Daily Archives: September 17, 2011

  • Have we found a potential “forest moon?”

    Based on some conversations I’ve had with others (that are also NOT in the know), I’ll offer up another possibility for what the Kepler team might announce at their press conference later today… the first discovery of an exo-moon. It could even be an Earth-sized moon orbiting a gas giant. Sound familiar? That would certainly explain the presence of John Knoll, from Lucas Arts’ Industrial Light and Magic. One of the major “planets” in the Star Wars canon – Endor – is a jungle moon orbiting a gas giant. It would also explain the presence of Laurance Doyle as the

  • Big News Coming Thursday…

    Check it out. (And just in time for the release of the Star Wars Blu-ray set.) The Kepler team will have a briefing Thursday morning at 11 AM EDT. Given the recent announcement by the Harps team of a potentially habitable world, the past announcement of another potentially habitable planet GJ581g (the “Cheshire planet”, or if you prefer “Schroedinger’s planet”), and the presence of someone from Lucas Arts’ Industrial Light and Magic… I’m guessing the Kepler team has found their own potentially habitable world. Also, because the team has previously announced candidate planets in the habitable zones of other stars,

  • Get the Soot Out

    Last week, there was a very encouraging presentation made at the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson presented an abstract showing how soot affects climate. Soot is what you get when you burn organic carbon as a fuel, but don’t burn it completely. Think the ash and other organic compounds released from a campfire.

    Jacobson added improvements to a climate model to better quantify the effects of soot on clouds. After running these models, he found that decreasing soot in the atmosphere could significantly counteract the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Even