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Tuross Falls Wadbilliga NP

A large 200m (600') fall on the wild Tuross River, one of our most inaccessible river-falls.

Image: single shot, lightly toned for depth

More pictures of the fall and the dream-time stories associated with the falls are now published on my website:
http://www.silenttheory.net/
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Drops of light
My macros https://www.paolodalprato.com/macro
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EXCLUSIVE - Eminem performs “Venom” from high atop the Empire State Building! Presented by Google #Pixel3
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When the U.S. football field–size, cigar-shaped object ‘Oumuamua entered our solar system last year, it didn’t just give us our first glimpse of an interstellar piece of rock. It also bolstered the plausibility of space rocks spreading life among the stars by ferrying microbes between distant star systems, according to a new study. “Life could potentially be exchanged over thousands of light-years,” says author Idan Ginsburg, a postdoc at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The idea, known as panspermia, has been around for centuries. Some astronomers have even speculated that life on Earth was seeded by microbes that hitched a ride on debris ejected from another life-harboring world in the solar system, perhaps on meteorites from Mars. But it seemed improbable that life could have come from interstellar space.
[...]
In the new study, Ginsburg, along with astrophysicists Manasvi Lingam and Abraham Loeb, also of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, calculated the chances of such objects delivering life to an alien world. A binary star such as Alpha Centauri would ensnare a few thousand rocks of ‘Oumuamua’s size every year, and our solar system might snag one a century, the team estimates in a preprint posted last week on arXiv and in a forthcoming paper in The Astrophysical Journal.

Lingam and Loeb (2018) Implications of Captured Interstellar Objects for Panspermia and Extraterrestrial Life: https://arxiv.org/abs/1801.10254

Ginsburg et al. (2018) Galactic Panspermia: https://arxiv.org/abs/1810.04307
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"Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have found the oldest clue yet of animal life, dating back at least 100 million years before the famous Cambrian explosion of animal fossils.

The study, led by Gordon Love, a professor in UCR's Department of Earth Sciences, was published today in Nature Ecology & Evolution. The first author is Alex Zumberge, a doctoral student working in Love's research group.

Rather than searching for conventional body fossils, the researchers have been tracking molecular signs of animal life, called biomarkers, as far back as 660-635 million years ago during the Neoproterozoic Era. In ancient rocks and oils from Oman, Siberia, and India, they found a steroid compound produced only by sponges, which are among the earliest forms of animal life.

"Molecular fossils are important for tracking early animals since the first sponges were probably very small, did not contain a skeleton, and did not leave a well-preserved or easily recognizable body fossil record," Zumberge said. "We have been looking for distinctive and stable biomarkers that indicate the existence of sponges and other early animals, rather than single-celled organisms that dominated the earth for billions of years before the dawn of complex, multicellular life."

The biomarker they identified, a steroid compound named 26-methylstigmastane (26-mes), has a unique structure that is currently only known to be synthesized by certain species of modern sponges called demosponges.

"This steroid biomarker is the first evidence that demosponges, and hence multicellular animals, were thriving in ancient seas at least as far back as 635 million years ago," Zumberge said.

The work builds from a 2009 study by Love's team, which reported the first compelling biomarker evidence for Neoproterozoic animals from a different steroid biomarker, called 24-isopropylcholestane (24-ipc), from rocks in South Oman. However, the 24-ipc biomarker evidence proved controversial since 24-ipc steroids are not exclusively made by demosponges and can be found in a few modern algae. The finding of the additional and novel 26-mes ancient biomarker, which is unique to demosponges, adds extra confidence that both compounds are fossil biomolecules produced by demosponges on an ancient seafloor".

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It is definitely a unique look for the TARDIS
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Dodgers’ Manny Machado has forgotten how to slide https://nyp.st/2CNxQEp
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There is a region in Antarctica, which not many people have been fortunate enough to visit, but it has been deemed by many experts as one of the most alien, bizarre, weird and mysterious places on earth. True to its name, the Blood Falls refer to a waterfall that flows from the Taylor Glacier, baffling most microbiologists and glaciologist because of its blood-red hue. Researchers have found unusually large quantities of iron oxide in West Lake Bonney located in the area. It is this path breaking discovery that has been inferred as the reason for the color of the falls. It is even more peculiar that amidst all that iron, microorganisms are able to survive at a depth of 1300 feet under the ice...
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Giant planets around young star raise questions about how planets form
Source: University of Cambridge
Researchers have identified a young star with four Jupiter and Saturn-sized planets in orbit around it, the first time that so many massive planets have been detected in such a young system. The system has also set a new record for the most extreme range of orbits yet observed: the outermost planet is more than a thousand times further from the star than the innermost one, which raises interesting questions about how such a system might have formed.

The star is just two million years old – a ‘toddler’ in astronomical terms – and is surrounded by a huge disc of dust and ice. This disc, known as a protoplanetary disc, is where the planets, moons, asteroids and other astronomical objects in stellar systems form.

The star was already known to be remarkable because it contains the first so-called hot Jupiter - a massive planet orbiting very close to its parent star – to have been discovered around such a young star. Although hot Jupiters were the first type of exoplanet to be discovered, their existence has long puzzled astronomers because they are often thought to be too close to their parent stars to have formed in situ.

Now, a team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge have used the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) to search for planetary ‘siblings’ to this infant hot Jupiter. Their image revealed three distinct gaps in the disc, which, according to their theoretical modelling, were most likely caused by three additional gas giant planets also orbiting the young star.

The star, CI Tau, is located about 500 light years away in a highly-productive stellar ‘nursery’ region of the galaxy. Its four planets differ greatly in their orbits: the closest (the hot Jupiter) is within the equivalent of the orbit of Mercury, while the farthest orbits at a distance more than three times greater than that of Neptune. The two outer planets are about the mass of Saturn, while the two inner planets are respectively around one and 10 times the mass of Jupiter.

The discovery raises many questions for astronomers. Around 1% of stars host hot Jupiters, but most of the known hot Jupiters are hundreds of times older than CI Tau. “It is currently impossible to say whether the extreme planetary architecture seen in CI Tau is common in hot Jupiter systems because the way that these sibling planets were detected - through their effect on the protoplanetary disc – would not work in older systems which no longer have a protoplanetary disc,” said Professor Cathie Clarke from Cambridge’s Institute of Astronomy, the study’s first author.

According to the researchers, it is also unclear whether the sibling planets played a role in driving the innermost planet into its ultra-close orbit, and whether this is a mechanism that works in making hot Jupiters in general. And a further mystery is how the outer two planets formed at all.

“Planet formation models tend to focus on being able to make the types of planets that have been observed already, so new discoveries don’t necessarily fit the models,” said Clarke. “Saturn mass planets are supposed to form by first accumulating a solid core and then pulling in a layer of gas on top, but these processes are supposed to be very slow at large distances from the star. Most models will struggle to make planets of this mass at this distance.”

The task ahead will be to study this puzzling system at multiple wavelengths to get more clues about the properties of the disc and its planets. In the meantime, ALMA – the first telescope with the capability of imaging planets in the making – will likely throw out further surprises in other systems, re-shaping our picture of how planetary systems form.

Journal Reference:
C. J. Clarke, M. Tazzari, A. Juhasz, G. Rosotti, R. Booth, S. Facchini, J. D. Ilee, C. M. Johns-Krull, M. Kama, F. Meru, L. Prato. High-resolution Millimeter Imaging of the CI Tau Protoplanetary Disk: A Massive Ensemble of Protoplanets from 0.1 to 100 au. The Astrophysical Journal, 2018; 866 (1): L6
http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/aae36b

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The administration of US President Donald Trump is moving deliberately to counter what the White House views as years of unchecked Chinese aggression, signaling a new and potentially much colder era in relations between Washington and Beijing.
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The moon no longer has a magnetic field, but NASA scientists are publishing new research that shows heat from crystallization of the lunar core may have driven its now-defunct magnetic field some 3 billion years ago.

https://rxscience.org/nasa-confirms-the-formation-of-magnetic-field-due-to-dynamo-at-lunar-core/
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