Space

This is a news story that broke recently, on the idea that Elon Musk's plans would violate the Outer Space Treaty. The articles I've read so far focus on property rights and the  provisions in the OST that rule out ownership of territory. But that can be fixed with future legislation, especially since it's not really the land but the habitats that are of most value, and ownership of those is already covered in the OST . So far none of them have mentioned by far the toughest legal and practical obstacle, which is planetary protection of Mars from Earth microbes to preserve its science value for the future of mankind. That can't be fixed by passing new laws. Elon Musk says the mission would be dangerous, with colonists risking death, especially the first ones.

I've just been listening to Elon Musk's much anticipated talk about his vision for colonization of our solar system. Many find this idea inspiring, that by technological means, we can become a multiplanetary species. 

Here is the talk, in case any of you haven't seen it yet.

For a summary of the technical details he revealed in the talk, see this article on Space.com

So now we know what the news is, as expected, Hubble has found new evidence of possible plume activity on Europa. In a series of ten observations, they saw them on three occasions. Here are the images they created.

The possible plumes are in the seven o'clock position, not far from the South pole - though the central image here has another possible plume that's close to the equator.

Interestingly, they spotted them in the same position as the previous plume detection in 2012:

I've already done a petition to journalists on the issue of dramatized reporting of doomsday stories that make young children and vulnerable adults suicidal. This is another petition on the same topic, this time to Youtube. The  petition is to remove the ads from doomsday videos on the sane grounds that these videos make vulnerable young children and adults scared and suicidal and the ads provide a financial incentive to youtube users to make and reupload them.

KIC 8462852 (or Tabby's star) made headlines in October of last year because of  very deep and very unusual drops in its brightness, which led to speculation that the star might be home to a Type-2 alien civilization. Since then, new discoveries (e.g. Montet and Simon, 2016) have continued to baffle researchers.

There are various hypotheses for the origin of the Moon but a chemistry analysis says it has disproved the leading one - that a low-energy impact left the proto-Earth and Moon shrouded in a silicate atmosphere. Instead, they say, a much more violent impact vaporized the impactor and most of the proto-Earth, expanding to form an enormous superfluid disk out of which the Moon eventually crystallized.

This is an intriguing paper which has hit the news, see  Planet Nine Could Doom Our Solar System - If It Exists. If our solar system has a planet in a distant orbit, way beyond Neptune, such as the planet X candidates, it could lead to instability of our solar system far into the future. That's a rather unintuitive result - how could such a distant planet make any difference to our solar system's stability? It's not only intriguing, it might also provide the solution to a major puzzle about white dwarf stars.

The solar system could be thrown into disaster when the sun dies if the mysterious 'Planet Nine' exists, according to Dr. Dimitri Veras in the Department of Physics at University of Warwick, who says he has discovered that the presence of Planet Nine - the hypothetical planet which may exist in the outer Solar System - could cause the elimination of at least one of the giant planets after the sun dies, hurling them out into interstellar space through a sort of 'pinball' effect.

When the sun starts to die in around seven billion years, it will blow away half of its own mass and inflate itself -- swallowing the Earth -- before fading into an ember known as a white dwarf. This mass ejection will push Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune out to what was assumed a safe distance.

Just another short post on Nibiru following on from my recent petition calling for responsible mainstream journalist reporting on "doomsday stories". It's featuring in many mainstream news sites again. Thank goodness one paper, the Independent, has run a straight hoax debunking story on it. "‘Blood moon’ and ‘rogue planet Nibiru’ are on their way to kill us all, conspiracy theorists wrongly claim", kudos to them. Hurrah! It's the first straightforward Nibiru debunking article I've seen in the mainstream newspapers in the last year (since I started writing these articles). I hope this is a start of a new trend.

The Venus Table of the Dresden Codex, an ancient Mayan book containing astronomical data, has been studied for 120 years, with some confusion and accuracy. If you can recall the Mayan calendar Doomsday prophecy, it stated that at the end of a 13th period of 400 years, known as Baktuns, on the equivalent of Dec. 21, 2012, we would see the return of mysterious Mayan god Bolon Yokte.