing away on spacecraft. And of course, you don't include a single published reference to support these claims.
              Why should I quote somebody else about something that is self evident?

              Is that all you learned as a PhD, quote others ALL THE TIME?

              BACTERIA and MOLD spores are hardier than many other complex organisms
              (plus they don't need TWO of the kind to reporduce). And it is WIDELY KNOWN that those SPORES are in ALL the levels of Earth's atmosphere (in FACT, Aspergyllis molds from the African Sahara and carried aloft in dust blown from there is killing the Caribbean coral reefs, check Scia-Am if you don't believe me, my dear quote-attached cousin). Moreover, ANY particles and SPORES entrained in the very edges of Earth's atmosphere can and often gets blown away by Solar Winds. Add to that the FACT that even Suki (ignorant in the physical sciences) knows that Mars' orbit lies behind the Earth's, and it is very probable that any microscopic aerosol from the Earth has made it to Mars in the last 6,000 years. You don't need Carl Sagan to come out of hades to tell you that .
              Originally posted by RAN
              Thus IF Mars has bacteria the HIGH PROBABILITY is that they came from Earth LONG AGO.

              So far, LIFE ONLY COMES FROM LIFE.
              A prime example of specious reasoning if I have ever seen it. I can claim that the may calculator has the power to keep tigers away because not once have I seen a tiger barge into my office and roundly accost me.
              Maybe you love to think supra-linearly, but hey, it is my post, I can write they way I want.

              Now, it seems interesting how you skirt the issue
              (like always) by making oxymoronic statements.

              You have not addressed the issue: LIFE ONLY COMES FROM LIFE.

              What most of the fanatic
              "researchers" who said: "here we have proof of extraterrestrial life Martian fossils" fail to openly admit is that MOST of them have to believe in ABIOGENESIS to sustain their statements.
              Originally posted by RAN
              There is no such thing as SPONTANEOUS GENERATION
              Never having seen the term Spontaneous generation in any published biology paper, I can only venture that it is a "creation science" term. I have seen the word evolution a countless number of times so maybe that is a measure of the total contribution that "creation scientists" have made to our understanding of life and its development.
              I think that your parents forgot to teach you the meaning of HONESTY primo.

              In ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS in the USA the first thing they teach for the last 30 years in Science in at least the 5th Grade is the term SPONTANEOUS GENERATION, which was coined by the Greek Philosophers around 300 B.C., the philosophical creators of
              Evolutionary Concepts. Usually in 5th Grade they teach that term before they go into details about EVOLUTION, while at the same time pompously declaring how dumb the Ancients Greeks were in their scientific conjectures. Maybe you are just 25 years old and perhaps the new curriculums of your wonder years have bypassed mentioning SPONTANEOUS GENERATION (indeed it is the skeleton in the closet of Evolutionary Conjectures, so it would not be surprising if they just want to avoid that concept...), but when I was in 5th Grade back in 1972-73, I remember my bell-bottom-jeans quasi-hippy teacher, Miss Castiel, teaching SPONTANEOUS GENERATION in my elementary school Leroy D. Fienberg. Now, if you want to pompously declare that what is taught in US Public Schools is not worthy of mentioning, well you are just erasing 12 years of education in your own past (unless you went to a Private School, and then they too have to teach whatever the State tells them).
              Originally posted by RAN
              Now, how many champagne bottles did you drink while celebrating the Martian Fossils in 1996 ?
              None. I was studying for my Ph.D. qualifying exams at that time.
              Good for you man, a PhD in Physics cannot be earned while stoned or drunk!
              Originally posted by RAN
              Welcome to MATURITY
              Thanks for the invite but if it requires the abandonment of reason that you have demonstrated on several occasions, I would be quite fulfilled thriving in ADOLESCENCE.
              [b]O well, so I thought that you had grown up to be a CRITICAL THINKER. I see I was wrong , that you can only understand and pompously quote what others say, and not have your own voice. You can stay adolescent all the time you want, while the rest of those who have outgrown youthful ignorance, vulnerability to peer pressure and narcissistic self-doubt will get ahead in life and thrive .

              Comment


              • #8
                I did begin with this line because you usually cut and paste from a plethora of websites, and I don't have the time or the resources to go and seek a counter-point to post from another PhD . Here I am, an M.S. debating with a pompous PhD.
                Well how do you know that is the case when you don't even bother to look. BTW, I am a firm believer in academic honesty and will reference a paper or author directly if I use their material. It's you who has wanted to debate, not me so stop complaining about your circumstance.

                Why should I quote somebody else about something that is self evident?
                Well, the moon is made out of green cheese because on certain nights the surface looks like cheese and has a greenish hue. It is self evident. . As you may note, "self evident" doesn't quite cut it for good science but maybe it serves just fine for "creation science".

                Is that all you learned as a PhD, quote others ALL THE TIME?
                Yes. Thank you for the compliment. It indicates that I am willing to investigate sources that have performed studies instead of relying on the notion of "self evidence."

                BACTERIA and MOLD spores are hardier than many other complex organisms (plus they don't need TWO of the kind to reporduce). And it is WIDELY KNOWN that those SPORES are in ALL the levels of Earth's atmosphere (in FACT, Aspergyllis molds from the African Sahara and carried aloft in dust blown from there is killing the Caribbean coral reefs, check Scia-Am if you don't believe me, my dear quote-attached cousin). Moreover, ANY particles and SPORES entrained in the very edges of Earth's atmosphere can and often gets blown away by Solar Winds. Add to that the FACT that even Suki (ignorant in the physical sciences) knows that Mars' orbit lies behind the Earth's, and it is very probable that any microscopic aerosol from the Earth has made it to Mars in the last 6,000 years. You don't need Carl Sagan to come out of hades to tell you that
                But I do need a reputable publication that points to some hard data supporting this hypothesis. I cursory glance at the Web of Science and Science Citation Index reveals no paper or book published since 1949 containing data relevant to this hypothesis. Maybe I missed something and would be ecstatic if you could point me to an actual publication. Or is this claim merely "self evident?"

                Maybe you love to think supra-linearly, but hey, it is my post, I can write they way I want.

                Now, it seems interesting how you skirt the issue (like always) by making oxymoronic statements.

                You have not addressed the issue: LIFE ONLY COMES FROM LIFE.

                What most of the fanatic "researchers" who said: "here we have proof of extraterrestrial life Martian fossils" fail to openly admit is that MOST of them have to believe in ABIOGENESIS to sustain their statements.
                Will be addressed in a separate thread as this issue is at the crux of the ongoing evolution vs. "creation science" debate. Will examine my notes from previous exchanges with "creation science" researcher, Duane Gish.

                O well, so I thought that you had grown up to be a CRITICAL THINKER. I see I was wrong , that you can only understand and pompously quote what others say, and not have your own voice.
                In the sciences, we are now uniquely privileged to sit side by side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand.

                -Dr. Gerald Holton


                You can stay adolescent all the time you want, while the rest of those who have outgrown youthful ignorance, vulnerability to peer pressure and narcissistic self-doubt will get ahead in life and thrive
                When the inquisitiveness and curiosity of my youth are replaced by the complacency and smugness of adulthood, then I cease being a scientist.

                -Dr. Edward Colón, August 23, 2002 (Ran)

                [Edited by RAN on 23rd August 2002 at 19:44]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Suki,

                  Let me address some of your remaining questions. As far as calcium depletion within the body, even a partial gravity may offset the most deleterious changes in bone density. However, microgravity environments are not the sole cause of this problem. Calcium may be lost from bones during space flight due to skeletal unloading and insufficient levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a critical role in calcium absorption and metabolism. Sunlight, specifically ultraviolet radiation, is essential for synthesis of vitamin D. Spacecraft are heavily shielded to reduce crewmembers' exposure to the harmful types of radiation. Thus, the lack of ultraviolet light during space flight may decrease vitamin D pools in the body, which poses a concern over lengthy missions. So in addition to making sure that Mars colonists obtain a strict regiment of resistive exercise to partially offset the resistence offered by 1g of Earth's gravity, they would possibly need regular doses of Vitamin D plus exposure to UV lamps to manage the worst of the effects.

                  The controversy centered around Pluto's official status in the solar system was begun by Dr. Brian Marsden, director of the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Much of his argument was spurred by Pluto's highly eccentric orbit and small mass. In many ways, it resembles and behaves like an overgrown comet. Rest assured, however, that the large majority of astronomers still consider Pluto a planet which is orbited by a single moon, Charon. BTW, the push to maintain Pluto's status as a planet was led by the chairman of my undergraduate astronomy department, Dr. Michael A'Hearn.

                  It is true that I have never heard a single word of Spanish spoken in any of the Star Trek series or motion pictures although French has been uttered by major and minor characters, alike. Methinks that Gene Roddenberry, the original creator of the series, and Rick Berman, his successor, were francophiles. .

                  I don't know if a "prime directive"-like policy would be erected in the near future to restrain the impact manned and unmanned missions would have on our planetary neighbors although I do believe that it is a good idea. The day I observe a 500 km McDonald's shining down on us from the surface of the moon is the day that I give up hope for all humanity.

                  I am aware of Dr. Michio Kaku's work. He expresses many interesting ideas, however, much of work is sensationalistic in nature. But, if he brings physics to the general public, then I can never see that as a bad thing.

                  About the energy stored in matter, it is probably easiest to imagine matter itself as "frozen energy". You are aware of Einstein's famous mass-energy equivalence relationship,

                  E=mc^2.

                  It merely indicates to us that matter itself possesses in inherent amount of energy and that all nuclear and chemical reactions attempt to release a miniscule fraction of this energy. The agents responsible for containing this energy in material form are the fundamental forces of nature - gravity, electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force. If one were to scale these forces in terms of strength, they could be ordered in the following way:

                  strong nuclear force: very strong, but very short-ranged. It acts only over ranges of order 10-13 centimeters and is responsible for holding the nuclei of atoms together. It is basically attractive, but can be effectively repulsive in some circumstances. relative strength:1

                  electromagnetic force: causes electric and magnetic effects such as the repulsion between like electrical charges or the interaction of bar magnets. It is long-ranged, but much weaker than the strong force. It can be attractive or repulsive, and acts only between pieces of matter carrying electrical charge. relative strength:1E-2


                  weak force: responsible for radioactive decay and neutrino interactions. It has a very short range and, as its name indicates, it is very weak. relative strength:1E-13


                  gravitational force: weak, but very long ranged. Furthermore, it is always attractive, and acts between any two pieces of matter in the Universe since mass is its source. relative strength:1E-38

                  During chemical reaction, the energy is being extracted from the electromagnetic force. Typically electrons are torn off of atoms yielding ions which are then free to bind with other charged particles. Watching a stick of dynamite go off gives you an indication of how much energy may be extracted from the electromagnetic force.

                  However, by tearing apart the nuclei of atoms, one releases the energy bound by the strong nuclear force. It is 100 times greater in strength than the electromagnetic force and 1E38 times greater than gravity...which is the fundamental force we are most family with. Splitting atoms yields large releases of energy because the binding force of atomic nuclei are some much greater than the other fundamental forces. One merely has to look at the detonation of a 1 megaton nuclear warhead to obtain an appreciation of the magnitude of energies involved. As far as harnessing energy to bend space-time itself....we live in an environment that does that anyway. The earth's mass is appreciable enough to slightly warp the fabric of space-time. Not by much, mind you, but a 12 picosecond difference between atomic clocks in orbit and those on the ground attest to the effect.

                  The warp drive technologies of Star Trek and other sci-fi programming are so far out of reach that it is difficult to say if we will ever be able to warp the fabric of space-time with any appreciable distortion.

                  I don't mind the questions. Ask away, Suki.





                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RAN
                    Suki,

                    Let me address some of your remaining questions. As far as calcium depletion within the body, even a partial gravity may offset the most deleterious changes in bone density. However, microgravity environments are not the sole cause of this problem. Calcium may be lost from bones during space flight due to skeletal unloading and insufficient levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a critical role in calcium absorption and metabolism. Sunlight, specifically ultraviolet radiation, is essential for synthesis of vitamin D. Spacecraft are heavily shielded to reduce crewmembers' exposure to the harmful types of radiation. Thus, the lack of ultraviolet light during space flight may decrease vitamin D pools in the body, which poses a concern over lengthy missions. So in addition to making sure that Mars colonists obtain a strict regiment of resistive exercise to partially offset the resistence offered by 1g of Earth's gravity, they would possibly need regular doses of Vitamin D plus exposure to UV lamps to manage the worst of the effects.

                    Suki: Ran that just means that we have a long way to go to adapt ourselves to Mars present atmospheric conditions. Using artificial helpers like Vitamin D tablets and lamps. Interesting though. Thank you.

                    The controversy centered around Pluto's official status in the solar system was begun by Dr. Brian Marsden, director of the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Much of his argument was spurred by Pluto's highly eccentric orbit and small mass. In many ways, it resembles and behaves like an overgrown comet. Rest assured, however, that the large majority of astronomers still consider Pluto a planet which is orbited by a single moon, Charon. BTW, the push to maintain Pluto's status as a planet was led by the chairman of my undergraduate astronomy department, Dr. Michael A'Hearn.

                    Suki: It has been so long since I studied basic Physical Sciences I think since for me 1984. Lol. But it does not change the fact that El Jibaro lives in Pluto most of the time...lol. A cold planet who might have comet behavior patterns...small, cold and eccentric....lol and misses the point...lol. Oh, I could not help it. There is not one iota of pomposity about you Ran. Not one. All I see in your writing is a sincere curiosity and love of explanation of interesting themes in Physical Science and general science. Lol. El unico pomposo is the hillbilly wanna be Jibaro..lol.

                    It is true that I have never heard a single word of Spanish spoken in any of the Star Trek series or motion pictures although French has been uttered by major and minor characters, alike. Methinks that Gene Roddenberry, the original creator of the series, and Rick Berman, his successor, were francophiles. .

                    Suki: The little guy with the eyebrows made me laugh...lol Yes, Star Trek has always been fun to watch. I like Picard, and Janeway and Seven of Nine too. Lol.

                    I don't know if a "prime directive"-like policy would be erected in the near future to restrain the impact manned and unmanned missions would have on our planetary neighbors although I do believe that it is a good idea. The day I observe a 500 km McDonald's shining down on us from the surface of the moon is the day that I give up hope for all humanity.

                    Suki: No, that is not the end Ran...the end is when Jibaro becomes the Prime Minister of Planet Earth and hauls all you pompous men of science and reason to torture chambers where you are forced to listen to Praise the Lord network 24/7 and read only creationist literature and repent your agnostic natures...lol. Then to read for educational purposes only all the evangelist literature in the universe over and over again. 700 club with hair sprayed men talk of how perilous it is to preach to these third world savages and evil academics who are non-believers. That will be the end. Lol.

                    I am aware of Dr. Michio Kaku's work. He expresses many interesting ideas, however, much of work is sensationalistic in nature. But, if he brings physics to the general public, then I can never see that as a bad thing.
                    suki: There is a part that Kaku asks about testing the untestable...lol. He mentions the inaccessibility of Planck energy? And maybe indirect experiments possible near Planck energy...Can you try to answer this? He does push the envelope...but I find his work very close to philosophy since he just stays in the idea stage and not the testing stage...which is why he is sensationalistic..lol. But I like people with bold ideas...even if they have failed ideas...it is better than those with no imagination whatsover is it? Lol

                    About the energy stored in matter, it is probably easiest to imagine matter itself as "frozen energy". You are aware of Einstein's famous mass-energy equivalence relationship,

                    E=mc^2.

                    It merely indicates to us that matter itself possesses in inherent amount of energy and that all nuclear and chemical reactions attempt to release a miniscule fraction of this energy. The agents responsible for containing this energy in material form are the fundamental forces of nature - gravity, electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force. If one were to scale these forces in terms of strength, they could be ordered in the following way:

                    strong nuclear force: very strong, but very short-ranged. It acts only over ranges of order 10-13 centimeters and is responsible for holding the nuclei of atoms together. It is basically attractive, but can be effectively repulsive in some circumstances. relative strength:1

                    electromagnetic force: causes electric and magnetic effects such as the repulsion between like electrical charges or the interaction of bar magnets. It is long-ranged, but much weaker than the strong force. It can be attractive or repulsive, and acts only between pieces of matter carrying electrical charge. relative strength:1E-2


                    weak force: responsible for radioactive decay and neutrino interactions. It has a very short range and, as its name indicates, it is very weak. relative strength:1E-13


                    gravitational force: weak, but very long ranged. Furthermore, it is always attractive, and acts between any two pieces of matter in the Universe since mass is its source. relative strength:1E-38

                    During chemical reaction, the energy is being extracted from the electromagnetic force. Typically electrons are torn off of atoms yielding ions which are then free to bind with other charged particles. Watching a stick of dynamite go off gives you an indication of how much energy may be extracted from the electromagnetic force.

                    However, by tearing apart the nuclei of atoms, one releases the energy bound by the strong nuclear force. It is 100 times greater in strength than the electromagnetic force and 1E38 times greater than gravity...which is the fundamental force we are most family with. Splitting atoms yields large releases of energy because the binding force of atomic nuclei are some much greater than the other fundamental forces. One merely has to look at the detonation of a 1 megaton nuclear warhead to obtain an appreciation of the magnitude of energies involved. As far as harnessing energy to bend space-time itself....we live in an environment that does that anyway. The earth's mass is appreciable enough to slightly warp the fabric of space-time. Not by much, mind you, but a 12 picosecond difference between atomic clocks in orbit and those on the ground attest to the effect.

                    The warp drive technologies of Star Trek and other sci-fi programming are so far out of reach that it is difficult to say if we will ever be able to warp the fabric of space-time with any appreciable distortion.

                    Suki: I LOVED these explanations of energy. It made the concept so clear in my head. These forces do you think they can be harnassed to efficiently extract energy steadily without such crude energy sources (dirty energy by products like nuclear waste, fuel, and etc.) and concentrate clean and renewable energy and harness it for our use...but I think that requires enormous investment in time and money. But it would be an enormously rewarding endeavor. How about that wormhole, blackhole theory...do you think they are travel tunnels into other dimensions or parts of the universe? It is fun to speculate on such things anyway..lol

                    I don't mind the questions. Ask away, Suki.

                    Suki: Caballero Edward, eres adictivo...lol







                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X