* Posts by Spherical Cow

172 posts • joined 10 Aug 2018


Visited the Grand Canyon since 2000? You'll have great photos – and maybe a teensy bit of unwanted radiation

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Another mountain, another huge hole in the ground

I remember flying over a mountain of the stuff heaped next to the Ranger mine in Kakadu. It's all been dug out now and the mine is closed. People are wondering what to do with this huge hole in the ground which used to contain radioactive ore. Nobody wants to put radioactive waste at the bottom but it's got to go somewhere and this would be as good a place as any, wouldn't it?

Surrey Uni mans the space harpoons, and NASA buys more seats on Russian rockets

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Re: brake

There's also solar wind... space is very very empty but even so it's not a total vacuum.

Earth's noggin took quite a clockin' back in the day: Now a second meteorite crater spotted under Greenland ice

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Re: More mundane but obvious.

Pretty sure "skipping" doesn't happen with impact craters.

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Re: The cratered Earth

If you want to get some idea how many times Earth has been hit, take a look at the moon then remember that Earth is a bigger target.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

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We'll find out when the owners blindly follow their satnavs into rivers.

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Amazon jungle?? It's unusual that you aren't talking about Uranus.

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Re: Note to self:

But how will you know where Gatwick is??

Holy planetesimal formation, Batman! Ultima Thule's no snowman – it's a friggin' pancake

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Re: Independence day? More like Shrove Tuesday

Is "smalled" the opposite of "embiggened"? If so I feel it must be a perfectly cromulent word.

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Re: Maybe Freud could explain

@ The Nazz actually he really likes Uranus.

Tell NASA to grab the margarita mix – a sextillion-kg salty ring found floating in space

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So long as there is a galaxy of beer to wash it all down.

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You seem to mention that planet a lot. You must really like Uranus!

Pixaaaarrrrrrghh! Mars-snapping CubeSats Wall-E and Eve declared dead (for now) by NASA bods

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It's amazing what you can fit in a briefcase these days, e.g.

- a Mars probe

- a nuclear weapon

- two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers...

Clever girl: SpaceX's Mars-bound Raptor engine looks like it works just fine

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Ford Prefect was right

and the ISS crew are discovering how useful a towel can be in space.

Japanese astronomers find tiniest Kuiper Belt object yet – using cheap 'scopes and off-the-shelf CMOS cameras

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Re: Crowded

Excellent point, and now they've shown how to do it there will be lots more people finding lots more small KBOs.

I studied hard, I trained for years. Yay, now I'm an astronaut in space. Argggh, leukemia!

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"In space, no-one can hear you sneeze!"


Q. China just landed on its far side, the US woz there 50 years ago – now Europe wants to mine it? A. It's the Moon

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"...not put barrier's in place where none are needed."

What about apostrophes?

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins

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Re: The FCC, eh?

Ethanol and also hops. Hops are naturally antibacterial. If your beer is at least 2% ABV and also at least 20 IBU (International Bittering Units, a measure of isomerised alpha acids derived from hops) your beer is unlikely to spoil.

A long time ago in a monastery far far away (or possibly just down the road depending where you live) monks brewed ale (not beer in those days) for the local community. They did mash the grain more than once as mentioned above, they kept the very strongest ale for themselves, the normal strength was for evening consumption by adults, and the last runnings made small beer for kids and mornings.

Some modern breweries still get two runnings from one batch of grain: this is called parti-gyle brewing. Fullers is a good example of a brewery who use this method. The first runnings (strongest) goes into one kettle to be boiled, the second runnings (weakest) goes into a second kettle. They then blend different proportions of strong & weak to get different strength beers as desired. If the two kettles are boiled with different varieties of hops then the resulting stronger and less strong beers can taste very different, even though they were made with the same grain.

p.s. Brewing is my day job.

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Re: One ring to rule them all?

My first thought was why not build one around the equator and be done with it. But... oceans are tricky and so are plate tectonics. OTOH there are no oceans on the moon (misleading Latin names notwithstanding) and it is geologically stable.

But only a lunatic would suggest that.

People say tabloid hacks are always looking for an angle. This time, they'd be right: Tilting disk of proto-planets spotted

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Re: Venus has a weird spin.

And Pluto has a weird plane.

Typical! You wait ages for a fast radio burst from outer space, and suddenly 13 show up

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Re: Fingers crossed

Fast Microwave Bursts. Detected at Parkes (as were the first FRBs). Unexplained for ages. Turned out to be a technician heating his lunch in the staff canteen and opening the microwave door without pressing stop first.

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Fingers crossed

I really really really hope FRBs don't turn out to be as embarrassingly mundane as FMBs.

Fly me to the Moon, let me play among the stars. Do you think we could get another probe to land on Mars?

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The Clangers do not live on the moon. They live on a planet, across the vast emptiness of space, the silent nothingness between the stars.

What's 23 times the size of Earth, uncomfortably warm – and has astroboffins excited?

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I'm growing a third arm...

SpaceX's Crew Dragon shows up at pad 39A, nearly 8 years after the last Shuttle left

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Re: What's in a name

According to the documentary series, the Soup Dragon lives on either a star or a planet, depending on which episode you watch. Definitely not the moon though.

Forget 2019's tech biz takeovers, here's the mega-merger everyone's talking about: Milky Way and LMC, coming soon

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Re: There is no mass, their model is wrong

If there is no mass, how come I'm heavier now than I was before the Christmas hols?

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Re: "Knock us out of the Milky Way and into interstellar space"

It would take a Marathon to get there (at least that's how it looks now from this far away).

New Horizons snaps finish buffering: Ultima Thule actually two dust bunnies that got snuggly 4.5 billion years ago

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Wallace and Grommit

New Horizons probe reveals Ultima Thule is huge, spinning... chicken drumstick?

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Re: Ultima Thule

Thule is also an American air base in Greenland.

Boffins manage to keep graphene qubits 'quantum coherent' for all of 55... nanoseconds

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Re: Welll .....

What is its unnatural state? Unalive?

Scrubtastic end to 2018 as SpaceX, Blue Origin, Arianespace all opt for another day on Earth

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Crazy motherfucker!


Astroboffins spy a rare exoplanet evaporating before their eyes

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A sheep is approx 100kg so that's 100,000 sheep per second.

There are approx 10 million sheep in Wales so that's 1% of Welsh sheep per second.

All the sheep in Wales would be blown away in less than two minutes.

Phew, galactic accident helps boffins explain dark matter riddle

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Re: Surely it's easy?

Flat batteries, probably. I have the same trouble with my torch.

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Where is Moon Child?

The idea that the amount of dark matter is increasing with time kind of reminds me of The Nothing in The Never-Ending Story.

(I didn't get around to finishing that book, so it lived up to its name)

Supernovae may explain mass extinctions of marine animals 2.6 million years ago

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Definitely before breakfast.

Boffins build bugged bees bearing backpacks

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Lasers would be more fun

But that would ruin the alliteration. Bouncing bombs? Or perhaps something to do with Arthur Jarrett (a convicted criminal who has been allowed to choose the manner of his own execution).

OSIRIS-REx space probe catches a whiff of water on asteroid Bennu

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There's no mystery

There's no mystery about the origin of water on Earth. The water has flowed across the surface of the planet from Britain where it rains all the bloody time.

China on its way to becoming the first nation to land on the far side of the Moon

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Re: eliptical orbit satellite...

That reminds me of a record player I used to have. While it played the first record, I could stack up to five more on the spindle, which had a little lever thing to keep them suspended above the first. When the first record ended and the arm returned home, the lever thing would let the next one drop and that one would then be played. Imagine that! A total of six LPs playing back to back (only one side of each, mind you) without the need for any human intervention! Happy days.

Boffins build blazing battery bonfire

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Re: Pendant's Corner


Fucking autocorrect.

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Pendant's Corner

"They dig a big hole and fill it with concrete..."

After the hole has been filled with concrete, where does the silicon go?

Official: Voyager 2 is now an interstellar spacecraft

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Don't forget the alt text:


Here's the list of space orgs big and small sparring to send next NASA gear to the Moon

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Re: IT Services for CLPS


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Paddington Bear came from Darkest Peru, which probably receives just as much sunlight as the more well-known parts of Peru. Also, the Dark Ages did not have shorter daylight hours than ages with more complete written histories.

It's all a matter of time: Super-chill atomic clock could sniff gravitational waves, dark matter

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THANK you FOR sharing THAT fun POST with US.

Pulses quicken at NASA as SpaceX gets closer to crewed launches and Russia readies the next Soyuz

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Re: Heres hoping

Brownies are what happened in the last crewed Soyuz.

NASA's Mars probe InSight really has Mars in sight: It beams back first pic after touchdown

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Did they remember to fit the solar panels with windscreen wipers?

Big data at sea: How the Royal Navy charts the world's oceans

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I would imagine that one situation where subs would be better than ships would be mapping the seabed under ice.

It might make sense to use a cheaper non-stealth unarmed mapping sub for that. Possibly even a drone sub?

Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

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Re: out of topic question

I suspect a downvote bot.

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Re: RE: AC


Busy week for ISS as Russia resumes flights and vies for parking spaces with NASA

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Re: making appear commonplace

Landing first stages in the mid- Atlantic is unlikely to be a "disaster" even if it goes completely tits-up: the Atlantic is a very empty place.

The chances of hitting a ship are nowhere near a million to one (because odds like those happen nine times out of ten, and it hasn't happened yet).

Sorry, but NASA says Mars signal wasn't Opportunity knocking

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Something odd is going on here.

The MRO relayed a message from OPPY but the message wasn't from OPPY. How does a mistake like this even happen? Isn't relaying messages correctly one of MRO's core functions?


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