A new study shows our planet is much closer to the supermassive black hole at the galaxy's center than previously estimated.
Credit: NAOJ<p><em>Arrows on this map show position and velocity data for the 224 objects utilized to model the Milky Way Galaxy. The solid black lines point to the positions of the spiral arms of the Galaxy. Colors reflect groups of objects that are part of the same arm, while the background is a simulation image.</em></p>
An astrophysicist proposes new designs for stellar engines that can move a solar system.
- An astrophysicist proposes two new designs for stellar engines.
- The engines would be able to move our sun and whole solar systems.
- Moving the sun would be necessary to avoid collisions with supernovas and other space catastrophes.
How a Supernova Could Nuke Us<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="ftiLvL41" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="56a462ca76420f3c5f5369666950fc72"> <div id="botr_ftiLvL41_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/ftiLvL41-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/ftiLvL41-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/ftiLvL41-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>A nearby star system may “go supernova".</p>
How to Move the Sun: Stellar Engines<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6fcbb1b3c1c323bd045aac634f4f75cb"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/v3y8AIEX_dU?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p> Check out the explanatory video from <em>Kurzgesagt</em> for more information.</p>
We still don't have proof of intelligent life beyond that on Earth.
- One of the biggest questions is whether we are alone in the universe — could there be other intelligent life, besides us, out there? Currently, we don't have any evidence aliens exist.
- There may have been a chance for a civilization to start billions of years before life began on Earth — one that is far more advanced, technologically speaking, than us. However, they're not making it very obvious. We have no proof of this.
- If such an advanced civilization exists, though, it probably relies on solar energy to fuels its everyday activities.
You won't notice much of a difference unless you're north of the 55th parallel, though.
- Magnetic north has recently been moving north from Canada to Russia in a cold hurry.
- It's moving about 33 miles a year instead of the usual 7 miles.
- World navigation models had to updated ahead of schedule to catch up with it.
North, north, and north<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTE2MjQ5MC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzODEwOTk0N30.SD7sUcv5s1GoxAng0TTdtfhT-5xV2K_2pXHsS9BxtYU/img.gif?width=980" id="12c8a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bd173f5f3a2619d67820e11a25dcc248" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Pyty / Shutterstock<p>There are actually three flavors of north, and they're all in different places.</p> <ul> <li><em>Magnetic north</em> — is defined as the location on the Earth's surface where all of its magnetic lines point straight downward. If you look at a compass while you're there, the needle attempts to dip down; that's why it's also called the "dip pole." Magnetic north is always on the move in response to the constant motion of electrical charges in the Earth's liquid outer mantle, which produces Earth's magnetic field.<span></span></li></ul><ul><li><em>Geomagnetic north</em> — is the northern focus of the Earth's magnetosphere, up in the stratosphere. It moves, too, but not nearly as much, since shifts in the Earth's magnetic field are more smoothed-out up there than on the ground. Its location is pretty stable, <a href="http://wdc.kugi.kyoto-u.ac.jp/poles/polesexp.html" target="_blank" data-vivaldi-spatnav-clickable="1">located</a> above and off the northwest coast of Greenland.<span></span></li></ul><ul> <li><em>True north</em>, or <em>geographic north</em> — is the northern terminus of our lines of longitude. It's located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean.</li> </ul>
What’s the hurry?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTE2MjUzMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxOTEyMjgwNn0.kzhzoWnDITtIG0u_h-gx_8x6dVNMPpjPMmIvx3-YQQ0/img.jpg?width=980" id="dea99" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a1eee701aef6ee6142209f89593e0273" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Johan Swanepoel / Shutterstock<p>The suddenly accelerating movement of magnetic north has scientists wondering what's up — not because there's any danger we're aware of — because its behavior is one of the few opportunities they have to catch a glimpse of the dynamics inside the earth's molten outer core.</p><p>The most prominent theory is that the speed-up is being driven by, as <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00007-1" target="_blank" data-vivaldi-spatnav-clickable="1"><em>Nature</em></a> puts it, "liquid iron sloshing within the planet's core." Giant streams of molten iron and nickel continually twist and swirl in the outer core, a pressure cooker that can reach 9,000° F in temperature. The iron is the source of the magnetic fields that comprise the Earth's magnetosphere. The magnetosphere is the barrier that keeps us protected from destructive ultraviolet solar radiation — its existence keeps Earth habitable. Planets with no magnetic barrier are unable to hold onto their atmosphere. Mars lost its magnetosphere 4.2 billion years ago. </p><p>Geophysicist <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/see/staff/1381/dr-phil-livermore" target="_blank" data-vivaldi-spatnav-clickable="1">Phil Livermore</a> made the case at an <a href="https://fallmeeting.agu.org/2018/" target="_blank" data-vivaldi-spatnav-clickable="1">American Geophysical Union meeting</a> in Fall 2018 that what we're seeing is the latest action in an ongoing tug of war between two magnetic fields down in the swirling outer core. One is under Siberia, and one is under Canada. Historically, the Canadian field has been winning, keeping magnetic north in Canada. However, there's been a shift, he tells <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/02/magnetic-north-update-navigation-maps/" target="_blank" data-vivaldi-spatnav-clickable="1"><em>National Geographic</em></a>, "The Siberian patch looks like it's winning the battle. It's sort of pulling the magnetic field all the way across to its side of the geographic pole."</p><p>Some scientists think that the acceleration may be an early sign that Earth's magnetic poles are about to flip, something that happens every every 200,000 to 300,000 years. Others see no evidence of that. Plus, flips occur over thousands of years, so there'd be no cause for alarm anyway.</p>
Keeping an eye on magnetic north<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTE2MjUxMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNjA0MDIyNn0.ASCHuzAA5dhXJHynroj6LxT8KRlGayzp15Jm1BRtX-U/img.jpg?width=980" id="6d0da" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="818173f506740fdeeb7e6348bea3778d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A new study by planetary scientists proposes a giant new space object which could have formed the Earth and the moon.